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w/ Brad & Desi
w/ Brad & Desi
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...
GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal 2012...
The Secret Koch Brothers Tapes...
|MORE BRAD BLOG 'SPECIAL COVERAGE' PAGES...|
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With special thanks to David Edwards for the Video Magic...
Lou Dobbs has now done at least eight reports over the last two weeks on the grave danger to American democracy as posed by Electronic Voting. We've had a tough time keeping up with them all.
We've yet to hear anybody so far refer to Dobbs as a "Lefty" or a "Moonbat" or a "Conspiracy Theorist" or a "Sore Loser" or suggest that he wears a "tinfoil hat". Just a coincidence, we guess.
Here's two of his reports that we've only gotten to post finally today. One is on un-recountable paperless elections and the other focuses on Democrat Cathy Cox (Georgia's SoS and Diebold champion) and her extreme conflict of interest in running her own unverifiable election now that she's the Gubernatorial nominee. Will Dobbs be running a similar report on Ohio's J. Kenneth Blackwell's similar conflict of interest? We'll hope so.
Please note: It seems Diebold is no longer returning Lou's calls for comments. Go figure.
Text transcripts from both reports follow...
(See previously posted Dobbs reports here.)
Wow...Given what I know about San Diego's KOGO radio host, Roger Hedgecock --- a frequent fill-in for Rush Limbaugh, by the way --- I would have predicted a firefight between us concerning my arguments questioning the validity of the Busby/Bilbray U.S. House special election in California's 50th congressional district on June 6th.
You know, the one were the highly-hackable Diebold voting machines were sent home with poll workers for days prior to the election in defiance of both state and federal rules and laws, rendering them illegal and uncertified for use in the election.
Well, slap my bottom and call me Spanky!...Guess what? I just got off the air with him, and Hedgecock and I were in complete agreement! He may even turn up at next week's "Emergency Townhall" meeting on this which is currently being organized (details soon).
The full afternoon drive-time appearance, about 15 minutes, is linked below if you'd like to listen. But to give you a flavor, here's how it ended...
It seems to me if we have any bedrock notion in this country it ought to be that the votes ought to be fully and fairly counted.
I just think that's...wow...if we can't agree on that one, this country's farther down the division road then I think we are.
Were it not for other fairly unforgivable transgressions in the past in other areas politically, I might have otherwise given Roger the too-rarely bestowed BRAD BLOG "Intellectually Honest Conservative Award." If he decides, however, to show up and bring along a few thousand folks with him for next week's "Emergency Townhall" event in San Diego (details soon) --- as I've invited him to do --- I might even consider a "provisional" awarding of the highly coveted prize!
-- Brad on the Roger Hedgecock Show on Busby/Bilbray & Electronic Voting [MP3]
(AFTERTHOUGHT: For those interested in on-air firefights between myself and "conservatives," see my shoot-out with St. Louis' wingnut-in-training, Crane Durham here, or the time I helped run Ann Coulter off the air halfway through our debate on Ron Insana's show here.)
Guest blogged by John Gideon
Late last night the Arizona Legislature took the steps necessary to pass legislation that will guarantee the voters in the state have more transparency and auditability in their elections. The bill passed the House of Representatives 51-0 then immediately went to the Senate who passed it 25-3.
I received an email that originated from Arizona state Representative Ted Downing last night that says:
SB1557 passed the House of Representatives with a 51-0 vote! Then, it immediately passed the Senate 25 to 3! It is now on its way to our Good Governor’s desk. As planned, it includes the Paton Amendment that I helped draft (see Star description below). Karen Osborn, the Maricopa County Elections Director calls this one of the most significant election reform bills in decades.
This election reform bill is the result of three years of working with the Pima County Democratic Party and the great work of Dr. Tom Ryan, Bill Risner, Esq., our current and former Pima County Democratic Party Chairs, and many, many more dedicated individuals. I want to specially thank each and every one of you for your dedication, your hard work, and your support in working for election integrity.
Now focus on the Governor to make certain that she signs it right away. I am confident she will. It will become law upon her signature, since it contains an emergency provision. We still must await Department of Justice approval which should be expedited because of the emergency provision. At that point, hand counts will no longer be illegal and we will have a first-level audit of the election system. This is, however, just the beginning.
Politics is a team effort. As hard as it may be for many to accept, the East-Mesa Republican Senator Karen Johnson merits thank you emails, (email@example.com), as does Karen Osborne, firstname.lastname@example.org (602) 506-7960, and yes, Brad Nelson, email@example.com (520) 631-3939. Even Rep. Russell Pearce (firstname.lastname@example.org) should be thanked, yes, that’s right and I know its hard, but he fought to assure that our elections are fair. We will continue to disagree on almost every other issue, but he wants a fair count.
