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(Imagine What We Could Have Done if the GOP Gave US the Million Dollars That Thor Had?!)
By Brad Friedman on 6/7/2007 3:12pm PT  

St. Louis Post-Dispatch reporter/columnist Jo Mannies follows up on her report from yesterday on the American Center for Voting Rights (ACVR) "voter fraud" scamster Thor Hearne, the high-level GOP muckety-muck, below-the-radar "grass roots" propagandist, Bush/Cheney '04 national general counsel, and top-order Democratic vote suppressor.

You'll recall that yesterday's report from Mannies had paraphrased Hearne's comment to the effect of his "most vocal critics also are Web-based liberal blog sites." As it turns out, Hearne had actually mentioned The BRAD BLOG by name in her interview with him, according to what Mannies told us yesterday when she called seeking comment. As she hadn't been able to reach me the day before, she didn't want to mention us in that piece specifically until she was able to get comment in response.

For whatever reason, Mannies is the only member of the media right now to whom Hearne seems willing to talk since his operation was forced underground in the glare of the U.S. Attorney Purge spotlight. Hearne has refused comment to all manner of MSM-types seeking interviews --- even begging off, along with his other ACVR partners in crime, from an NPR piece yesterday which covered Hearne and his scam. (Their report kindly included a brief clip from an interview with us, pointing out that we broke the story on these cretins two years ago and have been keeping up the drumbeat ever since.)

Mannies told us yesterday that "Thor says he's in the spotlight because some of the blogs, particularly yours, which he mentioned by name, have put him there." So much for the old Republican saw about taking personal responsibility for oneself. But whatever. While she was unable to find the direct quote from her interview with him for her follow-up piece today, she did manage to name a few names in it --- ours.

Here's that entire follow-up from today's Post-Dispatch...

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

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None Bothered to Show Up for the Schlozman/Graves Testimony, We Tried to Find Out Why...
By Brad Friedman on 6/7/2007 1:29pm PT  

Guest Blogged by BRAD BLOG's D.C. Correspondent Margie Burns

A quick post following up on that Senate Judiciary hearing on Tuesday with witnesses Schlozman and Graves. While I attended the hearing, not many Senators did. While at least half of the Democratic Senators on the committee showed up, no Republican Senators bothered to get there at all during the entire session. It seemed worthwhile to see if I could find out why.

The hearing, which has already been posted about by Brad (here and with a detailed follow up here), was headlined “Preserving Prosecutorial Independence: Is the Department of Justice Politicizing the Hiring and Firing of U.S. Attorneys? --- Part V." The matter under advisement was Missouri – easily the most torqued state in the union, elections-wise.

Witnesses: Bradley J. Schlozman, Associate Counsel to the Director, Executive Office for United States Attorneys, and former Interim U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, among other governmental offices he has held; and Todd Graves, former U.S. Attorney, Western District of Missouri before he got canned by the Bush administration (that appointed him in the first place).

As Brad has already blogged about the hearing and has posted video that adequately demonstrates some of the key witness’s peculiarities; no belaboring needed. Briefly, Graves – the USA yanked from his job, ostensibly to make room for someone else and then criticized in Monica Goodling’s sworn testimony – came off generally sounding more capable, and credible, than Mr. Schlozman. Brad Schlozman has a disconcerting way of speaking that makes it sound as though he honestly had, and has, no conception whatsoever that he could have been doing anything wrong by – for example – indicting members of the political opposition just a few days before a national election when the US Attorneys’ manual says don’t do that.

Perhaps all of the Republican members of the Senate Judiciary Committee felt they knew what Schlozman would say, and didn't feel it necessary even to show up to float softballs to him in support of their home team, because none of them attended the hearing. This is a bit unusual. While the GOP quite often boycotts any hearing it wishes to, usually to quell public discovery, it generally designates one senatorial Republican to sit in, to keep an eye on things and sometimes to bring up extraneous matters. GOP SOP.

But Tuesday's hearing on Missouri elections fraud and DoJ Purge Gate issues had no GOP senators attending from start to finish. This was the first time that had happened to my knowledge during this series of hearings. So I telephoned the offices of the 9 Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee, to ask why they didn’t attend and to see what, if any, comments I could get from them...

