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'Green News Report' 4/17/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
One year since West, TX disaster; New 'habitable' planet!; Air pollution in poor areas; Record warm March; PLUS: 'Bombshell' study: CA drought caused by global warming...
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'Conservative' RW 'Legal' Blogger Defends Freeloading Nevada Rancher
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Destroying America: 'Obamacare' Kills Another Business
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Christie's E-Cig 'Sin Tax' Due to 'Public Health' Concerns?
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Judge to TX Repubs: Turn Over the Docs!
Courts rules TX legislators must provide email related to passage of polling place Photo ID restrictions which may prove discriminatory intent of the 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?...
NATIONWIDE STUDY FINDS ALMOST NO VOTER FRAUD
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GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal 2012...
VA GOP VOTER REG FRAUDSTER OFF HOOK
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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
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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 Brad Friedman on 12/20/2011 3:30pm PT  

Yesterday afternoon, we reported on the purported call by the 'hacktivist' collectivist group 'Anonymous' to disrupt the GOP Iowa Caucus by, potentially, electronic attacks on the central tabulator used by the party to compile and announce vote totals to the media, and on the Republicans' ill-considered "security by obscurity" plans to counter such a threat.

Last night, I spoke to Thom Hartmann about the supposed threat in Iowa --- as well as the broader threat to our electoral system posed by privatized e-voting systems across the nation --- on his TV show, The Big Picture.

Here's last night's appearance...

* * *
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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UPDATE: Assailant arrested; Also, two others arrested for spitting on recall workers in separate incident...
By Brad Friedman on 12/20/2011 7:45am PT  

Thanks to the Rightwing's unshakable lock on our national media, had the Governor of Wisconsin now up for a potential recall been a Democrat, the photo above might have been among the most familiar photos in the nation this week.

However, since WI's governor Scott Walker is a Republican, this is likely the first time you've seen the photograph, or even heard that there has been yet another violent assault on a citizen petitioner seeking signatures for his recall.

Add this one to the Rightwingers found openly discussing collecting signatures for the "Recall Walker" campaign, only so they could then burn and shred them, and to the death threats received in the middle of the night and to the 30-year old West Bend man, Jeffery Karnitz, who's been charged with two counts of election fraud for defacing petitions.

The story of what happened to the camera above begins this way:

This camera was three weeks old. It was stripped off of my wrist, and thrown full force into the street by a crazy rightwing bastard. The card and battery are missing, which I learned when I tried to retrieve the day's photos and video.

It includes this:

My winter coat was ripped. My camera was destroyed. My hand is badly bruised and hurts like hell. The police left after taking all of our stories, and the three of us went back to the intersection to retrieve our signs so as not to leave litter. As we walked back, a wizened old man came up his front walk and let us know how happy he was we were hurt, and how much he hated us. He drooled positively fecal invective. Another car whizzed by and gave us the finger. Earlier, a man in a passing car slowed down and pantomimed shooting at Angela with an imaginary rifle. This is life in Walker's Wisconsin. I don't see it getting any better real soon.

The story ends with the police finding the man who did it and promising criminal charges, before this thought from the person whose camera was destroyed by a political supporter of Republican Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin:

We don't want trouble. We don't want debates. We don't want to convince anyone of anything. We merely want to give people the opportunity to sign a legally prescribed petition derived from constitutionally defined laws whose intention is to allow redress of an aggrieved population if an elected official is off the rails.

Read the full story of what happened from "noise of rain" at dKos here. And then remind yourself how everyone in the nation would likely have heard about this incident, over and over again, days ago, had the violence in this story been carried out by a Democrat against a Republican. And keep all of that in mind next time you hear one of Andrew Breitbart and Rush Limbaugh's pathetic brainwashed zombies complaining, once again, about that dastardly biased "Liberal Media."

* * *

UPDATE 12/20/11, 11:52pm PT: The local NBC affiliate, TMJ-4 in Mequon, reveals the identity of dKos blogger "noise of rain" as Dave Hakman and reports that the man who destroyed his camera has now been arrested. Details from TMJ-4's coverage follow below...

