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Latest Featured Reports | Thursday, April 28, 2016
Primary Landslides for Trump and Clinton and What's Next: 'BradCast' 4/27/16
Also: 'Serial child molester' Hastert sentenced; Encouraging green news; And listener calls...
Blowback in NC, Calls for Hand-Counts in NY:
'BradCast' 4/26/16
GOP operative turned gay rights activist Fred Karger on GOP anti-LGBT lawss; Why voters should support hand-count of NY Primary...
'Green News Report' 4/26/16
  w/ Brad & Desi
30 years after Chernobyl, new effort to contain it; Record signing of Paris Agreement; World Bank, IMF call for global price on carbon; PLUS: Solar plane goes halfway round world...
Previous GNRs: 4/21/16 - 4/19/16 - Archives...
Cruz, Kasich Join Forces and Some News That Actually Matters: 'BradCast' 4/25/16
With Salon's Amanda Marcotte on latest GOP 'conspiracy'; Plus: Paris Agreement signed; Mass shooting weekend; Thinking big...
Sunday Toons of the Moment
One unplanned Pulitzer Prize winner and a whole bunch of other worthy toons from the past week, as collected by 'PDiddie'...
'Gyrocopter Guy' Loses Voting Rights for Campaign Finance Protest: 'BradCast' 4/22/16
Guest Doug Hughes will go to jail, has 'no regrets'; Also: Former felons re-enfranchised in VA; NY election official suspended for purge...
Time to Open Our Nomination System to All Voters?: 'BradCast' 4/21/16
With John Opdycke of OpenPrimaries.org; Also: Prince dead at 57; 'Outrage' over Harriet Tubman; Paper ballots finally return to MD...
'Green News Report' 4/21/16
  w/ Brad & Desi
Criminal charges in Flint; BP victims protest new drilling leases; Oil facility explosion kills 3 in Mexico; U.S. air pollution; PLUS: World leaders gather to sign Paris Agreement...
Previous GNRs: 4/19/16 - 4/14/16 - Archives...
NY Primary Results, Concerns, Investigations, Callers and More: 'BradCast' 4/20/16
Also: Accountability for Flint and VW, Tubman on the $20, and listener calls on latest state of the Democratic Presidential race...
NY Voting Probs (Real & Fake); MS Prison Industrial Scam: 'BradCast' 4/19/16
Separating fact from hoax in NY mess. Plus: Ryan Grim on 'conservative' budget nightmare down South...
'Green News Report' 4/19/16
Houston deluged w/ record rain; Hillary's plan to get lead out; World Bank warns world must stop new coal plants; PLUS: March 2016 was hottest on record...
Good News on Voting Rights; Concerns About NY Primary: 'BradCast' 4/18/16
Ernie Canning w/ Photo ID news in WI, TX; Plus: Ecuador quake; Hillary undermines 'Citizens United' fight...
U.S. Court Orders Fix to WI Photo ID Law
Overdue ruling by 7th Circuit Appeals Court may ease disenfranchisement for voters unable to vote under WI GOP's onerous restrictions...
Sunday Toons of the WTF Moment
We seem to be having quite a few 'WTF moments' in this country of late. 'PDiddie' rounds up a bunch of recent toons that may lead you to ask the same thing...
Brooklyn Brawl: Gloves Off at Clinton, Sanders' NY Debate: 'BradCast' 4/15/16
Peter B. Collins & Jackie Schechner join us to make sense of a raucous yet substantive debate!...
Unrigging the System: 'BradCast' 4/14/16
From money in politics to criminal injustice to voter suppression and beyond, how can the U.S. fix its broken systems of politics, elections and governance?...
'Green News Report' 4/14/16
Largest coal co. declares bankruptcy; Utility CEO foresees end to coal; GAO dings EPA; Sardine fishing banned again in West; PLUS: Ortho ends use of bee-killing pesticide...
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...


GUEST: Salon's Amanda Marcotte on the latest GOP effort to stop The Donald | PLUS: The landmark Paris Agreement signed; Another mass shooting weekend; And thinking big about progressive policy...
By Brad Friedman on 4/25/2016 5:53pm PT  

On today's BradCast [audio link below] we return to Republican Presidential politics for the first time in a while, as Ted Cruz and John Kasich announce a plan to team up, sort of, against Donald Trump. (Good luck with that.) But, first, a few stories that haven't received nearly the coverage they deserve from the corporate mainstream media over the weekend.

On Friday, Earth Day, world leaders gathered at the U.N. for the largest-ever first day signing of a worldwide global agreement. The signing of the landmark Paris Agreement to curb global greenhouse gas emissions comes not a moment too soon, as the world smashes heat record after heat record and faces a likely rise in temperatures that will far exceed the targets of the agreement unless further voluntary measures are taken. Desi Doyen joins us to explain it all, and how the Obama Administration plans to get around both ratification by the GOP's denier-controlled U.S. Senate and how the pact was designed to keep the next U.S. President from being able to easily undo it.

Also, another spate of mass shootings took place over the weekend in Republican-controlled states, from OH to GA to AL to WI to AZ, but, as with the Paris Agreement, the corporate mainstream barely noticed as such mass gun deaths have simply become commonplace in these Locked and Loaded States of America.

