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Latest Featured Reports | Saturday, April 19, 2014
More Good 'Obamacare' News for Terrified Dems
Will Democrats continue to run scared, or will they embrace the unrelenting string of encouraging Affordable Care Act successes as we head into the 2014 mid-terms?...
'Green News Report' 4/17/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
One year since West, TX disaster; New 'habitable' planet!; Air pollution in poor areas; Record warm March; PLUS: 'Bombshell' study: CA drought caused by global warming...
Previous GNRs: 4/15/14 - 4/10/14 - Archives...
The Climate Is Invading the Earth! To Battle Stations!
If only the climate was a person that could be defeated with guns -- the world might finally take the threat that climate change now poses with the seriousness it deserves....
'Green News Report' 4/15/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
GNR Special Coverage: The UN Inter- governmental Panel on Climate Change Report on Mitigation: costs, risks, and opportunities. Is it too late avoid climate catastrophe?...
Previous GNRs: 4/10/14 - 4/8/14 - Archives...
'Conservative' RW 'Legal' Blogger Defends Freeloading Nevada Rancher
PowerLine's hyper-partisan John Hinderaker admits Cliven Bundy 'doesn't have a [legal] leg to stand on', but digs deep to find a reason - any reason - to defend the scofflaw anyway...
Sunday News Shows Fail to Mention U.S. Senate CIA Torture & Detention Report
Despite U.S. and international crimes outlined in the findings, based on first-hand CIA docs, not a single Sunday show even brought it up...
NSA Knew About, Exploited Internet Open Source Bug for Years
What part of "national security' does the National Security Agency not understand?!...
Destroying America: 'Obamacare' Kills Another Business
Free medical clinic in rural Arkansas to close doors after health insurance reform law leads to lack of customers...
'Green News Report' 4/10/14
RW Heartland Institute says 'climate change will be good for you!'; Russia threatens natural gas supplies to Ukraine, Europe; PLUS: Attack of the Tumbleweeds! (No, really!)...
'Green News Report' 4/8/14
Study: CNN, Fox 'News' FAIL on climate; CNN looks for plane, finds ocean of garbage; PLUS: Energy co. receives record fine for 85 years of toxic waste (& couldn't be happier about it)...
Christie's E-Cig 'Sin Tax' Due to 'Public Health' Concerns?
After slashing anti-smoking programs, 'conservative' Christie admin offers absurd reason for massive new tax, but NJ Star-Ledger ain't buyin' it. And neither are we...
Judge to TX Repubs: Turn Over the Docs!
Courts rules TX legislators must provide email related to passage of polling place Photo ID restrictions which may prove discriminatory intent of the GOP law...
'A New Kind of Liberty' for the Kochs and Anyone Else Who Can Afford to Buy It
Have the rightwing judicial activists on the Supreme Court made you feel freer yet?...
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...


Sticker Shock May Force Jurisdictions to Revert to Hand Counted Paper Ballots Next Year...
By Brad Friedman on 12/19/2006 10:05am PT  

If you needed any more evidence to counter the argument that it would be "too expensive" to dump all the shitty, unreliable, inaccurate, hackable, disenfranchising touch-screen (DRE) voting systems in favor of paper ballots, just take a look at Utah. They're the state which pushed out heroic 23-year Emery County Election Clerk Bruce Funk because he had the temerity to allow independent computer security experts to test the Diebold touch-screen systems the state was forcing him to use. (The experts found massive security flaws described as "the most severe" ever discovered.)

Well, now Utah has finally discovered that their switch from punch-cards to shitty, unreliable, inaccurate, hackable, disenfranchising Diebold touch-screen systems has doubled the cost of their elections. And then some. Get a load of this from the Salt-Lake Tribune...

"I'm not sure any of us realized how much it is going to cost to own and operate this system," said Michael Cragun, elections director for the Lieutenant Governor's Office.

Those costs are so prohibitive that many Utahns in next year's local elections will revert to a voting style used for generations: checking a box on a paper ballot.
...
City leaders are worried, having heard rumors they may have to triple their election budget if they go with the touch-screen machines.
...
in August 2005, [Lt. Gov. Gary] Herbert signed a contract with Texas-based Diebold Election Systems for $24.5 million. He paid the tab with a federal grant issued through HAVA.

In return, Utah received about 3,000 voting machines and the technical support to run statewide elections this year and in 2008.

But it is now becoming clear that was just the start of the costs.

"We are not sure everyone understood what happened when they flicked that first domino over," Cragun said.
...
Salt Lake County Clerk Sherrie Swensen says she had to double the pay for poll workers because of the necessary training. She now spends $12,000 per month storing the bulky machines. And all of the memory cards, batteries and other essential machine accessories cost her office an extra $138,000 this year.

