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Latest Featured Reports | Monday, December 5, 2016
'Recount' 2016 or 'Recount' 2000? Team Trump Files to Stop WI, MI, PA Counts: 'BradCast' 12/2/16
As PA margin plummets, Stein asks: 'Why is Trump afraid of these recounts?'...
Hand, Machine 'Recounts' Begin in WI, Trump Blocks MI Count: 'BradCast' 12/1/16
Also: Brain-addled Trump voters buy his 'voter fraud' lie, even as he hires an actual voter fraud criminal as a top WH NatSec adviser...
'Green News Report' 12/1/16
  w/ Brad & Desi
Deadly drought-fueled fires in TN; Canada approves tar sands pipelines; 100M dead trees in CA drought; Toxic algae blooms in West again; PLUS: WA scientists turn CO2 to stone...
Previous GNRs: 11/29/16 - 11/22/16 - Archives...
Countdown to 'Recounts': Stein Files in MI, More Barriers in WI: 'BradCast' 11/30/16
Computer scientists and voting systems expert plead for hand-counts; Fees increased; Callers ring in with questions...
Impossible 'Recount' Laws in PA; New Barriers in WI: 'BradCast' 11/29/16
VotePA's Marybeth Kuznik on insane 'recount' laws and 100% unverifiable voting systems in PA; Also: What good are paper ballots if nobody can afford to actually count them?...
'Green News Report' 11/29/16
  w/ Brad & Desi
Eviction notice for ND pipeline protesters; 3 oil refinery fires in 2 days; Drought emergency in Bolivia; Coral die-off in Great Barrier Reef; PLUS: Judge: Kids can sue over climate...
Previous GNRs: 11/22/16 - 11/17/16 - Archives...
Overseeing Results in WI, MI, PA Before 'Recounts' Begin: 'BradCast' 11/28/16
Guest: Author, election fraud investigator Richard Hayes Phillips on concerns about reported voter turnout in WI and much more...
Sunday Leftover Turkey Toons
The nation's political cartoonists are talking turkey (and more) in PDiddie's latest collection of the week's best toons...
Stein 'Recount' Effort Raises Millions: 'BradCast' 11/25/16
Guest host Angie Coiro on why the Presidential recount/audit battle in WI, MI, PA matters well beyond 2016. She also speaks with guest Leland Faust and much more...
'Why Would Anyone Be Against Counting Votes?': 'BradCast' 11/23/16
An exclusive interview with the Green Party Presidential candidate Dr. Jill Stein on filing for 'recounts' and forensic audits in WI, MI, PA...
BREAKING: Stein to Seek Hand 'Recounts' in WI, MI, PA
Green Party candidate to ask for hand counts, forensic tabulator audits of voting systems in three states. Stein appears LIVE on The BradCast to discuss it...
Will the Presidential Election Be 'Recounted' in WI, PA, MI?: 'BradCast' 11/22/16
Should it be? Alternet's Steve Rosenfeld and Brad on anomalies and concerns that have experts calling for handcounts, forensic audits...
'Green News Report' 11/22/16
ND uses water cannons, tear gas on pipeline protesters; Canada to phase out coal by 2030; Record low sea ice, 'freakishly warm' Arctic; PLUS: Obama nixes oil leases...
Trump Cashing In as U.S. Media Still Checking Out: 'BradCast' 11/21/16
Guest: Media Matters' Eric Boehlert. Plus: Still trying to oversee election results; Police attack pipeline protesters in ND; Arctic is burning up...
Sunday Toons in the Aftermath Moment
'PDiddie' and the political cartoonists are struggling to make sense of it all in this week's collection of the week's best toons...
Stealing the Supreme Court(s): 'BradCast' 11/18/16
Guest: David Dayen on blocking the GOP SCOTUS theft. Also: Trump pays off his fraud victims, names more racist appointees, NC Repubs plot to steal state's high court...
Exit Polls 'Wrong' Again: 'BradCast' 11/17/16
Or were they? Election expert Jonathon Simon asks 'What would Trump do' if it happened to him not Clinton? Also: Fake AND real news outlets undermining democracy...
'Green News Report' 11/17/16
Sanders' new idea to block Dakota Access; McConnell: coal unlikely to return; Mercury contamination down; PLUS: Climate negotiators v. Trump...
Were Vote Tabulation Systems Rigged for Trump?: 'BradCast' 11/16/16
What we know, don't and why we don't. ALSO: NC GOP wants 'recount' after vote tabulators fail in Guv race...
NATIONWIDE STUDY FINDS ALMOST NO VOTER FRAUD
Just 10 cases of in-person impersonation in all 50 states since 2000...
VIDEO: 'Rise of the Tea Bags'
Brad interviews American patriots...
'Democracy's Gold Standard'
Hand-marked, hand-counted ballots...
Brad's Upcoming Appearances
(All times listed as PACIFIC TIME unless noted)
Media Appearance Archives...
'Special Coverage' Archives
GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal 2012...
VA GOP VOTER REG FRAUDSTER OFF HOOK
Felony charges dropped against VA Republican caught trashing voter registrations before last year's election. Did GOP AG, Prosecutor conflicts of interest play role?...

