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Latest Featured Reports | Monday, July 28, 2014
Bi-Partisan House to Obama: Get Out of Iraq
Overwhelming, if largely symbolic vote in the U.S. House, directs the President to pull U.S. troops back out of Iraq. Directive seen as stinging rebuke to GOP war haws in Senate..
'Green News Report' 7/24/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
Breaking: Storm ravages VA campground; New rules for explosive oil trains; Big win against Big Oil in small Maine town; PLUS: U.S. and Rush Limbaugh lead world in denial...
Previous GNRs: 7/22/14 - 7/17/14 - Archives...
Israeli Attack on UN Shelter Kills At Least 15 in Gaza
The strategy of bombing children, but warning them first, will almost certainly result in years of peace and prosperity for the region...
The Good Fight Continues: KPFK 'BradCast'
Brad speaks with John Wellington Ennis, documentarian and activist, on his newest film and his decade-long fight for election integrity...
What We Do Now
"It took one hour and 57 minutes for the execution to be completed, and Wood was gasping for more than an hour and a half of that time"..."Wood, 55, gasped more than 600 times before he died"...
'Green News Report' 7/22/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
Record wildfires burn the Pacific Northwest; June 2014 was hottest globally on record; EPA blocks Pebble Mine; CA blocks water pollution; PLUS: To cut emmissions, cut the beef...
Previous GNRs: 7/17/14 - 7/15/14 - Archives...
Aborted Statewide 'Recount' Reveals It's a Great Time to Steal an Election in California
In the closest election in state history, even a well-funded candidate couldn't afford to find out if he actually lost...
'I Never Realized Voter ID Fraud Had Not Been Proven'
A RW caller's admission to Brad on NC radio underscores unparalleled propaganda power of Fox 'News'...
John Oliver On America's Prison Problems...With Singing Muppets!
HBO's Last Week Tonight offered smarter (and certainly funnier) coverage than you're likely to see anywhere else...
No, JFK Didn't Steal 1960 From Nixon
Another Zombie Myth that just won't die gets knocked down again...for now...even as its persistence continues to fuel false Republican claims of 'voter fraud' even today...
CA Ballot Prop to Overturn 'Citizens United'
Measure calls for Amendment 'to make clear that rights protected by the U.S. Constitution are the rights of natural persons only'...
UK Deputy PM Condemns Israel's 'Deliberate Use of Disproportionate Response'
Nick Clegg calls attacks on Gaza 'collective punishment' that 'incubates next generation of extremists' and 'needs to come to an end'...
'Green News Report' 7/17/14
Australia's RW govt repeals landmark carbon tax; Obama action on global warming impacts; Record wildfire season in West; PLUS: CA gets tough on water wasters...
Kochs Radical 'Libertarianism' Broke KA
More than 100 top GOPers endorse Republican Gov. Brownback's Dem opponent after tax cuts for wealthy have busted the extremist Koch Brothers' home state...
Death to Zombie Myths!: KPFK 'BradCast'
Brad takes on a bunch of lies that just won't die -- from e-cigs to Ann Coulter's voter fraud to 'global cooling' to the death penalty to marriage equality in MS and more...
FEDERAL JUDGE FINDS CA DEATH PENALTY VIOLATES U.S. CONSTITUTION
George W. Bush appointee rules state system violates Constitution's ban of 'cruel and unusual punishments'...
'Green News Report' 7/15/14
Divesting from fossil fuels; Germany gives $1b to climate fund; Australia carbon tax repeal; All-electric Formula E racing revs up; PLUS: Climate denier Murdoch...
NATIONWIDE STUDY FINDS ALMOST NO VOTER FRAUD
Just 10 cases of in-person impersonation in all 50 states since 2000...
VIDEO: 'Rise of the Tea Bags'
Brad interviews American patriots...
'Democracy's Gold Standard'
Hand-marked, hand-counted ballots...
Brad's Upcoming Appearances
(All times listed as PACIFIC TIME unless noted)
Media Appearance Archives...
'Special Coverage' Archives
GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal 2012...
VA GOP VOTER REG FRAUDSTER OFF HOOK
Felony charges dropped against VA Republican caught trashing voter registrations before last year's election. Did GOP AG, Prosecutor conflicts of interest play role?...

Criminal GOP Voter Registration Fraud Probe Expanding in VA
State investigators widening criminal probe of man arrested destroying registration forms, said now looking at violations of law by Nathan Sproul's RNC-hired firm...

DOJ PROBE SOUGHT AFTER VA ARREST
Arrest of RNC/Sproul man caught destroying registration forms brings official calls for wider criminal probe from compromised VA AG Cuccinelli and U.S. AG Holder...

