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Latest Featured Reports | Saturday, November 27, 2021
Sunday 'Friendsgiving' Toons
PDiddie's latest festive collection! Because that's what toons are for...
There'd Be No Trucker Short-age If Industry Took Care of Drivers: 'BradCast' 11/19/21
Guest: Nicolas Rivero of Quartz; Also: House passes BBB; VA school board unbans books; Recounts will determine control of VA House...
Digging Deeper Into the Case for Homicide Charges Against Both Trump AND Pence: 'BradCast' 11/18/21
Also: COVID rising again before holidays; OK clemency for Julius Jones...
'Green News Report' 11/18/21
  w/ Brad & Desi
Deadly extreme flooding in Pacific Northwest; Admin's controversial oil and gas lease sale; F.T.C. to probe Big Oil corruption; PLUS: Biden promotes American-made EVs in Detroit...
Previous GNRs: 11/16/21 - 11/11/21 - Archives...
Deflating Inflation Panic: 'BradCast' 11/17
Guest: The Intercept's Jon Schwarz on how it's misreported, good for many workers, bad for big banks; Also: 3+ years for 'QAnon Shaman'; Gosar censured; Biden' Big Oil probe; Sanders on 'Defense'...
The Unmistakable Drumbeat of Authoritarianism: 'BradCast' 11/16/21
Ominous warnings: Gerrymanders continue; GOPers v. GOPers; More on the attempt to steal 2020; Book 'burning'; Trump's COVID cover-up...
'Green News Report' 11/16/21
U.N. climate summit ends with progress, compromise; Coal 'down' but not 'out' at Glasgow; PLUS: Biden signs landmark bipartisan infrastructure deal into law...
Long Roads to Accountability, Climate Action, Infrastructure: 'BradCast' 11/15
Bannon surrenders; COP26 concludes; Biden signs landmark, roads, bridges, enviro bill...
Sunday 'Big Bird, Little Bird' Toons
Flip on over to PDiddie's toon collection this week for the latest signs of the times...
Sports, Politics, Race and Florida:
'BradCast' 11/12/21
Guest host Nicole Sandler with FL Guber-natorial Candidate Annette Taddeo and The Nation's Dave Zirin; Also: BANNON FINALLY INDICTED!...
'Green News Report' 11/11/21
COP26 crunch time; Surprise US/China climate deal; Big EV agreement; Renewables rise in U.S.; PLUS: Nations under-reporting emissions, new analysis finds...
BARCODED BALLOTS AND BALLOT MARKING DEVICES
BMDs pose a new threat to democracy in all 50 states...
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...


Result of State's First Ever Testing of E-Voting Systems Find All Systems 'Vulnerable' to Manipulation and Theft by 'Simple Techniques'
SoS Brunner Recommends Paper Ballots Optically-Scanned at County Headquarters for Buckeye State...
By Brad Friedman on 12/14/2007 2:35pm PT  

The results of new, unprecedented testing of e-voting machines in the state of Ohio are in, and the findings mirror the landmark results of a similar test carried out earlier this year in California.

"Ohio's electronic voting systems have 'critical security failures' which could impact the integrity of elections in the Buckeye State," says Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner in a statement which accompanied the release of the report today on the SoS' website. Brunner, a Democrat, was joined in her press conference (video now here), called today to discuss the results of the testing, by Ohio's Republican House Speaker, Jon Husted.

Brunner is calling for a ban on all Direct Recording Electronic (DRE, usually touch-screen) voting systems in the state, along with a ban on precinct-based optical-scan paper based systems, charging that the central counting of ballots at the county would eliminate "points of entry creating unnecessary voting system risk."

The State's bi-partisan "Evaluation & Validation of Election-Related Equipment, Standards & Testing" (EVEREST) report finds, as did California's study, as did virtually every other independent test of such systems, that violating the security and manipulating the "federal approved" electronic voting systems, is a breeze.

"To put it in every-day terms," Brunner said, "the tools needed to compromise an accurate vote count could be as simple as tampering with the paper audit trail connector or using a magnet and a personal digital assistant."

