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Latest Featured Reports | Friday, November 21, 2014
'Green News Report' 11/20/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
Record-breaking storm breaks Buffalo; October 2014 hottest October on record; Sorry, Repubs: China to cap coal use by 2020; PLUS: Obama doubles down on climate foreign policy...
Previous GNRs: 11/18/14 - 11/13/14 - Archives...
Extreme Weather? What Extreme Weather?
Yes, scientists have been warning us about this for years. And, yes, the record breaking storm in Buffalo is tied to global warming...
We're #26! Harvard 'Electoral Integrity' Report Dings U.S.
'World's Greatest Democracy' rated worst among Western nations; Ranked just below Micronesia, just above Mexico in overall list...
Gag Order Won't Ensure Impartial Jury in Trial of 'Dark Lord of Coal Country'
WV's criminally indicted coal boss and U.S. Chamber of Comm. director Don Blankeship presents challenge for federal prosecutors...
Oxford English Dictionary's 2014 Word of the Year: 'Vape'
That small point likely underscores some very encouraging news for the health of the world...
'Green News Report' 11/18/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
US Senate fails to approve Keystone XL; Can Congress override the Prez next year?; Native Americans: KXL is 'an act of war'; PLUS: Accountability for 'The Dark Lord of Coal'...
Previous GNRs: 11/13/14 - 11/11/14 - Archives...
Sanders on Colbert: Midterms a Vote Against Both Parties
For those mad at us for asserting 'not voting IS a vote', look who just said the same thing...
Exclusive: St. Louis County Was Warned Before Election Paper Ballots Would Run Out
Email obtained by BRAD BLOG reveals County's top election official ignored warnings from election experts, leading to shortages...
Not Voting IS a Vote
Stop blaming those who didn't turn out. Americans did vote. By not turning out, they voted against the two major parties and against the system as a whole. It may have been a dumb vote, but it was a landslide...
Stephen Colbert is Really REALLY Funny
That's not a news flash, but, as this segment makes clear once again, it's very very sad that The Colbert Report is soon going away...
'Green News Report' 11/13/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
Historic US-China climate agreement: The deal Repubs said couldn't be done; New hope for int'l climate treaty; Repubs freak out; Scientists say deal not enough, but a very good start...
Previous GNRs: 11/11/14 - 11/6/14 - Archives...
Crucial Moment for the FCC and 'Net Neutrality'
Will the Democratic majority commissioners support the President's clarion call and thwart GOP opposition to an open Internet?...
Brad on Thom Hartmann TV: More Election 2014 Mess
On thousands of 'missing' votes in Wisconsin, on Nate Silver and polls vs. 'results', on Rightwing 'True the Vote' voter fraud fraudsters, and on much more...
'Green News Report' 11/11/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
'Science has spoken': Final UN report - bad, good & room for hope; PLUS: Margaret Thatcher's historic climate change speech - when conservatives accepted science ...
Previous GNRs: 11/6/14 - 10/30/14 - Archives...
IN MEMORIAM:
Tomas Young, 1979-2014
On Veterans Day, we're sad to report that America has lost another casualty of the War on Iraq -- one who, after first meeting and interviewing him in 2005, we will never forget...
Early Data Suggests TX GOP Photo ID Restrictions 'Worked'
Provisional ballots doubled and turnout was down by more than a quarter-million voters, despite larger population, contested governor's race and increased voter registration...
WI Scanner Fails To Tally Thousands of Votes in 'Citizens United' Referendum
'Programming error' blamed for popular paper ballot computer tabulator recording just 16 of 5,350 votes cast in city of Stoughton, WI...
The Results Were Skewed Toward Republicans: A Response to Nate Silver
The statistics guru unhelpfully explains away mid-term's surprising outcome by presuming pre-election polling was wrong and unverified election results were all correct...
'True the Vote' Group Fails to Find 'Voter Fraud' (Again)
Laughingstock RW org's 'army' of monitors and smart phone app uncover just 18 benign 'irregularities', 0 cases of polling place impersonation...
'Green News Report' 11/6/14
Election 2014-pocalypse: Republican hegemonic hellscape!; Climate deniers now in charge; PLUS: At least one note of very good environmental election news...
About Last Night: KPFK 'BradCast'
Guest Matthew Segal of OurTime.org joins Brad to discuss whether young voters are to blame for Tuesday's election results and, if not them, then who...or what...
Day After...
Important re-re-re-reminder about when it is that probs in elections usually come to light, and a few more Election Day prob reports out of VA, NC, MI, IN & CT...
Reuters: Voting Probs Around Nation, 2,000 Missing Election Judges in Chicago
Wire service summarizes machine probs, Photo ID vote suppression and a really strange story out of Chicago...
Paper Ballots Ran Out in Ferguson, MO
Long lines at e-voting systems as St. Louis County offers both touch-screens and paper ballots. County said printing more ballots throughout day, night...
Electronic Voter ID System Fails in FL
Failure results in emergency court filing by state Democrats as Gubernatorial race between Charlie Crist and Rick Scott is deadlocked in Sunshine State...
AR Voters Illegally Asked for Photo ID
Arkansas Times reports some poll workers attempting to enforce GOP Photo ID restriction found by state Supreme Court to violate constitutional 'right to vote'...
Round-up of Reported Election Failures (So Far) in CT, NC, GA, TX, AL
'Serious problems' reported at the polls in a number of states. Here is a quick summary of just a few of them...
Touch-Screen Votes Flip in VA [VIDEO]
RWers finally become 'believers' in those 'liberal conspiracy theories' about votes flipping on 100% unverifiable voting systems...now that it affects them...
AL Bars Use of Public Housing IDs for Voting
Last minute change of rules may further disenfranchise (certain) voters in state where bloody civil rights march gave rise to the Voting Rights Act in 1965...
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...


State Senator Outraged, Says Machines, Certification Violates State, Federal Standards and Law...
SoS' Own Report Agrees! McPherson Waits Until 5pm Friday of Holiday Weekend to Announce! [UPDATED WITH MUCH MORE INFO...]
By John Gideon on 2/17/2006 6:29pm PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon (with some additional updates/info from Brad)

Updated with much more information...

Secretary of State McPherson seems to have a thing for making major announcements late on Fridays just before holidays. Following in what seems to be a pattern of his, he announced late this afternoon that he was certifying Diebold Optical Scan and AccuVote TSx (touch-screens) for use in elections in the state.

The re-certification (they had been originally decertified in California in 2004 when it was revealed Diebold had installed illegal software updates on the machines) is conditional on some items but not on the one thing point he had announced last December when he sent the system back to federal authorities for further testing. At that time he said he was sending the machine's memory cards to the federal Independent Testing Authority (ITA) Lab for reinspection in light of the news out of Leon County, Florida that the cards used "intepreted code" which is specifically banned by the Help America Vote Act (HAVA). A "hack test" in that county revealed that an entirely election could have its results flipped by a hacker exploiting that "interpreted code" --- without a trace being left behind.