Arrest in VA: GOP Voter Reg Scandal Widens
'RNC official' charged on 13 counts, for allegely trashing voter registration forms in a dumpster, worked for Romney consultant, 'fired' GOP operative Nathan Sproul...

ALL TOGETHER: ROVE, SPROUL, KOCHS, RNC
His Super-PAC, his voter registration (fraud) firm & their 'Americans for Prosperity' are all based out of same top RNC legal office in Virginia...

LATimes: RNC's 'Fired' Sproul Working for Repubs in 'as Many as 30 States'
So much for the RNC's 'zero tolerance' policy, as discredited Republican registration fraud operative still hiring for dozens of GOP 'Get Out The Vote' campaigns...

'Fired' Sproul Group 'Cloned', Still Working for Republicans in At Least 10 States
The other companies of Romney's GOP operative Nathan Sproul, at center of Voter Registration Fraud Scandal, still at it; Congressional Dems seek answers...

FINALLY: FOX ON GOP REG FRAUD SCANDAL
The belated and begrudging coverage by Fox' Eric Shawn includes two different video reports featuring an interview with The BRAD BLOG's Brad Friedman...

COLORADO FOLLOWS FLORIDA WITH GOP CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION
Repub Sec. of State Gessler ignores expanding GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal, rants about evidence-free 'Dem Voter Fraud' at Tea Party event...

CRIMINAL PROBE LAUNCHED INTO GOP VOTER REGISTRATION FRAUD SCANDAL IN FL
FL Dept. of Law Enforcement confirms 'enough evidence to warrant full-blown investigation'; Election officials told fraudulent forms 'may become evidence in court'...

Brad Breaks PA Photo ID & GOP Registration Fraud Scandal News on Hartmann TV
Another visit on Thom Hartmann's Big Picture with new news on several developing Election Integrity stories...

CAUGHT ON TAPE: COORDINATED NATIONWIDE GOP VOTER REG SCAM
The GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal reveals insidious nationwide registration scheme to keep Obama supporters from even registering to vote...

CRIMINAL ELECTION FRAUD COMPLAINT FILED AGAINST GOP 'FRAUD' FIRM
Scandal spreads to 11 FL counties, other states; RNC, Romney try to contain damage, split from GOP operative...

RICK SCOTT GETS ROLLED IN GOP REGISTRATION FRAUD SCANDAL
Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL) sends blistering letter to Gov. Rick Scott (R) demanding bi-partisan reg fraud probe in FL; Slams 'shocking and hypocritical' silence, lack of action...

VIDEO: Brad Breaks GOP Reg Fraud Scandal on Hartmann TV
Breaking coverage as the RNC fires their Romney-tied voter registration firm, Strategic Allied Consulting...

RNC FIRES NATIONAL VOTER REGISTRATION FIRM FOR FRAUD
After FL & NC GOP fire Romney-tied group, RNC does same; Dead people found reg'd as new voters; RNC paid firm over $3m over 2 months in 5 battleground states...

EXCLUSIVE: Intvw w/ FL Official Who First Discovered GOP Reg Fraud
After fraudulent registration forms from Romney-tied GOP firm found in Palm Beach, Election Supe says state's 'fraud'-obsessed top election official failed to return call...

GOP REGISTRATION FRAUD FOUND IN FL
State GOP fires Romney-tied registration firm after fraudulent forms found in Palm Beach; Firm hired 'at request of RNC' in FL, NC, VA, NV & CO...
The Secret Koch Brothers Tapes...

Fake GOP Front Groups Run by Guys Named Thor & Dyke Make for Good Radio!
(And they put their money on this story breaking into the Mainstream Media...We'll see...)
By Brad Friedman on 3/25/2005 2:16am PT  

Once again, the fine folks from Air America's Unfiltered program spent a decent chunk of time yesterday morning chatting about some of the latest BRAD BLOG news. Last time we heard about them going on about us, it was about ourClint Curtis/Raymond Lemme story. This time, they picked up on our new friends Thor and Dyke of the American Center for Voting Rights (the phony GOP front group pretending to give a damn about the rights of voters).

Host Rachel Maddow and her guest, Isaac Davey Aaronson (we hope that's how it's spelled!), chat it up for about 10 minutes and have some very nice things to say about The BRAD BLOG in the bargain.

Here's your pick of the litter: Streaming RealPlayer, Windows Media Player, or MP3 Download.

By the way, we'd still be happy to guest on Unfiltered if they'd like the latest skinny from the actual horse's mouth. Feel free again to suggest it to them! Or to Randi Rhodes or to Al Franken or all the rest of 'em!

