UPDATE 5/8/07 5:45pm PT: The U.S. House Administration Committee voted unanimously to dismiss all of the U.S. House election contests other than the FL-13 Jennings/Buchanan race. More details now here...
The campaign of Clint Curtis (D), the vote-rigging/Tom Feeney whistleblower who challenged Feeney (R-Abramoff) for the U.S. House seat in Florida's 24h Congressional district last November, has told The BRAD BLOG that the U.S. House Administrative Committee is set to dismiss Curtis' Congressional contest of the race --- filed under the Federal Contested Elections Act --- when the committee meets on Tuesday morning.
Though they've yet to examine the "hard evidence" the Curtis campaign says they've collected in the matter, the reason for the dismissal, as given to campaign manager, Marty Ward by a Capitol Hill staffer, was "insufficient evidence". Ward says that two different offices have informed the campaign of the committee's plan to dismiss the case tomorrow.
Ward told us tonight, however, that Congress hasn't even seen, much less investigated, the "hard evidence" in the form of sworn affidavits from voters that the campaign's volunteers have collected over the past several months via door-to-door canvassing in the district. The results of that canvass, the campaign says, reveal that Curtis' votes, as tallied on Florida's paperless touch-screen voting systems, were under-reported by anywhere from 12% to 24% per precinct so far canvassed.
Curtis was declared the loser by some 16 points after the election, despite an "Election Eve" Zogby Poll which declared he and Feeney to be in a "statistical dead heat". An 8 point or better misreporting of the true results in the race, they maintain, would have swung the election in Feeney's favor as they believe likely happened.
Ward sent us these thoughts in response to the Democrats plans earlier this evening...
If anyone knows how to hit just the wrong note, time and again, it's our favorite corrupt Congressman from Florida's 24th district, who's still on the run from charges of Abramoff-related improprieties.
We're running the following item mostly for the Orlando Sentinel's hysterical comment on Tom Feeney's press spokeperson's name. But Feeney's choice of showing off multiple photos of his hot, sweaty bod on a press release concerning U.S. troops being killed in Iraq certainly caught our notice as well...
Feeney's on the run
If it smells fishy, it either has something to do with politics, or fish.
Or in this case, both.
Sporting shirts from a New Smyrna Beach favorite, J.B.'s Fish Camp, U.S. Rep. Tom Feeney last week led "The Anglers" in the annual ACLI Capital Challenge. The three-mile race in Washington features members of the media and leaders of our government hitting the pavement in the kind of race that takes physical, not fiscal, fitness.
Press secretary Pepper Pennington --- no, we don't know whether she picks pickled peppers -- tells us Team Feeney came in at just more than 21 minutes.
NOTE: The URL in the Sentinel article was wrong. So for more hot, sweaty photos of Feeney --- who sure knows how to, gosh darn it, have a little fun with war --- you can check out his very tasteful Iraq Veto/Fish Restaurant Sponsored press release/photo spread right here.
In testimony presented today to a House subcommittee, computer scientist and voting system expert David Wagner said, in part:
In my research into electronic voting, I have come to the conclusion that the federal certification process is not adequate. The testing labs are failing to weed out insecure and unreliable voting systems. The federal certification process has approved systems that have lost thousands of votes, systems with reliability problems, and systems with serious security vulnerabilities. Over the past four years, independent researchers have discovered security vulnerabilities in voting machines used throughout the country—vulnerabilities that were not detected by state and federal certification processes. Unfortunately, the standards and certification process has not kept pace with the advances in election technology over the past decade.
Links to that, and many more related stories today, all below...
Chalk this one up as one for the good guys. The Internet real estate once owned by a group of deceptive White House-connected Republican operatives has now come under the control of one of the non-profit groups which had taken the brunt of the GOP outfits relentless anti-democratic political tactics.
The ironic turn of events comes on the heels of new revelations connecting the Republican operatives to high-level DoJ and White House officials, and underscores the need for an immediate Congressional investigation into the conspiracy behind the supposedly "non-partisan" GOP operation....
