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Dems' AZ Election Loss, NY Victories Suggest Big GOP Trouble: 'BradCast' 4/25/18
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Legal Lightning Round!:
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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?...

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Arrest in VA: GOP Voter Reg Scandal Widens
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The Secret Koch Brothers Tapes...

By Brad Friedman on 5/5/2006 8:54pm PT  

As several folks have asked me about this, perhaps I should let everyone know that I spoke to RAW STORY's Editor-in-Chief, John Byrne this morning about the site having gone down today not long after the Goss announcement. Apparently, due to circumstances out of his hands, their server got moved today, and it may take from 24 to 48 hours to propigate the new IP address.

Needless to say, he ain't happy about it. But just thought I should help folks know what happened, and that it wasn't the NSA that finally got to them.




5 Counties in Show Me State Say Show Us How the Hell to Vote Starting Monday, ES&S!
By Brad Friedman on 5/5/2006 7:54pm PT  

As Diebold implodes on the latest news that all of their touch-screen voting machines contain a perhaps-uncorrectable flaw being described as a "major national security threat," the largest of the country's Electronic Voting Machine Companies, ES&S continue to meltdown all across the nation.

On the heels of similar failures in Indiana, Oregon, Texas, West Virginia, Arkansas and elsewhere, Missouri now joins the crowd as the latest state to report failures by ES&S to deliver ballots, machines and software programming in time for elections this year.

Five counties in Missouri have announced they are going to "Plan B" (creating their own paper ballots, or returning to their old lever systems) in preparation for early voting which is to begin Monday in the Show Me state.

Problems are being reported in Boone, Carroll, Marion, Newton and Searcy Counties. Here's a sample of refrains that are starting to sound incredibly familiar:

"I'm just sick," longtime [Carroll County] Election Commission Chairman Levi Phillips said Tuesday. He said Election Systems and Software of Omaha, Neb., had not only failed to send the programmed parts for the touch-screen machines but it also failed to break down paper ballots so results could be reported by precinct. It also didn't put the candidates in the order drawn from a hat in a couple of races, he said.

"We're in hell with that," he said. "That wasn't a step forward. That's a step back."

The Election Commission voted unanimously Tuesday morning to order paper ballots for early voting.
...
Searcy County plans to drag its old lever voting machines out for early voting and they will be used on Election Day May 23 if the fancy new touch-screen computer voting machines aren't ready.
...
"Searcy County is very upset and let down with ES&S," Smith said this morning. He said he and four retired school teachers who "burned their own gas" took the new touch screen voting machines all around the county training poll workers and demonstrating for voters and "now they say you've got to do something else." He noted that the lever machine invented in the 1800s was proving more reliable than the state-of-the-art computer machines.

Dear Washington D.C. and the National Mainstream Media: Is anybody there? Does anybody care?

(Thanks to BRAD BLOG reader Mark M. for the tip from my home state!)




Voting Systems in Question Were Used Last Week in Ohio Primary, Soon in Pennsylvania, So 'Serious' Few Details Are Being Released
All Diebold Touch-Screen Machines, In All States, Said to be Affected by 'Horrifying' Vulnerability, Systems 'Sequestered' in PA
By Brad Friedman on 5/5/2006 1:24pm PT  

We've now been able to gather a great deal of additional information concerning details about the story we first posted yesterday on the official Pennsylvania state warning issued about the new "security vulnerability" discovered in all Diebold touch-screen electronic voting machines.

That warning, which has now brought a lock-down on all Diebold systems in PA, where early absentee (non-machine) voting is about to begin prior to their upcoming May 16th primary election, was reported by the Morning Call yesterday. The warning says the serious security vulnerability could allow ''unauthorized software to be loaded on to the system."

Public details about the warning are still sketchy as those in the know have acknowledged that the problem is so serious, they are hoping to keep the info under wraps until mitigation steps can be taken to safeguard systems.

The BRAD BLOG has been told on the record, however, by one person involved in the matter, that the vulnerability is a "major national security risk."

We've been speaking to many sources today, and we've been able to get several first hand comments on the problem from top officials and analysts directly involved in both state and federal certification of the Diebold systems, as well as from those involved in the initial discovery of the problem.

What's clear is that Morning Call's reporting that it was Diebold who found the "glitch" are flat wrong. The discovery of the "glitch" (which is anything but) emanated from the examination of Diebold AccuVote TSx (touch-screen) machines recently in Emery County, UT.

A source has told The BRAD BLOG that Diebold was "cornered" into admitting to the problem, a far cry from them having "found" it, as the Morning Call characterized it.

