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Latest Featured Reports | Tuesday, May 31, 2016
A Minimum Income and Maximum Infrastructure?: 'BradCast' 5/26/16
Guest host Angie Coiro with Dave Johnson of Campaign for America's Future; Plus: Historians on the Trump/Hitler comparison...
L.A. County Clerk Explains 'Uncharted Territory' of CA Primary: 'BradCast' 5/25/16
Guest: L.A. Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk Dean Logan; Plus: Orange County, CA pollworker-in-training w/ viral video calls in...
Why Dems Should be BEGGING Sanders to Stay in Through CA: 'BradCast' 5/24/16
Guest: Washington Monthly's David Atkins; Plus: Sanders files for 'recanvass' in KY and very good news for OH voters!...
'Green News Report' 5/19/16
  w/ Brad & Desi
Canada insurers call for climate strategy; Pakistan and India heat wave; Renewables record in Portugal; Exxon killed the electric car; PLUS: Trump preps for rising seas (really!)...
Previous GNRs: 5/19/16 - 5/17/16 - Archives...
Think Twice About 'Bernie or Bust': 'BradCast' 5/23/16
Columnist and Sanders supporter Harold Meyerson offers some historic warnings for other Sanders supporters; Also: More bad polls for Clinton; More bad 'track conditions' for Dems; Planet's climate crisis worsens...
Sunday Toons of the Slowly-Realized Moment
A number of toons in PDiddie's collection of this week's best should be prize winners, frankly. Check them all out...
Jill Stein: 'We're Seeing the Dean Scream of 2016': 'BradCast' 5/19/16
The Green Party's 2012 Presidential nominee and 2016 candidate offers thoughts on Dems, Sanders, the 'two-party system', the 'spoiler effect' and more in our exclusive interview...
'Green News Report' 5/19/16
  w/ Brad & Desi
Trump will toss UN climate pact; Coal export terminal halted in WA; Nestle water plant halted in OR; Duke ordered to close coal ash pits in NC; PLUS: Another climate win for kids in MA...
Previous GNRs: 5/17/16 - 5/12/16 - Archives...
OR, KY Results, And 'Fraud' Concerns Examined (Where Possible): 'BradCast' 5/18/16
Also: Climate disaster in Sri Lanka; CT adds automatic voter registration; KS ordered to restore voting rights to 18,000...
Trump Gains on Clinton; Big Win Against Coal in WA State: 'BradCast' 5/17/16
Sierra Club's Mary Anne Hitt on another huge win for grassroots activism; And corporate media fails us again...
'Green News Report' 5/17/16
Global climate protests ignored by MSM; New evacuations for Ft. McMurray fire; New EPA methane rules; Shell spills in Gulf; A win for whales; PLUS: April 2016 hottest ever...
MO Repubs Seek To State Amendment To Impose Photo ID Voting Restrictions
Some state Dems back 'compromise' that will leave 200k legally registered voters at risk of disenfranchisement...
SCOTUS Punts ObamaCare Case; NV Dems Descends Into Chaos: 'BradCast' 5/16/16
Ian Millhiser on Court's latest unprecedented (post-Scalia) move; Chaos at NV state Dem convention...
Sunday Toons of the Moment
Big Government bathroom inspections in NC, Trump and Sanders shaking up the establishment, and more in PDiddie's collection of the week's best political toons...
Strange Days Indeed: 'BradCast' 5/13/16
Oil Spills; Pathological Trump lies; GOP transgender freak outs; EXCLUSIVE details on MD's decertification of Baltimore's 4/26 Primary Election results...
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...
Brad's Upcoming Appearances
(All times listed as PACIFIC TIME unless noted)
Media Appearance Archives...
'Special Coverage' Archives
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
State investigators widening criminal probe of man arrested destroying registration forms, said now looking at violations of law by Nathan Sproul's RNC-hired firm...

DOJ PROBE SOUGHT AFTER VA ARREST
Arrest of RNC/Sproul man caught destroying registration forms brings official calls for wider criminal probe from compromised VA AG Cuccinelli and U.S. AG Holder...

Arrest in VA: GOP Voter Reg Scandal Widens
'RNC official' charged on 13 counts, for allegely trashing voter registration forms in a dumpster, worked for Romney consultant, 'fired' GOP operative Nathan Sproul...

