In an epic rant on Friday's BradCast, Brad Friedman eviscerated the hypocrisy revealed, once again, by the apparent voter registration fraud of Donald Trump's newly appointed top campaign boss.
Following the show, and the The Guardian's initial revelations of Stephen Bannon's improprieties, the former chairman of the Alt-right Breitbart "News" site has seemingly doubled-down by re-registering at a different residence in the Sunshine State, one at which he also does not seem to actually reside, according to the paper.
Stephen Bannon, recently appointed as chief executive of the Donald Trump 2016 Presidential campaign, has become the latest addition to a significant and seemingly ever-growing list of high level Republicans who appear to have committed false residency voter registration fraud, as initially reported by The Guardian's on Friday. It is a form of voter fraud that cannot be prevented by polling place photo ID restrictions long sought by Republicans claiming to be concerned with fraud at the polls.
The Guardian first reported that, during two separate periods, Bannon, who currently resides in California, works primarily in Washington DC and New York and also stays at the "'Breitbart embassy,' a luxurious $2.4 million townhouse beside the Supreme Court in Washington DC ", registered to vote in Miami-Dade County, Florida by falsely claiming that he resided in homes he'd rented for his ex-wife, Diane Clohesy. The second home where Bannon was registered from 2014 until two weeks ago was "vacant and due to be demolished to make way for a new development."
Under Florida law, an individual must actually live in the county where he or she is registered to vote. "Willfully submitting false information on a Florida voter registration, is a third-degree felony punishable by up to five years in prison," The Guardian noted, citing Sunshine State elections code.
Those pesky laws --- even amidst wholly disingenuous and easily-disproven GOP claims of a "voter fraud epidemic" amongst Democratic voters --- haven't kept either Bannon or a host of other well-known Republicans from flaunting them...at least until getting caught...
Today on The BradCast, it seems the Republican Party's Presidential nominee can't keep alleged criminals from running his own campaign --- but he wants the American people to trust his plan to keep them out of the country?! [Audio link to today's show posted below.]
Donald Trump may want to carry out some of that "extreme vetting" he has planned for immigrant refugees hoping to come to the U.S., on his own campaign staff. Credible new reports today reveal that Trump's newest campaign chief, Stephen Bannon --- hired after two previous ones were fired --- was charged with domestic violence in the 90s and allegedly threatened retribution against the victim, one of his former wives, for testifying against him.
Separately, it appears that Bannon, previously the chief executive for the far-rightwing Breitbart "News" site, also may have committed voter registration fraud and possibly tax evasion, by registering to vote in a state where he doesn't appear to have ever lived. (Since finishing today's show, the Guardian has now posted a second story to report that, since their first exclusive, Bannon has now moved his Florida voter registration to a different residence.)
If the new evidence reported today holds up, Bannon's case, as I detail on today's program, would be just the latest example of another very high profile Republican who appears to have committed the type of election-related fraud that Republicans disingenuously claim Dems are carrying out, and for which the GOP continues to enact voting restrictions that disproportionately block minority voters at the polls.
As discussed on today's program, we have covered, at The BRAD BLOG, on The BradCast, and in many other publications, in great detail and documentation over the past decade or more, the many cases of actual, well-documented voter and voter registration fraud carried out by the likes of GOP superstars like Ann Coulter, Mitt Romney, the former Sec. of State of Indiana, and a host of many other high-profile Republicans. That long list includes many who have, themselves, long called for "anti-fraud" measures meant only to make it harder for certain perfectly legal voters (Democratic-leaning ones) to participate in U.S. elections.
And, as if Trump's "extreme vetting" for his own campaign staff hasn't yet failed spectacularly enough by now, we end today's show with still one more brand new example! Yes, it's an epic romp through recent historical GOP hypocrisy on today's BradCast. Buckle up, and please enjoy responsibly!...
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On Tuesday, a Los Angeles County jury convicted California State Senator Roderick D. Wright (D) of false residency voter fraud, after finding that he lied about his address on voter registration and candidacy papers.
