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Latest Featured Reports | Wednesday, September 17, 2014
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GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal 2012...
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The Secret Koch Brothers Tapes...


Then-DoJ Appointee in Civil Rights Unit, Now Recess-Appointed FEC Chair, Tried to Influence EAC Reports on 'Voter Fraud'...
By Brad Friedman on 5/22/2007 12:50pm PT  

Following up on Greg Gordon's Sunday piece on former DoJ operative turned recess-appointed FEC chair Hans von Spakovsky, McClatchy has now posted the emails referred to in the article in full [PDF].

As you'll recall, the point we focused on when we covered Gordon's article was the apparent attempted strong-arming, suggested by the emails, of U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC) chair Paul DeGregorio. Von Spakovsky was attempting to influence the EAC's reports and positions on GOP claims of massive "voter fraud" and the effects of legislation for Photo ID restrictions at the polls.

Von Spakovsky was concerned about the EAC's position and the "proper balance" (code word) being brought to bi-partisan reports on "voter fraud" and Photo ID, both of which eventually failed to give evidence of GOP claims of massive Democratic voter fraud. Such claims were being used by Bush's operatives at DoJ and out in the "grass roots" by their boy Thor Hearne and his "non-partisan" front group, the American Center for Voting Rights to game elections and media, and push for Photo ID laws (which have been found to be unconstitutional time and again.)

Both reports would eventually be altered and/or buried.

BRAD BLOG readers will also recall the many reports filed here concerning the partisanship and/or incompetence of the EAC, the White House controlled federal body which supposedly oversees our nation's electoral system. These emails highlight many of the claims we've made about inappropriate influence by the White House on the failed commission.

One thing which catches our eye in the emails right away is that von Spakovsky's emails were sent to the Republican members of the commission including DeGregorio, Donnetta Davidson (now EAC chair), and Tom Wilkey (EAC Exec Dir.), but not to the Democratic members. (Ed Note: See 5/24/07 UPDATE at bottom of article on this point.) We've covered both Davidson and Wilkey, and the failings of each, in some detail here at The BRAD BLOG in the past.

The notes were also sent to Republican aides of Sen. Christopher Bond in Missouri (home of the ACVR's Hearne), as well as Doug Lewis of the Election Center, a voting machine industry front group, which "the Dean of the DC press corp," WaPo's David Broder, recently referred to in a column as his favorite expert on elections, forgetting to mention that he's an industry/Republican shill. Can someone please put Broder out to pasture at this point?! And can the media stop quoting Lewis as if he's a disinterested, non-partisan "expert" on elections?!

Little time for the moment to report on the new specifics found in the emails, so we'll encourage you to give them a quick read (just 5 pages) and leave your thoughts here in comments. As time allows, we'll update this item with our own thoughts if possible.

But one quick point that we haven't highlighted enough lately: Voter Fraud is the term used to describe voters gaming the system on a retail level by voting twice, etc. It's extremely rare, as bi-partisan reports have shown time and again, despite GOP claims (that includes the EAC's own buried and altered reports that von Spakovsky hoped to influence).

Election Fraud, on the other hand, is the defrauding of elections through the administration of those elections, from inappropriate voter roll purges to gaming of voting equipment, etc. Evidence strongly suggests that the GOP's unevidenced claims of a "voter fraud" epidemic by Democrats may well have been forwarded after 2004 in order to deflect from the now-well-documented evidence showing GOP election fraud in Ohio and elsewhere.

Hope that reminder helps to clarify.

UPDATE 5/24/07: McClatchy's Greg Gordon writes to say that he believes that all of the commissioners, not just the Republican ones, were CC'd on the emails in question, but that those CC's somehow ended up on a second page and didn't get included when they created their PDF's of the actual emails. Due to the holiday weekend, unfortunately, he won't be able to try to find them in order to check for sure until next week at earliest. But he wanted us to note that there is a question about whether or not all of the EAC commissioners were actually CC'd, and to note his recollection that they were, at least on some of the notes. We'll update further if we can learn definitively one way or the other.

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Clear Enough?
By Brad Friedman on 5/19/2007 4:40pm PT  


John Fund is an evil, unrepentant liar who despises democracy and the very American values that it represents. Other than that, he's swell.

At left is the Wall Street Journal's editorialist/propagandist, lying to America on Friday night's Real Time with Bill Maher. Actor and well-informed progressive Bradley Whitford deserves credit for attempting to call "bullshit" (literally) on Fund's garbage, but it sure would be nice if Maher had someone on who could really speak to the insidious (and successful) GOP "voter fraud" scam meant for nothing more nor less than to keep legitimate voters from being able to cast a vote, as revealed more clearly than ever by the U.S. Attorney Purge scandal. Fund is one of the original architects, or at least a ponyboy for that despicable scam.

