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Latest Featured Reports | Tuesday, November 24, 2015
'Green News Report' 11/24/15
  w/ Brad & Desi
Carbon tax coming to Alberta tar sands; Obama: Paris conf must proceed; Senate Repubs to monkeywrench int'l agreement; PLUS: FDA okays GMO salmon for humans...
Previous GNRs: 11/19/15 - 11/17/15 - Archives...
Sunday 'This Means War' Toons
PDiddie's must-see collection of the past shameful week's best -- and most dead-on and occassionally horrifying -- toons...
ISIS Wins in US House; Plus: TPP, NAFTA and the Return of KXL?: 'BradCast' 11/19/15
With guest David Dayen of Salon, Fiscal Times, The Intercept, et al...
'Green News Report' 11/19/15
  w/ Brad & Desi
House GOP's war against climate scientists; October 2015 was hottest on record; Fossil fuel subsidies at $500B/year; UK phases out coal; PLUS: Canada kills another tar sands pipeline...
Previous GNRs: 11/17/15 - 11/12/15 - Archives...
Home of the Brave:
'BradCast' 11/18/15
GOP Governors and Presidential candidates help ISIS dreams come true by turning against refugees from war-torn Syria, as some Americans follow their lead by turning against fellow citizens after the Paris attacks...
How NOT to Respond to the Paris Terror Attacks: 'BradCast' 11/17/15
Anti-war author David Swanson on how we got here, how the media and politicians continue to make it worse, and what we must do instead...
'Green News Report' 11/17/15
  w/ Brad & Desi
Climate gets short shrift in 2nd Dem Debate; Yes, climate change is a NatSec threat; Intn'l climate talks in Paris after attacks; PLUS: NY's Cuomo vetoes major NatGas project...
Previous GNRs: 11/12/15 - 11/10/15 - Archives...
A Word About Paris; Coverage of CBS' Dem Debate in Iowa: 'BradCast' 11/16/15
Salon's Heather Digby Parton and longtime GOPer Fred Karger on the debate the DNC didn't want you to watch...
Sunday Somewhat Horrible Toons
PDiddie's round-up of a number of smart toons in the wake of the horrific terror attacks in Paris...
'Very Similar, If Not Identical': DoJ's Big Tobacco Prosecutor on Case Against ExxonMobil: 'BradCast' 11/12/15
Attorney Sharon Eubanks on RICO, conspiracy and the big lies of Big Tobacco and Big Oil...
'Green News Report' 11/12/15
2016 Republican and Democratic Presidential candidates talk climate, energy, and the path forward in GOP Debate and Dem Forum...
Decoding and Debunking Fox Biz Channel's GOP Debate: 'BradCast' 11/11/15
Smartest post-debate analysis anywhere! With journalists Heather Digby Parton and David Dayen...
Impossible Results for OH Pot Measure?: 'BradCast' 11/10/15
Screenshots suggest disappearing 'Yes' votes; OH SoS offers us explanation. PLUS: Calls for KY hand-count...
'Green News Report' 11/10/15
Obama rejects KXL; Big Coal caught lying about climate change; ExxonMobil facing probe; PLUS: 2nd cyclone for Yemen & Sea World responds to critics...
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
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'Special Coverage' Archives
GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal 2012...
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...

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...

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...

The belated and begrudging coverage by Fox' Eric Shawn includes two different video reports featuring an interview with The BRAD BLOG's Brad Friedman...

Repub Sec. of State Gessler ignores expanding GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal, rants about evidence-free 'Dem Voter Fraud' at Tea Party event...

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...

The GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal reveals insidious nationwide registration scheme to keep Obama supporters from even registering to vote...

Scandal spreads to 11 FL counties, other states; RNC, Romney try to contain damage, split from GOP operative...

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...

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...

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...

With Brad Friedman & Desi Doyen...
By Desi Doyen on 9/27/2012 3:09pm PT  

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IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Hey, fracking industry: you didn't build that, either!; Chevron caught cheating in SF refinery fire; Texas police Taser pipeline protesters; PLUS: BACONPOCALYPSE --- this time, global warming has gone too far! ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!

