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Latest Featured Reports | Tuesday, October 21, 2014
Congresswoman Sets Impeachment Deadline for Federal Judge Mark Fuller
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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
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Arrest in VA: GOP Voter Reg Scandal Widens
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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...

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CAUGHT ON TAPE: COORDINATED NATIONWIDE GOP VOTER REG SCAM
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RNC FIRES NATIONAL VOTER REGISTRATION FIRM FOR FRAUD
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EXCLUSIVE: Intvw w/ FL Official Who First Discovered GOP Reg Fraud
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GOP REGISTRATION FRAUD FOUND IN FL
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The Secret Koch Brothers Tapes...

By John Gideon on 1/14/2006 5:25pm PT  

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

After making claims for over 6 months that CT state law requires a voting system that will handle a full-face ballot the Secretary of State is now surprised that there is no such law. ES&S backed out of promises made to Leon Co., FL as they pull the rug out from under the counties plans to replace their present Diebold system. Vermont has now finalized plans to use their telephone voting system for disabled voters. Citizens have generated more than 15,000 emails and over 2,000 letters from concerned citizens across the country. VoteTrustUSA has been told by the EAC that NASED will release a report by the end of the month responding to the issues that we and others have raised about interpreted code in voting systems. We look forward to reading the report....

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

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Ultra-Conservative Bob Barr to Introduce at DC Event Co-Sponsored by Conservative Organization
By Brad Friedman on 1/14/2006 2:36pm PT  

John Nichols over at The Nation seems to have what appears to be some good inside skinny on Al Gore's speech in DC on Monday. Here's a small taste...

In a major address slated for delivery Monday in Washington, the former Vice President is expected to argue that the Bush administration has created a "Constitutional crisis" by acting without the authorization of the Congress and the courts to spy on Americans and otherwise abuse basic liberties.

Aides who are familiar with the preparations for the address say that Gore will frame his remarks in Constitutional language.
...
Indeed, his aides and allies are framing it as a "call to arms" in defense of the Bill of Rights and the rule of law in a time of executive excess.

The vice president will, according to the groups that have arranged for his appearance --- the bipartisan Liberty Coalition and the American Constitution Society for Law and Policy --- address "the threat posed by policies of the Bush Administration to the Constitution and the checks and balances it created.
...
Former U.S. Representative Bob Barr, the Georgia Republican who served as one of the most conservative members of the House, plans to introduce Gore. Barr, an outspoken critic of the abuses of civil liberties contained in the USA Patriot Act critic who has devoted his post-Congressional years to defending the Bill of Rights, refers to the president's secret authorization of domestic wiretapping as "an egregious violation of the electronic surveillance laws."

With Barr on board, and the event being co-sponsored by the Liberty Coalition, it's gonna be a helluva lot harder for the wingnuts to try and discredit Gore here. Though, no doubt, they're busy this weekend plotting exactly how they hope to do so.

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U.S. Has Undertaken Illegal Activities in Europe
By David Edwards on 1/14/2006 12:42pm PT  

Guest blogged by David Edwards

Dick Marty, a Swiss Senator, is leading the Council of Europe's inquiry into reports that the C.I.A. operated secret prisons in several European countries. Marty is also looking into other C.I.A. activities including the use of European airports and airbases for U.S. rendition flights along with kidnappings and torture on European soil.

Investigators are scheduled to complete a preliminary report on January 23rd. Dick Marty gave a press conference where he shared some of his early conclusions.

Marty accuses the U.S. of violating civil rights. He also says that European leaders have known about the U.S. crimes. Several European leaders are complicit because of their "shocking" passivity. Marty has no doubt that the secret prisons exist and that the U.S. activities in Europe are illegal.

BBC has documented more of Dick Marty's allegations in this article and the following video report.


Video in Streaming Flash format...
Video in Windows Media format...

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Killing of Women and Children Spurs Anti-American Protests
By David Edwards on 1/14/2006 9:43am PT  

Guest blogged by David Edwards

A U.S. air strike in Pakistan targeted the al-Qaeda leader, Ayman al-Zawahri. The attack destroyed 3 houses in small village near the Pakistan border. 18 people, including women and children were also killed.

