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The Secret Koch Brothers Tapes...


By Winter Patriot on 8/24/2006 5:08pm PT  

Guest Blogged by Winter Patriot

Unconfirmed reports suggest that one Brad Friedman, the partially well-known investigative blogger, staunch Election Integrity advocate and all-around good-guy, (also allegedly "proprietor" of this very blog), may have met with "representatives of several prominent organizations" at a series of events "sponsored" by the DNC in Chicago last weekend.

We have additional "photographic evidence" of these alleged meetings: four photos which, according to usually reliable sources, were made by Friedman's putative girlfriend, Desi Doyen.

The "authenticity" of these photos has not yet been verified, and it may never be. The "chain of custody" appears to have been broken, several "security mitigation procedures" appear to have been ignored, and the "security seals" on three of the four photos appear to show signs of possible tampering. But we will post them below, since they may be of interest to the usual gaggle of conspiracy theorists who have nothing else to work on at this time.

You can click on the small photos below to see larger images.

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

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No, Not Diebold, But the Election Sciences Institute... To Whom They Paid More than $300,000 to Tell Them What Went Wrong in Their Recent Primary
Diebold & the County Call for Federally Certified Inspectors from Now On...Never Mind That There Aren't Any!
By John Gideon on 8/24/2006 7:00am PT  

Guest Blogged By John Gideon

Election Science Institute (ESI) of San Francisco, California was paid $341,000 by Cuyahoga Co., OH to investigate why the county had so many problems with their voting system in the May 2006 election. Were the problems really all human or were the machines at fault? ESI finally issued a report last week that had plenty of blame to go around between poll worker training problems to voting machines that could not add votes, counting devices that didn't match up on the same machine and, in several cases, machines that registered no votes at all.

Of course Diebold Elections Systems Inc. immediately denied that there were any voting machine problems at all as they blamed all problems on voters, poll workers, and election administrators. As reported earlier on The BRAD BLOG, Diebold also received nearly instantaneous assistance from "outside" sources who obfuscated in their reporting of the problems, singling out the issues concerning the voter verified paper audit trail (VVPAT) and ignoring everything else that was in the report.

Now county elections officials seem to have decided that they don't like the results from the investigation they paid for, as done by ESI, so they are throwing ESI under the bus while they run to defend Diebold. Suprised? Apparently they don't want to have to explain why they spent millions of dollars for a voting system that is flawed. Or perhaps Diebold applied pressure to their partners in crime at the Cuyahoga Board of Elections.

In either case, Columbus Dispatch reported yesterday morning that Diebold and the County have worked everything out, and it's all just fine after all...

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

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A First-hand Account from this Year's Annual Democratic National Party Gathering in Chicago
PLUS: 'Internet Voting' (Incredibly) Rears Its Ugly Head at the DNC and EXCLUSIVE Outtakes from Jesse Jackson's Address on the State of Our Elections at 'High National Security Risk'
By Brad Friedman on 8/23/2006 1:32pm PT  

Blogged by Brad from the still-long and still-winding (and still very hot) road...

"They're dumb as shit."
-- Donna Brazile to Rolling Stone for an article this week, discussing her frustration with the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) and making the party understand the need to be vigilant during Election 2006.

"Fuck you."
-- Donna Brazile to an Election Integrity Advocate at the annual DNC gathering last weekend in Chicago after being asked where the party was in Ohio after Election 2004.

Such were the contradictions and dysfunctions on parade last weekend in Chicago where I was invited to address a panel on Electoral Integrity at the DNC's annual gathering of state party chairs. What a mess.

The Rolling Stone piece referenced above, by the good Tim Dickinson, is not currently online. But it's from the Aug. 24 issue of RS on newsstands now. It asks "Will Democrats Fight Back?" The answer, as Dickinson reports, is a decisive maybe, probably not, things don't look so good, we hope so but kinda doubt it.