Criminal GOP Voter Registration Fraud Probe Expanding in VA
State investigators widening criminal probe of man arrested destroying registration forms, said now looking at violations of law by Nathan Sproul's RNC-hired firm...

DOJ PROBE SOUGHT AFTER VA ARREST
Arrest of RNC/Sproul man caught destroying registration forms brings official calls for wider criminal probe from compromised VA AG Cuccinelli and U.S. AG Holder...

Arrest in VA: GOP Voter Reg Scandal Widens
'RNC official' charged on 13 counts, for allegely trashing voter registration forms in a dumpster, worked for Romney consultant, 'fired' GOP operative Nathan Sproul...

ALL TOGETHER: ROVE, SPROUL, KOCHS, RNC
His Super-PAC, his voter registration (fraud) firm & their 'Americans for Prosperity' are all based out of same top RNC legal office in Virginia...

LATimes: RNC's 'Fired' Sproul Working for Repubs in 'as Many as 30 States'
So much for the RNC's 'zero tolerance' policy, as discredited Republican registration fraud operative still hiring for dozens of GOP 'Get Out The Vote' campaigns...

'Fired' Sproul Group 'Cloned', Still Working for Republicans in At Least 10 States
The other companies of Romney's GOP operative Nathan Sproul, at center of Voter Registration Fraud Scandal, still at it; Congressional Dems seek answers...

FINALLY: FOX ON GOP REG FRAUD SCANDAL
The belated and begrudging coverage by Fox' Eric Shawn includes two different video reports featuring an interview with The BRAD BLOG's Brad Friedman...

COLORADO FOLLOWS FLORIDA WITH GOP CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION
Repub Sec. of State Gessler ignores expanding GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal, rants about evidence-free 'Dem Voter Fraud' at Tea Party event...

CRIMINAL PROBE LAUNCHED INTO GOP VOTER REGISTRATION FRAUD SCANDAL IN FL
FL Dept. of Law Enforcement confirms 'enough evidence to warrant full-blown investigation'; Election officials told fraudulent forms 'may become evidence in court'...

Brad Breaks PA Photo ID & GOP Registration Fraud Scandal News on Hartmann TV
Another visit on Thom Hartmann's Big Picture with new news on several developing Election Integrity stories...

CAUGHT ON TAPE: COORDINATED NATIONWIDE GOP VOTER REG SCAM
The GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal reveals insidious nationwide registration scheme to keep Obama supporters from even registering to vote...

CRIMINAL ELECTION FRAUD COMPLAINT FILED AGAINST GOP 'FRAUD' FIRM
Scandal spreads to 11 FL counties, other states; RNC, Romney try to contain damage, split from GOP operative...

RICK SCOTT GETS ROLLED IN GOP REGISTRATION FRAUD SCANDAL
Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL) sends blistering letter to Gov. Rick Scott (R) demanding bi-partisan reg fraud probe in FL; Slams 'shocking and hypocritical' silence, lack of action...

VIDEO: Brad Breaks GOP Reg Fraud Scandal on Hartmann TV
Breaking coverage as the RNC fires their Romney-tied voter registration firm, Strategic Allied Consulting...

RNC FIRES NATIONAL VOTER REGISTRATION FIRM FOR FRAUD
After FL & NC GOP fire Romney-tied group, RNC does same; Dead people found reg'd as new voters; RNC paid firm over $3m over 2 months in 5 battleground states...

