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Latest Featured Reports | Tuesday, September 2, 2014
After a Year of Digital Detox, David Roberts Returns
The great climate blogger from Grist is finally back on the Internets, with some very helpful thoughts for the information overloaded...
Erick Erickson's Global Warming Denialist Tantrum
Latest barometer of denialist desperation: The rightwing 'thought leader', as usual, is wrong on the facts and science, so he's just taking his ball and going home...
Video Captures GA Family Disowning, Assaulting 20-Year Old Gay Son
But there is a "happy" ending, of sorts, to this heartbreaking and disturbing story...
'Green News Report' 8/28/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
BP refinery explodes. Again.; UN report warns of 'irreversible' warming; Fines for oil, chem spills; 22% of world elec. is now green; PLUS: People's Climate March coming to NYC...
Previous GNRs: 8/26/14 - 8/21/14 - Archives...
Faking the Ferguson Docs:
KPFK 'BradCast'
Brad interviews open records advocate Charlie Grapski on his evidence that Ferguson and St. Louis County police are illegally withholding evidence in the killing of Michael Brown; Plus MUCH more...
Records Requests Suggest Ferguson, St. Louis County Police Involved in Cover-Up
How else to explain the missing details and required documentation of Officer Darren Wilson's killing of Michael Brown?...
'Green News Report' 8/26/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
Napa earthquake is a warning for CA's nuke plants; Another coal plant bites the dust; Cutting emissions will save $$$; PLUS: Fighting drought with a 'salmon cannon'...Yep...
Previous GNRs: 8/21/14 - 8/19/14 - Archives...
Siegelman Judge, Arrested For Beating His Wife, May Avoid Prosecution Altogether
U.S. District Judge Mark Fuller checks in for 'treatment', may be able to duck prosecution...
Our Story So Far: The WI GOP Photo ID Voting Restrictions
Trouble keeping up with all the court cases barring, then allowing, then barring GOP Photo ID voting restrictions in WI? We'll catch you up quickly...
Obama Orders Review of Police Militarization Program
In response to bi-partisan calls for reform and disturbing display by militarized local police in Ferguson, MO, the President takes aim at controversial Pentagon program...
Ryan Dismisses Elderly Voter's Question About His Medicare Cuts
2012 GOP Veep nom and 2016 hopeful 'charms' elderly voters in FL, by ignoring them...
Perry Tells NH Businessmen His Felony Indictment Was for a 'Bribery' Charge
Is this another 'oops' moment from the Repub TX Governor and 2016 hopeful? Or something else entirely?...
'Green News Report' 8/21/14
Too much rain in AZ desert; Another toxic spill in Ohio River; Solar breakthrough; Wind energy prices hit all-time low; PLUS: Auto-magically cleaning up Baltimore Harbor...
Rep. Hank Johnson on Ferguson and Demilitarizing the Police: KPFK 'BradCast'
The Democratic U.S. Congressman from Georgia's 4th district joins Bradto discuss his new bill...
NATIONWIDE STUDY FINDS ALMOST NO VOTER FRAUD
Just 10 cases of in-person impersonation in all 50 states since 2000...
VIDEO: 'Rise of the Tea Bags'
Brad interviews American patriots...
'Democracy's Gold Standard'
Hand-marked, hand-counted ballots...
Brad's Upcoming Appearances
(All times listed as PACIFIC TIME unless noted)
Media Appearance Archives...
'Special Coverage' Archives
GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal 2012...
VA GOP VOTER REG FRAUDSTER OFF HOOK
Felony charges dropped against VA Republican caught trashing voter registrations before last year's election. Did GOP AG, Prosecutor conflicts of interest play role?...

Criminal GOP Voter Registration Fraud Probe Expanding in VA
State investigators widening criminal probe of man arrested destroying registration forms, said now looking at violations of law by Nathan Sproul's RNC-hired firm...

DOJ PROBE SOUGHT AFTER VA ARREST
Arrest of RNC/Sproul man caught destroying registration forms brings official calls for wider criminal probe from compromised VA AG Cuccinelli and U.S. AG Holder...

Arrest in VA: GOP Voter Reg Scandal Widens
'RNC official' charged on 13 counts, for allegely trashing voter registration forms in a dumpster, worked for Romney consultant, 'fired' GOP operative Nathan Sproul...

ALL TOGETHER: ROVE, SPROUL, KOCHS, RNC
His Super-PAC, his voter registration (fraud) firm & their 'Americans for Prosperity' are all based out of same top RNC legal office in Virginia...

LATimes: RNC's 'Fired' Sproul Working for Repubs in 'as Many as 30 States'
So much for the RNC's 'zero tolerance' policy, as discredited Republican registration fraud operative still hiring for dozens of GOP 'Get Out The Vote' campaigns...

