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Latest Featured Reports | Tuesday, September 2, 2014
CA Repubs Block State-Paid Automatic 'Recount' Bill
After gaping flaws in the law revealed by the closest statewide election ever, GOP blocks conservative Dem attempt to make oversight easier and election theft harder before Nov...
After a Year of Digital Detox, David Roberts Returns
The great climate blogger from Grist is finally back on the Internets, with some very helpful thoughts for the information overloaded...
Erick Erickson's Global Warming Denialist Tantrum
Latest barometer of denialist desperation: The rightwing 'thought leader', as usual, is wrong on the facts and science, so he's just taking his ball and going home...
Video Captures GA Family Disowning, Assaulting 20-Year Old Gay Son
But there is a "happy" ending, of sorts, to this heartbreaking and disturbing story...
'Green News Report' 8/28/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
BP refinery explodes. Again.; UN report warns of 'irreversible' warming; Fines for oil, chem spills; 22% of world elec. is now green; PLUS: People's Climate March coming to NYC...
Previous GNRs: 8/26/14 - 8/21/14 - Archives...
Faking the Ferguson Docs:
KPFK 'BradCast'
Brad interviews open records advocate Charlie Grapski on his evidence that Ferguson and St. Louis County police are illegally withholding evidence in the killing of Michael Brown; Plus MUCH more...
Records Requests Suggest Ferguson, St. Louis County Police Involved in Cover-Up
How else to explain the missing details and required documentation of Officer Darren Wilson's killing of Michael Brown?...
'Green News Report' 8/26/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
Napa earthquake is a warning for CA's nuke plants; Another coal plant bites the dust; Cutting emissions will save $$$; PLUS: Fighting drought with a 'salmon cannon'...Yep...
Previous GNRs: 8/21/14 - 8/19/14 - Archives...
Siegelman Judge, Arrested For Beating His Wife, May Avoid Prosecution Altogether
U.S. District Judge Mark Fuller checks in for 'treatment', may be able to duck prosecution...
Our Story So Far: The WI GOP Photo ID Voting Restrictions
Trouble keeping up with all the court cases barring, then allowing, then barring GOP Photo ID voting restrictions in WI? We'll catch you up quickly...
Obama Orders Review of Police Militarization Program
In response to bi-partisan calls for reform and disturbing display by militarized local police in Ferguson, MO, the President takes aim at controversial Pentagon program...
Ryan Dismisses Elderly Voter's Question About His Medicare Cuts
2012 GOP Veep nom and 2016 hopeful 'charms' elderly voters in FL, by ignoring them...
Perry Tells NH Businessmen His Felony Indictment Was for a 'Bribery' Charge
Is this another 'oops' moment from the Repub TX Governor and 2016 hopeful? Or something else entirely?...
'Green News Report' 8/21/14
Too much rain in AZ desert; Another toxic spill in Ohio River; Solar breakthrough; Wind energy prices hit all-time low; PLUS: Auto-magically cleaning up Baltimore Harbor...
Rep. Hank Johnson on Ferguson and Demilitarizing the Police: KPFK 'BradCast'
The Democratic U.S. Congressman from Georgia's 4th district joins Bradto discuss his new bill...
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 12/23/2011 3:25pm PT  

No time to detail this one for the moment, as I'm preparing to guest host the nationally-syndicated Mike Malloy Show tonight, so I'll just link to TPM's breaking coverage for the moment. I'll almost certainly have more to say on this on the show tonight, but for now, it looks like we've got still more good news this Christmas!

The Dept. of Justice has denied preclearance [PDF] of the South Carolina GOP's new polling place Photo ID restriction law, finding it was likely to disenfranchise voters, particularly minority voters, as "the state’s own statistics demonstrated that the photo identification requirement would have a much greater impact on non-white residents, DOJ said in a letter to the state on Friday," according to TPM.

The racial disparity seen by the DoJ is similar to the hardships, from such laws, to students and elderly voters (you know, the ones who tend to vote for Democrats, which is why the GOP is instituting these voter suppression laws in the first place.)

The GOP has long used the lie about an an epidemic of "voter fraud" by voter impersonation at the polling place, though they have failed to document virtually any instances of it. Nonetheless, they've been using such false claims to institute these types of laws around the country after Republicans took over a number of state legislatures in 2010. States that are covered by Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 must receive preclearance for such laws before they can be enacted, given the history of racism in the covered jurisdictions.

