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Latest Featured Reports | Monday, June 27, 2016
Brexit: If it Could Happen There...: 'BradCast' 6/24/16
Also: NC voter suppression back in court; TX spending millions on unlawful Photo ID law; Did NY voter purge hurt Sanders or Clinton more?; Climate change death toll rising in WV, China...
SCOTUS on Immigration, Aff-Action; Dems End Gun 'Sit-in': 'BradCast' 6/23/16
Constitutional law expert Ian Millhiser explains new Court rulings; and we cover far more breaking news than we can even fit here...
'Green News Report' 6/23/16
  w/ Brad & Desi
Last CA nuke plant will close; Judge nixes Obama's fracking rules; Study: Toxic chemicals found in residents near fracking sites; PLUS: Researchers turn carbon emissions into stone...
Previous GNRs: 6/21/16 - 6/16/16 - Archives...
FL Rep.: Dems to 'Sit-In' Until Vote or GOP 'Hauls People Off Floor': 'BradCast' 6/22/16
Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL) explains House protest, calls GOP shutdown of C-SPAN 'astonishing', lack of vote on guns 'disgusting'...
Was Orlando the 'Worst Mass Shooting in U.S. History?': 'BradCast' 6/21/16
Guest: USC historian Ariela J. Gross | ALSO: Trump's disastrous fundraising numbers; New polls; And our 700th 'Green News Report'!...
'Green News Report' 6/21/16
  w/ Brad & Desi
OUR 700TH EPISODE!!! Record heat in S.W.; CA snowpack gone; Bernie wants YOU to fight climate change; PLUS: Obama warns climate change coming for national parks...
Previous GNRs: 6/16/16 - 6/14/16 - Archives...
About That 'Stolen' Democratic Primary: 'BradCast' 6/20/16
Plus: Sanders' call for progressive candidates, the GOP/NRA/Trump lies and obstruction on guns, and more evidence elections matter...
Sunday Keepin' Bear Toons
As you might imagine, the nation's political cartoonists have a few thoughts following Orlando. 'PDiddie' rounds up the best of them on that topic and more at the end of Primary season...
Broken Party; Bernie's Message; Hillary Rising: 'BradCast' 6/17/16
A year into Trump and GOP wheels are now off. Meanwhile, Sanders 'revolution' could just be starting and 'red' states could turn 'blue'...
Former CDC Injury Chief on Federal Gun Research 'Ban': 'BradCast' 6/16/16
Dr. Mark Rosenberg explains his 1996 'Dickey Amendment' showdown w/ Congress, NRA; Also: Dem 'filibuster' forces Senate gun votes, Obama speaks to Orlando victims' families...
'Green News Report' 6/16/16
  w/ Brad & Desi
House GOP to roll back pollution standards; May 2016 was hottest on record; Clean Power Plan saves U.S. $38b/year; PLUS: Trump was for climate action before he was against it...
Previous GNRs: 6/14/16 - 6/9/16 - Archives...
Bullets and Ballots:
'BradCast' 6/15/16
The fights over both continue, after the Orlando Massacre and the end of Presidential primary voting following the D.C. Primary. We cover the latest on both, take listener calls, and more...
Nearing an End to SCOTUS' Willful Misinterpretation of the 2nd Amendment?
With carnage piling ever higher and the death of Scalia, the Court needs to overturn Heller...
It's the Guns, Stupid: Falling for Trump's 'Islam' Bait: 'BradCast' 6/14/16
Plus: D.C. Statehood and 'political slavery' with Anise Jenkins of FreeDC.org...
'Green News Report' 6/14/16
India PM in U.S. Congress; Bankrupt coal co. secretly funded deniers; U.S. coal use plunges; More oil cos. abandon Arctic; PLUS: Norway first to ban deforestation...
'An Act of Terror and Hate':
'BradCast' 6/13/2016
How the NRA and GOP fought to help assure the Orlando Massacre...
Sunday Toons of the Broken Glass Moment
'PDiddie' rounds up the week's best toons as Hillary rises, Sanders falls and Trump...gets trumped...
Should Sanders Quit?; L.A. Responds to Provisional Ballot Nos.: 'BradCast' 6/9/16
TPM's John Judis on history of convention floor fights; L.A. Election Chief on 240k provisional ballots...
'Green News Report' 6/9/16
S.F. adopts climate tax; Alberta, Canada adopts carbon tax; Congress updates toxic chem regs; Britain's solar crushes coal; PLUS: Artificial leaf breakthrough...
Special Coverage: CA, NJ, ND, SD, NM, MT Primary Results, Fallout & Voting Probs: 'BradCast' 6/8/16
PLUS: Bonus SECOND hour of calls from SoCal voters and poll workers, live from KPFK!
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: 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...

