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Sens. Kennedy and Whitehouse Send Letter to DoJ Inspector General's Office Seeking Probe into RNC Voter Supression Tactics
Inquiry Into What Justice Officials Knew About Griffin's Vote Caging Activities When He Was Named as US Attorney for Arkansas
By Brad Friedman on 6/18/2007 4:28pm PT  

Senators Kennedy and Whitehouse have sent a letter to U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales demanding a probe by the DoJ's Office of the Inspector General and Office of Professional Responsibility into "allegations that the Republican National Committee engaged in 'vote caging' during the 2004 elections."

The letter, sent today to Gonzales, also requests an investigation into "whether any Department officials were aware of allegations that Tim Griffin had engaged in caging when he was appointed United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas, and whether appropriate action was taken."

The complete letter and a press release sent along with it are posted in full at the end of this article.

"The Republican Party has a long and ignominious record of caging – much of it focused on the African American community," Kennedy and Whitehouse explain in their letter which gives details of the RNC using voting caging tactics to suppress minority voters in both 1981 and 1986. After both incidents, the GOP had signed consent decrees that they would not engage in the activity in the future.

Nonetheless, email evidence has shown that in 2004, Tim Griffin created and sent caging lists on behalf of the Bush 2004 campaign as originally reported by the BBC to little American media fanfare, prior to the election. Griffin, who became an aide to Karl Rove, was later appointed by the Bush Administration as the US Attorney from Arkansas after they had fired Bud Cummins. Griffin has since resigned from the post in the wake of the scandal.

In recent testimony before the House Judiciary Committee, the now-resigned DoJ liason to the White House, Monica Goodling, admitted that now-resigned Deputy Atty General Paul McNulty was less than forthcoming in his sworn Congressional testimony concerning his knowledge about Griffin's involvement in vote caging during the 2004 campaign.

In her testimony, given under a grant of immunity from prosecution, Goodling said that McNulty "failed to disclose that he had some knowledge of allegations that Tim Griffin had been involved in vote 'caging' during his work on the President's 2004 campaign."

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

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Conyers Closes in on Karl and his Rove-bots...
By Greg Palast on 6/17/2007 7:52pm PT  

*** Special to The BRAD BLOG by Greg Palast

Boo-hoo! I made Tim Griffin cry.

He cried. Then he lied.

You remember Tim. Karl Rove's right hand (right claw?) man. The GOP's ragin' cagin' man.

Griffin is the Rove-bot exposed by our BBC Newsnight investigations team as the man who gathered and sent out the infamous 'caging' lists to Republican state chairmen during the 2004 election.

Caging lists, BBC discovered, were used secretly as a basis to challenge the right to vote of thousands of citizens - including the homeless, students and soldiers sent overseas. The day after BBC broadcast that the Chairman of the Judiciary Committee, John Conyers, sought our evidence on Griffin, Tim resigned his post as US Attorney for Arkansas. That job was a little gift from Karl Rove who made room for his man Griffin by demanding the firing of US prosecutor Bud Cummins.

Last week, our cameras captured Griffin, all teary-eyed, in his humiliating kiss-off speech delivered in Little Rock at the University of Arkansas where he moaned that, "public service isn't worth it."

True. In the old Jim Crow days in Arkansas, you could get yourself elected by blocking African-Americans. (The voters his caging game targeted are - quelle surprise! - disproportionately Black citizens.)

But today, Griffin can't even get an unemployment check. When he resigned two weeks ago following our broadcast, the cover story was that the voter persecutor-turned-prosecutor had resigned to work for Presidential wannabe Fred Thompson. But when Thompson's staff was asked by a reporter why they would hire the 'cagin' man,' suddenly, the 'Law and Order' star decided associating with Griffin might take the shine off Thompson's badge, even if it is from the props department.

Griffin, instead of saying that public service "isn't worth it," should have said, "Crime doesn't pay." Because, according to experts such as law professor Robert F. Kennedy Jr., 'caging,' when used to target Black voters' rights, is a go-to-prison crime.