The BRAD BLOG's own crack legal analyst, Ernie Canning, detailed the concerns that the DoJ had about the disenfranchising affects of the law back in September, noting that they seemed to be signaling at the time that preclearance would be unlikely, given many serious flaws in the state law.

A final decision on DoJ preclearance is still pending in Texas where the agency has also indicated they are likely to reject the new Photo ID laws. Meanwhile, in states not covered by Section 5, such as Wisconsin, it's fallen to non-governmental organizations, such as the ACLU, to challenge the new laws in the court system, as they did earlier this month.

All of this follows on Indiana's first-in-the-nation Photo ID restriction law, approved by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2008. Ironically enough, yesterday in the Hoosier State, the Republican Secretary of State Charlie White, now facing seven criminal felony counts, including three of them for voter fraud, was ordered removed from his post by a circuit court judge who found he was not eligible to vote or be on the ballot at all in 2010. The judge has ordered White be replaced by the second-highest vote-getter, Democrat Vop Osili. Our coverage of that incredible "White Christmas" story is right here.

* * *
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By Brad Friedman on 12/22/2011 7:34pm PT  

It's most definitely turning out to be a "White Christmas" for Democrats in the Hoosier State this week!

Some remarkable news late today. Finding he was not eligible to be a candidate on the ballot in the November 2010 election, a Marion County Circuit judge has ordered Indiana's Republican Sec. of State Charlie White removed from office and replaced by his Democratic challenger Vop Isili, the second highest vote getter in that election.

The order comes as part of a civil suit brought by the state Democratic Party which has long charged, both before and ever since the election, that White was not eligible to be a candidate on the ballot.

Judge Louis Rosenberg's ruling today overturns a previous determination by the Republican-majority Indiana Recount Commission, which had initially dismissed the Dems contest, but then took it up again after being ordered to do so by the court. The Recount Commission --- on which White himself is a member, though he recused himself from this case --- had found in a unanimous 3-0 decision that White was eligible to serve. Today's decision overturns that Commission's ruling and is likely to be challenged at a higher court.

Separately, White still faces seven criminal felony charges, including three of them for voter fraud, related to the fact that he did not live at the address where he was registered to vote in the 2010 election. As he was not a properly registered Indiana voter, he was not eligible to be a candidate on the ballot, Rosenberg has ruled. Moreover, at the time of his election, White was a member of the Fishers Town Council --- a town in which he no longer lived since separating from his wife and moving out of her house, where he remained registered to vote, several years earlier. Democrats charge he retained his registration at the house so that he could continue to collect his salary as a Council Member.

Since divorcing his wife White had remarried and purchased a condominium in a different town, but claimed the reason he stayed registered at his former wife's house was because he had hoped to move back some day. The Indiana Recount Commission accepted that explanation. The Marion County Circuit judge, apparently, did not.

The stunning turn of events, along with additional bad news that White received earlier this week in his separate criminal case, where he is facing seven felony charges, all serves to highlight no small amount of irony in the Hoosier State, where the first polling place Photo ID restriction law to pass U.S. Supreme Court muster, under the disingenuous claim of fighting "voter fraud", has been used as a model for similar laws across the country ever since. The ruling, if it is not overturned on appeal, could also turn out to have very far reaching consequences on all Republican officials statewide...

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

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By Ernest A. Canning on 9/23/2011 7:35am PT  

Guest blogged by Ernest A. Canning

A nearly two-hour hearing in the U.S. Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Human Rights earlier this month (full video available here), carefully examined the partisan, multi-state effort by the billionaire Koch brothers-funded, Paul Weyrich co-founded American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC)-fueled GOP effort to enact new state voting laws across the country.

The coordinated, nationwide GOP voter suppression effort was aptly described by Judith Browne Dianis, a civil rights litigator at The Advancement Project, and a witness in the second three-member panel, as "the largest legislative effort to roll back voting rights since the post-Reconstruction era."

"Our country has not seen such widespread attempts to disenfranchise voters as we have seen this year in more than a century. Inclusive democracy is under attack," she testified, while Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) described the "brazen" GOP attempts to undermine the right to vote.