These costs will continue to accrue as Swensen and other county clerks say they need more machines for the 2008 presidential election.

Unbelievable. I love how they're running around and saying "we had no idea!"... Idiots.

Have I mentioned lately how important it is that you --- and everybody you know --- sign this petition to demand Congress require a paper BALLOT for every vote cast (and get rid, once and for all, of all the shitty, unreliable, inaccurate, hackable, disenfranchising Direct Recording Electronic touch-screen voting systems in the bargain)?! As they say...Don't wait! ACT NOW!

(Hat-tip John Gideon)

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The Diebold Whistleblower Looks Back with Gratitude and Forward with Hope...
By Steve Heller on 12/17/2006 7:13pm PT  

Special to The BRAD BLOG by Guest Blogger Stephen Heller

Hi, my name is Steve Heller. Some have referred to me as the "Diebold Whistleblower." For those unfamiliar with my case, you can find a good summation here. You can read articles about the resolution of the case http://www.bradblog.com/?p=3826\">here, here and here.

Brad has been kind enough to allow me this chance to thank you, the progressive community, for all the help and support you gave my wife and me during this very difficult time. We could hardly believe the incredible amount of emotional sustenance and encouragement, as well as all the financial donations to my defense fund, that we received.

We heard from people from all parts of the United States (including Guam and Puerto Rico), and from many parts of the world; the United Kingdom, Japan, Holland, the Netherlands, Germany, France, Brazil, New Zealand, and quite a handful from Canada. Of particular pride to us were the handful of notes and even donations from U.S. military personnel; those really meant a lot to us. We know that soldiers don't make any money, and for some of them to kick in a few bucks for my defense fund really touched me. They're being asked to give so much, and here they were trying to help me and my wife. Truly, we were astounded at the support we received, and I cannot begin to thank all of you enough. Thank you so very, very much. A thousand, million times over, I thank you, and my wife thanks you.

I can't find the words to express our appreciation and thanks to all who donated to the defense fund. In mostly small amounts, the donations added up to enough to cover all the legal expenses we incurred after the fund was established, and that was an astounding thing. Such an outpouring from the world wide progressive community was humbling. I don't know if I would have been as generous to someone in my situation as people were to me, and for me that's a lesson learned.

In many ways, the smaller donations meant more to us than the larger ones. I'll never forget getting a card with a crumpled $5 bill inside and a note written in the quavery handwriting of an elderly person. The note said "I'm sorry this donation is so small, but my monthly check will only go so far. Good luck and God bless you." I can't even begin to describe how much that note, and so many notes and emails like it, whether accompanied by a donation or not, meant to me and my wife. Everyone who contacted us received a reply, either by email or letter, but please allow me to thank you all yet again.

At the risk of embarrassing some people, I want to mention a few names of those who really were exceptionally kind and generous with their time and in many cases even with their hard-earned money…

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

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State Which Fought Release of Diebold Data Showing 200+ Percent Turnout in 2004 is Again Fighting Against Transparency
By Brad Friedman on 11/28/2006 2:47pm PT  

The state of Alaska which, as avid BRAD BLOG readers will recall, had been fighting tooth and nail to keep from releasing their database of how voters voted back in 2004, is at it again. Now, despite a court order, the state is refusing to release the new 2006 database, according to a press release just issued by the state Democratic Party. (Press release posted in full at the bottom of this item.)

Previously, the outgoing Governor Murkowski went so far as to have his top security man issue a memo saying release of the 2004 database would be a "security risk." The state had argued prior to that that they could not release the database because it was a "company secret" of Diebold's, according to their contract with the Anti-American Voting Company. All of that after Democrats had discovered a 200% voter turnout in some jurisdications across the state.

Murkowski's daughter Lisa, whom Frank had appointed to fill his seat in the Senate when he ascended to Governor, was in a very close race for that seat in 2004. In fact, most polls showed her trailing against her opponent prior to Election Day.

A court eventually forced the state to release the 2004 database but it was found to contain hundreds of edits since the 2004 election, including as late as July of 2006, prior to the release of the data.

See all of the stories in our Alaska category for the bizarre roller-coaster ride on this issue in the state.

Now it appears that Alaska is at it again, fighting to not release the database from the 2006 election in the only state that we know of where the Democratic Party themselves are actually fighting for complete transparency.

Here's the first two grafs from today's Press Release just issued. The complete press release follows below it...

Anchorage - The Alaska Division of Elections is violating the public records law and should immediately release copies of the electronic records of the 2006 election results so they can be examined before the election is certified, Alaska Democratic Party Chair Jake Metcalfe said today.

