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Latest Featured Reports | Wednesday, April 16, 2014
The Climate Is Invading the Earth! To Battle Stations!
If only the climate was a person that could be defeated with guns -- the world might finally take the threat that climate change now poses with the seriousness it deserves....
'Green News Report' 4/15/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
GNR Special Coverage: The UN Inter- governmental Panel on Climate Change Report on Mitigation: costs, risks, and opportunities. Is it too late avoid climate catastrophe?...
Previous GNRs: 4/10/14 - 4/8/14 - Archives...
'Conservative' RW 'Legal' Blogger Defends Freeloading Nevada Rancher
PowerLine's hyper-partisan John Hinderaker admits Cliven Bundy 'doesn't have a [legal] leg to stand on', but digs deep to find a reason - any reason - to defend the scofflaw anyway...
Sunday News Shows Fail to Mention U.S. Senate CIA Torture & Detention Report
Despite U.S. and international crimes outlined in the findings, based on first-hand CIA docs, not a single Sunday show even brought it up...
NSA Knew About, Exploited Internet Open Source Bug for Years
What part of "national security' does the National Security Agency not understand?!...
Destroying America: 'Obamacare' Kills Another Business
Free charitable medical clinic in rural Arkansas to close doors after health insurance reform law leads to lack of clientele...
'Green News Report' 4/10/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
RW Heartland Institute says 'climate change will be good for you!'; Russia threatens natural gas supplies to Ukraine, Europe; PLUS: Attack of the Tumbleweeds! (No, really!)...
Previous GNRs: 4/8/14 - 4/3/14 - Archives...
'Green News Report' 4/8/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
Study: CNN, Fox 'News' FAIL on climate; CNN looks for plane, finds ocean of garbage; PLUS: Energy co. receives record fine for 85 years of toxic waste (& couldn't be happier about it)...
Previous GNRs: 4/3/14 - 4/1/14 - Archives...
Christie's E-Cig 'Sin Tax' Due to 'Public Health' Concerns?
After slashing anti-smoking programs, 'conservative' Christie admin offers absurd reason for massive new tax, but NJ Star-Ledger ain't buyin' it. And neither are we...
Federal Judge to TX Repubs: Turn Over the Docs!
Courts rules TX legislators must provide documentation related to passage of polling place Photo ID restrictions which may prove the discriminatory intent of the new GOP law...
'A New Kind of Liberty' for the Kochs and Anyone Else Who Can Afford to Buy It
Have the rightwing judicial activists on the Supreme Court made you feel freer yet?...
'McCutcheon' Mints Millions for Mass Media
Veteran journalist and media activist Sue Wilson explains how the new U.S. Supreme Court ruling is a windfall for the MSM. She also has an idea what to do about it...
'Green News Report' 4/3/14
Startling U.N. climate change report; Kochs enviro champs, say Kochs; TX wind power record; PLUS: ExxonMobil says 'F#@K you! We're ExxonMobil!'...
Reproductive Rights & Campaign Finance Law: KFPK 'BradCast'
Katie Klabusich says she's being 'targeted' by Eric Scheidler's anti-choice group. They both join Brad. PLUS: Ian Millhiser on SCOTUS McCutcheon ruling...
SCOTUS 'MCCUTCHEON' RULING TRASHES EVEN MORE CAMPAIGN FINANCE LIMITS
'Free speech' for the super rich wins again at the Roberts Supreme Court...
'Green News Report' 4/1/14
It's our special 'April Fox Day' edition of the GNR! Celebrating the anti-scientists and fossil-fueled fools at Fox 'News'!...
FCC Rolls Back Corporate TV Consolidation
Under its new chairman, the federal agency finally takes one small step to fulfill their mandate of assuring the public airwaves are actually used in the public interest...
NATIONWIDE STUDY FINDS ALMOST NO VOTER FRAUD
Just 10 cases of in-person impersonation in all 50 states since 2000...
VIDEO: 'Rise of the Tea Bags'
Brad interviews American patriots...
'Democracy's Gold Standard'
Hand-marked, hand-counted ballots...
Brad's Upcoming Appearances
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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...


