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Latest Featured Reports | Friday, August 1, 2014
Ladies and Gentleman, Lenar Whitney...
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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
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DOJ PROBE SOUGHT AFTER VA ARREST
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Arrest in VA: GOP Voter Reg Scandal Widens
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ALL TOGETHER: ROVE, SPROUL, KOCHS, RNC
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The belated and begrudging coverage by Fox' Eric Shawn includes two different video reports featuring an interview with The BRAD BLOG's Brad Friedman...

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CRIMINAL PROBE LAUNCHED INTO GOP VOTER REGISTRATION FRAUD SCANDAL IN FL
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CAUGHT ON TAPE: COORDINATED NATIONWIDE GOP VOTER REG SCAM
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The Secret Koch Brothers Tapes...

As the long slog continues, a legal analysis finds the Republican former Senator's case still 'dead in its tracks'...
By Ernest A. Canning on 3/9/2009 12:12pm PT  

Guest Blogged by Ernest A. Canning

Last Friday, Al Franken's legal team argued a motion for the court to summarily dismiss former Republican Sen. Norm Coleman's U.S. Senate election contest in Minnesota.

In support of the motion to dismiss, Franken attorney Marc Elias argued that Coleman had filed a "scattershot petition"; that in five weeks Coleman called more than 50 witnesses, placed in evidence thousands of pages of material, yet proved little more than a handful of previously-rejected absentee ballots should be opened and counted.

Moreover, Elias noted that eight of Coleman's original claims had been abandoned, pointed out that the court had previously ruled the parties had a burden of proving, on an individualized basis, that any previously-rejected, uncounted absentee ballots were lawfully cast, and thus, should now be counted.

Elias argued that while Franken was certified by the state canvassing board, at the end of the painstaking post-election hand-count, to have received 225 more votes than Coleman, the Coleman team, he said, had presented individualized evidence with respect to no more than nine (9) absentee ballots. Though, in the case of ballots cast by voters who did not appear to be registered, Elias conceded the Secretary of State had indicated, there may be as many as 100 ballots in which missing registration forms might be found inside the absentee ballot secrecy envelopes.

Elias argued that while trial courts ordinarily prefer to defer a ruling on a motion to dismiss until after both sides present their case, the expeditious nature of the proceedings and exigencies warrant an immediate dismissal, even before his team's own case is concluded...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 3/8/2009 7:10pm PT  

The wingnuts, apparently, are in a bit of a froth about Michelle Obama's rockin' cool, official White House portrait. Something about the sleeveless First Lady seems to be driving them batty. Though, admittedly, that's not a very long drive.

Jill C., over at the always-brilliant Brilliant at Breakfast, rolls up her own sleeves to examine why it is that Michelle may be getting under the skin of the rightwing mommy and MILF fetishists...

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By John Gideon on 3/7/2009 4:39pm PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon of VotersUnite.org

Voter ID news dominates today’s election news. Lawmakers in Mississippi are trying to figure out a way to revive a bill that the State Senate let die. In Oklahoma legislative hearings will be held next week. And in Texas members of the State Senate will be debating a bill next week. It appears likely that proponents of a Voter ID law will be using reports of voter impersonation from a 2008 Hidalgo Co. school board election as evidence of the need for a voter ID law. However opponents have found that these reports may have been manufactured and the state’s Attorney General may have been hiding these records so the proponents could use the evidence without any argument from the opponents. The AG has previously made statements about wide-spread voter fraud and voter impersonation but when these charges were investigated by the AG’s office they failed to find any but very technical violations and nothing at all that could be considered to be wide-spread.

Don’t forget to set your clock ahead for Daylight’s Savings Time tonight....

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

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By John Gideon on 3/6/2009 4:23pm PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon of VotersUnite.org

The large majority of this evenings news is, again, from Minnesota. This is a story that just keeps on giving. A month or so ago some were predicting a final decision as to whom is the Senator from Minnesota would not be made until sometime in April. It looks good for that prediction. Have A Good Weekend!...

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

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Oh, and about that ACORN voter fraud...
By Brad Friedman on 3/6/2009 12:29pm PT  

In the Minnesota Independent's coverage of former Sen. Norm Coleman's latest push for a "do-over" election, they also point to our recent coverage of GOP chair Michael Steele's obnoxious and absurd fund raising email to GOP members:

Actually it’s surprising Republicans would even consider letting Franken off with a simple do-over when they’ve got the goods on him. According to a Monday fund-raising letter from RNC Chair Steele, Franken is “stealing Norm Coleman’s U.S. Senate seat in Minnesota.”