"Once again, the Division of Elections is flaunting the law with excuses and delays by refusing to release critical public records," Metcalfe said. "Judge Joannides has already ordered them to make copies of each version of the 2006 GEMS database, so it is no burden on them to just release those copies that they are already making. Why won't they release the records and give the public access to them as they are required by law to do?" Metcalfe said.

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

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Republican, Democratic, Independent Candidates Join Lawsuit Against Paperless Diebold E-Voting Machines in Georgia...
By Brad Friedman on 11/22/2006 10:05am PT  

Dear Judges: You may as well make swift and unambiguous decisions that lead to the end of E-voting in America as we know it. For your own sake, and that of the court docket, sooner would be better than later.

Elections Officials can't do it themselves because it would be tantamount to admitting they failed in their only job: to ensure free, fair, and accurate elections. Of course they have failed, but they've already staked their careers on millions in state and local dollars, robbed from unsuspecting taxpayer constituents. Admitting that fact out loud would mean that most of them would (deservedly) be run out their jobs faster than Diebold or ES&S or Sequoia spokesholes can dutifully tell AP: "our voting machines work fine, the problem is human error!"

Until you folks on the bench end this nightmare forever, you will keep finding only more and more such suits like the one mentioned below in Georgia (and dozens, if not hundreds more like it) month and after month, year after year, election after election, hitting your docket until this mess is solved once and for all.

Underscoring what The BRAD BLOG has been saying for years --- that this is not a matter of Left versus Right, but rather a matter of Right versus Wrong --- Democrat, Republican, and Independent candidates have now joined the suit to put an end to Diebold's paperless E-voting in the state of Georgia...

Three losing candidates in this year's elections announced their plans Tuesday to join a lawsuit challenging Georgia's electronic voting system.

A group of activists, led by VoterGa, filed a lawsuit in Fulton County Superior Court in July, alleging that electronic voting machines in Georgia do not accurately record votes.

Mary Wilhite, a Republican candidate for a state House seat in Cherokee County, Woody Holmes, an independent write-in candidate for a seat in south Fulton, and Donzella James, a Democratic candidate for the 13th Congressional District, joined VoterGa representatives at the Capitol to say the results of their elections have caused them to join the lawsuit.

How much longer are we all gonna play this game? How much longer can American democracy take it? Complete story on the GA suit is here...

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Plea Deal for 'Wobbly Felony' Conviction, 3-Years Probation, May be Reduced to Misdemeanor after One Year of Good Behavior
By Brad Friedman on 11/21/2006 4:54pm PT  

In an exclusive statement sent to The BRAD BLOG earlier today excoriating the privatization of America's voting system, whistleblower Stephen Heller says, "Diebold has shown they cannot be trusted to run elections in America."

He oughta know.

As we reported last night, Heller pled guilty yesterday in an agreement with Los Angeles prosecutors, after his arrest earlier this year on felony charges related to his release of attorney-client privileged documents he obtained while working as a temporary word-processor at Diebold's law firm, Jones Day.

The agreement, which required him to sign an apology, pay $10,000 in restitution, and not discuss the documents he released, may also allow Heller's felony conviction to be reduced to a misdemeanor charge after one year of "good behavior."

As well, in exchange for Heller's signed apology and commitment not to discuss the documents themselves (which are already publicly available since he released them originally to both the media and Election Integrity activists), Jones Day signed an agreement that they would not sue him in civil court in the matter.

In a phone call this afternoon, Heller explained Diebold's enormously powerful law firm --- where he had worked at night while pursuing an acting career by day --- had informed him that they'd planned to convert any criminal felony conviction in the case into a civil suit. Had the case gone to trial, he explained, and been successful, Jones Day had promised a lawsuit claiming losses of "well over a million dollars." Such a suit "would have left my wife and I impoverished for the rest of our lives," Heller says.

He went on to tell us that the plea deal conviction was characterized by his attorneys as a "wobbly felony" --- one that will likely be reduced to a misdemeanor after a year, as long as he "doesn't do anything bad." He quickly added, "which I have no intention of doing."

A court date of Nov. 15th, 2007, has been set to review the case in order to determine if the sentence will be reduced and, among other things, allow Heller to have his right to vote in California restored!

"Yes, I am now a disenfranchised voter as a convicted felon," he told us today with no small amount of irony in his voice.

Despite California having decertified Diebold voting systems in 2004 after Heller's release of documents showing the voting machine company had violated state law and that they may have been planning to lie about it to state officials --- and even after the state and election watchdog BlackBoxVoting.org eventually agreed to settle a fraud complaint with Diebold for $2.8 million dollars in the bargain --- Heller is, for the moment, unable to vote in the Golden State due to his conviction.

