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12/20/08: Bush Insider Who Planned To Tell All Killed In Plane Crash: Non-Profit Demands Full Federal Investigation

Michael Connell, the Bush IT expert who has been directly implicated in the rigging of George Bush’s 2000 and 2004 elections, was killed last night when his single engine plane crashed three miles short of the Akron airport.  Velvet Revolution (“VR”), a non-profit that has been investigating Mr. Connell’s activities for the past two years, can now reveal that a person close to Mr. Connell has recently been discussing with a VR investigator how to tell all about his work for George Bush.  Mr. Connell told a  close associate that he was afraid that the George Bush and Dick Cheney would “throw [him] under the bus.”

A tipster close to the McCain campaign disclosed to VR in July that Mr. Connell’s life was in jeopardy and that Karl Rove had threatened him and his wife, Heather.   VR’s attorney, Cliff Arnebeck, notified the United States Attorney General , Ohio law enforcement and the federal court about these threats and insisted that Mr. Connell be placed in protective custody.  VR also told a close associate of Mr. Connell’s not to fly his plane because of another tip that the plane could be sabatoged.  Mr. Connell, a very experienced pilot, has had to abandon at least two flights in the past two  months because of suspicious problems with his plane.  On  December 18, 2008, Mr. Connell flew to a small airport outside of Washington DC to meet some people.  It was on his return flight the next day that he crashed.

On October 31, Mr. Connell appeared before a federal judge in Ohio after being subpoenaed in a federal lawsuit investigating the rigging of the 2004 election under the direction of Karl Rove.  The judge ordered Mr. Connell to testify under oath at a deposition on November 3rd, the day before the presidential election.   Velvet Revolution received confidential information that the White House was extremely concerned about Mr. Connell talking about his illegal work for the White House and two Bush/Cheney 04 attorneys were dispatched to represent him. 

An associate of Mr. Connell’s told VR that Mr. Connell was involved with the destruction of the White House emails and the setting up of the off-grid White House email system. 

Mr. Connell handled all of John McCain’s computer work in the recent presidential campaign. VR has received direct evidence that the McCain campaign kept abreast of the legal developments against Mr. Connell by reading the VR dedicated website,  

VR demands that the Justice Department conduct a complete investigation into the activities of Mr. Connell and determine whether there was any foul play in his death.  VR demands that federal law enforcement officials place the following people under protective custody pending this investigation.   Heather Connell who is the owner of GovTech Solutions, Randy Cole, the former President of GovTech Solutions, and Jeff Averbeck, the CEO of SmartTech in Chattanooga, Tennessee.  Both GovTech and SmartTech have been implicated in the rigging of the 2000 and 2004 elections and the White House email scandal.  Our prior request to have Mr. Connell protected went unheeded and now he is dead.

12/8/08: Don Siegelman’s Appeal To Be Heard Tomorrow

Former Alabama Governor Don Siegelman, a leader for progressive change in the Deep South, was the first Governor to endorse AL Gore when he ran for President. This was too much for Karl Rove, who launched a personal war to destroy Don, first with a political prosecution and then with a rigged election.

Don's legal battle is now at a critical stage. Tomorrow, the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals will hear his appeal, which could throw out the false charges. But Don needs our help to raise $30,000 to cover legal costs to clear his name. The government has reportedly spent over 40 million dollars to prosecute Don and his family has spent virtually all of their life's savings to fight these false charges.

For over a year, we have been reporting the story of Siegelman’s political prosecution, and the American Trial Lawyer Magazine labels Don Siegelman as America's #1 "Political Prisoner." Time Magazine exposed how selective prosecution was used by Karl Rove's Republican prosecutors and CBS's 60 Minutes exposed how they knowingly extorted false testimony to secure a conviction. Earlier this month, Time revealed that the Department of Justice has been involved in a cover-up of unethical and criminal activity within the Department and the U.S. Attorney's office. Last week's New York Times story reveals further prosecutorial misconduct.  Don was handcuffed, shackled, and put into solitary confinement in a maximum-security prison for something The New York Times has said has never even been considered a crime in America. Fifty-four former state Attorneys General agreed and filed a support brief

Don is now engaged in two important fights: One for his own freedom and the other to save our democracy by seeing that Karl Rove is brought to justice. As Don recently said, "We must win these fights to unravel the injustices that have been perpetrated against our democracy. With your help, Karl Rove and his accomplices will be held accountable for their abuse of power -- and I can clear my name for good."

Tomorrow's hearing can put this right. Don's Legal Defense Fund can take donations of corporate, PAC, foundation, or personal money of any size. Please give right now online or mail your contribution to:

Siegelman Legal Defense Fund
3963 River View Drive
Birmingham, AL 35243

11/26/08: VR To California Secretary Of State: Investigate Proposition 8 Vote Count

VR has called on California Secretary of State Debra Bowen to order an immediate investigation into the accuracy of the vote count on Proposition 8, the ballot measure to amend the state's Constitution by repealing marriage equality.

VR believes an investigation is warranted due to witnessed failures in election auditing procedures, complaints from voters and election monitors, equipment failures, and more, including:

Exit poll discrepancy.  The exit poll conducted by Edison/Mitofsky produced initial results indicating defeat of Prop 8.  Edison/Mitofsky later "adjusted" the exit polls to match the announced vote count, thus destroying their usefulness in flagging possible election irregularities.  However, the Election Defense Alliance captured screen shots of the initial exit poll results, documenting a predicted defeat of Prop 8.

Premature 'calling' of the election.  Prop 8 was announced to have passed when, according to the Secretary of State's official website, an estimated three to four million votes remained uncounted.  The margin of passage for Prop 8 was reported to be approximately 435,000 votes.  As of this date, many votes still have not been counted!

Extremely high stakes.  The passage of Prop 8 creates a dangerous precedent of subjecting the rights of a minority to a popular vote.  Quite frankly, that is unconstitutional and un-American.  Because of this, we believe that the California Secretary of State has an even greater responsibility than usual to ensure that the election results are accurate.

VR believes there are enough indications of potential problems with the Prop 8 vote count to warrant a thorough statewide investigation by the Secretary of State, and we request that such an investigation begin at once.  This investigation should be transparent, auditable, and performed in a manner that can be independently overseen, so the voters of California can be assured that the announced election results are accurate.  Voters should not have to simply trust that the reported election results are correct.

Should the investigation reveal that the election results on Prop 8 or any other contest or ballot initiative were incorrect, swift and decisive action must be taken to rectify the results.

The people of California deserve no less.

The full text of VR's letter to Secretary Bowen can be viewed at

11/25/08: VR Releases Chambliss YouTube Video And Display Ad

Velvet Revolution (“VR”), a non-profit dedicated to clean and honest elections, has released a YouTube video about the Chambliss election fraud at

VR will be running a display ad in the Atlanta Journal Constitution on Monday, December 2nd, about this explosive legal development.   Blogs and other media can use this ad by downloading here.

11/24/08: Saxby Chambliss Election Fraud: Attorney Files RICO Notice On Georgia Secretary Of State

On November 24, 2008, Attorney Cliff Arnebeck served the following letter on the Georgia Secretary of State alleging a pattern of rigged elections, including that of Saxby Chambliss.

Secretary of State Karen C. Handel
214 State Capital
Atlanta, GA 30334
Fax: 404-656-0513

RE: Public record and document hold request

Dear Secretary of State Handel:

We are in the process of preparing a racketeering claim under the Ohio Corrupt Practices Act against Karl Rove as the principal perpetrator, and other individuals acting in association with him, to corrupt elections in the United States over the course of this decade.

Ground zero for this activity in 2000 was Florida, in 2004 was Ohio, and in 2002 was Georgia. In each case, exit polling, the international gold standard for detection of vote count fraud, indicated fraud in the officially recorded vote for President or for the US Senate, in the case of Georgia 2002. Furthermore, the direct recording electronic voting machines that have been used in Georgia since 2002 are the election burglary tool of choice because of the multiplicity of avenues they provide for wholesale election fraud.

This is to request any records of official investigation of the reported use of uncertified patches by Diebold in two Democratic Georgia counties in 2002, reported by former Diebold consultant Chris Hood. Also, we request protocols, inspection and audit procedures that have been prescribed to protect against other introductions of uncertified patches into federal elections in Georgia.

We also request information as to the availability for inspection of the memory cards, tapes and all electronic records and hard drives on which these were originally recorded, for the November 2008 election.

Finally, we request your confirmation that all such records for the runoff election will be retained for the federally prescribed 22 month period.

Please regard this as a public records request, as a well as a document-hold notice in connection with our planned litigation.

Sincerely yours,

Clifford O. Arnebeck, Jr.
Attorney at Law

11/21/08: $100,000 Reward For Information Regarding Election Fraud in California's Proposition 8

Velvet Revolution (“VR”), a non-profit dedicated to clean and honest elections, today offers a $100,000 reward for hard information leading to the arrest and conviction of any person or persons who may have committed election fraud affecting the passage of Proposition 8.

California's Prop 8, an amendment to the state Constitution eliminating the right of same-sex couples to marry, was declared on election night to have passed, even though approximately four million ballots remained uncounted, approximately eight times more than the margin of victory.

Citing the unreliability of the state's electronic voting systems as well as complaints by voters, election monitors and election integrity advocates alleging election irregularities, VR yesterday called on the Secretary of State to launch an investigation into the Proposition 8 election. We now ask whistleblowers to come forward.