ALL TOGETHER: ROVE, SPROUL, KOCHS, RNC
His Super-PAC, his voter registration (fraud) firm & their 'Americans for Prosperity' are all based out of same top RNC legal office in Virginia...

LATimes: RNC's 'Fired' Sproul Working for Repubs in 'as Many as 30 States'
So much for the RNC's 'zero tolerance' policy, as discredited Republican registration fraud operative still hiring for dozens of GOP 'Get Out The Vote' campaigns...

'Fired' Sproul Group 'Cloned', Still Working for Republicans in At Least 10 States
The other companies of Romney's GOP operative Nathan Sproul, at center of Voter Registration Fraud Scandal, still at it; Congressional Dems seek answers...

FINALLY: FOX ON GOP REG FRAUD SCANDAL
The belated and begrudging coverage by Fox' Eric Shawn includes two different video reports featuring an interview with The BRAD BLOG's Brad Friedman...

COLORADO FOLLOWS FLORIDA WITH GOP CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION
Repub Sec. of State Gessler ignores expanding GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal, rants about evidence-free 'Dem Voter Fraud' at Tea Party event...

CRIMINAL PROBE LAUNCHED INTO GOP VOTER REGISTRATION FRAUD SCANDAL IN FL
FL Dept. of Law Enforcement confirms 'enough evidence to warrant full-blown investigation'; Election officials told fraudulent forms 'may become evidence in court'...

Brad Breaks PA Photo ID & GOP Registration Fraud Scandal News on Hartmann TV
Another visit on Thom Hartmann's Big Picture with new news on several developing Election Integrity stories...

CAUGHT ON TAPE: COORDINATED NATIONWIDE GOP VOTER REG SCAM
The GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal reveals insidious nationwide registration scheme to keep Obama supporters from even registering to vote...

CRIMINAL ELECTION FRAUD COMPLAINT FILED AGAINST GOP 'FRAUD' FIRM
Scandal spreads to 11 FL counties, other states; RNC, Romney try to contain damage, split from GOP operative...

RICK SCOTT GETS ROLLED IN GOP REGISTRATION FRAUD SCANDAL
Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL) sends blistering letter to Gov. Rick Scott (R) demanding bi-partisan reg fraud probe in FL; Slams 'shocking and hypocritical' silence, lack of action...

VIDEO: Brad Breaks GOP Reg Fraud Scandal on Hartmann TV
Breaking coverage as the RNC fires their Romney-tied voter registration firm, Strategic Allied Consulting...

RNC FIRES NATIONAL VOTER REGISTRATION FIRM FOR FRAUD
After FL & NC GOP fire Romney-tied group, RNC does same; Dead people found reg'd as new voters; RNC paid firm over $3m over 2 months in 5 battleground states...

EXCLUSIVE: Intvw w/ FL Official Who First Discovered GOP Reg Fraud
After fraudulent registration forms from Romney-tied GOP firm found in Palm Beach, Election Supe says state's 'fraud'-obsessed top election official failed to return call...

GOP REGISTRATION FRAUD FOUND IN FL
State GOP fires Romney-tied registration firm after fraudulent forms found in Palm Beach; Firm hired 'at request of RNC' in FL, NC, VA, NV & CO...
The Secret Koch Brothers Tapes...

Prosecutor, Witness, Jury Forewoman, Victim All Regret
'Texas murdered an innocent person' says Co-Defendant
By Brad Friedman on 11/22/2005 5:36pm PT  

Were it not for our world gone mad, this is the sort of thing I wish I was able to report more about. According to a recent report in the Houston Chronicle it appears that an innocent man was likely executed in the state in 1993.

The prosecutor, the jury forewoman and the one lone eye-witness all seem to now believe they executed an innocent man.

From Reuters coverage of the Chronicle's story:

"Ruben Cantu had nothing to do with the murder, attempted murder and robbery of the two men ... I should know," a friend and fellow gang member, David Garza, told the newspaper.

Cantu, only 17 when the crime took place, was convicted of murdering Pedro Gomez during a 1984 robbery largely on the testimony of a single eyewitness, Juan Moreno. Moreno, then 19, an illegal immigrant wounded during the robbery, now says he is positive Cantu was not at the scene.

