Happy Independence Day weekend! Stay safe! And we'll see ya on the other side...or as events warrant...
w/ Brad & Desi
w/ Brad & Desi
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...
GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal 2012...
The Secret Koch Brothers Tapes...
|MORE BRAD BLOG 'SPECIAL COVERAGE' PAGES...|
If the race for Sec. of State in Ohio is any indication, we may have still more evidence now to suggest that the decade-long Republican effort to enact disenfranchising poling place Photo ID restrictions, under the guise of fighting "voter fraud", may be turning a corner toward its final end as a viable GOP voter suppression strategy.
In May we wrote an article titled "Peak GOP 'Voter Fraud' Fraud?", offering several disparate clues to suggest that the well-funded, well-organized, initally under-the-radar national effort by Republicans to disenfranchise Democratic-leaning voters by requiring state-issued Photo ID they knew that many of them did not have, was headed towards a slow, but inevitable death.
That article followed on the heels of a seemingly devastating blow to Wisconsin's Photo ID restriction law by a federal judge who struck it down, finding in his landmark ruling that the statute was in violation of both the U.S. Constitution and the federal Voting Rights Act, and that it was "absolutely clear" that the GOP-enacted law in the Badger State would "prevent more legitimate votes from being cast than fraudulent votes."
Our legal analyst Ernie Canning analyzed the WI ruling along side the other federal challenges against similar laws that are still pending in states like Texas, North Carolina and Arkansas, to suggest the WI decision "does not bode well for Republicans who have been attempting to advance such electoral schemes in recent years, as based on misleading 'facts', wild claims and dishonest interpretations of case law and court precedent." His legal analysis attempts to explain why the WI case "would likely mark the beginning of the end for Republican-enacted, polling place Photo ID restrictions."
We'll see if we're right in the months ahead, but the race for Secretary of State currently under way in Iowa to replace the incumbent Republican SoS --- one who had been embarrassed to find next to no "voter fraud" after running in 2010 on the notion of stamping it out --- suggests that even Republicans are moving on to other ideas...
We've long regarded Maine's Republican Gov. Paul LePage as giving Arizona's Republican Gov. Jan Brewer a run for her money as the dumbest Governor in the nation, if not the dumbest in history.
But it appears that LePage has been making a real run for that latter title all along.
As early as 2011, we took notice just after LePage took office and immediately ordered the removal of a mural from the state's Dept. of Labor because it was too pro-uniony, or something. That and other "Tea Party"-ish behavior by the then new Governor resulted in a bunch of state Senators from his own party asking him, publicly, to tone it down a bit. "Were these isolated incidents, we would bite our collective tongues," the Republican lawmakers wrote in an op-ed at the time. "But, unfortunately, they are not isolated but frequent. Therefore, we feel we must speak out."
But that was just a taste for what was to come and what's been revealed about him this week...
IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Big Coal baron says Obama's 'evil', attacks wildly popular new EPA emissions standards; CNBC busted seeking climate change deniers; PLUS: Acting on climate and clean energy would boost global economy by $3 trillion dollars, finds World Bank ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Voters more likely to back climate-friendly candidates; Plastic debris widespread on ocean surface; Hanford nuclear site workplace secrecy agreements may violate federal whistleblower laws; Arkansas spill pollution case against Exxon can proceed: court; Canadian government's own experts warn of climate change, urge action; Boom meets bust in Texas: atop a sea of oil, poverty digs in; Polar Vortex silver lining raises water levels in Great Lakes .... PLUS: Russian hackers threaten power companies, US energy infrastructure ... and much, MUCH more! ...
Of course, when ALL CAPS you know it's serious! This love letter comes from someone named Alan Rockman at Facebook. For some reason, I was not allowed to reply to him there and I could not find his profile listed publicly. So I'll have to reply to him here instead. Either he's set himself to remain completely private, or he's been booted from Facebook. Given this unsolicited, if very thoughtful note he sent me recently, I wouldn't be surprised by either...
I was interviewed over the weekend by OpEd News' Joan Brunwasser on the death of the recent 'Recounts for the Rich' legislation that had been sailing through the CA legislature until The BRAD BLOG's exclusive exposé detailing exactly what it would mean for citizen election oversight highlighted the dangers of the provision and helped to kill it.
See my thoughts on that, the Dems who were helping to pass the terrible Republican bill, some other recent voting news (both good and bad) for California, and a few other related thoughts (like who I really blame for all the Supreme Court disasters of late) in my interview with Joan...
