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Latest Featured Reports | Tuesday, May 3, 2016
MO GOP State Sen. on His Bill to End Touch-Screen Voting: 'BradCast' 5/3/16
State Sen. Bob Onder (R) explains legislation to end 100% unverifiable elections in the Show-Me State and the opposition he faces...
'Green News Report' 5/3/16
  w/ Brad & Desi
Ad wars: Clean energy v. fossil fuel indstry; CO kills local fracking bans; Big climate win for kids win WA court; Victories for lions, elephants; PLUS: Kenya's bonfire of the ivories...
Previous GNRs: 4/28/16 - 4/26/16 - Archives...
Lawyers, Guns, and Voting: 'BradCast' 5/2/16
Mass shootings continue; 2016 Presidential election cycle continues; Fight for and against voting rights continue; Obama's final mic drop WH Correspondents Dinner speech...
Sunday Toons of the Hellish Moment
Even Satan is unhappy with the 2016 Presidential Election cycle, as 'PDiddie' demonstrates in his latest collection of the week's best toons...
Sneaky SCOTUS, Sad Establishment, & What The World Says About Trump!: 'BradCast' 4/29/16
Guest hosts Danielle and Shane-o are joined by John Nichols of The Nation!...
AZ Primary Lawsuit Dismissed; 'Disappearing' Votes in DE?: 'BradCast' 4/28/16
Emily Levy on court ruling against Phoenix election complaint; DE State Election Commissioner on 4,000 'lost' Sanders votes...
'Green News Report' 4/28/16
  w/ Brad & Desi
Trump goes nuclear over climate; CNN fossil fuel ads beat climate stories; VW docs reveal test fraud; Mitsubishi cheated fuel tests; PLUS: US city mandates solar for new buildings...
Previous GNRs: 4/26/16 - 4/21/16 - Archives...
Primary Landslides for Trump and Clinton and What's Next: 'BradCast' 4/27/16
Also: 'Serial child molester' Hastert sentenced; Encouraging green news; And listener calls...
Blowback in NC, Calls for Hand-Counts in NY:
'BradCast' 4/26/16
GOP operative turned gay rights activist Fred Karger on GOP anti-LGBT lawss; Why voters should support hand-count of NY Primary...
'Green News Report' 4/26/16
30 years after Chernobyl, efforts to contain it; Record signing of Paris Agreement; World Bank calls for global carbon price; PLUS: Solar plane halfway round world...
Cruz, Kasich Join Forces and Some News That Actually Matters: 'BradCast' 4/25/16
Amanda Marcotte on new GOP 'conspiracy'; Plus: Paris Agreement; Mass shooting weekend; Thinking big...
Sunday Toons of the Moment
An 'unplanned' Pulitzer winner and a whole bunch of other worthy toons from the past week, as collected by 'PDiddie'...
'Gyrocopter Guy' Loses Voting Rights Protesting Elections: 'BradCast' 4/22/16
Guest Doug Hughes will go to jail, has 'no regrets'; Also: Former felons re-enfranchised in VA; NY election official suspended for purge...
Time to Open Our Nomination System to All Voters?: 'BradCast' 4/21/16
John Opdycke on 'Open Primaries'; Also: Prince dead at 57; 'Outrage' over Tubman; Paper ballots return to MD...
'Green News Report' 4/21/16
Criminal charges in Flint; BP victims protest new leases; Mexican oil facility explosion kills 3; U.S. air pollution; PLUS: World leaders to sign Paris Agreement...
NATIONWIDE STUDY FINDS ALMOST NO VOTER FRAUD
Just 10 cases of in-person impersonation in all 50 states since 2000...
VIDEO: 'Rise of the Tea Bags'
Brad interviews American patriots...
'Democracy's Gold Standard'
Hand-marked, hand-counted ballots...
Brad's Upcoming Appearances
(All times listed as PACIFIC TIME unless noted)
Media Appearance Archives...
'Special Coverage' Archives
GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal 2012...
VA GOP VOTER REG FRAUDSTER OFF HOOK
Felony charges dropped against VA Republican caught trashing voter registrations before last year's election. Did GOP AG, Prosecutor conflicts of interest play role?...

Criminal GOP Voter Registration Fraud Probe Expanding in VA
State investigators widening criminal probe of man arrested destroying registration forms, said now looking at violations of law by Nathan Sproul's RNC-hired firm...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

President/COO Quits! CEO Walden O'Dell Takes Over!
By Brad Friedman on 9/21/2005 10:16am PT  

Shares of Diebold, Inc. (DBD) continued to fall in heavy trading today after hitting a 52-week low at Tuesday's close as reported here last night.