"The results underscore the need for a fundamental change in the structure of Ohio’s election system to ensure ballot and voting system security while still making voting convenient and accessible to all Ohio voters," said Brunner, who has come under fire from Election Integrity advocates for failing to act quickly enough concerning the voting systems to be used in next year's crucial election, as well as for failing to seek accountability for the exceedingly well-documented and now-infamous charges of election fraud and voter suppression in the 2004 Presidential election under her predecessor J. Kenneth Blackwell.

While the effort is long overdue in Ohio, actions being taken by Brunner, in light of the test results, are less stringent than those taken by California Secretary of State Debra Bowen after tests in her state. Brunner's recommendations, some of them quite puzzling, are likely to come under some fire in the bargain, from Election Integrity advocates in Ohio and elsewhere...

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




Files Amicus Brief to SCOTUS in Indiana Photo ID Case, on Behalf of New Congressional 'Clients'
Dems Indignantly Issue More Harshly Worded Statements, as Voter Suppression Mainlined by Bush DoJ...
By Brad Friedman on 12/12/2007 10:15pm PT  

It was almost three years ago that The BRAD BLOG first spotted the conspiracy long-range business plan being fronted for the Republicans by GOP con-man/operative Mark F. "Thor" Hearne II. The scheme became immediately transparent, to those who wished to see it, when his brand-spanking new "voting rights" group scam, calling themselves the "American Center for Voting Rights" (ACVR), popped up at a phony Congressional hearing on the 2004 Election, in March of 2005, as chaired by the now-jailed felon from Ohio, Rep. Bob Ney (R-Abramoff).

Hearne had identified himself at the hearing only as "a longtime advocate of voter rights and an attorney experienced in election law," conveniently omitting that he had been the very partisan national general counsel for Bush/Cheney '04 Inc. and had founded the "non-partisan" ACVR with his "non-partisan" partner, Jim Dyke, who had previously been the communication director for the RNC. (Shortly thereafter, the "non-partisan" Dyke went on to work for the "non-partisan" Dick Cheney at the White House, and now fronts for the "non-partisan" Rudy Giuliani.)

We spent a good portion of the ensuing three years with our hair on fire, trying to wave red flags about the transparent scheme/propaganda that Hearne was selling: Phonied up data on a non-existent "epidemic" of "Democratic Voter Fraud" in order to force restrictive Photo ID laws at the polling place, meant only to keep millions of largely Democratic-leaning minority and elderly voters from being able to cast a legal vote at all.

After the U.S. Attorney Purge Scandal finally shed light on the Republican "voter fraud" scheme to the rest of the media, folks started paying attention and Hearne quickly shut down his ACVR shop.

But the mission had been accomplished, and the foothold the Republican scammers needed had already been established, with laws such as Indiana's Photo ID restriction that is now headed towards a hearing in the Supreme Court. The results of the decision could well help determine the outcome of the 2008 elections.

UPDATE: Alternet's Steve Rosenfeld picks up on this precise issue today, reporting on how the rightwing "ballot security" operatives are arguing to the Supreme Court in favor of pre-emptive voter challenges at the poll, without the necessity of having to show that any such voter fraud is actually occurring. As well, they are building their legal case on the idea that "fear of" voter fraud is enough to demand such onerous ID requirements, even though it is the same "right-wing activists who spent years creating and publicizing a myth of widespread voter fraud," who are now making the case that "perception of potentially corrupted elections is yet another reason why states should be allowed to police the voting process with new restrictions such as voter ID laws." These wingnut zealot bullshit artists are the best in the business. If you consider "best" to be most evil and "business" to be our frickin' American democracy.

Despite Hearne's claims, made earlier this year to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, that The BRAD BLOG made it impossible for him to run his scam without public/media notice, the huckster is still at it. He's just filed an amicus brief in the Supreme Court case, on behalf of 41 GOP Congress members.

You didn't think he'd just slither back under his rock and stay there, did you?...