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

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The Loyal Bushies at DoJ 'Wanted to Emasculate' the Voting Rights Act, Says Our Source...
By Brad Friedman on 6/6/2007 6:55pm PT  

Despite the spotlight being shone on the DoJ's politicization of the electoral system in Missouri and similar "swing" states all across the country, and despite a crushing defeat to their frivolous prosecution against the Show-Me State's Sec. of State Robin Carnahan, which was damn near laughed out of court last April, the DoJ has now signed the paperwork to file an appeal in the very same case.

We were tipped off to the appeal by one of our insider DoJ sources who yesterday had referred to Bradley Schlozman's Senate Judiciary Committee testimony as being "on the razor's edge of perjury." We've got some follow up details on that comment in a moment from the source we'll now call DoJ-Throat.

But as to the Missouri case --- in which Schlozman and the DoJ charged improper voters on the registration rolls, and "voter fraud" of all un-evidenced sorts --- rising yet again from the dead, there is little reported so far, other than a blog in Columbia, MO, quoting SoS Carnahan decrying the appeal.

"The judge who heard this case was clear and unequivocal that the Office of Secretary of State had done its job," says Carnahan, according to the Politics Blog at the Columbia Tribune.

Indeed, as we reported last April, after the case was dismissed, U.S. District Judge Nanette Laughrey pulled few punches in her criticism of the case. "It is also telling that the United States has not shown that any Missouri resident was denied his or her right to vote as a result of deficiencies alleged by the United States," Laughrey decided. "Nor has the United States shown that any voter fraud has occurred."

But, as Republicans are wont to do, apparently, it's time to fire up the judicial system yet again for more partisan, frivolous litigation, we suppose. They refuse to go away. Like Jason, in yet another bad Friday the 13th movie. If they continue their forum shopping all the way up to the Supreme Court perhaps they'll find some Bush-appointed judges who are more friendly to the Bush-appointed US Attorneys bringing the action.

For clarity, this is not the "voter fraud" case that Schlozzie brought just days before the '06 election against several ACORN workers in Missouri. You know, the one which was brought in violation of the DoJ's own written rules mandating such cases not be brought when they might have a political impact on elections. The one which was made to look as if ACORN had done something wrong when, in fact, it was ACORN themselves who had alerted the state to concerns about registration forms submitted by their own workers, and with which nobody had ever actually cast a fraudulent vote. That's the case which Schlozzie admitted, in his testimony yesterday to Sen. Patrick Leahy, could have just as well been brought two weeks after the election instead of just days before it. (If you haven't seen the video of the Leahy/Schlozman exchange on this, we strongly recommend it.)

Rather, the case being appealed by DoJ is the one which former Missouri USA Todd Graves refused to bring in 2005, but which Schlozman insisted on bringing. The one alleging improper maintenance of the voter registration rolls by the state, no doubt, at the recommendation of the GOP's St. Louis "voter fraud" scammer in chief, Thor Hearne of the ACVR, as NPR finally reported on this morning.

As to the former "voter fraud" zealot/chipmunk Schlozman --- who moved from his inappropriate position overseeing the DoJ Voting Rights unit to his inappropriate position replacing Graves as US Attorney for Missouri's Western District in order to bring more frivolous and inappropriately timed "voter fraud" cases in to intimidate Democratic voters during a very close Senate election last year --- our DoJ source had some additional thoughts after yesterday's "razor's edge of perjury" testimony in the Senate...

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

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By John Gideon on 6/6/2007 6:35pm PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon of VotersUnite.org

We know that money is tight and that elections integrity is not one of the fashionable issues to support with what money you can afford to give to an issue. However, VotersUnite.org may not make it to another election if we don’t get some help. If you use our resources please help us to maintain our website and to continue providing those resources for you. Please help us out by going HERE. Thank you all again.

Today's notable voting news stories, as always, are all linked below...

