Follow & Support The BRAD BLOG!

Latest Featured Reports | Sunday, October 23, 2016
'Too Big to Rig?':
'BradCast' 10/21/2016
The no-spin truth about our vulnerable U.S. election systems, as a major DDoS attack cripples huge Internet sites from Twitter to Amazon today; Plus: MUCH MORE!...
Election Rigging, Integrity, Amnesia - The Final Debate: 'BradCast' 10/20/16
Bad hombres! Nasty women! And SUSPENSE! Special coverage with Heather Digby Parton of Salon and David Dayen of Fiscal Times...
Everything is 'Peachy Dory': 'BradCast' 10/19/16
Trump still plummeting; Wingnuts still falling for phony 'voter fraud' (MSM helping them); Good news for KS, FL (and maybe) GA voters; Huge early turnout; Clinton WikiLeaks; #FreeDesi!...
Will It Be 'Rigged'? 'Hacked'?: 'BradCast' 10/18/16
Dems and DHS warned of election system hacking a few weeks ago. Now, not so much. Fact-based discussion about our vulnerable US elections w/ Verified Voting's Pam Smith...
Neocon: 'Nazi Echoes in Trump's Tweets'
Former adviser to John McCain, Jeb Bush sees shadow of Third Reich in Trump response to NC GOP campaign office firebombing...
'Green News Report' 10/18/16
Major new int'l agreement phases out HFCs; US emissions lowest since 1991; Sept. 2016 hottest ever recorded; PLUS: Wikileaks reveals Clinton dinging climate activists...
NH GOPer Decries Trump 'Rigging', But Denies Party Claimed 'Voter Fraud'(?!?): 'BradCast' 10/17/16
Guest: Former state GOP Chair Fergus Cullen. Also: Good news for FL voters, bad for OH...
Federal Judge Blocks FL's 'Illogical', 'Obscene' Absentee Ballot Rejection Scheme
Thousands of Vote-by-Mail ballots likely saved as court blocks GOP suppression scam at last minute...
Sunday Toons of the Unshackled Moment
Please do not touch, grab, or grope -- as the shackles come off in this week's collection of the week's best toon via 'PDiddie'...
'Dark' Presidential 'Debate' a Product of Strangled Democratic Discourse
Presidential Debate Commission joins corporate media in failing to help fully educate the electorate...
The Meltdown Began Long Before Trump:
'BradCast' 10/14/16
Through the darkness and towards the light...
FL Preps for Election 'Storm'; Michelle: 'Enough is Enough': 'BradCast' 10/13/16
Guest: Palm Beach, FL election chief on extended registration, e-tabulator failure, hack worries...
'Green News Report' 10/13/16
Gore, Clinton rally Millennials to #VoteClimate; Court allows Dakota Access construction; Matthew's toxic aftermath in NC; PLUS: OK Gov. calls for oil prayer...
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...
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...

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...

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...

The belated and begrudging coverage by Fox' Eric Shawn includes two different video reports featuring an interview with The BRAD BLOG's Brad Friedman...

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

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...

The GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal reveals insidious nationwide registration scheme to keep Obama supporters from even registering to vote...

Scandal spreads to 11 FL counties, other states; RNC, Romney try to contain damage, split from GOP operative...

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...

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...

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...

Would you expect anything less?
The Right Makes Up Stuff to Defend Their President's Flagrant Disregard for 'The Rule of Law' While Spying on American Citizens
By Brad Friedman on 12/20/2005 1:02pm PT  

The wingnuts are in a full-blown panic to try and justify the latest admission by George W. Bush that he authorized the warrant-less spying on American Citizens. That would be strictly against the law, of course, and likely an impeachable offense (remember, Presidents, we used to be told, are not above "the rule of law").

In their usual well-oiled lockstep fashion, the dead-ender wingnut bloggers and hate-radio folks are now attempting to forward the notion that "Clinton did the same." As usual, the apologists get their talking point assists from the extremist rightwing "news" site, NewsMax who reported:

During the 1990's under President Clinton, the National Security Agency monitored millions of private phone calls placed by U.S. citizens and citizens of other countries under a super secret program code-named Echelonůall of it done without a court order, let alone a catalyst like the 9/11 attacks.

Trouble is, this report, from ThinkProgress, would seem to prove otherwise. Testimony given to Congress in 2000 (back when Republicans pretended to care about this sort of thing) by then FBI Director George Tenet would seem to indicate (surprise!) that NewsMax and the other apologists are wrong:

I'm here today to discuss specific issues about and allegations regarding Signals Intelligence activities and the so-called Echelon Program of the National Security Agencyů

There is a rigorous regime of checks and balances which we, the Central Intelligence Agency, the National Security Agency and the FBI scrupulously adhere to whenever conversations of U.S. persons are involved, whether directly or indirectly. We do not collect against U.S. persons unless they are agents of a foreign power as that term is defined in the law. We do not target their conversations for collection in the United States unless a FISA warrant has been obtained from the FISA court by the Justice Department.

