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Latest Featured Reports | Tuesday, September 2, 2014
CA Repubs Block State-Paid Automatic 'Recount' Bill
After gaping flaws in the law revealed by the closest statewide election ever, GOP blocks conservative Dem attempt to make oversight easier and election theft harder before Nov...
After a Year of Digital Detox, David Roberts Returns
The great climate blogger from Grist is finally back on the Internets, with some very helpful thoughts for the information overloaded...
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...
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...
Our Story So Far: The WI GOP Photo ID Voting Restrictions
Trouble keeping up with all the court cases barring, then allowing, then barring GOP Photo ID voting restrictions in WI? We'll catch you up quickly...
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...
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...


By Brad Friedman on 10/29/2010 1:30pm PT  

Unlike Jan Brewer, who was elevated from Arizona's Sec. of State to Governor by Obama's ill-considered selection of Janet Napolitano from AZ Governor to Director of the U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security, the state's newly appointed Republican SoS, Ken Bennett seems to have the ability to tell the truth every now and again --- even in the days just prior to a hotly-contested election...

"I take seriously any allegations of fraud in our election process," he said. "As soon as these accusations came to light, we got in contact with elections officials in Yuma County and across Arizona to determine if a fraudulent scheme was afoot. With our initial inquiry complete, I'm happy to report that these latest allegations of rampant registration fraud are without merit."

TPM has the full story...

In related previous coverage, we outlined this year's 'GOP War on Democracy' here a few weeks ago, reporting on the various fraudulent "voter fraud" campaigns of Rightwing groups who were busy gearing and ginning them up at the time, by noting, among many other things...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 9/7/2010 6:35pm PT  

When it comes to elections, it seems there are no rules, laws, morals, or ethical boundaries which Republicans aren't willing to happily violate in order to be "victorious."

Our latest two examples:

  • Over at Daily Kos today, a commenter has been outed as a "concern troll" hoping to deflate progressive support for KY's Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Jack Conway, while serving on the payroll of Republican candidate Rand Paul.

So what wouldn't these guys do to ensure a "victory"? Stay classy, GOP. The founders would be very proud!

* * *
Please support The BRAD BLOG's fiercely independent, award-winning coverage of your electoral system, as available from no other media outlet in the nation, with a donation to help us keep going (Snail mail, more options here). If you like, we'll send you some great, award-winning election integrity documentary films in return! Details right here...

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By Brad Friedman on 8/25/2010 12:38pm PT  

We were on the road all day long yesterday, after getting the morning's Green News Report. We finally got off the road and back on the grid as the sun was setting here in the Midwest, and as "results" began coming in from some of the five different states (Alaska, Arizona, Florida, Oklahoma and Vermont) holding primary elections last night.

It seemed a good moment to ask a question on Twitter about what we'd missed so far. In the bargain, we received some interesting Twitter replies from NBC's Chief White House Correspondent and election results guy Chuck Todd, in regard to counting ballots and the fact that he (and others) were busy reporting "results" to the world, even as not one single ballot had yet to be counted by any human being in all of the United States by that point.

Here's how some of that conversation on Twitter went...

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

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The madness in AZ provides ample warning, but is anyone paying attention?...
By Ernest A. Canning on 7/22/2010 3:05pm PT  

Guest editorial by Ernest A. Canning

The radical-right agenda, hidden from so many of the uninformed, working class useful idiots (aka post-2008 "Tea Party" followers) was aptly described by Chalmers Johnson on the cover of Naomi Klein's The Shock Doctrine as "a conspiracy to privatize war and disaster and grab public property for the rich few...[as part of] our headlong flight back to feudalism..."

In Meg Whitman, Wall Street, 'Billionaire Sociopaths' and the Media 'Substance Deficit', we cited a Pew Research Center study on how the campaign by America's political elites to ravage the middle class has, for "wide layers of the population," destroyed "faith in the US government to secure their most basic social needs." As we observed at the time:

What has become painfully obvious is that many within these "wide layers of the population" simply do not realize that the source of the middle class demise lies not in government per se but in the carefully thought out, decades-long effort of the hard-right to "starve the beast" by massive tax cuts for those who already have too much in order to, in the words of Grover Norquist, reduce government to the point it could be "drown in a bathtub" and in order to privatize the commons so that the privileged few can be enriched beyond the wildest imagination of ordinary citizens.

