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Latest Featured Reports | Saturday, October 25, 2014
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GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal 2012...
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Arkansas U.S. Attorney Bud Cummins Was Fired Just After Reports Surfaced of Investigation into Law Firm of Top Level White House/GOP Operative and Close-Friend-of-Rove, Thor Hearne
Prosecutor Was Replaced by Rove Aide Timothy Griffin...
By Brad Friedman on 4/19/2007 10:53am PT  

[NOTE: SEVERAL UPDATES NOW ADDED INCLUDE ADDITIONAL DETAILS]

One quick observation concerning Gonzales's sorry "don't attack our troops" defense, and another --- much more important note --- on a so far unreported aspect of the U.S. Attorney Purge scandal that seems to reach straight into the White House and about which someone on the Senate Judiciary Committee needs to ask some questions.

First, just the observation that Gonzales has been continuously suggesting today that questioning him is actually an attack on the career attorneys at DoJ. Nothing could be more disingenuous, yet familiar as a now-routine defense for this bunch. The reprehensible defense is identical to the oft-employed White House/GOP response to criticism of George W. Bush's handling of the Iraq War. "Stop attacking our troops!" they say, whenever someone is critical of Bush's horrendous war management.

Gonzales's "Stop attacking our career DoJ attorneys!" defense is no different and equally as disingenuous, particularly considering the now-long documented history that this White House has for its unprecedented politicization of the DoJ, its direct attacks on career attorneys in the civil rights division and elsewhere, its overruling of positions of those employees by Bush's political appointees, and so much more.

Thankfully, just before the lunch break, Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) pointed out exactly that, and likewise compared it to the "Stop attacking our troops!" defense. It brought a round of applause from the audience in the room. (UPDATE: TPMMuckracker now has video of the exchange.)

Secondly, but certainly of far more importance, there is the so far ignored --- yet as I see it, direct --- connection to the White House concerning the firing of Arkansas U.S. Attorney Bud Cummins...

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

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NY Times Finds Original Bi-Partisan Draft Report, Buried by the EAC, Concluded Fears of 'Voter Fraud' Were Overblown
Altered, Politicized Report Follows Familiar White House Pattern, Brings Additional New Concerns About Continuing Status of EAC...
By Arlen Parsa on 4/11/2007 1:12pm PT  

Guest Blogged by Arlen Parsa with additional reporting by Brad Friedman

The New York Times reports today that a governmental report on the so-called dangers of "voter fraud" was manipulated to reflect the Bush Administration's claims rather than their own panel's findings.

The Times obtained two copies of the report on voter fraud, the first of which [PDF] concluded that fears of voter fraud were overblown and exaggerated. The second --- and official version of the report --- however steps back and promotes ambiguity about the danger (or lack of danger) that voter fraud poses to American democracy.

The Times reports:

A federal panel responsible for conducting election research played down the findings of experts who concluded last year that there was little voter fraud around the nation, according to a review of the original report obtained by The New York Times.

Instead, the panel, the Election Assistance Commission, issued a report that said the pervasiveness of fraud was open to debate.

The revised version echoes complaints made by Republican politicians, who have long suggested that voter fraud is widespread and justifies the voter identification laws that have been passed in at least two dozen states.

Democrats say the threat is overstated and have opposed voter identification laws, which they say disenfranchise the poor, members of minority groups and the elderly, who are less likely to have photo IDs and are more likely to be Democrats.

Though the original report said that among experts “there is widespread but not unanimous agreement that there is little polling place fraud,” the final version of the report released to the public concluded in its executive summary that “there is a great deal of debate on the pervasiveness of fraud.”

The bi-partisan report had been buried for months by the supposedly bi-partisan U.S. Elections Assistance Commission (EAC), which has come under fire of late for partisanship and a failure to oversee the electronic voting systems and voting machine vendors they are supposed to be overseeing and testing for compliance with federal standards.

The two bi-partisan authors of the original report were bound, by contract, as reported by the Times, to keep quiet about their opinions on the final report. However, following the release of the EAC's edited final version, one of the two authors, Tova Andrea Wang, a Democracy Fellow at the The Century Foundation, telegraphed some of her opinions about it in a guest blog we ran at The BRAD BLOG titled "Where's the Voter Fraud?" Her editorial made clear that the Republican claims of a "voter fraud" epidemic in America were simply unfounded and being used as a political weapon to suppress Democratic voter turnout via the use of Draconian Photo ID restrictions at the polls.

