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By John Gideon on 12/26/2006 4:36pm PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon of VotersUnite.org

Tis the season that not much is being discussed in the news about voting machines. Daily Voting News will probably go to being sent out every other day or so until next week. In the mean time VotersUnite hopes that you all had a wonderful Christmas with your families and friends and we hope for the best for all of you in the new year....

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




Editorial Says it's 'Game Over' for DRE Voting Machines --- With or Without a So-Called 'Paper Trail'
By Brad Friedman on 12/26/2006 3:30pm PT  

The Orlando Sentinel sends me a Christmas gift. While it's not exactly that I may have asked for, this being the charitable season I'll look the other way and be thankful for what I got. Particularly as the Sentinel (or the Slantinel as some in the Sunshine State aptly refer to it) has never been particularly democracy-friendly.

Here then, a few highlights from their weekend editorial entitled "Drop touch-screens - Our position: It's time to pull the plug on the failed experiment of electronic voting"...

Nothing is more sacred or vital to the survival of democracy than the ability to cast a vote with the confidence that vote will be counted accurately.
...
Whatever happens in the race between Ms. Jennings and Mr. Buchanan, one thing is clear: The experiment with touch-screen voting is a failure. Florida and other states should scrap touch-screens and use the pen-and-paper ballots of the optical-scan method, allowing a verifiable, independent recount.
...
[P]aper-trail systems present other problems. Printers can jam and run out of paper. There is ample evidence that today's touch-screen machines are too complicated for volunteer poll workers to handle, and adding a printer would only make that worse.
...
[S]aving money is the last reason to use these flawed touch-screen machines. If we are going to spend money on anything, it should be on elections.

Generations of soldiers have paid a much higher price in securing the right to vote from themselves and others, fighting and dying in places like Lexington and Concord to Kabul and Baghdad.

Let's remember that the hard-fought right to vote isn't worth much without the confidence the votes will count.




By Brad Friedman on 12/26/2006 6:05am PT  

We hinted at this last week when Florida's corrupt Rep. Tom Feeney (R-Abramoff) expressed his obnoxious indignation over the democratic (small "d") Congressional election challenge filed by Christine Jennings (D) against Vern Buchanan (R) in the FL-13 U.S. House race. This is the contest in which the perpetually election-challenged state of Florida certified Buchanan as the winner by 369 votes, even though some 18,000 votes seem to have disappeared altogether on Sarasota County's paperless ES&S touch-screen voting machines.

The challenge brought Feeney slithering out from under his rock to charge that Jennings' Constitutional request that Congress not seat Buchanan --- who appears to have "won" only due to failures in Sarasota's voting equipment (which even ES&S's own "expert witness" admitted on the witness stand during a hearing on the election contests filed by both Jennings and voters in Florida) --- amounted to "total political dictatorship."

At least that's what Feeney told the Orlando Sentinel at the time.

What he doesn't seem to have told them is that he too is the object of a similar Constitutional challenge in Congress by his own opponent, Clint Curtis, in the race for U.S. House in Florida's 24th district.

Curtis, who originally exposed Feeney's alleged attempt to create touch-screen vote-rigging software back in 2000 (a story broken by The BRAD BLOG in 2004 and followed in detail ever since), campaigned to unseat Feeney this year for the first time, but was declared the loser. Curtis disagrees.

Warren Stewart at VoteTrustUSA covered both the Curtis and Jennings challenges on the Thursday before XMas weekend, along with a posting of the complaints filed by both candidates (Curtis' complaint here, Jennings's complaint here, both in WORD format) as filed in Congress. We've yet to review either complaint or discuss them with either candidate personally, so we'll refer to Stewart's coverage and the actual complaints for the moment and let you people do some work for a change. ;-)

The Orlando Sentinel, however, picked up on the story of Curtis's challenge on Xmas Eve in a brief post in their "This Just In" section. Here's the full item...

Curtis down, but he's not out --- right?

Clint Curtis, who challenged Rep. Tom Feeney, R-Oviedo, in the general election, lost by nearly 28,000 votes. Or did he? Curtis, a Democrat whose campaign centered on questioning the integrity of the nation's vote-counting system, has filed formal notice of an election challenge with the U.S. House of Representatives.

Among the charges is that official voting results are "wrong, unreliable and not worthy of any election in this country." Why? Mishandling of election laws, malfunctioning voting machines and --- wait for it --- the likelihood that affidavits furnished by Curtis from voters who say they voted for him will add up to more than the totals reflected in the official record.

Whew! Stay tuned.

Stay tuned, indeed...The saga continues...

For more info on The BRAD BLOG's continuing investigative series on
The Clint Curtis/Tom Feeney/Yang Enterprises Vote-Rigging Scandal series, please see:
- A Quick Summary of the story so far.
- An Index of all the Key Articles & Evidence in the series so far.
- Curtis ran for U.S. Congress against Feeney in 2006.
For more info, see: www.ClintCurtis.com



(Heckuva Job, Dubya)
By Brad Friedman on 12/25/2006 11:29pm PT  

Merry frickin' Christmas.