By resigning, Tim may not avoid the hard questions about caging - or the hard time that might result. When I passed the first set of documents to Conyers (a real film noir moment, in a New York hotel room near midnight), the soft-spoken Congressman said that, resignation or not, "We aren't done with Mr. Griffin yet..."

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

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Group Was Run by Another Shady Character Involved in Missouri Fee Office Scandal, Connected to Jack Abramoff Groups...
By Howard Beale on 6/15/2007 1:20pm PT  

Guest Blogged by Howard Beale of Fired Up! Missouri

On Wednesday The BRAD BLOG pointed out just one of the reasons he may be trying, as much as he is, to make his American Center for Voting Rights (ACVR) past disappear. It seems the group lied about their activities on their federal 990 public tax disclosure forms. But here comes another reason he may be hoping to hide his sordid past.

More so than ever before, the interconnected nature of the national and Missouri-based efforts to advance specious "voter fraud" claims and bend the operation of government entities to specific partisan political advantage is becoming clear. And the centrality of Mark F. "Thor" Hearne II to all of those efforts has never been more obvious than it is after the aggregation of a number of key facts.

State corporate and federal tax filings indicate that Thor Hearne --the undisputed mastermind and ringleader of the now-defunct and "disappeared" ACVR --- was responsible for the creation of a Missouri-based front group that issued public "reports" about topics like voter registration fraud which echoed messages being pushed at the national level by prominent GOP officials and ACVR itself. The Missouri organization, the Center for Ethics and the Free Market, was partially funded with one of the only (if not the only) monetary grants awarded by the ACVR and had its bookkeeping and non-profit filings done by Garrett Lott, a key figure in the Missouri fee office management company scheme overseen by Show-Me State Governor Matt Blunt and run out of Hearne's powerful Missouri law firm, Lathrop & Gage.

­While the ACVR was likely not even a gleam in his eye, back in February 2003, Thor Hearne filed paperwork with Missouri's Secretary of State to create a non-profit corporation called Center for Research of Ethics in Public Policy and the Free Market. Those records indicate that Hearne --addressed at the St. Louis office of his Lathrop & Gage law firm --- is the registered agent for the outfit. That organization, either for purposes of brevity or for throwing researchers off the trail, uses a slightly modified version of that name --- the Center for Ethics and the Free Market-- for its operations.

Among the work done by the Center for Ethics and the Free Market is "research" that tracks very closely with the "voter fraud" and "voter registration fraud" fearmongering that had been undertaken nationally by the American Center for Voting Rights. In June 2004, just months in advance of a presidential-year general election, the Center for Ethics and the Free Market issued a report that purportedly pointed to "concerns" with Missouri voter registration efforts [PDF] undertaken by progressive groups like America Coming Together and Missouri Progressive Vote Coalition. That report included language intended to inflate the potential for "voter fraud" --- language that has become familiar via various national voter suppression efforts...

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

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UPDATE: Compared Vote Caging With 'Caging Animals'...
By Brad Friedman on 6/14/2007 10:28pm PT  

Tim Griffin, former Karl Rove protege, former interim US Attorney from Arkansas and felonious vote cager, finally answered some charges in a speech yesterday in Arkansas. Apparently, he welled up with tears at various points in his presentation --- "crying as he said he had no plans to return to politics," reported AP --- to the point that the person who forwarded us the articles on the matter, said we should "call him a wahhhhmbulance."

We'd never be so cruel as to say or report any such thing, of course. That, despite the thousands of voters that Griffin sought to keep from exercising their franchise in America in 2004. During a time of war, no less. All to benefit his Republican paymasters.

AP reports that Timmy says that he plans to stay in Little Rock to "open a 'bipartisan' public affairs firm." We're sure he does.

Concerning the vote caging charges --- the ones based on the pre-2004 emails he sent, with the subject line "Re: caging," which included spreadsheet attachments with the names of thousands of minority (read: Democratic-leaning) voters he'd hoped the GOP would challenge at the polls, including folks in the military serving overseas, by the way --- Arkansas Business reports the former US Attorney is in denial:

"Griffin’s remarks about reports that he participated in effort to suppress Democratic votes, using a technique called "caging," came in response to a question at the end of his speech."This is all made up of whole cloth," he said. "I didn’t cage votes."