As of today's, shares had dropped 15.5% in very heavy trading, along with news that their President and Chief Operating Officer, Eric C. Evans has resigned effective today. Diebold, Inc. CEO Walden O'Dell has announced he will take over for the moment...O'Dell is well known for his Republican fundraising letter of 2003 announcing that he was "committed to helping Ohio deliver its electoral votes to the President."...Diebold Elections Systems, Inc. and competitor ES&S count more than 80% of America's votes each election and have come underfire for inadequate security on their voting machines, as well as a lack of transparency for their proprietary source code, and a lack of accountability and verifiability in their election results.

Real-Time Chart, Slight Delay, Hit Refresh for Updates...

  • BRADBLOG: "DIEBOLD INSIDER: 'Diebold System One of Greatest Threats Democracy Has Ever Known'"
  • REUTERS: "Diebold cuts forecast, COO leaves, shares plunge"
  • AP: "Diebold Shares Dip on Lowered Forecast"
  • BRIEFING.COM: "Diebold downgraded by Robert W. Baird"
  • UPDATE: Diebold insider, "DIEB-THROAT" weighs in on today's stock plunge! Compares company to Enron! Points to CEO O'Dell's $3m Salary and more! Read it here...




    PLUS: More Resounding Thuds from the Baker/Carter Report...or, as it may soon be known, Pastor's Disaster...
    By Brad Friedman on 9/20/2005 9:13pm PT  

    Shares of Diebold, Inc. hit a 52-week low today, for some reason, falling to $44.37/share at Tuesday's close. Perhaps it has something to do with this, but whaddu we know?

    In other tales from the last vestiges of American democracy...I was working the media circuit big time today (e.g. here's me on the Stephanie Miller Show [MP3] at the crack o' dawn --- wherein the lovely Steph declared The BRAD BLOG her "favorite blog to steal from!" --- and we couldn't be prouder!). As well, I was busy carrying on other super-secret missions which we hope you'll hear about in the future...So I wasn't able to get done all I had hoped to here today. Then again, haven't I done enough damage already?

    Instead, here's a few quick items and links of note that I believe you'll enjoy...

  • RAW STORY's Larisa Alexandrovna adds to the drumbeat by helping to tear the Baker/Carter Recommendations yet another new one, as she reviews the sordid genesis of the entire fetid Baker/Carter "Blue-Ribbon Commission" in her latest HuffPo blog item, entitled "Baked-Cooked Election Reform". Lots of good research, and lots of very good dirt on the very bad guys.
  • Speaking of the sordid genesis' of Baker/Carter and the man at the middle of the entire ill-concieved folly, BRAD BLOG regular, Valley Girl gives us a blast from the past, reminding us of our remarkable first-hand encounter with the Commission's own Executive Director Dr. Robert Pastor and the moment when we directly challenged him on the Commission's sorry/scammy make-up. Right at the get-go. He shoulda listened. No real Voting Rights groups invited to participate. Just fake ones. It's all recorded for posterity in an item called "Executive Director of National Election Reform Commission Goes Ballistic at BRAD BLOG!" (Reading that link will also give newer-comers here an idea of where the many "BRAD BLOG 6 or 7" references that you may have seen here come from).
  • Speaking of the sordid geneses of Robert Pastor and "The BRAD BLOG 6 or 7", we're told, by several birdies who were in attendance, that Dr. Pastor's invitation-only "get together" in D.C. with Voting Rights groups to discuss the Commission's roundly criticized Recommendations today went...um...less than good. The report was...um...less than well-received. By...um...every single group present. Every. Single. One. And the "get together" had to be...um...called to a premature end. So the birdies tell us. We'll try to have more details on that disaster of a meeting tomorrow if time allows. But for now, suffice to say...um...we tried to warn ya, Bob. (See link in the above item.)
  • Oh...Washington Post's editorial board didn't care much for Dr. Pastor's Disaster either, pointing, in an Op/Ed today to the sage point made by dissenting commissioner Spencer Overton who was forced to set up his own website to dissent when he was just shut down by Dr. Pastor. WaPo wonders why the Commission is attempting to impose Photo ID restrictions on voters who show up to the polls (which would disproportionately disenfranchise elderly and minority Democratic-leaning voters), while allowing absentee voters (largely White and Republican) to skate by with just a signature:
    Indeed, election administrators agree that absentee ballots pose a bigger risk of fraud, and in that case the commission would guard against fraud by having election officials match a signature on file. As commission member Spencer Overton, an election law expert at George Washington University, asks, why wouldn't the same be sufficient for those who turn up at the polls without ID? Allowing voters to show alternative forms of identification or to sign a sworn affidavit of eligibility could go a significant way toward deterring fraud without imposing the burden of an inflexible photo ID requirement.
  • Meanwhile, we're pointed to Steven Carbó's must-read from mid-August pointing out "The Hype Over Voter Fraud" wherein we're reminded yet again how the entire "Voter Fraud" brouhaha is nothing more than a cynical and well-coordinated Rightwing scam on the American Voting populace. Definitely worth both reading and BOOK MARKING that article for use later! Have a feeling we're gonna need to keep hauling it out for the wingnut zombies!
  • We came across the above link, via a blog item by Democrats.com's Bob Fertik who responded to the Baker/Carter Photo ID fiasco by wondering why Americans aren't simply registered to vote automatically when they receive their Social Security numbers. We haven't yet figured out the potential pitfalls of Fertik's notion (if there are any), so it seems worth pondering.
  • And then Kathy Dopp, one of the first folks to ask questions and compile data about the election results mess last November, and organizer at USCountVotes.org and ElectionArchive.org, has an entirely different reason to hate the Baker/Carter report: Namely, their recommendations to hide Exit Poll Results from Americans!
  • Lastly, Fitrakis & Wasserman over at FreePress.org, the investigative guys on the ground from the get-go in Ohio, blast Baker/Carter to smithereens in their latest, with a splash of cold water which includes "unless the public is ready to face the reality that we no longer live in a nation with credible elections, the 2008 balloting is all but over."
  • Does the phrase "like a turd in a swimming pool" come to anyone else's mind yet? Not that we enjoy being vulgar, but we gotta call 'em like we see 'em.

