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EPA's Pruitt, facing 12 probes, grilled in Senate; Storms kill 5 in Northeast; King County files suit against oil cos; PLUS: Air pollution dangers extend into womb...
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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
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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...

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

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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...

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CRIMINAL PROBE LAUNCHED INTO GOP VOTER REGISTRATION FRAUD SCANDAL IN FL
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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...

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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...

'The bloggers have apparently been right all along,' says host Cenk Uyger
By Brad Friedman on 5/24/2006 1:33pm PT  

The Young Turks had NEWSWEEK's Steven Levy as a guest on their show yesterday to discuss his article on the Diebold disaster from this week's issue. (See our item discussing his article here, including an update with a response from Levy concerning our coverage.)

Says host Cenk Uyger during the interview: "The bloggers have apparently been right about this all along."

Other items that jumped out at us: When asked how many states have "reliable systems", Levy said, "26 states have instituted some sort of paper trail."

We'll give him the benefit of the doubt that he understands that a "paper trail" law, particularly when it's never actually counted, and it almost never is, means nothing (as we pointed out in our piece covering his article a few days ago.)

And this from Levy, who does, I think, generally "get it" --- even if he may somewhat underestimate the full gravity that this issue deserves, as it underscores our entire democracy: "The big thing would be to take the election system out of the private sector, and put it into the public sector."

On that score, of course, he's right on the money.

One more note: They discuss the "blogosphere" several times in several ways in relation to this issue. No names mentioned (can't imagine who they may be referring to.) And co-host Ben Mankiewicz --- who I've sat in for once or twice while he was gone, so haven't gotten to speak with him much on this --- seems to be the most skeptical of the bunch. I've told Cenk this morning that I'd be delighted to go back on the show to answer any and all of Ben's (or his) questions, skepticisms, concerns or anything else on this matter. Hopefully, we'll be able to arrange something along those lines soon.

-- Watch/Listen to the complete interview with Steven Levy here...

(Thanks for the heads up, Cenk!)




By Brad Friedman on 5/24/2006 12:38pm PT  




By David Edwards on 5/24/2006 7:45am PT  

Guest blogged by David Edwards of Veredictum.com


Video in Streaming Flash format...
Video in Windows Media format...

Yesterday, The New York Daily News reported that two top CIA officials discussed Valerie plame with Cheney's former Chief of Staff, Lewis "Scooter" Libby. If true, the CIA officials' testimony will show that Libby knew of Valerie Plame's status at the CIA at least a month prior to Robert Novak's column which first publicly exposed Valerie Plame's undercover status. The testimony of the two top CIA officials is expected to bolster the charge of perjury against Libby. Libby has previously testified that he first learned about Plame from a reporter.

MSNBC's Keith Olbermann takes notice that this story had been originally reported 2 months earlier by Jason Leopold, an internet journalist writing for Truthout. On May 13th, Leopold reported that Karl Rove, like Libby, had been served with an indictment for perjury and obstruction of justice. This report has not been confirmed by other media sources, triggering a fierce debate on the internet about the accuracy Leopold's report that Rove has been served with an indictment. Truthout editor, Marc Ash, is defending the accuracy of the report.




Another Election Day, Another Failure by America's Largest Voting Machine Company...
By Brad Friedman on 5/23/2006 11:54pm PT  

Another Primary Election Day. Another E-Voting Mess. This time in Arkansas.

Mind you, this comes on the heels of earlier announcements that several major counties in Arkansas would be forced to use paper ballots instead of electronic machines after ES&S failed to deliver ballots and programming on time for the start of elections (something like the 10th state in which this has happened with ES&S so far this year, as regular BRAD BLOG readers know. But shhh...don't tell anyone!)

On Monday, the day before the election, at least one county election director in Arkansas pleaded with voters to choose paper on Election Day. "Grab a paper ballot, vote it and put it in the ballot box. It will go smoother," Benton County's election coordinator told voters on Monday.

