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Latest Featured Reports | Thursday, August 28, 2014
'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...
Our Story So Far: The WI GOP Photo ID Voting Restrictions
Trouble keeping up with all the court cases barring, then allowing, then barring the GOP's Photo ID voting restrictions in Wisconsin? Let us catch you up quickly with the latest...
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...
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...
Republicans Call Ferguson Voter Registration 'Disgusting'
Rightwingers decry effort 'to register Democratic voters' following the killing of Michael Brown...
Seriously, Ferguson Police?
The front page of the Post-Dispatch reminds again how ridiculous the era of post-9/11 Wars has become; Plus: another comparison to the Bundy Bunch...
'Green News Report' 8/19/14
OR nixes coal export facility; July 2014 4th hottest; Fracking industry illegally using diesel, threatening water; PLUS GOP officials secretly accept climate science...
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...


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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TONIGHT: 'Blind Allegiance to Sarah Palin' co-authors Ken Morris & Jeanne 'AKMuckraker' Devon...
LIVE! 9p-Mid ET (6p-9p PT), Call-in#: 877-520-1150
By Brad Friedman on 6/17/2011 4:20pm PT  

[Now UPDATED with audio archives below...]

We're back again tonight guest hosting the nationally syndicated Mike Malloy Show, as we will be through next Tuesday!

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

Scheduled tonight:

  • KEN MORRIS & JEANNE "AKMUCKRAKER" DEVON, on their new book Blind Allegiance to Sarah Palin: A Memoir of Our Tumultuous Years and how lead author Frank Bailey, a former aide to Palin, partnered up with Morris and Devon (progressive publisher of the virulently anti-Palin Alaska blog "The Mudflats", to write this book.
  • PLUS: GOP election fraud charges in MD; ACORN exonerated yet again; Fukushima is worse than the media and governments are telling us; and much more, including whatever's on your mind via calls to 877-520-1150 and tweets to @TheBradBlog!...

The Mike Malloy Show is nationally syndicated on air affiliates across the country and also on Sirius Ch. 146 & XM Ch. 167. You may also listen online to the free LIVE audio stream at affiliate GREEN 960 in San Francisco or via MikeMalloy.com.

* * *

POST-SHOW UPDATE: Another lively show tonight, with a lot of different topics along the way! The audio (and chat room) archives follow below. Enjoy!...

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

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UPDATED WITH CHART: How slot machines are regulated in Vegas, versus touch-screen voting machines there (and everywhere else)...
By Brad Friedman on 6/7/2011 8:15pm PT  

It took two tries, but Carolyn Goodman, candidate for Mayor of Las Vegas and wife of current Mayor Oscar Goodman, was finally able to vote for herself today on Nevada's illegally-certified, 100% unverifiable Sequoia AVC Edge touch-screen voting machines. At least she thinks she did. Whether her vote will actually be counted for her is something that nobody can ever know...

When Goodman pushed the button next to her name on a voting machine at the Public Administration Building downtown, [Chris] Giunchigliani's name popped up.

"I touched my name and strangely ended up with my opponent," a visibly worried Goodman said from her voting booth.

She pushed the button a second time and successfully voted for herself.

"I think it's the finger nails," Goodman said afterward. "Obviously, I'm voting for myself."

Goodman said she heard of similar problems taking place at polling places Friday, the last day of early voting.

No, it ain't the fingernails, Carolyn. It's the machines.

As we revealed in our investigative exposé in the 2008 book Loser Take All: Election Fraud and the Subversion of Democracy, 2000-2008, and summarized in our article on the Reid/Angle election for U.S. Senator just before Election Day last year, Nevada's Sequoia touch-screen voting machines were illegally certified in 2004 by then NV Secretary of State, now recently-appointed (to take the place of disgraced Sen. John Ensign) NV Republican U.S. Senator, Dean Heller.

The failure that Goodman experienced, and noticed, made her just the latest in a string of celebs and candidates who have had similar problems with 100% unverifiable voting machines --- as still used by some 20 to 30% of voters in the U.S. --- either flipping their votes, or not allowing them to vote at all.