McPherson made his announcement today without waiting to hear back from the ITA lab.

Last summer, after a massive mock election test with Diebold touch-screen machines revealed that 10% of them failed entirely with screens freezing and printers jamming --- later reports would reveal that as many as 30% of the machines actually failed! --- McPherson said, "We certainly can't take any kind of risk like that with this kind of device on California voters."

Apparently the Secretary of State of America's largest "voting market," as Diebold refers to it, was just kidding about that.

State Senator Debra Bowen, (D-Redondo Beach), the chairwoman of the Senate Elections, Reapportionment, & Constitutional Amendments Committee issued the following Press Release after learning of McPherson's remarkable decision.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Evan Goldberg (###) ###-4028/(###) ###-9176

February 17, 2006

BOWEN ON SECRETARY OF STATE'S DECISION TO RE-CERTIFY DIEBOLD MACHINES FOR USE IN CALIFORNIA

SACRAMENTO ? "How the Secretary can re-certify the Diebold machines when they don't comply with California law, they violate the standards set by the Election Assistance Commission (EAC) that the Secretary said he intended to follow, and he still doesn't have the report back from the ITAs that he said he was waiting for is beyond me."

That's how Senator Debra Bowen (D-Redondo Beach), the chairwoman of the Senate Elections, Reapportionment, & Constitutional Amendments Committee, reacted to today's decision by the Secretary of State to re-certify Diebold's electronic voting machines for the 2006 elections.

"Last December, the Secretary announced with great fanfare that he was sending the Diebold machines back for review by the Independent Testing Authorities (ITAs) because the memory cards those machines rely on hadn't been reviewed," continued Bowen. "Now, contrary to what he said two months ago, he's approving the Diebold machines without waiting for the report from the ITAs. Instead, he's basing his decision on a supposedly 'independent state audit' that no one has seen before today. There's a March 1 public hearing for four other voting machine vendors before their machines can be certified for use in California, so what was the rush to certify Diebold and side-step a public hearing on this issue?"

Seventeen California counties rely on the Diebold optical scan machines and a number of other counties have bought or are planning to buy the Diebold TSx touch-screen machines to use in the 2006 elections in order to comply with the federal Help America Vote Act (HAVA). The Secretary's decision is only good for the 2006 elections and comes with a number of conditions.

"In August, the Secretary said any machine approved in California would have to comply with all federal standards and regulations, yet the EAC bans machines that contain interpreted code and these Diebold machines rely on that type of code to operate, so he's gone back on that commitment," continued Bowen. "In December, he said he'd wait for a report from the ITAs before acting on the Diebold re-certification request, yet now he's re-certified the Diebold machines without hearing from the ITAs. He says he's acting based on the recommendations of an 'independent state audit' that came out on Tuesday, but the California State Auditor hasn't issued any reports on this issue and hasn't been asked to do a report. Asking a board appointed by the Secretary to make recommendations doesn't constitute an 'independent state audit' in my book.

"The other thing that no one has mentioned is the fact that the Diebold machines don't comply with the state's paper trail law because they don't provide blind or visually impaired voters with a 'read-back' of what the paper trail recorded, they only read back what the machine recorded electronically," noted Bowen. "That's not what the law requires, yet the Secretary has decided to go ahead and approve these machines for use anyway. If the Secretary wants to say he's changing his mind and lowering the safeguards California voters are entitled to have to ensure their votes are accurately counted, that's certainly his decision to make, but saying these Diebold machines comply with state law and with all federal regulations and requirements simply isn't accurate."

Under Elections Code Sections 19250 and 19251, all direct recording electronic (DRE) voting systems have to come with an accessible voter verified paper audit trail (AVVPAT). The AVVPAT must be "provided or conveyed to voters via both a visual and a nonvisual method, such as through an audio component." The Diebold TSx doesn't contain that feature, therefore making the AVVPAT that all DREs are required to have as of January 1, 2006, useless for blind or visually-impaired voters.

###

VOTING SYSTEMS HEARINGS, MARCH 1:
Also of note is the announcement of public hearings (as mentioned in Bowen's release) persuant to the certification of various voting systems, many of which are still not federally qualified. This announcement is not accompanied by any of the test reports necessary for citizens to go to this hearing with any knowledge of what the state found in their testing. Perhaps this is because none of these systems have been tested by the state yet?

...DEVELOPING...MUCH MORE BELOW...UPDATES, ACTION ITEMS, ADDITIONAL INFO...

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

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Waives 'Proprietary Rights' to Public Voting Data Files...Though Reserves the Right to 'Manipulate the Data' Before Release!
PLUS: CEO Swidarski Works the AP PR Rope Line and Suggests Diebold's Election Division May Be For Sale, While Both AP and 'USA Today' Get the Story Wrong --- Again --- in Their Continuing Efforts on Behalf of America's Electronic Voting Machine Companies...
By Brad Friedman on 2/7/2006 2:47pm PT  

Good news (perhaps) regarding our previous story on Diebold's refusal to allow the voters of Alaska to look at their own voting data since the Electronic Voting Machine vendor claimed the file format of their GEMS tabulation software was a "company secret" in their contract with the state.

But now, according to a letter from Alaska's Election Officials, published at BlackBoxVoting.org from Alaska's election authorities, "Diebold has agreed to waive its proprietary rights to the GEMS database files."

That apparent capitulation by the Voting Machine Company may set a precedent with wider implications for other states and counties seeking access to such data and other forms of transparency in public elections. See the BBV link above for more thoughts on some of the possibilities.

That said, there is still reason to be cautious about this news for a number of reasons. Note the following --- almost incredible wording --- from the published letter [emphasis ours]...

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

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Contract with State said to Bar Release of 'Company Secrets' Such as Records of Who Citizens Actually Voted For
Democratic Official: 'It's impossible to say whether the correct candidates were declared the winner in all Alaska races from 2004'
By Brad Friedman on 1/24/2006 2:39pm PT  

In just one more story which illustrates the many undemocratic dangers of allowing private companies to "own" our public elections, Diebold, Inc., one of America's largest Voting Machine Companies is currently blocking citizens in Alaska from viewing election data from the 2004 general election!

"All Alaska races from 2004" are now being questioned, said a Democratic party official in a written letter to the state Elections Director.

Questions have begun to arise about results from that 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 BRAD BLOG has obtained a copy of the letter sent yesterday by Jake Metcalfe, chair of the Alaska Democratic Party to Whitney Brewster of the Alaska Division of Elections. The letter responds to Brewster's refusal to supply the party with the requested data files and outlines a number of additional concerns about the reported 2004 election results.

The complete letter is available for download here [PDF].

Anchorage Daily News covers the emerging controversy today. Some highlights here [emphasis ours]:

The state Division of Elections has refused to turn over its electronic voting files to the Democrats, arguing that the data format belongs to a private company and can't be made public.

