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Latest Featured Reports | Sunday, October 26, 2014
Touch-Screens Flip 'No' to 'Yes' on TN Abortion Measure
After the state GOP repealed the law to move to paper ballots, votes now reportedly flipping again on a controversial Amendment to the state Constitution...
More Trouble With Touch-Screens (2014 Edition)
Votes Flip D to R in Texas, R to D in Illinois - What's happening (again), what it means (again), and what you can do about it (please?)...
Christie: GOP Governors Needs to Control 'Voting Mechanisms' in 2016
NJ Governor and 2016 Presidential hopeful offers interesting reason why Republicans in three key states need to win in 2014...
Justice Ginsburg Republishes TX Photo ID Law Dissent After BRAD BLOG Cites Error
Turns out U.S. Veterans' Affairs ID can be used to vote under new GOP voting restrictions in TX. Official SCOTUS opinion updated...
'Mercy', 'Rehabilitation' and 'Restorative Justice'
Sentencing of South Africa's Oscar Pistorius offers stark reminder of concepts that seem to have gone missing from the justice system in the U.S...
'Green News Report' 10/21/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
GOP candidates still dodging climate Qs; Mountaintop removal coal mining promotes lung cancer; 2014 on track as hottest year on record; PLUS: LEGO breaks up with Shell Oil...
Previous GNRs: 10/14/14 - 10/16/14 - Archives...
Everything Old is Texas Again
On the upside though, even if they successfully violate the Constitution by keeping some 600,000 legally registered, disproportionately minority voters from voting this year, they can save some money on signage...
Congresswoman Sets Impeachment Deadline for Federal Judge Mark Fuller
ALSO: Court unseals divorce docs from first marriage, Fuller attorney dismisses abuse allegations as 'rhetorical questions'...
SCOTUS ALLOWS TEXAS' DISCRIMINATORY GOP PHOTO ID LAW TO USED IN MIDTERMS
Despite uncontested findings striking down the law as a racially-motivated, 'unconstitutional poll tax', it will be implemented this year...
'Dead Heat' and 'Dirty Tricks': The Nightmare Scenario
Maddow warns: 'With this many top of ticket races tied, turnout will be everything...Now we watch for the ways that people will try to stop voters from turning out or from having their votes counted, by hook or by crook'...
Judge Fuller's Attorney Says Wife Beating Thing No Big Deal; 911 AUDIO and Gov. Don Siegelman Disagree
Standalone video of 911 call; First comment on case by imprisoned former AL Gov.; MORE...
Emergency Appeals Filed at SCOTUS to Restore Voting Rights to 600,000 in TX
GOP Photo ID law, which lower court found intentionally discriminatory, is different from recent cases before High Court, say plaintiffs...
'Green News Report' 10/16/14
Ryan backs away (sort of) from climate change denial; NatGas isn't a bridge to lower-emissions; PLUS: Did Lockheed-Martin really invent a compact nuclear fusion reactor?...
Bloomberg on BRAD BLOG on Judge Richard Posner on Photo ID Voting Laws...
'By the sounds of it, the floor that supported voter-ID laws has just given way'...
'BradCast': WI, TX, AR Photo ID Rulings
Trouble keeping up with the on-again/off-again court rulings on GOP voter suppression laws? Brad tries to make sense of it all for ya...
WTF?!: FL Gov. Rick Scott Refuses To Appear at Debate With Gov. Charlie Crist
Watch the video. They're calling it 'FanGate'. We're just calling it Florida...
Arkansas Supreme Court Strikes Down State GOP's Photo ID Voting Law
Court determines law, passed over Dem Governor's veto, violates explicit right to vote in state Constitution...
5th Circuit Appeals Panel Restores Texas GOP's 'Discriminatory' Photo ID Law
While not contesting law's unconstitutionality, judges cite SCOTUS rule on last minute voting changes...
'Green News Report' 10/14/14
Coal wins U.S. Senate debate in KY!; Pentagon: climate change threat to NatSec; Wind power cheapest source of energy; PLUS: September 2014 was hottest ever...
Repub Judge Who Approved Nation's 1st Photo ID Law in 2008 Writes Devastating Dissent Against Them
Reagan-appointed Richard Posner pens best case ever against Photo ID voting restrictions...
NATIONWIDE STUDY FINDS ALMOST NO VOTER FRAUD
Just 10 cases of in-person impersonation in all 50 states since 2000...
VIDEO: 'Rise of the Tea Bags'
Brad interviews American patriots...
'Democracy's Gold Standard'
Hand-marked, hand-counted ballots...
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GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal 2012...
VA GOP VOTER REG FRAUDSTER OFF HOOK
Felony charges dropped against VA Republican caught trashing voter registrations before last year's election. Did GOP AG, Prosecutor conflicts of interest play role?...