Wright's crime was an elite form of voter fraud, which, along with almost all of the most prevalent forms of voter fraud, would not have been prevented by polling place Photo ID restriction laws.
The jury was not persuaded by Wright's claim that he resided in the Inglewood residence of his common law stepmother. Prosecutors presented extensive evidence that established that Wright resided in an "upscale Baldwin Hills neighborhood" that was outside the district. They found that, in addition to lying about his address on his voter registration and candidacy papers, he fraudulently voted in five elections.
As we have repeatedly explained, most recently in covering a recent judicial determination that Pennsylvania's Photo ID law violated that state's constitution, cases involving in-person voter impersonation by ordinary citizens --- the only type of voter fraud that can possibly be prevented by polling place Photo ID restrictions --- are about a scarce as hen's teeth. False residency, by contrast, is a form of voter fraud that has reached epidemic proportions amongst our political elites in both parties, especially, as Brad Friedman has tirelessly documented, amongst the very high-level Republicans who hypocritically call for Photo ID restrictions for everybody else.
Where millions of innocent Americans are at risk of disenfranchisement as a result of the phantom menace of in-person voter fraud, prosecutions of elite politicians for false residency voter fraud have been rare. In one of those rare instances, former Indiana Republican Secretary of State Charlie White was convicted in 2012 of three counts of felony false residency voter fraud. His conviction was particularly ironic, given that he was the chief election official in the first state in the nation to implement polling place Photo ID restrictions. Despite his felony voter fraud charges (and four others) White has not had to serve so much as a single day in jail. Wright, a Democrat, faces up to eight years in prison.
[Update 1/31/2014: Following a meeting by the Democratic caucus, California State Senate Leader Darrell Steinberg (D) announced that Wright will retain his seat pending appeal. However, the Democratic caucus, which sports a super-majority in the state Senate, removed Wright from his position as the Chairman of the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee.]
Here are just a few of the cases of false residency voter fraud we've documented over recent years, by some high-profile GOPers you will be very familiar with...
Where, in Pennsylvania, the state GOP admitted that they are not aware of so much as a single instance in which an ordinary citizen has been charged with, let alone convicted of in-person voter impersonation --- the only form of voter fraud that can be prevented by disenfranchising polling place Photo ID restriction laws --- there have been a growing number of claims that political elites have used a false residence to vote, often to insure their own elections in a district where they do not reside.
On October 2, a Los Angeles Superior Court Judge ordered that "Los Angeles City Councilman Richard Alarcon [D] and his wife will face trial on 23 felony counts of perjury and voter fraud" when the couple allegedly used a false address to both vote and qualify for elective office within LA's 7th district, according to Los Angeles Times. The Alarcons claim they were simply using a second home outside the district while their other home was being renovated.
The issue of false residency voter fraud is neither novel nor limited to Democrats like Alarcon. Indeed, as Brad Friedman has tirelessly documented, the issue of false residency voter fraud amongst high-profile Republicans --- including the GOP's 2012 nominee for President of the United States --- has approached epidemic proportions.
Class, as well as party, may explain the disparity between the ability of the elites to commit false residency voter fraud with near impunity as compared to the harsh impact of Photo ID laws that address a phantom menace as applied to the most vulnerable segments of our society.
Here are just a few recent cases of false residency voter fraud by some faces you will be very familiar with. Only one of them, to date, has faced any sort of actual accountability for their election crimes...
Given disenfranchising polling place Photo ID restriction laws Republicans have enacted in nearly a dozen states over the past year, you'd think there was an epidemic of Democratic "voter fraud" in this nation. That's certainly the way the GOP has framed it, fooled the corporate mainstream media into reporting it, and even scammed the White House and Congressional Democrats into going along with it when they signed legislation that defunded ACORN, a four-decade old community organization never found to have committed voter fraud, or even helped to see a single fraudulent vote cast in any election anywhere.
