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Latest Featured Reports | Saturday, August 30, 2014
Erick Erickson's Global Warming Denialist Tantrum
Latest barometer of denialist desperation: The rightwing 'thought leader', as usual, is wrong on the facts and science, so he's just taking his ball and going home...
Video Captures GA Family Disowning, Assaulting 20-Year Old Gay Son
But there is a "happy" ending, of sorts, to this heartbreaking and disturbing story...
'Green News Report' 8/28/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
BP refinery explodes. Again.; UN report warns of 'irreversible' warming; Fines for oil, chem spills; 22% of world elec. is now green; PLUS: People's Climate March coming to NYC...
Previous GNRs: 8/26/14 - 8/21/14 - Archives...
Faking the Ferguson Docs:
KPFK 'BradCast'
Brad interviews open records advocate Charlie Grapski on his evidence that Ferguson and St. Louis County police are illegally withholding evidence in the killing of Michael Brown; Plus MUCH more...
Records Requests Suggest Ferguson, St. Louis County Police Involved in Cover-Up
How else to explain the missing details and required documentation of Officer Darren Wilson's killing of Michael Brown?...
'Green News Report' 8/26/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
Napa earthquake is a warning for CA's nuke plants; Another coal plant bites the dust; Cutting emissions will save $$$; PLUS: Fighting drought with a 'salmon cannon'...Yep...
Previous GNRs: 8/21/14 - 8/19/14 - Archives...
Our Story So Far: The WI GOP Photo ID Voting Restrictions
Trouble keeping up with all the court cases barring, then allowing, then barring the GOP's Photo ID voting restrictions in Wisconsin? Let us catch you up quickly with the latest...
Siegelman Judge, Arrested For Beating His Wife, May Avoid Prosecution Altogether
U.S. District Judge Mark Fuller checks in for 'treatment', may be able to duck prosecution...
Obama Orders Review of Police Militarization Program
In response to bi-partisan calls for reform and disturbing display by militarized local police in Ferguson, MO, the President takes aim at controversial Pentagon program...
Ryan Dismisses Elderly Voter's Question About His Medicare Cuts
2012 GOP Veep nom and 2016 hopeful 'charms' elderly voters in FL, by ignoring them...
Perry Tells NH Businessmen His Felony Indictment Was for a 'Bribery' Charge
Is this another 'oops' moment from the Repub TX Governor and 2016 hopeful? Or something else entirely?...
'Green News Report' 8/21/14
Too much rain in AZ desert; Another toxic spill in Ohio River; Solar breakthrough; Wind energy prices hit all-time low; PLUS: Auto-magically cleaning up Baltimore Harbor...
Rep. Hank Johnson on Ferguson and Demilitarizing the Police: KPFK 'BradCast'
The Democratic U.S. Congressman from Georgia's 4th district joins Bradto discuss his new bill...
Republicans Call Ferguson Voter Registration 'Disgusting'
Rightwingers decry effort 'to register Democratic voters' following the killing of Michael Brown...
Seriously, Ferguson Police?
The front page of the Post-Dispatch reminds again how ridiculous the era of post-9/11 Wars has become; Plus: another comparison to the Bundy Bunch...
'Green News Report' 8/19/14
OR nixes coal export facility; July 2014 4th hottest; Fracking industry illegally using diesel, threatening water; PLUS GOP officials secretly accept climate science...
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...


'04 Campaign Coordinator Voted Twice, and in Wrong District, in '04 Primary Decided by 86 Votes
But as BlogActive Reports, That's Not All the Congressman May Have to Worry About...
By Brad Friedman on 5/12/2007 6:02pm PT  

It looks like Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-NC) is housing his own little Republican voter fraud factory at his NC crib.

Mike Rogers has several scoops, following up on this item from CBS News today:

The CBS News Investigative Unit has learned a man who was a field coordinator in Congressman Patrick McHenry's (R-NC) 2004 campaign has been indicted for voter fraud in North Carolina.

The indictment charges that Michael Aaron Lay, 26, illegally cast his ballot in two 2004 Congressional primary run-offs in which McHenry was a candidate. The charges indicate that Lay voted in a district where it was not legal for him to vote.
...
McHenry won the primary by only 86 votes.

Whoops. But Rogers's version of the story reports a number of additional questionably-registered folks who appear to be living in McHenry's house as well, along with a few additional juicy details (okay, rumors, but interesting ones) about the "unmarried" McHenry...

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Report Doesn't Bother to Mention Inappropriate FBI Interference in Case, or Internal Investigation That's Begun Because of It...
How Lazy Can These People Possibly Get?!
By Brad Friedman on 5/11/2007 6:56pm PT  

[Ed Note: Story updated with additional details. Brian Skoloff, of AP's Florida bureau was later revealed as the writer of the article in question. See end of this item for details.]