I hope each PC will take the time next year to come up to visit the Legislature and witness your legislature at work. Those of you who have tell me that it is not what they imagined.
You are true patriots for protecting our system of government just as those brave men and women did at the founding of this great nation. Thank you and bless you.
State Representative LD28
Capitol 602 926 5108 toll free 800 352-8494 ext 6-5108 Capitol fax 602
417 3128 Legislative profile:
professional profile: www.ted-downing.com
The Arizona Daily Star article mentioned in Representative Downing's email can be found here.
As readers have likely noticed, the Busby/Bilbray issue has sucked me into its vortex (or vice versa?) for the moment. Necessarily. I'll hope BRAD BLOG readers with interests in other non-Busby/Bilbray items will understand, forgive and realize that it's just me here for the most part at this time, though David Edwards and John Gideon are able to jump in with other items as their time allows.
Further, I believe the Busby/Bilbray issue merits the attention currently being given to it, both on the blog and behind the scenes, since it has ramifications for every election in this country come November (after which it will be too late to do anything about what needs to be done now concerning the security of unsecure electronic voting machines).
With that then, two small points for now about which I'll have more details in the days ahead..."Emergency Townhall Meetings" are now being organized to deal with these issues both in Los Angeles and San Diego. In LA, there will be such an event with myself, and several other speakers (details soon) on Tuesday the 27th at 8pm @ the Venice United Methodist Church. In SD on Wednesday the 28th, there will be another event, specific time/location to come shortly. A press conference may be held in conjuction in San Diego next week as well. As mentioned, details forthcoming on all of the above. If you're anywhere in the area, I hope you will turn out. It matters.
Also, yes, as some have asked, I can confirm the item now posted at RAW STORY wherein Bobby Kennedy is quoted as saying in an interview: "I would say that very soon we'll be announcing lawsuits against some of the individuals and companies involved."
Such litigation is, in fact, in the works and has been for some time. Beyond that, it would be imprudent of me to give any further details at this time for a number of reasons. But you've now got still more to look forward to.
Beyond that, feel free to use this as an Open Thread to discuss any or all of the above...or anything else about which I haven't had time to do any reporting over this past week....
Guest Blogged by Jeeni Criscenzo
EDITOR'S NOTE: Jeeni Criscenzo is now the Democratic nominee running against incumbent Republican Rep. Darryl Issa for the U.S. House seat in California's 49th congressional district. In her guest blog below, she speaks about some of the horrendous outrages and other disastrous election administration she witnessed in San Diego County's Election on June 6th. She was a primary candidate that day, the same day as the now-questionable Busby/Bilbray race which was run on easily-hacked Diebold voting machines sent home overnight with poll workers prior to the election. Those "sleepovers" are in direct contravention of both state and federal laws and regulations implimented specifically in regard to Diebold voting systems. Thus, ignoring those rules and laws rendering them illegal for use in that election.
Criscenzo's district is split across both San Diego County and Riverside County (who also have their own share of problems with their County Registrar of Voters), so her election was run on the same presumed-corrupted machines as those used in the Busby/Bilbray race.
I spoke with her at some length last night, and I'm happy to see that, unlike so many Democratic candidates --- including Busby --- she is now more than willing to stand up and raise hell about these very clear outrages. While I have several concerns about her short-term suggested solution of using Absentee Ballots to fight back against the rise of the machines, her perspective is a unique one which deserves to be heard. She makes many points about which I wholeheartedly agree. I'll let you (and her) discuss any concerns in comments here.
No matter the nuanced quibbles, I'd urge you to support candidates like Criscenzo who are willing to speak out loudly and clearly about what the hell is going on here as we all work to find possible solutions to the ongoing and rapid crumbling of our current electoral system. Her campaign website, for more info or to send your support, is right here. --- BF
Want Voting Integrity - Just Mail It!
by Jeeni Criscenzo
There has been a lot of talk since the California elections last week about the integrity of the vote count, particularly in the run-off election in the 50th District between Francine Busby and Brian Bilbray. It's not surprising that Busby's supporters are dubious of the results: polls showed Busby ahead by 3 to 7 points in the days before the election. An apparent Bilbray win is explained away as the result of a last minute blunder by Busby. If you plan to fix an election where the candidate you want to win is behind in the polls, you need to create a reason for the sudden change on election day, and there it was - Voila! - a last minute slip-of-the-tongue blasted throughout the country by the lock-step right-wing media.
As a candidate who won by a landslide (I was unopposed for the Democratic nomination for Congress, CA District 49), I'm in the fortunate position of being able to look into the election process in San Diego without being called a sore loser.
