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Latest Featured Reports | Thursday, November 27, 2014
'KPFK' BradCast: Maine Mystery, Ferguson Fury and Thanks for Something
'My thanks to all of you this Thanksgiving which, as a few callers reminded me, isn't nearly as terrible as it seemed before this week's show'...
Mysterious Ballots Flip Maine Senate Recount Result From Democratic to Republican
21 'phantom' ballots appear out of nowhere in Town of Long Island, reverse results of very close state contest, leaving officials baffled...
'Green News Report' 11/25/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
Gov. Cuomo blames meteorologists for his Buffalo storm fail; Canada protests another tar sands pipeline, lead's world in deforestation; PLUS: World Bank issue's dire warning...
Previous GNRs: 11/20/14 - 11/18/14 - Archives...
No Indictment in Ferguson Shooting of Michael Brown
A few early thoughts on the St. Louis County Prosecutor's extraordinary spectacle and miscarriage of justice on the night of his announcement...
'Recount' Ahead for Oregon's GMO Labeling Measure
Fewer than 900 votes separate 'Yes' from 'No' on 'Right to Know' Measure 92, out of more than 1.5 million paper ballots tallied by computers statewide in Nov. 4 election...
GOP House Intel Committee Findings Debunk GOP BENGHAZI! 'Scandal'
Final report released quietly before holiday weekend and before eighth Republican BENGHAZI! committee set to convene...
Monster Energy Drink Not Just Crappy, Also the Work of Satan!
The indisputable video proof is now here!...
'Green News Report' 11/20/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
Record-breaking storm breaks Buffalo; October 2014 hottest October on record; Sorry, Repubs: China to cap coal use by 2020; PLUS: Obama doubles down on climate foreign policy...
Previous GNRs: 11/18/14 - 11/13/14 - Archives...
Extreme Weather? What Extreme Weather?
Yes, scientists have been warning us about this for years. And, yes, the record breaking storm in Buffalo is tied to global warming...
We're #26! Harvard 'Electoral Integrity' Report Dings U.S.
'World's Greatest Democracy' rated worst among Western nations; Ranked just below Micronesia, just above Mexico in overall list...
Gag Order Won't Ensure Impartial Jury in Trial of 'Dark Lord of Coal Country'
WV's criminally indicted coal boss and U.S. Chamber of Comm. director Don Blankeship presents challenge for federal prosecutors...
Oxford English Dictionary's 2014 Word of the Year: 'Vape'
That small point likely underscores some very encouraging news for the health of the world...
'Green News Report' 11/18/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
US Senate fails to approve Keystone XL; Can Congress override the Prez next year?; Native Americans: KXL is 'an act of war'; PLUS: Accountability for 'The Dark Lord of Coal'...
Previous GNRs: 11/13/14 - 11/11/14 - Archives...
Sanders on Colbert: Midterms a Vote Against Both Parties
For those mad at us for asserting 'not voting IS a vote', look who just said the same thing...
Exclusive: St. Louis County Was Warned Before Election Paper Ballots Would Run Out
Email obtained by BRAD BLOG reveals County's top election official ignored warnings from election experts, leading to shortages...
Not Voting IS a Vote
Stop blaming those who didn't turn out. Americans did vote. By not turning out, they voted against the two major parties and against the system as a whole. It may have been a dumb vote, but it was a landslide...
Stephen Colbert is Really REALLY Funny
This segment makes clear once again that it's very very sad The Colbert Report is soon going away...
'Green News Report' 11/13/14
Historic US-China agreement that GOP said couldn't be done; New hope for int'l treaty; Repub freak out; Scientists say deal not enough, but good start...
Crucial Moment for FCC & 'Net Neutrality'
Will the Democratic majority commissioners support the President's clarion call and thwart GOP opposition to an open Internet?...
Brad on Hartmann TV: Election 2014 Mess
On thousands of 'missing' votes in Wisconsin, on Nate Silver and polls vs. 'results', on Rightwing 'True the Vote' voter fraud fraudsters, and on much more...
'Green News Report' 11/11/14
'Science has spoken': Final UN report - bad, good & room for hope; PLUS: Margaret Thatcher's historic climate change speech - when conservatives accepted science ...
IN MEMORIAM: Tomas Young, 1979-2014
On Veterans Day, America added another casualty from the War on Iraq -- one who, after first meeting and interviewing him in 2005, we will never forget...
Early Data Suggests TX GOP Photo ID Restrictions 'Worked'
Provisional ballots doubled, turnout down by more 1/4 million votes, despite larger population, contested gov's race and increased voter registration...
WI Scanner Fails To Tally Thousands of Votes in 'Citizens United' Referendum
'Programming error' blamed for paper ballot tabulator recording just 16 of 5,350 votes in city of Stoughton, WI...
The Results Were Skewed Toward Republicans: A Response to Nate Silver
The statistics guru unhelpfully explains away mid-term's surprising outcome by presuming pre-election polling was wrong and unverified election results were all correct...
'True the Vote' Group Fails to Find 'Voter Fraud' (Again)
Laughingstock RW org's 'army' of monitors and smart phone app uncover just 18 benign 'irregularities', 0 cases of polling place impersonation...
'Green News Report' 11/6/14
Election 2014-pocalypse: Republican hegemonic hellscape!; Climate deniers now in charge; PLUS: At least one note of very good environmental election news...
About Last Night: KPFK 'BradCast'
Guest Matthew Segal of OurTime.org joins Brad to discuss whether young voters are to blame for Tuesday's election results and, if not them, then who...or what...
Reuters: Voting Probs Around Nation, 2,000 Missing Election Judges in Chicago
Wire service summarizes machine probs, Photo ID vote suppression and a really strange story out of Chicago...
NATIONWIDE STUDY FINDS ALMOST NO VOTER FRAUD
Just 10 cases of in-person impersonation in all 50 states since 2000...
VIDEO: 'Rise of the Tea Bags'
Brad interviews American patriots...
'Democracy's Gold Standard'
Hand-marked, hand-counted ballots...
Brad's Upcoming Appearances
(All times listed as PACIFIC TIME unless noted)
Media Appearance Archives...
'Special Coverage' Archives
GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal 2012...
VA GOP VOTER REG FRAUDSTER OFF HOOK
Felony charges dropped against VA Republican caught trashing voter registrations before last year's election. Did GOP AG, Prosecutor conflicts of interest play role?...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

