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Latest Featured Reports | Wednesday, April 16, 2014
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 charitable medical clinic in rural Arkansas to close doors after health insurance reform law leads to lack of clientele...
'Green News Report' 4/10/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
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!)...
Previous GNRs: 4/8/14 - 4/3/14 - Archives...
'Green News Report' 4/8/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
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)...
Previous GNRs: 4/3/14 - 4/1/14 - Archives...
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...
Federal Judge to TX Repubs: Turn Over the Docs!
Courts rules TX legislators must provide documentation related to passage of polling place Photo ID restrictions which may prove the discriminatory intent of the new 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?...
'McCutcheon' Mints Millions for Mass Media
Veteran journalist and media activist Sue Wilson explains how the new U.S. Supreme Court ruling is a windfall for the MSM. She also has an idea what to do about it...
'Green News Report' 4/3/14
Startling U.N. climate change report; Kochs enviro champs, say Kochs; TX wind power record; PLUS: ExxonMobil says 'F#@K you! We're ExxonMobil!'...
Reproductive Rights & Campaign Finance Law: KFPK 'BradCast'
Katie Klabusich says she's being 'targeted' by Eric Scheidler's anti-choice group. They both join Brad. PLUS: Ian Millhiser on SCOTUS McCutcheon ruling...
SCOTUS 'MCCUTCHEON' RULING TRASHES EVEN MORE CAMPAIGN FINANCE LIMITS
'Free speech' for the super rich wins again at the Roberts Supreme Court...
'Green News Report' 4/1/14
It's our special 'April Fox Day' edition of the GNR! Celebrating the anti-scientists and fossil-fueled fools at Fox 'News'!...
FCC Rolls Back Corporate TV Consolidation
Under its new chairman, the federal agency finally takes one small step to fulfill their mandate of assuring the public airwaves are actually used in the public interest...
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...


Three distinguished computer scientists ask: 'How did software containing such an outrageous violation come to be certified?' and other difficult-to-answer questions
ALSO: 'Diebold has placed election officials in an awkward position, with no defense against disgruntled candidates or voters questioning the results of an election.'
By Winter Patriot on 7/24/2006 8:47pm PT  

Guest blogged by Winter Patriot

Yesterday, OpEdNews published an astonishing article by David Dill, Doug Jones and Barbara Simons, an article which blows the lid off the shenanigans that have been going on between Diebold and the State of Maryland.

Wise men say "Consider the source." That's always a good idea. In this case, all three authors have very impressive credentials:

David L. Dill is a Professor of Computer Science at Stanford University and the founder of VerifiedVoting.org.
Doug Jones is an Associate Professor of Computer Science at the University of Iowa.
Barbara Simons is retired from IBM Research and a former ACM [Association for Computing Machinery] President.

Turning to the article itself, here are the first few paragraphs:

Most computer scientists have long viewed Diebold as the poster child for all that is wrong with touch screen voting machines. But we never imagined that Diebold would be as irresponsible and incompetent as they have turned out to be.

Recently, computer security expert Harri Hursti revealed serious security vulnerabilities in Diebold's software. According to Michael Shamos, a computer scientist and voting system examiner in Pennsylvania, "It's the most severe security flaw ever discovered in a voting system."

Even more shockingly, we learned recently that Diebold and the State of Maryland had been aware of these vulnerabilities for at least two years. They were documented in analysis, commissioned by Maryland and conducted by RABA Technologies, published in January 2004. For over two years, Diebold has chosen not to fix the security holes, and Maryland has chosen not to alert other states or national officials about these problems.

Basically, Diebold included a "back door" in its software, allowing anyone to change or modify the software. There are no technical safeguards in place to ensure that only authorized people can make changes.

A malicious individual with access to a voting machine could rig the software without being detected. Worse yet, if the attacker rigged the machine used to compute the totals for some precinct, he or she could alter the results of that precinct. The only fix the RABA authors suggested was to warn people that manipulating an election is against the law.

So manipulating an election is against the law? Who'da thunk it?

Sorry! I couldn't help myself.

The remainder of the article, unaccompanied by smart remarks, follows:

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

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By John Gideon on 7/24/2006 3:41pm PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon

The following shocking information just came in to "Train Wreck Central" from Brad who is on the road, lord knows where. A special hat tip to Thom Hartmann and Rich McClear of KUDO1080, the Air America Radio affiliate in Anchorage, Alaska.

