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Latest Featured Reports | Thursday, November 27, 2014
'KPFK' BradCast: Maine Mystery, Ferguson Fury and Thanks for Something
'My thanks to all of you this Thanksgiving which, as a few callers reminded me, isn't nearly as terrible as it seemed before this week's show'...
Mysterious Ballots Flip Maine Senate Recount Result From Democratic to Republican
21 'phantom' ballots appear out of nowhere in Town of Long Island, reverse results of very close state contest, leaving officials baffled...
'Green News Report' 11/25/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
Gov. Cuomo blames meteorologists for his Buffalo storm fail; Canada protests another tar sands pipeline, lead's world in deforestation; PLUS: World Bank issue's dire warning...
Previous GNRs: 11/20/14 - 11/18/14 - Archives...
No Indictment in Ferguson Shooting of Michael Brown
A few early thoughts on the St. Louis County Prosecutor's extraordinary spectacle and miscarriage of justice on the night of his announcement...
'Recount' Ahead for Oregon's GMO Labeling Measure
Fewer than 900 votes separate 'Yes' from 'No' on 'Right to Know' Measure 92, out of more than 1.5 million paper ballots tallied by computers statewide in Nov. 4 election...
GOP House Intel Committee Findings Debunk GOP BENGHAZI! 'Scandal'
Final report released quietly before holiday weekend and before eighth Republican BENGHAZI! committee set to convene...
Monster Energy Drink Not Just Crappy, Also the Work of Satan!
The indisputable video proof is now here!...
'Green News Report' 11/20/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
Record-breaking storm breaks Buffalo; October 2014 hottest October on record; Sorry, Repubs: China to cap coal use by 2020; PLUS: Obama doubles down on climate foreign policy...
Previous GNRs: 11/18/14 - 11/13/14 - Archives...
Extreme Weather? What Extreme Weather?
Yes, scientists have been warning us about this for years. And, yes, the record breaking storm in Buffalo is tied to global warming...
We're #26! Harvard 'Electoral Integrity' Report Dings U.S.
'World's Greatest Democracy' rated worst among Western nations; Ranked just below Micronesia, just above Mexico in overall list...
Gag Order Won't Ensure Impartial Jury in Trial of 'Dark Lord of Coal Country'
WV's criminally indicted coal boss and U.S. Chamber of Comm. director Don Blankeship presents challenge for federal prosecutors...
Oxford English Dictionary's 2014 Word of the Year: 'Vape'
That small point likely underscores some very encouraging news for the health of the world...
'Green News Report' 11/18/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
US Senate fails to approve Keystone XL; Can Congress override the Prez next year?; Native Americans: KXL is 'an act of war'; PLUS: Accountability for 'The Dark Lord of Coal'...
Previous GNRs: 11/13/14 - 11/11/14 - Archives...
Sanders on Colbert: Midterms a Vote Against Both Parties
For those mad at us for asserting 'not voting IS a vote', look who just said the same thing...
Exclusive: St. Louis County Was Warned Before Election Paper Ballots Would Run Out
Email obtained by BRAD BLOG reveals County's top election official ignored warnings from election experts, leading to shortages...
Not Voting IS a Vote
Stop blaming those who didn't turn out. Americans did vote. By not turning out, they voted against the two major parties and against the system as a whole. It may have been a dumb vote, but it was a landslide...
Stephen Colbert is Really REALLY Funny
This segment makes clear once again that it's very very sad The Colbert Report is soon going away...
'Green News Report' 11/13/14
Historic US-China agreement that GOP said couldn't be done; New hope for int'l treaty; Repub freak out; Scientists say deal not enough, but good start...
Crucial Moment for FCC & 'Net Neutrality'
Will the Democratic majority commissioners support the President's clarion call and thwart GOP opposition to an open Internet?...
Brad on Hartmann TV: Election 2014 Mess
On thousands of 'missing' votes in Wisconsin, on Nate Silver and polls vs. 'results', on Rightwing 'True the Vote' voter fraud fraudsters, and on much more...
'Green News Report' 11/11/14
'Science has spoken': Final UN report - bad, good & room for hope; PLUS: Margaret Thatcher's historic climate change speech - when conservatives accepted science ...
IN MEMORIAM: Tomas Young, 1979-2014
On Veterans Day, America added another casualty from the War on Iraq -- one who, after first meeting and interviewing him in 2005, we will never forget...
Early Data Suggests TX GOP Photo ID Restrictions 'Worked'
Provisional ballots doubled, turnout down by more 1/4 million votes, despite larger population, contested gov's race and increased voter registration...
WI Scanner Fails To Tally Thousands of Votes in 'Citizens United' Referendum
'Programming error' blamed for paper ballot tabulator recording just 16 of 5,350 votes in city of Stoughton, WI...
The Results Were Skewed Toward Republicans: A Response to Nate Silver
The statistics guru unhelpfully explains away mid-term's surprising outcome by presuming pre-election polling was wrong and unverified election results were all correct...
'True the Vote' Group Fails to Find 'Voter Fraud' (Again)
Laughingstock RW org's 'army' of monitors and smart phone app uncover just 18 benign 'irregularities', 0 cases of polling place impersonation...
'Green News Report' 11/6/14
Election 2014-pocalypse: Republican hegemonic hellscape!; Climate deniers now in charge; PLUS: At least one note of very good environmental election news...
About Last Night: KPFK 'BradCast'
Guest Matthew Segal of OurTime.org joins Brad to discuss whether young voters are to blame for Tuesday's election results and, if not them, then who...or what...
Reuters: Voting Probs Around Nation, 2,000 Missing Election Judges in Chicago
Wire service summarizes machine probs, Photo ID vote suppression and a really strange story out of Chicago...
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
(All times listed as PACIFIC TIME unless noted)
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 Brad Friedman on 5/7/2010 4:04pm PT  

