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Latest Featured Reports | Friday, May 27, 2016
A Minimum Income and Maximum Infrastructure?: 'BradCast' 5/26/16
Guest host Angie Coiro with Dave Johnson of Campaign for America's Future; Plus: Historians on the Trump/Hitler comparison...
L.A. County Clerk Explains 'Uncharted Territory' of CA Primary: 'BradCast' 5/25/16
Guest: L.A. Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk Dean Logan; Plus: Orange County, CA pollworker-in-training w/ viral video calls in...
Why Dems Should be BEGGING Sanders to Stay in Through CA: 'BradCast' 5/24/16
Guest: Washington Monthly's David Atkins; Plus: Sanders files for 'recanvass' in KY and very good news for OH voters!...
'Green News Report' 5/19/16
  w/ Brad & Desi
Canada insurers call for climate strategy; Pakistan and India heat wave; Renewables record in Portugal; Exxon killed the electric car; PLUS: Trump preps for rising seas (really!)...
Previous GNRs: 5/19/16 - 5/17/16 - Archives...
Think Twice About 'Bernie or Bust': 'BradCast' 5/23/16
Columnist and Sanders supporter Harold Meyerson offers some historic warnings for other Sanders supporters; Also: More bad polls for Clinton; More bad 'track conditions' for Dems; Planet's climate crisis worsens...
Sunday Toons of the Slowly-Realized Moment
A number of toons in PDiddie's collection of this week's best should be prize winners, frankly. Check them all out...
Jill Stein: 'We're Seeing the Dean Scream of 2016': 'BradCast' 5/19/16
The Green Party's 2012 Presidential nominee and 2016 candidate offers thoughts on Dems, Sanders, the 'two-party system', the 'spoiler effect' and more in our exclusive interview...
'Green News Report' 5/19/16
  w/ Brad & Desi
Trump will toss UN climate pact; Coal export terminal halted in WA; Nestle water plant halted in OR; Duke ordered to close coal ash pits in NC; PLUS: Another climate win for kids in MA...
Previous GNRs: 5/17/16 - 5/12/16 - Archives...
OR, KY Results, And 'Fraud' Concerns Examined (Where Possible): 'BradCast' 5/18/16
Also: Climate disaster in Sri Lanka; CT adds automatic voter registration; KS ordered to restore voting rights to 18,000...
Trump Gains on Clinton; Big Win Against Coal in WA State: 'BradCast' 5/17/16
Sierra Club's Mary Anne Hitt on another huge win for grassroots activism; And corporate media fails us again...
'Green News Report' 5/17/16
Global climate protests ignored by MSM; New evacuations for Ft. McMurray fire; New EPA methane rules; Shell spills in Gulf; A win for whales; PLUS: April 2016 hottest ever...
MO Repubs Seek To State Amendment To Impose Photo ID Voting Restrictions
Some state Dems back 'compromise' that will leave 200k legally registered voters at risk of disenfranchisement...
SCOTUS Punts ObamaCare Case; NV Dems Descends Into Chaos: 'BradCast' 5/16/16
Ian Millhiser on Court's latest unprecedented (post-Scalia) move; Chaos at NV state Dem convention...
Sunday Toons of the Moment
Big Government bathroom inspections in NC, Trump and Sanders shaking up the establishment, and more in PDiddie's collection of the week's best political toons...
Strange Days Indeed: 'BradCast' 5/13/16
Oil Spills; Pathological Trump lies; GOP transgender freak outs; EXCLUSIVE details on MD's decertification of Baltimore's 4/26 Primary Election results...
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: Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk Dean Logan
Also: Ashley Beck, Orange County, CA pollworker-in-training, calls in to respond to Orange County's response to us about her viral video describing incorrect training instructions...
By Brad Friedman on 5/25/2016 6:03pm PT  

On today's BradCast, I'm joined by Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk Dean Logan to discuss a blizzard of questions, concerns and confusion faced by voters here in CA in advance of the state's highly-charged June 7 Presidential Primary in the nation's single largest voting jurisdiction. [Audio link for the complete show is posted below.]

Logan describes the new laws and systems in place for this year's election as as "uncharted territory" for voters. He goes on to respond to a pile of questions --- from both me and callers --- about the state's insanely confusing system of both open and closed partisan primaries, as well as Vote-by-Mail issues and misconceptions, and a number of concerns about voter registration purges, poll worker training and much more. Here in Los Angeles we have nearly 5 million registered voters --- more in this county alone than 42 of the 50 states. So, Logan clearly has his work cut out for him. The number of excellent questions from listener callers alone underscores both that point and the amazing number of moving pieces that will need to be held together to avoid disaster on June 7th.

The County Clerk also speaks to a lot of the misinformation that has circulated, of late, concerning CA elections in general and about Los Angeles County specifically. For example, he tells me that 85% of Provisional Ballots in the last general election were, in fact, confirmed as having been cast by properly registered voters and were included in the final tally. Yes, he says, voters registered with "No Party Preference" in California can vote in the Democratic Presidential Primary, but must request a "Democratic Cross-Over" ballot at the precinct or by mail (if they receive a Vote-by-Mail ballot request by March 31). Yes, a "No Party Preference" VBM voter may still vote at the precinct in the Democratic, Libertarian or American Independent Party primaries, even if they've already received a VBM ballot for a different party, so long as that ballot is surrendered at the polling place on Election Day. No, those NPP voters cannot vote in the Republican, Green, or Peace & Freedom Party primaries, which are closed to all but registered party members.

Frankly, there's too much to summarize here. So, please give the show a listen. It's incredibly informative.

