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Head of 'Non-Partisan' Republican Front Group 'American Center for Voting Rights' Singled Out by Rove
By Brad Friedman on 4/10/2006 2:46pm PT  

Working on several items, so we'll defer to RAW STORY's coverage of the story.

Suffice to say, Karl Rove spoke to Republican lawyers this weekend (carried on C-SPAN) and thanked them for their work ensuring "clean elections" in 2000 and 2004.

He singled out Mark F. "Thor" Hearne by name. Hearne was the National General Counsel for Bush/Cheney '04 Inc. who, along with RNC Communications Director Jim Dyke, created the so-called non-partisan "American Center for Voting Rights" (ACVR) just three days before being called to testify before Rep. Bob Ney's (R-OH) U.S. House Administrative Committee hearing in March of 2005 on the Ohio Election. The front group, which declared tax-exempt 501(c)3 status, has still failed, to our knowledge, to disclose any information of it's funders or proof of their 501(c)3 non-profit, non-partisan status. They operate out of a PO Box in Houston, TX, though neither of their founders live in Texas.

ACVR was the only "Voting Rights" group called by Ney to testify at the hearings, and identified himself only as a "longtime advocate of voter rights" in his testimony. He failed to mention his connections to Bush/Cheney '04 Inc.

Hearne and ACVR have done little more since they opened shop beyond creating propaganda reports to suggest that their is an epidemic of Democratic voter fraud in the country to encourage state legislatures around the country to implement Democratic voter disenfranchising "Photo ID requirements" at the polls. Their charges of a voter fraud epidemic has been roundly disproven in various court cases around the country. (Though it does appear that at least one voter, Ann Coulter, seems to have engaged in voter fraud lately.)

The "non-partisan" Dyke went on to work for the White House to flak for John Roberts during his Supreme Court nomination, and now works out Dick Cheney's office.

Ney, who pushed the so-called "Help America Vote Act" (HAVA) through Congress in 2002 --- the bill which urges all States and Counties in the country to impliment hackable electronic voting machines by 2006 --- recently stepped down from his chairmanship of the House Admin Committee after being named in the on-going Jack Abramoff investigations. His former chief of staff, David DiStefano is Diebold's main lobbyist in congress, as BRAD BLOG reported in January, and Diebold has made thousands of dollars in so-far unexplained payments to Abramoff's old firm, Greeburg Traurig.

See RAW's story for Rove's comments about Hearne and the other "non-partisan" GOP attorneys over the weekend.

For more information on the "non-partisan" tax-exempt ACVR scam and the snakeoil salesmen who invented it, Bush/Cheney '04 National General Counsel Mark F. "Thor" Hearne and RNC Communications Director Jim Dyke, please see BRAD BLOG's full Special Coverage of the "American Center for Voting Rights" at http://www.BradBlog.com/ACVR.
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The Dots Connect Between Abramoff, Ohio 2004 Election Smokescreen and Ney's Former Staffer Revealed to be on Diebold's Payroll While Working for White House Law Firm
All the While as HAVA --- America's 'Election Reform' Bill --- is Used for Political Payoff in the Bargain...
By Brad Friedman on 1/10/2006 11:21am PT  

There's been a great deal of speculation over the last several days, particularly in the light of Jack Abramoff's recent guilty pleas, concerning the connection of Congressman Bob Ney (R-OH) to Election Fraud in Ohio, vis a vis his stewardship and authoring of the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) back in 2001 and 2002. The heavy-handed tactics he has taken since, in order to keep the flawed act from being changed in any way over the years, along with going to great lengths to keep the nation's eyes off of massive electile dysfunction in Ohio and elsewhere since 2004, may finally get the attention it all properly deserves.

Both Abramoff and his partner Michael Scanlon have directly informed prosecutors of Ney's alleged wrong-doing in regard to money and gifts given to Ney, in apparent exchange for support on various legislation and even personal business deals. Ney, who chairs the important U.S. House Administration Committee, has been fingered, and now subpoenaed, for accepting illegal trips, gratuities and other apparent quid pro quo deals with Abramoff's former firms, partners, friends and groups who had paid both him and Scanlon as lobbyists.

His direct connection to the HAVA Election Reform bill passed in the wake of the 2000 Florida Election Debacle, and his various extraordinary efforts to specifically block amendments to the bill and to smokescreen attempted investigations into his home state's conduct during the 2004 Election Debacle, has been less widely reported. Until now.

While Common Cause quietly reported in December of 2004 that Diebold --- the much-beleagured-of-late American Voting Machine company --- paid as much as $275,000 to Abramoff's firm, Greenberg Traurig for lobbying work, The BRAD BLOG has now found additional details that begin to shed new light on Ney's personal connections to Diebold lobbyists.

Such personal connections include those with Ney's former chief of staff turned lobbyist, David DiStefano, who has been working on behalf of Diebold, Inc. and at least one other Voting Machine Company as a registered lobbyist in the House going back to at least 2001. One of DiStefano's online bios crows about his having "an insider's edge to hard-to-reach political officials." That "insider's edge" has proven to have been a very worthwhile investment for the Voting Machine Companies who'd purchased access into Ney's political office.

Congressional lobbying records reveal that Diebold, Inc. has paid at least $180,000 to DiStefano and eventually his partner, Roy C. Coffee, to lobby for the "Help America Vote Act" and other "Election Reform Issues" in Congress since 2003. Another Electronic Voting Machine Company, AccuPoll, Inc., also paid DiStefano some $70,000 to lobby for HAVA on their behalf in 2002, although that relationship was apparently terminated once the legislation was passed by Congress.

In turn, Ney's former employee DiStefano and Coffee themselves have given nearly $20,000 to Bob Ney's campaigns dating back to 2002.

The connections of DiStefano and Coffee don't stop at Congress, however. Both lobbyists now work out of the new Washington office of the Texas-based law firm of Lock, Liddell & Sapp LLP --- the firm of George W. Bush's White House Counsel Harriet Miers. And Coffee, himself, had previously worked as a senior aide to then-Governor Bush back in Texas.