As readers of The BRAD BLOG know, Diebold and the State of Alaska have been doing all they can to keep the State Democratic Party from looking at the data from the machines used by the voters to register their choices and by the local officials to tally the votes. The BRAD BLOG has reported that questions began to arise about results from the 2004 election, including the reported revelation that "district-by-district vote totals add up to 292,267 votes for President Bush, but his official total was only 190,889." The Democrats asked for election data from the Diebold machines and the state has 'flip-flopped' on whether they would release it or not. This resulted in claims by the state that any data they released would be proprietary and would belong to Diebold Elections Systems Inc. (DESI).

The above led the state Democratic party to file a lawsuit to get the data they have been requesting.

The following is from an email from Rich McClear:

The State of Alaska website shows 16 of 40 house districts with more than 200% voter turnout, Also, if you add up the vote totals from each district they come to more than 100,000 votes for state wide candidates than the summary reports show.

More than 7 months ago the Democrats asked for an explanation. The state said it could not release the data files because they were proprietary to Diebold.

Diebold gave the state permission to release the files.

The state still refused. The Democrats went to court, the state asked for extension after extension. Their final extension expired Thursday and they replied to the Court, in a 200 page document, that since it is a month from the primary election, they can't release the database without compromising the primary. There is not enough time to rebuild the central tabulator file if they release the data before the election.

The Democrats have to respond to the court Monday. To respond to a 200 page document would usually require the Democrats to ask for an extension but they are working throughout the weekend to get the filing in Monday. Right now I have the Democratic Spokesperson scheduled for my show Monday Morning.

The State stalled for 7 months and when they ran out the legal clock they claim it is too late to release the information because it is too close to the primary. I find it interesting that this has not been picked up by the local press yet, save KUDO.

So the state and Diebold have stalled, flip-flopped, obfuscated and misled while they kept the Democrats from proving that there were huge problems with the election results in 2004. One can only hope that the court will decide that the stall needs to stop now, but it might be best not to hold your breath.

* * *

UPDATE 11/28/06: Alaska is at it again. They're refusing to release the 2006 election database despite a court order to do so. Details now here...

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Just Published Report Condemns The Election Director and His Top Assistant
County Elections Board Decides, On a 2 To 2 Vote, To Keep The Director In His Job
By John Gideon on 7/21/2006 8:46pm PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon

According to an article in today's Cleveland Plain Dealer the recent Cuyahoga County primary fiasco was the result of widespread dysfunction in the county's election offices, where officials ignored specific warnings of the looming calamity, according to a report also released today that blames election chief Michael Vu and deputy chief Gwen Dillingham.

According to the paper:

In the 394-page report, a three-member panel concludes its investigation of the flawed May 2 primary with descriptions of breakdown after breakdown at every level of the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections. The problems included poorly trained poll workers, too few workers, the rehiring of poll workers with histories of poor performance, a lack of crucial supplies, error-filled and ambiguous manuals for poll workers, a careless or reckless disregard for security of the voting machines, and the refusal to accept help from outsiders with expertise.

The dysfunction was made worse by a rushed changeover from punch-card voting to electronic machines.

"Director Vu and [Deputy Director] Dillingham effectively ordered workers to do the impossible, or nearly impossible, with inadequate resources," the report says. "This is an across-the-board failure to plan and manage the first countywide endeavor in electronic voting."

The panel found that even when presented with 13 warnings of potential crises four months before the election, Vu forged ahead. In June, after most of the 13 predicted problems came to pass, Vu "had yet to grasp the enormity of the issues. . . . During a recent interview with panel members he said, "There's not much that I would change at all."

In a companion article the Plain Dealer reports on the 13 warnings and gives some examples:

Scanning machines might be unable to read thousands of absentee ballots.

Votng machine memory cards might not get to the election headquarters for counting.

Election workers might be unable to operate the machines.

Vu's system for counting votes might break down.

All of that came to pass.

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

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Tape of Live Appearance Discussing Election Integrity, Ohio 2004, E-Voting Crime 2006...
By David Edwards on 7/20/2006 7:42pm PT  


Video in Streaming Flash format...
Video in Windows Media format...