EXCLUSIVE: Intvw w/ FL Official Who First Discovered GOP Reg Fraud
After fraudulent registration forms from Romney-tied GOP firm found in Palm Beach, Election Supe says state's 'fraud'-obsessed top election official failed to return call...

GOP REGISTRATION FRAUD FOUND IN FL
State GOP fires Romney-tied registration firm after fraudulent forms found in Palm Beach; Firm hired 'at request of RNC' in FL, NC, VA, NV & CO...
The Secret Koch Brothers Tapes...


Constitutional attorney, voting rights advocate targeted by Right for support of Bush impeachment...even though he also supported impeachment of Clinton...
By Brad Friedman on 5/20/2010 5:47pm PT  

Taking a page from the successful hit campaign the Republican right ran against former White House Green Jobs Advisor Van Jones, one of rightwing activist Andrew Breitbart's website's "Andrew Breitbart Presents...Big Journalism," is now attempting to use a McCarthy-like guilt-by-association smear against Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan.

But my own 2005 interview with their latest target kinda blows the very basis for their entire attempted High-Tech Lynching/Conspiracy Theory....

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---




By Brad Friedman on 5/10/2010 12:43pm PT  

After all these years, not much has changed for the denialist jurisdictions that still insult their voters by using 100% unverifiable electronic voting machines.

Pittsburgh's WTAE filed a report last week with a ring of exhausting familiarity --- at least to long time readers of The BRAD BLOG. This one stars, as usual, both an open, unsecured door to the warehouse, and an election official --- in this case, Allegheny County Pennsylvania's Election Division manager, Mark Wolosik --- claiming he's "seen" no problems before, so everything is just dandy, nothing to worry about when it comes to his support of the use of 100% unverifiable electronic voting systems by his county's voters...

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---




By Brad Friedman on 5/7/2010 4:04pm PT  

Two quickie items from Public Citizen's latest DontGetRolled.org "e-newsletter about the movement to curb corporate influence in politics and restore our democracy," as brought to my attention by Ernie Canning today...

Stunning Statistic of the Week:

  • $75 million: The liability cap for BP for the Gulf oil spill, for damages such as lost wages and economic suffering
  • $5.6 billion: BP's first-quarter profits, a 135 percent increase over the first quarter of 2009

...
Election spending by third parties and special interest groups is up dramatically
Spending by independent and third-party groups on TV ads for seats in the House of Representatives and the Senate are nearly four times the amount from four years ago - $48 million vs. $11.2 million, reports the Campaign Media Analysis Group, an organization that tracks political spending. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is one of the big spenders, as is the conservative group Americans for Job Security.




By Brad Friedman on 4/27/2010 1:20pm PT  

There are no mistakes. As fate, or someone's idea of a joke would have it, I find myself, by complete coincidence, at the Creekside Inn in Northern California today, on totally unrelated work, on the first anniversary of the sudden and tragic death of my friend and colleague John Gideon.

John, for those who may not know, particularly for those of you who have only found The BRAD BLOG over the past year, was for many years an integral part of this place. He was the co-founder of VotersUnite.org, the author of their indispensable Daily Voting News, which we ran virtually every single day here since Election Day of 2005, an irreplaceable friend, partner and frequent contributor here at The BRAD BLOG and an indefatigable and unwavering champion of Election Integrity, reform and voters' rights --- particularly of the right not only to cast a ballot, but to have that ballot counted accurately and transparently as per the voter's intent.

It was here at the Creekside Inn, a serene, modest hotel in Northern California set around a quiet ivy-lined creek, towering old tress and a lush green courtyard, that I, John's long-time Voters Unite co-founder Ellen Theisen and a small number of other dedicated folks from the Election Integrity movement in this country (shown here), crafted a deceptively simple mission statement of sorts, which we vowed to use as a yardstick for any and all future election reform initiatives. We came to call it The Creekside Declaration:

"Mission: To encourage citizen ownership
of transparent, participatory democracy."

- Creekside Declaration, 3/22/08

While John was not there in person, he certainly was in spirit. After hearing of the declaration, he began using the short statement of principle as his email signature line right up until his sudden passing one year ago today. He is here again, in both spirit and my heart, at the Creekside Inn today. That mission now continues in his honor.

His loss to us at the blog, in the EI movement, and to voters across the country cannot be adequately or fully described --- at least not by this writer.