Two quickie items from Public Citizen's latest DontGetRolled.org "e-newsletter about the movement to curb corporate influence in politics and restore our democracy," as brought to my attention by Ernie Canning today...

Stunning Statistic of the Week:

  • $75 million: The liability cap for BP for the Gulf oil spill, for damages such as lost wages and economic suffering
  • $5.6 billion: BP's first-quarter profits, a 135 percent increase over the first quarter of 2009

...
Election spending by third parties and special interest groups is up dramatically
Spending by independent and third-party groups on TV ads for seats in the House of Representatives and the Senate are nearly four times the amount from four years ago - $48 million vs. $11.2 million, reports the Campaign Media Analysis Group, an organization that tracks political spending. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is one of the big spenders, as is the conservative group Americans for Job Security.

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Hispanic voting rights advocates, Democrats, seeking federal injunction of Schwarzenegger's compressed election schedule...
By Brad Friedman on 5/6/2010 2:41pm PT  

It's not just the troops and the election officials who are now acting on concerns of disenfranchisement. Now the Hispanic community and Democrats are charging the Governator's special election dates will "thwart voter turnout within minorities communities".

On the heels of The BRAD BLOG's coverage yesterday reporting on worries that thousands of overseas and military voters could be disenfranchised by CA Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's order for an early special election schedule in the state, and that election officials were "outraged" by the timing and concerned about the costs, minority groups and the Democratic Party are now filing suit to halt the impending election, charging the compressed dates are in violation of federal law.

A nine-page complaint [PDF] was filed in the Northern California U.S. District Court today by three Hispanic plaintiffs seeking "a temporary restraining order, a preliminary injunction and a permanent injunction" to halt the impending June 22nd special primary election date to fill a vacancy in Senate District 15 following the appointment of Abel Maldonado as Lt. Governor. The lawsuit is being funded by the state Democratic Party.

The suit charges that the short time-line for the special election schedule did not leave time for the required preclearance of the election dates under Section 5 of the federal Voting Rights Act. Monterey County, one of five included in SD 15, is covered by Section 5, a provision which requires the Dept. of Justice to pre-approve changes to voting laws in jurisdictions around the country where minorities have been historically disenfranchised.

Yesterday, retired twenty-year armed services veteran and Monterey talk-radio host Scott Dick detailed how the expedited special election schedule meant that ballots could not possibly be printed and sent to military family and personnel serving overseas prior to the 45-day minimum requirement of the federal Military and Overseas Voter Empowerment (MOVE) Act. He charged that there will not be enough time for those voters to receive and return their ballots in time to be counted in the special election.

State election officials, The BRAD BLOG has learned, share similar worries...