'Fired' Sproul Group 'Cloned', Still Working for Republicans in At Least 10 States
The other companies of Romney's GOP operative Nathan Sproul, at center of Voter Registration Fraud Scandal, still at it; Congressional Dems seek answers...

FINALLY: FOX ON GOP REG FRAUD SCANDAL
The belated and begrudging coverage by Fox' Eric Shawn includes two different video reports featuring an interview with The BRAD BLOG's Brad Friedman...

COLORADO FOLLOWS FLORIDA WITH GOP CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION
Repub Sec. of State Gessler ignores expanding GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal, rants about evidence-free 'Dem Voter Fraud' at Tea Party event...

CRIMINAL PROBE LAUNCHED INTO GOP VOTER REGISTRATION FRAUD SCANDAL IN FL
FL Dept. of Law Enforcement confirms 'enough evidence to warrant full-blown investigation'; Election officials told fraudulent forms 'may become evidence in court'...

Brad Breaks PA Photo ID & GOP Registration Fraud Scandal News on Hartmann TV
Another visit on Thom Hartmann's Big Picture with new news on several developing Election Integrity stories...

CAUGHT ON TAPE: COORDINATED NATIONWIDE GOP VOTER REG SCAM
The GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal reveals insidious nationwide registration scheme to keep Obama supporters from even registering to vote...

CRIMINAL ELECTION FRAUD COMPLAINT FILED AGAINST GOP 'FRAUD' FIRM
Scandal spreads to 11 FL counties, other states; RNC, Romney try to contain damage, split from GOP operative...

RICK SCOTT GETS ROLLED IN GOP REGISTRATION FRAUD SCANDAL
Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL) sends blistering letter to Gov. Rick Scott (R) demanding bi-partisan reg fraud probe in FL; Slams 'shocking and hypocritical' silence, lack of action...

VIDEO: Brad Breaks GOP Reg Fraud Scandal on Hartmann TV
Breaking coverage as the RNC fires their Romney-tied voter registration firm, Strategic Allied Consulting...

RNC FIRES NATIONAL VOTER REGISTRATION FIRM FOR FRAUD
After FL & NC GOP fire Romney-tied group, RNC does same; Dead people found reg'd as new voters; RNC paid firm over $3m over 2 months in 5 battleground states...

EXCLUSIVE: Intvw w/ FL Official Who First Discovered GOP Reg Fraud
After fraudulent registration forms from Romney-tied GOP firm found in Palm Beach, Election Supe says state's 'fraud'-obsessed top election official failed to return call...

GOP REGISTRATION FRAUD FOUND IN FL
State GOP fires Romney-tied registration firm after fraudulent forms found in Palm Beach; Firm hired 'at request of RNC' in FL, NC, VA, NV & CO...
The Secret Koch Brothers Tapes...


By Ernest A. Canning on 8/25/2014 5:32pm PT  

Trying to make sense of all the different court rulings in Wisconsin on their partisan Photo ID voting laws? We'll try to unpack that for you.

The short version: Two different state trial courts found the GOP's Photo ID restriction on voting to be a violation of the state constitution's right to vote. A federal trial court (aka U.S. District Court) similarly found the law to be a violation of various parts of the U.S. Constitution.

The partisan WI state Supreme Court recently overturned the decisions in the two state cases --- literally re-writing the law as they did so (yes, actually legislating from the bench on behalf of Republicans). Wisconsin's Republican Governor Scott Walker, whom recent polls suggest is in a virtual dead heat with his Democratic challenger Mary Burke, then asked the federal appellate court to immediately overturn the U.S. District Court's injunction, which still blocks implementation of Wisconsin's Photo ID law.

Last week, the federal appellate court turned down Walker's request that it immediately overturn the federal injunction. Wisconsin election officials are, at present, still barred from enforcing the controversial law in the Badger State.

Specifically, last week, the U.S. Seventh Circuit Court of Appeal issued an order [PDF] in which it refused an emergency stay of the federal court decision permanently enjoining Wisconsin's partisan Photo ID law prior to oral arguments on the merits of the state's federal appeal. Yes, the state not only appealed the adverse ruling in the two state cases (successfully), but they also appealed the initial federal court decision as well.

The permanent injunction in federal court was issued earlier this year by U.S. District Court Judge Lynn Adelman who, in a landmark 90-page decision and order [PDF] following a full trial, found that the Republican-enacted Photo ID law violated the U.S. Constitution and that it was "absolutely clear" that it "will prevent more legitimate votes from being cast than fraudulent votes."

Last month, following the issuance of the two decisions by the sharply divided and extraordinarily partisan Wisconsin Supreme Court which lifted the state court injunctions in two different state cases --- Milwaukee Branch of the NAACP vs. Walker [PDF] and League of Women Voters of Wisconsin v. Walker [PDF] --- Walker filed his Expedited Motion for a Stay Pending Appeal of the Permanent Injunction [PDF] in the federal appellate court.