"If there was foul play in the Proposition 8 race, somebody knows it, and we're asking them to speak out," says Velvet Revolution spokesperson Emily Levy. "The possibility that millions of Californians could have the right to marriage equality revoked based on incorrect election results is deeply disturbing," says Levy. "In this age when California counts its votes with computers that repeatedly fail, produce incorrect results, and can be manipulated, the public and our election officials must go the extra mile to ensure that the election results are accurate." Velvet Revolution has also asked the public to monitor the post-election processes currently underway in California counties.

In addition to the new reward being offered in the Proposition 8 race, Velvet Revolution is offering rewards for information related to alleged election manipulation in the 2004 presidential election in Ohio, the break-ins at ACORN's offices in Massachusetts and Washington state, and the 2002 Georgia Senate race in which Saxby Chambliss prevailed. Chambliss is currently fighting to retain that Senate seat in a runoff election to be held December 2.

Tips can be left by phone at 1-888-VOTETIP or by email: tips (at) All tips will remain confidential.

11/17/08: 100K Reward For Information About Rigging Of 2002 Saxby Chambliss Senate Race In Georgia

VR today offers a $100,000 reward for hard information leading to the arrest and conviction of any person or persons who rigged the 2002 Senate race in Georgia in favor of Saxby Chambliss.  That election pitted popular incumbent Max Cleland, a war hero, against conservative novice Saxby Chambliss.  The pre-election polls showed Cleland with a comfortable lead but the end results had Chambliss winning by a wide margin.

Diebold whistleblower Chris Hood has stated publicly that, in the days leading up to that election, he was ordered by Diebold President Bob Urosevich (a GOP partisan) to place uncertified patches on hundreds of voting machines in the Democratic leaning counties of Fulton and DeKalb.  Hood was told not to  discuss these patches with Georgia elections officials.   Documents provided by Hood show that Cathy Cox, the former top Georgia elections official, was unaware at the time that these patches had been placed on the machines. 

Cyber security expert Stephen Spoonamore has stated that Mr. Hood gave him a copy of the Georgia patch and that he analyzed it and turned it over to the FBI Cyber Team in Washington for investigation.  Spoonamore stated that the patch was a comparative patch and could have been used to flip the votes in the Diebold machines.  He stated that in his expert opinion, Max Cleland was the real winner of that election and that Saxby Chambliss stole it with the Diebold machines. 

Georgia uses paperless Diebold touchscreen machines for its elections.  The machines it uses have been shown  by computer scientists to be very vulnerable to manipulation and rigging with a computer patch or virus that can be installed in seconds.

VR wants to ensure that the December 2nd runoff election in Georgia between Saxby Chambliss and Jim Martin is not manipulated by an uncertified patch placed on voting machines by persons who have a partisan interest in the results. In order to ensure a clean election without vote machine rigging, the person or persons who may have rigged the 2002 Chambliss race must be exposed and prosecuted.   All tips will remain confidential and can be left by phone: 1-888-VOTETIP or by email: tips (at)

11/14/08: More DOJ  Misconduct Disclosed In Siegelman Case

Just weeks before the appeal of former Alabama Governor Don Siegelman’s case is to be heard by the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals, more explosive evidence of DOJ misconduct has come to light by none other than a DOJ legal staffer who worked in the office that prosecuted Siegelman.  > In short, that staffer, Tamarah T. Grimes, has provided emails that prove that Leura Canary, who had recused herself from the case, continued to follow every detail and provide advice and facts to the prosecutors.  Ms. Grimes also provided emails showing that jurors had improper contact with the prosecution and that one juror had a crush on one of the prosecution team.  Canary was a U.S. Attorney in Montgomery whose husband was Alabama's top Republican operative and who had for years worked closely with Karl Rove.

We interviewed Siegelman in July and he told us then that Karl Rove directed his prosecution and ordered the rigging of his election.  It is time to get to the truth in this case and AG Michael Mukasey should not wait for the appeal court to rule.  Mukasey himself should file to dismiss all charges against Siegelman. 

11/8/08: Top MD Elections Official Rips Off Microphone When Asked About Diebold Voting Machines

VR has obtained an unaired major TV interview with Maryland’s top election official, Linda Lamone, in the weeks prior to  the 2006 election. This is a must see video.

The dogged reporter who conducted the interview tried valiantly to get candid answers from Lamone (Administrator of Maryland's State Board of Elections and President of the National Association of State Election Directors) regarding the security and accuracy of the Diebold paperless touchscreen machines used in Maryland.  Lamone, in response, said that respected computer expert Avi Rubin had done more than anyone to undermine confidence in electronic voting, that the reporter was living in a  “fantasy land” to believe that voting machines are unsecure, and that source code used in the voting machines is “not relevant.”

Finally, rather than answer further questions, Lamore ripped off the microphone and stalked out of the interview.  Wow, so  much for transparency.

There is an interesting postscript to this interview.  Despite the rabid opposition of Lamone, Maryland last year passed legislation outlawing paperless voting machines starting in 2010.  Supporters of this  new law argued that Lamone had no credibility since she was the person who helped cover-up and sanitize the SAIC report about the Maryland DRE machines.  That report, leaked to VR in October 2006,, showed that the machines had hundreds of major vulnerabilities that could be exploited to compromise an election.  Here is our video about that report.

11/5/08: Finally, An Elected President

Barack Obama was overwhelmingly elected by citizens in all regions of the country.  Unlike the past two elections where the results were contested in two states run by partisans who rigged the results, this election was won hands down by the person who ran the best campaign.  This is not to say that there were not  massive problems with voting systems in many states.  But this election did not come down to one state or county controlled by corrupt officials.

Four years ago, VR was formed out of the chaos of the 2004 election. Since then, we and all  of you have fought a long battle to ensure that our elections are fair, honest and transparent.  We demanded accurate voting machines and paper ballots.  In this election, both Florida and Ohio, now with paper ballots, went Blue and there is no one questioning that result. 

Over the past several months, we have raised the specter of a Man in the Middle computer attack on the vote tabulators controlled by partisan evangelicals.  We identified Michael Connell as the key GOP IT expert who created these nefarious networks.  We took legal action against Connell in the form of a federal deposition.  Karl Rove responded by threatening Connell to either take the fall or keep his mouth shut.   Connell’s Bush/Cheney attorneys did everything possible to keep  Connell from testifying.

Two  weeks ago, Rove was confidently saying that John McCain could win ten battleground states to become President.  McCain was confidently telling everyone that he would win with a surge in the wee hours of election night.

Well, last Friday, something important happened:  Michael Connell was forced to appear before Solomon Oliver,  a Clinton appointed African-American federal Judge in Cleveland. After Attorney Cliff Arnebeck accused Connell in open court of rigging elections for Karl Rove, the judge ordered Connell to submit to a sworn deposition 18 hours before the polls were to open.  On Monday at noon, Connell was placed under oath and  grilled about election fraud, Man in the Middle attacks,  Trojan horse manipulations and threats from Rove. 

And guess what happened?  Connell suddenly changed his tune. Connell said that to his knowledge there would be no tabulation manipulations of Tuesday’s election.  And something else, Karl Rove wrote on his blog late Monday that Obama would win by a landslide even in those states he had previously predicted McCain would win. 

In short, at VR, with all the help from you, our affiliates, our supporters and others, we played a role in helping to make this presidential election more fair than the past two.  Our education campaign, our paper ballot campaign, our whistleblower campaign and our legal strategies worked.  That’s what democracy is all about. 

Thank all of you for your confidence in our work, your dedication and your kind and generous support.  We hope to continue to do our small part to make our government more accountable to everyone.

11/4/08: Connell Stonewalls At Deposition: Attorney Instructs Him Not To Answer Key Questions

The first deposition of Michael Connell took place yesterday in Cleveland.  Connell was put on notice that he was being questioned about election fraud. Connell quickly adopted the posture of many Bush staffers who have been questioned about wrongdoing, such as Scooter Libby, Alberto Gonzales, Karl Rove, Stephen Hadley,  Donald Rumsfeld and others. Attorney Cliff Arnebeck said that Connell is a classic ”Bush/Rove Team player” who was schooled on how to not answer.

Connell’s attorney helped Connell by telling him not to answer many questions including, “Who directed you to set up the Swift Boat Veterans For Truth IT Network.”

The only admission of substance was, after an initial denial, Connell said that he brought Triad and SmartTech into the  Ohio election game.  Of course, these are the two companies identified by Spoonamore as rigging the election, Triad by pulling hard drives prior to the recount and SmartTech  by running the election results through its GOP servers in Chattanooga before they got to the Ohio election computers.

Mr. Arnebeck said that Connell denied that there were “any” problems at all with any voting systems and he never heard of any fraud.  He said he did not “know of any  vulnerabilities” to voting systems in Ohio.  In other words, he said that everything’s fine, no one did anything wrong, and everyone should trust people like him to count their votes.

Mr. Arnebeck “Connell has just ensured that he is Exhibit A of the soon to be filed RICO lawsuit against Karl Rove et al for manipulating elections.”  Arnebeck also said that Connell demonstrates the epitome of unethical conflicts of interest for running George Bush’s election IT network while counting the votes in the key state of Ohio. 

The silver lining to  all of this is that Connell and his handlers know that their gig is up.  They should not believe for a minute that Connell’s two hour performance yesterday will do anything to slow down our investigation.  Once the dust clears from today’s election, the attorneys will go full force to charge Connell and others with Racketeering and Corrupt Practices.

11/3/08: Election Protection Is Front And Center

OK, tomorrow is Election Day and we expect many problems across the country. However, there are many people who are on the front lines trying to protect the vote. We want to remind you of a few of the things we are doing.