In addition to lobbying in favor of Electronic Voting, DiStefano and Coffee were also paid thousands to lobby Ney on behalf of an obscure firm by the name of FN Aviation, which later became known as FAZ Aviation. FN/FAZ Aviation, the Columbus Dispatch reported last December, paid for Ney's 2003 trip to England. On that trip, Ney met at a casino with FN Aviation's director, Nigel Winfield, a three-time convicted felon, and Fouad al-Zayat, the Syrian-born head of FN Aviation. Zayat, as reported by NBC News, is known as "one of London's biggest gamblers."

As has also been reported by NBC and others, the apparently once-very lucky Ney reported winning some $34,000 a few months later at that same London casino, after an initial $100 bet "on two hands of a three-card game of chance," according to his spokesperson Brian Walsh. Ney, who coincidentally carried at least $30,000 in credit card debt in 2002, was fortunate to be able to report that the debt was paid off in full by the end of 2003.

The dots begin converging, however, in regard to both large campaign contributions and lobbying done by Ney's former chief of staff, DiStefano along with Coffee on behalf of both FN/FAZ Aviation and Diebold, Inc.

Ney was one of the original authors and lead co-sponsors of HAVA, and a fierce defender of both the act and the effort to keep further legislation from moving forward in Congress that would mandate Voter Verified Paper Ballots for electronic voting machines made by Diebold and other e-voting vendors.

In 2004, prior to the Presidential Election, Ney went so far as to send a "Dear Colleague" letter signed along with the other HAVA co-sponsors, to members of congress urging them not to amend the original legislation. He argued at the time that paper records on such machines would somehow disenfranchise disabled voters, who had been cleverly afforded a special provision in the bill which mandated at least one disabled-accessable device in every voting precinct in the country. That device, of course, would be a paperless touch-screen electronic voting machine, like the ones made by Diebold, which, legislators, vendors and lobbyists would later proffer, were required to meet provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Ney had also personally gone out of his way to keep Rep. Rush Holt's (D-NJ) "Voter Confidence and Increased Accessibility Act" (HR 550), which would mandate paper records for all votes cast, from ever seeing the light of day in the House Administration Committee. That, despite Holt's bill having now nearly 160 bi-partisan co-sponsors. Ney has succeeded brilliantly at squashing Holt's bill, first proposed as HR 2239 back in 2003, as it continues to both gain co-sponsors and gather dust as the powerful Republican committee chair still refuses to allow it even to be brought up for hearings.

The American Prospect's Art Levine broke a superb exposé last May concerning Ney's alleged payoffs from a number of the Indian tribes that now-disgraced, once-uber-lobbyist Abramoff was representing in exchange for promises to support their hope for new gambling legislation back in 2002.

"Just met with Ney!!! We're f'ing gold!!!! He's going to do Tigua," wrote Abramoff to Scanlon in an Email, after Ney reportedly promised to add the Tribe's hoped-for legislation to HAVA while the bill was still pending.

Ney then told the tribes --- who had been instructed by Abramoff and Scanlon to give tens of thousands of dollars to his campaign and to pay for a $100,000 trip to play golf at St. Andrews in Scotland --- that he was working with the Democratic Senator from Connecticut, Chris Dodd, to add gambling language in HAVA that would be favorable to the tribes.

In reality, Dodd had rejected the idea early on in no uncertain terms, as Levine reports, but that didn't keep Ney from spinning tales to the tribal groups. He told them on several occassions, at least once personally, that things were moving smartly forward as he kept accepting more cash and gifts from them along the way.

Finally, when the HAVA legislation was passed, and the promised language was nowhere to be found, Ney informed the tribes that Dodd had reneged on the deal at the last minute.

That was, of course, not true, since Dodd had rejected the plan months earlier.

But as the spotlight of corruption has finally begun to shine bright and clear in the Mainstream Media onto Ney, renewed interest in his support and authorship of HAVA itself --- along with the connections between that legislation, chicanery in Ohio's Election, Abramoff and several other GOP operative and lobbying firms' merry band of pay-for-players --- are helping to bubble up towards the surface a few previously overlooked, but very important, details that may finally now receive the attention they always deserved from the Mainstream Media...

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

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

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

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

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

For more information on the "non-partisan" tax-exempt ACVR scam and the snakeoil salesmen who invented it, Bush/Cheney '04 National General Counsel Mark F. "Thor" Hearne and RNC Communications Director Jim Dyke, please see BRAD BLOG's full Special Coverage of the "American Center for Voting Rights" at http://www.BradBlog.com/ACVR.
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Another GOP Operative Facing Up to 7 Years Prison Time, $500,000 Fine
ALSO: Voter Registration Groups Cleared of Wrong Doing as Accused by Phony GOP 'Voting Rights' Group...
By Brad Friedman on 12/15/2005 8:10pm PT  

From AP...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

For more information on the "non-partisan" tax-exempt ACVR scam and the snake-oil salesmen who invented it, Bush/Cheney '04 National General Counsel Mark F. "Thor" Hearne and RNC Communications Director Jim Dyke, please see BRAD BLOG's full Special Coverage of the "American Center for Voting Rights" at http://www.BradBlog.com/ACVR.
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By Brad Friedman on 11/23/2005 4:00pm PT  

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

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

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

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

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

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Little-Known, but Powerful U.S. Congressman Bob Ney (R-OH) up to Eyeballs in DeLay, Abramoff, Corruption Probe
Tied to Gambling, Illegal Favors and TeleCom 'Election' Fixing Investigations...
By Brad Friedman on 10/18/2005 12:57pm PT  

In an extremely detailed 2891-word page one Washington Post report today by James V. Grimaldi and Susan Schmidt, Congressman Bob Ney (R-OH) is tied to at least four different aspects of ongoing probes being carried out by criminal investigators looking into the corruption of GOP lobbyist Jack Abramoff and former U.S. House Majority Leader Tom Delay --- both of whom have been indicted recently on charges relating to the various investigations.