The Alaska Democratic Party says the information is a public record essential for verifying the accuracy of the 2004 general election and must be provided.

The official vote results from the last general election are riddled with discrepancies and impossible for the public to make sense of, the Democrats said Monday. A detailed analysis of the underlying data could answer lingering questions about an election many thought was over more than a year ago, they say.
...
At this point, it's impossible to say whether the correct candidates were declared the winner in all Alaska races from 2004, [Democratic spokeswoman, Kay] Brown said.

The private contractor hired to provide Alaska's electronic voting machines is Diebold Election Systems.
...
Diebold told the state it owns the format, which can't be released because it's a company secret.
...
[U]nder the state's contract with Diebold, that cannot be released, Brewster said.

Never mind, of course, that Diebold's "company secret" has been available for download from the Internet for years, since the company --- who claims to specialize in security solutions --- left the information sitting unprotected on a public download site.

The full story is here...

(Hat tip to our friend Peter B. Collins of KRXA 540-am in Monterey, CA for the lead!)

* * *

UPDATE 2/7/06: Alaska capitulates...sort of. Details now here...

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The Dots Connect Between Abramoff, Ohio 2004 Election Smokescreen and Ney's Former Staffer Revealed to be on Diebold's Payroll While Working for White House Law Firm
All the While as HAVA --- America's 'Election Reform' Bill --- is Used for Political Payoff in the Bargain...
By Brad Friedman on 1/10/2006 11:21am PT  

There's been a great deal of speculation over the last several days, particularly in the light of Jack Abramoff's recent guilty pleas, concerning the connection of Congressman Bob Ney (R-OH) to Election Fraud in Ohio, vis a vis his stewardship and authoring of the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) back in 2001 and 2002. The heavy-handed tactics he has taken since, in order to keep the flawed act from being changed in any way over the years, along with going to great lengths to keep the nation's eyes off of massive electile dysfunction in Ohio and elsewhere since 2004, may finally get the attention it all properly deserves.

Both Abramoff and his partner Michael Scanlon have directly informed prosecutors of Ney's alleged wrong-doing in regard to money and gifts given to Ney, in apparent exchange for support on various legislation and even personal business deals. Ney, who chairs the important U.S. House Administration Committee, has been fingered, and now subpoenaed, for accepting illegal trips, gratuities and other apparent quid pro quo deals with Abramoff's former firms, partners, friends and groups who had paid both him and Scanlon as lobbyists.

His direct connection to the HAVA Election Reform bill passed in the wake of the 2000 Florida Election Debacle, and his various extraordinary efforts to specifically block amendments to the bill and to smokescreen attempted investigations into his home state's conduct during the 2004 Election Debacle, has been less widely reported. Until now.

While Common Cause quietly reported in December of 2004 that Diebold --- the much-beleagured-of-late American Voting Machine company --- paid as much as $275,000 to Abramoff's firm, Greenberg Traurig for lobbying work, The BRAD BLOG has now found additional details that begin to shed new light on Ney's personal connections to Diebold lobbyists.

Such personal connections include those with Ney's former chief of staff turned lobbyist, David DiStefano, who has been working on behalf of Diebold, Inc. and at least one other Voting Machine Company as a registered lobbyist in the House going back to at least 2001. One of DiStefano's online bios crows about his having "an insider's edge to hard-to-reach political officials." That "insider's edge" has proven to have been a very worthwhile investment for the Voting Machine Companies who'd purchased access into Ney's political office.

Congressional lobbying records reveal that Diebold, Inc. has paid at least $180,000 to DiStefano and eventually his partner, Roy C. Coffee, to lobby for the "Help America Vote Act" and other "Election Reform Issues" in Congress since 2003. Another Electronic Voting Machine Company, AccuPoll, Inc., also paid DiStefano some $70,000 to lobby for HAVA on their behalf in 2002, although that relationship was apparently terminated once the legislation was passed by Congress.

In turn, Ney's former employee DiStefano and Coffee themselves have given nearly $20,000 to Bob Ney's campaigns dating back to 2002.

The connections of DiStefano and Coffee don't stop at Congress, however. Both lobbyists now work out of the new Washington office of the Texas-based law firm of Lock, Liddell & Sapp LLP --- the firm of George W. Bush's White House Counsel Harriet Miers. And Coffee, himself, had previously worked as a senior aide to then-Governor Bush back in Texas.

In addition to lobbying in favor of Electronic Voting, DiStefano and Coffee were also paid thousands to lobby Ney on behalf of an obscure firm by the name of FN Aviation, which later became known as FAZ Aviation. FN/FAZ Aviation, the Columbus Dispatch reported last December, paid for Ney's 2003 trip to England. On that trip, Ney met at a casino with FN Aviation's director, Nigel Winfield, a three-time convicted felon, and Fouad al-Zayat, the Syrian-born head of FN Aviation. Zayat, as reported by NBC News, is known as "one of London's biggest gamblers."

As has also been reported by NBC and others, the apparently once-very lucky Ney reported winning some $34,000 a few months later at that same London casino, after an initial $100 bet "on two hands of a three-card game of chance," according to his spokesperson Brian Walsh. Ney, who coincidentally carried at least $30,000 in credit card debt in 2002, was fortunate to be able to report that the debt was paid off in full by the end of 2003.

The dots begin converging, however, in regard to both large campaign contributions and lobbying done by Ney's former chief of staff, DiStefano along with Coffee on behalf of both FN/FAZ Aviation and Diebold, Inc.

Ney was one of the original authors and lead co-sponsors of HAVA, and a fierce defender of both the act and the effort to keep further legislation from moving forward in Congress that would mandate Voter Verified Paper Ballots for electronic voting machines made by Diebold and other e-voting vendors.

In 2004, prior to the Presidential Election, Ney went so far as to send a "Dear Colleague" letter signed along with the other HAVA co-sponsors, to members of congress urging them not to amend the original legislation. He argued at the time that paper records on such machines would somehow disenfranchise disabled voters, who had been cleverly afforded a special provision in the bill which mandated at least one disabled-accessable device in every voting precinct in the country. That device, of course, would be a paperless touch-screen electronic voting machine, like the ones made by Diebold, which, legislators, vendors and lobbyists would later proffer, were required to meet provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Ney had also personally gone out of his way to keep Rep. Rush Holt's (D-NJ) "Voter Confidence and Increased Accessibility Act" (HR 550), which would mandate paper records for all votes cast, from ever seeing the light of day in the House Administration Committee. That, despite Holt's bill having now nearly 160 bi-partisan co-sponsors. Ney has succeeded brilliantly at squashing Holt's bill, first proposed as HR 2239 back in 2003, as it continues to both gain co-sponsors and gather dust as the powerful Republican committee chair still refuses to allow it even to be brought up for hearings.

The American Prospect's Art Levine broke a superb exposé last May concerning Ney's alleged payoffs from a number of the Indian tribes that now-disgraced, once-uber-lobbyist Abramoff was representing in exchange for promises to support their hope for new gambling legislation back in 2002.