(Hat tip to the several folks who shouted out to us about it and to AirAmericaPlace.com for making the bulk of AAR's shows available in the archives!)

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.
ReddIt this story!



Photos Suggest ACVR Website Developers Most Likely Very Very Tiny Republicans!
Funders for the so-far undocumented 501(c)3 organization and apparent GOP front group still unknown!
By Brad Friedman on 3/24/2005 8:01pm PT  

Thanks to the dilligence and footwork of a few BRAD BLOG readers and foot-soldiers, we are now able to offer an Exclusive photographic look at the location of the mysterious "American Center for Voting Rights" (ACVR)! Or at least a look at the mysterious and unnamed Dallas, TX company who is said by ACVR press spokesman, Jim Dyke, to have developed their website.

After recently reporting that the newly-formed, tax-exempt, "non-partisan", "voters rights" group, calling themselves the ACVR, is apparently little more than a GOP front group run by Dyke (the 2004 Communications Director for the Republican National Committee), Mark F. (Thor) Hearne, II (the National General Counsel for Bush/Cheney '04 Inc.) and others, we sought to learn more about them.

In our exclusive BRAD BLOG interview yesterday with Dyke, the "contact" person for the group --- which suddenly appeared on the Internet last Thursday and was then called to give expert testimony last Monday before a U.S. Congressional House committee on the November Election Irregularties in Ohio --- we had asked Dyke about the location of the ACVR.

The hard-right Republican (responsible, among other things, for posting folks in "Flipper" dolphin costumes at John Kerry events in 2004) instructed us that, though he personally was in Charleston SC, the Dallas TX address on the Internic record for the new group --- the one which shows they just purchased their website domain just last week --- belonged to "the company that designed the website".

Here's the clip from yesterday's interview where we asked about that Dallas TX address on the Internetic record for the AC4VR.com, the group's Internet domain:

JIM DYKE: That's the company that designed the website.

BRAD BLOG: I see. What company is that?

DYKE: I'd have to look into and get back to you.

BB: You don't recall their name?

DYKE: I'll have to check and get back to you on that.

We've yet to hear back from Dyke, but by way of a reminder, here again is the screenshot from the ACVR's Internic registration which has, as of this posting, now been locked from public view:

As you'll note, Dyke himself is listed on that record as both the group's "Administrative" and "Technical" contact at the address of "jim@dykeassociates.com".

Further, this morning a BRAD BLOG commenter noted that the Internic record for the domain name of DykeAssociates.com itself shows that the domain was established by Dyke in December of '04. By this afternoon, however, the information from dykeassociates.com's Internic record has also been made private as the one from AC4VR.com. Here is the information available before it was hidden by the owners from public view:

Registrant:
Jim Dyke
5029 Macomb St
Washington, District of Columbia 20016
United States

Registered through: GoDaddy.com
Domain Name: DYKEASSOCIATES.COM
Created on: 06-Dec-04
Expires on: 06-Dec-06
Last Updated on: 06-Dec-04

Administrative Contact:
Dyke, Jim jim@dykeassociates.com
5029 Macomb St
Washington, District of Columbia 20016
United States
2022443558 Fax ---
Technical Contact:
Dyke, Jim jim@dykeassociates.com
5029 Macomb St
Washington, District of Columbia 20016
United States
2022443558 Fax ---

Domain servers in listed order:
WSC1.JOMAX.NET
WSC2.JOMAX.NET

So if Dyke himself is in South Carolina, and his own company is established as being in Washington D.C., who or what is "the company that designed the website" whom Dyke couldn't remember the name of, and who is described as working out of "8409 Pickwick Lane 299" in Dallas TX?

An intrepid BRAD BLOG reader took a field trip to that address this morning to find out for us and has now sent back Exclusive photographs!

Here now --- for the first time on the Internets --- is an Exclusive BRAD BLOG look at "8409 Pickwick Lane 299", the address for the Dallas, TX company who designed the website for the ACVR or --- perhaps even more likely --- the headquarters for the American Center for Voting Rights itself!...

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

ReddIt this story!



Describes Himself as 'Advocate of Voter Rights' But Not as Bush/Cheney '04 General Counsel!
By Brad Friedman on 3/24/2005 4:58pm PT  

Monday's testimony to a U.S. House Committee by Mark F. (Thor) Hearne, the leader of the American Center for Voting Rights (ACVR) --- who also happens to be the National Counsel for Bush/Cheney '04, Inc. --- has just been added to the website of the "non-partisan", tax-exempt, one-week old "Voting Rights" group.