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




Dems Will Roll It Out Again During Presidential Campaign Next Year
By Jon Ponder on 12/12/2007 4:17pm PT  

Guest blogged by Jon Ponder, Pensito Review.

No fanfare. George Bush vetoed this one in private:

President Bush vetoed legislation Wednesday that would have expanded government-provided health insurance for children, his second slap-down of a bipartisan effort in Congress to dramatically increase funding for the popular program.

It was Bush's seventh veto in seven years - all but one coming since Democrats took control of Congress in January. Wednesday was the deadline for Bush to act or let the bill become law. The president also vetoed an earlier, similar bill expanding the health insurance program.

The Associated Press says that of the 43 million uninsured people nationwide, over 6 million are under the age of 18, which is almost 10 percent of all U.S. children.

Democrats plan to extend the current State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) program, as is, into next year and then force Bush to veto the expansion again during the election campaign.




New Media 'Progressives' Holding Hands With the Corporate Establishment, in a Search for the 'Most Electable'...
By Kenneth Anderson on 12/12/2007 10:47am PT  

Guest Editorial by Kenneth Anderson

Endlessly mundane and always uninformative, the moribund struggle for party nominations in what we so disrespectfully still call the "presidential campaign" inhabit a realm of such vacuous inanity one can palpably sense malignant tumors of ennui forming within.

While would-be Republican candidates spar for the GOP nomination by appealing to brain stem functions (that is, when they're not extolling us with tales of their heavenly devotion), Democrats carry themselves at only a marginally elevated level. This is not to say that there are not candidates --- on both sides --- who would like to raise the bar and address actual issues and policy, but those are shunned by our craven and cack-handed media mavens, who never seem to tire of their perceived role as king-maker in what has become --- for the world's "greatest democracy" --- an embarrassing spectacle of the most base and primitive dimensions. I suspect if media moguls could get Romney and Huckabee to square off in a cage fight, well, that would be next on the tour of the candidates. Who needs all this talk? Though the American public demand campaigns of substance, there appears too little of that on the political horizon, while furry idiots like Wolf Blitzer express puzzlement at the term "triangulating" as it pertains to Hillary Clinton.

What we constantly hear from the corporate media, though it is never stated quite so bluntly, is that those with the money become the kings. The American political campaign system is now a big-money bonanza for media corporations. These corporations prop up candidates with the most money knowing full well that that money will come straight back to them in the form of campaign advertising. The media are now simply advertisers for the biggest political spenders, which is perhaps the reason why the campaign cycle is now virtually continuous. It is a positive feedback loop, reinforcing in the minds of the public that the only viable candidates are the ones with the money, the polls reflect this, more money pours in for those "viable candidates," which in turn cycles right back to the media money machine.

Which is why I am constantly amazed that the so-called "progressive" blogs have chosen to endorse corporate-backed candidates like Hillary Clinton.

Though Dennis Kucinich espouses ideals resonant with most liberal voters, he is as marginalized by progressives as much as the mainstream media as "unelectable," though no one ever seems to understand or explain exactly what that means. Is it his ears?

By all appearances, blogs such as dKos, MyDD, etc, have now simply become another arm of the Democratic party and their backing of the major, big-money candidates simply because they are deemed "electable" entirely betrays the original purpose of their fora.

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




Both Christianity and Judaism Flowered Under Repression
By Jon Ponder on 12/10/2007 10:02am PT  

Guest blogged by Jon Ponder, Pensito Review.

On KCRW's "Left, Right and Center" political chat show last Friday, Tony Blankley, of all people, the former chief of staff for Newt Gingrich and editor of the Washington Times, the rightwing newspaper owned by cult leader Sun Yung Moon, joined Arianna Huffington and Matt Miller in tearing apart the speech on religion Mitt Romney delivered last week:

ARIANNA HUFFINGTON: There was also something else, which was the statement in the speech --- the statement that freedom requires religion and religion requires freedom.

(Laughter among the co-hosts.)

MATT MILLER: What about Christianity and the Romans?