Moreno twice failed to identify Cantu to police, but did so when they asked him a third time, the Chronicle said. Cantu was put to death by lethal injection in 1993, when he was 26.

"(Police) told me they were certain it was him, and that's why I testified," Moreno told the newspaper. "That was bad to blame someone that was not there."
...
Miriam Ward, forewoman of the jury that sent Cantu to his fate, said the entire process failed.

"We did the best we could with the information we had, but with a little extra work, a little extra effort, maybe we'd have gotten the right information," she told the newspaper. "The bottom line is an innocent person was put to death for it. We all have our finger in that."

Perhaps the worst part is that Cantu could not have been executed today since the Supreme Court "ruled this year that executions are illegal for crimes committed by minors."

In the meantime, I haven't been able to find where I read it recently, but as I recall there has been a move afoot by lawmakers to decrease the length of time that Death Row inmates have to appeal their cases and/or prove their innocence. (I welcome any BRAD BLOG readers who might have links to post on that in comments.)

Prior to the systematic killing of thousands of innocent folks around the world, I might have liked to have spent more time in the pursuit of stopping the shameful practice of our government killing its own citizens...whether they are guilty of a crime or not. No government should be in the business of putting its own citizens to death. Period. Our country has plenty of shame to go around for this continuing and morally reprehensible practice.

(Hat-tip RAW STORY for the reminder about this story!)




By John Gideon on 11/22/2005 5:20pm PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon of VotersUnite.org

Yesterday the CA SoS held a hearing regarding the state certification of the Diebold TSx DRE. The hearing was held in a room that was difficult to locate and was held in front of a microphone attached to a tape recorder. This is what the SoS seems to think of as democracy. In regards to the Diebold machine and Diebold's actions so far, Jim March of BlackBoxVoting had this to say, "If you don't want to be accused of cheating at cards, don't let aces fall out of your sleeves at every step." Bev Harris and Jim March are going to be allowed to do their ‘hack' into a Diebold machine on Nov. 30....

ADDITIONAL INFO FROM BRAD: The California Secretary of State's office will accept public comment on the certification of the Diebold TSx touchscreen voting machine until next week. To submit a comment, visit www.ss.ca.gov/elections/elections_vs.htm, call (916) 653-6814 or email votingsystemcomment@ss.ca.gov.

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




As the Democracy-be-Damned Media Continue to Wait for the Politicians They Cover to Tell Them What They Should Cover
By Brad Friedman on 11/22/2005 3:52pm PT  

Mark Crispin Miller, author of the new book FOOLED AGAIN, which makes the case that Election 2004 was stolen, and so will be the 2008 Election unless something is done --- and quick! --- responds in a letter to the editor to critical coverage by both Slate's Farhad Manjoo and Mother Jones' Mark Hertzgaard.

Manjoo has written numerous articles for Slate pooh-poohing the theory that anything went particularly wrong in the 2004 Presidential Election and recently wrote a critical review of Miller's new book. In his foolish review of Miller, Manjoo embarrasses himself by suggesting that he --- and the rest of the media --- would bother to give a damn about the mountain of demonstrable problems in our democracy if only John Kerry or the mainstream Democrats bothered to complain about it. He thus sets aside any responsibility that he might have as has a watchdog for our democracy...unless instructed to do so by some politician or another. Shameful.

In Hertzgaard's long feature article at MoJo, he claims to have done "some reporting of [his] own" to look into the claims made by Miller and others who have been investigating the mountain of problems from last November. And yet, the work Hertzgaard turns in --- while it looks and reads a whole lot like reporting --- contained damned little of it. What it did contain was little more than half-baked. His recurring tactic in "reporting" on each of the "irregularities" he chooses to examine can be summed up this way: "Folks who challenge the election claim this, but those who disagree say that, therefore, that proves there's nothing here to worry about, folks!" It's really ludicrous and atrocious, --- as many astute MoJo letter writers point out --- and just one of the reasons I haven't bothered to highlight his article until now.

We won't comment on Miller's book itself, since we've yet to read more than just the excerpts from FOOLED AGAIN as published recently in Harper's. But we did read the two articles by Manjoo and Hertzgaard and came away less than impressed as you can tell. Most disappointingly so in MoJo since we like them, and indeed have an article upcoming ourselves in their January '06 issue.