Ney has not yet been indicted, but the WaPo exposé ties him to several different scandals including the SunCruz casino boat fraud/murder investigation (for which Abramoff has recently been indicted), several illegally funded overseas vacations, support of Indian gaming in apparent trade for favors received in the form of cash contributions and other gifts from Abramoff and --- yes --- the apparent "fixing" of an election administered by Ney of telecommunications companies to determine who would receive a large contract at the U.S. Capital building.

Ney is chairman of the powerful U.S. House Administration Committee. BRAD BLOG readers will remember Ney's committee as holding a "show hearing" earlier this year on "Election Irregularities in Ohio" during the 2004 Presidential Election. That hearing, which attempted to whitewash the thousands of troubling reports calling the Ohio election into question, called just one witness from a "voting rights" group. That witness turned out to be Mark F. "Thor" Hearne of the American Center for Voting Rights (ACVR), self-described "non-partisan" organization which had appeared out of the blue just days prior to the hearing. Hearne, identified himself in the hearings as a "long time voting rights advocate", but failed to mention that he was actually the National General Counsel for Bush/Cheney '04 Inc. The other "non-partisan" founder of ACVR was Jim Dyke, former RNC Communcations Director, and recently installed White House spokesman for Dick Cheney.

(BRAD BLOG's full special coverage of ACVR, the so-called "non-partisan" GOP front group masquerading as a "voting rights" organization, can be found here.)

The WaPo story reports that Ney is currently "under investigation by Florida federal prosecutors looking into Abramoff's acquisition of SunCruz, according to sources familiar with the investigation who spoke on the condition of anonymity."

Excerpts from the full WaPo report follow...

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

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

{Blogged by Brad on the road...}

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

For more information on the "non-partisan" tax-exempt ACVR scam and the snakeoil salesmen who invented it, Bush/Cheney '04 National General Counsel Mark F. "Thor" Hearne and RNC Communications Director Jim Dyke, please see BRAD BLOG's full Special Coverage of the "American Center for Voting Rights" at http://www.BradBlog.com/ACVR.
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ACVR's Jim Dyke Moonlights to Push Bush Supreme Court Nominee
'Honesty and Integrity' in the Bush-Era Now at it's Bushiest Level of All Time!
By Brad Friedman on 10/6/2005 10:49am PT  

{Blogged by Brad on the road...}

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

For more information on the "non-partisan" tax-exempt ACVR scam and the snakeoil salesmen who invented it, Bush/Cheney '04 National General Counsel Mark F. "Thor" Hearne and RNC Communications Director Jim Dyke, please see BRAD BLOG's full Special Coverage of the "American Center for Voting Rights" at http://www.BradBlog.com/ACVR.
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New Report from Discredited Baker/Carter 'Election Reform' Commission Dead-on-Arrival
Recommended Jim Crow-Style Photo ID Restrictions Seen as 'New Poll Tax', Roundly Criticized by Pols, Voting Rights Activists and Even Members of the Commission!
By Brad Friedman on 9/19/2005 6:44pm PT  

Landing with a mighty thud today in the Nation's Capitol, the so-called Baker-Carter "National Commission on Election Reform" delivered precisely what true voting rights advocates in America had been warning about for months.

Most notably, the privately-funded, secretly-convened commission, which held just two hearings and refused to invite any real voting rights groups to participate, failed to even reach consensus amongst its hand-picked commissioners in it's final 113 page report.

One of those Commissioners, former Senator Tom Daschle (D-SD), criticized the Commission's number one recommendation --- the use of mandatory restrictive photo ID requirements at the polls --- as a "modern day poll tax." (As reported previously, Daschle's quote appeared in a Washinton Post article this morning by Dan Balz who also concluded, with no quotes or sourcing that "there has been no credible evidence of partisan manipulation of the election in Ohio." That despite the mountain of credible evidence of partisan manipulation of the 2004 election in Ohio. For a start, here is the recent indictment of two Ohio elections officials for gaming the recount, and here is another one who admits to receiving a $10,000 check from a Diebold rep and passing it to the RNC, and of course here's 102-pages of such evidence as published by a U.S. House Judiciary Committee Minority Report and another 700+ pages of such evidence found in a book recently published by FreePress.org...Just to give the tip of the iceberg.)

Another one of the Commissioners, Spencer Overton, a specialist in Election Law has gone so far as to set up a CarterBakerDissent.com website which decries both the procedures and the recommendations of the privately run "blue-ribbon" Commission.

The scathing dissent posted on Overton's site begins:

I am writing separately to express my dissenting views to the Carter-Baker Commission's photo ID proposal. Unfortunately, the Commission rejected my 597-word dissent and allowed me only 250 words (this limitation on dissent was first announced at our final meeting).

...And devolves from there in a crushing condemnation of Baker/Carter's Photo ID recommendations. As well, Overton pulls the curtain on the Commission's shoddy partisan procedures and lack of real input from experts, charging:

The Commission would have benefited from greater emphasis on expert testimony and empirical data, more transparency, clear rules established from the outset, and an adequate opportunity for dissent.

...and that the Commission "impose[d] rules that stifle[d] opposing views to give the false impression of consensus or to mask the substantive flaws in the commission's proposals." Overton goes on to add:

An advisory commission-especially one that purports to promote democracy-undermines its legitimacy when it attempts to advance its proposals by severely curtailing speech. More generally, a commission that prioritizes maximizing its own political influence over rigorous analysis compromises its credibility with the American people.

And that's from someone on the commission!

Overton promises a full analysis of the report on his site soon.

The report, so far, has faired no better on Capitol Hill. Congressmen John Conyers (D-MI) and John Lewis (D-GA), a long-time voting rights advocate who was beaten during the Bloody Sunday Marches --- which led to the landmark Voting Rights Act 40 years ago in Selma, Alabama --- where he marched alongside Dr. Martin Luther King have roundly condemned the Baker/Carter Commission's report. They describe the Voter ID recommendations as "discriminatory" and allege that these cynical recommendations would "make it harder for tens of millions of citizens to vote."

The Congressmen have written a letter to colleagues inviting them to join in introducing a resolution in the U.S. House stating opposition to new restrictive voting ID requirements and have announced that a Senate counterpart to the resolution will be forthcoming from Senator Barak Obama along with Minority Leader Reid, Senator Dodd, Clinton and Corzine.

