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The Secret Koch Brothers Tapes...

By Brad Friedman on 9/30/2007 8:09pm PT  

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By John Gideon on 9/30/2007 6:00pm PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon of VotersUnite.org

As reported by a Dutch outlet in their English translation; “We do not trust voting computers' demanded that every single vote would be retained on its own piece of paper in the polling station. And that is what will happen from now on. On September 27, 2007 the Korthals Altes Committee issued its 'Voting with confidence' report. The state secretary for the interior immediately announced that 'Regulation for approval of voting machines 1997' will be withdrawn. As a result all Dutch voting computers will be decertified. Elections in the Netherlands will be held using paper ballots and red pencil for a while. After that, likely using 'vote printers' and optical scan counting computers.” The machines that will no longer be used are made by NEDAP and marketed in English speaking countries as “Liberty.” Ireland spent millions of Euros to buy the machines, then they were found to be insecure so Ireland is spending millions of Euros annually to store the machines that have never been used. Liberty is being marketed in New York....

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

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Had Previously Claimed US Founded as 'Christian Nation'
By Arlen Parsa on 9/30/2007 11:32am PT  

Guest Blogged by Arlen Parsa of The Daily Background


Recently, John McCain gave an interview to a religious website called Beliefnet. The only topic of conversation was religion. At right is a short mashup of the most egregious moments from the interview.

As you can imagine, it's created, um, a bit of a hubbub. And rightfully so- the New York Times ran the headline McCain Casts Muslims as Less Fit to Lead; Carpetbagger went with McCain sees Constitution establishing a ‘Christian nation.’

In brief statement issued by his campaign, McCain is hoping to clear up any confusion. "I would vote for a Muslim if he or she was the candidate best able to lead the country and defend our political values," the Senator is quoted as now saying.

And yet, as can clearly be seen in the above video, McCain states the following about what he thinks the number one prerequisite for being president should be:

"I think the number one issue people should make [in the] selection of the President of the United States is, 'Will this person carry on in the Judeo Christian principled tradition that has made this nation the greatest experiment in the history of mankind?'"

And yet now he claims that he'd be okay with voting for a Muslim candidate?

As Steven Benen says today at TPM, apparently the Senator "was for discrimination before he was against it."

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By John Gideon on 9/28/2007 8:00pm PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon of VotersUnite.org

Advanced Voting Solutions has now told three Pennsylvania counties that they have decided not to go any further with federal testing of their voting system, a requirement by the state before any voting system can be certified for use there. The question is all about a change to software that was required by the state. Rather than not take the path required by PA law, AVS has decided to argue with the state that the change is not consequential and does not require federal testing and certification. Rather than scream bloody-murder county election officials seem ready, willing and able to give AVS a pass as they talk about how much they like AVS’s voting machines. What is wrong with these people and when will they wake up and realize AVS is scamming them?...

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

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Sitting in During Drive Time for John Scott from 4p-6p PT (7p-9p ET) on SF's Air America Affiliate
Listen Up, Call In, Join us in the Live Chat Room!
By Brad Friedman on 9/28/2007 12:54pm PT  

We're back again tonight filling in as Guest Host during drive-time for the good John Scott on the "Progressive News" program on San Francisco's Air America affiliate Green 960am (formerly "The Quake").

Tonight we'll be joined by NAOMI WOLF, author of The End of America: A Letter of Warning To A Young Patriot, on the rapidly creeping fascism in American society.

We'll also have news from the Republican and Democratic debates this week, Rush Limbaugh and Bill O'Reilly fighting to save their asses (again), America's shameful turn into a "Bed-Wetter Nation" and the question of who you fear more, Iran's President or America's?

Plus another Green News Update from our own Desi Doyen, more Daily Voting News from VotersUnite.org's John Gideon and your calls at 1-866-960-5753.

Agent 99 will once again host an Open Thread here during the show (Hit the Comments link below, and then post and refresh to your heart's content.)