Whether Tenet was lying or not in his testimony --- which NewsMax didn't bother to quote --- we couldn't tell you. If Bill Clinton actually broke the law in this regard, as the wingnuts suggest, perhaps Republicans should impeach him. Oh, wait, it may be a bit late for that. But perhaps they should have impeached him for it (if it actually occured), instead of impeaching him for receiving an unauthorized blow job. We're just saying.

Resolutions Call for Censure of Bush, Cheney and Creation of 'Select Committee' to Investigate Impeachable Offenses
-- Complete Texts of Resolutions, Links to Report, Petion Campaigns in Support, Conyers Press Release in Full, and More...
By Brad Friedman on 12/20/2005 11:42am PT  

Lots of fur flying this morning, and us West Coast bloggers, of course, are as ever behind the time-zone eight-ball. So consider this a first volley as we try to bring you the nuts and bolts and offer a lot of summarized raw data and links for you to read through it all yourselves, even as we do same.

The skinny is that the U.S. House Judiciary Committee Democrats, led by ranking minority member John Conyers (D-MI) have now released their full 250-page report, said to be more than six months in the making, on the Administration's use/abuse of pre-war intel, torture policies and much more. The BRAD BLOG first reported exclusively on all of this as 'coming soon' last week. Yesterday, we added quite a few details about what to expect in this report. Our friends at RAW STORY have several articles, including links to the Full Report and its Executive Summary.

-- Report Executive Summary here
-- Report in full here [PDF]
-- Report by chapters here (Includes links to all exhibits, key documents, etc.)

Along with the report, Conyers has introduced three resolutions in the House which call for the Censure of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney for failure to provide oversight materials to Congress and for "misstatements" in their lead-up to war. One of the resolutions also calls for the creation of a new "Select Committee" --- with subpeona power --- to discover whether there are grounds for Impeachment of both Bush and Cheney. This committee has been described to us by a Judiciary Committee staffer as "similar to the Ervin Committee on Presidential Campaign Acitivites that kicked off Watergate, to conduct further investigation of the matters described in the report." The committee would then refer evidence constituting impeachable offenses to the House Judiciary Committee.

The report --- entitled THE CONSTITUTION IN CRISIS: The Downing Street Minutes and Deception, Manipulation, Toture, Retribution, and Coverups in the Iraq War --- is described by Conyers this way in a Press Release this morning (complete text of Press Release posted at end of this article):

"In brief, we have found that there is substantial evidence the President, the Vice-President and other high ranking members of the Bush Administration misled Congress and the American people regarding the decision to go to war in Iraq; misstated and manipulated intelligence information regarding the justification for such war; countenanced torture and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment in Iraq; and permitted inappropriate retaliation against critics of their Administration. There is at least a prima facie case that these actions that federal laws have been violated - from false statements to Congress to retaliating against Administration critics."
"The Report rejects the frequent contention by the Bush Administration that there pre-war conduct has been reviewed and they have been exonerated. No entity has ever considered whether the Administration misled Americans about the decision to go to War, and the Senate Intelligence Committee has not yet conducted a review of pre-war intelligence information, while the Silberman-Robb report specifically cautioned, that intelligence manipulation "was not part of our inquiry." There has also not been any independent inquiry concerning torture and other legal violations in Iraq; nor has there been an independent review of the pattern of cover-ups and political retribution by the Bush Administration against its critics, other than the very narrow and still ongoing inquiry of Special Counsel Fitzgerald."

The three House Resolutions created along with the report, were filed in the House on Sunday. Links to the complete draft text of each Resolution, and the introductory paragraph for each follow:

-- H.R. 635 [PDF], Resolution calling for creation of a "Select Committee":

Creating a select committee to investigate the Administration's intent to go to war before congressional authorization, manipulation of pre-war intelligence, encouraging and countenancing torture, retaliating against critics, and thwarting congressional oversight, and to make recommendations regarding grouns for impeachment.

-- H.R. 636 [PDF], Resolution calling for Censure of George W. Bush:

Censuring President George W. Bush for failing to respond to requests for information concerning allegations that he and others in his Administration misled Congress and the American people regarding the decision to go to war in Iraq, misstated and manipulated intelligence information regarding the justification for the war, counteananced torture and cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment of persons in Iraq, and permitted inappropriate retaliation against critics of his Administration, for failing to adequately account for specific misstatements he made regarding the war, and for failing to comply with Executive Order 12958.

