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Latest Featured Reports | Friday, September 30, 2016
WI Failing to Provide Voting IDs as Promised in Federal Court: 'BradCast' 9/30/16
Guest: Kathleen Unger of VoteRiders, the group which found WI appears to have lied about DMV's 'free' Photo ID program...
Trump's Law, Order, Denial: 'BradCast' 9/29/16
Several new and long overdue reports on the GOP nominee's unlawful business practices and a fact-check on his global warming denialism. Oh, and a song!...
'Green News Report' 9/29/16
  w/ Brad & Desi
Clinton promotes clean energy, Trump denies his own denial in the first Presidential debate; PLUS: Big Coal tries to kill Obama's landmark emissions standards in federal court...
Previous GNRs: 9/22/16 - 9/20/16 - Archives...
Fallout from the 'Trumpwreck' Debate: 'BradCast' 9/28/16
The public reaction to the first Trump/Clinton Presidential debate --- from polls, betting markets, newspapers and listener callers (lots of them!)...
Trumpwreck: The First Presidential Debate: 'BradCast' 9/27/16
Smart and, at times, hilarious coverage of the Trump/Clinton Hofstra debate, with journalists Heather Digby Parton and David Dayen...
'The Most Audacious Political Heist of Our Time': 'BradCast' 9/26/16
David Daley on 'RatF**ked' and how the GOP 'stole' the House for a decade as Dems 'fell asleep at the wheel'...
Sunday Toons of the First Debate Moment
The final stretch for the general election begins and so do the Presidential Debates, as documented in PDiddie's collection of the best political toons of the week...
Eyewitness to Shooting at Protest Questions Official Account: 'BradCast' 9/22/16
Guest: Linda Flynn was 'feet away', believes police activity sparked violence at peaceful demonstration...
'Green News Report' 9/22/16
U.N. climate pact at crucial threshold; WH orders NatSec planning for climate change; Good/bad news in the Arctic; PLUS: Obama to world: Time to step up...
Callers' Debate Qs for Trump, Clinton: 'BradCast' 9/21/16
Plus: Police shootings, protests in NC, OK; Earth smashes more heat records; Trump leads Clinton in nat'l poll...
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...


Guest: Campaign Legal Center's Brendan Fischer on smoking gun emails leaked from quashed state criminal probe of Wisconsin's Governor...
By Brad Friedman on 9/15/2016 6:46pm PT  

Today on The BradCast, startling revelations from the massive document dump of emails and other materials from the currently-quashed state criminal investigation into Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's 2012 recall election fundraising. [Audio link to show posted below.]

The Guardian's remarkable 1,300 page leak of documents from the so-called "John Doe investigation" of Walker's illegal collusion with "independent" third-party non-profit groups is, in many ways, jaw-dropping. As we discuss on today's show, in addition to that collusion, the leaked emails also reveal state GOP operatives preparing to declare massive Democratic voter fraud, without a shred of evidence in support, in order to try and win a very close 2011 election for state Supreme Court Justice David Prosser. The rightwing Justice would ultimately ensure a Walker-friendly majority on the court to support the Governor's controversial union-busting law.

"Do we need to start messaging 'widespread reports of election fraud' so we are positively set up for the recount regardless of the final number? I obviously think we should," writes one of the GOP operatives in one of the emails as results from the tight race came in. "Talk radio needs to scream the Dems are trying to steal the race...We need to declare victory first so it appears that the results are being overturned if they go the wrong way." Sound familiar?

[You can see what came of that recount, which we covered extensively back in 2011, including exclusives revealing, among other irregularities, ballot bags ripped and discovered "wide open" with mismatched or missing serial numbers as well as ballots found completely unsecured and other similar messes and mistallies across the state. My 2011 interview with Prosser's challenger, then Asst. Attorney General Joanne Kloppenburg, after she was ultimately forced to concede, thanks in no small part to the dishonest scheming applied by the operatives cited above, is right here.]

Attorney Brendan Fischer, Associate Counsel at the Campaign Legal Center in D.C., joins us to help unpack the breathtaking smoking guns revealed by these newly-disclosed documents, after the state's probe of Walker was shut down by the very same elected Justices on the state Supreme Court whose elections were funded by the exact same corporate millionaire and billionaire donors and illegal mechanisms revealed by the quashed documents. Yes, it makes my head spin too.