In related news, I hope you'll take a moment this week to read Charles Lewis' article at Politico, "Why I Left 60 Minutes", for yet another helpful reminder of the radical importance of truly independent media, and why I so much need your help to survive here to continue all that we do.
My great thanks to those who have already donated of late! But if you haven't, please consider doing so. A one time donation is great. A monthly sustaining contribution is even better, as it may help, if we can get enough of them, to bring at least some stability to what we're able to do here as we head into another general election season, and as our eleventh year fighting as many good fights as we can, continues...
(Snail mail support to "Brad Friedman, 7095 Hollywood Blvd., #594 Los Angeles, CA 90028" always welcome too!)
It's a very busy news day today. In particular, with the important decision from the U.S. Supreme Court (on corporations being granted religious rights and chipping away at more union rights) and the usual partisan chum which is irresistible to network and cable news wags, I'd hate to see this jaw-dropping report from James Risen at New York Times get lost amidst all the holiday week noise.
This amazing story reveals that the billion-dollar private security contracting firm Blackwater, hired by the George W. Bush Administration for all manner of things in Iraq and Afghanistan and elsewhere, was apparently even running rough-shod over the U.S. government itself. An investigation into allegations of their corrupt activities in 2007 --- well before their employees are said to have opened random automatic-weapon fire on a crowd in Iraq's Nisour Square (leading to deaths of 17 civilians, including a 9-year old boy) and the enormous blowback against U.S. troops and other interests that subsequently came with it --- was reportedly shut down by the Administration at the time after the firm's "top manager" in Iraq threatened the U.S. State Department's investigator looking into Blackwater's unbridled abuse of power and contract corruption.
According to documents buried by the U.S. government until now, Blackwater's chief in Iraq, Daniel Carroll warned State Dept. investigator Jean C. Richter to his face "that he could kill me at that very moment and no one could or would do anything about it as we were in Iraq".
The government's investigation of Blackwater went away almost immediately thereafter...
Mississippi's disgruntled Republican U.S. Senate candidate Chris McDaniel may want to be very careful about what seems to be his current hope of challenging the results of his GOP primary runoff last Tuesday, at least based on the "ineligible" voters he claims cast ballots across the state. If he's too effective in his challenge, he may actually end up seeing himself charged with voter fraud.
On June 3rd in the first primary round McDaniel barely bested Sen. Thad Cochran, but neither candidate received enough votes to avoid a runoff on June 24th, which Cochran is said to have won by just under 7,000 votes. The "Tea Party" candidate McDaniel, however, has yet to concede this week's runoff.
While McDaniel was believed to have been the favorite going into Tuesday's rematch, Cochran stepped up his campaign during the three weeks between the two elections. He even reached out to Democratic voters in the state, making the case that he, unlike McDaniel, was able to continue bringing in federal funding to the state for all manner of important infrastructure spending, from disaster relief to education aid to fighting against reductions in the food stamp program for the state's impoverished population.
At the same time, McDaniel, quite literally, vowed that he was "not going to do anything" for Mississippi voters, having finally taken the long trip to the ultimate dead-end of the "Tea Party" movement. "I'm going to get the government off your back, then I'm gonna let you do it for yourself," he explained in a Politico interview, which was happily exploited by the Cochran camp.
Then came the Tuesday race. And, surprise, the voters of Mississippi seemed to prefer Cochran's message to McDaniel's, according to the results reported by the *computerized vote tabulators in the state's 82 counties.
But McDaniel and his supporters aren't accepting the verdict reportedly delivered by the voters. On Election Night, McDaniel announced that there had been "literally dozens of irregularities reported all across this state," although he offered few specifics other than to blame his loss on "liberal Democrats." He added that "it's our job to make sure that the sanctity of the vote is upheld. Before this race ends, we have to be absolutely certain that the Republican primary was won by Republican voters."
It seems the "irregularities" he was referring to are his belief that Democratic voters had illegally voted in the June 24th open primary runoff.
Unfortunately for McDaniel, however, even if he is able to make the legal argument that that was true, and that enough ballots were cast by ineligible voters to affect the reported results of the election, he might well also have to end up admitting that he, himself, committed "voter fraud" when voting for himself last Tuesday night...
IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: The gloves are off - President Obama now just openly mocking climate change deniers; Pesticides linked to autism (again) and death of beneficial insects (again); Extreme weather kicks the FIFA World Cup in Brazil; PLUS: Shocker: Fox 'News' says the globe is cooling. They are wrong. (Again.)... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Is Congress lifting US crude oil export ban? No, not really.; If you think US climate politics are crazy, wait'll you see what just happened in Australia; Detroit shutting off water to thousands; Next-gen GMO crops are here and will increase use of pesticides; Doctors fail to instruct pregnant moms on toxic chemical risks; New study proves air pollution regulations save lives.... PLUS: 1 In 10 U.S. beaches too polluted for swimming ... and much, MUCH more! ...