-- H.R. 637 [PDF], Resolution calling for Censure of Richard B. Cheney:

Censuring Vice President Richard B. Cheney for failing to respond to requests for information concerning allegations that he and others in the Administration misled Congress and the American people regarding the decision to go to war in Iraq, misstated and manipulated intelligence information regarding the justification for the war, countenanced torture and cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment of persons in Iraq, and permitted inappropriate retaliation against critics of the Administration and for failing to adequately account for specific misstatements he made regarding the war.

As we reported yesterday, the advocacy website has introduced a new look along with a new URL. In addition to their previous name, they are now also known as

Conyers has set up some actions items at his own website where he is asking Americans to sign his letter informing George W. Bush about his intentions to censure and call for a Select Committee. A similar letter, asking for answers in regards to the so-called "Downing Street Documents" was signed by more than half a million Americans and delivered to the White House by Conyers' earlier this year.

As well, Progressive Democrats of America (PDA) has created a letter writing campaign to allow you to ask your own Representatives to support the resolution calling for the creation of a "Select Committee". You can send that letter to your reps here.

We'll update this item as appropriate throughout the day with additional material and/or links as we move through things.

The complete text of John Conyers' Press Release as issued this morning follows...

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

By John Gideon on 12/19/2005 10:07pm PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon of

North Carolina counties continue to meet and make their selections of voting machines for the future. Unfortunately they cannot wait until a decision from the court on whether any voting system presently certified by the state board of elections can, by law, be considered to be certified. The state is certainly doing nothing to stop the counties from making their decisions....

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

Damning Report on Bush Admin Use/Misuse of Pre-War Intel! Both Conyers' and 'Downing Street Documents' Advocacy Group to Launch Additional Internet Domains With Release of Report!
PLUS: Increasing Buzz About Bush Impeachment Proceedings May Soon Be Getting Much Louder...
By Brad Friedman on 12/19/2005 4:41pm PT  

As broken this morning by RAW STORY, the House Judiciary Committee Democratic staff is set to release an extensive and damning new report tomorrow entitled "THE CONSTITUTION IN CRISIS: The Downing Street Minutes and Deception, Manipulation, Toture, Retribution, and Coverups in the Iraq War."

The BRAD BLOG has been able to gather a few additional details, some we are able to report today, others cannot be announced until the final report is released to the public. The report is currently scheduled for release tomorrow.

In anticipation for tomorrow's report, The BRAD BLOG revealed in an exclusive report last week that Rep. John Conyers' (D-MI) House Judiciary Committee staff had registered a number of websites including, and other similar domains. All of those domains have been automatically re-directed to Conyers' personal website Conyers is the ranking minority member of the U.S. House Judiciary Committee.

We can also now report that, beginning tomorrow, along with the release of the upcoming report, will change its look and nature and will be accessible via an additional URL. Though, David Swanson, one of the founders of the site which is devoted to spreading news surrounding the so-called "Downing Street Documents" was somewhat cryptic in what he'd allowed us to report about the changes that will be taking place tomorrow.

"I could tell you more," said Swanson, "but for now I need to keep it to myself and the NSA spies assigned to my house."

Additionally, though not necessarily directly related, both AP and RAW STORY are now reporting that several members of Congress have begun discussing the possibilities of Impeachment for George W. Bush. And at least one member of the House Judiciary Committee has asked the Attorney General for a Special Counselor to be assigned to the matter of George W. Bush's recent admission to domestic spying on U.S. citizens.

The BRAD BLOG has learned and confirmed from congressional sources, that the report from the Judiciary Committee Democratic staffers is expected to be the most comprehensive, indepth look at the Bush Administration's use and misuse of pre-war intelligence in the run-up to war in Iraq.

The landmark report, said to be more than six months in the making, will include extensive, detailed allegations concerning the Bush Administration's use of manipulated facts and intelligence, retribution against domestic opposition, coverup of facts and intelligence known to be in contradiction with their contentions about Iraq's weapons programs, and illegal torture.

The report will be more than 200 pages long, including an additional 100 pages or more of evidence and documentation for the very serious Constitutional charges that are being made.

The report is said to be far more extensive than a detailed report issued previously by the House Judiciary Committee Democrats concerning so-called "irregularities" in Ohio during the 2004 Presidential Election and its aftermath. Like that report, this one will also be published in book format.

As with an earlier effort by Judiciary Committee Democrats to raise public awareness of the Downing Street Documents --- top-secret leaked memos from British officials charging that the Bush Administration had determined to topple Saddam through military means and that the "intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy" even while they were telling both Congress and the American people that war could be avoided by diplomatic means --- this report will also coincide with a public effort to raise awareness and support for the allegations being made. The earlier DSM effort resulted in more than half a million signatures from the American people being delivered by hand to the White House. This report will also be released concurrently with an initiative to gather support from the American people to help raise awareness to the very serious allegations being made.