As it turns out, not only is there no such epidemic of Democratic voter fraud, but the opposite is true. Over the past year, very high profile Republicans --- including this year's presumed standard bearer, Mitt Romney; the Sec. of State of Indiana (the first state to institute polling place Photo ID restrictions) Charlie White; one time GOP front-runner Newt Gingrich; MO's new GOP nominee for the U.S. Senate Todd Akin; and the group hired the Sacramento, CA Republican Party to collect voter registrations this year for Rep. Dan Lungren; among others (all detailed below) --- have each been revealed as having committed or participated in election fraud --- both voter registration fraud and actual voter fraud --- in state after state.
So really, should we be surprised to learn that four aides to former long-shot GOP Presidential candidate and U.S. House Rep. Thaddeus McCotter --- Representative of the state's 11th and one of its most Republican districts --- were indicted yesterday on dozens of criminal felony and misdemeanor election fraud charges for having turned in over 1,500 forged and falsified signatures in a "blatant" and "disgraceful" attempt, as the state's Republican AG described it, to qualify the Congressman for this year's ballot?...
As I'm on the road and largely off the grid this week, I was about to post the following video from last night's Rachel Maddow Show, thanking her for covering so much of what we've been covering here at The BRAD BLOG, for so long, in one nice long top-of-show segment.
I'm still going to do that, but below that, I'm happy to post a press release just sent out by the non-partisan Brennan Center for Justice at NYU, breaking the news that a federal judge has issued a preliminary injunction blocking the "key provisions of a restrictive voting law in Florida today." The Brennan Center describes the ruling as "a breakthrough victory for Florida voters and voting rights advocates nationwide."
The new law, H.B. 1355, had included onerous criminal restrictions on third-party voter registration workers. The new rules were so onerous, in fact, that the League of Women Voters of Florida was forced to call off their registration drive in the state for the first time in 70 years. In the wake of the FL GOP's new law, high school teachers had been charged with crimes for registering their own students to vote, and a registration worker had received a threatening letter from the Sec. of State for turning in voter registrations one hour late after a holiday weekend.
U.S. District Court Judge Robert L. Hinkle blocked most of the FL law's new registration requirements today, finding they accomplished little more than suppressing the registration of new voters without serving any legitimate state interest. "If the goal is to discourage voter-registration drives and thus also to make it harder for new voters to register, this may work," wrote Hinkle in his frequently scathing decision [PDF].
The Brennan Center quotes from Hinkle's ruling this way: "Together speech and voting are constitutional rights of special significance; they are the rights most protective of all others, joined in this respect by the ability to vindicate one's rights in a federal court. … [W]hen a plaintiff loses an opportunity to register a voter, the opportunity is gone forever ... And allowing responsible organizations to conduct voter-registration drives --- thus making it easier for citizens to register and vote --- promotes democracy."
See the Brennan Center's full release today posted below. It's very good news, as once again another law passed by the GOP with the intention of nothing more than suppressing the vote of largely Democratic-leaning voters is found to be in violation of the Constitution and/or federal law, as has been the case with almost every single one of these GOP-passed laws over the past year --- at least when someone (too often not the U.S. Dept. of Justice, unfortunately) bothers to go to court to challenge them.
Yesterday, at Rolling Stone, Ari Berman had calculated that some 35,000 Florida voters stand to be purged this year if the Republicans' new voter suppression efforts there are carried out in full.
As to Rachel Maddow last night, here's some of the very important coverage she offered at the top of the show, including details on the state of Florida's current effort to purge thousands of legal voters from the rolls by claiming, inaccurately, that they are non-citizens. (NOTE: That effort is a separate voter suppression measure by Republicans in the state of Florida, and is not related to today's federal court ruling blocking the earlier voter suppression measure by Republicans in the state of Florida)...
Now we find a little-noticed Feb. 23 report from Wisconsin Public Radio (WPR) which reveals that criminal defense attorney Frank Gimbel filed a motion for change of venue --- from Milwaukee County to Columbia County --- in the criminal case pending against his client, Kelly M. Rindfleisch. Rindfleisch served as Scott Walker's Deputy Chief of Staff when Walker was the Milwaukee County Chief Executive and is one of four top deputies to have been indicted, so far, as part of Milwaukee County prosecutors' long-running "Joe Doe" investigation.