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IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Why is solar cheaper in Germany than the US?; Carbon tax could half deficit in 10 years; Obama must break 'climate silence'; EPA regs create $5 in benefits for every $1 in costs; Gov. Brown signs 'human right to water' bill; '100m to die' from global warming?; If US oil production is at all-time high, yet so are gas prices; Total Oil chief warns against drilling in Arctic ... PLUS: Obama vs. Romney: Stark contrast on the environment ... and much, MUCH more! ...

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Top state officials claiming voter purge needed to deter fraud, seemingly disinterested in actual fraud by Romney-tied firm
Susan Bucher offers exclusive new details on disturbing GOP election scheme...
By Brad Friedman on 9/27/2012 5:35am PT  

Given the rampage that state officials in Florida have been on over the past year to purge voter rolls of illegal, supposedly "non-citizen" voter registrations in the state, and the draconian restrictions they've attempted to place on third-party voter registration workers and organizations, in a supposed attempt to curb voter registration fraud, you'd think they'd be all over this week's revelations of at least 100 apparently fraudulent registration forms turned in by a third-party voter registration organization in Palm Beach County.

If you think that, however, you'd be wrong. At least that's the indication that Palm Beach County Supervisor of Election Susan Bucher gave me on Wednesday when I interviewed her on KPFK/Pacifica Radio's BradCast concerning the fraudulent registration applications turned in to her office by a firm hired by the Florida state GOP at the request of the Republican National Committee. [My full interview is posted at the end of this article.]

"I haven't heard from anybody --- the Assistant Secretary [of State] or the Secretary [of State] --- and, ya know, we've had a couple of days and I know they have other things on their plate, but I would think this would be a front-burner issue as well," she told me.

Bucher had informed the office of Ken Detzner, Republican Gov. Rick Scott's hand-picked Secretary of State, about the fraudulent registration forms --- featuring "similarities in the signatures and certain characteristics in the applications that were very disturbing," as she described them to me --- on Monday morning "in an effort to inform them prior to my meeting with the State Attorney."

"I called on Monday morning and left both my office and my cell phone and I've yet to hear from that office," she said during our Wednesday, 6pm ET interview a full three days later.

She explained that there is no longer anyone heading up the State Division of Elections. "We're not real clear [why], but they're not there anymore," she said. "They left right before the Primary election and that position has remained open. But the contact person that we were supposed to have is the Assistant Secretary [of State]. I left him a message on Monday morning and the phone call was never returned. I haven't heard from them yet."

Bucher noted, however, that the state has just given her office 14 more names of "suspected non-citizen" voters that she is supposed to contact with a letter telling them that they must prove their citizenship within 30 days or be removed from the rolls 30 days later.

As The BRAD BLOG covered in great detail earlier this year, Scott and Detzner's initial purported attempt to purge the rolls of thousands of "suspected non-citizens" resulted in no more than 9 who we were able to verify, out of some 11.4 million registered voters in the Sunshine State. None of those 9, we also discovered during our investigation, had actually ever cast a ballot.

"It does not appear that we're going to be able to get to this [new] list and do anything with these voters until after the November 6th election based on the days that we have left," she explained. And yet, the state Republican officials seemed to show little concern about more than 100 cases of demonstrably fraudulent registration forms turned into her office.

Perhaps that's because they were turned in by Strategic Allied Consulting, the shady firm hired by the Republican Party of Florida (RPOF), operating in a number of key battleground states, and owned by Mitt Romney's paid political consultant Nathan Sproul, a man with a long history of allegedly destroying and defrauding Democratic registration forms in election after election, in state after state, year after year, as we explained in our detailed Tuesday morning report describing the latest FL GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal as it first broke...

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

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Firm owned by notorious GOP operative Nathan Sproul, accused of destroying Democratic registration forms in years past, hired 'at request of RNC', still operating in several key swing states...
By Brad Friedman on 9/26/2012 2:23am PT  

[This article now cross-posted at Salon...]

The Republican Party of Florida's top recipient of 2012 expenditures, a firm by the name of Strategic Allied Consulting, was just fired on Tuesday night, after more than 100 apparently fraudulent voter registration forms were discovered to have been turned in by the group to the Palm Beach County, FL Supervisor of Elections.