A blog item this morning by Conyers expresses more details and outrage at Bush Family Crony James Baker's attempts to once again keep Americans from having their votes counted, as he so successfully accomplished on behalf of the Bush's during the 2000 Presidential Election in Florida. Conyers also announced he has set up the main page of his website as an action center to counter this latest assault on voters rights in America.

DNC Chairman Howard Dean released a statement late this afternoon echoing those sentiments and saying that "The DNC is concerned and disappointed that the Baker-Carter Commission on Federal Election Reform, over the strong dissent of some of its most distinguished members, has seen fit to support a 'national ID card' that threatens to deny the right to vote to millions of citizens who are lawfully registered and eligible to do so."

The statement from Dean goes on to add, referring to a recent study by the League of Women's Voters that found just 4 cases of voter fraud out of 9 million votes cast in the last two national elections in Ohio!:

"The commission's recommendations create additional bureaucratic barriers to the ballot box, despite the fact - as the Commission itself concedes - that there is simply no evidence of the kind of widespread impersonation fraud that could remotely justify imposing such a new obstacle."

Longtime Voting Rights Activist groups and citizen coalitions were similar appalled by the Baker/Carter recommendation. Here are just a handful of them and the reports they issued today:

At this time, the only unapologetically positive review of the report's recommendations that we've seen comes, unsurprisingly, from a press release given to the wires by the anti-American, anti-Democratic group of high-level GOP operatives calling themselves (cynically) the "non-partisan" American Center for Voting Rights (ACVR).

Mark F. "Thor" Hearne, general counsel for the ACVR (and also, coincidentally, for Bush/Cheney '04 Inc.) says in his predictably fawing statement:

"The Baker-Carter Commission's report represents a real step forward in the election reform debate...The American Center for Voting Rights congratulates Commission members for their work on this most vital issue."

The Press Contact listed on the report is Jim Dyke, the former Communications Director for the RNC. If you have any questions, the release says you may contact him at: 843-722-9670.

The phony group, which was instrumental in the creation of the Baker/Carter Commission, and --- unlike any real voting rights groups --- enjoyed the privilege of sitting on its "Advisory Panel." The ACVR has been revealed by The BRAD BLOG over a series of reports since the group's inception to be little more than a small band of partisan operatives attempting to smoke-screen the evidence of what really went wrong in Election '04. In the bargain, they've issued propoganda in the form of "reports" in an attempt to further disenfranchise American voters by giving the false impression that there is some sort of "voter fraud" epidemic in this country. Their scam website is here where you can follow the "joke" for yourselves.

The same shameful group of democracy hating opportunists were also exposed in a recent report by RAW STORY to have been instrumental in the creation of the Baker/Carter Commission expressly for the purposes of seeing Photo ID requirements mandated in order to disenfranchise millions of more Democratic-leaning voters.

More, no doubt, to come on Baker/Carter Report soon. The report can be read --- should you be able to stomach it --- along with its executive summary, here.

(Thanks to VotersUnite.org's John Gideon for help in compiling this report.)

For more information on the "non-partisan" tax-exempt ACVR scam and the snakeoil salesmen who invented it, Bush/Cheney '04 National General Counsel Mark F. "Thor" Hearne and RNC Communications Director Jim Dyke, please see BRAD BLOG's full Special Coverage of the "American Center for Voting Rights" at http://www.BradBlog.com/ACVR.
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ACVR, traitors to American democracy, have cover blown by newly published articles
By David Edwards on 8/18/2005 3:15pm PT  

Guest blogged by David Edwards

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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The DNC Finally Fights Back at the Republican-run 'American Center for Voting Rights' Hoax!
PLUS: Proof that Republicans only pretend to hate Marxists and More on ACVR's Fake 'Democrat', Brian Lunde!
By Joseph Cannon on 8/15/2005 11:19pm PT  

Guest blogged by Joseph Cannon

The Democratic National Committee has responded to the false charges posted by the allegedly non-partisan American Center for Voting Rights.

As most of you should know by now, the ACVR is crawling with Republican operatives, many of whom have strong links to indicted sleazoid Jack Abramoff.

AVCR chairman Brian Lunde has a particularly troubling history...

According to Senate lobbying registrations, in 2001 Lunde registered to lobby for George Birnbaum, an associate of Republican consultant and mudthrower Arthur Finkelstein. According to his disclosure filed with the Secretary of the Senate, Lunde worked to "set up meetings for President Kabila of Congo."

According to the CIA factbook on the Congo, at the time, President Joseph Kabila had just assumed power from his father, Laurent Kabila. The older Kabila was a committed Marxist who had ruled Congo since he took forcefully took power in 1997 in a rebellion backed by Uganda and Rwanda. As President, Laurent Kabila banned all political parties except his and failed to hold long-promised elections. He also blocked an investigation into the massacre of tens of thousands of Rwandan refugees that occurred during his takeover. Today, Joseph Kabila still rules as a dictator and no elections have been held in Congo since 1984.

In addition, by claiming he worked for Birnbaum and not Kabila directly, Lunde skirted disclosure laws that would have required him to register as a foreign agent with the Department of Justice.

A lobbyist for a democracy-phobic dictator dares to give the rest of the world a lecture on voting rights? Outrageous!

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

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'Dem' ACVR Supporter Also a Bush/Cheney Supporter
(un)American Center for Against Voting Rights Continues Campaign of Lies on Behalf of GOP...
By Brad Friedman on 8/8/2005 8:47am PT  

The "Roger Ailes" blog does some fine Googling on the supposed American Center for Voting Rights (ACVR) "Democrat" who was used in last week's flurry of hoax Press Releases to promote their hoax report on "Election Fraud" in the 2004 Election attempting to hoax America into believe that "paid Democrat operatives were far more involved in voter intimidation and suppression activities than were their Republican counterparts during the 2004 presidential election."