By Ernest A. Canning on 2/28/2012 3:24pm PT  

Guest blogged by Ernest A. Canning

We recently detailed how legal documents reveal that prosecutors in Wisconsin are painstakingly examining evidence that may well place Gov. Scott Walker (R-WI) at the center of a criminal conspiracy to illegally utilize employees within the Milwaukee County Executive Office to engage in fundraising and campaign activities. We observed that a recall may therefore be the least of Walker's worries.

The relationship between Walker's potential criminal liability and his recall vulnerability has not gone unnoticed by the WI Democratic Party. Asserting that Walker "has given a blizzard of contradictory statements about what he knew and when he knew it," WI Democratic Party Chairman Mike Tate released an ad which refers to the pending criminal scandal as "Walkergate" (see video below) and draws an analogy to Richard Nixon's role in Watergate.

Simultaneously, the embattled governor on Monday abandoned his effort to challenge the more than one million signatures submitted on the Recall Walker petition...

Recall Walker ad comparing Scott Walker to Richard Nixon follows...

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By Brad Friedman on 2/27/2012 7:10pm PT  

Tomorrow (Tuesday), there's yet another "make-or-break" set of Primaries for the GOP establishment's preferred front-runner Mitt Romney in both Arizona and his home-state of Michigan. While pre-election polls suggest Romney's the run-away favorite in AZ, he reportedly has only a marginal lead in MI. Should he lose that state tomorrow, his party, and their nomination process, could well descend into complete chaos (even more so than it already is.)

But here's the good news for Election Integrity fans keeping an eye on the race track for tomorrow's horse race: Both Arizona and Michigan allow all voters to vote on paper ballots at the polling place if they wish. So there's actually something to count that reflects the voters' intent.

The bad news: Rather than count those ballots, the states will run them through oft-failed, easily-manipulated optical-scan computer systems and report whatever it is that the computers announce as "the results."

While many Americans mistakenly place faith in these systems, a report in today's New York Daily News illustrates --- yet again --- how foolhardy that is. And this one is a doozy (yes, yet another one)...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 2/27/2012 11:21am PT  

My full story on this is at Salon today. But, here's the skinny.

It looks like Indiana's now-former Republican Sec. of State, Charlie White, who was found guilty of three voter fraud felonies and three other felonies early this month, has now been sentenced.

And it also looks like the old adage --- It's Okay If You're a Republican (IOKIYAR) --- continues to ring true in the Hoosier State. Despite being the top election official in the very first state in the union to institute disenfranchising polling place Photo ID restrictions, Charlie White has gotten off with a slap on the wrist, essentially, for three intentional voter fraud felonies, and the three others he was found guilty of as well.

His sentencing hearing was held last week. He pretended to be contrite before the judge (unlike when he appeared days earlier on Fox "News"), so it turns out he'll serve just one year in home detention for all of his crimes. The sentencing, naturally, has left him "elated."

The fates of other, less Republican, less high-ranking folks however, such as those who were prosecuted with the full force of the federal government during the George W. Bush Administration's unprecedented, if failed attempt to ferret out "voter fraud" crimes, were not quite as lucky. Unfortunately, they were used as fodder to help Republicans push for those polling place Photo ID laws (which would have failed to deter either them or White from committing voter fraud) by Bush's wholly politicized Dept. of Justice.

For folks like Wisconsin's Kimberly Prude and Florida's Usman Ali, to name just two examples of those who were caught in that buzz-saw, and who each committed far less egregious --- far far far less egregious --- crimes than those intentionally committed by White, the legal system was not nearly as kind.

Prude, who tried to rescind her own absentee vote before the 2004 election, immediately after learning from her probation officer that she was not allowed to vote --- despite never having served time in jail and being on felony probation for having passed a bad check four years earlier --- was forced to serve more than a year in prison. Ali, who never even voted at all, had it even worse. He was deported to Pakistan where he hadn't live in more than 10 years, destroying his life in this country for not just himself, but for his American wife and daughter as well.

I tell the whole story --- of White's virtually scot-free sentencing, as compared to Prude's and Ali's --- in my story today at Salon. Please give it a read.