In his testimony, Hearne failed to mention to the U.S. House members, either his connection to Bush/Cheney or his long roots in the Republican party going back to the Reagan Administration. The testimony was given last Monday to the U.S. House Administration Committee at hearings held on the Ohio Election problems. The hearings to which Hearne was invited were held just 3 business days after the ACVR suddenly appeared for the first time on the Internet...or anywhere else that we've been able to find. More on that here.

In Hearne's testimony, as seen via the page posted today on the ACVR's website [UPDATE 2007: the testimony may now be found here in the Interenet archives, since ACVR has deleted their site], he describes himself as a "a longtime advocate of voter rights and an attorney experience in election law". No mention of his long-term pedigree as a high-level GOP operative...

Testimony of Mark F. (Thor) Hearne, II
Committee On Administration
Columbus, Ohio --- April 21, 2005 [ed note: Misdated on the website]
Chairman Ney, Members of the House Administration Committee, thank you for inviting me to testify today.

My name is Thor Hearne. I am a principle in the law firm of Lathrop & Gage and a longtime advocate of voter rights and an attorney experienced in election law. I was appointed a member of the Missouri HAVA advisory committee advising the Missouri Secretary of State on Missouri's implementation of HAVA and suggesting appropriate amendments to Missouri election law.

Today I am here in my capacity as counsel to the American Center for Voting Rights. The ACVR is a non-partisan watchdog ? voting rights legal defense and education center committed to defending the rights of voters and working to increase public confidence in the fairness of the outcome of elections. I am joined in this endeavor by the almost a dozen Ohio lawyers from several of this states' prestigious law firms that have submitted a report detailing concerns that have come to our attention in connection with the Ohio 2004 general election...

The rest of his testimony is available at the ACVR website. [UPDATE 2007: ACVR's website has been removed from the Internet, browse their old site here via the Internet Archives.]

Here again is a photo of Hearne taken a few weeks ago at a Republican National Lawyers Association reception in Ohio:

We've learned more about both the mysterious outta-nowhere election experts at the ACVR and Mr. Hearne's "non-partisan" activities which we hope to report later this evening as we've got to do a couple of radio interviews for the next several hours, beginning in just a few minutes.

So check back shortly, and for now...we'll just say...DEVELOPING...

UPDATE: The ACVR National Headquarters! Uncovered! BRAD BLOG has the exclusive photographs!

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.
ReddIt this story!



By Brad Friedman on 3/24/2005 1:13pm PT  

So much crime fighting, so little time. I've fallen desperately behind on posting some of the radio appearances I've done of late. (Along with falling behind on everything else...so my continued apologies for unreplied email, unread comments, and un-everything I wish I had more time in each day for! I'm doing my best however, and will keep chasing to get caught where it's possible.) To make up for the unposted radio spots, here's a collection of some freshly minted ones of which you may choose to listen at your liesure...Or not.

  • 3/23/05: 35 Minutes yesterday on Michelangelo Signorile's Sirius OutQ show. Guest-hosted by our good buddy John Aravosis of AMERICAblog! Good fun this one! Covering just about everything! And, on the usually gay-themed show, John calls me a "heterosexist"! Check it out...Streaming RealPlayer, Windows Media Player, or MP3 Download.
  • 3/23/05: Just over 23 minutes yesterday on Atlanta, Georgia's "Wednesday World Party" on WFRG. On BRAD BLOGGING, Velvet Revolution and Georgia's new return to Jim Crow voter ID laws. Live and local, baby! Streaming RealPlayer, Windows Media Player, or MP3 Download.
  • 3/22/05: 20 minutes from our weekly Tuesday gig with our new buddy, Don Grady of Louisiana Live. Always fun. On the latest BRAD BLOG goings on, Raymond Lemme and more... Streaming RealPlayer, Windows Media Player, or MP3 Download.
  • 3/21/05: 30 easy-goin' minutes from a 3/21/05 interview on Guy Rathbun's KCBX show, "An Evening With..." In this case, it was an evening with yours truly. On VR et al. I think it was a nice interview. Enjoyed it very much. Guy is good. The show won't actually air until 3/30/05, but Guy was kind enough to post the recorded interview on his archives today. So kind, in fact, that I'll let him us to the bandwidth for the MP3 of the interview. ;-)
  • 3/21/05: About 15 minutes last Monday on Lila Garrett's Connect the Dots show on KPFK, Pacifica Radio's Los Angeles affiliate. On Velvet Revolution, and Los Angeles registrar Connie McCormack's fight to keep her best friend --- who sells machines for Diebold in Southern California --- in da money. Streaming RealPlayer, Windows Media Player, or MP3 Download.
  • ReddIt this story!