Pakistan officials and other sources are reporting that al-Zawahri was not killed in the attack as previously thought.

Pakistan condemned the air strike because of the loss of civilian lives. Today, hundreds of people in Pakistan protested the U.S. action.




Video in Streaming Flash format
Video in Windows Media format

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Voting Machine Company Betrays Agreement with Election Director Ion Sancho Just Days Prior to Jan 1 HAVA Deadline!
Is ES&S Paying Back for Their Evil Twin Company, Diebold? Are They Afraid of the Same Scrutiny Those Machine Received in Leon County? Another Sunshine State Mystery Unfolds...
By Brad Friedman on 1/13/2006 6:26pm PT  

Additional Reporting by John Gideon

Are the voting machine vendors now teaming up against an election official who dared reveal the vulnerabilities of their voting machines?

As you'll recall, Ion Sancho, Leon County, Florida's courageous Supervisor of Elections stood up against both the state and Diebold and said that he would never again use Diebold's voting equipment after he allowed for a test which demonstrated their election equipment was easily hackable. The results revealed an electronic optical-scan election on Diebold equipment could be flipped without a trace being left behind.

After dumping Diebold, Sancho made a deal to buy machines instead from Election Systems & Software, Inc. (ES&S) on the promise that they would supply their optical scan machines for use along with the AutoMARK system which prints a countable paper ballot. AutoMARK has an agreement to allow ES&S exclusive marketing rights for their machines.

But a strange thing happened after Sancho's agreement with ES&S and just prior to the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) deadline on January 1, 2006. As reported by Susan Pynchon of Florida Fair Elections Coalition, a voice-mail message was left on Sancho's cell-phone on December 29, 2005 by Gary Crump, ES&S Chief Operating Officer. Crump was calling to inform Sancho that the company had decided to deal only with long-time customers due to equipment deadline considerations. Pynchon says that statement is "patently untrue, since ES&S went ahead and contracted with Volusia County, Florida after agreeing to sell to Leon County."

Pynchon goes on to offer some possible reasons for this odd betrayal and what the Leon County Manager had to say about it:

Since the reason given by ES&S for refusing to do business with Sancho is not valid, what could the real reason be? Is it retribution for exposing the vulnerabilities of the Diebold optical scan system. Is it collusion on the part of Diebold and ES&S? Or is ES&S simply afraid that Sancho might authorize similar "tests" on its equipment, exposing vulnerabilities in the ES&S voting system?

When Sancho explained to the Leon County Manager about the events that had transpired, the county manager responded that he is 100% supportive of Sancho's efforts to fight for paper-based verified voting systems, and urged Sancho not to succumb to intimidation by voting system vendors.

So what the hell is going on here? Black Box Voting has still more details in the bizarre on the story, though we're still left wondering what the real skinny is on this one!

If we can learn anything more, you'll be the first to know.

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By John Gideon on 1/13/2006 5:15pm PT  

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

In Arizona there has been a quiet (media nearly silent) battle about the Precinct 20 vote in last November's election. There may have been election fraud, machine mistakes, procedure mistakes, or no problems at all. Doug Jones, UofIowa, was asked by a state senator and a local newspaper to look at everything that he could look at and then report back. His report is an amazing read. In New Mexico Governor Richardson and the SoS are now fully in favor of a vvpat. It's amazing what a lawsuit can do to frame your thinking. And in Florida, ES&S has turned on Leon County and refuses to sell their equipment to the county. Those of you who have responded to the Action Alert from VoteTrustUSA have sent 15,372 emails to the EAC along with 1890 letters demanding the ITA be made to do their job....

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

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Soon-to-be-Indicted Ohio Congressman's Luck Begins to Run Out...
By Brad Friedman on 1/13/2006 4:45pm PT  

The powerful Ohio Congressman man who, while gambling at a London casino on a lobbyist paid vacation, got "lucky" and won $34,000 on a $100 bet (just in time to pay off a $30,000 credit card debt) may be seeing his luck finally run out.