The firm appears to be another shell company of Nathan Sproul, a longtime, notorious Republican operative, hired year after year by GOP Presidential campaigns, despite being accused of shredding Democratic voter registration forms in a number of states over several past elections.

According to the Center for Responsive Politics, Strategic Allied Consulting has been paid some $667,000 this year by the FL GOP, presumably to run its voter registration campaigns in the state. That number, however, does not account for another identical payment made in August. The Palm Beach Post is reporting tonight that the firm received "more than $1.3 million" from the Republican Party of Florida "to register new voters."

The firm is not only tied to the FL GOP, but also to the Mitt Romney Campaign, which hired Sproul as a political consultant late last year, despite years of fraud allegations against his organizations in multiple states.

Moreover, the firm is also reportedly operating similar voter registration operations on behalf of the Republican Party, to the tune of hundreds of thousands of dollars, in a number of key battleground states this year, including North Carolina, Virginia and Colorado. Strategic Allied has recently taken steps to hide their ownership by Sproul's notorious firm, Sproul & Associates.

Palm Beach County Supervisor of Election Susan Bucher confirmed to The BRAD BLOG late this evening that she turned over 106 suspicious voter registration applications to the Florida State Attorney during a meeting yesterday afternoon in Palm Beach, after the "questionable" applications were submitted to her office by a worker for Strategic Allied.

The forms were said to all have similar signatures, changed addresses and party affiliations, and other defects which appear to have all been done by the same hand.

The case emerging in Florida tonight mirrors a similar incident reported earlier this year when more than a thousand fraudulent voter registration forms were discovered to have been turned in to the Sacramento County, CA Registrar of Voters by a group hired by that state's Republican Party.

But that's not the only similar case, as a massive GOP voter registration scheme, which appears to involve the upper-echelons of the national party, begins to emerge...

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

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Far Rightwing U.S. Chamber of Commerce gets off 'Scott'-free...
By Ernest A. Canning on 9/25/2012 5:05pm PT  

In a debate, it is not always enough for one candidate to accuse the other of making up numbers from whole cloth --- especially when the opposing candidate presents analysis from highly partisan lobbying groups as "independent" sources on par with the Congressional Budget Office or Office of Management and Budget.

Massachusetts U.S. Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren (D) missed the opportunity to highlight the non-independence of the "independent" sources Sen. Scott Brown (R) cited during their first televised debate last week (see video below). He claimed that her policies would raise $3.4 trillion in taxes "on the backs of citizens" and "cut 700,000 jobs nationwide". The numbers were proffered by Brown in response to Warren's criticism of the Republican Senator's votes against three critical jobs bills that she asserted would have been paid for by "a fractional tax on people making more than one million dollars a year."

Warren accused Brown of making up his numbers from whole cloth and drove home her central point --- that Brown is willing to hold middle class taxpayers hostage in order to prevent a restoration of the Clinton level of taxes on the top two percent of Americans.

But she missed the opportunity to call out Brown for his laughably misleading use of statistics from highly partisan lobbying organizations --- specifically the National Federation of Independent Business and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce --- as coming from "independent groups"...

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

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With Brad Friedman & Desi Doyen...
By Desi Doyen on 9/25/2012 3:50pm PT  

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IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Elizabeth Warren's U.S. Senate race could decide the environmental future; Fox 'News' Alert!!!: Fox misleads on climate! - Also: Sun rises in East!; Polls show voters vote on climate; PLUS: Marking major milestones: Silent Spring and saving the planet by saving the ozone layer ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!

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IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Chevy Volt outsells half of US cars; West should expect bigger wildfires, more often; Coal fight looms over Pacific NW; Study ignites furor over GMO corn; MI chemical plant still poisoning town; Tree sitters stop Keystone XL; Romney's energy advisor will profit more from Romney energy policies; Oil poisoning Africa; Nate Silver missteps on climate ... PLUS: What Will Ice-Free Arctic Summers Bring? ... and much, MUCH more! ...

