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Latest Featured Reports | Thursday, September 29, 2016
'Green News Report' 9/29/16
  w/ Brad & Desi
Clinton promotes clean energy, Trump denies his own denial in the first Presidential debate; PLUS: Big Coal tries to kill Obama's landmark emissions standards in federal court...
Previous GNRs: 9/22/16 - 9/20/16 - Archives...
Fallout from the 'Trumpwreck' Debate: 'BradCast' 9/28/16
The public reaction to the first Trump/Clinton Presidential debate --- from polls, betting markets, newspapers and listener callers (lots of them!)...
Trumpwreck: The First Presidential Debate: 'BradCast' 9/27/16
Smart and, at times, hilarious coverage of the Trump/Clinton Hofstra debate, with journalists Heather Digby Parton and David Dayen...
'The Most Audacious Political Heist of Our Time':
'BradCast' 9/26/16
David Daley on 'RatF**ked' and how the GOP 'stole' the U.S. House for a decade as Dems 'fell asleep at the wheel'...
Sunday Toons of the First Debate Moment
The final stretch for the general election begins and so do the Presidential Debates, as documented in PDiddie's collection of the best political toons of the week...
Eyewitness to Shooting at Protest Questions Official Account: 'BradCast' 9/22/16
Guest: Linda Flynn of Charlotte Spirituality Center was 'feet away', believes police activity sparked violence at peaceful demonstration...
'Green News Report' 9/22/16
  w/ Brad & Desi
U.N. climate pact reaches crucial threshold; White House orders NatSec planning for climate change; Good/bad news in the Arctic; PLUS: Obama to world: Time to step up...
Previous GNRs: 9/20/16 - 9/15/16 - Archives...
Caller Debate Questions
for Trump and Clinton:
'BradCast' 9/21/16
Plus: Police shootings and protests in NC, OK; Earth smashes more heat records; Trump leads Clinton in new national poll...
Trump Charity Scam; Warren v. Wells CEO; TX Defies Court: 'BradCast' 9/20/16
A whole lotta liars, cheats and scam artists on today's show! (So what else is new?)...
'Green News Report' 9/20/16
AL pipeline spill; Court reprieve for Dakota Access; U.N. trying to 'Trump proof' climate pact; PLUS: Leonardo DiCaprio wants you to watch over the oceans...
Terror Attacks in NY, NJ, MN; Massive Pipeline Spill in AL: 'BradCast' 9/19/16
What we know (and don't) in both cases. Guest: Alabama Media Group's natural resources reporter Dennis Pillion...
Sunday Toons of the Slightly Queasy Moment
'Slightly'?! ... 'PDiddie' may need a moment to see if it passes...
Trump's (Latest) Trap; Voting Rights Rulings in KS and OH: 'BradCast' 9/16/16
Also: Nat'l polls tied; Trump leads in OH; Sanders warns against 3rd-party voting; Colbert cheers us up...
'Green News Report' 9/15/16
Dakota Access pipeline fails climate test; House Comm probes state AGs on Exxon; Lead paint maker bought WI immunity; PLUS: LA floods U.S. 3rd costliest disaster...
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
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'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...

PLUS: New Poll Suggest the Former GOP Majority Leader is in Trouble with Constituents
By Brad Friedman on 12/5/2005 6:49pm PT  

As former U.S. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay received troubling legal news today in Texas where he's been indicted on several charges related to money-laundering campaign contributions for Republican candidates, Fox "News" did their best to buck up the spirits of "The Hammer".

The judge in the case rejected DeLay's motion to drop all charges, though he did toss out one charge for "conspiracy" which hadn't yet been against the law in Texas at the time DeLay allegedly conspired. The decision now paves the way for the criminal trial to begin and for DeLay to be permanently replaced in his House leadership position.

But we hope you "Fair and Balanced" zombies out there will note how it was reported via several different Email Alerts today:

From Yahoo Email Alert...

Subject: Breaking News

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) A Texas judge has refused to dismiss money laundering charges against Rep. Tom DeLay but threw out conspiracy charges.

