Interest groups are spending five times as much on the 2010 congressional elections as they did on the last midterms, and they are more secretive than ever about where that money is coming from.
The $80 million spent so far by groups outside the Democratic and Republican parties dwarfs the $16 million spent at this point for the 2006 midterms. In that election, the vast majority of money - more than 90 percent - was disclosed along with donors' identities. This year, that figure has fallen to less than half of the total, according to data analyzed by The Washington Post.
The trends amount to a spending frenzy conducted largely in the shadows.
The bulk of the money is being spent by conservatives, who have swamped their Democratic-aligned competition by 7 to 1 in recent weeks.
The Supreme Court cleared the way for unlimited spending by corporations, unions and other interest groups on election ads in its 5 to 4 decision this year in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission. Many interest groups are organized as nonprofits, which are not required to disclose their financial backing, helping fuel the increase in secret donors.
The political positions of those describing themselves as sympathetic to the "Tea Party" represent a vast minority view, far outside of the mainstream positions represented by 2008 voters, according to a new poll commissioned by Project Vote.
The study finds self-described "Tea Partiers," and their political concerns, are far outweighed by the views of everyone else, despite the absurdly out-of-proportion coverage granted to them by the corporate mainstream media.
Analysis of the findings from around the net also underscores what we've long argued here at The BRAD BLOG: the Tea Baggers don't actually give a damn about "the deficit" or even the Constitution. If they did, they wouldn't have waited until after Republicans lost the elections in 2008 to start marching and decrying the deficit explosion (and supposed concerns about Constitutional rights) brought about under the previous Administration. They would have been out marching along with the real Tea Partiers, those who supported Ron Paul as long ago as 2007, and his concerns about unbridled deficit spending and the trampling of Constitutional rights during the eight years of the Bush Administration.
Here are some of the key findings from the new poll. In them, we learn what every MSMer should have endeavored to figure out and take into account long ago, before granting so much free exposure to the radical extremist fringe represented by these people...
As comedian John Fugelsang wryly tweeted recently: "My only real beef with the Republican Party is that they keep forcing me to vote for Democrats."
As horrendous as the Democratic leadership (particularly in the Senate) has been over the last several years --- little better underscores that horrendousness than the embarrassing Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's announcement yesterday that he'd be putting off a vote for overwhelmingly popular middle-class tax-cuts until after the election --- the Republicans still remain far worse...and far more dangerous to both the country and the world.
Where the Ds are hapless, short-sighted, and cowardly, the Rs remain apologetically insidious, dangerous, shameless, and disingenuous.
The Daily Show's brilliant video montage last night, marking yesterday's thud-like introduction of the GOP's "Pledge to America" (which, we'd wager, is likely to be all but abandoned and forgotten by Rs by the time November 2 rolls around), illustrates that point as ingenuously as we've ever seen.
If Rep. John Boehner (R-OH) --- likely to become Speaker of the House if Republicans take it over this year --- had any shame, he'd be ashamed of himself. But he doesn't. So he won't...
"A lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes."-Mark Twain
One of the basic axioms of law is that fraud vitiates consent. One of the foundational principles of democratic governance is that legitimacy rests on the informed consent of the governed. Come November, those principles will be tested in California.
Billionaire Meg Whitman, a former EBay CEO who surpassed the $100 million mark in campaign spending nearly a month prior to the traditional Labor Day kickoff of the Fall campaign, who, by Sept. 16, had donated a record-smashing $119 million of her own funds to her campaign, who refused to meet with former California Democratic Governor Jerry Brown and Republican State Insurance Commissioner Steve Poisner in a pre-primary debate, has knowingly sought to fill the gaping knowledge deficit created by the corporate media's gross neglect of its fourth estate responsibilities with disinformation about Brown, her Democratic opponent.
When confronted by an analysis which exposed a powerful but deliberately deceptive ad (video below) which shows former President Bill Clinton accusing Brown of lying about his tax record based on a CNN report which is now known to be erroneous, Whitman's spokesperson, Darrell Ng dismissed the idea of pulling the deceptive ad as "ridiculous"...