And so, for whatever reason, one that I certainly couldn't even guess at right now, fate has returned me here today --- just the second time I have ever been here.

Well, may be I can take a guess. Perhaps it's John's handiwork somehow, trying to mess with my head, force me to remember how much I miss him on this day --- not that I need any such reminders on any day --- so that he can laugh and laugh and laugh about it all at my expense from the after life. If so, glad I could bring my old friend, confidante, partner and hero one last hearty chuckle.

So...

Has anybody here seen my old friend John?
Can you tell me where he's gone?
He freed a lot of people, but it seems the good they die young.
I just looked around and he was gone...




Any guess which company supplies Bank of America's hackable ATM systems?...
By Brad Friedman on 4/12/2010 5:45pm PT  

As we have long tried to get across to anyone who would listen, the greatest threat to "secure" computerized systems --- such as the electronic voting systems, incredibly, still in use in all 50 states for this year's crucial election cycle --- comes from insiders.

Late last week, another report, this one via ComputerWorld, underscored the point yet again:

BofA insider to plead guilty to hacking ATMs

IDG News Service - A Bank of America computer specialist is set to plead guilty to charges that he hacked the bank's automated tellers to dispense cash without recording the activity.

Rodney Reed Caverly, of Charlotte, North Carolina, is scheduled to plead guilty to a computer fraud charge next Tuesday in federal court in Charlotte, according to his lawyer Christopher Fialko, who declined to comment further on the case.

Caverly was charged last week with one count of computer fraud for allegedly writing a malicious program that ran on Bank of America's computers and ATMs, according to court filings.
...
He faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison.

Caverly had worked in Bank of America's IT department where he designed and maintained computer systems, including those used by the ATMs. The alleged scam ran between March 2009 and October 2009.

The gullible are welcome to buy into the Rightwing propaganda that ACORN is somehow stealing elections, despite the complete dearth of any actual evidence that any vote has ever been illegally cast in any election vis a vis an improper registration by an ACORN worker.

But the facts, demonstrated yet again by the BofA story, are much as non-ideological computer scientists and security experts have been trying to warn for years in regard to electronic voting systems: the greatest threat to such systems comes from insiders, such as election officials who can manipulate results simply and directly and in such a way that they are unlikely to ever get caught doing it.

Even the sham 2005 Rightwing-created Baker/Carter National Election Reform Commission --- created almost entirely to put an "official"-appearing imprimatur on the call for disenfranchising Photo ID restrictions at polling places --- was forced to admit as much in their final report...

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---




Your opponent, SoS Trey Grayson, overseeing the election, has a disturbing history on the issue of electronic voting systems
Legal action NOW may help to prevent surprises later...
By Brad Friedman on 3/28/2010 1:10pm PT  

Rand Paul, son of Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) is running for the GOP nomination for U.S. Senator to replace the retiring Sen. Jim Bunning in the state of Kentucky. Paul, who has been endorsed by the likes of Sarah Palin, is running against Republican Party insider, KY Sec. of State Trey Grayson, who has been endorsed by the likes of Dick Cheney. Primary Election Day is set for May 18th.

Grayson's disturbing history of misrepresenting the truth in regard to certification of the state's electronic voting systems should be of great concern to Paul and his supporters, particularly given the state's rich history of confirmed election fraud by election insiders --- which includes tampering with e-voting systems to change voters votes --- and the fact that much of the state still uses electronic voting systems which are 100% unverifiable in any way, shape or form.

Of equal concern are the hand-marked paper ballot systems used in other parts of the state. Those electronic systems are also at risk to both simple, nearly undetectable manipulation by insiders as well as tallying errors, and have been found to feature serious security flaws highlighted in the past by the state's own former Republican AG. Even admissions by one of the voting machine companies, Diebold, that systems in use in the state did not meet certification requirements, were largely dismissed, and all but ignored for years by Grayson, the state's chief election official who will be overseeing his own election against Paul in May...

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---




By Brad Friedman on 3/10/2010 12:06pm PT  


Doris "Granny D" Haddock
1910 - 2010


"Granny D" was surely one of the greatest Americans of all time. In 2005 we were "moved beyond words" when she helped to launch VelvetRevolution.us, the activist organization co-founded early that year by The BRAD BLOG.

