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Latest Featured Reports | Tuesday, October 21, 2014
Congresswoman Sets Impeachment Deadline for Federal Judge Mark Fuller
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GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal 2012...
VA GOP VOTER REG FRAUDSTER OFF HOOK
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The Secret Koch Brothers Tapes...


By Brad Friedman on 6/9/2010 1:25pm PT  

A bit of comic relief that I was able to enjoy at the polls yesterday, as officials tried to figure out what the hell was causing my own (latest) e-voting disaster...

Many potential captions occur to me for use with the photo above, but I'll leave all of them to your imagination...or comments.

Have been working on a number of items (one rather important new exclusive), and various follow-ups to yesterday's elections. But, to be frank, my own deja vu nightmare yesterday has left me too depressed today to give much of a damn about any of it for the moment.

Will be on the radio with the very-smart-if-often-too-Libertarian-for-his-own-good Jack Blood at 2pm PT and then with the very-smart-and-always-refreshingly-well-informed Nicole Sandler @ 3:15pm PT thereafter. So hopefully one of those two appearances will cheer me up, and I'll feel like getting back to work soon. Or not.

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Failure echoes 2008, as two different machines and at least six different failures stymie both poll workers and county officials at my own home precinct...
By Brad Friedman on 6/8/2010 11:50pm PT  

-- Brad Friedman, The BRAD BLOG

Two years ago, in June of '08, the ES&S "InkaVote Plus" e-vote system in Los Angeles County misprinted 4 out of 12 of my own votes.

Today, as I tried to vote on the same system, the failure was even worse. Incredibly. And not just because I cover issues of Election Integrity for a "living."

I spent more than two and a half hours not casting a vote on the system before eventually I, the poll workers, and, apparently, the folks at the L.A. County Registrar's central help desk call center, simply gave up. A complete and total failure of the e-voting system for disabled voters in the nation's largest voting jurisdiction. Again. On a system the county spent millions to buy in order to comply with the federal Help America Vote Act (HAVA) boondoggle by allowing disabled voters to cast their votes independently. Complete and total failure.

I did my best to document the disaster as it happened, in real time, on my Twitter feed. But the cell signal was very bad at the polling place, so not everything got out. But here's what happened in detail, and with a few graphics tossed in...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 3/26/2010 2:40pm PT  

Just a quick note to mention I'll be presenting Saturday's (3/27) keynote address at the "Media Reform Summit" sponsored by CA Common Cause here in Los Angeles at Occidental College @ 11am. The theme of this year's conference is, appropriately enough, "Preserving Democracy."

After appearing on panels at each of the past two year's conferences, I'm honored to have been invited back to offer this year's keynote and am much looking forward to it. (Here's some video/text-transcript from my first appearance two years ago, on a panel alongside then-Congresswoman, now-Sec. of Labor Hilda Solis.)

If you're in the 'hood and can drop by, please do! I'll work to make it worth your time! More details, including directions, other speakers/panels, etc. are all available here...

* * *

POST-CONFERENCE UPDATE:

Video of keynote address is now posted here...

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Open letter from PDA details 'appalling record' of Democrat described by PDA-backed challenger as 'Joe Lieberman of the House'
Group seeks signatures in support of 'open letter' to Congresswoman, Co-Chair of Congressional Progressive Caucus...
By Brad Friedman on 1/11/2010 3:05pm PT  

-- By Brad Friedman and Ernest A. Canning

As The BRAD BLOG reported over the weekend, an internecine firefight has blown up among progressives who support the candidacy of Marcy Winograd against entrenched "Blue Dog" Jane Harman (D-CA), and Rep. Lynn Woolsey (D-CA), long regarded as one of the more progressive members of the U.S. Congress.

Woolsey, the co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) and a longtime Advisory Board Member of Progressive Democrats of America (PDA), stunned progressives over the last several days when it was revealed that she was endorsing, and would be participating in a fundraiser for Harman next Saturday, January 16th, as noted in our report yesterday.

In the wake of Woolsey's curious support for the seven term Democrat, PDA is issuing an email blast to supporters tonight, asking them to sign on to an open letter (posted in full below) demanding Woolsey withdraw from the upcoming event, as well as drop her endorsement of Harman who will be challenged this year by Winograd, a longtime leader in PDA's Los Angeles chapter, and the first candidate of 2010 to be endorsed by the group. Winograd ran an unsuccessful challenge against Harman in 2006, but has begun her campaign earlier this year, and hopes to capitalize on growing progressive outrage at entrechned Congressional Democrats such as Harman. In a recent letter to supporters, Winograd described Harman as "the Joe Lieberman of the House."