    So many things to hate about Pastor's Disaster...so little time to cover them all. But I have a feeling...there will be much more to come...Stay tuned Democracy Fans! And be sure to tell a few friends!




    The 'Catastrophic Success' Continues...
    By Brad Friedman on 9/20/2005 11:10am PT  

    The death toll for U.S. Troops in George W. Bush's ridiculous war "Noble Cause" topped 1,900 as 5 soldiers were killed in 3 different incidents over the last 24 hours...Do you feel safer yet?




    GOP/Abramoff Lobbying Scandal Creeps Into the Oval Office...
    By Brad Friedman on 9/20/2005 10:43am PT  

    Washington Post's Dan Froomkin has the story (overlooked by most of the media, even though it would have been a top banner headline had it been the Clinton White House, of course):

    The Jack Abramoff lobbying scandal reached into the White House yesterday, picking off President Bush's top procurement official --- who just barely had time to resign before being arrested.

    The federal charges against David Safavian stem from his tenure as chief of staff of the General Services Administration, predating his arrival at the White House a year ago. But his arrest nonetheless draws renewed attention to the ongoing corruption and influence-peddling inquiry swirling around [Jack] Abramoff, a lobbyist well known for his connections to conservative Republicans in the White House and Congress.
    ...
    And for a White House so desperate to build public confidence in its ability to respond to the Gulf Coast disaster, it doesn't exactly help that the man who up until Friday was overseeing contracting policy for the multi-billion dollar relief effort has now been charged with lying and obstructing a criminal investigation.

    And in the expected (by now) bit of further troubling irony from this bunch:

    "His wife, Jennifer Safavian, is chief counsel for oversight and investigations on the House Government Reform Committee, which is responsible for overseeing government procurement and is, among other things, expected to conduct the Congressional investigation into missteps after Hurricane Katrina."

    Of course, had you read RAW STORY at the beginning of September, you would have known all about Mr. Safavian and his dirty links to Abramoff and Friends.




    New Report from Discredited Baker/Carter 'Election Reform' Commission Dead-on-Arrival
    Recommended Jim Crow-Style Photo ID Restrictions Seen as 'New Poll Tax', Roundly Criticized by Pols, Voting Rights Activists and Even Members of the Commission!
    By Brad Friedman on 9/19/2005 6:44pm PT  

    Landing with a mighty thud today in the Nation's Capitol, the so-called Baker-Carter "National Commission on Election Reform" delivered precisely what true voting rights advocates in America had been warning about for months.

    Most notably, the privately-funded, secretly-convened commission, which held just two hearings and refused to invite any real voting rights groups to participate, failed to even reach consensus amongst its hand-picked commissioners in it's final 113 page report.

    One of those Commissioners, former Senator Tom Daschle (D-SD), criticized the Commission's number one recommendation --- the use of mandatory restrictive photo ID requirements at the polls --- as a "modern day poll tax." (As reported previously, Daschle's quote appeared in a Washinton Post article this morning by Dan Balz who also concluded, with no quotes or sourcing that "there has been no credible evidence of partisan manipulation of the election in Ohio." That despite the mountain of credible evidence of partisan manipulation of the 2004 election in Ohio. For a start, here is the recent indictment of two Ohio elections officials for gaming the recount, and here is another one who admits to receiving a $10,000 check from a Diebold rep and passing it to the RNC, and of course here's 102-pages of such evidence as published by a U.S. House Judiciary Committee Minority Report and another 700+ pages of such evidence found in a book recently published by FreePress.org...Just to give the tip of the iceberg.)

    Another one of the Commissioners, Spencer Overton, a specialist in Election Law has gone so far as to set up a CarterBakerDissent.com website which decries both the procedures and the recommendations of the privately run "blue-ribbon" Commission.