As you might expect, the moral, once again, is: IOKIYAR.

* * *
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Vet told Veteran's ID invalid for voting, others completely disenfranchised in first roll-out of Republican anti-voter law...
By Brad Friedman on 2/23/2012 2:55pm PT  

Well, golly, who coulda seen this coming? And I suspect it's just the beginning...

Tuesday was the official launch of Wisconsin’s new Voter-I.D. law, with citizens now required to present a photo-identification card in order to cast a ballot in the primaries for local elections. And as it turns out, one man refused to vote, because he was so angry that his card from the Department of Veterans Affairs was not on the approved list.

As the Racine Journal Times reported, 69-year old veteran Gil Paar was shocked when poll workers told him his photo I.D. from the V.A. wasn’t on the accepted list. They then asked him if he had a driver’s license — which he did — but he instead refused to show it and left the precinct. “Basically I was trying to make a point,” Paar told the paper. “I gave them four years of my life, why shouldn’t I be able to use my vet’s card?”

As the paper reports, the state election officials explain that the way the law was written, a military-related I.D. must be issued by a uniform service — which does not include the Department of Veterans Affairs. The bottom line: For whatever the reason might be, whether intentional or an accident, V.A. cards were not included on the list.
...
Paar also explained that he sees a serious problem: “There’s a possibility that a veteran could have only this type of I.D., because he’s had a stroke, let’s say, up at the V.A. hospital. And because of that, he had his driver’s license taken away. So case in point, he would have only this Veterans Administration I.D. through the hospital.

“And they’re telling me I can’t use it, I couldn’t use it. this is not right. you’ve got a guy who serves, does his time in the Air Force, or Army or the Navy, and then he comes home and can’t vote? What the f—- did I go in for?”

There were other similar stories Tuesday, during the first full roll-out of the Wisconsin GOP's new anti-voter law, passed disingenuously under the guise of curbing "voter fraud". And Tuesday's was just a tiny election. For example, this from Isthmus' The Daily Page...

Melanie Sax and other poll workers recognized the longtime voter. They also found her name and address in the poll book. But she did not have a photo ID for Tuesday's primary so she could not vote.

"She was fairly recently in a car accident and couldn't make it to the DOT to get a Wisconsin ID," said Sax, the chief elections inspector at the polling location at Trinity United Methodist Church on Vilas Avenue. The woman, who does not drive, has neither a driver's license nor a state ID.

That woman was Marge Curtin, 62, who has been living and voting in the Vilas Avenue area for some 40 years. In fact, one of her good friends, whom she met while a nursing student at St. Marys in the 1960s, was working the polls Tuesday.

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

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By Brad Friedman on 2/22/2012 7:48pm PT  

While the GOP and its operatives have been on a tear over the last year (and many more), falsely claiming an epidemic of Democratic "voter fraud" meriting the potential disenfranchisement of tens of thousands of legal (and mostly Democratic) voters through polling place Photo ID restriction laws in order stop it, the recent spate of actual voter fraud by high profile Republicans --- both alleged-with-much-evidence and actually-proven-in-a-court-of-law --- continues apace.

The latest high-profile Republican to join the ranks of apparent voter fraud felons is Sen. Richard Lugar of Indiana. Like Republican Sec. of State Charlie White, who was found guilty of three counts of felony voter fraud (and three other felonies) earlier this month, Lugar hails from Indiana, the very first state in the nation, ironically enough, to implement voter suppressing polling place Photo ID laws in 2008.

And, like White, those draconian laws did absolutely nothing to stop Lugar from apparently committing voter fraud under the law, since the only type of voter fraud potentially deterred by polling place Photo ID laws are the incredibly rare cases of in-person polling place impersonation. Where voter fraud occurs to any measurable extent, it is in cases like Lugar's, White's, and all of the GOP superstars we'll remind you of again below.

The allegations against Lugar, who has been registered to vote at a house he has not lived in since 1977, were detailed quickly Tuesday night on the Rachel Maddow Show. A complaint against Lugar has been filed by a group of Indiana "Tea Partiers" challenging his eligibility for office, as publicized last week by Lugar's primary opponent in the 2012 election, Indiana State Treasurer Richard Mourdock.