Please join us for another rip roaring two-hour BradCast at 4pm PT (7pm ET)! Listen up on-air at 960am in the Bay Area or LIVE streaming online here!


POST-SHOW UPDATE/ARCHIVES

HOUR 1: Guests Naomi Wolf scaring the crap out of us, and John Gideon with today's daily voting news.
Download MP3 or listen here...

HOUR 2: CA Sec. of State Debra Bowen gives us a call, plus Desi Doyen's Green News Update and a rant on American cowards.
Download MP3 or listen here...

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Man Who Outed Larry Craig Teases us with Details on Thursday's 'Progressive News' in San Francisco...
By Brad Friedman on 9/28/2007 12:04am PT  

[ED NOTE: Rogers has now posted his story, and our suspicions about who the name of the previously unnamed Congressman was correct! See update at bottom of article for more details! Also: The bad code that caused this article to freeze up in Microsoft IE has now been corrected.]

Investigative journalist Mike Rogers of PageOneQ and BlogActive promised us a scoop during this evening's "Progressive News." We're Guest Hosting the show for the vacationing John Scott today and tomorrow on San Francisco's Air America affiliate, Green 960am.

The man who outed the not-yet-resigned Sen. Larry Craig delivered his tantalizing scoop during our final minutes on today's show. (Full show details, archive here.)

"A United States Congressman who, while he was living in one place and claiming a tax break for that fact was registered and was voting in an entirely different state," he told us.

"The person owned the house with another man," Rogers teased, adding "the man that he owned it with, when you found out what he did, it almost makes this Congressman look like an angel."

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

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By Brad Friedman on 9/27/2007 10:18pm PT  

LA Times is reporting tonight that the good guys may have won one for a change...

BREAKING NEWS: Electoral initiative backers give up

Plagued by a lack of money, supporters of a statewide initiative drive to change the way California's 55 electoral votes are apportioned, first revealed here by Top of the Ticket in July, are pulling the plug on that effort.

In an exclusive report to appear on this website late tonight and in Friday's print editions, The Times' Dan Morain reports that the proposal to change the winner-take-all electoral vote allocation to one by congressional district is virtually dead with the resignation of key supporters, internal disputes and a lack of funds.

The scam of the attempted Electoral College coup was best exposed in August by Hendrik Hertzberg at New Yorker and more recently found by SF Chronicle to have been backed by a mysteriously funded Missouri(!) front group tied to Rudolph Giuliani.

More at the Times' blog, though we'd urge caution. GOP attempts to steal 2008 any way they can will not end here, not by a long shot, even if this particular initiative really is dead.

A leading opponent of the measure, Democratic consultant Chris Lehane, told the Times, "We want to to make sure this is not the Freddie Kruger of initiatives...that comes back to life. We'll continue to monitor it."

As will we. Good on the Dems for (maybe) nipping this one in the bud...for a change.

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Stumbles Though Odd Video Pitch Emailed to Supporters (or At Least, to Folks Who Ended Up on His Mailing List)
By Brad Friedman on 9/27/2007 10:14pm PT  


This is somewhat amusing.

Describing himself (without apparent intended irony) as "we, real people," former exceedingly powerful Republican House Majority Leader Dick Armey stammers and stumbles through a quick video pitch (seen at right) to members of his FreedomWorks mailing list for the awkwardly named "Pick Dick Armey’s YouTube Flick Contest."

The premise, if we're understanding the seemingly drunk Armey correctly, is for "normal" people to decide what question they will allow Armey to ask for them, on video, for the upcoming Republican CNN/YouTube debate. Or something.

It would seem the point of such a debate is for actual "we, real people" to submit questions without the help of bloated former Texas power brokers like Armey. So we'll hope that his question, whatever it ends up being, gets no preferential treatment from CNN, who selected a few dozen from among thousands submitted for the Dem version of their YouTube debate a couple of months ago.