Criminal GOP Voter Registration Fraud Probe Expanding in VA
State investigators widening criminal probe of man arrested destroying registration forms, said now looking at violations of law by Nathan Sproul's RNC-hired firm...

DOJ PROBE SOUGHT AFTER VA ARREST
Arrest of RNC/Sproul man caught destroying registration forms brings official calls for wider criminal probe from compromised VA AG Cuccinelli and U.S. AG Holder...

Arrest in VA: GOP Voter Reg Scandal Widens
'RNC official' charged on 13 counts, for allegely trashing voter registration forms in a dumpster, worked for Romney consultant, 'fired' GOP operative Nathan Sproul...

ALL TOGETHER: ROVE, SPROUL, KOCHS, RNC
His Super-PAC, his voter registration (fraud) firm & their 'Americans for Prosperity' are all based out of same top RNC legal office in Virginia...

LATimes: RNC's 'Fired' Sproul Working for Repubs in 'as Many as 30 States'
So much for the RNC's 'zero tolerance' policy, as discredited Republican registration fraud operative still hiring for dozens of GOP 'Get Out The Vote' campaigns...

'Fired' Sproul Group 'Cloned', Still Working for Republicans in At Least 10 States
The other companies of Romney's GOP operative Nathan Sproul, at center of Voter Registration Fraud Scandal, still at it; Congressional Dems seek answers...

FINALLY: FOX ON GOP REG FRAUD SCANDAL
The belated and begrudging coverage by Fox' Eric Shawn includes two different video reports featuring an interview with The BRAD BLOG's Brad Friedman...

COLORADO FOLLOWS FLORIDA WITH GOP CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION
Repub Sec. of State Gessler ignores expanding GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal, rants about evidence-free 'Dem Voter Fraud' at Tea Party event...

CRIMINAL PROBE LAUNCHED INTO GOP VOTER REGISTRATION FRAUD SCANDAL IN FL
FL Dept. of Law Enforcement confirms 'enough evidence to warrant full-blown investigation'; Election officials told fraudulent forms 'may become evidence in court'...

Brad Breaks PA Photo ID & GOP Registration Fraud Scandal News on Hartmann TV
Another visit on Thom Hartmann's Big Picture with new news on several developing Election Integrity stories...

CAUGHT ON TAPE: COORDINATED NATIONWIDE GOP VOTER REG SCAM
The GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal reveals insidious nationwide registration scheme to keep Obama supporters from even registering to vote...

CRIMINAL ELECTION FRAUD COMPLAINT FILED AGAINST GOP 'FRAUD' FIRM
Scandal spreads to 11 FL counties, other states; RNC, Romney try to contain damage, split from GOP operative...

RICK SCOTT GETS ROLLED IN GOP REGISTRATION FRAUD SCANDAL
Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL) sends blistering letter to Gov. Rick Scott (R) demanding bi-partisan reg fraud probe in FL; Slams 'shocking and hypocritical' silence, lack of action...

VIDEO: Brad Breaks GOP Reg Fraud Scandal on Hartmann TV
Breaking coverage as the RNC fires their Romney-tied voter registration firm, Strategic Allied Consulting...

RNC FIRES NATIONAL VOTER REGISTRATION FIRM FOR FRAUD
After FL & NC GOP fire Romney-tied group, RNC does same; Dead people found reg'd as new voters; RNC paid firm over $3m over 2 months in 5 battleground states...

EXCLUSIVE: Intvw w/ FL Official Who First Discovered GOP Reg Fraud
After fraudulent registration forms from Romney-tied GOP firm found in Palm Beach, Election Supe says state's 'fraud'-obsessed top election official failed to return call...