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

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Last minute 'security by obscurity' defense unlikely to ensure integrity of results...
By Brad Friedman on 12/19/2011 2:10pm PT  

Well, whaddaya know? Suddenly, after all these years of warnings from The BRAD BLOG that electronic voting systems are exceedingly vulnerable to manipulation by insider election officials as well as outside hackers from almost anywhere, such as China or Iran or even al Qaeda, the GOP is now worried about electronic vote hacking in their Iowa Caucuses on January 3rd.

"Their fear," as AP reports today, is triggered by little more than a two-minute video posted on the Internet in early November, purportedly created by the "hacktivist" collective known as Anonymous, calling on members, in a trademark computer-generated voice, to "peacefully shut down the first-in-the-nation Iowa caucuses." [The complete video is posted at the end of this article.]

Progressive radio and television host Thom Hartmann covered the AP story on his radio show this morning, suggesting that while the GOP may have concerns about Anonymous shutting down or manipulating the results of the Iowa caucuses, they may also attempt to use the opportunity of heightened security to ensure that Republican candidate Ron Paul is not named the winner. A poll released last night by Public Policy Polling (PPP) shows Paul vaulting into the lead in Iowa, as previous front-runner Newt Gingrich's numbers have collapsed in the Hawkeye State. Paul now leads over Romney in Iowa, according to PPP's poll, with 23%, followed by Romney at 20% and Gingrich at 14%.

[NOTE: I will be appearing on Hartmann's TV program, The Big Picture with Thom Hartmann, this evening to discuss this story. --- UPDATE: My appearance with Hartmann is now posted here.]

According to AP's report, the GOP is now concerned about "an Iowa caucus marred by hackers who corrupt the database used to gather votes and crash the website used to inform the public about results that can shape the campaign for the White House."

They go on to report that "Experts in computer security said such concerns are valid."

Unfortunately, however, it appears as though the steps the GOP are planning to take to try and counter the threat will do little ensure the public can trust the results that the party eventually reports to the public. (In the Iowa Caucuses, party officials, rather than state election officials, tally and report results to the media and public.)

If Republicans in Iowa, or anywhere else for that matter, truly fear the manipulation of results, there is only one way to help make such manipulation as difficult as possible. Similarly, if supporters of Ron Paul are concerned about same --- and they have every good reason to be, particularly considering the well-documented history of vote manipulation by supporters of Mitt Romney in the past --- they ought to be calling for the very same solution to help ensure the integrity of results in Iowa (and, frankly, everywhere else) in 2012...

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

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TONIGHT: Getting the stories straight! All of 'em! From Rightwing disinfo to Democratic smokescreens! PLUS: A big War on Democracy update and Much More!
LIVE! 9p-Mid ET (6p-9p PT), Call-in#: 877-520-1150
By Brad Friedman on 12/16/2011 4:15pm PT  

[Now UPDATED with audio archives below...]

We're drafted into duty tonight, once again, to guest host the nationally syndicated Mike Malloy Show! (We'll also be filling in next Friday and the Thursday and Friday after that.) Hope you can join us tonight!

As usual, we'll be BradCasting LIVE 9pm-Mid ET (6p-9p PT), coast-to-coast and around the uprising globe from the studios of L.A.'s KTLK am1150 in beautiful downtown Burbank. Join us by tuning in, chatting in, Tweeting in and calling in! Our LIVE chat room will be up and rolling right here at The BRAD BLOG, as usual, while we are on the air. Please stop by and join the fun while you're listening! (The Chat Room will open at the bottom of this item a few minutes before airtime, see down below, just above "Comments" section.)