From CNN Email Alert...

Subject: CNN Breaking News

-- Judge tosses conspiracy charges against ex-House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, but allows money-laundering charges, according to AP.

And finally, from "We Report, You Decide" Fox "News" Email Alert...

Subject: FNC Alert

TEXAS JUDGE DROPS CONSPIRACY CHARGES AGAINST REP. TOM DELAY

Sigh...

Meanwhile, on the tube version of the above Alert, John Gibson's plans to mislead are quashed by Judge Andrew Nepalitano who manages to sneak a bit of truth past the Fox police:
-- Fox News Video in Windows Media format...

And yet, despite FNC's failure to inform Americans about what's really going on in their Government (or perhaps more accurately, their demonstrated attempt to misinform them), it seems the message is getting out anyway. More bad news tonight for Tom DeLay, this time from his own home district in Houston, courtesy of Jesse at Stakeholder who also has additional info there on the battle brewing to replace DeLay permanently in the House Leadership...

CNN/USA TODAY/GALLUP POLL (December 1-4)

TEXAS DISTRICT 22

QUESTION: If Tom DeLay runs for re-election in 2006, in general, are you more likely to vote for the Republican candidate Tom DeLay or for the Democratic Party's candidate for Congress?

Democrat 49%
Tom DeLay 36%

Opinion of Tom DeLay

Favorable 37%
Unfavorable 52%
Unfamiliar 11%

Charges Against DeLay Are...

Definitely true 15%
Probably true 40%
Probably false 26%
Definitely false 8%

(A well overdue hat-tip to BRAD BLOG's not-so-secret weapon David Edwards for his "News Alert" info!)




By John Gideon on 12/5/2005 5:06pm PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon of VotersUnite.org

The Colorado SoS announced today that 10 counties may have to procure new voting machines. Their ES&S and Sequoia Optech Eagle III-P precinct scanners did not properly count the votes in last month's election and a hand recount in the 10 counties resulted in two races being changed. Is this just an excuse to force the counties to buy DREs? I dunno but these are precinct based optical scan machines and they were being used, in part, to count absentee and mail-in ballots. ...

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




Claims Pentagon Contractors Found Doing Little More Than Funnelling Tax-Payer Funds to Republican Pols!
By Brad Friedman on 12/4/2005 7:30pm PT  

Joseph Cannon has been digging deep and looking under the slimy rock of the Duke Cunningham bribery scandal to take a closer look at the MZM and Wilkes Corp firms and seems to be finding what appears to be millions of tax-payer dollars funnelled through fake "Defense Contractors" (who actually appear to do nothing) and then straight into the pockets and campaigns of scores of Republican politicians.

This seems to be the sort of thing actual journalists used to report, the U.S. Congress used to investigate and the Justice Department used to prosecute. Thank God that bloggers like Joe get the big big bucks for doing all of that (save the prosecute part) even while they have a day job!

So is Cannon onto something big here? I'm busy digging into a few things of my own, but it seems to me that his work deserves a much closer look...

UPDATE: (Upon further reflection on Joe's work, it seems to me that if he's got this right, this could be the mother of all historic scams in this country...For that reason, my natural inclination says that this can't be. The implications here would be so enormous, my initial reaction is that he must have something wrong here. But does he?)




A Look Back at the Most Notable Stories from the Week That Was In Our Continually Crumbling Democracy...
By John Gideon on 12/4/2005 5:26pm 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 November 28 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!... ---




ALSO: Jewish Fox Newsie Masquerades as Christmas Saving Crusader by calling America 'A Christian Nation' as 'Reported' by Phony GOP 'News' Outlets
UPDATE: More Info on the Possibly Psychotic Don Feder who Seems to be Celebrating Christmas by Encouring Readers to Impale Judges With Whom They Disagree...
By Brad Friedman on 12/4/2005 4:40pm PT  

On the Friday edition of The O'Reilly Factor's "Talking Points Memo" segment, self-proclaimed satirical journalist/host Bill O'Reilly used a year-old clip from Comedy Central's The Daily Show in an attempt to make it look as though "Secular Central" (as he referred to them) were out to get Christmas!