    The scathing dissent posted on Overton's site begins:

    I am writing separately to express my dissenting views to the Carter-Baker Commission's photo ID proposal. Unfortunately, the Commission rejected my 597-word dissent and allowed me only 250 words (this limitation on dissent was first announced at our final meeting).

    ...And devolves from there in a crushing condemnation of Baker/Carter's Photo ID recommendations. As well, Overton pulls the curtain on the Commission's shoddy partisan procedures and lack of real input from experts, charging:

    The Commission would have benefited from greater emphasis on expert testimony and empirical data, more transparency, clear rules established from the outset, and an adequate opportunity for dissent.

    ...and that the Commission "impose[d] rules that stifle[d] opposing views to give the false impression of consensus or to mask the substantive flaws in the commission's proposals." Overton goes on to add:

    An advisory commission-especially one that purports to promote democracy-undermines its legitimacy when it attempts to advance its proposals by severely curtailing speech. More generally, a commission that prioritizes maximizing its own political influence over rigorous analysis compromises its credibility with the American people.

    And that's from someone on the commission!

    Overton promises a full analysis of the report on his site soon.

    The report, so far, has faired no better on Capitol Hill. Congressmen John Conyers (D-MI) and John Lewis (D-GA), a long-time voting rights advocate who was beaten during the Bloody Sunday Marches --- which led to the landmark Voting Rights Act 40 years ago in Selma, Alabama --- where he marched alongside Dr. Martin Luther King have roundly condemned the Baker/Carter Commission's report. They describe the Voter ID recommendations as "discriminatory" and allege that these cynical recommendations would "make it harder for tens of millions of citizens to vote."

    The Congressmen have written a letter to colleagues inviting them to join in introducing a resolution in the U.S. House stating opposition to new restrictive voting ID requirements and have announced that a Senate counterpart to the resolution will be forthcoming from Senator Barak Obama along with Minority Leader Reid, Senator Dodd, Clinton and Corzine.

    A blog item this morning by Conyers expresses more details and outrage at Bush Family Crony James Baker's attempts to once again keep Americans from having their votes counted, as he so successfully accomplished on behalf of the Bush's during the 2000 Presidential Election in Florida. Conyers also announced he has set up the main page of his website as an action center to counter this latest assault on voters rights in America.

    DNC Chairman Howard Dean released a statement late this afternoon echoing those sentiments and saying that "The DNC is concerned and disappointed that the Baker-Carter Commission on Federal Election Reform, over the strong dissent of some of its most distinguished members, has seen fit to support a 'national ID card' that threatens to deny the right to vote to millions of citizens who are lawfully registered and eligible to do so."

    The statement from Dean goes on to add, referring to a recent study by the League of Women's Voters that found just 4 cases of voter fraud out of 9 million votes cast in the last two national elections in Ohio!:

    "The commission's recommendations create additional bureaucratic barriers to the ballot box, despite the fact - as the Commission itself concedes - that there is simply no evidence of the kind of widespread impersonation fraud that could remotely justify imposing such a new obstacle."

    Longtime Voting Rights Activist groups and citizen coalitions were similar appalled by the Baker/Carter recommendation. Here are just a handful of them and the reports they issued today:

    At this time, the only unapologetically positive review of the report's recommendations that we've seen comes, unsurprisingly, from a press release given to the wires by the anti-American, anti-Democratic group of high-level GOP operatives calling themselves (cynically) the "non-partisan" American Center for Voting Rights (ACVR).

    Mark F. "Thor" Hearne, general counsel for the ACVR (and also, coincidentally, for Bush/Cheney '04 Inc.) says in his predictably fawing statement:

    "The Baker-Carter Commission's report represents a real step forward in the election reform debate...The American Center for Voting Rights congratulates Commission members for their work on this most vital issue."

    The Press Contact listed on the report is Jim Dyke, the former Communications Director for the RNC. If you have any questions, the release says you may contact him at: 843-722-9670.

    The phony group, which was instrumental in the creation of the Baker/Carter Commission, and --- unlike any real voting rights groups --- enjoyed the privilege of sitting on its "Advisory Panel." The ACVR has been revealed by The BRAD BLOG over a series of reports since the group's inception to be little more than a small band of partisan operatives attempting to smoke-screen the evidence of what really went wrong in Election '04. In the bargain, they've issued propoganda in the form of "reports" in an attempt to further disenfranchise American voters by giving the false impression that there is some sort of "voter fraud" epidemic in this country. Their scam website is here where you can follow the "joke" for yourselves.

    The same shameful group of democracy hating opportunists were also exposed in a recent report by RAW STORY to have been instrumental in the creation of the Baker/Carter Commission expressly for the purposes of seeing Photo ID requirements mandated in order to disenfranchise millions of more Democratic-leaning voters.

