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VA GOP VOTER REG FRAUDSTER OFF HOOK
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Arrest in VA: GOP Voter Reg Scandal Widens
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ALL TOGETHER: ROVE, SPROUL, KOCHS, RNC
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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
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CRIMINAL ELECTION FRAUD COMPLAINT FILED AGAINST GOP 'FRAUD' FIRM
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RNC FIRES NATIONAL VOTER REGISTRATION FIRM FOR FRAUD
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GOP REGISTRATION FRAUD FOUND IN FL
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The Secret Koch Brothers Tapes...


Orders 'voter alert' posted at polls, programming materials, records retained...
By Brad Friedman on 10/30/2010 9:53pm PT  

North Carolina counties which use touch-screen voting systems will now have to post a "Voter Alert" at precincts warning voters about potential problems with the machines following a complaint [PDF] filed in federal court by the state's Republican Party on Friday. The lawsuit, heard today on an expedited basis, was filed after voters in several counties had reported to party officials that their attempts to vote for straight-ticket Republican ballots were flipping on the screen to straight-ticket Democratic ballots.

Those reports of vote-flipping led to the NC GOP issuing a threat late this week to sue the State Board of Elections (BoE) if their demands were not met to order certain precautions be taken at polling places which used the 100% unverifiable Direct Recording Electronic (DRE, usually touch-screen) voting systems. After the Executive Director for the BoE sent a letter in response to the GOP's demands, downplaying the reported incidents as "isolated" and "no different than ones that must be addressed in every election," the Republican complaint was filed in federal court on Friday afternoon. (The sharp letters back and forth between the state GOP and BoE can be read in our previous report on the NC situation.)

Judge Malcolm Howard tonight also ordered that pollworkers must tell voters to read the printed alert, and that memory cards and other programming materials, records and audit logs from the oft-failed ES&S iVotronic touch-screen DREs must be preserved for examination after the election. Late today, the BoE Executive Director Gary O. Bartlett sent a notice [PDF] to the County Boards of Elections detailing the changes ordered by the federal judge.

The "Voter Alert" to be posted in all precincts using the touch-screen voting systems must read as follows...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 10/30/2010 4:00pm PT  

I received an email this afternoon from a PR person for CNN, letting me know about their new "Tea Party Documentary" to air tonight, as based on the work of one of their reporters who, she says, has "followed the movement for the past 18 months" in order to offer what is described as "an hour of revealing interviews from their leadership and fascinating profiles of the impact of their energy on the 2010 midterms, their financial supporters and their campaigns."

The documentary, the PR rep's original email went on to say, comes after their reporter "spent considerable time with Lisa Murkowski, Christine O'Donnell, in California with Sal Russo of the Tea Party Express (rode the bus), Dick Armey with FreedomWorks, etc."

You may recall a few weeks ago that CNN ran another documentary with a similar theme, called Right on the Edge following the work of Rightwing media activists. (That one resulted in Republican scam-artist and federal criminal James O'Keefe making an ass of himself, as well as possibly violating the requirements of his federal probation, as we detailed at the time.)

As CNN has yet to run even one such documentary on non-Rightwing media activists or on the non-Rightwing politicians who have struggled over those same 18 months to clean up the unprecedented disaster they were left with when the Bush regime came to a close, I thought I'd point that out --- in my own, snarky-ish (me? snarky?) way --- to the PR person in respones to her email.

The email exchange that ensued follows below, as posted with her permission. I have removed her name as I feel she was only doing her job here, and she appeared to both appreciate the message I was hoping to send, and offered to pass it along to the folks who actually help with programming decisions at CNN...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 10/29/2010 1:30pm PT  

Unlike Jan Brewer, who was elevated from Arizona's Sec. of State to Governor by Obama's ill-considered selection of Janet Napolitano from AZ Governor to Director of the U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security, the state's newly appointed Republican SoS, Ken Bennett seems to have the ability to tell the truth every now and again --- even in the days just prior to a hotly-contested election...

