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Latest Featured Reports | Wednesday, August 27, 2014
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...


Governor's Open Letter: 'One person, one vote is in jeopardy if we do not act boldly and immediately'
But How Long Will the Bill Take To Come Into Effect?
By John Gideon on 3/1/2006 6:40pm PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon

"American citizens once took for granted that every vote mattered, but no longer. It is time that we, the elected state officials, work to restore American's confidence in our electoral systems and undertake reform that moves to eliminate skepticism and uncertainty." --- NM Governor Bill Richardson's 3/1/06 Letter "To the State Officials of the 50 United States of America" (Posted in full below)

Today Governor Bill Richardson of New Mexico made a powerful statement to officials in all states (see full letter below) as he announced that tomorrow he would be signing legislation that would require the state of New Mexico to go to a paper ballot based voting system. No longer will the state use Sequoia DRE (touch-screen) voting machines...the machines that reported large numbers of undervotes in previous elections...The same machines that disenfranchised minority voters...The technology Richardson describes as "simply fail[ing] to pass the test of reliability" in his open letter published today.

The Governor has also announced that the bill's signing ceremony will be webcast. The announcement says:

We hope you will join the Governor, concerned citizens and legislators as the Governor's signature moves New Mexico forward by ensuring that our democracy continues to flourish. The live webcast will begin Thursday at 11:00am MST (1:00pm Eastern) and can be viewed at:

www.billrichardson2006.com/reform/paperballots

Please watch the webcast, take a moment to look at the Governor's proposals, and sign the petition to get your state, and the rest of America, to make every vote count

This all sounds wonderful, except???opponents of the legislation managed to get the legislation amended so that voting systems "owned or used" as of 1 May 2006 that do not use paper ballots can continue to be used until, among other things, debt on purchases of those machines are paid by the state. Then, the bill that appropriated funds to pay off the debt died in committee. Now the state needs to find the money to pay off the debt.

UPDATE 3/3/06: Signing ceremony video and petition calling on all states to join NM now here.

The complete letter from Gov. Richardson of New Mexico follows...

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

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Republican Jan Brewer's Re-Election Announcement Interrupted by Demonstrators
Activists Object to Her Recent Decision to Allow Unsecure, Hackable Diebold Voting Machines for Use in Virtually Every Arizona Precinct!
By Brad Friedman on 1/5/2006 4:38pm PT  

Perhaps it's a step up from "dissidents" as the AP once called them, but Election Transparency Advocates who turned out today at Arizona's Sec. of State Jan Brewer's speech to announce her re-election bid were labeled "anarchists" and "conspiracy theorists" by the woman who recently approved Diebold's flawed "AccuVote" touch-screen voting machines for use in virtually every precinct in the state.

During her speech today, according to the Arizona Star, "which boasted of the state getting rid of the last punch card ballots as part of her accomplishments since being elected in 2002 but one that never mentioned the Diebold contract" the Republican official in charge of ensuring free, fair and accurate elections in the state was repeatedly interrupted by advocates for transparent election who objected to the use of Diebold's failed machinery in the state.

Diebold's election equipment was recently shown to be hackable in a mock election test in Leon County, Florida, where the final results were completely flipped by computer security specialists. Over the summer, 20% of the same AccuVote touch-screen systems that Brewer approved on Friday, were found to have failed during a massive mock election test in California.

According to the Star, Brewer apparently dismissed the adamant concerns of the very voters she is (theoretically) in charge of serving:

Brewer, responding to media questions, called the noisy protesters "anarchists" and said they were off base.

"I don't think there is a problem with the Diebold equipment," she said. Brewer said a committee investigated the bids and the machines passed on the guidelines.

"I think that there are a lot of conspiracy theorists out there that are trying to blow this completely, totally out of proportion," she said.

In December of 2004, while members of several political parties had joined in challenging the results of Ohio's disastrously run Presidential Election, the Associated Press referred to those challengers who dared seek transparency in an utterly gamed election as "dissidents" which prompted one dubious American to reportedly ask at the time, "Great! So now we're dissidents?! What's next --- 'insurgents'?!"

No. Apparently "what's next" is that those who wish transparency and oversight and accountability in American democratic elections are now "anarchists." At least according to Arizona's shameful --- and hopefully out-going --- Secretary of State, Jan Brewer.

A useful thought for those considering running for the office of Secretary of State around the country: "It's the voters, stupid."

...CONTACT...
AZ SoS Email Contact Page: http://www.azsos.gov/info/contact_us.htm
AZ SoS Office: 602-542-4285

Campaign Website: JanBrewer.com
Campaign Email: info@janbrewer.com
Campaign Office: 602-439-3425

UPDATE 1/8/05: Brad was on Air America Phoenix today to discuss, amongst other things, the incident above on the M&M Show. The hosts, Fred and Steve McChesney, were amongst the "anarchists" and "conspiracy" --- and later called "brownshirts"! --- who made poor Jan Brewer's life so difficult. Audio available here.