By Brad Friedman on 12/18/2005 11:44pm PT  

Last year we were nominated for more categories than any other blog, but in the end, didn't win in any of them.

This year, let's see if we can win in all of the categories, without being nominated for any of them! Oh...wait...that may not work...

So...nominations are now being accepted for the 2005 Koufax Weblog Awards. If you are so inclined, we'd be honored if you put in a few good words (and nominations) for your friendly neighborhood BRAD BLOG! http://www.BradBlog.com

-- Read About Categories Here
-- Leave your nominations in the Comments section here!
(NOTE: New thread now opened, previous one had gotten full and they closed it)

(NOTE: Apparently there are several stages in this process...semi-finals, finals and so on. So pardon us if we bug you periodically to consider putting in a good word for us over there. You'll be pleased to know the election will be run with all of the strict air-tight security standards as mandated by the Help America Vote Act of 2002! So get hacking!)

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A Look Back at the Most Notable Stories from the Week That Was In Our Continually Crumbling Democracy...
By John Gideon on 12/18/2005 6:33pm PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon, of VotersUnite and VoteTrustUSA

As an introduction, the "DVN Top 5" is a feature that I have been providing in the weekly voting newsletter of VoteTrustUSA. The December 13 edition can be found here. The selection of what will be the "Top 5" for each week and where it goes on the list is all mine. The fact that you may disagree with my choices is great because it shows that you have been reading the DVN articles that I've posted throughout the week here on BRAD BLOG!...

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

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Op/Ed Slams Diebold, Though Elsewhere in Paper it's Still Nothing More Than 'Conspiracy Theories'
By Brad Friedman on 12/18/2005 4:44pm PT  

"The counting of votes is a public trust. Diebold, whose machines count many votes, has never acted as if it understood this."

So writes the NY Times correctly in a very good Op/Ed in today's Sunday paper. The piece smartly summarizes the bad week for Diebold and their years-long failure to understand the importance of the role they have been entrusted with in participating in our public elections process. We appreciate the coverage, if only because the paper's news division didn't devote any ink, as far as we know, to Diebold's growing troubles all week long.