Scheduled tonight (so far):

  • LOTS TO CATCH UP ON! I've got too many stories and not enough time to list them all here. But we'll try to get the stories straight on everything from the Budget Compromise (heading to a deadline tonight), the controversial NDAA bill, the nonsense on the Keystone XL pipeline from last night's idiotic GOP Debate on Fox "News" to a bevy of voting and election related stories, from the Recall Walker effort in WI to the amazing story of Venango County, PA's disturbing discoveries from their landmark forensic analysis of their 100% unverifiable ES&S touch-screen voting systems! We'll also have the latest news on whether Clear Channel will allow progressive Green960 to stay on our public airwaves in San Francisco.
  • A FEW FRIENDS Our own DESI DOYEN of the Green News Report will be joining us to sort some of this all out! And we'll also be checking in for a special simulcast with Thom Hartmann's producer JACOB DEAN, host of Filter Free Radio and one of many hosts from Nicole Sandler's RadioOrNot.com network's 24-hour OccuThon, kicking off tonight in support of the Occupy Wall Street movement!
  • PLUS! Your calls over your public airwaves at 877-520-1150 and your tweets to @TheBradBlog!...

The Mike Malloy Show is nationally syndicated on air affiliates across the country and also on SiriusXM Ch. 127. You may also listen online to the free LIVE audio stream at affiliate GREEN 960 in San Francisco or at WhiteRose Society or via MikeMalloy.com.

* * *

POST-SHOW UPDATE: Tonight's show flew by! At least for me. Buckle up and see if it does for you as well! The commercial-free audio archives (as well as the chat room archives) are now posted below! Enjoy!...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 12/16/2011 1:47pm PT  

[UPDATE 12/21/11: Confirmation that Clear Channel will keep most of its progressive programming on the AM airwaves in San Francisco --- though with some bizarre changes --- is now detailed here...]

The only progressive AM talk radio station, Green960, in one of the nation's most progressive cities, San Francisco, may be allowed to stay on the public airwaves after all in the 2012 Presidential Election year!

Last week we detailed corporate radio giant Clear Channel's plans to remove Green960 (call letters KKGN) from the AM dial and send it to the radio ghetto otherwise known as "HD2," a band that requires a special receiver that very few people actually own. Adding insult to injury, the 960 spot on the AM dial would be replaced with Glenn Beck and other Rightwing talkers from Clear Channel's "conservative" talk station "Fox News Radio KNEW" which is currently on 910, but would move to the 960 frequency.

In the 910 slot, Clear Channel had planned to launch a new talk station, which would also include some Fox talkers, branded as "San Francisco's Talk 910 KKSF."

If plans move ahead as previously announced, the end result would be that --- except for progressive talker Randi Rhodes, who is syndicated by Clear Channel's syndication arm Premier Broadcasting and who would be allowed to keep her live Noon-3p PT slot on both the new KNEW 960, as well as the "HD2" schedule where the current Green960 line-up would be sent to --- there would be no progressive AM talk station on the air in San Francisco.

The entire shuffle was set to occur at the beginning of the 2012 Presidential Election year on January 3rd, a move that had raised at least a few eyebrows, as Clear Channel is now owned by the Mitt Romney-founded venture capital firm, Bain Capital LLC.

Well, now that entire plan, according to one industry website and several insider sources I've spoken to today, may be on hold and Green960's popular line-up of progressive talkers like Rhodes, Stephanie Miller, Thom Hartmann, Norman Goldman, Mike Malloy (for whom I am a regular guest-host, including on tonight's show), and others may be allowed to stay on the AM air after all!...

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

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By Ernest A. Canning on 12/15/2011 6:29am PT  

Guest blogged by Ernest A. Canning

Election laws in Wisconsin are not covered by Section 5 of the federal Voting Rights Act, which would otherwise require the Dept. of Justice or a federal panel of judges to "preclear" such laws to assure they are not discriminatory. Thus, it falls to non-governmental organizations, such as the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), to take legal action in hopes of protecting Constitutional voting rights for citizens of the Badger State.