Subcommittee Chair and Senate Majority Whip, Dick Durbin (D-IL) broke the new state voting laws into three major categories, and the discussions of each are worth covering here over two different articles. In Part 1 here, we'll cover the first category: Polling place Photo ID laws restricting the ability of lawfully registered voters to cast their ballot on Election Day. The hearing produced several remarkable face-offs, including between Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) and long-time GOP "voter fraud" front man Hans von Spakovsky (cue James Bond villain music), as detailed below.

In Part 2, we will cover the discussion of the other two categories at the hearing --- draconian new restrictions on voter registration, and laws which significantly reduce early voting periods --- plus a very troubling event that "reactionaries" have planned for the 2012 election, according to Dianis' testimony [UPDATE: Part 2 is now posted here]...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 8/14/2011 1:56am PT  

Horrible...

At this hour 4 are confirmed dead with more than 40 injured. Officials say the death toll is likely to rise.

This photo from the ground offers a sense of the scale of this collapse...

Some video of the immediate aftermath follows below...

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

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Bank statement examined for 'activity'; 'Free' ID must be specifically 'requested' by voter, DOT official concedes to BRAD BLOG
DMV Supervisor: 'They shouldn't even be doing any of it'...
By Brad Friedman on 7/26/2011 5:58pm PT  

"This is what voter suppression looks like."

Those are the words on the final title card in the video [embedded below] shot by a Wisconsin woman documenting her experience at the DMV in Madison last week. The video purports to illustrate the ridiculous extra, and invasive, efforts many previously-legal voters in the Badger State will now likely face in order to exercise their right to vote in the state since the passage of the GOP majority's newly enacted voter suppression laws.

In this case, the woman was trying to help her son get a free Photo ID at the DMV, as is his right under the new statutes. At first she was told the charge for the supposedly-free ID would be $28, and that was only after she convinced a clerk that there had been enough "activity" in her son's bank account, as used by the clerk to determine whether or not he actually resided in the state.

And that was for an affluent white resident. If you're a homeless person in WI, as the woman's interview with another clerk in the video suggests, you can pretty much just forget about being able to vote at all under the new law.

An official at the Wisconsin Dept. of Transportation confirmed to The BRAD BLOG that those seeking the Photo ID for free must actually know to request it during the application process, as required by the language, she told us, in the new state statute...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 6/29/2011 10:09pm PT  

Today on my show on Pacifica Radio's KPFK in Los Angeles, I spent the first part on a "Republican War on Democracy" update.

The update kicked off this week with the latest details in the story of Indiana's new Republican Sec. of State Charlie White who is facing seven felony charges, three of them for voter fraud, as yesterday, the Indiana Recount Commission found (incredibly enough) that though White was registered at his ex-wife's house to vote (rather than his own) and had re-married and purchased a condominium, he actually hoped to someday move back into the ex-wife's house. Therefore, he wasn't illegally registered to vote, so he was not illegally on the ballot, so he gets to remain as Indiana's Secretary of State. So sayeth the Indiana Recount Commission.

The Democrats who filed the complaint with the commission may still decide to take the case to court where, in the meantime, White is still facing those seven felony violations. (Did I mention that three of them are related to voter fraud?)

As well, I offered a quick review of all of the other recent high-profile GOP vote fraudsters, such as Ann Coulter, Gov. Mitt Romney, Ambassador Jon Huntsman and Rep. Todd Akin, and the latest news on which states' GOP-fueled voter-suppressing polling-place Photo ID restrictions have been passed into law, and which ones have been thankfully stopped by gubernatorial vetoes.

Also, there was a remarkable statement by Ohio's new Republican Sec. of State John Husted against Photo ID disenfranchisement recently! He deserves big props for that!

That part of the show is here:

Download MP3 or listen online below [appx 15 mins]...

In the second part of the show, I was joined by Tyson Slocum, director of Public Citizen's energy program. He's an expert on the dangers and pitfalls of nuclear power and other fossil fuels. We discussed the unprecedented floods threatening the Fort Calhoun and Cooper nuclear plants in Nebraska; the wildfire threats to New Mexico's Los Alamos nuclear site; the woeful state of nuke plants across the country (as detailed of late in Jeff Donn of AP's remarkable investigative reports here, here, here & here); and the fact that there seems to be absolutely nobody at the federal level of our government able or willing to do a damn thing to protect the citizens from the looming and growing dangers.