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CO Sec. of State, local County Clerk both say it's perfectly legal...
By Brad Friedman on 9/25/2012 9:32am PT  

Over the weekend, this disturbing video of a voter registration worker at a Safeway grocery story in El Paso County, Colorado went somewhat viral...

The short video shows a young woman attempting to register voters outside the grocery store, but asking first: "I'm polling people. Would you vote for Romney or Obama?"

When the unidentified woman shooting the video tells the young lady she thought she was registering people to vote, the registration worker admits she is. The woman asks who she works for, and the young lady admits, "I'm actually trying to register voters for a particular party, because...we're out here in support of Romney, actually."

Then the woman asks her who is paying her for this work and the young lady, after a moment's pause, says, "We're working for the county clerk's office."

The woman is, understandably, aghast at the registration worker's response and asks again incredulously, "You're working for the county clerk's office?!"

"I believe so. Yes," replies the worker, shortly before the video ends.

As it turns out, the registration worker was not working for the El Paso County Clerk's office, according to responses sent to The BRAD BLOG by the CO Secretary of State's office as well as the El Paso County Clerk. Instead, she was a paid employee of the state Republican Committee, as confirmed by the local GOP Chairman. And, incredibly enough, both the Sec. of State and County Clerk, both Republicans, assert that what the registration worker is seen doing in the video, screening out potential voters based on who they might vote for, is absolutely legal in the state of Colorado...

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

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ALSO: New hearings underway this week on GOP polling place Photo ID restriction laws in SC and PA...
By Brad Friedman on 9/24/2012 12:07pm PT  

According to a new poll out today, voters in Minnesota may be getting wise to the state Republicans' scheme to suppress the votes of minorities, the elderly, students and the poor, all of whom have the annoying habit of voting in favor of Democrats.

After MN's Democratic Governor Mark Dayton vetoed a law passed by Republicans in the legislature last year that would have required state-issued Photo ID for voters at the polling place before they were allowed to cast their vote, the Republicans decided to bypass the Governor and take the issue straight to the voters.

Without a single Democratic vote, and opposed by the state's chief election official, Sec. of State Mark Ritchie (D), GOP members of the legislature voted to put the issue up for a Constitutional Amendment referendum on the ballot this November.

While the wording of the ballot question itself was challenged by the League of Women Voters and other voting rights groups who charged that the language chosen for the ballot was purposely deceptive and failed to detail the real effects of the Amendment, at the time we first wrote about the matter in July, our legal analyst Ernie Canning noted that, if the referendum was allowed on the ballot, there was a very real chance that it might be supported by voters who, he said, have been "utterly deceived [in the] court of public opinion" about the need for such a restriction.

Citing a May 2011 poll of Minnesotans by the Star Tribune, Canning noted that a whopping 80%, at the time, supported the adoption of photo ID restrictions in the state.

The bad news is that, despite some skepticism displayed during the recent MN Supreme Court hearing about the ballot question (as well as the legalities of such a Constitutional Amendment itself, which was not at issue during the case heard by the court, whose justices are all appointees of former Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty), the court eventually decided to allow the initiative to remain on the ballot this November as written.

The good news, on the other hand, is that, following an uptick in mainstream media coverage of the issue over the past several months, while a slim majority in the state still favor the amendment, support appears to be nose-diving, at least among Democrats and independents, according to a new survey by the Star Tribune...

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

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Rollback of existing voting rights presents significant legal issues...
By Ernest A. Canning on 9/24/2012 6:35am PT  

The veteran's advocacy group, filed an amicus curiae brief [PDF] last Wednesday in support of U.S. District Court Judge Peter Economus' recent order compelling Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted (R) to restore Early Voting for all registered Ohio voters during the three days immediately preceding the Nov. 6, 2012 election.

The order came in response to a lawsuit filed by the Obama Campaign challenging the Buckeye State Republicans attempt to restrict voting in that period to all but active duty military. The Romney Campaign supported the Republican attempt to restrict the voting rights that had previously been shared by all state residents.

In their brief, VoteVets argues that Husted's directive adversely affects the voting rights of Ohio's more than 900,000 veterans, including more than 90,000 disabled veterans, many of whom are incapable of standing in long lines on Election Day.

