Wake up, Al!


Live Air America Broadcast from Heart of U.S. House Special Election Controversy Interrupted by Shouts, Jeers,
Cheers from Audience of Activists in Attendance!

Filed by Brad Friedman in San Diego

As I standby in a hotel room in San Diego, near the DemcoracyFest! venue, to hopefully post some big breaking news momentarily, Al Franken is broadcasting his show from the site.

In a discussion moments ago with a representative of Common Cause from New Mexico, the previously quiet crowd gathered at the live broadcast broke into boos and disapproving shouts when the interview led by Franken implied that “Busby had lost” due to a “gaffe” made prior to the election.

Audience members have erupted in applause when it was mentioned that “some believe the election was not run cleanly.” Franken, and his guest regarded the election as legitimate which led to boos and protests from the crowd which became unruly during the discussion, rejecting the announced results that “Bilbray won the election.”

The guest from Common Cause (whose name we didn’t catch) also was booed when he implied that George W. Bush “beat” Al Gore in 2000. Event organizers had encouraged Franken to have me on during today’s live broadcast, taking place smack dab in the middle of the country’s largest election controversy prior to the November general election right here in San Diego. Franken, instead chose to have the Common Cause rep from New Mexico to discussion issues of Election Integrity in Mexico and elsewhere.

THE BRAD BLOG – The uprising continues…

How BushCo "protects" us

For Immediate Release: Friday, July 14, 2006

Warnings by Former-Chief Teresa Chambers Proving Prophetic
Washington, DC ÷ The recent series of crimes on the National Mall underscore warnings raised in December 2003 by then-Chief Teresa Chambers about the effects of staff shortages in the U.S. Park Police, according to Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER). Chambers, who contended that the Park Police was not adequately staffed to meet its law enforcement obligations in the nationâs capital, was fired for confirming those conditions in an interview with The Washington Post, a termination she is still seeking to overturn.

The U.S. Park Police, the oldest uniformed federal police force inaugurated by President George Washington, now has wide-ranging anti-terrorism duties, including evacuation planning for the Statue of Liberty and providing escort duties for Vice-President Dick Cheney. The U.S. Park Police is also responsible for patrolling the National Mall, including such icons as the Lincoln Memorial and the Washington Monument, as well as numerous other parks and five major parkways in the D.C. metro area.

In an April 2000 Report to Congress, the National Park Service estimated it needed 806 officers for its Park Police Force. At the time of that report there were approximately 638 sworn officers:

ð Today, there is the same number of Park Police officers (621) as when Chambers was chief;

ð Budget shortfalls led to the cancellation earlier this month of a class of officer cadets that was scheduled to begin training last week, according to the Fraternal Order of Police; and

ð Only six officers were on the Mall on the evening of July 11th, in the height of the summer tourist season, when two sets of robberies (and a sexual assault) occurred, but two of those officers were under orders to be fixed sentries, not in positions to patrol or respond to incidents.

Following the 9/11 attacks, then-Interior Secretary Gale Norton ordered Park Police officers to maintain fixed positions on the Mall. In the fall of 2003, the Chair of the Fraternal Order of Police chapter representing the Park Police, Leon (ãJeffä) Capps wrote to Secretary Norton protesting that the fixed postings came at the expense of visitor safety. Capps never received a response to his letter.

ãThe case of Chief Chambers illustrates how political appointees have micro-managed law enforcement operations, putting park visitors and even our national icons at risk,ä stated PEER Executive Director Jeff Ruch, whose organization is leading Teresa Chambersâ challenge to her July 2004 removal. ãThe Bush administration hired Chief Chambers after a nationwide search to find the best candidate to bring the Park Police into the 21st Century; it should be listening to her.ä

The July attacks on the National Mall follow a series of other robberies this May. In addition, this week, D.C. Police Chief Charles Ramsey has declared a ãlaw enforcement emergency,ä due to outbreaks of crime throughout the city.


"Why Democrats Don't Count"

Why Democrats Don’t Count
Lessons from the Un-Gore of Mexico
July 14, 2006
By Greg Palast

The Exit polls said he won, but the “official” tally took his victory away. His supporters found they were scrubbed off voter rolls. Violence and intimidation kept even more of his voters away from the polls. Hundreds of thousands of ballots supposedly showed no choice for president — like ballots with hanging chads.

And the officials in charge of this suspect election refused to re-count those votes in public. Everyone knew full well a fair count would certainly change the outcome.

You’ve heard this story before: Gore 2000. Kerry 2004.

Read more.