That's exactly what the organization did this week, in filing a 54-page federal complaint on behalf of some 17 named plaintiffs --- including elderly, student, minority and even veteran voters --- who may well be unable to cast their once-legal vote under the state's new voter suppression bill passed earlier this year by its GOP legislature and signed into law by its Republican Gov. Scott Walker.

The lead plaintiff in Frank vs. Walker [PDF], the ACLU's class action lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District, seeking to halt enforcement of the state's new photo ID voting restrictions, is 84-year old Ruthelle Frank.

As we previously reported, Frank has been a lawful resident of Brokaw, WI since her home birth in 1927. Although she has voted in every election since 1948 and is an elected member of the Brokaw Village Board, she learned that she may be barred from voting come February 2012 because she lacks one of the official photo IDs mandated by that state's new vote-suppressing photo ID law.

She was born at home, without a birth certificate, and will be forced to pay $20 to get one in order to get her supposedly "free" ID to vote. But even that may not be enough. Frank recently learned she may not be able to comply with the state GOP's Photo ID restriction unless she coughs up upwards of $200 to amend the Register of Deeds record of her home, which had misspelled her maiden name.

The feisty octogenarian, however, was not about to quietly accept this assault on a right she had exercised without interference for the past 63 years (see a video interview with her below), and so she agreed to lead the ACLU suit.

The ACLU complaint, however, may serve to be larger than just the 17 voters (and thousands of others included as part of 6 different classes) in the state of Wisconsin. If it succeeds, the lawsuit could have national implications that would go well beyond the question of who gets to vote in Wisconsin in the 2012 Presidential election. The case could serve to reverse the bevy of voter-suppression laws being enacted by Republicans in state after state in the wake of their take-over of statehouses across the nation in November of 2010...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 12/14/2011 8:36pm PT  

Frustrating. I spent much of the day prepping for my KPFK/Pacifica Radio show today, only to get to the station this afternoon to find out we were on a last minute, emergency fund drive this week, so my show was preempted, but I didn't get the message (literally).

Had planned to do a long overdue War on Voting update, as I haven't gotten to cover elections much on the show for months. Had prepared to discuss everything from AG Eric Holder's speech on voting rights issues at the LBJ Library in Austin (who knew we even had an AG?!); to Ohio voters putting the kibosh on GOP voter suppression laws going into effect next year to 96-year old Dorothy Cooper now unable to vote in TN under the GOP's new voter suppression laws there; to 84-year old Ruthelle Frank told she may have to pay $200 to vote in WI under the GOP's new voter suppression laws there; to the ACLU's new federal lawsuit against Gov. Scott Walker and the GOP's voter-suppression laws in WI; to the League of Women Voters state suit against same; to the jackass Jeffery Karnitz in WI recently arrested after defacing 'Recall Walker' petitions; to our Special Report this week on the battle for election integrity in Venango County, PA and the unexplained "remote access" on "multiple occasions" found, via a forensic investigation, to have taken place on their ES&S e-voting systems during recent elections (and the attempt by ES&S and the County Commissioners to spike that investigation by the county Board of Elections.)

What a show that coulda been!

The bad news: I couldn't do it today at KPFK for the aforementioned reason. The good news: Mike Malloy has asked me, at the last-ish minute, to guest host his show this Friday night! So today's show prep for KPFK will be delivered to Malloy listeners on Friday instead!

Relatedly, I'll also be in for Mike next Friday (before XMas weekend) and the Thursday and Friday thereafter (before New Years weekend). As usual, we'll have LIVE listening streams and chat rooms here during the show each night that I'm guest hosting, 6p-9p PT / 9p-Mid ET, so I hope you'll join us! Especially since it'll be our last few nights on our Clear Channel affiliate, Green960 in San Francisco, before the only progressive AM talk station on the air in one of the nation's most liberal cities disappears from our public airwaves!

For now, anyway, these things are all First World Problems. Though only as long as we remain a First World Nation. Given the way things are going, that is no longer a safe bet for much longer...