The brief also alleges that the Republicans' new restrictions on Early Voting, for all but active duty military in the Buckeye State during those three days, could also arbitrarily deprive many active members of the armed forces of their right to cast an early in-person absentee ballot as well. This can occur, says the group, because Husted left the decision whether "to open those three days for in-person voting by [active military] voters...[to] the discretion of the individual county boards of elections."

The point also raises another salient legal issue, not fully considered by many of the Election Law experts who have weighed in on both the specific and broader implications of the Secretary of State's pending, expedited appeal of Judge Economus' recent decision to restore those three days of Early Voting for all...

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

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With Brad Friedman & Desi Doyen...
By Desi Doyen on 9/20/2012 3:22pm PT  

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IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: One day later, Japan reverses planned nuclear phase-out; Romney and Republicans fight for Big Coal - with unpaid labor; New record HOT ocean temps cause lobster glut in Northeast; PLUS: Putting their bodies on the line to stop the dirty Keystone XL pipeline ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!

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IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): US wind industry withers with end of tax credit; False balance lives: PBS FAIL on climate science; Bolivia protects unique pink dolphins; FDA to investigate arsenic in rice; Insurance companies won't pay for climate disasters; UK slams Trump's misleading anti-wind ad; Mexico pipeline explosion kills 28; GM corn study draws skepticism ... PLUS: Existing technologies could halve fuel efficiency. So why aren't we using them? ... and much, MUCH more! ...

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The year of GOP election and voter fraud continues...
By Brad Friedman on 9/19/2012 7:51am PT  

No doubt Fox 'News' is going wall-to-wall with this today, so you've got no need for us to tell you about it, right? ... What? They're not? Huh. How strange.

Well, then, if you haven't heard, Lorianne O'Brady, a former staffer to Congressman Thaddeus McCotter (R-MI) has pleaded "no contest" to five misdemeanor counts of election fraud yesterday, related to creating and submitting fraudulent signatures in a failed conspiracy to qualify McCotter for the ballot this year.

O'Brady is just one of four of top McCotter aides who were charged last month with a total of 36 federal felony and misdemeanor election fraud-related counts in the alleged ballot petition forgery scheme. McCotter abruptly resigned last July as the scandal began to emerge.

While U.S. House candidates in Michigan are required to submit just 1,000 valid voter signatures, McCotter's campaign turned in some 2,000. Investigators discovered, however, that just 244 of them were actually valid. The rest were forged or photo-copied from previous petitions.

Submitting false signatures is the same thing that Fox "News" has spent years falsely claiming the community group ACORN was engaged in. The difference, of course, is that ACORN was the one to have discovered and turned in the handful, among their tens of thousands of voter registration workers, found to have defrauded them in such schemes. ACORN itself was never found to be involved in such fraud, and in every case, it was ACORN themselves who discovered the fraud and sought prosecution for the workers.

McCotter's campaign was hardly the only Republican team involved in submitting fraudulent signatures in hopes of winning a place on the ballot this year. As The BRAD BLOG reported exclusively last January, the Presidential campaign of former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich was being investigated by the Virginia State Attorney General after the former GOP Presidential candidate's campaign was discovered to have turned in fraudulent signatures in their failed bid to qualify for the Republican Presidential Primary Election in VA, Gingrich's home state. Gingrich was caught on tape claiming to a supporter, after the forgeries were discovered by the state Board of Elections: "We turned in 11,100 --- we needed 10,000 --- 1,500 of them were by one guy who, frankly, committed fraud."

In May of this year, it was discovered that Momentum Political Services, a group hired by the Sacramento GOP and headed by a "professional con artist" to carry out their voter registration campaign for Rep. Dan Lungren (R-CA), had turned in thousands of fraudulent voter registrations as part of a $50,000 bounty paid for Republican-only voter registrations. That is, of course, exactly what ACORN was falsely accused of, even though --- unlike in the Sacramento GOP case, and in a very similar scheme by a firm hired by the California Republican Party in 2008, where the head of the firm itself pleaded guilty to charges of voter registration fraud --- the former four-decade old community organization was never actually involved in.