GOP REGISTRATION FRAUD FOUND IN FL
State GOP fires Romney-tied registration firm after fraudulent forms found in Palm Beach; Firm hired 'at request of RNC' in FL, NC, VA, NV & CO...
The Secret Koch Brothers Tapes...

If Mukasey can't call a spade a spade, we shouldn't call him Attorney General...
By Arlen Parsa on 10/20/2007 6:40pm PT  

Guest Blogged by Arlen Parsa

At his confirmation hearings this past week, Bush's Attorney General nominee Mike Mukasey was asked by Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-Rhode Island) if he considered waterboarding a form of torture. Here's an exchange the two had:

MUKASEY: If waterboarding is torture, torture is not constitutional.
...
SEN. WHITEHOUSE: If it’s torture. That’s a massive hedge. I mean, it either is or it isn’t. Do you have an opinion on whether waterboarding…is constitutional?

MUKASEY: If it amounts to torture, it is not constitutional.

SEN. WHITEHOUSE: I’m very disappointed in that answer. I think it is purely semantic.

MUKASEY: I’m sorry.

Mukasey's refusal to categorize waterboarding as torture is troubling to say the least...

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

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For a Few Minutes Anyway....
By Brad Friedman on 10/20/2007 1:14am PT  

Live TV. Love it.

On tonight's Real Time with Bill Maher on HBO, the host had to throw out the first of the 9/11 hecklers himself. Things went downhill from there...


Members of the "9/11 Truth Movement" have been a bit angry with Maher since he suggested they needed to be medicated in a "New Rules" segment in September. That video is here.

Tonight, Maher got a bit angry in return as audience members repeatedly interrupted the panel discussion with Maher, MSNBC's Chris Matthews, Rep. Shiela Jackson Lee (D-TX), and LA Times columnist Joel Stein.

After the last of the hecklers --- who ground the show to a halt (of sorts), for a few minutes --- is removed from the studio audience, Maher says that folks from the movement have been holding protests outside of his studio ever since his comments last month. Tonight, a few of 'em got tickets to the show.

While things got a bit rough, and Maher called for an "ass kicking," nobody was tased, bro...at least to our knowledge.

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By John Gideon on 10/19/2007 8:00pm PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon of VotersUnite.org

I got an email today that asked me why the voting machine companies are not refunding money spent by counties on voting machines. Of course the answer is that very few counties or states are taking the vendors to court and demanding their money back. I don’t know why West Virginia and Arkansas and Indiana threatened to take ES&S to court but never followed through. Or, maybe they did and it was never publicized? I think part of it is that we have entrusted these officials with hundreds of thousands of tax payers’ dollars and they spent that money on insecure, inaccurate, and unreliable voting machines. And they gave the checks to people who are every bit the snake-oil salesman and, in many cases, used to run elections in neighboring states or counties. Now that the systems are not what they were told they would be they have to admit they wasted the tax payers’ dollars. That’s a hard thing to admit to. It’s time election officials got together outside of the influence of the vendors and their apologists and began to support each other.

And with that, links to today's notable voting news stories follow below as usual...

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

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As Insiders Express Hope that the Voting Section Chief's Days Are Numbered
'That's All Anybody's Talking About' in the Civil Rights Division, The BRAD BLOG Has Been Told...
By Brad Friedman on 10/19/2007 4:13pm PT  

In addition to the earlier AP-reported "grossly misconstrued" response by a DoJ spokesman to John Tanner's "minorities die first" remarks, Paul Kane at Washington Post files yet another defense of the embattled Tanner from yet another DoJ spokesman. Kale posts the entire "full-throated defense" from Brian Roehrkasse on his Capitol Briefing blog.

Even as a DoJ insider source of ours writes to say "thanks for starting the ball rolling on what may be the end of John Tanner."

"That's all anybody's talking about" today, the source tells us.

Despite suggestions to the contrary, as made this week by Bush's AG-nominee Michael Mukasey during his AG Senate confirmation hearings, things are not quite as peachy keen inside the Civil Rights Division as the Bushies would love you to believe.

