After an amazingly encouraging week or two, we head into the July 4th weekend with a whole bunch of stuff we've been trying to clear off our desk. Plus: Lots of breaking news and an encouraging ending for the weekend...
Tonight's CBS Evening News finally covered what may well be the November Surprise that we've been trying to warn about for months here at The BRAD BLOG: Massive voter roll purges being done in secret, with little or no oversight, and often under federal Justice Department cover, in states and counties around the country.
And the Democrats, who likely have the most to lose via such secret purges, are doing little or nothing about it.
The CBS story, posted below (appx 2 mins) starts with an elderly New Jersey voter who was suddenly removed from the voting rolls after thirty years, for apparently no reason whatsoever, before launching into findings from a new non-partisan Brennan Center for Justice study on "Voter Purges".
We've yet to read this Brennan report, but the brief coverage from tonight's Evening News notes 10,000 voters purged in Mississippi, 21,000 in Louisiana and "to top it off, another new study discovered 19 states are ignoring federal law (the National Voter Registration Act), banning systematic purges within 90 days of a federal election."
Among those 19, are a number of battleground states. The report lists: Alabama, Colorado, Connecticut, Delware, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Maryland, Masachusetts, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, Texas and Washington, as places where massive purges have recently taken place.
CBS ends by noting that their New Jersey voter has now been restored to the rolls, but they warn, "come Election Day, don't count on thousands of others being as fortunate"...
CBS' coverage doesn't even note that many states have now contracted the same private companies who did such a crappy job on their voting machines (companies like Diebold, ES&S and Sequoia) to manage, with the same lack of oversight, entire newly computerized state voting rolls. Names will be dropping from rolls this year by error or by evil...
According to today’s ‘Featured’ article: With record voter turnout expected at the polls this November, the Election Protection coalition, which includes the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), and Rock the Vote say they have prepared the largest and most comprehensive election watch effort ever undertaken.
"We’re confident that we can help millions of Americans overcome obstacles to make sure their votes count," said Jonah Goldman, director of the National Campaign for Fair Elections, part of the Lawyers’ Committee.
The primary tool will be a toll-free phone number, 1-866-OUR-VOTE (and its Spanish counterpart 1-888-VE-Y-VOTA), a nonpartisan confidential voter services hotline. ...
Expectations for Sarah Palin continue to plummet in advance of the Veep Debate Thursday night. From NYTimes today...
"I think she has pretty thoroughly — and probably irretrievably — proven that she is not up to the job of being president of the United States," David Frum, a former speechwriter for President Bush who is now a conservative columnist, said in an interview.
At this rate, all Palin should have to do on Thursday is show up, and not pass out in the middle of the debate, and she'll be declared "the winner". For more background, please see Quayle '88, Bush '00 and Bush '04.
[Note: We'll be Guest Hosting The Mike Malloy Show this week, Wed - Fri, including during the debate on Thursday night. We'll be carrying it in full, starting at 6pm PT (9pm ET) followed by a world-class "Bloggers Roundtable". To hell with Chris Matthews and the professional spinners! We'll be talking with the folks who have been right, instead, for years! Scheduled to be with us so far: Marcy Wheeler of Empty Wheel, David "dday" Dayen of Hullabaloo and Calitics and more to be announced soon. Hope you'll tune in!]
Congrats to David Earnhardt and company on winning "Best Documentary" at last weekend's San Diego Film Festival, for Uncounted: The New Math of American Elections! I'm quite sure the win was due to my appearance at the Q&A following the Saturday night screening down there.
And finally...if you'd like a copy of both great documentaries (I'm in both, but they're really good anyway!), a donation of $75 or more will get 'em both shipped straight to ya! (Snail mail also works for all of the above: Brad Friedman, 7095 Hollywood Blvd., #594, Los Angeles, CA 90028)
Congrats and thanks all around! People are getting the message because you are making noise!