"Just met with Ney!!! We're f'ing gold!!!! He's going to do Tigua," wrote Abramoff to Scanlon in an Email, after Ney reportedly promised to add the Tribe's hoped-for legislation to HAVA while the bill was still pending.

Ney then told the tribes --- who had been instructed by Abramoff and Scanlon to give tens of thousands of dollars to his campaign and to pay for a $100,000 trip to play golf at St. Andrews in Scotland --- that he was working with the Democratic Senator from Connecticut, Chris Dodd, to add gambling language in HAVA that would be favorable to the tribes.

In reality, Dodd had rejected the idea early on in no uncertain terms, as Levine reports, but that didn't keep Ney from spinning tales to the tribal groups. He told them on several occassions, at least once personally, that things were moving smartly forward as he kept accepting more cash and gifts from them along the way.

Finally, when the HAVA legislation was passed, and the promised language was nowhere to be found, Ney informed the tribes that Dodd had reneged on the deal at the last minute.

That was, of course, not true, since Dodd had rejected the plan months earlier.

But as the spotlight of corruption has finally begun to shine bright and clear in the Mainstream Media onto Ney, renewed interest in his support and authorship of HAVA itself --- along with the connections between that legislation, chicanery in Ohio's Election, Abramoff and several other GOP operative and lobbying firms' merry band of pay-for-players --- are helping to bubble up towards the surface a few previously overlooked, but very important, details that may finally now receive the attention they always deserved from the Mainstream Media...

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

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Republican Jan Brewer's Re-Election Announcement Interrupted by Demonstrators
Activists Object to Her Recent Decision to Allow Unsecure, Hackable Diebold Voting Machines for Use in Virtually Every Arizona Precinct!
By Brad Friedman on 1/5/2006 4:38pm PT  

Perhaps it's a step up from "dissidents" as the AP once called them, but Election Transparency Advocates who turned out today at Arizona's Sec. of State Jan Brewer's speech to announce her re-election bid were labeled "anarchists" and "conspiracy theorists" by the woman who recently approved Diebold's flawed "AccuVote" touch-screen voting machines for use in virtually every precinct in the state.

During her speech today, according to the Arizona Star, "which boasted of the state getting rid of the last punch card ballots as part of her accomplishments since being elected in 2002 but one that never mentioned the Diebold contract" the Republican official in charge of ensuring free, fair and accurate elections in the state was repeatedly interrupted by advocates for transparent election who objected to the use of Diebold's failed machinery in the state.

Diebold's election equipment was recently shown to be hackable in a mock election test in Leon County, Florida, where the final results were completely flipped by computer security specialists. Over the summer, 20% of the same AccuVote touch-screen systems that Brewer approved on Friday, were found to have failed during a massive mock election test in California.

According to the Star, Brewer apparently dismissed the adamant concerns of the very voters she is (theoretically) in charge of serving:

Brewer, responding to media questions, called the noisy protesters "anarchists" and said they were off base.

"I don't think there is a problem with the Diebold equipment," she said. Brewer said a committee investigated the bids and the machines passed on the guidelines.

"I think that there are a lot of conspiracy theorists out there that are trying to blow this completely, totally out of proportion," she said.

In December of 2004, while members of several political parties had joined in challenging the results of Ohio's disastrously run Presidential Election, the Associated Press referred to those challengers who dared seek transparency in an utterly gamed election as "dissidents" which prompted one dubious American to reportedly ask at the time, "Great! So now we're dissidents?! What's next --- 'insurgents'?!"

No. Apparently "what's next" is that those who wish transparency and oversight and accountability in American democratic elections are now "anarchists." At least according to Arizona's shameful --- and hopefully out-going --- Secretary of State, Jan Brewer.

A useful thought for those considering running for the office of Secretary of State around the country: "It's the voters, stupid."

...CONTACT...
AZ SoS Email Contact Page: http://www.azsos.gov/info/contact_us.htm
AZ SoS Office: 602-542-4285

Campaign Website: JanBrewer.com
Campaign Email: info@janbrewer.com
Campaign Office: 602-439-3425

UPDATE 1/8/05: Brad was on Air America Phoenix today to discuss, amongst other things, the incident above on the M&M Show. The hosts, Fred and Steve McChesney, were amongst the "anarchists" and "conspiracy" --- and later called "brownshirts"! --- who made poor Jan Brewer's life so difficult. Audio available here.

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Citizen Activists, Increasing Concerns about Diebold Security, Company Integrity Said to Have Been Key to Decision!
ALSO: FOIA Requests Filed About Closed-Door Hearings, Concerns Emerge About ES&S, the Company Chosen Instead of Diebold, and a Diebold Lobbyist Reportedly Inquires About BRAD BLOG...And FAMILY!!!
By Brad Friedman on 12/22/2005 3:23pm PT  

Add St. Louis County, Missouri to the growing list of Elections Boards around the country who have now rejected Diebold, Inc. voting machines in the last-minute scramble to select new election hardware, prior to the Jan. 1, 2006 Help America Vote Act deadline to have such "upgrades" paid for with Federal tax dollars.

The bad news for the once-great, now-disgraced Diebold, Inc. (stock symbol: DBD) of North Canton, Ohio, comes as the latest blow in a long string of disappointments for the company, which last week saw the resignation of its CEO, the filing of several Class Action Securities Fraud lawsuits, and the devasting revelation that their voting machines can be easily hacked, allowing the results of Diebold elections to be completely reversed.

The loss of the contract in St. Louis County, who chose to go instead with Election Systems and Software, Inc. (ES&S), is estimated by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch to be at least $9.6 million.

The last minute decision came amid intense lobbying by both citizens' election integrity advocacy groups and paid Diebold lobbyists --- at least one of whom was reported to have inquired about both The BRAD BLOG itself and the financial background of the father of yours truly!

There are also growing concerns about the security of voting equipment sold by ES&S, as well, in light of various states and counties around the country selecting them, instead of Diebold, as the contractor to privatize their public elections.

The County's decision to go with ES&S, instead of Diebold, comes just days after the City of St. Louis (distinct from the county) decided unanimously to go with Diebold. The City's decision occurred even after Diebold's machines were exposed as completely insecure in a so-called "hack test" in Leon County, Florida that resulted in the tally of a test election being completely reversed. A few days later Volusia County, Florida decided against Diebold, and shortly thereafter the State of California "punted" the issue, for now, back to the Feds, stating there were "unresolved significant security concerns" with Diebold's voting machines. The California decision, though not yet definitive, is undoubtedly one of the biggest blows for Diebold, since it is regarded by the company as America's largest "voting market."

The City of St. Louis may come to regret their decision as much as they eventually came to regret allowing the County to split off from it, back in the days when the County was sparsely populated and seen as draining tax dollars from the City. Today, St. Louis County's population is over 1 million, while the City continues to stagnate at a population of just over 300 thousand.