Though elsewhere in the paper, on Saturday, Dan Mitchell embarrassed both himself and the once-great Grey Lady by announcing a "New Day for Diebold" along with further pimping the company's now-discredited PR attempts to marginalize those of us who give a damn about an accountable democracy in America. Mitchell reports very briefly in the technology section on the dumping of CEO Walden O'Dell last Monday in order to suggest this could be "the beginning of an interesting turnaround story" for Diebold. No mentions of the Securities Fraud Class Action against them, nor the devasting hack of their Voting Equipment later in the week. But Mitchell does use the opportunity to knee-jerk about both "conspiracy theories" and "black-helicopter theorizing."

In the best case, we'll suggest Mitchell suffers from either incomptence or sheer laziness. In a not so generous speculation, we'd wonder if he's taking the opportunity to attempt to boost the sagging stock price of DBD. Hey Dan, you'd tell us if you happened to own any Diebold shares, right?

Perhaps instead of appearing as a democracy-hating stooge, Mitchell should bother to read his own newspaper, which wrote far more responsibly in their Op/Ed today:

Diebold's voting machines have a troubled history. The company was accused of installing improperly certified software, which is illegal, in a 2002 governor's race in Georgia. Across the country, it reached a multimillion-dollar settlement with the California attorney general last year of a lawsuit alleging that it made false claims about the security of its machines. Last week, the top elections officer in Leon County, Fla., which includes Tallahassee, concluded after a test that Diebold machines can be hacked to change vote totals.
...
As Diebold enters the post-O'Dell era, it should work to make itself worthy of the important role it now plays in American democracy.

Don't the NY Times Op/Ed folks realize that that all those items outlined as "a troubled history" are nothing more than "black helicopters" and "conspiracy theories"? We know it for a fact! We read it, after all, in the NY Times!

Or perhaps we can just conclude by paraphrasing them:

"The counting of votes is a public trust. So is the reporting on how it is done. Dan Mitchell, like Diebold, has never acted as if he understood this."

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Counters Previous Positions by both the Acting Secretary of State and Voting Machine Company Diebold
By Brad Friedman on 12/18/2005 3:11pm PT  

Over the weekend, at least two reports out of mainstream Florida papers --- one in the Miami Herald and one in the Tallahassee Democrat --- report that Gov. Jeb Bush himself is now questioning the reliability of Florida's electronic voting system in light of the recent hack test in Leon County, home of the state's capitol Tallahassee. That security test, carried out last week, successfully flipped the results of a simple mock election test held on Diebold, Inc. voting equipment. The hack, which changed the results of an election from 2-6 to 7-1, left no trace of evidence behind.

After reports of the test were released, Florida's Sec. of State's office had initially criticized the messenger, Leon County's Director of Elections, Ion Sancho, suggesting that the matter was not the state's concern, but rather was an issue between Diebold and the county. That, despite the fact that it was the state of Florida who had certified the particular Diebold made machinery for use in the Sunshine State.

Acting FL Sec. of State David Mann also echoed Diebold's statement on the matter, criticizing Sancho himself because they believe that in allowing the hackers to gain access to the memory cards --- where a very short executable program capable of changing the election results had been secretly placed --- the test did not replicate 'real world' conditions.

Bush, who may be realizing the untenable position the state and their friends at Diebold now find themselves in, is at least taking the public stance that Sancho's findings and concerns should be taken seriously.

Quoting from the Herald coverage:

Gov. Jeb Bush said Friday that the state ought to consider relooking at the way it examines electronic voting machines, following a county election chief's tests that showed insiders could hack into the computers, change votes and not leave an electronic fingerprint behind.

Bush, saying the subject is ''too important'' to ignore, echoed national computer-security and voting experts, and struck a dissimilar chord to acting Secretary of State David Mann, who expressed less urgency Thursday to retest vote machines. Mann said he was ''concerned'' only that Leon County Elections Supervisor Ion Sancho might have given an outsider access to his vote machines' computer codes Tuesday.

Bush also questioned whether Sancho gave away privileged information --- which Sancho denies --- and noted Sancho's ''unorthodox'' media-friendly style, in which he conducted his computer-hacker tests and spoke about them with The Herald before discussing them with the secretary of state's office, which oversees elections.

'My general thought is, probably, they're saying, `Well, here he goes again. We don't want to deal with him because he's a maverick.' And I would suggest that, no, this is too important, that we ought to get his information, look at it carefully,'' Bush said.

