An Incredible Report Tying Together Dozens of Stories We've Been Reporting for Months here at BRAD BLOG!
(Thus exposing our secret news reporting center to the world! Damn her!)
By Brad Friedman on 7/11/2006, 7:00pm PT  

Wow...CourtTV's Catherine Crier on Crier Live just covered virtually everything we've ever discussed on this blog in one fell swoop! Had I known it was possible, I would have used five and a half minutes to tell all these stories, instead of the past two years! ;-)

As well, she included several incredibly kind words about both The BRAD BLOG and yours truly (and a picture of me to boot, sorry about that!) generously urging folks to visit this site:

If you want to learn about the state of our election process, I urge you to visit BradBlog.com. Brad Friedman has worked doggedly on this issue, amassing tons of valuable news and information on this subject.

She covered loads of stories that we've been secretly reporting here where the rest of the MSM could never ever notice... From the recent Busby/Bilbray Diebold voting machine "sleepover" fiasco to the Hand Count Fee scam that's followed, to the video-taped testimony of vote-rigging whistleblower Clint Curtis naming Rep. Tom Feeney (R-FL) as the rigger, to Bush-appointed former EAC commissioner DeForest Soaries' exposure of the cruel federal hoax, to now-disgraced Monterey County, CA Registrar of Voters Tony "Trust Me" Anchundo who faces 43 criminal counts and much more!

I was contacted recently by the show and they informed me they have been BRAD BLOG readers for quite a while. Their report this evening demonstrates that quite clearly. They managed to show, very smartly and in a single report, how all of these items we've been reporting on --- for what seems like forever --- actually all tie together. (What, no Ann Coulter Voter Fraud to boot? Maybe next week...)

I'd pull out some quotes, but it won't do her report justice. See the full video (courtesy of David Edwards, natch) or text transcript which are both available below.

I've been asked to appear on the show next week, and we're trying to work out the dates to see if it's possible, since --- theoretically --- I'm supposed to be hitting the road for a long-planned and much-needed vacation for several weeks after appearing at this weekend's DemocracyFest! in San Diego. But hopefully we'll work something out...


-- Video in Streaming Flash format...
-- Video in Windows Media format...

Below is the text transcript as forwarded by the good Crier Live folks [and edited slightly for legibility]...

CATHERINE CRIER LIVE: The Crier Wire
Airdate: July 11, 2006

CRIER: This past November, when Republican Congressman Randy "Duke" Cunnigham resigned his seat after pleading guilty to taking 2.4 mILLion dollars in bribes, many wondered if politics in California's 50th district could get any worse...((sot))"The truth is: I broke the law, concealed my conduct and disgraced my office."

VIDEO: "Hopefully, this 100-month sentence that Mr. Cunningham received will help restore the public's confidence in our system and respect for our laws."

CRIER: Well, the special election held to replace Cunnigham has not come close. Not even 24 hours after the polls closed and before the final count was certified, with a margin of only 4000 votes, Republicans declared Brian Bilbray the winner.

Six days later, House Speaker Dennis Hastert posed with Bilbray in a mock swear-in ceremony. The pose was for the benefit of the press, hopefully putting to rest any notion that Bilbray's victory was in question. Hours later, on the House floor, Brian Bilbray was sworn in for real.

((sot))

CRIER: You will well and faithfully .. 109th Congress (applause)

CRIER: So what's the problem?

The electronic voting machines used in the election had an unauthorized "sleepover" before election day. That's right. Volunteer poll workers were told to take the machines home with them. Some spent weeks in garages or in the backs of cars before going to the polling places. Now why is this a problem? Simple - the Diebold optical scan and touch-screen voting systems used in San Diego have been found to be easily hackable - How easily? New York University's Brennan School for Justice enlisted the help of a team of cyber security experts who determined that one person with sophisticated technical knowledge and timely access to the software could rig an entire election. Seems far-fetched?

IN MON: Clint Curtis

Meet computer progammer Clint Curtis. On December 13th, 2004, Curtis testified under oath to the House Judiciary on Voting Security, Here's what he had to say:

SOT--Curtis Testimony

VIDEO:

Q. Mr. Curtis, are there programs that can be used to secretly fix elections?

A. Yes.

Q. How do you know that to be the case?

A. Because in October of 2000, I wrote a prototype for congressman Tom Feeney at the company I worked for in Oviedo, Florida, that did just that.

Q. And when you say "did just that", you mean it would rig an election?

A. It would flip the vote 51-49 to whoever you wanted it to go to and which race you wanted to win.

Q. And would that program that you designed be something that elections officials that might be on county boards of elections could detect?

A. They'd never see it...

CRIER: They'd never see it.

As for the special election in California's 50th district, there are lingering questions. the San Diego County Registrar says a manual recount of the paper ballot trail would cost upwards of 150,000 dollars, payable by anyone who wants to know if the election is sound and secure. that's about a buck a vote for the district 50 contest. It is an arbitrary number, decided by the Election Board. In Orange County, a hand count is quoted at a cost of only fourteen cents a vote.

If you think the sleepover issue is bad: There are currently voting machine-related lawsuits and investigations in twenty states in our union.

Moving on: In the wake of Florida's 2000 Presidential Election uproar, President Bush set up the first-ever Election Assistance Commision.

IN MON: DeForest Soaries

He put the Reverend DeForest Soaries in charge. Soaries, a Republican, has since quit, telling Rolling Stone magazine:

"It wasn't until I worked in Washington on an issue as generic as this that i realized how pitiful and perhaps how hopeless Washington really is. For God's sake, if any issue should be the catalyst for bipartisan cooperation, this is the issue: voting. It was probably the worst experience of my life. i found that there is very little interest in Washington for true Election Reform."

And therefore, very little interest in real democracy.

IN MON: BRAD BLOG

If you want to learn more about the state of our election process, I urge you to visit Bradblog.com. Brad Friedman has worked doggedly on this issue, amassing tons of vaulable news and information on this subject. A recent entry of his sums up the most important question facing our democracy: Can we trust the people running our elections?

On a recent talk-show, Brad asked the Monterey County Registrar of Voters, Tony Anchundo, how he would proceed in the event of an election tally discrepancy. Andchundo told Brad Friedman:

Quote: "There is obviously going to have to be some trust and faith in the elections official, or in this case, it's me."

On July 6, the Salinas Californian newspaper reported that Tony Anchundo had just been charged with twenty-five counts of forgery, fourteen counts of misapplication of funds, three counts of embezzlement, falsification of accounts by a public officer and one count of grand theft.

I don't want simply to trust election officials, especially since so many are activists within their political parties. I don't want simply to trust election machinery that can easily be manipulated, altered or hacked into. Instead, I want to trust but verify. It is time for an independent non-partisan election commission to monitor registration and balloting across the country, and it is time to mandate complete, verifiable security for the votes cast by citizens on election day. Democracy begins with the sanctity of the ballot box. It musn't end there.

And that's The Crier Wire.