Well, that's a good point, isn't it? With Steele, the Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee, the Republican National Lawyer's Association, and all of their affiliated wingnuts claiming over and over that Franken is "stealing" the election (as we detailed and linked in our report), why aren't the Republicanists calling for criminal charges to be brought against him?

It does seem rather gracious of them to allow Franken to compete in a "do-over" for a U.S. Senate seat which they claim to have evidence of him trying to "steal" in the first place, no?

Are the wingnuts just nice that way? Or are they just full of shit? Hmmm, tough call.

(BTW, with all of those charges by the Republicanists, before the election, of ACORN committing massive "voter fraud," shouldn't Coleman and the Republicanists have brought forward their evidence for that during this important election contest trial, since they seem to have lost by only about 250 votes? Especially in MN, where ACORN helped to register more than 42,000 new voters prior to last year's election? With all of those fraudulent ACORN voters, and with Coleman's team having gone over every single vote cast with a fine-tooth comb, you'd think the GOP could have offered evidence of at least one case of "voter fraud" committed by ACORN in MN, no? Apparently not.)

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By John Gideon on 3/5/2009 4:31pm PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon of VotersUnite.org

A Diebold/Premier spokesman, Chris Riggall, has finally spoken about the California Secretary of State’s report on the discovery of violations of the accuracy standards required by federal law and violations of the voting systems standards. In our featured article Riggall shrugs off their violations by minimizing the report.

"I think it's fair, from our perspective, to say that the report editorializes in a number of ways that don't reflect the sort of even-handedness that one would like to see," Riggall said, adding that he sees the software error simply as a "contributing factor" to Humboldt County's inaccurate election results. "To say it caused it and to solely attribute that discrepancy to the software is, in our judgment, not accurate and not objective."

I say balderdash. Diebold knew they had a problem back in 2004 and they issued "work arounds." If they had a problem and knew it why did they not recall the software and provide good software in its place? Why did they not provide warnings and instructions in their operator’s manual? Why did they only send an email with a two paragraph attachment that didn’t even have the company’s logo on it? What did/does the company have to hide? How many elections nationally were affected before Diebold discovered the problem? How many elections were affected after Diebold sent their unofficial "work around"? ...

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

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'It's a non-issue', source tells The BRAD BLOG, federal law already 'makes it a crime to lie to Congress, regardless of oath'
UPDATED: Siegelman whistleblower Simpson responds: 'I had to take oath'...
By Brad Friedman on 3/5/2009 2:49pm PT  

[See update at bottom of article, for response from whistleblower in Don Siegelman case.]

Given the questions concerning whether or not Karl Rove and Harriet Miers will be required to testify under oath as part of their agreement to give "transcribed depositions under penalty of perjury" concerning the U.S. Attorney purge scandal, as announced yesterday by House Judiciary chairman John Conyers, we thought we'd seek some clarification.

We asked a senior source on the U.S. House Judiciary team whether or not taking an oath before testifying would be required, or whether the agreement requires Rove and Miers not be placed under oath. Writes our source in reply:

NO oath is required for congressional testimony. 18 USC 1001 (copied below) make it a crime to lie to congress, regardless of whether there is an oath. Penalties are the same as traditional perjury, where an oath is given (as in a court of law). There is no difference. When oaths are given in congress, it is generally for the cameras or to remind the witness of his obligations. On the latter point, the same can be accomplished by reminding about a witness's obligations under 18 usc 1001. This is a non issue.

See the copy of 18 USC, Sec. 1001, as sent by the House Judiciary source below...

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

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With Brad Friedman & Desi Doyen...
By Desi Doyen on 3/5/2009 1:00pm PT  

IN TODAY'S REPORT: British Prime Minister Gordon Brown calls on America to lead the way to a global green economy ... Happy birthday to the hybrid-electric car ... Obama vows to return science to the Endangered Species Act ... and a Republican governor proposes taxes on free water!

Got your own green thoughts? Leave 'em in comments, or drop us a line at GreenNews@BradBlog.com! All reports are archived for your listening and reading pleasure at GreenNews.BradBlog.com.

Download MP3 (6 mins), or listen online here...

Info/links on stuff we talked about on today's episode, plus MORE green news, all follows below...

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By John Gideon on 3/4/2009 4:23pm PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon of VotersUnite.org

On the heels of yesterday’s announcement of a letter to the Election Assistance Commission (EAC) and a full report on the findings of an investigation by the California Secretary of State’s office, we have articles from Kim Zetter in her blog for Wired Magazine and one from one of the principles of the “Humboldt County Election Transparency Project,” Mitch Trachtenberg that is posted on The BRAD BLOG.