HUFFINGTON: You wonder, how was that allowed to stay for the final draft. I mean, what does it even mean?

TONY BLANKLEY: It was a wonderfully drafted phrase, even though it was historical nonsense.

HUFFINGTON: Historic nonsense and current nonsense. Also the fact that he mentioned the name, the word "Mormon" once compared to the number of times JFK mentioned [Catholicism] was a real indicator that he was still not entirely clear that this was not going to have some definite public relations disadvantages for him.

BLANKLEY: I've just got to say that Arianna picked on exactly the right phrase. It was such ahistoric nonsense. Not only does Christianity thrive under the repression of the Roman emperors but the whole history of Judaism --- you know, this little religion has thrived over, what, 5,000 and a half years, and they have rarely ever experienced any freedom. The idea that you can't --- that religion has to exist only in freedom is just historic nonsense. It's just silly.

Exception should be taken to Romney's corollary statement that freedom requires religion, as well. At least three of our Founding Fathers --- Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson and Thomas Paine --- were irreligious, and there is ample evidence they understood freedom fairly well (leaving aside the very large matter of Jefferson's dependence on slavery). In any case, they and others did not "require" religion in order to lay the groundwork for America's experiment with personal liberty.

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




Off Again On Again Dirty Trick Scheme Now Off Again...For Now
CBS News Report Reveals Apparently Fraudulent Signature Gathering by Supporters...
By Jon Ponder on 12/7/2007 8:11am PT  

Guest blogged by Jon Ponder of Pensito Review, with additional reporting by Brad Friedman

The Republican Party's effort to unilaterally award itself 20 or so of California's 55 Electoral College votes in next year's Presidential Election has failed to reach its fundraising goals for a second time, according to the LA Times today...

A proposed initiative that drew national attention for its potential to affect next year's presidential election will not appear on the June ballot, organizers said Thursday.

Republican backers of the measure, which could have tilted the presidential contest toward the GOP nominee by changing how California awards electoral votes, conceded that they were unable to raise sufficient funds.

Dave Gilliard, the manager of the current campaign, expressed bewilderment over the fact that more GOP fatcats did not pour money into the campaign.

"I was surprised that more people that finance these types of efforts didn't step forward...We had strong supporters and good supporters but didn't come anywhere close to making the budget," Gilliard told the Los Angeles Times.

Gilliard's "surprise" is itself surprising. GOP big money donors know, just as certainly Gilliard must know, that ballot initiatives tend to fail if California voters suspect the proposition has a hidden agenda.

The stated intent of Gilliard's initiative was to make the California system "fair." In fact, the real purpose was to give about 40 percent of the state's Electoral College votes to the 2008 Republican Presidential nominee.

In September, the measure had been pronounced dead by the LA Times after the campaign's manager discovered that its sole donation had been laundered through a front group to disguise the donor's identity as a campaign chair and fundraiser for GOP presidential candidate Rudolph Giuliani. It was brought back to life in October after Congressman Darrell Issa (R-CA) kicked in $100,000 and the California Republican Party --- who would more recently cry that they were cash poor --- donated $150,000 towards the scheme.

In November, reports began to surface that the backers were using an initiative relating to kids with cancer as a cover to gather signatures in what appears to have been a fraudulent attempt to gain signatures for the measure. And The BRAD BLOG recently offered an exclusive interview with Anthony F. Andrade Jr., the man who originally proposed the scheme to split California's electoral votes. Andrade's comments about the initiative, and all manner of things --- including labeling homosexuals as "loony" and Bill and Hillary Clinton as "pricks" and "assholes" --- were colorful, to say the least.

But like Jason in a bad Friday the Thirteenth movie the measure may not be fully dead yet. The LA Times also reports today that proponents of the scheme "were holding out hope that the measure could appear on the November ballot with the presidential contest. But [Gilliard] said that was a dicey scenario: Even if it is on that ballot and wins voter approval, it might not affect the 2008 election."