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By Brad Friedman on 12/13/2011 3:10pm PT  

I missed this last week, but as we'd previously covered the stated intentions of Rightwingers to sabotage the 'Recall Walker' effort in Wisconsin by shredding and burning petitions and the death threats reportedly received by supporters of the effort to remove Wisconsin's anti-union Republican governor Scott Walker, I wanted to get this on record here.

Jeffery Karnitz, a 30-year old Wisconsinite, has now been cited with two felony election fraud counts for defacing recall petitions in the Badger State. He now faces a year and half in prison and a $10,000 fine for each count. This genius already has a fairly long wrap-sheet, but more on that in a moment...

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

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Battle for independent election investigation rages in rural Republican county, pitting renegade Election Board against County Commission, giant E-Vote firm ES&S...
By Brad Friedman on 12/12/2011 2:11pm PT  

According to the Initial Report from a landmark independent forensic audit of the Venango County, PA, touch-screen voting system --- the same system used in dozens of counties across the state and country --- someone used a computer that was not a part of county's election network to remotely access the central election tabulator computer, illegally, "on multiple occasions." Despite the disturbing report, as obtained by The BRAD BLOG and posted in full below, we may never get to learn who did it or why, if Venango's County Commissioners, a local judge, and the nation's largest e-voting company have their way. And that's not all we won't get to find out about.

The battle for election integrity continues in Venango, with the County Commissioners teaming up with e-voting vendor Election Systems & Software, Inc. (ES&S) on one side, and the county's renegade interim Republican-majority Board of Elections on the other. The Commissioners and ES&S have been working to spike the independent scientific forensic audit of the county's failed electronic voting machines that was commissioned by the interim Board of Elections. Making matters worse, the Board has now been removed from power by a county judge, a decision they are attempting to appeal as the three-person board and their supporters continue to fight the entrenched establishment for transparency and accountability in the rural Western Pennsylvania county.

The extraordinary battle began when the interim Board was appointed by a county judge to oversee elections in the Republican-leaning PA county last spring. Normally the County Commissioners serve as the Board of Elections. But when they themselves are up for election, as they were this year, the county court judge names a specially appointed Board to cover the election and serve until the end of the year, or until they are dismissed by the same court.

When the interim Board of Elections --- comprising two Republicans and one Democrat --- took power this year in Venango, they unanimously set about commissioning the landmark, independent forensic audit of the county's 100% unverifiable ES&S iVotronic touch-screen voting systems, on the heels of sworn testimony from voters about several failed elections over recent years, beginning in 2008.

After months of legal wrangling, with County Commissioners in opposition, the special Election Board's independent study of the County's ES&S iVotronic voting system finally got under way in late September. At that time, a hard drive clone of the computer which runs the ES&S central tabulator system (known as the "Unity Election Reporting Manager") was created and given, along with other data, to two Carnegie Mellon computer science professors who had volunteered to carry out the analysis on behalf of the Board. The Board also announced that the November election this year would be carried out on an optically-scanned paper ballot system, also made by the county's vendor, ES&S, while the reported anomalies from their May 2011 primary election, run on the unverifiable touch-screen systems, were being examined by the scientists.

But now, as documents and letters obtained by The BRAD BLOG reveal, the voting machine company, Omaha-based ES&S, which had issued no objections prior to the start of the study, but changed its mind quickly after it began (as we detailed in an Exclusive report in late October) has now hardened their position, sending threatening legal letters to both the county and the two computer scientists. The e-voting firm has warned them they are likely to face a lawsuit if they do not agree to complete confidentiality and if results of their analysis are released publicly without their prior review and approval.

Shortly after ES&S' legal threats were issued last month, a county judge released the interim Board from their duties (a move now being appealed by the Board) and the County Commissioners, who had fought tooth and nail against the analysis even being undertaken in the first place, are now back at the helm. According to members of the interim Board, the County Commissioners seem likely to "white wash" and/or quash the entire analysis and a plan for continuing the investigation before it can be completed or even see the light of day.