    Um...Sort of.
    By Brad Friedman on 3/23/2005 5:43pm PT  

    Today we attempted to get some more information about the "American Center for Voting Rights" (ACVR), a group who suddenly appeared on the Internet last Thursday. On Monday, they gave testimony to U.S. Congressman Bob Ney's (R-OH) House Administrative Committee during hearings held in Columbus, OH on the 2004 Election mess in the state.

    (Please see this previous BRAD BLOG article for the emerging background on this supposedly "non-partisan" tax-exempt organization which was the only such "Voting Rights" group invited to give testimony at the hearings. And, oh yes, every single name attached to this group so far seems to also be attached to Bush/Cheney '04 Inc. and/or the Republican National Committee and/or the Ohio Republican party.)

    Mark F. (Thor) Hearne, II --- the National General Counsel for Bush/Cheney '04 Inc. --- gave testimony for the group and is listed on the U.S. House Administrative Committee website as simply "National Counsel, American Center for Voting Rights". No mention of his current high-level connections to Bush/Cheney and his long history of working with other powerful Republican officials all the way back to his time working for the Reagan Administration.

    We called him this morning to see if we could ask him a few questions about the ACVR, his involvement as their apparent-organizer and his role as lead contributor for the 31-Page report [PDF] on the Ohio Election produced by the ACVR in time for Monday's hearings.

    Hearne's response, "Not right now...Send me some information about who you're involved with and I'll give you a call back."

    We persisted nonetheless, and asked if he could describe any of the "voter education and outreach" programs which the "About Us" page at the ACVR website describes as one of their activities. Or if he could tell us about any of the "symposiums and conferences" the group claims to be sponsoring as also mentioned on the site.

    His response, "We certainly anticipate those. You keep an eye on our website."

    We pressed on...

    BRAD BLOG: How is it that you guys were invited to testify for a U.S. House Committee hearing after just forming so recently?

    MARK F. (THOR) HEARNE, II: You'd have to ask the [House] committee...

    BB: But to be invited as the only such organization so quickly after being formed? How did that happen?

    HEARNE: I couldn't tell you. We're out here doing what we're doing and we accepted the offer.

    He was, indeed, rather terse in the answers to our attempted questions, and so we wondered why he didn't wish to be more forthcoming about his "non-partisan" group.

    "Sounds to me like your coming from the Left," he told us.

    We informed him that --- though we think didn't think any of our questions were particularly partisan or Left-like --- he might well say that we are indeed coming from the Left. Nonetheless, we consider free and fair elections to be a non-partisan issue. As his website claims to be a non-partisan organization, we figured he wouldn't mind answering some questions about it.

    Mr. Hearne told us to "Email me some information on who you are and I'll get back to you."

    We have done so and look forward to his call and a report here on his answers to some of our many concerns.

    Next we tried a call to Jim Dyke who is listed as the "contact" in a press release issued Monday by AVCR.

    Dyke, we have subsequently learned, also happened to have been the Communications Director for the Republican National Committee during the 2004 Election.

    Perhaps he would be more open with us about this nascient group and their seemingly newfound concern for "Voting Rights" in America. Indeed, Dyke was much more willing than was Hearne to speak at length with us...

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

    ReddIt this story!



    By Brad Friedman on 3/23/2005 3:33pm PT  

    If you had any questions about what sort of fellow Ohio Secretary of State (and Co-Chair for Ohio's Bush/Cheney '04 campaign) J. Kenneth Blackwell is give a quick listen to this 4-minute audio report on yesterday's hearings from Ohio Public Radio featuring some of the heated exchanges between His Arrogance Mr. Blackwell, and some the questioners.

    (See our previous report explaining this rare appearance by Blackwell who has, until now, snubbed all such hearings at which he was called to testify and refused to answer a single question about the 2004 Election which he was designated to oversee as "fair and impartial" arbiter.)

    Additionally, we received this report from a congressional staffer who was inside the hearing room in Columbus on Monday:

    In a complete abrogation of protocol, he refused to shake the hands of a fellow witness, Ohio Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones.

    When Miss Tubbs Jones called him out on it, Blackwell explained that he wanted to see "how she acted" before he was willing to shake her hands. As if she was the one responsible for the voting rip-off and long lines in Ohio.

    Because of his stonewalling during the question period, Tubbs Jones was forced to declare that Blackwell would have to "haul butt" if he wouldn't respond to his questions.