(Hint: I live about 7 minutes from where Real Time tapes each week, and would be happy to counter the previously-debunked horse manure that Fund was allowed to spread, virtually unchecked, last night.)

Important Note: Before you view the video, I should point out that Fund's reference to the Baker/Carter Commission's recommendation for Photo ID restrictions at the polls should be taken in context with the fact that that privately-empaneled commission was created by the same fraudsters who created the GOP's American Center for Voting Rights (ACVR) scam as we originally broke here and followed up here, and which RAW STORY subsequently busted wide open here.

As we all reported at the time, that Baker/Carter scam was meant to do little more than give "respectable and official blue-ribbon" credence to the Photo ID scam they were beginning to perpetrate back in its nascent stages. The scam was perpetrated by the same operatives who secretly created and ran the commission in the first place, in order that folks like Fund (who, naturally, was called to give testimony to this phony commission) could later cite some sort of official elder-statesmen blessing of their disenfranchising Photo ID conspiracy which they've been using to con an otherwise gullible media/electorate.

Here's what a fuming John Conyers had to say about Fund's Baker/Carter commission testimony as we reported it in April of 2005, not long after live-blogging the entire hearing:

The remarks of Mr. James Baker, III, which were echoed by a number of right wing political operatives called as witnesses, seemed to have a singular purpose of spreading hoaxes and conspiracy theories about ineligible Democratic voters being allowed to cast votes. The remedy was cleverly repeated like a broken record, "photo ID, photo ID, photo ID." Right wing pundit John Fund was called as an "expert" witness by the hearing and offered racially charged proposals with racially charged rhetoric.

The substance of the testimony alleging "voter fraud" was a fraud itself.
...
At the outset, Mr. Fund laid bare the nasty, racial underbelly of these proposals. The right-wing has been long engaged in tactics to suppress minority votes, but rarely lets slip about such tactics, as Fund did today. In a discussion about provisional ballots, Mr. Fund said that Congress should allow precinct workers to determine whether a provisional ballot should count because they would know who "looks as if they belong in the neighborhood." Wonder what he meant by that?

(Thanks to BRAD BLOG's video ace, Alan Breslauer for the stomach churning video clip!)

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Rick Hasen's: 'The Fraudulent Fraud Squad - The Incredible, Disappearing American Center for Voting Rights'
By Brad Friedman on 5/18/2007 12:48pm PT  

I may have more thoughts on this article a bit later, but for now, allow me to just recommend it.

Loyola Election Law professor Rick Hasen outs, in some detail, the shameful case of democracy-hater Mark F. "Thor" Hearne (former Bush/Cheney national general counsel) and his entire Rove-orchestrated ACVR "voter fraud" scam over at Slate today, in a piece titled: "The Fraudulent Fraud Squad - The Incredible, Disappearing American Center for Voting Rights".

After more than two years of the story being "chronicled indefatigably" here at The BRAD BLOG, as Hasen is kind enough to point out/link to, his article summarizing the rise and fall of one of this century's most insidious assaults on American values under the guise of the ACVR GOP front-group fraud comes not a moment too soon.

Let's see if the rest of the MSM catches onto it, and if they're able to advance the story a bit to finally begin peaking under the filthy stained ACVR sheets to figure out who was really pulling the strings behind the scam...not to mention funding it.

As mentioned, perhaps more later on this, as I'm currently in the middle of a thing or two, but wanted folks to catch --- and read --- Hasen's critical exposé, as the breadth of the full story is finally told somewhere other than here(!), and before it gets too late on a Friday.

For more information on the "non-partisan" tax-exempt ACVR "Voter Fraud" scam and the snakeoil salesmen who invented it, Bush/Cheney '04 National General Counsel Mark F. "Thor" Hearne and RNC Communications Director Jim Dyke, please see BRAD BLOG's full Special Coverage of the "American Center for Voting Rights" at http://www.BradBlog.com/ACVR. Your donation to The BRAD BLOG in order to help us continue this investigation and many others, is much appreciated!
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Is the Noose Tightening Around Lathrop & Gage, Thor Hearne, Gov. Matt Blunt and the American Center for Voting Rights Corrupt Law Firm?
By Brad Friedman on 5/17/2007 3:46pm PT  

BREAKING from Kansas City Business Journal:

In early April, Tom Stewart announced that he would leave his position as chief executive at Lathrop & Gage LC to become chairman, effective July 1. Instead, he has left the firm altogether.