The latest chapter in O'Reilly's phony "War on Christmas" or whatever the hell he calls his sad cry for attention --- and/or swell reason to avoid reporting on actual news --- provides more ammunition to the argument that the Fox "News" Channel's #1 personality continues his bizarre slide into bonkerhood/irrelevancy.

Previously, the so-called "Christian" Right had decried the commercialization of Christmas, but having apparently found that tactic not as politically adventageous as they might might have liked, have this year declared "war" on whatever retail outlets don't remind shoppers of their latest reason for the season: The Commercialization of Jesus Christ as a Weapon in a Self-Induced Paranoia-laden Phony Culture War (or, as Tom Delay's one-time aide, the now-indicted Michael Scanlon described it via email: a way to fire up the "Christian wackos" to trick them into voting for Republicans).

O'Reilly introduced a video clip from The Daily Showduring Friday's "Talking Points Segment" by saying "Predictably, the opponents of public displays of Christmas continue to put forth counter arguments." He then referred to Comedy Central as "Secular Central."

Trouble is, the clip appears to be from last year's Daily Show as evidenced by a) We watched every episode this week and didn't see the clip O'Reilly played, b) Daily Show "correspondent" Samantha Bee is standing in front of a 2004 calendar and c) Bee is currently quite noticably pregnant...which she is noticabaly NOT in the clip O'Reilly used.

-- Video in Window Media format...
-- Video in QuickTime format...

UPDATE: 12/6/05 Media Matters picks up on our story. ... A few details added: O'Reilly also played the Samantha Bee clip on the same afternoon's Radio Factor and referred to it as "what happenened there last night" (he dropped the "last night" part when misleading viewers later that evening on his TV show). They also cut the first part of Bee's comment from the TV version, but played it on the radio where she began the joke by saying, "But really, let's face it. All other days bow down to the 25th..."

In related news, O'Reilly and the other GOP shamelessly opportunistic Political Paranoia Peddlers featured stories about the Jewish Rightwing wackos who are also jumping on the Chutzpa Wagon to publicize their own mock outrage about this non-issue.

Former Boston Herald editorial writer and O'Reilly Factor guest Don Feder, tossed his tallis into the hat to try and help trump up O'Reilly's phony pet-project du jour by giving statements to the Cybercast News Service (CNS) on Friday. The statements were given by Feder to CNS --- a Republican propaganda organization created by GOP operative Brent Bozell and edited by Scott Hogenson, a long time director of operations in the RNC Press Office --- under the guise of heading up a Jewish group claiming to be supporting the effort to "save Christmas." In one of his statements, Feder, who is apparently Jewish, is quoted by CNS as stating that "America is a Christian nation."

Feder, a hard-right political consultant, bomb-thrower and smear-merchant (the kind O'Reilly pretends to not like) and the President of a group calling itself "Jews Against Anti-Christian Defamation" (JAACD) goes on to inflate his and O'Reilly's own strawman "war" by saying "we think it's good for Christians to be able to celebrate their holiday." As if any American had ever suggested otherwise.

The JAACD, which announced their mission to "Wage Web Warfare Against The Liberal Establishment" on its website, was formed last April. Jewish comedian Jackie Mason, who is also on the board of JAACD, was provided to O'Reilly's show as a guest on Friday. One of the other Republican propaganda "news" services, NewsMax.com ran a similar article in lockstep with their comrades at CNS on that same day. No mention was given in either article about Feder's relationship with O'Reilly.

Incidentally, no mention is given that "America is a Christian nation" in either the U.S. Constitution or the Declaration of Independence declaring America's nationhood.

CNS, NewsMax and O'Reilly have similarly forgotten to mention that as their shameless anti-American crusade for the hearts and minds --- and votes --- of the Rightwing Christian "wackos" continues.