Reports now breaking all over the place that House Speaker Denny Hastert is pushing Ney out of his chairmanship position on the House Adminstration Committee...

House Speaker Dennis Hastert is trying to force out Ohio Rep. Bob Ney as chairman of the House Administration Committee, a week after Justice Department documents linked Ney to a bribery scheme involving convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff.

Ney's committee has jurisdiction over the Republican reform agenda in the wake of the Abramoff scandal, and Hastert believes it is inappropriate to let Ney run it, said a GOP leadership aide, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the negotiations between Ney and the speaker.
...
"I'm considering it --- stepping down temporarily --- and once the issue is over, I'll come back," he said.
...
The aide said the speaker himself cannot fire Ney, and unless Ney steps aside it would be at least three weeks until the GOP caucus, on holiday break, could consider removing him.

He'll step down "temporarily" and "come back". Now where have we heard that before?

COVERAGE:

-- MSNBC...
-- Hotline...
-- Roll Call... [subscription required]
-- AP...
-- CNN...

-- BRAD BLOG's Ney exposé from Tuesday...

UPDATE from David Edwards: Video Report by CBS News:

-- Video in Streaming Flash format...
-- Video in Windows Media format...

Ney, a principal author and advocate for the disastrous Help America Vote Act (HAVA) of 2002 was revealed, last Tuedsay, in a detailed BRAD BLOG exposé to have had very close ties to lobbyists paid by Diebold and Jack Abramoff's firm, Greenberg Traurig.

Most of those ties had yet to be reported by the mainstream media who have been focusing primarily on information concerning Ney's lobbyist-funded trips, gifts and other monies raised via his close relationship with Abramoff and his clients. Much of the information so far reported by the MSM was revealed by the guilty plea agreements filed by Abramoff and his former associate Michael Scanlon.

As we reported in our piece on Ney, his former chief of staff, David DiStefano, was hired by the beleagured and duplicitous Voting Machine Company, Diebold, Inc. in order to lobby Ney to ensure that HAVA's provisions mandating disabled-accessible voting machines in every precinct in the country stayed firmly in place. At the same time, via his post as Chair of the House Administration Committee, Ney was able to hold hearings to smokescreen massive election irregularities in Ohio in 2004 and see to it that bills calling for voter-verified paper records for every ballot cast would never see the light of day.

Our story also reported the thousands of dollars being paid by Diebold to Jack Abramoff's firm, Greenberg Traurig. Though we have yet to find any official disclosure of those payments via congressional lobbying databases. So for the moment, we're still left wondering what happened to that money, and what precisely it was meant to be used for.

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By Brad Friedman on 1/13/2006 1:17pm PT  

We're shocked --- shocked! --- to learn that Bush was actually using illegal wiretaps on American citizens prior to 9/11.

Jason Liepold has the skinny at TruthOut:

The National Security Agency advised President Bush in early 2001 that it had been eavesdropping on Americans during the course of its work monitoring suspected terrorists and foreigners believed to have ties to terrorist groups, according to a declassified document.

The NSA's vast data-mining activities began shortly after Bush was sworn in as president and the document contradicts his assertion that the 9/11 attacks prompted him to take the unprecedented step of signing a secret executive order authorizing the NSA to monitor a select number of American citizens thought to have ties to terrorist groups.

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Who is PRI? Are They the Latest Incarnation of the ACVR? And Just Who Do They Think They're Messing with by Attacking the Pro-Democracy Movement with Easily Discredited Info-ganda?
By Brad Friedman on 1/13/2006 12:46pm PT  

It looks like the Rightwing may have found a replacement for the American Center for Voting Rights (ACVR), the GOP front group set up to smokescreen against true election reform and transparent democracy. The ACVR has been mighty quiet of late, which we might like to attribute to their having been thoroughly discredited and rendered mostly impotent due to some longterm, airtight, crack reporting here by The BRAD BLOG about their attempted democracy-hating scam.

But now, a West Coast "non-partisan" conservative think-tank called Pacific Research Institute for Public Policy (PRI) may be stepping in to fill at least part of the void in the person of TechNews World columnist and PRI Director of Technology Studies, Sonia Arrison. Arrison has been op/ed'ing and releasing "white papers" lately rallying against voter-verified paper ballots for electronic voting machines. Her reasons for being against transparent democracy are both bizarre and seem freshly pulled out of her hind quarters (or out of those of Diebold's).

