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Latest Featured Reports | Monday, June 29, 2015
The Good, Bad and SCOTUS Ruling on AZ Redistricting: 'BradCast' 6/29/15
Former AZ state legislator Ted Downing; Plus: much more on latest SCOTUS rulings...
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'BradCast' 6/24/15
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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
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'Fired' Sproul Group 'Cloned', Still Working for Republicans in At Least 10 States
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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
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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
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The Secret Koch Brothers Tapes...


With Brad Friedman & Desi Doyen...
By Desi Doyen on 10/30/2012 3:32pm PT  


TWITTER: @GreenNewsReport
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VIA SMART PHONE: Stitcher Radio!

IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: HURRICANE SANDY SPECIAL REPORT: The storm, the aftermath, and the impacts of climate change; PLUS: A reminder of one Presidential candidate's position on federal disaster relief --- Mitt Romney has called for privatizing it ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!

Listen online here, or Download MP3 (6 mins)...

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Got comments, tips, love letters, hate mail? Drop us a line at GreenNews@BradBlog.com or right here at the comments link below. All GNRs are always archived at GreenNews.BradBlog.com.

IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Chevron: $2.5 Million To GOP Super PAC. Single Largest Corporate Donation; BP Oil Spill: Researchers Take a Deep Look at Gulf Seafood Safety; BP returns to profitability; WY coal art dispute rages on; There Is No 'Simple Fix' for Commodity Farming; Protests Against Expansion of China Chemical Plant Turn Violent; Sand Mine Riches Are Tough to Refuse ... PLUS: Hurricane Sandy: Haiti in emergency aid plea as disaster piles upon disaster ... and much, MUCH more! ...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 10/29/2012 4:35am PT  

[This article was cross-posted by Salon...]

"History is being written as an extreme weather event continues to unfold, one which will occupy a place in the annals of weather history as one of the most extraordinary to have affected the United States," the Weather Channel's Senior Meteorologist Stu Ostro is warning. "This is an extraordinary situation, and I am not prone to hyperbole."

The National Weather Service has been telling us over the past several days that the serious impact of the super storm which is Hurricane Sandy is not to be underestimated. But there is another concern that has been keeping me awake over the past week or so.

NBC's Al Roker spelled out that concern briefly on Sunday's Meet the Press, explaining what I've been worrying about since it became clear that the storm could have serious ramifications on Election Day.

I'm not talking about the political ramifications about its effect on planned campaign events between now and Election Day, on Early Voting turnout, or even how it's handled by President Obama and FEMA, etc. I'm talking about the serious question of whether voters will be able to vote on Election Day at all, particularly in states which force voters to use electronic voting systems at the precincts.

"We expect massive power outages throughout the area," Roker told NBC's David Gregory (before Gregory hurried to ignore the comment entirely.) "As the system moves on shore it's going to be a long term effect. It's going to last for about 72 hours. And so we're talking about people who could be without power for at least 10 days. That, as you know, will take it right into Election Day. So what will people do if they can't get to the voting booth, or the voting booths don't have power?"

Good question, Al. And one we've warned about here for a number of years.

There are about a half a dozen states (listed below) directly in harm's way where voters are forced to use 100% unverifiable electronic voting systems on Election Day. In those locations, unless they have enough emergency paper ballots printed up to accommodate the entire electorate at precincts where power remains disrupted on Election Day, there could be very serious and unprecedented problems...

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

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Sequoia touch-screen systems, found vulnerable to failure and undetectable manipulation, to be used again in 13 states...
By Brad Friedman on 10/26/2012 2:47pm PT  

President Barack Obama may have voted for Mitt Romney yesterday when he cast his Early Vote at the Martin Luther King Community Center in Chicago's 4th Ward. Nobody knows for sure. Even him.

He cast his vote on a 100% unverifiable touch-screen e-voting system made by Sequoia Voting Systems (which is now owned by a Canadian firm named Dominion Voting.) It is scientifically impossible to ever know if his vote was recorded accurately, as per his itent, or not on that type of voting system.

"I can't tell you who I voted for," the President joked, as noted by our colleague Mark Crispin Miller in a short blog item today wryly headlined "Obama votes for Romney". The President's joke may not have been nearly as funny as he had intended it.