From AP. December 25, 11:51pm ET.

BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) - The U.S. military death toll in Iraq has reached 2,974, one more than the number of deaths in the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks in the United States, according to an Associated Press count on Tuesday.

The U.S. military announced the deaths of two soldiers in a bomb explosion southwest of Baghdad on Monday. The deaths raised the number of troops killed to 2,974 since the beginning of the Iraq war in March 2003.




By Brad Friedman on 12/24/2006 5:58pm PT  

This is the same wish I made last year.
I hope we get closer this year.

My best wishes and hopes for a happy holiday
to all BRAD BLOG readers across the globe.

We're all on this marble together.
May it soon be in peace and with good will to all...

-- Brad




Another Not-Surprise from Bush-Supporting Dead-Enders...
By Brad Friedman on 12/24/2006 8:05am PT  

The LA Times is reporting that the George W. Bush "Presidential" Library may well be built at Laura's alma mater, Dallas's Southern Methodist University.

Setting aside those in Texas and at the University who are less than thrilled with the idea of being associated with the guy, it comes as little surprise that the ground likely to be used for the library at SMU was obtained via tactics that perfectly represent the Bush Administration...

School officials declined to talk about the library's design or even where on campus it might be built.

One possible area includes land east of campus that was purchased by the school, presumably to help make room for the library. Until recent court rulings in SMU's favor, the land was mired in a lawsuit brought by residents who said they were intimidated into selling.

Even with the attempts by Bush's well-monied supporters to invent a less-than-humiliating legacy for him, it looks as if the library will be built on the intimidation of and land grabbed from others. Go figure.

No word on how many copies of My Pet Goat the library will be making available to researchers and visitors.




By John Gideon on 12/23/2006 4:37pm PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon of VotersUnite.org

VotersUnite would like to extend our best wishes to all for a Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and Prosperous and DRE-less New Year. Depending on the amount of Voting News tomorrow and Monday this may be the final DVN until after Christmas. / The revolving door is getting a work-out in Georgia. Going out on one side is Deputy SoS Kathy Rogers who was directly in charge of the state's voting systems amongst other duties. She also held a position on the Election Assistance Commission Standards Board. She is now an employee of Diebold. A fact that should call into question all decisions and statements made by Ms. Rogers over the last year or more. Coming in on the other side of the door is Rob Timms who is taking Ms. Rogers' job. Timms, until now, has been a political 'hack' working for various Republican office holders in the state of Georgia and most recently has been working for the lobby firm that has Diebold as its number one client in Georgia. Timms has no elections experience and has a BA in Government....

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




State Officials Say Kathy Rogers, Democratic Director of State Elections Division Under Outgoing Democratic Secretary of State, Said to be Going to Work for Un-American Voting Machine Company
(At least now she'll be getting paid for it!)
By Brad Friedman on 12/23/2006 3:19pm PT  

We're shocked. SHOCKED! Knock us over with a feather!

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution is reporting that Georgia state officials are claiming that Kathy Rogers, the recently resigned Director of outgoing Secretary of State Cathy Cox's State Elections Division, is going to work for Diebold.

Rogers resigned on November 30th, and rumors have been swirling ever since in the state where Diebold first planted it's dirty claws with paperless touch-screen voting machines in 2002 (along with the state of Maryland). Democrats Cox and Rogers have been apologizing and covering for the deceptive and anti-democratic Voting Machine Company ever since.

Cox even went so far as to appear on a Diebold promotional brochure singing the company's praises.

"Rogers apparently will serve as a liaison between elections officials throughout the United States and Diebold," according to the AJC...

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




By Alan Breslauer on 12/23/2006 12:47pm PT  

Guest Blogged by Alan Breslauer


Christine Jennings and her lawyer, Kendall Coffey, appeared Wednesday on Lou Dobbs Tonight with guest host Kitty Pilgrim to discuss the latest news concerning Florida's 13th Congressional District. As BRAD BLOG has reported often (most recently here, here and here), Vern Buchanan was declared the winner in Florida's 13th after the disappearance of 18,000 votes left the Republican with a paltry 369 vote lead over his opponent Jennings. Subsequently, a handful of experts including one provided by e-voting manufacturer ES&S, concluded that the inclusion of the missing votes would have propelled Jennings to an easy victory based on an analysis of the Sarasota votes which did not spontaneously combust.

Unfortunately, the will of the people is a foreign concept among those controlling the Florida election apparatus which declared Buchanan the winner after recounting nothing a couple of times. With no paper trail (much less a paper BALLOT, and there is a big difference!), a "recount" merely refers to state election staffers testing whether a few selected machines are working properly and is entirely unrelated to the vote count. By certifying Buchanan the winner, the state forced Jennings to seek relief in the Florida courts.