KC Star's breaking coverage reports that "Stewart held the top job at the firm for 18 years. During his tenure the firm grew from about 60 attorneys to 280."

What might all of this have to do with our coverage of Lathrop & Gage's connection to the U.S. Attorney Purge scandal, as we recently reported in some detail here, with followup here?

Given that BizJournal reports the longtime L&G CEO was slated to become Chairman of the firm, before he recently requested a 90-day sabbatical on April 23rd "for matters having to do with personal and family health," before announcing today's sudden departure, the timing --- and excuses --- are certainly notable.

We'll also note here that April 23rd also happens to be the day of our first report tying L&G to the U.S. Attorney scandal.

L&G is the powerful MO law firm of Mark F. "Thor" Hearne, the high-level GOP operative, friend of Rove, national general counsel for Bush/Cheney '04, and co-founder of the now-defunct "non-partisan" Republican "voter fraud" disinfo group known as the American Center for Voting Rights (ACVR). Hearne, in his capacity at L&G, was also Missouri Governor Matt Blunt's long-time right-hand legal man and vote suppression guy. Both Blunt and L&G were being investigated by the Arkansas U.S. Attorney Bud Cummins in association with the privatization of the lucrative state licensing fee offices when Cummins was axed by DoJ in what may have been the first of the notorious U.S. Attorney purges.

Recently, Cummins was quoted in the Los Angeles Times as saying "Now I keep asking myself: 'What about the Blunt deal?'"

Blunt's sister Amy was also recently hired as an associate at the firm, but there are more L&G shenanigans and tie-ins to all of this that we've been working on for an upcoming report.

Stay tuned for that, and whatever else we can dig up concerning Stewart's surprise resignation today.

(Hat-tip to "overlander" at dKos)

For more information on the "non-partisan" tax-exempt ACVR "Voter Fraud" scam and the snakeoil salesmen who invented it, Bush/Cheney '04 National General Counsel Mark F. "Thor" Hearne and RNC Communications Director Jim Dyke, please see BRAD BLOG's full Special Coverage of the "American Center for Voting Rights" at http://www.BradBlog.com/ACVR. Your donation to The BRAD BLOG in order to help us continue this investigation and many others, is much appreciated!
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Machines Now Go Unused, But the Gov Stands by His Use of Tax-Payer Dollars, According to Local TV Report...
By Brad Friedman on 5/17/2007 12:25pm PT  


Missouri (or as we call our old homestate around here "Thor Hearne Country") wasted more than $600k on special high-tech, high-security computer systems to run their Voter ID system before the Republican's new vote-suppressing legislation was found to be unconstitutional. But never mind that, because the high-level, WH-connected GOP operative Thor Hearne's client, Gov. Matt Blunt, still believes it was all well worth it.

KTVI, the local Fox affiliate, reports:

State officials thought a voter id law was a good idea at the time, but it meant buying half a million dollars worth of high tech equipment that is now sitting idle. Taxpayers are stuck with the bill and Missouri state law makers are scratching their heads over the questionable call. Investigator Elliott Davis confronts Governor Matt Blunt in this edition of You Paid For It.

Check out Davis' video report on the boondoggle up there on the left, including his confrontation with the not-yet-resigned Missouri Governor.

(Hat-tip to the fine folks of Fired Up! Missouri for tipping us off to this report!)

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While White House Connections and Other Key Elements Central to the U.S. Attorney Scandal --- Many Long Ago Reported by The BRAD BLOG --- Still Being Overlooked, Ignored
Investigative Endgame Remains Unclear, Even as the ACVR's Thor Hearne and Other Unindicted Co-Conspirators Continue to Erase Their Tracks...
By Brad Friedman on 5/15/2007 4:43pm PT  

A WaPo article from Dan Eggen and Amy Goldstein yesterday, headlined "Voter-Fraud Complaints by GOP Drove Dismissals," reports:

It has been clear for months that the administration's eagerness to launch voter-fraud prosecutions played a role in some of the firings, but recent testimony, documents and interviews show the issue was more central than previously known.

"More central than previously known" to whom? Certainly not BRAD BLOG readers, as we've been reporting on the scam to invent actionable, yet phony "voter fraud" claims via the White House's Thor Hearne-run front group, The American Center for Voting Rights (ACVR), since at least March of 2005.

The swing-state hotspots reported by WaPo and others of late, as named by Rove in 2006, etc., are almost precisely the same ones which led the coordinated ACVR effort going back for years. The same locations --- Milwaukee, Philadelphia, Missouri, etc. --- were named in the ACVR's phony report on phony "voter fraud" released back in July of 2005. We covered it at that time, while few, if any, in the MSM --- certainly not WaPo --- bothered to take notice.