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'Non-Partisan' Group Tied to Bill Frists' Attorney, Ohio's Pending Anti-Democracy Legislation & Hordes of Frivilous Lawsuits and Attacks Against Legitimate Voting Rights Advocates...
By Brad Friedman on 12/30/2005 6:49pm PT  

It's been a while since the slimy cretins trying to pass themselves off as the "non-partisan" American Center for Voting Rights (ACVR) have reared their ugly, high-level GOP-operative heads. We first uncovered these punks back in March while they were busy attempting to pull off a congressional charade in cahoots with the not-yet-indicted U.S. congressman, Rep. Bob Ney (R-OH). We haven't heard much out of the ACVR since their August '05 report trying to sell the silly notion that "Democrat operatives were far more involved than Republican in voter intimidation and suppression in 2004" was laughed off the nation's radar (by all but a few of the most pathetic dead-ender wingnut suckers who will believe anything they're told to believe, no matter how laughable.)

But today, our friend Bob Fitrakis at the Free Press in Columbus connects a few more dots in the shameful ACVR/GOP/Ohio story. He offers a few more details on the group's direct connection to other high-level GOP operatives (like Bill Frist's attorney), the horrendous Ohio HB3 "Election Reform" legislation being ram-rodded up the asses of otherwise democracy-loving Ohio citizens by the unapologetically corrupt GOP-controlled snakepit of a legislature in the state, as well as more of the direct connections between them and the frivolous lawsuits and PR attacks made against several of the most active (legitimate) Voter Registration groups in the country.

We had a quick story ourselves on that last bit about two weeks ago, explaining how virtually all the phony legal attacks made against these groups have now failed --- even if the swiftboating success of the phony PR from it lingers on. Mission accomplished. This is the group whose website --- the one with Fox "News" Channel's Tony Snow on the front page, speaking of dead-ender wingnut suckers --- promises "ACVR will defend the election process through on-going civil litigation" amongst other lies, garbage and scurrilous attempted deceptions on the American electorate. Anyway, before we get too worked up into another rant on the America/democracy-hating ACVR chumbuckets, here's Fitrakis' latest on them and more.

For more information on the "non-partisan" tax-exempt ACVR 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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Another GOP Operative Facing Up to 7 Years Prison Time, $500,000 Fine
ALSO: Voter Registration Groups Cleared of Wrong Doing as Accused by Phony GOP 'Voting Rights' Group...
By Brad Friedman on 12/15/2005 8:10pm PT  

From AP...

A federal jury this afternoon returned a mixed verdict against a former national Republican Party official accused of orchestrating an election day phone-jamming plot against New Hampshire Democrats.

The jury acquitted James Tobin of the most important of three charges --- violating voters' rights --- and convicted him on two counts of telephone harassment.

Tobin, 45, of Bangor, Maine, was President Bush's New England campaign chairman last year.

Tobin faces a maximum seven-year prison term and $500,000 in fines when he is sentenced in March.

Please note that Tobin's crime occured in the 2002 election. He was known to be under investigation for the crime thereafter, but was hired anyway by Bush/Cheney '04 to run their NE campaign until he was indicted and the "honesty and integrity" campaign decided they better get rid of him. People might talk. More background on that particular GOP scandal here. And another update here, including info on the $722,000 that the RNC paid to defend their man, Tobin!

This is all counter, of course, to the horseshit put forth by the GOP front group calling themselves the "non-partisan" American Center for Voting Rights (ACVR). As you'll recall, they and their other Rightwing operative cronies had released reports, propaganda and all sorts of unsubstantiated claims about Democrats and various non-partisan Voter Registration groups such as ACORN having committed all forms of Voter Registration Fraud (which they tried to suggest was "Voter Fraud" --- which is something quite different).

You'll be surprised to learn, no doubt, that ACVR and friend were full of shit. It turns out that one year later, the organizations they scurrilously attacked --- in a transparent attempt to smokescreen the real Election Fraud that they were neck deep in perpetrating --- have been vindicated of the various bogus charges, as virtually all of the frivolous lawsuits and investigations the GOP liars made so much noise about have simply collapsed. See this for more [PDF].

Sorry for both the vulgarities and the terse report on both of these items. Too much to cover for the huge BRAD BLOG "Staff" (that would be me and an occasional helping hand from one or two similarly overworked and patriotic helpers!) that isn't adequately being covered by the "real" media. And that means I'm both way too busy, and way too cranky and just a little too foul-mouthed this evening. Don't fucking like it? Go read the fucking NY Times instead. By next week, they oughta have a great story on Wally O'Dell resigning from Diebold! :-) (There, now I feel better).