All of this, of course, despite those who've denounced the arrest of Heller on the grounds that they believe, as we do, that he is an heroic whistleblower who exposed important information --- illegally or otherwise --- because it was in the best public interest of the country.

California does have a "Whistleblower Law," which prevents employers from exacting retribution against an employee who "has reasonable cause to believe that the information [being released] discloses a violation of state or federal statute." That law, unfortunately, doesn't seem to apply to apparently over-zealous County Prosecutors such as Los Angeles's Steve Cooley.

Heller has promised that he will share "the whole story" with us in a Guest Blog special to The BRAD BLOG after the holidays.

In the meantime, however, his agreement at least does not keep him from speaking his mind about Diebold, electronic voting, or the private corporatization of our public democracy. Earlier today, Heller followed up on his promise of last night and emailed us the following statement with his opinions of the current state of our electoral system in America:

In my view, Diebold has shown they cannot be trusted to run elections in America. We must not allow a private corporation to run our elections for us in secret, using secret machines and secret software. The only thing secret about our elections should be the secret ballot.

I urge all Americans to insist Congress enact Federal legislation requiring that all voting machines must have a voter verifiable paper ballot, be run on open source software code, be subject to inspection by independent computer experts, and that each election have a random sample ballot recount. Only then will we have a chance of restoring true integrity to American elections.

The BRAD BLOG wishes to express our deepest and most heart-felt gratitude to Heller for his courageous and selfless act of civil disobedience. As bad as our electoral system is now...and make no mistake, it is in tatters...we shudder to ponder the state we'd currently be in without patriots like Heller who continue to fight for free, fair, honest, and transparent elections in America --- at no small cost to either themselves or their families.

On behalf of The BRAD BLOG and likely millions of democracy-lovin' Americans: Thank you, Mr. Heller.

UPDATE 8:48pm PT: Oakland Tribune's Ian Hoffman is the first MSM'er out of the box to pick up on this story. Hoffman first reported on Heller when when the Trib ran the Diebold documents given to them while Jones Day sued to stop them. His coverage tonight is quite good and worth the read.

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Stephen Heller Agrees to Plead Guilty, Pay $10,000, Apologize and Receive Three Years Probation After Being Charged with 'Burglary' for Sharing Diebold Lawfirm's Privileged Documents with Newspaper, Election Integrity Activists
Tells BRAD BLOG He Has 'No Assets Left, Other Than House' and Deal is Meant to Protect Him and His Wife as 'Best Deal I Could Get Based on the Circumstances'
By Brad Friedman on 11/20/2006 8:53pm PT  

Stephen Heller, the Los Angeles whistleblower who turned over documents from Diebold's attorney, Jones Day, in 2004 showing the Voting Machine Company had illegally installed uncertified hardware and software in California --- and was preparing to lie about it --- has pled guilty, according to a statement tonight from the LA County District Attorney's office.

In an email moments ago from Heller, he tells us that he and his wife "are very happy it is over."

Heller, whose story we detailed in an article [PDF] published by Hustler some months ago, was a temporary worker at the voting machine company law firm when he stumbled across the troubling documents.

At the time, we quoted Michael Kohn, general counsel for the National Whistleblower Center, as saying, "This is a very rare instance. In fact, the only one of which I’m aware, in which a whistleblower has been charged with a felony. I find it outrageous."

Outrageous indeed --- especially considering Diebold voting systems were decertified by the state when it was found the company was attempting to game the certification process, shortly after Heller shared the documents with the Oakland Tribune and election watchdog BlackBoxVoting.org.

But Heller doesn't have the same kind of money for high-priced attorneys that Diebold does (that would be your money that Diebold uses for this sort of thing, by the way); we're not suprised he opted for the deal.

In an email message from Heller sent to The BRAD BLOG tonight, he wrote:

"My wife and I are very happy it is over. The deal will protect me and my wife and our assets (we have no assets left, other than our house, but whatever we are able to accumulate in the future cannot be taken away from us in civil court). My attorneys and I think this is the best deal I could get based on the circumstances."

The LA County DA's statement says Heller pled to "unlawfully accessing the company computer in connection with its legal representation of Diebold Inc." and they quote his formal "apology" as follows:

"Today, I pled guilty to unlawfully taking Jones Day's privileged documents without its permission while I worked there. There was no excuse for my conduct. I very much regret taking the documents. I also regret any disparaging statements suggesting that Jones Day committed any wrongful acts. Upon reflection, I now believe and understand that such statements were unjustified. I apologize to Jones Day and its client."