NOTE FROM BRAD: I'm still out on the road, will be for a while, and thus unable to check into the net with much frequency! Not getting all of my email either because of it, so my apologies. Thanks Dave for getting this up! More when I am able to check back in from a location with net access and enough time to get caught up-ish.

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Brad Blog: Reliability of U-T 'news article' questioned!
Also: State Senator Barbara Bowen 'plans to hold public hearings on possible voting irregularities'
By Winter Patriot on 7/20/2006 2:08am PT  

Guest blogged by Winter Patriot

Staff Writer Leslie Wolf Branscomb of the San Diego Union-Tribune actually gets some of the story right in her July 19th piece: Reliability of voting machines questioned.

Brad mentioned this story yesterday, noting that it was among "the worst" of the most recent local coverage of the Busby/Bilbray election, which, as all regular readers know, happened over a month ago and is still under a cloud of doubt.

Just before he left for his "vacation", Brad mentioned that "the reporters continue to allow Haas to pass on his knowing obfuscations, and the media is usually too lazy or ill-informed to bother to call him on it. So that's your job now!" and he also said: "Please help such media out by giving them the facts to counter Haas' ass-covering spin, misleads, red-herrings and bald-faced lies."

And so, without further ado ... after the fold you will find extended excerpts and some commentary from your lowly and nearly frozen guest-blogger.

And please also read Brad's post on the subject, if you haven't done so already.

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

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The Top Three (Latest) Spin/Lies of the San Diego County Registrar of Voters
By Brad Friedman on 7/19/2006 2:05pm PT  

I'm getting ready to go out of town for a bit, and will need to rely on 6 or 7 of you to help keep San Diego County Registrar Mikel Haas' misleading statements and out-and-out lies from making their way into "conventional wisdom".

He's working hard to cover his ass right now in regard to his horrendous administration of the June 6th U.S. House special election between Francine Busby and Brian Bilbray, in which he allowed programmed, hackable, election-ready Diebold electronic voting machines to become effectively decertified (at both the state and federal level) when he sent them home with poll workers for days and weeks prior to the election. As he well knows, that means he allowed illegal votes to be cast on those decertified voting machines used across the entire California 50th congressional district.

There are loads of articles on all of this today in the San Diego papers and on the local television news websites. That's all good, in general, even though the reporters continue to allow Haas to pass on his knowing obfuscations, and the media is usually too lazy or ill-informed to bother to call him on it. So that's your job now! Especially while I'm otherwise on and off the grid over the next several weeks trying to sneak in some much needed R&R.

(On that note, I'm leaving ASAP, but am scheduled to appear live tomorrow night on Catherine Crier's CourtTV show at 5pm ET. Probably will have to do it from Vegas, where I'll be nearby. Currently RFK Jr. is booked along with me on tomorrow's show.)

So, very quickly before I scram, here are are Mikel Haas' top three spins, lies and misleads of late that he's shoveling out to media, as witnessed in coverage over just the past 24 hours on San Diego's Channel 8, Channel 10, the North County Times and the San Diego Union-Tribune, just to name a few. (Channel 10 and the U-T story had the worst of them)

Please help such media out by giving them the facts to counter Haas' ass-covering spin, misleads, red-herrings and bald-faced lies. Here are his latest Top Three most dangerous, disingenuous and misleading whoppers...

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

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Matthew Cardinale writes: 'The McKinney Campaign says they have documented complaints of voters here in Georgia whose votes FLIPPED BEFORE THEIR VERY EYES on Diebold machines.'
McKinney: 'Just Repeating A Lie Doesn't Make It True'
By Winter Patriot on 7/19/2006 12:37pm PT  

Guest blogged by Winter Patriot

The Atlanta Progressive News has published a long article about a situation we were very interested in yesterday, which otherwise seems poised to fall off the map. How curious!

The APN piece is called Machine Vote-Flipping Claimed in McKinney Primary and I have found it on the net in a very few places. But I can't find any other news about this story on at all. Anywhere. Even the "McKinney for Congress" website is quiet --- it hasn't been updated since yesterday afternoon as far as I can tell.