What's also clear is that neither Diebold themselves, nor federal officials at the Elections Assistance Commission (EAC) have been notifying states about the serious problem which apparently affects all Diebold AccuVote touch-screen systems, including both their newer TSx models, and the older TS and TS6 models.

The Diebold TSx models, with the security vulnerability still intact, were apparently used in the primary election last Tuesday in Ohio.

A document at Diebold's website describes [PDF] the TSx models as featuring "Industry Leading Security."

In Utah's Emery County, state officials are attempting to force Bruce Funk, the 23-year elected County Clerk out of his job in the wake of his having allowed a security evaluation of the county's new Diebold touch-screen systems by both computer security firm Security Innovation and Finnish computer security expert Harri Hursti. According to several sources, that analysis revealed many new vulnerabilities and problems in the Diebold touch-screen systems, including the one that seems to be at the heart of the problem now being warned about by Pennsylvania officials.

Funk --- who has since been "vilified," as one source told us, by both Diebold and Utah state officials as high as the Lt. Governor --- was forced to implement the new Diebold touch-screen systems for the first time this year against his own objections. His prudent subsequent security evaluation of the systems was arranged by electronic voting watchdog organization, BlackBoxVoting.org. (We recently interviewed Funk on the radio concerning that evaluation, and his subsequent removal from office in its wake. Listen to that interview here [MP3].)

Here's some of what we've so far been able to learn from a number of officials, both on the record and off, in Pennsylvania, elsewhere around the country and at the federal level, as well as those involved in the initial Emery County discoveries...

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




By David Edwards on 5/5/2006 12:23pm PT  

Guest blogged by David Edwards of Veredictum.com


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

Regarding our earlier reports, here and here, speculating that the cause of the Goss resignation may have something to do with a developing prostitution scandal, we thought that some additional background information might be helpful.

Last night, MSNBC Countdown reported details of the allegations of prostitutes and 'poker parties' as favors for government officials. These 'Poker Parties' were held at various locations in D.C. including the famous Watergate Hotel.

The recent resignation of Porter Goss has raised questions about his involvement in this scandal. This video report explains some of the developing details. In fact, Countdown may be the only corporate media broadcast that has devoted significant coverage to the "Watergate Sex Scandal". We expect that may change as some of the follow-the-leader journalists start reading the tea leaves.




(HINT: Blue Dresses...Rented by the Hour)
By Brad Friedman on 5/5/2006 11:45am PT  

As the corporate mainstream media shakes their head in clueless wonder about the Porter Goss resignation at CIA, (they're "stunned", "suprised", "can't imagine what else must be going on to have brought this on") the clues have been bubbling for the last week or so on the Internet.

We associate ourselves with Josh Marshall's initial take...

Here at TPM HQ we were listening to the president's announcement. And the talking heads on CNN were speculating whether Goss's departure might be part of Josh Bolten's 'new blood' shake up in the Bush administration. I don't suppose it anything to do with the fact that Goss is neck deep in the Wilkes-Corruption-and-Hookers story that's been burbling in the background all week. We don't know definitely why Goss pulled the plug yet. But the CIA Director doesn't march over to the White House and resign, effective immediately, unless something very big is up.

(Point of pride ed. note: TPMmuckraker has been on top of this story all week.)

Muckraker has, in fact, been all over various points of the developing scandal for the last week or so. We recommend you keep your eyes over there as things move foward.

Underscoring the bizarre state of our national corporate mainstream media, Josh made a related point earlier today, prior to the Goss announcement. As readers were wondering why TPM and their Muckraker site were giving so much attention to the Rep. Patrick Kennedy (D-RI) incident which, readers comments had suggested, just distracts from all of the more important GOP scandals, Josh defended their coverage with this reply...

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




By David Edwards on 5/5/2006 11:16am PT  

Guest blogged by David Edwards of Veredictum.com


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

We doubt that any tears will be shed for this crook as he scurries away.

Which scandal got him? Abramoff? Cunningham?

Maybe he was busted by his own lie detector test...

UPDATE: CNN's John Roberts is suggesting that Goss may have been involved in part of the Cunningham scandal. Defense contractor and briber, Mitchell Wade, who plead guilty in the Cunningham case has told prosecutors that his associate Brent Wilkes provided "poker parties" with prostitutes at several D.C. hotels including the Watergate Hotel.

The number 3 official at the CIA under Goss is known to have attended the "poker parties". The CIA has REFUSED to DENY that Goss also attended one or more of the "poker parties".