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

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June 22nd state Senate primary election date violates 45-day ballot requirement of federal law
UPDATED: County election officials 'outraged' by Governor's move...
By Scott Dick on 5/5/2010 1:43pm PT  

[UPDATED: Santa Cruz, CA, County Clerk/Registrar and Vice President of the CA Assoc. of Clerks and Election Officials (CACEO) Gail Pellerin saw our article just after it went up, and wrote to both thank us for covering it, and to express her outrage over the Governor's decision here. She points us to a letter sent by clerks to his office earlier this week, and also notes that "Military voters are definitely disenfranchised" by this move. See the UPDATE at the end of this article for more comments and detail from Pellerin. - BF ]

[UPDATED AGAIN: Hispanic voters file federal complaint, charging violation of Voting Rights Act. Details at bottom of article - BF]

-- Guest blogged by Scott Dick

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is effectively disenfranchising at least 2,046 overseas California voters around the world, including military personnel stationed in combat zones in Iraq and Afghanistan by calling a special election for June 22, 2010.

Background: The Senate seat from California's Senate District 15 was recently vacated when Schwarzenegger's nominee, Abel Maldonado, was confirmed and sworn in as the new Lieutenant Governor. He was appointed as a replacement to the elected John Garamendi who was recently elected to the U.S. Congress in a special election filling the seat of Ellen Tauscher who had been appointed by the Obama administration to a post in the U.S. State Department.

Schwarzenegger set the date for the special election to fill Maldonado's Senate District 15 seat as June 22, 2010, virtually eliminating the ability of overseas voters to participate in the election.

While not directly violating the federal Military and Overseas Voter Empowerment Act (MOVE Act) signed into law October 28, 2009, he is most certainly violating it in spirit. The law was designed to ensure the rights of overseas civilians and deployed military personnel to participate in federal, state and local elections. For federal elections it requires ballots to be sent out 45 days prior to an election to allow the Department of Defense time to process those ballots. If a state requests a waiver they must do so 65 days before the election. The law was passed with a 45 day minimum requirement for a very good reason --- a reason that Schwarzenegger seems willing to ignore, unless he can be convinced to change the date of the election, and quickly...

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

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ALSO: 89 of Cuyahoga County, OH's ES&S precinct-based op-scan systems failed in pre-election testing
UPDATED: Sheriff's office to investigate server attack...
By Brad Friedman on 5/4/2010 10:19pm PT  

Just in tonight as tabulation continues in Ohio's primary election today. Via Josh Sweigart at Middletown Journal:

HAMILTON — The Butler County Board of Elections website is under attack from an outside source, according to Board of Elections Director Betty McGary.

Although the "attack" is delaying communication of results on the board of election's website, McGary said it is not having an impact on actual ballot counting.

“We do not think that anyone has hacked into our site, but we have crashed three servers. And in examining those servers, there are two unidentified sites that are deliberately diverting traffic.”

McGary added: “Our servers are under attack, we feel."

The board of elections' information technology department is still working on the issue, she said.

“Our IT is saying this is being done deliberately,” McGary said. “This is definitely something of a concern for us, but the votes are safe.”

Long-time readers of The BRAD BLOG will remember that similar "glitches" affected the 2004 Presidential Election in the Buckeye State when the election night reporting website went down late in the evening, was moved to the "back up servers" of a far Rightwing firm in Chattanooga, TN, before coming back up to show that George W. Bush had taken the lead over John Kerry.

That system was created by Mike Connell, the GOP's IT guru who, in 2008, was subpeonaed for a deposition in a long-standing 2004 election fraud suit, only to die in a mysterious plane crane just weeks after the election, before he could testify in open court. Computer security experts have long charged that the results of Ohio's '04 Presidential election may have been compromised by a so-called "man in the middle" computer attack as the servers changed locations that night.

Similarly, in the hotly contested 2005 Special Election contest between Jean Schmidt (R) and Paul Hackett (D) for Ohio's 2nd Congressional District seat, central tabulator computers went down during late-night counting in Clermont County, only to come back up showing Schmidt with the lead over Hackett.

Whether something similar could be going on tonight in Butler County remains to be seen, but the attacks on the servers certainly seem worth noting here should further information become available over the next few hours, days, or weeks.

[See end of article for an UPDATE on the above story.]

In another part of Ohio, Cuyahoga County (Cleveland) experienced its own predictable failures with its ES&S precinct-based optical-scan vote tabulators during pre-election testing over the weekend. 89 of the county's 1,200 machines (6%) froze up entirely during those tests...