Also, today, I share the response I recently obtained from Orange County, CA Registrar of Voters Neal Kelley, concerning a viral video posted by a pollworker-in-training (and Bernie Sanders supporter), who alleges that she was misinstructed by her trainer on the proper procedures for "No Party Preference" voters who might wish to vote in the Democratic Primary. Kelley told me he was confused by the woman's video, because, he says, they "surveyed many poll workers in the class in question, as well as our trainer, and they have a very different view of the interaction" she discusses on the video. He tells me that, "in an abundance of caution" the County has reiterated the proper procedures to all pollworker trainers and have posted a video that "clairifes our efforts to ensure proper training of the rights and options for NPP voters".

And then, the woman who posted that viral video, Ashley Beck, happened to call in to the show with her own response to Kelley's response!

It all made for very lively radio today --- with all of that and much more, including today's breaking news about alleged violations of provisions of the Federal Records Act by Hillary Clinton, according to a new audit of her use of a private email server, issued by the U.S. State Department's independent Inspector General.

Listen up! (And, please note, we'll have guest hosts in for The BradCast over the next couple of days! Be nice to them! And enjoy!)

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

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Guest: Washington Monthly's David Atkins | Plus: Sanders files for KY 'recanvass' and good news for OH voters!...
By Brad Friedman on 5/24/2016 4:42pm PT  

On today's BradCast, the Bernie Sanders campaign files for a 'recanvass' of Kentucky's exceedingly close May 17th Democratic Primary; Some very good news for voters out of a federal court in Ohio; And an explanation for why Democrats in California should be thanking the Vermont Senator for staying in the race through the Golden State's Presidential Primary on June 7th. [Audio link to show is posted below.]

First up, as Washington state Republicans hold their Primary today (with no surprises expected, even as we explain how one could occur), we report on the breaking news of Sanders' request for a "recanvass" in Kentucky, where Hillary Clinton reportedly defeated him by just 1,924 votes --- less than one-half of 1% out of nearly half a million votes cast --- last week, according to the computer-tallied results. We explain how a "recanvass" is decidedly different from a "recount", and how it remains the case that, thanks to the number of votes cast in the Bluegrass State on 100% unverifiable touch-screen voting systems, we can never actually know who the voters really preferred there. The "recanvass", scheduled for this Thursday, is unlikely to change that or the reported results, as it will largely be little more than a review of the already-existing electronic tally.

Then, a federal court in Ohio finds the shortening of the Early Voting period and "Golden Week" (a period of time when Buckeye State voters used to be able to both register to vote and cast a ballot on the same day) by state Republicans, is in violation of Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act as well as the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. The U.S. District Court has ordered those days to be restored for the General Election, even as this case and a number of others filed by Democrats and voting rights advocates around the country may be headed to the U.S. Supreme Court, where the vacancy that Republicans refuse to fill is likely to result in continuing chaos and confusion over U.S. voting rights.

Next, I'm joined by David Atkins of Washington Monthly, to discuss at least two reasons why, despite so much whining from Democratic Party establishment apparatchiks, it remains very important for Democrats, both in California and nationally, that Sanders remains in the Presidential race at least through the party's Primary on June 7. Atkins explains how the contest has helped lead to skyrocketing voter registrations for Democrats out here and, as importantly, how the state's "Top Two" primary system could results in disaster for a number of U.S. House races if Dem turnout is depressed. Sanders, Atkins argues, is doing the party a tremendous favor by staying in and continuing to fight the good fight.

He also goes on to ring in on the internecine battle between Sanders and Clinton supporters and on whether he believes the party will ever be able to survive its latest outbreak of (sometimes "messy") democracy.

Finally, Desi Doyen joins us for the latest Green News Report, which includes, among much more, evidence that, while Donald Trump claims to believe climate change is a "hoax", his very own companies believe otherwise...

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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Also: Climate disaster in Sri Lanka; CT institutes automatic voter registration; Federal judge orders KS to restore voting rights to 18,000...
By Brad Friedman on 5/18/2016 5:59pm PT  

Yes, the Democratic Primary cycle continues to continue, as Bernie Sanders wins in Oregon, obtains a "virtual tie" with Hillary Clinton in Kentucky, and the less-than-transparent electoral process in both states triggers more cries of "election fraud!" from Sanders supporters.

On today's BradCast, we look at the results and the concerns about them (debunking some, though not all), along with several important breaking news items. [Audio link to the complete show is below.]

Before diving into Tuesday's primary, we start with the horrific climate change-related mudslides that have buried hundreds in Sri Lanka. Then, some encouraging news for all voters as Connecticut becomes the fifth state to institute automatic voter registration and as a federal judge orders GOP "voter fraud" fraudster and Kansas Sec. of State Kris Kobach to restore full voting rights to 18,000 state voters "suspended" by Kobach's "proof of citizenship" requirement.

Then, the battle between Clinton and Sanders grinds on through two more primary states, with Sanders earning a reported 12 point victory in OR, while battling to a reported margin of less than one-half-of-one percent in KY and vowing to stay in the race through the July convention. We warned earlier this week about the possibilities of a close race in KY, where the state (shamefully) still uses enough 100% unverifiable touch-screen voting systems that it will now be impossible to know who the voters actually hoped to be the winner. The same was true, as we reported at the time, after the Missouri Primaries on both the Republican and Democratic sides, and the same is true in KY whether Clinton or Sanders ultimately end up being declared the official winner in the Bluegrass State. As of airtime today, though AP has appropriately refused to call the state, Clinton is reportedly ahead of Sanders by just under 2,000 votes.