"These documents show the breadth of the coordination scheme that Walker was engaged in," Fischer tells me. "It shows that what the Republican and Democratic prosecutors in Wisconsin were looking into with this investigation was really significant. It was a broad scheme to evade the state's corporate contribution limits and disclosure requirements. And that was very explicit. The purpose of Walker coordinating was to evade disclosure laws, to allow corporations and controversial donors to support Walkers' re-election without any sort of public disclosure or public accountability. That was not a bug in this coordination scheme, that was the purpose from the beginning. And the emails show that very clearly."

You really need to listen to today's show to get the full picture of what happened, and how this scheme has served as a template for GOP elections all over the country now (including the very same donors behind Donald Trump's campaign and, indeed, as we learn, including Trump himself who gave money to the "independent" Wisconsin Club for Growth on the very same day he met with Walker in NYC.) Fischer also describes, for example, the lead paint manufacturer who secretly donated $750,000 to the tax-exempt, non-profit "social welfare" group before state Republicans slipped in a provision to a budget bill that granted immunity to his company in the face of lawsuits from hundreds of children poisoned by the paint. "The public was unable to connect the dots between the secret three-quarters of a million dollar contributions to Wisconsin Club for Growth and the later policy decisions that Walker took" on behalf of the donor, explains Fischer.

"Bigger picture, this is one of those rare snapshots into how 'dark money' works," he says. "When you look at these documents, the two [Walker and WCfG] are interchangeable. This was not an instance where Walker's campaign had a few conversations here and there with Wisconsin Club for Growth Officials...Wisconsin Club for Growth was an arm of the Walker campaign."

Fischer also goes on to explain what we might expect as the U.S. Supreme Court considers a motion that could re-open the state's criminal probe later this month. Even if I say so myself, it's a must-listen BradCast today...

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

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Overdue ruling may ameliorate disenfranchisement for some voters...
By Ernest A. Canning on 4/18/2016 6:35am PT  

The same U.S. 7th Circuit Appeals Court panel that, in 2014, opened the door to mass disenfranchisement via Wisconsin's strict GOP-enacted Photo ID voting law ("Act 23"), has now issued a decision that could, in many instances, lead to the reinstatement of the precious right of citizens to cast votes.

Specifically, the panel determined in a ruling issued last week, Wisconsin's strict photo ID restrictions may not be used to disenfranchise any voter who lacks the ability "to obtain a qualifying photo ID with reasonable effort." The appellate court has remanded the matter back to the trial court so that the District Court Judge who heard the original case can determine how to best fashion a remedy that could keep many otherwise legal and often long-time voters from being turned away again at the ballot box.

The new ruling in the Frank v. Walker case comes too late for approximately 300,000 disproportionately minority and poor voters (nearly 10% of the Badger State electorate), who may have been disenfranchised during the state's recent April 5th primary election. It is difficult yet to ascertain the precise effect the polling place Photo ID restriction had in either the Republican or Democratic Presidential primaries that day, but the restrictions had the potential to alter the outcome of those races as well as a Wisconsin Supreme Court contest. The Scott Walker-supported Republican, Rebecca Bradley, reportedly defeated independent jurist JoAnne Kloppenburg by approximately 95,000 votes. The highly controversial Bradley was thus elected to serve out a 10-year term on the Badger State's highest court after being appointed by Walker to fill a vacancy last year.

As ordered by the federal appellate court, U.S. District Court Judge Lynn Adelman may now provide a remedy for those whom ACLU attorney Sean Young described as the "most impacted" by Wisconsin's polling place Photo ID restrictions. The likely remedy was outlined by the 5th Circuit panel, which noted that the new decision was intended to bring Wisconsin's law in line with Indiana law where a voter "who contends he has been unable to obtain a complying photo ID for financial or religious reasons may file an affidavit to that effect and have his vote provisionally counted."

The court ruled the restriction on voting should not be applied to three classifications of voters for whom the plaintiffs had sought relief:

(1) eligible voters unable to obtain acceptable photo ID with reasonable expense and effort because of name mismatches or other errors in birth certificates or other necessary documents; (2) eligible voters who need a credential from some other agency (such as the Social Security Administration) that will not issue the credential unless Wisconsin’s Department of Motor Vehicles first issues a photo ID, which the DMV won’t do until the other credential has been obtained; (3) eligible voters who need a document that no longer exists (such as a birth certificate issued by an agency whose records have been lost in a fire).

