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Latest Featured Reports | Monday, November 24, 2014
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Brad's Upcoming Appearances
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Media Appearance Archives...
'Special Coverage' Archives
GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal 2012...
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The Secret Koch Brothers Tapes...


By Brad Friedman on 6/8/2010 10:36am PT  

Elections are being held in some 13 states (Arkansas, California, Georgia, Iowa, Maine, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, North Dakota, South Carolina, South Dakota, Virginia) today. Lord help us.

A reminder how helpful screenshots of election results taken from official websites on election night and in the days following, can potentially be, can be found in our recent exclusive on the still unexplained results from the Monroe County, Arkansas, May 18th primary, where thousands of votes "disappeared" in the days after the election.

If you don't know how to take a screenshot, here's the quick primer (at least on a PC): While viewing the page in question, hold the ALT button and hit the PrtScreen button. Then paste the ensuing clipboard graphic into a graphics program, and save with a filename that includes both the date and time the shot was taken. Hopefully someone else can explain how to do that on a Mac in comments.

Of course, as you hear or read of problems at the polls throughout the day, feel free to email us with details and URLs, and we'll do our best to look into it.

On the more-political-less-Election-Integrity side of the equation, The BRAD BLOG's resident attorney/historian-in-chief Ernest Canning has offered a number of recent, noteworthy articles on matters related to the ballot out here in CA, perhaps they're worth re-linking this morning. Of particular interest --- even to readers across the country --- should be the top item below, concerning Prop 16, and the deceptive way in which a huge corporate power is attempting to deceive voters with the use of millions of dollars to support a phony campaign.

For that matter, in reviewing the articles below, they each speak to one common element: the outlandish power that money holds, now more than ever, when it comes to our "democracy"...

5/9/10: Prop 16 'Power Play': A Private Utility's Assault on Publicly-Owned Electricity Providers

4/27/10: Meg Whitman, Wall Street, 'Billionaire Sociopaths' and the Media 'Substance Deficit'
5/31/10: Billionaire vs. Billionaire: Propaganda and Race in CA's GOP Gubernatorial Primary

5/16/10: Winograd Misses 'Debate' Chance to Slam Harman's Dissembling, Conflicts-of-Interest

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By Brad Friedman on 6/7/2010 9:37pm PT  

I've been working on another story, of late, so haven't been able to cover the precinct place mess in Garland County, AR which emerged over the weekend. (What's the matter with Arkansas when it comes to elections?! See my exclusive on Monroe County from late last week, for just one possible answer, in case you're wondering). Also, I was happy to see the issue getting plenty of coverage from sites like DailyKos and MoveOn, etc., so didn't feel I was either needed, or had anything additional to add at the moment.

But, as the bizarre decision/behavior by the Garland County Election Commissioner Charles Tapp could come into play tomorrow, depending on the reported results of the hotly contested Democratic U.S. Senate primary run-off election between incumbent Sen. Blanche Lincoln and Lt. Gov. Bill Halter --- and as so many have written in to make sure I knew about the situation (I do) --- it seems worth at least flagging here for now at The BRAD BLOG, to make sure that you know about it.

For that, allow me to defer to Joyce McCloy's Voting News coverage of the coverage today...

Garland County Arkansas voters were turned away from the polls Saturday. With only 2 polling places instead of the usual 40, with 76,000 registered voters, a hotly contested primary runoff & other races, officials promised to open an extra polling place on Saturday. The polling place was not opened & voters were turned away...

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

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1000s of votes inexplicably disappear after 'Super-ish Tuesday' election, as county plans expanded use of oft-failed, 100% unverifiable ES&S touch-screen voting systems for upcoming primary run-off…
By Brad Friedman on 6/4/2010 7:35am PT  

-- Brad Friedman, The BRAD BLOG

What's going on in Monroe County, Arkansas?

We've been looking at their May 18 "Super-ish Tuesday" election night numbers on the AR Secretary of State's website (Monroe County doesn't have its own public election results website) since the night of the election, and the posted results can only be described as going from "impossible" on the day after the election, to possible but still entirely inexplicable.