"I take seriously any allegations of fraud in our election process," he said. "As soon as these accusations came to light, we got in contact with elections officials in Yuma County and across Arizona to determine if a fraudulent scheme was afoot. With our initial inquiry complete, I'm happy to report that these latest allegations of rampant registration fraud are without merit."

TPM has the full story...

In related previous coverage, we outlined this year's 'GOP War on Democracy' here a few weeks ago, reporting on the various fraudulent "voter fraud" campaigns of Rightwing groups who were busy gearing and ginning them up at the time, by noting, among many other things...

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

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GOP attorney: ES&S iVotronic 'systems should have been banned'
Officials: Just 'isolated' probs, 'no different than every election'...
By Brad Friedman on 10/28/2010 6:37pm PT  

[UPDATE 10/30/10: The North Carolina Republican Party has both filed and won their suit against the State Board of Elections. See details at end of article for more.]

It would have been nice if these guys had spoken up years ago, when the bulk of the Republican Party and their sympathizers were labeling Democrats as "conspiracy theorists" and "sore losers" for their documented complaints of touch-screen voting systems flipping votes on screen to Republican candidates. But better late than never, we suppose.

This afternoon, Legal Counsel for the North Carolina Republican State Executive Committee sent a letter [PDF] to the NC State Board of Elections threatening legal action if their "demands" were not "immediately" met for taking a number of specific actions to mitigate reported touch-screen voting problems describes as "significantly more widespread than the NC GOP initially understood."

The GOP attorney, John E. Branch III writes that the voting system problems should have been addressed prior to the early voting period "and, to the extend they were not, the touch screen systems should have been banned."

The problems in contention are related to reports of the state's ES&S iVotronic e-voting systems reportedly showing votes as flipping from Republicans to Democrats on the screen. The threat from the state GOP comes on the heels of complaints made last week in two different NC counties, Craven and New Hanover. Those reports were a switch from previous years when voters in dozens of states had reported votes flipping largely from Democratic to Republican.

Branch charges that the party has "received word" that similar problems have emerged in "Mecklenburg...Randolph...Cumberland, Wilson, Pender, Forsyth, Lenoir and other counties," which all similarly use the oft-failed, 100% unverifiable ES&S touch-screen voting machines. The same systems are also used in more than a dozen other states...

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

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County GOP Chair: The ES&S machines 'ain't worth a damn, we ought to go back to paper ballots'
One voter says: 'I pressed confirm and screen went totally black'...
By Brad Friedman on 10/23/2010 9:47pm PT  

[Now UPDATED with additional reports of additional vote-flipping and touch-screen failure from other NC counties at bottom of article.]

Aaand the touch-screen voting machines continue to flip votes during the early voting period. Right on schedule. Just as always. But, for the second time this week we have the unusual occurrence of votes reportedly flipping away from the GOP.

Yesterday our report was of a touch-screen in Dallas, TX, caught on video flipping an attempted vote for Republican Gov. Rick Perry to straight-ticket Green Party selections in Dallas, TX.

Today's report, where the local election official is also misleading voters by downplaying the incident, comes from the same type of 100% unverifiable ES&S iVotronic touch-screen voting machine, but it took place in Craven County, NC, according to P. Christine Smith of the Sun Journal...

A Craven County voter says he had a near miss at the polls on Thursday when an electronic voting machine completed his straight-party ticket for the opposite of what he intended.

Sam Laughinghouse of New Bern said he pushed the button to vote Republican in all races, but the voting machine screen displayed a ballot with all Democrats checked. He cleared the screen and tried again with the same result, he said. Then he asked for and received help from election staff.

"They pushed it twice and the same thing happened," Laughinghouse said. "That was four times in a row. The fifth time they pushed it and the Republicans came up and I voted."
..
"Something is not right here," [Craven County GOP Chair Chuck] Tyson told the Sun Journal. He said he "got two or three calls" from people describing the same problem while they were voting.

Tyson also went on to report there were long lines reported as voters waited to use the two touch-screen voting machines available at one location (paper ballots don't cause that problem) and, even more disturbingly, "machines reporting 250 ballots cast where 400 voters had signed in to vote."

Well that's a problem, isn't it?...