Then we're joined by Salon political writer Amanda Marcotte to discuss the new alliance between Cruz and Kasich in their desperate bid to take down the GOP front-runner Donald Trump. Marcotte, who describes the plan, much-ballyhooed by the corporate media, as "comically pathetic", explains why the GOP's latest "conspiracy" is unlikely to derail The Donald as hoped.

She says the scheme, which includes Kasich pulling campaign resources out of Indiana in exchange for Cruz pulling resources out of New Mexico and Oregon, doesn't even include telling their own voters to vote for the other guy in those states. "They're not even going that far. That's how dumb this plan is. They're not taking their name off the ballot or doing anything that might actually cause anyone to change their vote. They're just not campaigning in each other's chosen states."

Marcotte believes the move is even likely to help Trump. "For weeks now, Donald Trump has been running around the country claiming that he's a victim of an elite conspiracy to shut him out of his rightful nomination...And here they have come out with great fanfare and announce they are conspiring against him!"

She also tells me about what she sees as "a complete tornado of incompetence" in the Republican Party in general, including from its great white hope in Congress, House Speaker Paul Ryan. "The Republican Party has a bunch of ideologues, but they don't have anybody who knows how to do anything. Like basic politics, basic governance," Marcotte explains. "Donald Trump is one of the luckiest people alive because he just sort of wandered into this situation where everyone else is so bad he looks good in comparison."

But is all of this GOP dysfunction and a crumbling Republican Party actually good for Democrats and progressives? Tune in for that discussion and more.

Finally, as voters head to the polls on Tuesday in PA, MD, CT, DE and RI, a closing thought on Democrats "thinking big" about progressive policy, as shared by both Bernie Sanders and Vice President Joe Biden...

Download MP3 or listen to complete show online below...

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GUEST: Doug Hughes has 'no regrets' in his fight for election reform
ALSO: 200k former felons re-enfranchised by executive order in VA; Former felons head to polls in MD; Brooklyn election official suspended; Good news on Earth Day...
By Brad Friedman on 4/22/2016 6:14pm PT  

On today's BradCast, 200k former felons get their voting rights back in Virginia, even as one protester for campaign finance reform loses his right to vote after being sentenced for a federal felony.

In a surprise announcement today, citing long-standing post-Civil War restrictions meant to keep African-American voters away from the ballot box, VA's Governor Terry McAuliffe (D) issued an executive order to re-enfranchise more than 200,000 former felons who have completed their prison sentences as well as their parole and probation periods. That good news comes even as former felons in Maryland are voting for the first time in decades, in advance of next week's primary, following that state legislative override of a veto by Gov. Larry Hogan (R).

Meanwhile, Brooklyn's top Board of Elections official is suspended amidst the NY Attorney General's new investigation into the still-unexplained purge of more than 100,000 Democratic voters in the months leading up to last Tuesday's disastrous Presidential Primary in NY.

Then, we are joined again by Florida postal worker Doug Hughes, who was sentenced on Thursday to four months in federal prison as part of a plea deal following his infamous demonstration for campaign finance reform last year when he landed his homemade gyrocopter on the lawn of the U.S. Capitol to raise awareness for the problem of money in politics following disastrous U.S. Supreme Court decisions like Citizens United and other related cases.

Hughes tells me, as he told the U.S. District Court Judge in federal court yesterday, that he has "no regrets" for his protest, despite the high costs he is being forced to pay, including, ironically enough, the loss of his voting rights in the state of Florida.

"I will never do this again, but I have no regrets over having done it," he says. "Judge Kotelly said my flight was a stunt. And it was a stunt, because it didn't change anything as far as the laws were concerned. It didn't do anything. Except it changed the perception that resistance is futile. People now believe that they can change [the campaign finance system], and a lot of people are getting engaged in changing it."

Hughes shares his thoughts on the 'Democracy Spring' protests for election and campaign finance reform that have resulted in more than 1,000 arrests over the past two weeks at the nation's capitol, even as the mainstream corporate media barely covered any of it. He describes his remarkable conversation with a CNN producer who called him yesterday after his sentencing. He says he told the CNN staffer that Democracy Spring protesters "were chanting 'Where is CNN?' You get thousands of people together and not a single CNN camera! There was no coverage of what was going on. I said, 'What kind of ghouls are running the organization that you've got to have to have somebody dead before the media will cover it?'"

The colorful and impassioned Hughes also comments on the absurdity of big banks and other major corporations getting away with tax-deductible financial settlements for actual crimes (including murder), while their executives get off scot-free. But, he argues, there is a way to change what seems like an unbeatable system, and he says it involves taking on both Democrats and Republicans alike in primary elections if they refuse to join forces to move campaign finance reform forward. "Like 4% of the population of any district is more than enough to beat the incumbent in the primary."

There is much more to hear from my discussion with Hughes (his website is here if you'd like to help him), before I am finally joined by Desi Doyen with our latest Green News Report. This one, on Earth Day --- and a very significant one at that...

Download MP3 or listen to complete show online below...