I made some troubling discoveries on Election Day when I visited 37 precincts in Oceanside as a roving poll monitor (or as Carol Hilton, my friend and monitoring partner, dubbed us --- "Poll Cats"). So last Friday, I visited the Registrar of Voters office to ask questions and to see for myself how the count was being handled....
I just got off the phone with Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) who reportedly wowed 'em a few hours ago during her speech (posted in full below) on the closing afternoon of the "Take Back America" conference being held in Washington D.C.
In her remarks, Schakowsky apologized for "not taking seriously enough the allegations that the 2004 election was stolen." She now feels it was, and claims that the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) will be launching an initiative. From today's speech:
Raise a stink? Can do. So can you! Sign Velvet Revolution's petition declaring "No Confidence" in the Busby/Bilbray race!
(Hat tip to my buddy Peter B. Collins, who is in DC to cover the conference, for his quick phone call alert after Schakowsky's speech earlier this afternoon!)
Schakowsky's prepared statement from today's Take Back America conference speech follows in full...
In yesterday's report, Dobbs introduced it by describing the "rising doubts" about Electronic Voting Machines and said those doubts "about their accuracy and integrity threaten to undermine confidence in our democracy." Right on, Lou.
The report even quotes from last year's landmark GAO report on Electronic Voting, broken here last October, and unreported by CNN (or virtually anyone else in the media) at all until yesterday! (See the graphic at upper right)
Attorney Lowell Finley of VoterAction.org, the non-partisan group filing lawsuits to stop these systems around the country, is quoted as saying, "The real danger with electronic voting is with insider fraud, who just need a few minutes of access to a voting machine or to a tabulating computer and they can wreak havoc."
Dobbs closed the segment yesterday, incredulously, with this:
We'll have a report on one of those "people defending results," Michael Haas, the Registrar of Voters in San Diego County, where the results of the 50th Congressional district U.S. House race have been corrupted by his cavalier lack of concern about the security of Diebold voting systems used in the race. He seems to have no concerns, as Finley mentioned, about "insider fraud," or of the concept that "a few minutes of access to a voting machine...can wreak havoc." More on that tomorrow.
The video of Dobbs' 6th report in a row (compliments of David Edwards, natch) is linked below:
The complete text-transcript of yesterday's report follows...
It looked promising for a start. USA Today files a report today headlined "Spate of lawsuits target e-voting".
As we've been calling for for some time, a national media outlet begins to connect some of the many "local" dots around the country. Then, of course, they blow it.
Here's the good news, early in the story (all stuff we've reported long ago, but happy to see it reported here, of course):
Lawsuits have been filed in at least six states, the most recent last week in Colorado, to block the purchase or use of computerized machines.
Voter Action, a non-partisan advocacy group, led the challenge filed Thursday against the state of Colorado and nine counties, as well as similar lawsuits in California and Arizona this spring and New Mexico last year. Court actions by others targeted the devices in Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania.
Texas and Illinois had some problems using electronic voting machines during their March primaries.
No mention of other "some problems" in primaries so far this year in Ohio, Arkansas, Pennsylvania, Indiana, etc. But okay. What gets us is that the story then goes on to quote only two sources, both of whom are E-Voting advocates and both of whom suggest there is nothing to worry about and that these systems "can be trusted."
Not one quote from any of the myriad computer scientists and security experts who have decried the enormous flaws and security vulnerabilities in loads of electronic voting machines describing them as shocking, alarming, critical, etc. etc. etc.
Beginning to see any patterns here?
In a complaint said to be the broadest yet filed to halt the rise of the electronic voting machines, a non-partisan group of voters have announced they are filing suit today in Colorado to stop the purchase and use of Direct Recording Electronic ("DRE" or touch-screen) voting machines in the state, The BRAD BLOG can now reveal.
The suit, being filed today in Denver District Court and modeled after similar actions filed previously in California, Arizona and New Mexico, calls for an immediate halt to the use of touch-screen machines made by all four of the major electronic voting machine vendors currentlly doing business in Colorado.
The group, advised and organized by VoterAction.org contends that voting machines made by Diebold, Sequoia Voting Systems, Election Systems and Software Inc. (ES&S) and Hart InterCivic "have a well-documented history of problems with security, reliability, verifiability, and disability access."
According to a press release issued this morning (posted in full below) by the Denver law firm of Wheeler Trigg Kennedy LLP the machines "are easily hacked and compromised, and have a history of operational problems which have disrupted elections across the country."
Defendants named in the suit include Colorado Secretary of State Gigi Dennis and the Boards of county commissioners in 9 different CO counties.