For more information on the "non-partisan" tax-exempt ACVR scam and the snake-oil 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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The Astute E&P Watchdogs Stay Alert While the Mainstream Media They Watch Stay Asleep...
By Brad Friedman on 11/30/2005 11:38am PT  

Dave Astor of the excellent and respected Editor & Publisher covers two matters we've discussed here recently.

Last night he did a quick item on the Ann Coulter/Lydia Cornell outrage. For the record, Coulter still has Lydia's private information posted publicly on her website some 48 hours after it was posted there. She has been asked politely to remove it. She has chosen not to.

As Cornell pointed out in her response yesterday, that sort of thing helped Bill O'Reilly blow his stack recently when he thought (incorrectly, of course) that a "liberal" group had posted a private email address on their website. Of course, it doesn't take much for the increasingly unstable O'Reilly to blow his stack these days.

As well, Astor covered Robert Koehler's latest Tribune Media Services' "Poll Shock" column that we briefly reported on last week. His coverage gathers additional comments from both the Dispatch Public Affairs Editor Darrel Rowland and Koehler on the "staggeringly impossible" results of Ohio's recent Nov. 8th 2005:

Will the Dispatch look into possible fraud or malfunctions connected with electronic voting technology? "We need solid evidence that there's something untoward," replied Rowland.

I love that. It's the exact same thing we heard after the '04 Presidential Election: Once someone else finds the "solid evidence" the media will be happy to report on it. Note to Mainstream Media: It's your job to investigate the smoke and find out if there's a fire! Otherwise, what the hell do we need investigative reporters for at all? Oh, yeah. Apparently, we don't. The bloggers will do it for you. (But don't come running to us wondering why it is that your readership is falling over a cliff in the meantime!)

Koehler's reponse to Rowland in E&P:

Koehler wrote: "Why, I wonder, in a state that made a national spectacle of itself with widespread irregularities and voter disenfranchisement a year ago, would there be so little interest in investigating whether the 'voting chaos' reported by the Toledo Blade or the 'night of surprises' reported by the Dayton Daily News could have produced tainted results?"

And Koehler concluded sarcastically that "the spark won't jump in the media mind. You know: Hmm, we have widespread confusion in the voting process, a recent GAO report that cites many glaring insecurities in e-voting, and our own polls indicating big victories that turn into big defeats. Could it be? Nah! What are we thinking? This is the world's greatest democracy."

Go Bob. And thank you, E&P.

UPDATE: And speaking of Koehler, this just in from his latest column which will be published tomorrow and available then to read at this location:

"Our goal . . . is to help others find their own voice, attain their own freedom, and make their own way."

Dig up an old lie from one of George Bush's forgotten speeches and the stench is asphyxiating, as though it's coming from the rotting corpse of democracy itself. The words quoted above are from the president's inaugural address in January - the odor intensified by recent news that the president allegedly wanted to bomb the headquarters of al-Jazeera

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By Brad Friedman on 11/23/2005 4:00pm PT  

The congressman man who ran sham hearings in House Administration Committee on last year's Ohio Election mess (the ones that exposed the insidious ACVR hucksters), was recently subpeonead by the DoJ where he is said to be under investigation on four different aspects of an ongoing probe, looks to be in big big trouble in the wake of the Michael Scanlon indictment.

Jesse of Stakeholder has a round-up of today's headlines on the apparently-soon-to-be-indicted U.S. Congressman Bob Ney (R-OH). Here's what Jesse's found just today at a quick glance:

"Plea Deal Ties Ney to Second Tribe" [Roll Call]

"Rep. Bob Ney is poster boy in bribe probe" [AP]

"Ney's Troubles Are Mounting" [Roll Call]

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(While Election Results Themselves Continue Un-Investigated)
By Brad Friedman on 11/21/2005 2:27pm PT  

The oft-cited pollster Mark Blumenthal, who writes about all matters related to polling and its methodology on his Mystery Pollster blog, has posted the results of his analysis/investigation into what he feels may have gone awry in the Columbus Dispatch polling just prior to the November 8th election in Ohio.

We've previously reported on the final results of the five initiatives on the ballot in the Buckeye State two weeks ago - four of them part of an Election Reform package --- and the "staggeringly impossible" disparities, as we described them, revealed by those results when compared to the results of the Dispatch's final pre-election polling. To catch anybody up who hasn't seen the numbers, here's one set of them:

ISSUE 3 (Revise campaign contribution limits)
PRE-POLLING: 61% Yes, 25% No, 14% Undecided
FINAL RESULT: 33% Yes, 66% No

Blumenthal deserves kudos for his serious and detailed investigation into both the Dispatch survey's "long and remarkable history of success," as he describes it, and where he feels they might have gone so astoundingly wrong this year for the very first time. He points to a few changes in the methodology for the poll; the Dispatch didn't use the precise text of the initiatives in its survey; included an "Undecided" option for the first time; an examination of the data seems to show the poll occurred at a time that the electorate was in the process of changing its opinions on the issues; and finally that many voters found the text of the actual ballot initiatives to be long and confusing leading them to take the safer vote of "No" when they were not clear about what they were actually voting for.