For more on the McCotter staffers charged with 36 election fraud-related counts, see our August coverage. As an added bonus, that article also includes a quick round-up of more than 10 recent cases of alleged and confirmed voter fraud and election fraud by a number of very high-profile Republicans, including Gingrich, Mitt Romney, Todd Akin, James O'Keefe, the Sec. of State of Indiana and, yes, the high priestess of GOP Voter Fraud, Ann Coulter.

Of course, none of the fraud detailed above would have been prevented by the disenfranchising polling place Photo ID restriction schemes Republicans are enacting around the country under the guise of deterring "voter fraud" --- not even Coulter's, since she also committed a felony to create a fraudulent drivers' license with the faked address she submitted to election officials when she committed fraud on her voter registration form, before later, knowingly, voting at a precinct in an area where she did not live in Florida. That, even though there are just 10 known cases of in-person voter impersonation --- the only type of voter fraud that can possibly be deterred by polling place Photo ID restrictions --- in the entire country, out of hundreds of millions of votes cast since 2000.

* * *
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With Brad Friedman & Desi Doyen...
By Desi Doyen on 9/18/2012 3:53pm PT  

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IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Japan to phase out nuclear power --- sort of; US nuke whistleblower warns of new risks; Shell gives up on Arctic drilling --- for now; PLUS: It's official: August 2012 was hot --- really hot ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!

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IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Fox Stumbles Over The Truth On Gas Prices; Ruptured pipe at Chevron refinery fire 'thin as a penny'; Crop insurance losses begin to mount amid drought; National Guard aids Halliburton in search for missing radioactive rod; Alaskans to get $878 in yearly oil wealth payout (socialism!); Wind industry cuts jobs while Congress dawdles; Africa elephant slaughter funds conflicts; Freaked-out climate scientists urge other freaked-out climate scientists to speak up ... PLUS: Victory: Judge rules scientist Michael Mann's emails off-limits ... and much, MUCH more! ...

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Judge ordered to review if GOP voting restriction can be lawfully implemented as written, and without disenfranchising voters; else it must be blocked
Dissenters: Ruling will 'allow chaos to beget chaos'...
By Brad Friedman on 9/18/2012 2:15pm PT  

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court, in a 4 to 2 decision this afternoon, has vacated a Commonwealth Court's earlier ruling, which had denied a temporary injunction on the state GOP's polling place Photo ID restriction law. Rather than issuing their own injunction, they have has sent the matter back to the lower court for review.

According to the high court's 7-page order [PDF] issued today, if the lower court finds that the state is unable to implement "liberal access" to the supposedly free Photo IDs to be issued by the state, as dictated by the General Assembly's requirements detailed in the statute itself, "or if the Commonwealth Court is not still convinced in its predictive judgment that there will be no voter disenfranchisement arising out of the Commonwealth’s implementation of a voter identification requirement for purposes of the upcoming election, that court is obliged to enter a preliminary injunction."

We'll try to unpack that for you in a moment. As well, there were two scathing dissents to today's ruling, both highly critical of the majority for not ending the ongoing "chaos" immediately, instead of remanding it for another round to the lower court. But, in general, and depending on how Commonwealth Court Judge Robert Simpson, a Republican, reviews the case as ordered, this is may be good news for voters in the Keystone State.

"It's certainly a very positive step in the right direction in that the court recognizes that the state does not make adequate provision for people to get the ID that they would need to vote," said David Gersch, the lead lawyer for the plaintiffs challenging the law's state constitutionality, according to CBS. "In addition, there is a practical problem with getting the ID to people in the short time available."

The case, Applewhite v. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania [PDF], was originally filed in May by the ACLU, the PA League of Women Voters, and other civil rights organizations on behalf of 92-year old Viviette Applewhite and 10 other petitioners who were facing potential disenfranchisement under the new law, along with hundreds of thousands of other legally registered and otherwise eligible voters in the state. Before the trial even began, the Commonwealth admitted that they were unaware of a single instance of polling place impersonation --- the only type of voter fraud that can possibly be deterred by their polling place Photo ID restrictions --- in the history of the state.