Some evidence for the "made up of whole cloth" charges, including some of Griffin's email, is available in this earlier BRAD BLOG exclusive from Greg Palast, who tells us he may have some more comments for us tomorrow on all of this. (UPDATE: Palast's comments on "Tears of a Clone" now here...)

The audio of Griffin's full speech (bring kleenex) is below...

UPDATE: 6/15/07 ThinkProgress quotes more from Griffin's speech in which he refers to the "Internet stuff" about vote caging, and "made jokes comparing caging to tending zoo animals" [emphasis TP's]:

Obviously, I’ve seen the Internet stuff about caging. First of all, the allegations that are on the Internet and have spread through the tabloids are completely and absolutely false, number one. And ridiculous. Caging, as you may know, I had it looked up, is a direct-mail term for basically organizing returned mail. … And I’ll just say that it’s so untrue. … This is all made up and faux pas. I didn’t cage votes, I didn’t cage mail, I didn’t cage animals, I’m not a zookeeper.

UPDATE: 6/26/07 Video of part of Griffin's speech is now available at BRAD BLOG.

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The Republican Who Most Likely Lost the Race, Held on Touch-Screen DRE Voting Systems, Continues to Serve in Congress as the Democrat Who Won Doesn't...
By Brad Friedman on 6/14/2007 6:08pm PT  

Sarasota's Herald-Tribune highlights why it's imperative to get election results right on Election Night...

Probe of District 13 race is slowing

Democrat Christine Jennings was pinning her hopes of winning the 13th District congressional seat on the Democratic majority in Congress.

But a month after essentially abandoning her legal challenge in a Florida court, Jennings is finding her gamble to rely on Congress could take far longer than her supporters had hoped.

The U.S. Government Accountability Office is set to tell Congress on Thursday that it needs until September just to determine what other audits, investigations, and court proceedings have already turned up. Then, the GAO would go before Congress again to determine how much additional time, if any, it needs to produce a formal report for Congress with its own research, said Nancy Kingsbury, a spokeswoman for the GAO.

That would hardly conclude the investigation. The report would need to be vetted by a task force and then voted on by a full committee in Congress before it could then go before the full U.S. House, which has final say over the dispute.

That would all have to happen in the eight weeks between Labor Day and the targeted adjournment on Oct. 27 for the rest of the year.

The Congressional challenge is due to problems with touch-screen DRE voting systems in the district which resulted in 18,000 lost votes, in a race certified as having been "won" by the Republican Vern Buchanan over the Democrat Christine Jennings by a 369 vote margin. Even the machine vendor (ES&S)'s own expert in court admitted that Jennings would have most likely won were it not for problems with their touch-screen DRE voting machines during the race.

A recent study of DRE voting systems found that two-thirds of voters didn't bother to check their review screens at the end of the voting process on such systems, and that even if they check them, they do not notice votes that have been flipped by the system. The study concludes that paper trail records, printed out after the review screen on DREs, would similarly not be noticed or checked for accuracy. Those findings confirm earlier results from an MIT/Caltech study which looked at similar issues.

The embarrassments caused by the District 13 race in Florida helped lead the Republican-controlled House and Senate in Florida to finally legislate a ban on DRE touch-screen voting machines altogether.

Supporters of Rush Holt's HR811 Election Reform bill in the U.S. House, however, have said that it's impossible to get a similar ban in the Democratically-controlled House and Senate, so they've refused to add such a ban to their sweeping bill. Those who have made the claim that a DRE ban could never win passage in the Democratically-controlled House and Senate have yet to offer any evidence for that claim, or even offer a single name of a supporter of the bill who would vote against it if it included such a ban.

The bill currently has 216 co-sponsors, although ComputerWorld today confirmed our report from earlier this week that Presidential Candidate Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) plans to withdraw his co-sponsorship of the bill.