Most famously, perhaps, was Oprah Winfrey, who, during early voting in the 2008 Presidential election, noticed that the computer (also a touch-screen made by Sequoia) had dropped her vote for President all together.

Earlier that same year, during February's "Super Tuesday" primary, then NJ Gov. John Corzine (D) was unable to vote for 45 minutes when Sequoia's AVC Advantage touch-screen systems failed to boot up at all when the polls opened.

During early voting in the 2008 general election, election integrity filmmaker Patricia Earnhardt, executive producer of the award-winning 2006 documentary Uncounted: The New Math of American Elections, which deals, in no small part, with the problems and perils of 100% unverifiable e-voting, saw her own vote flipped on an ES&S iVotronic touch-screen machine in Nashville (Davidson County), TN.

The BRAD BLOG has reported on countless such incidents over the past eight years with little or nothing being done, in most cases, to keep the same failures from occurring again in future elections. Indeed, we wrote an entire chapter about similar widespread failures during the 2008 election cycle alone for Project Censored's Censored 2010: The Top 25 Censored Stories of 2008-09.

One of "favorite" occurrences is what happened to poor Randy Wooten, mayoral candidate of Waldenburg, Arkansas in 2006...

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

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Massive irregularities, e-voting vulnerabilities wholly ignored by corporate media throughout contentious, landmark contest...
By Ernest A. Canning on 6/6/2011 5:30am PT  

Guest blogged by Ernest A. Canning

For nearly two months, The BRAD BLOG has furnished in-depth coverage and analysis of the contentious WI Supreme Court election. Our coverage not only focused on the horse race, but, more vitally, on the vulnerabilities of the Badger State's e-voting systems, its lack of transparency, massive violations of basic chain-of-custody procedures revealed during the woeful, nearly-month long "recount" process, concluding with the state Government Accountability Board (G.A.B.)'s certification of the election results as "accurate" despite all of the above, and despite never having received the minutes of the Waukesha County "recount," as mandated by state law.

Beginning with our April 6 article, "WI Supreme Court Election Virtually Deadlocked, According to the Machines Anyway," and ending with the May 31 coverage of WI Asst. Attorney General JoAnne Kloppenburg's description of a "cascade of irregularities" during her concession speech, followed by Brad Friedman's exclusive June 1 interview with Kloppenburg on KPFK, we've offered an extensive and independently verifiable historical record of the extraordinary and exploitable flaws discovered and exposed in the state's electoral system.

Unfortunately, as has repeatedly occurred with thousands of election integrity articles published by The BRAD BLOG over the past seven and a half years, the issues concerning lack of transparency, the potential for insider election fraud, and a reliance upon "faith-based" electoral results, with rare, against-the-grain exceptions, have been greeted by a silence within our hollowed-out, corporate-owned mainstream media that has been so deafening as to call to mind an Orwellian suppression of public consciousness.

"If the Party could thrust its hand into the past and say...it never happened," penned George Orwell in his classic 1984, "that, surely, was more terrifying than mere torture and death."...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 6/1/2011 6:31pm PT  

On my KPFK/Pacifica Radio show today (heard on Wednesdays at 3:30pm PT in Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, San Diego & around the world on KPFK.org) I spoke live with WI Asst. Attorney General JoAnne Kloppenburg. It was her first interview since conceding the highly-contentious and incredibly close WI Supreme Court election and "recount" yesterday to incumbent Justice David Prosser.

Given the state media's shamefully bad coverage of the disastrous "recount", the interview may well be the only one, as short as it was, in which she was able to address accountability for the "cascade of widespread irregularities", as she described them during her concession speech, which plagued the state's certified results.

"How do you know," I asked her at one point during our conversation, "that, given the wild, widespread irregularities --- these wide open ballot bags, tamper-evident seals that were broken, serial numbers that were missing, scratched out, changed --- how do you know that those ballots that were counted during the recount process were actually the ballots that were cast by the voters on Election Day?"