AP reported earlier today on Civil Rights-era icon, Congressman John Lewis (D-GA) as calling for the potential impeachment of George W. Bush in a radio interview earlier today. His suggestion comes in light of recent admissions that Bush had authorized spying on U.S. citizens in apparent violation of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. Lewis reportedly added, "The president should abide by the law. He deliberately, systematically violated the law. He is not King, he is president."

Since Lewis' comments were reported, Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) has issued a news release referring to the "'I' word" as well. Boxer's comments point to analysis offered by Watergate figure and one-time White House Counsel John Dean who has suggested that Bush has now admitted to an "impeachable offense" in regards to the authorization of domestic spying.

Additionally, Congressman Jerold Nadler (D-NY) has today written a letter to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales demanding that a Special Prosecutor be assigned to investigate the "secret directive that authorizes domestic eavesdropping on United States citizens, without a warrant." The congressman, who also sits on the U.S. House Judiciary Committee, added in his letter, that "This unprecedented intelligence gathering policy is clearly prohibited by law."

It remains to be seen whether tomorrow's report from the House Judiciary staff will add to the now-increasing drumbeat of voices suggesting Investigations and/or Impeachment Proceedings for yet another sitting United States President. The BRAD BLOG will, as always, be keeping our eye on the latest developments...

UPDATE: Late word and a brief post to ConyersBlog, says:

If all goes well, I expect to make an announcement on the Stephanie Miller Show in the third hour of her show (beginning 11am EST).

By Brad Friedman on 12/18/2005 11:44pm PT  

Last year we were nominated for more categories than any other blog, but in the end, didn't win in any of them.

This year, let's see if we can win in all of the categories, without being nominated for any of them! Oh...wait...that may not work...

So...nominations are now being accepted for the 2005 Koufax Weblog Awards. If you are so inclined, we'd be honored if you put in a few good words (and nominations) for your friendly neighborhood BRAD BLOG!

-- Read About Categories Here
-- Leave your nominations in the Comments section here!
(NOTE: New thread now opened, previous one had gotten full and they closed it)

(NOTE: Apparently there are several stages in this process...semi-finals, finals and so on. So pardon us if we bug you periodically to consider putting in a good word for us over there. You'll be pleased to know the election will be run with all of the strict air-tight security standards as mandated by the Help America Vote Act of 2002! So get hacking!)

A Look Back at the Most Notable Stories from the Week That Was In Our Continually Crumbling Democracy...
By John Gideon on 12/18/2005 6:33pm PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon, of VotersUnite and VoteTrustUSA

As an introduction, the "DVN Top 5" is a feature that I have been providing in the weekly voting newsletter of VoteTrustUSA. The December 13 edition can be found here. The selection of what will be the "Top 5" for each week and where it goes on the list is all mine. The fact that you may disagree with my choices is great because it shows that you have been reading the DVN articles that I've posted throughout the week here on BRAD BLOG!...

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

Op/Ed Slams Diebold, Though Elsewhere in Paper it's Still Nothing More Than 'Conspiracy Theories'
By Brad Friedman on 12/18/2005 4:44pm PT  

"The counting of votes is a public trust. Diebold, whose machines count many votes, has never acted as if it understood this."

So writes the NY Times correctly in a very good Op/Ed in today's Sunday paper. The piece smartly summarizes the bad week for Diebold and their years-long failure to understand the importance of the role they have been entrusted with in participating in our public elections process. We appreciate the coverage, if only because the paper's news division didn't devote any ink, as far as we know, to Diebold's growing troubles all week long.

Though elsewhere in the paper, on Saturday, Dan Mitchell embarrassed both himself and the once-great Grey Lady by announcing a "New Day for Diebold" along with further pimping the company's now-discredited PR attempts to marginalize those of us who give a damn about an accountable democracy in America. Mitchell reports very briefly in the technology section on the dumping of CEO Walden O'Dell last Monday in order to suggest this could be "the beginning of an interesting turnaround story" for Diebold. No mentions of the Securities Fraud Class Action against them, nor the devasting hack of their Voting Equipment later in the week. But Mitchell does use the opportunity to knee-jerk about both "conspiracy theories" and "black-helicopter theorizing."

In the best case, we'll suggest Mitchell suffers from either incomptence or sheer laziness. In a not so generous speculation, we'd wonder if he's taking the opportunity to attempt to boost the sagging stock price of DBD. Hey Dan, you'd tell us if you happened to own any Diebold shares, right?

Perhaps instead of appearing as a democracy-hating stooge, Mitchell should bother to read his own newspaper, which wrote far more responsibly in their Op/Ed today:

Diebold's voting machines have a troubled history. The company was accused of installing improperly certified software, which is illegal, in a 2002 governor's race in Georgia. Across the country, it reached a multimillion-dollar settlement with the California attorney general last year of a lawsuit alleging that it made false claims about the security of its machines. Last week, the top elections officer in Leon County, Fla., which includes Tallahassee, concluded after a test that Diebold machines can be hacked to change vote totals.
As Diebold enters the post-O'Dell era, it should work to make itself worthy of the important role it now plays in American democracy.