An American Political Science Association study, cited by Bill Moyers in Moyers on America (2004) referred to a "radical political elite who have...inequality as its mission and has organized 'a fanatical drive to dismantle the political institutions, the legal and statutory cannons, and the intellectual and cultural framework that have shaped public responsibility from social harms arising from the excesses of private powers.'"

Into this mix comes "Tea Party in Sonora": Ken Silverstein of Harper’s Says Arizona is Laboratory for Radical GOP Policies, a powerful, must-see segment of Democracy Now (video below) which exposes the bleak future, indeed the madness, in store for all of us if we permit the radical right to assert the same control at the national level that they have already secured in Arizona.

An eerily prescient 1944 New York Times op-ed written by Franklin D. Roosevelt's then-Vice President may have best described the ultimate goal of the hard-right agenda of those who now drive the so-called "Tea Party" in 2010...

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

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Material sought by Election Integrity advocates from Pima County's 2006 RTA election no longer in 'secured' facility
AZ AG Terry Goddard failed to examine evidence during his criminal investigation hand-count of ballots last year...
By Brad Friedman on 7/14/2010 3:27pm PT  

- Special investigative report by Brad Friedman, The BRAD BLOG

The mystery surrounding a long-questioned and allegedly "fixed" non-partisan 2006 Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) bond election in Pima County, AZ continues to deepen as troubling new details have now emerged. The resolution in this matter --- should it ever come --- could spell trouble for supporters of paper-based optical-scan electronic voting systems, since indications are that if the election was rigged, it was done with insiders via the electronic central tabulating computers.

Late last week another new twist was discovered in the years-long election fraud investigation by Democratic and Libertarian Election Integrity advocates in Tucson. The revelations come to light in what was thought by many to have been a settled election, at last, following a long-sought hand-count of paper ballots carried out last year by the office of AZ's Democratic Attorney General Terry Goddard. The AG had announced in April of last year that his criminal investigation hand-count had "affirmed" the original results of the election were correct.

As it turns out, The BRAD BLOG, which has been covering this bizarre matter for years, plays a small role in this latest development, as a promise that Goddard's office made to us last year concerning the "poll tapes" --- remarks which he was asked about during a press conference at the end of the hand count [see the remarks on video below] --- may have now boomeranged on him.

Given that Goddard is now the likely Democratic nominee to face Republican Gov. Jan Brewer in this fall's Gubernatorial race, this revelation couldn't have come at a much worse time for him.

After many years of litigation, Election Integrity advocates have now finally been allowed to review the long sought-after poll tapes in question. What they've discovered is disturbing and, so far, without legitimate explanation.

Out of 368 precincts, 112 poll tapes are completely missing. Moreover, 102 of the "yellow sheets" --- certified precinct reports, signed by poll workers, detailing corresponding summary information, such as numbers of ballots received, cast and spoiled, as helpful for important auditing functions at the precinct level --- are missing as well.

Furthermore, of the poll tape records that are not missing, 50 of them do not match the results as recorded in the final canvas of the election, according to the Election Integrity advocates who have compared them to the original electronic database numbers...

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

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TONIGHT: Howie Klein, PLUS: Special Guest w/ Breaking News!
LIVE! 9p-Mid ET (6p-9p PT), Call-in#: 877-520-1150
By Brad Friedman on 7/8/2010 4:22pm PT  

[Now UPDATED with full --- highly recommended --- audio archives.]

It's Day 4 of our latest week-long stint filling in for Mike on the nationally syndicated Mike Malloy Show. And again we'll be BradCasting LIVE from L.A.'s KTLK am1150 9pm-Midnight ET (6p-9p PT). I hope you'll join us by tuning in, chatting in, Tweeting in and calling in!

The LIVE chat room, as ever, will be up and rolling right here at The BRAD BLOG during the show, so come on by while you're listening! (The Chat Room will open at the bottom of this item a few minutes before airtime, see down below, just above "Comments" section.)

So far scheduled for tonight's show...