Maddow's report, embedded below, was the prelude to her interview with independent Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont. Sanders is one of four non-Republican U.S. Senators who have now requested a study by the non-partisan Government Accountability Office (GAO) on the problem of "voter fraud" in this nation, particularly in the 14 states where Republican legislatures have recently passed polling place Photo ID restrictions under the pretense of stopping it. If that study finds what all of the other legitimate ones have found to date, we'll learn yet again how extraordinarily rare in-person voter fraud is and, at the same time, how many thousands and/or millions of Americans stand to be disenfranchised by the very laws that Republicans pretend are meant to deter it.

Here's her report...


And, by way of service to those who may yet to have noticed, here again is an update of our quick summary of the recent (and quickly growing!) spate of serious fraud allegations and convictions of a number of very high-profile Republicans other than Lugar. The list, please note, also includes several of this year's GOP candidates currently vying for the party's nomination for President of the United States...

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

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The end MAY(?) be near for 'Webster's Follies'...
By Brad Friedman on 2/18/2012 6:16pm PT  

It was "standing room only" in the combined supercaucus in Washington County, Maine today, according to the Bangor Daily News. The paper reports "Ron Paul scores big wins in Hancock and Washington counties," the two counties which had yet to hold all of their caucuses before Maine's hapless, attempted vote suppressor and state GOP Chair Charlie Webster prematurely announced Mitt Romney the "winner" of the state caucuses by just 194 votes one week ago tonight.

But, according to both the paper's tallies and the state party's, Paul's pickups today were not enough to top Romney, as one more town has yet to caucus (Castine is currently scheduled for March 3), and as revised results, posted by the state GOP late last night, continue to be scrutinized...

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

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State GOP Chair Charlie Webster slimes Paul supporters; Party finally relents and releases updated numbers...
By Brad Friedman on 2/17/2012 2:49pm PT  

[Late tonight, after promising not to do so, and then changing their minds under pressure, the Maine GOP has finally released updated results. Those new results are linked and examined in the UPDATE now added to the bottom of this article.]

"The fight for Maine is far from over," says Cincinnati's Fox19 reporter Ben Swann, as he reported new numbers for Maine's 2012 GOP Caucuses last night.

The State's GOP Chairman Charlie Webster had announced last Saturday night that Mitt Romney had won Maine's caucuses by just 194 votes over Ron Paul. But, as we've been reporting, several counties had yet to even cast their votes at that time and, as we detailed in a follow-up report last night, the results of caucuses in dozens of towns across the state had simply been zeroed out in the state GOP's officially published results [PDF].

A firestorm of criticism directed towards the hapless Webster --- who had unsuccessfully fought last year to keep legal student voters in the state from being able to cast their legal vote at all, under the fraudulent guise that they were committing "voter fraud" --- has resulted in his backtracking on just about everything, including his own previous attempt to keep results from caucuses yet to be held from being included in the final results at all.

Swann says that he was able to ascertain results from several of the caucuses that had been reported by the GOP on Saturday as showing no votes at all having been cast. That, despite caucuses having been held in many of those towns last week, several of them a full week before Webster's apparent attempt to disenfranchise voters and steal the election for Romney last Saturday night.

Romney's lead, before the remaining 2 of 16 Maine counties vote tomorrow has now shrunk from 194 votes to just 157, according to new results obtained by Swann...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 2/16/2012 4:12pm PT  

[Now UPDATED TWICE with new details at bottom of article.]

It figures. The one time we're on the road and unable to keep up with things on a minute-by-minute basis, a major election would be stolen outright. And there's not a disenfranchising polling place Photo ID restriction in the world that could have done a thing to stop the thieves.

Despite the reputation The BRAD BLOG has gained in some quarters over the years, I don't believe we have ever outright declared an election as "stolen." That has now changed as the Republican Party of Maine has blatantly stolen the 2012 GOP Caucuses in their state for Mitt Romney, as we detailed yesterday.

