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Latest Featured Reports | Tuesday, September 30, 2014
BREAKING: 5-4 SCOTUS Ruling Restores GOP Restrictions on Early Voting in OH
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  w/ Brad & Desi
Climate Week Special Coverage continues: China will cut emissions; Experts say we're not doing enough; Admin makes econ case for action; PLUS: Corporate titans step up...
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  w/ Brad & Desi
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Resignation or Impeachment Would Be a Gift for Wife- Beating Judge Mark Fuller
2012 docs suggest domestic abuse of two wives and children by federal judge w/ lifetime appointment...
ACLU Files Emergency Petition to Halt 'Electoral Chaos' in WI
Seeks full 7th Circuit hearing after three-GOP judge ruling reinstates Photo ID law just weeks before election...
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Media Appearance Archives...
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GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal 2012...
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The Secret Koch Brothers Tapes...

BRAD BLOG Cited, Quoted Yet Again...
Plus: A Few More Ion Sancho Items...
By Brad Friedman on 3/16/2006 1:51pm PT  

Following up on his "Whistling Diebold" column last week, Tribune Media Service's Bob Koehler stays on the case in his nationally syndicated column this week. He begins this way...

Something fundamental about who we are as a nation is dribbling away, it seems, without alarm or even debate. We torture prisoners - it's out in the open, a done deal. We're fighting an unnecessary war that, well, yes, was launched on a lie, but too late now; we're in, we can't get out. And our neighbor's phone is being tapped.

But the worry that trumps all others is the state of this proud, imperfect democracy. We may be surrendering our power to change the national direction or demand that government be responsive to us. My fellow Americans, our voting machines don't work, at least not all the time. The mechanism of our democracy is in chaos, and almost everyone is going along with it.

Thanks to the allegedly well-intentioned, but disastrous, Help America Vote Act, the country is shifting, county by county, to electronic voting machines, which are not only glitch-prone on a spectacular scale (e.g., 100,000 phantom votes were recorded in Tarrant County, Texas, during the state's primary last week), but work, like God, in mysterious ways, which we're not supposed to question.

Koehler goes on to describe the astounding situation that Leon County, FL Election Supervisor Ion Sancho --- the hero who revealed that Diebold optical-scan machines can be hacked without a trace left behind --- finds himself in.

As well, Koehler cites and quotes your humble webmaster (two MSM cites of your friendly neighborhood BRAD BLOG in as many days? What's happening here?!). Finally, he concludes thusly...

I humbly submit that this is nuts, and that if we don't scream out at the top of our lungs we're going to lose our democracy. What we're witnessing, I fear - and what isolated watchdogs like Sancho are warning us about, but cannot prevent all by themselves - is democracy's transition to expensive charade.

As the power of the vote leaks away, the hissing sound I hear are the words "Trust us, trust us."

NOTE: I'll be on the air today with Sancho on Houston's KPFT 90.1 FM as guest hosted by occasional BRAD BLOG Guest Blogger, Pokey Anderson at 5pm PT (8pm ET). You can listen live online here.

SECOND NOTE: My hourlong interview with Ion Sancho from Feb 28th's edition of The Young Turks radio show, during one my Guest Host stints, is now available online here [MP3]. It's an amazing interview methinks, Sancho is awesome in this one, if you didn't hear it or watch it live at the time.

FINAL NOTE: The Turks have asked me back to Guest Host along with them tomorrow (Friday), and I'm trying to clear the time right now. If I'm able to do so, it'll be posted in the "Media Appearances" box at the top of the BRAD BLOG front page so you can listen and/or watch along at home (or via Sirius Satellite).

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By David Edwards on 3/16/2006 9:47am PT  

Guest blogged by David Edwards of Veredictum.com


Video in Streaming Flash format...
Video in Windows Media format...
Audio in MP3 format...

Earlier today, Senator Russ Feingold held a press conference on his resolution to censure President Bush for illegal warrantless wiretapping.

This video includes Feingold's question and answer session with the press. Reporters' questions were not audible so the blank audio has been trimmed out to save time.