The FL-13 election, meanwhile, was held back in November of 2006. The earliest timetable detailed in the Herald-Trib article, quoted above, would result in a decision on the matter by October of 2007. The Republican Vern Buchanan, who most likely lost the race by nearly everyone's (but his and Sean Hannity's) estimation, continues to vote with the GOP caucus in the House while the Democratic candidate, whom Sarasota voters had tried to send to the U.S. House, bides her time in Florida.

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Refers to GOP Operative, Mark 'Thor' Hearne, by Name as Source of 'Information'
Hearne and His Disinfo Operatives Need to be Subpeonaed Immediately...
By Brad Friedman on 6/14/2007 8:05am PT  


This is exactly why Mark F. "Thor" Hearne and his "voter fraud" scamming buddies need to be called in, under oath --- with subpoenas if necessary --- before a Congressional committee. And pronto. The garbage they've been circulating for years is still taken "as gospel" by the Bush Dead Enders.

Here's one of them. Peter Kirsanow, appointed by Bush in 2001 to the US Commission on Civil Rights. Laura McGann has more details on this clown. But at left is the video of this clown's Senate testimony from last Thursday --- even after all of this stuff has been completely discredited --- repeating the same garbage, known well enough for him to repeat it a mile-a-minute, in a hearing concerning intimidation at the polls.

And yes, you read that right. This guy is on the US Commission on Civil Rights. The entire system has been compromised. It's time to haul in the ACVR bunch and get them on the record, to find out exactly "whodunnit." For example, the ACVR had nearly a million dollars to operate their "non-partisan" tax-exempt outfit in order to generate propaganda for chumps like Kirsanow to puke up in official hearings. That was the plan --- even while they lied about it on their tax forms --- and it's still working like a charm.

Before he became a "non-partisan" "voting rights" advocate, Hearne was the national general counsel for Bush/Cheney '04, Inc. He was recognized --- by name --- by Karl Rove when he spoke at a Republic National Lawyers Association event in April of 2006, thanking them for their "work on clean elections" in 2000, 2002, and 2004.

So where did Thor get his million dollars for his now shut down and discredited organization? We still don't know, because nobody has ever asked them under oath.

Anybody in the House or Senate Judiciary Committees paying attention here and feel like finding out?

...CONTACT...
House Judiciary Committee
Senate Judiciary Committee

For more information on the "non-partisan" tax-exempt ACVR "Voter Fraud" scam and the snakeoil salesmen who invented it, Bush/Cheney '04 National General Counsel Mark F. "Thor" Hearne and RNC Communications Director Jim Dyke, please see BRAD BLOG's full Special Coverage of the "American Center for Voting Rights" at http://www.BradBlog.com/ACVR.
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If Voters Don't Notice Incorrect Votes on The Review Screen in Front of Their Face, Why Would They Notice it on a So-Called 'Paper Trail' Printed Afterward?
By John Gideon on 6/13/2007 9:35am PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon of VotersUnite.org

A new study supports the contentions of Election Integrity advocates who oppose Rush Holt's election reform bill on the basis that it allows for the use of Direct Recording Electronic (DRE) touch-screen voting systems. Supporters of the bill claim that the bills mandate to require so-called "Voter-Verified Paper Audit Trail" (VVPAT) printers on such DRE systems mitigate the concerns about the machines notorious inaccuracy and proven tamperability. The new study strongly indicates otherwise.

In her recently released doctoral thesis, “The Usability of Electronic Voting Machines and How Votes Can Be Changed Without Detection” [PDF], Rice University researcher and Doctoral candidate Sarah P. Everett reveals that review screens, presented to voters at the end of the voting process on DRE voting machines, fail to be effective.

Of 66 participants from the general Houston population, with a median age of 45 and an even distribution of educational levels only 32% of the voters noticed that malicious changes had been made to their review screens during mock election testing.

A further test was accomplished with 101 participants, with an even gender split (51 males, 50 females), a median age of 40, with most having either some college education or holding a degree. Of those, only 37% of the participants noticed that vote flipping had occurred on their review screens during mock election testing.