Nonetheless, the Rightwing Blogosphere keeps attempting to flog the story, despite so much documented evidence to show that the ACVR's a complete scam run by high-level GOP operatives hoping to distract from the real Election Fraud and myriad of Irregularities last November committed by their paymasters from Team Bush/Cheney.

After finally finding a "Democrat" that the ACVR could quote from in hopes of misleading and distracting from the fact that the self-proclaimed "non-partisan" group of high-level GOP operatives is actually anything but, it turns out that the use of this "Democrat" is simply more disinformation from these disdainful anti-American, democracy-hating ratfuckers. They're still hoping to spoof the country into believing they are "Voting Rights" advocates rather than pure, unabashed Republican operatives (in the worst sense of the word) hoping to distract from the mountain of GOP "Election Irregularties" last November and further disenfranchise millions of more American voters through their insidious schemes to keep potential Democratic voters from being able to actually cast a vote on Election Day.

Ailes finds, amongst other things, that Brian Lunde, the "Democrat" in question, whose phony quotes were used in all six press releases (same quote each time with just one or two words changed, Pentagon-style) is actually a Bush 2004 supporter, and so is his wife.

In addition to thousands of dollars given to Bush by the couple in 2004, Lunde is also a member of the Zell Miller-founded "Democrats for Bush" and a funder of the G.O.P. political action committee "Freshman PAC" whose goal, Ailes points out, is to "Maintain a Republican Majority." Ailes aptly adds: "That's the dream of all true Democrats, don'tcha know?"

Read Ailes' report, and then notice that the desperate phony seaman "Captain Ed" of the wingnut blog "Captain's Quarters" still can't seem to admit that in falling for the ACVR's phony report he has made a complete, unapologetic jackass of himself. Though as previously reported, he's not the only one. (Here and here, by the way, are two other recent examples --- of many --- not previously reported. The America-hater who runs the blog at that last link is so pathetic, in fact, that while he calls himself ironically, "The Machete of Truth", apparently "truth" for that loser includes not only linking to ACVR's phony report, but actually deleting the comment we left on his little disinfo blog pointing him to the correct info about ACVR! Further, because of that, he's now requiring that all comments left on his propaganda pages be "approved" before they are posted. Can these guys get any more pathetic? We're guessing they can...)

Oh...and one more Wingnut Doofus deserves special recognition for his very hard work on behalf of the American Center for Voting Rights liars. Democracy-hating Steve Bowers, "Senior Editor" of "Pardon My English" has posted part two of what is now a promised three-part effort to help ACVR spread their un-American horseshit. The latest chapter is entitled, "DEMOCRATS CAN'T DENY THE FACTS DOCUMENTED IN ACVR REPORT," though it might more aptly be titled "STEVE BOWERS WON'T LET ANY COMMENTERS POST FACTS WHICH DEBUNK THE ACVR HOAX". Don't believe us? Click here, leave a comment pointing the lying Mr. Bowers to http://www.BradBlog.com/ACVR in a comment and wait around to see if he'll allow it to be posted (we know he hasn't allowed any of ours to be posted so far). When you're lying, and have no case, we suppose it's imperative to allow no dissenting information. But we wouldn't know. We just tell the truth and leave the bullshit to chickenshits and chickenhawks like Bowers and the "Machete of Truth" who are always welcome to leave a dissenting viewpoint on The BRAD BLOG.

For more information on the "non-partisan" tax-exempt ACVR scam and the snakeoil salesmen who invented it, Bush/Cheney '04 National General Counsel Mark F. "Thor" Hearne and RNC Communications Director Jim Dyke, please see BRAD BLOG's full Special Coverage of the "American Center for Voting Rights" at http://www.BradBlog.com/ACVR.
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Blogs and 'Journalists' Alike Fall Over Themselves to Cover Phony GOP 'Voting Rights' Group Propaganda
(6 or 7 of you may need to help correct the historical record!) --- [UPDATED SEVERAL TIMES]
By Brad Friedman on 8/3/2005 12:26pm PT  

It's likely you'll be able to find more Rightwing nut jobs out there who couldn't wait to run the phony propaganda issued yesterday by the sham "American Center for Voting Rights" than we have. But as expected, the same knuckleheads who called for Dan Rather's head for shoddy reporting and who choke themselves every day claiming "Liberal Media Bias!" have been all to pleased to run with the garbage that the ACVR released yesterday.

The good Jesse Taylor at Pandagon points out just a few of the wingnut suckers who are apparently unable to type a single word into Google or find within themselves an ounce of critical thought before they must run to their keyboards and re-type horseshit simply because they found it on the Internets and it fits squarely with their uneducated hopes and dreams:

Such illustrious non-partisan, non-profit bloggers as Betsy Newmark, WizBang, The Anchoress and Mr. Remainder stand behind this report uncritically!

Captain Ed of the Wingnut Ship/Blog calling itself "Captain's Quarters" fell for it as well, though even after being told what a chump he's been played for, he still seems to have trouble admitting when he's wrong. Like "President" like Blogger, we guess.

The jackass Steve Bowers, "Senior Editor" at "Pardon My English," trips over himself to write a long item entitled "REPORT DOCUMENTS MASSIVE DEMOCRATIC VOTER FRAUD" in which he uncritically creams in his pants at everything he's read in ACVR's scam "368-page report". The masterful conclusion of what he describes as "Part one of a two part series":

Sounds fair and balanced to me. And it's certainly doesn't appear that the ACVR is a front group for some conservative organization with an agenda.

We can't wait for "part two." Will it be titled "BLOG ITEM EXPOSES STEVE BOWERS AS A COMPLETE AND TOTAL HORSE'S ASS"?

The "Editor", Jason Saine, of "NCRumors" also fell happily for it. But at least that site has the decency to call itself for what it is, a site full of rumors. We'd expect nothing less from its "Editor".

Now citizen bloggers likely have an excuse for being non-journalistic dopes. Just because they call themselves "Senior Editor" doesn't mean they actually have a clue what journalism means. But what of the actual journalistic dopes that fell for it as well?