It also comes as no surprise that California's Prop 23 measure on this November's ballot, which would require the state "to abandon implementation of [Assembly Bill 32's] comprehensive greenhouse-gas-reduction program that includes increased renewable energy and cleaner fuel requirements, and mandatory emission reporting and fee requirements for major polluters such as power plants and oil refineries," was submitted [PDF] to the CA Secretary of State's office bearing an Orwellian label, the "California Jobs initiative" --- an initiative that has the backing of "Tea Party" darling and former Hewlett Packard CEO Carly Fiorina, whose idea of "jobs creation" entails the transfer of domestic jobs overseas.
This corporate deception mirrors Pacific Gas & Electric's effort to use the ballot box as a vehicle for acquiring monopoly power. PG&E deceptively described its failed Prop 16 initiative, on last June's ballot, as the "Taxpayers Right to Vote Act."
There's a good chance that, just as they defeated Prop 16, CA voters will see through the "jobs creation" scam of Prop 23. But, if current polls are indicative, a large segment of an under-informed electorate who, in their disgust with President Obama's betrayal of "change we can believe in," are being taken in by billionaire-funded "poison populism" --- moving to the Right when the health of our economy and of humanity itself cries out for a sharp turn to the Left...
After months of electoral politics conducted exclusively by way of dueling, 30 second propaganda slots (aka paid-for political ads), incumbent Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and her Republican challenger, former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina conducted what excluded Green Party candidate Duane Roberts derided as "a sham debate between two multi-millionaires backed by big business interests."
While there is some merit in Roberts' complaint, the debate proved of vital importance, especially since it exposed the extreme views of the lesser known Fiorina on a variety of issues ranging from her opposition to environmental protection, opposition to marital equality for same sex couples, and her outright call to reverse Roe v. Wade. But the most telling aspect was that the debate exposed Fiorina to be an unapologetic proponent of outsourcing and corporate globalization, which, since the passage of NAFTA, has proved to be the bane of the American middle-class.
That made this a debate of manifest importance to the people of California. Yet the corporate media, whose financial interest is served by failing to provide meaningful news coverage, thereby forcing candidates into the paid-for propaganda slots, proved true to form. Live coverage was limited to Cox Communications' Oakland, CA, affiliate, KTVU...
It's been a while since we've checked in with election fraud whistleblower turned would-be politician Clint Curtis, so let's bring everyone up to speed. Clint Curtis is the computer programmer who was allegedly asked to write election-flipping software by former Florida Speaker of the House-turned-U.S. Congressman Tom Feeney (R) back in 2000. Curtis blew the whistle and testified, under oath and on video tape, before a U.S. House Judiciary Committee panel shortly after The BRAD BLOG broke the extraordinary story in late 2004. (Quick recap of the Curtis story and links to our years-long, in-depth coverage right here.)
Curtis fought back, taking on Feeney twice for his congressional seat, only to lose both times - the first to a fishy vote count in 2006 (which Curtis challenged with evidence in hand, only to be shot down by a Democrat-led Congressional committee) and the second time to a pro-Bush Blue Dog millionaire put up by the Dems in the 2008 primary. Feeney, dogged by Curtis' allegations, and an FBI investigation into his dealings with disgraced Republican lobbyist Jack Abramoff, would finally lose his seat in '08. (Curtis' story is covered in depth in the award-winning 2008 documentary film Murder, Spies & Voting Lies.)
You'd think that'd be enough politics for anyone, but not Curtis. He loaded up the truck and moved several hundred miles north of Beverly… Hills, that is. Now armed with a brand-spankin' new law degree, he is mounting one more assault on a Congressional seat --- this time in Northern California's 4th Congressional district.
Will this be another quixotic attempt? Or will the progressive Democratic candidate who ran unchallenged in the recent CA primary, finally break through, giving Congress a much-needed voice of reason and election integrity advocates a serious ally in the House of Representatives?
I recent spoke to Curtis about all of the above, and much more...
[Now UPDATED with audio archives at the bottom. Enjoy!]
It's my final night this week guest hosting the nationally syndicated Mike Malloy Show. Mike will be back Monday, but until then, we'll be BradCasting our last show for a while again LIVE from L.A.'s KTLK am1150 9pm-Midnight ET (6p-9p PT). It's your last chance for a while to join us by tuning in, chatting in, Tweeting in and calling in!