In the interests of getting this story a bit more exposure, we provide not only a link to it (above) but we will also post generous excerpts below the fold.

By the way, according to the "official" results of the election, McKinney got more votes than any of the other candidates, but not a majority, and she will have to go through a run-off against her most successful opponent, Hank Johnson, to whom votes were being flipped yesterday according to the reports we have received.

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

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(And a Quick Hit on Ed Schultz with the Great Jim Lampley)
By Brad Friedman on 7/18/2006 11:12pm PT  

Just off the air from the Mike Malloy show. And yes, before I came on he did comment that when touched the screen of the Diebold voting machine he used to vote in today's Georgia primary, it was touching the ass of Satan. If you missed it, his interview with me follows. It was a lively one. We discussed trouble at the Georgia primaries, the Busby/Bilbray sleepover mess, Diebold skullduggery in the California Secretary of State's office, and all manners of democracy crumbling.

He asked me to stay over for an additional segment after the top of the hour, when we had a....skeptic call in from Sacramento who believes I'm "a phony." Which is always fun, of course. Glad to meet the critics. Enjoy...

-- Brad on Mike Malloy Show, 7/18/06 [MP3, appx 40 mins]

Also, I had meant to post this a couple of weeks ago, so will take the opportunity to do so now before I hit the road for the next bunch of weeks and may become scarcer than I'd like (but I really need a break. Big time. So please forgive me) This is audio from the Ed Schultz when NBC/HBO sports anchor Jim Lampley was sitting in for Schultz show a day or two after our Emergency Busby/Bilbray Townhall in San Diego. I'm on with him for just a quick few minutes, but he gave one of the kindest and most generous introductions I've ever received. Lampley is a terrific hero himself, and was kind enough to show up to support us at the San Diego event with his wife Bree Walker (whose new show in Los Angeles, I hope to be doing soon as well. Like Lamps, she's aces!)

-- Brad on Ed Schultz Show, Guest Host Jim Lampley, 6/30/06 [MP3, appx 5 mins]

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Victory for Filers of Complaint, Loss for State Who Had Hoped to Kick the Case Up to the Feds...
By John Gideon on 7/18/2006 6:19pm PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon...

Just reported by VoterAction.org, the great group led by attorney Lowell Finley, is that a US District Court Judge has sent the lawsuit, Holder v. McPherson et. al. back to state court. This is a victory for the voters of the state of California and is the first giant step in stopping the use of Diebold touch-screen voting machines in the state. VoterAction's press release follows in full...

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

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Calls for a Legislative Ban on the Practice
Local Media Report Actually Fact Checks Several of County Registrar Mikel Haas' Obfuscations!
By Brad Friedman on 7/18/2006 3:20pm PT  

The local media, in this case the North County Times looks to finally be getting the story right, and is attempting to hold San Diego County Registrar Mikel Haas accountable for his prevarications concerning the Diebold voting machine "sleepovers" that violated new state and federal laws and security requirements during the now-disputed June 6th U.S. House special election between Francine Busby and Brian Bilbray in California's 50th congressional district.

San Diego County's Democratic Party Chair, Jess Durfee is joining the growing calls for accountability in the matter, according to this morning's Times by calling for hearings on the matter and new legislation to ban the procedure known as "Sleepovers" where poll workers are given programmed, election-ready, hackable voting machines to store in their homes, cars and garages for days and weeks prior to the election. It's been shown that these machines, both Diebold's optical-scan and touch-screen voting systems, are exceedingly vulnerable to tampering and can be hacked within a few minutes time with no password necessary.

Previously, dozens of organizations and thousands of individuals have declared "No Confidence" in the results of the "bellwether" election and had demanded hand counts of all ballots after Haas' security breaches resulted in the use of decertified voting machines, and thus, illegal votes were cast on them across the entire county. Last Friday, the national Democratic Party joined the call in demanding accountability and a full manual count of all ballots in the race.

See the Times report for more details, a statement from state Senator Debra Bowen, and attempted obfuscations from Haas, but here's the opening grafs and one misdirect that Haas was allowed to get away with...