We'll look at some of her already-discredited charges in a moment, but let's take a look at this PRI group. Their staff seems to be a who's-who of Canadians, staffers of former-California Governor Pete Wilson, former staffers of Tom DeLay ally Rep. Richard Pombo (R-CA), and other "conservative" "thinkers".

PRI seems to be little more than yet another dirty dot in the massive now-metastasized matrix of "conservative" think-tanks, phony trade-associations, lobbying firms, consultants, columnists, politicians, "reporters" and other media pimps who are part of a wickedly tentacled network of people and organizations meant to prop up wingnut causes in the press while firing up the unquestioning, lockstep "grass-roots" believers...

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

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'The Exterminator' Successfully Squashes TV Spots Charging Corruption That Apparently Bugged Him
By Brad Friedman on 1/12/2006 6:57pm PT  

As we reported yesterday, indicted former House Majority Leader, Tom DeLay (R-TX) had threatened television stations with litigation if they dared to air a 30-second spot exposing his corruption and calling for him to resign.

According to House Chronicle today, it looks like at least four Houston stations (DeLay's home district), have rolled over for the once-powerful (and apparently still powerful) Republican pol:

The four Houston television stations that sold airtime for a commercial criticizing U.S. Rep. Tom DeLay refused to air it Wednesday after objections from a DeLay lawyer, but the ad was accessible on cable channels and the Internet.

The stations offered little or no rationale for their decisions, nor would they comment on whether the letter from DeLay campaign lawyer Don McGahn influenced them.

The ads, one for TV concerning DeLay, another for radio about the soon-to-be-indicted Rep. Bob Ney (R-OH) were created by Campaign for America's Future. They can be seen and heard right here.

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By John Gideon on 1/12/2006 5:15pm PT  

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

Today has been a very busy day as you can see from the length of this list. It was announced that the lawsuit in New Mexico is being joined by 6 more plaintiffs and then the Governor announced that he wants to do away with all of the paperless DREs and move to optical-scan only. Boulder Co., Colorado decided to scrap their plans to purchase new voting machines because there is nothing out there that can be trusted to do as advertised. The Montgomery Co., PA lawsuit has been sent to state court. The DoJ has announced that they may be filing a suit against the state of New York for not complying with HAVA. And the Georgia House passed, in a heated floor debate, another voter ID bill. Those of you who have responded to the Action Alert from VoteTrustUSA have sent 15,242 emails to the EAC along with 1875 letters demanding the ITA be made to do their job....

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

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Even While the Feds Own Inability to Meet HAVA Reqiurements Continues
EXCLUSIVE: Complete Letter from DoJ's Civil Rights Division to NY AG Elliot Spitzer
By Brad Friedman on 1/12/2006 4:46pm PT  

Additional Reporting by John Gideon

On Tuesday, the U.S. Department of Justice threatened in a letter to sue New York state over its failure to modernize its voting system in compliance with the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) of 2002. The BRAD BLOG has obtained a copy of the complete letter sent from Asst. Attorney General Wan J. Kim, of the DoJ's Civil Rights Division, to NY's Attorney General Elliot Spitzer and General Counsel Todd Valentine.

In the letter, Kim informs the state that he has received authorization to file "a lawsuit on behalf of the United States against the State of New York as well as the New York State Board of Elections, et al."

That, despite the Federal Government's own egregious failures to fully comply with HAVA requirments. The lawsuit against the "blue state" would be the first attempted action taken against any state by DoJ for failing to meet the requirements of HAVA since one of its major deadlines passed on January 1 of this year.

The complete letter from the DoJ is posted at the bottom of this article.

As reported by the New York Times today the DoJ has accused New York of being further behind than every other state in complying with new guidelines laid out by HAVA:

The state has yet to decide what kind of new voting machines it will certify, leaving many local elections boards in uncertainty as they try to modernize their voting systems in time for next fall's primary elections. The state missed the Jan. 1 deadline for creating a statewide database of registered voters, as required by the federal Help America Vote Act.