The LIVE (and very lively!) chat room will be up and rolling right here at The BRAD BLOG during the show, so come on by while you're listening! (The Chat Room will open at the bottom of this item a few minutes before airtime, see down below, just above "Comments" section.)
So far scheduled for tonight's show...
GORDON PETERSON, a long-time Democratic Party activist from Dallas and a now-formerMalloy Show podcast subscriber who cancelled his subscription, in no small part, because he hates it when I guest host, believes I'm "election-wise clueless", a "Ludditte", doesn't like my "kneejerk halfassed crap" about getting rid of e-voting, and believes we need "MORE computers, rather than less" in our public election systems. He'll explain all of the above tonight! Should be a lively conversation!
PLUS: Everything else we didn't get to this week, including YOUR calls on anything you'd like at 877-520-1150, and your tweets to @TheBradBlog and whatever else comes up along the way...
The Mike Malloy Show is nationally syndicated on air affiliates around the country and also on Sirius Ch. 146 & XM Ch. 167. You may also listen online to the free LIVE audio stream at affiliate GREEN 960 in San Francisco or via MikeMalloy.com.
POST-SHOW UPDATE: We had a terrific week sitting in for Mike and Kathy, and hope you enjoyed it even a fraction as much as we did. It was a great week of shows, and tonight (I don't think) was no exception. Audio archives all posted down below, and the archive of the chat room, as usual, below it (wherein Gordon showed up to take still more punishment after coming on air, for some reason)...
Near the end of an article today on an investigation now underway by South Carolina officials into how the unknown, unemployed Democratic U.S. Senate nominee Alvin Greene was able to afford the state's $10,440 filing fee to get on the ballot in the first place, the Associated Press quickly summarizes the "multiple theories" forwarded to speculate on how it was that Greene could have garnered a 59 to 41% "victory" over former state legislator and Circuit Judge Vic Rawl in the recent Democratic U.S. primary:
Multiple theories have surfaced about Greene's success. Some had speculated that Greene, who is black, benefited from black voters looking for a black candidate and opting for his name because of the spelling of his name, with an "e" on the end. And the leader of the state Democratic Party has speculated voters picked the first name on the ballot.
Earlier this month, the state Democratic Party's executive committee upheld Greene's victory, nixing a protest lodged by Rawl that could have required a new vote.
So, it must have been the "e" at the end of Greene's name that made more than 100,000 South Carolinians vote for a man who never campaigned and who they never heard of. Yeah, that must have been it.
In related news, I've officially changed my name to Brad Friedmane and am hereby announcing my candidacy for President of the United States in 2012. I hope this notice serves to get me elected, as it's the only campaigning I will be doing between now and then. Should be more than enough though. Measuring the Oval Office for drapes even as we speak.
Judge Vic Rawl just released a public statement on the heels of the SC Democratic Party Executive Board's insane rejection yesterday of his protest to the 100% unverifiable ES&S iVotronic touch-screen system's announced "victory" of Alvin Greene to be the state's Democratic nominee for the U.S. Senate. Rawl's statement reads in part:
I wanted you to hear from me that we will not be appealing last night’s decision by the Democratic Executive Committee to reject our protest of the election results. My campaign for the United States Senate has ended.
The issues we raised about the lack of election integrity in South Carolina are real, and they are not going away unless people act. I assure you that I will continue to speak out about our frail and vulnerable election system in the months to come.
Rawl's comments follow on both his own impromptu remarks after yesterday's protest was rejected, and his Campaign Manager Walter Ludwig's barely-contained on-the-record comments following the hearing: "We're certainly disappointed, but the unique circumstances of this election gave us an opportunity to put the specter of voting machines in front of the national public in the strongest way since Bush v. Gore."
As we'll be guest hosting the Mike Malloy Show again for the first week of July, hopefully Rawl and/or Ludwig will be able to join us to explain what the hell happened, what they intend to do about it, and what the hell is wrong with SC's shameful, apparently democracy-hating, Democratic Party Executive Board. (See yesterday's report & live blog of the hearings for all the insane details.)
