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VA GOP VOTER REG FRAUDSTER OFF HOOK
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The Secret Koch Brothers Tapes...

By Brad Friedman on 5/3/2007 2:18pm PT  

Please take this BRAD BLOG reader survey!

It'll help us to serve you better (and also allow us to spy on you, steal your identity, buy things on your credit and much more!) Okay...Just kidding about that part. But, seriously, it will definitely help us out on a number of levels and is a fun survey to boot. You can quit at any time if you get tired of answering questions.

Thanks! Click here!

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Yet Another Former DoJ Official Revealed to Have Nothing to Do with the U.S. Attorney Firings
RELATED? The Murder of Seattle Prosecutor Thomas Wales Was Barely Discussed in DOJ, Comey Testimony Suggests
By Margie Burns on 5/3/2007 1:47pm PT  

*** Special to The BRAD BLOG
*** by DC Correspondent Margie Burns

Comey testifies --- and the logic of the process of elimination begins to set in. Even the congressional GOP may have to acknowledge that the Department of Justice was not the instigator in those weirdly self-destructive, unprecedented firings of several mostly Republican US Attorneys, mid-term, during a Republican administration. That was the impression I got while sitting in the hearing room this morning at the U.S. Capitol.

Former Deputy Attorney General James B. Comey testified at a hearing before the House Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Commercial and Administrative Law this morning. Spending no time or ink on a prepared statement, Comey, who had been subpoenaed by the Committee, devoted approximately two hours to answering questions from the mostly Democratic members present. The hearing, which most GOP members skipped, was chaired by Linda Sanchez (D-CA).

As Judiciary Chairman John Conyers (D-MI) said in opening, “What we don’t know is who actually placed the names of the US Attorneys on the firing lists.”

Comey plugged up one hole: it was not he.

Unlike Attorney General Alberto Gonzales at a previous hearing, Comey did not testify under oath (a staffer for the Subcommittee explains that anyone who testifies to Congress is subject to penalty for perjury). Comey did, however, speak clearly and unequivocally. He said in answer to questions that, as Deputy Attorney General, he was the supervisor directly above the US Attorneys, and in response to key questions from Democratic members, Comey stated flatly that...

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

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By John Gideon on 5/2/2007 11:00pm PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon of VotersUnite.org

While the voters in Florida have received good news from the Election Assistance Commission (EAC) which has told them they can spend HAVA funds for new optical-scan machines to replace their DRE machines, all is not golden. The interplay with the EAC has revealed that the state only reimbursed the counties with 20% of the funds they had coming when they bought new voting systems. Where did the rest of the money go and why are the counties still making payments for something that should have been paid for? Also, the state House of Representatives has taken the just passed Senate bill that would have given the voters optical-scan systems and they have begun a ‘slice and dice’ job on the bill. The House just needs to pass the Senate bill and fund the change and not play political games that will only harm the voters, again. Meanwhile a committee in the US House of Representatives has voted on party lines to investigate the FL-13 congressional election and what happened to 18,000 votes.

Those stories, and many other notable voting news stories today, all linked below...

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

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First Hand Citizen Journalist Footage as Police Started Firing; Panic, Confusion Interrupt MacArthur Park Immigration Rally...
By Brad Friedman on 5/2/2007 5:05pm PT  

Terrific first-hand video reporting from the scene at the May Day Melee here in Los Angeles which we covered as it broke late last night.

The following video report features tremendous --- and often terrifying --- footage from before, during, and after LAPD officers in riot gear began firing rubber bullets into the crowd of immigration demonstrators, including many women and children who were clearly caught completely off guard. The show of force from the LAPD was quite impressive, to say the least.

Congrats and thanks to citizen journalist Jonathan Mann for his superb coverage while he was often caught himself among the panic and confusion...

UPDATE 5/6/07: Mann posts some personal observations, again on video, about the extraordinary response that has come in the wake of his video report, including the exceptionally racist comments left both on this blog, and on his own.

UPDATE 2/5/09: L.A. agrees to $13 million settlement with victims of the 2007 "May Day Melee". Details...

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National Mainstream Media FINALLY Picks up on, Exposes the 'Non-Partisan' 'American Center for Voting Rights' Fraud...
By Brad Friedman on 5/2/2007 3:12pm PT  

After more than two years of banging the drum here at The BRAD BLOG, it looks as if the national MSM have finally picked up on the fraud perpetrated by Missouri's White House operative Mark F. "Thor" Hearne and his high-level, democracy-hating GOP scammer pals in Missouri, at the Department of Justice, and in the White House.