Arizona Republic was one of them, though to their credit they seem to have now removed the report they ran uncritically on their website yesterday. (Don't know if it ran in their carbon-based edition or not). Thanks to Steve M. of "No More Mister Nice Blog" for noticing and bothering to inform his readers rather than simply pass on unconfirmed garbage as is the wont on the Right.

News Channel 5 of Cleveland, OH, however, ran the story and it's still running! Apparently, they simply cut and pasted the ACVR nonsense about Cleveland being the "#5 Election Fraud 'Hot Spot'" onto their website and called it "reporting."

So what's their excuse?

Daniel Rubin of Philadelphia Inquirer's "Blinq" blog, fell similarly brain-dead in giving "ink" and free publicity to the ACVR this morning. Rubin, who describes himself as a "reporter at the Philadelphia Inquirer since 1988, except from 2000 to 2003, when I was Knight Ridder's European correspondent, based in Berlin," ought to know better, but apparently not. Rubin advises his readers to "Forget Ohio" as he takes the bait...or as he calls it "Election Cheese"

No, Dan. We won't. Neither will we forget you.

(UPDATE: Rubin writes to suggest that we're "nuts" because we failed to mention his link to our ACVR Special Coverage page which received a cursory mention in his blog item. He is correct in that we read his item too fast to notice the quick link, and we apologize for that. Nonetheless, we'll stand behind our criticism of his uncritical coverage/repetition of ACVR's charges and the tremendous publicity he has afforded to the snake-oiled sheisters who cynically created the hoax organization. We hope he'll soon give a similar amount of "ink" to the real evil operatives who need to be called out in this matter for the good of our democracy.)

Then there is the Cybercast News Service which, as expected, ran the ACVR crap virtually as is. CNS, of course, is a phony Rightwing extremist "News" organization who actually covered the ACVR scam after we broke the story here originally. But after the reporter who was assigned to write it filed a report which backed up the original BRAD BLOG reporting, her story was re-written so that she didn't even recognize it when it was posted online to CNS (and subsequently carried at phony GOP "News" sites like GOPUSA, Townhall.com, etc.)

All of which is little surprise, of course, since as we noted in our original article on CNS:

As it turns out, Hogenson --- the Founding and Executive Editor of CNS and also (no conflict at all here) the Radio Services Manager at the RNC Press Office! --- is the longtime compadre to one of the two known lead scheisters at ACVR, Jim Dyke.

Dyke, who has worked hand-in-hand for years in his position at the RNC with Hogenson, was the 2004 RNC Communications Director. (For example, here's a press release where Hogenson and Dyke are listed together just last year.)

We recommend you click on all of the articles and blogs linked in this item, and leave comments (at least on the sites that allow it) letting the bloggers know how you feel about their credibility. Feel free to point them to any of our ACVR reports, or our master index of Special Coverage on ACVR at http://www.BradBlog.com/ACVR. Yes, it's important to correct the record before their noise allows "conventional wisdom" to set incorrectly into place.

As to "News" Channel 5 of Cleveland, OH, their contact info is here:

Mailing Address: 3001 Euclid Avenue; Cleveland, Ohio 44115
Phone: (216) 431-5555

News Managers:newsmanagers@wews.com
Web News Staff:nn5news@newsnet5.com
Station Comments:feedback5@newsnet5.com

NewsNet5.com Staff
Colleen Seitz, Executive Producer: colleen@newsnet5.com
Darlene Dunn, Senior News Editor: darlene@newsnet5.com
Becky Sabo, News Editor: rsabo@newsnet5.com

Or, nn5news@newsnet5.com; feedback5@newsnet5.com; colleen@newsnet5.com; darlene@newsnet5.com; Email">rsabo@newsnet5.com?BCC=T...dBlog@cville.com\">Email them all at once here...

Go make noise.

UPDATE: Kudos to John Cole of the the right-leaning blog, "Balloon Juice" for calling the ACVR Report for what it is. In his words, it's "Bullshit". Thanks for being an intellectually honest conservative, Mr. Cole. There are far too few of you left in your once grand old party.

Also, kudos to Mark of "Relentlessly Optimistic" for pointing out that at least 26 "Conservative" blogs now have egg on their unabashed faces, and broken links to show for it after breathlessly linking to the now removed Arizona Republic coverage of the ACVR sham report:

BlogsNow lists the "most linked to in 7,682,537 weblogs." At number 21 and climbing as of 1:00 PM (Central) is a story (broken link) that was apparently in the Arizona Republic for some time today before being pulled.

FURTHER UPDATE: Another American democracy-hater who deserves particular notice is "Lee" of "Right Thinking from the Left Coast". He couldn't wait to make an utter asshole of himself after he read ACVR's garbage and ran to his keyboard to breathlessly advise his readers in an item titled "The Truth Comes Out":

Everyone bookmark this link and send it to every one of your whining maggot Democrat friends.
[quotes from ACVR report...and then]
But? but? Bush = Hitler! We all know that the fascists in the GOP were trying to prevent minorities from voting. Michael Moore told us it was so!

Of course, his link was to the now disowned/removed "story" from Arizona Republic. You think "Lee" will feel like admitting what a pathetic, embarrased "maggot Republican" he is? Somehow, we doubt it. The "Truth" is very subjective and not to the taste of all readers in Wingnut Land apparently.

FURTHER UPDATE STILL: Steve M. points out that Washington Times (not a surprise) is also running the story. Not that we ever expected actual journalism from that particular White House Organ.

FURTHER FURTHER UPDATES STILL STILL: We neglected to mention Joe Gandelman's coverage of all of this at "The Moderate Voice" in my initial piece. Gandelman covered the initial ACVR report nonsense, but then quickly did some footwork upon realizing that he'd been had. He made a tremendous effort to cover for his initial lapse in judgement in running with the report, and apologized profusely and correctly for the error (even though you can tell he really wanted that report to be true! But we'll not quibble with a gentleman who has enough honor to cop to a mistake and understand what credible reporting actually means.) To that end, our apology for not mentioning Joe's work earlier in this matter. We should have. But as the shit was flying, his piece was mistakenly overlooked. And it should not have been.