Despite having their own 100-foot buffer zone of protection at the Court, the U.S. Supreme Court Justices unanimously struck down Massachusetts' state-wide 35-foot buffer around reproductive healthcare clinics in this country with their McCullen v Coakley decision today.
They have just announced that it is 'Open Season' on reproductive healthcare clinics in this country.
According to SCOTUS blog, where the decision was being reported live, the issue is about restricting free speech in public spaces: "A state can go beyond narrow laws that block obstructions to clinics, and more broadly ban abortion protests, only if it builds a record showing that the narrower measures don't work." (More at scotusblog.com)
I am a long-time clinic defense escort volunteer in cities from Los Angeles to Chicago to New York. The idea that the people standing outside clinics screaming and yelling, chasing people into the streets, surrounding medical transport vehicles and threatening staff are there for First Amendment expression reasons would be laughable if the potential for violence wasn't so real. They show up to intimidate patients and companions and terrorize communities.
More than 300 acts of violence were committed against reproductive healthcare clinics just between 2010 and 2012. That includes eight murders and seventeen attempted murders since 1991. More than 80% of facilities have called the police and National Abortion Federation members overwhelmingly report that buffer zones prevent violence and make staff and patients feel safer.
Apparently intimidation and terrorizing those seeking legal medical procedures is now an important First Amendment expression of "free speech", according to the Supreme Court Justices. The Court has weighed the safety of healthcare providers and American citizens against potential violence and has decided they aren't worried...
The case against Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R), charging that he ran a "criminal scheme" by coordinating his 2012 recall election campaign with about a dozen "outside" groups, is about much more than just Walker and his corruption.
On this week's BradCast on KPFK/Pacifica Radio, I spoke with Brendan Fischer, general counsel at the Center for Media and Democracy about what could be the very last piece of campaign finance law to fall in the wake of 2010's Citizens United and 2014's McCutcheon rulings by the U.S. Supreme Court. Depending on how the challenge against the case against Walker goes, there may be nothing left that keeps candidate campaigns from putting unlimited, undisclosed millions to work in buying our elections. In short, as I discussed with Fischer, democracy could well become even more hosed than it already is in this country. Who knew that was even possible, at this point?
Also, on this very busy BradCast on a very busy day: "the most prolific multiple voter in memory" (a case of massive GOP voter fraud in WI); the shadowy Photo ID initiative that went down in flames in CA; the terrible "recount" bill in CA that has now been (largely) killed following BRAD BLOG's recent exposé; a word or two about the latest absurdity in the GOP's pretend IRS "scandal"; and, as usual, Desi Doyen with the latest Green News Report and a some utter nonsense from Fox and Friends.
All of that and more (seriously) in this week's insanely busy BradCast! Enjoy!
Download MP3 or listen online below [appx 58 mins]...
A controversial California election reform bill that had been sailing through the state legislature with the inexplicable support of Democrats after being authored by a Republican lawmaker, has now been substantially rewritten --- some might say 'gutted'.
And that's a very good thing, according to Election Integrity experts we've spoken with.
Earlier this month, The BRAD BLOG wrote exclusively about AB 2369, a state bill which would have limited post-election voter-requested "recounts" in California to all but the very wealthy, given that it would have changed the state Election Code allowing any voter to request and pay for such a count, to require that the funding for the effort come "from the voter's own personal funds".
[NOTE: The BRAD BLOG generally uses quotes around the word "recount" to denote post-election hand-counts of ballots which have never actually been counted by human beings, but rather, only tabulated by computers. It's impossible to know whether those computers actually tallied votes accurately unless paper ballots are examined by hand.]
The new provision would have been a very big change to current law and, as we reported, would restrict voters from raising funds to help pay for such a count. In the process, it would have drastically reduced the opportunity for citizen oversight of public elections in the state.
Democrats in the state Assembly supported AB 2369, as authored by Republican Assemblyman Curt Hagman for unknown reasons. It passed out of the lower chamber late last month by an astounding 66 to 7 vote, before being sent on to the state Senate.
And then we noticed the bill...
Back during the 2012 election cycle, there were so many cases of voter fraud and voter registration fraud by Republicans --- even very very high profile ones --- that The BRAD BLOG found ourselves dubbing it the "Year of GOP Election Fraud".