Had such a remedy been in place before the state's recent primary, voters like Eddie Lee Holloway, a 58-year-old African-American man who moved from Illinois to Wisconsin in 2008 and voted without problem there until the WI GOP's Act 23 was instituted, might not have been disenfranchised at all. Holloway, despite owning at least three different forms of ID, including his expired Illinois photo ID, birth certificate and Social Security card, was unable to obtain the required Photo ID to vote in WI, as The Nation's Ari Berman documented last week. "He’d spent $200, visited two states, and made seven trips to different public institutions" in his effort to get an ID to vote, "but still couldn’t vote in Wisconsin," Berman reported, in yet another now-all-too-common tale of longtime voters facing absurd new obstacles simply trying to cast a vote in the wake of such new voting restrictions.

But Holloway was hardly alone...

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




By Brad Friedman on 4/6/2016 5:57pm PT  

On today's BradCast, we cover the results, the fallout and the voting disasters from Tuesday's Primary Election in Wisconsin --- the most important parts of which continue to be ignored by the bulk of the corporate mainstream media.

First up (after a bit of breaking news out of West Virginia), both Ted Cruz on the Republican side and Bernie Sanders on the Democratic side, reportedly won their respective Presidential Primaries yesterday by huge numbers and record turnout. Yet, with the growing likelihood of contested conventions for both the Republican and Democratic parties, the corporate media continue to downplay the Sanders surge against Hillary Clinton (he's now won 7 of the last 8 nominating contests, most of them by 'yuge' margins), even as they continue to go round-the-clock in their coverage of Donald Trump and the GOP nomination fiasco.

They also continue to ignore the difficulties that so many Americans are having even casting their vote, thanks, in particular in Wisconsin, to the GOP's Photo ID restriction law that we've been warning about for a very long time and which resulted in untold thousands of voters, particularly at universities around the state, waiting in lines for hours --- if they were able to wait at all and if they were able to get the "proper ID" --- to simply cast a vote. (See this very short video of a very long line, by way of just one example, if you don't believe me.)

If it was this bad for a Primary in WI (and in AZ, IL, NC, MO, FL and elsewhere, so far this year), imagine what November will be like when all 50 states vote at the same time. The MSM better start ignoring those concerns immediately!

We then take a few listener calls and emails on all of the above (including my thoughts on the "Bernie or Bust" movement) before our latest Green News Report with Desi Doyen on the Keystone pipeline springing a leak, another heat wave in Alaska, new details on the number of Americans who will be killed by climate change, and much more that, coincidentally, is also being under-reported and/or completely ignored by the mainstream corporate media...

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

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GUEST: Author, journalist David Dayen of Salon, Fiscal Times
PLUS: Polls open, lines begin in WI; Polls open, ballots gone in St. Louis, MO; And MSNBC tells us why Sanders was slighted on air on eve of crucial primary...
By Brad Friedman on 4/5/2016 5:44pm PT  

On today's BradCast: All too predictable voting problems in the state of Wisconsin and in St. Louis, MO today; MSNBC responds to our request for comment on why Bernie Sanders received short shrift on Rachel Maddow's show last night, on the eve of the crucial Badger State primary; And we debunk wingnut nonsense concerning the minimum wage as $15/hour victories come to California, New York and elsewhere. [Link to audio for complete show below.]

First, while voters wait on line to try and obtain new Photo IDs so they can vote at all today under the GOP's new voting restrictions in WI, many St. Louis County voters showed up for local elections in MO, only to find no ballots at all to vote on. Then, we explain what happened last night on Maddow's show to suggest that Hillary Clinton was polling ahead of Sanders in WI by 6 points, when the vast majority of pre-election polls in the state suggest the exact opposite. MSNBC responds to our query late today, to tell us that the issue was due to a technical error later corrected for the Midnight re-run and online versions of her show. Full details on that in today's program.