    More, no doubt, to come on Baker/Carter Report soon. The report can be read --- should you be able to stomach it --- along with its executive summary, here.

    (Thanks to VotersUnite.org's John Gideon for help in compiling this report.)

    For more information on the "non-partisan" tax-exempt ACVR scam and the snakeoil 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 http://www.BradBlog.com/ACVR.



    By Brad Friedman on 9/19/2005 3:42pm PT  

    Reports from eye-witnesses are now emerging on the net here, here and here...that a "Camp Casey" Peace Rally in NYC was broken up earlier today by police just as Cindy Sheehan was beginning to speak. Unclear whether she was arrested or not at this time...

    Photos of the rally, the aftermath and police posted here...

    The Village Voice now has the full story described as "City's Finest pulls move even Bush wouldn't have tried."

    The rally in NYC was "one of 200 hundred in 28 states over 21 days," according to Reuters. Sheehan is working her way with other anti-war activists towards Washington, D.C. where a massive anti-war rally is scheduled to be held this weekend in front of the White House and on the mall.

    The site of her original stand in Crawford, Texas, where she requested a meeting with George W. Bush to inquire about the "noble cause" he says that her son Casey died for in Iraq, was recently plundered and all remaining memorial crosses --- and Casey Sheehan's boots, which sat next to his cross --- were stolen in the middle of the night.

    UPDATE 9/20/05: AP covers to the story to report that NYC police stopped Sheehan's speech and arrested the organizer of the event on the charge of "using a loudspeaker without a permit." Yup.




    By Congressman John Conyers on 9/19/2005 2:24pm PT  

    Guest Blogged by Congressman John Conyers, Cross-Posted at ConyersBlog

    I have spent my more than 40 years in public service fighting for voting rights and a better democracy. Today, I am sad to say, there are proposals being made that would set us back in that struggle. A privately funded, unaccountable Commission organized by former Bush-Cheney campaign lawyer James Baker, III, and former President Jimmy Carter issued a report today that includes policy proposals that will disenfranchise over ten percent of eligible voters – a national ID requirement to vote. I need your help to fight this 21st Century poll tax today.

    The simple fact is that many minority and poor voters do not have the time, money or need to purchase a drivers license. In fact, over ten percent of eligible voters in the last election did not have a photo ID. They vote by presenting other means of identification (a voter registration card, utility bill, or affidavit). This Commission is now asking Congress to deny the franchise to those voters unless they get a national ID card. The Commission makes the implausible claim that, in these times of a multibillion dollar war in Iraq and multibillion dollar restoration of the Gulf Coast, the Congress will pay for ID cards for those who cannot afford to buy them. We know this is not going to happen.

    Even if you are not among these vulnerable populations, this affects you. The institution of a National ID card has throughout our history been the tool of every despotic regime the world has known. This recommendation, coupled with the Commission's recommendation of interoperable data bases of voters, is the first step toward data bases of American citizens.

    Make no mistake about it, this national ID voting card is more of the same old Ken Blackwell-style Republican electoral dirty tricks, where Democratic voters are deliberately disenfranchised so that Republicans can win elections. Remember the lack of voting machines in Ohio for Democratic voters? Remember the machines that broke down or registered strange numbers of votes for George Bush or unknown third party candidates? Remember Ken Blackwell's paper weight requirements for voter registration cards?

    Imagine if the Republican party can, in one fell swoop, legally prohibit more than ten percent of voters, most of them poor, minority and elderly voters, most of them Democratic voters, from being able to vote.

    Please help me today. I have made the front page of my website into an action center on this issue. It will be constantly updated with actions you can take to help and up to the minute news on this issue. Thanks for your help and your continued stand for a better democracy.




    As Expected, They Call for Photo ID to Disenfranchise Millions More Americans...
    By Brad Friedman on 9/19/2005 1:54am PT  

    The discredited "Blue Ribbon" National Election Reform commission led by Bush Family Crony and Democracy Hater James A. Baker along with former President Jimmy Carter releases their recommendations today.

    As expected, the scam to disenfranchise millions of more minority, elderly, poor and urban-dwelling Americans through a call for a Photo ID requirement at the polls has been made. Washington Post has the first look at what this shameful excuse for a "Blue Ribbon" commission --- irreparably stocked and tainted with Voting Machine Company officials and anti-American, anti-democracy advocates from GOP front-groups like the phony "American Center for Voting Rights" --- is now hoping to perpetuate on an under-informed (thanks WaPo and friends) American public.

    BRAD BLOG readers will be delighted to know that WaPo's Dan Baltz informs readers in his article on the Commission's report this morning that "there has been no credible evidence of partisan manipulation of the election in Ohio." Betcha didn't know that!

    The only upside as reported for now:

    [T]he proposed ID card drew sharp dissent from some commissioners, among them former Senate Democratic leader Thomas A. Daschle (S.D.). In a dissent joined by two other commissioners, Daschle likened the ID to a "modern day poll tax."