Two types of machines were certified for use in France's election, both of which are of the paperless direct-recording electronic (DRE) variety now notorious (and hopefuly soon-to-be outlawed) in the States: an iVotronic model from American company ES&S, and another model from Dutch company Nedap.
... And follows-up with this:
One of the more controversial of America's exports has managed to unite factions from across France's political spectrum, with the major parties in France's hotly contested presidential election uniting to inform AFP that a "catastrophe" has taken place. No, I'm not talking about the opening of a new McDonald's. The catastrophe in question is an electronic voting catastrophe of the kind that occurred in a number of counties in America during this past November's mid-term elections.
That, and links to other notable Voting News stories --- including problems in Scotland as well --- all follow below...
Some thoughts from GameJew's Jonathan Mann who says "human rights are human rights no matter who you are," in the wake of his stunning video account of the LA May Day Melee and the firestorm of astoundingly racists comments and controversy which came in it's wake. Such comments were found at both his blog and on our own after running startling first-hand video account of LAPD in riot gears firing rubber bullets into the crowds and beating down men, women and children with batons during an Immigration Day rally...
We share his sentiments, and thank him again for his landmark and courageous work of citizen journalism.
UPDATE 2/5/09: L.A. agrees to $13 million settlement with victims of the 2007 "May Day Melee". Details...
May 5, 2007 - It’s hard to say which is worse news for Republicans: that George W. Bush now has the worst approval rating of an American president in a generation, or that he seems to be dragging every ‘08 Republican presidential candidate down with him. But According to the new NEWSWEEK Poll, the public’s approval of Bush has sunk to 28 percent, an all-time low for this president in our poll, and a point lower than Gallup recorded for his father at Bush Sr.’s nadir. The last president to be this unpopular was Jimmy Carter who also scored a 28 percent approval in 1979.
UPDATE: One wonders what Bush's approval rating would have been by now if we didn't have the conservative-run media that we have now. Had Bush faced the same media that Jimmy Carter did, it seems unlikely he'd have have double digits by now...much less still be in office.
It was a quiet week in Lake Wobegon last week.... but not in the District of Columbia, where scandals and revelations erupted by the hour.
Bush's War in Iraq dominated the week - the fourth anniversary of "Mission Accomplished" --- as former CIA Director George Tenet attempted to defend himself, shamefully, with his just-released tell-all book, as closer to home a storm of BRAD BLOG comment controversies erupted in the wake of disturbing video of riot police beating and kicking demonstrators and reporters in the L.A. May Day Melee, and guest blogger Stephen Heller call to re-institute a draft...
And be sure to check out last Sunday's peace-lovin' music video for inspiration, as we pause for a breath before finding out what the cat will drag in next week. Links to High and/or Lowlights from what the cat dragged in last week are conveniently summarized and linked below...
Howard Beale at the Show-Me State's watchdog, Fired Up! Missouri, hits another home run on Friday with a devastating piece comparing the Kansas City Star's altered version of Greg Gordon's recent brilliant piece at McClatchy exposing Missouri as "Ground Zero" for the GOP's widespread, well-funded national "voter fraud" scam. As Thor Hearne, of the now-defunct American Center for Voting Rights (BRAD BLOG's Special Coverage Page here) and his Missouri law firm Lathrop & Gage were at the epicenter of "Ground Zero," the Star's actions in butchering the original piece --- in order to save GOP/Missouri face and deceive their own readers in the bargain --- is all the more scandalous.
The Star, it seems, after waiting a day to run the story in their pages at all, managed to hack up Gordon's excellent exposé to effectively excise as much GOP culpability as possible. With a particular eye towards removing anything that could be seen as embarrassing to local GOP'ers, like Thor Hearne, Gov. Matt Blunt, etc.
"Every change made to the story has the clear effect of reducing the exposure of the GOP," writes Beale, who calls the hatchet job "a total embarrassment" for the once-distinguished KC newspaper which is, ironically enough, actually owned by McClatchy!