Well, now it looks like ES&S has failed even further (we're shocked, shocked!) as tabulators in some counties failed to work at all, so ballots can't be counted until tomorrow at the earliest. And now the AR Secretary of State wants some answers about all of it.

From AP tonight...

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




Electronic Machines, Shown Vulnerable to Easy Tampering --- Yet Said by State Officials to Be Physically Protected Under New Guidelines --- Now Available for Easy Access to Temp Workers!
Rationalizations from Diebold Company Apologists Appearing Sillier by the Day...
By Brad Friedman on 5/23/2006 11:48am PT  


So much for those vaunted claims by California's Sec. of State Bruce McPherson and his partners at Diebold, Inc. about increased security surrounding the physical access to electronic voting machines in light of newly revealed vulnerabilities to easy tampering.

A tip received by The BRAD BLOG on Monday reveals that Temp Workers are currently being sought in San Francisco for California's upcoming primary election to "assist in dropping off election voting machines and picking these machines up when voting is complete," as the says.

A classified ad seeking the workers is currently posted on the Internet at Monster.com by Kelly Services. (A screenshot of the complete ad is posted at the end of this article.) The salary offered to temp workers hired for the job --- who will have private unsupervised access to the state's voting machines before and after election day --- is $11.99/hour according to the posting.

A litany of recent studies and independent scientific analyses of electronic voting machines, in California and elsewhere --- and reportedly widely in the mainstream media of late --- have warned that such systems and the data they contain are easily alterable via such physical access.

State and voting machine company officials have now admitted as much, but claim that stringent security procedures ensure that the danger posed by such access can be mitigated.

The ad, however, seeking temp workers for three weeks beginning on May 31, the week prior to California's June 6th primary election, would seem to belie official claims, while serving to underscore the extraordinarily precarious and dangerously vulnerable state of our current electoral system...

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




By David Edwards on 5/23/2006 8:37am PT  

Guest blogged by David Edwards of Veredictum.com


Video in Streaming Flash format...
Video in Windows Media format...

George Stephanopoulos interviewed 2004 Vice Presidential candidate John Edwards on Sunday's edition of ABC ThisWeek.

Edwards repeated his charge that President Bush is "the worst President of our lifetime." He also condemned Bush and Cheney for doing serious damage to the country. From foreign policy to domestic policy, Edwards said that it "will take us forever to recover" from the Bush Administration. The former V.P candidate also blasted breaking the law and ignoring the Constitution to spy on Americans.

Edwards:I think what's more important than all of that is watching what her father, the Vice President of the United States, has done to this country. It is not an accident that he's unbelievable poorly thought of. I can't remember what his last poll numbers were but they're like in the teens... There's a reason for that. I mean, he is --- if not the principal --- architect of this disaster in Iraq. He put us on an energy path that the American people are paying an enormous price for right now. He paid little or no attention to making sure the government was prepared to respond to the type of disaster that hit our Gulf Coast. We've got a healthcare crisis going on and he's had no proposal of any kind, that I know of. And people don't trust him anymore which is understandable. I wouldn't trust him.

Stephanopoulos: You've also said that his boss, the President, is "the worst president of our lifetime".

Edwards: Yes.

Stephanopoulos: Worse than Richard Nixon?

Edwards: Absolutely. Absolutely.

Stephanopoulos: What has President Bush done that is worse than the crimes and the cover-ups of Watergate.

Edwards: Well he's done a variety of things. Things that are going to take us forever to recover from. I think we can recover from them but the damage done to the way America is viewed in the World. The lack of respect for American in the World. What the ongoing conflict in Iraq is doing to America's image. His response to this hurricane on the Gulf Coast which I think is part of a pattern of incompetence.

Stephanopoulos: But if he's worse than Richard Nixon, should President Bush be impeached?

Edwards: I think that the way to deal with this is we need a Democratic President in the next election. I think the damage this President has done --- and I didn't get through the whole list. For example, leading an effort --- an illegal effort, I think it's absolutely clear that it's illegal --- effort to spy on Americans, completely ignoring the law and the Constitution. The President knew and his advisor knew...