"It is a constant uphill struggle against hand-picked Bush administration appointees like John Tanner," the insider wrote, "That is why we are so often demoralized: they won't let us do our work."

You wouldn't know it, of course, if you listened only to the Bush administration's hand-picked spokesmen/deniers.

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Wire Service Reports on Obama Letter, Fails to Cite BRAD BLOG for Breaking Story, Misses Much of the Point in General...
By Brad Friedman on 10/19/2007 1:46pm PT  

AP is notorious for refusing to give appropriate credit to blogs that break stories. They've done so again in their coverage today of Barack Obama's letter calling for the firing of DoJ Voting Rights section chief John Tanner in the wake of our video coverage of his recent objectionable comments [emphasis ours]:

"That's a shame, you know, creating problems for elderly persons just is not good under any circumstance," Tanner said, according to video posted on YouTube. "Of course, that also ties into the racial aspect because our society is such that minorities don't become elderly the way white people do. They die first."

Setting aside the de rigueur BRAD BLOG slight, AP received a response to Obama's call for Tanner's head from DoJ spokesman Erik Ablin:

"Mr. Tanner is an attorney who works to protect civil rights on a daily basis," Ablin said, adding that the official had won numerous awards from African-American groups. "Nothing in his comments deviated from his firm commitment to enforce the law, and it is unfortunate that they have been so grossly misconstrued."

"Grossly misconstrued"? AP does not detail in what way Ablin believes the comments to have been "grossly misconstrued," but quotes him as saying the department "continues to have full confidence" in Tanner.

Former colleagues of Tanner's, however, don't seem to agree that the comments were misconstrued...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 10/19/2007 12:46pm PT  

As we mentioned earlier this week, the embattled DoJ Civil Rights Division's Voting Rights section chief, John Tanner, was scheduled to speak to an audience at UC Berkeley's Latino Policy Forum yesterday.

According to a report this morning from The Daily Californian...

Tanner focused on the continuing relevance of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

He said he worked in the department when the act was passed and shared insight on “how bad it was for African Americans” at the time, adding that some minority populations continue to face obstacles when attempting to vote.

We've yet to speak to anybody who was actually at yesterday's event, so no word at this time on whether or not John Tanner clarified the point that one of the great obstacles minority populations face when attempting to vote is, in fact, John Tanner.

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Letter to Acting Attorney General Says John Tanner's Recent Remarks Are 'Patently Erroneous, Offensive, and Dangerous'
Comments, Video Taped and First Reported by BRAD BLOG, Have Been Given to Judiciary Committee, Continue to Reverberate...
By Brad Friedman on 10/19/2007 12:16pm PT  

After recently stepping up, along with Sen. Russ Feingold (D-WI), to block the nomination to the FEC of insidious GOP "voter fraud" zealot Hans Von Spakovsky, Illinois' Democratic Senator and Presidential Candidate Barack Obama is calling for the head of the Voting Rights Section chief of the DoJ's Civil Rights Division.

In a letter sent today (posted in full at end of this article) to Acting Attorney General, Peter D. Keisler, Obama has requested that John Tanner be sent packing following objectionable comments he made two weeks ago in Los Angeles at the National Latino Congresso.

The remarks by Tanner, video-taped and first reported by The BRAD BLOG, were meant in support of his decision to allow a Photo ID restriction at polling places in Georgia, over the recommendation of four out of five of the career attorneys in the Civil Rights unit. The law would later be found unconstitutional by two federal judges, one of whom declared the practice to be a "Jim Crow-era poll tax".

Tanner told audience members during the panel on October 5th, that while it was a "shame" that the elderly would, in fact, be disenfranchised by the law he approved on behalf of the DoJ, minorities would have less to worry about because, as he told the stunned room, "Our society is such that minorities don't become elderly the way white people do. They die first."

Former colleagues of Tanner went on to characterize his comments as "false", "ludicrous" and "cherry-picked" from existing data.

In his letter today, Obama said, "Such comments are patently erroneous, offensive, and dangerous, and they are especially troubling coming from the federal official charged with protecting voting rights in this country."

As we reported several days ago, Tanner is scheduled to testify on this and related matters to a sub-commitee of the House Judiciary Committee on October 30th. The committee has asked The BRAD BLOG for a copy of the entire session with Tanner, as video-taped by our own Alan Breslauer. We have complied with their request.