My interview with Slocum (and a shot at climate change denying Rep. Steve King (R-IA)) is here:

Download MP3 or listen online below [appx 14 mins]...

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By Brad Friedman on 6/24/2011 1:15pm PT  

As a new report from the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) [PDF] is released today, documenting a rapid rise in U.S. Islamophobia and asserting that anti-Muslim rhetoric in this country has doubled between 2009 and 2010 for some odd reason, I'm reminded of one of my favorite calls from the past week sitting in as guest host of the nationally syndicated Mike Malloy Show on radio.

"Josh", a Right-leaning caller from Madison, WI and a self-identified "civil" and "very fair" person was incredulous that Wisconsin's new voter-suppressing polling place Photo ID restrictions would actually disenfranchise any voters, since they would have a year, he said, to get themselves one if they didn't already have one.

Most telling, though, was the way "Josh" --- a seemingly nice guy, but one who has been used and abused by the folks on the Right who are playing him for an idiot --- began his call explaining what a fair person he was because, as he informed me, he "used to have a Muslim co-worker" with whom he was able to "sit and talk". They even "used to be able to debate" without, presumably, the Muslim co-worker trying to blow him up or, I guess, vice versa!

Here's my amusing/distressing conversation with "Josh" from the Tuesday, June 21 Mike Malloy Show. [Appx 4.5 mins]...

Sigh...

* * *

By the way, here's some information on those 80- and 90-year old nuns turned away from the polling place in 2008 for lack of Photo ID, as I mentioned in reply to "Josh" during the call. And here are the remarkable hoops those nuns, and everybody else in Indiana, must now jump through in order to keep their vote from being completely thrown out if they don't happen to have an Indiana-issued Photo ID on Election Day.

Ironic, all of that, particularly in light of Charlie White, Indiana's new Republican Sec. of State (charged with overseeing the state's election laws), who is currently facing 7 felony indictments, 3 of them for voter fraud, which, curiously enough, were not detected or deterred by Indiana's draconian, voter-suppressing, polling place Photo ID restrictions. But, I guess, he's not a 90-year old nun, a student, or a WWII veteran.

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Charlie White's desperate legal maneuver to keep his job...
By Ernest A. Canning on 6/19/2011 9:59pm PT  

Guest blogged by Ernest A. Canning

Having failed to prevent Tuesday's scheduled hearing before the Indiana Recount Commission on a Democratic Party complaint that he was illegally registered to vote at the time he declared his candidacy and thus, ineligible to have been elected as Indiana's Sec. of State, Charlie White has filed a motion [PDF] to compel a grant of 'use immunity' in exchange for his and his wife's testimony before the commission.

Separately, White is facing seven felony counts, including three for voter fraud related to his having been registered to vote at a house where he did not live, while serving as a member of a town council in a town where he also didn't live. Trial in that criminal case is scheduled to commence on Aug. 8. The two special prosecutors assigned to the case have declined to provide the Whites with use immunity --- with good reason. They no doubt want to avoid what happened to the Iran/Contra independent counsel when, for example, an appellate court ruled in United States vs. Col. Oliver North that a grant of use immunity to North shifted the burden to the independent prosecutor to "demonstrate an independent source for each item of evidence or testimony."

Granting use immunity to White would make the job of the prosecutors in the criminal case that much more difficult.

White need not testify to the Recount Commission, where he is entitled to invoke the 5th Amendment. He and his wife are attempting to present testimony, however. Granting use immunity for that testimony (which is not likely needed in order to show that he had not been lawfully registered to vote at the time he declared his candidacy) would likely undercut his felony trial. That may well be White's interest in providing such testimony and seeking a grant of use immunity before the commission.

[UPDATED: Late Friday, the IN Supreme Court denied White's motion to stay the Recount Commission hearing pending the outcome of the criminal case. Early today, a Marion County Circuit Court judge denied White's motion to compel a grant of use immunity. Since anything the Whites say could be used against the couple in the criminal case, it is likely that both will invoke their 5th Amendment privilege if called to testify before the Commission tomorrow.]