But throughout Primary night on Tuesday, and continuing today, concerns of "fraud" are being heard very loudly from Sanders supporters once again. Some of their concerns are justified, as we explain. Others are decidedly not. For example, some news outlets irresponsibly reported "More than 76 reports of election fraud from 31 counties were called into the Kentucky Attorney General's hotline". That is incorrect. (Happily WSAZ NewsChannel 3 has finally modified their initial bad reporting. Others, like Bipartisan Report, have not.)

Other concerns we examine are from Pike County, KY, where results were, in fact, "zeroed out" for a time last night, resulting in thousands of "disappearing" votes for both Sanders and Clinton, as well as 11,000 thousands votes said to have been added to Clinton's totals in Marion County, OR. (Evidence suggests a typo by AP, as I explain on today's show.) Some concerns, however, for example the evidence from little-known Democratic candidate Rocky de la Fuente suggesting some of his votes simply vanished in recent Democratic contests in NH, MI and SC, cannot be so easily explained away.

We cover, explain and/or debunk all of those concerns and more on today's BradCast, before closing out with our latest Green News Report and the hottest April ever recorded (the 12th such month in a row to set such a record)...

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: Constitutional law expert and author, Ian Millhiser...
By Brad Friedman on 5/16/2016 6:24pm PT  

On today's BradCast, the U.S. Supreme Court's remarkable decision to punt on a 'religious freedom' case (for now) following the death of Scalia, and all hell breaks lose in Vegas over the weekend as Sanders supporters clash with party officials at the Nevada State Democratic Convention.

First up, some very encouraging news today about renewable energy use over the weekend in Germany. Everything else today is not quite as encouraging, beginning with SCOTUS' extraordinary decision to not decide Zubik v. Burwell, a case related to the Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare)'s mandate requiring contraceptive coverage by employers or health insurers.

Constitutional law expert Ian Millhiser, author of Injustices: The Supreme Court's History of Comforting the Comfortable and Afflicting the Afflicted, joins us to explain the Court's latest "punt", sending the case back to the lower courts in search of a compromise, and in hopes of avoiding another 4 to 4 split decision on the High Court as they wait for Republicans in Congress to fill the vacancy left on the Court in the wake of Justice Antonin Scalia's death in February.

Millhiser details both the case itself and the Court's 3-page non-opinion opinion [PDF] today which will, for the moment anyway, help to save access to birth control for thousands of women. He also describes why the Court made the ruling, the havoc that is expected to come from it, and why it underscores, yet again, the desperate need for a 9th Justice on the Court, despite the Senate GOP's unprecedented decision to block hearings on any nominee from President Obama.

Then, speaking of healthcare, while Sanders' policy for a single-payer universal healthcare program remains more popular than the policies of both Clinton and Trump, his supporters are growing increasingly frustrated with what they regard as unfair treatment by the Democratic Party establishment.

That frustration turned to fury over the weekend in Las Vegas, where the Democrats' state party delegate nominating convention devolved into chaos as a number of Sanders supporters were disqualified, party officials denied parliamentary procedure on rules amendments, and officials from the County Sheriff's office were brought in to clear the room as the convention was gavelled to a premature close. All in a huge fight over what might have resulted in 2 more Sanders delegates at the national convention in July.

We try to make sense of all of that (wish us luck!), before offering a preview of tomorrow's Presidential Primary elections in both Kentucky and Oregon...

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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By Brad Friedman on 5/13/2016 4:51pm PT  

It's getting stranger and stranger around here. On today's BradCast, I find myself a momentary bedfellow with both lobbyists and the pharmaceutical industry. But it won't last for long.

Among the stories covered on today's program [audio link posted below]...

  • Tens of thousands of gallons of crude oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico (again). But Shell Oil is on the job, so why worry?;
  • Speaking of oily, perhaps the plainest (if most bizarre) evidence yet that Donald Trump is a pathological liar, and why that actually matters;
  • Exclusive details from the head of Maryland's State Elections Board, on the specific "irregularities" that triggered Thursday's remarkable decertification of election results from Baltimore in the state's April 26 Primary Election;
  • The Obama Administration advises school districts across the nation on the rights of transgender students, and wingnut Republicans in Texas predictable freak out, even as GOP lawmakers in North Carolina allegedly threaten businesses and lobbyists;
  • Pfizer blocks the use of its drugs for executions in the U.S.;
  • And, finally, listeners ring in on our recent episode on the FDA's deadly new regulations for the vaping (e-cigarette) industry that run counter to scientists and doctors, but benefit Big Tobacco, Big Pharma and make it harder for smokers to quit smoking...

Strange days, indeed...

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: HuffPo columnist, UNH asst. professor Seth Abramson
Also: MD decertifies Baltimore primary results; Obama Admin issues historic new methane rules; GOP leadership comes together behind Trump...
By Brad Friedman on 5/12/2016 6:03pm PT  

Is there still a realistic path for Bernie Sanders to secure the Democratic Party's Presidential nomination? My guest today on The BradCast says "Yes!" and explains how it would, could and, in his opinion, should happen. [Audio link for show is at end of article.]

But first, some breaking news as the state of Maryland decertifies the results of the April 26th primary election in Baltimore, due to a number of troubling and currently unexplained "irregularities" brought to their attention by Election Integrity advocates; The Obama Administration issues historic new regulations concerning the release of methane which, our own Desi Doyen describes as "a very big deal"; And Donald Trump and Paul Ryan meet to smooth over disagreements as the GOP continues to coalesce behind their presumptive Republican nominee.