Also shocking is that of those 101 participants 6% walked away from the voting machine without pushing the button to cast their ballot. Instead, they just left the voting process at the final review screen. Thus, had this been a real election, a full 6% of the voters would not have had their ballots counted at all.

So when only about one-third of the voters actually review their ballot on the ballot review screen and notice problems why would anyone think that adding a "Voter-Verified Paper Audit Trail" printer to a DRE will solve any problem? Rather than adding useless and expensive printers; why not just get rid of these machines all together?

In fact, Ms. Everett states, when it comes the use of DRE voting systems [emphasis added]...

[A]s the situation currently stands, voters cannot be depended upon to check the validity of their vote. Many security experts and election reform groups are calling for VVPATs to be required on all DREs and as of the 2006 elections, nearly half of the states mandated that their DREs have paper trails (electionline.org, 2006). However, these studies show that solutions to DRE security problems that require voter verification of their ballots may not solve vote-flipping problems. Users are not even checking their ballots on the review screen that is presented directly in front of them.
...
The findings here suggest that it is highly unlikely that voters will detect changes to their ballots on the VVPAT that prints out on a roll of paper next to the machine if they are not even noticing them on a screen presented directly in front of them.

===

Take action to amend the Holt Election Reform Bill!
DEMAND A BAN ON DRE/TOUCH-SCREEN VOTING!
- Email Congress!
- Call you members!
See www.BradBlog.com/Holt for more details, coverage, talking points & information on all of the above!
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By Brad Friedman on 6/12/2007 6:11pm PT  

Voter Fraud zealot Bradley Schlozman takes his do-over concerning testimony he gave last week to the Senate Judiciary Committee concerning his assertion (made 10 times in all), that it was Craig Donsanto of the Election Crimes division at the DoJ's Public Integrity unit who gave him the go ahead to bring voter fraud charges in Missouri days before last November's election. The indictments were in strict violation of the DoJ's written policies --- written by Donsanto, in fact --- that bar such indictments at times that they may have an impact on an election.

Says Schlozzie, in his freshly-filed and obviously-forced about face: "I want to be clear that, while I relied on the consultation with, and suggestions of, the Election Crimes Branch in bringing the indictments when I did, I take full responsibility for the decision to move forward with the prosecutions related to ACORN while I was the interim U.S. Attorney."


To which Sen. Leahy --- who pressed Schlozman hard on this precise point in a memorably heated exchange during the hearing (see angry video at left)-- says: "It is deeply troubling that after weeks of preparation Mr. Schlozman appears to have misled the Committee and the public about his decision to file an election eve lawsuit in direct conflict with longstanding Justice Department policy."

Also related...Hans von Spakovsky, Schlozman's GOP "voter fraud" partner at DoJ, comes before the Senate tomorrow for a hearing concerning his appointment as chair of the FEC. He had been previously recess-appointed to the position by Bush, but his Get Out of Jail Free Card is now up, and tomorrow he'll finally face questions on his role in gutting the Voting Rights Act at the DoJ against the advice of the decades-long experience of civil rights attorneys in the Voting Unit there. Five of those former DoJ staffers have written a letter to Congress urging them to reject von Spakovsky's nomination.

Paul Kiel at TPM Muck has many more details on both the Schlozman do-over and von Spakovsky's DoJ chicanery in advance of tomorrow's hearing.

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While Aggressively Enforcing Minor Provision of Law to Rework Voter Rolls, Purge 'Ineligible' and 'Dead' Voters
400 'Dead' Voters in Michigan Alone Complained About Being Kicked off the Rolls...
By Brad Friedman on 6/7/2007 6:21pm PT  

McClatchy's Greg Gordon today:

Representatives of three liberal-leaning groups came to the Justice Department in 2004, armed with evidence that hundreds of public-assistance agencies had illegally failed to offer voter registration to their mostly poor and minority clients.Congress passed the National Voter Registration Act, which imposed the requirement, in 1993. But after these agencies registered 2.6 million people to vote in 1995-1996, the total registered plunged to about 1 million in 2003-2004.