Then, in the wake of bills signed into law this week by the Governors of both NY and CA to raise the minimum wage to $15, we speak to financial journalist David Dayen about the Right's feigned concern about job loss (but only when it comes to raising the Minimum Wage), as well as the real concerns about the increase, and activists have had an extraordinary impact on the entire conversation about the decades long wealth gap between the rich and everyone else in the U.S.

Dayen explains why the new law, in CA alone, as he also reported at Salon last week, is a very big deal: "1 in every 8 workers in America is a Californian. Under this proposal, over 33% of them are going to get a raise at some point along the way between now and 2022. And thereafter, because after 2022, the minimum wage gets tied to inflation, so it keeps going up."

"It's really a testament to the power of activism. Before the 'Fight For 15' inaugurated in 2012, nobody would have believed that you could get a $15 an hour living wage, minimum, in a state as big as California. So, really, hats off to the #FightFor15 workers, who really pushed this," he says, offering kudos at the same time to both the Occupy movement and the Sanders campaign. "All of this is rumbling forward and moving Democrats who control states like California and New York into places that they were uncomfortable to go previously. And that is a testament to how this issue of inequality has become the functional, primary issue in American politics today."

Dayen, author of the upcoming book, Chain of Title: How Three Ordinary Americans Uncovered Wall Street's Great Foreclosure Fraud, also responds to the "hand-wringing on the part of economists and business leaders," when it comes to potential job loss in the wake of raised wages.

"We see all kinds of experiments" with the economy, he argues. "We see workers used as guinea pigs all the time by businesses" in all matter of schemes that may benefit those businesses, but not their workers. "These same economists are so worried about the fate of workers with this experiment with the minimum wage have never said a darn thing about all of these experiments that hurt workers --- that we knew were going to hurt workers at the time --- because it was literally about cutting their wages and getting rid of their benefits and putting them in hazardous workplaces. Spare me this rhetoric that you care about workers when you've sat by idly over 40 years as work has become more and more and more devalued."

But will raising the minimum wage, in fact, cost jobs? And, if so, does it even matter? Tune in for his answers to that and much more in a fascinating conversation on today's show --- one which you won't hear, for some reason, on Fox "News" or CNN...

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: Myrna Peréz of the Brennan Center for Justice
ALSO: Climate crisis v. Islamic extremism; A new Dem debate?; And the Election Integrity community loses a champion and key voice...
By Brad Friedman on 1/26/2016 5:34pm PT  

On today's BradCast, with the first Presidential caucuses and primaries of 2016 now just days away and the first mass voter suppression trial of the year now underway (in North Carolina), we look at a number of recommendations to improve our voting system. But is it too late to make much of a difference for 2016?

First up, some breaking news on the possibility of an added Democratic debate after the Iowa caucuses and before the New Hampshire primary, and some thoughts on the human cost of Climate Change-fueled extreme weather (over just the past month) versus Islamic terror attacks in the U.S. in the 15 years since 9/11.

Then, on to our conversation with Myrna Peréz of the Brennan Center for Justice's Democracy Program to discuss her new report: Election Integrity: A Pro-Voter Agenda. The paper offers six important areas --- from voter registration to polling access to vote casting and counting --- where the U.S. system can and must improve its integrity without sacrificing security or access to the voting booth.

"It is possible to protect election integrity without disenfranchising eligible voters," Peréz writes in her report about the solutions she and the Brennan Center offer. "All target fraud risks as they actually exist. None will unduly disenfranchise those who have the right to vote."

As she explains to me today: "We are having is a very contested moment in time where the right to vote is being challenged in a way that we haven't seen in decades. We are seeing politicians trying to manipulate the rules of the game such that some people can participate and some people can't. And we have that butting up against states that have very restrictive budgets, and may not actually have the money or resources to make reforms that would even save money long-term, because they require an initial investment. That, coupled with infrastructure problems --- like we have been registering voters in a really out-of-date way for too long, and we haven't updated our voting machines --- are all colliding to produce a period of worry, where when voters step into the polls on Election Day in November, they're not going to be getting the best customer service for their tax dollars. And that they're not going to be voting in a way that's consistent with what the greatest democracy in the world should be doing."

"We tried to look at where there were opportunities to improve what we're doing, and actually study and address some of the concerns that folks are having," Peréz says. "And do it in a way that is sensible and thoughtful and common sense, in terms of making sure that the cure isn't worse than the disease. And make sure that we're not disenfranchising more people than we're trying to prevent from perpetuating fraud."