Her disturbing but unavoidable answer: "At this point, we don't know. All we have to go on is the hand count, and the extent to which they're consistent with the tapes in the [voting] machines."

You can listen to my follow up, and much more of what she had to say about the election, the "recount", her still-pending request for an independent investigation of controversial Waukesha County Clerk Kathy Nickolaus, and the failure of the state's top election authority, the Government Accountability Board (G.A.B.), to assure that statutory security processes, meant to deter both malfeasance and malfunction, were actually followed...

Download MP3, or listen online below [appx 28 mins]...

* * *

For much more specific information on what we discussed during the interview, including photographs of "wide open" ballot bags, missing seals and serial numbers, other blatant chain of custody violations discovered during the course of the "recount" across the state, and particularly in Waukesha County, please see some of The BRAD BLOG's extensively detailed most-recently related coverage as linked below...

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

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Calls on state officials for changes to electoral system to 'improve compliance with basic election procedures'...
By Brad Friedman on 5/31/2011 7:06pm PT  

[6/1/11 Ed Note: Kloppenburg was my guest today on my KPFK/Pacifica radio show here in Los Angeles. It was her first interview since conceding yesterday. The audio archive is now here. - BF]

Citing a "cascade of irregularities," thousands of tabulation errors discovered during the statewide "recount," and tens of thousands of ballots found to be unverifiable or otherwise having been in violation of the secure chain of custody, Wisconsin's independent Asst. AG JoAnne Kloppenburg conceded the Wisconsin Supreme Court Election for a 10-year term on the bench to Republican incumbent Justice David Prosser this afternoon at a press conference held in Madison.

"Votes were found to be miscounted in every county in the State," Kloppenburg said in her prepared remarks. [Her complete remarks are posted at the end of this article.].

"Over 150 ballot bags containing tens of thousands of votes were found open, unsealed or torn. Waukesha County had twice as many torn, open or unsealed bags as every other county in the state combined. In many cases, municipal clerks in Waukesha testified the bags weren’t torn when they left cities, towns and villages so the security breaches occurred sometime when the bags were in Waukesha County’s custody."

She continued: "Most every county and most every reporting unit statewide had discrepancies in reconciling poll books in which the number of voters and the number of absentee voters is recorded. In several counties, including Dane, Milwaukee, Marquette and Jackson, missing or uncounted ballots were found in unexpected places during the recount, such as a clerk’s office or left in machines."

Despite the widespread irregularities --- and despite the fact that state officials at the Government Accountability (G.A.B.), the state's top election authority, failed to review thousands of pages of minutes, including hundreds of exhibits recorded during the "recount" documenting the irregularities, as The BRAD BLOG reported exclusively last night --- Kloppenburg announced she would not file for a judicial review of the certified results.

"This recount should serve as a wake-up call to improve Wisconsin’s election processes," the Asst. AG explained to the gathered media...

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

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Mountains of irregularities, more than 800 official exhibits, and objections by candidate's attorneys never examined by top state election authority before razor-thin results for 10-year seat on state's high court certified as 'correct'…
By Brad Friedman on 5/30/2011 8:54pm PT  

Last Monday, May 23rd, Wisconsin's Government Accountability Board (G.A.B.), the state's top election agency, officially certified [PDF] the controversial results of the extraordinarily close April 5th statewide Supreme Court election and its subsequent "recount."

However, as The BRAD BLOG has learned, the agency certified those results without reviewing hundreds of official exhibits documenting wholesale ballot irregularities, on-the-record objections from the attorneys of the candidate who filed for the "recount," and thousands of pages of official transcripts and minutes documenting the entire "recount" process from the election's most controversial county.

Even more alarming, the agency doesn't even yet have a copy of the hundreds, if not thousands, of pages which make up the official minutes documenting the nearly month-long "recount" from Waukesha County --- the last of the state's 72 counties to complete its count, and by far the most controversial county following the late discovery there of some 14,000 votes not included in the county's original Election Night results.