Senator Feingold has posted the complete transcript of the press conference on his website as well as this statement which appears to be partially directed towards his Democratic colleagues:

March 16, 2006

As Congress heads into a weeklong recess, I hope members of the Senate have a chance to listen to their constituents back home. All Americans want to fight terrorism and protect our country from those who wish to do us harm, but they don't want to sacrifice the rights and principles our country was founded upon. One of those fundamental American principles is that the President doesn't get to pick and choose which laws he follows.

There has been a lot of talk in recent weeks, and especially this week, about Congress changing the law to authorize the President's otherwise illegal domestic surveillance program. Of course, anyone who makes that argument concedes that the program is illegal. In addition, the President has yet to explain convincingly why he can't follow the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, or FISA, which allows wiretapping of terrorists while protecting law-abiding Americans.

The President has broken the law, and the censure resolution I introduced on Monday is intended to hold him accountable. While there have been plenty of personal attacks directed at me this week, few have argued the merits. The facts for censure are clear. FISA makes it a crime to wiretap American citizens on American soil without the requisite court orders – which is exactly what the President has admitted doing. Before the program was revealed, he misled the American people by assuring them that he was getting warrants for wiretaps. Since it was revealed, he has misled the American people about the legal basis for his actions.

I look forward to a full hearing, debate and vote in committee on this important matter. If the Committee fails to consider the resolution in a reasonable time period, I will ask that there be a vote in the full Senate. I know Americans will have a lot to say when they see their elected officials during the break. I hope my colleagues listen.

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By Brad Friedman on 3/15/2006 11:40pm PT  

Let's drop a few names and monger a few rumors.

Spent a few hours in the recording studio today (on the Ides of March) recording a section for the audio version of investigative journalist Greg Palast's new book --- to be released this June.

In the bargain, I got to spend some quality time hanging and chatting with both the legendary Ed Asner and the unstoppable Janeane Garofalo who are amongst the many notables recording sections of the book for the audio version. More on those two in a minute.

Palast's latest is called ARMED MADHOUSE: Who's Afraid of Osama Wolf?, The Best Legal Whorehouse in Texas, The Scheme to Steal Election '08, No Childs Behind Left And Other Dispatches from the Front Lines of the Class War. A title so long, I feel like I've read the book already.

(Pre-order the hardcover here, or the audio version here.)

Haven't read the book yet beyond the passages I recorded today and the snippets I heard from Asner and Garafalo. But judging from all of that, the book looks to be another scandalous hoot. Moreover, I couldn't be happier to have been asked to read some of the sections concerning Leon County, FL, Elections Supervisor Ion Sancho (or, as Palast refers to him in that chapter, "one of the Lords of the Voting Universe.") Fortuitous timing, that.

Since it's not out yet, perhaps the cover has yet to be finalized...and so, here's a pull-quote that I hope Palast will feel free to use, if inclined, at least on the inside flap:

"Like most Americans, I don't read books. But if I did, Greg Palast's Armed Madhouse would be the first one on my list!"

Or perhaps this one:

"Once again, Greg Palast proves that nothing is sexier than a hard-boiled Jewish investigative journalist/gum-shoe hot on the trail of Electoral Fraud in the United States!"

Or even:

"The only thing more informative and entertaining than Palast's newest book is the audio version of Palast's newest book!"

As mentioned, had the opportunity while there to spend some time hangin' with Asner and Garafalo. While I'd heard through various grapevines that Asner's wife is a BRAD BLOG fan, it turns out he too keeps an eye on these pages from time to time.

That said, since his wife is indeed a reader here, I can't say too much more about our conversations, lest Ed be completely evicted. Though I was pleased to learn that this affable and wise-cracking hero of mine from way back originally hails from Kansas City, KA --- just a few hours down the road and across one state line from my old St. Louis home.

As for Janeane, an interesting tidbit mentioned --- amongst conversations of the Madness of Coulter and other Disturbing Signs of our Times --- was that, as of the first of the year, she chucked her computer entirely! Since unplugging all together, she reports, she feels like a new woman. Or, at least, is feeling a freedom she hasn't felt in years.