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: 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...

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

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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!

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: 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...

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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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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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: 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...

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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...

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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...

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PLUS: Accountability in Flint and for Volkswagen, Tubman on the $20, and listener calls on the latest state of the Democratic Presidential contest...
By Brad Friedman on 4/20/2016 5:34pm PT  

On today's BradCast we cover Tuesday's Presidential Primary in New York, from the reported results (huge margins for both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton), to concerns about the accuracy of results, to the multiple official probes that have now been promised by the state Attorney General and the NYC Comptroller.

Those officials have stated they plan to look into reported mass voter purges, failed tabulation computers and other completely predictable problems faced by voters at polling places in the Empire State yesterday.

We also open the phone lines to callers ringing in on those results and concerns, and where Democrats should (and shouldn't) go from here as the nomination race moves forward to PA, MD, DE, CT and RI next week and ultimately out here to CA in June.

Also today: Breaking news on criminal indictments in Flint, MI; a billion dollar settlement for Volkswagen; Harriet Tubman to replace Andrew Jackson on the $20 bill; the hottest March in recorded history in our latest Green News Report; and much more about which our own Desi Doyen has a word or three to share.

That's a very short description of a very busy program today, but I hope you'll give it a listen anyway!

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

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GUEST: HuffPo Washington Bureau Chief Ryan Grim...
By Brad Friedman on 4/19/2016 4:52pm PT  

On today's BradCast, voter head to the polls in the New York Presidential Primary and encounter yet another electoral mess, while down in Mississippi, the decades-long false 'promises' of the Prison Industrial Complex come back to bite local jurisdictions in the ass.

First up, it's like clockwork, and just as we predicted on yesterday's BradCast. As voting began today in NYC, reports of problems began immediately rolling in. Some of them, concerning vote-flipping, are complete hoaxes (which I won't link to, but I explain on the show), while others --- concerning tens of thousands of voters purged from the rolls in Brooklyn, optical-scan computer tabulators breaking down around the city, and polling places that failed to open on time --- are quite real and, once again, it is voters who are paying the price.

We'll have much more on those problems in the days ahead, I suspect, as reports have continued to emerge upstate and elsewhere, as predicted, since putting today's show to bed.

Then, we're joined by Huffington Post Washington Bureau Chief Ryan Grim on the newly emerging failures of the "conservative" budget scam concerning private prisons and reliance on the Prison Industrial Complex. With Republican unwillingness to raise taxes to increase revenue to pay for services, coupled with a decreasing prison population, some county and local budgets in Mississippi are now suddenly "devastated" thanks to broken promises from state officials.

"In the late 90s," Grim tells me, "the state was facing massive over-crowding issues as the era of mass incarceration was really hitting its peak and starting to plateau. The state reached out to the counties and said, we would love to help you build regional facilities, and we will then send you state prisoners. That's gravy for you. You got empty beds, we're going fill 'em, and every time we fill them you get money."

Those payments, however, didn't last. Grim has been reporting on how small towns and counties which fell for that scam and promises of high prison capacities are now unable to meet budget requirements, sometimes even for the most basic of services, as private for-profit prison companies continue to make money from tax-payers.

"Local officials are also talking quite openly about how this exposes the state and federal government's conservatism as bankrupt, and not true conservatism," Grim explains. That's also a problem which more and more states are discovering (hello, Kansas!) on a number of fronts as tax cuts and an unwillingness to raise taxes when necessary to meet budget shortfalls is now hurting many smaller jurisdictions around the country.

Speaking of folks who "fell for it", we finish up today with a bunch of Republican voters in a bunch of counties in one state who are now calling for seceding from the Union! Sounds good to me!...