See Beale's full piece for the undeniable sham exposed when the two versions of the story are compared side-by-side.
By way of just one example, the headline of Gordon/McClatchy's original was changed from "2006 Missouri's election was ground zero for GOP" to the Fox "News"-like "GOP sought to suppress votes in Missouri, critics say."
As Beale points out, this not-so-subtle change has the effect of turning the detailed, fact-based reporting by Gordon into a "he-said-she-said" difference of opinion:
The story was obviously not initiated by --nor is it at all about-- the claims of "critics" nor anyone else. Gordon was not reporting on some press event by Democrats who were making claims of voter suppression. Rather he did real reporting and wrote about how, as the facts indicate, the GOP historically undertook specific actions on the issue of voter fraud in Missouri with the intent of helping Republican candidates.
The Star's editorial decision, via its headline, to turn the story into some sort of he-said-she-said difference of opinion is an insult to the intelligence of its readers as well as a slap in the face to Greg Gordon, whose remarkable reporting their headline trivializes.
Ditto. But it gets far worse throughout the altered and excised text of the article itself where entire passages are re-written and phrases such as "No significant voter fraud was ever proved" and "inquiries found little evidence to support the claims" and "the government had produced no evidence of fraud" have been entirely removed.
KC Star ought to be absolutely ashamed of themselves, McClatchy ought to bust out some pink slips, and subscribers would do well to raise holy hell and/or cancel subscriptions as quickly as possible while letting them know why.
Where the hell have all of the real newspapers gone in this country?
Thor Hearne is no doubt smiling in his grave (or, more accurately, his mansion in Ladue...but if the facts don't matter to KC Star why should we give a damn either?).
Voters in Randolph Co Indiana are being asked to vote on a system made by now defunct Voting Technologies International; the same system that has failed in the last two elections and that failed in pre-election day set-up. Meanwhile an election this week in Scotland has been a disaster. High-speed ballot scanners failed, hundreds of thousands of ballots were spoiled, and postal ballot delays all added up to one huge mess. Also a new judge’s ruling in Alameda Co, more from Florida and a fun deposition taken from Linda Lamone in Maryland....
Have gotten all bollixed up here late in the week on a number of stories and tips and deadlines that I'm working on concurrently. So posting has been light for a day or so (you're welcome --- to those who might be thankful for that! )
Anyway, Peter B. Collins is on a getaway vacation this weekend, so I won't be doing my normal Friday hour with him, but apparently he's not on that much of a vacation because he stepped in to Guest Host a couple of hours of Thom Hartmann's Air America show this morning.
Since I haven't posted many radio appearances here of late, and since throngs of adoring fans would otherwise have their weekend utterly destroyed without their usual PBC Bradcast to kick it off, I figure I'll post this quick Hartmann hit with PBC from this morning.
8 rough and tumble minutes from Ann Coulter's voter fraud to Florida's new paper ballots to Rush Holt's HR811 and a little bit of Thor Hearne thrown in for flavor, all over the national Air America airwaves...who could use much more of the above if you ask me...
"A very small segment of the American population are fighting this war! If the president thinks we should continue the war he ought to call for a draft and spread it out and let everybody serve in this war, not this small segment who are making such a sacrifice!" -- Rep. John Murtha (D-PA), 4/19/07
America needs a military draft. Admittedly, this idea is anathema to many progressives. Nevertheless, it would be good for this nation. It would boost our national security, but it would also be an invaluable part of preventing our so-called "leaders" from taking us into another unnecessary war.
There's no doubt we need more troops. As recently reported in the Los Angeles Times, Air Force personnel are now being used to fill out the Army ranks in Iraq. Military.com reports that in 2005 recruiters missed their target numbers by the widest margin since 1979. While the Department of Defense has said that it met or exceeded its recruitment goals for 2006, they are still having so much trouble getting warm bodies that recruitment of foreigners is being considered, including a proposal to expedite the citizenship process as an added incentive.