By David Edwards on 5/5/2006 7:50am PT  

Guest blogged by David Edwards of Veredictum.com


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

Ex-CIA Analyst Ray McGovern smackdowned of Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld during an event in Atlanta yesterday. During a Q&A period, McGovern demanded answers for a few of Rumsfeld's more specious claims.

Almost certainly, you have already seen or heard highlights of this clip. This version from MSNBC's Countdown contains the full 4 minute exchange between Rumsfeld and McGovern as well various other protesters being roughly handled and removed from the venue. Richard Wolffe of Newsweek provides analysis of the political fallout for Rumsfeld and the Bush Administration.

UPDATE: Text transcript here...

FURTHER UPDATE: Brad conducted an hourlong interview McGovern on The BRAD SHOW in June of 2005 just prior to his congressional testimony on the Downing Street Memos. It was a fascinating interview, if we may say so ourselves. Audio archive [MP3] or text transcript of the interview.




Seriously, it's up to YOU to help us keep going...
By Brad Friedman on 5/4/2006 1:49pm PT  

Believe me, I ain't going anywhere if I can help it, especially with everything that's going on right now. But I could use your help. I've had to turn down several paying gigs recently, because I simply don't have the time to do them and still continue covering the meltdown we're now witnessing in our democracy.

Many of you have helped in the past, and it's greatly appreciated. If you are able to continue doing so from time to time, or if you haven't done so in the past, a donation of any size is greatly appreciated. You can make an online donation here.

Also, you can create a "monthly subscription" for any amount you wish or send in a donation via snail mail. Both of those options are quickly available in the blue form on the right of every page.

You'd be stunned how many folks read this site each day and yet how infrequent it is that we actually receive donations for the work which we now do here, often (literally) 24/7. Last time we asked for support, we received a total of ONE donation.

So thank you, this time around, for whatever it is you can do to help.




Several Counties 'Locking Down' Machines as Company Promises Last Minute Software Fix Just Before Upcoming Primary Election
Election Integrity Advocates Suggest Warning May Stem from Recent Independent Voting Machine Analysis Revealing Major Security Flaws in Diebold Hardware and Software
By Brad Friedman on 5/4/2006 12:27pm PT  

Just weeks before their May 16th Primary Election, the Pennsylvania Sec. of State, Pedro Cortez issued a Security Alert late Tuesday concerning a "potential security vulnerability" in Diebold electronic voting machines which could " allow ''unauthorized software to be loaded on to the system." The warning was revealed yesterday at a meeting in Schuylkill County.

Details about the warning are still sketchy this morning, and we're trying to learn more, but The Morning Call is reporting today that the "glitch" was "found" by Diebold and counties are now being instructed to lock down systems and seal the memory cards into them.

A "fix" is said to be on its way from Diebold, though that begs the question of whether the last-minute software patch will be certified by federal and/or state authorities before it's installed on machines that have already proven to be vulnerable to hackers and other failures.

(As regular BRAD BLOG readers know, even if the software is inspected by federal authorities before being installed in machines, there is no guarantee that those authorities will find the bugs and illegal code that Diebold is quickly becoming famous for. The federal so-called "Independent Testing Authority" (ITA) is paid for by the voting machine company's themselves and has overlooked gaping flaws in software submitted by the vendors for years).

Says the Morning Call today about the security warning...

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




By David Edwards on 5/4/2006 9:59am PT  

Guest blogged by David Edwards of Veredictum.com


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

Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright appeared on CNN's American Morning to announce her new book, "The Mighty and the Almighty: Reflections on America, God and World Affairs." The new book critiques U.S. foreign policy and imperialist notions of manifest destiny. She is particularly critical of the way that George W. Bush has invoked God in the name of advancing narrow political and foreign policy goals.

In her new book, Madam Secretary Albright writes that the invasion of Iraq may be "the worst foreign policy disaster in U.S. history." CNN's Miles O'Brien asked Albright to explain her statement (transcript)...

M. O'BRIEN: First of all, one of the important themes of this book is your feeling about how the Iraq situation has played out. And you say this: "The invasion of Iraq and its aftermath may eventually rank among the worst foreign policy disasters in U.S. history." You don't even couch the statement. It's that bad.

ALBRIGHT: I am very troubled by it, because there are so many immediate consequences and then the unintended consequences. First of all, I never believed that there was a connection between Osama bin Laden, al Qaeda and Saddam Hussein. But clearly now Iraq has become a major recruiting ground for everybody who hates us. Then there is the real question about what this has done to America's authority --- our moral authority as a result of what happened in Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay, and it has damaged us in terms of what we can do in other parts of the world.