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GUEST: Attorney Ernest A. Canning; Plus: Ecuador quake; Doha meeting; How Hillary campaign undermines fight to overturn 'Citizens United'...
By Brad Friedman on 4/18/2016 4:57pm PT  

On today's BradCast, we begin with a late update on the weekend's devastating earthquake in Ecuador and the failure of oil producing nations to reach an agreement to cut production (in hopes of raising worldwide oil prices).

Then, we move on to domestic politics, with Republican Presidential candidate Ted Cruz once again skunking Donald Trump out of another delegate contest over the weekend, this time in Wyoming, while concerns continue to emerge among Democrats about voting hours and "mysteriously switched" voter registrations in New York state in advance of Tuesday's big Presidential Primary there.

We've got some answers to at least some of those concerns from an election official or two in NY, which may ease concerns a bit...maybe...about voting hours not beginning until noon in many counties around the state tomorrow, and about what may be happening to some of those reported party affiliation changes on voter registrations in the Empire State.

Then, BradBlog.com legal analyst Ernest A. Canning joins us with updates from two states in the fight to overturn Republicans' unlawful, unconstitutional, disenfranchising Photo ID voting restrictions both in the state of Texas and in Wisconsin where, believe it or not, we've actually got a bit of good news from the courts!

Finally, Hillary Clinton's campaign undermines the Democrats' argument to overturn the Supreme Court's 2010 Citizens United decision. I explain that and much more on today's BradCast! Enjoy!

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From money in politics to criminal injustice to voter suppression, how can the U.S. fix its broken systems of politics, elections and governance?...
By Brad Friedman on 4/14/2016 5:29pm PT  

On today's BradCast, we catch up on a number of items in the news, almost all of which underscore a rigged system in the U.S. and the need to unrig it.

From the new effort by more than 100 bipartisan state Attorneys General to see former AL Gov. Don Siegelman (D) turned political prisoner receive a pardon from President Obama; to the obscene amount of corporate and billionaire cash now pouring into U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan's Republican campaign machine; to new lawsuits filed in Arizona by the DNC (with both the Clinton and Sanders camps joining), as well as by transpartisans charging voter suppression in the state's disastrous March 22nd primary; to remaining concerns about the results of recent Presidential nominating contests around the country.

All of those stories, including the increasingly loud insistence (whether supported by the evidence or not) from Sanders and Trump supporters who believe that both major political parties have "rigged" the Presidential nomination selection process against their favored candidates, underscore how the broken U.S. system desperately needs fixing.

So what to do about it? Some of our listeners have ideas, even ones I may or may not agree with. All of that and much more, including our latest Green News Report, on today's program...

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ALSO: More 'Democracy Spring' arrests; Death threats from Trump supporters; Listener calls on 'Bernie or Bust' and more...
By Brad Friedman on 4/13/2016 6:42pm PT  

Today on The BradCast, among a lot of other stuff, we have exclusive comment from the Wyoming state Democratic Party Executive Director in response to concerns from Bernie Sanders supporters about the reportedly large number of "surrogate" ballots cast for Hillary Clinton.

First up, after some 400 arrests at the nation's Capitol on Monday in response to peaceful "Democracy Spring" demonstrations to get money out of politics and for other electoral reforms, some 85 senior citizens were arrested on Tuesday during the second day of a scheduled week-long series of protests in Washington D.C.

Then, with Donald Trump declaring the nomination process is being "rigged" by his own Republican Party, reports of death threats and other intimidation tactics from Trump supporters begin to emerge.

Next, speaking of charges of "rigging" the nomination process, Bernie Sanders supporters over the past weekend were incensed after seeing a huge turnout for their candidate at the Wyoming caucuses, only to see their delegate count somewhat undercut by "surrogate" ballots cast by Hillary Clinton supporters. The two candidates ended up splitting the state's 14 pledged delegates 7 to 7, but claims of Clinton campaign "ballot box stuffing" with those surrogate forms were only exacerbated by a campaign aide who reportedly told CNN that their "secret sauce" was Wyoming's "onerous vote-by-mail rules that required anyone voting by mail to have voted as a Democrat in the 2014 midterms."