Well, it looks like there were even more GOP vote fraudsters at work that year, including this amazing case just revealed by prosecutors from the contentious 2012 Wisconsin recall elections of Republican Gov. Scott Walker and a number of state Senators, as well as the incredibly close state Supreme Court race that became a proxy battle election between Walker supporters and opponents...
IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: U.S. Supreme Court upholds EPA authority on greenhouse gas emissions --- again; It's official - May 2014 was the hottest May on record; Canada's First Nations vote to fight the other tar sands pipeline; PLUS: Titans of Wall Street warn climate change is really, really expensive ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): How Rupert Murdoch created the world’s newest climate change villain; Carbon tax would boost global economy up to $2.6T a year; Autism risk higher near pesticide-treated fields; Save the Bees: widespread impacts of neo-nicotinoids 'impossible to deny; Insecticides put world food supplies at risk; Silver lining: CA drought is stopping spread of Sudden Oak Death disease; Feds failing to inspect over 1k high risk oil and gas wells .... PLUS: These maps show how many brutally hot days you will suffer when you're old ... and much, MUCH more! ...
Here's a bit of good news for California voters for a change: an effort to place a measure on the November 2014 ballot that would have implemented polling place Photo ID restrictions on voting in the Golden State has failed to gather enough signatures to qualify.
Similar voting restrictions enacted by Republicans around the country have recently been found to be in violation of both the U.S. Constitution and the federal Voting Rights Act. See this recent federal court ruling in Wisconsin, for instance, or this state ruling in Pennsylvania.
Despite those recent blows and others to GOP efforts to implement such policies, the aborted effort in California, headed up by a shadowy organization calling itself GuardMyVote.org, would deny the right to vote to otherwise legal voters who failed to present very specific types of Photo ID at the polls, or a photocopy of same for absentee voters. The legislative language of the detailed 7-page initiative [PDF] would have required voters to present a Photo ID with an expiration date that, among other requirements, "was issued by the United States or the State of California (excluding public colleges and universities)."
Why state-issued Photo ID from public colleges and universities would not have been acceptable is not stated in the proposed measure, but similar GOP-enacted Photo ID restrictions in other states have been found by courts and academic studies alike to disproportionately discriminate against those who tend to vote Democratic, including minorities, the elderly, the poor and student voters.
Had the initiative made it onto the ballot and then been adopted by California voters, it would have taken effect on January 1, 2016, just in time for that year's Presidential election cycle. The failed effort may also prove to be a dodged bullet for Pete Peterson, the state's 2014 Republican nominee for Secretary of State who would have also been on the same ballot. Peterson managed to dodge some of The BRAD BLOG's specific questions about his position on such initiatives in "blue" California.
In a short search, the only names The BRAD BLOG has been able to find involved in the failed CA Photo ID measure appear to be two Rightwingers, though it's unlikely that either crafted the detailed legislative language of the proposal. The woman who submitted the initiative to the state identifies herself as a "conservative" talk radio host who broadcasts out of Palm Springs, even though, as the summary of the initiative [PDF] created by the state Legislative Analyst and Director of Finance found, the fiscal impact of the initiative was anything but conservative. The initiative, if adopted, would have included increased costs to state and local governments "potentially in the range of tens of millions of dollars per year" and required a potential increase in state funding of elections to the tune of "about $100 million," according to the legislative analysis.
The slick GuardMyVote.org webpage describes the group as a "pending" non-profit, non-partisan 501(c)4 social welfare organization. According to the site's "About Us" page: "Guard My Vote is a non-profit volunteer organization dedicated to protecting the integrity of the vote and the voter rights of all eligible California citizens, native born or naturalized."
The site accepts contributions but offers no information on exactly who they are, or who has funded either the initiative or the website. For all of their claims about "integrity," the site fails to list a single name or organization backing the initiative, so we had to do a bit of digging...
A Few Great Blogs
· Baghdad Burning
· Brilliant at Breakfast
· Crooks and Liars
· Dan Froomkin
· Fired Up! Missouri
· Freedom's Phoenix
· Freeway Blogger
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· Washington Monthly
· Media Matters
· Nashua Advocate
· Oliver Willis
· RAW STORY
· Sanoma State's
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· Skippy the Bush Kangaroo
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· Bill Deore
· Bob Gorrell
· Cagle's Index
· Chan Lowe
· Don Wright
· Doug Marlette
· Glenn McCoy
· Jeff Danziger
· Joel Pett
· Mike Luckovich
· Non Sequitur
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· This Modern World
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