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

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Problems with Diebold's Paperless Touch-Screen Systems Reported Immediately As Polls Open This Morning...
[NOW INCLUDING SEVERAL UPDATES FROM MCKINNEY ET AL]
By Winter Patriot on 7/18/2006 12:23pm PT  

Guest blogged by Winter Patriot

According to sources in the Cynthia McKinney camp, Georgia voters attempting to vote for her in today's Democratic Primary are seeing their votes flipped to her opponent, Hank Johnson.

McKinney has a well-deserved reputation for speaking truth to power, asking tough questions, and not backing down (see this video, or read this transcript).

Diebold, on the other hand, has a history of touch-screen machines flipping votes from one candidate to another --- commonly called "vote-switching" or "vote-flipping" --- and otherwise failing altogether.

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

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By Joy Williams on 7/18/2006 6:17am PT  

An Exclusive Interview for The BRAD BLOG as Guest Blogged by Joy and Tom Williams...

"The Republican Party, the Republican National Committee, has been using old-fashioned, Jim Crow, apartheid-type maneuvers to steal the last two national elections."
-- Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.

Recently, Robert F. Kennedy Jr., (bio) , wrote the article: "Was the 2004 Election Stolen" where he examined the election fraud in Ohio that took place during the last Presidential Election. He also has written a book "Crimes Against Nature: How George W. Bush & His Corporate Pals Are Plundering the Country and Hijacking our Democracy". Mr. Kennedy, along with Mike Papantonio have filed a "qui tam" lawsuit against some of the voting machines companies, in an effort to save our Democracy.

I've long had a deep respect for Robert F. Kennedy for his dedicated work as an environmental advocate. Tom and I enjoyed interviewing him and were moved by his passion and dedication to our country and our Democracy. We spoke to him via phone at his office at Pace University's Environmental Litigation Clinic in White Plains, New York, which he founded, about the election of 2004. This was an experience to remember...

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

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Denounces Adminstrative Failures, Irregularities, Security Breaches and Diebold Voting Machine 'Sleepovers' in Bellwether June 6th U.S. House Special Election!
Announcement Comes as DNC Chair Howard Dean Set to Address Activist, Election Integrity Convention in San Diego!
By Brad Friedman on 7/14/2006 11:49am PT  


Filed by Brad Friedman from San Diego...

In a harshly worded statement, the DNC's Voting Rights Institute has issued a statement condemning the administration of the recent U.S. House race between Democrat Francine Busby and Republican Brian Bilbray, joining a growing national outcry in calling for "a swift and verifiable 'manual count' of all 150,000 ballots cast in California's 50th District's 'bellwether' June 6th special election."

"This is no longer about whether or not Busby or Bilbray won the election on June 6th," the just-issued statement reads. "This is about the importance of verifying the facts related to election and voting machine irregularities in this race and the need to ensure an accurate count of all votes cast in this election so that the electorate may have confidence in the announced results in future elections."

The long-awaited announcement of a position on the matter by the DNC comes at the end of more than a month of outrage from both national and state election integrity organizations, many of whom have declared "No Confidence" in the reported results of the race held to replace jailed Republican Congressman Randy "Duke" Cunningham. Bilbray declared himself the winner on election night, and was sworn into office several days later, before all votes had been counted, and nearly three weeks prior to the election being certified by either state or county officials.

Massive security breaches were reported the day after the election, in regard to the deployment of the county's Diebold optical-scan and touch-screen voting machines as directed by San Diego County Registrar of Voters, Mikel Haas. The progammed, election-ready voting machines, poll workers have informed The BRAD BLOG, were stored unsecurely in home garages and cars, which Haas has admitted to us would "not be considered secure" in an earlier interview. Due to the presumed-contamination of the extremely hackable voting systems used in the race --- as allowed via the lengthy, unsupervised "sleepovers" in the days and weeks prior to the election --- nobody, even the Registrar's office, has been able to prove the accuracy of the results as announced by Haas.

CNN's Lou Dobbs, CourtTV's Catherine Crier, Tribune Media's Robert Koehler and the far-right conservative Rush Limbaugh fill-in host, Bilbray supporter and San Diego radio personality Rodger Hedgecock have been amongst the mainstream media figures to report on the debacle, decrying the security breaches in the election.

Hedgecock recently excoriated the way in which the electronic voting machines were used in the election, exclaiming on-air: "We now have allowed a system of counting our votes to be presented to us as a system that does it accurately, when it has manifestly been proven that it can be monkeyed with…and the results tampered!"