According to reports from both grassroots organization Missourians for Honest Elections and Jo Mannies of The Post, information and concerns about about the latest failures of Diebold voting machines, brought to the County's Board of Election by citizens, was crucial to the BoE's decision. As reported by Mannies in a story on The Post website last night:

Board member Anita Yeckel acknowledged that the controversy surrounding one of the contenders, Diebold Election Systems, was a factor in her decision.

"There was a lot of publicity about Diebold that hadn't been resolved," she said.

In the version of the story which ran in today's paper, the following addition to the above was found:

She added that she personally thought Ohio-based Diebold was "a terrific company."

There was no explanation for that added quote and we have been unable to reach Mannies for comment today.

According to Virginia Harris, a volunteer with Missourians for Honest Elections, St. Louis county resident Harvey Friedman (father of this blogger) was instrumental, along with several others, in bringing the latest disturbing news about the Diebold company to the attention of the Board of Elections.

On a personal note; While my father has never shown a proclivity towards political activism in the past, to the knowledge of this exceedingly proud blogger, I couldn't be more impressed with his tenacious efforts to inform the St. Louis County BoE members of the many growing concerns about Diebold, and to hold their collective feet to the fire in the bargain. The tree, apparently, does not grow far from the fallen apple. Thank you, Dad. And congratulations for the positive effect of your good work in my old home town!

The activism of Friedman the Elder, and the reporting of The BRAD BLOG, apparently has not escaped the notice of at least one person, said to be a Diebold lobbyist present at the series of recent BoE hearings in St. Louis. After Mannies of The Post ran a short blog item highlighting both our hometown connection and our father --- whom she met and interviewed at the hearings --- Lou Hamilton, reportedly representing Diebold, was said to have "thanked" Mannies for "the outing of BRAD BLOG" (whatever that might mean) and to have asked her "Who is Brad's father? What does he do for a living?", according to a report of the incident.

Hamilton is apparently the CEO of "strategic communications consulting service" Hamilton & Company, and described in an article by Mannies as "a prominent Democratic consultant." More information on Hamilton and his company is available here. We have been unable to reach either Hamilton or Mannies for additional comment on the information reported above, which was emailed to us yesterday.

While attention to the many anti-democratic maneuvers of Diebold, whose former CEO Walden O'Dell infamously pledged his personal committment "to helping Ohio deliver its electoral votes" to George W. Bush in a fundraising letter to Republicans prior to the 2004 election, has been increasingly well-publicized, ES&S has escaped the scrutiny of many Election Reform advocates.

The fact, however, is that ES&S' voting machines are not known to be any more secure than Diebold's, as reported in an eye-opening article yesterday by Wired News. In the report, adjunct computer science professor at the Florida Institute of Technology, Hugh Thompson, who also took part in the Leon County "hack test" last week, is concerned about the voting equipment being purchased from companies other than Diebold:

"Looking at these systems doesn't send off signals that ... if we just get rid of Diebold and go to another vendor we'll be safe," Thompson said. "We know the Diebold machines are vulnerable. As for ES&S, we don't know that they're bad but we don't know that they're (good) either."

Earlier this year, ES&S acquired distribution rights to the AutoMARK system, which has been described as far superior and far more secure than ES&S' own touch-screen and optical scan voting machines. As well, the AutoMARK system, which produces a paper ballot for every vote cast, is said to be accessible to disabled citizens in ways which ES&S and Diebold machines are not, according to a number of disabled citizen's advocacy groups. In Florida's Leon County, the Board of Elections has decided to contract with ES&S, with the intention of using the AutoMARK system once it becomes certified by the state.

St. Louis County's BoE has decided against the AutoMARK system, and instead will purchase 1,750 ES&S touch-screen machines for use in municipal races, along with 500 precinct-level optical-scan tabulators for use in Federal races, according to Harris, with whom we spoke by telephone earlier today. She suspects that ES&S is not dealing honestly with their newly acquired "partners" at AutoMARK, whom she contends ES&S is "defrauding" by over-pricing and under-representing their machines when dealing with potential clients on State and County elections boards.

"In my opinion, ES&S fraudulently priced the AutoMARK machines so high on their bid, that there was no way they could compete with ES&S's DRE [touch-screen] machines or anybody else's for that matter," she told us. Harris claims to have a copy of the bids submitted and hopes to share them with The BRAD BLOG soon.

The wrangling over which vendor to select in St. Louis County occurred shortly after several "closed door sessions" of the St. Louis County Board of Elections, who met privately with Voting Machine vendors and locked out the public and election integrity advocates. Those "closed door sessions" appear to be in violation of Missouri state law, and since then, The BRAD BLOG has learned, "Freedom of Information Act" (FOIA) requests have been filed with the County for the minutes of those closed door sessions. We will, as always, keep you up to date on details that may be revealed by those FOIA requests if and when the County complies with them.

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By John Gideon on 12/15/2005 5:00pm PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon of VotersUnite.org

It is apparent that the PR machine has been cranked up and is working overtime. The Associated Press picked-up the Leon County story and the always available David Bear of Diebold is suddenly refusing to speak. Diebold did speak through a letter to Florida and Ion Sancho in Leon County. Of course, they made it all Mr. Sancho's fault. Florida just threw up their hands and said they had nothing to do with anything. In California, two Diebold counties have come out in support of Diebold and say that it can't happen there. That message will surely be repeated in "Diebold counties" across the nation as Diebold and their customers try to save the day. In the meantime there is an excellent OpEd from Centre County, PA below....

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

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By Brad Friedman on 12/14/2005 11:09pm PT  

Yet another dubious distinction for Walden O'Dell, the now-former CEO of Voting Machine Company, Diebold, Inc. (The American Voting Machine Company that hackers love most!)

On Monday, O'Dell was forced to resign from the company for..."personal reasons". On Tuesday he was named in a Class Action Securities Fraud suit. And that evening, MSNBC's Countdown included O'Dell in their "World's Worst" segment alluding to --- but not mentioning outright --- our news of the suit on Tuesday afternoon. (We'll give them the benefit of the doubt since we broke it just an hour or two before their air time. We're just generous that way.) What will tomorrow bring?...

-- Windows Media Version of Video
-- QuickTime Version of Video

The BRAD BLOG similarly contributed to a "World's Worst" segment last week after Ann Coulter was recognized for posting the private, unlisted family phone number of one of our Guest Bloggers, Lydia Cornell, on her website. But more on that soon...

(Hat tip to David Edwards whose TiVo machines are always on overdrive!)