The EAC's approach in releasing their altered final version of the report --- spreading doubt when there is really a consensus among experts --- is a technique that the White House has used in several instances when expert agreement is not politically convenient. Perhaps the most famous case of this was when the Administration trumped up scientific doubt about climate change and used it to mis-portray findings of government scientists.

According to the originally submitted draft report [PDF], marked "NOT FOR DISTRIBUTION," voter fraud at polling places, which Republicans have frequently cited as part of a massive, insidious attempt to undermine democracy, is not nearly as frequent as is claimed.

As The BRAD BLOG has previously reported, debate about the report, and its initial origins, was highly politicized by members of a White House-connected GOP front-group organization whose founder, Mark F. "Thor" Hearne, a St. Louis resident and White House operative, is closely associated with the EAC's Paul Degregorio, a fellow St. Louisan, who was chair of the federal body when the report was first commissioned.

An email obtained by the Times detailed the complaints of the lead Republican author of the report, Arkansas election attorney Job Serebrov, in response to pressure to alter the conclusions of the report's findings...

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

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NM's David Iglesias Pressured by Republicans to Bring 'Voter Fraud' Charges Against Voter Registration Group
But Prosecutor Found No Case Worth Bringing...
By Brad Friedman on 4/5/2007 9:05pm PT  

As reported by Democracy Now on Wednesday...

U.S. Attorney Fired After Failing to Indict ACORN for Voter Fraud

There are new developments in the scandal over the Bush administration's firing of eight U.S. Attorneys. One of the dismissed prosecutors has revealed that he was pressured by Republican officials to target the advocacy group ACORN for voter fraud. ACORN was working on a voter registration drive in low-income and largely minority neighborhoods in New Mexico. David Iglesias told Newsweek that he found no case worth bringing against ACORN. But that apparently did not please the White House. Last week Attorney General Alberto Gonzales's ex-chief of staff D. Kyle Sampson testified that during the run-up to the mid-term election White House adviser Karl Rove complained that Iglesias and two other U.S. Attorneys had not done enough to prosecute so-called voter fraud.

Ah yes, the always reliable GOP "vote fraud" scammers' "ACORN canard" rears it's ugly (and unsubstantiated) head again. The NEWSWEEK article referenced above is here.

ACORN is the "Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now", a group which has successfully run voter registration drives across the country in low-income and minority areas.

As we reported back in December of 2005 --- when high-level GOP operative James Tobin was actually found guilty of jamming Democratic 'Get out the Vote' phone lines in order to keep voters away from the polls in 2002 by "orchestrating an election day phone-jamming plot against New Hampshire Democrats" --- the ACORN nut had already fallen off the Republican's "vote fraud" tree.

ACORN had "been vindicated of the various bogus charges, as virtually all of the frivolous lawsuits and investigations the GOP liars made so much noise about had simply collapsed by then," as we reported at the time in linking to ProjectVote.org's coverage.

And yet, the scam, built deep in the heart of Texas (by Rove and his slimy, democracy-hating operative buddies at the phony ACVR), just kept rolling...

New Mexico attorney John Boyd, who was working with state Dems at the time, had a front-row seat to the bogus 2004 "voter fraud" charges in the state, and wrote about it, in some detail, for BRAD BLOG a few weeks ago.

It's always been about undermining democracy for these jerks. From 2000 on up to 2008, the quest for power trumps the people in the minds of the wretched GOP evil doers.

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One of Several Reports 'Buried' by EAC, Shows Drop in Voter Participation in Wake of Poll Restrictions, Is Shamelessly Described as 'Draft'
Election Law Professor Warns: 'Chance for EAC to be an Honest Broker Above Politics Are Fading'...
By Brad Friedman on 3/30/2007 4:51pm PT  

After recent Congressional oversight questioning by Rep. Maurice Hinchey (D-NY), the U.S. Elections Assistance Commission's Bush-appointed chairwoman, Donetta Davidson, has finally relented and agreed to release the commission's bi-partisan report on "Voter ID" issues which has been held back for months. That report, and another not yet released on claims of "Voter Fraud" have been withheld by the EAC, as we reported here and here and in a guest blog by Tova Andrea Wang, one of the two original lead researchers of the still-withheld "Voter Fraud" report.

Hinchey's statement on today's release, including a call for the release of the other related reports, is posted here.

