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By John Gideon on 9/14/2007 7:50pm PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon of VotersUnite.org

Luzerne County, Pennsylvania, is going to battle against ES&S over maintenance contracts and annual fees. The county has a plan that will save them $200,000 and they want annual contracts. ES&S wants a three-year contract and they claim that they are not bound by any promises made by their sales staff because they think that’s a “little unfair.” ES&S has also told the county that they are going to raise their cost for machine coding and ballot preparation by up to six percent. ES&S has given the voters and tax payers of Luzerne Co. a gift that keeps on taking; sucking tax payers’ money away from the county. ES&S: today’s “Enemy of Democracy.”

Clearly Ohio state’s Republican lawmakers are going to do all they can to put up roadblocks to stop SoS Brunner from doing any inspection of the state’s voting machines. Payback for Brunner firing the state Republican Chair and County Board of Elections boss, Bennett?

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

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

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By Alan Breslauer on 9/14/2007 4:41pm PT  

Guest Blogged by Alan Breslauer


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By Brad Friedman on 9/14/2007 4:33pm PT  

Alberto Gonzales leaves office today. Not a moment too soon.

From his farewell address:

Over the past two and a half years, I have seen tyranny, dishonesty, corruption and depravity of types I never thought possible. I have seen things I didn't know man was capable of.

No kidding, Gonzo. Adios.

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By Brad Friedman on 9/14/2007 1:02pm PT  


If you've been living in a cave (or happen to be one of America's humorless Republicanists) the above video is a parody of this one.

As a side note, to those dead-ender Republicanists embarrassingly willing to display their desperation --- not to mention contempt for the first amendment --- with your fits of phony outrage over "General Betray Us," we'll join with Dick Cheney on this one by telling you to "go fuck yourselves."

Beyond that, we'll not be drawn into your quagmire of transparent attempts to hijack the real news, but will chose instead to move on to issues that actually matter. But nice try, losers!

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Republicanists Using Their Politicized Big Government Tools to Fight Against Democracy in America
Voter Roll Purges Ordered for 2008 by DoJ in 10 Key States...
By Brad Friedman on 9/14/2007 8:35am PT  

Gonzalez and Schlozman and Griffin may be gone, but the long-term politicization and damage at the DoJ was done and institutionalized long ago. The usual suspects --- Thor Hearne, Hans von Spakovsky, Joe Tanner, et al. --- are still plying their insidious anti-democracy trade with all of the tools of big Republican government at their disposal.

If you Dems think "nothing could possibly go wrong in 2008," you'd better think again. As Steve Rosenfeld at AlterNet reports, the Republicans aren't taking '08 lying down. Not by a long shot.

Earlier this year, the DoJ sent another round of threatening letters to 10 key battleground states, threatening to sue them if they do not purge their voter rolls. Yes, the Republicanists have found a "legal" way to use the DoJ to do the illegal vote-caging work the party and their phony well-funded "grass-roots" used to have to do. No wonder Thor's American Center for Voting Rights was able to go "out of business."

The DoJ is the new ACVR.

"They want more people showing up on Election Day and not finding their names," former DoJ Voting Section attorney David Becker, now of People for the American Way (PFAW), tells Rosenfeld. "They want people not voting."

If you don't haven time to read Rosenfeld's entire in-depth investigative report (which should have been on the front page of the NY Times) here are a few of the key grafs...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 9/13/2007 6:39pm PT  

George W. Bush did not --- I repeat, did not --- melt into a puddle of tears tonight on live television during his address on Iraq. It was stunning. I say it was a home run!

(NOTE: My pre-speech expectations may or may not have been lower than some of yours.)

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By John Gideon on 9/13/2007 5:05pm PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon of VotersUnite.org

A new think-tank has stepped forward to have their voice heard in regards to voting technology. The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation correctly argues that paper trails don’t ensure accurate e-voting totals. We agree with that argument. However, rather than use that argument in a move to ban non-transparent DRE voting machines, this group makes that argument and then argues that more non-transparent, unverifiable technology should be used along with the DREs. They want more unproven technology that costs more money and further removes the voters' ability to have a say in the election process.

Today was the deadline for the New Jersey Attorney General to announce what their back-up plan was if vvpat printers were not certified for use on the state’s DREs. The plan? A change to optical-scan and paper ballots? Hand-counted paper ballots? Not hardly. Their plan is to do what they have already told the court they would not do; they want to ask the state legislature to extend the deadline for another six months. Today’s “Enemy of Democracy” Award is presented to New Jersey state Attorney General Anne Milgram.