White is one of several very high-profile Republicans recently facing allegations of voter fraud, though the only one currently facing criminal indictment...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 6/15/2011 1:24pm PT  

Last night, MSNBC's Rachel Maddow led off with the story we covered on Monday concerning Mitt Romney's apparent voter fraud in the state of Massachusetts.

Her piece includes an interview with GOP Presidential candidate Fred Karger, the man investigated the case and who filed an official complaint against Romney in the Bay State on Monday...


Maddow's excellent report does not, however, delve into the recent and growing spate of high-profile GOPers who have, or appear to have committed similar felony voter fraud violations --- such as Romney's potential fellow Mormon GOP Presidential hopeful Gov. Jon Huntsman, Missouri's GOP U.S. Senate candidate Rep. Todd Akin, Indiana's Republican Sec. of State Charlie White (who is currently facing 3 voter fraud-related indictments), or GOP voter fraud queen Ann Coulter.

Neither does she take the opportunity of noting the hypocrisy of Romney's (and the others) apparent voter fraud, when taken side-by-side with the current Republican jihad in state after state across the country to impose disenfranchising polling place voter suppression measures.

Our Monday story on Romney's apparent voter fraud, should you be interested, covers all of the above.

* * *
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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Also, new information concerning allegations of voter fraud by MO Rep., U.S. Senate candidate Todd Akin, as new GOP voter disenfranchisement laws spread...
By Brad Friedman on 6/13/2011 5:35pm PT  

What is it about Mormon Republican Presidential candidates and their proclivity for committing voter fraud?

For that matter, what is it about high-profile Republicans in general and their rapidly growing record of voter fraud, as we have two new reports today of two more very high profile Republicans who appear to have committed voter fraud? One of them is GOP Presidential candidate Mitt Romney, the other U.S. Senate candidate Rep. Todd Akin of Missouri.

But they are just the two latest in a quickly growing list of Republican vote fraudsters.

In March, as you'll recall, Utah's former Republican Gov. Jon Huntsman, Jr. --- who is believed likely to jump into the GOP Presidential race soon --- was alleged to have committed voter fraud by casting his vote last year via his registration at the governor's mansion despite having resigned and moved out of the address almost two years prior to become President Obama's Ambassador to China.

Previously, of course, we've reported in great detail on GOP superstar Ann Coulter's repeated and now well-documented voter fraud. More recently (and more ironically), Charlie White, the newly-elected Republican Sec. of State of Indiana --- a state with, until recently, the most draconian, disenfranchising polling-place Photo ID restrictions in the nation --- was indicted on seven felony counts, three of them related to voter fraud, after he continued to vote at a residence where he no longer lived (where he also continued to illegally serve on the town council, despite no longer living there).

And now, according to a complaint filed by another GOP Presidential hopeful, it appears that current front-runner Mitt Romney has been playing similarly fast and loose with his own residency and is alleged to have voted, illegally, in last year's special election for the U.S. Senate in Massachusetts despite no longer being a resident of the state...

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

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Vetoed in MN while significant legal challenges likely elsewhere...
By Ernest A. Canning on 5/30/2011 2:21pm PT  

Guest blogged by Ernest A. Canning

Republicans in state after state across the country today, Memorial Day 2011, are remembering those who fought and died to protect our democracy by celebrating recent victories in their renewed effort to remove the right to vote for hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of legal American voters.

It's been just days since we filed "GOP Voter Suppression Shifts Into High Gear in State After State as 'Tea Party' Shell Game Exposed" on May 23, detailing new GOP-passed polling place Photo ID restrictions in states like SC and FL, but since then we can report that Gov. Rick Perry (R) signed a bill legalizing polling place photo ID restrictions in TX and Gov. Scott Walker (R) signed a photo ID restriction bill in WI.

Both of them, as opponents have documented over and over again, will serve to do little more than to disenfranchise far more legal (largely Democratic-leaning) voters than those who will be kept from fraudulently impersonating other voters at the polling place, which, as even most proponents admit when forced, happens almost never --- if it all.