Today, Monday November 3, Mike Connell, known as the Republican IT Guru, will be deposed in Cleveland, Ohio at 12:00 noon EST. This is part of a long-standing voting rights violations lawsuit, King Lincoln v. Blackwell, which has been previously covered by The BRAD BLOG and by Velvet Revolution's Election Protection Strike Force. Mr. Connell's company, GovTech Solutions, created Ohio's 2004 election results computer network. Connell will be questioned on many topics including Man in the Middle attacks, remote trojan horses, threats from Karl Rove, and Triad's manipulation of the election. The judge has ruled that information considered to be trade secrets of Connell's company will be under seal, as will any information gathered about witness intimidation, specifically the allegations of Karl Rove sending word to Connell that unless he "takes the fall" for election fraud, Rove will see to it that Connell's wife will be brought up on money laundering charges. Hopefully, all other questions and answers regarding all other topics will be available on Monday afternoon. Regardless of what happens in this deposition, it will likely be a dramatic day with many revelations and will help ensure that Connell and his cohorts have not rigged this election.

On Election Night, Brad Friedman of The BRAD BLOG will be anchoring Nova M Radio's coverage from 3:00 p.m. to at least Midnight (and possibly later), PST. That coverage will be not of the horserace, but of the track conditions, with stories of disenfranchisement, voter suppression, long lines, last minute legal rulings, any challenges that arise, etc. The networks and cable won't give any attention to these issues, but you know we will! We'll have up-to-the-minute information and a number of live guests. Listen live at this link Find a radio station broadcasting the show here

We are also working closely with Video the Vote to make sure that people with video cameras are present to document problems with the election. VR is one of the VTV east coast coordinators. Check it out a and if you see something going wrong, call 1-866-OURVOTE.

We are also working with a new organization called The Uptake,, which is doing something similar to VTV but more instantaneous. The UpTake uses video phones to take footage and give audio reports that feed directly into the Internet. Nokia has donated video phones to them for use in this election and VR helped to fund this new technology. We expect to have UpTake reports coming in all day.

Also, remember to call our fraud hotline if you have a tip you want investigated, 1-888-VOTETIP. And check our Election Protection Strike Force for the latest election news.

Finally, check out our affiliate and sign their most recent petitions.
Urge Media To Archive All Exit Poll Results
Petition for International Election Observers
Stop Vote Flipping in West Virginia
Take Action: Help Ensure All Who Want to Vote Can

11/1/08: Judge Orders Mike Connell To Submit To Deposition 24 Hours Before Election

Yesterday, after a contentious three hour hearing in an Akron, Ohio federal court, the judge ordered Bush/Rove IT expert Michael Connell to  submit to a two  hour deposition less than 24 hours before the start of the 2008 election.  The Court ruled that Ohio attorney Cliff Arnebeck can question Connell under oath about Man in the Middle computer manipulations, the use of Trojan horses to control election results from a remote location, and the role of Triad in election manipulations.

However, in a strange twist, the judge agreed with demands from Connell’s attorney to keep under seal any testimony about threats and intimidation of Connell by others including Karl Rove.  This is seen as necessary to protect possible criminal charges against those who may have engaged in obstruction of justice in this case.

A couple of notes here:  We believe that Connell should not pull an Alexander Butterfield by waiting for a direct question from Mr. Arnebeck as to what he knows about rigged elections.  Instead, Connell should be prepared to come clean from the start knowing that this is just the beginning of the inquiry.  We have lots of names and lots of people providing us information about these rigged elections.  Connell is not longer under the protectorate of the Bush family.  There is a new dynamic here and Connell can either fight it and go down with the ship or  get out in front and cooperate with full immunity for him and his wife.

Also, Connell must now know that the gig is up—he can’t steal this election.  If he has set up the network for such a theft, he knows that he has to shut it down prior to Tuesday because he will get caught.  People must now be held accountable and Connell has a unique opportunity to do that by cooperating in full and telling what he knows about election rigging, White House email destruction, front groups, and orders from Karl Rove and others to do illegal things.

10/30/08: VR Interviews Prosecutor Vincent Bugliosi About Prosecuting George Bush For Murder

America’s most famous prosecutor, Vincent Bugliosi, sat down with VR for an interview about his new book, “The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder.”  He lays out his case in great detail and promises that he will lead the prosecution if appointed to do so. This is a must see, candid interview about a criminal president.   When asked why so many people have been afraid to take on the Bush Administration, Bugliosi  blames the right wing fear machine.

10/29/08: Attorneys File To Compel Testimony Of Mike Connell: Spoonamore Attests That King Pin Attack Manipulated The 2004 Election

Yesterday, Attorneys in Ohio filed papers in federal court to compel the immediate testimony of Michael Connell, the GOP’s top IT expert.  In short, they argued that Connell, once a willing witness, has hunkered down after threats from Karl Rove and his minions.  See Memo here.  They allege that Connell is a witness to a crime to steal prior elections, and his knowledge will be helpful to ensure that next week’s election is not stolen.

Attached to the motion is a powerful affidavit from Stephen Spoonamore, a cyber-security expert advising the attorneys.  Spoonamore states that the 2004 election in Ohio was attacked by a Man in the Middle King Pin computer manipulation that changed the results from Kerry to Bush.  See Spoon Declaration here.  This is a must read for everyone to see how this was, and can be, done.

The Ohio News Service picked up the story here.

10/28/08: Kelsie Asks John McCain to send Sarah Palin Back To School To Learn About Global Warming “So Everyone Can Have A Clean And Healthy Environment”

This is our last Kelsie video of the campaign where she asks Senator McCain to enroll Sarah Palin in her fourth grade class so Sarah can learn about the cause of global warming.

10/28/08: Voting Machines Flipping Votes At Many Early Voting Sites: Where Are The Election Protection Attorneys?

Non-Profit Election Watchdog Demands Failed Machines Be Removed from Service, Impounded

In a national press release today, Velvet Revolution called for elections officials in all states to immediately impound any voting machine that has flipped votes from one candidate to another.  It has been widely reported in the media over the past week of early voting that Direct Recording Election (DRE, usually touch-screen) voting machines made by ES&S, Diebold, Sequoia and Hart InterCivic have been flipping votes, predominantly from Democratic candidates to Republican candidates, but in some reported cases, just the opposite.  (See: )

These vote flips were first reported in West Virginia and the elections official there quickly ordered the recalibration of some machines, but video has shown that recalibration does not correct the problem and the flips continue.  (See:

Vote flipping has also now reported to have occurred in Texas, Tennessee, Missouri, Nevada, Colorado, Georgia and elsewhere. 

“Machines that flip votes should never be recalibrated,” said Brad Friedman, co-founder of Velvet Revolution.  “Accessing these election-ready machines in this way, when they are most vulnerable to malicious software and manipulation, is wholly inappropriate. It is outrageous that election officials have ordered such action. Instead, failing machines must be immediately removed from service, impounded for later inspection, and voters should be given paper ballots to assure their vote may be counted accurately."

VR also demands that the legal teams associated with the candidates step up and take immediate legal action to quarantine these faulty voting machines.  The Obama campaign has made much of the fact that it has thousands of lawyers on the ground to ensure that this election is fair and everyone’s vote is counted.  “Unfortunately, these lawyers, the lawyers for McCain and the lawyers for the DNC and RNC are AWOL and asleep at the wheel,” continued Friedman.  “”We insist that they keep their promise to the voters by demanding that these machines be taking out of service immediately. We should not have to wait until after the election for a candidate to sue because voters were not allowed to properly register their votes."

10/28/08: Thirteen Election Integrity Experts Discuss E-Voting Problems and How to Stop Them

VR has just issued a report on our Strike Force page called, “Thirteen Election Integrity Experts: E-Voting Problems and How to StopThem.”

This important report is designed to wake up candidates of all parties about the dangers of electronic voting machine problems and manipulation.  It details strategies and solutions that candidates should use to protect the vote -- and their political careers.

In test after test, electronic voting systems have been shown to be vulnerable to hacking from people who want to manipulate elections. Moreover, in the past week of early voting, these voting machines have repeatedly failed, flipped votes, and miscounted results. Therefore, it is crucial to the fairness of the upcoming election that citizens and candidates understand and take action against the menace of electronic voting machines and vote tabulators. This new report provides a road map on how to do just that.

The following election experts contributed to the report. Simon Ardizzone, filmmaker, “Hacking Democracy”; John Bonifaz, Constitutional Law Attorney, National Voting Rights Institute; Clint Curtis, computer programmer, E-voting whistleblower; David Earnhardt, Director, “Uncounted;” Dr. Robert Fitrakis, Attorney, Prof. of Political Science, Author, Editor; Brad Friedman, Investigative Journalist, Founder,; Bev Harris, Founder,; Holly Jacobson, President,; Dr. David Jefferson, Computer Security Expert; Ion Sancho, Supervisor of Elections, Leon County, FL; Gov. Don Siegelman, Former Governor of Alabama; David Swanson, Washington Director,; Ellen Thiesen, Co-Director,

10/23/08: VR Calls For DOJ Investigation Into Why Bush/Rove IT Expert Mike Connell Asked How to Destroy White House Emails

Reporter Rebecca Abrahams wrote this week at Huffington Post that on October 11, 2006, longtime Bush/Rove IT expert Michael Connell met with cyber security expert Stephen Spoonamore to learn how to destroy data on White House computer hard drives This was during the height of the United States Attorney scandal and during the tenure of Connell's former employee, David Almacy, as director of the White House Internet and E-Communications Director.