  • HOWIE KLEIN, political blogger extraordinary from Huffington Post and Down With Tyranny on all the politics that's fit to speculate about! Specifically this November's Congressional elections, the outlook for Democrats, Republicans and those damned Blue Dogs!
  • BREAKING NEWS, You'll have to tune in tonight to hear about some rathering disturbing new news in a long-running election fraud case in a specific county, in a specific state. It's one we've been following for some time, and tonight there's breaking news in the case. We'll talk about it with one of the key players in the long running investigation!
  • PLUS: Catching up with the week's news and your calls on whatever you'd like to discuss at 877-520-1150, or via tweets to @TheBradBlog and whatever else comes up along the way...

The Mike Malloy Show is nationally syndicated on air affiliates around the country and also on Sirius Ch. 146 & XM Ch. 167. You may also listen online to the free LIVE audio stream at affiliate GREEN 960 in San Francisco or via MikeMalloy.com.

* * *

Click here to jump into our LIVE Chat Room during the show. Or just see below!...

* * *

POST-SHOW UPDATE: Well that was one very lively, very fast-paced show, chocked full of breaking news and exclusives. Check this one out! The audio archives are all posted below (and the chat room archives are posted below that, if your interested.) Enjoy! I know I did!...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 6/22/2010 2:25pm PT  

Yesterday, the White House denied a claim made by Arizona's Republican Sen. Jon Kyl that he was told personally by President Obama that he would not work to secure the Mexican border unless it was part of comprehensive immigration legislation.

"The president didn't say that and Senator Kyl knows it," White House Communication Director Dan Pfeiffer told POLITICO yesterday in their story which includes video of Kyl's claims being made to supporters in Phoenix.

Today, Media Matters has a long list detailing Kyl's well-documented history of blatantly false claims.

But we had our own run in with Kyl --- and his proclivity to just pull stuff out of his hind-quarters when speaking to the press --- during the 2008 Democratic Convention, both outside, and then inside the Pepsi Center.

Remember this BRAD BLOG exclusive from August 28, 2008? When we seemed to be the only member of the media willing to press Kyl on his bullshit?...


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No Tea Bagger protests against the courts latest Big Government encroachment?...
By Brad Friedman on 6/10/2010 1:58pm PT  

If you still have any doubts about what this Supreme Court is up to, even after their disastrous Citizens United ruling, yesterday's "emergency order" should now make things crystal clear...

In a burst of judicial activism, the Supreme Court on Tuesday upended the gubernatorial race in Arizona, cutting off matching funds to candidates participating in the state's public campaign finance system. Suddenly, three candidates, including Gov. Jan Brewer, can no longer receive public funds they had counted on to run against a free-spending wealthy opponent.

The court's reckless order muscling into the race was terse and did not say whether there were any dissents, though it is hard to imagine there were not. An opinion explaining its reasoning will have to wait until the next term, assuming it takes the case, but by that time the state's general election will be over and its model campaign finance system substantially demolished.

It seems likely that the Roberts court will use this case to continue its destruction of the laws and systems set up in recent decades to reduce the influence of big money in politics. By the time it is finished, millionaires and corporations will have regained an enormous voice in American politics, at the expense of candidates who have to raise money the old-fashioned way and, ultimately, at the expense of voters.

"Regained," New York Times? Did we miss something? Had the "millionaires and corporations" previously lost their "enormous voice in American Politics"???

Maddow covered some of the details in quickie coverage last night, observing: "It's great news for anyone psyched to get all the riff-raff out of politics so we can get over this whole democracy fantasy and just settle down to being ruled by our economic overlords, like the founding fathers intended."...

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

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The BRAD BLOG tried to warn you (and him) long ago...
By Ernest A. Canning on 5/29/2010 7:38am PT  

Guest editorial by Ernest A. Canning

Shortly after she signed SB-1070 into law, Arizona's Republican Governor Jan Brewer sought to deflect criticism of Arizona's "show me your papers law," by claiming that criticism amounted to "hysteria." While acknowledging that racial profiling is "illegal," Brewer dismissed any notion that SB-1070 authorized Arizona police to engage in that illegal activity for the police "must ask that person for identification if there's reasonable suspicion that he or she is in the country illegally."