The BRAD BLOG, however, has obtained a copy of the Initial Draft of one of the forensic studies by the Carnegie Mellon computer scientists. Findings from the report [linked in full below, along with ES&S' threat letters], include a number of disturbing, and so-far unexplained revelations that should raise alarm bells for voters in virtually every corner of the nation as we head into another Presidential election year.

Among those findings: details on unexplained, out-of-sequence activity log entries in the computer tabulation system, indications that the system was mounted several times with a "USB 'flash drive'" device, and, perhaps most troubling, evidence that the system was repeatedly accessed by an unidentified remote computer, for lengthy periods of time, on "multiple occasions."

The entire affair has left members of the interim Board --- which includes the Chair and Treasurer of the local Republican Party, as well as the former Chair of the Democratic Party --- hopping mad. They're asking questions about motivations of both the County Commissioners and ES&S and describing their actions as a "cover up," even as they take legal action to try and complete the work they had begun months ago, after first hearing sworn testimony from voters, describing major failures with e-voting machines at the polling place in recent elections...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 12/9/2011 2:58pm PT  

Congrats to all voters of Ohio for successfully pushing back against the GOP's efforts to keep you from voting in next year's Presidential election! It's another win for democracy, and another loss for the Buckeye State's Republican Gov. John Kasich (following on the recent landslide loss of his anti-union bill at the polls last month.)

Today, Secretary of State John Husted (R), officially certified that opponents of HB194 --- the anti-voting bill that would have shortened early voting hours and imposed other big government restrictions on the exercise of the franchise in Ohio --- were successful in their effort to place the law on the ballot for a voter referendum in 2012. Thus, the act, passed by the GOP legislature and signed by Kasich earlier this year, is officially suspended for now.

As we noted in September, after opponents of the bill had turned in more than 300,000 for certification to the Sec. of State, ThinkProgress' Tonya Somander summarized the bill's restrictions on voting this way:

Doing his part in the GOP’s voter suppression campaign, Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R) signed a sweeping elections reform bill into law on July 1. Along with allowing poll workers to refuse telling voters where they can vote, the new law shortens the state’s early voting period, bans in-person early voting on Sundays, and prohibits boards of election from mailing absentee ballot requests to voters. These regressive restrictions mean that four in 10 voters in Columbus, Ohio alone will have to find a new the time, place, or way to cast their ballots. In fact, according to the Columbus Dispatch, the ballots that nearly a quarter million Columbus voters cast in 2008 would be banned under the new law

According to Fair Elections Ohio's announcement of the official signature certifications this afternoon, opponents of the voter suppression law gathered "307,358 valid signatures, over 75,000 more than were needed."

"The voters are sending a message to the Ohio politicians and legislatures across the country, says FEO's Greg Moore, "voting rights restrictions will not be tolerated by the people."

The group's press release, issued this afternoon, follows in full below...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 12/9/2011 12:06pm PT  

I don't have time today to thoroughly debunk all the reprehensible, anti-democratic, anti-American horseshit hurled by this FL State Rep. Dennis Baxley --- the original sponsor of Florida's new voter suppression laws, limiting early voting hours and imposing new big government regulations and huge fines against voter registration workers --- as seen in the following interview on Al Sharpton's Politics Nation show on MSNBC this week.

Fortunately, most readers of The BRAD BLOG will be able to smell the bullshit of the smirking, democracy-hating Baxley a mile away even without my point-by-point rebuttal. So I'll just run the video here for now without much comment, as it needs to be seen to be believed.

Near the front of the interview, Baxley admits that there's been no voter fraud problem in FL, and by the end he's charging (without a stitch of evidence, naturally) that the non-partisan League of Women Voters, who have been registering voters in the Sunshine State for some 72 years --- but who have now canceled their registration program for 2012 thanks to the onerous new GOP restrictions and fines on registration workers --- is actually a partisan Democratic organization! Who knew?

My loathing towards those who knowingly undermine American democracy is difficult to contain. So consider my restraint today an undeserved favor to you this afternoon, Mr. Baxley.