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By John Gideon on 12/13/2005 5:22pm PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon of VotersUnite.org

Today was a big news day. The Election Assistance Commission announced that they have adopted the new 2005 voluntary voting system guidelines. Diebold is very prominent in the news. We now have a pretty good reason for the sudden resignation of their CEO and President, Wally O'Dell. A securities fraud lawsuit was filed in federal court in Ohio against the corporation and 8 present and former officers. Also, late this afternoon (in fact so late that there is nothing yet in the news about it) it was reported that a security test was done of the Diebold voting system in Leon County, FL. The system failed miserably to stop the intrusion and changing of votes and no record of the intrusion was given though votes were changed. This has resulted in the county elections director to say that he would never use Diebold in an election again. (See BlackBoxVoting.Org for more information)...

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

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Eight Current and Former Executives Named as Co-Defendants, Including former CEO O'Dell and New CEO Swidarski
Class Action Suit Alleges Fraud, Insider Trading, Manipulation of Stock Prices, Concealment of Known Flaws in Voting Machines and Company Structural Problems
By Brad Friedman on 12/13/2005 12:15pm PT  

The BRAD BLOG can now report that a Securities Fraud Class Action suit has been filed against Diebold, Inc. (stock symbol: DBD) naming eight top executive officers in the company as co-defendants. The suit has been filed by plaintiff Janice Konkol, alleging securities fraud against the North Canton, Ohio-based manufacturer of Voting Systems and ATM machines on behalf of investors who owned shares of Diebold stock and lost money due to an alleged fraudulent scheme by the company and its executives to deceive shareholders during the "class period" of October 22, 2003 through September 21, 2005.

The suit was filed today in U.S. Federal District Court in Ohio and alleges the company "artificially inflated" stock prices through misleading public information designed to conceal the true nature of Diebold's financial and legal situation. The defendants are also alleged to have attempted to disguise well-known and ongoing problems with Diebold's Voting Machine equipment and software. Additionally, the suit alleges insider trading by defendants resulting in proceeds of $2.7 million. Remedies are sought under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.

The suit, filed by the law firm Scott+Scott, LLC on behalf of Konkol and the plaintiff class, names former Diebold CEO and Chairman, Walden O'Dell as a co-defendant along with seven other current and former officers of the once-venerable company.

News of the pending litigation was first reported as imminent in an exclusive report by The BRAD BLOG late last week.

Yesterday, in a surprise announcement, O'Dell unexpectedly resigned from the company. A Diebold press release described O'Dell as leaving the company for "personal reasons". He was immediately replaced by the company's president and chief operating officer, Thomas W. Swidarski, who had directly overseen Diebold's Election Systems subsidiary division for some time. Swidarski is also named as a co-defendant in today's class action suit.

After news was released of weaker-than-expected third-quarter earnings on September 21, Diebold stock prices plummeted 15.5% in unusually heavy trading that resulted in a one day sell-off costing investors more than $40 million dollars. The complaint describes Diebold and the co-defendants as having "failed to disclose adverse facts known" to the company and that they "participated in a fraudulent scheme and course of business that operated as a fraud."

The suit, to be released in full by The BRAD BLOG shortly, (UPDATE: Full suit now available for download here) alleges Diebold and the eight co-defendants failed to alert investors to adverse facts known to the company, choosing instead to participate in a "fraudulent scheme and course of business" that operated as a fraud or deceit on the company's shareholders.

The suit describes the liabilities of the company and co-defendants as follows...

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

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Controversial, Partisan Head of Voting Machine Company Steps Down Citing 'Personal Reasons'
Fraud Securities Litigation --- as previously reported in a BRAD BLOG Exclusive --- is Imminent! Most likely to be filed on Tuesday!
By Brad Friedman on 12/12/2005 1:47pm PT  

Diebold, Inc. (stock symbol: DBD) CEO Walden O'Dell has resigned due to what company officials describe in a press release as "personal reasons". Reuters is reporting that O'Dell will be replaced by the company's president and chief operating officer, Thomas Swidarski.

As The BRAD BLOG reported exclusively late last week, the filing of a securities fraud class action litigation against the company, O'Dell and other current and former members of their Board of Directors is now imminent. The BRAD BLOG has learned that the case may be filed in Ohio Federal District court as early as today or tomorrow. We will, of course, have more details when that occurs.

O'Dell has faced a great deal of criticism for his statement to Republican fundraisers, prior to the 2004 Presidential Election, that Diebold he (see correction explanation below) was committed to delivering the electoral vote of the state of Ohio to George W. Bush. O'Dell was part of Bush's "Rangers and Pioneers," a group of individuals who had raised at least $100,000 each for Bush/Cheney's 2004 re-election campaign.

In the wake of the controversy concerning O'Dell's involvement with the Bush/Cheney campaign, a corporate policy was instituted to disallow involvement in political campaign by senior executives at the company. A report in the Cleveland Plain-Dealer late last week, however, revealed that several Diebold executives had continued to donate to GOP campaigns even after the policy was enacted. The new CEO, Swidarski appears to have given the maximum allowable $2000 contribution himself to George W. Bush's campign in 2004.

Diebold, along with Election Systems & Software, Inc. (ES&S) are the two largest Voting Machine Companies in America. Between them, they account for equipment which tallies more than 80% of America's votes.

The North Canton, Ohio-based company has faced several recent financial and upper-level management problems. A recent plummet of 15.5% in the once-venerable company's stock price occurred just days after another BRAD BLOG exclusive in which we reported on a company insider, dubbed "DIEB-THROAT", who had drawn comparisons in the companies management to the now-bankrupt Enron.

A source (not DIEB-THROAT) familiar with the company is intrigued by the news and expressed amazement that O'Dell is stepping down as both CEO and Chairman of the Board. "This was his baby," commented the source to BRAD BLOG. The source suggests this move "has the earmarks of an internal coup d'etat" given the dearth of other explanations beyond "personal reasons" as given by the company for O'Dell's departure.

As we reported last Thursday in our exclusive concerning Diebold's mounting legal problems, the company has been plagued by such issues for some time.

A "Privileged and Confidential" document [PDF] from Diebold's law firm Jones Day was leaked to the Oakland Tribune last year revealing the companies legal fees for just one two month period in the state of California were estimated at $535,000 - $925,000. The document discussed costs related to a $2.6 million dollar settlment the company eventually reached with the state, and outlined fees for "legal analysis of potential criminal violations," "White collar criminal law attorney pre-grand jury investigative advice" and even costs to "Monitor selected Web sites to gain key intelligence."

Our source, DIEB-THROAT was not surprised to hear of the pending litigation. "I am not surprised that such a lawsuit has developed [as] the company consistently offered Wall Street deceptive information."

The BRAD BLOG has been told there will be details on the litigation within the next 24 hours. We will, of course, report all such developments once they are confirmed.

CORRECTION: A reader correctly pointed out that O'Dell promised that he, not necessarily his company, Diebold, as we originally reported, was committed to delivering the state of Ohio to George W. Bush in the 2004 election in his now-infamous fundraising letter to Republicans. More details here on that letter, here....