OATH: I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that...All information on this form is true. I understand that if it is not true, I can be convicted of a felony of the third degree and fined up to $5,000 and/or imprisoned for up to five years.
-- Oath signed by Ann Coulter when she fraudulently lied about her address on her Florida Voter Registration Form

AP never fails to fail. Incredible.

Their unbylined report, out this afternoon, is surely good news for Ann Coulter! And we'll bet their headline is currently scrolling by on the Fox "News" and CNN crawls, it's certainly everywhere else. Here's the headline:

Coulter Cleared in Florida Vote Probe
Commentator Coulter Cleared of Wrongdoing in Investigation of Her Vote in Wrong Fla. Precinct

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. May 11, 2007 (AP)

Conservative commentator Ann Coulter was cleared of wrongdoing after an investigation into whether she violated Florida law by voting in the wrong precinct.
...
The Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office closed the case April 12, concluding "there was insufficient probable cause to determine that Ann Coulter willfully or deliberately" violated any laws.

We guess the fact that an FBI agent --- who, as we reported earlier today, is apparently her former boyfriend --- interceded inappropriately in the case to claim she was being "stalked" (without evidence apparently) isn't noteworthy enough to include in AP's report.

Neither is the fact that the FBI has begun an internal investigation into the matter, according to the Palm Beach Post this morning.

No, instead, the AP reports --- in an unbylined article! --- Coulter's wet dream headline that she's been "cleared."

And despite the fact that her Loyal Bushie attorney didn't even bother to respond to AP's request for comment, AP passed on his wet dream by reporting completely unsubstantiated horseshit to the effect of: "Her attorney, Marcos Daniel Jimenez, told the detective Coulter may have not changed a previous address because of a stalking incident."

That's a bald-faced lie. Coulter didn't "not change" anything....

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

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Palm Beach Paper Says FBI Agent Attempted to Clear GOP Pundit, BRAD BLOG Guest Blogger Said to be Reason for Fraudulent Info Given on FLVoter Registration Form, Driver's License!
Conservative Coulter Critic Borchers Responds; Says Her '98-'99 Boyfriend Has Been 'Her Personal FBI Resource for Her Own Purposes'...
By Brad Friedman on 5/11/2007 12:00pm PT  

The Ann Coulter Voter Fraud case, which we've been covering for more than a year (see our Special Coverage Page here, including her fraudulent Voter Registration Form, the complaint that started it all, and much more) has taken several bizarre twists this morning as Palm Beach Post columnist Jose Lambiet once again steps up with several fresh scoops in the matter, and The BRAD BLOG, who, as of today's article, has now become a corollary in the story, has an exclusive detail or two of our own to offer on the heels of this morning's Post report.

First, Lambiet reports that the Palm Beach Sheriff's Office, which had been investigating the matter, has closed the case after an FBI agent interceded on Coulter's behalf. The PBSO had been investigating Coulter's fraudulent, knowing use of the wrong address on her voter registration form, a third-degree felony, and the fact that she subsequently, knowingly voted at the wrong precinct.

Second, the reason offered by the FBI man for Coulter's use of a phony address on her form --- actually that of her Palm Beach County real estate agent --- was because of claims that she was being "stalked" by a conservative BRAD BLOG guest blogger!

After the FBI intercession, as Lambiet reports, the PBSO investigator shut down the probe "without interviewing Coulter; a Realtor, whose Indian Road address Coulter used [on her fraudulent voter registration form]; or neighbors of Coulter's Seabreeze homestead."

The BRAD BLOG has previously shown that, in fact, Coulter had knowingly lied on her voter registration form, signing next to an "oath" swearing that "All information on this form is true" and that she understood "if it is not true, I can be convicted of a felony of the third degree and fined up to $5,000 and/or imprisoned for up to five years."

Once the issue was reported originally by Lambiet, Coulter went about lying about it to the media and at public appearances, claiming she didn't even live in Florida, as Michelle Pilecki, who picked up on Lambiet's item today, had previously reported at Huffington Post. Nonetheless, property records and other evidence we've published at The BRAD BLOG, including an affidavit from Republican poll worker James Whited, show conclusively that Coulter lied on her voter registration form, and then knowingly committed voter fraud when she voted at the wrong precinct in 2006.

"We stand by our detective's work," a PBSO spokesman told Lambiet in today's report. "Based on the nature of the allegations, she did as much as she could."

But this gets a lot more bizarre, so keep reading...

* * *

The BRAD BLOG spoke this morning with the "stalker" in question, as named by Lambiet, longtime Coulter critic, and founder of Citizens for Principled Conservatism, Dan Borchers, who tells us that "Ann Coulter used a false allegation as a 'get out of jail free card'" on her voter fraud charges.