Yesterday I mentioned the letter sent by the Secretary of State to the EAC. In that letter is a request by Bowen that the EAC “consider requiring that, for every voting system certified by the EAC, the voting system vendor report any and all flaws and problems with the system to the EAC and to the elections officials in the states where the system is used when such flaws are discovered.” This morning I was reminded by a member of the EAC staff, who receives DVN, that in the “Testing and Certification Manual” the EAC already requires what the Secretary has suggested they require....

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

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By Brad Friedman on 3/4/2009 3:00pm PT  

Just in from Conyers' office. Rove and Miers will testify, under oath [see explanation in update below], in "transcribed depositions under penalty of perjury"...

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

House Judiciary Committee Secures Rove and Miers Testimony in U.S. Attorney Firings

In an agreement reached today between the former Bush Administration and Congressman John Conyers, Jr. (D-Mich.), Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, Karl Rove and former White House Counsel Harriet Miers will testify before the House Judiciary Committee in transcribed depositions under penalty of perjury. The Committee has also reserved the right to have public testimony from Rove and Miers. It was agreed that invocations of official privileges would be significantly limited.

In addition, if the Committee uncovers information necessitating his testimony, the Committee will also have the right to depose William Kelley, a former White House lawyer who played a role in the U.S. Attorney firings.

The Committee will also receive Bush White House documents relevant to this inquiry. Under the agreement, the landmark ruling by Judge John Bates rejecting key Bush White House claims of executive immunity and privilege will be preserved. If the agreement is breached, the Committee can resume the litigation.

Chairman Conyers issued the following statement:

"I have long said that I would see this matter through to the end and am encouraged that we have finally broken through the Bush Administration's claims of absolute immunity. This is a victory for the separation of powers and congressional oversight. It is also a vindication of the search for truth. I am determined to have it known whether U.S. Attorneys in the Department of Justice were fired for political reasons, and if so, by whom."

UPDATE 3/5/09: A U.S. House Judiciary source tells The BRAD BLOG that no oath will be given, and none is necessary, as lying to Congress is already a federal crime. Details now posted here...

UPDATE 3/6/09: The complete agreement with Rove and Miers is now posted here...

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New CA SoS report confirms findings of 'Humboldt Transparency Project,' discovers even more egregious failures in widely-used Diebold voting counting system
One of the citizens who designed the software, responsible for the startling discoveries, offers his thoughts...
By Mitch Trachtenberg on 3/4/2009 1:40pm PT  

Guest Blogged by Mitch Trachtenberg of the Humboldt County Election Transparency Project

California Secretary of State Debra Bowen has released a remarkable 13-page report [PDF] of her office's investigation into how the Diebold/Premier GEMS software silently dropped all votes contained on 197 ballots from the Humboldt County, California, November 2008 general election.

The report shows that this version of GEMS not only deleted a batch of ballots without any request by --- or alert to --- the elections staff, but also failed to note the deletion in the system's audit log. The report also points to other startling deficiencies with Diebold/Premier's software: "Key audit trail logs in GEMS version 1.18.19 do not record important operator interventions such as deletion of decks of ballots, assign inaccurate date and time stamps to events that are recorded, and can be deleted by the operator."

That's right. The Diebold/Premier vote tabulation system in question not only fails to record all events accurately, and sometimes at all, it also allows anyone with access to the system to completely delete audit logs, covering the tracks of any tampering that may have occurred, at any time, on the system.

Any of these flaws, the report concludes, "appears to violate the 1990 Voting System Standards to an extent that would have warranted failure of the GEMS version 1.18.19 system had they been detected and reported by the [federal] Independent Testing Authority [ITA] that tested the system."...

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

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The democracy the U.S. helped to create in Germany gets it, while, as usual, the U.S. itself remains largely clueless and/or indifferent to the need for transparency in its own...
By Brad Friedman on 3/4/2009 10:42am PT  

A finding by the "highest court" in Germany has found electronic voting to be unconstitutional...

Germany's highest court has ruled that the use of electronic voting in the last general election was unconstitutional.
..
September's upcoming elections looks set to see a return to the more traditional pencil and paper countrywide.

Constitutional judge Andreas Vosskuhle said that the judgment did not rule out digital voting for once and for all, but added that the equipment used four years ago did have shortcomings.
...
The use of electronic voting was challenged by a father-and-son team. Political scientist Joachim Wiesner and son, physicist Ulrich Wiesner complained that push button voting was not transparent because the voter could not see what actually happened to his vote inside the computer and was required to place "blind faith" in the technology.