A video report from CBS News over the weekend, showing apparent efforts by supporters to fraudulently receive signatures for the measure, follows below...

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




Paul Supporters, Who Pledged to Vote Only Once Each, Cry Foul, Document Evidence on YouTube, Make Music Videos of 'Mitt Robbery'...
Straw Poll Organizer Reportedly Tells Woman: 'If you make a big deal out of this, you will get hurt'
By Brad Friedman on 12/5/2007 10:47pm PT  

Blogged by Brad from the road...

Okay, we retract our hundreds of articles with evidence that Voter Fraud (as opposed to Election Fraud) is exceedingly rare. At least when it comes to Republicans and Florida.

The St. Petersburg Times is reporting that Mitt Romney supporters stuffed the "ballot box" (actually touch-screen DRE voting machines) by voting multiple times at last week's GOP straw poll in Tampa, FL, just prior to the Republican CNN/YouTube debate. Ironically enough, the video evidence, some of it posted at the end of this article, has been posted all over YouTube.

According to the Times...

Lined up at the voting machines, Paul supporters flaunted their single tickets and pledged to vote only once.

Meanwhile, some Romney supporters openly admitted to using rolls of tickets to vote multiple times. Romney won the poll with 893 votes, while Paul finished with 534.
...
It was all caught on tape, and the local Paul supporters rushed to share their complaints with the rest of the world.

By week's end, at least three videos hit YouTube, documenting Romney supporters - including prominent lawyer and lobbyist Fred Leonhardt - openly casting multiple votes.

In one video, a Clearwater woman and Paul supporter sat on a couch and accused Pinellas County GOP chairman and straw poll organizer Tony DiMatteo of threatening bodily harm if she didn't stop complaining.

"Tony's exact words on the phone to me was, 'If you make a big deal out of this, you will get hurt,'" Sofie Lefebvre said in the video. "And I was shocked. At that point, I realized that there was a lot more corruption going on than we even realized before."
...
DiMatteo dismissed the incident, calling it a non-issue that he refused to discuss any further.

"I've read some of those comments [angry ones, from Paul supporters accompanying several Youtube videos]," he said. "These are a bunch of people that need to get lives and don't understand what really happened here."

Granted, these GOP straw polls are phony from the get-go. The candidates buy tickets and give them out to supporters to show up and vote for them. They're fund raisers for the local Republican parties. But, theoretically, it's supposed to be one vote per ticket per person.

But these are Republicans. And this is Florida. So such rules concerning voting don't much matter. (Isn't that right, Ann Coulter?)

Besides, what better way to fire up the troops than by encouraging them to vote multiple times just before the upcoming primaries?!

The Ron Paul supporters have put tons of videos up at YouTube on this. Here are a few of the best we came across after going through a bunch of them. You're welcome...

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




PBS Explores Many Of The Ways Republicans And The DoJ Are Working To Disenfranchise Democratic Leaning Voters
By Alan Breslauer on 12/5/2007 11:18am PT  

Guest Blogged by Alan Breslauer

Will The 2008 Vote Be Fair? That was the topic addressed by host David Brancaccio and former Justice Department official David Becker on NOW last Friday. Part I (at left, 10:01) begins with a discussion of Photo ID laws to prevent the "invented problem" of voter fraud. The discussion continues at the 6:15 mark on the topics of voter caging and voter purging --- when the DoJ requires jurisdictions to purge their voter rolls when they do not match census estimates.

Part II (at right, 9:50) begins with Becker explaining how the Bush 43 Justice Department has subverted its traditional mission: "During about a five year span, not one single case was brought on behalf of African Americans in the Voting Section of the Civil Rights Division". Becker goes on to state that policies were established that favored Republicans and disfavored Democrats in an effort to "gam[e] the system" to retain power.

Next, Brancaccio and Becker explore how the U.S. Attorney scandal fits in to the bigger picture. Becker: "The DoJ, especially under Alberto Gonzales, was being used as an arm of the right wing of the Republican Party to effectuate partisan gains in elections". Finally, the program concludes with a discussion on voting machines and Florida's 13th District.