New York is behind all other states and territories in deciding how to spend its share of $2.3 billion in federal aid to modernize voting machines and other elections technology. So far the state has received $220 million to replace its 20,000 aging voting machines, train local election officials to use the new machines, and create the voter database. The money is unspent and collecting interest, officials say.

A Justice Department letter told state officials this week that it had authorized a lawsuit against New York for failing to comply with the law. The letter said that the department hoped to settle the matter by negotiating a court order with the state instead going to court, but that "we are prepared to file a complaint if the matter is not resolved expeditiously."

Wan J. Kim, the assistant attorney general for the Justice Department's civil rights division, wrote in the letter that "it is clear that New York is not close to approaching full H.A.V.A. compliance and, in our view, is further behind in that regard than any other state in the country." A copy of the letter was given to The New York Times by someone who believes the state has been too slow to overhaul its system.

The question now, for Election Reform advocates, is whether Elliott Spitzer, the aggressive New York State Attorney General, will stand up to this threat and point out to the DoJ the extraordinarily lax execution of HAVA by the federal government themselves! Given the Feds' own lack of compliance of the disastrous "Election Reform" bill hastily created in the wake of the 2000 Florida Election Debacle, the ironies here are many. The legislation itself, as revealed in a recent BRAD BLOG expos, was apparently financed by voting machine vendors such as Diebold, and other shady characters named in the Jack Abramoff scandal.

In a report titled Is HAVA Being Abused? Part II; Good for the Goose; Why Not for the Gander?, written by Ellen Theisen in 2005, the then Executive Director of VotersUnite.Org exmined the Feds' own failures in implementing the flawed bill, including George W. Bush's own apparent violation of the law...

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

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Citing Bush Statement that Such Hearings are 'Good for Democracy', Ranking Minority Member of House Judiciary Extends Invitation
Former Deputy AG, Ardent Administration Defender, Architect of Torture Memos, John Yoo Also Called to Testify
By Brad Friedman on 1/12/2006 12:51pm PT  

In response to George W. Bush's statement yesterday that hearings on the NSA program are "good for democracy," Rep. John Conyers (D-MI), on behalf of the minority members of the U.S. House Judiciary committee, has today sent invitations to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and former Deputy Assistant Attorney General John Yoo to testify at planned hearings next Friday on the matter of warrentless NSA spying on United States citizens.

In the letter to Gonzales, obtained by The BRAD BLOG, Conyers quotes from Bush's comments yesterday at a Town Hall Forum in Kentucky in apparent support of such hearings (full letters to both Gonzales and Yoo posted at bottom of this article):

I would note that, just this past Wednesday, the President stated his support for this type of congressional review of the National Security Agency program. He stated, There will be a lot of hearings and talk about that, but that's good for democracy just so long as the hearings, as they explore whether or not I have the prerogative to make the decision I made doesn't tell the enemy what we're doing. The purpose of our inquiry is precisely that, to explore whether the President possesses the constitutional or statutory power to authorize the surveillance he did.

Yoo, now a law professor at the University of California, Berkley has been an ardent defender of the Bush Administration's unrestrained exercise of Executive power in secretly monitoring United States citizens via warrantless NSA wiretaps. He is also reportedly the architect, along with Gonzales, of several controversial Administration positions concerning their right to torture and the notion that prisoners of war in Afghanistan and elsewhere did not fall under the protections of the Geneva Convention.

The congressional hearings are scheduled for next Friday by Democratic members of the U.S. House Judiciary Committee.

In a statement to The BRAD BLOG, Conyers discussed his strong belief in Congressional oversight of the Executive branch despite unwillingness of members of Bush's own party to do so.

"It is imperative that we do everything we can to investigate abuses by the Bush Administration, whether the Majority is willing to or not," he told us. "Last time we held hearings on the Downing Street Documents, we were forced to the basement, but that didn't stop our message and the message for more than 500,000 Americans from getting out."