Then, I'm joined by Huffington Post columnist, attorney, author and University of New Hampshire Asst. Professor Seth Abramson to discuss his latest column headlined: "Bernie Sanders Could Still Win the Democratic Nomination --- No, Seriously".

Abramson offers a persuasive, if provocative scenario, for how the Democratic Party may end up nominating Bernie Sanders at their convention this July in Philadelphia, particularly if he keeps winning primaries between now and mid-June and more bad polls --- like recent ones from Reuters and from Quinnipiac --- show her tied with or losing to Trump in head-to-head matchups both nationally and in key swing-states like Ohio, Pennsylvania and Florida.

To understand his argument, you must also understand why the Democrats instituted their system of unpledged "Super Delegates" consisting of party insiders and elected officials in the first place. He offers the history of how that system came about following the party's contested 1980 convention, and explains why the Party may come to decide this year that it's the right time to invoke that system for the purpose for which it was originally created.

"The only time that Super Delegates are activated," Abramson explains, "the only time that they really matter, and they're actually doing something other than just showing up to the convention and validating what's already happened, is when they are in fact contradicting the will of the popular vote and the delegate count, and are voting down a presumptive nominee. The reason they would do that is the same reason they would have wanted to do that in 1980, and that's if they think that the presumed nominee cannot win the fall election."

Abramson, a long-time Sanders supporter, details the specific, if plausible scenario he says would need to unfold over the next several weeks of remaining Primaries and how, as he argues, "I don't think it at that point it becomes a question of whether the Super Delegates would change their [support for Clinton]...The only question is how many of them would." In his scenario, he says, party insiders will be forced to ask themselves what needs to be done to avoid electing Trump to the White House, who he describes as "one of the most dangerous politicians ever to run for office in American history."

But what about rejecting the collective popular will of Democratic Party primary and caucus voters in such a scenario? What of the early states that initially supported Clinton in such huge numbers? And what of the arguments that the Sanders campaign has made in the past concerning the undemocratic nature of so-called Super Delegates? Tune in for Abramson's responses to all of those questions and more!

Finally today, we close out once again with another explosive edition of the Green News Report...

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

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While we post The BradCast here every day, and you can hear it across all of our great affiliate stations and websites, to automagically get new episodes as soon as they're available sent right to your computer or personal device, subscribe for free at iTunes, Stitcher, TuneIn or our native RSS feed!
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Guest: Vape shop owner Chris Hughes of Smoke Free Alternatives
Also: Trump beating, tied with Clinton in key swing-states; Philippines elects own 'Trump'...
By Brad Friedman on 5/10/2016 4:48pm PT  

On today's BradCast, voters head to the polls in West Virginia and Nebraska; The Philippines elects its own version of Trump (but worse); and the FDA issues deadly new rules that may wipe out an industry and help kill hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of American. [Link to full audio below.]

First up, it's Primary Election day again, this time in West Virginia and Nebraska (Republicans only). In WV, many voters will be forced to vote once again on 100% unverifiable touch-screen systems, though Donald Trump tells voters not to vote at all, at least until the general election. At the same time, new polling from Quinnipiac [PDF] shows Hillary Clinton virtually tied with or losing to Trump in three key swing-states (OH, FL and PA), while Sanders outpaces Clinton in each, beating Trump in all three crucial states.

Meanwhile, in elections overseas, London elects its first Muslim as Mayor, though he's worried he may not be able to visit other Mayors in the U.S. if Trump becomes President and, in The Philippines, it looks as if they have elected a new President who is even more disturbing than Donald Trump. So, yes, it can happen.

Then: the FDA issues insane new rules for electronic cigarette and e-liquid manufacturers which could end up killing the vaping industry that is currently helping to prevent the tobacco-related deaths of some 500k Americans each year. Chris Hughes, President of the PA Chapter of the Smoke Free Alternatives Trade Association, and owner of the Fat Cat Vapor Shop, explains the new onerous regulations and how Democrats are supporting them despite scientists and experts, such as those at UK's Royal College of Physicians who recently announced: "in the interests of public health it is important to promote the use of e-cigarettes...as widely as possible as a substitute for smoking."

If the misguided FDA rules are finalized, it could cost as much as $1 million to receive approval for every single vaping product, e-liquid flavor (including each level of nicotine). The only companies likely to afford that process are the Big Tobacco companies that the bulk of the vaping industry is hoping to put out of business. In turn, millions of folks who have quit smoking by moving to vaping (which has almost none of the dangers of tobacco cigarettes) are likely to begin smoking again. "People smoke for the nicotine but die from the tar," explains Hughes, adding, "there are over 7,000 chemicals in cigarette smoke. And many of them act in concert with nicotine to make it more addictive." That is not the case for vaping products!

As someone who, thanks to vaping, was able to quit the deadly habit after decades of smoking myself, this is a very disturbing development. It's made even more disturbing by the particular big name Democrats (some of the otherwise best Dems --- Hughes names names!) who support the new regulations that will only help both Big Tobacco and, as Hughes notes, "the same giant pharmaceutical corporations that make nicotine patches, lozenges and gums [and inhalers!] and view my business, and thousands of other small businesses in the country, as competitors."

"This plan, if its fully implemented," he says, "will close every vape shop like mine in the United States. The only other thing we can say certainly will happen is smoking rates will skyrocket again across all demographics. There are currently over 9 million adults using these products regularly in the U.S. and those people will seek an alternative product. The alternative for them may be to go back to smoking in many instance. Half of those people will die prematurely as a result of smoking. And that's the catastrophe."