Finally having released the June 28, 2006, report [PDF] today, in the wake of Congressional pressure, and shamefully titling it as a "Draft Voter ID Report" (since it didn't show what they had wanted it to show), the EAC today announced the following:

The U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC) has voted unanimously to launch a comprehensive study focused on voter identification laws after concluding that initial research it received in a report, which focused on only one election cycle, was not sufficient to draw any conclusions. The Commission declined to adopt the report, but is releasing all of the data to the public.

In other words, they'll get the "facts" they want, no matter how many reports they need to commission!

The report details how voter participation in minority areas had, in fact, declined after restrictive "Photo ID" laws were enacted at the polls.

"It appears that politics remains the EAC's main priority," said Michael Slater, Deputy Director of Project Vote who claims the commission responsible for overseeing elections systems in the U.S. continues to "play politics." In a statement posted after the report was released today he said, "It's disappointing that the Commission is building a reputation for ignoring or suppressing research findings that don’t satisfy everyone’s ideological position."

He added that the commission's disassociation from the report is another example of their string of continuing failures. "The EAC should be embarrassed by its attempt to impeach the report's findings by insinuating its methodology is unsound."

Are supporters of Rep. Rush Holt's Election Reform Bill paying attention?! His bill, HR811, as currently drafted, would reward the EAC by making them a permanent body, despite their notable and repeated failures...

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

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Karl Rove Associate and GOP Operative Tim Griffin's Appointment in Arkansas --- and Others Like it --- Are Worth Noting as the Scandal Continues to Unravel...
By Arlen Parsa on 3/26/2007 10:35am PT  

Guest Blogged by Arlen Parsa

Details continue to drip out from the U.S. Attorney Purge scandal which seem to suggest that electoral politics --- and perhaps the 2008 election in particular --- may well have been at the heart of the White House/Dept. of Justice scheme to strategically place partisan operatives where they might be most useful prior to the next Presidential Election.

One such detail revealed itself on Tuesday March 20th when Senator Mark Pryor (D-AR) appeared on MSNBC's Hardball to discuss the recent purge of several US Attorneys by the Bush Administration. Host Chris Matthews opened the segment by asking Pryor how much he knew about the White House's decision to replace the US Attorney in his state, Bud Cummins, with one of Karl Rove's associates, a partisan operative named Tim Griffin.

Pryor criticized the Attorney General for firing Cummins and replacing him with Griffin, who had very little professional experience in Arkansas and had only recently moved there when Cummins was fired in December of 2006. Cummins, on the other hand, whom George W. Bush himself had appointed in 2001, had been well respected, competent, and non-partisan (despite personally being a Republican).

But the real bombshell came near the end of the interview....

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

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More Evidence that the Bush Administration Used the Dept. of Justice for Little More Than a Blunt Political Instrument
Even as Democrats Continue to Rubber Stamp Wildly Inappropriate White House Appointments to Oversee the U.S. Elections Assistance Commission...
By Brad Friedman on 3/16/2007 1:47pm PT  

In an editorial today, the New York Times picks up on the phony 'voter fraud' scam at the heart of the U.S. Attorney purge that we discussed in detail yesterday...

Phony Fraud Charges

In its fumbling attempts to explain the purge of United States attorneys, the Bush administration has argued that the fired prosecutors were not aggressive enough about addressing voter fraud. It is a phony argument; there is no evidence that any of them ignored real instances of voter fraud. But more than that, it is a window on what may be a major reason for some of the firings.

In partisan Republican circles, the pursuit of voter fraud is code for suppressing the votes of minorities and poor people. By resisting pressure to crack down on “fraud,” the fired United States attorneys actually appear to have been standing up for the integrity of the election system.

John McKay, one of the fired attorneys, says he was pressured by Republicans to bring voter fraud charges after the 2004 Washington governor’s race, which a Democrat, Christine Gregoire, won after two recounts. Republicans were trying to overturn an election result they did not like, but Mr. McKay refused to go along. “There was no evidence,” he said, “and I am not going to drag innocent people in front of a grand jury.”

It's becoming clearer and clearer that the Bush Administration used their Dept. of Justice for little more than a blunt political bludgeon. If all of this isn't grounds for Impeachment, we don't know what is. But we've felt that way at least a dozen times over the past four years.

If that's how this bunch abused their power at the DoJ, one can only imagine the abuses they continue to wreak under the absurdly over-reaching powers of the PATRIOT Act.

One other point of note from the recommended Times editorial today, which leads, in turn, to a much larger point that everyone --- particularly Congress --- ought to be made aware of...