"If there needs to be any changes in policy as it relates to certification of machines, then we should do so."

Over in the Tallahassee Democrat Sancho responds to the criticisms of the state and Diebold about granting access internally to the hackers, and the absurd charge that such things could never occur in a "real world" election:

"What am I going to do if somebody offers one of my employees $4 million in a secret bank account in the Bahamas, if they'll rig an election?" said Sancho. "I'm charged with safeguarding the votes of our citizens in this county."

Of course, we know that nobody in either Florida or Ohio or any other state in the union would ever try to rig an election from the inside.

Since the test, Sancho has announced that Diebold voting equipment will no longer be used in the county's elections and has requested funding to replace them with an alternate system that allows for recountable paper ballots and additional access for the disabled.

Earlier in the week, a Securities Fraud Class Action suit was launched against Diebold, in part, for failing to disclose flaws in their voting equipment.

Later in the week, after the test in Leon County, another Florida county, Volusia, decided against using the same unsecure Diebold machinery for their elections as well.

The BRAD BLOG has previously reported that even a branch of the U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security has warned about security flaws in Diebold voting machinery, and a recent non-partisan GAO report which has further confirmed such concerns about all of the currently available electronic voting systems now being deployed around the country.

UPDATE 12/22/05: Miami Herald calls on Bush to retest all touch-screen and optical scan machines in the state!

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By John Gideon on 12/17/2005 5:01pm PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon of VotersUnite.org

Today was a relatively slow day when compared to the past week. Of course the news of the Diebold failures is still coming out of Florida. However, it is the little seemingly innocuous articles that, at times, provide important news. Today it was reported that in Ohio SoS Blackwell chose a new voting system for Summit County. Diebold TSx? No, he turned his back on Diebold and assigned them ES&S OpScans and AutoMARK for the disabled voters....

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

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What's a Few Broken, Ignored Federal Election Laws Between Friends?
(Especially When It May Even Help On That Little Matter of White House Treason?)
By John Gideon on 12/17/2005 3:53pm PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon of VotersUnite.org and VoteTrustUSA.org

Hans von Spakovsky. A German industrialist? A compatriot of artist Hieronymus Bosch? No. He is an attorney who is presently the head of the Department of Justice Civil Rights Division Voting Section. He is a member of the right-wing Federalist Society, and joined other Bush cronies in the Florida recount battle in 2000, and he is President Bush's newest recipient of a crony-nomination.

According to an article in today's Washington Post, von Spakovsky was nominated to the Federal Election Commission on Friday.

The nomination of von Spakovsky, a Republican, has already raised the hackles of some Democrats. According to WaPo:

In a letter to Senate Rules Committee Chairman Trent Lott (R-Miss.), Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.) wrote that he is "extremely troubled" by the von Spakovsky nomination. Kennedy contends that von Spakovsky "may be at the heart of the political interference that is undermining the [Justice] Department's enforcement of federal civil laws."

WaPo added this:

Career Justice Department lawyers involved in a Georgia case said von Spakovsky pushed strongly for approval of a state program requiring voters to have photo identification. A team of staff lawyers that examined the case recommended 4 to 1 that the Georgia plan should be rejected because it would harm black voters; the recommendation was overruled by von Spakovsky and other senior officials in the Civil Rights Division.

Before working in the Justice Department, von Spakovsky was the Republican Party chairman in Fulton County, Ga., and served on the board of the Voter Integrity Project, which advocated regular purging of voter roles to prevent felons from casting ballots.

It is clear that von Spakovsky had the ear of another "crony nomination" recipient, Alberto Gonzales, when it came to making decisions on the Georgia Voter ID issue and Texas redistricting, both of which had been recommended against by the Justice Departments' career professionals in the Voting Rights Division, but were given acceptance by the DoJ anyway.

The Georgia law has since been found unconstitutional as a "Jim Crow-era Poll Tax" by two Federal courts, and the Texas redistricting, concerning which former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay now faces indictments, has just been agreed to be looked at by the United States Supreme Court.

One other very notable point here. A Democrat, Robert D. Lenhard, has also been nominated to the FEC by Bush. As pointed out by Jane Hamsher of Firedoglake: "He's the husband of [Time Magazine reporter] Viveca Novak, whose testimony now provides the foundation for Karl Rove's defense in the CIA leak case."