While I try to contain my rage here, even in writing this item, Hughes suggests those who would like to support the effort to kill smoking by saving vaping should stop by the Consumer Advocates for Smoke-free Alternatives Association (CASAA.org). They offer a number of things you can do immediately. He also suggest you "call your representatives and tell them --- politely --- that you feel very strongly that the Senators should re-evaluate their stance on vapor products."

Finally, Desi Doyen joins us for the latest Green News Report with disturbing climate change news and, thankfully, even a bit of hope...

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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By Brad Friedman on 5/6/2016 5:06pm PT  

From Trump's taco bowl to the nation's vital and crumbling infrastructure --- are the corporate media up to the task of adequately informing the U.S. electorate in one of the most crucial election years in our history? Signs aren't encouraging.

Today on The BradCast, why gleeful Democrats and Hillary Clinton supporters are nuts to be celebrating and underestimating the presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump. Multiple recent polls, today's breaking news, our nation's recent history, pathetic corporate media coverage, a flawed and vulnerable front-runner and an incredibly frail electoral system should give Dems serious pause.

In the meantime, President Obama's comments on Trump, our aging infrastructure crisis and anti-government sentiment at a press briefing in Washington D.C. on Friday and in Flint, MI on Wednesday are cause for reflection on the notion of good government of, by, and for 'we, the people'.

And then Desi Doyen joins us for what may be our grimmest Green News Report ever before we finish up today with a laugh, some good and bad news about "Boaty McBoatface", and a bit of listener mail...

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Guest: Missouri state Sen. Bob Onder (R)...
By Brad Friedman on 5/3/2016 4:21pm PT  

On today's BradCast, as voters head to the polls for the big Presidential Primary in Indiana --- where many of them will again cast 100% unverifiable votes on touch-screen voting systems --- a Republican State Senator from Missouri joins us to explain his bill to do away with such systems in the Show-Me State. [Link to audio of the show at bottom of article.]

In April, St. Louis County held a disastrous local primary election in which, for the first time in years, they used only paper ballots at the polling places, since election officials said they did not have enough time, following the state's Presidential Primary in March, to reprogram the County's touch-screen systems. The County has long given voters the option to vote on hand-marked, optically-scanned paper ballots or on unverifiable touch-screen systems, with more and more voters choosing paper, even as local election officials encouraged them to vote on the oft-failed, easily-manipulated touch-screen machines.

The April disaster occurred when the County's co-Election Directors (one Democrat and one Republican, both of whom have gone on record to state they love the touch-screens and regard them as virtually infallible) failed to provide the correct paper ballots to some 60 precincts. There are now multiple ongoing investigations into the disaster from the state level on down. The Democratic Director has now been suspended and the Republican has tendered his resignation.

It's hardly the first time St. Louis County has screwed up their elections, but those human errors can be corrected with competent personnel. What can never be corrected is the fact that, for example, in the state's Presidential Primary in March, the reported margins of victory were so small (just over a thousand votes on each side), and the number of votes cast on unverifiable touch-screens in MO so large, that it is impossible to know if Trump actually beat Cruz on the Republican side and if Clinton actually beat Sanders on the Democratic side. Not a great way to run elections in the once-key swing state of Missouri.

Republican state Senator Bob Onder joins me on today's program to discuss his bill (SB 771) that calls for doing away with the state's touch-screen voting systems all together. Acknowledging the recent paper ballot foul-ups, Onder explains why the touch-screens are still worse: "you can't audit an electron."

"Only with a paper ballot can we have an auditable, verifiable record of a voter's intent as he or she casts a vote and exercises their most sacred privilege in our democratic republic, which is the right to vote," he says, going on to recall another local election in 2014 "in which the margin was very tight" and where "the loser in that election" is "not really sure he lost."

The GOP's Asst. Majority Floor Leader in the State Senate tells me about the various obstacles his legislation is facing, including from the state's Democratic Secretary of State Jason Kander who, he says, "is a big fan of electronic voting machines" and "an enemy of paper ballots."

It's a fascinating and encouraging conversation over all...at least until we discuss the MO Republicans' continuing push for disenfranchising Photo ID voting restrictions in the state, which Onder, unfortunately, supports (though apparently based on fraudulent information provided to him by some notorious GOP "voter fraud" hucksters, as I explain during the program.)

But, hey, we'll take what we can get! And if Republicans are willing to work with the long-time Election Integrity champions at Missourians for Honest Elections on the issue of banning touch-screens, I'll take it! We can try to get Dems on board and fight with Republicans about everything else on another day.

Also on today BradCast: Republican officials in WI and in KS continue their effort to suppress the vote and Desi Doyen joins us for the latest Green News Report' with good news for lions, elephants and children, but not so good for opponents of fracking...

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Plus: Obama's mic drop White House Correspondents Dinner remarks...
By Brad Friedman on 5/2/2016 5:28pm PT  

Today on The BradCast, we catch up on a number of stories --- amusing, disturbing and otherwise --- from late last week, over the weekend, and today, in advance of tomorrow's big Primary election in Indiana. [Audio link to the show follows below.]

Among the stories covered on today's program...