In a clear victory for Ohio voters a federal judge and the State Supreme Court all agreed that voters can register to vote and vote all on the same day within a week-long period during early voting. The courts found that Secretary of State Brunner had, in fact, correctly interpreted a law passed by the state legislature.
Are you busy on Nov. 4? Of course you are going to vote but how about the rest of the day? Contact your county and volunteer to work for the election department for the day. Be a poll worker or work at the election office supporting the officials. Be involved. ...
[Ed Note: Cliff Arnebeck, the Ohio attorney representing the plaintiffs in the case discussed below, will be joining me Wednesday evening to talk about the case, when I sit in to Guest Host The Mike Malloy Show, which I'll be doing Wed-Fri this week, from 9p-Midnight ET (6p-9p PT) - BF]
A recent flurry of activity in the long-standing King Lincoln v. OH Sec. of State lawsuit concerning voting rights violations in the state during the 2004 election has resulted in the judge lifting the stay to allow depositions to be taken of key GOP tech-guru Mike Connell, and potentially others, such as Karl Rove.
A subpoena has now been served to Connell, who was recently described by the attorneys working on the case, as a 'high-IQ Forrest Gump...at the scene of every GOP crime.'
Federal District Court Judge Algenon Marbley's brief order [PDF], agreeing to lift the stay, was quietly issued on September 19th. It reads:
On motion of the plaintiffs and agreement of the defendant Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner, the stay in this matter is lifted for the sole purpose of permitting the plaintiffs to take the deposition of Michael Connell and any other witnesses whose testimony, in the judgment of these parties, may be warranted based upon the deposition of Michael Connell.
The BRAD BLOG had learned about the latest court action, which could soon entangle Rove as well, some time ago, but we were asked by parties involved in the case to embargo the information until such time as they were able to serve Connell with his subpoena...
In our featured article today we again get information about the pending shut-down of the Social Security Administration’s databases for maintenance. As related in the article by Wendy Weiser of the Brennan Center for Justice, this shut-down is important because:
A 2002 federal law, the Help America Vote Act, requires all states to "coordinate" their voter registration databases with the Social Security database (and state motor vehicle databases) for the purpose of processing new voter registration forms. For the millions of voters who do not have current driver's licenses and register using the last four digits of their Social Security numbers, state election officials are required to try to match their voter registration information against Social Security records. But if the Social Security database is down—as it will be for four days —they won't be able to do that. Across the country, the processing of these voter registration forms will grind to a halt for four days.
Why has the SSA scheduled this shut-down within three weeks of the Nov. election? Now Sen. Diane Feinstein has asked the same question. That letter can be found with the featured article...
Wow. These CBS/Katie Couric interviews on the economy with Sarah Palin are breathtaking. Cafferty's response afterwards is, on the other hand, a breath of fresh air in the corporate media.
If any serious John McCain supporter can claim, with a straight face, to actually have no problem voting for this woman for President, as that's what she's ostensibly running for, I'd sure like to hear it.
As it seems very few saw these when they originally aired (during the bailout panic last week), perhaps they need a bit more play. My god. Seriously, take a look at these...
Little wonder, then, that even rightwingers, after looking at this stuff, are starting to face reality, and call for Palin to be dropped from the ticket.
On CNN, Jack Cafferty was at least as alarmed by the interview as I was, noting on air that "If John McCain wins this woman will be one 72-year-old's heartbeat away from being President of the United States. And if that doesn't scare the hell out of you, it should." Take a look at his reaction...
Over 25 years ago one well-known political hack said this about voting, “I don't want everybody to vote. Elections are not won by a majority of people, they never have been from the beginning of our country and they are not now. As a matter of fact, our leverage in the elections quite candidly goes up as the voting populace goes down." Democracy is only effective when everyone participates. Please don’t be left out on election day. Make sure you are registered to vote now and ensure all of your information is correct and up-to-date and then exercise your right to that vote on election day. Forty-one states have a registration deadline between Oct 6 and Oct 20. Find out where to go to get information from your state HERE: ...