Indeed, the G.A.B. admits, they may not even have those minutes for another two weeks, despite the already-issued certification of the election results, and despite the fact that the statutory deadline for a candidate to file a challenge to those certified results in court is tomorrow (Tuesday).

The official minutes from most of the other 71 counties, as documented during the "recount" of the razor-thin, highly contentious election for a 10-year term on the state's high court between incumbent Republican Justice David Prosser and his independent challenger Asst. Attorney General JoAnne Kloppenburg, have been posted on the G.A.B.'s website for some time, with the 71st, Milwaukee County, finally posted late last week.

With Kloppenburg set to announce her decision on whether to seek a judicial review tomorrow, Waukesha's lengthy and detailed minutes are not posted for public review with all of the others, despite massive and alarming irregularities discovered during the "recount" process there over the past month (see here, here, and here for just a few of many examples), because the G.A.B. has not been given them by the county, as state officials conceded during phone conversations late last week...

--- 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...

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As the count nears its end, more irregularities emerge, including mis-dated poll tapes, unprinted 'paper trails,' duct taped bags and the state's unwavering faith in the machine...
By Brad Friedman on 5/20/2011 6:53am PT  

For weeks, we've been reporting on the mess seen in the statewide "recount" of Wisconsin's very close and very contentious April 5th Supreme Court election between Republican incumbent Justice David Prosser and his challenger, Asst. Attorney General JoAnne Kloppenburg.

As The BRAD BLOG obtained evidence of new irregularities this week --- to add to previously reported revelations of, among other irregularities, ballot bags discovered "wide open" with mismatched or missing serial numbers as well as ballots discovered completely unsecured, all in violation of the secure chain of custody, and other similar messes and mistallies across the state --- we wanted to find out if the state's chief election agency, the Government Accountability Board (G.A.B.), was able to confirm that the ballots counted during the "recount" were actually the ones cast on Election Day. And, if so, how they could confirm that.

To date, with about 25,000 "recounted" votes still to be canvassed from the now infamous Waukesha County, some 2,690 votes have been discovered during the "recount" to have been originally mistallied. That's according to the G.A.B.'s own figures, and includes hundreds of thousands of ballots which were simply re-tallied rather than counted by hand during the "recount," on the same computers which tallied them --- either correctly or incorrectly --- on Election Night.

31 out of the state's 72 counties counted some or most of their ballots by hand for the first time during the "recount" (including several of the largest counties). But, given the fact that supposedly "secured" ballot bags were discovered during the "recount" to have been "wide open" and not secured at all, with little or no explanation from officials, after being accessible for weeks by the same untrustworthy and partisan election officials, such as Waukesha's County's activist GOP County Clerk Kathy Nickolaus, who screwed up the tabulation in the first place, how is it that anybody knows if the ballots finally counted by human beings are actually genuine?

We've been trying, with no small amount of frustration, to get a definitive answer from the G.A.B. on that question for the past week, as well as from the campaigns of both candidates in the race.

The G.A.B. generally agrees with the campaign of the election's current leader, incumbent Justice David Prosser, that broken security seals, opened ballot bags --- even some that are torn open and taped back shut with duct tape, as seen in Waukesha County this week (photos below) --- and other violations of chain of custody are of little concern. So long as the newly tabulated results largely match the results printed on the poll tapes by the computer tabulators at the end of Election Night on April 5th, that is, essentially, close enough for government work.

The G.A.B. and the Prosser campaign, as we confirmed with each directly, and as the G.A.B. indicated on a recent post to their website published in the wake of the specific questions we've been asking them --- are placing their faith largely in the accuracy of the state's oft-failed, easily-manipulated, privately-manufactured electronic voting systems made by companies like Diebold, ES&S, and Sequoia. They are also placing faith in their election official colleagues around the state.

All of which begs the question: What's the point of having a "recount," or of using security procedures and physical seals for the ballots after the election, if violations of those procedures and seals are of little concern to the state's top election agency?