We confirmed with the Chicago Board of Elections that Early Voters in the Windy City must do so on the oft-failed, incredibly-vulnerable, and easily-hacked (see below for details) Sequoia AVC Edge touch-screen voting system which is still used according to VerifiedVoting.org's database for Early, Disabled-Accessible or Standard polling place voting in some 234 jurisdictions across all or part of some 13 states, including Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Louisiana, Missouri, New Jersey, Nevada, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin.

On Election Day, the Board's Communication Director told The BRAD BLOG, voters are allowed to vote on their choice of either paper ballots (also tallied by Sequoia's incredibly faulty computer tabulators --- the same ones which announced losing candidates as "winners" in 3 different elections in Palm Beach County, FL earlier this year) or Sequoia's 100% unverifiable AVC Edge touch-screens.

The Intellectual Property of those Sequoia systems is still a proprietary trade secret owned by a Venezuelan firm named Smartmatic, which has been tied to the country's long-time President Hugo Chavez. That point was lied about by Sequoia's then CEO Jack Blaine when he was asked directly about it by a Chicago Alderman some years ago, as The BRAD BLOG detailed exclusively back in 2008.

Sequoia has since been purchased by the Canadian firm Dominion Voting, which also subsequently lied about the company's Intellectual Property being owned by the Chavez-tied company when they announced their takeover of Sequoia in 2010. Dominion confirmed as much when we called them on it after their announcement. And, yes, we are still the only ones to have reported that as well.

A few other quick points of note which should deeply concern every voter in the nation --- of any party, or none at all --- about the 100% unverifiable Sequoia touch-screen voting systems that the President foolishly entrusted yesterday to accurately record his vote...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 1/1/2012 1:43am PT  

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UPDATE: Another machine in separate precinct fails as well, is taken out of service...
By Brad Friedman on 11/8/2011 11:08am PT  

It's Election Day in America again today in a number of states. Therefore, electronic voting machines are once again failing and, even when they don't, leaving voters guessing whether their votes were recorded accurately or even at all.

Here's an early example this morning out of New Jersey, where pretty much the entire state votes on 100% unverifiable touch-screen voting systems. The machine that failed, as detailed below, selected all of the candidates the voter didn't wish to vote for when he attempted to vote a straight-ticket ballot. The machine is made by a private company named Avante International...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 10/5/2011 8:35am PT  

Well, now we know how much the NJ state Republican Party --- if they were the ones who really picked up the tab --- were willing to spend to send Gov. Chris Christie out to secretly hob-nob with the millionaire and billionaire corporatists at the Koch brothers' super-secret conference near Vail, CO, last June.

In a story headlined "Christie Comes Clean on Trips as N.J. Governor Seeks Donations," Bloomberg News reports that Christie "has made at least 35 political appearances outside New Jersey since he took office in January 2010, according to a review of his public schedule, published reports and Republican State Committee finance records filed with the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission."

"Those trips became a political issue after Christie’s June attendance at a private Colorado gathering hosted by the Tea-Party-backing Koch brothers came to light," the news agency says. "Christie, who pledged a 'new era of transparency' in his inaugural address, didn’t notify the public or legislative leaders that he left the state that day."

But buried in that story was this little gem...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 10/4/2011 10:45am PT  

Let's see. #OccupyWallStreet is an ever-growing group of American citizens actually doing something unprecedented, while facing impossible odds and putting their lives on the line in hopes of positively changing the course of the nation. NJ Gov. Chris Christie isn't.

No wonder he gets so much more national media attention.

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By Brad Friedman on 10/1/2011 1:13pm PT  

[Toon hat-tip to Philadelphia Inquirer's Matt Katz on the Twitters. Headline hat-tip to RS Gary, also on the Twitters.]

Related-ish at The BRAD BLOG, in case you missed it recently:
EXCLUSIVE: Christie's Secret Keynote at the Koch Brothers' Secret Seminar

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LATE UPDATE: Now even Fox 'News' paying attention to Diebold hack!...
By Brad Friedman on 9/29/2011 5:02pm PT  

MSNBC's Rachel Maddow offered a nice hat-tip to us Tuesday night for our Secret Koch Tapes exclusive at Mother Jones on NJ Gov. Chris Christie (the complete segment, much longer than the clip below, is here)...