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GUEST: John Opdycke of OpenPrimaries.org | PLUS: Prince dead at 57; 'Outrage' over Harriet Tubman; Paper ballots finally return to MD...
By Brad Friedman on 4/21/2016 5:57pm PT  

On today's BradCast: Tragic breaking news, ridiculous wingnut 'outrage', good news for Maryland voters, and, perhaps, a better way to nominate public officials. [Audio link to the full show is posted below.]

First up, coverage of the shocking loss of musical icon Prince, whose death today at age 57 at his home in Minnesota has stunned the world; Then, Rightwing "outrage" about U.S. President Andrew Jackson, the racist, slave holding, "genocidal maniac" (as Desi Doyen describes him today, with good reason) being replaced on the $20 bill by African-American abolitionist and former slave Harriet Tubman; And some (hopefully) good news about next week's Presidential Primary elections in MD, where voters will, for the first time in more than 15 years, finally be allowed to vote on hand-marked paper ballots instead of 100% unverifiable touch-screen voting machines.

[Some of our exclusive reporting referenced on today's show in regard MD's Diebold touch-screen systems: "DIEB-THROAT" (2005), MD's SAIC Report (2006), MD Election Director storms out of interview (2008), Argonne Lab's remote Diebold hack (2011)]

Then, I'm joined by John Opdycke, President of OpenPrimaries.org, for a fascinating discussion about the anti-democratic (small "d") problem of primary nomination contests that are closed to non-party affiliated voters. The conversation kicks off following concerns about Tuesday's primary in New York, where voters faced voter registration purges and other problems at the polling place, along with the nation's earliest voter deadline for changing party affiliation in order to be allowed to participate in the state's closed primary elections. (Voters had to change party affiliation by October 9th of last year to be able to vote in this year's Presidential Primary on April 19th!)

Opdycke explains why shutting non-party affiliated voters out of the process is of particular concern in primaries that are run with tax-payer funding and resources. But, he explains, the problem is larger than that. "This is a very serious question. Who does the political process belong to? Does the process itself belong to the people, or does it belong to the political parties? Right now, our democracy belongs lock, stock and barrel to the political parties, from top to bottom. And that is a very big problem and it is beginning to come to light."

"What the open primaries movement is pushing for is public primaries, not partisan primaries," he tells me, citing states like California, Nebraska and Washington that hold "Top Two" primaries (also known as "Cajun" or "Jungle" primaries) for many elected public offices, allowing candidates of all (or no) parties to compete against each other to run in the general election. "This is a fundamentally different conception of what a primary is. It's a public primary. Not a partisan primary."

While recognizing that political parties are private organizations with a First Amendment right to organize as they see fit, Opdycke explains how the result blocks people from the process and makes it nearly impossible to change the system. "They control the political process. They control the boards of elections. They control how redistricting is done. They control the primaries. They control voter registration. They control every aspect. They even control the Presidential debates. And we Americans, we've participated in that. We have in some ways ceded our power to these political organizations and I think the time has come to take that back. Not abolish political parties, but simply return them to an appropriate place."

He goes on to respond to various concerns and critiques of "Top Two" primary systems, as we have reported on them in years past (here and here, for example) at The BRAD BLOG, in what I hope is a very enlightening conversation and one that needs to be continued in the months and years ahead, all over the country.

Finally, we finish up with a much-needed laugh, courtesy of Stephen Colbert, on a day when we could all really use one...

Download MP3 or listen to complete show online below...

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PLUS: Accountability in Flint and for Volkswagen, Tubman on the $20, and listener calls on the latest state of the Democratic Presidential contest...
By Brad Friedman on 4/20/2016 5:34pm PT  

On today's BradCast we cover Tuesday's Presidential Primary in New York, from the reported results (huge margins for both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton), to concerns about the accuracy of results, to the multiple official probes that have now been promised by the state Attorney General and the NYC Comptroller.

Those officials have stated they plan to look into reported mass voter purges, failed tabulation computers and other completely predictable problems faced by voters at polling places in the Empire State yesterday.

We also open the phone lines to callers ringing in on those results and concerns, and where Democrats should (and shouldn't) go from here as the nomination race moves forward to PA, MD, DE, CT and RI next week and ultimately out here to CA in June.

Also today: Breaking news on criminal indictments in Flint, MI; a billion dollar settlement for Volkswagen; Harriet Tubman to replace Andrew Jackson on the $20 bill; the hottest March in recorded history in our latest Green News Report; and much more about which our own Desi Doyen has a word or three to share.

That's a very short description of a very busy program today, but I hope you'll give it a listen anyway!

Download MP3 or listen to complete show online below...

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While we post The BradCast here every day, and you can hear it across all of our great affiliate stations and websites, to automagically get new episodes as soon as they're available sent right to your computer or personal device, subscribe for free at iTunes, Stitcher, TuneIn or our native RSS feed!
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GUEST: HuffPo Washington Bureau Chief Ryan Grim...
By Brad Friedman on 4/19/2016 4:52pm PT  

On today's BradCast, voter head to the polls in the New York Presidential Primary and encounter yet another electoral mess, while down in Mississippi, the decades-long false 'promises' of the Prison Industrial Complex come back to bite local jurisdictions in the ass.