Michael Slater, the Oregon-based deputy director of the national registration group Project Vote, said officials of the Justice Department's civil rights division showed little interest in enforcing that part of the law.
...
He said the groups' representatives told the Justice Department officials: "Look, we have physical hard evidence that states aren't doing this. They're taking their eye off the ball. We want to see some enforcement."

Slater said [Bush-appointee to the DoJ Civil Rights division, Hans] von Spakovsky listened quietly and then made comments to the effect of "hmmm" and "that's interesting," but took no action.

Emails from Von Spakovsky recently revealed that he was also busy strong-arming and attempting "deals" with the U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC) on a number of issues concerning disenfranchising Photo ID poll restrictions around that same time. For his efforts in all of the above, of course, von Spakovsky would later be recess-appointed by Bush to chair the Federal Elections Commission (FEC). We yelled about that appointment back in January of 2006 when nobody was listening.

A sampling of the extraordinary disparity in numbers of voter registrations taken by government agencies under the Clinton DoJ v. Bush DoJ...

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

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(Imagine What We Could Have Done if the GOP Gave US the Million Dollars That Thor Had?!)
By Brad Friedman on 6/7/2007 3:12pm PT  

St. Louis Post-Dispatch reporter/columnist Jo Mannies follows up on her report from yesterday on the American Center for Voting Rights (ACVR) "voter fraud" scamster Thor Hearne, the high-level GOP muckety-muck, below-the-radar "grass roots" propagandist, Bush/Cheney '04 national general counsel, and top-order Democratic vote suppressor.

You'll recall that yesterday's report from Mannies had paraphrased Hearne's comment to the effect of his "most vocal critics also are Web-based liberal blog sites." As it turns out, Hearne had actually mentioned The BRAD BLOG by name in her interview with him, according to what Mannies told us yesterday when she called seeking comment. As she hadn't been able to reach me the day before, she didn't want to mention us in that piece specifically until she was able to get comment in response.

For whatever reason, Mannies is the only member of the media right now to whom Hearne seems willing to talk since his operation was forced underground in the glare of the U.S. Attorney Purge spotlight. Hearne has refused comment to all manner of MSM-types seeking interviews --- even begging off, along with his other ACVR partners in crime, from an NPR piece yesterday which covered Hearne and his scam. (Their report kindly included a brief clip from an interview with us, pointing out that we broke the story on these cretins two years ago and have been keeping up the drumbeat ever since.)

Mannies told us yesterday that "Thor says he's in the spotlight because some of the blogs, particularly yours, which he mentioned by name, have put him there." So much for the old Republican saw about taking personal responsibility for oneself. But whatever. While she was unable to find the direct quote from her interview with him for her follow-up piece today, she did manage to name a few names in it --- ours.

Here's that entire follow-up from today's Post-Dispatch...

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

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'Liberal Blogger Brad Friedman' Interviewed in Report on Disappearance of GOP 'Vote Fraud' Fraudsters and Their White House Connections
Nobody from ACVR Agrees to Speak to Them on the Record, But the St. Louis Post-Dispatch Says Thor Hearne Has Some Complaints About The BRAD BLOG...
By Brad Friedman on 6/6/2007 12:06pm PT  

Much more rolling still as the story continues to build on Thor Hearne and the American Center for Voting Rights (ACVR) scam that we've been covering since March of 2005 here at The BRAD BLOG.

Today NPR finally jumped into the game on the heels of last week's superb and detailed exposé of Hearne by Murray Waas at National Journal. (We've yet to cover that report, and some other ACVR items of late in detail, but we hope to soon).

I was contacted last week by NPR's Peter Overby and spoke to him on the record for about 30 minutes. Part of that interview was used in a report today on NPR's Morning Edition.

"One of the administration's staunchest advocates in the voter-fraud debate has simply disappeared," begins the report that details the ACVR's "short but busy life" and includes an interview with "Liberal blogger Brad Friedman [who] has been following the center since March 2005."