And RT's Thom Hartmann did similar for our Tuesday Salon exclusive on Argonne National Lab's Remote Control Diebold Hack (he covered it several times, with nice hat-tips by name, on both his radio and TV shows this week. The following was his latest and most extensive analysis, from last night)...

By the way, there's been quite a bit of new news coverage on that new e-voting hack over the past 24 hours, since I last discussed it. You can check out some of it here. And still, there has been absolutely no response to the news from Dominion Voting, the current owners of what had been Diebold Election Systems, Inc., or from ES&S, which also services many of Diebold's old contracts. The voting machine companies used to get right out in front of these things, to lie about them as soon as possible. Not this time, for some reason. Perhaps more on that later.

Also, our friend Jeanne "AKMuckraker" Devon of the great Alaska blog "Mudflats" offers an amusing take on the Diebold hack, after she noticed one-time "Tea Party" Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate Joe Miller (whose very appropriate concerns about Diebold voting systems in his state we vigorously covered during his election contest last November) is currently quoting and linking favorably to our Salon article from the front page of his website today.

Oh...and one more note! While we've been working on the above stories (and more to come) for quite a while, we haven't had time to do a proper fundraiser here for months and months and months. Hope to do one in the near future. But, until then, your financial support is always greatly appreciate and very much needed! Please consider leaving an online donation here, or using the snail-mail address in the light-blue box in our right sidebar if you can afford to do either. Thank you!!!

* * *

UPDATE 9/30/11: Well, waddaya know? Even Fox "News" suddenly gives a damn! "Researchers Hack Voting Machine for $26".

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By Brad Friedman on 9/19/2011 10:33am PT  

"We know that this was not a family vacation to Disney World, but a political fundraiser designed to further the governor's national political aspirations," NJ state Sen. Loretta Weinberg said on Friday, in announcing her plan to introduce new legislation today requiring the Governor to alert state legislators when he's traveling out of state.

As mentioned on Friday, more new developments continue to follow in the wake of our Mother Jones exclusive on NJ Gov. Chris Christie's secret appearance (at least until we revealed it) and keynote speech at the billionaire Koch brother's ultra-confidential (at least until we ruined that too) political strategy and fund raising soiree near Vail, Colorado late last June.

"No man is an island, and the governor needs to recognize that he has a responsibility to the people of New Jersey to at least assure for the orderly transfer of power if he does decide to leave the state in search of right-wing campaign donations," Weinberg told New Jersey Newsroom's Tom Hester, Sr. "If an emergency situation had occurred while he was away, the members of the Legislature would have had to scramble to figure out who they're supposed to be working with in the front office."

As Hester reports, "Christie traveled with a state police escort to Vail to give the keynote address at a political fundraiser hosted by David and Charles Koch, oil billionaires and conservative Republican powerbrokers. It was at least the fourth time Christie left the state since taking office without notifying legislators, the public or the media."

The first the local media, or Christie's constituents, had heard about his pilgrimage to the Koch shindig in Vail, was more than two months afterward in our report, based on audio we'd obtained, as recorded by an insider source at the event.

Incredibly, when he was called on the carpet for the secret political trip halfway across the country on a friendly NJ Meet the Governor radio show last week, Christie attempted to downplay it all as little more than a family vacation, even likening it to running out to the deli to pick up a quick sandwich.

"Like this past Saturday," he told 101.5FM's host Eric Scott, "I left the state to go to a University of Delaware football game with my wife and my four children. Do you think the people of the state of New Jersey are dying to know that?"

"I also, ya know, went to the deli on Saturday, do I need to tell people that too?," Christie continued, insisting his hob-nob with the Kochs and several hundred of their closest corporate titan friends was little more than "personal time"...