Where he doesn't deserve credit is in his approach which presumes from the start that there must be something wrong with the polling itself --- but not the Election Results --- to explain the unprecedented disparity between the polling and the final results of the actual election.

As a pollster himself, he surely knows that it's quite simple to construct a poll in such a way that one can get back results which match just about any pre-determined outcome an unscrupulous pollster may hope for. Similarly, as with Blumenthal's earlier efforts to examine the disparity of Exit Poll Results vs. Final Election Results in last November's Presidential Election, his approach presumes from the get-go that the polling, not the results, are incorrect...and now we just need to figure out why.

Fair enough, in general. No doubt the articles we've written about the Ohio '05 election results, as well as the one from Fitrakis and Wasserman at Free Press, tend to presume that the election results are suspect, more so than the polling or its methodology.

The difference, however, is that while we welcome the search for reasons why the Dispatch's historically accurate poll might suddenly have failed for the first time in such an unprecedented matter, we have as much or more reason to be skeptical of Ohio's Electoral System which has been documented as full of unquestionable corruption and all-sorts of top-to-bottom malfeasance. Particularly over the last year or so since the Presidential Election.

In other words: Sure, we can, and should, go looking for reasons why the Dispatch poll might have failed so mightily for the first time in its history, as others (including Blumenthal) did with the Exit Polls from November '04 which also --- just a coincidence, we know --- failed so hugely for the first time in their history. We can likely find anomalies to somewhat explain what might justify a pre-determined conclusion that Election Results are right and Pre-Election Polling must be wrong. But why would Blumenthal, or anybody else, have reason to believe that scientifically run polls with methodologies developed and honed over decades, run by pollsters with (theoretically) no dog in the hunt, should be less reliable than an Electoral System being run on newly developed, newly introduced technology employing secret software that nobody inspects for validity or integrity? All of which is run on machines which have a tremendous and documented known failure rate and are run by partisan officials with not just a stake in the outcome, but whose very livelihoods (in the case of the recent Ohio initiatives, as well as last November's election) are at stake in the final results. ...

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

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More on Ohio's Staggeringly Impossible '05 Results
The Corporate Media Continues to Not Care, But a Rightwing Blogger Finally Does...
By Brad Friedman on 11/17/2005 12:16pm PT  

The Corporate Mainstream Media may not give a damn about our democracy. Neither might the bulk of our politicians on both the Left and Right side of the aisle. But clearly the citizens do, and even one rightwing blogger who has recently seen at least some of the light...

The response to our article on the "staggeringly impossible" results of last week's election in Ohio on several Election Reform initiatives which would have struck deep into the heart of far-right Republican Ohio Sec. of State J. Kenneth Blackwell has been notable to say the least.

We felt the report was notable enough that we decided to cross-post it both at BRAD BLOG and at HuffPo, where --- though it was never added to the front page as a "featured blog" --- it has already received an extraordinary 93 comments as of this posting.

To give you an idea of what that story documented, here are the numbers from just one of the four Election Reform initiatives which all ended up failing by numbers which defy reasonable explanation when compared to the historically accurate Columbus Dispatch poll, completed and published just days before the Election in the Buckeye state:

ISSUE 3 (Revise campaign contribution limits)
PRE-POLLING: 61% Yes, 25% No, 14% Undecided
FINAL RESULT: 33% Yes, 66% No

The results on that issue alone was so far askew that it was enough to give the usually dubious Mark Blumenthal of Mystery Pollster pause enough to comment, "These results had MP seriously wondering whether the pollsters or election officials had mistakenly transposed 'yes' and 'no' in their tables."

See the original post for a comparison of Polling vs Final Results for all of the initatives, but suffice to say while the one above was the most inexplicably out-of-whack, the others, with the exception of Issue 1 --- which was the only one supported by Ohio's Republican Governor and on which the Dispatch poll was virtually right on the money on "Yes" voters --- all of the initiative Final Results bring the entire election machinery in Ohio once again under deservedly fresh scrutiny.

(We'll remind you that Ohio's results in the '04 Presidential Election squeeker, where just 6 votes for Kerry instead of Bush at each precinct would have changed the entire result for the nation. And also that the results from that election remain completely suspect, largely uncounted, and never recounted according to state law even while several elections officials have either been indicted or remain under investigation for their role in gaming that fiasco...the one in the state which gave Bush enough electoral votes to claim the Presidency).