As well, Lenhard was "quite helpful to the 1600 Crew as part of the legal team that challenged the constitutionality of the McCain-Feingold campaign finance law," according to Jane.

Neither point, as Jane noted, was in either the White House Press Release or the WaPo's stenographic reporting of same.

Additional reporting on this story by Brad Friedman

CORRECTION: Our originally posted version of this story had reported von Spakovsky, instead of Lenhard, as the husband of TIME reporter, Vivica Novak. The BRAD BLOG regrets the error.

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By John Gideon on 12/16/2005 5:30pm PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon of VotersUnite.org

The news today, for a great part, was about Diebold and the lawsuits and Leon Co. test failure. The news day ended with the news that Volusia Co., Florida has decided to join Leon Co. in dumping their Diebold machines. How many counties will be joining in the march away from Diebold? The Ohio House of Representatives was not able to agree on part of the regressive HB3 legislation. It was not a disagreement over disenfranchisement of voters, or making it near impossible for anyone to request a recount, or restricting voter registration drives. It was a disagreement between Republicans over whether local government employees should be able to donate to their bosses political campaigns....

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

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Opts for Transparent, Accountable Elections (Instead of Diebold Elections) After a Protracted Battle...
By Brad Friedman on 12/16/2005 1:55pm PT  

This just in...After various protracted legal battles (funded by the National Federation for the Blind, which had received a $1 million "donation" from Diebold previously) and along with the news out of Leon County, Florida, Volusia County has now come to their senses and also decided to dump Diebold voting machines!

Just out from the Orlando Sentinel...

Diebold voting machines will soon be history in Volusia County. After a nearly five-hour hearing today, County Council members voted to replace its Diebold machines with an entirely new system manufactured by Election Systems & Software.

The move, which will cost more than $2.5 million just for the equipment, was prompted by a federal mandate to buy at least one handicapped-accessible voting machine per precinct by Jan. 1. But the only such devices approved for use in Florida are ATM-like touch-screen machines that don't use paper ballots. But a majority of County Council members want devices that use paper.

The agreement approved Friday on a 4-3 vote allows the county to trade in the paperless touch screens for an ES&S-supported ballot-marking device with an accessible touch-screen called AutoMark if it gets approved for use in Florida. That would cost an additional $150,000.

If AutoMark certification doesn't happen by April 1, the county has the option to get out of the entire contract with ES&S and get a full refund.
...
The vote ends a nearly year-old debate in Volusia County about how to comply with the federal Help America Vote Act, which mandates accessible voting devices.

A report received by The BRAD BLOG late last night from an activist down in Volusia in regard to the meeting anticipated today, summed it up thusly:

Between Ion Sancho scrapping his Diebold machines, the successful hack of his Diebold op-scan system, the securities fraud lawsuit, the resignation of Diebold's CEO, the illegal certification of the Diebold touch-screens by the state of Florida, and the fact that the Diebold TSX does not meet the requirements of state statutes for disabled access (not to mention not meeting the requirements of HAVA), we're hoping that NO ONE will end up supporting Diebold.

Well, three on the Volusia County Council still held out for Diebold. Fortunately, four didn't...and the vote wasn't held on paperless, hackable touch-screen machines, so it was transparent and reliable.

This report is yet another blow for Diebold coming on top of the resignation of their CEO, Walden O'Dell on Monday, along with a securities fraud lawsuit and the failed security test in Leon County on Tuesday. Quite a week for Diebold!

Our congratulations to the hard working citizen patriots in Volusia County and across Florida who have worked tirelessly on this issue for many months. Keep up the good work, folks! Democracy may not be dead yet!

Additional reporting on this story by John Gideon

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Leon County's Ion Sancho Believes Electronic Manipulation of Votes Occurred in Florida's Contested Presidential Race!
Fallout Continues to Rock E-Voting World in Light of Recent Hack Demo of Machines made by Diebold, Inc.
By Brad Friedman on 12/16/2005 11:45am PT  

The "hack test" of a mock election using Diebold voting equipment earlier this week in Leon County, Florida --- in which results of the election were completely flipped from 2-6 to 7-1 without even a trail of evidence left behind --- has continued to send shockwaves from Florida to Ohio to California and everywhere else in between.