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

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An Insider's Report from a New Mexico Election Attorney on the Firing of David Iglesias and the Rove/DoJ/Republican Efforts to Create a 2004 'Voter Fraud' Scare in the State...
RELATED? - The GOP 'Voter Fraud' Front Group ACVR Goes Suddenly AWOL!
By Brad Friedman on 3/15/2007 2:56pm PT  

As you might expect, there is much more to the "voter fraud" angle in the U.S. Attorneys Purge scandal than initially meets the eye. As you might also expect, we've taken keen notice as we've long been following and reporting on the insidious machinations behind the GOP/White House/Rove scheme to (rather successfully) invent the cynical notion of a "voter fraud" epidemic in America for purely political purposes.

First... Allow me to set the stage for the unenlightened by referring you to an amazingly wonderful new report [PDF] on the manufactured myth of American "voter fraud" as released by ProjectVote.org and authored by Lorraine C. Minnite, Ph.D., an assistant professor of Political Science at Barnard College, Columbia University.

Among the report's key findings [PDF]:

  • Voter fraud is extremely rare.
  • Most voter fraud allegations turn out to be something other than fraud.
  • There is a long history in America of elites using voter fraud allegations to restrict and shape the electorate.
  • The historically disenfranchised are often the target of voter fraud allegations.

Finally, an academician thoroughly debunks --- nay, eviscerates --- the long-worked, well-moneyed, and invidious GOP plot to create the illusion of an American "voter fraud" epidemic (as distinct from very real election fraud concerns). The point behind the effort is solely to push for disenfranchising laws and restrictions in an effort to keep legitimate voters away from the polls in our democracy. If you read only one page of this report, "The Politics of Voter Fraud," it will be well worth your time!

Second... The phony "non-partisan" GOP front-group calling themselves the "American Center for Voting Rights" (ACVR), created in 2005 for nothing more than to facilitate the White House/Karl Rove "voter fraud" schemes, seems to have suddenly gone missing! BRAD BLOG readers will recall the despicable operatives who set up their "tax-exempt," "voter fraud" chop shop just three days before testifying at a staged Congressional hearing on the 2004 Ohio Presidential Election before the now-disgraced, felonious former Ohio Rep. Bob Ney of the House Administrative Committee. We broke the story exclusively at the time, and have continued reporting on it in a long series of special coverage reports ever since.

The alleged 501(c)3 group --- which has never produced paperwork to back up its tax-exempt status, to our knowledge --- was founded by the "non-partisan," "former" Bush/Cheney '04 Inc. national general counsel, Mark F. "Thor" Hearne, along with "non-partisan" RNC Communications Director Jim Dyke. Dyke now works for non-partisan Dick Cheney's office. Hearne then, and apparently still now, seems to be working for Karl Rove as one of his top national operatives.

Since news coverage of the tip of the iceberg in the GOP "voter fraud" scam has been revealed as directly related to the U.S. Attorney Purge scandal, it seems that all of a sudden the ACVR's detailed and propaganda-filled website has suddenly disappeared down the memory hole. As of today, both of ACVR's domain names AC4VR.com and AmericanCenterForVotingRights.com each return "Bad Request (Invalid Hostname)" errors.

Gone, but not forgotten. As we find out more on the AWOL ACVR we will, of course, let you know.

Lastly... Though certainly not leastly, John Boyd, an Albuquerque, New Mexico, based elections attorney who worked with the Democratic party in the state during the 2004 election, sends us the following inside account of the scandal surrounding recent reports that purged NM U.S. Attorney David Iglesias was removed for his unwillingness to prosecute claims of "voter fraud" in the state prior to the 2004 Presidential Election.

Before the election, Boyd helped represent the Dems in defending against the scurrilous GOP "voter fraud fraud," as he calls it. After the election, he successfully filed suit, along with the watchdog organization VoterAction.org, against the state concerning failures in their DRE/touch-screen voting system. That suit eventually led to a statewide ban on such systems and a requirement for paper-based elections.

Boyd writes that the firing scandal is actually "far worse than it now appears." His harrowing, first-hand account and reasons for that claim, as sent to us this morning, details how the GOP manufactured their pre-election "voter fraud" crisis in the state, despite lacking any evidence of any actual crimes.

His first-hand description of the events follows in full...

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

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Founder of Phony Anti-Democracy GOP Front Group, Bush/Cheney Operative, Welcomed Again as 'Expert' at America's Federal Elections Oversight Commission Hearings...
By Brad Friedman on 12/5/2006 4:30pm PT  

Need any more proof that the U.S. Elections Assistance Commission (EAC) which was formed by the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) is hopelessly compromised and utterly ineffective beyond repair?