Miller's money quotes from his full letter:

Both Manjoo and Hertsgaard have dismissed my book as an extended exercise in wishful thinking by a diehard partisan, portraying themselves as skeptical, hard-headed journalists, devoted only to "the facts." But it is they who are the partisans; for in their staunch refusal to perceive the glaring evidence of fraud, they are merely echoing the tense accommodationism of the over-cautious Democratic Party. In other words, they claim to see "no story" in last year's race because the Democrats (with all too few exceptions) claim there isn't one--a sort of faith-based journalism every bit as dangerous as the kind that has us fighting in Iraq. Surely we must base our civic conduct on reality itself, and not on what the stars of either party claim "reality" to be.
...
But this is not about John Kerry's image, any more than it's about the sales of Fooled Again, or about Salon's political position, or Farhad Manjoo's or Mark Hertsgaard's career. It's about the mammoth threat confronting this republic, which will not last if we continue to ignore the scandal of last year's election. If anyone should be attacked, it's those extremists who conspire against American democracy, and not those citizens who try to talk about it.



Freshman Congresswoman Has Long Relationship with Far-Right Wingnut Danny Bubp
Her Website May Also Be in Violation of Law, House Rules
By Brad Friedman on 11/22/2005 12:55pm PT  

The Marine Corps Reserve Colonel whom freshman Congresswoman Jean Schmidt (R-OH) claimed she was quoting last week when she delivered his "message" on the floor of the U.S. House that "cowards cut and run, Marines never do" has disavowed that statement and denies having made it to Schmidt.

The comment was directed to 37-year Marine colonel and combat veteran, Rep. John Murtha (D-PA). says she got his comments wrong.

Danny Bubp, a freshman state representative who is a colonel in the Marine Corps Reserve, told The Enquirer that he never mentioned Rep. John Murtha, D-Pa., by name when talking with Schmidt, and he would never call a fellow Marine a coward.
...
"There was no discussion of him personally being a coward or about any person being a coward," Bubp said. "My message to the folks in Washington, D.C., and to all the Congress people up there, is to stay the course. We cannot leave Iraq or cut and run - any terminology that you want to use."
...
"I don't want to be interjected into this. I wish she never used my name."

Schmidt's comment on the floor of the House has caused a firestorm of debate since they were uttered, forcing the recently-elected Congresswoman to apologize and retract them shortly thereafter.

Nonetheless, Schmidt has a long working relationship with Bubp. Schmidt has worked alongside him advocating for far-Rightwing and Fundamentalist Christian causes together over the years as reported by Max Blumenthal.

Cincinnati Enquirer has more on the fallout in wake of Schmidt's comments pointing to some of her statements, during her swearing in just a few months ago, that she would never do such a thing...She must have just been kidding.

Several bloggers called on Schmidt and Bubp to apologize and resign their offices. Others compared her remarks with a statement she made minutes after she was sworn in on Sept. 6.

"I pledge to walk in the shoes of my colleagues and refrain from name-calling or the questioning of character," Schmidt said then. "It is easy to quickly sink to the lowest form of political debate. Harsh words often lead to headlines, but walking this path is not a victimless crime. This great House pays the price."

And one more point on the shameful Schmidt --- a report from BluegrassReoprt.org [linked fixed] yesterday suggests that "Mean Jean" may also be flaunting a few laws and House rules on her own website.

We're shocked...shocked...to see such behavior by a Republican...from Ohio.

Firedoglake has more on the pride of Clermont County...

UPDATE: Chickenhaw Rush Limbaugh calls Murtha a "useful idiot" and questions his "hawk" credentials. Media Matters has the deets and the audio.

LATE UPDATE: Josh Marshall has more on Schmidt who is now, apparently, playing the victim card! Not kidding. Amongst "the attacks from the Left" that she claims to be getting, she also says, "There's no way that I remotely tried to impugn his character." heheh...




Freshman Congresswoman Has Long Relationship with Danny Bubp
Her Website May Also Be in Violation of Law, House Rules
By Brad Friedman on 11/22/2005 12:53pm PT  

The Marine Corps Reserve Colonel whom freshman Congresswoman Jean Schmidt (R-OH) claimed she was quoting last week when she delivered his "message" on the floor of the U.S. House that "cowards cut and run, Marines never do" has disavowed that statement and denies having made it to Schmidt.