A notice added tonight to the Stephen Heller Defense Fund website says "The case has been resolved! More details will follow soon." It goes on to thank supporters, urging them to "check back soon because Stephen is going to post the entire story here soon."

Heller tells us he's being contacted by the media tonight and plans to send a more detailed statement to The BRAD BLOG by morning.

UPDATE: 11/21/06 5:00pm PT: As promised, a new story, including a fresh exclusive statement from Heller --- concerning his thoughts on Diebold, American Elections and that he may have his sentenced reduced in a year --- is now posted here.

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Election Defense Alliance Says 'Major Miscount In U.S. Election' Cost Dems 3 Million Votes Nationwide!
National Exit Poll Once Again Adjusted to Match Vote Totals, Report Says
By Emily Levy on 11/17/2006 1:08pm PT  

Guest blogged by Emily Levy of Velvet Revolution

Election Defense Alliance (EDA), a national election integrity organization, issued a press release yesterday announcing their new report, "Landslide Denied: Exit Polls vs. Vote Count 2006."

According to EDA, the Edison-Mitofsky National Exit Poll, conducted by a consortium of news organizations, showed at 7 p.m. on Election Night an 11.5% vote margin in favor of Dems nationwide. But by 1:00 p.m. on the following day, according to EDA, "[T]he Edison-Mitofsky poll had been adjusted, by a process known as 'forcing,' to match the reported vote totals for the election." The adjusted exit polls showed "a 7.6 percent margin exactly mirroring the reported vote totals."

It was EDA co-founder Jonathan Simon whose foresight in downloading the Edison-Mitofsky exit polls on Election Night 2004 before those polls were adjusted made the discovery of the now-infamous "red shift" possible. Analysis of the original exit polls from 2004 became one of the most compelling bodies of evidence to suggest that the 2004 election was stolen on behalf of George W. Bush.

Now EDA reveals evidence of similar manipulation of this year's election. In his story Clear Evidence 2006 Congressional Election Hacked, executive editor of OpEdNews Rob Kall quotes Simon as saying:

We see evidence of pervasive fraud, but apparently calibrated to political conditions existing before recent developments shifted the political landscape...so 'the fix' turned out not to be sufficient for the actual circumstances...."When you set out to rig an election, you want to do just enough to win. The greater the shift from expectations, (from exit polling, pre-election polling, demographics) the greater the risk of exposure--of provoking investigation. What was plenty to win on October 1 fell short on November 7.

The BRAD BLOG wishes to point out the difference between election "hacking" and "rigging." Hacking can be done by outsiders armed with such difficult-to-obtain weapons as a hotel mini-bar key (in the case of the Diebold TSx) or a finger (in the case of the Sequoia touchscreen machines). Rigging would be done by an insider such as someone working for an electronic voting machine company or a department of elections. The evidence of skewed results in the 2006 Congressional election doesn't specifically prove whether hacking or rigging or both occurred, but certainly magnifies the call for further investigation into irregularities in the 2006 elections. Will this new report help the newly-elected-but-apparently-robbed-of-its-landslide Democratic Majority Congress understand the importance of revamping our election system before 2008?

The next phase of Election Defense Alliance's work will be to analyze results of specific Congressional races. This work will include analysis of exit polls commissioned by Velvet Revolution (of which The BRAD BLOG is a co-founder) and other independent organizations. Perhaps then we will find out how many Democratic (or even Republican) candidates who have been declared losers actually won their races.

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Don Haas, Self-Described 'Hardcore Conservative,' Tells Readers of His Website to Game an Online Poll by a Conservative Radio Host Calling for His Brother to Step Down, Effort Seems to Have Been a Success!
Writes Anonymous Posting Here at BRAD BLOG After Concession of Democratic House Candidate in Brother Mikel's San Diego Election: 'Busby=Loser...Love it When You Uninformed Nutroots Lose'
By Brad Friedman on 11/15/2006 3:14pm PT  

Like brother like brother. Even San Diego County Registrar of Voters Mikel Haas's brother apparently believes it just fine to cheat at the polls.

Online polls in any case.

The BRAD BLOG has learned that Don Haas, the brother of SD County's Registrar, (one of the country's worst, by the way) has apparently been gaming a recent online poll hosted at the website of conservative San Diego radio talkshow host Roger Hedgecock. The right-wing talker has joined the chair of the Democratic County Chair in calling for Mikel Haas's resignation due to his abominable administration of county elections.

A quick investigation by The BRAD BLOG this morning reveals the poll used at the Hedgecock site can easily be gamed by simply deleting "cookies" on users' computers, allowing them to vote as many times as they wish. Don Haas encouraged readers in a posting yesterday at his website to "act like a democrats and vote three times."