He also tells us something that Lambiet didn't mention in his report: The FBI man in question, Supervisory Special Agent Jim Fitzgerald, was Coulter's former boyfriend!

Lambiet, who spoke with Borchers for his piece, didn't report that allegation, but hinted that something wasn't adding up in Fitzgerald's intercession in the matter. He wonders why an FBI profiler from the FBI Academy's Behavioral Analysis Unit in Quantico, VA, "who went after the Unabomber [would] take time from his busy day to even think about a municipal election snafu?"

Fitzgerald wouldn't reply to Lambiet, but he reports that after the Post contacted the bureau for comment on the matter, the FBI "immediately launched an internal review of the agent's involvement."

"We're looking into it," bureau spokeswoman Ann Todd said.

She declined to say whether Fitzgerald acted on his personal behalf or as an FBI agent or on someone else's orders.
...
County Supervisor of Elections Arthur Anderson, meanwhile, decried what he called "FBI intrusion."
...
"This doesn't bode well in terms of the public's impression that celebrities receive preferential treatment," Anderson said. "I'm curious about how anyone can justify the FBI's intrusion."

Anderson and Lambiet aren't the only ones dubious about the FBI's intervention on behalf of Coulter or the excuse that a "stalker" led her to use her realtor's address on her voter registration form....

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

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Hundreds of Sworn Voter Affidavits Collected by Curtis Campaign, Suggesting Inaccurate Counts on Electronic Voting Machines in FL-24 Race Against Feeney, Disregarded as 'Not Enough Evidence'...
But Without Access to the Machines or Source Code What Other Evidence Could There Be?
By Brad Friedman on 5/8/2007 7:47pm PT  

In addition to voting Rep. Rush Holt's dangerous Election Reform bill out of committee today (see this late Tuesday story for details), the U.S. House Administration Committee on Tuesday also unanimously voted to dismiss four of the five U.S. House races from last November which had been challenged in Congress under the Federal Contested Elections Act.

Only the contested Jennings/Buchanan race in Florida's 13th district --- which has gotten a great deal of mainstream media coverage for the 18,000 undervotes recorded by Sarasota's touch-screen voting systems in the election decided by a 369 vote margin --- will move forward. Late last week, the committee voted on party lines to send that contest to the non-partisan Government Accountability Office (GAO) for investigation.

Included in the four dismissals on Tuesday was the contest filed by vote-rigging whistleblower Clint Curtis (D) in his race against (allged vote-rigger) Tom Feeney (R) in Florida's 24th district. Late Monday night we reported that was likely occur.

Tonight, we received some comments from Capitol Hill staffers on the committee's reasons for the dismissals...

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

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Says Panel Must Review 'Hard Evidence' Gathered Showing '12-24% More Votes Than Stated in Official Results'
Vote-Rigging Whistleblower Turned Candidate Says All Four Challenged Races in Florida Must be Investigated by House, Not Just FL-13's Jennings/Buchanan Race...
By Brad Friedman on 4/25/2007 6:59pm PT  

[UPDATED WITH VIDEO]

And speaking of Tom Feeney and Clint Curtis, the man who made a number of alarming accusations about him; including (but not limited to) a vote-rigging conspiracy in 2000, protection of an undocumented alien who pled guilty to espionage charges related to sending restricted missile chips to Communist China, and much more...

Curtis released a statement last week in regard to the contest he's filed in the U.S. House last December under the Federal Contested Elections Act following his House race against Feeney in Florida's 24th district last November. (The statement is posted at end of this article.)

In an exclusive BRAD BLOG interview from early March, Curtis spoke about "hard evidence" gathered by his campaign showing that his votes were under-recorded --- and/or Feeney's over-recorded --- on the paperless touch-screen voting systems used in the race. Their evidence has been gathered via a precinct-by-precinct, door-to-door canvass being carried out by the campaign volunteers.

"We have now found absolutely…more votes for Democrats than the official results show," Curtis told us earlier this year. "Absolutely more votes. No trends, no guesses. More votes. That should never happen."

The campaign's news release claims that "In every precinct studied, the data shows that Curtis received 12-24% more votes than stated in the official result."

The House recently announced the formation of a panel to investigate the contested election between Christine Jennings and Vern Buchanan in Florida's 13th district, but has failed to take similar action on the other three contested Sunshine State elections which "remain in limbo," according to Curtis's campaign. Another House race from Louisiana has also been contested in Congress. All of the contests were filed last year under the federal act meant to carry out Congress's Constitutionally specified mandate as the final arbiter of the seating of its members.

"Only an official independent investigation, backed by the authority of the U.S. House, can dispel lingering questions regarding the accuracy of the 2006 election results," in Florida's 24th district and the other contested races, the campaign says. They are calling for the immediate formation of a panel in Congress to "determine the accuracy of the electronic voting systems in question, and ensure legitimate representation for the voters in those districts."