Stephanopoulos: He says that he has the authority under the Constitution. Article Two of the Constitution.

Edwards: He is wrong. He is wrong. It is the reason we have a separation of powers in this country. Congress had enacted a [FISA] law that told the President exactly what he was supposed to do and he just ignored it. He intentionally ignored it. If there was any question about this, the least they should have done is to go to Congress and try to get the law changed. Should we be monitoring al-Qaeda? Absolutely. It is necessary to keep this country safe but we can do it under the law and the President is not above the law...




'No Intermediate Step Between Supreme Court and Violent Revolution'
By Brad Friedman on 5/22/2006 7:44pm PT  

From this week's issue of New York magazine...

Does he, like many Democrats, think the election was stolen?

Gore pauses a long time and stares into the middle distance. "There may come a time when I speak on that," Gore says, "but it's not now; I need more time to frame it carefully if I do." Gore sighs. "In our system, there's no intermediate step between a definitive Supreme Court decision and violent revolution."

Later, I put the question of Gore's views on the matter to David Boies, his lawyer in the Florida-recount battle. "He thought the court's ruling was wrong and obviously political," Boies says. So he considers the election stolen? "I think he does---and he's right."

(Hat-tip to BRAD BLOG reader Sarah M.)




Experts: Odds Increase that Veep to be Called as Witness in Perjury Case Against his Former Chief of Staff
Pre-Trial Disclosures Reveal Libby 'Does Not Recall' Seeing Veep's Hand Written Notes about Valerie Plame on copy of NY Times Editorial...
By Brad Friedman on 5/22/2006 3:47pm PT  

New pre-trial filings by Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald in the Scooter Libby perjury trial related to the outting of covert CIA agent Valerie Plame, seem to draw Dick Cheney still closer to the center of the scandal, MSNBC's David Schuster is now reporting.

In the newly released documents, defendant Libby denies having seen Cheney's handwritten notes on the margins of a 2003 NY Times op/ed, in which Cheney raises questions about Plame's involvement in former Ambassador Joe Wilson's fact-finding trip to Niger. In the op/ed, Wilson exposes what he didn't find on that trip --- evidence that Saddam was attempting to purchase uranium from Niger.

(See BRAD BLOG's report, as filed last week by David Edwards, with video and other details as the NY Times marginalia was disclosed.)

From Schuster's report this evening:

If the chief of his office did not see the Vice President's notes, who were they intended for?
...
Meanwhile, legal experts say the latest Libby filing could be telling for what the defense does not argue. Libby does not challenge the prosecution statement that on the day columnist Robert Novak first disclosed Valerie Wilson's identity, a quote "CIA official discussed in the defendant's presence the dangers posed by disclosure of the CIA affiliation of one of its employees as had occurred in the Novak column. This evidence directly contradicts the defense position."

RAW STORY has the text transcript and reports that Rove's legal team expects a decision on his indictment "at any time".

Here's the video, just out from MSNBC's Hardball, including the new details as reported by Schuster...


Video in Streaming Flash format...
Video in Windows Media format...




By Brad Friedman on 5/22/2006 3:22pm PT  

High-larious. From last Saturday's SNL. Courtesy of Crooks & Liars...





Ion Sancho, Leon County's Heroic Elections Supervisor Warns 'If it can't be verified, it can't be used'
By Brad Friedman on 5/22/2006 1:43pm PT  
Elections chief urges citizens to demand vote accountability

DAYTONA BEACH --- A maverick elections official made clear Saturday that two things remain constant: the state's flawed voting system and his passion for trying to fix it.

Eyes glinting, hands gesturing boldly, Ion Sancho, Leon County's elections supervisor, accused the state's political leaders of undermining democracy.

First, they forced counties to adopt electronic voting machines that can be tampered with, then, last year, they made it illegal to use paper ballots to recount close races
...
"We need more audits. We need recounts," Sancho said. "Trust no one. If it can't be verified, it can't be used."

Go, Ion, go!...