The comment was directed to 37-year Marine colonel and combat veteran, Rep. John Murtha (D-PA). says she got his comments wrong.

Danny Bubp, a freshman state representative who is a colonel in the Marine Corps Reserve, told The Enquirer that he never mentioned Rep. John Murtha, D-Pa., by name when talking with Schmidt, and he would never call a fellow Marine a coward.
...
"There was no discussion of him personally being a coward or about any person being a coward," Bubp said. "My message to the folks in Washington, D.C., and to all the Congress people up there, is to stay the course. We cannot leave Iraq or cut and run - any terminology that you want to use."
...
"I don't want to be interjected into this. I wish she never used my name."

Schmidt's comment on the floor of the House has caused a firestorm of debate since they were uttered, forcing the recently-elected Congresswoman to apologize and retract them shortly thereafter.

Nonetheless, Schmidt has a long working relationship with Bubp. Schmidt has worked alongside him advocating for far-Rightwing and Fundamentalist Christian causes together over the years as reported by Max Blumenthal.

Cincinnati Enquirer has more on the fallout in wake of Schmidt's comments pointing to some of her statements, during her swearing in just a few months ago, that she would never do such a thing...She must have just been kidding.

Several bloggers called on Schmidt and Bubp to apologize and resign their offices. Others compared her remarks with a statement she made minutes after she was sworn in on Sept. 6.

"I pledge to walk in the shoes of my colleagues and refrain from name-calling or the questioning of character," Schmidt said then. "It is easy to quickly sink to the lowest form of political debate. Harsh words often lead to headlines, but walking this path is not a victimless crime. This great House pays the price."

And one more point on the shameful Schmidt --- a report from BluegrassReoprt.org yesterday suggests that "Mean Jean" may also be flaunting a few laws and House rules on her own website.

We're shocked...shocked...that such behavior would occur from a Republican from Ohio.




By David Edwards on 11/22/2005 6:41am PT  

Guest blogged by David Edwards

Democrats are further honing their message on the misuse of intelligence by the White House during its' attempts to sell the Iraq invasion to the American people. Accusations of war critics with the phrases "lied us into war", "twisted the intelligence" and "manipulated the intelligence" are being slowly replaced with more moderate arguments.

Ray McGovern uses the term "corrupted intelligence" in this recent article. Former Senator Bob Graham (D-FL) chooses an even milder criticism by saying that the administration engaged in a "selective use of intelligence" to garner support from Congress and the American people.

Regardless of the PC-ness of the allegations used, the truth remains... The Bush Administration engaged in immoral, unethical and most probably illegal tactics to achieve the unnecessary goal of a pre-emptive war on an invented enemy. Let's hope that future intelligence can be "selected" (misused or twisted) to help us invent a victory.

Video in Windows Media format...
Video in QuickTime format...




It's A Lesson In Contemporary American History, Without The Usual Blinders
'The only thing new in the world is the history you don't know.' --- Harry S Truman
By Winter Patriot on 11/22/2005 1:38am PT  

Guest blogged by Winter Patriot

Holy Cow! A blast and a half from Maureen Farrell. Although it's only the first in a three-part series, she's floored me already!

Or, as Gandhi writes:

If I took four weeks off work to put together an article saying everything I wanted to say about Bush & Co, with lots of URL links to back up the facts, it might look something like this (I wish!).

I'll give you a short excerpt, which I hope will entice you to read the whole thing.

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




'Biggest Scandal in Congress in Over a Century'?
By Brad Friedman on 11/21/2005 6:07pm PT  

I didn't get to read this NY Times article from Saturday until just now. Gentelmen...start your shredders...

The Justice Department has signaled for the first time in recent weeks that prominent members of Congress could be swept up in the corruption investigation of Jack Abramoff
...
The investigation by a federal grand jury, which began more than a year ago, has created alarm on Capitol Hill, especially with the announcement Friday of criminal charges against Michael Scanlon, Mr. Abramoff's former lobbying partner and a former top House aide to Representative Tom DeLay.
...
Scholars who specialize in the history and operations of Congress say that given the brazenness of Mr. Abramoff's lobbying efforts, as measured by the huge fees he charged clients and the extravagant gifts he showered on friends on Capitol Hill, almost all of them Republicans, the investigation could end up costing several lawmakers their careers, if not their freedom.
...
"I think this has the potential to be the biggest scandal in Congress in over a century," said Thomas E. Mann, a Congressional specialist at the Brookings Institution.