Those stories, and all the other notables today (a bunch of 'em!) linked below as usual...

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

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'It's Us Against Big Money And They Are Sweeping Us Under The Rug...'
'Back In 2000 We Were Rabble-Rousing We All Knew Something Was Wrong, We Voted For Gore...'
By Alan Breslauer on 9/13/2007 12:21pm PT  

Guest Blogged by Alan Breslauer

A great Election Fraud-themed country music video! Including some video of Clint Curtis and much more!


Visit Eliza Jane's website.

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By Brad Friedman on 9/13/2007 11:00am PT  

Well, that's somewhat amusing. An 800 number that I just gave out to folks while on the Thom Hartmann Program for the U.S. Capitol Switchboard has now apparently been switched to an "adult" phone service! Whoops!

Please use this one instead: 1-800-828-0498

I've just tested it, and it gets you through to Congress. Successfully. Though perhaps not as much fun as the other number, this one will allow you to ask for your Congress Members and tell them it's time to ban DRE touch-screen voting machines once and for all! No more excuses.

Even the New York Times editorialized just last week that "electronic voting has been an abysmal failure" and then they went on (finally!) to call for a federal bill "banning the use of touch-screen voting machines."

Rep. Susan Davis (D-CA) has filed an amendment to the fatally flawed Holt Election Reform Bill (HR 811) that restricts such machines, but even that doesn't go far enough. Worse, the House Rules Committee may not even allow her amendment to be debated or added to the bill. So call your reps, and demand that they amend the Holt Election Reform Bill (HR 811) to ban touch-screen voting machines and to require a paper ballot for every vote cast in America!

Holt's bill does not do that right now --- no matter how much propaganda you are given to the contrary by the bill's supporters!

Please don't dial the other number that I gave out on the air. As Peter B. Collins --- who's sitting in for Hartmann today --- said: that number is apparently for Sen. David Vitter's private use only. Our apologies for the confusion. Especially to the Senator.

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And a Promise of More to Come...
By Brad Friedman on 9/13/2007 10:35am PT  

A short follow-up from Dan Rather Reports to his recent landmark investigative report on "The Trouble With Touchscreens", in which he exposed ES&S' undeclared sweatshop, producing faulty voting systems in The Phillipines.

We're told that he'll have more to come in the following weeks on the scandalous --- and still completely unexplained --- exposé on the seven Sequoia Voting System employee/whistleblowers who detailed how they were forced to use faulty paper (and purposely misaligned chads in Palm Beach County only!) for the punch-card ballots used in the 2000 general election debacle in Florida.

We've followed that up a bit ourselves and so far, Sequoia and their spokesperson/VP Michelle Shafer have failed to explain how the scheme happened or who was behind it. They did, however, offer up some documents they said would clear their name. It turns out, however, that those documents may concern the ballots created for the primary election in Palm Beach, rather than the general, where the ballots where allegedly --- and demonstrably --- gamed to ensure hanging-chads and other spoiled ballots of all sorts.

(You can watch the entire original jaw-dropping program in three segments here.)

Congrats to John Gideon and VotersUnite.org for the mention in Rather's quick update as seen below...


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And a Special Thanks or Two...
By Brad Friedman on 9/12/2007 11:37pm PT  

Blogged by Brad from...LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA!

Home again. Finally. After three months on the road, I wish I could say it's good to be back. But for the moment, I'll remember how incredibly difficult it's been to keep up with everything while on the constant move for so long, and will just be glad that I'm back in one place. For at least a few weeks.

Though the gods seem to laugh and the news seems to conspire to keep me blogging even more frequently from the road at times than when I'm at home...Nonetheless, for those long hours when I was barreling down the highway from coast-to-coast over the past months, guest-hosting radio shows, engaged in some super-secret mission or another, or otherwise sneaking in a few hours off the grid, on a mountain, or both, there are a bunch of folks who are owed much thanks.