As well, brother Don has been posting anonymously here at The BRAD BLOG with the user name "OMSmedia" since November 9th. In a comment this morning, in reply to Democratic U.S. House candidate Francine Busby's concession in the CA-50 race last night, Don describes her as a "loser" and continues by adding "love it when you uninformed nutroots lose."

He has his own website at OMSMedia.com which has a "Hardcore Conservative" graphic logo on the home page. In various postings in the "Live Journal" on the site, Don supports his brother's use of hackable Diebold voting machines, spreads disinformation about them, refers to Democrats as "asses," suggests all "gay representatives" are "pedophiles," and writes that "any [Senatorial] candidate yelling about the President should just resign"....

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

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Please Take the Poll...
UPDATE: SD County Democratic Chair Calls for Haas's Resignation and So Do We! There is No Basis for Confidence in the Reported Results of ANY Election in San Diego on November 7th!
By Brad Friedman on 11/13/2006 8:15pm PT  

San Diego's very conservative radio host and fill-in host for Rush Limbaugh, Roger Hedgecock --- who agrees with me nonetheless about Electronic Voting Machines --- wonders if San Diego County's Registrar of Voters Mikel Haas, one of the worst in the country, should resign.

We won't say any more than that, since we'd hate to bias the poll in any way. But rest easy knowing that the results of Hedgecock's unscientific online poll will be at least as reliable and accurate as any election Haas has ever run in San Diego.

Sleepover on your answer before deciding for sure, but either way, please vote in the poll...

UPDATE 1/14/06 1:08pm PT: We hadn't noticed this earlier, but it looks like the San Diego County Democratic Party Chair, Jess Durfee, called for the resignation of Haas on Election Night due to all of the reported problems with machine failures, lack of available paper ballots, etc. On Election Night, the far right-leaning Union-Tribune reported Durfee as saying "his polling place in University Heights was out of paper ballots by 9 a.m., and all the machines in that precinct were down by noon."

Also reported in the same article by the U-T...

Malfunctioning machines, frustrating waits and confusion over electronic voting yesterday cast a pall on polling places from Oceanside to Otay Mesa.

Some left without voting after unusually long waits.

Others said they weren't sure their votes were recorded on the Diebold machines after paper jams prevented them from viewing a voter-verified paper trail.

Many precincts had machines that didn't work at all, at least at the beginning of the day as poll workers struggled to set up in time for the 7 a.m. opening.

We're changing our previous "neutral" stance and calling for Haas's immediate resignation. He's a disgrace, has undermined confidence of the electorate, has made a mockery of the rule of law, and the result is is that elections in San Diego have become a complete joke under his tenure in the county. There is absolutely no basis for confidence in the reported results of any election administered by Mikel Haas on November 7th.

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Unnamed Diebold Spokesliar Says Touch-Screen Vote Flipping 'Not a Problem, Doesn't Exist,' Unnamed Sequoia Spokesliar Says It's a 'Conspiracy Theory from Activists and Bloggers'
By Brad Friedman on 11/13/2006 7:59pm PT  

Despite massive problems with their voting machines all over the country, at least two of the leading voting machine companies, Sequoia and Diebold, are still in extreme denial. But at least they have the "courage" to keep their names off record when talking to the press about it now...Cowards.

Witness the last two grafs of this ComputerWorld story on touch-screen vote-flipping --- the type that was reported all over the country both in Early Voting and on Election Day this year, and certainly in a big way back in '04...

E-voting machines are far more secure, accurate and auditable than the mechanical lever-operated voting machines and other systems they replaced, the [unnamed] spokeswoman [from Sequoia] contended. She called vote-flipping concerns a "conspiracy theory from activists and bloggers."

A spokesman at e-voting equipment vendor Diebold Election Systems also said that e-voting machines don't cause vote flipping. "It's not a problem," he said. "It doesn't exist. This again falls into the 'what if' scenario."

It's not a problem. It doesn't exist. These aren't the droids you're looking for.

So not only are these guys liars, they're now cowards afraid to go on record with their names when spreading their utter bullshit.

By the way, one of those "conspiracy theory activist bloggers" who had the "non-existant" "non-problem" was Marshall Cook, a candidate for city council in Pinellas Park, Florida, last March. He kept trying to vote for himself, but his vote kept flipping to his opponent until he was finally forced to move to a different crappy Sequoia touch-screen voting machine.

As we reported at the time, quoting from that "activist blog" otherwise known as the St. Petersburg Times(!)...

[O]n Election Day...when Cook tried to vote for himself, the machine defaulted to a vote for [his opponent] Taylor. A precinct worker finally moved Cook to a different booth.