More on this extraordinary patriot who, at the age of 89 walked 3,200 miles from coast to coast to draw attention to the need for campaign finance form, and kept up the fight until the day she died, right here and here.

This nation could use millions more like her. Our loss today is immeasurable.




By Brad Friedman on 3/8/2010 6:02pm PT  

The Department of Justice's Anti-trust division has determined that the purchase of Premier Election Solutions, Diebold Inc.'s recently renamed e-voting division, by Election Systems & Software, Inc. (ES&S), has resulted in a voting machine monopoly. The DoJ and nine states that have joined in a lawsuit are suing to require ES&S to divest of the assets gained in the bargain-basement priced purchase of Diebold's e-voting outfit last September.

The merger with Diebold/Premier, ES&S's second largest competitor, had given ES&S, a private corporation which already controlled some 50% of U.S. elections with its electronic voting systems, a full 70% control of the votes cast in this country. The acquisition had been opposed by election integrity organizations, Hart Intercivic (a much smaller Austin-based competitor), the New York Times' editorial board, and U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) in his capacity as chairman of the Senate Rules Committee, and was being investigated by 14 different states along with the DoJ's anti-trust division...

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---




Dogged by The BRAD BLOG since 2005, former 'non-partisan' Bush/Cheney attorney now downplays Republican 'voter fraud' 'conspiracy theories'...
By Brad Friedman on 2/16/2010 2:59pm PT  

Is it possible that Thor Hearne, the rightwing operative attorney The BRAD BLOG has been following for years after we discovered him at the heart of a phony "non-partisan" GOP astroturf operation set up just after the 2004 election, calling itself the American Center for Voting Rights (ACVR), has finally seen the light?

Seems highly unlikely for the national general counsel of Bush/Cheney '04 Inc., who knowingly misled Congress on that point and many others. But perhaps after our years dogging him and detailing his lies and phony agenda working to keep legal (Democratic-leaning) citizens from being able to exercise their legal right to vote, he's gotten tired of being the poster boy for the Republican's anti-democracy campaign.

As detailed yesterday by Fired Up! Missouri, who appear to be as confused as we are...

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---




Opening 'Tea Party Nation' speaker, former U.S. House Rep & GOP Presidential candidate, misses the good old days...
By Brad Friedman on 2/5/2010 5:53pm PT  

From John Byrne at RAW STORY...

The opening night speaker at the Tea Party convention suggested a return to a "literacy test" to protect America from presidents like Obama --- a segregation-era method employed by southern US states to keep blacks from voting.

In his speech Thursday to attendees, former Republican congressman Tom Tancredo invoked the loaded pre-civil rights era buzzword, saying that President Barack Obama was elected because "we do not have a civics, literacy test before people can vote in this country."

Southern states used literacy tests as part of an effort to deny suffrage to African American voters prior to Johnson-era civil rights laws.

"Prior to passage of the federal Voting Rights Act in 1965, Southern (and some Western) states maintained elaborate voter registration procedures whose primary purpose was to deny the vote to those who were not white," a website for civil rights veterans explains. "In the South, this process was often called the 'literacy test.' In fact, it was much more than a simple test, it was an entire complex system devoted to denying African-Americans (and in some regions, Latinos) the right to vote."

Gosh, and sure is unfair to paint any of these Tea Baggers as racist, isn't it?

Among the questions on one of those old Alabama literacy tests [PDF], as highlighted in Byrne coverage, are these questions which we wonder if Tancredo himself would be able to answer (not that it would matter, because he's white):

"If a person charged with treason denies his guilt, how many persons must testify against him before he can be convicted?"

"If a president does not wish to sign a bill, how many days is he allowed in which to return it to Congress for consideration?"

"If the United States wishes to purchase land for an arsenal and have exclusive legislative authority over it, consent is required from [fill in the blank]."

After it was revealed that the sponsor of the "National Tea Party Convention" in Nashville, TN, was a for-profit corporation charging some $500 for admission, previously confirmed Tea Bag speakers Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) and Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) dropped out.

None of that was a problem for Tancredo, apparently. Nor for Sarah Palin (R-FOX), who is still scheduled to be the weekend's keynoter for a reported speaking fee of $100,000. Perhaps she'll up Tancredo's racist ante and call for a repeal of that pesky 13th Amendment.

