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Latest Featured Reports | Sunday, December 4, 2016
'Recount' 2016 or 'Recount' 2000? Team Trump Files to Stop WI, MI, PA Counts: 'BradCast' 12/2/16
As PA margin plummets, Stein asks: 'Why is Trump afraid of these recounts?'...
Hand, Machine 'Recounts' Begin in WI, Trump Blocks MI Count: 'BradCast' 12/1/16
Also: Brain-addled Trump voters buy his 'voter fraud' lie, even as he hires an actual voter fraud criminal as a top WH NatSec adviser...
'Green News Report' 12/1/16
  w/ Brad & Desi
Deadly drought-fueled fires in TN; Canada approves tar sands pipelines; 100M dead trees in CA drought; Toxic algae blooms in West again; PLUS: WA scientists turn CO2 to stone...
Previous GNRs: 11/29/16 - 11/22/16 - Archives...
Countdown to 'Recounts': Stein Files in MI, More Barriers in WI: 'BradCast' 11/30/16
Computer scientists and voting systems expert plead for hand-counts; Fees increased; Callers ring in with questions...
Impossible 'Recount' Laws in PA; New Barriers in WI: 'BradCast' 11/29/16
VotePA's Marybeth Kuznik on insane 'recount' laws and 100% unverifiable voting systems in PA; Also: What good are paper ballots if nobody can afford to actually count them?...
'Green News Report' 11/29/16
  w/ Brad & Desi
Eviction notice for ND pipeline protesters; 3 oil refinery fires in 2 days; Drought emergency in Bolivia; Coral die-off in Great Barrier Reef; PLUS: Judge: Kids can sue over climate...
Previous GNRs: 11/22/16 - 11/17/16 - Archives...
Overseeing Results in WI, MI, PA Before 'Recounts' Begin: 'BradCast' 11/28/16
Guest: Author, election fraud investigator Richard Hayes Phillips on concerns about reported voter turnout in WI and much more...
Sunday Leftover Turkey Toons
The nation's political cartoonists are talking turkey (and more) in PDiddie's latest collection of the week's best toons...
Stein 'Recount' Effort Raises Millions: 'BradCast' 11/25/16
Guest host Angie Coiro on why the Presidential recount/audit battle in WI, MI, PA matters well beyond 2016. She also speaks with guest Leland Faust and much more...
'Why Would Anyone Be Against Counting Votes?': 'BradCast' 11/23/16
An exclusive interview with the Green Party Presidential candidate Dr. Jill Stein on filing for 'recounts' and forensic audits in WI, MI, PA...
BREAKING: Stein to Seek Hand 'Recounts' in WI, MI, PA
Green Party candidate to ask for hand counts, forensic tabulator audits of voting systems in three states. Stein appears LIVE on The BradCast to discuss it...
Will the Presidential Election Be 'Recounted' in WI, PA, MI?: 'BradCast' 11/22/16
Should it be? Alternet's Steve Rosenfeld and Brad on anomalies and concerns that have experts calling for handcounts, forensic audits...
'Green News Report' 11/22/16
ND uses water cannons, tear gas on pipeline protesters; Canada to phase out coal by 2030; Record low sea ice, 'freakishly warm' Arctic; PLUS: Obama nixes oil leases...
Trump Cashing In as U.S. Media Still Checking Out: 'BradCast' 11/21/16
Guest: Media Matters' Eric Boehlert. Plus: Still trying to oversee election results; Police attack pipeline protesters in ND; Arctic is burning up...
Sunday Toons in the Aftermath Moment
'PDiddie' and the political cartoonists are struggling to make sense of it all in this week's collection of the week's best toons...
Stealing the Supreme Court(s): 'BradCast' 11/18/16
Guest: David Dayen on blocking the GOP SCOTUS theft. Also: Trump pays off his fraud victims, names more racist appointees, NC Repubs plot to steal state's high court...
Exit Polls 'Wrong' Again: 'BradCast' 11/17/16
Or were they? Election expert Jonathon Simon asks 'What would Trump do' if it happened to him not Clinton? Also: Fake AND real news outlets undermining democracy...
'Green News Report' 11/17/16
Sanders' new idea to block Dakota Access; McConnell: coal unlikely to return; Mercury contamination down; PLUS: Climate negotiators v. Trump...
Were Vote Tabulation Systems Rigged for Trump?: 'BradCast' 11/16/16
What we know, don't and why we don't. ALSO: NC GOP wants 'recount' after vote tabulators fail in Guv race...
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...


Plus: Sproul is back! Last minute voting rights court rulings! And more...
By Brad Friedman on 11/7/2016 5:52pm PT  

On today's BradCast, the last one before Election Day(!), we debunk a lot of nonsense --- and out-and-out lies from the Donald Trump Campaign, in several instances --- from over the weekend and in to today. [Audio link to show is posted below.]