Today's statement, posted by Greg Moore, Director of the DNC's Voting Rights Institute --- citing "election irregularities" and several points of "new and disturbing information" concerning the mis-administration of the election --- was issued this morning as DNC Chairman Howard Dean heads down to speak at DemocracyFest!, a grassroots activist gathering being held this weekend in San Diego.

'Very Deep Concerns' About Security and the Administration of the Election...

"Very deep concerns" are enumerated in the announcement, describing several of the problems found so far in the special election on which The BRAD BLOG has been reporting almost exclusively since June 6th, when we first revealed that the programmed, election-ready Diebold optical-scan and touch-screen voting systems used in the race were inappropriately sent home with poll workers before the election. The security breaches that occurred during those so-called "sleepovers" were in violation of new state and federal rules, laws and provisions issued in the last few months after recent discoveries confirmed dozens of extreme security flaws in the Diebold voting systems, confirming them to be exceptionally vulnerable to tampering.

Upon violation of the new federal and California state emergency security mitigation requirements, as issued in February and March of this year, the voting machines were effectively and immediately decertified and illegal for use in the election, according to provisions spelled out by both authorities.

The vulnerabilities in the particular Diebold systems used in the election, as referenced in the DNC statement, include: on the touch-screen systems, the ability to completely replace the election and operating system software, as well as the computer firmware in less than two minutes time with no password required or authentication by the system; on the optical-scan systems, the ability to hack the memory cards used to store vote tabulation which may result in a complete reversal of election results, as demonstrated by hackers during a mock-election test held at the end of last year in Leon County, Florida. Such a hack on the optical-scan systems could be accomplished without a trace being left behind, save for a manual count of the paper ballots used in the race.

Indeed, in the recent Iowa primary elections, held on the same day as the California CA-50 election, as many as nine Republican races had their results reversed after a manual hand count of optically-scanned ballots revealed that the original machine count had declared the actual winners to have been losers in their races. Only a hand count would have revealed the erroneous totals.

San Diego County Registrar Haas has stymied the effort by citizen election integrity advocates in San Diego to have the ballots in the Busby/Bilbray race counted by hand.

The election was the first federal race to have been run in the country since the new security mitigation requirements were mandated by the National Association of State Election Directors (NASED), the body tasked the U.S. Elections Assistance Commission as the federal voting machine certification body.

'A Single Person Can Reverse the Results of An Election'

Further underscoring the dangers of allowing unsupervised physical access to the systems is a landmark report released just weeks ago by NYU's Brennan Center for Justice, detailing more than 120 security threats to e-voting systems. That study, widely reported by mainstream media outlets, led to a recent Washington Post article headlined "Single Person Could Swing an Election." The Brennan Center study picked up, in turn, on another recent study by computer scientist Harri Hursti and Security Innovation in March, revealing vulnerabilities that have been described by several experts as a "major national security risk" and "the most severe security flaw ever discovered in a voting system." Those discoveries occurred during another landmark analysis of Diebold systems conducted by BlackBoxVoting.org in Emery County, Utah just two months prior to the election.

After the results of that examination were released, one of the leading computer scientists on the California Secretary of State's own voting systems technology advisory board, David Jefferson of Livermore National Laboratories, explained during an interview on the PBS News Hour : "You can affect multiple machines from a single attack. That's what makes it so dangerous." Jefferson was part of the team who advised the CA SoS on the new security mitigation requirements, which were then ignored by Registrar Haas' voting machine "sleepovers".

Demands for a Manual Hand Count Stymied by Registrar

Dozens of election integrity organizations, including California Election Protection Network, Progressive Democrats of America, Election Defense Alliance, the Commonweal Institute, VelvetRevolution.us and many others, along with several candidates and journalists have previously called for a hand count of the paper ballots and "paper trails" in the Busby/Bilbray race to ensure accuracy and accountability in the election.

A request to hand count the ballots was filed by CA-50 voter Barbara Gail Jacobson, but was eventually stonewalled by Haas, who refused to commit to the production of chain of custody documents for ballots and voting machines. Haas also set what appeared to be wholly arbitrary charges for the requested hand count, quoting three different estimates to three different inquiries. His final estimate, as given to the hand-count requester, was for as much as $150,000 to count the election. The price of nearly $1 per vote is in contrast to neighboring Orange County, CA who recently charged just .14 cents per vote to hand count an election. Haas has refused to offer any accounting or explanation for the exorbitant and prohibitive pricing.