We discuss, among many things in our detailed conversation, the real threats to election integrity --- not "voter fraud" by individuals at the polling place, as vote suppressors on the Right would like you to believe, but far more often, and in a much larger way, by political and election insiders. "We need to make sure that our politicians, who are using our resources and our taxpayer dollars, are fixing a problem that is real and addressing it in the most cost-effective and efficient way."

Finally on today's show, a few words and memories in regard to the recent tragic loss of Wisconsin's John Washburn, an integral member of the U.S. Election Integrity community and a reliable and important source over the past decade to me here at BradBlog.com and on the radio, on e-voting in general and, in particular, on some of the nightmarish elections disasters in the Badger State over recent years. John was a great proponent of transparency, open government, proper testing of electronic voting systems and, frankly, one helluva guy. As noted in my more detailed In Memoriam on today's program, John's loss, at the age of 53, is a particularly tragic and costly one for the cause of democracy and free and fair elections in Wisconsin as well as the rest of the nation. We send our thoughts and best wishes to his family, including his wife and three children. His institutional knowledge, good humor and wit will be greatly missed in 2016 and beyond, but his good fight will continue.

(John's guest blog contributions to The BRAD BLOG are here. You can sort through some of his other contributions to our stories and radio programs over the years here. And much more documentation of his work on EI matters and more is still available at his personal website right here. UPDATE: John's family has requested remembrances be posted on this tribute page.)

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: Brendan Fischer of WI's Center for Media and Democracy...
By Brad Friedman on 12/9/2015 5:33pm PT  

On today's BradCast, the Wisconsin Supreme Court drops the next amazing shoe in the mindblowing case against the "John Doe" criminal probe into campaign improprieties by Gov. Scott Walker and his Koch Brothers-funded rightwing crony organizations during the 2012 recall elections in the state. (Audio link posted below.)

I'm joined once again by Brendan Fischer of the Center for Media and Democracy today to discuss the unprecedented move by the state's high court that has, in effect, resulted in the firing of the Republican special investigator in charge of the probe looking at illegal campaign coordination between those powerful "dark money" groups and the controversial Republican Governor.

"The Wisconsin Supreme Court has a four justice majority," Fischer explains in recounting this remarkable, and under-reported turn of events. "And that four justice majority was elected to the bench with $10 million dollars in spending from the same groups under investigation. The same groups that Walker was accused of coordinating with. The same groups that were party to the case. And the same groups that would be affected by an adverse ruling by a decision that what they did was illegal."

"Despite these conflicts of interests, these justices declined to recuse. They shut down the investigation, rewrote the law to benefit their biggest donors, and then the Special Prosecutor asked the Court to reconsider its investigation."

In response to that Motion to Reconsider, Fischer tells me, the Court's bought and paid for majority went far beyond what anybody might have imagined they would do. "Not only did they dismiss the Motion to Reconsider, they rewrote their July decision to say, 'you as Special Prosecutor can no longer be involved in this case.' Which means that he would be unable to appeal up to the U.S. Supreme Court and challenge the conflicts of interest on the WI Supreme Court."

The result, as both Fischer and the Court's minority note, is that we are now in wholly unprecedented territory for this case in the Badger State and for illegal campaign finance and coordination in Wisconsin and, potentially, the rest of the nation as the Right has been paying close attention to this case and spending a lot of money for the results they now seem to have achieved.

Please listen to the full amazing interview below!

Also on today's BradCast: Corporate media finally begin to notice the mess they've helped foster in this country over the past decade (and more) and some good news, for a very welcome change, in our latest Green News Report as the UN climate summit in Paris (COP21) reaches crunch time...

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: Brendan Fischer of the Center for Media and Democracy...
By Brad Friedman on 10/26/2015 5:28pm PT  

Last week at the Center for Media and Democracy, their general counsel Brendan Fischer warned "Darkness descends upon Wisconsin." Today, on The BradCast, Fischer joins me to explain the three new pieces of legislation being quickly rammed through the Republican-dominated state legislature in the Badger State, which, taken together, are set to serve an unprecedented blow to transparency, elections, and democracy. (Audio link to complete show follows below.)