First up, it's like clockwork, and just as we predicted on yesterday's BradCast. As voting began today in NYC, reports of problems began immediately rolling in. Some of them, concerning vote-flipping, are complete hoaxes (which I won't link to, but I explain on the show), while others --- concerning tens of thousands of voters purged from the rolls in Brooklyn, optical-scan computer tabulators breaking down around the city, and polling places that failed to open on time --- are quite real and, once again, it is voters who are paying the price.

We'll have much more on those problems in the days ahead, I suspect, as reports have continued to emerge upstate and elsewhere, as predicted, since putting today's show to bed.

Then, we're joined by Huffington Post Washington Bureau Chief Ryan Grim on the newly emerging failures of the "conservative" budget scam concerning private prisons and reliance on the Prison Industrial Complex. With Republican unwillingness to raise taxes to increase revenue to pay for services, coupled with a decreasing prison population, some county and local budgets in Mississippi are now suddenly "devastated" thanks to broken promises from state officials.

"In the late 90s," Grim tells me, "the state was facing massive over-crowding issues as the era of mass incarceration was really hitting its peak and starting to plateau. The state reached out to the counties and said, we would love to help you build regional facilities, and we will then send you state prisoners. That's gravy for you. You got empty beds, we're going fill 'em, and every time we fill them you get money."

Those payments, however, didn't last. Grim has been reporting on how small towns and counties which fell for that scam and promises of high prison capacities are now unable to meet budget requirements, sometimes even for the most basic of services, as private for-profit prison companies continue to make money from tax-payers.

"Local officials are also talking quite openly about how this exposes the state and federal government's conservatism as bankrupt, and not true conservatism," Grim explains. That's also a problem which more and more states are discovering (hello, Kansas!) on a number of fronts as tax cuts and an unwillingness to raise taxes when necessary to meet budget shortfalls is now hurting many smaller jurisdictions around the country.

Speaking of folks who "fell for it", we finish up today with a bunch of Republican voters in a bunch of counties in one state who are now calling for seceding from the Union! Sounds good to me!...

Download MP3 or listen to complete show online below...

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With Brad Friedman & Desi Doyen...
By Desi Doyen on 4/19/2016 1:24pm PT  

IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Another historic rain event, this time in Houston; Hillary Clinton's big plan to eliminate lead contamination within 5 years; World Bank president warns world must stop building new coal plants; PLUS: Sound familiar? March 2016 was the hottest March on record... All that and more in today's Green News Report!

Listen online here, or Download MP3 (6 mins)...

Link:
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Got comments, tips, love letters, hate mail? Drop us a line at GreenNews@BradBlog.com or right here at the comments link below. All GNRs are always archived at GreenNews.BradBlog.com.

IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Saudis are going for the kill but the oil market is turning anyway; The Clinton-Sanders debate exchange on climate change was a dumpster fire; How cheap does solar power need to get before it takes over the world?; Baltimore student activist honored for fight against trash-burning power plant; Consensus: "Virtually all climate scientists agree warming is manmade"; EU bans two endocrine-disrupting weedkillers; EPA: U.S. has been emitting a lot more methane than we thought... PLUS: 'La la la la la. I can’t hear you': Deniers double down on denial
... and much, MUCH more! ...

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




GUEST: Attorney Ernest A. Canning; Plus: Ecuador quake; Doha meeting; How Hillary campaign undermines fight to overturn 'Citizens United'...
By Brad Friedman on 4/18/2016 4:57pm PT  

On today's BradCast, we begin with a late update on the weekend's devastating earthquake in Ecuador and the failure of oil producing nations to reach an agreement to cut production (in hopes of raising worldwide oil prices).

Then, we move on to domestic politics, with Republican Presidential candidate Ted Cruz once again skunking Donald Trump out of another delegate contest over the weekend, this time in Wyoming, while concerns continue to emerge among Democrats about voting hours and "mysteriously switched" voter registrations in New York state in advance of Tuesday's big Presidential Primary there.

We've got some answers to at least some of those concerns from an election official or two in NY, which may ease concerns a bit...maybe...about voting hours not beginning until noon in many counties around the state tomorrow, and about what may be happening to some of those reported party affiliation changes on voter registrations in the Empire State.

Then, BradBlog.com legal analyst Ernest A. Canning joins us with updates from two states in the fight to overturn Republicans' unlawful, unconstitutional, disenfranchising Photo ID voting restrictions both in the state of Texas and in Wisconsin where, believe it or not, we've actually got a bit of good news from the courts!

Finally, Hillary Clinton's campaign undermines the Democrats' argument to overturn the Supreme Court's 2010 Citizens United decision. I explain that and much more on today's BradCast! Enjoy!

Download MP3 or listen to complete show online below...

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While we post The BradCast here every day, and you can hear it across all of our great affiliate stations and websites, to automagically get new episodes as soon as they're available sent right to your computer or personal device, subscribe for free at iTunes, Stitcher, TuneIn or our native RSS feed!
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GUESTS: Journalist, commentators Peter B. Collins & Jackie Schechner...
By Brad Friedman on 4/15/2016 3:59pm PT  

Today on The BradCast, after several weeks without one, the two Democratic Presidential candidates squared off for another debate, this time in Brooklyn in advance of next week's critical Primary election in the state New York.