Here's the agenda [PDF] for their Dec. 7th "Public Meeting." On Panel 2 for the "Assessing the 2006 Election" is, of course, the wholly discredited, democracy-loathing, high-level GOP operative scam artist and Bush/Cheney '04 national counsel, Mark F. "Thor" Hearne. Again.

Apparently he has a bought and paid for permanent seat at the table, next to his St. Louis colleague and partner in Anti-Americanism, the outgoing EAC chair Paul DeGregorio.

You'll note Hearne no longer even bills himself as being the founder of the phony, self-declared "non-partisan" "American Center for Voting Rights" (ACVR) anymore since his GOP front group astroturf organization --- created solely to deflect from real Election Fraud concerns and push a contrived "epidemic" of Voter Fraud on an unsuspecting public so as to establish disenfranchising Photo ID restrictions at polls across the country --- has been so thoroughly discredited. (You're welcome.)

As I frequently say, this democracy ain't gonna save itself. Particularly with cretins such as "Thor" doing all they can to game your American democracy for their own contemptible partisan interests.

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...But Voters Should Watch out for Sec. of State Brad Johnson!
By Brad Friedman on 11/28/2006 9:35am PT  

As I was reading this excellent article by Ed Kemmick from Sunday's Billings Gazette I was preparing to mention how nice it would be if every state dealt with their election issues in such an adult and responsible manner as Kemmick reports would now seem to be occurring in Montana, where the state mandates a paper ballot for every vote cast.

I was also going to remark how nice it would be if the country's national media, such as WaPo, NY Times, USA Today, Newsweek, Time, et al. covered election issues with such sober, non-political, attention to detail.

I'll still strongly recommend Kemmick's piece for precisely those reasons (and for the superb quotes from the good John Gideon and others)...but then I got to the bottom where two paragraphs stuck out like a sore thumb from the rest of the reasoned discussion of the state's voting machines and what still needs to be done to assure accuracy and confidence in their system.

The final grafs covered statements from Montana's Secretary of State Brad Johnson, about the responsible proposals discussed in the rest of the article for dealing with remaining concerns in the state's electoral process. Without any mention elsewhere in the article regarding any concerns about voter identification issues in the state, Johnson sadly drops these turds into the bucket...

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

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Brad's Dad Again Holds Feet to the Fire at the Polling Place...This Time Over Unconstitutional Photo ID Restrictions...
By Harvey Friedman on 11/20/2006 10:05am PT  

Guest Blogged by Harvey Friedman (Brad's father)

ED NOTE: My dad previously guest blogged his amusing experience at the polls in St. Louis County during their primary election in August held on new touch-screen and/or optical-scan systems made by ES&S. Prior to that, it was reported he that he was instrumental in encouraging the county to not choose Diebold systems (they chose ES&S instead, for good or bad). Today, he shares his anectodes of again holding election officials' feet to the fire during the recent general election there. As he's never been an activist, or even political in anyway prior to all of this, I couldn't be prouder.

As I reviewed the St. Louis Post Dispatch on the day after the November 7th election, I was drawn to an article titled "Secretary of State Blasts County on IDs". The article said, in part:

The Missouri secretary of state says St. Louis County election officials may have confused voters — even intimidated them — by asking for identification that went beyond what is required.

Secretary of State Robin Carnahan's office notified the county as early as last week about her concerns and alerted the U.S. attorney's office, which handles voter obstruction cases.

The state Supreme Court last month threw out a law stating that a voter needed a photo identification to cast a ballot. But some county election workers still were asking voters on Tuesday whether they had a photo or signature ID.

The article went on to say that "The St. Louis County Board of Elections, which oversees the largest jurisdiction of voters in the state, is appointed by Gov. Matt Blunt."

As BRAD BLOG readers may know, Blunt's right-hand man for years on voting issues was none other than "Thor" Hearne, the self-declared "non-partisan" founder of the American Center for Voting Rights (ACVR). The ACVR has been pushing for restrictive Photo ID requirement laws all across the country since the 2004 election. Most of those laws have been found to be unconstitutional, despite Hearne – the "non-partisan" who was the national general counsel for Bush/Cheney '04 Inc. – and the ACVR's continuing attempt to convince America that there is a massive problem with voters voting twice and illegal aliens voting and so forth.