While it'd be nice to give you an encouraging report from the DNC meeting of how the Dems have finally figured out what the hell is going on here --- how they are going to get out in front of this electile dysfunction thing, take the offensive, become proactive and lead the way in becoming the party which stands for vigilance, Electoral Integrity and the assurance that every vote will be counted and counted accurately --- I can't give such a report.

Yes, there are some good things going on there. One of the most notable being Greg Moore who is now the Director of the DNC's Voting Rights Institute. He gets it. Moore was responsible for all of the Election Protection-related events over the weekend. It seems he's been fighting heroically from inside the power structure to wake the Dems up as to what is going on. He's the one responsible for the historic DNC statement a few weeks ago calling for a full handcount in the illegally administered Busby/Bilbray U.S. House Special Election in California's 50th congressional district. But it's clearly been a difficult fight. And last weekend's events made that crystal clear...

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

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'Experts' Ignore All But a Few Pages of a 240-Page Report
By John Gideon on 8/23/2006 9:31am PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon

Election Science Institute (ESI) of San Francisco California was hired to investigate and report on problems with the May primary election in Cuyahoga County, Ohio. The 240-page report was just released this month (August), and some in the elections community have ignored a large majority of the report and zeroed in on a single aspect that supports their thesis that voters don't need any paper, even when voting on a Direct Recording Electronic (DRE) voting machine.

Daniel Tokaji is an Assistant Professor of Law at the Ohio State University’s Moritz College of Law and the Associate Director of Election Law at Moritz. He has testified against a voter verified paper audit trail (VVPAT) to a US House committee and the Election Assistance Commission..

In his paper on the ESI report, Tokaji ignores many significant findings of the report and distorts the overall findings by highlighting only the compromised VVPAT. As pointed out by VotersUnite.Org in their analysis of the ESI report, there was much more substance from ESI than just VVPAT printer problems:

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

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... because, of course, it's not who votes that counts: it's who counts the votes ...
Report mentions Ken Blackwell, Katherine Harris and their obvious conflicts of interest --- Will anyone notice? We hope so!!
By Winter Patriot on 8/17/2006 11:29pm PT  

Guest blogged by Winter Patriot

Jill Lawrence, writing in USA TODAY, looks at some hotly-contested races for positions that were once largely ignored: Top vote counter becomes prize job...

The political battle for control of the federal government has opened up a new front: the obscure but vital state offices that determine who votes and how those votes are counted.

The state post of Secretary of State was a backwater until 2000, when Florida's Katherine Harris became a central figure in the presidential recount controversy. Now national Democratic groups and White House prospects, unhappy about Harris' decisions and those of Republican Kenneth Blackwell in Ohio two years ago, are pouring resources into contests for the job.
...
Secretaries of State control most voting regulations and influence state purchases of voting machines. Looking ahead to 2008, Democrats say they want people they trust in those offices.

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

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Salon's Election Integrity Coverage Takes A Turn For The Better
but it couldn't have got much worse!
By Winter Patriot on 8/15/2006 7:55pm PT  

Guest blogged by Winter Patriot

Art Levine's new piece at Salon raises their election integrity bar quite a bit --- not a difficult task considering where that bar has been lately.

Prior to the 2004 "election", Salon's coverage was generally quite good; since then it's been dismal, thanks mostly to some outrageous smear pieces from Farhad Manjoo. In fact, Salon's coverage has been so dreadful that the site has been referred to in some quarters as "Saloon", which of course rhymes with "buffoon", which gives me a good way to remember "Manjoo", whose name just wouldn't stick in my frozen brain any other way.

But let's not dwell on those sad times.

Levine's article, "Salon's shameful six", looks at six states --- Arizona, Indiana, California, Missouri, Ohio and Florida --- where vote suppression could cause serious problems in 2006.

If you're not a Salon subscriber, you'll have to watch a short ad to read the whole article. I did; it was well worth the time and effort. But just in case you don't believe me, we have a few short excerpts, below the fold.