Formerly, one of the most transparent states for election oversight and the ability to either prevent corruption or, at least, discover it and hold those accountable for it after it is found, WI is now set to become the very opposite unless something happens to prevent this full package of election reform bills from being enacted. Yes. Darkness descends upon Wisconsin and, frankly, the rest of the nation if these laws are all passed and signed by Gov. Scott Walker (R-Koch) expected.

One of the bills has already been adopted by the legislature and was hastily signed over the weekend by Walker. That one bars state prosecutors from investigating political corruption under the state's "John Doe" provisions. A WI John Doe investigation is akin to a grand jury process, but allows prosecutors to carry out criminal probes under the auspices of a state court. Such investigations in the past, for example, resulted in the conviction of six top aides and allies to Walker. A more recent John Doe probe into illegal campaign coordination between the Governor and his Koch Brothers-funded allies during the 2012 recall elections in WI, was shut down earlier this year by the same state Supreme Court justices elected and funded by those very same Koch Brothers-funded groups who stand to benefit from this entire package of "reform".

The other two bills were passed in the Assembly last week and are now pending in the state Senate. One replaces the state's non-partisan Government Accountability Board (G.A.B.) --- the commission of retired judges convened to oversees state elections following a massive campaign finance scandal by both Dems and Republicans (uncovered by a John Doe probe!) back in 2007 --- with a new commission of partisan appointees modeled after (incredibly enough!) the entirely broken Federal Elections Commission!

Finally, saving the worst for last: The last of these three bills would allow unlimited undisclosed financing of political groups and campaigns in Wisconsin, as well as allow the millionaire and billionaire funders of those campaigns to remain completely secret to everyone but the candidate whose campaigns the funders would be supporting with unlimited cash payments!

"This is not something that voters in Wisconsin are calling for, neither Republicans nor Democrats," Fischer explains. "The only groups lobbying in favor of these three bills are the Koch Brothers' Americans for Prosperity and other organizations with deep ties to Americans for Prosperity and Koch-tied groups. It's almost like a wish list of the Koch Brothers or other wealthy billionaires who want even more influence in elections."

"It's going to allow unlimited money from billionaires and corporations to political parties and legislative leaders. It's going to allow unlimited coordination between candidates and dark money groups," he tells me. "The implication of that is a candidate could form a non-profit group --- even have it operated out of its campaign headquarters --- and politicians can say to donors: 'Give to this dark money group I am working with. You can give as much as you want.' It can come from anywhere. It can come from Koch Industries corporate treasury. The money could even come from foreigners and the politician is going to know where the money is coming but the public will not."

And, of course, the existing non-partisan commission meant to oversee elections won't be able to block it (because they likely will not exist) and if there is anything left that is still illegal in such campaigns, state prosecutors will have much of their ability taken from them to be able to investigate it. It's a breathtaking set of reforms that, arguably, makes Walker's gutting of collective bargaining back in 2010 look like child's play. And all of this legislation and its provisions are being watched very closely by the GOP nationally, as this gutting of democracy is exactly what the party now hopes to see in every state, as well as at the federal level. Citizens United was not even the beginning of their scheming to undermine fairness and transparency in elections and campaigns.

Fischer goes on to note that, "with rightwing Republicans in control of a lot of state legislatures," similar "reform" is likely to be pushed forward elsewhere after it takes effect in WI, "even though it's not voters who are calling for it."

Please listen to today's program and pass it along to others! This matter needs a lot more national attention than it is currently receiving!

Also on today's program: Death and destruction over the weekend from Oklahoma to British Columbia to Pakistan and Afghanistan, even as Mexico and the U.S. may have dodged a bullet, of sorts, after the most powerful hurricane on record barreled ashore as a Category 5 storm.

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Guest: John Nichols of The Nation | PLUS: Hillary finally takes a position on the Keystone XL pipeline...
By Brad Friedman on 9/22/2015 5:02pm PT  

On today's BradCast...

First: The Nation's Washington Correspondent and Wisconsin native son John Nichols joins us to explain what went wrong with the Walker campaign and what to expect in the wake of a state Supreme Court Justice dying yesterday in court.