"The Secretary of State's Office has failed to issue rules setting minimum standards for security of these systems. The election rules permit the DRE manufacturers to simply tell the State that their machines are secure," said Wheller Trigg Kennedy attorney Paul Hultin in the release. "Worse, the Secretary is not following the law. No certification reports required by law have been prepared even though these systems have been certified for months and counties are preparing to use these dubious systems in the upcoming election," he says.
"Some of the security risks with these machines are so high that it is unconscionable that their manufacturers, who have known of the problems for years, have not taken the necessary steps to correct them," says Univesity of Iowa computer science Professor Dr. Doug Jones, who is one of several experts who will be offering testimony in the case.
"The Help America Vote Act is being turned on its head, weakening the integrity of our elections in the rush to purchase untrustworthy DRE computerized voting systems," said Lowell Finley, Co-counsel for the Colorado voter plaintiffs, election law expert, and Co-director of Voter Action, according to the release. "The sanctity of our elections is too important to turn over to private corporations which operate without accountability. There are better and more secure options available, such as optical scan-paper balloting."
We're busy covering the Robert Kennedy article on Election 2004 in Rolling Stone today (we'll have extended excerpts on BRAD BLOG shortly), so we'll leave you with the complete press release below for more details on this developing case...
The fine new video blogger calling himself "Hot Potato Mash" has posted a few video excerpts from a talk I recently gave at the Culver City Democratic Club about two weeks ago. He's posted about about 8 minutes from the 30 or so I yammered on about in re: Election Integrity back on May 10th in an evening that also included the lovely Arlene Pinzler from Sen. Debra Bowen's office (have I mentioned lately that Bowen is running for Sec. of State of California in a really important election for all of America and could use your support before next week's primary?)
Please check out the video linked above and let us know what ya think. (NOTE TO CULVER CITY REPUBLICANS --- OR ANY OTHERS: I'll be happy to come and speak to you too! Just let me know when you'd like me to be there!)
While you're at The Mash, you may also want to check out this short video clip in which we learn about what's really important to American voters. Or atleast, what's important to them when the media bothers to cover it several hours a week during prime time.
After an otherwise encouraging headline on MSNBC's just posted "Optimism about voting reform wanes: New machines and procedures have been introduced, but problems persist" the article, by NBC News' Huma Zaidi goes curiously downhill thereafter.
Zaidi cursorily mentions early "a group of experts and election officials" who met in DC last month to discuss election reform and "the picture most of them painted wasn't very optimistic". As well, he reports that "Almost a dozen states that have already held primaries this year have experienced problems."
But enough with the facts of the matter. From there, it's time for the Pro E-Voting spin to commence...
Zaidi goes on to quote three different Electronic Voting supporters and not one of those previously mentioned un-optimistic "experts and election officials."
As well, while the article discusses the problems of "a handful of companies who produce voting machines" and who have had trouble fulfilling their contractual obligations to multiple states and counties in primary elections so far this year --- along with a nod to a one or two of the "wrinkles" and "glitches" caused by the machines so far this year --- not a single voting machine company is mentioned by name (not Diebold who has failed enormously, nor ES&S who has failed enormously, nor Sequoia Voting Systems who has failed enormously, nor Hart InterCivic who has failed enormously!)
On the other hand, the pro-electronic voting folks are named, and even have their websites plugged. Go figure.
We guess if you downplay problems by private companies who have access to millions of dollars and teams of attorneys ready to go, and don't bother to mention them or their failings by name, you're far less likely to be sued. Why else would NBC cover the issues this way after all?
As ever, we're glad to see attention finally being given to the most important matter of the legitimacy of our votes in our electoral democracy --- particularly by an outlet as large as MSNBC and NBC News --- but these articles that end up doing little more than saying "there's some problems, but everything will be just fine, nothing to worry about here" are getting absurd.
See NPR's report (text transcript now included) from over the weekend for a far more responsible --- and yes, "fair and balanced" --- report on this issue.
For more thoughts on all of this, see mass media maven Danny Schecter's "Why is the Media Downplaying Our Voting Scandal?" editorial as posted on Monday!
Yes, the wheels are wobbling on the locomotives. The vendors --- ES&S, Diebold, and the rest --- attempt to keep a stiff upper lip as they both fail to perform, yet continue collecting tax-payer dollars from the county election coffers. Meanwhile some elections officials have just turned a blind-eye to what is happening while they continue to make excuses for their vendors: The private corporate American Electronic Voting Machine behemoths that are being paid to take over America's Public Electoral system.
And the Election Assistance Commission (EAC) which was put in place by the Help America Vote Act (HAVA), theoretically, to keep all of this from occurring? Well, all they do is raise their hands and shrug and tell anyone who asks, that they don't do voting systems certification so they just don't know anything. The Sergeant Schultz Defense, perhaps?
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