(ADDENDUM: For those unfamiliar with all of this nonsense, see Bob Cesca's hilarious piece at HuffPo which also discusses Crooks & Liars discovery of O'Reilly's own Fox store offering "Holiday Ornaments" for your "Holiday Tree". Since John Amato reported that at C&L, by the way, Fox's store has been ethnically cleansed of the offensive balls, which several of their shows had offered, in favor of biblically accurate "Christmas" balls instead.)

UPDATE: Judging a man by the company he keeps... More on the hate-mongering, possibly psychopathic and self-discrediting Don Feder follows...

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




Coulter Supporters Continue Harassment of Lydia Cornell and Her Family After Rightwing Mouthpiece Refuses to Remove Petulant Posting
By Brad Friedman on 12/4/2005 3:03pm PT  

MSNBC picks up on Ann Coulter's pathetically infantile attack on BRAD BLOG Guest Blogger Lydia Cornell by naming Coulter in their "Worst Person in the World" segment Friday. She receives this dubious honor for "posting the personal phone number and email of a blogger who was critical of her" and for otherwise referring to to groups who disagree with her as "Nazi block watchers."

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

Indeed it's been nearly a full week since the cowardly hate-mongering "satirist" Coulter posted Cornell's private information on the front page of her website in petulant retaliation for an article Cornell wrote here on BRAD BLOG. Coulter has refused to take it down despite Cornell's polite requests to do so. The Ivy League educated Republican mouthpiece also regaled her readers by adding "Death is sexier than Lydia Cornell" to a post which included a polite private email from the actress/author.

In the bargain Cornell and her family continue to receive harassment and threats via her personal email and phone number which Coulter supplied to her millions of her uncompassionate attack dog sycophants who (predictably) refuse to condemn Coulter's indefensable lapse of simple "netiquette" and common decency. They --- like so many of their fake "conservative" brethren --- would rather attack someone whose message they don't like, rather than condemn one of their own or force them to take person responsibility for abhorrent behavior. Clearly these folks recognize neither "compassion" nor "conservatism" as anything other than a blunt linguistic instrument with which they are to bludgeon their perceived American "enemies".

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By David Edwards on 12/4/2005 2:50pm PT  


Guest blogged by David Edwards

Ann Coulter was called out on Countdown's nightly "Worst Person in the World" segment for posting the personal information of one of her critics on her website. They also noted that she referred to liberals as "Nazi block watchers" on Fox's O'Reilly Factor

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




North Carolina in Bed With Diebold...
By Brad Friedman on 12/4/2005 2:10pm PT  

(More details on the above here if you missed it.)




By David Edwards on 12/4/2005 9:13am PT  


Guest blogged by David Edwards

This morning on ABC's This Week, Congressman John Murtha told George Stephanopoulos that he believes the Bush Administration will pull out of Iraq in 2006.

Video in Windows Media format...
Video in QuickTime format...
Audio in MP3 format...




By John Gideon on 12/3/2005 5:15pm PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon of VotersUnite.org

Today we have a hodge-podge of news items. It seems that most of the news makers of the last few days are having a snooze and getting ready for the next flurry of excitement. Today we have a report from Texas were there is concern about a contract they have with Accenture (you may remember them as Arthur Anderson Consulting and their work with Enron) now that Colorado has just canceled a voter data base contract with them. In Ohio a judge has denied a request by attorneys for Gov. Taft and SoS Blackwell to dismiss a lawsuit against them by the state LWV....

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




Bush Misleads, Democrats Fracture Over Iraq Plan
From Daily Show to Countdown to Other Media Outbreaks on the Politics of War...
By David Edwards on 12/3/2005 12:00pm PT  

Guest blogged by David Edwards

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

On Wednesday, President Bush gave a speech at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis to unveil an unclassified version of something called the "National Strategy for Victory in Iraq".

As Maureen Dowd notes in today's NY Times, the Bush Administration's recently released plan is not a plan for victory as much as badly crafted political talking points. We wonder if the victory that Mr. Bush is planning for has more to do with the 2006 elections than achieving stability in Iraq.