The temerity of the dissembling and unelected AZ governor, who claimed she did not know what an illegal immigrant looks like, but failed to identify just what factors, other than the color of one's skin, or perhaps the language one is overheard speaking, give rise to a "reasonable suspicion" that a given individual "is in the country illegally;" her enthusiastic embrace of a subsequent anti-ethnic studies law, aptly described by Pima County Legal Defender Isabel Garcia as a form of ”cultural cleansing” should not come as a surprise to long time readers of The BRAD BLOG.

We warned you long ago...

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

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Competing ads, a rare instance of investigative journalism and a hard-right embrace of AZ's Apartheid 'Pass Law,' helps close Poizner's gap against front-runner Whitman...
By Ernest A. Canning on 5/16/2010 10:31pm PT  

Guest blogged by Ernest A. Canning

In "Meg Whitman, Wall Street, 'Billionaire Sociopaths' and the Media 'Substance Deficit,'" we noted:

Californians have been drawn within the cross-hairs of a propaganda blitz bought and paid for by Meg Whitman, the billionaire former CEO of eBay, who, since declaring her intent to run for governor in February, 2009, has already contributed $59 million of her own money to her "campaign" --- a one-sided political phenomenon which has seen a stealth candidate, with disturbing connections to Goldman Sachs, soar to the top of the polls because the electoral process has been emasculated by the absence of mandatory debates and meaningful investigative journalism.

Now comes a SurveyUSA poll, conducted May 6-9, revealing that Whitman's once commanding lead over CA Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner has all but evaporated. Where she led Poizner by 22% on April 22, Whitman is now said to hold a meager 2% lead. One suspects that, in the wake of a hard-hitting, front page May 12 Los Angeles Times article, "Whitman's words put spotlight on deeds," Whitman's once-commanding lead may soon become a deficit.

The Los Angeles Times followed up on May 13 with a separate piece, "Companies challenged Poizner business claims," which revealed that a major portion of Poizner's wealth was acquired when SnapTrack Inc., the company Poizner founded, was sold to Qualcomm. Poizner claims SnapTrack invented mobile-phone GPS technology. In pending lawsuits, other companies accused SnapTrack of infringing intellectual property rights, and, the Times reports, "as SnapTrack developed its GPS technology, Poizner faced another test of his entrepreneurial skills, as a special interest trying to bend the Washington regulatory process his way."

The drastic change in the recent public opinion polls is tied not only to the fact that her fellow billionaire Poizner unleashed his own paid-for propaganda (ad) blitz, deconstructing Whitman's one-sided narrative. Nor is the change tied only to hard-hitting, if overdue, front page newspaper exposés on the facts behind how these two rapacious "business people" amassed their fortunes.

Disturbingly, Poizner's late gain in the polls may be attributed to his open embrace of Arizona's version of apartheid South Africa's infamous "pass laws." Poizner's is a cynically calculated effort to scapegoat immigrants while deflecting attention from the true source of California's fiscal woes: the very same billionaire sociopath economics in which both he and Whitman amassed their fortunes...

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

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Results of hand-count examination of paper ballots from allegedly 'fixed' special election, announced this afternoon...
By Brad Friedman on 4/21/2009 5:48pm PT  

[Updated at end of article with video of Goddard's Tuesday press conference, and a radio appearance shortly thereafter.]

No evidence of manipulation was found in the results of a 2006 special election in Pima County, AZ, according to the state Attorney General's announcement given at a press conference this afternoon in Tucson.

Today, AG Terry Goddard announced the results of his findings from a paper-ballot hand count, held earlier this month in Phoenix as part of a criminal investigation into whether the results of the '06 election were manipulated by election officials. A multi-partisan coalition of election integrity advocates have long charged that the results of the 2006 Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) election may have been electronically tampered with via the county's Diebold optical-scan central tabulator system.

The criminal investigation was re-opened in July of 2008, following the filing of a sworn affidavit from a former county employee who claimed he was told by a Pima County Election Division computer operator that the election was "'fixed'...on the instructions of his bosses."

The BRAD BLOG was listening in on the press conference, via a weak cell phone connection, so it was difficult to get direct quotes from Goddard, but we did speak to a number of people who attended the presser to get details from them, and were able to listen to Goddard's appearance on local radio shortly afterwords...