In it's ruling last week, the 7th Circuit upheld the portion of the Wisconsin Supreme Court decisions which changed the law by directing the state's Department of Motor Vehicles to issue Photo ID cards sans requiring documents, such as birth certificates, for which the elector had previously been required to pay a fee to a government agency. That issue, however, is only one of the reasons why U.S. District Court Judge Adelman initially found the polling place Photo ID law constitutionally infirm. While we will have to await a final decision --- and even that decision will, no doubt, make its way to the U.S. Supreme Court eventually --- the current ruling issued last week suggests that the 7th Circuit did not see that one single issue as sufficient to immediately stay Judge Adelman's permanent injunction in federal court.

The 7th Circuit will hear oral arguments on September 12 --- less than two months prior to the November General Election. It is likely the 7th Circuit will expedite its decision. Stay tuned!

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GOP voter faces 13 felony counts for illegal votes in Scott Walker recall election, others; Fraud undeterred by Photo ID restrictions...
By Brad Friedman on 6/24/2014 3:57pm PT  

Back during the 2012 election cycle, there were so many cases of voter fraud and voter registration fraud by Republicans --- even very very high profile ones --- that The BRAD BLOG found ourselves dubbing it the "Year of GOP Election Fraud".

Well, it looks like there were even more GOP vote fraudsters at work that year, including this amazing case just revealed by prosecutors from the contentious 2012 Wisconsin recall elections of Republican Gov. Scott Walker and a number of state Senators, as well as the incredibly close state Supreme Court race that became a proxy battle election between Walker supporters and opponents...

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

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They also hope voters have forgotten what actually happened during the Badger State's recent recall elections...
By Brad Friedman on 9/17/2012 2:06pm PT  

As we noted late last Friday, as the news was just breaking, a WI judge has overturned Republican Gov. Scott Walker's controversial anti-union law which had taken away most collective bargaining rights from most citizens who are employed as public workers in the state. In his ruling, Dane County Circuit Judge Juan Colas found the law to be in violation of both the state and U.S. Constitution and is, barring overturn by appeal at the state Supreme Court, now "null and void."

As is expected in such cases by now, rather than critiquing the ruling itself, Walker immediately attempted to smear the Dane County Judge who issued it as a "liberal activist judge." Nothing new there. When Republicans don't have their way in court, it's always due to "liberal activist judges," even when the courts are not quite activist enough for their tastes in other instances (see their fury after the U.S. Supreme Court refused to overturn "ObamaCare," for instance).

But there was another interesting response to the ruling from Walker and his fellow partisans following the ruling on Friday, which seems to suggest they haven't a clue about how the court system works, how the U.S. Constitution is supposed to work, or even how representative democracy works. Either that, or they simply don't care and feel it's just more important to continue scamming their gullible constituencies then it is to be honest about what actually happened on Friday.

Making matters worse though, not only are they wrong about matters of how democracy and the court system works, they are also wrong on their facts as well, even if they hope nobody will notice...

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

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Bi-partisan citizen effort to oversee completely unverified June 5th results 'illegally' blocked by Kathy Nickolaus...
By Brad Friedman on 8/13/2012 6:35am PT  

[LATE UPDATE:The recall ballots from Waukesha County have been saved from destruction, for now. Full details posted in our follow-up now here...]

One of the most notorious election officials in the nation may be mercifully retiring at the end of this year, but that hasn't stopped her from attempting to block citizens hoping to oversee the accuracy of their own elections in one of the most right-leaning counties in Wisconsin, following one of the most contentious elections of the year and certainly in state history.

Waukesha, WI County Clerk Kathy Nickolaus had, at one time, after the repeated controversies around her failed administration of several elections, promised to step aside and allow her deputy to administer the June 5th recall elections, only to reverse course weeks later. Now, clearly back in the saddle, she has notified an Election Integrity group which has organized hand-counts across the state, that she was preparing to "destroy" the paper ballots cast in the election before they can be hand-counted by the group, unless she receives a court order to do otherwise by noon today.

She had previously informed the group that she was denying them access to examine ballots on the basis that she found their request to be "overly burdensome" on her office. In her response she also added her personal opinion, for some reason, that she does not "believe the public records law should be utilized for the purpose of allowing citizens to conduct hand recounts of an election, especially one in which there was such a large quantity of votes cast."

Among reasons for concerns about the June 5th recall election results are recent failures by similar electronic tabulation systems, same-day Exit Poll results reported by all of the news networks indicating a much closer race in the contest between Gov. Scott Walker and his Democratic opponent, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, as well as discoveries that have been made by the group over the past several weeks during their examination of ballots and poll-tapes in several counties.