    When called to task concerning the absurd paper weight requirements, he left the explanation for a staffer, and than left and made an obnoxious salute gesture toward the Democrats on the panel Ranking Member Millender McDonald and Tubbs Jones.

    (Hat tip to BRAD BLOG commenter, "MelissaB", for the link to the audio report!)

    ReddIt this story!



    DeLay and Ethically Challenged Cronies Feel the Heat...
    By Brad Friedman on 3/23/2005 10:19am PT  

    We remember an episode of COPS some year ago when a perp was hiding beneath an overturned kiddie pool. When the police lifted the pool, the perp didn't move. We remember having the feeling he must have been thinking, "I'm invisible, I'm invisible. Please God make me be invisible."

    It looks like Republican House Majority Whip, Tom Delay, and his co-conspirators at the National Republican Congressional Committee are trying a similar tactic.

    (BTW, it didn't work for the perp on COPS either.)

    ReddIt this story!



    6-Day Old Tax-Exempt Group Run by High Level GOP Operatives!
    (GOPUSA/Talon News, Anyone?)
    By Brad Friedman on 3/22/2005 7:01pm PT  

    Republicans seem to have a new found interest in the Electoral Reform movement. An article today from the extremist rightwing web publication WorldNetDaily attacks Sen. Hillary Clinton's election reform bill with quotes from several critics, but none from either Clinton or other supporters of the bill.

    In Ohio, state Republican legislators are attempting to raise the cost for candidates seeking a recount after an election. While in Georgia, Republican legislators are trying to pass laws requiring voters to produce Photo ID at the polls.

    And yesterday, Ohio Republican Congressman, Bob Ney, chairman of the U.S. House Administrative Committee held hearings in Columbus on the massive reported problems during the 2004 Presidential Election in the Buckeye state.

    Perhaps something is suddenly causing Republicans to try and get on the offensive when it comes to the drumbeat of Election Reform now surging across America.

    But it's a brand-spanking new, outta-nowhere, just-in-time-for-yesterday's-hearings, Talon News-like "Voting Rights" organization that has caught our eye for the moment.

    As reported here earlier today, the U.S. House Administrative Committee hearings yesterday in Columbus featured testimony from St. Louis attorney, Mark F. (Thor) Hearne, II of the "non-partisan" American Center for Voting Rights (ACVR).

    According to Internic records, the ACVR was established on the web just last Thursday and early investigation into this group would seem to indicate that it is little more than a front group for Republican operatives with little or no interest in actual "Voting Rights" at all.

    While Hearne is listed as a witness for yesterday's hearings on the U.S. Committee for House Administration website as "National Counsel, American Center for Voting Rights", there is no mention of his affiliation or extensive work for Bush/Cheney '00, '04 and other Republicans.

    Hearne, a former Reagan Administration official, is the National Election Counsel to Bush-Cheney '04 Inc. and was Missouri counsel to Bush-Cheney ?00 Inc. As well, he was General Counsel to Republican Missouri Governor Blunt.

    He is pictured, at a March 5, 2005 Republican National Lawyers Association (RNLA) reception in Ohio, at the bottom of this article. The RNLA is an off-shoot of the national Republican Party.

    But Hearne is not the only high-level Republican operative working for the tax-exempt "non-partisan" 501(c)3 organization...

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

    ReddIt this story!



    Director of 4-Day Old Group Called as Expert Witness along with Blackwell in U.S. House Hearings Yesterday.
    By Brad Friedman on 3/22/2005 12:50pm PT  

    Yesterday, in Columbus, OH, the U.S. House Committee on House Administration held a hearing on the mess otherwise known as the 2004 Presidential Election in Ohio.

    Unlike the previous hearings last December in Columbus run by Democratic members of the U.S. House Judiciary Committee, this committeee, led by Ohio Republican Congressman Bob Ney was given a hearing room in Ohio's State Capitol building. (The Judiciary Committee member's hearings last year had been originally scheduled to take place in the statehouse, until "someone" decided they were not welcome there. But we digress.)

    Ney has been a big supporter of the Help America Vote Act (HAVA), and has shown an interest on the CHA website in doing everything possible to leave the flawed Help America Vote Act (HAVA), hastily passed in the wake of the 2000 election debacle, in place and unchanged so that things like mandatory paper ballots with every vote cast cannot be amended to the law. HAVA sets asides millions of federal dollars for the purchase of new electronic voting machines from a few select private companies.

    Ohio Secretary of State J. Kenneth Blackwell, tasked with running a free and fair election in the Buckeye state last November --even while he was tasked with being the OH Co-Chair for the Bush/Cheney Re-Elect Committee --- finally decided to show up and take some questions yesterday.