This time, the gloves really did come off --- and not just in a pretend, CNN "Gloves are off!" kind of way. Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders really went at it in what was a raucous, often contentious and yet extraordinarily substantive debate on a surprisingly wide array of issues.

To help us make sense of it all, I am joined for coverage and analysis on today's program by returning debate-coverage champ Jacki Schechner, health care reform advocate and journalist, formerly of CNN and CurrentTV, as well as by the great Peter B. Collins, one of my talk radio mentors and heroes, and longtime host of the Peter B. Collins Show!

Both Sanders and Clinton seemed to go for broke in their contrasts and attacks on Thursday night at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, on criminal justice reform, wall street money, guns, foreign policy (including a remarkable, perhaps unprecedented, exchange on Israel and Palestine), on Social Security, the failed "war on drugs", and even on climate change.

We try to cover as much of it as we can --- including a number of CNN and other corporate media failures that came along with it (Collins, for example, describes what he sees as the "Swiftboating" of Bernie, and Schechner calls out CNN moderator Wolf Blitzer for at least one inappropriately biased question) on today's very lively and very fast-paced program!

Download MP3 or listen to complete show online below...

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While we post The BradCast here every day, and you can hear it across all of our great affiliate stations and websites, to automagically get new episodes as soon as they're available sent right to your computer or personal device, subscribe for free at iTunes, Stitcher, TuneIn or our native RSS feed!
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ALSO: More 'Democracy Spring' arrests; Death threats from Trump supporters; Listener calls on 'Bernie or Bust' and more...
By Brad Friedman on 4/13/2016 6:42pm PT  

Today on The BradCast, among a lot of other stuff, we have exclusive comment from the Wyoming state Democratic Party Executive Director in response to concerns from Bernie Sanders supporters about the reportedly large number of "surrogate" ballots cast for Hillary Clinton.

First up, after some 400 arrests at the nation's Capitol on Monday in response to peaceful "Democracy Spring" demonstrations to get money out of politics and for other electoral reforms, some 85 senior citizens were arrested on Tuesday during the second day of a scheduled week-long series of protests in Washington D.C.

Then, with Donald Trump declaring the nomination process is being "rigged" by his own Republican Party, reports of death threats and other intimidation tactics from Trump supporters begin to emerge.

Next, speaking of charges of "rigging" the nomination process, Bernie Sanders supporters over the past weekend were incensed after seeing a huge turnout for their candidate at the Wyoming caucuses, only to see their delegate count somewhat undercut by "surrogate" ballots cast by Hillary Clinton supporters. The two candidates ended up splitting the state's 14 pledged delegates 7 to 7, but claims of Clinton campaign "ballot box stuffing" with those surrogate forms were only exacerbated by a campaign aide who reportedly told CNN that their "secret sauce" was Wyoming's "onerous vote-by-mail rules that required anyone voting by mail to have voted as a Democrat in the 2014 midterms."

Surrogate (or vote-by-mail/absentee ballot) forms may only be cast by registered Democrats who say they are unable to attend the party's caucuses for one of several specific reasons, as listed on the surrogate form. There is nothing on the affidavit or on the party's website regarding that "onerous" rule about having voted in the 2014 midterms. So, after several days of phone and email tag, seeking an explanation from Aimee Van Cleave, the WY Dems' Executive Director, I was finally able to speak with her just before air today.

Her full explanation is on today's program, but, in short, she says CNN's explanation of that "rule" from the Clinton aide, was "a little bit correct, but mostly incorrect." Van Cleave tells me that the confusion comes from the state's statutory practice of purging voters from the rolls if they did not vote in the 2014 general election and then failed to respond to a "purge notice" sent by the state in 2015. Normally, Van Cleave explains, that's not a problem for voters, since the state has same-day registration on Election Day. That means anyone who has been purged can simply re-register and vote on the same day. But, for the caucuses, which the parties run, not the state --- and, as WY only allows County Clerks or their officials to register voters --- there is no voter registration at party caucuses. That means voters had to be registered as Democratic voters two weeks before the April 9th caucus in order to participate either in person or via a surrogate ballot.

To that end, she says, while the Clinton team was aggressive in their surrogate vote turnout effort, so was the Sanders camp. "If you look at the number of surrogate ballots received, the numbers between Clinton and remarkable close," Van Cleave says. According to her current estimates, Clinton received "just over 1,500" such votes, while Sanders received "just shy of 1,300". So, she says, the disparity between them was not as large as his supporters had claimed them to be over the weekend and in the days since the caucuses.

The party's Executive Director also tells me that, while they've always been a caucus state, "this is our first year testing out the surrogate vote system. It's a new thing for us and we have actually had wonderful positive feedback from people who would not otherwise have had their voices heard." She added: "Wyoming has a rather old population, so we have a lot of people who, for them, getting out for a caucus is not something that is easy to do."

I've got much more specific comment from Van Cleave during today's program in response to a number of related concerns from Sanders supporters.

Finally, we take a bunch of listener calls related to the above, and from those explaining why they think the "Bernie or Bust" idea is a good one, and then Desi Doyen joins for the latest Green News Report at the end of a very busy BradCast!...