But before anybody gets too excited about all of this, remember: this word is coming out of the Bush Justice Dept. which means it will all depend on who gets ahold of the case --- the crime-fighting career professionals or the Bush appointees. Notice this passage from the same article:

Richard Cullen, a lawyer for Mr. DeLay, said in an interview Friday that he was "glad that the Justice Department is looking into all aspects of the trip because I think that a thorough investigation will show that the trip was substantive and transparent."

Given just some of what we already know about the corruption and cronyism at DoJ and their willingness to follow the marching orders from above, it would be little surprise if Cullen's "prediction" comes to pass.




By John Gideon on 11/21/2005 5:07pm PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon of VotersUnite.org

The amount of news has finally dwindled down to a normal amount for a Monday. Of interest today are two opposing editorials in the Atlanta Journal Constitution regarding the Voter ID issue. Also of interest are the articles from Lucas County, OH where they have finally decided that they had better do an investigation to figure out what went wrong and why it happened....

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




(While Election Results Themselves Continue Un-Investigated)
By Brad Friedman on 11/21/2005 2:27pm PT  

The oft-cited pollster Mark Blumenthal, who writes about all matters related to polling and its methodology on his Mystery Pollster blog, has posted the results of his analysis/investigation into what he feels may have gone awry in the Columbus Dispatch polling just prior to the November 8th election in Ohio.

We've previously reported on the final results of the five initiatives on the ballot in the Buckeye State two weeks ago - four of them part of an Election Reform package --- and the "staggeringly impossible" disparities, as we described them, revealed by those results when compared to the results of the Dispatch's final pre-election polling. To catch anybody up who hasn't seen the numbers, here's one set of them:

ISSUE 3 (Revise campaign contribution limits)
PRE-POLLING: 61% Yes, 25% No, 14% Undecided
FINAL RESULT: 33% Yes, 66% No

Blumenthal deserves kudos for his serious and detailed investigation into both the Dispatch survey's "long and remarkable history of success," as he describes it, and where he feels they might have gone so astoundingly wrong this year for the very first time. He points to a few changes in the methodology for the poll; the Dispatch didn't use the precise text of the initiatives in its survey; included an "Undecided" option for the first time; an examination of the data seems to show the poll occurred at a time that the electorate was in the process of changing its opinions on the issues; and finally that many voters found the text of the actual ballot initiatives to be long and confusing leading them to take the safer vote of "No" when they were not clear about what they were actually voting for.

Where he doesn't deserve credit is in his approach which presumes from the start that there must be something wrong with the polling itself --- but not the Election Results --- to explain the unprecedented disparity between the polling and the final results of the actual election.

As a pollster himself, he surely knows that it's quite simple to construct a poll in such a way that one can get back results which match just about any pre-determined outcome an unscrupulous pollster may hope for. Similarly, as with Blumenthal's earlier efforts to examine the disparity of Exit Poll Results vs. Final Election Results in last November's Presidential Election, his approach presumes from the get-go that the polling, not the results, are incorrect...and now we just need to figure out why.

Fair enough, in general. No doubt the articles we've written about the Ohio '05 election results, as well as the one from Fitrakis and Wasserman at Free Press, tend to presume that the election results are suspect, more so than the polling or its methodology.

The difference, however, is that while we welcome the search for reasons why the Dispatch's historically accurate poll might suddenly have failed for the first time in such an unprecedented matter, we have as much or more reason to be skeptical of Ohio's Electoral System which has been documented as full of unquestionable corruption and all-sorts of top-to-bottom malfeasance. Particularly over the last year or so since the Presidential Election.