Thankfully in at least one instance since our last report, Gov. Mark Dayton (D) of MN vetoed a photo ID measure passed by Republicans in his state. So there is one case, at least, where the memories of our fallen soldiers might be appropriately honored this weekend, as one governor has remembered to protect the very thing that so many of them died for.

Despite the fact that the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the enactment of Indiana's photo ID law in Crawford vs. Marion County Election Bd. (2008), both the new WI photo ID law, which may cost WI taxpayers $7 million to implement, and both the SC and TX photo ID laws, which do not even recognize student photo IDs, may be subject to significant legal challenges...

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

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By Ernest A. Canning on 5/23/2011 6:43pm PT  

Guest blogged by Ernest A. Canning

"I don’t want everybody to vote," Paul Weyrich, co-founder of the billionaire-funded Heritage Foundation and the Moral Majority, said while addressing a right-wing Christian audience in 1980. "[O]ur leverage in the elections goes up as the voting populace goes down," he added after he denigrated those who seek "good government" through maximum, informed voter participation as people who suffer from the "goo goo syndrome."

Voter suppression has long been a staple of American politics, but the tsunami of new restrictions on the polling place now being rammed through by newly-elected Republican majorities in state after state is unprecedented, certainly since the era of Jim Crow was supposed to have been ended by the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

While most Americans may think of the poll tax and literacy tests as forms of voter suppression associated the Jim Crow South, the confirmation hearings of the late U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice William Renquist included sworn testimony from former U.S. Attorney James Brosnahan and others reflecting that, as an early 60's GOP activist, Renquist intimidated African-American and Hispanic voters in AZ by challenging their ability to read.

1965's Voting Rights Act outlawed both the poll tax and literacy tests. In more recent times, pursuant to a 1987 federal court consent decree, and a subsequent provision of the National Voting Rights Act of 1993, another GOP suppression tactic, "caging lists," was banned, though as documented by the BBC's Greg Palast, the Bush administration-led Plutocrats didn't let a little matter like illegality get in the way of their use.

21st Century voter suppression operates under cover. Or it had, until the new wave of legislation being passed by GOP legislatures across the country began hitting its stride. Until FL's then-governor Charlie Crist overturned it, for example, the state banned convicted felons from voting even years after they'd been released from prison. In Armed Madhouse, Palast asserts that prior to the 2000 Presidential election, FL's then Sec. of State Katherine Harris, appointed by Gov. Jeb Bush, the brother of candidate George W. Bush, purged 94,000 "felons" from the state's computerized voter rolls, though the only "crime" at least 91,000 were guilty of was "being Black, Democrat or both."

Over much of the past decade, voter suppression efforts have been bolstered by bogus "voter fraud" claims leveled at groups like ACORN, who aided in the registration of those who might be likely to vote against the GOP (minorities and the working class); "non-partisan" GOP astroturf groups like the phony American Center for Voting Rights (ACVR) created after the 2004 election solely to create and spread false propaganda about a Democratic "voter fraud" epidemic; laws meant to increase the legal risk to real non-partisan organizations for assisting in registration; draconian polling place "photo ID" restriction laws, and in a reduction of opportunities for early voting.

With the tide of GOP victories at the ballot box last November, those efforts have now been ramped up and are now front and center in some 30 state legislatures across the country...

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

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ALSO: Judge denies Charlie White's motion to halt state probe of his eligibility to serve, as GOP war on legal voting continues...
By Brad Friedman on 4/29/2011 6:01pm PT  

Indiana's Republican Governor Mitch Daniels will not be able to appoint a replacement for the recently elected Secretary of State Charlie White, who is currently under indictment for seven felony counts, three of them --- ironically enough for the state's chief election official --- for voter fraud.

On Wednesday, we updated the sad story of White, who is facing both a criminal complaint after being indicted by a grand jury as well as a civil complaint brought by state Democrats. The basis for both cases is tied to evidence that White used his ex-wife's residence for his voter registration and then knowingly voted at the wrong precinct (including for himself in last November's election), all while illegally serving on the Fishers Town Council despite not living in the town of Fishers.