The Director of Elections in Leon County, Ion Sancho reportedly proclaimed, after the stunning results of last Tuesday's test, that he would never use Diebold voting machines in any election in the county again.

Television news coverage began hitting last night in Tallahassee, the Florida state capital, which also happens to be in Leon County. And in a remarkable admission, Sancho now says he believes that such a hack occurred in the 2000 Presidential Election in Volusia County, Florida.

-- Here's a link to that video coverage...

Elections officials in Volusia County, by the way, are currently in the final throes of their decision of whether to go with Diebold's hackable voting machines, or whether they will go in a different direction. We may have more on that later today.

States and Counties across the country are continuing their last minute scramble to make decisions about new voting equipment many of them hope to acquire and have paid for by the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) of 2002. The deadline for that decision is Jan 1, 2006 and yet there are virtually no reliable Federal standards for any of the available Voting Machines currently on the market.

Litigation was filed against Diebold, Inc. earlier this week in Federal District Court in a Class Action Securities Fraud complaint based, in part, on their attempts at disguising the vulnerabilities and flaws of their Voting Machine equipment from investors.

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Agrees to Cooperate With Prosecutors, Testify Against Old GOP Allies
Trouble Grows for Republican Conspirators as Rogues Gallery Continues to Widen
By Brad Friedman on 12/16/2005 10:12am PT  

Just curious, but at what point do those who've been called "conspiracy theorists" in pointing out the crimes of the dirty Republican party get recognized as geniuses since one Repub after another is being charged with and/or pleading guilty to charges of "conspiracy"?!

Adam Kidan, he the partner of Jack Abramoff in the SunCruz gambling boat scandal (and subsequent murder) has now pleaded guilty to fraud and conspiracy charges in a trumped-up deal which resulted in the acquisition of the 11 boat fleet in Florida for he and Abramoff. Not long thereafter, the previous owner, Guy Boulis, was murdered gangland-style in Miami allegedly by three mafia thugs who had been put on the SunCruz payroll by Kidan. Kidan had previous direct ties to the mafia himself. Oddly enough, Kidan, who appears to have ordered the murder, according to one of the guys now charged in the crime, hasn't yet been charged himself in connection to it. Even though his three mafia pals have been. We'll see if that changes.

What it means for now? Kidan's guilty plea goes along with an agreement to testify at Jack Abramoff's upcoming trial on this matter and Kidan is also likely to cooperate with prosecutors on several other Abramoff-related investigations as well. Several of them involving boatloads (pun intended?) of GOP pols.

As well, our old friend, not-yet-resigned Rep. Bob Ney (R-OH), chair of the powerful House Administration Committee --- who held phony "hearings" last March on the 2004 Ohio Presidential Election "Irregularities" --- is also on the hook for his cooperation with Abramoff and Kidan in the SunCruz matter. Ney made statements on the House floor in support of Kidan and against Boulis as the deal was being played out. Apparently, Ney also received a few dollars in exchange.

Along with former Abramoff partner and one-time Tom DeLay staffer, the indicted Michael Scanlon, who has similarly agreed to testify against his old pals, we'd say Abramoff, Ney, and DeLay are all in hotter and hotter water to come. Where it stops...nobody knows.

And that's what happens when you participate in non-theoretical conspiracies.

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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 John Gideon on 12/15/2005 5:00pm PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon of VotersUnite.org

It is apparent that the PR machine has been cranked up and is working overtime. The Associated Press picked-up the Leon County story and the always available David Bear of Diebold is suddenly refusing to speak. Diebold did speak through a letter to Florida and Ion Sancho in Leon County. Of course, they made it all Mr. Sancho's fault. Florida just threw up their hands and said they had nothing to do with anything. In California, two Diebold counties have come out in support of Diebold and say that it can't happen there. That message will surely be repeated in "Diebold counties" across the nation as Diebold and their customers try to save the day. In the meantime there is an excellent OpEd from Centre County, PA below....

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

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By Brad Friedman on 12/15/2005 3:46pm PT  

Excellent detailed coverage of the Leon County hack situation, as discussed in the previous item in reference to AP's coverage and the scramble by both Diebold and Florida to cover their asses. Had I seen the Herald report prior to AP, I would have pointed to it instead. Has been a busy day...