Oh, and for good measure, here's some info on some Florida school teachers recently arrested and/or charged for registering students to vote in apparent violation of Baxley's new anti-voting laws!

One thing I'm happy to see this year at least: MSNBC has been covering the GOP War on Voting --- at least the front-end war, the part in which Republicans are trying to keep millions of legal voters from being able to cast their legal vote at all --- very well this cycle, on many of their shows. Hopefully they'll soon begin covering concerns about the accuracy and transparency of the vote count itself, at least the vote counts of those who find themselves able to cast a vote in 2012, in any case.

* * *

If you'd like more details on the above...Earlier on the same show, Deirdre Macnab, President of the non-partisan LWV Florida, explained to Sharpton why they've been forced to stop their registration program in Florida after 72 years. As they note on their web page where the interview is posted...

Under new laws, third parties who want to help register voters could face $5,000 fines, a third degree felony and up to 5 years in prison if they violate any of the broad provisions noted in the legal paperwork.

That much shorter interview follows below...

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

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Why OWS Must Become the Egalitarian Democracy it Seeks - PART II
By Ernest A. Canning on 12/7/2011 12:25pm PT  

Guest editorial by Ernest A. Canning

"I think democracy is the most revolutionary thing in the world," former British MP Tony Benn said when interviewed by Michael Moore in Sicko! --- "more revolutionary than socialist ideas…because...you have the power to use it to meet the needs of your community."

"If the poor in the U.S. and Britain turned out to vote for people who represent their interests," Ben continued, "it would be a real democratic revolution."

There is a fundamental difference between guarding against being co-opted by the corporate interests which presently control the leadership of both the Republican and Democratic Parties and refusing to vote altogether as an infantile form of protest...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 12/5/2011 4:30pm PT  

Via Tanya Somanader at ThinkProgress...

For 63 years, Brokaw, Wisconsin native Ruthelle Frank went to the polls to vote. Though paralyzed on her left side since birth, the 84-year-old “fiery woman” voted in every election since 1948 and even got elected herself as a member of the Brokaw Village Board. But because of the state’s new voter ID law, 2012 will be the first year Frank can’t vote. Born after a difficult birth at her home in 1927, Frank never received an official birth certificate. Her mother recorded it in her family Bible and Frank has a certification of baptism from a few months later, along with a Social Security card, a Medicare statement, and a checkbook. But without the official document, she can’t secure the state ID card that the new law requires to vote next year.

“It’s really crazy,” she added. “I’ve got all this proof. You mean to tell me that I’m not a U.S. citizen?” But state officials have informed Frank that, because the state Register of Deeds does have a record of her birth, they can issue her a new birth certificate — for a fee. And because of a spelling error, that fee may be as high as $200

Add Frank's to the stories of 96-year old Dorothy Cooper in TN who has voted in every election since woman were granted the right to vote, but who no longer may be able to cast her vote on Election Day next year, and 86-year old WWII veteran Darwin Sparks in the same state; along with hundreds of thousands of others who are likely to find themselves unable to cast their legal vote on Election Day next year thanks to new voter suppression laws implemented in about a dozen states by GOP legislatures and governor's since they took control in 2010.

In Wisconsin, where "an estimated 177,399 Wisconsin residents 65 and older do not have a driver’s license or state photo ID — 23 percent of that population," and where Frank may have to pay as much as $200 to cast her legal vote under the GOP's new anti-democratic and anti-Democratic polling place Photo ID restrictions, the non-partisan League of Women Voters has filed suit charging the law is in violation of the state's constitution, as The BRAD BLOG detailed in October. That case is still pending.

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By Brad Friedman on 12/5/2011 12:07pm PT  

[UPDATE 12/16/11: Clear Channel may now be re-thinking their plans to dump Green960! Details now here...]