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

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'Liberal Blogger Brad Friedman' Interviewed in Report on Disappearance of GOP 'Vote Fraud' Fraudsters and Their White House Connections
Nobody from ACVR Agrees to Speak to Them on the Record, But the St. Louis Post-Dispatch Says Thor Hearne Has Some Complaints About The BRAD BLOG...
By Brad Friedman on 6/6/2007 12:06pm PT  

Much more rolling still as the story continues to build on Thor Hearne and the American Center for Voting Rights (ACVR) scam that we've been covering since March of 2005 here at The BRAD BLOG.

Today NPR finally jumped into the game on the heels of last week's superb and detailed exposé of Hearne by Murray Waas at National Journal. (We've yet to cover that report, and some other ACVR items of late in detail, but we hope to soon).

I was contacted last week by NPR's Peter Overby and spoke to him on the record for about 30 minutes. Part of that interview was used in a report today on NPR's Morning Edition.

"One of the administration's staunchest advocates in the voter-fraud debate has simply disappeared," begins the report that details the ACVR's "short but busy life" and includes an interview with "Liberal blogger Brad Friedman [who] has been following the center since March 2005."

Overby was unable to get any of ACVR's formerly media-friendly spokesmen to speak to them on the record, and they report how the group seems to have scurried back underground since the U.S. Attorney purge scandal began to shine a spotlight on their vote-suppression activities and direct connections to the White House. NPR also notes purged NM US Attotrney David Iglesias's claims that ACVR "worked with the White House to forward allegations of voter fraud" and quotes Loyola election law professor Rick Hasen, who picked up on much of our reporting for his own widely-noted recent article on "The incredible, disappearing American Center for Voting Rights" as published last month by Slate.

Click below to listen to the NPR report in full, which is just over 4 minutes...

And again, we'll have much more on ACVR and Thor soon, as I was contacted today by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, which ran a story on them today with references to "Some of Hearne's most vocal critics also are Web-based liberal blog sites, which several months ago began pointing to his ties to Blunt and a link to one of the fired U.S. attorneys — Bud Cummins of Arkansas."

Can't imagine which "Web-based liberal blog sites" they may be referring to, but, oh, wait...yes, we can. Post reporter Jo Mannies says Hearne complained about us by name, and though she wasn't able to contact me for comment before today's report, she hopes to have more on all of this tomorrow. And, most likely, so will we.

Until then, here's one of our initial reports connecting Thor to the Bud Cummins slice of the U.S. Attorney purge. It hardly takes a "Web-based liberal blog site" to connect the dots. But whatever they need to say is fine by us, as long as they bother to report it. At least it hasn't taken two and a half years this time.

For more information on the "non-partisan" tax-exempt ACVR "Voter Fraud" scam and the snakeoil salesmen who invented it, Bush/Cheney '04 National General Counsel Mark F. "Thor" Hearne, and RNC Communications Director Jim Dyke, please see BRAD BLOG's full Special Coverage of the "American Center for Voting Rights" at http://www.BradBlog.com/ACVR.
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Defense: Libby Was Never Charged With the Underlying Crime, Should Not Have to Serve Time
Judge: I Just Cannot Buy In On That as Good Social Policy, There is a Price to Pay for Not Telling the Truth...
By Margie Burns on 6/6/2007 11:05am PT  

*** Special to The BRAD BLOG
*** by Libby/CIA Leak Trial Correspondent Margie Burns

As the headlines report, yesterday Judge Reggie Walton, U.S. District Court of D.C., sentenced I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby to 30 months in prison and fined him $250,000 following Libby’s conviction on four counts of perjury, obstruction of justice and lying to a grand jury in the Valerie Plame CIA leak case. In the crowded courtroom where I sat were the defense and prosecution teams; a front row of prominent Libby supporters including lobbyist and former DOJ spokesperson Barbara Comstock, Republican commentator/advisor Mary Matalin, Republican polemicist/attorney Victoria Toensing; Libby’s wife and friends; and full pews of press and spectators.

Defense attorney William Jeffress brought out some new items at the sentencing hearing: 1) CIA public affairs officer Bill Harlow had a “conversation” with Bob Novak that “didn’t come in” at the trial; 2) back in 1998 Valerie Plame was brought back to the United States, Jeffress asserted, because it was “feared her cover had been blown”; and 3) Mr. Wilson had conversations with “almost total strangers” in which he revealed his wife’s employment. Actually, that last item has been suggested before by the ‘noise machine’ (David Brock’s phrase).