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

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By Ernest A. Canning on 9/18/2011 11:11am PT  

Guest blogged by Ernest A. Canning

"One of the great questions of our time is whether the American people, through Congress, will control the greed, recklessness and illegal behavior on Wall Street, or whether Wall Street will continue to wreak havoc on our economy and the lives of working families."
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) 9/16/11

Sanders' question is indeed one of the "great" ones for our time. But, as Yoda said, "there is another."

If there was ever a candidate perfectly suited to expose the lie that is to be found in the pseudo-populism of the mega-billionaire Koch brothers funded and controlled 'Tea Party' that helped Scott Brown (R-MA) secure a reported upset win in the 2010 special election to fill the U.S. Senate seat vacated by the death of the late Edward "Ted" Kennedy (D-MA), it would be Elizabeth Warren, a Democrat.

The brilliant, straight-talking Harvard Law Professor and special adviser appointed by President Barack Obama to oversee the development of a new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), whose interview with Michael Moore for Capitalism: A Love Story (see video below) established her to be the same thorn in the side of Wall Street's financial "products" that Ralph Nader was to GM when he exposed the Corvair in Unsafe at Any Speed, announced last week that she is a 2012 candidate for the U.S. Senate seat now occupied by a GOP Senator who has turned to Wall Street, in a big way, for financial support.

There is little question but that Warren's brilliance, eloquence, and sincerity will come into play during the ensuing campaign. But while Warren plants her flag in the fight for oversight, transparency, and accountability for our financial system, will she (and other candidates) come to understand the importance of oversight, transparency, and accountability for our electoral system before it's too late? Before yet another election --- like the one which brought Brown to the Senate in the first place --- is decided under a cloud of unverified results reported by easily-hacked, oft-failed, optical-scan voting systems such as those made by Diebold and programmed by a company with a criminal background in the great commonwealth of Massachusetts?...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 9/16/2011 4:32pm PT  

Reverberations from our exclusive stories last week at Mother Jones on the Secret Koch Tapes we'd obtained from the billionaire brothers' ultra-confidential political strategy and fund raising confab in June near Vail, CO, continue. Most of the fallout has come in the wake of Part 2 on the secret keynote speech given by NJ Gov. Chris Christie, as introduced by brother David who revealed that he'd had a secret meeting with Christie several months earlier in New York, before he went on to describe the tough-talking Republican governor (audio/transcript here) as "my kind of guy."

Earlier this week, a reporter from an East Coast daily sent us a generous email noting: "Remarkable stories last week. I have no idea where the hell you got that audio, but it stopped the news cycle cold in Trenton. Changed the conversation. That doesn't happen often."

The conversation in NJ's capitol, it seems, is still changing in light of the stories, with several additional new issues emerging over the last day or two. We'll cover one of them --- an interesting result of Christie's tough-talking, thought-it-would-stay-secret Colorado comment that "We need to take on the teachers' union once and for all" --- here (and the other, a bit later)...

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

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PLUS: Sam Seder interviews Brad on 'Ring of Fire'...
By Brad Friedman on 9/14/2011 10:51pm PT  

"Whether he discussed it or not, he's doing their bidding," insists Jeff Tittel, the director of the New Jersey Sierra Club. "The Governor has a problem about completely telling the truth. If the Governor was Pinocchio, you'd be getting hit with his nose about now."

Those were among Tittel's remarks today during my interview with him this afternoon on my Pacifica Radio show here on KPFK in Los Angeles. (Full audio posted below.) Needless to say, he doesn't have much confidence in NJ Gov. Chris Christie's latest denials about his relationship with the billionaire oil magnate Koch brothers.

As we've reported over the past 24 hours, last night, Gov. Chris Christie (R-NJ) scammed a local radio host concerning his meetings with the Rightwing billionaires. Earlier today, finally, local media forced a direct answer from him on whether he ever discussed the landmark Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) with the Kochs. The co-owners of Koch Industries, the second largest private company in the nation, which they inherited from their father, hate the RGGI cap-and-trade plan to curb pollutants, as created by 10 Northeastern states. Christie's unilateral withdraw from the agreement last May was a shocker, though one celebrated by the Kochs and their well-funded Climate Change Denial Machine who had long been lobbying against it.