Drawing a contrast with the FL-13 contest, which Curtis's campaign aptly notes is based on largely circumstantial evidence --- though a mountain of it --- at this time, his group of volunteers in South Florida claim to have "gathered hard evidence" in the form of sworn affidavits from voters, which show "exactly where the election results are inaccurate."

"The evidence that the election integrity group has gathered can be independently reproduced and can determine whether or not the voting machines recorded accurately," the campaign contends.

UPDATE 4/26/07: Here's a video, courtesy of Ginny Ross of the Election Defense Alliance, featuring an interview with Curtis detailing his campaign's efforts "Walking for Democracy" efforts to canvass the district:


The complete press release from the Clint Curtis campaign is posted in full below...

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

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Joseph Rich Discusses Politicization of DoJ Voting Rights Unit
ACORN Rep Discusses Vast Right Wing 'Voter Fraud' Conspiracy...
By Alan Breslauer on 4/24/2007 1:56pm PT  

Guest Blogged by Alan Breslauer

Amy Goodman interviews (18:04) former Justice Department Attorney Joe Rich and Bertha Lewis of New York's ACORN on today's Democracy Now! Rich, who left Justice in 2005 after 36 years in the Civil Rights Division, was the head of the voting section from 1999 to 2005. He discusses the politicization of virtually all elements of the Justice Department including the administration's emphasis on voter fraud with aims at suppressing the vote....

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

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Some Ballots Counted Twice, Others Not At All, Database Found Corrupted, Old, Not Recommended for Use by Microsoft
Raw Election Data Held as 'Diebold Trade Secret' by Registrar Michael Vu Who Was Forced to Resign...Though He's Now Been Hired by San Diego!
By Brad Friedman on 4/21/2007 1:48pm PT  

There is new information on the Cuyahoga County, Ohio, November 2006 election that shows that voting results on more than 1 in 4 voting systems failed to match up with the results on the central tabulator. The election was held under the administration of Michael Vu, the county's now-resigned Election Director who has, incredibly enough, been immediately hired up by the People's Republic of San Diego County and their former Registrar Mikel Haas (along with Vu, one of America's worst, so he was promoted by the county, naturally!) as the new Assistant Registrar of Voters...

From AP:

CLEVELAND — Computer vote-memory card totals failed to match electronic voting machine ballot tallies in more than one quarter of the samples checked from the November election in the state’s most populous county, an independent audit showed Thursday.

In the 37 sample precincts where results didn’t match, there may have been corrupted memory cards, missing or torn reports, faulty printers or other problems, according to the independent audit commissioned by the Cuyahoga County elections board.
...
The audit committee found a match among 95 precincts out of 132 precincts in which three races were checked for discrepancies between vote-memory cards and paper records of ballots cast on electronic machines.

Amazing enough, but it gets much, much worse....

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

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Issues reported by BRAD BLOG for last three years hit mainstream, are advanced several steps by NYTimes, McClatchy...
By Brad Friedman on 4/20/2007 9:35am PT  

The most valuable takeaway from the entire U.S. Attorney Purge scandal will likely prove to have been the exposure of the long-perpetuated GOP "voter fraud" scam. The scheme has been been so pervasive for so long, but the coverage of it has been largely contained to blogs like ours.

In the interim, the MSM coverage of the issue had been given over to the well-funded Republican propaganda machine which had detailed the phony claims of "voter fraud" as if they were legitimate.

The result, as designed, were calls for restrictive Voter ID legislation at the polling place, an effort that was successful in a number of states. After all, as the Republican snakeoil salesmen oft-repeated, "you need an ID to get on a plane, to cash a check, why not to vote?"

It was a difficult line to refute on its face, but it was built on lies, disinformation, and attempts by this White House and this Republican party to wage an unprecedented effort to keep any portion of the 10 to 30 million Americans (mostly Dem-leaning) without photo ID's (many even without birth certificates!) from being able to cast a vote.

The U.S. Attorney Purge scandal has helped to reveal the insidious scheme, opening it up for everyone to see by helping to expose the slimy, well-funded campaign for what it really is: little more than a broadly-waged, party-funded, voter suppression ploy.

Scores of MSM articles and columns over the past week or two have finally helped expose this scam to the public, and the likes of vote-suppression operative Thor Hearne's well-financed, systematic, White House-run "non-partisan" American Center for Voting Rights (ACVR) has, for now, slithered back underground.

Much of the MSM coverage to date has repeated what BRAD BLOG readers already know since we've been covering it for so long. But there are a couple of notable must-read exceptions recently which move many of these inter-related stories forward several moves...