I can relate. You have no idea how much I wish I could unplug entirely at times. I'd recommend you folks find the opportunity do so as well, but that would make as much sense as Diebold recommending state officials use hand-counted paper ballots.

While she says she has no prob doing her radio show and her current gig on The West Wing without either email address or net access, I've yet to figure out how I can pull of the same thing and still be a blogger. But I'm working on it.

But since Janeane no longer goes online at all, I'm sure she'll never notice it if I report to you that she showed up an hour late, was drunk as a skunk, wouldn't stop doing blow off of Ed Asner's bare chest, and recorded her chapter of the book entirely in the nude! You shoulda been there!

(NOTE to Ed's wife: just kidding!) (NOTE to Sam Seder: don't mention any of this to Janeane, I promised her I'd keep it all off record!)

Also in da house was the winsome actress and frequently arrested activist, Shiva Rose McDermott, wife of The Practice's Dylan. Unfortunately, I didn't get to spend more than a minute or two with her, so I can't report much more than she was gorgeous, smart, delightful and simply appalled by Garafalo's outrageous behavior, particularly after Janeane went outside and started beating up a homeless guy. Even I thought that was way out of line.

It was nice to spend a few hours away from the machine.

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Election Integrity Hero Makes Deal With New Voting Machine Company
PLUS: VIDEO of FL Sec. of State, Sue Cobb, Explaining Why She Closed Monday's Open Meeting
By Brad Friedman on 3/15/2006 8:18pm PT  

{ED NOTE: This story, posted earlier today, was somehow corrupted in it's original posting. So now reposting here.}


He came in prepared for a grilling, but embattled Elections Supervisor Ion Sancho left the Leon County Commission chambers Tuesday with a unanimous vote of confidence.

The commissioners gave Sancho a green light to pursue a deal with a Louisville, Ky.-based company to provide voting equipment for disabled people. The company, IVS, was the last option on the table that would make Leon County compliant with federal elections law come the September primaries.

As BRAD BLOG readers know, Sancho is the hero who helped discover last December that Diebold optical-scan machines were hackable and could have their results flipped without a trace being left behind. Since that discovery, all three voting machine companies certified to do business in Florida, have refused to do so with Sancho. And Jeb Bush's cronies in the FL Sec. of State's office have been been attacking the 18-year elected Elections Supervisor Sancho ever since, even while acknowledging the grave security flaw he found in their systems. For them.

We particularly enjoyed this nugget from the Tallahasse Democrat coverage from which we've been quoting here:

Commissioner Cliff Thaell, a Democrat, wanted to have the commissioners recognize Sancho as a hero for liberty - an idea that had many members of the public clapping thunderously; Commissioner Tony Grippa, a Republican, drew hisses from the audience when he called Thaell's comments "grandstanding" and asked the audience how many of them were Republicans.

The reply from one woman in the crowd: "How about taxpaying citizens?"

By the way, the Democrat has been doing a tremendous job of covering this story of late! Each of their reports have also included multi-media audio and video in addition to their written reports, so it's worth clicking through to catch some of those. The report linked above also features a short video [WMV] interview with Sancho speaking after the meeting mentioned above.

As well, there is also a very enlightening one-hour audio interview with Sancho speaking to members of the Tallahassee Democrat editorial board concerning the problem he discovered with the Diebold machines in Leon County, attacks on him by both the State and the Voting Machine Companies, and other E-voting problems across the country.

Yesterday we covered the meeting --- ironically enough, on the first day of Florida's "Sunshine Week", celebrating "open government" --- which Jeb's appointed Sec. of State Sue Cobb called in Tallahassee to put the heat on Sancho. It was to have been an open meeting, until Cobb closed it, slammed the door, and called the police to remove reporters from the hallway.

The Tallahassee Democrat coverage of the story included a short video of Sue Cobb explaining why she closed the meeting. We believe it's worth a quick look to understand this woman's reasoning for yet more secrecy in dealing with these issues of public importance and transparency.