In a McClatchy article just out today, reporter Greg Gordon correctly identifies Missouri as "Ground Zero" in the Republican attempt to establish phony claims of Democratic "voter fraud" in order to institute new restrictions at the polls as part of an insidious ploy to Democratic-leaning voters from being able to cast their vote.

Gordon reports on a number of issues out of Missouri that we've covered here over the years, including; the unsubstantiated claims of "voter registration fraud" against ACORN filed just prior to the '06 election in the Show-Me state; the unsuccessful lawsuit brought by the DoJ against MO SoS Robyn Carnahan alleging more voters on the rolls than actual eligible voters; and the unconstitutional Voter ID law as pushed through the MO legislature as drafted by the slime-ball Hearne.

As well, McClatchy finally outs the supposedly "non-partisan" American Center for Voting Rights (ACVR), as created by Hearne and RNC Communications director, Jim Dyke. We began reporting on ACVR just three days after they went public on March 22, 2005 to testify before then-Rep. Bob Ney's (R-OH) House Administration Committee on Democratic attempts at "vote supression" during Ohio's 2004 Presidential Election.

Gordon finally exposes the ACVR in the mainstream media for what it actually was: Little more than a well-coordinated, (and still-mysteriously-funded) scam to produce public propaganda to support the GOP's insider push in swing states for voter suppression legislation and tactics by Republican officials.

Though the ACVR claimed tax-exempt 501(c)3 status from the beginning (despite their inability to show evidence of same), their "non-partisan" status was neatly embellished several months after they formed when they added "Democrat" Brian Lunde as their Executive Director. As Gordon writes...

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

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Powerful GOP Missouri Lawyer at Powerful GOP Missouri Law Firm Admits Bringing Powerful GOP Attorney William Mateja in to Manage DoJ Investigaton of Lathrop & Gage, Missouri Governor Matt Blunt
Firm Also Recently Hired Governor's Sister Amy... More is Still to Come...
By Brad Friedman on 5/2/2007 11:39am PT  

"[T]he aspens...turn in clusters, because their roots connect them."
-- I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby

A high-level GOP operative and master "voter fraud" snake-oil salesman, Mark F. "Thor" Hearne of Missouri, was in charge of hiring a high-level White House/DoJ operative to help put out the fire in an investigation by former U.S. Attorney Bud Cummins, according to a recent interview.

The investigation by Cummins, who was fired without cause shortly after the matter came to public attention, was said to have been looking into a multi-million dollar state fee-office scheme, carried out by Hearne's own Missouri law firm, Lathrop & Gage (L&G), and their client, Missouri's Gov. Matt Blunt.

Since revelations of the U.S. Attorney Purge, Cummins has publicly questioned what exactly it was that went on during "the Blunt deal."

The revelation of Hearne's hiring of the powerful White House/DoJ-connected operative, William B. Mateja, a Dallas-based attorney from a Texas/DC law firm, comes via admissions by Hearne in a report filed last week by Jo Mannies of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Mannies's article followed on the heels of several related reports here at The BRAD BLOG in the days prior and included inquiries with Hearne about details in those reports.

In carefully parsed comments to Mannies, Hearne denies having "a discussion with anybody, in the White House or otherwise, about any U.S. attorneys being fired or resigning."

Mannies did not report on whether Hearne denied having conversations with "anybody in the White House or otherwise" about the investigation his firm and his client, the Governor, were said to be facing at the time.

The BRAD BLOG has also learned the Governor's sister, Amy Blunt, has been hired by Lathrop & Gage.

"Blunt said she came to Lathrop & Gage because of the firm's extensive focus on campaign and election law," according to the August 2006 press release announcing her arrival at L&G. She's also quoted in the release specifically mentioning that she was "particularly pleased to join Thor Hearne" at the firm.

These details all come in advance of more seemingly-related and contemporaneous WH/DoJ/L&G chicanery, which we are currently investigating and hope to be reporting on in the coming days.

Last week we filed detailed reports on what we see as a serious "underlying crime" and the specific, direct connection to the White House between the case in Missouri, the GOP's #1 "voter fraud" scam artist/operative Hearne, and the firing of Cummins. Cummins was the Arkansas U.S. Attorney assigned to the case after Todd Graves, the USA in Missouri's Western District, was forced to recuse himself due to family involvement in the fee-office scheme to the tune of millions of dollars. Graves's own involvement in the scandal, which Cummins was investigating, has been largely omitted in recent coverage by the Kansas City Star and others.