As we reported back then, in our August 2, 2005 article headlined, "Phony GOP 'Voting Rights' Group Delivers Onslaught of Disinfo Today!":

In a massive new attempt today to disinform the American Voting Public and sidetrack the true bi-partisan Election Reform movement in this country, the phony "voting rights" group --- calling themselves deceptively "American Center for Voting Rights" (ACVR) --- issued a new report today charging that Democrats were "Far More Involved In Voter Intimidation And Suppression In 2004."

Five different heavily Democratic-leaning cities were cited in each of six different Press Releases issued at once via US Newswire within the last hour as being amongst the "top Election Fraud Hotspots" in the country.

The complete report, which we linked to at the time, is now found here via the Internet archives, since the ACVR website was taken down shortly after the U.S. Attorney Purge scandal began to expose the entire conspiracy. Here's what the "Letter of Introduction" for their propaganda report said at the time:

ACVR Legislative Fund has identified five cities as "hot spots" which require additional immediate attention. These cities were identified based on the findings of this report and the cities' documented history of fraud and intimidation. ACVR Legislative Fund will work with national and state political parties, state legislators and local officials to create a process that supports local election officials in these cities and ensures that any effort to continue the historic pattern of fraud and intimidation in the 2006 election is exposed and stopped.

1. Philadelphia, PA
2. Milwaukee, WI
3. Seattle, WA
4. St. Louis/East St. Louis, MO/IL
5. Cleveland, OH

Those cities and states, of course, have almost all come into play in the firings of the U.S. Attorneys. Point being that very little of the entire scheme is actually "new" --- it's just that the mainstream media (and even elements of the progressive blogosphere) are finally beginning to wake up to what we've been running around with our hair on fire for years trying to let them know about.

It's all been there all along. The only thing that was missing was the will to investigate and report on it. And it's still being under-investigated and under-reported today.

So, if we might take the liberty, allow us once again to point to the person who holds the key to much of all of this: one Mr. Mark F. "Thor" Hearne, the former national general counsel to Bush/Cheney '04 Inc., friend of Rove, and mastermind behind the ground game for national conspiracy as aided, abetted and orchestrated by the group he co-founded, the still-mysteriously funded ACVR.

Although some light was finally shone onto Hearne and the ACVR in a recent groundbreaking McClatchy report, he and his entire direct connection to the White House remain incredibly under-investigated, even while he and his ACVR co-conspirators have been trying to hide their tracks wherever possible of late. (E.g., Thor's online profile at his very powerful, corrupt Missouri legal firm, Lathrop & Gage --- also very much at the center of all of this, btw --- had described him as "General Counsel for the American Center of Voting Rights (ACVR)" as of April 27, 2007, as seen via the Internet archives. That reference to ACVR has now been quietly excised from Thor's current online profile.)

So again, all we can do is try to get the word out that MSM reporters and progressive bloggers looking into the US Attorney scandal may want to peruse our years of coverage on all of this, nicely indexed for their review at http://www.BradBlog.com/ACVR.

On a related note, moving the ball one step forward...WaPo's piece also goes on to quote Dan Tokaji, election law specialist at Ohio State University's Moritz College of Law, as saying: "There is reason for worry and suspicion at this point as to whether voting fraud played an inappropriate role in personnel decisions by the department."

"Reason for worry and suspicion?" With all due respect to Tokaji, we'd say it's gone far beyond that. We'd suggest "reason for indictments and jail time" would be more accurate.

But the question, however, which occurs to us at this point is: What is the next step? It's unclear where Congress plans to go with this investigation, as it's become clearer and clearer that the White House was directly behind the use of the DoJ as little more than a political bludgeon and an outreach arm of the RNC.

Do they plan to recommend indictments? If so, to whom? The DoJ? Will they ask for a Special Prosecutor to do same? Or will they exercise their Constitutional duty to impeach those Administration officials who have criminally violated their oaths to protect and defend that Constitution?

We don't pretend to know where all of this goes, and the endgame seems hazy right now to say the least, but we'd suggest it's time for Congressional investigators to start thinking and/or talking about it.

We hope to have a fresh Exclusive here tomorrow from Greg Palast, with some new details, which begin to look at exactly that. Stay tuned...