    As well, a Republican operative by the name of Mark F. (Thor) Hearne was also called as a "Witness" to discuss Election Reform issues despite fronting an organization, the so-called "American Center for Voting Rights" which suddenly appeared out of nowhere on the web just last Thursday.

    Last month, Blackwell had succeeding in displeasing even his theoretical Ohio Republican ally, Ney, by refusing to attend the committee's first such hearings in D.C. Even though Blackwell was already in town.

    Yesterday, however, he finally showed up...

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

    ReddIt this story!



    By Brad Friedman on 3/21/2005 7:01pm PT  

    From today's Doonesbury, in which Roland Hedley has replaced Jeff Gannon in the White House press corps...

    ...And also from today's paper...

    Zeitgeist, anyone?

    ReddIt this story!



    While ABC Pulls the Plug
    By Brad Friedman on 3/21/2005 11:10am PT  

    While listening to CBS News Radio last night, a spokesman from the Schiavo camp was quoted as saying something along the lines "We're so pleased that the broad majority of the American people have really pulled together to get behind the case for Terry Schiavo to save her life."

    There was no alternate view presented in the story. Which is odd, given how we've been repeatedly told by the wingnuts what a bunch of leftie, pinko, commie, Bush-haters CBS News is.

    And now this from Reuters:

    Poll: Most Think Congress Wrong on Schiavo Case

    Americans broadly and strongly disapprove of the intervention by Congress in the case of Terri Schiavo and most believe lawmakers are using her case for political gain, according to an ABC News poll published on Monday.

    Seventy percent deemed the congressional intervention inappropriate, while 67 percent said they believe lawmakers became involved in the Schiavo case for political advantage rather than the principles involved.

    Wow. Who knew? It's almost as if CBS News isn't quite the bunch of leftie, pinko, commie, Bush-haters that the Wingnuts would have us believe. We're starting to feel the Right just may not be telling the whole truth to the American people. We are beside ourselves with disillusionment. What next? A new poll telling us that Steroids in Professional Baseball is not the most pressing and divisive issue facing our country today?!

    UPDATE: Washington Post is reporting that all of this hullaballoo about Schiavo may just be a trumped up political issue or something! What?! Apparently a memo was distributed to all Senate Republicans on this matter according to the leftie, commie, pinko Bush-haters of ABC news [emphasis added]:

    This is an important moral issue, and the pro-life base will be excited that the Senate is debating this important issue...This is a great political issue, because Senator Nelson of Florida has already refused to become a co-sponsor and this is a tough issue for Democrats.

    Oh, boy. Now we're really confused! We're just waiting for the Blame America First crowd over at ABC to tell us that, in reality, Saddam Hussein didn't topple the World Trade Center! Geez...

    ReddIt this story!



    Members convey 'moral and patriotic duty' to implement standards or face loss of Government Funding!
    State that HAVA funding should only go to 'firms that abide by these principles'!
    By Brad Friedman on 3/20/2005 6:00pm PT  

    Congressional support for VR's "Divestiture for Democracy" campaign continues to build strength as TWENTY-THREE U.S. House Members signed on to a letter sent late Friday to the nine major American Voting Machine companies!

    The letter, authored by Rep. Maxine Waters and Rep. John Conyers (reported here late last week), demands transparency and accountability from the private companies which now run the public function of America's electoral system. The Congressional members outline --- in no uncertain terms --- their position that all government funding should be withheld from companies that do not comply with the standards originally set forth in VR's February 21 letter to the companies.

    From the recent Congressional letter:

    For the sake of our democracy, we believe you have a moral and patriotic duty to help eligible voters participate in and trust our electoral process. That is why we are urging you to adopt these common sense principles as expeditiously as possible.

    It is our very strong position and belief that only firms that abide by these principles deserve funding under the Help America Vote Act. We will do everything in our power to see that non-complying firms do not receive such funding.

    The letter was signed by the following U.S. House members: John Conyers, Jr. (D-MI), Maxine Waters (D-CA), Jim McDermott (D-WA), Marcy Kaptur (D-OH), Sam Farr (D-CA), Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX), Rick Boucher (D-VA), Stephanie Tubbs Jones (D-OH), William D. Delahunt (D-MA), Lynn Woolsey (D-CA), Barbara Lee (D-CA), Corrine Brown (D-FL), Bennie Thompson (D-MS), Robert Wexler (D-FL), James Oberstar (D-MN), Ral Grijalva (D-AZ), Elijah Cummings (D-MD), Donald M. Payne (D-NJ), Barney Frank (D-MA), Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), George Miller (D-CA), Jesse Jackson, Jr. (D-IL) and Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ).

