On today's BradCast, we open up the phone lines to listeners on a number of things, most notably to hear what listeners expect from this week's upcoming, long-awaited U.S. House testimony by former Special Counsel Robert Mueller regarding his 448-page report on Russia's involvement in the 2016 Presidential election and the ten or more instances of criminal obstruction of justice by President Trump detailed within. [Audio link to show follows below.]
Mueller's testimony during hearings on Wednesday --- three hours in the House Judiciary Committee and two hours before the House Intelligence Committee --- will be the last chance for pro-impeachment Dems to swing the sentiments of both the nation and Democratic leadership toward opening an official impeachment inquiry of Donald Trump before Congress leaves for its long 6-week recess next week. Callers ring on on what they expect and hope (or don't) from the proceedings.
As you can imagine, Democratic U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi --- who, so far, has blocked an official impeachment inquiry by her caucus in the House despite Trump's multiple felonious High Crimes and misdemeanors and in defiance of 100 or so Democratic members on record calling for impeachment --- came up quite a few times today from callers, both negatively and, in at least one instance, positively.
Also on today's program, a quick recap from key points made during our important --- and, at times, gob-smacking --- interview on Friday's program with cybersecurity and voting systems expert Kevin Skoglund on the dangerous new 100% unverifiable touchscreen voting systems currently set for use in Philadelphia, in the key swingstate of Pennsylvania before next year's Presidential election, and how some of the new system's worst, most dangerous and unverifiable features are also found in the new 100% unverifiable touchscreen voting systems being brought into Los Angeles next year.
Thanks to citizen-led efforts like those by Skoglund and Citizens for Better Elections and the Protect Our Vote Philly coalition, the commonwealth of Pennsylvania is now reviewing its previous certification of the horrible and easily manipulated computer Ballot Marking Devices (BMDs) currently set for use in Philly. That re-examination may ultimately lead to decertification of those systems.
Meanwhile, here in Los Angeles, the nation's largest voting jurisdiction, The BradCast and BradBlog.com have been pretty much the only ones publicly yelling and screaming about the serious (and completely misunderstood-by-the-media --- see this ridiculous headline and article!) dangers of moving from hand-marked paper ballots to 100% unverifiable touchscreen BMDs in advance of the critical 2020 Presidential election.
We also discuss the fact that, in addition to being completely unverifiable and easily manipulated, the cost of BMDs systems is at least twice the price of hand-marked paper ballots systems. In fact, one caller rings in with information to tell me that the $200+ million price-tag I cited for the new systems in L.A. was actually a low-ball estimate, according to L.A.'s actual contract with private voting system vendor Smartmatic [PDF]. That contract, she notes, specifies the price for moving L.A. to these new systems will be closer to $300 million! That, in a county that could desperately use funds for things like housing tens of thousands currently living on the streets and long-overdue infrastructure improvements among many other things...
While we post The BradCast here every day, and you can hear it across all of our great affiliate stations and websites, to automagically get new episodes as soon as they're available sent right to your computer or personal device, subscribe for free at iTunes, Stitcher, TuneIn or our native RSS feed!
* * *
MONTHLY BRAD BLOG SUBSCRIPTION
(Snail mail support to "Brad Friedman, 7095 Hollywood Blvd., #594 Los Angeles, CA 90028" always welcome too!)
READER COMMENTS ON "What to Expect When Expecting Robert Mueller: 'BradCast' 7/22/2019" (3 Responses so far...)
COMMENT #1 [Permalink] ...
said on 7/23/2019 @ 12:21 pm PT...
Love your show; listen to podcast. You mentioned Wyden's PAVE Act as requiring HMPBs, but as I read the bill, I think they're required to *be available* to voters upon request, as an alternative to machines, not as standard protocol. I believe Jen Cohn interprets it this way too.
Also, FYI, the House just passed the SAFE Act HR2722, which election security advocates (like Jen) seem to prefer over the PAVE Act. Since neither will pass the Senate of course, another advocacy group (www.secureelectionsnetwork.net) is asking folks to lobby senators to pass appropriations bill HR3351, which budgets 600 million for states to purchase secure systems before 2020. McConnell can't kill a budget bill, but it needs support of at least 2 GOP senators to pass. The strategy is to target Murkowski, Rubio, and Lankford bc of past support for election security. I've written this script ( )for people to use to lobby. Feel free to share, if that's something your operating rules allow for.
Thanks for the muckraking!
COMMENT #2 [Permalink] ...
said on 7/23/2019 @ 2:18 pm PT...
The Democrats waited so long that the Republicans have already gamed the outcome. If they expect to win next year, they better up their game.
Thanks for the kind words, as well as the links and thoughts. I concur with your (and Jenny's) interpretation of the PAVE Act. But, in fact, hand-marked paper ballots cannot be mandated for every voter, in that disabilities voters need to be allowed the use of assistive devices. That also means that pollworkers can't (and shouldn't) decide who is disabled and who is not. That is up to the voter.
That said, the first issue of note is to make sure that it is mandated that a hand-marked paper ballot be made available to every voter who wants one.
Then, it will be a matter of letting folks know they have the right to vote on hand-marked paper ballots.
The real hitch his if jurisdictions decide to interpret that mandate to mean that voters can vote with an Absentee/Vote-by-Mail ballot if they insist on a hand-marked paper ballot. I don't believe that would meet the mandate of any of these bills, though I suspect there will be jurisdictions who try and pull that bullshit.
So, yes, this is never ending. But, moving in the right direction is key. Your advice to rally support for HR3351 seems well considered! Go get 'em!