If the past is any guide, we shall see these items again in coming weeks/months; the question is whether they will be recycled by the echo chamber or outsourced to the MSM. (Former WH staffer David Gergen said on NBC News last night that the president will be under HUGE pressure to pardon Libby, thus applying pressure). Will Bob Woodward divulge behind-the-scenes discussions about these items, like sinus medicine in a time-release capsule, over the next six or eight months or in a book published around the time Libby’s appeal is argued?

The appeal will follow next week’s hearing on bail. For now, the question immediately before the court is how soon Libby should go to prison....

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

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By John Gideon on 6/5/2007 8:00pm PT  

It has now been well over a year since VotersUnite.org has bothered you with a plea for funds to keep our work going. We are proud to announce that we have been accepted as an activity under the auspices of International Humanities Center and, as such, any donations to VotersUnite are now tax deductible. We have appreciated the assistance that we have gotten in the past and will likewise appreciate any help you can give in the future. “Daily Voting News” and the data gathering and report writing that we do all take a lot of time and we know from comments from all of you that you use our work in your work. Please help us to continue to help you. Go HERE and give generously. Thank you.

And of course, links to today's notable voting news stories all follow below as usual...

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By Alan Breslauer on 6/5/2007 5:17pm PT  

Guest Blogged by Alan Breslauer


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Says No Personal Apology Made to Him, On-Air Apology Failed to Detail Original Report Mistaking Conyers for Indicted Rep. Jefferson
'Fox Has History of Inappropriate On-Ar Mistakes That Are Neither Fair, Nor Balanced,' Says Senior Congressman...
By Brad Friedman on 6/5/2007 1:59pm PT  

Conyers responds to Fox "News" having shown him instead of now-indicted Rep. William Jefferson (D-LA) during their "breaking news" report yesterday, and FNC's pathetic "apology" today for the "error." (Details and video of both instances here.)

Says Conyers' office in a statement sent to The BRAD BLOG moments ago:

Yesterday, Fox News Channel broke the story of Rep. William Jefferson's indictment with video of House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers greeting Attorney General Alberto Gonzales at a recent Judiciary Committee hearing. The network apologized on-air for airing the wrong video; however, they did not personally apologize to Mr. Conyers or describe the video they aired the previous day. Chairman Conyers responded today:"Fox News has a history of inappropriate on-air mistakes that are neither fair, nor balanced. This type of disrespect for people of color should no longer be tolerated. I am personally offended by the network's complete disregard for accuracy in reporting and lackluster on-air apology." - House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers, Jr. (D-MI)
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DOJ SOURCE TO BRAD BLOG: Schlozman's Senate Judiciary Testimony 'On the Razor's Edge of Perjury,' Says Tanner Promoted at DoJ to 'Take Hit for Schlozzie' on Photo ID/'Voter Fraud' Cases...
CONFIRMED: No Republican Senators Bothered to Show Up For Hearings
By Brad Friedman on 6/5/2007 12:18pm PT  

Oh, my god. Brad Schlozman is testifying right now before the Senate Judiciary Committee. (Former US Attorney Todd Graves, whom Schlozman replaced after Graves was pushed out, will testify later.)

I don't usually care to cast personal aspersions, but this guy sounds exactly like a chipmunk. Not kidding.

He's being questioned on his partisan 'Voter Fraud'/ACORN prosecutions right now, and Feingold is currently asking a line of questioning that could lead to Thor Hearne and the ACVR scam. We'll see...

Listen/watch for yourself at C-SPAN 3 online...

UPDATES/LIVE OBSERVATIONS...
[NOW UPDATED WITH COMMENTS FROM A DOJ SOURCE]

• Leahy: "Mr. Schlozman, you seem to have broken AG Gonzales's record for saying 'I do not recall' in your testimony so far."

• Schlozman says he spent "25 to 30 hours" preparing for this testimony today.