Don't the NY Times Op/Ed folks realize that that all those items outlined as "a troubled history" are nothing more than "black helicopters" and "conspiracy theories"? We know it for a fact! We read it, after all, in the NY Times!

Or perhaps we can just conclude by paraphrasing them:

"The counting of votes is a public trust. So is the reporting on how it is done. Dan Mitchell, like Diebold, has never acted as if he understood this."

Counters Previous Positions by both the Acting Secretary of State and Voting Machine Company Diebold
By Brad Friedman on 12/18/2005 3:11pm PT  

Over the weekend, at least two reports out of mainstream Florida papers --- one in the Miami Herald and one in the Tallahassee Democrat --- report that Gov. Jeb Bush himself is now questioning the reliability of Florida's electronic voting system in light of the recent hack test in Leon County, home of the state's capitol Tallahassee. That security test, carried out last week, successfully flipped the results of a simple mock election test held on Diebold, Inc. voting equipment. The hack, which changed the results of an election from 2-6 to 7-1, left no trace of evidence behind.

After reports of the test were released, Florida's Sec. of State's office had initially criticized the messenger, Leon County's Director of Elections, Ion Sancho, suggesting that the matter was not the state's concern, but rather was an issue between Diebold and the county. That, despite the fact that it was the state of Florida who had certified the particular Diebold made machinery for use in the Sunshine State.

Acting FL Sec. of State David Mann also echoed Diebold's statement on the matter, criticizing Sancho himself because they believe that in allowing the hackers to gain access to the memory cards --- where a very short executable program capable of changing the election results had been secretly placed --- the test did not replicate 'real world' conditions.

Bush, who may be realizing the untenable position the state and their friends at Diebold now find themselves in, is at least taking the public stance that Sancho's findings and concerns should be taken seriously.

Quoting from the Herald coverage:

Gov. Jeb Bush said Friday that the state ought to consider relooking at the way it examines electronic voting machines, following a county election chief's tests that showed insiders could hack into the computers, change votes and not leave an electronic fingerprint behind.

Bush, saying the subject is ''too important'' to ignore, echoed national computer-security and voting experts, and struck a dissimilar chord to acting Secretary of State David Mann, who expressed less urgency Thursday to retest vote machines. Mann said he was ''concerned'' only that Leon County Elections Supervisor Ion Sancho might have given an outsider access to his vote machines' computer codes Tuesday.

Bush also questioned whether Sancho gave away privileged information --- which Sancho denies --- and noted Sancho's ''unorthodox'' media-friendly style, in which he conducted his computer-hacker tests and spoke about them with The Herald before discussing them with the secretary of state's office, which oversees elections.

'My general thought is, probably, they're saying, `Well, here he goes again. We don't want to deal with him because he's a maverick.' And I would suggest that, no, this is too important, that we ought to get his information, look at it carefully,'' Bush said.

"If there needs to be any changes in policy as it relates to certification of machines, then we should do so."

Over in the Tallahassee Democrat Sancho responds to the criticisms of the state and Diebold about granting access internally to the hackers, and the absurd charge that such things could never occur in a "real world" election:

"What am I going to do if somebody offers one of my employees $4 million in a secret bank account in the Bahamas, if they'll rig an election?" said Sancho. "I'm charged with safeguarding the votes of our citizens in this county."

Of course, we know that nobody in either Florida or Ohio or any other state in the union would ever try to rig an election from the inside.

Since the test, Sancho has announced that Diebold voting equipment will no longer be used in the county's elections and has requested funding to replace them with an alternate system that allows for recountable paper ballots and additional access for the disabled.

Earlier in the week, a Securities Fraud Class Action suit was launched against Diebold, in part, for failing to disclose flaws in their voting equipment.

Later in the week, after the test in Leon County, another Florida county, Volusia, decided against using the same unsecure Diebold machinery for their elections as well.

The BRAD BLOG has previously reported that even a branch of the U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security has warned about security flaws in Diebold voting machinery, and a recent non-partisan GAO report which has further confirmed such concerns about all of the currently available electronic voting systems now being deployed around the country.

UPDATE 12/22/05: Miami Herald calls on Bush to retest all touch-screen and optical scan machines in the state!

By John Gideon on 12/17/2005 5:01pm PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon of

Today was a relatively slow day when compared to the past week. Of course the news of the Diebold failures is still coming out of Florida. However, it is the little seemingly innocuous articles that, at times, provide important news. Today it was reported that in Ohio SoS Blackwell chose a new voting system for Summit County. Diebold TSx? No, he turned his back on Diebold and assigned them ES&S OpScans and AutoMARK for the disabled voters....