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

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To Replace Promoted Mikel Haas, County Hires Riverside County, CA's Mischelle Townsend as 'Interim' Registrar, Who In Turn Hires Disgraced Cuyahoga County, OH Registrar Michael Vu as 'Assistant'...
By Brad Friedman on 4/12/2007 12:00pm PT  

{Ed Note: This article was original to have been published at ComputerWorld on 4/12/07. Due to a technical problem there, it never ran, I'm running it here, back-dated to tje originally planned publication date so at least it's available here on the Internets, at least for the "historical record". --- BF, 5/22/07}}

Blogged by Brad from the road...in San Diego, of all places...

The latest news out of the People's Republic of San Diego brings to mind Scooter Libby's now infamous note, sent to former NY Times' administration plant Judith Miller, encouraging her to maintain her silence while she was in jail.

"Out West, where you vacation," the disgraced Libby wrote to the disgraced Miller, "the aspens will already be turning. They turn in clusters, because their roots connect them."

The same seems to be true for the Elections Officials, and their various operative/enablers around the country. Where ever you turn over the rock of a disastrously administered election in any part of the country --- such as in San Diego or Riverside County, CA or Cuyahoga County, OH --- it seems you also find the same band of recognizable folks slithering amongst the slime time and again. Turning in clusters, if you will, because their roots connect them.

Such seems to be the case now that one of America's worst Registrars of Voters, San Diego's Mikel Haas --- he of the infamous Busby/Bilbray debacle and voting machine "sleepover" fame --- has been promoted by the county. Failing up, if you will, like so many other 21st Century Wingnuts before him in Bush's America.

He's been replaced on an interim basis by Mischelle Townsend, the retired former Registrar of Voters in Riverside County, CA. She was responsible for bringing unverifiable, inaccurate, hackable touch-screen voting systems to America for the first time, as Riverside was the first in the nation to offer this "luxury" to voters. Riverside has been on a collision course with election integrity ever since.

Aside from conflicts of interests she brought to the dubious transaction in 1998 --- her husband, was VP for a firm which directly benefited from the county's purchase of the Sequoia touch-screen voting systems --- Townsend is tellingly quoted during an interview on the DVD version of HBO's Hacking Democracy proudly declaring: "Electronic touch-screen ballots are 100% accurate. We've not seen a single example in which their accuracy can be disputed."

As if that's not a horrific enough punishment to subject the otherwise beleaguered and battered voters of San Diego to --- they deserve far far better, especially following in the carnage of the county's disastrous Reign of Haas --- she has now hired as her "assistant," the disgraced and recently resigned-by-force, Michael Vu, the Election Supervisor for Cuyahoga County, Ohio.

Vu was pushed out of his job in the Buckeye State just weeks ago after two of his poll workers were convicted and sentenced to the maximum allowable time in prison for having rigged --- yes, rigged --- the 2004 President Recount in the county.

Vu oversaw the entire affair and reportedly admitted that county workers opened sealed ballot boxes to do a pre-count prior to the recount which was requested and paid for by the Green and Libertarian parties. As the trial revealed, the outrageous violation of law was carried out to ensure the mandated the 3% "randomly" selected precincts (which were not randomly selected after all) would match the previously reported results. Both the judge and the prosecutor made it clear that they believed the conspiracy went much higher up the food chain.

As well, Vu ran one of the worst election debacles of the 2006 cycle --- and that's saying quite a bit --- when absentee ballots couldn't be read by his Diebold optical scan system and his brand-spanking new Diebold DRE touch-screen voting systems failed to record votes properly, as determined by an independent analysis commissioned after the primary election meltdown in the county.

But that's not all. Another new criminal investigation is now underway in Cuyahoga looking into a number of troubling recent discoveries. Among them, computer audit logs have been discovered to reveal that early and absentee voting results were printed by someone at Vu's county headquarters prior to Election Day. (The same thing also was recently discovered to have occurred in Pima County, AZ where a law suit is currently underway to get to the bottom of it...just so you'll keep your eye out for what may well prove to be a concerted national conspiracy if the Aspens keep on turning in such remarkable clusters.) Oh, and a network cable was left in one of the tabulation computers overnight, and in violation of regulations, for some odd reason. But certainly that was just an accident, right?

Little surprise then, that San Diego's North County Times reported that Haas told them "the county immediately moved to contact Vu when he became available and felt lucky to hire him."

Of course they did.

Haas also continued his impressive, and growing track record as an accomplished liar of some reknown, by telling the paper that "Vu resigned for personal reasons and had family living on the West Coast."

Of course he did.

The BRAD BLOG has spoken at length with Vu in the past, and we've found him, like Haas the Horrible, to be a very affable fellow. Even if his actions, not his words, reveal him, like Haas, to have an extraordinary disdain for democracy and the voters who they supposedly serve.