The original report we filed, discussed an article by Bob Fitrakis and Harvey Wasserman of the Free Press in Columbus where they've been detailing an extraordinary amount of the election chicanery and "irregularities" under the iron-fisted rule of Blackwell, the Ohio elections arbiter and Bush/Cheney '04 Co-Chair in a state which is currently a snakepit of Republican machinery and out-and-out corruption.

Amongst the comments at both BRAD BLOG and HuffPo where the blog item was posted, a few, as expected, have knee-jerked that it must have been the Columbus Dispatch polling that was wrong, rather than the Final Results reported by the State which added brand-spankin' new, and wholly unaccountable, unrecountable, untransparent, and undemocratic Electronic Voting Machines for the first time in this election to 44 of its 88 counties. Machines which use secret software on which voters are asked to trust --- but not verify --- that their votes will be recorded accurately...or at all.

In addition to those 44 counties (41 of them using the same machines by Diebold, Inc. that the Republican Sec. of State in California recently decertified for their 20% failure rate), several other counties already use Electronic Voting Machines, and nearly all of them use electronic tabulating machines of one brand or another to count those votes.

We spoke yesterday to Fitrakis about the Dispatch poll's "historic accuracy" (which he described as "legendary" in our phone call) and about the various wingnuts who predictably presume the polling, instead of the election results, were wrong...

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

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Tax-Exempt 'American Center for Voting Rights' Continues Their Scam on America!
By Brad Friedman on 10/11/2005 12:41pm PT  

{Blogged by Brad on the road...}

Last week, The BRAD BLOG reported that one of the co-founders of the self-described "non-partisan" group calling themselves the American Center for Voting Rights (ACVR), was "boning up on his non-partisan creds" by being employed by the White House to sell George W. Bush's Harriet Miers nomination to the American press and public.

This week, the great "non-partisan" voting rights champion, Jim Dyke, has been promoted according to a report from TIME magazine filed last week. His new job will be to "take up the slack" for Steve Schmidt, "counselor to Vice President Cheney and one of the White House's most aggressive strategists."

Schmidt is suddenly heading to Iraq for the next month, where he will, according to a report today by RAW STORY, be unavailable to take any questions regarding the mounting charges that sources within Cheney's office may have been at the heart of the outing of CIA operative Valerie Plame.

Dyke will undoubtedly remain as "non-partisan" in his new job with Dick Cheney, as he was in his previous position as press spokesperson for ACVR.

Dyke was RNC Communications Director for years, before becoming "non-partisan" enough to join with the "non-partisan" Mark F. "Thor" Hearne (National General Counsel for Bush/Cheney '04 Inc.) to found the new tax-exempt, "non-partisan" "Voting Rights" organization.

As BRAD BLOG reported some months ago, the Internet domain registration for ACVR claims to be located somewhere in Dallas, TX, despite Hearne's residence in St. Louis, Missouri, and Dyke's in South Carolina (when he's not working out of the White House). At the time of initial investigation, Dyke reported to us that the Dallas TX address given for ACVR was that of the company who created their website. He had forgotten the name of the company, despite the website having been created just days before our interview with him.

Why precisely, Dallas, TX, is given as the location of ACVR remains somewhat of a mystery. Along with who funds this shadowy organization of cynical democracy-haters. Our earlier report on their location, at least, was able to unearth a photograph of ACVR's main office, which is undoubtedly populated by very very tiny "non-partisan" Republicans:

Amongst ACVR's "non-partisan" work has been testifying before a U.S. House Administrative hearing, led by Rep. Bob Ney (R-OH) on Election Irregularities in Ohio during the November '04 Presidential Election. At that hearing, held three business days after ACVR appeared for the first time on the Internet, Hearne testified to being a "long time voting rights advocate." He apparently forgot to mention his ties to Bush/Cheney '04 Inc.

ACVR was the only "voting rights" group called to testify at those hearings. As well, they sat on the Advisory Panel, and helped form the ill-fated Baker/Carter National Election Reform Commission. Recently, the ACVR released a "non-partisan" report entitled: "Democrat operatives far more involved in voter intimidation and suppression in 2004 than Republicans."

You can read that report, along with their other "non-partisan", tax-payer subsidized news and activities at their website. It's the one with Fox News' Tony Snow currently smiling on the front page.

For more information on the "non-partisan" tax-exempt ACVR 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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Whether Those Who Hate America and Democracy Like it Or Not.
PLUS: A Song to Fight for Democracy By...
By Brad Friedman on 10/8/2005 11:05am PT  

{Blogged by Brad on the road...}

The fight for democracy in America --- even as we still scratch our head with continued wonder that a "pro-democracy" movement is actually necessary in the United States of America in 2005 --- continues to be a difficult one. But the fight is well worth it. Even as our victories tend to come in small, but continually accruing pieces.