    The members have asked for a reply from the companies no later than April 15, 2005. A copy of the complete signed letter is posted here.

    As well, Conyers, sent another letter to me (as co-founder of Velvet Revolution) to inform us of this latest Congressional effort and his continuing commitment to the fight which VR began with our DV4D campaign. That letter is also posted at VR.

    Twenty-three signers, we are told, is rather impressive for such a letter. As one congressional aide mentioned on that point via email, twenty-three signatures is "really good for a letter that kicks around a few weeks, let alone one that has circulated in just the last several days. Congrats! Wow!"

    We suppose that must be attributed to the notion that supporting democracy in America really shouldn't be all that controversial an issue!

    VR's "Divestiture for Democracy" Campaign, allows 60 days for the companies to announce their intentions of adopting the standards or face a massive divestiture effort to be launched against those companies (and their affiliates and clients) who choose to ignore the steps which so many Americans find necessary to restore confidence in America's electoral process. If you have not already done so, please click here to send an email to the companies yourself! It'll take you less than a minute yet means a lot!

    Conyers had previously endorsed VR's "DV4D" campaign on March 2nd. And last week, Green Party Presidential Candidate, David Cobb, sent his own letter to America's Voting Machine Company strongly endorsing VR's campaign.

    For more information on Velvet Revolution's "Divestiture for Democracy" campaign, please write to DV4D@VelvetRevolution.us.

    ReddIt this story!



    By Brad Friedman on 3/20/2005 3:22pm PT  

    {ed note: We love Tom Tomorrow, but --- though he mentioned them --- none of the above could have been possible without the cooperation of Democrats like Sen. Joe Biden. Any Dem who would sell out the best interests of their constituents, as the Bankrupty Bill does, for a few thousand dollars from the Credit Card industry, deserves to be tied to the railroad tracks as well!}

    ReddIt this story!



    This Time About North Korea...
    (Apparently truth-telling is not one of those 'Moral Values' we've heard so much about.)
    By Brad Friedman on 3/20/2005 10:58am PT  

    The beat goes on. We are hated by the world not because of our "freedom", but because of a hypocritical foreign policy that has gone on for decades and --- even in the wake of 9/11 --- continues to this day.

    The latest hypocrisy, blaming North Korea for nuclear exports to Libya, when it fact it was our (theoretical) "ally" Pakistan who did the deal.

    From today's Washington Post...

    In an effort to increase pressure on North Korea, the Bush administration told its Asian allies in briefings earlier this year that Pyongyang had exported nuclear material to Libya. That was a significant new charge, the first allegation that North Korea was helping to create a new nuclear weapons state.

    But that is not what U.S. intelligence reported, according to two officials with detailed knowledge of the transaction. North Korea, according to the intelligence, had supplied uranium hexafluoride --- which can be enriched to weapons-grade uranium --- to Pakistan. It was Pakistan, a key U.S. ally with its own nuclear arsenal, that sold the material to Libya. The U.S. government had no evidence, the officials said, that North Korea knew of the second transaction.
    ...
    The Bush administration's approach, intended to isolate North Korea, instead left allies increasingly doubtful as they began to learn that the briefings omitted essential details about the transaction, U.S. officials and foreign diplomats said in interviews. North Korea responded to public reports last month about the briefings by withdrawing from talks with its neighbors and the United States.
    ...
    "The administration is giving Pakistan a free ride when they don't deserve it and hurting U.S. interests at the same time," said Charles L. Pritchard, who was the Bush administration's special envoy for the North Korea talks until August 2003.

    "As our allies get the full picture, it doesn't help our credibility with them," he said.

    Look the other way Bush supporters. Heads back in the sand! And when another 9/11 happens, be sure to tell yourself it's because "they hate our freedom". Not because we look the other way when our "friends" --- the chosen despots and U.S. approved villians --- destabilize the world (see friends and business partners Donald Rumsfeld and Saddam Hussein at right) even while we trump up phoney-baloney charges against those regimes which won't play ball and/or don't serve our current economic interests.

    It's nothing new. It's just more brazen than ever with this bunch and, in the wake of 9/11, more shamefully obvious and more clearly self-defeating than ever. A very good lesson apparently not learned.

    "Freedom" American Style continues on the march...

    ReddIt this story!



    (The one you didn't get on Fox "News")
    By Brad Friedman on 3/19/2005 11:48pm PT  


    (Click here for a worldwide celebration of "freedom on the march")

    ReddIt this story!



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