Then I think the biggest unintended consequence is that all of a sudden, Iran is the one that has gained incredible influence in the region. And finally, it has put real question about American power. How do we use it? What are the messages that we're sending with it? So I think Iraq is a mess. That's a diplomatic term of art. And I am very worried about the intended and unintended consequences.

Madeleine Albright explains the damage caused by aligning the "Global War on Terror" or any policy with the idea that God is on America's "side". If you oppose Bush, the War in Iraq, or the way that American power is being used then you are "picking a fight with God.", Albright says. The unbridled use of religion in foreign policy narrows our supporters throughout the world and leads to continued conflict.




By Brad Friedman on 5/4/2006 1:21am PT  

As you know, those "glitches" in our elections are never Diebold's fault, or that of any of the Electronic Voting Machine Vendors who supply the equipment that doesn't actually work. It's always an untrained pollworker, or a voter who didn't read the instructions, or too darn much humidity.

So it wasn't Diebold's fault when Diebold's machines failed to work or to count absentee ballots by the thousands on Tuesday in Cuyahoga County, Ohio's Primary Election.

Look! Here's proof!

First of all, electronic optical scanners made by Diebold could not count absentee ballots. But Diebold said it was an issue with the printing of the ballots, not their machines.

Secondly, some precincts have more machines on the blink that those that were working. This was due in part to dozens of Election Day technicians, or EDTs, not showing up on Tuesday.

The EDTs are volunteers trained to fix any problems with the electronic Diebold voting machines.
...
Mark Radke, a spokesman for Diebold, said, "In fact, we went out to some of the precincts to direct some of the poll openings because some people didn't show up. Within two or three minutes with a little direction, people would have had the equipment up and running with no problem at all."

As of 5pm Wednesday, Cuyahoga County was still hand-counting the 17,000 absentee ballots which the Diebold machines, through absolutely no fault of Diebold's, were unable to count as Diebold had promised.

No word yet on whose fault it wasn't that Diebold's paper-trail printers kept jamming all day, or on the 70 Diebold memory cards (otherwise known as thousands and thousands of ballots) which went missing. But we know that wasn't Diebold's fault either. Though perhaps the part about them being so incredibly easy for anybody to change the data on those cards in about 30 seconds while they're "missing" could be Diebold's fault.

Nah. It's probably just the humidity.




Voting Machine Printout Reports Zero Votes for Several Candidates, All Bond Measures Received Zero YES Votes...
Reasons for Problem 'Unknown', But Sound Remarkably Similar to Recent Leon County, FL Hack on Same Diebold Machines
By Brad Friedman on 5/3/2006 7:18pm PT  

Our Electoral System Meltdown continues as more and more reports come in on epidemic Electronic Voting Machine failures around the country. It's neck and neck right now as Diebold and ES&S battle it out for the prize of Worst Company, Worst Service, Worst Technology and Best Excuse Maker. But we've got a long way to go in this Election Year, so it's still anyone's contest. (Anyone's but the voters, that is.)

A "glitch" --- that's the magical word that was used no less than three times in WOOD-TV's coverage --- in the Diebold optical-scan system used for the first time in Barry County, Michigan's election yesterday forced Elections Officials to count all ballots by hand. Since it was an optical-scan system --- which uses paper ballots --- they were able to do so. That would have been next to impossible had a similar disaster befallen a touch-screen system with "paper trails" and completely impossible on a paperless touch-screen machine.

All seemed fine throughout the day on Barry County's new voting machines until the optical scanner printed out the final results at the close of the election. The report was found to have had all matter of inexplicable totals including 0 votes for some candidates and no YES votes for any of the bond issues on the ballot.

Sound familiar?

The Barry County mess, as it's being reported by WOOD-TV, sounds almost identical to the situation in Leon County, FL last December where "hackers" had exploited a security vulnerability in Diebold's optical scanner memory card causing it to print results that were virtually the opposite of the true results on the paper ballots. The "hackers", who were computer security experts, had hidden all traces of their "crime" in that mock election test, so it would likely never have been discovered.

The problem affected 15 out of 16 townships in Barry County on machines which cost $4000 a piece and were purchased because County Officials claim the federal Help America Vote Act (HAVA) forced them to do so.

WOOD-TV covers the story, "glitch" after "glitch", with both text and a video reports. Here's a few details from their text report...