We're not supposed to be talking about this issue at all, 11 months after November 2nd, 2004...and yet more and more are doing so every day. The Mainstream Corporate Media may not get it yet. But the ranks of great patriots who give a damn about their country continues to burgeon as the noise in favor of an accountable democracy increases every day due to the folks like the good readers of The BRAD BLOG who take their civic duty to heart.

Here are just a few of the latest positive signs in the continuing fight for a free, fair, verifiable and transparent democracy that many would prefer we simply didn't even discuss. We will continue to do so nonetheless. The burden is well worth carrying. The rewards for doing so are well worth the effort.

Debra LoGuercio, editor of Winters Express and columnist in Daily Republic and elsewhere, makes it a hat trick with her third column in as many weeks on our tenuous Electoral System. She was haunted by the siren sounded by our first article on the Diebold insider we dubbed DIEB-THROAT, who alerted us to the Dept. of Homeland Security website where a Cyber Alert was issued last year prior to the election about the vulnerability to hackers in Diebold's central tabulator software. That vulnerability has, by Diebold's own admission, never been addressed.

In her latest column titled "E-voting fraud is an American issue" LoGuercio joins the ranks of those of us who continue to be stunned at the remarkable indifference by the Mainstream Corporate Media to what DIEB-THROAT refered to as "one of the greatest threats democracy has ever known":

So many topics, so little column space. And yet soooooo much e-mail. In the media, we talk of a story having �legs,� meaning that it just keeps running. It seems the topic of electronic voting fraud is a centipede.

I've accumulated a mountain of studies and reports on Diebold's electronic voting machines since I wrote the Dieb-Throat columns, all pointing to the same conclusion: The software can be hacked - undetected - relatively easily by someone with the technology skills.
...
Why isn't the national media all over this topic like stink on a monkey? Why are we hearing about Brad and Angelina rather than a story that may shatter the foundation of American democracy if it's true? Maybe it's just not sexy enough. Maybe it won't move enough Viagra. Or maybe the grotesquely wealthy owners of the national media don't want this issue to come to light.
...
Maybe that's why people are frantically encouraging me to keep pushing the issue, as if they're pinning their hopes on me. If that's the case, we're in big trouble. In the media world, I'm not even a small fish in a small pond. I'll keep on splashing, but it's hard for a guppy in a mud puddle to make waves.

However, it brings to mind a children's story about Swimmy, a little fish that encouraged all the other little fish to swim together in the formation of one large fish. Working together, they survived the perilous waters among the sharks. That's what all us little fish must do - swim together.

Again, read her full column to find out about her response from AP and NBC affiliates when she contacted them about all of this, and see if you can find a way to help swim together with her efforts. It's well worth it, and the support means the world to folks like us who go out on a limb on these matters...even when doing so may be neither popular nor the easiest thing to do.

In the meantime, there are signs that more and more folks are taking notice of what is going on and walking out on that limb as well. C-NET's News.com ran an article yesterday by Declan McCullah headlined "E-voting hobbled by security concerns".

The first couple of grafs:

It's been nearly five years since Americans received a painful education on the perils of traditional voting machines in Florida and almost one year since the 2004 election revealed perplexing irregularities in Ohio's vote tabulation methods.

Yet no uniform security standards exist for electronic voting machines. Even though they were used to tabulate a third of the votes in last year's presidential run, nearly all electronic voting machines in use today remain black boxes without external methods of verifying that the results have not been altered or sabotaged.

The article covers both the ongoing concerns, and the internal debates --- even amongst election reformers --- about how and when to produce and count paper ballots...or "receipts" as they are regrettably becoming known in many circles.

On the point of the difference between reformers on these issues, I hope to produce a one-page "Declaration of Democracy" in the next couple of weeks, a page on which we worked diligently at the Portland Election Reform summit. I believe we can bridge the differences between reformers on these matters to get everyone on the same page. I've been working hard on that effort personally behind the scenes, and hope to have something to show for it in the next couple of weeks. Just by way of a heads-up...So that perhaps we may be able to "swim together" on these issues.

A second article from News.com published yesterday over at ZDNet covers a similar discussion on the problems with E-Voting vulnerability and the need to open the software for inspection:

Overlooked bugs and malicious code pose a plausible threat to software on electronic voting machines, a panel of election experts said Friday.

And finally, there it was yesterday...smack dab in the middle of The New York Times: a full-page ad that asks the the too-obvious questions, "Would you trust a bank that refused to issue ATM receipts? Will you trust your democracy to voting machines without them?"

The ad calls for support of Rep. Rush Holt's (D-NJ) H.R. 550 "Voter Confidence and Increased Accessibility Act of 2005" which we generally support as a good first step towards accountability. (You can send your words of support as well to your folks in congress quickly by using Velvet Revolution's easy Email generator here.)