Among the stories and avalanche of news covered on today's BradCast:

  • FBI Director James Comey confirms there is nothing in newly discovered emails (most of them duplicates they'd seen before) that would lead to an indictment of Hillary Clinton;
  • And, no, there is no "murdered FBI agent" involved, no matter what you saw on Facebook over the weekend;
  • There was also no "assassination attempt" on Trump in Reno, NV over the weekend by a Republican sign-holder despite his campaign suggesting otherwise;
  • There was, however, a Trump supporter with a gun intimidating voters outside a VA polling location;
  • There appears to be record early voting turnout in dozens of states, and notably in Hispanic areas, where Trump's campaign blatantly lied over the weekend about polls being kept open "illegally" after hours;
  • Nathan Sproul, a long-time GOP operative whose companies have a checkered past related to voter registration fraud in several states, was secretly hired by the RNC in 2012 and then fired once more fraud allegations became public. He's now been quietly hired again by the RNC and Trump camp in 2016;
  • Dems lose several 'voter intimidation' lawsuits against Trump (but may have actually won anyway);
  • There will be at least 868 fewer places to vote in 2016, thanks to SCOTUS gutting Voting Rights Act
  • Kansas Sec. of State Kris Kobach is ordered (yet again, and hopefully once and for all!) to allow all registered voters to vote in both state and federal elections;
  • North Carolina is ordered by a federal court to restore all unlawfully purged voters to the rolls before Election Day;

And, much more, as we head into Election Day together, near the end (hopefully?) one of the darkest and most insane cycles in U.S. history...

Download MP3 or listen to complete show online below...

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Guest: Bev Harris of BlackBoxVoting.org...
By Brad Friedman on 11/4/2016 6:08pm PT  

As we note on more than one occasion on today's BradCast, buckle up! [Audio link to show is at bottom of article.]

Just days before the Presidential election, Democrats are in court in 6 different states attempting to preemptively block alleged "voter intimidation" schemes by Trump and the GOP, and today a federal judge slapped a restraining order on the Trump campaign and his operatives, to try and prevent it. (The order is now posted here [PDF].)

Meanwhile, the GOP nominee is just a narrow polling error away from defeating Hillary Clinton, according to the experts at FiveThirtyEight, who now find Trump's chance of winning the Presidency to be about 1 in 3. So every vote will count --- at least if it's counted correctly.

Longtime non-partisan election integrity expert Bev Harris of BlackBoxVoting.org joins us to explain her startling new discovery of functionality built into computer vote tabulators --- both touch-screen and paper-ballot systems in use in 99% of the nation's jurisdictions --- that, she says, would allow some votes to be weighted more than others in a way that would be nearly impossible to detect.

Harris details what she describes as "Fraction Magic" (see a real-time video demonstration here) and how that functionality, and its use by election insiders (or even outside hackers --- as the U.S. Government continues to warn about), could determine the results of elections on Tuesday, from the Presidential level on down to local races and ballot initiatives.

This ability to fractionalize votes (for example, the functionality allows certain types of voters to have their votes weighted as 1.2 votes, while other votes are counted as just .8 of a vote, so the final results will still tally up to the correct number of votes cast), was originally discovered in the GEMS tabulation system, used with Diebold/Premier voting systems and, Harris explains, systems made by almost all of the other private vendors used across the country. "It's now been confirmed in Hart Intercivic, in 2006. In Dominion. They've admitted it. And ES&S, according to the Illinois Board of Elections, has also got it in there. ES&S counts about 60 percent of the votes in the U.S. So it is actually pretty pervasive."

"We are putting our whole system at risk," warns Harris, about both "Fraction Magic" and the use of voting and tabulation systems that are difficult, if not impossible, for the public to oversee. "Sooner or later, if we keep running these mystery elections, there's going to be something that is actually destabilizing, kind of a perfect storm. This is predictable. Sooner or later, when you keep running elections that are not accountable to the public, that are not something we can verify with actual evidence --- i.e. ballots and ballot images --- there's going to be a meltdown that's destabilizing. This is actually rather dangerous."

Like you didn't think you had enough to worry about between now and Election Day?

Finally, Desi Doyen joins us for the last Green News Report before Election Day, and we round up a few other last minute voting concerns in swing-states North Carolina and Ohio...

Download MP3 or listen to complete show online below...

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Guest: Mark Potok of the Southern Poverty Law Center | Plus: Mississippi burning again and 'zombie voters' still not voting...
By Brad Friedman on 11/3/2016 6:17pm PT  

On today's BradCast: Rightwing extremist groups are reportedly plotting to wreak potential havoc on Election Day, as Donald Trump's candidacy has helped to mainstream previously fringe organizations. [Audio link to show is posted below.]

Despite Trump's repeated claims that millions of 'dead people' are voting, the evidence --- reported many years ago by The BRAD BLOG and more recently even by a mainstream corporate news outlet investigation in Wisconsin --- continues to show otherwise.

But while the threat of zombie voters has long been wildly overstated by Republicans, rightwing extremist groups --- neo-nazis, the KKK, militia organizations and others --- are claiming they have plans to mobilize a "show of force" at polling places across the country next Tuesday. That, as another black church in Mississippi is set on fire this week with the words "Vote Trump" spray painted onto it.

So, do these radical groups pose a real threat for chaos and disenfranchisement on Election Day? Or are they just latching on to Trump's racist coat tails in hopes of intimidating American voters? Mark Potok of the Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks extremists and hate groups, joins us to answer those questions and much more related to this extraordinary election and the not-coincidental emergence and rise of the so-called "Alt-Right".