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

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By John Gideon on 3/15/2006 5:02pm PT  

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

In Palm Beach Co. Florida the headline reads, "Voting smooth despite glitches" yet we find that at times two of three DREs in one precinct were not working, cards got stuck in machines, and cards were being rejected as 'invalid'. And victory in Leon County as Ion Sancho gets a unanimous vote of confidence from the county commission. This, in no small part, due to the thousands of emails sent to the commission by Ion's supporters all over the country. Gov. Rendell of Pennsylvania vetoed the state legislature's voter ID bill. Meanwhile Arizona is looking into forcing those who vote-by-mail to provide a copy of their ID in the mail with their ballot....

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

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'Incompetent' is Number One Word Used to Describe Him
By Brad Friedman on 3/15/2006 2:09pm PT  

Also of note in the new Pew Research poll, top one-word descriptions Bush show negative words, for the first time, top the list (Incompetent 29%, Good 23%, Idiot 21%, Liar 17%).

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Election Integrity Hero Makes Deal With New Voting Machine Company
PLUS: VIDEO of FL Sec. of State, Sue Cobb, Explaining Why She Closed Monday's Open Meeting
By Brad Friedman on 3/15/2006 1:20pm PT  

{ED NOTE: This story, posted earlier today, was somehow corrupted and comments were lost. Now restored here. Apologies for whatever happened.}


He came in prepared for a grilling, but embattled Elections Supervisor Ion Sancho left the Leon County Commission chambers Tuesday with a unanimous vote of confidence.

The commissioners gave Sancho a green light to pursue a deal with a Louisville, Ky.-based company to provide voting equipment for disabled people. The company, IVS, was the last option on the table that would make Leon County compliant with federal elections law come the September primaries.

As BRAD BLOG readers know, Sancho is the hero who helped discover last December that Diebold optical-scan machines were hackable and could have their results flipped without a trace being left behind. Since that discovery, all three voting machine companies certified to do business in Florida, have refused to do so with Sancho. And Jeb Bush's cronies in the FL Sec. of State's office have been been attacking the 18-year elected Elections Supervisor Sancho ever since, even while acknowledging the grave security flaw he found in their systems. For them.

We particularly enjoyed this nugget from the Tallahasse Democrat coverage from which we've been quoting here:

Commissioner Cliff Thaell, a Democrat, wanted to have the commissioners recognize Sancho as a hero for liberty - an idea that had many members of the public clapping thunderously; Commissioner Tony Grippa, a Republican, drew hisses from the audience when he called Thaell's comments "grandstanding" and asked the audience how many of them were Republicans.

The reply from one woman in the crowd: "How about taxpaying citizens?"

By the way, the Democrat has been doing a tremendous job of covering this story of late! Each of their reports have also included multi-media audio and video in addition to their written reports, so it's worth clicking through to catch some of those. The report linked above also features a short video [WMV] interview with Sancho speaking after the meeting mentioned above.

As well, there is also a very enlightening one-hour audio interview with Sancho speaking to members of the Tallahassee Democrat editorial board concerning the problem he discovered with the Diebold machines in Leon County, attacks on him by both the State and the Voting Machine Companies, and other E-voting problems across the country.

Yesterday we covered the meeting --- ironically enough, on the first day of Florida's "Sunshine Week", celebrating "open government" --- which Jeb's appointed Sec. of State Sue Cobb called in Tallahassee to put the heat on Sancho. It was to have been an open meeting, until Cobb closed it, slammed the door, and called the police to remove reporters from the hallway.

The Tallahassee Democrat coverage of the story included a short video of Sue Cobb explaining why she closed the meeting. We believe it's worth a quick look to understand this woman's reasoning for yet more secrecy in dealing with these issues of public importance and transparency.


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

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Columnist Robert Steinback Jumps into the Game, Quotes Yours Truly
By Brad Friedman on 3/15/2006 12:10pm PT  

Miami-Herald columnist, Robert Steinback unleashes a terrific article today titled "Stop the Election Day cheating --- or it will spread further". Common Dreams republishes the article in its entirety here.

Modesty forbids my posting here some of the astoundingly brilliant and ingeniously cogent quotes, which Steinback uses in the article, as given to him by your handsome and talented blogmaster. So please check out the whole thing for yourself.