(We'd have posted it earlier today if it hadn't been for 9/11!)
By Brad Friedman on 5/21/2006 8:45pm PT  

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




Company Spokesman/Dead-Ender David Bear Running Out of Spin!
[UPDATE: Newsweek's Steven Levy Responds to This Article]
By Brad Friedman on 5/21/2006 1:09am PT  


"If Diebold had set out to build a system as insecure as they possibly could, this would be it," says Avi Rubin, a Johns Hopkins University computer-science professor and elections-security expert.

Things aren't looking good for our friends at Diebold. Even NEWSWEEK is finally paying attention as Steven Levy files a report for this week's issue on the story we broke two weeks ago.

(Just pointing that out, so you generous BRAD BLOG donors realize you're getting your money's worth by getting the scoops long before the rest of the world even wakes up :-) And by way of torturously cryptic value-added teaser: Much more to come from other major MSM sources in the near future. Much.)

But back to NEWSWEEK...Levy's piece begins this way...

May 29, 2006 issue - Just when you thought it was safe to go back into the voting booth, here comes more disturbing news about the trustworthiness of electronic touchscreen ballot machines. Earlier this month a report by Finnish security expert Harri Hursti analyzed Diebold voting machines for an organization called Black Box Voting. Hursti found unheralded vulnerabilities in the machines that are currently entrusted to faithfully record the votes of millions of Americans.

How bad are the problems? Experts are calling them the most serious voting-machine flaws ever documented. Basically the trouble stems from the ease with which the machine's software can be altered. It requires only a few minutes of pre-election access to a Diebold machine to open the machine and insert a PC card that, if it contained malicious code, could reprogram the machine to give control to the violator. The machine could go dead on Election Day or throw votes to the wrong candidate. Worse, it's even possible for such ballot-tampering software to trick authorized technicians into thinking that everything is working fine, an illusion you couldn't pull off with pre-electronic systems.

With that said, we recommend you read Levy's piece --- it's not long --- for a few more thoughts and details. But we'll nitpick one or two of them here. Most notably taking the opportunity to highlight Diebold's desperato spokesman, David Bear's latest gasp...

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




WaPo Reports Supreme Court Justice Tells Hapless, Desperate, Corrupt, 'Conservative' Congressman to Knock it Off...
By Brad Friedman on 5/20/2006 5:36pm PT  

Rep. Tom Feeney (R-FL) has made such a jackass of himself, so frequently of late, in his desperate bid to save himself from a challenge to his U.S. House Seat in Florida's 24th district this fall, that we can't help but begin a new feature we'll call "Feeney Watch" for a while here at BRAD BLOG.

Feeney's emerging strategy: Act like he's an actual conservative again, distance himself from Bush for the first time ever, and otherwise do anything he can to get his name in the paper for anything other than the mounting corruption charges against and around him.

Here's his latest jackassery, for which he recieved a spanking from none other than his idol Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia --- from today's WaPo (We'll try to get caught up with some previous Feeney Foolishness in the days and week's ahead)...

Scalia Tells Congress to Mind Its Own Business

Justice Antonin Scalia rebuked fellow conservatives on Capitol Hill yesterday, saying they have gone too far in trying to prevent the Supreme Court from using foreign law in its constitutional rulings.
...
"It's none of your business," he said, referring to Congress. "No one is more opposed to the use of foreign law than I am, but I'm darned if I think it's up to Congress to direct the court how to make its decisions."
...
Rep. Tom Feeney (R-Fla.), who has co-sponsored a nonbinding resolution against the use of foreign law, said that Scalia's comments were "like being told your favorite baseball player disagrees with your approach to hitting."

Scalia's "brilliance," Feeney said, "has not convinced a majority of the court. He needs our help, even if he doesn't want it."

Feeney said that Scalia's remarks may have damaged chances for his resolution's passage, since they will probably be quoted by its opponents.