On the other end of the spectrum, unfortunately, we still have the desperate Captain Ed of "Captain's Quarters" who just can't stand that he's been played for a sucker. The Cap'n is still doing everything he can to try and cover his ass. He's failing. We're sure that Iraq is going great too! The Captain, it seems, has finally noticed the ACVR's inclusion of "Democrat" Brian Lunde in yesterday's ACVR Press Releases.

NOTE TO THE CAPTAIN: Ahoy Matey! Perhaps you didn't notice, but the Press Releases for that ACVR report was the first time Lunde has ever showed his face as having anything to do with ACVR during their short, discredited history. The inclusion of a phony quote from Lunde in a Press Release (the same quote re-written for each of six different press releases), hardly makes this group "non-partisan". For details on his phony quote --- which we guess you couldn't find in all your hours of research --- can be found here, in our original report from yesterday. There, that wasn't so hard was it? You'll also find that Lunde has been working hard with both Karl Rove and as well the business interests Lunde represents which support Bush Administration policies. That said, I haven't gotten comment from Lunde yet on if he even realizes he's attached to this report, or if he's even aware of what the ACVR's short but sordid history is. Have you? OVER AND OUT, CAPTAIN!

For more information on the "non-partisan" tax-exempt ACVR scam and the snakeoil salesmen who invented it, Bush/Cheney '04 National General Counsel Mark F. "Thor" Hearne and RNC Communications Director Jim Dyke, please see BRAD BLOG's full Special Coverage of the "American Center for Voting Rights" at http://www.BradBlog.com/ACVR.
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GOP Grateful, DNC Still Keeps Head in the Sand
By Brad Friedman on 8/2/2005 8:17pm PT  

In regard to my last report on the flurry of disinformation spewed forth today from the phony "Voting Rights" group calling themselves the "American Center for Voting Rights", John Gideon of the excellent --- and truly non-partisan --- VotersUnite.org group wrote to me wondering if this AP report from Virginia on Mark Dougerghty, the Republican Mayor who was tossed from office and recently indicted on 37 counts of election fraud during his recent re-election bid was included in ACVR's latest report propaganda paper.

The answer, likely to nobody's surprise, is no. There was no mention of the incident in the ACVR's comprehensive report cynical, transparent and subjective cherry-picking of "vote fraud" related incidents and rumors from 2004. The entire Virginia page of the report mentions only one matter: A Nader campaign worker who apparently plead guilty to "signing candidate petitions before a notary that he did not personally circulate, a violation of state law." No other voter fraud or election apparently occured in the state.

Don't even get me started on their pathetic Ohio page, which lists a sum total of four organizations who, the ACVR reports, engaged in some sort of voter registration malfeasance. All of the organizations named, natch, are Dem-leaning groups. Not a single mention of any GOP malfeasance in the Buckeye state, nor a single case of actual vote fraud by anybody. Not one. Perhaps that's because "Of 9,078,728 votes cast in Ohio in 2002 and 2004, only four were fraudulent," according to a June '05 report from Cleveland Plain Dealer. Election fraud, on the other hand, and massive voter disenfranchisment didn't exist according to ACVR's scam report.

For example, while ACVR Exec Director and GOP Operative "Thor" Hearne discussed Kerry campaign workers as attempting to mislead voters as to when Election Day was in the testimony he presented under false pretenses to the U.S. House Administrative Committee last March (proudly displayed in video on ACVR's own website), they seem to have forgotten to include actual evidence like this (courtesy of FreePress.org's book, Did George W. Bush Steal America's 2004 Election: Essential Documents) show just one of the myriad of dirty tricks perpetrated by GOP operatives in Ohio last year:

Nonetheless, as per the plan, Rush Limbaugh reportedly was making good use of ACVR's disinformation campaign on his radio show today, and his current homepage points to the ACVR press release claiming Philadelphia as the nation's "#1 Election Fraud 'Hot Spot'.

Mission Accomplished, ACVR!

But make no mistake. As incidious as these evil ACVR democracy haters are, they have a very clear and transparent purpose above and beyond deflecting from the real malfeasance that occured during Election 2004 which allowed George W. Bush to appear to be victorious. Their real work is to continue the massive disenfranchisement of American Voters by pounding the phony "Voter Fraud" drum in order to give credence to their call for Photo ID requirements at the polls.

Photo ID, of course, would disenfranchise still millions more American voters since the elderly, minority groups and urban dwellers --- overwhelmingly Democratic voters, in other words --- also disproportionately do not have Photo ID's and would thus be disallowed from voting in upcoming elections.

Hearne, from his "non-partisan" post at the ACVR, still sits on the Baker/Carter National Election Reform Commission's "Advisory Panel" where he continues to manipulate the sham committee to ensure their final recommendations will include Photo ID and National Computerized Voter Databases which can be easily gamed to achieve the desired results anywhere in the country.

"Thor" Hearne and Jim Dyke may be unabashedly evil and transparent in their loathing of fair and transparent democracy in America. But they are clever charlatans who know how to get the black-bag job done for their GOP paymasters. And until Democrats wake up and realize the depths to which their opponents will sink to manipulate and/or steal elections, they will continue to lose one after another to these guys. Wake up DNC!

Don't believe me? Take a look at OH-2's Special Election for the U.S. House of Representatives, the results of which were posted just moments ago.

For more information on the "non-partisan" tax-exempt ACVR scam and the snakeoil salesmen who invented it, Bush/Cheney '04 National General Counsel Mark F. "Thor" Hearne and RNC Communications Director Jim Dyke, please see BRAD BLOG's full Special Coverage of the "American Center for Voting Rights" at http://www.BradBlog.com/ACVR.
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'Non-Partisan' Republican Front Group, American Center for Voting Rights Releases Report, Six Press Releases Focusing on Democratic 'Election Fraud'
Massive Republican Voter Disenfranchisement Virtually Unmentioned, Phony Quotes by 'Democrat' Used in Releases
By Brad Friedman on 8/2/2005 11:47am PT  

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."