Graves eventually was allowed to save face by resigning his position shortly after he showed up on the now-infamous DoJ hit list of U.S. Attorneys to be fired; he was replaced by one of DoJ's top "voter fraud" zealots, Brad Schlozman. Cummins would be replaced by Karl Rove's right-hand Tim Griffin. Neither replacement had the prosecutorial experience for the job, even if they had the White House/GOP political hackery down cold.

Hearne was the national general counsel for Bush/Cheney '04, creator of the "non-partisan" GOP "voter fraud" front group American Center for Voting Rights (ACVR) --- a phony "grass roots" operation set up to create propaganda in order to lead to new, restrictive Voter ID laws at the polls --- and a very good, and powerful, friend of Karl Rove's and the Bush/Cheney White House....

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

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LAPD Chief Claims 'Elements of the Crowd' Threw Projectiles at Police in Riot Gear, News Reports Say the Rally Had Been Peaceful
National Coordinators Call for Independent Investigation, Further Information from Those at MacArthur Park Rally...
By Brad Friedman on 5/1/2007 11:55pm PT  

Officers in riot gear from the Los Angeles Police Department fired rubber bullets and used tear gas to disperse a "crowd of hundreds" gathered at a local park for a previously peaceful May Day immigration rally tonight.

National rally coordinators are protesting the action and have sent us a statement via email asking citizens to call on LAPD Chief William Bratton and LA Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa to demand an independent investigation into the "May Day incident at MacArthur Park." They are also seeking information from anyone in the crowd at MacArthur Park in Los Angeles during the incident. The statement, sent from Lee Sui Hin, National Coordinator from the National Immigrant Solidarity Network/Action LA Coalition, is posted in full at the end of this article.

NBC 4 is reporting that Bratton is claiming "15 officers were hit by missiles that were thrown at them by 'certain elements of the crowd ... who we don't believe were representative' of most of those who were there...While he spoke, a person could be heard declaring, 'That's not true.'"

He's promised an investigation, though the rally coordinators are demanding tonight that an independent commission be appointed to look into the matter.

Fox 11 has a very good first-hand video report, featuring their local reporter who had been covering the rally and said she heard no notice to disperse, as claimed by the police. Her crew was roughed up, as seen in the video.

AFP reports that some 200,000 rallied nationwide today. Here's what UPI is reporting tonight on the LA incident:

L.A. police move on immigration rally

LOS ANGELES, May 1 (UPI) --- A day of peaceful immigration rallies in major U.S. cities Tuesday was marred when Los Angeles police fired rubber bullets to disperse the crowd.

Witnesses said police wearing riot gear and wielding batons gave no warning before firing at rally participants gathered at MacArthur Park, CNN reported. Police said a protester knocked down a motorcycle officer, the news channel said.

There were no reports of serious injuries and no arrests were made.

LA Times is reporting, in contradiction to UPI that:

Several people, including 15 police officers, were hurt. About 10 people were taken by ambulance to hospitals for treatment, said d'Lisa Davies, a spokeswoman for the Los Angeles city Fire Department.
...
Late Tuesday, a staff member from Telemundo's newsroom confirmed that one reporter and three camera operators from the Spanish-language TV station had been injured and had been taken to a hospital by police.

Another TV station, Fox 11, showed video on its 10 p.m. newscast of a station camerawoman apparently being struck by a baton-wielding police officer in riot gear.

UPDATE: 5/2/07: Extraordinary new video now available here...

The complete statement from the National Immigrant Solidarity Network follows below...

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

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Failed 'President' Says 'Deadline for Withdrawal is Date for Failure'...
By Brad Friedman on 5/1/2007 5:52pm PT  

Sen. Russ Feingold's office sent the following statement to The BRAD BLOG a few hours ago...

Statement of U.S. Senator Russ Feingold

On the 4th Anniversary of the President Declaring “Mission Accomplished”

“The four-year anniversary of “mission accomplished” comes on the heels of one of the deadliest months since our invasion of Iraq. The anniversary reminds us that we shouldn’t give credence to an Administration that has made such disastrous mistakes in Iraq. Congress should listen to the American people and not an Administration that has been so wrong, and so dishonest, so many times. The President should acknowledge the will of the American people and sign the Iraq spending bill Congress is sending him today.”

Of course, Bush didn't. He vetoed the spending bill late this afternoon, saying "Setting a deadline for withdrawal is setting a date for failure, and that would be irresponsible."

Of course, nobody knows from failure and irresponsibility more than George W. Bush.

When he gave his infamous "Mission Accomplished" cod-piece speech on board the USS Lincoln on May 1 of 2003, just 139 US troops had been killed.

Since his MSM hailed photo-op, another 3,213 of our US troops have been killed in Iraq.