Idiots.

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By Brad Friedman on 11/13/2006 2:28pm PT  

Tired of reading me whine about problems with our crumbling electoral system? Now you can watch me whine about them instead.

As if it's not enough I've had to become a spokesman, a journalist, a broadcaster, an investigator, an advocate, a political consultant over these last two years or so..on the Saturday before the election, I was asked to become a Standup Comedian...of a sort.

Click the photo for a quick 4 and a half minute video of an onstage appearance at the premiere of Electric City: A Political Comedy Special, in which I was shanghaied into appearing with a bunch of actual comics (such as Marc Maron, John Fugelsang, Rick Overton, etc.) on the Saturday night before the election.

As I was exhausted at that point, I'm glad the bit was caught on video tape. Otherwise, for the life of me, I'd not have been able to tell you a thing I spoke about that night. The week(s) before the election are all a blur to me right now.

The gig was smartly hosted by Cenk Uygur and Ben Mankiewicz of The Young Turks. A two-minute trailer (in which I also appear briefly) for the entire evening is posted below as well...

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

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Smartcard Encoders Reportedly Not Working...Paper Ballots Not Available Everywhere...
By Brad Friedman on 11/7/2006 12:17pm PT  

From Salt Lake Tribune in Utah, the state which ran the 23-year elected Emery County, UT Election Administrator, Bruce Funk out of a job when he dared allowed independent investigators to test the new Diebold touch-screen systems forced on him by the state...

Utah County voters planning to cast their ballots on the way to work were stymied by technical problems with the state's new voting machines, while some in Salt Lake City also saw delays at the polls.

Robert Nelson was among those in Provo and other locations in Utah County who were unable to cast their votes using the new voting machines when the polls opened. After arriving at his polling location at 7 a.m., Nelson said he spent an hour and a half hoping the machines would be fixed.

"The workers were earnestly trying to get the machines to work, but not a one in our precint worked," Nelson said. "I work in Salt Lake City, so I couldn't wait for the machines to work."

Similar reports came in from other areas in Utah County, including Lindon. The clerk's office said the problem had been solved and the machines were up and running as of 8:55 a.m.

In Salt Lake City, some locations only had one machine up and running when the polls opened at 7 a.m.

No voting machines were initially operational at Highland High School, although some 25 people were already waiting in line to vote when the location opened.

The local ABC affiliate is reporting the Lt. Governor (a big supporter of Diebold, as we recall) says the problem is in the voting card encoders...

Utah's Lt. Governor Gary Herbert says voting machine encoders, used to program individual user cards have been incorrectly programmed, causing delays for many voters, primarily in Utah County.

Herbert says the problem is associated with voter card encoding machines, which have failed to function properly.
...
Many voters have experienced delays, and have been told to come back later.

Some voters have opted to use paper ballots, which are also available at most, if not all polling locations.

Herbert says the primary encoding machine problem has not been fixed, but provisional systems have been put in place and no one should be turned away.

Too late, Lt. Governor. Nice going.

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Sends Thousands of Hackable Diebold Machines Home with the Students on 'Sleepovers' for Weeks on End!
By Brad Friedman on 11/6/2006 2:27pm PT  

This just in from poll worker Patti Newton from San Diego, where Registrar Mikel Haas has been sending all of their pre-programmed, election-ready, hackable Diebold touch-screen systems home with poll workers on "sleepovers" since Oct. 16th.

Newton reports the machines have been going to high-school kids who have also been recruited to be in charge of those machines tomorrow! Have we mentioned that San Diego's Mikel Haas is amongst the worst most irresponsible Election Administrator's in the country?! From Newton...

I just got off the phone with one of the (San Diego) North County Poll Worker Recruitment Specialists (PWRS) --- I vented my frustration at being teamed with three (3) teenagers with no election experience. To add insult to injury, I am relegated to the job of ASSISTANT Precinct Inspector (this is my third election this year)!

The PWRS told me that Mikel Haas directed recruiters to place every single teenager who applied. I believe they were actively recruited because they are receiving extra credit (in high school classes) in addition to being paid. She did not confirm or deny the answer to my question, "Did Haas put the teenagers first in line as Touchscreen Inspectors?" Her evasion was answer enough. I asked her if teens having voting machines in their custody for three weeks made her nervous. "Yes, a little." She stated she was "just a peon" and following directions from ROV Haas.

It is obvious my PI has not cracked the cover of her election guide and made no attempt to contact me or the others to arrange to set up the poll tonight. She has not contacted the other workers. The two phone numbers I've (not my PI) actively sought for one worker are both wrong numbers.