Potok, who tells me he believes "there's a real possibility of sporadic violence" next week, says "the Radical Right in America today has a hero, in the [Republican] nominee for President of the United States. They see Donald Trump as the best thing, politically, that they've seen in a half-century or more, going back to at least George Wallace and probably further. They're thrilled. They are very energized."

He tells me that in his 25 years on this beat, he has never seen the radical right play such a key role in an American Presidential election, and explains that the term "Alt-Right" is little more than "a re-branding of white supremacy for the digital age."

"Trump," he explains "has taken the lid off Pandora's Box in a very real and substantial way." But will the threat that they pose to the nation be worse if Trump wins or if he loses? Tune in for that and much more (including --- make sure you are sitting down for it --- my defense, of sorts, of the late, rightwing propagandist Andrew Breitbart! Yes, there's another example of how insane this election year has become.)

Also on today's BradCast: In North Carolina, a federal judge finds the state's statute allowing challenges to the voter rolls to be "insane", and the state's incumbent U.S. Senator who is locked in a close re-election battle, apologizes for disturbing comments about 'targeting' Hillary Clinton, but vows to keep anybody from being seated on the U.S. Supreme Court for the next four years if she wins.

Download MP3 or listen to complete show online below...

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By Brad Friedman on 11/2/2016 5:34pm PT  

On today's BradCast, after a few words on some important California ballot propositions (on a statewide plastic bag ban, and a dangerous tax on safe e-cigarette and vaping devices) that we didn't get to discuss on yesterday's show, I make a startling admission! [Audio link to show is posted below.]

My admission: As much as I cover the elections, especially the Presidential election, while I know who I won't vote for, and who I probably would vote for if I lived in a swing-state, I have no clue who I should actually cast my vote for in the Presidential race this year here in California! I don't endorse candidates (and, both the FCC and Pacifica Radio wouldn't allow it anyway), but that doesn't mean listeners can't! So, today we open the phone lines for advice from callers, with the question: "Who should I vote for and why?"

You'll be shocked to learn that listeners have a few thoughts for me on that. Tons of callers ring in, with some good advice, some really bad advice, and a very lively and hopefully helpful hour of The BradCast ensues in the bargain. (You may --- or may not --- be amazed at some of the reasons a few listeners offer to convince me that I should vote for Trump.) Please feel free to ring in with your own answers to that question in comments below, if you're inclined.

Finally today: Desi Doyen joins us for the latest Green News Report, and a sad follow-up to it with news of more tragic fossil fuel deaths in both the U.S. and China this week...

Download MP3 or listen to complete show online below...

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While we post The BradCast here every day, and you can hear it across all of our great affiliate stations and websites, to automagically get new episodes as soon as they're available sent right to your computer or personal device, subscribe for free at iTunes, Stitcher, TuneIn or our native RSS feed!
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Guest: Attorney, veteran, BRAD BLOG legal analyst Ernest A. Canning...
By Brad Friedman on 11/1/2016 5:20pm PT  

On today's BradCast, it looks like "Giant Meteor" could win after all! With one week to go, the race could be back up in the air, as polls tighten, Democrats sue Republicans in federal court, and we take a look at some key statewide ballot measures in California and elsewhere. [Audio link for show is posted below.]

The reverberations from FBI Director James Comey's unprecedented and (so far) evidence-free announcement last week concerning a potential new aspect of the agency's investigation of Hillary Clinton's emails continues to rock the 2016 Presidential Election, just one week before Election Day. Polling is moving back in Donald Trump's direction and we discuss other concerns that are not reflecting by polling numbers. Oh, and it turns out there is "voter fraud" at the polls, at least in Iowa, and you'll never guess who the alleged perp was caught voting twice for! (Sound familiar? Seems to happen a lot this time of year.)

Then, attorney and Vietnam veteran Ernest A. Canning, long time BRAD BLOG legal analyst now back from his Primary advisory role with Veterans for Bernie, joins us to discuss a number of California ballot initiatives he's been writing about here, as well as the several lawsuits filed by Democrats over the weekend charging "voter intimidation" by the Trump campaign and state GOP operations in Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania and North Carolina, in violation of both the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the Ku Klux Klan Act of 1871.

All of that follows on a decades-long consent decree barring the Republican National Committee from certain racially targeted "poll watching" and "ballot security" activities. That is a restriction they agreed to after getting caught using race-based intimidation tactics at polling places in the early 1980s, when one of the named defendants, Roger Stone --- a long time advisor to Trump and GOP dirty trickster going back to the Nixon era --- actually worked on the "ballot security" operation that got the RNC in trouble in the first place back in NJ in 1981.

Then, Canning details a number of state initiatives on the California state ballot next week --- and some well-funded lies about them --- which could have a major effect on prescription drug prices, legalized marijuana (and ending the disastrous "War on Drugs"), the death penalty (two different, competing measures), Citizens United and much more...even porn is on the CA ballot this year!