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Says Their Legal Firm, Lathrop & Gage, Not Consulted Before Running Altered McClatchy Piece Related to Several Clients, Employees of Firm
Star's Deputy National Editor Explains, Offers BRAD BLOG Contradicted Reason for Delayed Publication...
By Chris Tackett on 5/10/2007 5:39pm PT  

Guest Blogged by Chris Tackett

After reading Greg Gordon’s excellent piece for McClatchy discussing Missouri’s place as "ground zero" for the GOP "voter fraud" scam, we – along with others – were surprised to learn that of all of McClatchy’s papers, The Kansas City Star had failed to run the piece when others, in different states, had done so on the first day it was filed.

When the piece finally ran at KC Star, FiredUp! Missouri's Howard Beale pointed out, it was greatly altered and had become what one could argue was a much different story. Their edited version of the story greatly downplayed failed Republican attempts to prove claims of massive Democratic "voter fraud," and excised references to many GOP politicians, such as Karl Rove, and perhaps most notably, a number of powerful Missouri politicians.

We wanted to allow the paper an opportunity to respond to those criticisms. We were able to receive such a response from The Star's Deputy National Editor, Keith Chrostowski. But later yesterday, the reason he gave to The BRAD BLOG for the delayed publication was directly contradicted in a public post Chrostowski made on the KC Star's own blogsite.

While originally waiting for him to respond to our numerous calls, we spotted Beale’s follow-up post from Tuesday morning revealing that The Star happens to be a client of the powerful Missouri GOP law firm Lathrop & Gage.

As BRAD BLOG readers surely know by now, Lathrop & Gage is the law firm of Mark F. “Thor” Hearne, who has been a central figure involved in the ongoing "voter fraud" scam in his role as founder of the GOP front group known as "American Center for Voting Rights" (our ACVR Special Coverage Page is here).

Missouri's Governor Matt Blunt is also a client of L&G, and has been represented for years by Hearne. Blunt, Hearne, and the ACVR were all central to the McClatchy piece as originally filed by Gordon and the role of each of them in the Star's altered version of the story was subsequently removed or otherwise greatly watered down.

Of course, there's no way of knowing if the editors at the Star were directly or indirectly influenced by this connection. But even if they are given the benefit of the doubt and the presumption that there was no influence on their delayed publication and editing of the McClatchy piece, the issue still remains that they failed to disclose the relationship to L&G to their readers. Such disclosure would seem to be a common sense journalistic principle.

On Tuesday afternoon, Chrostowski finally returned our call to provide a statement and an explanation. A transcript of the pertinent portion our conversation, along with his later posted contradiction, follows…

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

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KC Star's Corporate Attorney is Lathrop & Gage of Thor Hearne/ACVR (and Much More) Fame
Failed to Make Disclosure When Re-Writing About Corrupt Firm's Corrupt Clients...
By Brad Friedman on 5/8/2007 1:23pm PT  

If you've yet to notice, the latest daily must-read covering the very heart and soul of the U.S. Attorney Purge scandal is Fired Up ! Missouri.

They have been reporting on the nub of the issue --- the resounding corruption and/or cover-ups emanating out of Thor Hearne's MO law firm Lathrop & Gage --- in a way that even the good folks at TPMMuckracker have yet to fully comprehend and/or adequately cover.

Anyway, Howard Beale at FU!MO (an interesting acronym, now that we write it) has a notable follow-up today to his Friday story on the KC Star having re-written the excellent McClatchy story on Missouri as "Ground Zero" for the GOP "Voter Fraud" fraud.

The KC Star, ironically enough, owned by McClatchy's parent company, had rewritten the piece to make it far more GOP/Missouri Politico-friendly as we subsequently covered here.

Beale today, has a suggestion as to why the Star may have gone out of their way to whitewash a previously brilliant piece of investigative reporting by McClatchy's Greg Gordon when they reran it (a day after McClatchy's other papers had done so): KC Star's corporate attorney is none other than Hearne's Lathrop & Gage, the very firm that is at the absolutely epi-center of this entire matter in many more ways than one, including representing a number of the subjects of Gordon's story, such as Hearne, Gov. Matt Blunt, etc.

All of which begs another important question which Beale forgot to ask in his coverage: Why did the Star fail to make that disclosure for readers when they reran even the whitewashed version of the McClatchy piece?

After bullet-pointing several of the L&G connections to all of these coming out of the U.S. Attorney Purge scandal, Beale concludes:

It has, in some ways, always been puzzling that the Star has been so far behind other news outlets in reporting on the DOJ/U.S. Attorney scheme despite its connection to the Kansas City area and the region's own U.S. Attorney. Makes you wonder about just what sort of counsel the paper's been keeping.

Indeed. But readers shouldn't have to "wonder". The paper ought to be disclosing it in every article --- if they still have any journalistic ethics left at the joint, in any case.

Go figure...