So far, according to group's organizer, they have been allowed to examine ballots in 10 other counties across the state, with another 15 counties already scheduled for examination in the coming weeks. In a number of those counties, the group has explained to The BRAD BLOG, hand-counted tallies "have differed, sometimes significantly, from the recorded numbers," tallied on Election Night by the computer tabulation systems.

But Nickolaus, as has been her practice during her controversial tenure, appears to be taking a different tack from many of her fellow County Clerks, by denying access to hand examinations of the ballots and, worse, she is now threatening to destroy them entirely, save for a court order and despite provisions in the state law requiring the retention of those public records for at least 60 days after the denial of the request.

Nickolaus' threat to destroy the paper ballots and other elections records, as sent to the organizers of Hand-Count Votes Now! (HCVN) coalition in a series of emails obtained by The BRAD BLOG, flies in the face of state statutes which apply to public records, according to contentions made in response to Nickolaus by the group and their legal advisers. HCVN has been working for several weeks, as have several other organizations, in their effort to count ballots by hand in each of the Badger State's 72 counties in an unprecedented statewide public records oversight project.

The effort, the groups charge, is necessary, given the lack of verification of Election Night computer tallies on systems which have reported incorrect "winners" in the past, as recently as March of this year, when the nearly-identical systems to those used in Waukesha named a number of losing candidates to be the "winners" in Palm Beach County, FL. In that case, it was only a partial post-election hand-count examination of paper ballots by the local Supervisor of Elections which revealed that the computers had gotten the results entirely wrong, leading to a complete hand-count and the results of several municipal elections being overturned as a result...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 7/3/2012 2:50pm PT  

Now they're concerned about unsealed ballots bags? Really?! Good! But where were they last year?

On the night of Wisconsin's historic June 5th recall elections, The BRAD BLOG detailed how Scott Walker's "win," as reported by the media that night, was completely unverified by any actual human beings to be accurate in any way, shape, or form. Though voters across the state mostly used verifiable hand-marked paper ballots to vote, we explained, almost none of them are actually checked by anybody afterwards to make sure the oft-failed, easily-manipulated computer tabulator systems used across the state actually tallied the results accurately.

That was particularly important given the very same machines used in the Wisconsin recalls had, in other states in the very recent past, tallied results inaccurately (for example, check out what happened in Palm Beach County, FL, just this past March, when the very same system used to tally ballots in Waukesha County, WI, were discovered, thanks to a post-election hand count spot-check, to have named several losing candidates to be the "winners" in several municipal elections.)

The lack of verification of any of the ballots was even more disturbing given the fact that all reports by the mainstream media at the close of polls on Election Night had declared the Gubernatorial recall race to be a "dead heat," as based on raw Exit Polling data that the MSM are allowed to review throughout the day.

The next morning, after John Lehman, the Democratic challenger in the state Senate's District 21 recall election against incumbent Republican Van Wanggaard, declared premature "victory" with just under an 800-vote margin, we opined that Wanggaard should demand a full hand count of all paper ballots, and that Lehman should agree to one in order to assure the person with the most votes was actually the one declared the winner of the race. After all, majority control of the state Senate was hanging in the balance and, in any case, as in the other recall races that day, voters deserve to know for certain who lost and who won any such election, at least if we are to ever see legitimate Constitutional self-governance in this country.

Well, we've got some good news on the District 21 state Senate race, some bad news, and some extraordinarily hypocritical news to report today in our long-overdue update...

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

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TONIGHT: Palm Beach, FL; Waukesha, WI; Anchorage, AK; Santa Monica, CA; ALEC; and all of the disasters in between!...
LIVE! 9p-Mid ET (6p-9p PT), Call-in#: 877-520-1150
By Brad Friedman on 4/6/2012 3:10pm PT  

[Now UPDATED with audio archives below. Enjoy!]

We're back tonight guest-hosting the nationally-syndicated Mike Malloy Show tonight and it's gonna be a busy one!

We'll be BradCasting, as usual, LIVE from 9pm-Mid ET (6p-9p PT), coast-to-coast and around the globe from L.A.'s KTLK am1150 in beautiful downtown Burbank. Join us by tuning in, chatting in, Tweeting in and calling in! Our LIVE 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:

The Mike Malloy Show is nationally syndicated on air affiliates across the country and also on SiriusXM Ch. 127. You may also listen online to the free LIVE audio stream at our Sante Fe affiliate KTRC 1260, or our Minnesota affiliate KTNF 950 (use code 55447 when asked). Also, you should be able to listen live at WhiteRose Society if the radio gods are with us.

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POST-SHOW UPDATE: All three "hours", busy ones, commercial-free, now follow below. My Easter/Passover gift to you. Enjoy! (And no, Elijah never showed up, even though we kept an open mic for him all night. Slacker.)...