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GUESTS: TYT's Jordan Chariton, Sputnik's Cassandra Fairbanks in D.C.
PLUS: Results, concerns from weekend's WY Dem caucuses, CO GOP convention...
By Brad Friedman on 4/11/2016 6:03pm PT  

On today's BradCast, hundreds of demonstrators were arrested today at the nation's Capitol during a peaceful sit-in protest demand reforms to the U.S. electoral system. Also today, we cover a number of other breaking news items and the weekend's Presidential nominating events, including results and concerns about the Democratic caucuses in WY and the Republican delegate convention in CO. [Audio link to show is below.]

First up, we check in with The Young Turks' reporter Jordan Chariton and Sputnik News' Cassandra Fairbanks outside the U.S. Capitol, just moments after some 400 "Democracy Spring" demonstrators, including our old friend Cenk Uygur of The Young Turks, were arrested while calling for a number of small "d" democratic reforms. Amongst the protestors' demands: Overturning the Supreme Court's infamous 2010 Citizens United ruling unleashing massive corporate spending in elections; modernization of America's ridiculous voter registration system; the creation of a public campaign financing system; and the restoration of the Voting Rights Act provision gutted in 2013 by SCOTUS. Protesters vow to continue demonstrations all week in D.C.

Then, breaking news on Goldman-Sachs' settlement with the U.S. Dept. of Justice for their part in the mortgage crisis that led to the global financial crisis in 2008 (spoiler: nobody goes to jail, though those sitting down to demonstrate for democracy in D.C. did); Another rock star cancels a concert in another GOP state that just approved discrimination against the LGBT community; and then we cover the results of the controversial Democratic caucuses held over the weekend in Wyoming and the GOP delegate convention in Colorado.

Our coverage of the weekend's nominating contests also includes a look at concerns from Sanders supporters about the WY results and from Trump supporters about the results almost everywhere. And finally, here's that amazing Boston Globe "President Trump" front page [PDF] they published for April 2017 over the weekend and their full description of it...

Download MP3 or listen to complete show online below...

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By Brad Friedman on 4/8/2016 4:44pm PT  

On today's BradCast, we catch up on a lot of news, polls, twists and turns --- most of which underscore, yet again, why elections and representative democracy matter...no matter what the corporate "news" media tries to tell ya.

Among the stories covered on today's thrilling episode!...

  • New polls find, once again, that Bernie Sanders leads Hillary Clinton in match-ups against all potential Republican opponents (and even among Democrats nationally); Also, that the front-runners in each party are remarkably unpopular within their own parties.
  • Bruce Springsteen cancels a North Carolina concert Sunday due to the state Republicans' new pro-discrimination law;
  • The GOP in Nebraska is attempting to 'swipe' a potential electoral college vote from Democrats;
  • San Francisco (where the economy is booming, as it is elsewhere here in California, now under Democratic control), becomes the first U.S. city to mandate paid parental leave;
  • More clear evidence that thinking big about policies and progressive ideas pays off when the people bother to fight for them and turn out to vote (when they are allowed to vote, anyway), rather than turn cynical and stay home.

All of that and much much more on today's program, including new evidence that the Keystone pipeline leak in South Dakota is far worse than originally reported by TransCanada, the company which owns it, and Desi Doyen joins us with the latest Green News Report which also includes some very encouraging news today...

Download MP3 or listen to complete show online below...

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GUEST: West Virginia radio host and anti-coal activist Bob Kincaid
PLUS: Former WI State Senate GOPer says party was 'giddy' about Photo ID suppression...
By Brad Friedman on 4/7/2016 6:10pm PT  

On today's BradCast, a former Wisconsin State Senate official says GOP Photo ID voter suppression led him to leave the party; And Don Blankenship, West Virginia's "Dark Lord of Coal Country" is sentenced to just one year in prison for acts leading to the deaths of 29 miners. [Audio link for complete show follows below.]

First up today, Todd Allbaugh, a former Chief of Staff in the WI State Senate says he left the Republican Party when, during a closed-door caucus meeting to discuss the state's Photo ID voting restriction law in 2011, GOP lawmakers were "giddy" about the prospect of using the law to disenfranchise Democratic voters in the Badger State.

Then, WV's own Bob Kincaid, Head-On Radio Network host, co-founder of the Appalachian Communities Health Emergency Campaign and President of Coal River Mountain Watch, joins us to discuss Blankenship's federal sentencing yesterday for his part in conspiring to violate mine safety regulations leading to the tragic 2010 Upper Big Branch (UBB) coal mine explosion.

Kincaid details the once-powerful coal baron's rise to power, why the former CEO of Massey Energy got off so lightly in both federal and state court, why coal remains king among both Democrats and Republicans in WV, and how Obama's mythical "War on Coal" shows no signs of ending deadly coal mining and toxic mountaintop removal in the state.

On the emotional reaction by families of UBB victims following Wednesday's sentencing (see this from a miner, Tommy Davis, who lost his brother, son and nephew in the disaster), Kincaid describes it as "heartbreaking" and yet "another chapter in the 125-plus-year-long exploitation and devastation of the people of this state and this region" which has resulted in coal industry-caused deaths numbering "in the tens of thousands".