In the open letter posted here, initially signed by Tim Carpenter, PDA's National Director, Mimi Kennedy and PDA's Advisory Board Chair, the group, describes the process signing the letter as "painful," but describes the negative response from members to the Woolsey endorsement of Harman, and asks for her to withdraw from the event immediately.

"The tone and emphasis of the responses vary, but the overwhelming gist is clear," Carpenter and Kennedy write to Woolsey, "The progressive base is upset about your scheduled involvement [in the January 16 fund-raising event] and hopes that you will withdraw from this event. As an organization, Progressive Democrats of America joins in that request."...

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

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Primary battle looms once more between eight-term House Dem and progressive challenger...
By Ernest A. Canning on 12/29/2009 4:05pm PT  

Guest blogged by Ernest A. Canning

A little more than seven months after launching her second attempt to unseat California's powerful eight-term Democratic U.S. Congresswoman Jane Harman, the PDA-backed Marcy Winograd recently sent out a fundraising email in which she described Harman as the Joe Lieberman of the House.

In the campaign letter, Winograd notes Harman's claim in her 1998 election, as reported by the Los Angeles Times: "I was flattered to be introduced in the last election as the best Republican in the Democratic primary."

The Harman campaign did not respond to an email requesting comment on the quote above, though a spokesperson from the Winograd camp sent us a copy of the archived 1998 LA Times report on the Congresswoman's comments to "several hundred civic leaders" in downtown Los Angeles, containing her direct quote which ends with Harman adding: "I accept."

The race presents a classic David and Goliath match up. With a net worth ranging between $236 million to $558 million, Harman, is said to be one of the richest members of Congress. Winograd, by contrast, is running a bottom-up progressive campaign of the type I advocated for recently in "Progressives of America - Unite!". The match-up presents a stark contrast in directions for a conflicted Democratic Party...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 9/16/2009 10:55pm PT  

Okay. Allow me to be as fair as possible, right off the top, following that headline. The all-day symposium which LA County Registrar/Recorder & County Clerk Dean Logan was kind enough to personally invite me to attend today at the California Institute of Technology, put "Technology" before "Democracy" at least in the title of the event...

...So technology came titularly before democracy, if not more so, as I good-naturedly chided Logan this afternoon. Though, in truth, it also tended to take the lead in at least those parts of the day that I was able to attend. But its hard to blame Logan for that. It's become the trend in the "election industry" over the last few years, where techno-scientists, private corporations and others (both well-meaning and less so) have seized the day (and the tax-payer dollars), to place techno-"solutions" far ahead of the real needs of citizens and their Constitutional requirements for true, democratic self-governance.

To his credit, that wasn't necessarily Logan's purpose in scheduling or naming this symposium, meant to begin opening the process of selecting a new voting system for the nation's largest voting jurisdiction to selected "stake-holders". And the good news is, the ultimate solution (complete transparency) to our voting system woes, did tend to bubble up towards the top, to the apparent surprise of some, as the day worn on...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 9/1/2009 8:25pm PT  

On our Green News Report earlier today, we spoke about the fires raging all around us here in Los Angeles County, and beyond. Here's a very interesting, 24 second, time lapse look at one of the closest, courtesy of Eric Spiegelman, which really helps to illustrate how massive these things are right now. [hat-tip Patty Sharaf]...


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Progressive Marcy Winograd tells The BRAD BLOG why she plans to run against L.A.'s powerful U.S. Rep once again...
By Ernest A. Canning on 6/21/2009 12:21pm PT  

Guest Blogged by Ernest A. Canning

[Ed Note: Winograd will be one of my guests on the nationally syndicated Mike Malloy Show, which I'll be guest hosting all this week from 6p-9p PT, 9p-Mid. ET, on Monday night. Please tune in! - BF]

On October 20, 2005 Time magazine reported that when confronted with the prospect of an FBI investigation into whether she improperly enlisted the support of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), Representative Jane Harman (D-CA) left a voicemail stating that any investigation of her would be "irresponsible, laughable and scurrilous."

Yet, as reported by Jeff Stein of CQ Politics on April 19, 2009, Harman “was overheard on a 2005 National Security Agency wiretap telling a suspected Israeli agent that she would lobby the Justice Department to reduce espionage-related charges against two former [AIPAC] officials. “In return, the Israeli agent pledged to help lobby for Harman to become chairwoman of the House Intelligence Committee,” Stein reported.

According to Tim Rutten in the LA Times on April 22, 2009, however, "Harman denies any inappropriate actions, let alone a quid pro quo, and Tuesday sent an angry letter to Atty. Gen. Eric H. Holder Jr. demanding that the full transcripts be released." Rutten, who described it as a "faux scandal," points out that Harman neither "intervened on behalf of the lobbyists" nor became chairwoman of the House Intelligence Committee.