  • Satan's minions are offended by the comparison of Lucifer to Ted Cruz;
  • Last week's outbreak of mass shootings around the country surpassed the number killed in similar shootings in all of Europe for the entire year;
  • The GOP promises legal push-back against the VA Democratic Governor's executive order last week allowing some 200,000 former felons the right to register and vote;
  • Dumb Democrats gleeful about a Clinton "landslide" if Trump wins the GOP nomination (Talking to you, Rob Reiner!);
  • Bernie Sanders believes there will be a "contested" Democratic Presidential nominating convention this summer.
  • The U.S. Supreme Court's (somewhat encouraging?) order late last week on the TX Republicans' unlawful Photo ID voting law;
  • Senate Democrats call for their Republican counterparts to hold hearings on the Voting Rights Act (before millions of more legal voters are disenfranchised this November), as well as on Obama's nominee to the Supreme Court;
  • And finally, a few words on the White House Correspondents Dinner over the weekend, which is, on the whole, a dreadful affair, some excerpts from Obama's amusing final speech there, and the fisticuffs that broke out afterward.

Also, my great thanks to the awesome Danielle and Shane-O from the Thom Hartmann Program for expertly filling in for Desi and me on Friday! Thanks, guys!

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Guest: Election integrity advocate Emily Levy on AuditAZ suit in Phoenix
Plus: DE State Election Commissioner's response to 4,000 'lost' Sanders votes...
By Brad Friedman on 4/28/2016 6:53pm PT  

On today's BradCast, the "election nightmares" continue. We get an explanation, of sorts, about the mysterious "disappearing" Sanders votes in Sussex County, DE on Tuesday night, and one of the two lawsuits filed after Maricopa County (Phoenix), AZ's disastrous March 22nd Primary is dismissed by a local judge.

First up, after a bit of happy news for voters in Vermont and some more Luciferian news for the GOP, we continue to mop up from the ongoing 2016 Primary Election messes, as questions about the reported results in Arizona and Delaware (among many other states) remain.

Thousands of Bernie Sanders votes appeared to "disappear" in Sussex County, DE during tabulation of Tuesday's Primary (as described on yesterday's show). We finally receive an answer or two from the Delaware State Elections Commissioner Elaine Manlove about what might have happened. In short, without saying so directly, she chalks up the apparent disappearance of some 4,000 reported votes --- as captured via results screenshots from Washington Post, The Guardian and elsewhere --- to a clerical human error by the Associated Press, from whom many media outlets take their numbers on Election Night.

While her explanation --- which I share in full on the show --- has the ring of truth to it, the fact is that DE uses 100% unverifiable Direct Recording Electronic (DRE, usually touch-screen) systems across the entire state. And, as her answers make clear, while certain FOIAs can be filed, there is really no way for voters to ever know that any of the reported results from Tuesday actually reflect the will of the voters. Tune in for the complete details and explanation and, yet again, why DRE voting machines can never satisfy a justifiably skeptical public hoping to be able to oversee their own public elections.

Then, I'm joined by longtime election integrity champion Emily Levy, who worked with the transpartisan EI group AUDIT-AZ on the lawsuit filed just after Arizona's disastrous March 22nd Primary, when voters across Maricopa County (Phoenix) faced hours long lines to vote. The problems occurred after County Recorder Helen Purcell radically decreased the number of polling places from 211 in 2012, to just 60 this year. The suit also sought to obtain answers to reports by some voters that registrations had mysteriously switched from Democratic to independent (thus, preventing those voters from casting a normal ballot in the state's closed Primary).

After two days of disturbing testimony "in a courtroom packed with voters and elections officials," including Purcell, Maricopa County Superior Court Judge David Gass dismissed the case on the basis that plaintiffs didn't offer proof that the election results would be overturned if they were allowed to proceed with discovery and a full trial.

Levy tells me the judge failed to rule on the Constitutional issues raised in the suit, and focused only on the state's Election Code "which apparently requires that we be able to --- in the 5 days we have between certification of the election and the deadline to file a case --- prove exactly what the problems were, and that they would have affected the outcome of the election."

"The election code really needs to be changed, because we need to have the ability to contest elections in meaningful ways," she says, adding: "I've seen the same thing in other states." As have I. Both the AZ and DE stories discussed on today's show underscore why it's so important to get election procedures and processes right before an election, rather than waiting until afterword, when it's generally too late to do anything about it. It's also another reminder why the Voting Rights Act --- which used to allow for that in some locations, like Maricopa --- needs to be restored after being gutted by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2013.

In the meantime, the legal complaint filed by the DNC, as joined by both the Clinton and Sanders campaign, along with a separate investigation by the DoJ, both continue to move forward. AUDIT-AZ's official response to the dismissal is posted, along with declarations and other documents from the case, on their website, ElectionNightmares.com.

Finally, we close today with Donald Trump going "nuclear" over climate and much more in our latest Green News Report' with Desi Doyen...

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Plus: 'Serial child molester' Hastert sentenced; Encouraging green news; And listener calls...
By Brad Friedman on 4/27/2016 5:39pm PT  

On today's BradCast, following the Northeastern Primaries on Tuesday in PA, CT, MD, DE and RI, the 2016 cycle gets even stranger, if that's even possible. But, first, the longest serving Republican U.S. House Speaker in U.S. history is sentenced to 15 months in prison for a crime related to being a "serial child molester," according to the judge.

74-year old former Rep. Dennis Hastert (R-IL) will serve more than a year in jail after pleading guilty in a hush-money case related to payments to one of his 14-17 year old victims during the time he served a high school wrestling coach years earlier. "Nothing is worse than using serial child molester and Speaker of the House in the same sentence," U.S. District Judge Thomas Durkin said during today's sentencing in Chicago, marking yet another shameful disgrace from the years of GOP control of Congress during the Presidencies of Bill Clinton and George W. Bush.