Abrahams quotes from Spoonamore's emails which reference notes taken at the time of the meeting. Connell was accompanied at the meeting by Randy Cole, the former President of Connell's company, GovTech Solutions, now running for Ohio Congressional seat 41. When Spoonamore realized that Connell and Cole were asking how to destroy White House data, he terminated the conversation and told them that what they were asking about was illegal.

Attorney General Michael Mukasey recently appointed prosecutor Nora Dannehy to investigate whether criminal charges should be brought against those involved in the US Attorney scandal. Today, in a press release,  VR called for that investigation to include what role and knowledge Michael Connell and Randy Cole have regarding the destruction of White House computer data, and, as Abrahams suggests, whether Connell knows where the White House email backup is located.

10/21/08: Kelsie Tells Sarah Palin Not To Interfere With Her Choice Of Medical Help

Kelsie’s latest letter to Sarah Palin expresses shock that Sarah would not want girls who get hurt to get the best medical help.  She blasts Sarah for not trusting her to make medical decisions.

10/18/08: VR Offers 5K Reward For Information About ACORN Break-ins

Today VR offered $5,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for the break-ins of the Seattle and Boston offices of ACORN.  In both cases, property was destroyed or stolen. ACORN issued a press release about the reward which can be seen here.  Tips can be given to us on our toll free hotline, 1-888-VOTETIP or by email – tips at

10/14/08: Judge Rules GOP Caging Of Voters Is Illegal

The GOP has pulled out all the dirty tricks this election to make sure Republicans win, not by getting people to vote, but by  making sure that people don’t vote.  One of its tricks is called caging, where the GOP sends a letter to a voter and when it is returned as undeliverable, the voter gets purged or challenged.  In Michigan, this took a very cynical turn when the GOP got lists of people who had lost their homes due to the mortgage crisis and then sent voters at those addresses caging letters.  Of course, many of them were returned and the GOP used those return lists to purge voters.

However, Obama lawyers, The Advancement Project  and the ACLU sued a few weeks ago, and yesterday Judge Stephen J. Murphy of the U.S. District Court of Michigan's Eastern District concluded that the program of eliminating these voters from rolls is in violation of federal law. “This is a very significant ruling for Michigan voters," said Matthew Lund, the ACLU cooperating attorney and a partner at Pepper Hamilton LLP who argued the case, in a release. "The court recognized – and repeated several times – that the state of Michigan is conducting unlawful voter purges that clearly violate the National Voter Registration Act. Michigan voters who were removed from the voting rolls for no reason other than failure to receive their ID card in the mail will now be allowed to vote in November.”

Well, one down for the people who believe in the rule of law and the right to vote.  Now let’s see a court decision debunking the ACORN voter fraud myth and ordering Michael Connell and Karl Rove to testify about vote manipulations. 

10/7/08: Velvet Revolution Calls On John McCain To Fire Michael Connell For Covering Up For Karl Rove In Federal Election Manipulation Lawsuit

Velvet Revolution today issued a press release calling for Republican candidate John McCain to fire computer expert Michael Connell from his campaign for covering up alleged election manipulations of Karl Rove and others.  Mr. Connell, the GOP’s top computer expert,  was subpoenaed based on a September 19th court order to testify under oath in an Ohio federal lawsuit looking into serious allegations that Mr. Rove has directed a strategy to illegally manipulate elections through the use of computer technology.  Rather than cooperate in the investigation,  Mr. Connell hired attorneys close to the Bush/Cheney Administration and refused to appear for the deposition arguing client (GOP) confidentiality.  Those attorneys have said that they will do everything possible to keep  Mr. Connell from testifying before the November general election.

Mr. Connell’s refusal to comply with a federal subpoena looking into credible evidence that the upcoming presidential election will be manipulated is at odds with John McCain’s promise to run a clean campaign. Another GOP cyber security expert, Stephen Spoonamore, has stated that Mr. Connell has vast experience and knowledge of the GOP computer networks at issue in the federal lawsuit.Mr. Connell has admitted to Mr. Spoonamore that in his zeal to 'save the unborn' he may have helped others who have compromised elections.”

Cliff Arnebeck, the Ohio election attorney who issued the subpoena, said Friday that he is aggressively moving to enforce the subpoena. “Mr. Connell has information about how the votes are tabulated in key states in the upcoming election.  In order to ensure that the election is fair and accurate, Mr. Connell needs to testify under oath and pursuant to a lawful subpoena about how these votes are tabulated, whether the tabulation will be compromised and whether anyone has directed him to compromise those tabulations.” 

According to federal filings, Mr. Connell is working for John McCain to help him win the election.  VR believes that until Mr. Connell testifies under oath about his apparent knowledge of election manipulations, he should not be working for Mr. McCain.   If he does, the McCain campaign will appear to be in league with Mr. Connell to cover up criminal conduct and engaging in election tampering.  This will call into question the results of the November election and again cast a shadow over our election process. 

10/4/08: Kelsie Tells Sarah Palin, "I'm Not Going To Let You Take My Books Away"

In our second of four ads prior to the election, nine-year old Kelsie writes to Sarah Palin about a story she read about the Taliban in Afghanistan burning books in the girl school. Kelsie says that she will never let Sarah take her books away.

10/2/08: VR Offers $100,000 Reward For Information About Michael Connell’s Election Manipulations

Today, VR offered a $100,000 reward for information from whistleblowers who have knowledge of election related criminal activity by Michael Connell, Randy Cole, Karl Rove and others.  The full ad will be published this week in the Akron newspapers and you can see it here.  The information must result in a conviction. 

See a larger version

10/1/08: Calls for Special Prosecutor to Investigate Connell and Rove

In light of Mike Connell’s stonewalling of the subpoena in this case, Velvet Revolution today called for Attorney General Mukasey to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate the conduct, actions and knowledge of Michael Connell and his confidential work for Karl Rove and George Bush vis a vis election manipulations and destruction of data. VR also called on Congress to hold hearings and place Mr. Connell under oath to testify about election rigging, destruction of White House emails, and spying on Congress. See PDF news release.

10/1/08: Former Diebold Contractor Blows The Whistle On Election Manipulations

VR has an exclusive interview with former Diebold contractor Chris Hood which talks about many disturbing actions by Diebold during prior elections, including illegal, uncertified and unreported patches, and improper feeding of tabulation results by Diebold Chief Bob Urosevitch.  This interview was prepared for a major news program special that was supposed to air two weeks before the 2006 midterm election.  At the last moment, however, the special was killed by the corporate media. Check out this important ten minute interview.

9/30/08: Ohio Lawsuit Proceeds, Stay Lifted, Depositions Ordered, Connell Subpoenaed, Connell Stonewalls

There have been many new twists and turns the past few days in the Ohio federal case to protect the 2008 election by exposing those who have been accused of manipulating past elections.  On September 22, the federal  court lifted the stay in this case and ordered depositions to begin, starting with Bush IT Expert Michael Connell. (See Order in PDF)  A few days later, Connell was subpoenaed and ordered to produce documents.  He hired three high powered GOP-connected attorneys and filed a Motion to Quash (See Motion in PDF)and an affidavit stating that his information is confidential. (See Affidavit in PDF)  His attorneys have refused to make him available for deposition and have indicated that they will not let him testify unless forced to by the court.  Attorney Arnebeck intends to secure a court order to enforce the subpoena.

So Connell is using the Rove playbook of stonewalling to cover-up his possible criminal conduct in election manipulations.  Fortunately, the Ohio federal courts will do everything necessary to protect this election so Ohio is not again the laughing stock for running an election suited for the third world.  Moreover, there will be others subpoenaed who will talk rather than hide behind lawyers and fallacious assertions of confidentiality.  Sorry, Mike, but you can’t hide by asserting that work you did for federal and state governments is confidential. You can’t hide by asserting that you possess trade secrets when you are covering up criminal activity.  The time has come for accountability. 

9/26/08: New Spoonamore Interview - E-voting Machines are a National Security Threat

Last week, VR interviewed GOP  Cyber security expert  Stephen Spoonamore about the upcoming election and his testimony in the new Ohio litigation to take depositions of Karl Rove and others. 

The video is posted in full below with ten short clips for You Tube viewing.  This interview is so important and explosive that we urge everyone to watch it.  Spoonamore says that the GOP wanted e-voting to steal elections but now foreign governments will be hacking and the winner will be determined by the best hackers.  He says that if the GOP wins the hacking competition, McCain will win 51.2 percent with three electoral votes over Obama, and it will be a stolen election.

Spoon makes valid points about the people who have been implicated in much of the election thefts such as, “they are religious extremists.”  He names those who know about stolen elections and he insists that the only way to protect this election is with paper ballots, hand counted.  Check out this extraordinary interview here. >  It’s a network, people. Electronic voting machines are a national security threat. The genie is out  of the bottle…. Fifty ways to steal an election. Mike Connell: Bush IT Guru The Rapp Family: Ohio election cover-up. Evangelicals and voting machines. Paper ballots please. McCain/Palin will win by theft. People should doubt the vote, it’s being stolen.

9/25/08: New VR Video Ad, Every Week Till The Election—Nine Year Old At Arlington Cemetery Tells John McCain, “Thou Shall Not Kill”

VR will be releasing a new video ad every week until the election in the spirit of the famous “1964 Daisy Girl” ad featuring a young girl counting the petals of a flower as the countdown proceeds to the detonation of a mushroom cloud.  Our first ad is called, “An Open Letter from Kelsie to John McCain - Thou shalt not kill,” and is on YouTube.