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




50 Temp Workers Hired to Count Absentee Ballots which Diebold Machines Fail to Scan Properly...
Problems Also Reported with ES&S and in Several Other OH Counties...
By Brad Friedman on 5/3/2006 12:01pm PT  

Add this to our previous report on the Diebold Disaster in Cuyahoga County, Ohio during yesterday's Primary Election. The Cleveland Plain Dealer headlines their story: "First all-electronic election marred by problems".

As expected the word "Glitch" makes it's way quickly into the headlines in Columbus Dispatch's coverage ("Glitches delay voting and reporting of results") as they cover problems across a number of counties, including counties that use ES&S machines which also failed in a number of locations. Inevitably, the poll workers are blamed by officials, of course.

As to Cuyahoga, the Plain Dealer has set up a running blog on their website covering the ongoing problems. Here's the latest...

Election workers continue to count votes

12:07 p.m.

Cuyahoga County election workers continued to count votes Wednesday, with about 85 percent of the votes cast on the touch-screen machines counted by 11:15 a.m. But 70 memory cards - with results from 200 precincts - were missing. Cuyahoga County board of elections officials are checking the voting machines to see if the cards were inadvertantly left inside.

Meanwhile, a second team of 50 temporary agency employees continued the hand count of 17,000 paper ballots used by absentee voters. Election officials decided to hand count the paper ballots after tests on the optical scan machines showed innaccuracies. Vote totals for the absentee ballots are expected sometime this evening.




Embattled Incumbent, HAVA Author, Loses 32% of Vote to No-Show Primary Opponent
'Congressional Quarterly' Says Numbers Predict Trouble
By Brad Friedman on 5/3/2006 12:00pm PT  

The soon-to-be-indicted lead pusher of the disastrous Help America Vote Act (HAVA), Rep. Bob Ney (R-OH) had his primary race in Ohio's 18th District tonight. While most congressmen named in four different criminal indictments and convictions would usually be toast, this is, after all, Ohio.

That said, Justin Rood over at TPM Muckraker, had this to say earlier this afternoon about the outlook for Ney tonight...

...Rep. Bob Ney (R-OH) is expected to win his congressional primary, being held today. His competitor, James Broadbelt Harris, is an unknown who hasn't campaigned --- he hasn't even filed with the FEC, which indicates he has raised less than $5,000, [Congressional Quarterly's] Greg Giroux tells me.

I called Giroux to get his take on the election. While he expects Ney to win, he said, he's curious about what kind of "protest vote" Republicans in the district will cast for Harris, reacting to Ney's ethical troubles.

"I'd be surprised if Harris got more than 20 or 25 percent," Giroux told me. "That would be a sign that there is a chunk of the Republican base that's disenchanted with the incumbent."

"If Ney gets in the 80s --- and he very well may --- that'd show that at least Republican voters are behind him, and they weren't willing to look at this alternative candidate," Giroux said.

100% of the results are now in from all but 1 of the 16 counties which make up Ohio's fightin' 18th. (Belmont County's results have been stuck at 25.3% for the last several hours, about which I suspect we'll hear more tomorrow. Trouble with those pricey new op-scan machines, Belmont?)

As of 2:13am ET, these are the results from the Ohio SoS website:

If Giroux is correct, it looks like Ney may be in for a tough ride this fall...If he makes it that far without ending up in the slammer.

UPDATE 5/3/06: 100% of counties now reporting in full. Ney: 68.38% Harris: 31.62%

UPDATE 5/4/06: As expected, the reasons for the delayed reporting out of Belmont was due to all manners of mess in counting votes off of their new machines. Here's a description of the mess..




Voting Machines Refuse to Power Up, No Paper Ballot Backups, 17,000 Absentee Ballots Must be Counted by Hand
Voters Pay the Price, Investigations Are to Come...
By Brad Friedman on 5/3/2006 11:20am PT  


The meltdown continues.

Cuyahoga County Election Director (and former Diebold proponent), Michael Vu, described Diebold's performance yesterday as "unacceptable" after problems were revealed all across the county in the state's Primary Election.

The panoply of problems included failed Diebold machines, lack of working power outlets and three-prong adapters for them, machines unable to start up, voters unable to vote, paper jams on the "paper trail" printers, and 17,000 absentee ballots that must now be counted by hand because they don't work with the Diebold optical scanners.

All of it now leading to investigations, as called for by Elections Officials. And, of course, there was the 61-year old voter who destroyed two Diebold machines out of apparent frustration.

With all of that, who even knows yet if the tallies acquired by the machines that did "work" are actually accurate?

WKYC covers with a video report here.

Below is just some of the extraordinary litany of problems revealed during elections in just that one county yesterday according to WKYC. We wish someone had warned them of the possibility of such problems in advance...

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




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