"The fantasy," upon which Walker's campaign was built, Nichols tells me, "was that Americans hate trade unions so much --- they hate living wages, they hate good benefits, they hate weekends off, they hate vacations --- so much, that they were ready to elect a guy whose only argument for himself was that he got in a fight with the unions. And when Walker actually got the spotlight and he started talking about his record, what he wanted to do, everybody got bored in about five minutes."

Even Republicans "said, 'what else do you have for us?'," he says. "In fact a fifth of Republicans say they think unions should be stronger. So the notion that there's some scorching anti-union sentiment out there isn't true."

Nichols contends it wasn't a lack of funding that did Walker in, but he also explains why the Koch Brothers --- who have long been Walker's his biggest supporters --- didn't bother riding to his rescue. "When you play with billionaires, they always set the rules of the game," he explains.

Also, Nichols details how yesterday's sudden death of state Supreme Court Justice N. Patrick Crooks could shake up the balance of the court --- perhaps even more in Scott Walker's favor than it already is --- as another contentious court election battle now looms once again in the Badger State.

Next: The U.S. Judicial Conference sends its report [PDF] to the U.S. Congress on the now-resigned and long-disgraced U.S. District Court Judge Mark F. Fuller, following his arrest on domestic violence charges last year. Turns out, as we've long suspected and reported, Fuller was found, during the year-long investigation, to be a serial wife-beater.

"Judge Fuller physically abused [his second wife] Kelli Fuller at least eight times, both before and after they married, which included and culminated in the assault that took place on August 9, 2012, in the Riz-Carlton Hotel in downtown Atlanta, Georgia," the cover letter on the report to Congress reads. The Special Commission of federal judges investigating the matter also found the Judge lied (committed perjury) to the panel of federal judges carrying out the probe, and should be impeached by Congress for his "reprehensible conduct", even though he has already resigned.

I offer details and background on the full case on today's program, including information on Fuller's lifetime appointment to the federal bench by George W. Bush in 2002, his participation in the Karl Rove-cabal takedown of Alabama's Democratic Gov. Don Siegelman (who is still in federal prison following his sentencing by Fuller), and more.

My full report on this latest Fuller news, including some of the apparently false information his attorney offered me earlier this year (which I declined to report at the time), and Kelli Fuller's chilling 911 call from that hotel room in Atlanta last year, is now posted here.

Finally: Mid-show today, we received word that Hillary Clinton finally decided to take a public position on the Keystone XL pipeline. We've got her announcement and reaction to it from her fellow Democratic 2016 opponents and even a predictable thought or two from the Republican side of the contest...

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

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Guest: Author/journalist Ari Berman of The Nation...
By Brad Friedman on 7/17/2015 4:08pm PT  

On today's BradCast, we start where we left off on yesterday's show, regarding Thursday's amazingly corrupt and disturbing ruling in favor of Scott Walker and his cronies --- by the amazingly corrupt Wisconsin Supreme Court --- and how, if Republicans have their way, that ruling may soon enough become the law of the land for the entire nation.

As our producer Desi Doyen noted on today's show: "This is your early warning system." Ignore at your peril. Then it was on to a couple of quick items and updates, including dumb Confederate flag wavers in Oklahoma and Maine's even dumber Governor Paul LePage.

From there, we head to North Carolina, where "the most extreme anti-voter bill passed by any state since the Jim Crow Era", as we initially described it when it was passed by state Republicans back in 2013, is finally now facing trial against the NAACP, the ACLU, the DoJ and other democracy and voting rights advocates.

We are joined by The Nation's author/journalist Ari Berman, who was in the federal courtroom in Winston-Salem, NC this week as the trial finally got under way. The results of this trial are likely to head all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, one way or another, and may well determine the future of voting rights in this country. The new voting restrictions were passed in 2013, just days after the U.S. Supreme Court demolished the provision of the Voting Rights Act that otherwise, says Berman, would have kept this law --- which is "already disenfranchising voters" --- from even taking effect.

"That's such a clear case study to me that the Supreme Court was wrong when it said that the special protections of the Voting Rights act weren't needed." Berman goes on to explain why he believes NC, a state which had made astounding progress in voting rights over the previous decade, has now become the new Selma, Alabama, where the bloody fight for voting rights led directly to passage of the federal Voting Rights Act in 1965.