Conyers and other Democrats held hearings last June on the so-called "Downing Street Documents", which revealed the Bush Administration had planned to use military power in Iraq long before they had admitted as much to either Congress or the American people.

Those hearings, carried live on CSPAN, were followed by Conyers' hand-delivery of more than 500,000 signatures from Americans, demanding answers about those top-secret British memos from the White House.

The Democrats have once again requested a Capital Building Hearing room from the Republicans, who control scheduling of such rooms. They have yet to hear back as to wether they will be granted one or not for next Friday's hearings.

Scheduled to testify at the hearings so far are: Bruce Fein, Associate Deputy Attorney General under Reagan, Jonathon Turley, Professor of law, George Washington Univ. Law School, Jeffrey H. Smith, former CIA General Counsel and Caroline Frederickson of the ACLU.

Smith, it was revealed by an ABC News report hours ago, has sent a 14-page memo to the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence countering the notion that Bush had legal authority to order warrantless wiretaps on U.S. citizens. Smith avers that "it is not credible that the 2001 authorization to use force provides authority for the president to ignore the requirements of FISA."

That memo, not previously released with ABC's report, can be downloaded here [PDF].

The complete letters to Gonzales and Yoo follow...

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

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The Part of the Ney Corruption Story the MSM Hasn't Noticed Yet!
By Brad Friedman on 1/11/2006 9:07pm PT  

Gonna keep this friendly link to the Bob Ney Exposé from Tuesday up on top until it gets the MSM notice that it deserves (or until I need to remove it for something else again). Read it! Then spread the word now!

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DoJ Attempts to 'Gag Order' Him as They Have Sibel Edmonds
By Brad Friedman on 1/11/2006 6:41pm PT  

As you may know by now, on last night's Nightline, whistleblower Russel Tice admitted to being one of the sources for the New York Times story on the NSA's warrantless wire-tapping of U.S. citizens, as admittedly approved time and again by George W. Bush. He was one of a dozen, apparently.

Tice clarified that the program in question was not simply one of the government "listening in on a few calls made to al-Qaeda," as many have tried to minimize it, but an enormous effort that resulted in "millions" of Americans having their conversations listened to in violation of the law and the Constitution. At least in Tice's opinion.

He added that "millions" of Americans have most likely been spied upon, as anyone that placed a call from the U.S. to another country has a good chance of having had the call monitored. This is not a "limited" program as Bush has been attempting to color it.

Tice has written a letter asking Congress to allow him to testify on the laws that he feels have been broken by the NSA, where, until recently, the rules were always made very clear at the agency that you don't spy on American citizens inside the country without a court order to do so first.

And now, the Justice Department is attempting to "gag order" Tice under the same "state secrets" act that they've used to gag FBI whistleblower Sibel Edmonds. Edmonds, in turn, has helped found the National Security Whistleblowers Coalition to support patriotic Americans like Tice, herself, and about 50 others in similar situations --- from both political parties.

ABC covered the Tice story at their website (with a link to Tice's letter) here.

The video of Nightline's complete report and interview with Tice is available in full here:


-- Video in Streaming Flash format...
-- Video in Windows Media format...

NOTE: Folks like Bill O'Reilly, Rush Limbaugh, and the other Administration apologists have been hard at work trying to conflate the cases of disclosure of classified information (Tice said he hasn't done any such thing, by the way) with that in the Valerie Plame case. Regular BRAD BLOG readers likely don't need this explained to them, but apparently O'Reilly and Rush and their trolling millions don't understand the difference in the two cases.

So to be clear --- Tice is reporting a crime being committed by a national security agency. Scooter Libby and Karl Rove, on the other hand, revealed classified material not to uncover a crime, but as a political weapon against someone they perceived as an opponent. Their crime was their revelation of the material itself. Period.

As James Risen, the author of the original Times piece pointed out recently to Jon Stewart (video available here from Crooks & Liars), the NSA matter is as "pure a case of whistleblowing" as one is likely to find, and the two different cases couldn't be more polar opposite to each other. No matter how much the wingnuts are trying to conflate the two.

Got it? Good! We'd rather not have to explain it again in the future. Though we have a feeling we'll have to anyway.

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