Worse, if the results printed on the poll tapes are the ultimate proof of the accuracy of results, what happens when --- as discovered among poll tapes from the City of Pewaukee in Waukesha County late last week --- the "recount" uncovers "Official Results Report" poll tapes dated a full seven days before the actual election was held?

Or, worse still, what happens when poll tapes failed to print at all on Election Day, as has been seen in a number of towns across the state?...

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

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Narrow margin, 10,000 still-to-be-tallied absentee ballots to test L.A. County's Bowen-approved op-scan system, again
UPDATE 5/20: BOWEN CONCEDES...
By Brad Friedman on 5/18/2011 1:33pm PT  

[See UPDATES at bottom for Bowen statement, final reported results...]

Yesterday, California's Republican-supported Prop 14 --- which voters approved last June, changing the state's separate party primary system to a single primary for all candidates, with the top two vote-getters going on to a run-off election if none receives more than 50% of the vote --- had its first official try-out in the Special Election to replace the resigning Blue Dog Democrat and unrepentant war supporter Rep. Jane Harman in the state's 36th Congressional District.

While similarly "Blue Dog" Democratic candidate and L.A. City Councilwoman Janice Hahn was in the lead last night as results were reported throughout the evening, it was the battle for second place, and therefore the right to participate in the run-off, that presented a real late-night nail-biter twist as unofficial precinct results were completed in the wee hours.

With Democratic CA Sec. of State Debra Bowen running second and seemingly headed for the run-off with Hahn for most of the night, according to L.A. County's running totals, the final unverified results inched self-financed Republican Craig Huey into the second place spot by just 206 votes at evening's end, after all 261 precincts in the very Democratic-leaning CA-36 were tallied.

With nearly 10,000 mail-in, provisional and other votes still to be tallied on the county's optical-scan system, however --- a system which was decertified and then conditionally re-certified, in part, by Bowen herself in 2008 --- the result of the cliff-hanger is likely to ensure "busy days ahead" at the L.A. County Registrar Recorder/County Clerk's office as Dean Logan, L.A. County's Registrar Recorder/County Clerk, noted last night on his personal Twitter account...

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Paper ignores wide-spread irregularities, mistallies, massive chain of custody violations discovered in state's Supreme Court race...
By Brad Friedman on 5/16/2011 9:01pm PT  

We have been working, over the past week --- digging into details, speaking with election officials --- on a new article we hope to publish soon on the "recount" of the April 5th Wisconsin Supreme Court election between the Republican incumbent Justice David Prosser and his independent challenger Asst. Attorney General JoAnne Kloppenburg.

If all continues apace, the article will follow up with details on still more disturbing new "irregularities" discovered recently during the continuing count in Waukesha County and elsewhere across the state, following on our earlier reports of wide-spread irregularities such as"wide open" ballots bags in Waukesha and elsewhere, ballots discovered unsecured on the desk of a city clerk, and inaccurate counting in Milwaukee. In all, the unavoidable fact we continue to see is that, thanks to Wisconsin's woeful election procedures, pathetic chain of custody requirements, and horrible secret vote-tabulation computers, nobody can know for certain whether thousands of ballots being counted today are the ones actually cast by voters on Election Day.

Taking all that we've learned into account, one might even conclude: This is no way to run an election. But more on that soon.

In the meantime, in her first official public statement since her April 20 press conference announcing her intention to ask for a "recount" and a special investigation of Waukesha County Clerk Kathy Nickolaus, Kloppenburg speaks out today in an op/ed response to an embarrassingly obnoxious unbylined editorial by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's editorial board published last week.

The Journal Sentinel's three paragraph, anti-democratic (small "d") pot-shot last week --- which may as well have been written by the campaign of Justice Prosser, criminally-inclined candidate whom the paper endorsed (even as they failed to disclose that point in their editorial) --- was riddled with evidence-free assertions, and mocked the very idea of a "recount" as a "waste of time," on the grounds that they believe "nothing will change in the election for state Supreme Court."