Then, as if the 2016 Presidential race couldn't get any more bizarre, imaginary GOP nominee Ted Cruz today named his imaginary Vice-Presidential running mate, who promptly broke into song. Really.

Then, results from Donald Trump's reported crushing landslide victories in five states yesterday, Hillary Clinton's huge reported wins in four of those five states, what Bernie Sanders plans to do do now, and some concerns about the accuracy of Tuesday's reported results (some debunked, some not.)

Then, phone calls from listeners on all of the above.

And, as if all of that's not enough, Desi Doyen joins us for the latest Green News Report on the 30th anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear meltdown and, other than that, some actually encouraging green news, believe it or not!

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

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Guest: GOP operative turned gay rights activist Fred Karger
By Brad Friedman on 4/26/2016 5:20pm PT  

Today on The BradCast, as voters head to the polls in MD, CT, RI, DE and PA (where there are already reports of problems on the state's 100% unverifiable touch-screen voting systems), some voters are petitioning NY for a partial hand-count of the paper ballots from last week's troubled Presidential Primary in the state. Meanwhile, blowback continues in NC against the state Republicans' pro-discrimination and anti-voting rights laws. [Audio link for the show is at bottom of article.]

The election season grinds on, with more lawsuits, legal investigations and challenges then I ever recall seeing at this point in the cycle. In New York, where last week's Presidential Primary was plagued with problems such as questionable voter purges, closed polling places and failed optical-scan computer tabulation systems, Election Justice USA, which filed a suit against NY the day before the DNC (and Clinton and Sanders campaigns) did so, is now calling for a partial hand-count of paper ballots across the state.

The group's petition cites those problems and others for the lack of confidence that many voters now have in the results as reported by NY's paper-ballot optical-scan computer tabulators which have failed in the past, as the NY Daily News found in 2012, to count an enormous percentage of ballots in some precincts. Their petition also includes a video clip from an award-winning 2008 documentary film, HOLLER BACK - [not] VOTING IN AN AMERICAN TOWN, in which I appeared discussing the reasons for hand-counting paper ballots, rather than merely trusting in oft-failed, easily hacked computer tabulators. (But its an excellent film anyway!)

I explain all of the above today, as well as why Bernie Sanders supporters are both overstating their current argument of "fraud" in the NY election, even as the lack of transparency in the state's electronic counting system leaves voters with every reason to have uncertainty in the computer-tallied results. (In somewhat related news, also discussed today, hand-counts in DuPage County, IL recently resulted in three different write-in candidates, 2 Republicans and 1 Democrat, being found to have won their races after originally being announced "losers" following last month's primary elections there.)

Also today, before moving on to our interview, a federal judge has upheld NC's massive voter restriction law which mandates Photo ID voting restrictions, bans same-day registration, restricts early voting and registration and much more. I've previously described that law, enacted by state Republicans just days after the U.S. Supreme Court gutted the Voting Rights Act, as "the most extreme anti-voter bill passed by any state since the Jim Crow Era." Opponents of the law, including the NAACP, ACLU and U.S. Dept. of Justice, have now appealed the District Court's 485-page ruling which argues that "there is little official discrimination" in NC anymore.

That ruling, by a George W. Bush appointed judge, is difficult to square with the state's GOP nominee for Attorney General, who told a crowd at a rally in support of NC's controversial anti-LGBT law yesterday that "we must fight to keep our state straight."

Joining us today to discuss that "deeply unpopular" law and others like it --- as well as massive blowback it has engendered for the state --- is gay rights activist, Fred Karger, a former GOP operative, campaign official for Presidents Reagan and Ford, and the first openly gay Presidential candidate. (His run for the 2012 Republican nomination is the subject of the documentary film FRED.)

On the heels of his successful campaign against CA's Prop 8, the Mormon Church and the National Organization for Marriage, Karger recently described at Huffington Post how boycotts can work against such measures. We discuss that, the continuing disintegration of his formerly Grand Old Party, and his thoughts on the reasons for the sudden spate of discriminatory laws, mostly in the South.

"I think it's because they're sore losers," he tells me. "It's not even been a year since the Supreme Court allowed marriage equality to be the law of the land in all fifty states. So we're seeing tens of thousands of very happy same-sex couples getting married. And there's a backlash because there are a lot of people very unhappy about that." He goes on to explain why GOP politicians, "when they're running for re-election or moving up for another post," see the gay and transgender community as "an easy target".

Finally today, we close today with a fascinating and previously unknown fact about the dearly departed Prince...

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

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GUEST: Doug Hughes has 'no regrets' in his fight for election reform
ALSO: 200k former felons re-enfranchised by executive order in VA; Former felons head to polls in MD; Brooklyn election official suspended; Good news on Earth Day...
By Brad Friedman on 4/22/2016 6:14pm PT  

On today's BradCast, 200k former felons get their voting rights back in Virginia, even as one protester for campaign finance reform loses his right to vote after being sentenced for a federal felony.

In a surprise announcement today, citing long-standing post-Civil War restrictions meant to keep African-American voters away from the ballot box, VA's Governor Terry McAuliffe (D) issued an executive order to re-enfranchise more than 200,000 former felons who have completed their prison sentences as well as their parole and probation periods. That good news comes even as former felons in Maryland are voting for the first time in decades, in advance of next week's primary, following that state legislative override of a veto by Gov. Larry Hogan (R).

Meanwhile, Brooklyn's top Board of Elections official is suspended amidst the NY Attorney General's new investigation into the still-unexplained purge of more than 100,000 Democratic voters in the months leading up to last Tuesday's disastrous Presidential Primary in NY.