{UPDATE 5/15/07: Since the ACVR has now disappeared from view in the wake of the U.S. Attorney purge, and their website has been taken off line, the report referenced above is now available here via the Internet archives instead. For the historical record.}

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 sixth Press Release was focused on pushing the ACVR propaganda claim: "Democrat Operatives Far More Involved In Voter Intimidation, Suppression In 2004".

The deceptively-self-described "non-partisan" ACVR, as previously exposed in a series of exclusive articles on The BRAD BLOG, is a Republican front group created by high-level GOP operatives expressly for the purpose of spreading disinformation to sidetrack the Election Reform movement in this country.

Both of ACVR's main players continue to be tied to the upper echelons of the GOP and are longtime Republican partisan operatives. Executive Director Mark F. "Thor" Hearne, has been a backroom player for years in the Missouri and national GOP parties and was most recently the National General Counsel for Bush/Cheney '04 Inc. Their Press Spokesman Jim Dyke was the RNC Communications Director during the 2004 election responsible for arranging to have operatives dress up in "Flipper" costumes at John Kerry election events.

Though they claim to be "non-partisan" and enjoy tax-exempt status as a 501(c)3 organization, they have never shared their 501(c)3 paperwork with The BRAD BLOG as requested (and as they had promised many months ago) despite what we understand is a legal requirement to do so.

Hearne was called to testify as an "expert witness" at a House Administrative Committee Hearing on the Ohio election just days after the creation of the phony group. The ACVR was the only such "Voting Rights" group called to participate in the hearings. Hearne misrepresented himself at those hearings only as a "longtime voting rights advocate," saying nothing about his ties to Bush/Cheney and the Republican Party. The hearings were chaired by Rep. Bob Ney (R-OH), who is himself now under investigation for various alleged ethics violations.

We're on the move today, so haven't yet gotten to plow through the ACVR's full report, but in an onslaught of Press Releases today, the ACVR is clearly attempting to get the message out that it's Democrats, not Republicans, who primarily engage in "Election Fraud".

Ironically, they identify "non-partisan" (yes, they use the quotes!) groups such as ACORN as inappropriately registering Democratic voters. And though the ACVR report is identified in each of the Press Releases as "the most comprehensive and authoritative review of the facts surrounding allegations of vote fraud, intimidation and suppression made during the 2004 presidential election" there are no references to the thousands of well-known allegations of Republican intimidation and vote-suppression around the country or the Voter Registration forms collected and destroyed by groups tied to Republican Operative Nathan Sproul and Associates. Those registration forms --- from Democratic voters only --- were alleged to have been shredded in key swing states including Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Minnesota, Michigan, Ohio, Florida, Oregon and Nevada.

This article from Boston University's Daily Free Press, amongst many others, details the many charges against Sproul and Associates and the phony "non-partisan" Voter Registration groups he set up around the country. Sproul was paid millions by Team Bush and attempted to hide it according to the Baltimore Chronicle and several other reports, and is the subject of a criminal investigation related to these matters in the state of Oregon. Much more on Sproul & Associates is available here.

No reference to Sproul or the many dirty tricks said to have been conducted by groups he organized are mentioned in any of the ACVR Press Releases today.

One new tactic of the ACVR's revealed in the flurry of Press Releases, is the addition of quotes from "ACVR Legislative Fund board member" Brian Lunde who was a DNC Executive Director at one point apparently. Press Reports, however, reveal Lunde as having worked closely with Bush Political Operative, Karl Rove and having represented several big business organizations which are supportive of Bush Administration initiatives.

The Press Releases, one each for the five so-called "Election Fraud 'Hot Spot'" cities, each quote Lunde as saying the same thing, but change the city referred to by Lunde in the quote.

For example, in the Release on St. Louis, claimed the "No. 3 Election Fraud 'Hot Spot'", Lunde is quoted as saying:

"Election after election, political parties, election officials and the news media act surprised when fraud, intimidation and suppression activities occur. Now everyone is on notice that there's a problem in the St. Louis area and those who don't participate in a solution will be held accountable," said Brian Lunde, ACVR Legislative Fund board member.

The city is then replaced in the Press Release on Seattle, claiming the city to be the "No. 3 Election Fraud 'Hot Spot' in America":

"Election after election, political parties, election officials and the news media act surprised when fraud, intimidation and suppression activities occur. Now everyone is on notice that there's a problem in Seattle and those who don't participate in a solution will be held accountable," said Brian Lunde, ACVR Legislative Fund board member.

The other three Press Releases referring to the top "Election Fraud 'Hot Spots'" have the same quote from Lunde, changed only to refer to the city in question: Philadelphia, Milwaukee and Cleveland.

A Washington Post article from 2003 identified Lunde as working closely with Bush political director/operative Rove:

For many on the list, the Rove connection is a mutually beneficial two-way street. Brian Lunde, former executive director of the Democratic National Committee and one of the few Democrats on the list, helped the Bush 2000 campaign round up Democratic supporters.

After Bush took office, Lunde has recommended Democrats for White House appointments, especially in cases requiring selections from both parties. During consideration of trade proposals and protective measures for the steel industry, Lunde could suggest to Rove potential Democratic supporters, which, in turn, advanced the interests of such Lunde clients as the Business Roundtable and Nucor Steel, which backed the administration initiatives.

As mentioned, because we are traveling this afternoon, we've not yet had time to try and reach Lunde for comment. However, Dyke's phone number is given on each press release as 843-532-1192 for those who may have any questions.

The ACVR's homepage where their report, and several other pages of appalling disinformation is available is at www.AC4VR.com.

This Saturday is the 40th anniversary of the landmark Voting Rights Act. No doubt, today's reports and press releases were meant to coincide and continue the gross insult that the American Center for Voting Rights represents to the true Voting Rights activists in this country, many of whom have given their lives in support of such rights over the past century.

For more information on the "non-partisan" tax-exempt ACVR scam and the snakeoil salesmen who invented it, Bush/Cheney '04 National General Counsel Mark F. "Thor" Hearne and RNC Communications Director Jim Dyke, please see BRAD BLOG's full Special Coverage of the "American Center for Voting Rights" at http://www.BradBlog.com/ACVR.
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