Speaking about one of the initiatives, Prop 61, which he wrote about over the weekend, and which the pharmaceutical industry is spending tens of millions to defeat by falsely claiming that it will harm veterans, Canning explains: "This proposition, more than any other, shows you the problem with money in our political system. They put these [false] ads on --- and naturally, the TV station should say, 'We should fact-check that. That's not true.' But they're not going to do that because that would be like biting the hand that feeds them. These ads have become a major source of revenue for our commercial media" which, he ads, are "the ultimate beneficiaries of Citizens United, which is perhaps one of the reasons why they don't ask questions in the debates about repealing Citizens United!"

Download MP3 or listen to complete show online below...

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Guest: Brennan Center's Alicia Bannon | PLUS: More emails, more racism, more lies, more wingnuttery...
By Brad Friedman on 10/28/2016 5:54pm PT  

On today's BradCast: While the national media is obsessed with Trump, a record amount of dark money from undisclosed corporate sources is being spent on judicial elections at state Supreme Courts. Also: A whole lotta other breaking news today, from a new development in the Hillary Clinton email probe, to some white, armed hooligan wingnuts getting off the hook for an armed federal takeover, to one U.S. Senator likely killing his own re-election chances during a debate last night. [Audio link to complete show posted below.]

On today's interview, Alicia Bannon, Senior Counsel at the Brennan Center's Democracy Program, joins us to explain the flood of outside spending from corporate, dark money sources now pouring in to state Supreme Court elections around the country, as detailed in her new analysis published this week. We also discuss the disturbingly increasing politicization of judicial elections and why it is that judges are selected by elections at all in some 38 states.

"Around the country, we've been seeing these elections become higher cost, more politicized, and attracting a lot of special interest attention," she tells me. And that's worrying, because, among other reasons, "a judge needs to be deciding cases based on their understanding of what the law requires and the facts that are in front of them, and not out of fears of what that's going to mean for fundraising in the next election cycle, or what's going to be the subject of their next attack ad."

While judicial elections "were actually a reform measure," when originally introduced in the 19th century because "there was a concern that those judges were too closely aligned with the political branches," Bannon explains, in the wake of Citizens United and other measures that have increased the flow of money into politics, judicial elections, "are putting even more pressure on judges because of the money involved and the conflicts of interest that get created."

We go on to discuss a number of such judicial conflicts of interests, from the remarkable case of the state Supreme Court in Wisconsin to the election that will determine the balance of the Supreme Court in North Carolina next week, to the judicial campaign being funded in no small part by fossil fuel interests in Louisiana, where the same corporate funders are facing legacy environmental cases to be decided by the very same court.

Bannon, who also clerked for Sondra Sotomayor when she was an appellate judge on the U.S. 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals, also shares a bit of personal insight on the U.S. Supreme Court Justice.

Also today: The FBI notifies the U.S. Senate that they have found some additional emails in a separate investigation that may relate to their probe of Hillary Clinton's email server and the cable "news" industry predictably freaks out; The Bundy Brothers are acquitted at trial, for some reason, after their six-week armed takeover of a federal wildlife facility in Oregon earlier this year; Donald Trump fails to put up the $100 million he had promised to his own campaign; and Illinois Sen. Mark Kirk (R) offers an outrageously obnoxious racial slur during a debate with his opponent, double-amputee Iraq War veteran Rep. Tammy Duckworth (D)...

Download MP3 or listen to complete show online below...

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While we post The BradCast here every day, and you can hear it across all of our great affiliate stations and websites, to automagically get new episodes as soon as they're available sent right to your computer or personal device, subscribe for free at iTunes, Stitcher, TuneIn or our native RSS feed!
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Touch-screen votes flipping; GOP suppression is working; Dems take RNC back to court; ND cracks down on pipeline protests; More...
By Brad Friedman on 10/27/2016 5:57pm PT  

Today on The BradCast, voters are fighting to cast their vote, as voting machines, election officials and GOP suppression efforts continue to work against them. [Audio link to show is posted below.]

The RNC may now be facing another 8 years of court-ordered restrictions against targeting minority voters, as the DNC files to have a federal Consent Decree from the early 80s extended, charging that the RNC and Trump campaign have colluded to unlawfully suppress the vote through so-called "ballot security" schemes and other intimidation tactics.

In the meantime, confidence in accurate election results is plummetting nationally and voter suppression seems to be working against voters in North Carolina, where early voting has been shortened in many counties and some voters --- including a 100-year old African-American woman --- are finding themselves threatened with being purged from the rolls after being challenged by Republican "caging lists".

In Wisconsin, Democratic lawmakers are begging the U.S. Dept. of Justice to send poll monitors after the state's GOP Photo ID voting restrictions are said to be resulting in havoc, confusion and disenfranchisement.

In Texas, Georgia, North Carolina and Illinois (so far) 100% unverifiable Direct Recording Electronic (DRE, touch-screen style) voting systems are reportedly flipping votes from R to D and from D to R and, once again, election officials are blaming voters, rather than themselves.

Also today: Militarized troops in North Dakota clear out Dakota Access Pipeline protesters near the Standing Rock Sioux reservation and the owners of the pipeline are revealed to be big Trump funders while the GOP nominee is revealed to have large stock holdings in the companies that own it; The Yale Record does "not" endorse Hillary Clinton and neither does Libertarian Party Veep nominee Gov. William Weld (wink); and Desi Doyen joins us to "blame the cows", among other things, in our the latest Green News Report...