The South Carolina Democratic Party Executive Board rejected Judge Vic Rawl's official protest to the results of last week's U.S. Senate primary, despite no evidence presented that the results were accurate, and despite Alvin Greene having not even shown up to the protest hearing. Rawl had originally filed his protest based, in large part, on the "well-documented unreliability and unverifiability of the voting machines used in South Carolina."
Greene's election as the Democratic party nominee for the U.S. Senate, to run against incumbent Republican Sen. Jim DeMint, stands. The vote of the Executive Board was 38.5 to 7.5 in favor of rejecting Rawl's protest and upholding the results. Not kidding.
The Rawl campaign presented an impressive five-hour case in Columbia today, including two computer scientists and security experts who both asserted that there was no reasonable explanation for election results other than some kind of voting system malfunction in either the hardware or software. Voters testified that they had trouble selecting Rawl on the ES&S iVotronic touch-screen systems, and that their votes were flipped to Greene. Campaign workers testified that they received calls all throughout Election Day concerning problems with the machines and reports that pollworkers were swapping out sensitive memory cartridges.
Despite the historical record of failure of the ES&S voting system, and numerous state-sponsored studies (in state's other than SC) which all found that the systems are poorly coded and exceptionally vulnerable to malicious manipulation, Rawl's team of computer scientists were not allowed access to the voting system hardware and software in order to examine it for bugs or tampering.
Rawl's attorney instructed the Executive Board that they were required to vote on the protest on the basis of whether the evidence presented in the hearing demonstrated the results to be true and accurate or not. No evidence was presented that the results were accurate, only that they were not. Nonetheless, the SC Democratic Party's Executive Board voted resoundingly to reject Rawl's protest, which the candidate has said he will not appeal.
After the motion was rejected, and the meeting adjourned, Rawl quieted the crowd to say a few words (the following is now transcribed directly from the audio)...
First, some very good news just in: The hearing for the protest to the results of last week's SC Democratic U.S. Senate primary will be streamed live on Thursday at 3pm ET via Live.VicRawl.com.
The protest will be heard by the Executive Board of the South Carolina Democratic Party to consider Judge Vic Rawl's protest to last week's bizarre election.
Second, I'm happy to say that I have finally been able to make contact with the campaign of former state legislator and Circuit Court Judge Vic Rawl. I had a somewhat lengthy conversation earlier today with his campaign manager Walter Ludwig, and continue to be happy to report that it seems they have a very good grasp of the issues at stake --- in relation to the horrific ES&S e-voting system --- in their challenge to the 100% unverifiable election of Alvin Greene in SC's recent Democratic U.S. Senate primary race.
As I noted last night, in discussing Rawl's interview yesterday on Fox, given the sharp learning curve for those unfamiliar with the complex issues involved with e-voting and Election Integrity, they've done an excellent job of getting up to speed, at least inasmuch as possible in the short time they've been forced to become "experts" on the topic.
That, of course, is just another pitfall of using insanely complicated rocket science instead of common sense and eyeballs to add one plus one plus one in our current electoral system. Most candidates with questions about their election results simply can't afford the resources and computer scientists and time needed for the forensic investigation of these systems --- that's if they're even allowed access to the often proprietary trade-secret hardware and software --- following an election and prior to the date by which they must file and argue a legal challenge. That, as opposed to simply examining paper ballots and chain of custody procedures, as would be the case with sane, paper ballot elections.
Ludwig seems to understand just how bad the voting system is that voters were forced to use in SC's recent election, the same system used in dozens of other states despite The BRAD BLOG's best efforts over the past six years to warn of the dangers.
"These machines are incredibly frail and subject to manipulation. They don't work very well." In short, Ludwig told me, "They're crap."...
Former Circuit Court Judge Vic Rawl's official protest against the results of South Carolina's Democratic U.S. Senate primary election last Tuesday --- when he was purportedly beaten by Alvin Greene, a jobless man who didn't campaign and didn't even have a campaign website --- will focus on what he describes as "systemic issues involving the software of the voting machine," according to the four-term, former state legislator in an interview with Fox "News" today.