Happy Anniversary, asshole.

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By John Gideon on 5/1/2007 4:06pm PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon of VotersUnite.org

Today finds a mixed-bag of articles but nothing earth shattering.

See today's notable stories as linked below...

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

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American Citizenship Seems Not to Have Changed British Author, Contrarian...
By Alan Breslauer on 5/1/2007 2:03pm PT  

Guest Blogged by Alan Breslauer

Newly minted American citizen Christopher Hitchens does little to dispel the commonly held opinion that he is a snobbish, condescending, hypocrite in this video snippet from the L.A. Times Festival of Books held over the weekend. In the video, a ballistic Hitchens, who became an American citizen on April 13th, repeatedly calls for security to throw a man out of the panel discussion on religion & culture.

While the video does not show what sets Hitchens off, according to Luke Ford (who is seen asking the prior question) the episode began when the audience member attempted to question Hitchens about the US government's role in 9/11. Strangely, Hitchens repeatedly calls the questioner a "fascist crackpot" while having him restrained, muzzled and eventually tossed.

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The BRAD BLOG Kindly Corrects the Congressman's Omissions...
By Brad Friedman on 5/1/2007 1:21pm PT  

In today's Orlando Sentinel, Florida still-unindicted Rep. Tom Feeney (R-Abramoff) pens an op/ed --- titled "Let me clarify facts about trip" --- in which he speaks about some mysterious trip to Scotland with some unnamed lobbyist.

Since the omissions in the op/ed may not help to fully clarify the facts about his trip as Feeney has intended --- and as a public service to America and those Googling for more information on one of the House's most corrupt GOP congressmen concerning his business relationship with one of the GOP's most corrupt lobbyists --- The BRAD BLOG is happy to reprint Mr. Feeney's op/ed in full below, along with a few words he must have accidentally left out from his attempted clarification; Words such as "Jack Abramoff" and "golf".

So here is Mr. Feeney's complete Sentinel op/ed, as supplemented by our hopefully clarifying additions (in bold)...

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

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Former Top-Level CIA Analyst Characterizes Former CIA Director as 'Manipulator in Chief' for Misleading Iraq/WMD 'Evidence'...
By Alan Breslauer on 5/1/2007 12:58pm PT  

Guest Blogged by Alan Breslauer

Long time CIA analyst Ray McGovern slams George Tenet for his differing account of his now infamous "slam dunk" remark in the run-up to the war in Iraq. McGovern finds Tenet's explanation the "most bizarre thing" he has "witnessed in many years of watching intelligence leaders" because the former director of the CIA is unwittingly admitting to a "more heinous offense". Catch the entire McGovern interview at Democracy Now!

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Recently Released Conference Video Collections Omit Addresses by Rightwing Controversialist
Has the Republican Superstar Finally Become a Pariah for the Right?
By Daniel Borchers on 5/1/2007 4:05am PT  

Guest Blogged by Daniel Borchers of Citizens for Principled Conservatism

"Has Ann Coulter reached her tipping point?"

That question has been repeatedly asked since her latest infamy at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC, March 2) and Reclaiming America for Christ Conference (RAC, March 3).

Recent Coulter no-shows at high-profile events and the scrubbing of several of her recent appearances from the video collections of conservative events seems to suggest the Republican superstar could finally be in her "last throes."

The tipping point question begs the fence-sitting answer: When will conservatives make a choice and stand for principles? Are they, or are they not, Ann Coulter Conservatives? If not, why is she still among us at all?

Does Coulter represent conservatives or not? Is she a serious political and moral authority or merely an entertainer? Which is it? And why, oh why, is she held to lower standards than anyone else?

As the Wall Street Journal observed in 2002:

Miss Coulter's very survival as a public figure has been her most startling trick, indeed has offered a kind of breathtaking spectacle. For much milder remarks than she daily defiantly serves up, we've seen veteran broadcasters hounded out of their careers. – Melik Kaylan, “Dr. Johnson, Meet Ann Coulter,” WSJ, 8/26/02

Coulter seems to believe she rests secure as a celebrated conservative icon. In the immediate wake of her CPAC and RAC comments, Coulter laughed off concerns that her latest offensive statements would have any affect on her Republican celebrity stature, when she asserted on Fox News' Hannity & Colmes: "This is my 17th allegedly career-ending moment."

Why is Coulter so certain of her solid position as a mainstay and opinion leader in the conservative movement? Is it merely bombast or does her boast have merit? An exchange on C-Span’s Washington Journal is revealing. A caller questioned David Keene, the person with the final say on all things related to CPAC...

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

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