Download MP3 or listen to complete show online below...

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While we post The BradCast here every day, and you can hear it across all of our great affiliate stations and websites, to automagically get new episodes as soon as they're available sent right to your computer or personal device, subscribe for free at iTunes, Stitcher, TuneIn or our native RSS feed!
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Guest: David Pomerantz of Energy and Policy Institute | Plus: Widespread suppression reported in TX; Trump takes lead in FL...
By Brad Friedman on 10/26/2016 5:48pm PT  

On today's BradCast, the scam behind Florida's anti-solar Amendment 1 initiative is revealed and widespread voter suppression tactics are reported during early voting in Texas. [Audio link to show posted below.]

Florida's Amendment 1, a statewide constitutional ballot measure, is purposely deceptive, according to an anti-solar lobbyist revealed to be working closely with the state fossil fuel utility companies that spent millions to place the measure on the Sunshine State ballot this year. According to comments caught on tape during a recent conference of corporate groups funded by, among others, the Koch Brothers, the think-tank shill is heard admitting that "political jujitsu" and the deceptive use of "language promoting solar" --- even as the measure would actually restrict the use of rooftop solar --- is how the utility company sponsored measure was able to qualify for the state ballot in the first place. The effort also helped to keep an actual pro-solar Amendment from qualifying and may end up scamming enough Florida voters into approving the confusing, if decidedly anti-solar constitutional measure.

David Pomerantz, Executive Director of the Energy and Policy Institute, one of the groups which initially obtained and published the audio admissions by Sal Nuzzo of the James Madison Institute, joins us to explain those admissions and the facts behind the fossil fueled scam that the monopoly utility company opponents of rooftop solar hope to use to confuse voters in Florida, as well as other states around the nation.

"It's confusing by design," Pomerantz says about the language of the initiative which sounds as if it's pro-solar. "That's really what these big electric power utilities in Florida were aiming for. They wanted to confuse and deceive voters. They knew if they had to fight this battle over solar power and its future in Florida on the merits, they would probably lose. So they've gone for a strategy of trying to trick people."

Indeed, a competing pro-solar measure, which even Nuzzo admitted was wildly popular and supported by environmentalists and conservatives from the so-called Green Tea coalition, failed to make the ballot this year, in no small part due to the tens of millions of dollars that Florida Power and Light, Gulf Power, Duke Energy and ExxonMobil poured into their shady campaign called "Consumers for Smart Solar".

"They have nothing to do with consumers and they are not for solar. This is a utility-backed group. Out of the 22 million they've received to run this ballot initiative, the total amount that they've received from actual consumers is ten bucks. The other 22 million came from utilities," Pomeranz explains, adding this warning: "These kinds of deceptive tactics, of trying to convince people that the utilities are pro-solar when in fact they are attacking it, that's something that's happening not just in Florida. For your listeners who are not in Florida, this type of battle is coming to them soon if it's not already there."

There's lots to make sense of in today's conversation with Pomerantz, especially for voters right now in Florida!

Also on today's BradCast: Voting rights advocates report widespread violations of the court-ordered agreement to soften Texas' discriminatory Photo ID voting law; New polling shows Trump taking back the lead from Clinton in battleground Florida; and Tom Hanks assures an anxious nation that we'll all be okay...

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From Smartmatic to Diebold: Responding (yet again) to partisan worries of vote flips and voting machine ownership...
By Brad Friedman on 10/25/2016 6:40pm PT  

It's that time of the election cycle again. Happens every four years. (Every two, actually.) On today's BradCast: That moment when partisans on the Right declare Democrats are stealing the election with voting machines owned by George Soros and Democrats worry that Republicans are doing the same via private companies actually owned by big GOP supporters. [Audio link posted below.]

Both sides see votes flipping on touch-screen systems to their opponents. Both sides declare it only happens to their chosen party. Both sides have reason to worry about private ownership of our electoral systems. Both sides tend to be very selective about their concerns. And both sides do nothing about it until it's time to start freaking out again just before the next election.

The old, previously debunked charge that the progressive billionaire Soros is somehow controlling voting machines across the U.S. re-appeared yet again in the Rightwingosphere over the weekend, only slightly modified from its 2012 version. This time it has resulted in a petition to WhiteHouse.gov --- so far, signed by more than 70,000 since it was posted late last week --- demanding "congress meet in emergency session about removing George Soros owned voting machines from 16 states."

But, of course, as we noted back in 2012, when Democrats were concerned about the actual ownership of voting machine company Hart Intercivic by associates of Mitt Romney, Soros does not own any companies with voting machines in the U.S. He doesn't own any companies with voting machines used elsewhere either, to my knowledge. But the original seed for the persistently false rumor seems to have been planted, in no small part, by The BRAD BLOG's exclusive coverage way back in 2008 of a Venezuelan voting machine company named Smartmatic --- once believed linked to Hugo Chavez --- and their secret ownership of the Intellectual Property (IP) used in voting machines made by Sequoia Voting Systems. Many of those machines are still used in about 15 states across the country.

Sequoia has since been purchased by a Canadian firm named Dominion Voting, which, like Sequoia before it, lied about Smartmatic's ownership of IP used in Sequoia's machines. But, as I explain on today's program, it could hardly be further removed from Soros who, as it turns out, has absolutely no stake in Smartmatic or any of the other vote counting companies deployed in the U.S..