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By Brad Friedman on 4/5/2012 5:51pm PT  

Waukesha County's oft-failed election administrator, Kathy Nickolaus will not participate in the upcoming recall elections for Gov. Scott Walker, Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch and four Republican state Senators.

The BRAD BLOG first learned the news from a Wisconsin Election Integrity advocate late this afternoon, and it has now been confirmed with a statement issued by the office of Waukesha County Executive Dan Vrakas.

Her decision to recuse herself from the May 8th recall primaries and June 5th recall general elections comes on the heels of yet another embarrassing election administration failure this past Tuesday by the controversial County Clerk in one of the Badger State's most Republican counties.

According to Vrakas' statement, the elected Nickolaus --- who will face her own re-election contest later this year --- was given two choices by the County Executive, either resign or step aside for the upcoming recall elections.

"In a meeting this afternoon I presented two options to Waukesha County Clerk Kathy Nickolaus," Vrakas' statement reads, "resignation, or designating the deputy clerk to run the upcoming recall election."

"Kathy agreed to hand off her election duties to the deputy county clerk in order to avoid my public call for her resignation," says Vrakas. "In stepping aside, Kathy also agreed to allow outside consultants and county staff to work side-by-side with the deputy clerk to help restore confidence in our election process. The county will move swiftly to examine the election night procedures in the County Clerk’s Office and make changes as necessary to restore public’s confidence in our elections."

Calls for her resignation occurred once again following her failure to post local election results online in a timely fashion on the night of the April 3rd primary elections this week.

The BRAD BLOG has been reporting on the many election administration failures of Nickolaus going back as far as 2010 when she refused to change a number of procedures at the request of County Executives after an audit found serious deficiencies in her security processes, such as failing to post election results online, and tracking them only on a personal computer in her own office. But it was the April 5, 2011 election for state Supreme Court (exactly one year ago today) that brought national infamy to Nickolaus...

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Prosser says hands on Bradley's neck just 'total reflex'...
By Brad Friedman on 8/26/2011 3:56pm PT  

The Republican special prosecutor recently appointed to investigate allegations by WI Supreme Court Justice Ann Walsh Bradley that her fellow anger-management challenged Justice David Prosser had placed her in a "choke-hold" during recent deliberations over the anti-union legislation of Prosser's former colleague Gov. Scott Walker.

See Milwaukee's Journal-Sentinel coverage of this news yesterday for the complete, insane details.

In a terse announcement from the prosecutor, Sauk County District Attorney Patricia Barrett would say only that she had "determined that no criminal charges will be filed against either Justice Bradley or Justice Prosser for the incident on June 13, 2011."

The letter notes that Barrett reviewed transcribed reports from law enforcement officials given to her after Dane County Democratic District Attorney Ismael Ozanne recused himself from the case, as the matter over which the Supreme Dispute took place was a lawsuit he had brought charging that the anti-union bill in question was passed by Republican legislators in violation of the state's open meetings law. The newly-assigned prosecutor also reviewed an audiotape interview with Prosser who was, apparently, the only one who had a taped interview. In addition to Bradley, four of the other Justices were said to have been witness to the fracas.

According to the Journal-Sentinel, "Barrett declined to say whether she had rejected charges because no criminal conduct had occurred or because no crime could be proven to a jury. She would say only that a case must meet both those standards before a prosecutor could bring charges"...

In a written statement following word that there would be no criminal charges, Prosser said Bradley "made the decision to sensationalize an incident that occurred at the Supreme Court." He said he "was confident the truth would come out and it did. I am gratified that the prosecutor found these scurrilous charges were without merit."

That is not, of course, what the prosecutor actually stated that she found...

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

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Can case receive fair hearing before WI's partisan Supreme Court?
By Ernest A. Canning on 8/24/2011 11:13am PT  

Guest editorial by Ernest A. Canning

The League of Women Voters in Wisconsin announced it will file a lawsuit in Dane County Circuit Court charging that the Badger State's newly-enacted polling place photo ID restriction law violates the state's Constitution.

From a strictly legal perspective, the decision by the League's attorney Lester Pines to challenge the new photo ID law pursuant to the state's Constitution is significant.

Under Equal Protection analysis, any impartial jurist would readily understand that the statute does not meet the heightened scrutiny that accompanies the fact that, under the WI Constitution, voting is deemed a "fundamental right."

While certain exclusions are allowed in the Constitution, such as laws which exclude felons or those whom the state deems "mentally incompetent," the language explicitly notes that "every United States citizen age 18 or older who is a resident" of Wisconsin may cast a vote.

But therein lies the rub. Absent the removal of Justice David Prosser in connection with the allegations that he choked Justice Ann Walsh-Bradley, as is currently being investigated by a special prosecutor, the League's constitutional challenge will run smack dab into a WI Supreme Court that sports a 4-3 majority of partisan ideologues in robes...