At least six different election officials at both the county and state levels remain unable to tell The BRAD BLOG how any of it could have happened, even though thousands of votes appear to have simply disappeared in the final certified results, and the state is set to hold its primary run-off election next Tuesday...

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

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'Blue Dog' Harman tries in vain to distance herself from 'Big Pharma,' military-industrial complex...
By Ernest A. Canning on 5/31/2010 5:25pm PT  

Guest blogged by Ernest A. Canning

No doubt, the last person eight-term "Blue Dog" Democrat Rep. Jane Harman (CA-36) expected to see when she sat down for a Progressive Caucus panel discussion on April 20 at the California Democratic Convention was the progressive Democratic challenger for her U.S. House seat, Marcy Winograd. In fact, Winograd wasn't even in the room when Harman began to speak.

Winograd explained:

I spoke, then left, then got a cell phone call: "Get back here. Jane Harman just arrived." I ran back downstairs, returned to the crowded room, and quietly sat down, unbeknownst to Jane, just three bodies down from her on the panel. I waited for her to finish her thought, then jumped in.

Winograd seized the moment to engage in a debate of sorts (video below), confronting the wealthy eight-term Congresswoman on a range of issues, including Harman's committee vote to significantly extend Big Pharma's patent protection over biomedical drugs. Harman's response was remarkably deceptive; yet, perhaps because this was not a pre-scheduled "debate," Winograd failed to seize a rare face-to-face moment to directly confront Harman's conflicts-of-interest and prevarication...

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

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Public/private distinction for civil rights enforcement ignores the omnipotent power of private corporations
Anti-government 'Tea Party' rhetoric misses real threat to liberty posed by unchecked corporate wealth and power...
By Ernest A. Canning on 5/25/2010 2:57pm PT  

Guest essay by Ernest A. Canning

It is vital that the American people come to appreciate the danger to liberty as well as community posed by doctrinaire libertarianism.

Despite widespread coverage of Rand Paul's absurd criticism of the provisions of the 1964 Civil Rights Act as applied to private businesses, there has been a dearth of analysis as to how this absurdity was brought about by the serious intellectual deficiencies in doctrinaire libertarian philosophy; a philosophy which led to a second astounding Rand Paul remark.

In the face of horrendous safety records on the part of both Massey Energy, which had been found to have violated federal safety regulations thousands of times over the past several years, and BP, which had steadfastly fought off safety measures for deep water oil rigs, Rand summarily dismissed the significance of both the deadly West Virginia mine disaster and the deadly explosion at BP's deep water facility that has produced the worst oil spill in U.S. history with the cavalier, "accidents happen."

What Rand Paul has done is open a window into "libertarianism," which, contrary to the current Wikipedia definition, does not merge into "anarchism." The principle distinction arises because, as explained by Noam Chomsky, anarchism challenges not only authoritarian government but all authoritarian societal structures, including the work place.

Libertarians like Ron and Rand Paul focus exclusively on individual liberty vis-a-vis the government. They fail to appreciate that, especially in the 21st Century, the removal of government as a check against unfettered corporate wealth and power leads to "the tyranny of a corporate controlled economy"...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 5/24/2010 7:03pm PT  

Those who follow me on Twitter may already know that I've been referring there to the New York Times' shameful coverage of the Richard Blumenthal situation as the paper's "ACORN Pimp Hoax REDUX."

Their front page exposé last week suggested that Connecticut's Attorney General --- the leading Democratic candidate for the U.S. Senate --- was, perhaps, a serial liar because, the "paper of record" informed readers, he'd exaggerated his service in the military. But then we learned that the Times had failed to share the complete video taped comments from a recent speech. Instead, they chose to quote and share just one selective portion out of context to help make their case.

Not only did the complete video --- which Times Executive Editor Bill Keller now admits the paper had seen prior to publication of their story --- offer additional comments from Blumenthal in the same speech, which may have mitigated the comments the Times selectively shared with readers, the paper also failed to share with readers that the story had been fed to them originally by the campaign team of one Blumenthal's Republican rivals for the U.S. Senate seat.