Of course, Feeney is running against vote-rigging whistleblower Clint Curtis this year, whose story we originally broke here at BRAD BLOG in December of 2004. Curtis has alleged --- amongst other "Tom"-foolery --- that Feeney asked him to create a vote-rigging software prototype when they both worked for Yang Enterprises Inc. (YEI) in Florida in 2000. In addition to being YEI's general counsel and registered lobbyist, Feeney just also happened to be the Speaker of the FL House at the time.

No conflict of interest there, of course, just because YEI had millions of dollars in state contracts.

Speaking of millions of dollars, Feeney's got 'em, as he's one of the top-tier money-collectors in the Tom DeLay/Jack Abramoff Big-Buy GOP network.

Curtis, on the other hand, is raising his money the old fashioned way: By earning it. From regular old citizens. Please feel free to help him do so. He needs it!

For more info on The BRAD BLOG's continuing investigative series on
The Clint Curtis/Tom Feeney/Yang Enterprises Vote-Rigging Scandal series, please see:
- A Quick Summary of the story so far.
- An Index of all the Key Articles & Evidence in the series so far.
- Curtis is now running for U.S. Congress against Feeney.
To support or for more info, see: www.ClintCurtis.com



Reports from Pennsylvania During Last Tuesday's Primary
(Brad Consulted NPR a Bit on the Report)...UPDATE: Now Includes Text Transcript of Report...
By Brad Friedman on 5/20/2006 12:58pm PT  

This morning, NPR's Weekend Edition covered the latest trouble with Diebold's touch-screen systems. They went to Pottsville, PA during last Tuesday's primary election.

The producer on the story had contacted us last week, prior to the story, for some background information. The resultant report, aired this morning, was generally a good --- and for a chance, accurate! --- one, we think.

By way of quick summary: Diebold spokesman Mark Radke explains the latest security hole, which had caused a lockdown of all Diebold touch-screen machines in PA, just days prior to the election, was there for a good reason --- to update software quickly, he says.

No explanation, of course, for why Diebold didn't feel it necessary to warn PA themselves about such a need for these extreme measures long ago. Especially since they were warned about the problem as long ago as January 2004.

Johns Hopkins computer science professor, Avi Rubin, says he can't think of a problem ever revealed in a voting machine as severe as this one --- the one which Radke predictably downplays --- adding that a TIVO system has more built-in security than a Diebold voting machine!

Radke says the physical security of the machines would make it impossible to exploit the security hole. Radke, of course, knows he's just spinning. Rubin makes that clear in his response, explaining how he could have compromised an election in about 5 seconds as a poll worker through this ridiculous vulnerability.

-- Listen to the full report (about 5 mins) here...

...And let us know what you thought of it in comments.

UPDATE: Barb Burt over at CommonCause, blogs on the NPR item as well this morning, giving it high-marks, along with a few other notable thoughts.

UPDATE 5/24/06: A text transcript of the NPR report is now included below...

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




UniLect Patriot Machines Lost Votes in NC and PA on Election Night...And So What About OH?
By Brad Friedman on 5/19/2006 8:32pm PT  

From AP...

MERCER, Pa. (AP) --- County commissioners have sued the maker of a decertified voting system, alleging breach of warranty.

In the lawsuit, the county seeks $925,074 in damages from UniLect of Dublin, Calif., for the company's Patriot touch-screen voting machines.

The machines were in use in the 2004 presidential election in Mercer County, where votes were apparently lost.

In April of 2005, we reported on those machines, the UniLect Patriots, being decertified in PA.

Previously, on November 4, 2004 --- two days after the Presidential Election --- we reported that more than 4,500 votes were completely lost on the same machines in Carteret County, NC.

That same day, in the same report, we discussed the same machines in use in Ohio on Election Day.

While the incident in NC led to new laws in the state requiring full source-code submission to the state by Electronic Voting Machine vendors, and the problems in PA have led to state decertification and now a lawsuit against the company, we're aware of no action that has ever been taken by the state of OH to investigate what might have happened and whether or not votes were similarly lost on UniLect Patriot machines in the Buckeye state that same night.

Good thing what happened in OH on November 2, 2004 wasn't all that important.




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