But, like Democrats, Republicans have every right and reason to be concerned about the obscene private corporate ownership of our nation's public voting and tabulation machinery. (Please petition Whitehouse.gov about that!) As I noted to a reporter seeking comment about the concerns about Romney's ties to Hart Intercivic around this same exact time before the 2012 Presidential Election...

Once again, we're reminded of the dangers of the privatization of our once-public electoral system. The company's ties to Romney aren't the only disturbing ones we've seen with similar companies over the years. The fact is, that nobody other than the public should have any sort of control of our elections. The proprietary voting systems now in use in all 50 states, whether owned by Romney associates, a George W. Bush associate (as with Diebold in 2004) or even a company tied to Venezuela's Hugo Chavez (as with Sequoia Voting Systems which blatantly lied about that tie to public officials, and the Canadian firm Dominion which purchased Sequoia and also immediately lied about the fact that Intellectual Property of their voting systems used all across the U.S. is still owned by the Venezuelan firm), continue to be a grave threat to American democracy and confidence in U.S. Elections.

And, like similar clockwork, once again this year we are now hearing the shouts about touch-screen voting machines flipping Democratic to Republican and Republican to Democratic --- and the claims from partisans on both sides that "this only ever happens to Republicans/Democrats!" --- as early voting gets underway in a number of states. Is there legitimate reason to worry about such votes flipping? The answer is both yes and no, with reason for all of us to be ashamed, as I explain on the show today.

Also, not unrelated on today's program: Volkswagen's record billion dollar settlement for programming their cars' software to cheat on emissions tests; GOP Senator in close election warms up to climate change; Desi Doyen joins us for the Green News Report as pipeline protests rage, China closes coal-fired power plants, Sen. Marco Rubio looks the other way as Florida faces rising seas, and the corporate media ignore all of it during each of this year's Presidential debates...

Download MP3 or listen to complete show online below...

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Guest: David Jarman, Editor of Daily Kos Elections...
By Brad Friedman on 10/24/2016 6:05pm PT  

On today's BradCast: Will Hillary Clinton's apparent lead in national polling and turnout to date translate into a Democratic majority in the U.S. Senate? Poll watchers and analysts, at least Democratic leaning ones, seem to think so. For now. But just barely. [Audio link for show posted below.]

More early voting numbers in several states continue to suggest a potentially banner year for Democrats. In addition to those new indicators today, Hillary Clinton's poll numbers continue to rise, even as Donald Trump argued over the weekend that all the polls are "phony", not to be believed, and are meant to do little more than suppress the vote. (Though someone may want to let his own campaign manager know about that.)

But, will the hints of success for the Clinton campaign translate into Democrats taking back control of the U.S. Senate? David Jarman, editor of Daily Kos Elections, joins me to explain what the polls currently suggest about the likelihood of a Senate majority for Dems, the races in 9 states that he believes will determine that balance and, specifically, the 3 states he believes will ultimately be the tipping points for control of the upper chamber of Congress over the next two years.

While Daily Kos is a website meant to support Democrats, Jarman explains the roll of the analysts at Daily Kos Elections: "We're sort of the quantitative side of Daily Kos, but we also do more qualitative analysis of where we feel the chances are in the Senate and the House, looking at it race by race, doing the sort of old-fashioned scouting approach of 'this is a toss-up, this is lean-Democratic', that kind of thing. We also compile a lot of the data that eludes other people, about where the ad dollars are going, what the topics of ads are, every poll, we collect those in our daily digest."

Jarman and I also discuss, among other things, how and if things like voter suppression are included in his predictions; how large a majority Democrats would need in order to be able to bypass some of the more conservative/corporatist members of its caucus; whether Democrats could also retake a majority in the U.S. House, and some serious havoc that may occur for House Speaker Ryan even in the likelihood that they don't; and, also, some of the gubernatorial races that may end up going "blue" this year as well.

Finally, Bernie Sanders responds to Wikileaks' release of emails from Clinton staffers painting him in a less than favorable light, and Donald Trump says that he has plans to rethink freedom of the press, as defined by the Constitution's First Amendment, should he become the next President.

Download MP3 or listen to complete show online below...

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By Brad Friedman on 10/21/2016 6:06pm PT  

On today's BradCast, as a major, mysterious automated Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack took huge Internet sites like Twitter, Netflix and Amazon offline for hours today, Democrats and Republicans, including the President, continue to mislead the public about the vulnerability of our voting, tabulation and voter registration systems. [Audio link to show posted below.]

Just weeks ago, as you'll recall, the U.S. Departments of Justice and Homeland Security were warning of the vulnerability of U.S. election systems to intrusion, manipulation and attack from outsiders (and all but ignoring the more direct threat from election insiders). Now, as Donald Trump has ramped up his claims that the election is being "rigged", Democratic and Republican officials alike are claiming the opposite is true, that "there's no way to rig an election in a country this big". They are either misinformed or lying. Take your pick. Either way, they are misinforming the American people. I explain in detail on today's show.

Speaking of disrupting the election...