That fact is just the latest data point in a remarkable and rapidly expanding spate of GOP election fraud by very high profile Republicans across the nation, as we also detailed in yesterday's report.

The question now: Can it be "stolen back"?

Happily, even though we're on the road, the issue is being covered very well this time around by Rachel Maddow at MSNBC. Her coverage last night honed in on a few additional points in this remarkable story, underscoring the blatant theft and breathtaking hypocrisy in the entire embarrassing, if enlightening, affair.

Among the points she expanded on last night (several of which we'd flagged in our coverage yesterday): the call by a Maine county Republican committee for the immediate removal of the shameless and breathtakingly dishonest state GOP Chair Charlie Webster and how the state party leadership not only seems to have lied to voters about results from postponed caucuses to be held this Saturday in Washington County, but how new evidence from Waldo County suggests the party may have simply just made up "results" out of whole cloth --- and then tried to keep those fake numbers a secret from the public in order to award the race to Mitt Romney by 194 votes over Ron Paul.

All of that, remember, before an entire county --- Washington County, one of just 16 in the entire state --- has even managed to hold their caucuses and vote at all in the statewide contest.

This is remarkable stuff and perhaps made more remarkable by the fact that this isn't currently at the top of every news outlet in the nation...

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

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Republican election fraud epidemic continues...
By Brad Friedman on 2/15/2012 1:37pm PT  

The state GOP itself has stolen the state for Mitt Romney in Maine's 2012 Caucuses. Period.

Might Romney be the actual winner once all votes are actually cast and counted? Perhaps. But the fact is, the Maine Republican Party has purposely blocked that from happening and the apparent loser in all of this --- beside the voters of Maine --- is Congressman Ron Paul who, according to the official results reported by the state GOP last Saturday night, "lost" to Romney by just 194 votes.

Adding to the outrage, the election fraud was perpetrated by the Chairman of the state's Republican Party, Charlie Webster.

Readers of The BRAD BLOG may well remember Webster as the man who spent months attempting to wholesale disenfranchise thousands of legal student voters in the state of Maine, on the entirely fraudulent basis that they were committing "voter fraud" because they were out-of-state students who, living in Maine and going to school there most of the year, should be, nonetheless, barred from voting there.

Federal law clearly states otherwise, allowing such students to vote in Maine. And even the Sec. of State there, Republican Charles E. Summers, Jr., who investigated Webster's "evidence" for his case, found it to be entirely baseless. (Though that didn't keep Summers himself from sending threatening letters to many of those perfectly legal student voters, in apparent hopes of intimidating them into not casting their votes in The Pine Tree State.)

While Webster was pretending that massive voter fraud was occurring in Maine, he has now, himself committed a massive case of election fraud by announcing the winner of last week's Maine Caucuses as Mitt Romney despite his full knowledge that voters in at least three different counties have been entirely disenfranchised, with their votes not included in his "final" results. Many of those voters haven't even been allowed to cast their votes yet at all.

Last Saturday Night, the scheduled end of the week long state caucuses, Webster announced before live television cameras with much fanfare: "I'm now gonna announce the winner of the Maine GOP poll. And that winner is Mitt Romney."

But Webster was lying, and committing a massive act of knowing election fraud in the process as he made his announcement. His deceptive act was simply the latest in a grotesque and growing series of election fraud acts carried out this year by high-level GOP personalities and officials, including confirmed and alleged fraud by several of the party's Presidential contenders...

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

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But don't blame voters or hand-counted paper ballots...
By Brad Friedman on 2/6/2012 3:40pm PT  

Iowa's "First-in-the-Nation" Caucuses managed to publicly tally some 122,000 hand-marked paper ballots at 1,774 caucus sites within an hour or two after votes were cast, in such a way that any problems or typos in the state GOP's reporting of the results could be quickly verified by many different sources as inaccurate, thanks to the thousands who were able to oversee the hand-counting on caucus night.

This year Iowa had the tightest results in state history --- just 34 votes were ultimately reported as separating the first and second place candidates --- and yet almost nobody is shouting "fraud" or questioning the results in the Hawkeye State today after what was, in truth, a model of transparent democracy.