In addition, the two plaintiffs argued that the results were open to manipulation.

It took only four years, since e-voting was first deployed widely in Germany, for the country, and its highest court, to find that secret vote counting was unacceptable in a democracy, while the political-structure, media-structure and judicial-structure in the U.S. still remain largely clueless, or otherwise uninterested in either transparency or democracy.

Congratulations are due to our German EI advocacy brethren (as well as those in Holland who figured it out long before Americans did, as well):

German hacker-cum-data-protection group Chaos Computer Club has been spearheading a campaign with the Dutch foundation Wij vertrouwen stemcomputers niet (We don't trust voting computers) to stop the further spread of electronic voting because of fears about the risk of electronic errors and the potential for abuse.

In 2008, the Dutch government decertified the use of existing paperless systems and rejected a proposal to develop a new generation of voting computers.

Germany and Holland: Our new shining cities upon a hill.

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By John Gideon on 3/3/2009 4:10pm PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon of VotersUnite.org

Yesterday, the California Secretary of State released a letter [PDF] to the U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC) and a report of their findings with regards to the problem discovered in early December, in Humboldt Co., with disappearing ballots on the Diebold GEMS v. 1.18.19 voting system.

The letter actually challenges the EAC to take action in “requiring that, for every voting system certified by the EAC, the voting system vendor report any and all flaws and problems with the system to the EAC and to the elections officials in the states where the system is used when such flaws are discovered.” And Secretary Bowen has taken the action herself by sponsoring legislation in California that will do what she has challenged the EAC to do.

The report is amazing in that it reveals why our voting systems are failing. The issues with the GEMS software go much deeper than just the fact that the system may lose votes. The state also found readily apparent violations of the federal voting system standards. These violations seem to have been ignored by federal test labs, by the National Assoc. of State Election Directors (NASED), and their consultants who qualified the voting system for use, and by-passed CA Secretaries of State and their consultants.

The big question is, will the EAC, staffed by people who were involved in the original NASED “rubber-stamp” of GEMS 1.18.19, take any action? Will they post the letter and report it in their “clearinghouse?” We certainly hope so. The present CA Secretary of State, Debra Bowen, and her staff deserve congratulations and appreciation for a job well done so far. It will be interesting to hear what follow-up actions will now be taken on the federal and state levels....

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

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Hysterical fund raising letter from Michael Steele charges MN's 'Democrat' Senator-elect's apparent victory a 'tragic injustice,' 'outrageous power grab'...
By Brad Friedman on 3/3/2009 2:40pm PT  

The "one and only true party of the people" hoping to "rebuild...from the grassroots up," according to an email from its new chairman Michael Steele, seems to be having trouble doing anything differently from the old GOP party. At least if the latest fund raising letter from Steele, charging "liberal Democrat comedian Al Franken" as "stealing Norm Coleman's U.S. Senate seat in Minnesota," is any indication.

On the same day that former Senator Coleman rested his so-far failed case in his election contest in St. Paul against apparent Senator-elect Al Franken, the new GOP chair sent a missive to supporters, begging for money, using the same old failed tactics of the RNC of old; namely, lying to supporters about facts, offering specious, unsupported allegations of Democrats "stealing" elections (despite all evidence to the contrary), making liberal use of the word "liberal," and referring to Democratic party members as "Democrat" party members.

Steele's shameless email (posted in full at the end of this article) echoes the RNC's so-far failed conspiracy-theory strategy to "win" the Senate seat, as previously used by the Coleman camp, the Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee (RSCC), the Republican National Lawyer's Association (RNLA), and GOP propagandists from Hannity to Rush to the wingnut blogosphere which dutifully repeat all of their tin-foil hattery, and/or supply it to them in the first place...

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

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With Brad Friedman & Desi Doyen...
By Desi Doyen on 3/3/2009 11:39am PT  

IN TODAY'S REPORT: March begins with a march on the Capitol Hill power plant; California and China want for water; John Kerry challenges George Will to a green fight in the schoolyard!

The creator of Buzz Flash, Mark Karlin, says the Green News Report is "exciting and informative," and adds: "Brad and Desi dare not to bore! BuzzFlash listens to every Green News Report." Thanks Mark!

Have your own opinion of GRN? Leave 'em here in comments, or drop us a line at GreenNews@BradBlog.com! All reports are archived for your listening and reading pleasure at GreenNews.BradBlog.com.

Download MP3 (6 mins), or listen online here...

Info/links on stuff we talked about on today's episode, plus MORE green news, all follows below...

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

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