In breaking the news of Obama's letter this morning, TPM Muckraker's Paul Kiel noted the irony that during his appearance before the Judiciary Committee, Tanner will "get to explain personally to its 78 year-old African-American chairman [John Conyers] that minorities don't 'become elderly.'"

"Through his inexcusable comments," Obama writes in today's letter, "Mr. Tanner has clearly demonstrated that he possesses neither the character nor the judgment to be heading the Voting Rights Section. For that reason, I respectfully request that you remove him from his position."

Since the 2004 election, Republican officials and operatives have been attempting to enact such Photo ID laws at polling places across the country, despite some 10 to 30 million, largely Democratic and minority voters, who do not have such ID's and would be disenfranchised by such laws. Millions of dollars have been spent to support the unevidenced idea of Democratic "voter fraud" by phony GOP front groups such as the "non-partisan" ACVR, created by Bush/Cheney '04's national general counsel Mark F. "Thor" Hearne and RNC Communications Director, Jim Dyke. Hearne is now laying low since shutting down the ACVR in the wake of calls for phony "voter fraud" prosecutions being found at the center of the U.S. Attorney Purge scandal. Dyke, who parlayed his "non-partisan" ACVR gig into work for Dick Cheney, is now Communications Director for the Rudy Giuliani campaign.

Continuing the false GOP meme of Democratic "voter fraud", The BRAD BLOG recently noted unsupported claims of undocumented immigrants being "rounded up, herded into the polls [and] voting illegally" in California as charged by Golden State Rep. Duncan Hunter during a recent Republican Presidential Debate. Both Hunter's campaign and Congressional offices subsequently failed to respond to BRAD BLOG requests to back up with the claim with details or evidence.

During it's current session, the Supreme Court of the United States is scheduled to review the constitutionality of a similar Photo ID law enacted in the state of Indiana.

UPDATE: AP picks up the story, quotes DoJ as saying Tanner's comments were "grossly misconstrued", fails to credit BRAD BLOG for breaking original story. Details here...

LATER UPDATE: WaPo again picks up the story, and again, as last time (and unlike AP) credits us appropriately. They also offer yet another DoJ spokesman's defense of Tanner, while an insider DoJ source gives us an indication of what's really going on over at DoJ in the wake of all of this. Details here...

The complete letter from Sen. Barack Obama to Acting Attorney General Peter D. Keisler follows below...

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

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By John Gideon on 10/18/2007 8:00pm PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon of VotersUnite.org

Last week the Netherlands did away with e-voting and their DREs made by a company called “NEDAP.” These same machines were sold to Ireland under the brand name “Liberty.” “Liberty” is now being marketed in New York. Ireland paid 51.3m Euros to purchase their machines then they found out they were insecure and had many problems. The machines have been in storage since they were purchased. They have never been used. Instead of taking NEDAP to court for restitution, or scrapping the machines; the Irish have now decided to take out 25-year rental leases for storage facilities. The government has taken a lease for the 288 machines in storage in County Monaghan for over 27,000 Euros a year.

If you want a copy of the book featured in the first link below you can get one signed by the author at VotersUnite.Org as a premium on a donation....

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

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Replaced With Spanish Music Station
As KLSD in San Diego Hangs on by a Thread...
By Brad Friedman on 10/18/2007 4:26pm PT  

Austin's Air America affiliate went off the air late last night (early this morning). The website for KOKE 1600-AM is also gone without explanation left behind.

The blog, Liberal Talk Radio, has a few details.

Thanks to "RFKin2008," who also has more thoughts, for the heads up.

In the meantime, AM 1360 KLSD in San Diego hangs on by a thread. And, aside from Mike Gravel, not a single Democratic Presidential candidate, that we're aware of, has said or done anything about the next likely casualty of media deregulation (Bill Clinton) and the abolishment of the Fairness Doctrine (Ronald Reagan), which will leave America's sixth largest city without a progressive talk radio station during a Presidential Election year.

Disgraceful.