More on our DIEB-THROAT reports can be found here. Your DONATIONS to BRAD BLOG help allow us to continue our work. Thanks for whatever assistance you can provide.
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Documents and comments provided by Company Insiders suggest Diebold could be the next Enron as All-New Legal Troubles Mount for Voting Machine Giant...
Additional Individual, Union Owners of Diebold Stock, Mutual Funds Sought for Addition to Plaintiff Class
By Brad Friedman on 12/7/2005 12:28pm PT  

The BRAD BLOG has received exclusive detailed information about a developing potential class action securities litigation against Diebold, Inc. (stock symbol: DBD). The class for the suit will involve shareholders who purchased or owned stock in the Ohio-based company any time from October 22, 2003 through September 21, 2005.

Though we are not at liberty at this time to discuss the specifics of the potential litigation and the causes of action in the complaint being compiled, The BRAD BLOG has learned that the class action lawsuit, currently being drawn up, will involve securities fraud violations and other troubling matters for the controversial company, its CEO as well as current and former members of its Board of Directors.

VelvetRevolution.us (an organization co-founded by BRAD BLOG managing editor, Brad Friedman) is seeking additional individuals and groups who may qualify as plaintiffs in the specified class. Those who owned or purchased Diebold stock, or mutual funds which carried Diebold during the period mentioned, are asked to contact LawSuit@VelvetRevolution.us where information submitted may be turned over to attorneys for possible addition to the plaintiff class.

Union groups who own or owned shares of Diebold or mutual funds which invest in the company are specifically urged to contact VR about joining the class action.

The mutual funds which are most heavily invested in Diebold are listed here. Information on "Insider Transactions" is listed here.

Diebold, Inc. is the controversial Voting Machine and ATM manufacturer who was recently compared to Enron by an anonymous company insider The BRAD BLOG dubbed "DIEB-THROAT" in a series of exclusive reports. The Internet news site, RAW STORY ran a new exclusive interview with DIEB-THROAT yesterday revealing additional details on the inner-workings of the company and potential legal issues they may face.

Shortly after our first report on DIEB-THROAT, Diebold's stock price plummeted some 15.5%. The company attributed their troubles at the time to shortfalls in the wake of Hurricane Katrina and on the same day announced the resignation of their chief operating officer (COO) and President, Eric C. Evans. Our source, DIEB-THROAT, challenged the company's response to the falling stock prices in the wake of lower than expected earnings by suggestion that "Using Hurricane Katrina is a poor excuse for bad products - the last time this kind of deception occurred it was called Enron."

Diebold CEO Walden O'Dell has come under harsh criticism for his statement to Republican fundraisers that Diebold he (see explanation for correction below) was committed to delivering the electoral vote of the state of Ohio to George W. Bush prior to the 2004 Presidential Election. O'Dell was part of Bush's "Rangers and Pioneers," a group of individuals who had raised at least $100,000 each for Bush/Cheney's 2004 re-election campaign.

As well, the company has been facing other mounting troubles, legal and in the court of public opinion, over their implementation of software, hardware and various Elections Systems contracts around the United States as has been reported in have charged the company may be in violation of a court order stemming from that agreement. In North Carolina, Diebold recently lost an attempt in the court system to receive exemption from parts of a state law requiring the escrow of their voting system's software source code. They were certified anyway the next day in North Carolina, and some activists have questioned whether or not the certification was done according to state law and whether or not new legal proceedings may be launched there. And in California, a debate rages on concerning the possible re-certification of Diebold's touch-screen voting machines here after some 20% of their machines failed in a recent mock election test.

According to internal "Privileged and Confidential" documents of "Attorney Work Product" originally obtained and reported by Ian Hoffman of The Oakland Tribune in 2004, an estimate of legal costs in California for the Voting Machine giant was pegged by their attorneys at $535,000 - $925,000 for just a single two month period in order to fight mounting legal troubles in the state. Diebold's law firm, Jones Day fought in Los Angeles County Superior Court to keep those leaked memos from being further circulated.

The document estimating legal expenses [PDF] lists costs in regard to the Qui Tam Action filed (and eventually settled) by election watchdogs at BlackBoxVoting.org, the costs for fighting "Criminal Exposure" such as "legal analysis of potential criminal violations" and "White collar criminal law attorney pre-grand jury investigative advice" and even costs to the firm to "Monitor selected Web sites to gain key intelligence."

Concerning the potential of a new lawsuit against the company, DIEB-THROAT is not surprised, and expressed hopes to The BRAD BLOG in a recent email that some good may come from the possibilities of upcoming litigation:

"The denial of every documented problem with Diebold's voting system was bound to unravel sooner or later. I am not surprised that such a lawsuit has developed [as] the company consistently offered Wall Street deceptive information. Perhaps with the help of few patriotic plaintiffs our nation will be saved from Diebold's corporate takeover of our right to vote - and have that vote counted free from corporate and political influence."

The BRAD BLOG will, of course, continue to follow this story as it develops...

UPDATE 12/12/05: Diebold CEO, Walden O'Dell resigns in wake of imminent fraud litigation! MUCH MORE...

CORRECTION: A reader correctly pointed out that O'Dell promised that he, not necessarily his company, Diebold, as we originally reported, was committed to delivering the state of Ohio to George W. Bush in the 2004 election in his now-infamous fundraising letter to Republicans. More details here on that letter, here....

More on our DIEB-THROAT reports can be found here. Please help us to continue reporting on such stories with a donation to The BRAD BLOG! Our work is almost solely financed by your support and any help is much appreciated!
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Diebold Insider --- First Reported by BRAD BLOG --- Offers Additional Revelations in New Interview...
By Brad Friedman on 12/6/2005 12:03pm PT  

RAW STORY's Miriam Raftery unleashes a terrific new piece today based on an interview with the Diebold Insider, dubbed as "DIEB-THROAT", who we originally introduced in our BRAD BLOG EXCLUSIVE back in September.

Raftery previously delivered the terrific San Diego CityBeat story in October on all manners of electile dysfunction since the November 2004 election mess, right on up to the recent Mayoral boondoggle on Diebold machinery in San Diego. She's covered the Election Reform and Diebold beat in various outlets for some time.

