Do You? (And Any Help In Paying For It Is Much Appreciated)
By Brad Friedman on 9/16/2007, 10:30pm PT  

Finally catching my breath, and beginning to get back up to speed here at home after three months on the road. Given that I'd hoped to find a few much needed days off over the summer --- and largely failed, but for a few days snuck in here and there --- it seemed a worthy effort at reviewing some of what we were able to do here, even while on the road.

All of this by way of reminding folks that my work here at The BRAD BLOG is supported almost solely by the generosity of you readers. We sell a few ads occasionally, but it is your donations that give me a shot at paying my bills on time(ish) and covering the various expenses here. The rest I try to cover by an occasional freelance article where I can get one, and otherwise I continue to pray to the democracy gods that I'll be able to pay for food, rent, gas, and credit card bills. Somehow.

So your help is appreciated --- and relied upon! Online donations can be made at this link, or, preferably, you can use the blue form on the right side of every page to create a monthly "subscription" for any amount you like, or use the snail mail address there to send a paper-based contribution.

Having made that pitch, if you're still not convinced that you are needed to keep this place going --- and that keeping this place going is worth while --- here are just some of the highlights of both our reporting and other missions (the public ones anyway) that we were able to pull off even while on the road this past summer...

We started by speeding out to Atlanta where we were honored to join an esteemed bunch of folks to speak at the Carter Center as part of the Backbone Campaign's Progressive Summit. Most notably, I was able to help to begin cleansing the place from the evil juju that was left behind by the insidious scam that was carried out there in 2005 under the name of the James A. Baker/Jimmy Carter National Commission on Election Reform.

In the same week, we spoke at five different seminars at the U.S. Social Forums on behalf of VelvetRevolution.us on Election Reform, Media Reform, and Political Reform along with folks like David Cobb, Cynthia McKinney, Bob Fitrakis, and many others.

In Nashville, we were interviewed one last time for David Earnhardt's masterful and soon-to-be-released documentary, Uncounted. As well, we were able to meet with Election Integrity advocates out there, and speak up at a meeting of the Davidson County Board of Elections (and take on a Republican member of the Board to boot). We even managed to hold our own (at least) in a live radio debate with Larry Norden of NYU's Brennan Center for Justice.

In Houston, we Guest Hosted the Peter B. Collins Show for two weeks, featuring some tremendous interviews and at least one "Election Reform Hour" per day, during one of which we were able to get the first on-the-record interview with an ungagged Tova Wang. We raked much muck during our stint of 'Being the Broadcast Media' for a while. We were also honored to sit in as Guest Host for Pokey Anderson on The Sunday Monitor on Houston's Pacifica affiliate, KPFT, for an interview with "Diebold Whistleblower" Stephen Heller.

Up near Dallas, we made an interesting late-night visit to our "friends" at the Diebold Election Systems, Inc., headquarters in Allen, TX. That, just before they found it necessary to continue their ruse on the American public by changing their name (though not their policies or their crappy voting machines) to Premier Election Solutions.

Oh, and we caught what looks like Diebold officers pulling off some insider trading to boot, in the wake of then-plummeting stock prices!

In St. Louis, Missouri, we had the honor of being invited to meet with the editorial board of the once-great St. Louis Post-Dispatch, where we tried to speak a bit of truth to power. While in St. Louis, I spoke at a packed-house event in Kirkwood sponsored by Missourians for Honest Elections. Coverage of that event found its way on to the front page of the local paper, and helped to cause a bit of a stir on the local NPR station, KWMU. Both the article and the radio interview spurred a response --- in print and on the radio --- from the duplicitous and misleading St. Louis County Election Director John Diehl.

While in Kansas City we were able to connect with some of the folks at Show Me the Vote who are fighting for hand-counted paper ballots through a state initiative, and interviewed with several local radio stations, including an in-depth, two part interview on KFFI with Tom Klammer.

I hope to get back to both St. Louis and Kansas City for more muck-raking and trouble-making this fall as the schedule allows.

Then there were the stories we were able to break, or help cover here at The BRAD BLOG, from motel rooms and Internet cafes around the country. From CA SoS Debra Bowen's late-night press conference announcing results of her landmark "Top-to-Bottom Review" of e-voting machines; to the threat to take KLSD, San Diego's only Progressive Talk Radio Station, off the air; to Dan Rather's landmark report on sweatshop touch-screens by ES&S and, even more troubling, Sequoia's apparent attempt to game the paper punch-cards in the 2000 election and how it helped to seal up yet another "hole" in the criticism of Florida vote-rigging whistleblower Clint Curtis's allegations against Congressman Tom Feeney from 2000; to a double-murder suicide involving the death of Feeney's long-time campaign strategist; to exclusive coverage of Rep. Susan Davis's attempt to amend the Holt Bill to restrict the use of DRE voting systems... and much more, as that was just the tip of the proverbial iceberg, as daily readers know all too well.

Frankly, it was more than I'd hoped to do while rolling, since what I really needed was a few weeks completely off to help rest up from a couple of brutal years since '04. Especially with the knowledge that '08 is just around the corner.

But the fight for American Democracy waits for nobody and it seems --- unfortunately --- there are not many folks on the Internets or in the Media who do what we are able to do here. And so, with your help, we'll stay on the job whenever, wherever, and however we can.

Again, please consider either a one-time, online donation, or see the blue form on the right to create a monthly subscription. We'll also happily accept your snail mail contribution sent to:

Brad Friedman
7095 Hollywood Blvd., #594
Los Angeles, CA 90028

For those who have supported The BRAD BLOG when we've got premiums available for purchase, we hope to have some more of those in the near future, but hope you'll not wait until then, as we can use all the help you can muster both now and then.

Thanks again to those who joined the fight by Guest Blogging here over the summer, thanks for whatever you can do to contribute to our efforts, and a heartfelt thanks to so many of you who have already done so.

As the saying goes: Without you, we're nothing. So thanks for your support!