Mr. Bush asserts that progress is being made in Iraq but his facts don't stand up to the truth on the ground. One of the most glaring discrepancies is Bush's claim that Iraqi troops lead the recent assault on Tal Afar. The Time Magazine reporter, Michael Ware, who was embedded with Iraqi troops in the Tal Afar battle has a different story:

I was in that battle from the very beginning to the very end. I was with Iraqi units right there on the front line as they were battling with al Qaeda. They were not leading. They were being led by the U.S. green beret special forces with them.

It's no surprise that a majority of Americans don't believe that the Bush Administration has a plan for victory in Iraq.

While the Bush team is flailing to find decent talking points, the Democrats can't seem to agree on any plan for resolution of the Iraq war crisis. By the end of this week the Democrats were holding at least three different positions:

  • Lieberman - Let 'em die. Whatever Bush says is OK with me.

  • Hillary - Let 'em die for another year or so. Maybe I'll change my mind after a few more polls.
  • Murtha - Bring 'em home as soon as practicable (6 months or less).

We've complied some video clips highlighting this week's developments in the politics of Iraq. From Bush's misleading speech to the Democrats fractured positions, it seems that most politicians are more concerned with their political futures than the futures of 150,000 men and women who have become living targets in an un-justified and un-winnable war.

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




Sign Senator Debra Bowen's Petition...
By Brad Friedman on 12/2/2005 7:41pm PT  

Debra Bowen, author of the "Bowen Amendment" (SB 370) which mandated "paper trails" for all votes in California, is now running for Secretary of State out here. She blogs about the now-nearly-infamous "Hack Test" that may soon occur on Diebold machines here in California.

She also asks that you sign her email petition demanding current Sec. of State Bruce McPherson thoroughly test such machines before they are certified by the state. I ask you to do so as well!

You don't need to be in California to sign the petition, as far as I know. And since what happens here will soon happen there, I strongly recommend you sign it.

(I recommend this because it's important, not just because she called me her "hero" during a joint appearance earlier today on KRXA 540am. Though that didn't hurt! ;-)

UPDATE 12/5/05: Bowen's office sends this information to clarify one of my statements above:

Just a minor factual error in your post about SB 370 (Bowen) last week. The bill doesn't require voting machines to have paper trails another lawmaker did that in 2004 and it will take effect on 1/1/06. What SB 370 did do is to require elections officials to use those paper trails to conduct the 1% manual hand count required by California law to audit the results of the election and in the case of any recount. If there's a dispute, then the results from the paper ballots are used as the official vote count.

Hope that makes sense.

It does indeed, and my thanks to Bowen's office for sending over the clarification!




By John Gideon on 12/2/2005 5:10pm PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon of VotersUnite.org

In a stunning reversal the North Carolina State Board of Elections decided to ignore state law and certify three voting systems for use in the state. Keith Long, an advisor to the Board of Elections who was formerly employed by both Diebold and Sequoia, has said that "none of them" could meet the statutory requirement to place their system code in escrow. Instead of rejecting all applications and issuing a new call for bids as required by law, the Board chose to approve all of the applicants. Long also said that it was not necessary to review the source code, even though state law requires it, because the ITA has already done that before federal qualification....

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




Unanimous Recommendation by 8 Staffers, Including Head of Voting Rights Division Ignored!
As With Georgia Photo ID Case, Bush Makes Mockery of Voting Rights Act, Ranking Democrat Calls for House Judiciary Committee Investigation
By Brad Friedman on 12/2/2005 12:56pm PT  

Washington Post, in a stunning front page splash today, is reporting that political appointees in George W. Bush's Dept. of Justice overruled their own attorneys in the Voting Rights Act unit who had recommended against Texas' state redistricting plan for Congressional districts. That new redistricting plan was key to former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay's (R-TX) controversial strategy in the state which eventually resulted in 7 additional Republicans being elected to the U.S. House in 2004.

Eight staffers at the DoJ, including the heads of the Voting Rights Division, advocated against the redistricting in a 73-page memo, but Bush political appointees agreed to allow the changes to go through anyway! The Voting Rights Act requires DoJ pre-approval of changes to electoral law in several states where minority voting rights have historically been an issue.