In other words: Sure, we can, and should, go looking for reasons why the Dispatch poll might have failed so mightily for the first time in its history, as others (including Blumenthal) did with the Exit Polls from November '04 which also --- just a coincidence, we know --- failed so hugely for the first time in their history. We can likely find anomalies to somewhat explain what might justify a pre-determined conclusion that Election Results are right and Pre-Election Polling must be wrong. But why would Blumenthal, or anybody else, have reason to believe that scientifically run polls with methodologies developed and honed over decades, run by pollsters with (theoretically) no dog in the hunt, should be less reliable than an Electoral System being run on newly developed, newly introduced technology employing secret software that nobody inspects for validity or integrity? All of which is run on machines which have a tremendous and documented known failure rate and are run by partisan officials with not just a stake in the outcome, but whose very livelihoods (in the case of the recent Ohio initiatives, as well as last November's election) are at stake in the final results. ...

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




POST-DISPATCH: Chickenhawk Little Testifies to Congress...
By Brad Friedman on 11/21/2005 1:10pm PT  

Boston Globe highlights the abject failure of the Republican led Congress to perform their oversight duties, pointing to --- amongst many other examples --- the 140 hours of sworn testimony taken on Bill Clinton's Christmas cards versus just 12 hours taken about Abu Ghraib.

Pre-empting the partisan issues involved here, the Globe points out that the Democratic-controlled House in '93-'94 held 135 "oversight" or investigative hearings during the Clinton Administration, while the GOP House was only able to muster 37 such hearings last year with Bush in the White House.

In the meantime, Kevin Horrigan in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch highlights the "transcript" from one of those rare hearings...

The Chairman: So, even though there was a great deal of disagreement about the prospect of the sky falling, you chose to go ahead with your claims.

Mr. Little: I was assured by Dicky Ducky that Halliburton could install a solid, gravity-proof sky within 90 days on an expedited, open-end, cost-plus basis, which Dicky Ducky said would cost $100 billion, tops.

The Chairman: And yet, nearly three years later, such a gravity-proof sky does not exist.

Mr. Little: I would point out, sir, that foreign fighters and insurgents have interfered with the work, despite the heroic efforts of our magnificent troops, whose mission is endangered by irresponsible mixed signals sent by members of this committee.

The Chairman: I thought their mission was to rid the world of the threat that the sky was falling, a threat you yourself now admit does not exist.

Mr. Little: Well, if you want to get into technicalities . . .

(Hat-tip to RAW STORY for the Globe link and to my father for Chicken Little.)




And a few smaller papers around the U.S. notice the GAO Report warning about our Electronic Electoral System in disarray
(Though still nothing from the Wires or the Major Mainstream Newspapers)
By Brad Friedman on 11/21/2005 11:48am PT  

Stephen Oravecz of Mahoning Valley's Tribune Chronicle notices that there were a few problems in Ohio's ‘04 Presidential Election, and more problems persist still today...

It was a classic case of vote jump. On the TV screen, state Sen. Robert Hagan told how he tried to vote for John Kerry last year, but the touch-screen voting machine in his Youngstown precinct registered his vote for George Bush. Hagan went on to describe his astonishment and how it took repeated attempts for the machine to get the vote right.

Hagan's story may wind up in a documentary on the 2004 presidential election in Ohio being shot by filmmaker Dorothy Fadiman, who was nominated for an Academy Award in 1992 for her short subject documentary "When Abortion was Illegal: Untold Stories.''
...
Hagan was just one of several Youngstown residents who described similar experiences and said they walked away not knowing for sure if the machine accurately recorded their choice. Others talked about how they had to wait in line for hours.

It was like watching "Fahrenheit 9/11'' only the people on the screen are neighbors.

Fadiman's coming documentary is only one reminder that the debate over the 2004 presidential contest in Ohio - which gave Bush his victory - is far from over.

Fadiman is a wonderful filmmaker, citizen and human being, by the way, who we've come to know since first meeting her at the Election Reform Conference in Nashville earlier this year. We've also been interviewed for the documentary mentioned above. Whether we'll make the final cut will remain to be seen :-)

Oravecz also discusses the still un-reported recent non-partisan GAO report confirming the problems with Electronic Voting Machines that we've tried to make noise about (to little, but somewhat growing, avail) of late:

Another reminder is a report on electronic voting systems that the Government Accountability Office issued in September. Liberal or progressive bloggers were wondering why that report has not generated much attention in the mainstream media.

Also, an editorial in yesterday's Star-Gazette in New York references the GAO Report.