BTW, this is Steinback's final week at the Herald, unfortunately, so we're honored he chose to cover this topic before leaving for new adventures. We wish him great luck in the future!

Feel free to drop him and his editor a thank you note here for their coverage of this most important topic. Steinback has one more column left, I believe, before leaving. Who knows? Perhaps he'll even cover these matters again before leaving! It's that important after all!

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'Democracy for America' Creates Flash Video, Petition Calling for Paper Ballots!
By Brad Friedman on 3/15/2006 10:47am PT  

We're tempted to ask, "What took ya so long? Your name is Democracy for America, after all!"

But we'll not look a gift horse in the mouth now that DFA (formerly: Dean for America) is finally using their huge resources to promote the "horse sense" of demanding paper ballots when we vote in our American democracy.

Watch their new flash video, sign their petition to your elected officials, spread the word...

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By David Edwards on 3/15/2006 9:59am PT  

Guest blogged by David Edwards of Veredictum.com

Paul Hackett has some campaign advice for Democrats but Ed Helms suggests that Paul Hackett may have too much backbone. Under Helm's guidance, Paul Hackett may yet become another gutless politician.

WARNING: Members of the DLC and other Democratic Party purists may be offended by the following Daily Show report by Ed Helms.



Video in Streaming Flash format
Video in Windows Media format

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By David Edwards on 3/15/2006 7:43am PT  

Guest blogged by David Edwards of Veredictum.com


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

Ali Shalal Qaissi was the mayor of a town near Baghdad before he was arrested and taken to Abu Ghraib prison. While detained, Mr. Qaissi was subjected to torture including electrocution. He says, "I felt my eyes popping out. Once I bit my tongue and and blood started coming out of my mouth."

Mr. Qaissi underwent psychological and physical abuse techniques developed by the CIA and perfected at Guantánamo by General Miller. Under orders from Secretary Rumsfeld, General Miller spread his school of torture developed at Guantánamo to U.S. detention centers in Iraq and other secret prisons throughout the world. Take a look at this video interview with Professor Alfred McCoy for more information about how the Bush Administration has made torture a permanent policy of the U.S.

The New York Times initially reported that Ali Shalal Qaissi was the prisoner in the now-famous-picture of a hooded man standing on a box with electrical wires connected to his hands. While the media has produced only a few articles on the Ali Shalal Qaissi's horrifying story, scores of articles have been written about the fact that The Times may have misreported the exact photo in which Qaissi was pictured.

During Ali Shalal Qaissi imprisonment, his wounded hand was infected after "a US soldier stamped on it." As reported in the video, Qaissi's deformed hand makes him easier to identify in the photos.

UPDATE: VIDEO - CNN Reports on "Hooded Man" Photograph Confusion


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CNN's Kyra Phillips interviewed Salon.com author Michael Scherer who is challenging The New York Times assertion that Ali Shalal Qaissi appeared in the most famous of the Abu Ghraib "hooded man on box" photo.

CNN's interview (and many other reports in the media) focus on an error made The Times. Mr. Qaissi's claim that he was tortured in Abu Ghraib and that he appeared in one or more of the "hooded man on box" photos has not been challenged. Nonetheless, all of the attention on mistakes in reporting may taint Mr. Qaissi's reputation and hurt his efforts to bring attention to the atrocities being committed by our government.

At one point in this interview, Kyra Phillips actually asks "... are these prisoners trying to capitalize on these pictures? Are they looking for opportunities to make money?"

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By John Gideon on 3/14/2006 5:04pm PT  

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

The Florida SoS and Ion Sancho met yesterday in what was supposed to have been an open meeting. The media and public were barred from attending and the police were called to ensure no one was allowed to hear what was said. Thousands of emails have been sent and are being sent to Leon County commissioners, the Gov. and the SoS. One person on the inside has reported, "The email campaign in support of the Leon County Supervisor of Elections Ion Sancho is having a dramatic effect. The number of emails received by the Leon County Commission is breaking all records and is blocking the system." Keep up the great work. It is making a difference....