9/18/08: Ohio Attorneys File Papers To Take Deposition Of Bush IT Expert Michael Connell And Others-Includes Spoonamore Affidavit

Yesterday, Ohio attorney Cliff Arnebeck asked the federal court in Columbus to allow him to place Bush IT guru Michael Connell under oath to ask him about his 20 year work for the Bush family, including his work for Jeb Bush in Florida 2000 and for Ken Blackwell in Ohio 2004.  “The public has a need and right to know, before the next presidential election, that the top Republican IT expert shares a concern about the vulnerability of electronic voting systems to fraudulent manipulation, and that this is not just “conspiracy theory,” Arnebeck wrote.   Arnebeck also advised the court that he would seeking depositions from others, including Karl Rove.  See Court filing.

Attached to the filing are two affidavits, one from cyber security expert Stephen Spoonamore and the other from analyst Richard Hayes Phillips.  The Spoonamore affidavit asserts that the election computer setup used by Ken Blackwell in 2004 provided the means and opportunity for the manipulation of the election results.  “ The vote tabulation and reporting system, as modified at the direction of Mr. Blackwell, allowed the introduction of a single computer in the middle of the pathway. This computer located at a company principally managing IT Systems for GOP campaign and political operations (Computer C) received all information from each county computer (Computer A) BEFORE it was sent onward to Computer B. This centralized collection of all incoming statewide tabulations would make it extremely easy for a single operator, or a preprogrammed single "force balancing computer" to change the results in any way desired by the team controlling Computer C. In this case GOP partisan operatives. Again, if this out of state system had ANY digital access to the Secretary of State’s system it would be cause for immediate investigation by any of my banking clients.” See Spoonamore Affidavit.

The Hayes affidavit asserts that after reviewing hundreds of thousands of documents, ballots and other election records, “it is my conclusion that there is so much evidence of ballot alteration, ballot substitution, ballot box stuffing, ballot destruction, vote switching, tabulator rigging, and old fashioned voter suppression, that the results of the 2004 presidential election, would have been reversed” had there been a real investigation. See Hayes Affidavit.  He insists that the time is now to take depositions from those implicated in the theft of that election. 

9/14/08: The Heart And Soul Of Republican Party

We have a flash banner at the top of our website decrying George Bush for destroying the Republican Party.  However, the Grand Old Party has sunk to another low with the campaign of John McCain.  Bush lied us into war and now McCain is lying about virtually everything.  Even in the face of blistering attacks from the press for exposing the lies, McCain keeps them up.  So lying has now  become the heart and soul of the GOP, to the chagrin of many in the party.

9/5/08: Cyber Expert Spoonamore Says Voting Machines Manipulate Elections

We have a new 28 minute video of cyber security expert Stephen Spoonamore that everyone should see.  He explains, in clear and understandable language, just how unsecure our voting system is and states without equivocation that he believes elections have been stolen with the Diebold and ES&S machines.  Although Spoonamore is a Republican, he truly believes in fair and honest elections even if that results in his candidate losing.  We all need to be extra diligent this coming election and heed Spoonamore’s warnings.

Highlights from the video

9/1/08: Candidates Nationwide Called Upon to Challenge Suspicious Elections

'If You Want Our Votes, We Want Your Pledge'

VR has launched its newest campaign at, calling on candidates across the country to pledge to challenge elections when necessary.

In recent elections, we have witnessed targeted disenfranchisement of voters, non-transparent, unverifiable electronic voting systems, and many other assaults on the election process. However, for various reasons, election challenges have been few and far between.  In the upcoming election, let's make democracy the winner by ensuring that all candidates that have standing can challenge suspect elections!

Our new campaign allows candidates to sign the Standing For Voters Pledge or Super Pledge, stating that they will not concede and will challenge suspect elections. Candidates of any party, for any office, in any state, can sign. helps to educate candidates about the problems with elections, the types of election challenges available, and how to decide when to contest an election.  It asks voters to participate by getting their candidates to sign the pledges.

Print out the pledge card and get it to every candidate for signature. Here are more tips

  • Attend candidates' nights or other campaign activities, make a statement about the importance of election integrity and ask the candidates publicly to sign the Standing for Voters pledge.
  • Call radio shows where candidates are being interviewed and ask the candidates on the air to sign the pledge.
  • Write letters to the editor and op-ed pieces in your local newspapers urging candidates to pledge. You can also encourage the paper only to endorse candidates who have made the pledge.
  • Visit candidates' websites and send them emails asking them to sign the pledge. Include a link to
  • Talk to your local political clubs. Find out who has direct contact with candidates and enlist their help.
  • Once one candidate for a particular office has signed on, call their opponents and ask them to match that pledge.

Visit and see who has taken the pledge so far! And then help us make that list much, much longer!

8/28/08: OH Secretary of State Issues Letter Warning Against Voter Caging

Two weeks ago, the Advancement Project and Project Vote raised concerns that as many as 600,000 people could be thrown off the Ohio voter rolls because of vote caging and challenges. And last week  Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner responded with a long letter setting out the law and provisions regarding voter challenges in Ohio.

In short, Brunner made absolutely clear that she will not allow the wholesale challenge of voters.  She stated that she will be informing all elections officials in the state that every challenged voter is entitled to due process such as notice and a hearing.  Moreover, any voter purged from the voter rolls is entitled to cast his or her vote using a provisional ballot.  A full copy of the Brunner letter is here.

8/27/08: Diebold Coverup-Stephen Spoonamore Confronts MD Board of Elections With Unredacted SAIC Report

We have been asserting for years that Diebold (now Premier Elections Systems) makes voting machines that don’t work, are unreliable and that have flipped elections.  Just last week, Diebold was forced to  admit that software in its machines has for a decade been dropping votes. These machines are being used in 34 states in the upcoming election.

Two years ago, The Brad Blog broke the Pentagon Papers of E-Voting stories about the SAIC report on the vast problems with Diebold vote machines.  In short, Diebold had issued a 40 page redacted version of the SAIC report which whitewashed the problems.  Computer cyber security expert Stephen Spoonamore got a  copy of the 197-page unredacted report which listed hundreds of serious problems, and he released that report to us.

Well, Spoonamore did more than that – he took the report to the Maryland Board of Elections and confronted them with it at a public meeting.  He told them that if he were handed such a report in the private sector, he would “shut down the system and open a fraud investigation.”  The elections officials expressed shock that they had not ever seen the same unredacted report.   And when the meeting was over, Spoonamore, with a concealed microphone, personally confronted the officials.  And what did one of them say to him –that him having the report was “a security risk.”   Following the confrontation, Spoonamore was contacted by law enforcement officials who demanded to know how he got the report.  We can say now that the report came from a high official in the Executive Branch who wanted to expose Diebold.

We have this all in an exclusive video now posted on YouTube.  This exclusive report was prepared for a major news program but was killed prior to  the mid-term elections.   Why was it killed, and why did we have to wait another two years before Diebold was forced to admit that its voting machines are unreliable? 

There must be transparency in the election process and this report underscores why these machines should be investigated from top to bottom by independent investigators before even being considered for use in an election. The lesson is clear – we cannot trust the vote machine companies and we need paper ballots for all votes cast. 

8/15/08: The Chamber Of Commerce Launders Money To Fake Front Organizations To Fund Attacks On Candidates

The untold story behind our new RoveCyberGate campaign is frightening.   We have learned from attorneys that the Chambers of Commerce, both US and state, have a political arm that works closely with Karl  Rove to raise hundreds of millions of dollars for the purpose of manipulating elections.  That money is used to create fake front organizations as so-called “advocacy groups” to attack candidates who are not “pro-business.”  The advocacy group donors are exempted from disclosure. 

The attorney who is handling the RoveCyberGate case, Cliff Arnebeck , is one of the only lawyers in the country to ever sue the Chamber of Commerce over this practice.  He did so in the case of Ohio Justice Alice Robie Resnick where the Ohio Chamber spent over $4 million to unseat her using the front group, Citizens for a Strong Ohio.  In short, the Ohio Elections Commission and every court thereafter held that the Chamber criminally violated election laws by taking large amounts of undisclosed funds to make political attacks on specific candidates.

This is a nationwide strategy to attack progressive candidates and stack the judiciary with pro-business judges.  Big business benefits with hands off regulations, lax enforcement, and policies that pump billions of dollars into the coffers of energy, tobacco, pharmaceutical and military corporations.  Since the election of George Bush, the Chamber of Commerce has been one of the largest lobbying organizations, spending almost $400 million.  It intends to spend millions more in the upcoming election, much of illegally and unreported.  We intend to expose the Chamber, the fake front groups, and the dishonest, partisan companies funding this anti-democratic operation. 

8/10/08: VR Launches New Campaign To  Investigate Karl Rove’s Election Manipulations

VR has launched a new campaign,, to galvanize citizens and the press to support investigations of Karl Rove and his cohorts for recent allegations of election manipulations.  Just today, sources in the Department of Justice leaked that the US Attorney scandal investigation is now focused on a cover-up hatched out of the  White House to protect Rove.  According to many, such as ex-Alabama Governor Don Siegelman, the US Attorney scandal was part of Rove’s strategy to manipulate elections by ensuring that the White House could use the power of the Justice Department to target Democrats, cover up fraudulent elections, and intimidate organizations registering citizens to vote.

Our new campaign involves a multi-pronged approach: first we want as many people to send a letter to Congress asking that it hold public hearings on the allegations and that the Department of Justice appoint a special prosecutor to investigate. Second, we want to spread the word to citizens and the media, and therefore has all the press articles about the Ohio legal case targeting Rove; and third, we want to raise substantial funds to support the Ohio attorneys’ legal case—legal fees, expert witnesses, press, investigators, and depositions. 