That is, if he can even get through such a question. What really leaves us chortling aloud here, is that old Dick apparently couldn't get through his 48 second pitch without flubbing it up, several times, making this video funnier with each viewing. Hope you real people will enjoy it as much as we did.

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By John Gideon on 9/27/2007 8:00pm PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon of VotersUnite.org

Pinellas Co Florida had an open house of all certified Optical Scan Systems for the public to test, view and evaluate. They are also creating a Citizen Selection Committee to decide which system they want to purchase. Meanwhile Broward Co has issued a no-bid, sole source contract to ES&S. No open house. No citizen involvement in the decision. One county official claims that there are no choices because there is only Diebold/Premier, ES&S and Sequoia. However, they have overlooked the fact that a fourth player is in the process of getting their op-scans certified for use in the state; Dominion Voting Systems, a Canadian company with sales all over Canada. Of course part of the story may be the fact that one of the Broward Co Commissioners is married to a former lobbyist for ES&S. All of this makes Broward Co Florida officials today’s winner of the “Enemy of Democracy” award....

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

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Sitting in for John Scott from 4p-6p PT (7p-9p ET) on SF's Air America Affiliate Tonight and Tomorrow!
Listen Up, Call In, Join us in the Live Chat Room!
By Brad Friedman on 9/27/2007 4:35am PT  

We're delighted to fill in as Guest Host during drive-time tonight for the good John Scott on his "Progressive News" program on San Francisco's Air America affiliate Green 960am (formerly "The Quake").

My scheduled guests tonight include: Congresswoman SUSAN DAVIS (D-CA) on her effort to amend the Rush Holt Election Reform Bill to include a restriction on the use of DRE touch-screen voting machines; ERIC BOEHLERT of Media Matters on Dan Rather and CBS, the truth about Dubya's National Guard service (or lack thereof) and other colossal MSM failures; and our big gay blogfather, MIKE ROGERS of PageOneQ and BlogActive on his "outing" of Sen. Larry "I Am Not Gay" Craig and much more. (Mike promises to break another congressional scoop for us tonight as well!!!)

Plus a Green News Update from our own Desi Doyen, Daily Voting News from VotersUnite.org's John Gideon, your calls at 1-866-960-5753 and whatever the hell us comes up or breaks between now and then that I feel like covering.

As usual, this blog item will be an Open Thread during the show, hosted by the frequently gruff but always lovable Agent 99. (Hit the Comments link below, and then post and refresh to your heart's content.)

The two-hour BradCast begins at 4pm PT (7pm ET)! Listen up on-air at 960am in the Bay Area or LIVE streaming online here!


POST-SHOW UPDATE/ARCHIVES

HOUR 1: Guests Rep. Susan Davis and Eric Boehlert, plus Green News Update from Desi Doyen.
Download MP3 or listen here...

HOUR 2: Guest Mike Rogers (with an exclusive scoop!) and John Gideon with breaking Daily Voting News. Plus a few laughs in our top of the hour news with Sebastian Koonz...
Download MP3 or listen here...

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By John Gideon on 9/26/2007 8:00pm PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon of VotersUnite.org

There are more reports from Pennsylvania today regarding county’s mitigations for the failure of their voting system vendor, Advanced Voting Solutions, to get necessary changes through the federal test and certification phase. The problem is not with the counties or the state; the problem is all AVS. Yet the counties are trying to figure out what to do until their machines are alright for use and how they are going to pay for it. The state is commiserating with the counties and offering to pay the tab or a large part of the tab. Why is the bill not being paid by the people responsible for the failure? Why is AVS not being told to pay for any necessary actions by the counties? And why aren’t the League of Women Voters, Common Cause PA, and local and state election integrity groups joined together to demand that AVS pay the bill or get out of the state?