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

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By Winter Patriot on 8/14/2006 7:07am PT  

Guest blogged by Winter Patriot

Clint Curtis needs your help. The computer programmer who says he wrote a vote-rigging software prototype in 2000, at the request of Florida Congressman Tom Feeney, has a chance to oppose Feeney in November's general election. The prospect of such a race --- and the publicity that would flow from it --- has election-integrity advocates all over the country licking their lips in anticipation, but it won't happen unless Curtis wins next month's primary.

His opponent, Andy Michaud, has been virtually invisible. He hasn't really been campaigning; he's hardly even been raising any money! But Curtis takes no comfort in these odd facts. He knows he's vulnerable --- to the machines! (Do you want to see how a vote-rigging program works? Click here to download one; try it yourself and see how easily our democracy can be subverted.)

There is reason to hope for a fair outcome, however. And the reason --- believe it or not --- is at least as ingenious as the vote-rigging software Curtis prototyped for Feeney six years ago.

Curtis has set up a website where voters can register their intention to vote for a particular candidate. Using this system, if a candidate can collect enough information about how many people intend to vote for him, and where they live, he will be in a position to tell whether the numbers from any given precinct have been flipped in favor of his opponent. And if such flipping occurs, the "losing" candidate would have reliable evidence to support a challenge.

Some voters have already registered, but many others don't yet know about the system, and they will have to be contacted by phone. Here's where you come in. Curtis needs volunteers to make phone calls. He can give you all the details; he can even arrange things so you can make the calls for free.

All in all, it sounds like a much more convenient way to support your democracy than waiting for another election to be stolen, going out into the streets, and trying not to be shot at.

As Curtis phrases it: "The democracy of this country and possibly the fate of the world rests on your shoulders. You can actually do something about it."

But here's the big question: WILL YOU? Will you help? Will you donate a few minutes of your time? Will you make a few phone calls in support of transparent, verifiable elections?

Did you say "Yes"? Good! I thought you would!

Please click here and offer Clint Curtis some support. It's really the least you can do for your country, and for your children, and for my children too.

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Matthew Cardinale of Atlanta Progressive News has the details
By Winter Patriot on 8/11/2006 6:03am PT  

Guest blogged by Winter Patriot

From BREAKING: McKinney Pursuing Legal Challenges to Elections in Georgia (with a few links added):

US Rep. Cynthia McKinney (D-GA) is pursuing numerous legal avenues to challenge the so-called "results" of not only her recent Primary and Runoff Elections, but also the fundamental reality that the current E-voting system in Georgia does not provide us with "results" that are in any way meaningful.

The Congresswoman and her attorneys and campaign are looking at ways in which they can either join or support Donzella James’s legal election contest filed last week, Donzella James, who is working closely with the Congresswoman, told Atlanta Progressive News. The US Department of Justice is already said to be investigating as well.

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

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Republicans suggest Democrats are soft on terror, weak on national security, friends of Al-Q'aeda, undermining the president, yada, yada
Got that? OK! Now: what --- if anything --- does this have to do with the 'Terrorists' arrested in England?
By Winter Patriot on 8/10/2006 1:42pm PT  

Guest blogged by Winter Patriot

The Republican Spin-And-Noise Machine has shifted into high gear since Tuesday's Democratic Senatorial Primary in Connecticut, where the moderately anti-war Ned Lamont defeated the rabidly pro-war and pro-Bush "Democrat", Joe Lieberman, in a very close race.

What does this mean? Has the Democratic party eaten itself? Or has it been torn in half? Is this a victory for the liberal bloggers? Or a defeat for the pro-Israeli lobby? Is it a repudiation of everything the Bush administration has ever done or said? Or maybe ... just maybe ... did the Democrats of Connecticut look at the two candidates and decide they liked one just a bit more than the other?