Now that the NYTimes' Public Editor, Clark Hoyt --- supposedly the paper's "readers' representative" or ombudsman --- has rung in with his "verdict" on the whole mess over the weekend, we can officially announce that the comparison to the Times' shameful response to the ACORN Pimp Hoax scandal, which we spent the better part of three months detailing earlier this year, is complete...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 5/21/2010 2:31pm PT  

If you're in or near L.A., there will be a FREE screening tomorrow (Saturday, 5/22) at 1pm, of Murder, Spies and Voting Lies: The Clint Curtis Story at the Unurban Cafe, 3301 Pico Blvd in Santa Monica. I'll be there for a Q&A afterwards, and to sign DVDs, and would love to see ya there!



And Tonight (Friday, 5/21) at 5pm PT (8pm ET), I'll be live on Russian television's English language news network, RT (formerly "Russia Today") to discuss Rand Paul. Should be fun! If you don't have RT on your cable or satellite system, you can watch RT live online here. Otherwise, I'll try to add the video here later if they post it to YouTube as they often do.

* * *

UPDATE 7:28pm PT: I wish they hadn't called me a "Liberal Blogger," which I find grossly inaccurate. I've corrected them for next time. In any case, had fun on RT. You'll let me know how I did!...


BTW, for those who had been paying attention, I predicted all of this Rand Paul fun earlier in the week, when I wrote in my "Super-ish Tuesday Backgrounder" on Monday:

The "Tea Party," however, may be in for a surprise should Paul win tomorrow and then in November, as he is an actual conservative candidate --- now otherwise known as a libertarian --- meaning he, like his father, calls for removing government entirely from all but those functions called for directly in the Constitution. For example, he supports an immediate pull out of U.S. troops from both Iraq and Afghanistan, an idea that, in truth, is largely anathema to the bulk of the grossly disinformed "Tea Baggers"/GOP base (versus the true "Tea Partiers" who first emerged in 2006 in support of Ron Paul, against George W. Bush, and who were consequently marginalized as wackos back then by the bulk of the GOP and its Bush-lovin' base.)

I just didn't think it was gonna happen on the Wednesday after his Tuesday election! :-)

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Democratic turnout far outpaces Republican...
By Brad Friedman on 5/19/2010 3:11pm PT  

Setting aside the unverified (and, in many cases, unverifiable) results of yesterday's elections for the moment, what caught my eye throughout the night were the turnout numbers, Democratic compared to Republican.

While the reported results of the races ran largely counter (surprise!) to the "GOP/TeaParty-fueled Massacre Slated for November!" meme that the corporate beltway media and related villagers have been endlessly re-enforcing with zombie-like precision over the last several weeks and months, the turnout of actual voters in the marquee state-wide primaries (races that we detailed, along with the e-voting systems in use, in our Super-ish Tuesday Backgrounder on Monday) seem to be of note when considering what November might actually look like when all is said and done.

I'd caution not to take too much from these numbers as there are various mitigating factors that could be used to explain them --- or even explain them away --- as noted below, but I think the numbers themselves are very much worth noting here, as I haven't seen much coverage of this over the last 12 hours or so...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 5/18/2010 3:04pm PT  

Reports of votes flipping on the 100% unverifiable ES&S iVotronic touch-screen voting machines used in Carroll County, Arkansas, have led to a call for removal of the machines. Who could have predicted it?

[Oh, yeah, we did, in our backgrounder on today's election in AR, as based on years of the same exact problem happening, on the same exact machines, over and over again, in election after election, in Arkansas and many other states alike, where officials are still in utter and shameful denial.]

This report is somewhat unique in that it comes from a candidate for County Clerk who has called for the removal of the machines, and is reportedly supported by affidavits from a Circuit Court Judge and one of his employees who both reported their votes flipping from the County Clerk candidate to his opponent during early voting on two separate days...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 5/18/2010 2:07pm PT  

It's been an ugly day at the polls in Kentucky, at least between supporters of the two highest profile candidates on the ballot today, in what's become a highly contentious race. Allegations of vote buying and intimidation have been coming out all morning in county after county.