And speaking of literacy, below the fold is a photo of TeaParty.org founder Dale Robertson, taken at a Tea Bagger event in February of 2009. Plenty of literacy, no racism there...

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---




By Brad Friedman on 2/5/2010 11:06am PT  


Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA), in the video at right, describes on the floor of the U.S. House this week what anyone paying attention already knows: how the "Rightwing Echo Chamber" works. He describes a completely false charge by Wall Street Journal's professional liar and GOP operative, John Fund, last November alleging --- with no basis whatsoever --- that Rep. Barney Frank (D-VT) and Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) would soon be introducing legislation for "universal voter registration."

Frank says, "It's a lie, it's a myth." But, he says, the "totally fictional allegation by John Fund with no basis whatsoever" was then picked up and reported as fact by the Washington Times, and naturally then repeated over the public's airwaves by Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, and on and on throughout the wingnut echosphere, as hoped. When Frank called Fund on it, he says, in a letter [PDF] and then by phone, Fund admitted he was in error, said he "told a few people" that he was wrong, but hadn't published any actual retraction.

"He's not only a liar, he's a coward," Frank accurately noted in his comments this week on the House floor. And here we had recently thought Fund was out of fresh lies.

But what Frank doesn't note in his comments above, is that the tactic described, as oft used by Fund and so many others on the Right, actually works very, very well...

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---




By Brad Friedman on 1/22/2010 10:50pm PT  

Never thought I'd miss the 2000s, but if this week is any indication of what's to come, can we please roll back the clock?

Hundreds of thousands died in Haiti. Detainees were revealed to have been murdered in American custody at Gitmo. Democracy died again in Diebold's Massachusetts. A faint hope for reviving the death of the public's airwaves dies yet again as Air America dies. And the U.S. Supreme Court commits mass murder of everbody and everything else that had still been left teetering.

Worse. Week. Ever.

As it happened, I was previously scheduled to be a guest on Peter B. Collins' podcast yesterday to discuss MA. Suffice to say, the conversation ended up a bit broader, and a great deal darker.

If you'd like to listen, if you can stand to, it's now posted here...




'We the People' lose, 'You the Corporations' Win...
By Brad Friedman on 1/21/2010 11:00am PT  

"The court's ruling threatens to undermine the integrity of elected institutions across the nation," wrote Justice John Paul Stevens in his dissenting opinion on today's U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Citizens United v. the Federal Election Commission, which will overturn decades of established campaign finance law.

"Threatens to"? That could be the understatement of the century. But this is what comes of not counting election results. We can thank, among a long list of others, John Kerry for having rolled over in Ohio in 2004.

In a 5 to 4 decision today, by an activist U.S. Supreme Court that actually requested to make a decision to hear this matter, despite the fact that the original case brought to them had little to do with their larger, most destructive finding, has decided that corporations may give as much money as they wish to federal election campaigns.

This would be 'Game Over,' folks, for those who believe in "We the People," rather than "We the Corporations," unless a movement like the one launched today at MoveToAmend.org (on which we are an original signer) can gain traction. You can (and must) join the call by signing on at FreeSpeechForPeople.org as well.

Some key quotes from today's ruling, which pretty much encapsulate the entire horrifying story:

In the majority opinion of the court, Justice Kennedy writes: "The Court has recognized that First Amendment protection extends to corporations."

Concurring, Chief Justice Roberts wrote of his fear that if the decision had gone the other way, "First Amendment rights could be confined to individuals, subverting the vibrant public discourse that is at the foundation of our democracy."

...And Justice Scalia, equating corporate money with free speech wrote "We should celebrate rather than condemn the addition of this speech to the public debate."

In dissent, Justice Stevens wrote "While American democracy is imperfect, few outside the majority of this Court would have thought its flaws included a dearth of corporate money in politics."

We will, no doubt have more on this soon (currently buried in a number of other items and still on road). In the meantime, we're sure the "grass roots" Tea Baggers, outraged by corporate money special interests, will be infuriated by this decision, light up new protests in every town in every state in the union, and demand that our country be returned to "We the People" as the founders envisioned.

Right?