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

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Failure of mainstream corporate media may help to further pillage CA in this year's Gubernatorial election...
By Ernest A. Canning on 4/27/2010 6:54am PT  

Guest blogged by Ernest A. Canning

“We now have the entitlement generation as CEOs. They just plain feel entitled to being wealthy as Croesus with no responsibility, no accountability. They have become literal sociopaths.” - William K. Black on Bill Moyers’ Journal

"When you're rich, they think you really know!" - "If I Were a Rich Man," from Fiddler on the Roof

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...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 4/19/2010 11:07am PT  

It's just a small town somewhere in the middle of Nevada, but the top-notch political pun-ditry we caught on display around the town of Ely (pop. 4,041), could make all the difference this November...

Heheh...It sez "butt" instead of "but." Get it? Harry Reid is a "butt"! heheh...

And if you think that's good stuff, on the side of the trailer --- if you park your car and walk over to it, since the letters are pretty small --- you'll find some slightly more substantive political wisdom and criticism, apparently from someone named Jack Norcross. These thoughts are even more convincing, since they rhyme! (Sort of, though there are some metering problems)...

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

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Your opponent, SoS Trey Grayson, overseeing the election, has a disturbing history on the issue of electronic voting systems
Legal action NOW may help to prevent surprises later...
By Brad Friedman on 3/28/2010 1:10pm PT  

Rand Paul, son of Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) is running for the GOP nomination for U.S. Senator to replace the retiring Sen. Jim Bunning in the state of Kentucky. Paul, who has been endorsed by the likes of Sarah Palin, is running against Republican Party insider, KY Sec. of State Trey Grayson, who has been endorsed by the likes of Dick Cheney. Primary Election Day is set for May 18th.

Grayson's disturbing history of misrepresenting the truth in regard to certification of the state's electronic voting systems should be of great concern to Paul and his supporters, particularly given the state's rich history of confirmed election fraud by election insiders --- which includes tampering with e-voting systems to change voters votes --- and the fact that much of the state still uses electronic voting systems which are 100% unverifiable in any way, shape or form.

Of equal concern are the hand-marked paper ballot systems used in other parts of the state. Those electronic systems are also at risk to both simple, nearly undetectable manipulation by insiders as well as tallying errors, and have been found to feature serious security flaws highlighted in the past by the state's own former Republican AG. Even admissions by one of the voting machine companies, Diebold, that systems in use in the state did not meet certification requirements, were largely dismissed, and all but ignored for years by Grayson, the state's chief election official who will be overseeing his own election against Paul in May...

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

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Post-health care reform will the Right's gloves really come off? And has the GOP made a horrible political miscalculation?...
By Frank Schaeffer on 3/25/2010 3:20pm PT  

Guest Editorial by Frank Schaeffer

With the Senate having now passed the final reconciliation changes to the health care reform bill, the Republicans from their "Tea Party" wing to their high priest of hallucinatory fantasy; Glenn Beck, are about to pay a historic price for the biggest miscalculation in American political history since Charles Lindbergh sided with the Germans. The pundits all have it wrong. Obama's victory on health care reform will result in the Democratic Party retaining the majority in both houses of Congress as well as Obama winning a second term.

Disclosure: As a former Republican and Religious Right leader who quit the movement in the mid 80s (for reasons I explain in my book Crazy For God) let me tell my progressive friends and all reality-based people why and how the Republican Party just consigned themselves to defeat by (amongst other things) opposing health care reform...

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

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Carly Fiorina's 'Best Web Ad Ever' Against Opponent Tom Campbell in the GOP Primary Battle for U.S. Senate in California...
By Brad Friedman on 2/3/2010 3:55pm PT  

Wow. These guys ain't fooling around.

If the Republican Gubernatorial primary candidate Carly Fiorina is willing to put out a web ad like this, against her Republican opponent Tom Campell in the race for the GOP nomination to run against Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer this year, do the Democrats have any idea of the crazy train they're about to be barreling into?...


[Hat-tip TPM who tweets it as "Possibly the best web ad ever". We might have to agree.]

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By Brad Friedman on 1/22/2010 10:50pm PT  

Never thought I'd miss the 2000s, but if this week is any indication of what's to come, can we please roll back the clock?

Hundreds of thousands died in Haiti. Detainees were revealed to have been murdered in American custody at Gitmo. Democracy died again in Diebold's Massachusetts. A faint hope for reviving the death of the public's airwaves dies yet again as Air America dies. And the U.S. Supreme Court commits mass murder of everbody and everything else that had still been left teetering.

Worse. Week. Ever.