This did not sit well with Sean Hannity who, with Buchanan on as a guest a few weeks ago, found the entire affair "unbelievable" and further evidence that Democrats are sore losers. Juxtaposing the Hannity clip as well as Tom Feeney's reaction to the election controversy, recounted by Brad here, to Jennings appearance on CNN (clip above right), makes for quite an interesting experiment. While hardly evidence that could be used in a court of law like the damning statistical evidence, the contrast is, nevertheless, telling.




...And a Plea for Either Figgy Pudding or a Donation to The BRAD BLOG...
By Brad Friedman on 12/22/2006 7:46pm PT  

If you accidentally forgot to spend a few dollars on gifts for loved ones, please feel free to donate a few of them to your friendly neighborhood BRAD BLOG. We could use the help, as I have been woefully delinquent at fund raising over the past many months.

DONATE HERE or really help my holidays be merrier by signing up for a monthly subscription, of any amount, by using the blue form on the right of this page.

Beyond that, consider this an Open Thread for the stragglers who haven't scrammed (I would be one of them, even as I've been busy with all manners of things all day which have kept me from blogging as I had hoped).




By John Gideon on 12/22/2006 4:10pm PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon of VotersUnite.org

The huge news for today is the announcement that Smartmatic has decided to sell Sequoia Voting Systems. They claim it is because of the 'public debate' over foreign ownership of a company that is involved in our elections. I suspect that Smartmatic didn't like the idea that the Feds were looking into the sale and reports of bribery in Venezuela. There is certainly something suspicious about ownership of Sequoia. Smartmatic bought the company in 2005 for $16M from DeLaRue, a British company. That's $16M for a company that had well over $200M in sales in the past couple years. Either DeLaRue has terrible business acumen, which they don't, or there was something fishy about the deal right from the start. / In "E-voting Upgrades America’s Ballot Box" the author, a fellow at the biased, agenda-driven Pacific Research Institute, uses no facts in his article in favor of paperless voting. The problem is that some; not many but some; will read his drivel and actually believe what he says. ...

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




By John Gideon on 12/21/2006 5:02pm PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon of VotersUnite.org

The power of the headline is amazing. What may be a fair and balanced article can be changed to be partisan and biased with the turn of the word in the headline. This is especially apparent when it is an Associated Press article that has been run across the country under the banner, "Congress asked to intervene in Fla. Race". That is until the biased North County Times, based in northern San Diego and Riverside Counties, gets the story. They deftly change the recommended headline to reflect their bias to, "State-declared loser in race to replace Rep. Katherine Harris asks Congress to investigate" and the same story reads differently. / A hand recount of over 264,000 ballots took 10 days in Vermont and overturned the original results in the race for state auditor. They had paper ballots to recount and not vapor-ware from the machines. / A state Representative in Pennsylvania is planning on asking Congress to allow the state to get rid of their electronic voting machines so they can return to lever-machines. He says, rightly, that electronic voting machines have been too problematic....

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




Now-Former 13-Year Election Official Who Once Told Us Voters We Need to Have 'Trust and Faith' in How He Would Count Votes --- May Avoid Jail Time in Light of Plea Deal
By Brad Friedman on 12/21/2006 2:32pm PT  

In October of 2005, just prior to the Monterey County, California, November election with their new Sequoia touch-screen voting systems, Registrar of Voters Tony Anchundo and I had an exchange on the radio.

I asked him how discrepancies would be handled, if any where found between the machine-reported results on the county's new systems and their planned audit of the so-called "paper trails" from those unreliable systems.

The 13-year election official told me, "There is obviously going to have to be some trust and faith in the elections official, or in this case, it's me." (Audio of full interview here, text transcript here, Court TV's Catherine Crier picked up on our reporting of this in a video editorial here.)

In July of 2006, Tony "Trust Me" Anchundo was charged with 43 criminal counts, including charges of forgery, misapplication of funds, embezzlement, falsification of accounts, and grand theft of nearly $80,000 of county money.

And finally, yesterday, Anchundo pleaded "no contest" to all 43 criminal charges. His plea deal may help him avoid any jail time at all. He was facing a possibility of some 12 years in prison.

Anchundo is the response to any election official, politician, or voting machine company spokeshole who tells us that we must have trust in our election officials that they will do the right thing, that they'd never do anything untoward, or game an election...despite their insider access to voting equipment which can be tampered with to allow a single person to steal an entire election without a trace left behind.

Trust them? Not bloody likely. Our country and constitution were not founded on trust, but on checks and balances. The disgraced and disgraceful Anchundo is the object lesson in that regard for all time.