By Alan Breslauer on 12/3/2007 12:49pm PT  

Guest Blogged by Alan Breslauer

According to CNN's Bill Schneider, "Iraq is not a top issue to Republicans" in the coming election. Thus, Senator John McCain, who is seen as the GOP candidate "Best Able To Handle Iraq" does not gain much traction with voters whose interests have shifted to the economy and to other issues.




Backer of Original Initiative Speaks Out in Colorful Interview with The BRAD BLOG
Says Clintons Are 'Pricks,' Gay People 'Loony,' Republican Ballot Measure Would Return 'Power to the People'...
By Brad Friedman on 11/30/2007 12:28pm PT  

By Brad Friedman from Denver, CO...

A late-night report from the Firedoglake blog last night indicated that a Republican-backed initiative to split California's 55 electoral votes by Congressional district has been "withdrawn." In fact, it has not, as The BRAD BLOG has confirmed this morning, with both the California Secretary of State's office and the initial proponent of the original initiative. Democrats have regarded the ballot initiative as a dirty trick by Republicans desperate to hold on to the White House in the 2008 general election.

The current version of the initiative, which has raised millions of dollars, is said to have garnered some 400,000 signatures in support and continues to move forward as planned.

There had been two nearly identical initiatives in circulation attempting to gather enough signatures to qualify for the ballot in next June's election in California. The original measure, known as "07-0016," as filed by Anthony F. Andrade Jr., has indeed been withdrawn, according to the California Sec. of State website. But the version of the measure most likely to make its way onto the ballot next year, "07-0032,, barrels full steam ahead for the time being.

The BRAD BLOG has confirmed that point with two officials at the CA Sec. of State's office. We have also confirmed it with Andrade himself, a colorful fellow with whom we spoke earlier today, who now supports the other, still-active, initiative.

Andrade, who says that he's a BRAD BLOG reader himself, submitted the original initiative in May of this year. It was approved for signature circulation on July 3, before the nearly identical initiative, submitted by Thomas W. Hiltachk, a former associate of Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, was filed on July 10.

Hiltachk's initiative continues to gain momentum and money from Republican backers, while Andrade's original proposal was finally withdrawn from circulation, officially, on November 27.

Andrade, who says he's "a libertarian at heart," told us that Hiltachk saw his original initiative and decided to file a version of his own.

"This asshole goes and reads my initiative, and says 'Ah, I'm gonna file a duplicate,'" he told The BRAD BLOG this morning. "This asshole says he has $2 million," and then it turned out he didn't have a dime. "Perhaps the polite word is 'flake,'" Andrade clarified later during the call.

The Hiltachk proposal was indeed pronounced dead by the LA Times several weeks ago after it was found to have been backed by Rudy Giuliani supporters. The measure has since found new sponsors, also reportedly tied to both Giuliani, as well as California's 49th district U.S. Rep. Darrell Issa. There have also been subsequent allegations of fraud in the gathering of petitions for the measure.

Andrade believes the original backers of the proposal were looking at it as a way to raise money for themselves.

At first labeling the measure a "people's initiative" (after we described it as a "Republican initiative"), Andrade admitted that, while he considers himself more of a libertarian and a Ron Paul supporter, he's most interested in stopping Hillary Clinton from gaining the White House...

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




Last Year, a State Official Pleaded Guilty to Felony For Using State Employees to Transport His Invalid Wife
By Jon Ponder on 11/30/2007 6:20am PT  

Guest blogged by Jon Ponder, Pensito Review.

Yesterday, we learned that when he was mayor of New York, Rudolph Giuliani allegedly played a shell game to hide from taxpayers --- and his scornful wife --- the cost of dragging his security details along when he traveled out to Long Island to visit his then-girlfriend, Judith Nathan. Now comes news that he assigned a car and driver from the NYPD to Nathan during their affair:

Well before it was publicly known he was seeing her, then-married New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani provided a police driver and city car for his mistress Judith Nathan, former senior city officials tell the Blotter on ABCNews.com.