According to The Boston Globe, Bush and Defense Secretary Gates "have acknowledged that the total size of the military must be expanded to help alleviate the strain on ground troops, many of whom have been deployed repeatedly in combat theaters." And the Democratic congress has "promise[d] to make increasing the size of the military one of their top legislative priorities in 2007."
In December of 2006, Veterans Affairs Secretary Jim Nicholson "told a news conference that society would benefit from a return to the draft." Of course, a few hours later he backpedaled faster than Rush Limbaugh can say "OxyContin" when the White House disavowed the remark. But he was right when he said our society would benefit from the draft, even if, like a good little soldier, he quickly changed his tune to please his boss.
More recently, in an April 18th article from the Marine Corp Times, Lawrence Korb --- a former senior Pentagon official and now a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress and a Senior Advisor to the Center for Defense Information --- said, "The current use of ground forces in Iraq represents a complete misuse of the all-volunteer military." He went on to add that in his view the all-volunteer force is not meant to be used for a protracted ground war, yet that is what they are facing.
Will the Democrats in the U.S. Congress finally begin to realize their mistake in allowing for DRE touch-screen voting machines now that the Republican Governor of Florida has led the Republican-majority Florida legislature (along with every Democrat in it as well) to do the right thing and move to all paper ballots? Or will U.S. Congressional Dems continue to allow themselves to lose yet another issue that they should be owning?
We'll leave it to the Election Integrity advocates on the ground --- the coalition of GoAllTheWayFlorida.com --- who have worked so long and hard, to give you the great news...
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 3 May 2007
FLORIDA MOVES TO PAPER BALLOTS!
FLORIDA VOTERS COALITION CONGRATULATES GOVERNOR CRIST AND THE FLORIDA LEGISLATURE FOR ENDING PAPERLESS VOTING.
TALLAHASSEE: In a historic vote, the Florida House today unanimously passed CS/HB 537, already passed in the Senate, that provides almost all voters paper ballots in time for the 2008 Presidential election, and bans paperless DREs outright by 2012. The bill now goes to the Governor where he’s sure to sign it since it’s his initiative.
Counties will have the option to pitch DREs immediately and provide ballot marking devices for voters with disabilities. “FVC urges all 67 counties to convert to uniform paper ballot systems without delay and leave no voter behind voting on failed electronic voting machines,” said FVC Co-Founder, Dan McCrea.
The bill is funded with $27.9 million in HAVA funds and there’s plenty more money in that account should more be needed next year. Counties will get help from the state to purchase optical scan equipment to count the paper ballots; ballot-on-demand equipment to ease paper congestion problems in Early Voting; and ballot marking devices to serve the disabled.
While there was talk earlier in the legislative session about retrofitting printers to failed touchscreen DREs, that talk faded as legislators saw it would be throwing good money after bad...
In still more very good FL news, a U.S. House panel has asked the non-partisan GAO to investigate the contested FL-13 election between Christine Jennings and Vern Buchanan where 18,000 votes disappeared on the DRE touch-screen voting systems in Sarasota.
Congratulations, Florida voters! And especially to the tireless patriots down there who have been fighting so hard, for so long! There are still many fights ahead down there before true Election Integrity returns to Florida, but there is no denying that this is an enormous victory. Let's hope it rubs off on the other 49 states...and the U.S. Congress!
The headlines from Florida say it all today. The Miami Herald said, “Lawmakers ditch touch-screen machines” while the Sun-Sentinel said, “Bill to replace touch-screen voting with optical scanner sent to Gov. Crist.” In a press release, the Florida Voters Coalition said in part, “In a historic vote, the Florida House today unanimously passed CS/HB 537, already passed in the Senate that provides almost all voters paper ballots in time for the 2008 Presidential election, and bans paperless DREs outright by 2012. The bill now goes to the Governor where he’s sure to sign it since it’s his initiative.” Also, the EAC gave the state permission to use their HAVA funds to make the switch-over. And still in Florida, a House committee has now asked the GAO to investigate the District 13 debacle and report back to them....