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VIDEO COVERAGE: Highlight Clips and Daily Show's Take...
By Brad Friedman on 10/18/2007 3:13pm PT  

From Andrew Sullivan's, frankly, heartbreaking analysis of the recent Matter Lauer interview with Larry Craig and his wife...

I forced myself. It was excruciating. Beyond embarrassing. Extraordinarily painful - especially for his wife. Why on earth they decided to subject themselves to prolonging this agony is a question worth asking. And the answer, I think, is: they have to. At this point in their lives, to allow the possibility that Craig is indeed homosexual, that he has sustained, lived, internalized a fundamental lie for his entire life, and involved his wife and children in that lie, would be to destroy themselves.
...
He is now wedded to this life he created - more than to his wife, which is why she was kept in the dark for two months after the arrest, as he went through the terror of feeling caught finally in his own contradiction. He cannot break free of it at this point without psychic collapse. And so, even though it becomes absurd to everyone around them, the Craigs keep going. They have no choice, apart from total breakdown.
...
It is just a tragedy that the party that Craig belongs to is committed to prolonging the pain and the denial of so many people - in order to appease the casual fears of the insecure, and to use those fears to sustain political power.

Painful video "highlights" from the interview, courtesy of TPM, follow below, along with two much-needed humorous takes on the sad story, from last night's Daily Show...

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

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Former House Speaker Said to Leave Seat Before End of Year...
By Brad Friedman on 10/17/2007 8:12pm PT  

Says Roll Call late tonight:

Former Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) is expected to announce Thursday that he is resigning his seat in Congress effective later this year, eventually setting up a special election to succeed him, knowledgeable GOP sources said late Wednesday.

Gosh, we hope it doesn't have anything to do with this old chestnut, which we updated a bit yesterday, along with a promise of more to come soon. But who knows?

Swing State Project offers a bit more detail from the RC article which hides behind the pay curtain:

Rumblings have persisted for months that Hastert, who announced this summer that he would not seek re-election in 2008, was unlikely to complete his current term.

This week Hastert met with House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) and was making calls to tell people of his decision on Wednesday morning.

They're just dropping like flies aren't they? Answer: Yes, but not nearly enough of 'em, and not nearly fast enough.

(Hat-tip for all of the above to our buddy Arlen Parsa over at The Daily Background.)

UPDATE 10/19/07: Hastert announced he will not run again, but has yet to give official word on whether he'll leave early or not. AP reports the delay in stepping down may be due to a fear that a Special Election during the February '08 primary may have a huge Dem turnout due to Illinois' favorite son, Barrack Obama, on the Presidential Primary ballot.

But with no official announcement yet, MSNBC asked after a flurry of "Hastert to Resign" reports, "Is Hastert really quitting?". "Not at this time," they are told, but adding that another source says otherwise:

The source says that Hastert is "definitely going to resign," but that it won't happen be announced [sic] officially for a couple of months or so.

Incidentally, Hastert has lost about 60 pounds and looks like a completely different person.

True. See the photo at left!

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By John Gideon on 10/17/2007 8:00pm PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon of VotersUnite.org

Broward Co Florida began testing their new ES&S optical-scan system allowing citizens and the media only two hours to view the process before removing them from the area. What are the county and ES&S afraid of?

Vigo Co Indiana just wrapped up their Logic and Accuracy Testing. The Tribune Star reporter who wrote about the testing reported that they ran “at least 10 ballots” through each optical-scan machine. In an email response to an email I sent her where I essentially said, “Huh!?” she reported that they ran 13 or 14 through most of the machines and 10 or 11 through another because they didn’t want to overload that machine. Logic and Accuracy testing was complete within 45 minutes according to the reporter. Again I ask, “Huh!?” and pass on a well deserved “Enemy of Democracy” award to Patricia Mansard, Vigo County Clerk....

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

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Says He'll Run as 'Favourite Son' in South Carolina, in both Republican and Democratic Primaries...
By Brad Friedman on 10/17/2007 12:33pm PT  

As a first announced last night on The Daily Show...

...And then, later in the evening, in a bit more detail, on "a more prestigious show"...

Will he have more of an actual effect on the race than, say, Pat Paulsen, the inveterate comedian-candidate of many a prior Presidential contest? We wager Colbert just might, actually.