The catch phrase for the campaign is, “Protect Elections, Prosecute Rove.”  The word prosecute can mean either civil or criminal action.  In this campaign, we are supporting the civil action to  get discovery and take depositions and, if criminal activity is exposed, the attorneys will refer that for criminal prosecution.   Whistleblowers, such as GOP Cyber Sleuth Stephen Spoonamore and others are saying that Rove architected and directed the actual manipulation of votes in several elections.  Spoonamore also says that the GOP has  been “stealing elections” and “lying about it.” 

Please visit to get the latest updates.  And don’t forget to make a contribution, big or small, to the support the Ohio legal strategy.  You can earmark your donation here.

8/8/08: Green Party Endorses Ohio Legal Case To Seek Discovery Re Election Manipulations

King Lincoln/Cynthia McKinney News Conference

Columbus OH - The Green Party, which teamed up with the Libertarians to demand a complete recount of the 2004 Presidential election in Ohio, has endorsed the plaintiffs' in the King Lincoln Bronzeville Neighborhood Association v. Blackwell, motion to lift the stay placed upon the case during settlement negotiations with Secretary Brunner.

Please join 2008 Green Party Presidential candidate Cynthia McKinney, and us for a news conference on our mutual continuing efforts to assure the integrity of the 2008 Ohio election.

Our news conference will be held outside the King Arts Complex, 867 Mt. Vernon Ave., Columbus, OH at 12:00 Noon, this Saturday August 9, 2008.

8/7/08: GOP Cyber Sleuth Accuses GOP Of Stealing Elections

GOP cyber security expert Stephen Spoonamore, in this exclusive must see interview, boldly accuses the GOP of stealing elections and lying about it.  Please watch and send it to your friends.  This interview was supposed to air on national television prior to the last election but was censored. Why was it censored?  Who decided to censor it?  Please ask Congress to investigate Spoonamore’s allegations.  Go to and send a letter to Congress.

Interview transcript

Highlights from the Spoonamore Interview

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8/1/08: New Documents Show That Diebold Patches Use In 2002 Georgia Election Uncertified And Unauthorized

VR will be posting articles for the next several months from former ABC reporter Rebecca Abrahams, who worked for over a year on an hour long ABC special about election problems.  After numerous rewrites, ABC got cold feet and and killed the story. VR wants that story in the public domain so we have asked her to contribute to VR.  This is a terrific honor and gives us exclusives on various matters that she has intimate knowledge.  Here is the first of her contributions—the back story on the use of the Diebold vote machine patches in the 2002 Senate race between Saxby Chambliss and Max Cleland, a race which had Cleland leading in all polls yet the final results had him losing by three points. 

By Rebecca Abrahams

The question of whether electronic voting machines can be manipulated has for some been the holy grail of conspiracy theories. But a large and growing body of evidence by computer scientists and cyber security experts has revealed that only one person, not a conspiracy, is needed to change the results of election.  For years there have been reports of significant software glitches and successful hacks to electronic voting machines. The voting equipment manufacturers insist their systems are safe and secure, stressing that they have replaced flawed components. However, no one will ever know if corrections have been made, as the software that tabulates America’s votes remains a closely guarded secret by four private, for-profit companies.  Indeed, experts from Princeton to Berkeley have repeatedly proven them wrong.

Meanwhile, whistleblowers continue to come forward accusing these companies of ignoring software glitches and in some cases, rigging the vote.  Last week the New York Times highlighted examples of ongoing concerns regarding the security and accuracy of electronic voting machines -- Adam Cohen wrote of “secret patches” administered to Diebold touch screen voting machines in Georgia’s DeKalb and Fulton counties two weeks prior to the 2002 Senatorial election between incumbent Max Cleland and challenger Saxby Chambliss.

I am quite familiar with the controversy surrounding this election, as I spent almost two years investigating electronic voting fraud for ABC News.  I interviewed a confidential Diebold contractor who says he installed the patch upgrade to these machines. He personally gave me the patch after my correspondent and I spent six hours interviewing him in an undisclosed hotel room hundreds of miles from our Washington news bureau.

This is the back story on the infamous “Georgia Patch.” The patch is known in cyber security circles by the provocative name, “,” was said to be a clock update patch that Diebold President Bob Urosevich gave to Diebold contractors two weeks before the election.  Here is an excerpt from my February 2005 interview with the Diebold technician.

A: The patch was not certified, it was not known to the State of Georgia. In fact, the patch was applied in somewhat of a secret rush manner.

Q: Diebold applied it secretly?

A:  Yes. They did. It was sort of done very quickly and there was no communication from my understanding with the State and we were told just to do it and do it very quickly.

Q:  How could you have gained access to those machines?

A:  We had access and control of all the machines in the state of Georgia.

Q:  And who gave you that access?

A: The state of Georgia did.  This was a fast implementation. I’ll just put a time window of 6 months or less on the implementation, and that’s not enough time to train poll workers and voters and election officials on how to use this complex technology. It’s just not enough time. So we were running the entire election in 2002 for the state of Georgia.

Q: What do you think was on the patch?

A:  Something illegal.  Something illegal. Had it been legal we would have taken it through the proper certification procedures and we would have applied it as the rules call for. So something illegal, known to be illegal, was put on those machines. That makes the election illegal.


It is unknown what was really on that patch. What is known that any update to the equipment would have meant that Georgia’s electronic voting machines should have been recertified by independent testing authorities. That never happened.  

In fact, when I asked Secretary of State Cathy Cox’s office if they knew of any such update, they said they had no knowledge of the clock patch. They did say that a patch to correct screen freezes was implemented that July but that was the only patch they were aware of. (click here to read their written response) This means that whatever was on the patch that the former Diebold contractor, and his colleagues inserted into the Diebold machines, was done unbeknownst to the State and, hence, was never certified. So, it’s anyone’s guess what that patch did.

Also, the screen freeze patch to the Diebold machines in July 2002 was never certified. However, since it was too close to the election, Secretary of State Cathy Cox decided to wait to certify the machines after the election in December. This means that voters were using uncertified equipment, in violation of state law, which should have made that election invalid.

According to my source, the secret software that was installed to fix the clock took over a minute to download. Despite the download of this software, the clocks were never fixed.

Diebold fought back with a strongly worded letter (click here). What’s interesting to note is that Diebold claims to have made only one system upgrade. But its spokesman David Bear did not say what the patch was for or when it was installed. So at least one of those patches is unaccounted for. And, again, the screen freeze patch was never even certified. Diebold also vehemently denied any back door vulnerabilities to its GEMS tabulation software – a statement that has been proven false by computer science experts Hugh Thompson, Avi Rubin of Johns Hopkins University and more recently by David Jefferson of UC Berkeley .

At that point, I still had no idea what was on the patch so I took it to cyber security expert Stephen Spoonamore to see if he could make sense of it.  Spoonamore could not confirm what was on the patch without examining the machine hard drives. However, after reviewing the patch, he told me:

“It’s not a clock function. It’s a comparator function. It asked for three different fields on the front end, that’s information coming down from the screen into the operating system, sits on the operating system entry platform. At that point, this piece of code asks three fields, I don’t know what the three fields are and what their totals are, compares them against each other and sends them somewhere else. Well if it were me and I were to guess what that code is, it’s a vote flipping code. It’s not a clock function. That I know. But ostensibly, Bob Urosevich actually carried this himself, gave it to the people and told them this is a clock function. None of them are programmers. They installed it like they were instructed. But it’s not a clock function.”

While none of this information is new, and we may never know what was installed on the Diebold machines in Georgia, we do know that Premier Election Solutions (Formerly Diebold Election Systems) contractors will be on hand to assist poll workers in the coming presidential election.  The question is: who will be overseeing the contractors?  If Georgia 2002 is any indication, no one will. 

7/26/08: Ohio Attorney Says That Rove Will Be Questioned Under Oath

Last night, Ohio election attorney Cliff Arnebeck appeared on the Peter B. Collins show and told the audience that he will question Karl Rove under oath as part of the targeted discovery in the federal legal case. “A RICO case is not limited by executive privilege … and President Bush cannot stop a civil RICO case with a pardon.  Also, because of the Paula Jones case against President Clinton, where the Supreme Court held that a civil case and depositions can proceed against a sitting president, Rove will have to submit to our discovery,”  Arnebeck said. Listen to Arnebeck here

Arnebeck identified Rove as the bad guy who directed the manipulation of elections by illegally funding attacks on Democrats through the use of corporate monies.  He stated that confidential sources have indicated that Rove and/or Rove minions have threatened and attempted to blackmail Bush IT guru Michael Connell and his wife Heather recently and this has seriously “compounded” Rove’s et al problems since, if proven, this will constitute a federal crime.  For the first time, Arnebeck disclosed that Connell has offered to cooperate with the House Judiciary Committee about this matter. 

Arnebeck expects to meet with law enforcement officials early next week to discuss this stunning development. 

7/24/08: Ohio Election Attorney Asks Attorney General For Witness Protection Of GOP IT Guru After Threats

Today Attorney Cliff Arnebeck, who last week filed papers seeking discovery and depositions from Karl Rove and others for election manipulation, wrote to Attorney General Mukasey asking for protection for GOP IT guru Michael Connell and his wife Heather.  Mr. Arnebeck stated that he had received credible confidential information from various sources indicating that Rove and his henchmen threatened Mr. and Mrs. Connell.  In short, Rove et al, either directly or indirectly, demanded that Connell take the fall for the election manipulation or the Justice Department would target Mrs. Connell for some lobby related money laundering. 