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By Brad Friedman on 8/20/2011 2:37pm PT  

Wisconsin's old State Elections Board website (http://elections.state.wi.us/) appears to have been "hacked by Sovalye"...

[Hat-tip Election Integrity advocates Jeannie Dean, Neal Schulz and the folks at the Facebook Election Integrity group.]

[Update 7:19p CT: It looks as if officials have now restored the site. Sort of. Hat-tip again to Neal Schulz.]

The State Elections Board was replaced by the WI Government Accountability Board (G.A.B.) in 2008 as the state's top election authority, combining responsibilities of both the Elections Board and the State Ethics Board into the agency. The G.A.B.'s website (http://gab.wi.gov/) does not appear to be hacked. For now.

Of course, that's just a website, not an actual election or e-voting database. So just because the state's Elections Board website proved to be insecure and was hacked does not mean their actual elections are vulnerable to hacking in any way, shape or form, right? That, even though the state, shamefully, does not bother to check even a single ballot to make sure it has been tallied accurately during an election by its computer op-scanners made by Diebold, Sequoia, and ES&S.

Why worry?

The BRAD BLOG has been warning about the manipulation of e-voting systems for years, along with members of the world's computer science and cyber security communities, and even the CIA, as our own Ernie Canning noted just last week. And yet, our nation continues to use the same vulnerable e-voting systems to tally our elections, rather than bothering to count them with our own, far more reliable and verifiable, hands and eyes, as per Democracy's Gold Standard.

I could link back to all sorts of e-voting hacks we've reported on over the years here, like this one from Princeton in 2006 or this one from the U. of MI in 2010 or this bone-chilling warning from the CIA in 2009, but they'll mostly likely just be ignored. Again.

Instead, we'll just tease you for now with news of yet another new e-voting hack --- perhaps the most disturbing one yet in a number of ways --- that we'll be reporting on very soon. Let's call that one a special delivery for election officials like Jones County, MS, Circuit Clerk Bart Gavin, who reportedly told his county Board of Supervisors this past week that the Diebold touch-screen voting machines used by the entire county "record every vote and there is no way for them to be tampered with."

Really, Bart? You're gonna stick with that, are ya?

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By Ernest A. Canning on 8/16/2011 11:16am PT  

Guest blogged by Ernest A. Canning

Controversial Wisconsin state Supreme Court Justice David Prosser has a new special investigator looking into allegations of assault made against him by another sitting Supreme Court Justice.

At the request of Dane County Circuit Judge William Faust, Sauk County District Attorney Patricia Barrett (R) agreed to serve as a special prosecutor regarding the physical assault and battery allegations made by WI Supreme Court Justice Ann Walsh Bradley. Bradley claims that Prosser placed her in a "chokehold" during a contentious argument about the overturning of a lower court ruling on Gov. Scott Walker's controversial and hastily enacted union-busting legislation. The lower court found that it was passed in violation of the state's open meeting law and is therefore null and void. Prosser and his 3 colleagues on the bench who enjoy a 4 to 3 Right-leaning majority on the state's high court, eventually overturned the lower court's ruling. Bradley was in the minority.

According to Tim McCumber, the head of the Sauk County GOP, Barrett is essentially an independent who ran for DA in 1994 as a Republican to get onto the ballot in a GOP-dominated county. Barrett, who is 62 and plans to retire in the fall of 2012, stated that she does not see either the sheriff's or prosecutor's jobs as a partisan one.

Justice Bradley's allegations are also the subject of of an internal investigation by the WI Judicial Commission.

The key question is whether Barrett and the WI Judicial Commission can proceed in their investigations on the basis of the facts and the law? What is at stake is not simply a possible Class A Misdemeanor Battery charge against a sitting Supreme Court Justice. The very survival of the rule of law in the Badger state is spotlighted here. All if this happens with a backdrop of a billionaire-funded, partisan onslaught on fundamental fairness and democracy, not only as it pertains to the electoral process, but in how the state's executive, legislative and judicial branches of government function...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 7/20/2011 1:46pm PT  

We were off the grid for much of last week, blissfully ignorant somewhere in the mountains of Arizona, as the first of Wisconsin's series of state Senate recall-related elections took place last Tuesday. Thanks to, quite literally, "fake Democrats" put up by the state Republican Party, the six elections held last Tuesday were forced to be Democratic primary elections, instead of Republican recall elections, as the state GOP hoped to game the system to buy more time before six of their state Senators will be forced to face the real recall elections.

Last week's, largely pointless elections cost the state nearly half a million bucks. Remember that fake "budget emergency" the GOP and Scott Walker claimed as their reason for the need to strip the right of citizens to collectively bargain with the state? Guess the state wasn't in such dire straits after all, since they could afford to blow money on elections meant only to buy Republicans time to stave off the unprecedented recall challenges.