It looks like the Democrats may have failed again. The nomination of Hans von Spakovsky, and three other nominees, has passed out of the Senate Rules Committee with a “no recommendation.” His nomination now goes to the floor for debate (maybe). Sen. Nelson (D-NE) told the committee chair, Feinstein, that he would vote for von Spakovsky, thus going against a whole list of civil rights organizations and members of the House who are against the nomination of von Spakovsky. I guess von Spakovsky can share today’s “Enemy of Democracy” with his new bestest friend, Sen. Ben Nelson....

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

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PLUS: Guest Hosting Tomorrow on San Francisco's Green 960am...
By Brad Friedman on 9/26/2007 2:26pm PT  

Whatever they have to do to win. And given the odds against them in '08, expect them to pull out every stop imaginable between now and the election in order to "win."

Add this to our "DoJ is the New ACVR" article last week, describing how the DoJ has now institutionalized "vote caging" at the federal level via, among other things, a recent letter sent to 10 states ordering them to purge their voter rolls. While Thor Hearne's ACVR is no more (at least officially) and the RNC is barred from minority-targeted caging by a court-ordered consent decree, state parties can do whatever the hell they damn well please, according to our friend Greg Gordon at McClatchy today...

WASHINGTON — Ohio and Florida, which provided the decisive electoral votes for President Bush's two razor-thin national election triumphs, have enacted laws that election experts say will help Republicans impede Democratic-leaning minorities from voting in 2008.

Backers of the new laws say they're aimed at curbing vote fraud. But the statutes also could facilitate a controversial Republican tactic known as "vote caging," which the GOP attempted in Ohio and Florida in 2004 before public disclosures foiled the efforts, said Joseph Rich, a former Justice Department voting rights chief in the Bush administration who's now with the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights.

Caging, used in the past to target poor minorities in heavily Democratic precincts, entails sending mass mailings to certain voters and then using the undelivered letters to compile lists of voters for eligibility challenges.
...
Asked whether they might employ vote caging in 2008, Executive Director Jason Mauk of the Ohio Republican Party and spokeswoman Erin Van Sickle of the Florida Republican Party said they couldn't discuss election strategy.

See Gordon's complete report for more details.

As well, we'll have more on all of this Thursday and Friday while Guest Hosting for "Progressive News with John Scott" on San Francisco's Air America affiliate Green 960am (formerly "The Quake"), where we'll be bringing these issues to drive-time listeners (4p-6p PT) in the Bay Area! Hope you'll tune in! (See "Media Appearances" box at top-right for more details.)

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ALSO: Supreme Court to Hear Photo ID Case...
By Brad Friedman on 9/26/2007 12:51pm PT  

We're getting really tired of picking on Democrats. But with clueless Senators like Nebraska's Ben Nelson, it seems like we continue to have little choice.

Picking up from where we left off yesterday regarding this morning's vote in the Senate Rules Committee on whether or not to send a recommendation for approval on the FEC nomination of the DOJ's GOP "Voter Fraud" flim-flam operative, Hans von Spakovsky, to the full Senate. Again we again defer to Paul Kiel's TPMMuckraker report that the Democrats, thanks to a defection from Nelson, were unable to reject the nomination outright and will have to pick up the fight on the Senate floor, where the GOP (unlike the Dems) will march in lockstep to get what they want. Even from the minority...

This morning's result: faced with the defection of a Democrat on the committee, later revealed to be Sen. Ben Nelson (D-NE), Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) chose to agree to send all four nominees, two Democrats and two Republicans, to the floor without recommendation. In other words, the committee did not vote to approve von Spakovsky, but he got through nonetheless.

Next up is a vote before the full Senate, and how that vote will occur will be determined by negotiations between the Democratic and Republican leadership. Republicans are likely to seek a vote on all four nominees at once and have threatened to spike all the Democratic nominees if Democrats seek to block von Spakovsky.

Feinstein only said during the hearing that a Democrat had advised her that he would support von Spakovsky's nomination. In comments to reporters after the hearing, she identified that senator as Sen. Nelson.

More on the evil von Spakovsky here.