Arnebeck, an officer of the federal court, took these threats seriously.  First he reported this to the federal judge handling the case, the Ohio Attorney General and the United States Attorney in Columbus.  Next he wrote to Attorney General Michael Mukasey insisting on protection for the Connells.

The entire letter is set out below and more information is on The BRAD BLOG  and on ePluribusMedia.

In a short interview with VR, Mr. Arnebeck stated that Rove et al “had just made things a lot worse for themselves.  It is a federal crime to threaten a witness – they are engaging in obstruction of justice, blackmail, suborning perjury, and intimidation.  These charges alone could land them in the penitentiary for a very long time.” 

The complete, short email, sent from Arnebeck to AG Mukasey, follows in full below...

7/19/08: New VR Interview With Ohio Attorneys Who Have Targeted Rove

On July 17, VR sat down with the two Ohio attorneys who have filed to take targeted depositions of Karl Rove and others to expose their strategy of election fraud. The ten minute interview is a real eye opener because they talk about how they plan to  bring back the rule of law to this country and hold those accountable who have undermined it over the past eight years.  And they name names familiar to everyone—Jack Abramoff, Bob Ney, Ken Blackwell, Grover Norquist, Michael Connell and others.  This is a must see video so watch it here

7/18/08: VR Video Of The Ohio Press Conference Announcing The Civil Suit To Target Rove For Manipulating Elections

VR was present at the Ohio press conference yesterday and filmed it.  We will be posting an edited clip for YouTube shortly but for all those who want to see it unedited, you can watch it here in eight segments for a total of one hour and two minutes.  We also have this available in high resolution for members of the press upon request.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6
Part 7
Part 8
Transcript from Ohio conference (Word document format)

7/18/08: Ohio Attorneys Launch Targeted Discovery To Expose Election Manipulation By Karl Rove And Others

Yesterday, Ohio Attorney Cliff Arnebeck launched a new legal strategy to expose a national strategy of election manipulation directed by Karl Rove.  The implications are stunning.  Arnebeck has asked the Ohio Federal Court to allow for targeted under oath depositions of key individuals including Rove, Bush IT guru Michael Connell, Jack Abramoff, Ken Blackwell and others.  This will be the first opportunity ever to place these individuals under oath. 

Arnebeck indicated that he has amassed a great deal of information from various sources including whistleblowers implicating Rove.  He wrote in yesterday’s court filing that the “suspected lead perpetrator of this conspiracy against the civil rights of the plaintiffs and against the rule of law in the United States is Karl Rove…. Rove’s politicization of  the Justice Department is currently being investigation by the US House Judiciary Committee.”  See pdf.

Arnebeck also notified both Attorney General Mukasey and the Chamber of Commerce that he intends to “assert an Ohio Corrupt Practices Act/RICO claim against Mr. Karl Rove and others based upon their activities beginning in 2000 to illegally use corporate treasury money and government power to establish single faction dominance in the United States, military dominance in the world and generally undermine the rule of law as it had developed over the course of the past century.”  See pdf 2  and Word doc.

VR was at the press conference and extensive coverage is here on our Election Protection Strike Force and on THE Brad BlogRaw Story has also covered this with new details on the possible manipulation of the 2002 Senate Max Cleland Senate race. VR will have a complete video of the press conference up shortly.

7/16/08: Ohio Federal Election Lawsuit to be Re-Opened to Protect 2008 Election—Discovery to Include Karl Rove Emails

Today, Ohio attorney Cliff Arnebeck, lead attorney in the lawsuit over the 2004 Ohio election contest, issued the following press release.

“Counsel for plaintiffs in the federal King Lincoln Bronzeville v. Blackwell case will hold a press conference at 11 AM Thursday July 17, 2008 in the Mezzanine conference room of LeVeque Tower.

We are filing to lift the stay in the case in order to proceed with targeted discovery in order to help protect the integrity of the 2008 election.  We also will be providing copies of document hold notices to the US Chamber Institute for Legal Reform and the US Justice Department for Karl Rove Emails from the White House.

Our new data security expert in the case, Stephen Spoonamore, one of the leading authorities on data security in the world, is planning to attend the conference and will provide some of his perspectives in this matter.

Representatives from one of our plaintiffs, League of Young Voters, will also be attending.

We look forward to seeing you there tomorrow.

Cliff Arnebeck, Attorney for the Plaintiffs”

Velvet Revolution will be covering the press conference and will have video shortly.   Stay tuned for some very important information regarding the suit. 

7/10/08: Rove Refuses To Comply With Congressional Subpoena-New Video of Don Siegelman

Today Karl Rove refused to comply to a subpoena from the House Judiciary Committee to testify about his involvement in the political prosecution of ex-Alabama Governor Don Siegelman. Rove’s invocation of executive privilege was quickly rejected by the Committee.  The question now is whether the Committee will hold Rove in contempt of Congress.

In our last post, Mr. Siegelman stated unequivocally on video that Karl Rove directed his political prosecution and he urged everyone to contact their Congress Members to demand that Mr. Rove be held in contempt.

This is a guy who has told Congress that he will not show up under subpoena unless he is not sworn to tell the truth, unless he has the questions in advance, and unless he is assured that nobody is writing down his answers. Now does that sound like somebody who's prepared to tell the truth?
We won't know the truth until Congress digs it out, and that's why it is so incredibly important that anybody that reads your blog or listens to it or watches it gets on the phone, gets on their computer, or writes Congress and tells them to hold Karl Rove in contempt if he does not show up to testify on July 10th.
[H]e needs to be held in contempt, needs to be arrested, needs to be brought in and made to sit before Congress and answer questions.”

Our YouTube videos of Mr. Siegelman and are getting thousands of views.  We now have a new streaming 20-minute interview of Mr. Siegelman with tons of new powerful information including allegations that his last election for Governor was electronically manipulated—flipped—by GOP partisans directed by Karl Rove.  Watch that video here.

For members of the media, we have high resolution footage of our Don Siegelman interview available for broadcast.

7/8/08: Don Siegelman Speaks—Hold Karl Rove In Contempt For Subverting Justice

VR spent several hours with Ex Alabama Governor Don Siegelman recently discussing his political persecution at the direction of Karl Rove and his minions.  We will have the complete interview posted tomorrow but we wanted you to hear what he has to say about Rove’s refusal to testify under subpoena by the House Judiciary Committee.  We have two short YouTube videos where Siegelman emphatically asks everyone contact their Congress Members and demand that Rove be held in contempt.

Rove has been subpoenaed to testify on July 10th but his attorney last week informed the Judiciary Committee that he will not comply.  Siegelman wants you to let Congress know that Rove must face the consequences of his actions.  Please contact your Congress Members --  202 224-3121 or


VR and many of our supporters are very concerned about global warming and the environment. In supporting the research, development and extensive use of green technology that will  better the environment and help prevent global warming, we want to recognize former President Jimmy Carter as a visionary leader of renewable energy.


Thirty years ago, President Carter cautioned us about dependence on foreign oil and provided a plan to lead us on the path to energy independence. He declared the "moral equivalent of war" on our energy crisis and

  • Installed solar power panels on the White House.
  • Created tax breaks for people who installed solar panels on their homes.
  • Installed a wood burning stove in the White House living quarters.
  • Signed into law November 1978, the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act, PURPA, providing favorable terms to entrepreneurial companies that produced electricity from solar cells, wind turbines, and other renewable (i.e., non-fossil-fuel) resources.
  • Sought tax credits to spur individuals and businesses to insulate their homes, stores, and factories, thus reducing energy use.
  • Established tax incentives for Gasahol (now called ethanol).
  • Created the Energy Department and provided substantial funding dedicated to the research and development of "green technologies" such as solar and wind turbines; as well as coal, nuclear, and domestic sources of oil and oil shale with the goal of making America energy independent.
  • Proposed a bold and sweeping $142 billion energy plan, with 113 parts, which would achieve energy independence by 1990.
  • Set a goal of obtaining a fifth of America's needs from renewable energy by the turn of the century.
  • He lobbied for acceptance of a tax on gasoline--rising to 50 cents a gallon--if consumption did not decline as mandated, as well as a tax on "gas guzzler" cars.
  • Made speeches urging energy conservation and independence.

On  July 15, 1979 President Carter said:

“Our excessive dependence on OPEC has already taken a tremendous toll on our economy and our people.... This intolerable dependence on foreign oil threatens our economic independence and the very security of our nation.

Point One: I am tonight setting a clear goal for the energy policy of the United States. Beginning this moment, this nation will never use more foreign oil than we did in 1977– never. From now on, every new addition to our demand for energy will be met from our own production and our own conservation. The generation-long growth in our dependence on foreign oil will be stopped dead in its tracks right now and then reversed as we move through the 1980s, for I am tonight setting the further goal of cutting our dependence on foreign oil by one-half by the end of the next decade — a saving of over four and a half million barrels of imported oil per day.

Point two: To ensure that we meet these targets, I will use my presidential authority to set import quotas. I’m announcing tonight that for 1979 and 1980, I will forbid the entry into this country of one drop of foreign oil more than these goals allow. These quotas will ensure a reduction in imports even below the ambitious levels we set at the recent Tokyo summit.

Point three: To give us energy security, I am asking for the most massive peacetime commitment of funds and resources in our nation’s history to develop America’s own alternative sources of fuel — from coal, from oil shale, from plant products for gasohol, from unconventional gas, from the sun."