After reading the article and talking to Brad about my election day experience, it seems that perhaps others might be interested in my interesting personal experience while voting during the November 7th election here in St. Louis County....

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

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...Despite Supreme Court Ruling Which Overturned Restrictive, Unconstitutional Photo ID Law!
By Brad Friedman on 11/6/2006 3:05pm PT  

Incredible. Despite the Missouri Supreme Court having overturned the states unconstitional Photo ID law, a poll worker tried to force MO Sec. of State Robin Carnahan to show hers before she would be allowed to vote!

Carnahan told The Associated Press on Monday that a worker at the St. Louis Election Board asked her three times to show a photo identification when she voted absentee last Friday - despite a Missouri Supreme Court ruling striking down the photo requirement.

The poll worker apparently did not recognize that Carnahan was Missouri's chief elections official when Carnahan showed a paper voter card mailed out by the local election authority. The card does not have a picture but is an acceptable form of identification under Missouri law.

Carnahan said she tried to explain a photo ID was not necessary, but the election worker replied that she was instructed to ask for one anyway. Carnahan said she eventually was allowed to vote without displaying a photo identification.

Keep in mind, Missouri is "Thor" Hearne country. He's the high-level GOP operative, Bush/Cheney general counsel and overall democracy-hater whose been pushing the Photo ID efforts in every state around the country via his frontgroup, the "non-partisan" American Center for Voting Rights.

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Current Chairman Paul DeGregorio Now Running a Desperate Misinformation Propaganda Campaign Just Days Before Election...
By Brad Friedman on 10/27/2006 1:33pm PT  

I only have a second as I've got to hit the road to get up to Santa Barbara to speak at tonight's Jefferson-Jackson Dinner (along w/ Wes Clark), so I'll try to be quick about it...

The U.S. Elections Assistance Commission (EAC) is a complete and utter failure. The current commissioner, Paul DeGregorio, has done nothing to instill confidence in elections or provide a lick of oversight in the deployment and use of these voting systems across the nation in the Midterm Election. In his latest interviews and editorials, he is reprehensibly doing nothing but echoing Voting Machine Company propaganda and Election Officials who choose to be apologists for them.

See DeGregorio's latest editorial here from the Tallahassee Democrat, in which he posts completely unfounded and unsupported "opinion" in contradiction of virtually all scientific evidence.

Contrast DeGregorio's nonsense with the comments of his predecessor, the honest, Bush-appointed, non-crony, Rev. DeForest Soaries, from this unaired network interview, in which he flatly states there are no standards for electronic voting systems in place and that 'elections in America are ripe for stealing.'

The EAC, under the "leadership" of DeGregorio, has become hopelessly compromised as he's allowed even the disinformation experts, such as "Thor" Hearne from the phony GOP front-group "American Center for Voting Rights," to set the agenda for the commission. Note that DeGregorio and Hearne are old St. Louis GOP colleagues. What a scam.

Below are a few choice pieces of information unsubstantiated horse excrement, from DeGregorio's editorial yesterday.

On this one point only, I can actually agree with DeGregorio: "Americans should be confident that their vote will be counted, whether they touch a screen or fill in an oval."

Yes, they should be confident, but they have absolutely no basis for that at this time, thanks to folks like you, Paul. Your words do not give such confidence. Transparency gives confidence. We've had quite enough "faith-based elections" in this country. Anyway, read on for some of DeGregorio's most shamelessly misleading garbage... (You can contact the EAC here.)

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

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Court Rulings (and Facts) Continue to Pile Up Against Those Who Hate Democracy (Like Thor Hearne and the ACVR), Who Want to Keep YOU From Being Able to Vote!
Decision Echoes Other Such Findings in Georgia and Arizona...
By Brad Friedman on 10/16/2006 3:16pm PT  

Good news for voters and democracy in Missouri!

Bad news for Mark F. "Thor" Hearne II, the democracy-hating, snake-oil selling, high-level GOP/Team Bush operative and the insidiously evil man behind the entire phony disenfranchising Photo ID legislation movement across the entire country through his phony "non-partisan" front group, "American Center for Voting Rights" (ACVR), whom we exposed long ago.

The most satisfying part of this, perhaps, is that "Thor" is from our hometown of St. Louis, Missouri, where's he's been pushing his powerful, behind-the-scenes buttons fighting in favor of this crap for years.

On calls and deadlines right now, so can't give much more info for the moment. Will try to update as needed later...Just out from AP...

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. --- The Missouri Supreme Court struck down the state's new voter identification law Monday that would have required voters to show a photo ID card at the polls starting this fall.