If you listened to the words coming out of Republican mouths lately, you'd never even imagine that the result of the primary could possibly have been a reflection of the wishes of the voters:

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

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Brad's Dad Pulled A Few Chains Today --- And His Son Will Be Very Proud!
By Winter Patriot on 8/8/2006 9:43pm PT  

Introduction {by Winter Patriot}:

I was honored to receive the following message from Brad's dad, Harvey Friedman, who not only voted today but also took an opportunity to interact with some election staff. It's a wonderful story! But I won't ruin it for you --- I'll let him tell it in his own words.

Reporting from St. Louis, not Brad but "Brad's Dad".

Since Brad could not stick around long enough to badger the local election staff, I tried to do my part. This morning there were no primaries of significant interest in my Chesterfield, MO precinct and thus the turnout was very sparse. With five election officials on hand to watch over three ES&S IVotronic machines, three voting booths for paper ballots to use with the ES&S Model 100 scanner [ED NOTE: It was Brad's dad who was reportedly responsible, in no small part, for St. Louis County having chosen to use ES&S voting systems at the last minute instead of their plan to contract with Diebold. See our report from last December on that here.] and three punch card machines which they said would no longer be available after today's election, and considering that at ten this morning I was the only voter on hand, I figured it would be okay if I spent some time pulling their chain. After all, wouldn't Brad have done it had he been here?

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

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Are they correct? We shall see...
By Winter Patriot on 8/8/2006 8:04pm PT  

Guest blogged by Winter Patriot

With more than 80% of the precincts reporting, and challenger Ned Lamont leading Senator Joe Lieberman by about four percent, Raw Story has called the race (the Democratic primary for a run at the Senate) in favor of Lamont.

The returns today have been been closer than we might have expected, given a poll last week that showed Lamont leading by 54% to 41%. But a more recent poll, showing Lamont's lead as 51%-45%, indicated that the race could be much closer than that.

Based on previous experience, I always get nervous when a last-minute poll shows a big lead evaporating. I don't want to cast aspersions, and I have no reason to disbelieve the poll, but I know that if I were trying to steal an election and my candidate was way behind in the polls, I would want a poll to come along just before the election saying that my candidate was gaining ground fast.

Having said all that, it will be interesting to see whether Raw Story got it right this time, or whether there will be any last-minute surprises.

Personally, I am not holding my breath. I've been to this party before.

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Many other 'glitches' reported already --- and the polls have only been open for an hour!
UPDATED THREE TIMES!
By Winter Patriot on 8/8/2006 6:27am PT  

Guest blogged by Winter Patriot

An early-morning report from the headquarters of Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney's campaign indicates that voting is not going smoothly in Georgia's 4th Congressional District. Congresswoman McKinney is involved in a runoff election against Hank Johnson, after "failing" to gain 50% of the votes in the first round of the primary three weeks ago.

According to the McKinney camp,

Less than one hour into the voting day, multiple problems with the electronic voting machines have arisen. McKinney precinct watchers are reporting machines down already, insecure machines, and at least one 4th Congressional District precinct without McKinney's name on the ballot, but with her opponent's name on it.
...
Another location had to redo the zero report because the machine did not initiate at a zero count. And at yet another location, the voting machine where the voting card is inserted is not secure.

We've reported on McKinney's troubles in the first round of the primary (here and here) and we have also mentioned the smear campaign being waged against her --- and against opponents of electronic voting in general --- by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, a so-called "newspaper" which is part of the so-called "Cox media empire". Judging from their coverage of the first round of the primary, we should not expect the AJC to pay any attention to the claims of irregularities in this election, regardless of how well documented they might be.

The BRAD BLOG, on the other hand, will continue to keep you posted.