We've been told that Vu has said he regards Townsend as "a mentor". So it comes as little surprise that he'd show up when beckoned by her, and littler surprise, after all we've come to learn about the County of San Diego, that their Board of Supervisors so despise their own voters that they'd allow Vu, despite all that's known about him, to be hired as an "assistant".

Rest assured, however, with Townsend --- who had previously been enjoying a quiet retirement from the madness that she had wrought on Riverside --- only committing to "interim" status at the Registrar's office, it won't be long before the full Reign of Vu commences. We believe you can bank on it. On a Diebold ATM if you wish.

America's Elections Officials, those who are most assiduously dedicated to subverting democracy with electricity, and those who time and again are found at the rotten core of virtually every bad election in the country, are indeed connected at the roots. And they continue turning in clusters.

And the voters continue to pay the price.

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New Charges Announced Against Chair of BoE Who Refused to Resign: He Allegedly Ordered $15k PR Contract Awarded to 'GOP Spokesperson'
By Brad Friedman on 4/3/2007 9:36pm PT  

Ohio's Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner cleaned out the last dead-ender from the Cuyahoga County (Cleveland) Board of Elections today. That would be the chairperson of the BoE and the head of Ohio's Republican Party, Bob Bennett (see previous coverage here.)

Bennett was the last of the four directors of the Board of Elections (supposedly two Democrats and two Republicans) to leave the board of the state's most Democratic-leaning county. The other three resigned after requested by Brunner in the wake of the convictions of two Cuyahoga Elections Officials for rigging the 2004 Presidential Election recount, a raft of disastrously run elections and a new criminal investigation into malfeasance at the county election board. The new investigation includes the early printing of absentee ballot results and an unexplained network cable left attached to the central tabulator overnight.

According to a statement posted to the SoS website, Brunner notified Bennett today about his suspension in writing, and has also announced yet another new charge against him:

"The Secretary of State's office will be working with the current and emerging leadership of the board to develop a plan improving, with the assistance of the Secretary of State's office, the board's operations and service to the citizens of Cuyahoga County. To further these efforts, I believe it to be in the best interests of all involved to suspend your participation as a member of the board," said Brunner. The notice of suspension pointed to the reasons addressed in the complaint filed against the Cuyahoga Board of Elections members by Brunner on March 23, 2007.

Brunner cites an additional reason for the suspension involving instructions to former Executive Director Michael Vu to award a contract to a consultant without Board approval.

Bennett instructed Vu to award a second contract to David Hopcraft in the amount of $14,750 on or about February 26, 2007, for public relations services to be paid for by public dollars by the board of elections. The Dayton Daily News on March 26, 2007 reported Mr. Hopcraft to be a "GOP spokesperson."

Accountability to continue in Ohio...

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As we Sit Down for a One-on-One Debriefing with the Finnish Computer Security Expert and Discuss American Elections, Rush Holt's Reform Bill, Debra Bowen, 'Black Hats' and Why Elections Matter
Big Turnout and Good Press Coverage Accompany his Riverside Visit, Even if Jeff '1000 to 1' Stone Was a No Show...
By Brad Friedman on 4/1/2007 7:13pm PT  

Harri Hursti drove up to Los Angeles last Friday after his appearance that morning before the Riverside County, California, "Blue Ribbon" panel convened to investigate massive problems during the County's 2006 election, and continuing concerns from Election Integrity advocates about both the performance and security issues surrounding the Sequoia Edge II DRE touch-screen voting systems in use down there.

We sat down to interview Hursti for a documentary film for an hour or two on Friday night, and we continued chatting into the wee hours. After getting home around 4am, we suspect we'll be playing catching up for a few days.

The headline from those discussions last night is probably that Hursti, now famous for his hack of a paper-based Diebold optical-scan voting system in Leon County, Florida, in late 2005 (as seen live in HBO's documentary Hacking Democracy), advocates digital optically-scanned paper ballots --- where the image of the scan can then be made available to all on the Internet --- as the most secure and most transparent method of voting for the type of elections we have in these United States.

That may come as a surprise to advocates of Rep. Rush Holt's Election Reform bill, who have been pointing to the "Hursti Hack" as a way to suggest that op-scan tabulation is "just as bad" as Direct Recording Electronic (DRE) touch-screen voting systems. Holt's bill (HR811) would allow for the continued use of DREs, despite the continuing warnings from computer scientists, disabilities and minority rights advocates, and the Election Integrity community that the devices should be banned.

Hursti heartily disagrees with those Holt supporters and told us again that DREs are not safe for use in elections, with or without a so-called "voter verified paper audit trail." He's asked for us to help facilitate a meeting for him with Holt and his staff to discuss the matter, and we are attempting to do just that.