[See our backgrounder right here on today's race for the GOP U.S. Senatorial nomination between Sec. of State Trey Grayson and Dr. Rand Paul, along with details on the voting systems in use, and the recent history of election fraud by top election officials in the Bluegrass State.]

Nate Hodsen, the campaign manager for Grayson (who is responsible for overseeing his own election as the state's chief election official) released a statement to say: "This despicable behavior should not be tolerated. Bullying and intimidation should have no place in our elections. Rand Paul needs to rein in his goon squad and follow the law."

David Adams, the campaign manager for Paul (the son of TX U.S. House Rep. Ron Paul) responded in kind to call the allegations "ridiculous" and "much ado about nothing," before going on to blame them on Democrats somehow. "We had a tip over the weekend that some of our volunteer activities have been infiltrated by (national) Democratic operatives planning to cause problems," he told reporters.

See Janet Patton's detailed coverage at the Lexington Herald-Leader for much more on the problems being reported --- for now, mostly complaints about Paul volunteers, being publicized by Grayson's people (both his campaign staff and SoS staff.)

* * *

The BRAD BLOG covers your electoral system fiercely and independently, like no other media outlet in the nation. Please support our work 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 5/17/2010 7:13pm PT  

Tuesday's election are being called "Super Tuesday" by some in the media hoping to hype the four-state Election Day as a bellwether for the "anti-incumbency fever" predicted by the same media for this November.

But beyond the marquee races in each of the states holding elections tomorrow --- Kentucky, Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania, Oregon (and Hawaii is currently holding an all-mail special election which ends on Saturday) --- as usual, we'll be keeping our eyes on whether voters are actually able to cast their votes, and whether or not those votes are actually counted and counted accurately.

The mix of states holding elections tomorrow also offer a mix of electoral systems --- from a majority of voters using 100% unverifiable touch-screen machines in use in KY and PA, to a compilation of touch-screen and paper ballot systems run by a company with a disastrous reliability record in AR, to the black hole of all mail-in voting in OR (and in HI).

Remember, whatever happens or gets reported (or doesn't) on Tuesday, it's often the case that concerns about failures in the system don't necessarily become immediately apparent on Election Day itself. Sometimes problems in the system and in the tallies do not begin to emerge until days, weeks, and sometimes even months after Election Day. So whatever we see in the surface reports tomorrow, for good or bad (and, as usual, you can count on various reports of "glitches," "hiccups," "snags," and "snafus" which use those words to marginalize problems, instead of the correct word: "failures") may just be the tip of any electoral icebergs beneath the surface. As usual, eternal vigilance by the citizenry is the hallmark of the ongoing fight for electoral integrity and transparency in these United States.

Here then is a general BRAD BLOG backgrounder on each state heading to the polls, its marquee race or races, the electoral systems used in each, and what you can do to help keep an eye out for any election integrity issues as they could emerge...

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

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Competing ads, a rare instance of investigative journalism and a hard-right embrace of AZ's Apartheid 'Pass Law,' helps close Poizner's gap against front-runner Whitman...
By Ernest A. Canning on 5/16/2010 10:31pm PT  

Guest blogged by Ernest A. Canning

In "Meg Whitman, Wall Street, 'Billionaire Sociopaths' and the Media 'Substance Deficit,'" we noted:

Californians have been drawn within the cross-hairs of a propaganda blitz bought and paid for by Meg Whitman, the billionaire former CEO of eBay, who, since declaring her intent to run for governor in February, 2009, has already contributed $59 million of her own money to her "campaign" --- a one-sided political phenomenon which has seen a stealth candidate, with disturbing connections to Goldman Sachs, soar to the top of the polls because the electoral process has been emasculated by the absence of mandatory debates and meaningful investigative journalism.

Now comes a SurveyUSA poll, conducted May 6-9, revealing that Whitman's once commanding lead over CA Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner has all but evaporated. Where she led Poizner by 22% on April 22, Whitman is now said to hold a meager 2% lead. One suspects that, in the wake of a hard-hitting, front page May 12 Los Angeles Times article, "Whitman's words put spotlight on deeds," Whitman's once-commanding lead may soon become a deficit.