In his motion, Gimbel alleges Rindfleisch, "didn't live in Milwaukee County when the misconduct allegedly took place," according to WPR.
In the bargain, as a comparison of Gimbel's motion to the allegations contained in the 51-page criminal complaint [PDF] (the "Rindfleisch complaint") against her suggests, Gimbel may have implicated Rindfleisch and Walker in a criminal conspiracy to violate the residency requirement for Milwaukee County employment. That apparent violation appears to have occurred as part of the broader scheme alleged by prosecutors to misuse that office to gain a political advantage for Walker and other GOP candidates during the 2010 campaign...
[Now UPDATED with audio archives below! Enjoy 'em!]
Mike has the night off! So we're back tonight guest-hosting the nationally-syndicated Mike Malloy Show! And it's primary night in MI and AZ and we'll have not one, but two Presidential candidates as guests tonight!
We'll be BradCasting, as usual, LIVE from 9pm-Mid ET (6p-9p PT), coast-to-coast and around the globe from L.A.'s KTLK am1150 in beautiful downtown Burbank. Join us by tuning in, chatting in, Tweeting in and calling in! Our LIVE chat room will be up and rolling right here at The BRAD BLOG, as usual, while we are on the air. Please stop by and join the fun while you're listening! (The Chat Room will open at the bottom of this item a few minutes before airtime, see down below, just above "Comments" section.)
Scheduled tonight (so far):
MI & AZ PRIMARY RESULTS, or what they are reported to be, anyway. Also, just some of the reasons why you should be concerned that those reported results may not be what they are reported to be!
GOV. BUDDY ROEMER, who is on GOP Presidential ballot both MI & AZ tonight, but who has recently left the party for a Reform Party candidacy and a run for the Americans Elect nomination.
POST-SHOW UPDATE: Maybe someone had a bit too much caffeine today. Well, in any case, it led to a pretty high energy show! And lots of circus music! You can check it all out now for yourself, sans commercials, in the high-octane archives now posted below. Enjoy!...
And it also looks like the old adage --- It's Okay If You're a Republican (IOKIYAR) --- continues to ring true in the Hoosier State. Despite being the top election official in the very first state in the union to institute disenfranchising polling place Photo ID restrictions, Charlie White has gotten off with a slap on the wrist, essentially, for three intentional voter fraud felonies, and the three others he was found guilty of as well.
His sentencing hearing was held last week. He pretended to be contrite before the judge (unlike when he appeared days earlier on Fox "News"), so it turns out he'll serve just one year in home detention for all of his crimes. The sentencing, naturally, has left him "elated."
The fates of other, less Republican, less high-ranking folks however, such as those who were prosecuted with the full force of the federal government during the George W. Bush Administration's unprecedented, if failed attempt to ferret out "voter fraud" crimes, were not quite as lucky. Unfortunately, they were used as fodder to help Republicans push for those polling place Photo ID laws (which would have failed to deter either them or White from committing voter fraud) by Bush's wholly politicized Dept. of Justice.
For folks like Wisconsin's Kimberly Prude and Florida's Usman Ali, to name just two examples of those who were caught in that buzz-saw, and who each committed far less egregious --- far far far less egregious --- crimes than those intentionally committed by White, the legal system was not nearly as kind.
Prude, who tried to rescind her own absentee vote before the 2004 election, immediately after learning from her probation officer that she was not allowed to vote --- despite never having served time in jail and being on felony probation for having passed a bad check four years earlier --- was forced to serve more than a year in prison. Ali, who never even voted at all, had it even worse. He was deported to Pakistan where he hadn't live in more than 10 years, destroying his life in this country for not just himself, but for his American wife and daughter as well.
I tell the whole story --- of White's virtually scot-free sentencing, as compared to Prude's and Ali's --- in my story today at Salon. Please give it a read.
As you might expect, the moral, once again, is: IOKIYAR.