Here's the very welcome ad, signed by many election reformers. Amongst them, our friend the heroic Robert Koehler (listen to our interview with Koehler at the Portland Summit as broadcast on The BRAD SHOW by clicking here and selecting HOUR 3.)

To read the full text of the ad in PDF format, click it, or click here.

Let's all keep swimming...together...

If you need some added inspiration to keep up the fight for democracy, we'll strongly recommend this great song [mp3], courtesy of Victoria Parks. "It's well worth fighting for..."

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ACVR's Jim Dyke Moonlights to Push Bush Supreme Court Nominee
'Honesty and Integrity' in the Bush-Era Now at it's Bushiest Level of All Time!
By Brad Friedman on 10/6/2005 10:49am PT  

{Blogged by Brad on the road...}

Jim Dyke, the liar who helped found the "non-partisan" American Center for Voting Rights (ACVR), is boning up on his "non-partisan" creds of late by working for the White House to help them push Harriet Miers through the nomination process.

As reported last night by NPR's All Things Considered in a story about some rightwinger concerns about Miers:

PETER OVERBY: ...But Jim Dyke, working on the nomination for the White House, says they'll come around to support Miers.

JIM DYKE: The more people learn about her, the more they understand what the...the President means when he talks about trusting him.

Of course, BRAD BLOG readers will remember Dyke from our special coverage of ACVR, the phony voting rights group which claims tax-exempt "non-partisan" status. The group was co-founded by Dyke, former RNC Communications Director, and Mark F. "Thor" Hearne, National General Counsel for Bush/Cheney '04 Inc. to help smokescreen the real problems that occurred during Election 2004, and to produce misleading propoganda in hopes of further disenfranchising American voters in the future through insidious new plans to making voting harder, not easier, for mainly Democratic-leaning constituencies.

Conservative readers --- real conservatives, not fake George W. Bush "conservatives" --- would likely admit to being outraged at these senior GOP operatives who are pimping their efforts to further disenfranchise Americans at the voting booth through the incidious work of a front group like ACVR. All the while, as we've pointed out, doing so by sucking off the tax-payer teat with their disingenuous tax payer funded 501(c)3 tax-exempt status.

One would think real conservatives wouldn't look too kindly on that sort of thing. (That assumes, of course, that there are any real conservatives left in America.)

Surely there must be some true conservative law firm or organization out there who feels like filing suit to get at the truth and hold these guys accountable for the fraud they are committing on the U.S. government, no?

Paging Judicial Watch...Your test case is ready...

UPDATE 10/11/05: Non-partisan Jim Dyke now working for Dick Cheney! Info here...

For more information on the "non-partisan" tax-exempt ACVR 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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Stock Fall Another 3.3% Today...
(And More Trouble Still To Come for Diebold, Our Sources Tell Us...)
By Brad Friedman on 9/27/2005 9:46am PT  

With Diebold, Inc.'s financial and ethical and political chickens perhaps finally coming home to roost, Andrew Gumbel, author of Steal This Vote: Dirty Elections and the Rotten History of Democracy in America comes out with some more troubling information on the voting machines sold by America's largest Voting Machine Company.

As we write this morning, Diebold's trouble stock prices, which fell nearly 20% over two days last week alone, continue to tumble. DBD share prices are down 2.33% so far in early trading today closed down another 3.3% today!

The trouble reported by Gumbel today, comes out of Georgia, vis a vis the Democratic Secretary of State down there and what appears to be some less-than-above-board contractual shenanigans with Diebold and their hardware and software. The report also suggest that votes may have disappeared entirely from Diebold voting machines.

Gumbel reports, in a Huffington Post blog item today based on several original documents and contracts obtained via public records requests made by CountTheVote.org's Roxanne Jekot, that recent "elections were run on software that was not only untested but also uncertified, that key components broke down during live elections, that county officials were left clueless on how to operate the new machines because of a breakdown in the training schedule, and that the cost of installing the electronic touch-screen system jumped dramatically beyond the advertised $54 million, without proper legislative oversight or approval."

While Gumbel's concerns seem to be used to question Sec. of State Cathy Cox's fitness for office as she makes a 2006 gubernatorial bid, it's Diebold's complicity in keeping security issues with their machines quiet that caught our eye. Amongst the items reported by Gumbel based on records reviewed (more links available in his original article):

� Georgia ran its first all-touch screen election, in November 2002, with software for which no evidence of legal certification had been submitted. Certification documents were still not forthcoming, in fact, as late as March 2003. Because of a meltdown in the schedule for training county election workers, Georgia ended up abdicating control of the election to Diebold technicians, who ran it on the state's behalf � without the voters being told.

NOTE: The 2002 election questioned above, was when Senator, War Hero and 3-time amputee Max Cleland (D-GA) lost his seat in a surpise victory by Republican, Saxby Chambliss who had run advertisements questioning the patriotism of Cleland, and comparing the Vietnam War hero and 3-time amputee to Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein.