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

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Twice-yearly meetings closed to media, except for the Rightwing media members, like Glenn Beck, who attend the meetings...
By Brad Friedman on 10/20/2010 3:10pm PT  

Think Progress has a great report today on the billionaire industry titans, U.S. Supreme Court Justices (including Scalia and Thomas), infamous front-group astroturfers and Rightwing media scammers who meet in secret twice a year --- as they did last year in Aspen and will again this January in Palm Springs --- to plot how they will spend their billions to keep "liberty" and "freedom" available to all (of them) and to plot the 2010 and 2012 elections for Republicans.

The story includes the actual invitation letter [PDF] to the upcoming Palm Springs event, from Vast Rightwing Conspiracy funder, billionaire Charles G. Koch of Koch Industries Inc., along with the agenda and participants of last year's Aspen meeting attached to it.

The letter begins creepily enough: "If not us, who? If not now, when?", but my favorite part is this part from the reprint of the agenda of last year's meeting...

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

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Rove protege, disgraced U.S. Attorney Purge appointee has largely escaped media/voter scrutiny...
By Brad Friedman on 10/19/2010 4:36pm PT  

And, also speaking of the long-waged Republican War on Democracy, it's nice to see a bit of in-depth coverage of issues that actually matter from local news reporters for a change. Here's Melissa Sims of KARK 4 News in Arkansas last night, on the vote caging of Tim Griffin, the Karl Rove protege installed as U.S. Attorney without Senate confirmation by the Bush Administration during their infamous U.S. Attorney purge.

Griffin, notoriously, was discovered to have sent caging emails to RNC colleagues during the 2004 election in Ohio. He denies any wrong-doing, though BBC investigative journalist and author [and occasional BRAD BLOG guest blogger] Greg Palast who first reported on the caging emails in Griffin's name, believes otherwise. Several other independent reporters similarly confirmed his involvement in the scheme. Griffin has never been held legally accountable, in any case, despite being forced to tearfully resign as USA during the Attorney Purge investigation. He is now, incredibly, the GOP's nominee for Arkansas' 2nd District U.S. Congressional seat, proving --- yet again --- that IOKIYR.

KARK's Simas took the time to cover the matter in some detail --- a 7-minute report is extraordinary for local news --- even as it's been largely ignored by...well, just about everybody, certainly in Arkansas, until now...

Note: Simas' written report published on KARK's ArkansasMatters.com website along with the video report, is very good as well.

[Much thanks to RAW REPLAY'S David Edwards for the video embed!]

* * *

UPDATE 10/20/10: Palast picks up on this same story and writes over at Truthout that attorney Robert Kennedy Jr., having looked at the Griffin caging emails, believes that what the SarahPAC-endorsed candidate Griffin did "was absolutely illegal and he should be in jail."

* * *
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Plus: A note on our non-partisan electoral system coverage...
By Brad Friedman on 10/19/2010 2:29pm PT  

Speaking of GOP voter suppression efforts, there's this sleazy little dirty trick today, as now running on Hispanic television in Nevada, where a group calling itself "Latinos for Reform" is deceptively instructing the community "Don't Vote!" this November --- particularly in the razor-thin race between incumbent Democratic Sen. Harry Reid and his Republican challenger Sharron Angle.

You'll be shocked to learn that, of course, as TPM reports, the ads are the work of Republican political consultant, Robert Desposada. Whodda guessed it?

Here's the attention-grabbing spot, as translated into English...


And here's the version in Spanish actually airing in NV...


[UPDATE: ThinkProgress reports Univision, a subsidiary of NBC/Universal, is accepting $80k to air the GOP group's ads in Nevada. | LATER UPDATE: Univision decides to not run the ads after all, telling Think Progress late today, "Univision will not be running any spots from Latinos for Reform related to voting."]

* * *

And, perhaps this is a good time for a note for those who may not be aware as Election Day nears, particularly if you read our report yesterday on the "Republican War on Voting 2010" and little else here at The BRAD BLOG over the years: Our coverage of election issues is non-partisan...