A lower judge ruled last month that the ID requirement was an unconstitutional infringement on the fundamental right to vote. The state Supreme Court agreed in a 6-1 unsigned opinion.
...
The court found the requirement violated several provisions in the state constitution. The justices said requiring otherwise legitimate voters to obtain an appropriate ID imposed too great of a burden on their voting rights.

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No Wonder Hearne's Phony GOP Front-Group, ACVR, Didn't Want to See the Report Released
They're Named Three Times as the Only Group Forwarding the 'Voter Fraud' Bullshit!
By Brad Friedman on 10/13/2006 2:57pm PT  

Following up on our Wednesday coverage of the four- month-old report on "Voter Fraud," which the U.S. Elections Assistance Commission (EAC) refused to release when they discovered the report points to just how little such fraud actually occurs. The facts don't lie, despite the loathesome high-level GOP/Team Bush operatives who call themselves the "non-partisan" American Center for Voting Rights' (ACVR), and their ongoing disingenuous and well-funded efforts to establish that voter fraud is rampant, perpetrated almost exclusively by Democrats, and must be cured by disenfranchising and unconstitutional Photo ID requirement laws at the polls (although not for absentee or military balloting, of course).

We've now had a chance to review the unreleased report [PDF] in full. It's just twelve pages. But it slams the notion that there is any massive problem in America with "Voter Fraud", despite ACVR's continuing campaign to suggest the problem is an epidemic --- versus all of the many other forms of disenfranchisement that really do occur and really do threaten our democracy.

"There is widespread but not unanimous agreement that there is little polling place fraud," the report explains, "or at least much less than is claimed, including voter impersonation, 'dead' voters, noncitizens voting and felon voters."

The report singles out ACVR as the only named proponent of the discredited notion that voter fraud is plaguing the country --- ACVR is ignominously named as dissenting three times in the report! --- so it is little wonder they didn't want this report to see the light of day.

ACVR's main perpetrator and Democracy-Hater-in-Chief, Mark F. "Thor" Hearne II, was actually a part of the "working group" assembled for this report. Notably, Hearne failed yet again to mention that he was the National General Counsel for Bush/Cheney '04 Inc. in his bio at the end of the report.

Similarly, Hearne withheld that information in his testimony on behalf of ACVR during now-disgraced Rep. Bob Ney's U.S. House Adminstration Committee hearing in March of 2005. ACVR was the only "Voting Rights" group invited to discuss the travesties of Election 2004. He testified only that he was a "longtime advocate of voter rights" and must have just forgotten to mention his Bush/Cheney connections...or that the ACVR had been formed just three business days prior to the hearing!

The EAC's buried report points to problems not with voter fraud, but instead with minority voter intimidation, improper purging of registration rolls, dirty tricks, and all sorts of things that the loathesome ACVR con-men have spent enormous amounts of money trying to smoke-screen, via propaganda reports hoping to fool America into believing that double-voting, dead people voting, and non-citizens voting is the real threat to democracy.

It's not. But anti-American monsters like Thor Hearne definitely are.

The biggest problem, the EAC's unpublished report finds, is absentee ballot fraud; a problem that is decidedly not addressed in any way by the despicable Photo ID laws that Hearne and friends have been promoting in statehouses around the country. He and his evil compatriots were even able to convene a phony "blue-ribbon" panel last year on Election Reform, chaired by Bush Family crony James A. Baker, in order to endorse the call for a national Photo ID requirement at the polls. (Who better to lead an Election Reform panel than the man who went to the U.S. Supreme Court in order to keep voters from having their votes counted in Florida in 2000?!)

Apparently snake-oil salesman Hearne was unable to fool the rest of the folks working on the EAC report into believing he wasn't utterly full of shit (as previously reported in exacting detail by The BRAD BLOG.)

Consider this embarrassing ACVR moment from the EAC's buried report...

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

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Democracy Hater, GOP Operative, Thor Hearne of the Phony Anti-American Front Group 'American Center for Voting Rights' is Back Spreading Propoganda for the Republicans!
And the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights is Set to Help Them in a Hearing this Friday...
By Brad Friedman on 10/11/2006 3:54pm PT  

The U.S. Elections Assistance Commission (EAC) is now doing the bidding of the RNC, according to an article today from USA TODAY.