Contrast that with the embarrassing and disastrous mess that took place across the state of Nevada on Saturday --- and in the days that followed --- where just 33,000 hand-marked paper ballot votes were cast (down from 44,000 in 2008), but where GOP officials were unable to report even preliminary results to the public until 1am on Monday!

In the bargain, candidates and media and the public are questioning even those late late late results, while nowhere near as many votes were cast, and the results do not appear to be anywhere as close.

So what went wrong in Nevada this year that didn't go wrong in Iowa?...

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

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Controversy over replacement of state's chief election official kicks off; Epidemic of high-profile GOP voter fraud continues...
By Brad Friedman on 2/4/2012 1:17pm PT  

The chief election official in the very first state in the nation to implement polling place Photo ID restrictions --- under the guise of preventing "voter fraud" --- has been found guilty of three counts of felony voter fraud today.

In an early morning verdict following 12 hours of deliberation, a jury in Hamilton County found Indiana's Republican Secretary of State Charlie White guilty of three counts of voter fraud related to having voted in a precinct where he did not live and where he was illegally registered to vote. The Hoosier State's controversial first-in-the-nation Photo ID restrictions, originally implemented in 2008, did nothing to prevent either White's illegal registration or his unlawful vote for himself as Secretary of State in 2010 when he was elected to office.

Of the seven criminal felony counts White had been charged with in March of 2011, the jury also found him guilty of three other Class D felonies related to perjury and theft, while clearing him of one Class C felony for fraud on a financial institution.

White has vowed to appeal the decision in hopes of lowering the convictions to misdemeanor charges, rather than felonies.

Under Indiana law, a felony conviction makes White ineligible to serve in state office and would create a vacancy to be filled by Republican Governor Mitch Daniels. However, even if today's felony charges are upheld, the fight over who will replace White as Indiana's chief election official is likely to continue for some time, since a separate recent ruling against him in a related civil case could take precedence over today's verdict.

Republicans are hoping Daniels will be allowed to name White's replacement, even though a judge last December ordered White immediately removed from office and replaced by his Democratic opponent from the 2010 election, after determining that White had been illegally on the ballot in the first place thanks to his improper registration.

White's conviction is the latest in what is shaping up as spate of voter fraud convictions, allegations, and investigations of high profile GOP officials, including allegations against several of the party's 2012 Presidential candidates...

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

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PLUS: Meet Jack Abramoff, Muckraking Anti-Lobbying Blogger!
By Brad Friedman on 2/3/2012 1:26pm PT  

[Now UPDATED at bottom of article.]

Hilarious. For some odd reason, the latest super-secret Koch Brothers Winter Seminar for millionaires, billionaires and elected Republicans and judges, once again near Palm Springs this year, decided to up its already tight security big time. They were forced to buy out an entire resort (using an alias) for several days in Indian Wells, closing down its restaurants and golf courses to the public and sending home many of its workers for the duration. Not that any of that kept ace reporter Lee Fang from finding out about it and heading out there, as detailed in his new exclusive today:

The summit, organized by the billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch, was cloaked in secrecy. Helicopters, private security, and police officers from neighboring cities patrolled the area constantly.
...
The Renaissance Esmerelda, the conference venue this year, was guarded carefully with every entrance blocked and the entire 560-room resort rented out. I arrived at the hotel the night before the event, but was followed closely by security and asked to leave the next morning before the Koch meeting guests arrived.
..
Though the donors will funnel tens of millions of dollars into the election this year, they will not have to disclose a single cent. Using an elaborate array of foundations, nonprofits, and other legal entities, the Koch network sponsored bus tours, attack ads, think tanks, and hired Tea Party organizers to shape the midterm elections two years ago. Now it appears they appear to be expanding their effort.

The most that the public knows about these meetings has been culled from leaked audio tapes, reporting from journalists like Ken Vogel, and from an invitation I exclusively reported back in October of 2010.
...
At the Palm Springs Airport last weekend, I eventually ran into Phil Kerpen, the vice president of Americans for Prosperity, the Tea Party group founded by David Koch. Kerpen, who was in a rush to make it to the event, didn’t say much about the agenda. Kerpen’s group recently purchased $6 million in undisclosed attack ads against President Obama, the largest such buy of the entire campaign cycle so far.