As it happened, I was previously scheduled to be a guest on Peter B. Collins' podcast yesterday to discuss MA. Suffice to say, the conversation ended up a bit broader, and a great deal darker.

If you'd like to listen, if you can stand to, it's now posted here...

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I blame the ideological purist Left who have worked so hard to undermine the Obama presidency for the MA debacle.
Lefty purists set the stage...
By Frank Schaeffer on 1/20/2010 6:09am PT  

Guest Editorial by Frank Schaeffer

[Readers: Please see the added "Ed Note" at the end of this editorial. Thanks. It has also now been updated with some new information. - BF]

Congratulations to the Left of the progressive movement and the Democratic Party: You just shot us all in the foot. You contributed to the Democratic loss in Massachusetts.

I’m a former Republican who ran from that hate-filled movement years ago. I am a heartfelt Obama supporter. And I am also an Independent Massachusetts voter.

I blame the ideological purist Left who have worked so hard to undermine the Obama presidency for the MA debacle. You set the stage...

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

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Ensuring that nobody's vote would actually be counted, the Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate in MA injures several supporters in her race for the phone
Democracy bravely averted; Sen. Kerry applauds...
By Brad Friedman on 1/19/2010 6:50pm PT  

Several supporters of Democrat Martha Coakley were injured during her rush to get to the phone as quickly as possible in order to concede the race for the U.S. Senate in MA to Scott Brown even before AP called the race in favor of the Republican.

That, while some 25% of the precincts had yet to report even how Diebold's easily-hacked, oft-failed optical-scan machines (which are in violation of federal voting system standards and programmed by a company with a disturbing and criminal background), had even reported their tabulation and, more disturbingly, while 0% of the voters' cast ballots in Massachusetts had been counted or examined by any human being on the face of the earth.

"After months of campaigning, the Attorney General thought it was important to make sure neither her, nor her supporters voters were actually counted, so best to ensure that the Democracy Menace wouldn't rear it's ugly head right here in the Bay State," said Coakley's campaign manager Kevin Conroy.

Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) released a statement upon hearing the news, proclaiming he was "proud of the speed at which Martha was able to concede the race with even fewer of the votes counted by anyone --- zero in Martha's case --- than when I conceded the race for President of the United States in 2004." Kerry added that he had prepared his statement on Monday, so as to save valuable time on Election Night, since American Idol was also scheduled to be on.

* * *

And with that out of the way, please see:

  • Bev Harris' article today about how these media "calls" are actually made (hint: it ain't based on actually counting anybody's ballot);
  • The several updates to my previous report on the allegations of ballots pre-marked for Brown said to have been given to voters in "at least" three different jurisdictions;
  • My fully ignored tweet urging all candidates to NOT concede until the voters votes were actually counted, and;
  • If you missed it, my article at the right-leaning Gouverneur Times on the outrage of ceding our American democracy, and the U.S. Senate seat from MA, to private, unaccountable companies like Diebold and LHS Associates.
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Election experts file public records requests; Pre-marked ballots reported in two 'at least' THREE towns...
By Brad Friedman on 1/19/2010 12:22pm PT  

[UPDATED SEVERAL TIMES with more info on the curious/disturbing issue of ballots reported as being handed out as pre-marked for Scott Brown. Allegations now of five different reports from "at least" three different jurisdictions. See bottom of article for continuing updates...]

Haven't heard too much from on the ground in Massachusetts this morning yet (happily), but that's not much of a surprise. The real questions come later, as we will all wonder whether or not the "results," whatever they are, as reported by Diebold and never counted by actual humans, have anything to do with the way voters actually voted.

In the meantime today, a group of election integrity experts, after having posted an "Orange Alert" yesterday about the serious e-voting concerns in today's election, have sent an open letter to Sec. of State Bill Galvin, along with a public records request [PDF], calling for the retention of all election materials, such as voted, spoiled, and unvoted ballots, as well as all of the easily-tampered-with memory cards and electronic databases, etc., to ensure they are all secured and available for inspection by the public after the close of polls.

Election integrity advocates Susan Pynchon, Shelia Parks, and John Brakey also put the entire sorry matter in stark terms, demonstrating how simple this all could have been in a very short piece at OpEd News asking why MA didn't simply just determine to count the ballots, by hand, in front of everyone at the polling place, especially given that it was a single race on the ballot with just three people on it...