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

What's a Few Broken, Ignored Federal Election Laws Between Friends?
(Especially When It May Even Help On That Little Matter of White House Treason?)
By John Gideon on 12/17/2005 3:53pm PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon of and

Hans von Spakovsky. A German industrialist? A compatriot of artist Hieronymus Bosch? No. He is an attorney who is presently the head of the Department of Justice Civil Rights Division Voting Section. He is a member of the right-wing Federalist Society, and joined other Bush cronies in the Florida recount battle in 2000, and he is President Bush's newest recipient of a crony-nomination.

According to an article in today's Washington Post, von Spakovsky was nominated to the Federal Election Commission on Friday.

The nomination of von Spakovsky, a Republican, has already raised the hackles of some Democrats. According to WaPo:

In a letter to Senate Rules Committee Chairman Trent Lott (R-Miss.), Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.) wrote that he is "extremely troubled" by the von Spakovsky nomination. Kennedy contends that von Spakovsky "may be at the heart of the political interference that is undermining the [Justice] Department's enforcement of federal civil laws."

WaPo added this:

Career Justice Department lawyers involved in a Georgia case said von Spakovsky pushed strongly for approval of a state program requiring voters to have photo identification. A team of staff lawyers that examined the case recommended 4 to 1 that the Georgia plan should be rejected because it would harm black voters; the recommendation was overruled by von Spakovsky and other senior officials in the Civil Rights Division.

Before working in the Justice Department, von Spakovsky was the Republican Party chairman in Fulton County, Ga., and served on the board of the Voter Integrity Project, which advocated regular purging of voter roles to prevent felons from casting ballots.

It is clear that von Spakovsky had the ear of another "crony nomination" recipient, Alberto Gonzales, when it came to making decisions on the Georgia Voter ID issue and Texas redistricting, both of which had been recommended against by the Justice Departments' career professionals in the Voting Rights Division, but were given acceptance by the DoJ anyway.

The Georgia law has since been found unconstitutional as a "Jim Crow-era Poll Tax" by two Federal courts, and the Texas redistricting, concerning which former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay now faces indictments, has just been agreed to be looked at by the United States Supreme Court.

One other very notable point here. A Democrat, Robert D. Lenhard, has also been nominated to the FEC by Bush. As pointed out by Jane Hamsher of Firedoglake: "He's the husband of [Time Magazine reporter] Viveca Novak, whose testimony now provides the foundation for Karl Rove's defense in the CIA leak case."

As well, Lenhard was "quite helpful to the 1600 Crew as part of the legal team that challenged the constitutionality of the McCain-Feingold campaign finance law," according to Jane.

Neither point, as Jane noted, was in either the White House Press Release or the WaPo's stenographic reporting of same.

Additional reporting on this story by Brad Friedman

CORRECTION: Our originally posted version of this story had reported von Spakovsky, instead of Lenhard, as the husband of TIME reporter, Vivica Novak. The BRAD BLOG regrets the error.

Opts for Transparent, Accountable Elections (Instead of Diebold Elections) After a Protracted Battle...
By Brad Friedman on 12/16/2005 1:55pm PT  

This just in...After various protracted legal battles (funded by the National Federation for the Blind, which had received a $1 million "donation" from Diebold previously) and along with the news out of Leon County, Florida, Volusia County has now come to their senses and also decided to dump Diebold voting machines!

Just out from the Orlando Sentinel...

Diebold voting machines will soon be history in Volusia County. After a nearly five-hour hearing today, County Council members voted to replace its Diebold machines with an entirely new system manufactured by Election Systems & Software.

The move, which will cost more than $2.5 million just for the equipment, was prompted by a federal mandate to buy at least one handicapped-accessible voting machine per precinct by Jan. 1. But the only such devices approved for use in Florida are ATM-like touch-screen machines that don't use paper ballots. But a majority of County Council members want devices that use paper.

The agreement approved Friday on a 4-3 vote allows the county to trade in the paperless touch screens for an ES&S-supported ballot-marking device with an accessible touch-screen called AutoMark if it gets approved for use in Florida. That would cost an additional $150,000.

If AutoMark certification doesn't happen by April 1, the county has the option to get out of the entire contract with ES&S and get a full refund.
The vote ends a nearly year-old debate in Volusia County about how to comply with the federal Help America Vote Act, which mandates accessible voting devices.

A report received by The BRAD BLOG late last night from an activist down in Volusia in regard to the meeting anticipated today, summed it up thusly:

Between Ion Sancho scrapping his Diebold machines, the successful hack of his Diebold op-scan system, the securities fraud lawsuit, the resignation of Diebold's CEO, the illegal certification of the Diebold touch-screens by the state of Florida, and the fact that the Diebold TSX does not meet the requirements of state statutes for disabled access (not to mention not meeting the requirements of HAVA), we're hoping that NO ONE will end up supporting Diebold.