Please read Miami Herald's excellent article therefore, before moving to my analysis of Diebold/Florida's attempted ass-covering in the previous BRAD BLOG item. Here's some of the key points from the Herald [emphasis added]:

A political operative with hacking skills could alter the results of any election on Diebold-made voting machines --- and possibly other new voting systems in Florida --- according to the state capital's election supervisor, who said Diebold software has failed repeated tests.

Ion Sancho, Leon County's election chief, said tests by two computer experts, completed this week, showed that an insider could surreptitiously change vote results and the number of ballots cast on Diebold's optical-scan machines.

After receiving county commission approval Tuesday, Sancho scrapped Diebold's system for one made by Elections Systems and Software
...
''That's kind of scary. If there's no paper trail, you have to rely solely on electronic results. And now we know that they can be manipulated under the right conditions, without a person even leaving a fingerprint,'' said Sancho, who once headed the state's elections supervisors association.
...
When the debate hit fever pitch before last year's presidential election, many conservatives said questions about the machinery were a liberal ploy to undermine confidence in the voting system.

Sancho agrees that good security is key, but said he's not sure he won't also have problems with the $1.3 million ES&S system, which he'll also test.

That last graf is highlighted just so the folks at ES&S don't rejoice too much while Diebold is currently on the hook. Rest assured, ES&S folks, you are not off the hook by any stretch of the imagination...

(UPDATE: On the graf before that, in re: "many conservatives" and the "liberal ploy" please note the thoughts of real conservative John Cole on this same article...as opposed to the bulk of the phony "conservatives" littering the American political landscape these days.)

And then more actual common sense, spoken out loud by Elections Official (and American Democracy's latest hero!) Sancho:

Sancho said Diebold isn't the only one to blame for hacker-prone equipment. The Florida secretary of state's office should have caught these problems early on, he said, and the Legislature should scrap a law severely restricting recounts on touch-screen machines and equip them with the means of producing a paper trail.
...
''These were sold as safe systems. They passed tests as safe systems,'' Sancho said. "But even in the so-called safe system, if you don't follow the paper ballots, there is a way to rig the election. Except it's not a bunch of guys stuffing ballots in a precinct. It's possibly one person acting in secret changing thousands of votes in a second.''

And the heavens opened...and the light shined through...Is it morning again in America yet?

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As AP Reports on Devasting Leon County, FL Diebold Voting Machine Hack
PLUS: Only One Class Action Fraud Complaint Has Been Filed Against Diebold So Far, Not Two as Mis-Reported Elsewhere...
By Brad Friedman on 12/15/2005 2:52pm PT  

AP has finally taken note of the Leon County, FL hack test. The extraordinary test election which was entirely flipped last Tuesday as reported here previously.

In the bargain --- in light of that devasting test, after which the Elections Director of Leon County reportedly vowed to never allow Diebold's machine to be used in another election and has requested funds to replace all of Diebold's voting machines --- and along with the Securities Fraud suit that was filed against Diebold on the same day, Diebold's PR machine has kicked into overdrive. Though their normal spokesman, David Bear, normally in charge of lying about things having to do with their Voting Machines has been notably missing in action, Diebold has been issuing press releases and sending letters in an attempt to counter and distract from the devastating news of late. And the State of Florida is similarly scrambling to find someone else to blame as well.

From AP's report today on the Leon County hack, Diebold goes on the offensive and conjures up the gall to send a letter attempting to place blame for the incident on Ion Sancho, the Elections Director in the county who was wise enough to let the test move forward in hopes of determining if the machines were as vulnerable as many of us have been charging forever...

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

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By David Edwards on 12/15/2005 9:49am PT  

Guest blogged by David Edwards

Since 9/11, the Department of Defense has been authorized to expand the collection of information inside US borders.

NBC News is reporting that the Pentagon is watching "peaceful anti-war and counter-military recruitment groups." One example includes extensive information that was collected on a group who were meeting to discuss how to protest military recruiting at a local highschool.

A recent article in the The Palm Beach Post described the group. It consisted of about 20 people, including five Quakers and a 79-year old grandmother. This was only one of 1,500 "suspicious" incidents in the database.

The Christian Science Monitor also has a good article on the Bush Administration's current domestic spying and psychological operations activities.

- Video in Windows Media format...
- Video in QuickTime format...

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