    Not that anyone will bother to listen.

    More after we get some sleep, and try to convince ourselves in our dreams that we are still in the United States of America.

    ...CONTACT...
    Dan Balz, Washington Post, balzd@washpost.com

    UPDATE: More details...many more...in this update!




    Odds 'n' Ends and the Net Reaction...
    PLUS: Brad Appearances on Pacifica and Huffington Post
    By Brad Friedman on 9/18/2005 2:49pm PT  

    There's been quite a hullaballoo both here and elsewhere since I posted my exclusive interview with DIEB-THROAT last Thursday pointing to the Cyber Alert from the arm of the U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security which warned about Diebold's hackable machines prior to last November's election. That's good. Without noise and vigilance from the citizenry, the story of what has happened and continues to happen to our Electoral System in this country will be drowned out by those who have an interest in the system remaining as is...and real democracy in America will drown along with it.

    It is up to you to make sure that something is done now about what DIEB-THROAT described as "one of the greatest threats democracy has ever known." Here's a link you can use right away to alert your Congressional Representatives (both Dem and Rep!) about the problem, and ask them to support at least one piece of legislation --- Rep. Rush Holt's HR 550 --- that attempts to deal with at least some of the problems in the current disastrous system. Holt's bill has over 100 co-sponsors now, including some Republicans as we understand, and thus it has the best chance of seeing the light of day in Congress at this time. It's worth supporting.

    Several Mainstream Media organizations have contacted me since publishing Thursday's story to get more info and/or interviews with DIEB-THROAT. I've done everything I can to accommodate them, and hopefully we'll be seeing more on this story soon. Then again, I was also contacted by many MSM'ers after I broke the amazing Clint Curtis story, and we're still waiting for those exposes to appear in the MSM. So we'll see what happens. Don't wait for them! Make noise yourself right now!

    Amongst the notable noise out there on the net was this coverage by Mako Yamakura at the Detroit News and Free Press weblog site. Yamakura does a fine job of explaining --- in laymen's terms --- the significance of the US-CERT Cyber Alert discussed in my original article.

    Over at BlackBoxVoting.org where the backdoor vulnerability to Diebold's central tabulation software was originally discovered more than a year ago, there is a thread discussing our article, its ramifications and a great deal of additional information along with both kudos and critiques for yours truly. To be frank, I was a bit surprised there wasn't more appreciation for the story originally over there, since it provided independent corroboration to so much of what they've been trying to get folks to pay attention to for so long. Nonethess, I'm glad that folks are talking about it.

    A few of the notable links found via BBV's thread would include:

  • Internal email purported to be from a Diebold support tech in 2001 asking about the security flaw in the GEMS tabulation software. And the lead technician who then acknowledges the problem in detail in return.
  • Rep. Dennis Kucinich's webpage quoting from the Diebold Employee manual, encouraging them to lie about ballot integrity issues in Diebold's election system. (Along with more links, to more internal emails).
  • Oh, and for the technically minded, you can download Diebold's GEMS Central Tabulator software right here and use the step-by-step instructions to hack it yourself!
  • I'm also reminded that you can watch Howard Dean hack the Diebold GEMS Central Tabulator in 90 seconds in a video clip from CNBC's Topic A with Tina Brown where Dean guest-hosted with BBV's Bev Harris as his guest.

    That demonstration is also used in the short Special Edition of the Votergate documentary film still in production by our friend Russ Michaels. If you haven't seen this version of his film, released to the net prior to last November's Election, you're in for an eye-opener! Go watch it!

    Also, McCamy Taylor was moved enough by our article to do up a quickie cartoon strip on DIEB-THROAT over at the Grand Theft Election Ohio website.

    Lastly, for those folks who are just now waking up to unaccountable, unverifiable, untransparent privatization of America's elections by Diebold (the Halliburton of the Voting World) and others, I would recommend you:

  • a) Watch this video reminder of last November's Illegitimate Election as compiled in part by BRAD BLOG's own David Edwards.
  • And b) read the remarkable story of Clint Curtis about which I've been reporting since last December. Curtis, a Republican, claims to have been asked by Congressman Tom Feeney (R-FL) to create a Vote-Rigging Software Prototype in 2000. He has signed a sworn affidavit, given sworn Congressional testimony, and passed a polygraph test about all of that since then. Tom Feeney, notably, has not.
  • Wanna Do Something About All of This?

    Other than linking to our DIEB-THROAT article, emailing it around, and writing letters to the editor at your local newspaper about both that story and other reasons to be greatly concerned about what has happened to America's Electoral System, you can help light a fire under some Congressional feet! Both Dems and Reps! They must get to work and pass some legislation that begins to deal with this incredible threat to our Democracy! VelvetRevolution.us has made it easy to SEND A LETTER TO YOUR CONGRESSIONAL REPRESENTATIVES demanding that they support Congressman Rush Holt's "Voter Confidence and Increased Accessibility Act" (H.R. 550). Click here now to do it! It'll just take a minute of your time! And thanks for giving a damn!