Amongst the revelations reported by Raftery for RAW from her exclusive interview with the anonymous whistleblower who has chosen to keep their identity undisclosed for the time being due to "a continuing sensitive relationship with the company":

  • DIEB-THROAT blasts "the dishonesty" of the Diebold company and their CEO Walden O'Dell who has come under much fire since announcing his intention to "deliver the state of Ohio" to George W. Bush in a Republican fundraiser."
  • Says Diebold CEO Walden O'Dell is "the number one culprit" in putting pressure on employees to "make the numbers."
  • More quickly disproved statements from Diebold spokesperson David Bear who describes the company as having "a sterling reputation in the industry." Denies (at first) that paper trail rolls in Ohio's '05 election came in completely blank.
  • DIEB-THROAT blasts the "corporate takeover of elections" as a "very dangerous precedent that needs to be stopped"
  • DIEB-THROAT compares the massive new wave of Electronic Voting Machines to a Civil Rights-era "denial of rights"
  • New details on the Georgia 2002 gubernatorial election where Diebold installed patches to the software described as "never certified by the state." DIEB-THROAT was involved in some of those allegedly illegal and apparently malfunctioning patches. Heavy Democratic counties ended up electing Republicans.
  • The source says Diebold has installed such patches "many times," it's just that they "got caught in Georgia and California."
  • Uproar from the public for paper ballots was the reason Diebold finally conceded to add "paper trails" to their touch-screen machines for jurisdictions who specifically requested them.
  • Details on a failed Cook County, IL test of the Diebold touch-screen machines.
  • Details on several convicted criminals (for "computer-aided embezzlement" and "cocaine traffick[ing]") who were key to Diebold's software development and deployment, one of whom may still be working to program Diebold ballots around the country.
  • Refers to the Help America Vote Act (HAVA), which DIEB-THROAT once, but longer supports, as "a big money grab."
  • Describes Diebold machines as "purposely complex and poorly designed."
  • Much more and full details in RAW's complete article here...

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    Mainstream Media Reports Indicating Scheduled Attempt to 'Hack' Voting Machines Appear to Be Incorrect
    State, Activists Still Negotiating Paramaters, Scheduling of Test as State and Federal Deadlines Draw Near?
    By Brad Friedman on 11/27/2005 7:03pm PT  

    With Additional Reporting by John Gideon

    On Friday, November 25, a news story appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle by political writer John Wildermuth reporting that the California Secretary of State's office would be allowing Election Reform activists to perform an attempted hack of voting machines on Wednesday, November 30th. That report was soon picked up by the Associated Press and other outlets where it was repeated, in part, in newspapers, radio and television across the nation. Headlines along the line of "Hacker to try to attack state voting machines" were blared across the media throughout the holiday weekend.

    While the story seems to be based in some reality, reporting by The BRAD BLOG over the last several days has revealed that the matter seems to be a far cry from the way it has been reported by the Mainstream Media. In fact, while negotiations for such a test are ongoing, the parameters to be used are still being hashed out, no definite schedule has yet to be determined, and Finnish computer scientist Harry Hursti, who created this particular method for hacking into Diebold voting machines has made no plans at this time to travel to the United States to perform the hack attempt.

    Such a test, if performed, could be crucial to a decision soon to be made by CA Sec. of State Bruce McPherson about whether to allow various Diebold voting systems in the state. That decision, in turn, will likely effect decisions by other states and counties around the U.S., all of whom are facing a January 1, 2006 deadline set by the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) to be met if jurisdictions are to receive millions of dollars in Federal money to help pay for "upgraded" Electoral Systems.

    California's Republican Sec. of State McPherson had famously refused to re-certified Diebold's AccuVote TSx touch-screen voting machines over the summer after a major test in the state had found that some 20% of the machines had failed to perform as promised with printers jamming and screens freezing at an unacceptable rate. Diebold's machines had previously been de-certified by former Democratic Sec. of State Kevin Shelley. McPherson's sudden about-face concerning Diebold has caught many by surprise. The potential change of position towards Diebold was discovered recently and sent a shockwave through the Election Reform activist community who then converged on Sacramento to complain about the apparent flip-flop by the Sec. of State.

    The Mainstream Media --- Apparently Misled by the Sec. of State --- Gets It All Wrong?

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

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    (While Election Results Themselves Continue Un-Investigated)
    By Brad Friedman on 11/21/2005 2:27pm PT  

    The oft-cited pollster Mark Blumenthal, who writes about all matters related to polling and its methodology on his Mystery Pollster blog, has posted the results of his analysis/investigation into what he feels may have gone awry in the Columbus Dispatch polling just prior to the November 8th election in Ohio.

    We've previously reported on the final results of the five initiatives on the ballot in the Buckeye State two weeks ago - four of them part of an Election Reform package --- and the "staggeringly impossible" disparities, as we described them, revealed by those results when compared to the results of the Dispatch's final pre-election polling. To catch anybody up who hasn't seen the numbers, here's one set of them:

    ISSUE 3 (Revise campaign contribution limits)
    PRE-POLLING: 61% Yes, 25% No, 14% Undecided
    FINAL RESULT: 33% Yes, 66% No

    Blumenthal deserves kudos for his serious and detailed investigation into both the Dispatch survey's "long and remarkable history of success," as he describes it, and where he feels they might have gone so astoundingly wrong this year for the very first time. He points to a few changes in the methodology for the poll; the Dispatch didn't use the precise text of the initiatives in its survey; included an "Undecided" option for the first time; an examination of the data seems to show the poll occurred at a time that the electorate was in the process of changing its opinions on the issues; and finally that many voters found the text of the actual ballot initiatives to be long and confusing leading them to take the safer vote of "No" when they were not clear about what they were actually voting for.

    Where he doesn't deserve credit is in his approach which presumes from the start that there must be something wrong with the polling itself --- but not the Election Results --- to explain the unprecedented disparity between the polling and the final results of the actual election.

    As a pollster himself, he surely knows that it's quite simple to construct a poll in such a way that one can get back results which match just about any pre-determined outcome an unscrupulous pollster may hope for. Similarly, as with Blumenthal's earlier efforts to examine the disparity of Exit Poll Results vs. Final Election Results in last November's Presidential Election, his approach presumes from the get-go that the polling, not the results, are incorrect...and now we just need to figure out why.

    Fair enough, in general. No doubt the articles we've written about the Ohio '05 election results, as well as the one from Fitrakis and Wasserman at Free Press, tend to presume that the election results are suspect, more so than the polling or its methodology.

    The difference, however, is that while we welcome the search for reasons why the Dispatch's historically accurate poll might suddenly have failed for the first time in such an unprecedented matter, we have as much or more reason to be skeptical of Ohio's Electoral System which has been documented as full of unquestionable corruption and all-sorts of top-to-bottom malfeasance. Particularly over the last year or so since the Presidential Election.

    In other words: Sure, we can, and should, go looking for reasons why the Dispatch poll might have failed so mightily for the first time in its history, as others (including Blumenthal) did with the Exit Polls from November '04 which also --- just a coincidence, we know --- failed so hugely for the first time in their history. We can likely find anomalies to somewhat explain what might justify a pre-determined conclusion that Election Results are right and Pre-Election Polling must be wrong. But why would Blumenthal, or anybody else, have reason to believe that scientifically run polls with methodologies developed and honed over decades, run by pollsters with (theoretically) no dog in the hunt, should be less reliable than an Electoral System being run on newly developed, newly introduced technology employing secret software that nobody inspects for validity or integrity? All of which is run on machines which have a tremendous and documented known failure rate and are run by partisan officials with not just a stake in the outcome, but whose very livelihoods (in the case of the recent Ohio initiatives, as well as last November's election) are at stake in the final results. ...

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

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