Truly honest elections officials will be the first to tell you they should not be trusted. Leon County, Florida Supervisor of Elections Ion Sancho said in a speech last May, "Trust no one. If it can't be verified, it can't be used." Yolo County, California Registrar-Clerk Freddie Oakley wrote last June in response to many of her colleagues, "They also argue that, 'We have to trust our poll workers…' To this I can only say…only if they are incorruptible."

MORAL: Trust no one when it comes to your elections. Especially those who tell you they should be trusted.




And Who Knows 'Total Political Dictatorship' Better Than the Corrupt Bully-Boy Feeney?!
(Who Also Has Now Had a Congressional Challenge Filed in His Own Election!)
By Brad Friedman on 12/21/2006 2:31pm PT  

Tom Feeney (R-Abramoff) is back! And he's not taking any shit from any of those democracy loving pussies!

Now that he's temporarily been sent back to the U.S. House of Representatives --- after having spent more than $1 million in corporate PAC money to achieve an unimpressive victory over Clint Curtis, the computer programmer who spent about $40k on his campaign and has accused Feeney of conspiring to create vote-rigging software in Florida --- Feeney is ready to rumble!

"That is total political dictatorship," Feeney tells the Orlando Sentinel today in regard to the Congressional election challenge filed yesterday by Democrat Christine Jennings in the U.S. House after 18,000 votes disappeared in her recent election in Florida's 13th District, leading to a reported "loss" by 369 votes to Republican Vern Buchanan.

And, if anybody knows anything about "total political dictatorship" it would be Tom Feeney. The man who, as Speaker of the Florida House in 2000, promised to deliver the state's Electoral Votes to George W. Bush no matter what those democracy haters on the U.S. Supreme Court had to say about it!; the man who worked as general counsel and registered lobbyist (even while speaker of the Florida House) for a company that had harbored at least one illegal alien who pled guilty to charges related to sending Hellfire anti-tank missile chips to Communist China; the man who keeps his campaign headquarters in the firm's headquarters building even today!; the man who didn't raise a peep when the Republican controlled U.S. House sent a letter ordering a California judge to dismiss a lawful election contest in San Diego's special U.S. House election last Summer after the House had rushed to swear in apparent-winner Brian Bilbray just 7 days after the election, with thousands of votes still uncounted and a full two weeks before the state would even certify the close and disputed election which was run illegally on compromised, decertified electronic voting machines.

Now --- even after the only expert witness put forward in Florida by ES&S, the voting machine company that makes the touch-screen systems used in FL-13, admitted yesterday on the stand that Jennings would have won the election were it not for problems with the voting equipment --- Feeney is the man sticking his bright red, irony-impaired face out to declare that Democrats would be participating in "total political dictatorship" by exercising their constitutional right to "determine the manner and seating of their members."

"Total political dictatorship" - Nobody knows it better than Tom Feeney.

Oh, and could he also be so angry about this because it turns out that Clint Curtis himself has now filed a Congressional challenge in his race against Feeney? More on that, hopefully, later....




By Brad Friedman on 12/20/2006 11:50pm PT  

BRAD BLOG readers know that we take no particular joy in even appearing to defend the corporate mainstream media. Nonetheless, the hateful rightwing loons that have taken over the majority of the discourse in this country have been so intolerably wrong on so many issues for so very long, it's nice to see one of them admit --- even tacitly --- that "conservatives" (as they call themselves) have been wrong in their idiotic attacks on MSM reporting. Particularly in regard to the War in Iraq.

So now, the Bush Administration, and the last of its dead-enders, have even lost National Review's Richard Lowry...

Most of the pessimistic warnings from the mainstream media have turned out to be right — that the initial invasion would be the easy part, that seeming turning points (the capture of Saddam, the elections, the killing of Zarqawi) were illusory, that the country was dissolving into a civil war.
...
The “good news” that conservatives have accused the media of not reporting has generally been pretty weak. The Iraqi elections were indeed major accomplishments. But the opening of schools and hospitals is not particularly newsworthy, at least not compared with American casualties and with sectarian attacks meant to bring Iraq down around everyone’s heads in a full-scale civil war.
...
In their distrust of the mainstream media, their defensiveness over President Bush and the war, and their understandable urge to buck up the nation’s will, many conservatives lost touch with reality on Iraq. They thought that they were contributing to our success, but they were only helping to forestall a cold look at conditions there and the change in strategy and tactics that would be dictated by it.

There's more, but you get the drift. A moment of intellectual honesty from Lowry. Though not nearly enough. Note his use of "they," not "we" or "I." And he can't help but take several idiotic, unsupported shots in the piece, lest he completely lose his readership base all together.

So it's not enough to earn himself a coveted, yet rarely bestowed, BRAD BLOG "Intellectually Honest Conservative Award." Either way, we hope for his sake that the waters are warm these days for the rats as they dive off the sinking ship.




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