"She used the [police department] as her personal taxi service," said one former city official who worked for Giuliani.

The former city officials said Giuliani expanded the budget for his security detail at the time. Politico.com reported yesterday that many of the security expenses were initially billed to obscure city agencies, effectively hiding them from oversight.

Last December, Alan G. Hevesi, the New York State Comptroller, pleaded guilty to defrauding the government and resigned his position after it was revealed that he had detailed a state employee to attend his wife, who was an invalid:

Mr. Hevesi, the state’s top fiscal watchdog, told the court in a hoarse voice that one of the state workers he had assigned as a driver for his wife, Carol, had done much more than provide security for her. Prosecutors filed court papers revealing that the worker had also watered her plants, driven her to Bloomingdale’s and dropped off her dry cleaning.

In addition to pleading guilty to a felony, Hevesi paid a fine of $5,000 and reimbursed the state for $206,000.

No word as of yet whether New York's Democratic governor, Eliot Spitzer, will look into allegations that Giuliani used public employees to carry out personal services for him and his girlfriend.




Effort to Get Initiative on the Ballot Was Momentarily Derailed Last Month When It Was Revealed That Its Sole Financial Backer Was a Rudy Campaign Chair, But It's Now Back on Target...
By Jon Ponder on 11/29/2007 9:58am PT  

Guest blogged by Jon Ponder, Pensito Review.

Fundraising is down dramatically nationwide for the Republican Party, but things are especially bad here in California, where the state GOP is in such dire straits that its ability to compete in both state and federal races could be affected.

But while the state party is cutting programs and considering layoffs, hundreds of thousands of dollars are flowing in from out-of-state fatcat supporters of Rudy Giuliani --- funds the state GOP can't touch because they are earmarked specifically to promote a ballot initiative that would, if passed, give Rudy (i.e., the Republican presidential candidate) 20 or so of the state's 55 Electoral College Votes, even if he loses the state to the Democratic candidate.

The California Republican Party has been in a death spiral since the 1990s when, under former Gov. Pete Wilson, the decision was made to make illegal immigration its signature issue. It's way too soon to send for the embalmers but the current crisis couldn't be worse:

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




Fear 'Train Wreck' in Upcoming Presidential Primary Election as Cost of Move to Electronic Voting Translates to 40% Fewer Voting Booths...
By Brad Friedman on 11/29/2007 8:35am PT  

Blogged by Brad Friedman from the Kansas/Colorado border...

Salt Lake City Weekly covers the state's recent electoral woes in the wake of moving to Diebold touch-screen voting machines. They even use a word we reference often here at The BRAD BLOG in regard to upcoming elections: "train wreck."

Meanwhile, in Salt Lake County, election officials are trying to figure out how to persuade voters not to come to the polls. With the switch from punch cards to touch-screen voting, the county ended up with 40 percent fewer polling booths. A large turnout will overwhelm the setup, says county Clerk Sherrie Swensen.
...
The presidential primary in February might be a good test of what is in store next year. Utah is participating in Super Tuesday with Mitt Romney on the ballot, and Swensen expects at least 40 percent turnout. If the vote goes anything like the recent city election, it could be a train wreck.

Utah, of course, was the home of one of the most notorious touch-screen voting system investigations in the country when Emery County Clerk Bruce Funk allowed renowned computer security expert Harri Hursti and e-voting watchdog group BlackBoxVoting.org to examine the new Diebold touch-screen systems forced on him for use by the state.

Their startling vulnerabilities revealed in the Diebold systems by the study were described at the time as a "major national security risk" and "the most severe security flaw ever discovered in a voting system" by Election Integrity, Voting System and Computer Security experts.

For his diligence on behalf of his voters, Funk, the 23-year elected County Clerk, was subsequently locked out of his office and removed from his job with the support of the very state officials who had gone into business with Diebold to create the mess the state now faces.