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

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GOP groups warn fellow suckers to stop the ACORN bogeyman from stealing 2010 elections!!! (AND PLEASE DONATE!!!)...
By Brad Friedman on 10/18/2010 4:46pm PT  

We've seen a lot of insane, hyperbolic Rightwing scare emails in our time. But the one posted at the end of this article, signed by the appropriately named Gary G. Kreep, Esq., Executive Director of a group calling themselves the United States Justice Foundation (USJF), warning that ACORN is "Still alive and ready to steal the November 2 elections"(!!!) just may take the cake.

As expected, as they now do every election year, the Rightwing is ginning up this year's Republican War on Voting right on schedule. They've been at it so long, and have disinformed so many of their own gullible voters and politicians, that it's likely most of them have come to actually believe their own cynical propaganda about "massive voter fraud" by Democrats and their evil evil election-stealing allies at ACORN!

If you read TPM Muckraker, you know the RNLA ("Republican National Lawyers Association," though "Republican National Liars Association" would be at least as accurate) has been running a series of a bunch of disinfo seminars over the last few days, featuring all of the "voter fraud" fraudster all-stars and the usual suspects like grand-daddy of the GOP vote-fraud-myth set, John Fund in what they disingenuously describe as their "unprecedented" "election education efforts".

On the ground, of course, the years of disinfo has translated into Rightwing voter suppression efforts meant to do absolutely nothing more than challenge and/or intimidate Democratic-leaning voters on Election Day in order to squeeze out an advantage for Republicans as needed. We covered the shameful efforts of the "True The Vote/King Street Patriots" bunch a few weeks back. Since then, new organized efforts at playing out the GOP's great anti-democracy tradition have popped up around the nation, as expected.

The email from the "USJF" today, encapsulates the growing madness brilliantly...

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

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State Elections Enforcement Commission says it 'cannot make full and fair determination', but failed to look at documented facts and even Coulter's own admissions...
By Brad Friedman on 10/14/2010 6:10pm PT  

The Connecticut State Election Commission announced this morning in Hartford that "it cannot make a full and fair determination of the allegations" against Ann Coulter who was alleged to have committed voter fraud twice in the state by voting illegally from her residence in New York City while being registered at her parents home in the Nutmeg State.

After a nearly inexplicable 20-month investigation, the Commission found "insufficient evidence in the present matter to substantiate the Complainant's claims."

However, The BRAD BLOG can report that, based on the Commission's five-page "Findings and Conclusions", it appears the Connecticut board either overlooked or ignored key evidence, including specific documentation of Coulter's illegal voting history in the state of Florida (they were only off by more than a year!), as well as her own incriminating admissions on the Fox "News" Channel about living in New York City......

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

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By Brad Friedman on 10/6/2010 2:04pm PT  

Will Ann Coulter finally be held accountable for having committed voter fraud? We may find out on October 14th when the matter will come up at a public hearing by Connecticut's State Elections Commission after an extraordinarily long two-year delay since the complaints about her allegedly illegal absentee votes in 2002 and 2004 were filed.

As The BRAD BLOG spent years documenting beyond a shadow of a doubt concerning her voter registration fraud and voter fraud in a different state, Florida, Ann Coulter committed third degree felony voter registration fraud, along with a first degree voter fraud misdemeanor, when she lied about her residency and then knowingly voted at the wrong polling place in Palm Beach County, FL, in 2005.

Years of lying to the media, as well as election and law enforcement officials, and a last-minute, inappropriate intervention by a former boyfriend in the FBI, helped run out the clock on those charges. Her offenses in the Sunshine State were eventually found to be beyond the statute of limitations by the Florida State Election Commission (FSEC). The stalling by other friendly Florida agencies took so long that the FSEC didn't receive the case until years after it had been originally reported to law enforcement by the Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections. So she got off the hook and was never held accountable for easily documented crimes in Florida. [After years of reporting that part of the story in pieces as it developed, we told the entire sordid tale in one fell swoop in Hustler magazine. That April 2008 exposé can be read in full here.]

However, in Connecticut, where official complaints were filed in 2009 --- by a conservative activist --- that she also committed absentee voter fraud in the years prior to moving to Florida, when she allegedly voted illegally from her residence in New York, there is no such statute of limitations for voter fraud. [See UPDATE at bottom of story for someone who disagrees with that point.]