Kansas City Star is among the first out of the box to review the film, calling it a "Must See!" and declaring that it "plays like a high-tension political thriller."
The terrifying feature-length documentary, shot in high-definition video, details, for the first time, the complete Clint Curtis/Tom Feeney/Yang Enterprises vote-rigging scandal, in all of its, yes, sometimes very gory detail. It also tells a tale of the media, as it details my attempts to tell the story over the last four years, to a corrupt, detached, and too-often frightened corporate media. The BRAD BLOG broke the Curtis story originally in late 2004, and we've been investigating and reporting on it ever since.
The DVD of MSVL is finally available for purchase at VotingLies.com and will also be premiering beginning this weekend on LinkTV, for those of you lucky enough to get the satellite TV channel. See LinkTV's main Murder, Spies page for air dates and times, as well as an extended five-minute preview of the film. Sharaf has been kind enough to offer the DVD --- signed by herself and myself --- available as our newest, and perhaps most appropriate, BRAD BLOG premium ever! An online donation of $50 or more gets you your own copy! (And just in time for Halloween!) Snail mail works as well, if you prefer to send a check to: Brad Friedman, 7095 Hollywood Blvd., #594, Los Angeles, CA 90028. The support is greatly appreciated and very much needed.
LinkTV narrates their own 60-second preview of MSVL below...
For those who aren't familiar with the remarkable Curtis/Feeney story of the Florida software programmer who says he was asked by a powerful Republican to create vote-rigging software, where have you been? See this summary version for the quick details.
For those who are familiar with the story, you will learn details in MSVL you never knew, along with new interviews on the case from Gore Vidal, reporter Bob Fitrakis, computer security expert Harri Hursti, whistleblower Steve Heller, Curtis co-worker Mavis Georgalis, and many more!
While the Curtis story has been told, often beautifully, in a number of other documentaries, such as Uncounted: The New Math of American Elections and Stealing America: Vote-by-Vote, this is the first to go all the way into all of the frightening details underscoring this case, including the mysterious death of Florida's Inspector General Raymond Lemme while investigating the allegations, and the bizarre case of the convicted Chinese spy, Hai Lin "Henry" Nee, who worked at the firm with Curtis.
A few quotes from some of the early reviews:
"Must see!...Plays like a high-tension political thriller...Amazingly elaborate and detailed...Want to get hoppin' mad? This'll do it...Let's hear it for paper ballots." - Bob Butler, Kansas City Star
The film is also screening at a number of upcoming film-festivals around the country, including the New Jersey Film Festival this weekend. See the MSVL website for dates & times.
Four years later, I'm happy to still be here to see the release of the film, quite frankly. There were some pretty scary days back there. It's regrettable that nobody's yet gone to jail, but maybe we're getting closer. For many of you who found this blog because of the Curtis story back in 2004, thank you for all of the support throughout the years! I hope you'll get the film, enjoy it, and continue to spread the word.
Forty-one states have voter registration deadlines between Oct. 6 and Oct 20. One of the tools that states need is the online system provided by the Social Security Administration (SSA) that allows states to match Social Security Numbers on voter registration forms. So what does the SSA do? They schedule a total shutdown of their National Computer Center Building for annual maintenance from Oct. 10 to Oct. 13.
States are extremely busy right now checking a record number of new voter registrations. Closing down SSA’s online system, even over a weekend, will result in many new registrations not being filed and those new voters not being able to participate in this election. The chair of the Election Assistance Commission, Rosemary Rodriguez, has sent a letter to Social Security Commissioner Michael Astrue asking that the SSA reconsider the date of the shutdown.
There is now evidence, and an investigation by a county District Attorney, that the fraudulent act of “slamming” is happening in two California counties; San Bernardino and San Joaquin. “Slamming” is the act of changing the party affiliation of a voter without their consent and knowledge. ...