"In North Carolina, they had seemingly everything," Berman tells me. "They had all these voting reforms --- early voting, same day registration, pre-registration for 16 &17 year olds. And it was all taken away or reduced" when the GOP took over both the state legislature and Governor's mansion for the first time since Reconstruction in 2013.

"What Selma in the 1960s and what North Carolina in the 2013-2015 era shows is how far these conservative white Southerners will go to protect political power. There aren't billy clubs. There aren't literacy tests. But they're saying this is how black turnout increased --- North Carolina went from 48th in voter turnout in the late 80s, to 11th in voter turnout in 2012 --- Republicans there basically said we're gonna tamp this turnout down."

And now it's left to the courts to find out if those rights, once granted, can be taken away by political whim --- and if NC, and other states with a history of racial discrimination in elections, will be forced once again to face preclearance from the federal government before they can enforce any new voting restrictions.

Berman has a lot of insight on all of this. His new book, Give Us the Ballot: The Modern Struggle for Voting Rights in America, will be published next month to coincide with the 50th Anniversary of passage of the VRA. As I note during the show, the book is an exhaustively researched and heart-wrenching documentation of the uniquely American and harrowing tale of the fight to vote in this country --- and the outrageously long and continuing effort to block it. That fight continues, sadly, to this day. Go buy his book!

Finally, Desi joins us again for some listener email and then a stunningly upbeat Green News Report for a change!...

Download MP3 or listen online below...

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Guest: Brendan Fischer of Center for Media & Democracy...
By Brad Friedman on 7/16/2015 5:11pm PT  

I had to ask my guest on today's BradCast whether I was being overly dramatic in seeing today's stunning news from the Wisconsin Supreme Court as "the death of democracy". He did not warn me off that thinking.

Before that, however, we quickly covered two other breaking stories today: The verdict in the Aurora, CO shooting case and another new shooting today at two U.S. Marine facilities in Chattanooga, TN --- along with some thoughts on both of them.

Then, it's onto the jaw-dropping WI Supreme Court verdict in the challenge to the prosecutorial investigation into blatant collusion between Gov. Scott Walker and a number of Rightwing groups which spent millions in an alleged "criminal scheme" to help Walker win his 2012 recall election.

Brendan Fischer, general counsel at the Center for Media and Democracy joins us to explain the outrageous ruling. It's disturbing on several levels and bodes ominously for campaign finance laws across the entire nation. It's a must-hear interview, frankly.

In short, Walker and his campaign colluded with those "outside" groups in violation of state campaign finance law and what the U.S. Supreme Court said, in Citizens United, was not supposed to happen. But, it did --- to the tune of millions of dollars to help get Walker elected. Amazingly, it was the Rightwing groups that went to court in this matter to claim that their rights were being abridged by the prosecutors' investigation (a Republican prosecutor, by the way). We explain, in detail, how they made that case and how the Court's Justices went along with them to shut down the so-called "John Doe II" investigation.

But, the most outrageous part is the fact that the very same groups who sued to quash the probe also funded the elections (to the tunes of millions of dollars) of the very same Rightwing WI Supreme Court Justices who found in their favor today. That, despite both the prosecutor's request that those Justice's recuse themselves and a 2009 U.S. Supreme Court ruling (Caperton v. Massey) finding that judges must recuse if the case they are hearing involves a party with a "significant and disproportionate influence" on their elections.

"This is not just about past conduct, this is about future conduct, as well," Fischer tells me. "The court has okayed outside coordination between outside groups and candidates. It applies to their own campaigns, it applies to elections for judges....And the exact same groups that were parties to this case are going to be able to coordinate directly with these justices when they are up for re-election."

And, as if all of that isn't outrageous enough, this case, as I've long warned, is part of a national effort to eviscerate similar campaign finance restrictions across the entire nation --- because Citizens United and McCutcheon etc. apparently isn't yet enough for these Republicans.

"There's really not a whole lot left," Fischer says. "And you can see this being a huge mile-marker in the continued erosion on limits of money in politics. And it's not going to turn out well." Oh, well. I did try to warn everyone at least a year ago that this case was "about much more than just Walker and his corruption."

There's much more. But, as I said, a must-hear conversation today.

Download MP3 or listen online below...

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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!... ---




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!... ---




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!... ---




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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