According to WaPo, "The Justice Department memo recommending rejection of the Texas plan was written by two analysts and five lawyers. In addition, the head of the voting section at the time, Joseph Rich, wrote a concurring opinion."

The disturbing revelation is similar to one reported two weeks ago, based on another yet leaked memo reported by WaPo's Dan Eggen, in which the Bush Attorney General is shown to have overruled 4 of 5 staffers who had recommended against pre-approval of Georgia's new Photo ID requirement at the polls. That law has since been struck down by Federal Courts which described it as a "Jim Crow-era Poll Tax."

The Bush administration has made a mockery of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 which celebrated its 40th anniversary over the summer. Several key clauses of the Voting Rights Act will be coming up for renewal authorization by Congress in 2007. It was reported some time ago that George W. Bush was "not familiar" with the VRA when asked about his support for its renewal during a meeting with several minority legislators in the summer prior to the 2004 election.

In 2003, Rep. John Conyers (D-MI), the ranking member of the U.S. House Judiciary Committee, had requested review of the documents now revealed by WaPo. He was met with "a cold response" at the time from the DoJ according to a just-issued press release (posted in full below). He is now calling for a full investigation by the Judiciary Committee into both the Texas and Georgia matters.

The following is from an AP summary of the WaPo's report [emphasis added]:

Attorney General Alberto Gonzales defended the Justice Department's decision to ignore staff lawyers' concerns that a Texas redistricting plan orchestrated by former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay would dilute minority voting rights.

A Justice Department memo released Friday showed that agency staffers unanimously objected to the Texas plan, which DeLay pushed through the Legislature to help elect more Republicans to the U.S. House.

Senior agency officials, appointed by President Bush, brushed aside concerns about the possible impact on minority voting and approved the new districts for the 2004 elections.
...
Of the state's 32 House seats, Republicans held 15 before the 2004 elections. Under the DeLay-backed plan, Republicans were elected to 22 of the state's seats in the House.
...
Because of historic discrimination against minority voters, Texas is required under provisions of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 to get Justice Department approval for any voting changes it makes to ensure the changes don't undercut minority voting.
...
Eight department staffers, including the heads of the Voting Rights Division, objected to the redistricting map, according to the memo which was first reported in Friday editions of The Washington Post.

[Gerry] Hebert [, who has been challenging the ruling] said when a case is a close call staff lawyers usually include counterpoints to their conclusions in their memo. But he said there is nothing in the 73-page memo suggesting a plausible reason for approving the map. "So that raises a lot of suspicions about the motives" of the senior officials who are political appointees, he said.
...
"The fact that the White House has covered up this document for so long provides a smoking gun pointing out efforts, led by Bush political appointees and Tom DeLay, to systematically cripple the voting rights of minorities," said Texas Sen. Leticia Van De Putte, one of the Democratic lawmakers who fled to New Mexico to thwart passage of the redistricting plan.

The WaPo report adds:

Mark Posner, a longtime Justice Department lawyer who now teaches law at American University, said it was "highly unusual" for political appointees to overrule a unanimous finding such as the one in the Texas case.

"In this kind of situation, where everybody agrees at least on the staff level . . . that is a very, very strong case," Posner said. "The fact that everybody agreed that there were reductions in minority voting strength, and that they were significant, raises a lot of questions as to why it was" approved, he said.

The full memo is available on the WaPo site here [PDF].

UPDATE: MSNBC Video of WaPo's Dan Eggen discussing story...

Conyers' just-released call for an investigation into the matter follows in full...

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




By John Gideon on 12/1/2005 7:41pm PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon of VotersUnite.org

In an almost expected turn of events Diebold was certified to be used in North Carolina today. This happened without meeting state code that requires inspection, for security purposes, of their source code. Essentially they lost in court because they were told they could not get a waiver from state law so the state gave them the waiver anyway and they are attempting to get away with this by making the same offer to other vendors....

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




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About Brad Friedman...
Brad is an independent investigative
journalist, blogger, broadcaster,
VelvetRevolution.us 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



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