More details on today's negotiations here, including Feinstein's statement: "I don’t feel that this is an unbiased individual." Minority Leader Mitch McConnnel's (R-KY) hardball in return: "None of these nominees will move across the Senate unless they move together."

In related your-right-to-legally-cast-a-vote-is-under-attack news, as Arlen Parsa covered for us in a bit more detail earlier, the Supreme Court has agreed to hear a Democratic challenge to Indiana's voter disenfranchising Photo ID law.

The very smart Election Law Blog's Rick Hasen sees this as good news for opponents of such laws, but we've got our money on a 5 to 4 ruling in favor of the GOP law, created (by Thor Hearne and Friends) in the hopes of keeping Democratic voters from being able to cast their votes on Election Day. We hope we're wrong, but Bush's Supreme Court hasn't given us much to be hopeful about.

You'll note the supporters of the restrictive, Jim Crow-type legislation have been unable to offer a single case of a voter in the state voting as someone else at the polling place.

Perhaps Sen. Ben Nelson would like to issue a resolution in support of such laws? Idiot.

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By Arlen Parsa on 9/26/2007 10:56am PT  

Guest Blogged by Arlen Parsa of The Daily Background

The good news is that for the first time, the Supreme Court has agreed to take up the issue of whether or not GOP-supported laws that require voters to present specific types of photo identification at polling places are constitutional.

The bad news: it's Bush's Supreme Court.

The New York Times reports today that SCOTUS will consider the issue after mixed rulings in several states where photo-ID laws have both been upheld and struck down. A bit of background from the Times:

All of the laws have been enacted since the disputed Florida vote in the 2000 presidential election, and all have been pushed by Republican legislators who maintain that the laws are necessary to deter voter fraud. The laws have been resisted and challenged by Democrats who argue that they exaggerate the dangers and incidence of voter fraud while impermissibly sacrificing voter access. The case the court accepted was brought by Democrats from Indiana.

Democrats argue that the laws place a particular burden on eligible voters who are poor or elderly and who lack driver’s licenses and ready access to substitute forms of identification. Under the Indiana law, passed by the Republican-controlled Legislature in 2005, the photo ID must be current, so that an elderly person who is no longer driving would not be able to use an expired license as identification.

Both the ACLU and the NAACP plan to argue the case, which is an appeal from a lower court, against the Indiana law before SCOTUS in the coming months. Remarked the lone dissenting judge from the lower court ruling, Terence T. Evans, "Let’s not beat around the bush. The Indiana voter photo ID law is a not-too-thinly-veiled attempt to discourage election-day turnout by certain folks believed to skew Democratic." Now there's a judge that doesn't mince words!

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

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Five False Voter Signatures Gathered for 75 Cents a Piece in 2006...And Why It Matters in 2008 (And in Ohio!)
By Brad Friedman on 9/25/2007 5:32pm PT  

California Secretary of State Debra Bowen's Election Fraud Unit has just announced that felony charges have been filed against a Sacramento woman who appears to have forged the names of five voters while gathering signatures for a 2006 ballot initiative.

The initiative was sponsored by Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E), which hired the woman to gather signatures for a petition to get the initiative onto the ballot. She earned 75 cents per signature, netting her a total of $3.75 from the allegedly fraudulent signatures, according to the press release just sent to The BRAD BLOG by the SoS's office. (Complete press release posted at end of article.)

The signatures were excluded before the initiative qualified for the ballot, which eventually passed during the June 2006 election.

So why all the effort and resources expended to bring felony charges for such a paltry sum, for an election that's already over, particularly when the signatures weren't even used?

The reason, as we see it, is two-fold. And there are lessons to be learned from both explanations. And not just in California where powerful GOP operatives are hoping to gain enough signatures to put an Electoral College busting measure on the June 2008 ballot in desperate and cynical hopes of splitting the Golden State's electoral vote on a proportional basis in order to game the 2008 Presidential Election.

The new Secretary of State of Ohio would do well to take away the important lesson, once again from her sister in Sacramento...

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

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