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

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State AG: 'These [Diebold] systems are very, very bad'...
By Brad Friedman on 4/17/2009 12:05am PT  

The AP has finally noticed the long-sought criminal investigation ballot count of the 2006 Pima County (Tucson), AZ, special election. State Attorney General Terry Goddard's hand-count of the disputed Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) election was concluded, at least for now, in Phoenix on Wednesday. That's when AP filed its report on the matter that we've been covering here at The BRAD BLOG in a number of special reports and exclusives, in great detail, this week, last week, and for several years prior.

AP's coverage was fairly cursory (recent inside joke: AP didn't report who the AG's office had found to be the "leading vote-getter"), but it hit a few points worth noting, including one of the key take-aways from the entire, epic morality tale still playing out on behalf of the entire U.S., in Arizona:

Maricopa County election workers have been hand counting ballots from a 2006 Pima County transportation election to determine if the vote was rigged by tampering with optical-scan polling machines and turning “no” votes into “yes” votes.
...
What may be of even greater concern is the voting machines in Pima County, which includes Tucson, are similar to those used in 12 of Arizona’s 15 counties and in hundreds of jurisdictions across the country.

If it turns out the election was rigged by manipulating Diebold Elections Systems (now Premier Election Solutions Inc.) computer election programs, as some fear, it will show weaknesses in electronic balloting that could endanger the democratic process.

There you have it. That's why this story matters, and why it's far more than simply a "local story."

It also matters on a still-broader level because, even if the 2006 Tucson RTA election wasn't rigged --- and it's three years on, and nobody yet actually seems to know for certain --- due to the god-awful, privatized, untested, hackable, oft-failed, secret vote-counting machines we now use in our public elections, it's become virtually impossible to know if any elections counted on such machines were accurately tabulated.

AP notes that Goddard seems to finally be understanding that larger point, at least:

No matter which way the recount goes, state Attorney General Terry Goddard said he is convinced the equipment jeopardizes election integrity.

“These (Premier) systems are very, very bad,” Goddard said. “(They) are not state of the art in terms of security. They are not state of the art in terms of transparency.”

The Arizona Republic's Dennis Wagner pulled some details from AP's cursory coverage and augmented it substantially for more lengthy, detailed coverage filed on Wednesday as well, which we're happy to see and recommend.

* * *

In a related note: Tucson election integrity advocate John Brakey saw charges against him dismissed by a judge today, following his arrest ordered by Pima County election officials last year during a state-mandated, post-election hand-count --- a statutory mandate that likely would not have existed were it not for Brakey's advocacy for such post-election "audits."

The county's case against him was so bad Brakey wasn't even required to put on his own defense before the judge dismissed the case entirely after hearing the county's testimony. The recent criminal investigation hand count carried out by Goddard, and all of the issues discussed above, would also likely never have come to light in Arizona, had it not been for the tenacity, courage, and tireless determination of Brakey. Exclusive details on today's dismissed charges against him posted earlier here...

As long promised, The BRAD BLOG has covered your electoral system 2008, fiercely and independently, like no other media outlet in the nation. Please support our work with a donation to help us keep going. If you like, we'll send you some great, award-winning election integrity documentary films in return! Details on that right here...
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Judge tosses case filed by Pima County Election Department against Democratic Party watchdog
Becomes second citizen recently cleared of charges following arrests while observing elections...
By Brad Friedman on 4/16/2009 4:36pm PT  

[Updated at bottom of article with video of trial testimony and the judge's dismissal of the case.]

Along with everything else that's been going on over the past week or two in the criminal investigation hand count of the 2006 Pima County (Tucson), AZ, special election (see our detailed special coverage here and here, with a bit of followup coming tonight, by the way. [UPDATE: Here's that late report.]), local election integrity watchdog John Brakey has had a trial of his own to contend with this week, following his arrest last September, while serving as an official observer during a post-election hand-count "audit" of the state's primary election on behalf of both the Democratic and Libertarian Parties.

As The BRAD BLOG reported at the time, Brakey had noticed that a number of ballot bags, selected for the hand-count, had missing or broken security seals on them. When he asked about them, he was promptly arrested on the orders of Pima's "Election Director Gone Wild" Brad Nelson, a Republican and long-time foe of Brakey's.