Regardless of who wins, the opposing party will be flinging accusations of machine failures, uncounted votes, and fraud. There is only one race on this ballot. It would be easy to divide the ballots in each precinct into three separate piles and simply count the number of votes received by each candidate.

This is not going to happen, however. A simple measure --- hand-counting the votes as a check on the machines on election night, before there are questions about chain-of-custody of the ballots --- will not be done. The second question one has to ask is, "Why not?"

As to the ballots themselves, Greg Sargent at The Plum Line reports an odd situation: Two different voters, from two different towns, have both informed him that they were handed ballots that had Scott Brown's bubble already inked in when they went to vote. Here's the report from the second voter Sargent heard from...

A second voter — Julia Volynskaya, a 34-year-old social worker from Brighton — is now reporting the same experience.

“I was handed a ballot and when I went to fill it out I saw that the bubble next to Brown’s name was already filled in,” Volynskaya, who voted today in Brighton. Election workers, she added, promised her they “were going to look into how this happened.”

The two reports are too anecdotal at this point to make too much of them just yet, but it seems worth noting for the moment. May come in handy later.

[UPDATED as more reports of pre-marked ballots have come in! Please see additional follow-ups now below.]

Are you hearing, reading, seeing other points of concern today? Let us know in comments. Links are always welcome...

P.S. Have done a flurry of radio appearances to discuss all of this, last night and early early this morning. Appearances from Mike Malloy, Stephanie Miller, and Nicole Sandler's shows are now archived online if you'd like to give them a listen, right here...

P.P.S. Might I also recommend, request, that all you folks on Twitter (we can be followed here), Retweet the following as far and as loud as you can:

TheBradBlog Please RT to candidates in MA Senate race! "DO NOT CONCEDE UNTIL ALL VOTES ARE ACTUALLY *COUNTED* BY HUMAN BEINGS!" http://tr.im/KTCQ

* * *

UPDATE 4:03pm PT: Coakley Campaign Manager Kevin Conroy issued the following "ALERT!" on the campaign website, and via email about an hour ago concerning the reports of ballots being handed to voters pre-marked for Brown, as mentioned above...

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

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[Now updated with audio from tonight's radio appearances]
By Brad Friedman on 1/18/2010 1:35pm PT  

A quick follow up, as I'll be on the road for most of today, on the mess I warned about on Friday concerning Tuesday's Special Election for the U.S. Senate in MA, the terrible optical-scan Diebold voting machines in use there, and the company with a dubious, criminal background which sells, services and programs them:

  • Over the weekend, I was briefly interviewed by Joan Brunwasser of OpEd News and Citizens for Election Reform about it all. That interview is now published here...
  • A coalition of election integrity experts have issued an "Orange Alert" about the concerns for tomorrow's election, calling on MA Sec. of State Bill Gavin to take effective action to protect secure chain of custody for ballots, voting machines, tabulators, memory cards, unvoted ballots and all other related materials, and calling on the candidates to NOT CONCEDE until all votes are actually counted accurately and transparently.

UPDATE 1/19/10: More on early reports and other developments on Election Day, now here...

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Winograd v. Harman race turns white hot over Winograd's call for peace through an Israel/Palestine 'one-state' solution...
By Ernest A. Canning on 1/15/2010 8:52am PT  

Guest essay by Ernest A. Canning

Had Marcy Winograd simply chosen to denounce violence, both individual and state-based; had she objected to the oppressive nature of Iran's theocratic regime, or, during the 1980s, denounced a South African regime mired in racist apartheid, few would so much as raise an eyebrow.

Winograd's Feb. 15, 2008, speech, "Call For One State," delivered at the Friends of Sabeel Conference on behalf of L.A. Jews for Peace, however, was not merely directed against violence per se or against nations that permit a disparity in the rights of their citizens on the basis of race, ethnicity, or religion. She denounced all forms of violence, including "Israeli state terrorism"; asserted that Israel had rendered a two-state solution all but impossible, and said she favored a "one state solution" because you "cannot establish a democracy in a state founded on the institutionalized superiority or exclusivity of one of religion, ethnicity, or culture."

In doing so, the Progressive Democrats of America (PDA)-endorsed Winograd, now seeking to unseat a wealthy seven-term 'Blue Dog' Democrat, Jane Harman (D-CA36), touched what many see as a third rail in American politics.

The real question is whether American criticism of Israel should continue to be a political third rail or whether the courage to challenge "the bipartisan mainstream" consensus is long overdue...

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

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