These kids have no sense of urgency nor do they seem to take any responsibility. Perhaps Mikel Haas is smarter than we think.

But wait, she followed up with more!

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

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Previously Unreleased 200-Page Report Said to Document Some 180 Security Flaws and Recommendations Made to Diebold and the State
Still Unclear as to Who Made Changes, Additions, Redactions to Publicly Released 40-Page Version of Report…
By Brad Friedman on 11/5/2006 7:02pm PT  

On Friday night, we broke Rebecca Abrahams's exclusive story concerning the long-sought yet never-released complete "Risk Assessment Report" of Diebold's electronic voting systems as commissioned by the state of Maryland from the Scientific Applications International Corporation (SAIC) in 2003.

Tonight, The BRAD BLOG is releasing that report exclusively in full as given to us by Abrahams, who says she obtained it from a source described to us as "a patriotic high-level state official." She says the source is "someone very close to this situation" in the Maryland government.

The original, never-before-released SAIC report was nearly 200 pages in all, and details a number of extraordinary security vulnerabilities found in Diebold's AccuVote-TS (touch-screen) voting systems as deployed by the state of Maryland initially in 2002. The version of the SAIC report that was eventually released to the public, after extreme redaction, was a mere 38 pages long.

It was reported by Abrahams that neither the full MD State Board of Elections, nor even the Governor himself, was ever allowed to see the full report.

Regarded by many in the computer science, security, and election integrity community as "The Pentagon Papers of E-Voting," the report as released by MD's State Election Administrator, Linda Lamone, was edited, changed, and, of course, highly redacted by someone.

To this date, it remains unclear whether or not Diebold itself was responsible for the changes, edits, and redactions, but according to several computer scientists and security experts with whom we discussed the matter today, the company currently seems to be the leading candidate responsible for changing and removing information from the independently commissioned SAIC report. Those with whom we spoke questioned the propriety of Diebold having such final control over an independent report concerning its own systems. Systems, we might add, that will be used across the state and indeed across the entire country this November 7th, despite the information withheld from the public in this 2003 report.

Also unclear --- since the state and virtually the entire computer science and security community have been unable to review the complete, original report until now --- is whether or not any of the various 180 or so recommendations for changes contained in the report have ever been addressed and corrected by either Diebold or the state of Maryland.

Myriad independent reports on Diebold systems have shown, over the last several months and years since the SAIC report was completed, that scores of serious security vulnerabilities still remain on Diebold's voting systems --- including their paper-based optical-scan voting machines, touch-screen voting machines, and even their central tabulator software.

Reports of these serious vulnerabilities have now been documented by Finnish computer scientist Harri Hursti, the computer security firm Security Innovation, and BlackBoxVoting.org in both Leon County, FL and then in Emery County, UT; by a team of scientists at UC Berkeley commissioned by the CA Sec. of State; by Princeton University; and even by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Computer Emergency Readiness Team (as The BRAD BLOG originally reported in September of 2005 after a tip from a Diebold insider).

Whether or not the vulnerabilities revealed in those subsequent studies --- made mostly over the last year or so, but some, such as the Dept. of Homeland Security's CERT alert came even prior to the 2004 Presidential Election --- were discovered previously in the full 2003 SAIC report has been widely questioned until now.

If, in fact, such vulnerabilities were indeed found in 2003 by SAIC but subsequently kept covered up by Diebold or their allies within the MD State Elections division, such as longtime booster Lamone, the question of accountability --- and even the specter of malicious out-and-out fraud --- has been raised.

During an interview with Abrahams and Stephen Spoonamore, the CEO of computer security firm Cybrinth Inc., on a radio program we co-hosted yesterday, they suggested that an FBI investigation may currently be under way in Maryland concerning several events surrounding the use of Diebold machines in the state.

We've not yet had time to review the entire unredacted report as posted below. However, given the importance of this never-before-released information --- and after close consultation with Abrahams and several others --- The BRAD BLOG feels the national public interest in the information contained in this report requires full and immediate release and disclosure.

The report, therefore, is released here for the first time...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 11/4/2006 1:20pm PT  

Heading over to KTLK am1150, Los Angeles' Progressive Talk, Air America affiliate to co-host today on the Bree Walker Show from 2p-4p PT (5p-7p ET).

We've got a huge guest line-up for the two hour show, including SPENCER OVERTON of Stealing Democracy, REBECCA ABRAHAMS and STEPHEN SPOONAMORE on the secret MD Diebold SAIC Report, TOM COURBAT and RON WATT on Sequoia's "Vote As Much as You Want" Yellow Button, John Gideon of VotersUnite.org and much much more!

Listen up online here!...

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