Today, Christie denied the topic ever came up in either of two now-known private meetings with Kochs, both revealed by Part 2 of our exclusive report last week at Mother Jones on the secret speech Christie gave for the Kochs at their ultra-exclusive Summer Seminar near Vail, CO last June, and David Koch's introduction to it. (Audio we obtained and transcribed, from that speech, is posted right here.)

After we'd broken the story last week, Tittel, told AP the secret Koch Tapes provide "the smoking gun that shows [Christie's] been working with the Koch brothers from the beginning."

But now, even after Christie insists that discussion of RGGI "never came up" during discussions at either the Colorado appearance, or during his secret two-hour meeting with David Koch in New York City earlier this year, Tittle is not inclined to believe him. He explained his reasons why on today's KPFK show, where you'll also get to hear some of the audio from the Koch seminar (such as when Koch describes Christie as "my kind of guy"), and Christie's bamboozling of the NJ radio host who had asked him about the topic last night...

Download MP3 or listen online here [appx 28 min]...

* * *

Also, since I received a lot of nice compliments on it, the video of Sam Seder's interview with me --- also discussing the Koch tapes --- from this past weekend's Ring of Fire, is posted below...

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By Brad Friedman on 9/14/2011 1:26pm PT  

After being allowed to bamboozle 101.5FM's Eric Host on last night's Meet the Governor radio program in New Jersey, by conflating one secret meeting with David and Charles Koch with another that occurred months earlier, Gov. Chris Christie is now denying he ever had any discussions about a key environmental initiative with the billionaire oil baron brothers in either of the secret meetings.

According to Timothy J. Carroll at PolitickerNJ today, the Governor was pressed once again at a press conference this morning to clear up an issue that has remained in contention since we posted our exclusive story at Mother Jones last week, revealing audio we'd obtained of Christie's secret keynote address --- and David Koch's introduction to it --- at a recent, invitation-only Koch brothers political strategy and fundraising seminar near Vail, Colorado...

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

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Equates political strategy session, fund raiser for billionaire oil magnates with trip to deli, family vacation...
By Brad Friedman on 9/13/2011 8:05pm PT  

Governor Chris Christie (R-NJ) was asked about his secret meetings with the billionaire Koch Brothers this evening on a local New Jersey town hall radio show, and whether his private meeting had any affect on his surprise decision to unilaterally withdraw New Jersey from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI, pronounced "Reggie) last May.

The Governor failed to tell the truth in his response during tonight's appearance on the monthly Meet the Governor radio show on New Jersey's 101.5FM. Moreover, he purposely conflated two entirely separate events in order to mislead in his evasive response.

The question arose out of our story published last Wednesday in Mother Jones, featuring exclusive audio from inside the Koch brothers' ultra-confidential 2011 Summer Seminar near Vail, Colorado, where Christie delivered the keynote address to hundreds of corporate millionaires and billionaires on June 26th, after being introduced by oil tycoon and hard right political activist David Koch.

During his introduction to Christie --- whose presence at the secret political strategy and fund raising session had been kept a secret from his constituents until we broke our story last week --- Koch revealed that he had met with the Governor privately "five months ago."

"We met in my New York City office and spoke - just the two of us - for about two hours," said Koch, who, with his brother Charles, had taken extraordinary security measures to help ensure that nobody outside of the event would ever hear what had taken place inside of it.

The Kochs have spent millions funding the Global Warming Denial Industry and lobbying against RGGI, an agreement among 10 Northeastern states to create a cap-and-trade market to curb pollutants --- such as those emitted by many of Koch Industries' plants --- and to invest the profits into clean energy initiatives.

Tonight, Christie was asked directly about the private meetings, but managed to bamboozle the show's host Eric Scott --- and the voters of New Jersey along with him --- in his answer, charging that the issue has only come up because "reporters don't do their homework." It seems it may have been Scott who hadn't done his, as he allowed Christie to deflect the question from the private, one-on-one meeting Koch revealed he'd had with Christie, and instead claim that the June meeting in Colorado couldn't have affected his decision on RGGI, since it took place a month after his announcement about it.

"I don't know how a conversation I...had two months after I did something, could have an effect on what I did," said Christie, knowing exactly how he was scamming both Scott and his constituents who were listening tonight...

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