The paper failed, sadly, to note that more than 2,600 votes have, so far, been discovered as originally mistallied by the state's woeful computerized tabulation systems (and that's with hand counts performed in only 31 of the state's 72 counties) and the inability to confirm, thanks to the blatant violations of chain of custody, that thousands of votes being counted are actually the same as those originally cast.

Kloppenburg's op/ed details some of the "irregularities" being found, but ignored by the Journal Sentinel's editorial board, this way...

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Open ballot bags, mistallied ballots, high undervote rate, observation obscured and other unreported concerns...
By eowyn_of_rohan on 5/11/2011 1:02pm PT  

- Guest blogged by "eowyn_of_rohan"

[Ed Note: The following account from an observer at Milwaukee County's machine "recount" of ballots from Wisconsin's April 5th Supreme Court election between incumbent Republican David Prosser and independent Asst. Attorney General JoAnne Kloppenburg comes on the heels of recently documented reports of complete chain of custody violations such as "wide open" ballots bags in Waukesha County --- where the stunning announcement of the addition of some 14,000 votes two days after the election reversed the originally reported results to give Prosser the unofficial lead over Kloppenburg for the 10-year seat on the state's highest court --- as well as earlier reports of ballots discovered unsecured for weeks in Dane County's city of Verona and unexplained variances in "recount" results as reported during the "recount" by the WI Government Accountability Board (G.A.B.), the state's chief election agency. Thousands of ballots have so far been discovered to have been originally miscounted to date, even with just a minority of counties actually bothering to count ballots by hand during the "recount." - BF]

I worked on the recount in Milwaukee County last Thursday, and it was quite a disturbing and stifling experience. I left there puzzled and frustrated, and have been searching for news on 'anomalies' there, but find next to nothing. News reports have only stated there have been "no major problems," and things are "going smoothly"...

Kloppenburg stated at her recount request press conference:

There are legitimate and widespread questions about the conduct of this election – most visibly in Waukesha County, but also in counties around the state...We are aware of widespread anomalies that occurred...: an undervote in the cities of Milwaukee and Racine; the Waukesha situation; reports of long lines and photocopied ballots in several counties including Fond du Lac; significant changes in the vote totals in Winnebago County.

People have wondered if Waukesha County 'irregularities' were perhaps a red herring, and that maybe we should be looking more closely at what's happening in other counties around the state. I really think so. I've compiled some information on the recount problems in Milwaukee County, many of which I witnessed.

It's important to understand that, in Milwaukee, as in 41 of Wisconsin's 72 counties, ballots are being "recounted" by the same optical-scan machines that tallied them in the first place, unlike the hand-counts that have been the focus of attention elsewhere. It can be very difficult to oversee that type of "recounting." Moreover, while ballots bags have been seen as opened, and their chain of custody violated in the process, in counties such as Waukesha, and stacks of ballots discovered unsecured in Dane County's City of Verona, parts of Milwaukee's count also included bags that were improperly sealed, with the secure chain of custody broken and uncertain.

I also observed a surprising number of undervoted ballots and, as disturbingly, machine tallies at the "recount" which under-reported the results for Kloppenburg as I was able to observe them on ballots before they were fed into the machines.

Some observations detailed below are more significant than others, and this is by no means a comprehensive list, so please feel free to add to it if you have additional info...

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By Brad Friedman on 5/9/2011 5:39pm PT  

It is now officially impossible to know whether thousands of paper ballots being counted in the state of Wisconsin's Supreme Court election "recount" are the same ones actually cast on Election Day. It didn't have to be that way, unlike in Kentucky, where the voters never had a chance, and where high-ranking election officials have now been sentenced to more than 150 years in federal jail following "decades" of manipulated elections.

Thanks to serious chain of custody violations in Wisconsin --- such as ballot bags discovered to have been left "wide open" and unsealed in Waukesha County, and ballots left completely unsecured for weeks in the office of the Verona City Clerk in Dane County --- that now make it quite likely the real winner of the April 5th election for a 10-year term on the bench of that state's highest court will never be known for certain. That, even though thousands of votes have now been verified as having been miscounted during the state's partial hand-count, and even as the hotly-contested seat in question will determine the ideological balance of the court during one of the most contentious moments in Badger State history.