Then, we are joined again by Florida postal worker Doug Hughes, who was sentenced on Thursday to four months in federal prison as part of a plea deal following his infamous demonstration for campaign finance reform last year when he landed his homemade gyrocopter on the lawn of the U.S. Capitol to raise awareness for the problem of money in politics following disastrous U.S. Supreme Court decisions like Citizens United and other related cases.

Hughes tells me, as he told the U.S. District Court Judge in federal court yesterday, that he has "no regrets" for his protest, despite the high costs he is being forced to pay, including, ironically enough, the loss of his voting rights in the state of Florida.

"I will never do this again, but I have no regrets over having done it," he says. "Judge Kotelly said my flight was a stunt. And it was a stunt, because it didn't change anything as far as the laws were concerned. It didn't do anything. Except it changed the perception that resistance is futile. People now believe that they can change [the campaign finance system], and a lot of people are getting engaged in changing it."

Hughes shares his thoughts on the 'Democracy Spring' protests for election and campaign finance reform that have resulted in more than 1,000 arrests over the past two weeks at the nation's capitol, even as the mainstream corporate media barely covered any of it. He describes his remarkable conversation with a CNN producer who called him yesterday after his sentencing. He says he told the CNN staffer that Democracy Spring protesters "were chanting 'Where is CNN?' You get thousands of people together and not a single CNN camera! There was no coverage of what was going on. I said, 'What kind of ghouls are running the organization that you've got to have to have somebody dead before the media will cover it?'"

The colorful and impassioned Hughes also comments on the absurdity of big banks and other major corporations getting away with tax-deductible financial settlements for actual crimes (including murder), while their executives get off scot-free. But, he argues, there is a way to change what seems like an unbeatable system, and he says it involves taking on both Democrats and Republicans alike in primary elections if they refuse to join forces to move campaign finance reform forward. "Like 4% of the population of any district is more than enough to beat the incumbent in the primary."

There is much more to hear from my discussion with Hughes (his website is here if you'd like to help him), before I am finally joined by Desi Doyen with our latest Green News Report. This one, on Earth Day --- and a very significant one at that...

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

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GUEST: John Opdycke of OpenPrimaries.org | PLUS: Prince dead at 57; 'Outrage' over Harriet Tubman; Paper ballots finally return to MD...
By Brad Friedman on 4/21/2016 5:57pm PT  

On today's BradCast: Tragic breaking news, ridiculous wingnut 'outrage', good news for Maryland voters, and, perhaps, a better way to nominate public officials. [Audio link to the full show is posted below.]

First up, coverage of the shocking loss of musical icon Prince, whose death today at age 57 at his home in Minnesota has stunned the world; Then, Rightwing "outrage" about U.S. President Andrew Jackson, the racist, slave holding, "genocidal maniac" (as Desi Doyen describes him today, with good reason) being replaced on the $20 bill by African-American abolitionist and former slave Harriet Tubman; And some (hopefully) good news about next week's Presidential Primary elections in MD, where voters will, for the first time in more than 15 years, finally be allowed to vote on hand-marked paper ballots instead of 100% unverifiable touch-screen voting machines.

[Some of our exclusive reporting referenced on today's show in regard MD's Diebold touch-screen systems: "DIEB-THROAT" (2005), MD's SAIC Report (2006), MD Election Director storms out of interview (2008), Argonne Lab's remote Diebold hack (2011)]

Then, I'm joined by John Opdycke, President of OpenPrimaries.org, for a fascinating discussion about the anti-democratic (small "d") problem of primary nomination contests that are closed to non-party affiliated voters. The conversation kicks off following concerns about Tuesday's primary in New York, where voters faced voter registration purges and other problems at the polling place, along with the nation's earliest voter deadline for changing party affiliation in order to be allowed to participate in the state's closed primary elections. (Voters had to change party affiliation by October 9th of last year to be able to vote in this year's Presidential Primary on April 19th!)

Opdycke explains why shutting non-party affiliated voters out of the process is of particular concern in primaries that are run with tax-payer funding and resources. But, he explains, the problem is larger than that. "This is a very serious question. Who does the political process belong to? Does the process itself belong to the people, or does it belong to the political parties? Right now, our democracy belongs lock, stock and barrel to the political parties, from top to bottom. And that is a very big problem and it is beginning to come to light."

"What the open primaries movement is pushing for is public primaries, not partisan primaries," he tells me, citing states like California, Nebraska and Washington that hold "Top Two" primaries (also known as "Cajun" or "Jungle" primaries) for many elected public offices, allowing candidates of all (or no) parties to compete against each other to run in the general election. "This is a fundamentally different conception of what a primary is. It's a public primary. Not a partisan primary."

While recognizing that political parties are private organizations with a First Amendment right to organize as they see fit, Opdycke explains how the result blocks people from the process and makes it nearly impossible to change the system. "They control the political process. They control the boards of elections. They control how redistricting is done. They control the primaries. They control voter registration. They control every aspect. They even control the Presidential debates. And we Americans, we've participated in that. We have in some ways ceded our power to these political organizations and I think the time has come to take that back. Not abolish political parties, but simply return them to an appropriate place."

He goes on to respond to various concerns and critiques of "Top Two" primary systems, as we have reported on them in years past (here and here, for example) at The BRAD BLOG, in what I hope is a very enlightening conversation and one that needs to be continued in the months and years ahead, all over the country.

Finally, we finish up with a much-needed laugh, courtesy of Stephen Colbert, on a day when we could all really use one...

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

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