• ...Says he doesn't think 'Voter Fraud' indictment brought in Missouri just days before '06 election (in violation of DoJ written guidelines) influenced the election, despite MO RNC press release issued in wake of the indictments. A previous case Schlozman/DoJ brought against the Democratic Missouri SoS alleging problems with voter rolls was later dismissed as the judge found "that the United States has not shown that any Missouri resident was denied his or her right to vote as a result of deficiencies alleged by the United States...Nor has the United States shown that any voter fraud has occurred." - Video of the exchange, with an angry Leahy, now here...

12:41pm PT - Committee takes a recess...

1:10pm PT - Committee now back in session. Live observations continue below...

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

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Once Again Removes References to GOP Gaming of 2000 Voter Rolls, Discredited GOP Claims of Democratic Fraud...
By Howard Beale on 6/5/2007 10:11am PT  

Guest Blogged by Howard Beale of Fired Up! Missouri

The Kansas City Star just can't help itself. When it comes to high-level reporting on the issue of the national GOP's attempts to politicize justice and steal elections with its phony "voter fraud" project, it seems there's no story that the Star's editors can't make mushier and more GOP-friendly.

Today the Star again does with a piece by Greg Gordon of news syndicate McClatchy what it did to a Gordon story from some weeks ago, refusing to print some of the most important facts underlying the lack of factual basis for GOP allegations of voter fraud.

Most notable in the Kansas City Star version of today's Greg Gordon piece for McClatchy is the treatment of the disposition of the Department of Justice lawsuit against the state of Missouri regarding voter rolls. Of the suit, Gordon writes (emphasis added):

In late 2005, the department sued Missouri's Democratic secretary of state, Robin Carnahan, charging that her state had failed to eliminate ineligible voters from registration rolls. A federal judge threw out the suit this spring, noting that the registration lists were controlled by county registrars over whom Carnahan had little authority and the Justice Department had presented no evidence of fraud.

The KCStar's rewrite of that graf rips out its substantive guts. The McClatchy-owned Star goes with this GOP-friendlier construction instead...

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

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Judge Includes $250,000 Fine, 400 Hours Community Service
By Desi Doyen on 6/5/2007 9:06am PT  

Details on the sentencing are at Firedoglake.

We hope to have more on the sentencing later today from BRAD BLOG D.C. Correspondent Margie Burns, who is at the sentencing hearing this morning (and who hopes also to get to the Schlozman and Graves testimony in today's Senate Judiciary Committee, as well).

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Apparently, 'All Those Congressmen Look Alike' Anyway...
By Brad Friedman on 6/4/2007 11:15pm PT  

While it may be notable simply that Fox "News" bothered to report on a Congressional indictment at all --- oh, wait, this one concerned a Democratic member, so of course they reported it, silly! --- by now it's hardly notable at all that Fox, either accidentally or on purpose (hardly matters anymore), played the race card, again, in the most abhorrent way.

TPM's Josh Marshall has the skinny, and the video, right here...

Just by way of reminder, remember what Fox "News" did when they had no choice but to finally report on a Republican scandal? Here's your memorable BRAD BLOG flashback.

UPDATE 6/5/07: Wow. Fox's version of an "apology" for showing Conyers as Jefferson was run today. About as feeble as it could possibly be and still be labeled an "apology" by any stretch of the imagination. See for yourself...

LATER UPDATE 6/5/07: Conyers issues statement on tepid Fox "apology." He was never contacted by FNC, and doesn't appreciate it. Full statement now here...

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By John Gideon on 6/4/2007 8:00pm PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon of VotersUnite.org

In a combined statement Common Cause, VerifiedVoting.Org and VoteTrustUSA have said the following to Senator Diane Feinstein regarding her election reform legislation:

There is copious evidence that e-voting machines are prone to malfunctions and vulnerable to malicious software attacks, yet over 35 million registered voters will cast their vote on an unverifiable, unauditable, paperless electronic voting machine in November 2008 unless Congress acts urgently to correct this unacceptable reality. Voters everywhere agree that all voting systems should produce a verifiable, re-countable paper record. We know too much to recklessly gamble with the 2008 Presidential election.

This statement is in regard to the lack of any solution in the Feinstein bill to address the widespread problem of paperless voting before the 2008 Presidential election.

That story, and other notable voting news today, all linked below...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 6/4/2007 5:28pm PT  

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