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

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Corrupt Congressman Plays the 'Radical Left Conspiracy Theory' Card Already...
By Brad Friedman on 3/14/2006 2:02pm PT  

Tom Feeney, the corrupt, lying U.S. Congressman from Florida's 24th District (the one who is alleged by Clint Curtis to have asked him to create vote-rigging software) is usually the picture of cockiness. Not so of late.

As reported by Orlando Sentinel today, it looks like Feeney is doing a bit of pre-emptive damage control now that he knows Clint Curtis is gunning for his 24th district seat:

Feeney wrote that the radical leftists would receive help from "the local media," which he predicted will report "conspiracy theories and complete lies."

And who knows better from "complete lies" than Tom Feeney?!

(Want to take a polygraph test to back up your assertions, Mr. Feeney? We suspect not, since Clint Curtis already has.)

Please support Curtis' campaign to dethrone Feeney and expose the beast at www.ClintCurtis.com. Right now, Curtis needs financial contributions of any size as Feeney is playing big time for big money from his big base in the very "red" district he carved out for himself in Florida when he was Speaker of the Legislature down there.

If Curtis can survive the primary, a head-to-head matchup with Feeney may do more than anything we've seen in this country so far to bring the Electronic Election Fraud issues front and center into the national spotlight! Now's the time.

For more info on The BRAD BLOG's continuing investigative series on
The Clint Curtis/Tom Feeney/Yang Enterprises Vote-Rigging Scandal series, please see:
- A Quick Summary of the story so far.
- An Index of all the Key Articles & Evidence in the series so far.

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By Brad Friedman on 3/14/2006 12:35pm PT  

"I don't do personal attacks...We don't do personal attacks."
-- Bill O'Reilly, The O'Reilly Factor, 2/23/06.

MediaMatters.org disagrees...and has the evidence to prove it.

Do we feel sorry yet for Bill making such a continuous yutz of himself? Over and over...and over...again? Nah.

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Welcome to the First Day of 'Sunshine Week' in the State of Florida!
By Brad Friedman on 3/14/2006 11:25am PT  

Meanwhile...Down in "the Sunshine State"...

Police called to remove reporters
Public meeting turns private when Cobb restricts access to reporters

Sunshine Week started off with the slamming of the secretary of state's door Monday, when Leon County Commissioner Bob Rackleff and news reporters were shut out of an announced public meeting on county voting issues.

"I've always said I have no objection to the press, but we do make faster progress without people having to look at cameras - that's a fact," said Florida Secretary of State Sue Cobb.

Tallahassee Democrat Political Editor Bill Cotterell, Associated Press reporter Brent Kallestad and cameraman Dave Heller also were threatened with eviction from a hallway outside Cobb's closed conference room by Capitol Police for trying to attend the meeting with Cobb, Leon County Commission Chairman Bill Proctor, Supervisor of Elections Ion Sancho and staff members.

"I'm very concerned and very confused," Democrat Executive Editor Bob Gabordi said. "I have to know that when reporters show up to a meeting that has been given proper public notice, that they will not be harassed and threatened with arrest."

This story is just incredible.

For those just jumping into this tale, SoS Cobb (Jeb's recent political appointee) has been threatening Leon County's elected Election Supervisor Ion Sancho because he revealed that the Diebold voting machines in Florida and elsewhere can be hacked and flipped without a trace being left behind.

In the bargain, all three Voting Machine Companies certified to do business in Florida have now refused to do business with Sancho. Nonetheless --- and incredibly --- the state is now targetting [PDF] the heroic Sancho with threats to remove him from his elected position.

All, at the same time that Florida sent a "technical advisory" to all Election Supervisors in the state, warning them of what Sancho found --- but without mentioning their friends Diebold by name, and certainly not bothering to laud Sancho for discovering a huge electoral integrity issue in the "Sunshine State."

And now, a meeting with officials which is supposed to be open to the press and the public --- on the first day of Florida's phony "Sunshine Week", celebrating open government (no, seriously) --- results in closed doors, reporters tossed and calls to the police.

Just amazing...Please read on...

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

ReddIt this story!



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