Choicepoint prez funds SoS candidate in Georgia

Choicepoint President Funds Secretary of State Candidate Scott Holcomb in Georgia
By Matthew Cardinale and Betty Clermont, Atlanta Progressive News (July 13, 2006)

(APN) ATLANTA – With the Georgia Primary for Secretary of State only days away, Atlanta Progressive News has learned Democratic Candidate Michael “Scott” Holcomb has accepted campaign contributions from the President of Choicepoint Corporation and the President’s wife.

Choicepoint has come under scrutiny for its well-researched acquisition of the company responsible for the false felon voter list which disenfranchised tens of thousands of minorities in the 2000 elections in Florida. Choicepoint, headquartered in Alpharetta, Georgia, with over a billion dollars in revenue in 2005, is synonymous with voter fraud and Bush cronyism to many advocates. It has billions of data points about individuals and has contracts with the US government to provide much of that information to them toward their goal of total information awareness.

Mr. Douglas Curling, the President of Choicepoint, gave $1,000 to Holcomb’s Campaign on December 19, 2005, according to campaign finance disclosures dated December 31, 2005.

Read more.

House renews Voting Rights Act

House passes Voting Rights Act renewal
Southern conservative efforts on amendments fail

WASHINGTON (AP) — The House voted Thursday to renew the 1965 Voting Rights Act, rejecting efforts by Southern conservatives to relax federal oversight of their states in a debate haunted by the ghosts of the civil rights movement.

The 390-33 vote sends the measure to the Senate. The act bans discrimination in voting, including through poll taxes and literacy tests, and requires some states, mostly in the South, to clear proposed changes in voting procedures with the Justice Department.

Southern conservatives had complained that the act punishes their states for racist voting histories they say they’ve overcome.

“By passing this rewrite of the Voting Rights Act, Congress is declaring from on high that states with voting problems 40 years ago can simply never be forgiven,” said Rep. Lynn Westmoreland, a Georgia Republican and one of several lawmakers pressing for changes to the law to ease its requirements on Southern states.

Read more.

AP on Voter Action lawsuits

Electronic voting machines come under legal attack from activists
Posted 7/13/2006 3:07 PM ET
The Associated Press

Computerized voting was supposed to be the cure for ballot fiascos such as the 2000 presidential election, but activist groups say it has only worsened the problem and they’ve gone to court across the country to ban the new machines.

Lawsuits have been filed in at least nine states, alleging that the machines are wide open to computer hackers and prone to temperamental fits of technology that have assigned votes to the wrong candidate.

Manufacturers say their machines are more reliable than punch cards and other traditional voting technologies.

Read more.

Torture here, and there, and everywhere

Report: Treatment of US suspects at home mirrors that of terror suspects in military custody
Larisa Alexandrovna
Published: Thursday July 13, 2006

Human Rights advocates see discrepancies between the official US Government account and a non-government organization (NGO) “shadow report,” and cite disturbing examples of human rights abuses that have gone unchecked within the US and unreported by the official government report to the UN Human Rights Committee.

Included in the shadow report are several examples of police brutality and prisoner abuse and torture that not only violate the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the Conventions against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment and Punishment (CAT), but also the United States Constitution.


Evidence provided in the Burge cases paint a picture not unlike what has emerged from the Abu Ghraib scandal, or allegations relating to abuse by US authorities at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba and other US detention facilities in the Middle-East.

The techniques detailed in the Chicago torture cases included “electrically shocking men’s genitals, ears and lips with a cattle prod or an electric shock box, suffocating individuals with plastic bags, mock executions, and beatings with telephone books and rubber hoses,” according to court documents.


Plame sues WH nasties

News Update from Citizens for Legitimate Government
13 July 2006

Breaking: Plame sues White House figures over CIA leak –Former CIA officer and husband file lawsuit against Cheney, Libby, Rove 13 Jul 2006 The CIA officer whose identity was leaked to reporters sued Vice President [sic] Dick Cheney, his former top aide and presidential adviser Karl Rove on Thursday, accusing them and other White House officials of conspiring to destroy her career.

Read more.

Help renew the Voting Rights Act!

Renew the Voting Rights Act

The 1965 Voting Rights Act is up for renewal, and a small group of Republicans in the Senate are threatening to delay and derail it’s passage. If Congress doesn’t act, key protections for minority voters will disappear.
The NAACP has raised the alarm and asked us to help out. Next week, they are sending over 2000 volunteers to meet with Senators. If you add your name to the statement below, we’ll pass on your info to the NAACP volunteers – ensuring that your voice will be heard and arming teh volunteers with the support of thousands of Americans from across the country.

Read more.