Kerpen asked how I knew about the conference. “I thought they had stopped all leaks,” he muttered, as I walked with him through the baggage claim.
...
“Ask your leaker to post my speech, because it’s very good,” he added, before getting in a car with two associates.

The added secrecy was apparent even to local reporters, who were confused about why the multi-golf course Esmerelda Renaissance was locked down and why the hotel staff couldn’t talk to anyone about what was going on.

Heheh...Sounds like that must have cost a lot of additional money! Sorry if we caused you any problems, Mr. and Mr. Koch! :-)

* * *

By the way, the exclusive by Fang --- formerly of ThinkProgress --- kicks off the new Republic Report blog ("Investigating how money corrupts democracy") with a bang today. The new muckraking project of the similarly new United Republic ("Democracy is not for sale") organization, includes the work of Fang, a number of other great and (mostly) progressive muckrakers and trouble makers, but also includes...wait for it...Jack Abramoff!

Yes, that Jack Abramoff --- the former, now-disgraced, previously-imprisoned, but now-finally-free and supposedly-reformed GOP uber-lobbyist! Steve Clemons at The Atlantic explains in his profile of the noteworthy new project today.

Fang's contributions (follow him on Twitter at @LHFang) alone would be reason enough to keep an eye on Republic Report. Everything else is more than enough icing on a tantalizing new cake to demand the site be bookmarked immediately...in our always humble opinion, of course.

* * *

UPDATE 3:50pm PT: Amanda Terkel and Ryan Grim at Huffington Post report a source inside the Koch's democracy-hating meeting near Palm Springs this year says the group "pledged approximately $100 million to defeat President Obama in the 2012 elections" during the course of the retreat, and offered another interesting thought as well...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 2/1/2012 12:27pm PT  

I joined Thom Hartmann on his Big Picture TV show last night to discuss The BRAD BLOG's exclusive report from earlier in the day confirming the Virginia State Attorney General's newly launched criminal investigation into the 1,500 allegedly fraudulent signatures turned in by the Gingrich Campaign in their failed attempt to be included on the VA GOP Primary ballot...

By the way, since we broke the news yesterday morning, several outlets have picked up and/or confirmed our report. Though, frankly, not as many as one would think given the nature and scope of the story. Certainly not as many who would have picked it up had either the now-defunct ACORN, or any Democrat been accused of doing the very same thing.

Other than our report, Tommy Christopher's coverage at Mediaite was probably the most detailed (and included both my name and a link to our story), followed by Dan Roem at National Journal (who credits the story to having "broke in the liberal blogosphere" --- though at least he included a link here...even though that link was broken when I last checked), then Julian Walker at The Virginia-Pilot (who didn't bother to credit anybody for the story) and NBC4-Washington who, in their short piece, did manage to mention and link properly to The BRAD BLOG.

There were a few other mentions (Dave Weigel at Slate, for example) but, far and away, the greatest way our stories are spread are by you guys and others spreading the word yourselves through comments at other sites, email, and via Twitter and Reddit. (The comments on the posting at Reddit --- where a huge number of folks up-voted the story --- were very, um, enlightening, as you'll see if you bother to read them.)

Of course, Fox "News", who mentions, actually highlights, every time an ACORN worker is accused of farting over the years (whether they actually farted or not) has yet to say a word about this story. Wonder why.

Just thought you might be interested in how folks sometimes deal --- or don't --- with original, exclusive stories that we break here. Sometimes they pick them up, sometimes they don't. Sometimes they offer appropriate credit, quite often they don't. That, despite the hundreds of stories we've broken over the years, with an impeccable record for accuracy and independent verifiability in just about every damned one of them.

* * *
Please support The BRAD BLOG's fiercely independent, award-winning coverage of your electoral system, as available from no other media outlet in the nation, with a donation to help us keep going (Snail mail, more options here). If you like, we'll send you some great, award-winning election integrity documentary films in return! Details right here...