As well, Hursti's position may also come as a surprise to those who have pointed to the "Hursti Hack" in their call for 100% hand-counted paper ballots (HCPB) in American elections. While Hursti said he recognizes that such a system works well enough in other countries where ballots are much simpler, he feels the thousands of ballot styles and pages and pages of candidates and propositions would likely make all HCPB unwieldy here. By contrast, he explained that in Finland, voters go to the poll and cast a single vote for President as the only race on the ballot, which is simple enough to hand count on the night of the election.

He rattled off the many different systems of democracy in many different countries, from Europe to Asia, as well as a history of how America has come to its current mess, going back as early as the late 1800's to discuss the evolution of our modern day system in this country. Clearly, he's done his homework and is well worth listening to on these matters.

Hursti also gave high marks to California's new Secretary of State Debra Bowen for her recent announcement of "red team" hack testing for all of the state's currently certified electronic voting systems, as part of her "top to bottom review" of those systems. Other computer scientists and security experts have lined up to join in praising Bowen for this unique, first-of-its-kind attempt to finally test the security of these systems.

On the other hand, many of the state's elections officials have come out against such testing of their precious, hackable, un-transparent voting systems. And, surprise surprise, so has the Santa Cruz Sentinel --- the paper once owned by thankfully-former CA SoS Bruce McPherson --- in a laughable editorial late last week claiming that "paper ballots carry an even greater risk" than electronic voting systems, and that Bowen's planned test criteria is a "solution in search of a problem."

We're not sure what cave the Santa Cruz Sentinel has been living in, but we're guessing they've been sharing their hard tack and canned spam with their buddy, the gone-but-apparently-not-forgotten McPherson, the one responsible for certifying these god-awful systems in the first place for the state, despite mountains of evidence suggesting it was unwise. We're also guessing they've never sat down to chat with Harri Hursti.

Hursti's visit to Riverside, as we reported here last week, was in response to County Supervisor Jeff Stone's challenge last December that nobody could manipulate the county's Sequoia election system. After Hursti volunteered to take Stone up on that "1000 to 1" challenge, the county has been waffling ever since. So quite a few members of both the public and the press were on hand yesterday for Hursti's testimony before the "Blue Ribbon" panel.

Although Hursti traveled all the way from Finland, Stone and every other member of the Riverside County Board of Supervisors were apparently too busy to make it up the road to meet Hursti and listen to his presentation...

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

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Poorly Performing DREs, Lack of Oversight and Transparency Leads to Conclusion of 'Not Acceptable' by WINNER of Last November's CA-11 U.S. House Election...
By Brad Friedman on 3/30/2007 3:01pm PT  

Congrats to Democratic Rep. Jerry McNerney's (CA-11) team of Election Integrity advocates, who did a great job with their election protection analysis and report from his election last November. His Election Protection Task Force has just released their report [PDF] on how it all went, including 36 specific and detailed recommendations for improving the election system used in the four counties (Alameda, Contra Costa, San Joaquin, and Santa Clara) that make up California's 11th Congressional district.

"The McNerney Election Protection Task Force Report" illustrates, among other things, that DRE touch-screen systems made by Diebold, specifically as used in San Joaquin County under the oversight (or lack thereof) of Registrar of Voters Debbie Hench, did not fare well in the election. Broken-down machines caused long lines, there were not enough paper ballots for backup, plus various problems with chain of custody and lousy post-election audit and reporting systems were all accompanied by an embarrassing lack of transparency for the entire system.

The report's overall conclusion: "The current electoral system is not acceptable."

And before you electronic voting apologists haul out your tired old "sore loser" lines, McNerney won his race over the Republican long-time incumbent, Richard Pombo!

Congrats and thank you to all who helped create the very enlightening report, and specifically to McNerney for having the foresight and responsibility to create and work on such an important project. If every candidate did the same, we'd have this mess cleaned up in no time.

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Another Resignation Leaves Only the Chair of Both the Ohio Republican Party and Cuyahoga's Election Board After SoS Demands All Resign in State's Most Democratic County...
By Brad Friedman on 3/27/2007 7:36pm PT  

One more of the Cuyahoga County (Cleveland), Ohio, Board of Elections directors, Republican Sally Florkiewicz, has stepped down this afternoon. Her resignation leaves just one member, the board's chairman, Bob Bennett, left to fight the demand by Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner that all board members resign in the wake of a years-long string of elections disasters, two criminal convictions related to the recount of the 2004 Presidential Election, and a new criminal investigation which was launched last week into newly-revealed administrative election improprieties and irregularities in the county.

The resignation of Florkiewicz from the board of Ohio's most Democratic county leaves only Bennett --- who is the chair of both the Election Board and the state's Republican party --- to fight the order by Brunner. A hearing will be held next Monday concerning the complaint filed along with the SoS's resignation demands, after which Brunner is free to fire Bennett directly, according to state law. As ever, the members of Ohio's supposedly "bi-partisan" boards of election have always served at the pleasure of the SoS, who, for years, was the highly partisan right-winger and co-chair of Ohio's Bush/Cheney 2004 committee, J. Kenneth Blackwell.