    P.S. I'll be on Pacifica's Sunday Monitor program out of KPFT 90.1 FM in Houston to discuss all of this today (Sunday, natch) at 4:15p PT if you want to listen in...

    P.P.S. Arianna has asked me for a piece on this as well for Huffington Post which I hope will be posted soon over there is now posted here!




    'The Chain of Evil'
    By Brad Friedman on 9/17/2005 6:01pm PT  

    Perhaps the best "New Rules" segment I've seen yet on Bill Maher's show. He knocks it out of the park, frankly. Don't miss this one.

    Crooks & Liars has the complete video...




    REBRADCAST: Our '40th Anniversary Voting Rights Act' Special Edition!
    Listening Links via www.BradShow.com - 7p-11p ET Saturday, 12p-4p ET Sunday!
    By Brad Friedman on 9/17/2005 2:47pm PT  

    If you missed it the first time, it's new to you! Be sure to catch our jam packed Special Edition of The BRAD SHOW celebrating the 40th Anniversary of the Voting Rights Act. Originally aired on Aug. 6th, the show features an amazing array of folks both live and on tape! Here's a few of them, but see www.BradShow.com for more details!

    Rep. JOHN LEWIS (D-GA) · Rev. JESSE JACKSON · SAM WALKER · Rep. CYNTHIA MCKINNEY (D-GA) · Dr. MARTIN LUTHER KING · LEON SMITH · KEENAN KELLER · Rev. BILL MOSS

    Interestingly, the day we originally broadcast this show, a woman named Cindy Sheehan had showed up in Crawford, Texas, outside Bush's vacation home to request a meeting with him. We spoke that night with Leon Smith, editor of the Lonestar Iconocast in Crawford, about what became quite a national event!

    This program is also particularly timely as the Baker/Carter Commission on Election Reform, the one that was created in part with the help of the cretins/GOP-operatives who call themselves the "non-partisan" American Center for Voting Rights (ACVR), is to release their findings on Monday. Our early word is that they will making their recommendations to ensure disenfranchisement of millions of American through the requirement of Photo ID at the polls (which millions of Elderly, Urban Dwellers and Minorities simply don't own). So this show is a good reminder of what was won 40 years ago in the name of government of the people, by the people and for the people...and what may well be lost at the hands of America and Democracy Hating folks like James A. Baker who continues to do George W. Bush's bidding...or vice versa.

    Perhaps Americans and Democrats will soon wake up before it's too late. Though we're not particular optimistic about that today. Either way...Enjoy the show! It was a great one!




    By Brad Friedman on 9/16/2005 9:22am PT  

    The Lonestar Iconoclast is reporting that the remaining memorial at Camp Casey, crosses, tent, the boots of Cindy Sheehan's fallen son, Casey, were stolen on Wednesday Night/Thursday Morning in Crawford, Texas...

    CRAWFORD — The Camp Casey Memorial on Prairie Chapel Road was removed by thieves earlier today. Not a single item is left at the memorial site.

    Crew members working for McLennan County said they witnessed items being removed by an unidentified individual and contacted their office to inform commissioners.
    ...
    Among the items stolen were numerous crosses, Casey Sheehan's boots, tents, and other items.
    ...
    The three honor guard volunteers diligently listed, item by item, the belongings that were stolen from the site. Tents, pillows, signs, books, a box of literature, sleeping bags, an air mattress, flowers, plants, tarps, memorial crosses — even Casey Sheehan's boots that stood in front of the small wooden cross bearing his name. Virtually every item that was at Camp Casey is gone.

    Veterans For Peace member and honor guard volunteer Paul R. McDaniel said, “My role here was as caretaker. Now it's gone.” Honor guard volunteer Linda Foley cried as she said, “Casey's boots are gone! His boots are gone. You tell me that we're not being respectful. Those crosses are probably in a trash can somewhere right now! His boots are gone. What kind of people would do that.”
    Honor guard member Sarah Oliver said, “His boots were one of the last things that Cindy had of Casey. I can't believe that anyone would take something like that.”
    ...
    Following the tedious report given to the officer, honor guard members began to disassemble the poles of the pavilions tent that stood over the tent of Cindy Sheehan—the single item left at the site. One could walk through the area where the tents and crosses stood and see nothing. There was no evidence that Camp Casey had even existed.

    Nice "support for the troops", we guess. Incredible.

    UPDATE 9/21/05: Stolen items returned by Sherrif's office! No explanation given! Lonestar Iconoclast reports...