Diebold Fails Again, as County Officials See Potential Disaster on Horizon in Upcoming Presidential Primary...
By Brad Friedman on 11/28/2007 9:50am PT  

Diebold touch-screen voting disasters continue in Cuyahoga County, Ohio. When will the new SoS Jennifer Brunner simply pull this plug on this entire mess?

From the Cleveland Plain Dealer...

A recount after next year's presidential election could mean disaster for Cuyahoga County based on problems discovered Tuesday with paper records produced by electronic voting machines.

More than 20 percent of the printouts from touch-screen voting machines were unreadable and had to be reprinted. Board of Elections workers found the damaged ballots when they conducted a recount Tuesday of two races, which involved only 17 of the county's 1,436 precincts.

"If it is as close as it's been for the last two presidential elections and it's that close again in 2008, God help us if we have to depend on Cuyahoga County as the deciding factor with regard to making the decision on who the next president of the United States is," said County Commissioner Jimmy Dimora, a longtime opponent of the county's touch-screen voting system.
...
"This is very much a cause for concern," board member Inajo Davis Chappell said. "All the technology issues pose a challenge to us, especially given the volume of voters we expect in the primary."
...
The county still doesn't know why its vote-counting software crashed twice election night. An investigation into the software problem could begin next week, once the county's recounts are finished.
...
"I wish those paper trails would come out pristine --- and they don't, and they're not going to," [Board of Elections Director Jane] Platten said. "We're going to have to deal with it again."

While the county was able to re-print paper trails on these machines to be counted in the recount, the practice completely defeats the point of such paper trails in the first place, since they are supposed to be verified by the voter (even though we know they usually aren't, and even when they are, voters fail to notice vote-flips).

If the paper trails are re-printed from the internal machine numbers, which can't possibly be verified by the voter, there is absolutely no point in even having such paper trails at all.

So again we ask, when is SoS Jennifer Brunner going to simply declare these machines uncertified all together. When will the rest of the election officials in the country declare same? It looks like it won't be before the 2008 elections begin. So...here we go again...

(Hat-tip Ed Still's VoteLaw. For much more continuing, detailed, on-the-ground, first-hand reports on these various latest disasters from the counting room in Cuyahoga, please see citizen Adele Eisner's top-notch blog coverage!)




Extremist Religious Views Appeal to Christian Nationalists But Will Repel Normal Voters in the General
Dems Should Pray He's on the Ticket
By Jon Ponder on 11/28/2007 8:36am PT  

Guest blogged by Jon Ponder, Pensito Review.

Recent polls show that Mike Huckabee, the former governor of Arkansas and Baptist preacher, is rising in popularity in Iowa, where he is cutting into Mitt Romney's lead. (Romney has 28 percent, Huckabee has 24 percent in the ABC news survey; Romney is at 27 percent and Huckabee's at 18 percent in the local KCCI-TV poll.) He's also moving up in in Florida, where he's running second to Rudolph Giuliani, 26 percent to 17 percent --- leaving good ol' boy actor Fred Thompson in fifth place with 9 percent.

With Thompson's campaign fading, Huckabee becomes the last best hope for the GOP's Christian nationalist base. Unlike Thompson, Huckabee is authentically one of them. He believes in the inerrancy of the Bible and says he does not believe in evolution. He wants to amend the Constitution to outlaw abortion, and he is the only candidate who has smeared a gay person in the debates, so far.

But Mike Huckabee comes with some serious baggage, and with his rise in the polls comes new scrutiny of his record as governor Arkansas, both in the media and by his opponents, who are quickly finding his record in Little Rock to be what opposition researchers might call a "target-rich environment."

The scandals associated with the Huckabee administration in Arkansas include:

  • A rapist released at Huckabee's behest who went on to murder his next victim
  • Accusations that Huckabee and his family misappropriated tax-payer funds for personal use
  • The charge that at the end of his term, Huckabee ordered the destruction of government computers worth over $300,000, apparently to obstruct possible future investigations
  • While he was governor, the state of Arkansas raised taxes by hundreds of millions of dollars

Details follow:

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




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