The Los Angeles Times followed up on May 13 with a separate piece, "Companies challenged Poizner business claims," which revealed that a major portion of Poizner's wealth was acquired when SnapTrack Inc., the company Poizner founded, was sold to Qualcomm. Poizner claims SnapTrack invented mobile-phone GPS technology. In pending lawsuits, other companies accused SnapTrack of infringing intellectual property rights, and, the Times reports, "as SnapTrack developed its GPS technology, Poizner faced another test of his entrepreneurial skills, as a special interest trying to bend the Washington regulatory process his way."

The drastic change in the recent public opinion polls is tied not only to the fact that her fellow billionaire Poizner unleashed his own paid-for propaganda (ad) blitz, deconstructing Whitman's one-sided narrative. Nor is the change tied only to hard-hitting, if overdue, front page newspaper exposés on the facts behind how these two rapacious "business people" amassed their fortunes.

Disturbingly, Poizner's late gain in the polls may be attributed to his open embrace of Arizona's version of apartheid South Africa's infamous "pass laws." Poizner's is a cynically calculated effort to scapegoat immigrants while deflecting attention from the true source of California's fiscal woes: the very same billionaire sociopath economics in which both he and Whitman amassed their fortunes...

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

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Thousands of military and Latino voters could be disenfranchised as court determines hastily scheduled contest fails to meet federal requirements of Voting Rights Act...
By Brad Friedman on 5/13/2010 5:50pm PT  

The disputed upcoming special election in California's Senate District 15 may be on hold, at least for a day or two, as a federal district court has ordered [PDF] the five counties involved in the election to withhold the distribution of absentee, overseas and military ballots, pending the results of a hearing now set for May 20th in federal district court.

Yesterday, U.S. District Court Judge Jeremy Fogel set next week's hearing, requiring the state "to show cause, if any they have, why they, their agents, servants, employees and those in active concert or participation with them, should not be restrained and enjoined pending trial of this action from accepting any ballots, including absentee ballots, or operating any polling place in connection with the special primary election" as currently scheduled.

The compressed schedule for the election has given rise to complaints from county registrars, concerns that the hastily set date for the contest would lead to disenfranchisement of overseas military voters, and a lawsuit filed by Hispanic voters charging the election fails to comply with federal Voting Rights Act of 1965.

Rather than consolidating the special election with pre-existing general election dates, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger recently declared the special election --- to fill a vacancy in the state Senate following his appointment of former State Senator Abel Maldonado as Lieutenant Governor --- would take place on June 22nd.

In two previous articles, The BRAD BLOG has detailed how the issue has rankled election officials and voters alike, yet the Governor's office has so far failed to make accommodations for those serious concerns from several different corners...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 5/10/2010 12:43pm PT  

After all these years, not much has changed for the denialist jurisdictions that still insult their voters by using 100% unverifiable electronic voting machines.

Pittsburgh's WTAE filed a report last week with a ring of exhausting familiarity --- at least to long time readers of The BRAD BLOG. This one stars, as usual, both an open, unsecured door to the warehouse, and an election official --- in this case, Allegheny County Pennsylvania's Election Division manager, Mark Wolosik --- claiming he's "seen" no problems before, so everything is just dandy, nothing to worry about when it comes to his support of the use of 100% unverifiable electronic voting systems by his county's voters...

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

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Corporate greed masquerading as the 'Taxpayer's Right to Vote,' and another example of the corporate perversion of the 'citizens initiative' process in California...
By Ernest A. Canning on 5/9/2010 7:19pm PT  

Guest blogged by Ernest A. Canning

On California's June ballot this year, a measure paid for and deceptively represented by one major corporate sponsor, Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E), purports to be a "Taxpayers Right to Vote Act." In truth, the initiative represents one corporation's attempt to pervert the "citizen's initiative" process by spending millions to deceive voters into believing they can push back against the vaguely socialist-sounding notion of "government-run electric service."

The measure is anything but a "Taxpayers Right to Vote Act," and that name itself has even been out-and-out rejected for use on the ballot by the state's Attorney General --- not that it has stopped PG&E from misleadingly selling it that way to the public in a multi-million dollar television ad buy and direct-mail propaganda campaign...

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

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