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By Brad Friedman on 1/31/2012 5:35am PT  

Had the same thing been carried out by a worker for the now-defunct ACORN, Republicans --- and even Newt Gingrich --- would have called it massive "voter fraud." But the 1,500 acts of fraud, by Gingrich's own admission, were carried out by a worker hired by his campaign, so it seems the media have barely noticed it.

Nonetheless, The BRAD BLOG has received confirmation from two different state agencies that the 1,500 alleged cases of ballot petition fraud said to have been carried out on behalf of the Gingrich campaign, in their unsuccessful attempt to qualify for the Republican primary ballot in Virginia, are now being carried out by the state Attorney General's office.

In late December, after Gingrich had failed to turn in enough valid signatures to qualify for the Virginia primary ballot, he was caught on video tape telling a supporter in Iowa that the reason for the failure was due to a campaign worker who created 1,500 fraudulent signatures.

"We turned in 11,100 --- we needed 10,000 --- 1,500 of them were by one guy who, frankly, committed fraud," Gingrich is seen and heard saying in video originally aired by CNN.

The former Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives downplayed the incident, by explaining to the woman that the entire affair was "just a mistake," after they had "hired somebody who turned in false signatures."

Neither he nor his campaign, however, has made the name of the alleged "one guy" public, to our knowledge, despite the extraordinary number of fraudulent signatures created and turned in by that "one guy" in what an official at the Virginia State Board of Elections (SBE) described to us as "definitely an illegal act."

News of the embarrassing criminal investigation is confirmed today, even as voters go to the polls for Florida's 2012 GOP Primary, where Gingrich is facing off against front-runner Mitt Romney who, ironically --- and uncomfortably enough for Republicans --- may also find himself the subject of a criminal voter fraud investigation in the not-too-distant future...

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

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State's chief election official demolishes claims by state AG...
By Brad Friedman on 1/30/2012 1:50pm PT  

To paraphrase Mark Twain's famous remark in 1897, reports of 953 "dead people" having voted in recent South Carolina elections appear to be greatly exaggerated. Who could have guessed it?

Following quickly on the heels of Rightwing hoaxster James O'Keefe's successful felonious conspiracy to commit voter fraud during the New Hampshire primary this year, by receiving ballots in the name of very recently deceased voters (resulting in a Republican call for his "arrest and prosecution" in the Granite State) and the U.S. Dept. of Justice's rejection of a new South Carolina law attempting to keep registered voters from voting at the polling place unless they are able to present a state-issued Photo ID, on the basis that the state's own evidence reveals the law to be both illegal and discriminatory, the SC Attorney General pushed back by claiming that a state DMV analysis had discovered some 953 votes had been cast by "dead people" in recent elections there.

Funny thing though. Upon closer examination, as is almost always the case in these matters, those 953 "dead voters" may not be so "dead" after all. That, according to SC State Election Commission (SEC) Executive Director Marci Andino who both testified [PDF] and released a statement on the matter last week.

According to both her statement and testimony to the SC House Election Laws Subcommittee, Andino, the state's chief election official, said:

While the SEC has not yet been provided with all the information on which the claims are being made, the Attorney General's office has provided a small sample - six names from Abbeville County. A review of the voter registration lists and signatures on the poll lists from the elections in question revealed that of these six:

  • One was an absentee ballot cast by a voter who then died before election day;
  • Another was the result of an error by a poll worker who mistakenly marked the voter as Samuel Ferguson, Jr. when the voter was in fact Samuel Ferguson, III;
  • Two were the result of stray marks on the voter registration list detected by the scanner - again, a clerical error;
  • The final two were the result of poll managers incorrectly marking the name of the voter in question instead of the voter listed either above or below on the list.

Zounds! Who could have guessed that Republican claims of hordes of zombies voting in South Carolina's elections --- as first publicized in a short, evidence-free AP article trumpeted at Fox "News" --- were, um, "greatly exaggerated"?!

And that's not the only specious claim by the AG's office that Andino dismantled during her testimony last week...

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

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