Despite the disaster that has devastated the community, he warns "of course, it's going to happen again, because Don Blankenship was not the only coal boss who hates safety regulations. Remember, here in West Virginia, and generally in the Republican Party, those are not 'safety regulations' that Don Blankenship conspired to evade. Those were 'job-killing regulations'."

"In 2014," Kincaid notes, even after the horrific UBB disaster, WV voters "ran --- they did not walk --- they ran to the polls to elect a slate of Republicans on the principle that the Republicans said they were going to make the coal come back." He goes on to explain how "Appalachia has lost 500 mountains" through the toxic practice of Mountain Top Removal mining (allowing coal companies to get more coal with many fewer miners) and how the Obama Administration has done nothing to stop it during his nearly 8 years in office.

"The idea that there's a 'War on Coal' is just a sad, cynical, and tragic little joke --- perpetrated on people who, I guess, like their confirmation bias," he tells me. Near the end of the enlightening and colorful conversation (in which he also offers his unvarnished opinions on the plans for Coal Country from Democrats Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders), as I beg for evidence of a hopeful sign, somehow, somewhere out of Coal Country, Kincaid offers: "You know what's hopeful? The fact that the people who do understand the reality of it aren't backing down. We're not going away. We're not going to quit. We're not going to quit living in the land of reality while other people live in a fantasy world. We're going to keep making the noise. We just need more people making noise with us."

Please listen to the complete, very lively interview in the show linked below!

Download MP3 or listen to complete show online below...

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By Brad Friedman on 4/6/2016 5:57pm PT  

On today's BradCast, we cover the results, the fallout and the voting disasters from Tuesday's Primary Election in Wisconsin --- the most important parts of which continue to be ignored by the bulk of the corporate mainstream media.

First up (after a bit of breaking news out of West Virginia), both Ted Cruz on the Republican side and Bernie Sanders on the Democratic side, reportedly won their respective Presidential Primaries yesterday by huge numbers and record turnout. Yet, with the growing likelihood of contested conventions for both the Republican and Democratic parties, the corporate media continue to downplay the Sanders surge against Hillary Clinton (he's now won 7 of the last 8 nominating contests, most of them by 'yuge' margins), even as they continue to go round-the-clock in their coverage of Donald Trump and the GOP nomination fiasco.

They also continue to ignore the difficulties that so many Americans are having even casting their vote, thanks, in particular in Wisconsin, to the GOP's Photo ID restriction law that we've been warning about for a very long time and which resulted in untold thousands of voters, particularly at universities around the state, waiting in lines for hours --- if they were able to wait at all and if they were able to get the "proper ID" --- to simply cast a vote. (See this very short video of a very long line, by way of just one example, if you don't believe me.)

If it was this bad for a Primary in WI (and in AZ, IL, NC, MO, FL and elsewhere, so far this year), imagine what November will be like when all 50 states vote at the same time. The MSM better start ignoring those concerns immediately!

We then take a few listener calls and emails on all of the above (including my thoughts on the "Bernie or Bust" movement) before our latest Green News Report with Desi Doyen on the Keystone pipeline springing a leak, another heat wave in Alaska, new details on the number of Americans who will be killed by climate change, and much more that, coincidentally, is also being under-reported and/or completely ignored by the mainstream corporate media...

Download MP3 or listen to complete show online below...

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GUEST: Author, journalist David Dayen of Salon, Fiscal Times
PLUS: Polls open, lines begin in WI; Polls open, ballots gone in St. Louis, MO; And MSNBC tells us why Sanders was slighted on air on eve of crucial primary...
By Brad Friedman on 4/5/2016 5:44pm PT  

On today's BradCast: All too predictable voting problems in the state of Wisconsin and in St. Louis, MO today; MSNBC responds to our request for comment on why Bernie Sanders received short shrift on Rachel Maddow's show last night, on the eve of the crucial Badger State primary; And we debunk wingnut nonsense concerning the minimum wage as $15/hour victories come to California, New York and elsewhere. [Link to audio for complete show below.]

First, while voters wait on line to try and obtain new Photo IDs so they can vote at all today under the GOP's new voting restrictions in WI, many St. Louis County voters showed up for local elections in MO, only to find no ballots at all to vote on. Then, we explain what happened last night on Maddow's show to suggest that Hillary Clinton was polling ahead of Sanders in WI by 6 points, when the vast majority of pre-election polls in the state suggest the exact opposite. MSNBC responds to our query late today, to tell us that the issue was due to a technical error later corrected for the Midnight re-run and online versions of her show. Full details on that in today's program.

Then, in the wake of bills signed into law this week by the Governors of both NY and CA to raise the minimum wage to $15, we speak to financial journalist David Dayen about the Right's feigned concern about job loss (but only when it comes to raising the Minimum Wage), as well as the real concerns about the increase, and activists have had an extraordinary impact on the entire conversation about the decades long wealth gap between the rich and everyone else in the U.S.

Dayen explains why the new law, in CA alone, as he also reported at Salon last week, is a very big deal: "1 in every 8 workers in America is a Californian. Under this proposal, over 33% of them are going to get a raise at some point along the way between now and 2022. And thereafter, because after 2022, the minimum wage gets tied to inflation, so it keeps going up."