Well, three on the Volusia County Council still held out for Diebold. Fortunately, four didn't...and the vote wasn't held on paperless, hackable touch-screen machines, so it was transparent and reliable.

This report is yet another blow for Diebold coming on top of the resignation of their CEO, Walden O'Dell on Monday, along with a securities fraud lawsuit and the failed security test in Leon County on Tuesday. Quite a week for Diebold!

Our congratulations to the hard working citizen patriots in Volusia County and across Florida who have worked tirelessly on this issue for many months. Keep up the good work, folks! Democracy may not be dead yet!

Additional reporting on this story by John Gideon

Leon County's Ion Sancho Believes Electronic Manipulation of Votes Occurred in Florida's Contested Presidential Race!
Fallout Continues to Rock E-Voting World in Light of Recent Hack Demo of Machines made by Diebold, Inc.
By Brad Friedman on 12/16/2005 11:45am PT  

The "hack test" of a mock election using Diebold voting equipment earlier this week in Leon County, Florida --- in which results of the election were completely flipped from 2-6 to 7-1 without even a trail of evidence left behind --- has continued to send shockwaves from Florida to Ohio to California and everywhere else in between.

The Director of Elections in Leon County, Ion Sancho reportedly proclaimed, after the stunning results of last Tuesday's test, that he would never use Diebold voting machines in any election in the county again.

Television news coverage began hitting last night in Tallahassee, the Florida state capital, which also happens to be in Leon County. And in a remarkable admission, Sancho now says he believes that such a hack occurred in the 2000 Presidential Election in Volusia County, Florida.

-- Here's a link to that video coverage...

Elections officials in Volusia County, by the way, are currently in the final throes of their decision of whether to go with Diebold's hackable voting machines, or whether they will go in a different direction. We may have more on that later today.

States and Counties across the country are continuing their last minute scramble to make decisions about new voting equipment many of them hope to acquire and have paid for by the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) of 2002. The deadline for that decision is Jan 1, 2006 and yet there are virtually no reliable Federal standards for any of the available Voting Machines currently on the market.

Litigation was filed against Diebold, Inc. earlier this week in Federal District Court in a Class Action Securities Fraud complaint based, in part, on their attempts at disguising the vulnerabilities and flaws of their Voting Machine equipment from investors.

Agrees to Cooperate With Prosecutors, Testify Against Old GOP Allies
Trouble Grows for Republican Conspirators as Rogues Gallery Continues to Widen
By Brad Friedman on 12/16/2005 10:12am PT  

Just curious, but at what point do those who've been called "conspiracy theorists" in pointing out the crimes of the dirty Republican party get recognized as geniuses since one Repub after another is being charged with and/or pleading guilty to charges of "conspiracy"?!

Adam Kidan, he the partner of Jack Abramoff in the SunCruz gambling boat scandal (and subsequent murder) has now pleaded guilty to fraud and conspiracy charges in a trumped-up deal which resulted in the acquisition of the 11 boat fleet in Florida for he and Abramoff. Not long thereafter, the previous owner, Guy Boulis, was murdered gangland-style in Miami allegedly by three mafia thugs who had been put on the SunCruz payroll by Kidan. Kidan had previous direct ties to the mafia himself. Oddly enough, Kidan, who appears to have ordered the murder, according to one of the guys now charged in the crime, hasn't yet been charged himself in connection to it. Even though his three mafia pals have been. We'll see if that changes.

What it means for now? Kidan's guilty plea goes along with an agreement to testify at Jack Abramoff's upcoming trial on this matter and Kidan is also likely to cooperate with prosecutors on several other Abramoff-related investigations as well. Several of them involving boatloads (pun intended?) of GOP pols.

As well, our old friend, not-yet-resigned Rep. Bob Ney (R-OH), chair of the powerful House Administration Committee --- who held phony "hearings" last March on the 2004 Ohio Presidential Election "Irregularities" --- is also on the hook for his cooperation with Abramoff and Kidan in the SunCruz matter. Ney made statements on the House floor in support of Kidan and against Boulis as the deal was being played out. Apparently, Ney also received a few dollars in exchange.

Along with former Abramoff partner and one-time Tom DeLay staffer, the indicted Michael Scanlon, who has similarly agreed to testify against his old pals, we'd say Abramoff, Ney, and DeLay are all in hotter and hotter water to come. Where it stops...nobody knows.

And that's what happens when you participate in non-theoretical conspiracies.

Another GOP Operative Facing Up to 7 Years Prison Time, $500,000 Fine
ALSO: Voter Registration Groups Cleared of Wrong Doing as Accused by Phony GOP 'Voting Rights' Group...
By Brad Friedman on 12/15/2005 8:10pm PT  

From AP...

A federal jury this afternoon returned a mixed verdict against a former national Republican Party official accused of orchestrating an election day phone-jamming plot against New Hampshire Democrats.