A public record request from Jacobson for the results of the state mandated 1% manual audit of ballots has also not been supplied. As of this date, we are unaware of anyone having seen the results of that mandated audit.

The Fight for Accountability Continues...

As citizens organizing to fight for accountability in the race are collecting donations towards the effort at VelvetRevolution.us, they are weighing the legal options in consideration of the next step which will certainly be expensive.

After weeks of frustration, waiting for national organizations such as the DNC and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) to weigh in on the matter, the DNC's announcement will likely bring encouragement to the election integrity advocates (including The BRAD BLOG. The DCCC, we have learned from several sources, had advised Busby to stay away from discussion of electronic voting machine issues prior to the election, and has still failed to comment publicly on the matter.

This morning's statement by Greg Moore, Director of the DNC's Voting Rights Institute, is posted at the National Democratic Party website, and also posted below in full...

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

ReddIt this story!



Live Air America Broadcast from Heart of U.S. House Special Election Controversy Interrupted by Shouts, Jeers, Cheers from Audience of Activists in Attendance!
By Brad Friedman on 7/14/2006 11:30am PT  

Filed by Brad Friedman in San Diego...

As I standby in a hotel room in San Diego, near the DemcoracyFest! venue, to hopefully post some big breaking news momentarily, Al Franken is broadcasting his show from the site.

In a discussion moments ago with reporter Ruben Navarette, the previously quiet crowd gathered at the live broadcast broke into boos and disapproving shouts when the interview, led by Franken, implied that "Busby had lost" the recent special U.S. House Election in California's 50th district due to a "gaffe" made prior to the election.

Audience members erupted in applause when it was mentioned that "some believe the election was not run cleanly." Franken and his guest regarded the election as legitimate, which led to boos and protests from the crowd who became unruly during the discussion, rejecting the announced results that "Bilbray won the election."

Navarette was also booed when he implied that George W. Bush "beat" Al Gore in 2000. Event organizers had encouraged Franken to invite me to speak during today's live broadcast, taking place smack dab in the middle of the country's largest election controversy prior to the November general election right here in San Diego. Franken, instead chose to have Navarette to discuss Election Integrity in Mexico and elsewhere, along with a rep from Common Cause New Mexico to discuss other election issues.

UPDATE: As Franken was going off the air, the DNC issued a statement calling for a manual count in the Busby/Bilbray race due to the security breaches via voting machine "sleepovers" and other "election irregularities". That BREAKING STORY IS HERE...

CORRECTION: Franken's guest during the segment described above was apparently Ruben Navarette of the Washington Post/San Diego Tribune, as opposed to a guest from Common Cause New Mexico as we had originally reported. The guest from Common Cause was on the show after Navarette.

UPDATE AND IMPORTANT CLARIFICATION 7/15/06 12:50am PT: ...

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

ReddIt this story!



Plus Contact Info for Mikel Haas...
By Brad Friedman on 7/13/2006 4:23pm PT  

Barbara Gail Jacobson, the hand count request in the Busby/Bilbray election was on the Thom Hartmann Program this morning, and Thom was kind enough to send us the audio file. She speaks about much of what we discussed in our report earlier today regarding the stonewalling from San Diego County Registrar of Voters Mikel Haas.

As I've got to get outta here and down to San Diego for the DemocracyFest! I don't have time to say much more for now, so please review that article if you have any questions about this.

-- Barbara Gail Jacobson on the Thom Hartman Program, 7/13/06 [MP3, about 5 minutes]

As well, a few folks have asked about contact info for Haas. Here it is:

Mikel Haas, Registrar of Voters
5201 Ruffin Road, Suite I
San Diego, CA 92123
P O Box 85656
San Diego, CA 92186-5656
1-800-696-0136 (858) 565-5800
(858) 694-2955 Fax
Hours 8:00am - 5:00pm
E-mail: rovmail@sdcounty.ca.gov
Website: www.sdvote.com

ReddIt this story!



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