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

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Article by APN's Matthew Cardinale includes quotes from Paul Lehto and Brad Friedman!
Cardinale: 'The lawsuit is believed to set a national precedent.'
By Winter Patriot on 8/6/2006 12:22am PT  

Guest blogged by Winter Patriot

Matthew Cardinale has the details:
BREAKING: Donzella James Contesting Primary in Georgia

A few choice excerpts:

"Good, I’m glad she’s challenging, she should!" Brad Friedman of the noted elections integrity website, BradBlog, said in a phone interview.

The Donzella James Campaign isn’t taking the same approach as say, Kerry/Edwards 2004. They aren’t trying to calculate the known malfunctions to see if they add up to greater than the margin of vote difference between more progressive James and the moderate Scott (35%). The point is, because of the lack of a paper trail, there is no way to determine how many unknown malfunctions there are.

"When you figure out something is wrong with these systems, you can’t get in there to see how much has gone wrong in these systems. It’s in the ether," Friedman said.

And:

Attorney Paul Lehto, who is contesting the Busby/Bilbray race in San Diego where voting machines were taken home with poll workers, has offered to provide informal advice to Donzella James. Expecting voters to trust E-voting as presently done is "like asking everyone to put blindfolds on," Lehto said. "I endorse this. It’s exciting that there’s an elections contest in Georgia."

Please read the entire article.

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Examining Bookman's Opinion Smear Piece, 'THE LAME VOTE-RIGGING CRIES RETURN', from a Reality-Based Standpoint
By Winter Patriot on 8/4/2006 3:00pm PT  

Guest blogged by Winter Patriot

I've been reading the most incredible editorial, from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:
THE LAME VOTE-RIGGING CRIES RETURN

It's also available here and probably elsewhere too.

Here's how it starts:

By JAY BOOKMAN
Cox News Service
08/02/2006

Cox News Service

ATLANTA --- After night comes day and after spring comes summer, so I guess we all should have seen this one coming.

Well, I for one did see this coming, but I don't think this means we all should have.

After U.S. Rep. Cynthia McKinney was forced into a surprising runoff in last month's Democratic primary, her campaign proposed a likely explanation: Electronic voting machines used in the election were made by Diebold.

You can see right away how "clever" Jay Bookman is! He admits that the result was "surprising" and that the explanation posed by her campaign was a "likely" one. It almost seems he's interested in telling the truth ... but not really.

Even on the cold hard web-page, Bookman's words are clearly dripping with sarcasm. And, in an era when unintended irony is all the rage for supporters of the current corrupt bunch of war-criminals posing as statesmen, I am not shocked to see a true statement such as this one, disguised as ... um ... listen: this is a family blog, for the most part, so let's just continue.

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

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Sets Up 'Voter Protection Hotline', Calls for Paper 'Trails' and Lawyers in 15 'Key States'...
But We're Gonna Need Much More Than That...
By Brad Friedman on 8/3/2006 10:57am PT  

Blogged by Brad on the long, hot road...

The DNC Media Office released information on their planned "Expanded National Voter Protection Effort" today. I'll avoid my knee-jerk reaction to say "Expanded" from what?! Their full media release is posted below.

As I've got to get in the car and head up to St. Paul for a PBS TV show taping (Mental Engineering) over the weekend, I don't have much time to comment on the strategy and release for now. As you may guess, I have some feelings on both. You'll simply have to guess at those feelings for now. Suffice to say, we need more than paper "trails" and attorneys on Election Day... I applaud the tireless efforts of Greg Moore, heading up the DNC Voting Rights Institute. He "gets it" --- but the rest of the DNC still seems to be burying their head in the sand about the seriousness of the problem.

To that end, and by way of example, we could also use their help in dealing with issues like the Busby/Bilbray U.S. House special election in CA50 now if they are serious about protecting the ballot box in November everwhere! (An essay I posted some weeks ago describing how what happens now in CA50 affects the vote everywhere this November is right here: "A Line in the Sand")

The full release from the DNC as issued within the past hour follows...

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

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expert on issues of election integrity,
and a Commonweal Institute Fellow.

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...And is featured in these documentary films...

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