Recently, Marcy Winograd, President of Progressive Democrats of Los Angeles (PDLA), whose 2006 campaign was covered by The BRAD BLOG, announced her intentions to challenge Harman again in the 2010 Democratic primary election. In an email response to our query asking about her intention to run again against Harman, against whom she lost in '06, and about some specific issues of interest to our readers, Winograd noted that she has been a champion of election integrity issues, taking on a Republican CA Secretary of State for his direct work with Diebold lobbyists, as well as challenging U.S. Rep Rush Holt (D-NJ) for his 2007 election reform bill because of "its institutionalization of electronic voting systems."

She also said she intends to hold President Obama "accountable, whether it be closing Guantanamo or ending military tribunals or promoting diplomacy over war," even as she notes that she was "alarmed" by the "recent news reports of Harman's quid pro quo with AIPAC," and writes: "I feel it is my responsibility to run [against Harman], to offer constituents a choice, a real choice."

Her email response follows in full below...

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

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FLASHBACK VIDEO: Brad covers arrest with 'Fox News Alert' on FNC last October amidst phony ACORN brouhaha...
By Brad Friedman on 6/17/2009 5:30pm PT  

What's perhaps most interesting here is what isn't mentioned in this story, as written on the Los Angeles Times' "L.A. Now" blog. First, here's their entire blog item...

The owner of a voter-registration company pleaded guilty Tuesday to voter-registration fraud, according to the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office.

Laguna Beach resident Mark Jacoby, who collects signatures for petition drives, pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor and was sentenced to three years' probation and 30 days of service with the California Department of Transportation.

Jacoby, owner of Young Political Majors, registered to vote at Los Angeles addresses that were not his own. State law requires petition circulators to be qualified voters. Jacoby will also be required to show proof he is registered at his correct address.

And what they didn't bother to mention in that story?...

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

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Joins 'Internet Voting' and 'Vote-by-Mail' schemes as the latest bad ideas poised to further cripple American democracy
PLUS: IRV count fails in Aspen's first instant runoff election...
By Brad Friedman on 6/2/2009 1:38pm PT  

[Updated with a response from L.A. County Registrar Dean Logan. See end of item for his complete email in response to this article.]

Gautum Dutta, of the Democratic-leaning Asian American Action Fund blog notes a recent L.A. County Board of Supervisors meeting which "discussed a study on the cost of special elections and Instant Runoff Voting (IRV)" [emphasis added]...

While speaking to the Board of Supervisors, Registrar Recorder/County Clerk Dean Logan testified how low voter turnout and high costs have plagued our special elections. Logan urged the County to seriously consider anything that would reduce voter fatigue and save money.

In the past two years alone, $9.3 million of taxpayer dollars have been spent on special elections. Of that amount, over $3.6 million dollars were spent on special runoff elections (counting the upcoming July 14 runoff in CA’s 32nd Congressional District).

If IRV had been used instead of special runoff elections, taxpayers could have saved up to $3.6 million.

Note to Messrs. Dutta and Logan: Taxpayers could save even more money if we simply allow you two to just decide for us who gets elected!

As Logan, chief election official of the nation's largest voting jurisdiction (larger than 43 states combined see Logan's correction to this at end of article) has had more than enough problems with the current voting system which can't even add one plus one plus one accurately, such that it is virtually impossible for anybody to verify the accuracy of results, the last thing this county needs is to complicate the math even further by confusing matters with IRV's complicate scheme of ranked choice voting where voters are asked to select a first and second place choices, etc.

For that matter, unless, and until, we can simplify our election procedures such that any and all citizens are able to oversee and verify the accuracy of their election results, no jurisdiction in this country should employ schemes like IRV, no matter how well-meaning supporters of it may be in hoping to allow a broader range of candidates and parties to have a shot at winning an election.

Along with the emerging nightmares of Internet Voting and Vote-by-Mail, IRV is yet another one of the horrible wack-a-mole schemes being endlessly advanced by advocates and profiteers who put winning elections and making money off them, over the idea of transparent, verifiable, secure democracy and self-governance expressed of the people, by the people and for the people.

Addendum... From last Friday's Aspen Daily News:

More than three weeks after Aspen’s first-ever instant-runoff election, city officials announced an error in the tabulation of the final-round vote totals for mayor. ... The error did not surface in either of the council tallies or in any other rounds of the mayoral instant runoff voting tally, officials said. ... Accuracy tests were publicly conducted before the election but they did not catch the problem that ultimately occurred.