While the GOP and its operatives have been on a tear over the last year (and many more), falsely claiming an epidemic of Democratic "voter fraud" meriting the potential disenfranchisement of tens of thousands of legal (and mostly Democratic) voters through polling place Photo ID restriction laws in order stop it, the recent spate of actual voter fraud by high profile Republicans --- both alleged-with-much-evidence and actually-proven-in-a-court-of-law --- continues apace.
And, like White, those draconian laws did absolutely nothing to stop Lugar from apparently committing voter fraud under the law, since the only type of voter fraud potentially deterred by polling place Photo ID laws are the incredibly rare cases of in-person polling place impersonation. Where voter fraud occurs to any measurable extent, it is in cases like Lugar's, White's, and all of the GOP superstars we'll remind you of again below.
The allegations against Lugar, who has been registered to vote at a house he has not lived in since 1977, were detailed quickly Tuesday night on the Rachel Maddow Show. A complaint against Lugar has been filed by a group of Indiana "Tea Partiers" challenging his eligibility for office, as publicized last week by Lugar's primary opponent in the 2012 election, Indiana State Treasurer Richard Mourdock.
Maddow's report, embedded below, was the prelude to her interview with independent Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont. Sanders is one of four non-Republican U.S. Senators who have now requested a study by the non-partisan Government Accountability Office (GAO) on the problem of "voter fraud" in this nation, particularly in the 14 states where Republican legislatures have recently passed polling place Photo ID restrictions under the pretense of stopping it. If that study finds what all of the other legitimate ones have found to date, we'll learn yet again how extraordinarily rare in-person voter fraud is and, at the same time, how many thousands and/or millions of Americans stand to be disenfranchised by the very laws that Republicans pretend are meant to deter it.
Here's her report...
And, by way of service to those who may yet to have noticed, here again is an update of our quick summary of the recent (and quickly growing!) spate of serious fraud allegations and convictions of a number of very high-profile Republicans other than Lugar. The list, please note, also includes several of this year's GOP candidates currently vying for the party's nomination for President of the United States...
Convicted federal criminal James O'Keefe and his band of co-conspirators at his ironically named Project Veritas outfit have another new video in their "Voter Fraud Investigation" series out. So that means, naturally, they're misleading the public again.
This time, O'Keefe's video portends to show some of his courageous, unnamed and unseen cohorts at various voter registration centers in Minnesota, asking whether they can have voter registration forms to take home to "Thomas Brady" and "Timothy Tebow", so they can register them to vote. The unseen voices are heard asking the helpful public clerks whether ID is necessary for those folks to register to vote. They are told that ID is not necessary in order for them to submit registration forms.
You'll recall that with O'Keefe's previous video --- in which they committed polling place voter fraud during the New Hampshire primary in order to "prove" that polling place voter fraud exists in the Granite State, despite no more than, at best, two known incidents of it over the past decade in the entire state --- he claimed: "Unlike the establishment media, Project Veritas works to release full, unedited versions of its investigations and stories," before he then linked to a video purporting to be the "full, unedited version" of his New Hampshire "investigation" videos. What he linked to, however, wasn't the "full, unedited version" of those videos, as they failed to show, among other things, the (at least) one incident in which one of his partners was chased out of the polling place. In other words, O'Keefe lied. That's what he does.
So I don't know if he has released an "unedited" version this time or not. I'm currently on the road and don't have enough time for his idiocy as is, so I haven't checked to see if there's another version of this. But let's go ahead and presume, for the moment, that the following edited version accurately-ish represents what happened when he sent his people into Minnesota voter registration offices...
Okay. Now let's dismantle O'Keefe's latest horse shit...
The chief election official in the very first state in the nation to implement polling place Photo ID restrictions --- under the guise of preventing "voter fraud" --- has been found guilty of three counts of felony voter fraud today.