The video and transcript of that interview --- in which Rawl displayed a very impressive command of the issues surrounding the 100% unverifiable ES&S iVotronic touch-screen voting machines used in the election --- are posted below. It's well worth reading and/or watching.
But first, Democratic House Majority Whip Rep. James Clyburn (D-SC) also appeared on Fox today where he said, "I believe there was hacking done into that computer." He later added, that because SC used the type of voting machines that have been decertified by so many other states, "maybe somebody wanted machines that were easily hacked into."
Take a look...
Clyburn's comments are remarkable --- certainly for a currently-serving Democratic official, much less one as high ranking as he is. Perhaps his comments will help change the way the bulk of the mainstream media has been covering this issue to date. They've been looking at everything but the obvious potential for computer failure or manipulation, even though Rawl has been going out of his way to point to it --- as we saw in his remarkable statement announcing his protest of the election results filed yesterday, due, in no small part, to "the well-documented unreliability and unverifiability of the voting machines used in South Carolina."
Since speculating on the accuracy of the results, or lack thereof, is all that most of us can do, given the nature of the type of e-voting system in use in SC which offer zero proof of actual winners and losers, there is certainly every reason to believe the election could have been hacked. The state's woeful ES&S system --- both its voting machines and its central tabulators --- has been shown time and again, in scientific report after scientific report, to be easily manipulated, particularly by a well-placed election insider.
That said, there still remain other less nefarious explanations for the results, and it should also be noted that Clyburn got quite a few of the details --- albeit fairly minor ones in the scope of his main point, if rather important to the rest of the country --- wrong...
Vic Rawl says inexplicable Democratic primary contest casts 'cloud' over state election; Notes 'irregularities', problem reports from voters, poll workers, vows 'electoral reform', calls for 'full and unblinking investigation of overall integrity' of state's ES&S voting system...
UPDATE: 'Burden of proof' on Rawls. Good luck with that.
A formal challenge to the announced results of South Carolina's Democratic primary for the U.S. Senate has now been filed by Judge Vic Rawl, the candidate who wasn't announced the winner by the state's oft-failed, easily-manipulated, 100% unverifiable ES&S e-voting system.
The statement points generally to a number of findings being made by the campaign as independent experts have analyzed the results, voting patterns and problems being reported by poll workers and voters on Election Day where the unknown, unemployed candidate Alvin Greene defeated Rawl on the unverifiable ES&S iVotronic touch-screen voting systems, performing 11 points better on those machines than he did in the paper-based absentee results. The oft-failed, easily-manipulated ES&S election results reporting system gave Greene a 59% to 41% "victory" over Rawl.
Greene did no campaigning, had no name recognition, had no campaign website, faces felony obscenity charges and managed, somehow, according to the electronic results, to best Rawl, a four-term state legislator to win the nomination to face incumbent Republican U.S. Sen. Jim DeMint in this November's general election.
We've covered details and analysis of this bizarre matter in two previous articles since last Tuesday's election:
As you'll see below, Rawl's official statement today reads as an indictment of the state's electronic voting system and, frankly, as a summary of years of The BRAD BLOG's oft-ignored reporting (and warnings) about the ES&S e-voting system's disastrously failed record...
No doubt, the last person eight-term "Blue Dog" Democrat Rep. Jane Harman (CA-36) expected to see when she sat down for a Progressive Caucus panel discussion on April 20 at the California Democratic Convention was the progressive Democratic challenger for her U.S. House seat, Marcy Winograd. In fact, Winograd wasn't even in the room when Harman began to speak.
I spoke, then left, then got a cell phone call: "Get back here. Jane Harman just arrived." I ran back downstairs, returned to the crowded room, and quietly sat down, unbeknownst to Jane, just three bodies down from her on the panel. I waited for her to finish her thought, then jumped in.
Winograd seized the moment to engage in a debate of sorts (video below), confronting the wealthy eight-term Congresswoman on a range of issues, including Harman's committee vote to significantly extend Big Pharma's patent protection over biomedical drugs. Harman's response was remarkably deceptive; yet, perhaps because this was not a pre-scheduled "debate," Winograd failed to seize a rare face-to-face moment to directly confront Harman's conflicts-of-interest and prevarication...