Election experts file public records requests; Pre-marked ballots reported in two 'at least' THREE towns...
By Brad Friedman on 1/19/2010 12:22pm PT  

[UPDATED SEVERAL TIMES with more info on the curious/disturbing issue of ballots reported as being handed out as pre-marked for Scott Brown. Allegations now of five different reports from "at least" three different jurisdictions. See bottom of article for continuing updates...]

Haven't heard too much from on the ground in Massachusetts this morning yet (happily), but that's not much of a surprise. The real questions come later, as we will all wonder whether or not the "results," whatever they are, as reported by Diebold and never counted by actual humans, have anything to do with the way voters actually voted.

In the meantime today, a group of election integrity experts, after having posted an "Orange Alert" yesterday about the serious e-voting concerns in today's election, have sent an open letter to Sec. of State Bill Galvin, along with a public records request [PDF], calling for the retention of all election materials, such as voted, spoiled, and unvoted ballots, as well as all of the easily-tampered-with memory cards and electronic databases, etc., to ensure they are all secured and available for inspection by the public after the close of polls.

Election integrity advocates Susan Pynchon, Shelia Parks, and John Brakey also put the entire sorry matter in stark terms, demonstrating how simple this all could have been in a very short piece at OpEd News asking why MA didn't simply just determine to count the ballots, by hand, in front of everyone at the polling place, especially given that it was a single race on the ballot with just three people on it...

Regardless of who wins, the opposing party will be flinging accusations of machine failures, uncounted votes, and fraud. There is only one race on this ballot. It would be easy to divide the ballots in each precinct into three separate piles and simply count the number of votes received by each candidate.

This is not going to happen, however. A simple measure --- hand-counting the votes as a check on the machines on election night, before there are questions about chain-of-custody of the ballots --- will not be done. The second question one has to ask is, "Why not?"

As to the ballots themselves, Greg Sargent at The Plum Line reports an odd situation: Two different voters, from two different towns, have both informed him that they were handed ballots that had Scott Brown's bubble already inked in when they went to vote. Here's the report from the second voter Sargent heard from...

A second voter — Julia Volynskaya, a 34-year-old social worker from Brighton — is now reporting the same experience.

“I was handed a ballot and when I went to fill it out I saw that the bubble next to Brown’s name was already filled in,” Volynskaya, who voted today in Brighton. Election workers, she added, promised her they “were going to look into how this happened.”

The two reports are too anecdotal at this point to make too much of them just yet, but it seems worth noting for the moment. May come in handy later.

[UPDATED as more reports of pre-marked ballots have come in! Please see additional follow-ups now below.]

Are you hearing, reading, seeing other points of concern today? Let us know in comments. Links are always welcome...

P.S. Have done a flurry of radio appearances to discuss all of this, last night and early early this morning. Appearances from Mike Malloy, Stephanie Miller, and Nicole Sandler's shows are now archived online if you'd like to give them a listen, right here...

P.P.S. Might I also recommend, request, that all you folks on Twitter (we can be followed here), Retweet the following as far and as loud as you can:

TheBradBlog Please RT to candidates in MA Senate race! "DO NOT CONCEDE UNTIL ALL VOTES ARE ACTUALLY *COUNTED* BY HUMAN BEINGS!" http://tr.im/KTCQ

* * *

UPDATE 4:03pm PT: Coakley Campaign Manager Kevin Conroy issued the following "ALERT!" on the campaign website, and via email about an hour ago concerning the reports of ballots being handed to voters pre-marked for Brown, as mentioned above...

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---




[Now updated with audio from tonight's radio appearances]
By Brad Friedman on 1/18/2010 1:35pm PT  

A quick follow up, as I'll be on the road for most of today, on the mess I warned about on Friday concerning Tuesday's Special Election for the U.S. Senate in MA, the terrible optical-scan Diebold voting machines in use there, and the company with a dubious, criminal background which sells, services and programs them:

  • Over the weekend, I was briefly interviewed by Joan Brunwasser of OpEd News and Citizens for Election Reform about it all. That interview is now published here...
  • A coalition of election integrity experts have issued an "Orange Alert" about the concerns for tomorrow's election, calling on MA Sec. of State Bill Gavin to take effective action to protect secure chain of custody for ballots, voting machines, tabulators, memory cards, unvoted ballots and all other related materials, and calling on the candidates to NOT CONCEDE until all votes are actually counted accurately and transparently.

UPDATE 1/19/10: More on early reports and other developments on Election Day, now here...

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