    DIEB-THROAT : 'Diebold System One of Greatest Threats Democracy Has Ever Known'
    Identifies U.S. Homeland Security 'Cyber Alert' Prior to '04 Election Warning Votes Can be 'Modified Remotely' via 'Undocumented Backdoor' in Central Tabulator Software!
    By Brad Friedman on 9/15/2005 11:05am PT  

    In exclusive stunning admissions to The BRAD BLOG some 11 months after the 2004 Presidential Election, a "Diebold Insider" is now finally speaking out for the first time about the alarming security flaws within Diebold, Inc's electronic voting systems, software and machinery. The source is acknowledging that the company's "upper management" --- as well as "top government officials" --- were keenly aware of the "undocumented backdoor" in Diebold's main "GEM Central Tabulator" software well prior to the 2004 election. A branch of the Federal Government even posted a security warning on the Internet.

    Pointing to a little-noticed "Cyber Security Alert" issued by the United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT), a division of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the source inside Diebold --- who "for the time being" is requesting anonymity due to a continuing sensitive relationship with the company --- is charging that Diebold's technicians, including at least one of its lead programmers, knew about the security flaw and that the company instructed them to keep quiet about it.

    "Diebold threatened violators with immediate dismissal," the insider, who we'll call DIEB-THROAT, explained recently to The BRAD BLOG via email. "In 2005, after one newly hired member of Diebold's technical staff pointed out the security flaw, he was criticized and isolated."

    In phone interviews, DIEB-THROAT confirmed that the matters were well known within the company, but that a "culture of fear" had been developed to assure that employees, including technicians, vendors and programmers kept those issues to themselves.

    The "Cyber Security Alert" from US-CERT was issued in late August of 2004 and is still available online via the US-CERT website. The alert warns that "A vulnerability exists due to an undocumented backdoor account, which could [sic: allow] a local or remote authenticated malicious user [sic: to] modify votes."

    The alert, assessed to be of "MEDIUM" risk on the US-CERT security bulletin, goes on to add that there is "No workaround or patch available at time of publishing."

    "Diebold's upper management was aware of access to the voter file defect before the 2004 election - but did nothing to correct it," the source explained.

    A "MEDIUM" risk vulnerability cyber alert is described on the US-CERT site as: "one that will allow an intruder immediate access to a system with less than privileged access. Such vulnerability will allow the intruder the opportunity to continue the attempt to gain privileged access. An example of medium-risk vulnerability is a server configuration error that allows an intruder to capture the password file."

    DIEB-THROAT claims that, though the Federal Government knew about this documented flaw, originally discovered and reported by BlackBoxVoting.org in August of 2004, they did nothing about it.

    "I believe that top Government officials had an understanding with top Diebold officials to look the other way," the source explained, "because Diebold was their ace in the hole."...

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




    (Bring it on)
    By Brad Friedman on 9/14/2005 9:55pm PT  

    I've been working on a rather important story since I've returned home. You'll recognize it when you see it. Hopefully very soon. So apologies in the meantime for things having slowed down here a bit since my return. Plus, the good David Edwards, Winter Patriot and Joseph Cannon all deserve a bit of a break since pulling extra long Guest Blogging duty in the wake of my unexpectedly long summer "vacation". Hopefully they will each continue to contribute here, however, after a bit of a well-deserved rest. They are welcome any time and I can't thank them all enough for their tremendous work here while I was on the road. Especially since I'll soon be heading out for it again to make my way up to participate in the National Summit to Save Our Elections in Portland along with Thom Hartmann, Bob Koehler, Jesse Jackson Jr. and other illuminaries too numerous to mention at the end of the month.

    Beyond that, I can't seem to get this E.J. Dionne piece from yesterday's WaPo out of my mind. Though Dionne may be jumping the gun a bit (anything and everything could happen any day now), his epitaph for the "End of the Bush Era" seems to be right on target. Or at least provide a bit of welcome and smart perspective to an America in trouble, but perhaps soon on the mend. Perhaps.

    Here's a few key grafs, though I recommend you read the whole thing if you haven't already:

    The Bush Era is over. The sooner politicians in both parties realize that, the better for them --- and the country.

    Recent months, and especially the past two weeks, have brought home to a steadily growing majority of Americans the truth that President Bush's government doesn't work. His policies are failing, his approach to leadership is detached and self-indulgent, his way of politics has produced a divided, angry and dysfunctional public square. We dare not go on like this.
    ...
    He failed to realize after Sept. 11 that it was not we who were lucky to have him as a leader, but he who was lucky to be president of a great country that understood the importance of standing together in the face of a grave foreign threat.
    ...
    And what of Bush, who has more than three years left in his term? Paradoxically, his best hope lies in recognizing that the Bush Era, as he and we have known it, really is gone. He can decide to help us in the transition to what comes next. Or he can cling stubbornly to his past and thereby doom himself to frustrating irrelevance.

    As I said (twice) read it all.




    By Brad Friedman on 9/14/2005 8:58pm PT  




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