The case against Brakey, heard in court this afternoon, was dismissed by Judge Luis Castillo after the county presented its evidence on the charges of "trespassing," as we were informed today by Brakey and his attorney Bill Risner, who wouldn't even need to plead their own case to the judge today...

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

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Democratic attorney sends letter to state AG detailing new concerns about Tucson's long-contested 2006 special election
AG's office: Examination may end today, says will 'examine all evidence seized, including poll tapes'...
By Brad Friedman on 4/15/2009 1:32am PT  

-- Brad Friedman, A BRAD BLOG Special Report

In a letter written to the Arizona Attorney General's office on Monday, as obtained by The BRAD BLOG, the attorney for the Pima County (Tucson) Democratic Party has expressed a concern that thousands of ballots from a disputed 2006 special election, which should be in the AG's possession, may instead be "missing".

"Many thousands of ballots that should be in the ballot boxes in your possession don't exist," attorney Bill Risner writes in the 3-page letter [PDF] to Donald E. Conrad, Chief Counsel of the Criminal Division at the office of state Attorney General Terry Goddard. The alarming allegations come as the second week of an extraordinary hand-count of paper ballots, part of a criminal investigation into the '06 election, continued in Phoenix on Monday.

A spokesperson from the Attorney General's office says she believes the count will be concluded on Wednesday, though that could change. It was originally scheduled to conclude last week.

The AG is conducting a criminal investigation into allegations that that election may have been electronically manipulated by election official insiders. The special election created Tucson's Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) in May of 2006, and funded it with a joint bond measure to the tune of $2 billion over ten years. The Pima Democratic Party had endorsed the two RTA ballots questions in the election, but they now question the legitimate success of the measures. They've been bringing court cases to access ballot materials, and have been demanding a hand-count of the ballots for a number of years. Similar RTA initiatives had failed in four previous elections before they were finally passed in 2006.

"If we are correct," Risner wrote in his Monday letter to the Attorney General's office, concerning the absence of as many as 19,000 paper ballots, as estimated by observers of the counting in Phoenix, "the question arises as to what happened to those ballots." The latest mystery adds still more fuel to the already high-stakes, long-sought hand-count, and raises new questions in the nearly three-years long investigation into the 2006 election results.

If the ballots are indeed missing, did they ever actually exist? Was the Diebold electronic ballot box stuffed? Have ballots been surreptitiously removed by someone for some reason? Or have observers miscalculated the number of ballots being examined? The AG's Press Secretary Anne Titus Hilby tells The BRAD BLOG she's aware of the allegations of missing ballots but could not speak to that point in any more detail "until the examination is concluded"...

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AG-selected party observers barred from taking notes, or video-taping long-sought manual tabulation of paper ballots from disputed 2006 election...
By Brad Friedman on 4/6/2009 11:52am PT  

We wrote late last week, in some detail, about Arizona AG Terry Goddard's long overdue hand-count of paper ballots from the dubious 2006 Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) bond special election in Pima County (Tucson). The count of all 120,821 paper ballots from the election begins today in Phoenix as part of a criminal investigation, following years of allegations and court cases, in which a trans-partisan group of Election Integrity advocates in Tucson have sought transparency and public oversight following indications that Diebold tabulator databases may have been manipulated by election insiders.

Goddard's restrictions on political party observers --- just one per party, selected by the AG, not by the parties themselves --- was the cause of criticism by all of the involved parties (Republican, Democratic, Libertarian, etc.). But a letter [PDF] late last week from the AG's office indicated, at least, that a live, eight-camera video feed would be available on the Internet.

"Eight cameras will stream live video of the examination proceedings to the internet courtesy of the Maricopa County Elections Department," the AG promised. And, as the count began this morning, that feed is now up and running here.

Unfortunately, unlike Minnesota's recent, very transparent hand-count of 2.9 million ballots from the state's still-contested U.S. Senate race, the video from the Maricopa County Ballot Tabulation Center (BTC) is all but worthless, as critics had previously worried, in determining if counts are being carried out accurately.

Here are screen shots from this morning, as counting began, from all eight camera-views --- only two of which show any actual counting at all, while six of them are focused on different areas in the Phoenix counting facility (click a photo to see the live streaming shot)...

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