In an early morning verdict following 12 hours of deliberation, a jury in Hamilton County found Indiana's Republican Secretary of State Charlie White guilty of three counts of voter fraud related to having voted in a precinct where he did not live and where he was illegally registered to vote. The Hoosier State's controversial first-in-the-nation Photo ID restrictions, originally implemented in 2008, did nothing to prevent either White's illegal registration or his unlawful vote for himself as Secretary of State in 2010 when he was elected to office.
White has vowed to appeal the decision in hopes of lowering the convictions to misdemeanor charges, rather than felonies.
Under Indiana law, a felony conviction makes White ineligible to serve in state office and would create a vacancy to be filled by Republican Governor Mitch Daniels. However, even if today's felony charges are upheld, the fight over who will replace White as Indiana's chief election official is likely to continue for some time, since a separate recent ruling against him in a related civil case could take precedence over today's verdict.
White's conviction is the latest in what is shaping up as spate of voter fraud convictions, allegations, and investigations of high profile GOP officials, including allegations against several of the party's 2012 Presidential candidates...
[Now UPDATED with audio archives from tonight posted below!]
We're back again tonight (and tomorrow night) guest hosting the nationally syndicated Mike Malloy Show as the end of the hellish year draws near and the next hellish year will soon begin. LOTS to discuss tonight, so hope you'll tune in!
We're BradCasting again LIVE 9pm-Mid ET (6p-9p PT), coast-to-coast and around the uprising globe from the studios of L.A.'s KTLK am1150 in beautiful downtown Burbank. Join us by tuning in, chatting in, Tweeting in and calling in! Our LIVE chat room will be up and rolling right here at The BRAD BLOG, as usual, while we are on the air. Please stop by and join the fun while you're listening! (The Chat Room will open at the bottom of this item a few minutes before airtime, see down below, just above "Comments" section.)
OCCUPYING FOR ACCOUNTABILITY I'll be joined in studio by several OccupyLA'ers who will share their stories of horrific treatment at the hands of the LAPD, as we try to bring some accountability. Also will speak with the great independent citizen journalist/web-streamer Spencer "OakFoSho" Mills on his quest for accountability for LAPD Officer Escamilla.
PLUS! More than I have time to mention here, and everything else that's on your minds as the 2012 circus is about to begin to begin, via your calls over your public airwaves at 877-520-1150 and your tweets to @TheBradBlog!...
POST-SHOW UPDATE: A whole lotta show in three short hours! Now you can listen to the whole thing in about an hour and half in the commercial-free audio archives posted below. I believe that you'll find it well worth the time! Money back if not! (And see ya tomorrow night!)...
We thought it'd be a slow-ish night while guest hosting the nationally syndicated Mike Malloy Show on Christmas Eve Eve tonight. Boy were we wrong! (We'll also be filling in next Thursday and Friday, by the way.) Hope you can tune in tonight! It'll be worth it!
We'll be BradCasting LIVE 9pm-Mid ET (6p-9p PT), coast-to-coast and around the uprising, pre-Christmas globe from the studios of L.A.'s KTLK am1150 in beautiful downtown Burbank. Join us by tuning in, chatting in, Tweeting in and calling in! Our LIVE chat room will be up and rolling right here at The BRAD BLOG, as usual, while we are on the air. Please stop by and join the fun while you're listening! (The Chat Room will open at the bottom of this item a few minutes before airtime, see down below, just above "Comments" section.)
LORI COMPAS, the leading organizer of WI's "Recall Fitzgerald" campaign, demanding an apology from state Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald who inaccurately claimed that she and her fellow petitioners were committing fraud in their signature gathering efforts to have him recalled along with Gov. Scott Walker.
PLUS! Everything else that's on your minds, via your calls over your public airwaves at 877-520-1150 and your tweets to @TheBradBlog!...
POST-SHOW UPDATE: It was a Christmas miracle! Nothing but good news (mostly) on the Malloy Show tonight! How often does that happen?! (Ever?) Plus some rockin' holiday music from our awesome engineer Tony Sorrentino! Lots of stuff to keep you feelin' good over the holiday weekend, all now posted below, commercial-free as our holiday gift to you! Enjoy!...