To all of the tremendous BRAD BLOG guest contributors who kept the joint lively and up-to-date with important news and commentary while I was otherwise occupado, I thank you. The talented list of folks who contributed here over the past few months, in case you hadn't noticed, includes the following impressive list (in no particular order):

Joseph Cannon of CannonFire; Jon Ponder of Pensito Review; Bob Bancroft of Voters Unite; Miriam Raftery of Writer, Ink; Clint Curtis of ClintCurtis.com; Steve Huff of CrimeBlog.us; Emily Levy of VelvetRevolution.us; John Washburn of Washburn's World; Margie Burns of MargieBurns.com; Arlen Parsa of The Daily Background; Rebecca Mercuri of Notable Software, Inc.; Tom Courbat of SAVE R VOTE and Bo Lipari of New Yorkers for Verified Voting.

Additionally, much always-reliable heavy lifting was performed for the duration by BRAD BLOG perennials DES, Alan Breslauer of HotPotatoMash and Agent 99 of neufneuf. As ever, guys, thank you.

But there is one person whose efforts deserve extra special mention here, and not just for the extra duty he's had to pull at The BRAD BLOG for the past few months...

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

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By John Gideon on 9/12/2007 8:00pm PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon of VotersUnite.org

Today’s “Enemy of Democracy” is George Gilbert, the director of the Guilford County, North Carolina, Board of Elections. In making an argument against a voter verified paper audit trail and against HR-811, George uses a disingenuous argument when he states, “Some people have convinced them there's something magical about counting it [the vote] by hand.” He added errors are more likely to occur when ballots are tabulated by hand and results will be significantly slower. Clearly George would like all who will believe him to think that the choice is only paperless DREs or hand-counted paper ballots. George conveniently forgets that optical-scan machines are used in almost every county in the country and they are used much more successfully than his favorite paperless DRE machines.

Meanwhile, where are the final reports that were part of the California “Top-To-Bottom Review”? Why has the state kept them from the public? What is in those reports that is so secret?

Those stories, and many more, all linked below...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 9/12/2007 11:52am PT  

Written "at the tail end of a 15-month deployment" in Iraq, seven U.S. service members filed a devastating opinion piece in the New York Times last August 19th, headlined "The War as We Saw It."

Their insightful, nuanced, and intelligent piece countered the simplistic "We're makin' progress!" message of the Administration, the Republicans, their Media Talking Heads, and General Petraeus. It began this way...

As responsible infantrymen and noncommissioned officers with the 82nd Airborne Division soon heading back home, we are skeptical of recent press coverage portraying the conflict as increasingly manageable and feel it has neglected the mounting civil, political and social unrest we see every day.

The troops on the ground concluded that "Four years into our occupation, we have failed on every promise," adding, "we have substituted Baath Party tyranny with a tyranny of Islamist, militia and criminal violence."

Yance T. Gray and Omar Mora of the 82nd Airborne Division, two of the service members who wrote the op/ed "at the tail end" of their 15-month deployment, were killed outside of Baghdad on Monday.

According to Editor & Publisher:

Mora, 28, hailed from Texas City, Texas, and was a native of Ecuador, who had just become a U.S. citizen. He was due to leave Iraq in November and leaves behind a wife and daughter. Gray, 26, had lived in Ismay, Montana, and is also survived by a wife and infant daughter.

They are now, indeed, "heading back home."

Another of the seven, "Staff Sergeant Jeremy Murphy, an Army Ranger and reconnaissance team leader, was shot in the head while the article was being written. He was expected to survive after being flown to a military hospital in the United States."

(via A.J. Rossmiller at AMERICAblog)

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By Alan Breslauer on 9/11/2007 8:24pm PT  

Guest Blogged by Alan Breslauer

Before Washington Week with Gwen Ifill aired last Friday on PBS its corporate sponsor, The National Mining Association (NMA), ran a ridiculous piece of propaganda which I could not let go unanswered. The mashup to the left (4:37) adds a little reality, courtesy of Bill Moyers, to the mining industry's commercial.

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By John Gideon on 9/11/2007 8:00pm PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon of VotersUnite.org

Franklin Co., Ohio, Board of Elections Chairman Matt Damschroder said, "I don't think that anyone can point to any empirical evidence that would lead any reasonable person to say the voting systems used in Ohio are flawed, thus requiring a new round of testing." Is this man kidding? He points to the federal and state testing and then makes a totally idiotic statement like that. He only needs to look back to the last general election and how poorly machines operated in his state. He only needs to look at the California “Top-To-Bottom Review” to see what federal testing means. Perhaps it’s time to begin naming an occasional “Enemy of Democracy.” Matt is it until replaced by another numbskull....

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

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