"It's really a testament to the power of activism. Before the 'Fight For 15' inaugurated in 2012, nobody would have believed that you could get a $15 an hour living wage, minimum, in a state as big as California. So, really, hats off to the #FightFor15 workers, who really pushed this," he says, offering kudos at the same time to both the Occupy movement and the Sanders campaign. "All of this is rumbling forward and moving Democrats who control states like California and New York into places that they were uncomfortable to go previously. And that is a testament to how this issue of inequality has become the functional, primary issue in American politics today."

Dayen, author of the upcoming book, Chain of Title: How Three Ordinary Americans Uncovered Wall Street's Great Foreclosure Fraud, also responds to the "hand-wringing on the part of economists and business leaders," when it comes to potential job loss in the wake of raised wages.

"We see all kinds of experiments" with the economy, he argues. "We see workers used as guinea pigs all the time by businesses" in all matter of schemes that may benefit those businesses, but not their workers. "These same economists are so worried about the fate of workers with this experiment with the minimum wage have never said a darn thing about all of these experiments that hurt workers --- that we knew were going to hurt workers at the time --- because it was literally about cutting their wages and getting rid of their benefits and putting them in hazardous workplaces. Spare me this rhetoric that you care about workers when you've sat by idly over 40 years as work has become more and more and more devalued."

But will raising the minimum wage, in fact, cost jobs? And, if so, does it even matter? Tune in for his answers to that and much more in a fascinating conversation on today's show --- one which you won't hear, for some reason, on Fox "News" or CNN...

Download MP3 or listen to complete show online below...

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GUEST: Emily Lonergan of Wisconsin Election Protection...
By Brad Friedman on 4/4/2016 6:07pm PT  

On today's BradCast, more surprisingly good news from the U.S. Supreme Court for voters, and more concerns for the ability of those voters to cast a vote at all in the state of Wisconsin in tomorrow's crucial Primary Election in the Badger State. [Audio link to complete show follows below.]

First today, two encouraging breaking stories as we go to air: California Governor Jerry Brown signs a new law, just hashed out last week, raising the state's minimum wage from $10 to $15 by 2022, and SCOTUS unanimously(!) affirms the long-held principle of 'One Person, One Vote' that had been challenged by Rightwingers in the Evenwell v. Abbott case which we covered in detail last December following oral arguments.

The Court's 8 to 0 opinion on Monday finds that Congressional districts may be drawn, as they are currently, with (roughly) the same population in each, rather than, as petitioners had sought, the same number of eligible voters in each. Had that argument been successful, not only would every district in the country need to be redrawn, but, more problematically (and, of course, the reason the challenge was brought in the first place), in such a way that a lot of voting power would have shifted from urban centers, which tend to vote Democratic, to rural districts, which tend to vote more Republican. We explain what that all means and how a ruling in favor of petitioners would have left non-voters, such as children, immigrants and felons, among others, with even less legislative power than they have now.

Also today, we review the messy small "d" democracy at work over the weekend, as Ted Cruz seems to have outsmarted Donald Trump at the GOP's North Dakota state delegate convention, and as Bernie Sanders picked up two delegates previously won by Hillary Clinton at the Nevada Caucuses on February 20th. (Her total now there, for those keeping score at home, goes from a 20 to 15 delegate victory, to a virtual tie at 18 to 17 over Sanders --- at least if the latest totals from the state's Democratic Party County delegate conventions hold.)

Then, the much less good news, as we speak to Emily Lonergan, with the Legal Coordinating Committee of Wisconsin Election Protection about the concerns that some 300,000 already lawfully registered voters --- much less those that are eligible to vote and may still register on Election Day --- will be blocked from casting a vote at all with the implementation of state Republicans' draconian, unnecessary and wildly (purposefully?) confusing Photo ID voting restrictions during tomorrow's primary

Lonergan, who clearly shares my very serious concerns about this issue, and the problems it may cause for all voters on Tuesday, explains the GOP's absurdly confusing new restrictions on voting in WI, noting in no uncertain terms that (as found during the trial which struck down this law as illegal and unconstitutional, only to be overturned by a flawed ruling by a federal appellate court) there is no known problems with "voter fraud" that this new voting restriction could have possibly deterred.

"The majority of voter fraud cases in Wisconsin relate to individuals who are...disqualified due to felony status," she tells me. "Frankly, I don't believe there has been one case --- and I certainly haven't heard anybody pointing out a single case to me --- of voter fraud that could have been avoided with [the state's new Photo ID voting restriction] in place."

So buckle up for what could be a very bumpy primary day in Wisconsin --- for both Democrats, in particular, but also for many Republicans! You may also want to keep the number 866-OUR-VOTE handy to pass on when you encounter or hear about trouble at the polls on Tuesday! Please report it there! (And to county and state officials, as well as media, etc.)

Finally today, back to the encouraging (if too little, too late) news: It is confirmed that the U.S. Dept. of Justice will be launching a civil rights investigation of the disastrous March 22nd primary in Maricopa County (Phoenix), AZ, after thousands were turned away without being able to cast their vote due to closed polling places and mysteriously changed voter registrations...

Download MP3 or listen to complete show online below...

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