Overby was unable to get any of ACVR's formerly media-friendly spokesmen to speak to them on the record, and they report how the group seems to have scurried back underground since the U.S. Attorney purge scandal began to shine a spotlight on their vote-suppression activities and direct connections to the White House. NPR also notes purged NM US Attotrney David Iglesias's claims that ACVR "worked with the White House to forward allegations of voter fraud" and quotes Loyola election law professor Rick Hasen, who picked up on much of our reporting for his own widely-noted recent article on "The incredible, disappearing American Center for Voting Rights" as published last month by Slate.

Click below to listen to the NPR report in full, which is just over 4 minutes...

And again, we'll have much more on ACVR and Thor soon, as I was contacted today by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, which ran a story on them today with references to "Some of Hearne's most vocal critics also are Web-based liberal blog sites, which several months ago began pointing to his ties to Blunt and a link to one of the fired U.S. attorneys — Bud Cummins of Arkansas."

Can't imagine which "Web-based liberal blog sites" they may be referring to, but, oh, wait...yes, we can. Post reporter Jo Mannies says Hearne complained about us by name, and though she wasn't able to contact me for comment before today's report, she hopes to have more on all of this tomorrow. And, most likely, so will we.

Until then, here's one of our initial reports connecting Thor to the Bud Cummins slice of the U.S. Attorney purge. It hardly takes a "Web-based liberal blog site" to connect the dots. But whatever they need to say is fine by us, as long as they bother to report it. At least it hasn't taken two and a half years this time.

For more information on the "non-partisan" tax-exempt ACVR "Voter Fraud" scam and the snakeoil salesmen who invented it, Bush/Cheney '04 National General Counsel Mark F. "Thor" Hearne, and RNC Communications Director Jim Dyke, please see BRAD BLOG's full Special Coverage of the "American Center for Voting Rights" at http://www.BradBlog.com/ACVR.
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Once Again Removes References to GOP Gaming of 2000 Voter Rolls, Discredited GOP Claims of Democratic Fraud...
By Howard Beale on 6/5/2007 10:11am PT  

Guest Blogged by Howard Beale of Fired Up! Missouri

The Kansas City Star just can't help itself. When it comes to high-level reporting on the issue of the national GOP's attempts to politicize justice and steal elections with its phony "voter fraud" project, it seems there's no story that the Star's editors can't make mushier and more GOP-friendly.

Today the Star again does with a piece by Greg Gordon of news syndicate McClatchy what it did to a Gordon story from some weeks ago, refusing to print some of the most important facts underlying the lack of factual basis for GOP allegations of voter fraud.

Most notable in the Kansas City Star version of today's Greg Gordon piece for McClatchy is the treatment of the disposition of the Department of Justice lawsuit against the state of Missouri regarding voter rolls. Of the suit, Gordon writes (emphasis added):

In late 2005, the department sued Missouri's Democratic secretary of state, Robin Carnahan, charging that her state had failed to eliminate ineligible voters from registration rolls. A federal judge threw out the suit this spring, noting that the registration lists were controlled by county registrars over whom Carnahan had little authority and the Justice Department had presented no evidence of fraud.

The KCStar's rewrite of that graf rips out its substantive guts. The McClatchy-owned Star goes with this GOP-friendlier construction instead...

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

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'These Republican schemes are not just undemocratic, they're un-American,' Says Statement Released Today
Troops 'shouldn't have to fight for their right to vote when they come home'
By Brad Friedman on 6/1/2007 7:25pm PT  

Following up on our earlier piece, praising the DNC for their media release concerning vote caging issues, we find this superb and scathing condemnation also released today by the DNC, headlined "Bush Administration Owes Apology Over Assault on Voting Rights"...

Donna Brazile, Chair of the Democratic National Committee's Voting Rights Institute, joined the Chairs of the DNC's Black Caucus, Hispanic Caucus, AAPI Caucus, Seniors Coordinating Council, and Native American Coordinating Council in condemning the Bush Administration's assault on voting rights and its politicization of the Department of Justice.
...
"The assault on voting rights is easily the most disturbing and inexcusable example of the Bush Administration's unbridled willingness to use the American government for the benefit of narrow partisan interests. The same voters targeted by these Republican efforts, whether Hispanic, African American, AAPI, or Native American, are all among those serving with honor in Iraq and Afghanistan. They shouldn't have to fight for their right to vote when they come home.