• "Unnamed intelligence officials" float yet another warning of how bad actors could cause havoc during the elections in November. (And recent evidence suggests that route would be quite easy.)
• A federal court ordered Ohio this week to allow millions of unlawfully purged voters to be allowed to cast a provisional ballot this November, after the state's Republican Sec. of State Jon Husted (who also claimed this week that the election can't be rigged) fought an earlier court order to restore those voters to the rolls;
• Republicans in Tarrant County, Texas may have violated a federal court order by targeting Democratic polling places with an "EMERGENCY VOTER FRAUD ALERT";
• The state of Utah (Utah!) has been moved into the toss-up category in the Presidential contest;
• Early voting numbers look promising for Democrats;
Evidence that Donald Trump loved both Bill and Hillary Clinton very recently...at least until he ran for President, started losing "big league" and decided she was a "nasty woman";
• And, finally, the GOP Presidential nominee offered a little noticed admission during the final debate that Democrats have been right all along the necessity of regulations on businesses.

All of that and much more on today's BradCast, as our Shocktober Spooktacular continues...

Download MP3 or listen to complete show online below...

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Guests: Heather Digby Parton of Salon, David Dayen of Fiscal Times...
By Brad Friedman on 10/20/2016 5:27pm PT  

On today's BradCast: Bad hombres! Nasty women! And SUSPENSE! Real coverage of the final Presidential Debate of 2016, some of which is almost guaranteed to piss off just about everybody in one way or another. You're welcome! [Audio link to show posted below.]

For our analysis of the final --- and, by our count, 25th! --- debate of the 2016 cycle, I'm joined once again by award-winning journalist Heather Digby Parton of Salon and the Hullabaloo blog, and by David Dayen, of Fiscal Times and author of Chain of Title: How Three Ordinary Americans Uncovered Wall Street's Great Foreclosure Fraud.

As you probably expect, we spend some time focusing on Trump's dishonest claims that the election is being "rigged" and his refusal to promise a peaceful transfer of power. But we also discuss the, at times, disingenuous outrage about it all from the media as well as both Republicans and Democrats, each of whom seem to have developed more than a bit of convenient amnesia about recent elections, about the mechanics of our electoral system, and even very recent assertions about all of the above.

Yes, election fraud and election integrity are topics about which we have some familiarity around here. And, while nuance and complexity and facts may not play well in the corporate media or among angry partisans near the end of an insane election cycle, no small amount of each are called for today. We do our best.

"Digby" and Dayen also bring insight on a number of the other surprisingly substantive issues raised at the debate (as well as important issues that, once again, were not), many of which have been largely overlooked in the wake of Trump's latest embarrassing tantrum(s)...

Download MP3 or listen to complete show online below...

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By Brad Friedman on 10/19/2016 5:01pm PT  

On today's BradCast, we await the (mercifully) final Presidential Debate of 2016 to get under way in Las Vegas, as Donald Trump's poll numbers continue to plummet --- even in some surprising states --- but the GOP nominee continues to say all is well ("peachy dory", in fact)...except that the election is being "rigged". [Audio link posted below.]

Among the many other related (and unrelated) stories covered on today's show...

• Some good news today for voters in Kansas and Florida and maybe in Georgia (where there has been huge turnout for Early Voting);

• Some disturbing and, so far, mysterious news about potential voter registration fraud in Indiana. (This is a good reminder to check your registration to make sure it's accurate!);

• Some listener response to the former New Hampshire GOP official who told me on The BradCast earlier this week that he doesn't believe "the party has been pushing" phony voter fraud myths. "Please don't blame the party for institutionalizing this nonsense," he said. (Elizabeth Warren doesn't agree with him either.);

• The amazing story of how a new "voter fraud" myth became "fact" this week amongst gullible Republicans, with the aid of rightwing;

• Another example of how theoretically non-rightwing corporate news outlets help spread the same mythical "voter fraud" bullshit;

• Desi Doyen joins us for the latest Green News Report on a major new international global warming agreement and some harsh words for environmentalists from Hillary Clinton, as revealed by a new Wikileaks document;

• And a bit of amusing listener mail. #FreeDesi!

Download MP3 or listen to complete show online below...

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Guest: Pamela Smith of President of VerifiedVoting.org...
By Brad Friedman on 10/18/2016 6:16pm PT  

There's been a lot of talk of "rigged" elections this year, but not only from Donald Trump and his supporters. Democrats, until recently, have also been warning that our electoral system was under threat of manipulation by outsiders. But, today, the President offered a very different message to voters, arguing that "there is no serious person out there who would suggest somehow that you could even rig America's elections."

Huh? Well, that's confusing. So, we try and get a bit closer to the facts on all sides of this issue on today's BradCast. [Audio link to show posted below.]

While Hillary Clinton appears to be opening up a substantive lead in a number of nationwide polls, Trump's rhetoric of a "rigged" election grows more desperate and incendiary each day. Oddly enough, however, his message does not appear to be winning over many converts. In fact, evidence suggests his own supporters are not growing less confident in the election, but his rhetoric may actually be improving confidence among Dems that votes will be counted as cast.