After a 20-month delay, Coulter's case is finally coming up for a vote at a public hearing before CT's State Elections Enforcement Commission (SEEC) on October 14th at 9:00am, 20 Trinity St. in Hartford CT, according to an email from the commission's MaryAnn Stratton and confirmation from the commission's director of communication...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 10/4/2010 11:07am PT  

Who could have foreseen it? (Oh, right, we did, months ago, when we described this year's appalling SCOTUS decision in Citzens United as "a case that would live in infamy.")

The following comes from Washington Post today (which, btw, doesn't bother to correct blatant errors in its reporting on other matters, but that's a different issue):

Interest groups are spending five times as much on the 2010 congressional elections as they did on the last midterms, and they are more secretive than ever about where that money is coming from.

The $80 million spent so far by groups outside the Democratic and Republican parties dwarfs the $16 million spent at this point for the 2006 midterms. In that election, the vast majority of money - more than 90 percent - was disclosed along with donors' identities. This year, that figure has fallen to less than half of the total, according to data analyzed by The Washington Post.

The trends amount to a spending frenzy conducted largely in the shadows.

The bulk of the money is being spent by conservatives, who have swamped their Democratic-aligned competition by 7 to 1 in recent weeks.
...
The Supreme Court cleared the way for unlimited spending by corporations, unions and other interest groups on election ads in its 5 to 4 decision this year in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission. Many interest groups are organized as nonprofits, which are not required to disclose their financial backing, helping fuel the increase in secret donors.

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By Brad Friedman on 10/3/2010 10:44am PT  

Duckin' brilliant...


[From Rebellious Pixels, by way of Boing Boing and Will Shetterly with hat-tip to Ana Marie Cox.]

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By Brad Friedman on 9/27/2010 4:02pm PT  

The political positions of those describing themselves as sympathetic to the "Tea Party" represent a vast minority view, far outside of the mainstream positions represented by 2008 voters, according to a new poll commissioned by Project Vote.

The study finds self-described "Tea Partiers," and their political concerns, are far outweighed by the views of everyone else, despite the absurdly out-of-proportion coverage granted to them by the corporate mainstream media.

Analysis of the findings from around the net also underscores what we've long argued here at The BRAD BLOG: the Tea Baggers don't actually give a damn about "the deficit" or even the Constitution. If they did, they wouldn't have waited until after Republicans lost the elections in 2008 to start marching and decrying the deficit explosion (and supposed concerns about Constitutional rights) brought about under the previous Administration. They would have been out marching along with the real Tea Partiers, those who supported Ron Paul as long ago as 2007, and his concerns about unbridled deficit spending and the trampling of Constitutional rights during the eight years of the Bush Administration.

Here are some of the key findings from the new poll. In them, we learn what every MSMer should have endeavored to figure out and take into account long ago, before granting so much free exposure to the radical extremist fringe represented by these people...

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

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Or, the more Republicans 'change,' the more they stay the same...
By Brad Friedman on 9/24/2010 11:54am PT  

As comedian John Fugelsang wryly tweeted recently: "My only real beef with the Republican Party is that they keep forcing me to vote for Democrats."

As horrendous as the Democratic leadership (particularly in the Senate) has been over the last several years --- little better underscores that horrendousness than the embarrassing Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's announcement yesterday that he'd be putting off a vote for overwhelmingly popular middle-class tax-cuts until after the election --- the Republicans still remain far worse...and far more dangerous to both the country and the world.

Where the Ds are hapless, short-sighted, and cowardly, the Rs remain apologetically insidious, dangerous, shameless, and disingenuous.

The Daily Show's brilliant video montage last night, marking yesterday's thud-like introduction of the GOP's "Pledge to America" (which, we'd wager, is likely to be all but abandoned and forgotten by Rs by the time November 2 rolls around), illustrates that point as ingenuously as we've ever seen.

If Rep. John Boehner (R-OH) --- likely to become Speaker of the House if Republicans take it over this year --- had any shame, he'd be ashamed of himself. But he doesn't. So he won't...

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