UPDATE: What is disclosed by the Star at the end of their re-written McClatchy hatchett job, btw, is this: "McClatchy Newspapers correspondent Margaret Talev, and The Star’s Steve Kraske and Mark Morris contributed to this report." McClatchy's Talev was listed as a contributor on the original version of the piece. As to the others, we don't yet know much about Morris personally, but Kraske's GOP leanings and Fox "News"-style tactics of "journalism" are well-dissected in this Sunday piece from Beale, covering Kraske's own whitewashing of the duplicitous, anti-democratic, politicization of the DoJ under the guise of the GOP's "Voter Fraud" canard as run at the Star over the weekend.

Why even one reporter would be needed to rewrite such a story is already worth questioning. Putting two on the case, especially in light of the grotesque rewrites, is certainly notable. Especially when one of them is Kraske.

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Abandoned Webspace of White House-Connected 'Voter Fraud' Group, 'American Center For Voting Rights', Purchased by DC Attorney; Handed Over to Non-Profit Which They Had Targeted for Years!
As More Allegations of DoJ Corruption in Missouri --- 'Ground Zero' for the ACVR Republican Fraudsters --- Continue to Reach Towards the Oval Office, Underscore Need for Congressional Investigation...
By Brad Friedman on 5/7/2007 2:32pm PT  

Chalk this one up as one for the good guys. The Internet real estate once owned by a group of deceptive White House-connected Republican operatives has now come under the control of one of the non-profit groups which had taken the brunt of the GOP outfits relentless anti-democratic political tactics.

The ironic turn of events comes on the heels of new revelations connecting the Republican operatives to high-level DoJ and White House officials, and underscores the need for an immediate Congressional investigation into the conspiracy behind the supposedly "non-partisan" GOP operation....

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

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Removes References to Republican Missouri Politicians, Karl Rove, Thor Hearne, ACVR, Lack of 'Voter Fraud' Evidence and More
Yet Another Mind-Blowing Mainstream Media Embarrassment...
By Brad Friedman on 5/5/2007 12:54pm PT  

Howard Beale at the Show-Me State's watchdog, Fired Up! Missouri, hits another home run on Friday with a devastating piece comparing the Kansas City Star's altered version of Greg Gordon's recent brilliant piece at McClatchy exposing Missouri as "Ground Zero" for the GOP's widespread, well-funded national "voter fraud" scam. As Thor Hearne, of the now-defunct American Center for Voting Rights (BRAD BLOG's Special Coverage Page here) and his Missouri law firm Lathrop & Gage were at the epicenter of "Ground Zero," the Star's actions in butchering the original piece --- in order to save GOP/Missouri face and deceive their own readers in the bargain --- is all the more scandalous.

The Star, it seems, after waiting a day to run the story in their pages at all, managed to hack up Gordon's excellent exposé to effectively excise as much GOP culpability as possible. With a particular eye towards removing anything that could be seen as embarrassing to local GOP'ers, like Thor Hearne, Gov. Matt Blunt, etc.

"Every change made to the story has the clear effect of reducing the exposure of the GOP," writes Beale, who calls the hatchet job "a total embarrassment" for the once-distinguished KC newspaper which is, ironically enough, actually owned by McClatchy!

See Beale's full piece for the undeniable sham exposed when the two versions of the story are compared side-by-side.

By way of just one example, the headline of Gordon/McClatchy's original was changed from "2006 Missouri's election was ground zero for GOP" to the Fox "News"-like "GOP sought to suppress votes in Missouri, critics say."

As Beale points out, this not-so-subtle change has the effect of turning the detailed, fact-based reporting by Gordon into a "he-said-she-said" difference of opinion:

The story was obviously not initiated by --nor is it at all about-- the claims of "critics" nor anyone else. Gordon was not reporting on some press event by Democrats who were making claims of voter suppression. Rather he did real reporting and wrote about how, as the facts indicate, the GOP historically undertook specific actions on the issue of voter fraud in Missouri with the intent of helping Republican candidates.

The Star's editorial decision, via its headline, to turn the story into some sort of he-said-she-said difference of opinion is an insult to the intelligence of its readers as well as a slap in the face to Greg Gordon, whose remarkable reporting their headline trivializes.

Ditto. But it gets far worse throughout the altered and excised text of the article itself where entire passages are re-written and phrases such as "No significant voter fraud was ever proved" and "inquiries found little evidence to support the claims" and "the government had produced no evidence of fraud" have been entirely removed.

KC Star ought to be absolutely ashamed of themselves, McClatchy ought to bust out some pink slips, and subscribers would do well to raise holy hell and/or cancel subscriptions as quickly as possible while letting them know why.

Where the hell have all of the real newspapers gone in this country?