Brunner replaced Blackwell last November after the former SoS was thoroughly rejected by Ohio voters in his bid for Governor.

"Regrettably, the lone board member who has refused to resign will face removal," Brunner said in a statement posted to the SoS website late this afternoon. As to today's resignation, she added, "It's unfortunate that Ms. Florkiewicz was unable to resign until faced with a complaint to remove her from the board."

While the board's two Democratic members resigned last week not long after receiving Brunner's request, an official in Ohio closely following the matter has told The BRAD BLOG that Florkiewicz exited her post today with anything but grace.

"The Secretary of State has decided to use the Cuyahoga County Board of Election to advance a partisan agenda," Florkiewicz contended in her resignation letter, "and I am not willing to be used as a political statement."

But one of our sources wonders how the request to remove "2 D's and 2 R's demonstrates a partisan agenda"...

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

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'Why would you have a paper record if you don't count it?' Asks 'Losing' Candidate
Orange County, CA, Court Decision to 'Set Precedent' According to Both Sets of Attorneys...
By Brad Friedman on 3/27/2007 1:35pm PT  

The Los Angeles Times underscores everything that is wrong with relying on "paper trails" from Direct Recording Electronic (DRE) touch-screen voting systems: Nobody ever counts them. Even in incredibly close contested elections as overseen by a court of law...

A judge ruled Monday that Janet Nguyen won the February election for an Orange County Board of Supervisors seat by a slim three-vote margin, rejecting arguments by her opponent that a recount wasn't completed because the paper audit of electronically cast ballots was not counted manually.

"All the votes were counted," said Orange County Superior Court Judge Michael Brenner. "There was a full and legal recount."
...
It was, he said, "perfectly reasonable" for Janet Nguyen to ask for about 35,000 paper absentee ballots to be checked by hand to contest ones that weren't filled out properly and then ask to have about 10,000 electronic votes recounted the way they were on election night — by machine
...
Trung Nguyen, who is not related to the winner, declined to comment and left the courthouse as his attorney, Michael Schroeder, said an appeal was likely. "Why would you have a paper record if you don't count it?" Schroeder said.
...
All sides agreed that Brenner's ruling could set a precedent.

Please note that Rush Holt's Election Reform bill (HR811), which mandates the hand-count of a very small minority of paper records in most federal races (which this race was not) via an audit after Election Day, allows no audit to happen at all in the case of an automatic state-mandated recount --- the type that occurs when an election is incredibly close, and when such an audit, arguably, might be needed the most.

UPDATE 4:58pm PT: Election Integrity advocate Tom Courbatt of Riverside County points us towards an October 31, 2006 statement [PDF] from former CA Sec. of State Bruce McPherson, who said: "The mandatory paper audit trail will be used for a full recount if necessary." That statement is at the bottom of the 5-page press release. Guess he was just kidding. Or the judge in Orange County didn't care. Or "paper trails" don't actually matter after all, no matter what any law or elections officials try to tell you...Which is why we need a paper ballot --- one that is actually tabulated --- for every vote cast in America!

# # #

Take action to amend the Holt Election Reform Bill!
DEMAND A BAN ON DRE/TOUCH-SCREEN VOTING!
- Email Congress!
- Call your members!
See www.BradBlog.com/Holt for more details, coverage, talking points & information on all of the above!
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Team's Lead Investigator, Alec Yasinsac --- a Noted Republican Partisan --- Claims No Knowledge of Voting Machine Company's Pre-Testing Dictates...
By Brad Friedman on 3/26/2007 1:51pm PT  

Over the weekend we reported on the newly unearthed "agreement" letter sent by voting machine company ES&S to Florida's chief of Voting System Certification, David Drury, dictating the company's demands for the narrow terms of testing for the source code and hardware of the touch-screen voting systems which failed so spectacularly in the state's 13th Congressional District election between Christine Jennings (D) and Vern Buchanan (R) last November.

In the still-contested election, an exceedingly high 18,000 "undervotes" were registered by the ES&S touch-screen DRE voting systems in Democratic-leaning Sarasota County only, in the race which was ultimately decided by 369 votes in favor of the Republican.

In our coverage, we asked a series of questions about the letter and whether the "independent" team of scientists convened by the state to review the source code had been apprised of ES&S's very strict litany of specific narrow conditions for testing (including their insistence that they be allowed to review, edit and/or comment on the final report before its release).

Yesterday, Alec Yasinsac, the "Lead Principal Investigator" of the scientific panel convened at Florida State University --- a noted Republican partisan --- released a response to some of questions [PDF] on behalf of the state-convened panel of scientists.

The bulk of that response follows, as well as a comment or two of our own in response...

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

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