But, is that confidence warranted? Just weeks ago Democrats were warning us about the possibility of voting, tabulation and voter registration systems being hacked by foreign entities like Russia. But now, many Democrats and Republicans alike, including the President in the Rose Garden today, are making the case that our election systems are secure and cannot be hacked. So which is it?

I'm joined today, to try and figure it all out, by Pamela Smith, president of VerifiedVoting.org, a non-partisan organization which closely tracks voting and registration systems --- and their well-documented vulnerabilities to manipulation --- in all 50 states and at the federal level.

As longtime BRAD BLOG readers know well, yes, our voting and registration systems --- in every state --- remain vulnerable to error and tampering by outsiders and, more directly, election insiders. Because we use computer tabulation systems, it's often impossible (as with touch-screens) or unlikely (as with op-scans) to know that results accurately reflect voter intent. That alone remains a threat to confidence in our electoral system, no matter how confident many would like voters to be today.

"The challenge we have when we use electronic systems is that some problems that can be introduced into those systems are difficult or impossible to detect," says Smith. "Evidence-based elections is a really important standard for us to have nationwide. It builds confidence when jurisdictions can demonstrate that votes were counted correctly."

Smith and I discuss all of that, examine some of the most vulnerable areas (Hello, Pennsylvania, Georgia and Nevada!), and talk about what, if anything, can be done to try and assure that votes will be counted as cast in Election 2016 for President, Congress, the U.S. Senate, state and local contests as well as ballot measures and everything else. Much more detail than I can effectively summarize here. So, please give it a listen for yourself.

Near the end, however, with voting already under way in many states and Election Day just three weeks from today, Smith adds this important thought: "The one way we know for sure that your vote won't count is to not show up. And, whether or not you have full confidence in the voting system you're going to use, you still need to make the effort to make your voice heard."

Download MP3 or listen to complete show online below...

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Guest: Former New Hampshire GOP Chair Fergus Cullen
Also: Good news for FL voters, more disturbing Rightwing terrorism, and some thoughts on the attack of a NC GOP election office...
By Brad Friedman on 10/17/2016 6:06pm PT  

On today's BradCast, a self-identified "establishment Republican" pushes back against Donald Trump's claims that the election will be "rigged", but goes on to deny that his own party has promoted the very "voter fraud" conspiracies that the Republican nominee is now exploiting. [Audio link to complete show is posted below.]

Trump has been increasingly strident of late in his rhetoric charging that the election is being "rigged" by "large scale voter fraud" and more. As he does so, his supporters are using more and more violent rhetoric to describe "bloodshed" and even assassination should their candidate fail to win on November 8th. As a disturbing Boston Globe report noted over the weekend, it has now fallen to establishment GOPers to try and calm the increasingly dangerous waters.

Former New Hampshire GOP chairman Fergus Cullen, a self-described 'Never Trumper' who characterizes the increasingly violent rhetoric from Trump supporters as 'very scary', joins us today to rebut Trump's charges about fraud and decry threats of violence by his followers. "He's doing terrible damage to the Republican brand," Cullen says. "Even after he's defeated, he's going to be causing trouble for our party for quite awhile, probably, in terms of how it's identified in the eyes of millions of Americans."

"On election night when Donald Trump is defeated, he's going to have a really important choice. Does he say responsible things that are aimed at accepting the outcome and telling his supporters that they should accept the outcome as well. Or, does he in fact pour gasoline on a fire, and continue the rhetoric that he's been using in the last ten days?"

But later, in the course of our conversation, it took a very bizarre turn. Cullen went on to reject the very premise of the idea that the Republican Party bears some responsibility for the effectiveness of Trump's claims, given the party has loudly forwarded false claims of massive Democratic 'voter fraud', for political gain, for more than a decade. He doesn't think that has happened.

"I don't think there's any argument that, certainly, some Republicans do believe that voter fraud takes place on significant scale enough to affect elections. I don't think the party has been pushing that line," Cullen tells me. As you'll hear, and as you might expect, that notion took me by complete surprise during the conversation. He compares "various conspiracy theories out there" with those from "the black helicopter crowd" and UFO spotters, but says "please don't blame the party for institutionalizing this nonsense."

I remain as gobsmacked here as anyone who has ever spent more than 15 minutes reading The BRAD BLOG or has even watched Fox "News" for about the same amount of time. While I expected to disagree on a few points (including computer tabulators vs. hand-counts in NH, which we discussed as well) and while Cullen was very nice and very generous with his time in joining us today, I'm still stunned that he is actually denying the very existence of the years-long, very well-funded effort by the very top echelon of the national GOP meant to deceive the public about "voter fraud". (See this Special Coverage page and this one for just a tiny taste of their efforts and our decade plus coverage of it. Listen to the conversation and its follow-up segment on today's show for much more.)

Also today: A bit of good news for voters, as a federal court has once again smacked down the state of Florida, this time for a GOP-enacted scheme that would have unnecessarily rejected thousands of absentee ballots; Ohio's Republican Sec. of State continues to fight a federal court order to restore more than a million illegally purged voters to the rolls; And we cover a fresh spate of violent and political terror attacks and plots by Trump-supporting Rightwing extremists against Muslims and others.

And, finally, a few thoughts on the curious case of the weekend firebombing of a Republican Party campaign office in NC...

Download MP3 or listen to complete show online below...

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