Thor Hearne is no doubt smiling in his grave (or, more accurately, his mansion in Ladue...but if the facts don't matter to KC Star why should we give a damn either?).

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National Mainstream Media FINALLY Picks up on, Exposes the 'Non-Partisan' 'American Center for Voting Rights' Fraud...
By Brad Friedman on 5/2/2007 3:12pm PT  

After more than two years of banging the drum here at The BRAD BLOG, it looks as if the national MSM have finally picked up on the fraud perpetrated by Missouri's White House operative Mark F. "Thor" Hearne and his high-level, democracy-hating GOP scammer pals in Missouri, at the Department of Justice, and in the White House.

In a McClatchy article just out today, reporter Greg Gordon correctly identifies Missouri as "Ground Zero" in the Republican attempt to establish phony claims of Democratic "voter fraud" in order to institute new restrictions at the polls as part of an insidious ploy to Democratic-leaning voters from being able to cast their vote.

Gordon reports on a number of issues out of Missouri that we've covered here over the years, including; the unsubstantiated claims of "voter registration fraud" against ACORN filed just prior to the '06 election in the Show-Me state; the unsuccessful lawsuit brought by the DoJ against MO SoS Robyn Carnahan alleging more voters on the rolls than actual eligible voters; and the unconstitutional Voter ID law as pushed through the MO legislature as drafted by the slime-ball Hearne.

As well, McClatchy finally outs the supposedly "non-partisan" American Center for Voting Rights (ACVR), as created by Hearne and RNC Communications director, Jim Dyke. We began reporting on ACVR just three days after they went public on March 22, 2005 to testify before then-Rep. Bob Ney's (R-OH) House Administration Committee on Democratic attempts at "vote supression" during Ohio's 2004 Presidential Election.

Gordon finally exposes the ACVR in the mainstream media for what it actually was: Little more than a well-coordinated, (and still-mysteriously-funded) scam to produce public propaganda to support the GOP's insider push in swing states for voter suppression legislation and tactics by Republican officials.

Though the ACVR claimed tax-exempt 501(c)3 status from the beginning (despite their inability to show evidence of same), their "non-partisan" status was neatly embellished several months after they formed when they added "Democrat" Brian Lunde as their Executive Director. As Gordon writes...

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

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Powerful GOP Missouri Lawyer at Powerful GOP Missouri Law Firm Admits Bringing Powerful GOP Attorney William Mateja in to Manage DoJ Investigaton of Lathrop & Gage, Missouri Governor Matt Blunt
Firm Also Recently Hired Governor's Sister Amy... More is Still to Come...
By Brad Friedman on 5/2/2007 11:39am PT  

"[T]he aspens...turn in clusters, because their roots connect them."
-- I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby

A high-level GOP operative and master "voter fraud" snake-oil salesman, Mark F. "Thor" Hearne of Missouri, was in charge of hiring a high-level White House/DoJ operative to help put out the fire in an investigation by former U.S. Attorney Bud Cummins, according to a recent interview.

The investigation by Cummins, who was fired without cause shortly after the matter came to public attention, was said to have been looking into a multi-million dollar state fee-office scheme, carried out by Hearne's own Missouri law firm, Lathrop & Gage (L&G), and their client, Missouri's Gov. Matt Blunt.

Since revelations of the U.S. Attorney Purge, Cummins has publicly questioned what exactly it was that went on during "the Blunt deal."

The revelation of Hearne's hiring of the powerful White House/DoJ-connected operative, William B. Mateja, a Dallas-based attorney from a Texas/DC law firm, comes via admissions by Hearne in a report filed last week by Jo Mannies of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Mannies's article followed on the heels of several related reports here at The BRAD BLOG in the days prior and included inquiries with Hearne about details in those reports.

In carefully parsed comments to Mannies, Hearne denies having "a discussion with anybody, in the White House or otherwise, about any U.S. attorneys being fired or resigning."

Mannies did not report on whether Hearne denied having conversations with "anybody in the White House or otherwise" about the investigation his firm and his client, the Governor, were said to be facing at the time.

The BRAD BLOG has also learned the Governor's sister, Amy Blunt, has been hired by Lathrop & Gage.

"Blunt said she came to Lathrop & Gage because of the firm's extensive focus on campaign and election law," according to the August 2006 press release announcing her arrival at L&G. She's also quoted in the release specifically mentioning that she was "particularly pleased to join Thor Hearne" at the firm.

These details all come in advance of more seemingly-related and contemporaneous WH/DoJ/L&G chicanery, which we are currently investigating and hope to be reporting on in the coming days.