The jury acquitted James Tobin of the most important of three charges --- violating voters' rights --- and convicted him on two counts of telephone harassment.

Tobin, 45, of Bangor, Maine, was President Bush's New England campaign chairman last year.

Tobin faces a maximum seven-year prison term and $500,000 in fines when he is sentenced in March.

Please note that Tobin's crime occured in the 2002 election. He was known to be under investigation for the crime thereafter, but was hired anyway by Bush/Cheney '04 to run their NE campaign until he was indicted and the "honesty and integrity" campaign decided they better get rid of him. People might talk. More background on that particular GOP scandal here. And another update here, including info on the $722,000 that the RNC paid to defend their man, Tobin!

This is all counter, of course, to the horseshit put forth by the GOP front group calling themselves the "non-partisan" American Center for Voting Rights (ACVR). As you'll recall, they and their other Rightwing operative cronies had released reports, propaganda and all sorts of unsubstantiated claims about Democrats and various non-partisan Voter Registration groups such as ACORN having committed all forms of Voter Registration Fraud (which they tried to suggest was "Voter Fraud" --- which is something quite different).

You'll be surprised to learn, no doubt, that ACVR and friend were full of shit. It turns out that one year later, the organizations they scurrilously attacked --- in a transparent attempt to smokescreen the real Election Fraud that they were neck deep in perpetrating --- have been vindicated of the various bogus charges, as virtually all of the frivolous lawsuits and investigations the GOP liars made so much noise about have simply collapsed. See this for more [PDF].

Sorry for both the vulgarities and the terse report on both of these items. Too much to cover for the huge BRAD BLOG "Staff" (that would be me and an occasional helping hand from one or two similarly overworked and patriotic helpers!) that isn't adequately being covered by the "real" media. And that means I'm both way too busy, and way too cranky and just a little too foul-mouthed this evening. Don't fucking like it? Go read the fucking NY Times instead. By next week, they oughta have a great story on Wally O'Dell resigning from Diebold! :-) (There, now I feel better).

For more information on the "non-partisan" tax-exempt ACVR scam and the snake-oil salesmen who invented it, Bush/Cheney '04 National General Counsel Mark F. "Thor" Hearne and RNC Communications Director Jim Dyke, please see BRAD BLOG's full Special Coverage of the "American Center for Voting Rights" at

By John Gideon on 12/15/2005 5:00pm PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon of

It is apparent that the PR machine has been cranked up and is working overtime. The Associated Press picked-up the Leon County story and the always available David Bear of Diebold is suddenly refusing to speak. Diebold did speak through a letter to Florida and Ion Sancho in Leon County. Of course, they made it all Mr. Sancho's fault. Florida just threw up their hands and said they had nothing to do with anything. In California, two Diebold counties have come out in support of Diebold and say that it can't happen there. That message will surely be repeated in "Diebold counties" across the nation as Diebold and their customers try to save the day. In the meantime there is an excellent OpEd from Centre County, PA below....

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

Total Pages (633):
« Newest ... « 485 486 487 488 489 [490] 491 492 493 494 495 » ... Oldest »

Support The BRAD BLOG
Please visit our advertisers

Spend your advertising dollars wisely! And support the good guys at the same time! or Advertise with the good guys! We're it!

Support The BRAD BLOG
Please visit our advertisers
Brad Friedman's

Recent Entries

Important Docs

A Few Great Blogs
Political Cartoonists

Follow The BRAD BLOG on Twitter! Follow The BRAD BLOG on Facebook!
Add to Google
Please Help Support The BRAD BLOG...
any amount you like...
any amount you like...
Or by Snail Mail
Make check out to...
Brad Friedman
7095 Hollywood Blvd., #594
Los Angeles, CA 90028

The BRAD BLOG receives no foundational or corporate support. Your contributions make it possible to continue our work.
About Brad Friedman...
Brad is an independent investigative
journalist, blogger, broadcaster, co-founder,
expert on issues of election integrity,
and a Commonweal Institute Fellow.

Brad has contributed chapters to these books...

...And is featured in these documentary films...

Additional Stuff...
Brad Friedman/The BRAD BLOG Named...
Buzz Flash's 'Wings of Justice' Honoree
Project Censored 2010 Award Recipient
The 2008 Weblog Awards

Wikio - Top of the Blogs - Politics

Other Brad Related Places...

Brad's Test Area
(Ignore below! It's a test!)

Help save the planet by going green with solar. Get a SolarCity solar system with no money down.
All Content & Design Copyright © Brad Friedman unless otherwise specified. All rights reserved.
Advertiser Privacy Policy | The BradCast logo courtesy of Rock Island Media.
Web Hosting, Email Hosting, & Spam Filtering for The BRAD BLOG courtesy of Junk Email Filter.