New York Times has some details and Colbert himself brought CBS's Jeff Greenfield on for analysis of his impact on the race, "in the last three minutes," as seen in the following video...

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

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Only if They Make Enough Money At It, According to House Version of Bill...
By Brad Friedman on 10/17/2007 11:55am PT  

Earlier this month, BRAD BLOG's D.C. Correspondent, Margie Burns, sat in on Senate Judiciary Committee hearings concerning a federal "reporter's shield law," ostensibly meant as a way to offer protection for the sources of journalists, while defining exceptions for national security issues. As the bill was voted out of committee she posed some interesting concerns here about it.

Yesterday, Burns wrote at her own site, the House passed their own version of the GOP-introduced, MSM-supported law, but she notes there's a small --- yet very important --- difference in the House bill's definition of "covered person"...

The House version reads,

"(2) COVERED PERSON- The term 'covered person' means a person who regularly gathers, prepares, collects, photographs, records, writes, edits, reports, or publishes news or information that concerns local, national, or international events or other matters of public interest for dissemination to the public for a substantial portion of the person's livelihood or for substantial financial gain and includes a supervisor, employer, parent, subsidiary, or affiliate of such covered person."

The Senate version reads,

"(2) COVERED PERSON- The term 'covered person' means a person who is engaged in journalism and includes a supervisor, employer, parent, subsidiary, or affiliate of such person."

Well, that's an important difference, indeed. One that could substantially effect bloggers, such as ourselves, and certainly those on blogs both smaller and larger (e.g., even the huge Huffington Post, where bloggers are not paid). Under the law, if the compromise version of both houses is passed using the House definition, it could potentially mean that we would not be "covered person" and thus not protected from being required by law to disclose our sources.

Such a statue could be a devastating blow to the ability of folks like us, not on a regular salaried contract with a major metropolitan newspapers or broadcast network, to guarantee privacy to our sources. Many of the stories that The BRAD BLOG has broken and reported over the years simply could not have existed without such promises to insider and whistleblower sources.

Burns goes on to bullet-point a list of those she feels would and wouldn't be covered by the definition of "covered person" in the House version of the bill, including most bloggers as she sees it.

"In other words," she charges, "a 'covered person' is basically anyone Bob Novak could tolerate, and not covered is everyone who might hypothetically or even accidentally be perceived as a threat to the Novaks of this world. What could be sweeter? --- for Robert Novak."

UPDATE: Nate Anderson at ars technica offers additional thoughts.

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Riverside County, California's Registrar of Voters Continues to Prove Herself to be an Unmitigated Disaster...
By Brad Friedman on 10/16/2007 6:58pm PT  

No time for the moment (particularly as we remain a bit under the weather) to recap the long and storied history of the national embarrassment that elections in Riverside County, California, have become. So for today, we'll just share links with you to two of the county's latest missteps.

Both of the latest boners were overseen --- yet again --- by Registrar of Voters Barbara Dunmore. The poor woman is clearly in way over her head and should --- as the former managing editor of the Press-Enterprise called for just over a week ago --- resign immediately. Or be fired. For the good of everyone.

Here's Dunmore last week inventing an ingeniously obnoxious scheme to raise $6.40 (yes, that number is no typo) for the county.

Here's Dunmore today, making ink yet again (almost literally), admitting that she screwed up --- again --- this time on the absentee ballots just sent out to her voters.

And here's hoping the Riverside County Board of Supervisors, no great geniuses themselves, finally realize it's time to find someone whose actually up to the job.

We shouldn't be too harsh, perhaps. After all, Dunmore took the job over from predecessor Mischelle Townsend, infamous for overseeing Riverside's ignominious place as the first county in the nation to go all touch-screen DRE. A $30 million disaster, that. But even more endearingly, Townsend once let fly with one of the greatest e-voting quotes of all time, during an interview with the filmmakers of HBO's Hacking Democracy (as seen on the DVD bonus footage).

Said Townsend with a straight face (but you should try not to laugh too hard): "Electronic touch-screen ballots are 100% accurate. We've not seen a single example in which their accuracy can be disputed."

Good luck, Riverside! Looks like you're gonna be needing it for quite a while at this rate!

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