Last week we filed detailed reports on what we see as a serious "underlying crime" and the specific, direct connection to the White House between the case in Missouri, the GOP's #1 "voter fraud" scam artist/operative Hearne, and the firing of Cummins. Cummins was the Arkansas U.S. Attorney assigned to the case after Todd Graves, the USA in Missouri's Western District, was forced to recuse himself due to family involvement in the fee-office scheme to the tune of millions of dollars. Graves's own involvement in the scandal, which Cummins was investigating, has been largely omitted in recent coverage by the Kansas City Star and others.

Graves eventually was allowed to save face by resigning his position shortly after he showed up on the now-infamous DoJ hit list of U.S. Attorneys to be fired; he was replaced by one of DoJ's top "voter fraud" zealots, Brad Schlozman. Cummins would be replaced by Karl Rove's right-hand Tim Griffin. Neither replacement had the prosecutorial experience for the job, even if they had the White House/GOP political hackery down cold.

Hearne was the national general counsel for Bush/Cheney '04, creator of the "non-partisan" GOP "voter fraud" front group American Center for Voting Rights (ACVR) --- a phony "grass roots" operation set up to create propaganda in order to lead to new, restrictive Voter ID laws at the polls --- and a very good, and powerful, friend of Karl Rove's and the Bush/Cheney White House....

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

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Tova Andrea Wang, Co-Author of Bi-Partisan 'Voter Fraud and Voter Intimidation Report' for the Election Assistance Commission, Calls for an End to the Censorship in Wake of EAC's Altering of Her Report...
UPDATED
By Brad Friedman on 4/26/2007 12:10pm PT  

In a just released statement [PDF], Tova Andrea Wang, a Democracy Fellow at the Century Foundation --- co-author of a report that the U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC) attempted to bury --- has announced that the federal commission of Presidential appointees has refused to allow her to speak directly about her report and the action taken by the EAC to alter its findings and hide her original report from public view.

Despite the controversy surrounding the bi-partisan report and Wang's desire to participate in the discussion as the report's co-author, the EAC --- at the heart of several controversies of late and increasing Congressional scrutiny --- has barred her from speaking about it.

"It has been my desire to participate in this discussion and share my experience as a researcher, expert and co-author of the report," Wang says in her statement. "Unfortunately, the EAC has barred me from speaking."

Her official legal requests have been ignored by the commission.

"Early last week, through my attorney, I sent a letter to the Commission requesting that they release me from this gag order. Despite repeated follow-up, the EAC has failed to respond to this simple request. In the meantime, not only can I not speak to the press or public --- it is unclear under the terms of my contract with the EAC whether I can even answer questions from members of Congress."

"As numerous press reports indicate, the conclusions that we found in our research and included in our report were revised by the EAC, without explanation or discussion with me, my co-author or the general public," Wang continues...

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

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High-Level White House, DoJ, Rove Operatives Went to Work While now-Fired Prosecutor Bud Cummins Was Building a Case Against Missouri Governor Matt Blunt and the WH Connected MO Law Firm Lathrope & Gage...
By Brad Friedman on 4/23/2007 4:20am PT  

"You have to firewall politics out of the Department of Justice. Because once it gets in, people question every decision you make," the former U.S. Attorney from Arkansas, Bud Cummins, told the Los Angeles Times in March. "Now I keep asking myself: 'What about the Blunt deal?'"

What about the Blunt deal, indeed.

{Ed Note: See the 5/8/97 update at the end of this story concerning Cummins denial that he ever made that comment to the LATimes}

Last Thursday we began piecing together a few previously unconnected dots in the firing of Cummins. The dots connected appear to lay out a fairly straight arrow into the the highest levels of the White House. At least if you're familiar with some of the players, whom they know, and what they do for a living.

Since we've been reporting on the high-level (just about as high as they get) GOP operative, Mark F. "Thor" Hearne, for some years now at The BRAD BLOG, the connection was made quite easily once we tripped upon a key fact: Hearne's Missouri law firm, Lathrop & Gage LC, was at the center of a criminal investigation by Cummins's office. That investigation had come to public light just before Cummins's sudden --- and still unexplained --- dismissal. He was replaced by Karl Rove aide Timothy Griffin.

While the Republican Punditocracy has been running around desperately repeating the old Scooter Libby-era chestnut "No Underlying Crime!" over the days since Gonzales's woeful testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee last Thursday, we've been looking more into the Cummins/Hearne/Rove/White House nexus, which seems to fairly scream out "Underlying Crime!" on just its face.

And others in the blogosphere, it seems, appear to be quite ready to burst as well with news on this element of the U.S. Attorney firings....

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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