Last Thursday, during their hearing in Philadelphia, the PA Supremes indicated they had some skepticism about the law, as we detailed here. The court was reviewing an appeal by the plaintiffs filed last week after the Commonwealth Court had stunned many of those following the case, including the plaintiffs who had predicted a "slam-dunk" win, by upholding the law last month and refusing to grant a preliminary injunction in advance of the November Presidential election.

But now Judge Simpson will have another crack at deciding the case, as the high court has punted it back to him. This time, however, he has been ordered by the high court to issue a preliminary injunction on the law if he cannot determine that the state is able to meet two very specific conditions...

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

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They also hope voters have forgotten what actually happened during the Badger State's recent recall elections...
By Brad Friedman on 9/17/2012 2:06pm PT  

As we noted late last Friday, as the news was just breaking, a WI judge has overturned Republican Gov. Scott Walker's controversial anti-union law which had taken away most collective bargaining rights from most citizens who are employed as public workers in the state. In his ruling, Dane County Circuit Judge Juan Colas found the law to be in violation of both the state and U.S. Constitution and is, barring overturn by appeal at the state Supreme Court, now "null and void."

As is expected in such cases by now, rather than critiquing the ruling itself, Walker immediately attempted to smear the Dane County Judge who issued it as a "liberal activist judge." Nothing new there. When Republicans don't have their way in court, it's always due to "liberal activist judges," even when the courts are not quite activist enough for their tastes in other instances (see their fury after the U.S. Supreme Court refused to overturn "ObamaCare," for instance).

But there was another interesting response to the ruling from Walker and his fellow partisans following the ruling on Friday, which seems to suggest they haven't a clue about how the court system works, how the U.S. Constitution is supposed to work, or even how representative democracy works. Either that, or they simply don't care and feel it's just more important to continue scamming their gullible constituencies then it is to be honest about what actually happened on Friday.

Making matters worse though, not only are they wrong about matters of how democracy and the court system works, they are also wrong on their facts as well, even if they hope nobody will notice...

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

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At least by his own moveable standards...
By Ernest A. Canning on 9/17/2012 10:50am PT  

On Friday, ABC's George Stephanopoulos caught Republican Presidential nominee Mitt Romney speaking out of both sides of his mouth. (Not that it's all that hard to do.)

As TPM's Josh Marshall described the remarks --- tongue only somewhat in cheek --- "Romney Apologizes to Muslim Rioters".

Romney, over the course of his lengthy ABC interview, finally acknowledged that the statement issued by the Cairo Embassy condemning "the continuing efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims --- as we condemn efforts to offend believers of all religions" was made before the protests began.

However, the GOP candidate, who had shamelessly seized upon that statement to falsely accuse the Embassy and President Obama of having "sympathize[d] with those who waged the attacks," evaded a direct answer to Stephanopoulos' direct question: "Where do they show sympathy for those who waged the attacks?"

Instead, Romney insisted it was "inappropriate" for the Cairo Embassy to leave the statement up on its website after its wall was breached. "The statement was reiterated after they had breached the sovereignty of the embassy," Romney proclaimed.

After its wall was breached, the Cairo Embassy tweeted: "This morning's condemnation (issued before protest began) still stands. As does our condemnation of unjustified breach of the Embassy."

Without explaining why he felt it was inappropriate for the Embassy to retain its condemnation of the film's scurrilous slander of the prophet Muhammad while simultaneously condemning the "unjustified breach of the Embassy," Romney followed up with a criticism of the film that was virtually indistinguishable from that which had been initially issued by the Cairo Embassy...

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

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(And what you can do to help counter it.)
By Brad Friedman on 9/16/2012 9:38pm PT  

I'm in this short video --- just out tonight from John Wellington Ennis, filmmaker of one of my favorite Election Integrity documentaries, Free For All: One Dude's Quest to Save Democracy and the forthcoming Pay to Play: Democracy’s High Stakes --- but don't let that keep you from watching it. It's very good and has a bunch of other folks in it who are really smart.

Ennis, who is also one of the founders of the very important Video the Vote project, has a way of making difficult ideas easy to understand and entertaining to watch. He does so again here...

* * *
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