Surrogate (or vote-by-mail/absentee ballot) forms may only be cast by registered Democrats who say they are unable to attend the party's caucuses for one of several specific reasons, as listed on the surrogate form. There is nothing on the affidavit or on the party's website regarding that "onerous" rule about having voted in the 2014 midterms. So, after several days of phone and email tag, seeking an explanation from Aimee Van Cleave, the WY Dems' Executive Director, I was finally able to speak with her just before air today.

Her full explanation is on today's program, but, in short, she says CNN's explanation of that "rule" from the Clinton aide, was "a little bit correct, but mostly incorrect." Van Cleave tells me that the confusion comes from the state's statutory practice of purging voters from the rolls if they did not vote in the 2014 general election and then failed to respond to a "purge notice" sent by the state in 2015. Normally, Van Cleave explains, that's not a problem for voters, since the state has same-day registration on Election Day. That means anyone who has been purged can simply re-register and vote on the same day. But, for the caucuses, which the parties run, not the state --- and, as WY only allows County Clerks or their officials to register voters --- there is no voter registration at party caucuses. That means voters had to be registered as Democratic voters two weeks before the April 9th caucus in order to participate either in person or via a surrogate ballot.

To that end, she says, while the Clinton team was aggressive in their surrogate vote turnout effort, so was the Sanders camp. "If you look at the number of surrogate ballots received, the numbers between Clinton and remarkable close," Van Cleave says. According to her current estimates, Clinton received "just over 1,500" such votes, while Sanders received "just shy of 1,300". So, she says, the disparity between them was not as large as his supporters had claimed them to be over the weekend and in the days since the caucuses.

The party's Executive Director also tells me that, while they've always been a caucus state, "this is our first year testing out the surrogate vote system. It's a new thing for us and we have actually had wonderful positive feedback from people who would not otherwise have had their voices heard." She added: "Wyoming has a rather old population, so we have a lot of people who, for them, getting out for a caucus is not something that is easy to do."

I've got much more specific comment from Van Cleave during today's program in response to a number of related concerns from Sanders supporters.

Finally, we take a bunch of listener calls related to the above, and from those explaining why they think the "Bernie or Bust" idea is a good one, and then Desi Doyen joins for the latest Green News Report at the end of a very busy BradCast!...

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GUESTS: TYT's Jordan Chariton, Sputnik's Cassandra Fairbanks in D.C.
PLUS: Results, concerns from weekend's WY Dem caucuses, CO GOP convention...
By Brad Friedman on 4/11/2016 6:03pm PT  

On today's BradCast, hundreds of demonstrators were arrested today at the nation's Capitol during a peaceful sit-in protest demand reforms to the U.S. electoral system. Also today, we cover a number of other breaking news items and the weekend's Presidential nominating events, including results and concerns about the Democratic caucuses in WY and the Republican delegate convention in CO. [Audio link to show is below.]

First up, we check in with The Young Turks' reporter Jordan Chariton and Sputnik News' Cassandra Fairbanks outside the U.S. Capitol, just moments after some 400 "Democracy Spring" demonstrators, including our old friend Cenk Uygur of The Young Turks, were arrested while calling for a number of small "d" democratic reforms. Amongst the protestors' demands: Overturning the Supreme Court's infamous 2010 Citizens United ruling unleashing massive corporate spending in elections; modernization of America's ridiculous voter registration system; the creation of a public campaign financing system; and the restoration of the Voting Rights Act provision gutted in 2013 by SCOTUS. Protesters vow to continue demonstrations all week in D.C.

Then, breaking news on Goldman-Sachs' settlement with the U.S. Dept. of Justice for their part in the mortgage crisis that led to the global financial crisis in 2008 (spoiler: nobody goes to jail, though those sitting down to demonstrate for democracy in D.C. did); Another rock star cancels a concert in another GOP state that just approved discrimination against the LGBT community; and then we cover the results of the controversial Democratic caucuses held over the weekend in Wyoming and the GOP delegate convention in Colorado.

Our coverage of the weekend's nominating contests also includes a look at concerns from Sanders supporters about the WY results and from Trump supporters about the results almost everywhere. And finally, here's that amazing Boston Globe "President Trump" front page [PDF] they published for April 2017 over the weekend and their full description of it...

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

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