And in this week's Rock River Times, in Illinois, Senior Editor Joe Baker notices as well.

So that's one paper in New York, and another one called "Times". We guess we're getting closer...

Keep sending those cards and letters, people! The wingnut (ironcally enough) Townhall.com makes it very easy for you to do so! And yes...as you can see above...it matters!




'Dozens of Investigations' Underway Despite Claims by Sec. of State and Diebold That Everything Went 'Great!'
By Brad Friedman on 11/20/2005 9:44pm PT  

Ohio Secretary of State J. Kenneth Blackwell's press release says the November 8th election was "a great success" and "a great day for Ohio voters."

And, what do you know? Diebold agrees!

The story on the ground in Lucas County, OH, however, seems to tell a very different story. More than just the 14 voting machines left in a hallway unattended for 10 days at the University of Toledo as reported by Joshua Boak in the Toledo Blade (so much for that secure chain of custody!), dozens of investigations are now underway in Lucas County for all number of problems that occurred on Election Day two weeks ago according to another Blade report, this one from Boak along with Jane Schmucker...

In the midst of three hours of testimony detailing confusion and frustration in Lucas County's Nov. 8 election, Eddie Small's story drew gasps from a panel of elected officials and NAACP leaders yesterday.

Mr. Small, who was a presiding judge in the Old West End, reported that at the end of election night the paper record was blank on the two busiest voting machines at the Girl Scouts of Maumee Valley.

The rovers who came to close his precinct told him they hoped the votes were stored on the memory cards or in the machines themselves, but did not appear as concerned as Mr. Small. He said he left with no confidence that the votes from those machines were counted.
...
That was one of dozens of investigations that poll workers, voters, elected officials, and NAACP leaders yesterday exhorted the elections board to undertake.
...
U.S. Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D., Toledo) questioned whether the $132 million in federal money appropriated for Ohio elections was spent properly, given the problems in Lucas County, which did not report its results until the morning after the election.

"We simply have to have an audit of this money," she said. "These are truly significant questions. We need to follow the money."

Ohio Sen. Teresa Fedor (D., Toledo) blamed state election officials for what she described as "a meltdown" in Lucas County, and called for formation of an ad hoc committee
...
Elections Director Jill Kelly said investigations into the Nov. 8 election would begin as soon as the board certifies the vote.

Note, that the investigation will begin after the results are already certified.

And a few more troubling items from the same article...

Sue Nichols said absentee ballots were mailed out so late that her daughter who was in college out of state received hers the day before the election and spent $14 to overnight it back to Toledo.

Many people spoke of names mysteriously missing from voter rolls. In one case, a presiding judge said, a whole street was missing.

And finally, let's not forget that Lucas County is where Bernadette Noe, the head of their Board of Elections and Republican Party --- as well as the wife of indicted "CoinGate" hustler Thomas Noe - reportedly was found to have been instrumental in gaming the November ‘04 Presidential Election in that county.




By John Gideon on 11/20/2005 5:07pm PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon of VotersUnite.org

Ohio is continuing as the ‘poster child' for how not to run elections. One presiding judge in a polling site in Lucas County, OH reported that at the end of election night the paper record was blank on the two busiest voting machines at one polling site. The rovers who came to close his precinct told him they hoped the votes were stored on the memory cards or in the machines themselves, but did not appear as concerned as Mr. Small. He said he left with no confidence that the votes from those machines were counted. And on the day following the election Blackwell told the press that the election was a complete success? Meanwhile the news from Georgia is unbelievable as it pertains to the VoterID issue. See the articles below for more on this story. ...

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




David Mamet on Our Crumbling Democracy...
By Brad Friedman on 11/20/2005 1:39pm PT  

The toon above was posted at HuffPo by Mamet, the day after the recent party at Arianna's (see this link about the party, if you didn't read it already, for a bit of additional trivia re: my relationship with Mamet who was also there that night.)

As well, if you missed it earlier this week at BRAD BLOG, HuffPo has cross-posted my followup article to my original piece on "The Staggeringly Impossible Results of Ohio's '05 Election" Please see the HuffPo version of the follow-up to enjoy the postings of a few always-amusing anti-democracy troll commenters there.

I will have an additional update tomorrow on the Ohio stuff as well, btw. Stay tuned...




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