Gumbel continues...

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

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By Winter Patriot on 9/22/2005 11:24pm PT  

Guest blogged by Winter Patriot

Project Censored has presented its annual compilation of the most important stories ignored by the mainstream media over the past year... and the rigged presidential election of 2004 came in at number three!

In normal times, the theft of a presidential election, and the virtual media blackout that followed it, would be an easy choice for the top spot. But then again these times are far from normal.

Here, according to Project Censored, are the top ten censored stories of the year:

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

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Charged for Violating State Law in Attempt to Assure Hand Recount Wouldn't Occur
Each Face Six Counts, 18 Months in Prison
By Brad Friedman on 8/31/2005 9:45am PT  

As The BRAD BLOG has been reporting for months, the recount of the 2004 Ohio Presidential Election was gamed by Ohio elections officials and voting machine company employees who violated state laws requiring a random recount of precincts in order to determine if a hand recount of entire counties would be necessary.

Reports that county officials and voting machine companies colluded to assure the hand recount would match with the initial machine recount have been reported for months and yesterday the first indictments were handed down.

According to today's Cleveland Plain Dealer...

Two Cuyahoga County elections officials were indicted Tuesday on charges of not handling ballots correctly during the recount of the 2004 presidential election.

Kathleen Dreamer, manager of the board's ballot department, and the assistant manager, Rosie Grier, were each charged with six counts of failing to follow Ohio laws that spell out how ballots are selected and reviewed during a recount.

The most serious charges carry a maximum of 18 months in prison.

Erie County Prosecutor Kevin J. Baxter conducted the investigation at the behest of Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Bill Mason, who recused himself from the case because his office represents the elections board.

The charges stem from a complaint first raised last December by Toledo lawyer Richard Kerger, who watched over the recount on behalf of two third-party candidates.

Kerger charged that elections officials failed to randomly select precincts that were supposed to be counted by hand and compared against ballots tabulated by a machine; conduct test-runs before witnesses; and investigate discrepancies between vote totals.

Baxter would not offer details of his investigation but said he examined allegations that officials took "measures in order to all but assure that there would not be a countywide hand count."

Amongst the reports on this matter that The BRAD BLOG has carried since last November, is the case of Hocking County election board worker Sherole Eaton, who filed a sworn affidavit that an employee from voting machine company, Triad had offered a "cheat sheet" to her and other county officials on how the recount might be carried off to assure the entire county would not need to be recounted by hand. He also allegedly removed and restored a harddrive from the county's central tabulating machine prior to the recount, according to Eaton, also in violation of Ohio state law. Eaton is currently challenging her firing as improprer.

Ohio law calls for a random selection of 3% of a county's precincts to be carried out by hand. If that random recount doesn't match the initially reported count, a full recount of the county would then be necessary. Eaton was subsequently fired from the board after making her claim public (our BRAD SHOW interview with Eaton is here [mp3]).

As well, RAW STORY had reported last January that several recount witnesses had testified to stickers having been placed over Kerry/Edwards votes on ballots before they were fed into vote tabulators during the recount in that county. (Our BRAD SHOW interview with two of those witnesses, Stephen Spraley and Eric Gifford, is here [mp3]).

(Hat tip Ray Beckerman!)

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ACVR, traitors to American democracy, have cover blown by newly published articles
By David Edwards on 8/18/2005 3:15pm PT  

Guest blogged by David Edwards

As our readers know, The BRAD BLOG has been a leading source for investigations and reports into the nefarious (and possibly illegal) actions of high-level GOP Operatives that have established a tax-exempt, 503(c)(3) organization called the American Center for Voting Rights (ACVR). The group, since its creation, has released false and misleading information intended to advance GOP plans to disenfranchise millions of voters via legislation calling for national voter registration databases and a demand for photo IDs at the polls.

Increasingly, the mainstream corporate media and independent media sources have caught on to the "dirty tricks" being used by these GOP operatives though the cynically named ACVR.

We were pleased to see a recent article, penned by Dimitri Vassilaros, in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review titled: 'Study' is political fraud. Vassilaros writes:

The supposedly nonpartisan American Center for Voting Rights --- which purports to expose voter fraud --- is a fraud.

The organization's 368-page study "Vote Fraud, Intimidation & Suppression in the 2004 Presidential Election," which was released last week, indicated that Democrats were the instigators in every case from Alabama to Wisconsin --- except two.

It also said that the two complaints regarding Republicans had no merit.

The "findings" about Democrat wrongdoing are not surprising considering that the three public faces of the nonpartisan group are very partisan Republican operatives --- including one who claims to be a sounding board for senior White House adviser Karl Rove.

Not surprisingly, Vassilaros discovers that the Republican State Committee of Pennsylvania has values similar to the organizers of ACVR...

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

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