The real recall elections to unseat six Republican state Senators are now scheduled for August, as all six of the real Democrats soundly defeated each of the Republicans' "fake Democrats" in last week's primaries. At least according to Wisconsin's unverified, computer-tabulated results. 5 of the 6 real Dems reportedly received over 60% of the vote against their fake opponents. One received 54%.

Yesterday, there were three more elections in the Badger State. One actual recall election against a Democratic state Senator, and two Republican primaries featuring real GOP candidates vying for the nomination to take on the other two Democratic state Senators facing recall elections scheduled for August.

The Dem facing the recall yesterday handily defeated his Republican challenger, but we'll defer to Daily Kos' David Nir for his smart summary of the computer-reported results...

• SD-30: The first general election of the recalls featured Dem state Sen. Dave Hansen vs. Republican Dave Vanderleest. It was an utter blowout, as expected, with Hansen crushing Vanderleest by a score of 66-34. This takes one defensive hold off the table, meaning that only two more Democrats face recalls. I should also mention that Daily Kos's polling partner, Public Policy Polling, nailed this race — something that's not easy to do in such a lopsided affair — pegging the contest at 62-34 Hansen over the weekend.

SD-12: Kim Simac won the Republican primary over Robert Lussow by a 59-41 spread. Simac is a hard-core movement conservative who writes Tea Party-themed children's books. Lussow didn't have a lot to recommend him either, but most Democrats seem to be pleased that Simac was the victor, given her profile. She'll face state Sen. Jim Holperin, the most vulnerable of the three Democrats up for recall, on Aug. 16.

SD-22: Jonathan Steitz beat Fred Ekornaas for the right to take on Dem state Sen. Bob Wirch by a 66-34 margin. It's hard to say which candidate is "better" for us, as both have their flaws, though some have pointed out that Steitz lives a mile from the Illinois border and works at a Chicago law firm, thus raising questions about his Badger State bonafides. The Steitz-vs.-Wirch contest will also take place on Aug. 16.

If the state Dems are able to pick up just three of the Republican seats, out of the six in contention next month --- without losing either of the two remaining recall elections that the Dems still face --- they'll take the majority back from the Republicans to effectively neuter the hard Right Republican Gov. Scott Walker agenda until he too is likely to be up for his own recall election next year.

In Wisconsin, however, as in all of our states at this point, the wild cards are always the electronic voting systems and access to them. To that end, there are a few more recently-related items of note to make sure you have on your radar. At least two of them involve "our old friend" and transparent democracy's enemy, Kathy Nickolaus, the now-infamous Republican County Clerk of Waukesha County...

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Says nonpartisan polling 'electioneering' because candidates' names appear on exit poll 'ballot'
UPDATED TWICE: G.A.B. responds, then corrects original response...
By Emily Levy on 7/13/2011 10:58am PT  

Guest blogged by Emily Levy

Two national election integrity organizations jointly conducted exit polling at a pair of poll sites yesterday, during round one of Wisconsin's recall elections. Election Defense Alliance (EDA) and Protect California Ballots teamed up with local activists to poll voters as they exited from voting in now-infamous Waukesha County, with the goal of checking the accuracy of the official election results.

According to a press release (see below) issued yesterday by EDA, despite local volunteer pollsters being equipped with copies of regulations from Wisconsin's Government Accountability Board (G.A.B.), the state's top election authority, and a letter from the agency's Executive Director outlining permission for exit polling, the rules were apparently changed during the day and pollsters forbidden to hand out the exit polling 'ballot' voters were asked to complete anonymously.

EDA National Chairperson Sally Castleman told The BRAD BLOG, "The numerous red flags that came to light in the Wisconsin Supreme Court election this spring alerted many Wisconsinites to the need for citizen oversight in their elections. With official vote counts being conducted secretly inside computers, exit polling is one of the very, very few mechanisms left to the public for assessing the legitimacy of official outcomes." Castleman added, "We need to see this level of public participation all over the nation in order to halt the privatization of our elections."

Full text of press release:

GAB Shutting Down Non-Partisan Exit Polls in Wisconsin

The Wisconsin Government Accounting Board (GAB), apparently changing their regulations as they go along, has effectively shut down citizen-run exit polls in today’s Democratic Primary Recall Election in Wisconsin.

Despite having the GAB Regulations (§§5.35 (5), 7.37 (2) ) in hand plus a letter from Kevin Kennedy, head of the GAB, both clearly allowing exit polling, the GAB today through GAB member David Buerger, has said that the group is “electioneering” because candidates names appear on the polling “ballot.” He further dictated that no voter would be allowed to touch an exit poll ballot, that pollsters can only verbally ask the voters their responses. This despite the fact that Edison-Mitofsky, the polling company commissioned by the Media Consortium to conduct Exit Polling nationally over the last many years, uses written polling ballots that the voters fill in themselves.