The majority of voters in Wisconsin cast their votes on hand-marked paper ballots. However, due to a failure to count those ballots publicly on Election Night, at the precinct, in front of the public (as per "Democracy's Gold Standard"), citizens are left guessing and forced to place misguided trust in partisan election officials like GOP activist and Waukesha County Clerk Kathy Nickolaus and her unsecure chain of custody and election reporting procedures.

With results that will never be known for certain, the razor-thin contest has now become a fully "faith-based election," in contradiction to the checks and balances necessary for true self-governance.

But where Wisconsin could have had an overseeable and fully verifiable election in which voters might have had confidence, voters in Kentucky, for years, never even had a chance as they were forced to vote on 100% unverifiable touch-screen voting machines.

The good-ish news? That is changing, as much of the Bluegrass State is finally turning to the use of hand-marked paper ballots, though they plan on tallying them similarly to Wisconsin, via oft-failed, easily-manipulated optical-scan systems manufactured by private vendors, rather than counting them transparently in front of the public.

Given Kentucky's recent history, that's a particularly troubling prospect, as underscored by several developments in two different counties in the state of late.

In 2009, a spate of high-ranking election officials in Clay County, KY --- including the County Clerk, a Circuit Court Judge, the School Superintendent, a former Magistrate, and several polling place officials --- were arrested in a massive vote buying/selling and electronic vote-machine rigging conspiracy which netted the criminals millions of dollars over the past decade. The federal charges included the County Clerk and other members of the Board of Elections having intentionally falsified election reports to include inaccurate voting results when submitted to the state.

One Republican election official pleaded guilty after the arrest two years ago, and the other eight were found guilty and convicted last year in federal court. They were sentenced this past March to a total of more than 1,871 months in federal prison.

And last week, in a separate, newly developing case, state officials impounded electronic voting machines in Perry County, KY, after Republican candidates in last November's election complained of "vote rigging" on the county's 100% unverifiable electronic voting machines...

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Chain of custody violations continue to emerge, particularly in Waukesha, during state Supreme Court election 'recount'
ALSO: $25,000 reward offered for evidence of WI election tampering...
By Brad Friedman on 5/5/2011 7:44pm PT  

Five out of six bags of ballots from first batch to be counted out of the City of Brookfield in Waukesha County, WI, today were discovered "almost wide open" during Day 9 of the statewide Supreme Court election "recount." The bags were open and unsealed, according to both photographic evidence and an eye-witnesses account from the counting room. (Many more exclusive photos posted below.)

"When the ballot bags were taken out and placed upon the counting table, we were literally stunned," one of the citizen observers, Mary Magnuson, a Kloppenburg volunteer, told The BRAD BLOG this morning. "5 out of the 6 ballot bags were almost literally wide open, and ballots could be clearly seen."

The ballots in those bags were among the 14,000 said to have been cast in the April 5th election, but left off of Waukesha County's tally as reported to the media on Election Night.

Earlier this week we offered a detailed report on the status of the statewide "recount," highlighting a host of disturbing and outright violations of the chain of custody of ballots, including unnumbered and renumbered ballots bags (many of them from Waukesha County); ballots discovered unsecured and/or left out of the original count all together; and exceedingly sloppy record-keeping and reporting of "recount" results by the state's chief election agency, the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board (G.A.B.). In sum, we described the state of the "recount" of the contested election between Republican incumbent Justice David Prosser and his independent challenger Asst. AG JoAnne Kloppenburg, as "a mess."

Today, after the newest revelations from the Waukesha County counting room, it got a lot messier.

"We are finding significant anomalies, including chain of custody and missing ballots, that we need to shine light on," Kloppenburg campaign manager Melissa Mulliken told The BRAD BLOG earlier this week, while we were working on our previous story. The anomalies she was referring to, given where today's unsecured ballots are said to come from, have gotten much more "significant" in the past few hours...

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