Clarification & UPDATE, 8:52pm PT:...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 5/19/2009 10:40pm PT  

Readers of The BRAD BLOG may remember my disturbing experience last June, while voting in the California state primary election on the audio balloting system here in Los Angeles County, as 4 out of 12 of my votes were misprinted by the lousy electronic voting system. As the ES&S InkaVote Plus system is generally meant for blind voters, it was doubly troubling that the only way I was able to discover the misprinted votes was by closely studying my computer-marked paper ballot before dropping it into the optical-scanner, where it would have disappeared, incorrectly voted, forever.

Well, it was Election Day again today in CA. And, after skipping the "opportunity" to use the audio ballot system to vote in last November's General Election (it takes too damn long, and I had very little time to vote that day), I thought I'd take it out for another spin during today's special election...

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

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Epicenter 10 miles SW of downtown; No injuries report so far...
By Brad Friedman on 5/17/2009 8:57pm PT  

Moments ago we felt a bit of a shake for 10 to 15 seconds or more here at The BRAD BLOG World News Headquarters. The USGS puts the time at 8:39pm PT, and rates it as a magnitude 5.0...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 3/19/2009 10:43pm PT  

Last year's Media Reform Conference with the theme "Have the Media Undermined Our Democracy?" at which I spoke, was pretty memorable. That one featured an FCC commissioner and then-Rep., now-Labor Secretary Hilda Solis (D-CA) on the panel. Here's some video and a transcript of my remarks last year.

This year, I've been invited back (book-keeping error, no doubt) and the focus will be on local media, though I'll likely be paraphrasing Tip O'Neill to make the case that 'all media is now local'.

This year's speakers include Domonique DiPrima, Tanya Acker, Mario Solis-March, Linda Milazzo, Anthony Samad and myself. Which one of us will be named Secretary of HUD next year? Who knows! But hey, it could happen!

If you're in the area, please stop on by and say hello!

"Local Media for Social Change: A Southern California Regional Summit", Saturday, March 21, 11:00am, Occidental College, Norris Hall of Chemistry, Los Angeles (Map/directions | Details/registration | Event flyer [PDF])

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Amount paid to peaceful immigration rally attendees could have covered hiring of 130 additional LAPD officers...
By Brad Friedman on 2/5/2009 10:47am PT  

It was nearly two years ago that the L.A. Police Department, in full riot regalia, fired rubber bullets and tear gas on an otherwise peaceful May Day immigration rally in MacArthur Park. We covered the stunning "May Day Melee" fairly extensively, as it was breaking here at the time. The story, which received a bit of national coverage at the time, also brought an ensuing spate of racist commenters over to The BRAD BLOG in response, many of whom blamed the victims in appalling screeds.

So a bit of good news on that front, today. On Wednesday, the LA City Council unanimously approved a settlement of nearly $13 million to those who were injured and mistreated by the LAPD that day. The agreement covers approximately 90% of the claims --- about 300 in total --- filed against the city and the LAPD alleging misconduct by the officers. There are still a few pending claims, two in federal court and 15 in state court, according to the LA Times, from some of the journalists and others who were also injured in the melee.

The Times reports that "Council President Eric Garcetti noted that the cost of the May Day agreement was enough to hire almost 130 police officers."

Councilman Ed Reyes, who represents the MacArthur Park area, recognized the importance of trying to set things right. "This was very, very critical," he's quoted in the Times. "Now we can say we acknowledge our mistakes; we are making every effort to address the weaknesses in our process, in our implementation as a Police Department, and more importantly recognizing that the community does matter."

Much of the shocking melee was caught on tape by both television stations and citizens at the rally. Among the most striking of the coverage from citizen journalists at the time was that of Jonathan Mann, whose terrifying video we ran at the time, and post again below as a reminder of what happened.

Below that, we also rerun his personal video response to the racist comments which came pouring in following coverage of the incident...back when fears of a massive immigrant invasion of the United States were being shamefully stoked by the GOP in hopes of political gain. Funny how the immigration "crisis" in America seems to have just disappeared at some point...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 10/30/2008 4:08pm PT  

We've got two shameful situations with early and absentee voting. Well, there are many more, no doubt, but for purposes of this article, we'll focus on the outrage in D.C., where thousands of voters are not receiving their absentee ballots, so they're being forced to go vote at county headquarters. And out here in Los Angeles, the world's largest voting jurisdiction, with just one, single early voting location.

News on both of those scandals --- and the response we received from our inquiry about the L.A. situation from L.A. County Registrar Dean Logan --- follow below...

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

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