It seems that the EAC commissioned, received, and then buried a report concerning the issue of Voter Fraud (as opposed to Election Fraud and other legitimate disenfranchisement issues) when they didn't like the results they received. The report, which the commission received four months ago but failed to release, found "little evidence" of the "problem" now being pushed nationwide by GOP operatives as evidence that disenfranchising Photo ID requirement laws should be passed in states across the country.

Such laws have been passed, and found unconstitutional from Georgia to Arizona to Missouri, yet the proponents of this scam --- who have shown themselves willing to stoop to any level to keep Democratic-leaning voters, who are far more likely to lack drivers' licenses, from voting --- have been keeping up their ongoing and expensive propaganda campaign.

Members of the commission were reportedly split on whether to release the report publicly. That internal battle four months ago may have led to at least one resignation from the commission, The BRAD BLOG has learned. Now chaired by outgoing Bush-appointee Paul DeGregorio since the original chair Rev. DeForest Soaries resigned in frustration, citing lack of support for true electoral reform from both the White House and Congress, the EAC has been much criticized for their failure to oversee implementation of and standards for new Electronic Voting Systems across the country.

The item today from USA TODAY suggests that the commission may now have become entirely politicized and polarized...

WASHINGTON — At a time when many states are instituting new requirements for voter registration and identification, a preliminary report to the U.S. Election Assistance Commission has found little evidence of the type of polling-place fraud those measures seek to stop.

USA TODAY obtained the report from the commission four months after it was delivered by two consultants hired to write it. The commission has not distributed it publicly.

A blog item, also posted today by USA Today, includes a link to the now unearthed report [PDF] which the EAC had sought to bury.

The report goes on to quote from GOP operative Mark F. "Thor" Hearne, who is still pushing his deceitful line about the non-existent "epidemic" of voter fraud in the country. Unfortunately, it is Hearne himself who appears to be the fraud, as The BRAD BLOG revealed in a series of reports beginning in March of 2005.

The RNC and the White House, via Hearne, their main operative on the Photo ID canard, have spread phony propaganda suggesting an epidemic of voter fraud in America ever since the 2004 election, when hundreds of thousands of voters were disenfranchised at the hands of GOP operatives.

Hearne and his motley crew created the phony, self-described "non-partisan" GOP front group, calling themselves "American Center for Voting Rights" (ACVR), as we first revealed on March 22nd, 2005, shortly after they were the only "Voting Rights" group called to testify before congressional hearings held by the now-disgraced Rep. Bob Ney (R-OH) on what went wrong in Ohio's 2004 Presidential Election.

Hearne testified before Ney's House Administration Committee on behalf of ACVR just three days after the group was created. He testified only that he was "a long time voting rights advocate," and didn't bother to mention that he had been the General Counsel for Bush/Cheney '04 or that ACVR's co-founder was Jim Dyke, the RNC Communications Director.

Dyke now works out of Dick Cheney's office in the White House. After exposure of the sham organization by this reporter, the group eventually added "Democrat" Brian Lunde as Executive Director. Lunde is a close advisor to Karl Rove and worked hard for Bush in 2004 and to retain a Republican Majority.

The group has been pushing phony stories about "Voter Fraud" to encourage disenfranchising Photo ID laws in states around the country ever since. The ACVR was even behind the creation of the Baker/Carter Commission, which also called for restrictive Photo ID laws.

From USA TODAY again...

Conservatives dispute the research and conclusions. Thor Hearne, counsel to the American Center for Voting Rights, notes that the Justice Department has sued Missouri for having ineligible voters registered, while dead people have turned up on the registration rolls in Michigan. "It is just wrong to say that this isn't a problem," he says.

That's one reason the commission decided not to officially release the report. "There was a division of opinion here," Chairman Paul DeGregorio says. "We've seen places where fraud does occur."

The consultants found little evidence of that.

In the meantime, the sham continues this Friday when the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights will hold a hearing to discuss some of these matters. But the speakers list, The BRAD BLOG has learned, is made up most of the usual Photo ID Suspects.

The list includes the same old crew: Hearne, Prof. Robert Pastor (Executive Director of the cooked Baker/Carter Commission, who went ballistic in a BRAD BLOG interview last year) and the Wallstreet Journal's ultra-con John Fund, who wrote a book full of this propoganda some years ago that served to launch the current insidious movement.

The only invited speaker representating anything close to an actual legitimate voting rights activist is Donna Brazile of the DNC's Voting Rights Institute. We have warned her that it would seem she is being set up by appearing with this barrel of bad apples.

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.

The complete press release for the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights hearing this Friday is posted in full below...

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

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