We initially covered the White story last month after the new Secretary of State was indicted, detailing the ever-growing list of top Republicans --- which now includes both GOP superstar Ann Coulter and Utah's former governor and possible 2012 GOP Presidential hopeful Jon Huntsman among others --- who are alleged to have committed felony voter fraud and voter registration fraud. The charges against White play out against the irony of the GOP's oft-echoed but ever-unsubstantiated charges of a "Democratic voter fraud" epidemic, claimed as a propaganda tool to support new voter suppression laws at the polling place. Indiana's own polling place Photo ID restrictions, instituted in 2008, are regarded as the most draconian and disenfranchising in the nation --- although they didn't serve to keep White from illegally voting.

In our story earlier this week, we explained that White --- who has refused to resign amidst the scandal --- and the state Republican Party have been doing their best to slow-walk both the criminal and civil cases, in hopes of running out the clock until the state legislature could pass a law allowing Gov. Daniels to appoint a new Sec. of State to replace White. Existing law, the Democrats argue, requires that the top vote-getter legally on the ballot in last November's election be named to the post. In this case, that would be the Democratic nominee Vop Osili.

But it now appears that Republican state legislators have all but given up hope for such a law to be passed in time to save the day, and the judge assigned to the civil case has once again this week denied a request by White to stall the case further...

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Dems accuse Repubs of 'running out clock' for new state law allowing GOP Governor to appoint replacement SoS...
By Brad Friedman on 4/26/2011 5:27pm PT  

Last month we reported on the seven felony counts charged against Indiana's newly elected GOP Secretary of State, Charlie White. Three of the charges are related to voter fraud by White, the chief election official in the state with the most draconian polling place Photo ID restrictions in the nation. (Indiana's law, approved by the Rightwing U.S. Supreme Court in 2008, has already resulted in unknown numbers of disenfranchised voters, including 90 year-old nuns, elderly veterans, and untold numbers of otherwise-legal student and minority voters --- the real target of such GOP voter suppression schemes disguised as "ballot integrity" laws.)

White represents just the latest in a series of high-profile Republican voter fraud cases --- including recent allegations against Utah's former governor, Jon Huntsman, a potential 2012 Presidential hopeful, and, of course, GOP voter fraud queen Ann Coulter --- most of whom have found some way to get off the hook entirely.

White was charged by a grand jury of, among other felonies, having been registered to vote at an address where he did not live in the town of Fishers, where he previously served (apparently illegally) on the town council, and then knowingly voting in the wrong place last November as he ran to be Sec. of State. White may, or may not, be as lucky as fellow GOP voter fraud scofflaws like Huntsman and Coulter, even as his friends on the State Republican Committee seem to be doing all they can to help him run out the clock in various ways, as revealed this week during new legal volleys in both the criminal and civil complaints against White...

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VIDEO BONUS: Maddow: 'You can't vote them out if you can't vote'...
By Brad Friedman on 3/26/2011 2:52pm PT  

The GOP voter fraud epidemic continues unabated. The latest alleged felon? Outgoing U.S. Ambassador to China, former Utah Governor --- and potential 2012 GOP Presidential candidate --- Jon Huntsman Jr.

Teddy Partridge at FireDogLake charges (accurately) that Huntsman "Pulls a Coulter," as The Salt Lake Tribune reports:

Jon Huntsman Jr. is still registered to vote as a resident of the Utah governor’s mansion even through he resigned his office some 19 months ago to become the U.S. ambassador to China.

In fact, Huntsman voted by absentee ballot for last year’s general election using the state-owned mansion on South Temple as his Utah residence — months after Gov. Gary Herbert settled into the historic building and Huntsman purchased a home in Washington, D.C.

Of course, Huntsman is a Republican, so different "voter fraud" laws apply to them, in general, than to other Americans.

"It is generally illegal for voters to cast ballots using a residential address where they no longer reside," the Tribune notes before giving Huntsman a pass. "But state and federal law seem to back Huntsman’s ability to still vote using the governor’s mansion as his home because that was his last address before he left for Beijing to serve as an employee of the U.S. government."

Despite that, as the very same article notes, "Last June, Huntsman purchased a $3.6 million home in a tony D.C. neighborhood." So while he may have had cause to specify his last U.S. address as Utah prior to last June, one wonders why officials are overlooking the fact that he owned a D.C. home well prior to last November's general election, when he voted using a registration at a residence where he hadn't lived for more than a year and a half.

One doesn't have to "wonder" for long, however...

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

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