The polls were being run by concerned Wisconsin citizens volunteering under the guidance of Election Defense Alliance and Protect California Ballots, two non-partisan organizations with the mission of restoring transparency to our elections. Both organizations have run non-partisan exit polls many times in the past in close to a dozen states. Neither group has ever been harassed in such a way before.

“This is reasoning beyond specious”, said Jonathan Simon, Director of Election Defense Alliance. “Exit polling in this country has been going on for decades. To call it ‘electioneering’ simply because candidates names appear on the poll ballot, when all names appear without any advocacy involved, is absurd. This is concealment in OUR elections. Public participation is being forbidden!”

“If exit polling has now conveniently been relabeled as ‘electioneering’ this spells the end of exit polling in America and one of the last few mechanisms for evaluating the legitimacy of official vote counts,” added Sally Castleman, National Chairperson of Election Defense Alliance.

“The implications for upcoming primary and general recall elections are of the utmost importance” said Simon. “This encroachment on the public right of observation and participation must be challenged forcefully and immediately.”

“The irony of ‘Government Accountability’ is beyond belief,” Simon added.

Despite the fact that the law says a photo ID is requested but not required for this election, reports have been received from Glendale that voters are not being allowed to vote without photo ID.

In another related story, robo-calls, reportedly coming from Virginia, are being made to Democrats throughout the primary districts today telling them not to vote today because an absentee ballot is in the mail.

See Eric Kleefeld's coverage at TalkingPointsMemo for background on the WI recall elections and the announced outcome of yesterday's Democratic primary recall elections. Round two of the recalls will be held next Tuesday, July 19, when two more primaries and one general recall election (two Republican primaries, and one Democratic state Senator facing a recall) will be held.

* * *

UPDATE 7/15/11: Reid Magney, spokesperson for Wisconsin's G.A.B., wanted to offer the board's point of view on their ruling which effectively shut down the EDA's exit polling by forcing pollsters to move outside of the 100 ft. zone around the polling place, as the group noted in their press release posted above. His response follows in full below, along with EDA's response to Magney's remarks...

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Latest in line of inappropriate and/or criminal behavior by newly re-elected Republican member of the high court caught on video...
By Brad Friedman on 7/1/2011 12:10pm PT  

Good lord. What next? Does WI Supreme Court Justice David Prosser need to strangle a baby on camera before members of all political parties in the state fully realize how absolutely inappropriate this man is for holding a seat on their highest court?

Following on the recently reported allegations that he placed a fellow justice into a chokehold during a contentious debate about the legality of the controversial anti-union legislation of Prosser's former colleague, Gov. Scott Walker, a local news team --- this time on camera --- caught another glimpse at Prosser's long-reported anger management problems.

A reporter from a local Fox affiliate attempted to get answers from Supreme Court justices about the choking issue, as six of the seven were said to have been present at the mid-June incident. He was able to confront four of them with questions, but only one, Prosser, snatched the mic out of his hand in anger, before quickly handing it back.

Watch:

Both the Dane County Sheriff's office and the Wisconsin Judicial Commission are now investigating the claims that on June 13th Prosser placed both hands around the neck of fellow Justice Ann Walsh Bradley during deliberations on Walker's bill which strips many rights from citizens to collectively bargain with the government. In a statement, Prosser says the assault claim "will be proven false."

The mic snatching incident, as well as the choking allegations, are just the latest in a long line of examples and allegations concerning the hard-right Republican Prosser's problems with anger management, truth-telling and even criminality...

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UPDATE: Dane County Sheriff now investigating incident...
By Brad Friedman on 6/27/2011 2:42pm PT  

Wisconsin's far Rightwing Republican Supreme Court Justice David Prosser has come up with a novel way of demonstrating his fake conservative bona fides. According to a report over the weekend by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (a paper which endorsed Prosser in his recent Supreme Court election bid), Prosser is said to have attempted to make government smaller a few weeks ago, by placing fellow Supreme Court Justice Ann Walsh Bradley into a chokehold.

Hey, at least he didn't attempt to drown her in a bathtub.

"The facts are that I was demanding that he get out of my office and he put his hands around my neck in anger in a chokehold," Bradley told the Journal Sentinel.

The incident, confirmed to the paper by other sources also present when it is said to have occurred, happened on the day prior to the court's decision on the legality of Gov. Scott Walker's bill legislating away the right for public employees to collectively bargain.

An alternate description of the incident, offered by supporters of Prosser's, is that he, not Bradley, was the victim in the alleged assault. Prosser has claimed victim-hood in other incidents in the recent past after being called out for abusive treatment of his fellow (female) Supreme Court Justices...

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