The only progressive AM radio talk station, Green960-KKGN, in one of the nation's most liberal cities, San Francisco, is being taken off the AM dial by radio behemoth Clear Channel Communications, Inc. --- a media conglomerate now owned by Mitt Romney's Bain Capital, LLC --- at the beginning of the 2012 Presidential election year.

Adding insult to injury for progressives in the Bay Area, the 960 slot on the dial is being replaced by Clear Channel with the likes of Glenn Beck, Fox News Radio's John Gibson and other radical Rightwing talkers, according to a press release [PDF] issued by the media giant last week, touting, in somewhat Orwellian terms, their "goal of expanding talk radio in San Francisco."

"We saw the opportunity to expand our footprint in this crucial arena as we head into an election year and a population increasingly engaged in local, state, and national events and activism," says Clear Channel's San Francisco Director of Operations Don Parker in the release.

The expansion will amount to moving Green960's current schedule of progressive talk shows off the AM band, and on to FM's HD2 radio ghetto where it will become a largely automated "robo-station," according to several radio insiders familiar with the station and Clear Channel's plans for it. The station which was formerly Green960 will have the catchy new name "FM Progressive Talk 103.7-2" at its new home, if listeners can find it.

The new Rightwing format taking its place on 960 will be known as KNEW, which is currently at 910 on the AM dial featuring a number of Fox News Radio programs. The 910 position will then be filled with a new talk format being developed by Clear Channel called "San Francisco's Talk 910 KKSF," which will also include some Fox News Radio veterans.

One bright side for progressives in San Francisco, the popular Randi Rhodes, who is syndicated nationally by Premiere (Clear Channel's syndication arm) will continue in her current live Noon to 3p PT slot on the new KNEW-960. She'll also remain in the same live slot in the progressive line up on the HD2 band, though few are likely to hear her there, as very few Americans actually own an HD radio receiver.

Rhodes tells The BRAD BLOG there could be a potential upside to the format change which will leave her progressive voice, as well as Bill Press' in the pre-dawn hours, sprinkled in among the far Rightwingers.

"I never want to see Progressive voices lose ground, but hopefully we can build on the new HD channel," Rhodes told us via email on Friday. "It does look like the beginning of the end of 'conservative format purity' has started. That's a change in the industry that I've been fighting for for a long time and I'm happy to be part of it."...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 12/4/2011 5:34pm PT  

We've long been warning --- beginning with Chicago's Democratic Mayor Rahm Emanuel's initial arrests of 175 peaceful Occupy demonstrators in late October, and again following the subsequent brutally violent crackdown by the Oakland PD on peaceful Occupiers there on the orders of Democratic Mayor Jean Quan --- of the growing likelihood of an "#OccupyDNC2012" at next year's convention in Charlotte, North Carolina, unless Dems wise up (and quickly) and figure out that it'll be far smarter to work with demonstrators on their legitimate grievances, rather than fool-heartedly try and crush the Occupations in hopes that they will simply go away.

Given that, shamefully, we've seen a series of (theoretically) left-leaning Mayors continuing the use of this ill-considered technique --- even upping the violent ante in many of the "crackdowns" since --- one must wonder if all of these Democrats have simply forgotten about 1968, are too young to know about what actually happened there, or simply don't give a damn for some unknown reason.

The BRAD BLOG's legal contributor Ernest Canning --- who was deployed to Vietnam at the time, so was unaware of what had actually happened outside the Democratic National Convention in 1968 in Grant Park (the very location where, ironically, Barack Obama would give his moving Presidential victory speech in 2008) until learning about it upon his return home the following year --- flagged these poignant reminders for us all...

Look familiar? Ignore those videos, and history, at your own peril, Democrats.

* * *

Oh, and look, the official website for the 2012 Democratic Convention offers this helpful advice at the very top of its home page!:

BE HEARD

The 2012 Democratic National Convention is about you. And the success of this convention will be determined by your participation.

So get involved, raise your voice and be heard!

Do you suppose they really mean that? If so, do you suppose they'll still really mean that by the opening day of the DNC on September 3rd next year?

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