"The list of tools that Republicans have used to enhance their electoral prospects at the expense of our right to vote reads like a shameful litany from past eras: restricting access to voter registration, improper attempts to purge voter lists, the use of voting machines that leave no verifiable audit trails, criminal phone jamming schemes, discriminatory voter ID laws, inconsistently administered elections, and now we find out, politicizing the Department of Justice. These Republican schemes are not just undemocratic, they're un-American. The time has come for Republicans to stop playing politics with our fundamental right to vote, and for President Bush, Mitch McConnell, and the Republican Party to apologize to the American people."

The release goes on to list a panoply of Republican voter disenfranchisement efforts from FL to WI to OH to CO to NV and more. Kudos. Had they been as aggressive in their report on Ohio after the '04 Election, we might not be fighting our way out of the nightmare we now find ourselves in.

(Listen to my '05 radio interview with the report's Exec. Dir. Vincent Frey [MP3] admitting that they didn't find any fraud in Ohio, essentially, because they didn't look for any!)

And sadly, as Democrats seem destined to shoot themselves in the face with ill-conceived Election Reform bills in both the House and Senate, the nightmare will likely continue no matter what. As we've tried to explain to DNC folks many times, you can fight to ensure every legal voter who wants to vote gets to vote, but if those aren't counted correctly, it ultimately means absolutely nothing.

Nonetheless, we'll keep our eyes forward for the moment, and hope the DNC continues to realize the breadth of what has been going on, and what will continue to go on unless they do something about it and finally stand up once and for all for both American values and voters.

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Links to Slate Article in Media Release...
By Brad Friedman on 6/1/2007 4:55pm PT  

Even the DNC seems to finally have taken notice of the vote caging as mentioned in last week's testimony by Monica Goodling (and subsequently covered in some detail here --- most recently in this late-breaker last night --- if almost nowhere else, until yesterday's excellent Slate article by Dahlia Lithwick).

Describing her piece as a "MUST READ," the DNC issued an alert this morning linking to and quoting several excerpts from her piece. The alert begins this way...

MUST READ: Raging Caging

Washington, DC – Little attention has been paid to Monica Goodling’s revelation of Republican “vote caging” in her testimony before the House Judiciary Committee last week. Goodling identified former Deputy Attorney General Paul McNulty and former interim US Attorney Tim Griffin, a former deputy to Karl Rove who was among the replacements for eight federal prosecutors fired by the Bush Administration and put in place without going through the Senate confirmation process, are believed to have been involved in the illegal practice of attempting to derail the voting rights of thousands of Americans. As Slate noted, “Vote caging is an illegal trick to suppress minority voters (who tend to vote Democrat) by getting them knocked off the voter rolls if they fail to answer registered mail sent to homes they aren't living at (because they are, say, at college or at war).”

No new information here really, other than the fact that the DNC itself is at least partially getting into the game. They have, of course, notoriously stayed far far away from aggressively contesting or questioning election fraud issues --- including even this vote caging business, which was first reported back in 2004 --- until (perhaps?) now. Even this much took them more than a week, since Goodling's bombshell admissions during her testimony occurred a week ago last Wednesday.

But now that a Republican has acknowledged it, we guess it's safe waters for the DNC to wade into.

What, us snarky? Anyway, we'll take what we can get, and are happy to see them finally on it. A little. Let's hope they continue...

UPDATE: Dems issue scathing release, 'Bush Administration Owes Apology Over Assault on Voting Rights." Good for them. Details here...

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By Brad Friedman on 6/1/2007 4:32pm PT  

From this week's San Diego Reader...

If you don't understand the above, a) You need to visit The BRAD BLOG more often, b) See this, and then c) See this, and then d) Pray for the good voters of the People's Republic of San Diego.

Thanks to artist Neal Obermeyer for paying attention! More good stuff from his own official site.

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