In 1979, to set a good example and spur the development of solar and other forms of renewable or "green" technology, President Carter had 32 solar panels installed on the West Wing of the White House. These panels were visible from Pennsylvania Avenue to show a commitment to clean energy development. They were dedicated in a Rose Garden ceremony on June 20, 1979. These 32 solar thermal collectors heated the water for the "Mess" in the White House and remained on the White House for seven years. In 1986, they were removed for roof repairs, and never reinstalled.

These solar panels  ended up on the campus of Unity College in Maine. In 1992, Unity College's development officer Peter Marbach tracked them down to a warehouse in Virginia, and requested they be donated to the school on permenant "loan.”  Sixteen of the panels were then refurbished and restored, using funds from donations. One of the leading donors was the actress Glenn Close. These 16 panels were then installed on the school's cafeteria, and heated the water for the school's cafeteria for some 12 years, and the rest were put into storage. Unity college, like President Carter, practices energy conservation and renewable energy development. In 2004, after the 16 panels wore out and stopped functioning, Unity kept them on the cafeteria roof as a symbol to inspire the development of renewable energy. VR salutes Unity College’s commitment to renewable energy.


Being historical artifacts, Unity College decided to donate two of the panels in storage to museums for posterity. One panel was selected to be given to the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and Museum in Georgia, and one for the Smithsonian Museum in Washington, DC. Two Unity College students, Sara Trunzo and Jason Reynolds, drove down in a Dodge Ram pickup, converted to run on vegetable oil, delivering one panel to the Smithsonian, and one panel to the Carter Museum and Library in Atlanta, Georgia.

This journey was documented in a film by Swiss directors Roman Keller and Christina Hemauer called, "A Road Not Taken". The film made its debut at the Maine International Film Festival, and is truly a documentary worth seeing. Here are some highlight clips from this documentary: If you can help with national distribution of this film, please contact: Shannon Haines:


One of the panels is now on display at the Jimmy Carter Library and Museum in Atlanta, Georgia. This exhibit is a testament to President Carter's vision toward renewable technology.

The White House no longer employs solar panels. We urge the next President to renew a commitment to renewable energy and to provide incentives and funding for the development of these technologies.

This time, let's make sure that it is a road taken.

6/25/08: Obama Plans Offense In General Election-But What About The Machines?

Today, Barack  Obama’s campaign manager David Plouffe said that the Obama campaign plans to think outside the box and play offense and overwhelm  the opposition by competing across the nation with massive voter drives. Our question to you Mr. Plouffe is what are you going to do to prevent a manipulation of the electronic vote counting and tabulation results?  It is well established that the last several elections have been gamed by electronic machines and tabulators, most with no paper ballot or audit provision. 

Mr. Plouffe, if you add a million new voters, the vote counting apparatus can make those disappear either by deleting votes, flipping votes or adding votes.  If you really intend to think outside the box, you need to aggressively address the certainty of vote manipulation.  Give us a call if you want to know how it is done and what to do to stop it. 

6/22/08: Elections Boycotted In Zimbabwe—Where Is Obama?

The continent of Africa is reeling from despots, corruption, war and terrorism.  The presence of the US and other Western countries in the region seems to be directly related to oil and the protection of Israel rather than democracy and human rights. 

The latest example of this is the sham election in Zimbabwe where the opposition won the election several months ago but was forced into a runoff by the dictator Mugabe, who then launched into a spasm of killing and terror so horrible that the winner of the election was forced to stop campaigning.  So where is Bush and the West on this?  Well, talking to the UN Security Council and making denunciations but it is all a charade.

But the real question is where is Barack Obama?  Why hasn’t he used his bully pulpit as presidential candidate and African-American to push  this issue front and center on the international stage.  This is his test to show leadership and support democracy and free and fair elections. 

6/16/08: VR Consulted On Two Articles Of Impeachment Related to Elections

Velvet Revolution is proud to announce that VR co-founder Brad Friedman of The BRAD BLOG (along with Election Protection Strike Force blogger Steve Heller) was consulted by the office of Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) prior to his filing of Articles of Impeachment against George W. Bush.  Brad was asked to submit material as used in Article 28, "Tampering with Free and Fair Elections" and Article 29, "Conspiracy to Violate the Voting Rights Act of 1965."  The entire resolution has been posted here in both HTML and PDF format.  We urge one and all to sign the petition of support for Rep. Kucinich and impeachment at

6/10/08: Congressman Dennis Kucinich Introduces Impeachment Resolution

Today, Representative Dennis Kucinich introduced a 35 count resolution of impeachment against George Bush.  VR has been urging this action for years with our Impeachmobile, our partnership with, our many ads, and our positions.  We have worked with Rep. Kucinich on various issues such as the NH recount, the investigation of the stolen elections and other corruption by the Bush Administration.  We congratulate him for taking this courageous stand for truth and the rule of law.

6/9/08: WH Press Spokesman Scotty McClellan To Testify Under Oath

Well, another former White House loyalist has broken ranks with George Bush.  Scott McClellan wrote a scathing book, “What Happened,”  indicting his former boss, saying that the White House was in permanent campaign mode and used propaganda and fear to sell the war and other harmful policies.  This he calls the Bush “culture of deception.” 

After McClellan was viciously attacked by Bush and his surrogates for writing the book, McClellan has agreed to testify under oath before the House Judiciary Committee about, among other things, Dick Cheney and the sordid Valerie Plame affair.   So now one of Bush’s top propagandists is telling it like it is.

6/6/08: Abramoff Had High Access To The White House

More than a year ago, we placed a reward for a picture of Jack Abramoff with Gorge Bush after Bush said he had never met the man.   Well, we got the picture, paid the reward and now all the media uses that photo (with no credit given to us). 

So it is  not a big surprise that a Congressional investigation has determined “that Mr. Abramoff had access to the White House, [and] the record before the Committee contradicts White House claims that with respect to his White House contacts, Mr. Abramoff got 'nothing out of it.' Not only did Mr. Abramoff achieve some positive results from his White House lobbying, but White House officials sought out the views of Mr. Abramoff and his colleagues on matters of official business."   The lies of this White House know no bounds.

6/6/08: Bush Pulls Out Of UN Human Rights Body

The State Department announced today that the US will no longer participate with the UN Human Rights Council because it has reported human rights abuses by Israel.  It’s no wonder that the US has lost its moral leadership in the world and many more countries have gone pell-mell in their abuses of civilians.

5/31/08: Siegelman Gets Backing From 54 Attorney Generals

We have been urging an investigation of Don Siegelman’s political prosecution for months.  Well, “fifty-four former state attorney generals filed a brief Friday supporting the appeal of former Gov. Don Siegelman of Alabama, convicted two years ago on bribery and corruption charges in a prosecution depicted by his supporters as politically motivated.

Robert Abrams, a former New York attorney general and an author of the brief, said the document was unprecedented in bringing together a large number of former top state judicial officers, mostly Democrats but also some Republicans. Mr. Abrams said it reflected “strong feelings” that an injustice had been done to Mr. Siegelman, a Democrat who was freed on bond from a federal prison in March after serving nine months.”

It’s nice to know that someone is listening and acting, even if it took the blogs like RawStory to break this story. 

5/17/08: Missouri Photo ID Law Fails To Pass

Thanks to all VR members, affiliates and others who helped defeat the draconian Missouri Photo ID law promoted by the GOP there to disenfranchise hundreds of thousands of voters.  Thousands of Missourians contacted their State Senators and the media to create a groundswell of opposition to the bill thus depriving the GOP backers with the necessary support to even bring it up for a vote by yesterday’s deadline. 

We worked closely with the Brennan Center to coordinate our campaign against the bill.  We want to particularly thank our affiliates Progressive Democrats of America,, and After Downing  We also want to thank Jim Dean the Director of Democracy for America, for his support in this campaign.  Congratulations to all.

5/14/08: Missouri Photo ID Law Must Be Stopped

As we noted in our previous post, the Indiana Photo ID law was used successfully to deny many people the right to vote, including nuns, college students and the infirm.  Well, now the Missouri GOP wants to pass a constitutional amendment to require a photo ID to  prove citizenship as a condition of voting. This will effectively disenfranchise hundreds of thousands of Missouri voters.

VR has been actively working to oppose this Missouri law by bringing together national and Missouri groups to call their Senators to stop this bad law.  We sent out this alert today and we urge any of you who know people in Missouri to ask them to get involved with this important issue.

Protect Voting Rights in Missouri:
A Vote on Photo ID Amendment could come as early as FRIDAY!

Please act today! Ask your Missouri State Senator to take active steps to defeat HJR 48, the proposed constitutional amendment that could disenfranchise up to 240,000 registered Missouri voters who do not currently have a state-issued photo ID.

Find your Missouri State Senator online here

Find your Senator's phone number online here

Call the Communications Office toll-free:
(800) 88-GAVEL or (800) 877-5982

Missouri already has a commonsense voter identification law that ensures that eligible voters are who they say they are on Election Day.

Voter-impersonation fraud is not a problem in Missouri. In fact, there are NO reported cases of it happening.

Photo IDs would not stop voter registration or absentee ballot fraud.

Even if photo IDs are provided free of cost, obtaining the underlying documents needed to prove your identity costs money and can be difficult or impossible to obtain.

No Missourian should be deprived of the right to vote because a government bureaucracy will not provide them a copy of their birth certificate.

Adopting an overly-restrictive, burdensome photo ID law doesn't make sense and is not justified because it risks disenfranchising up to 240,000 registered Missouri voters who don't now have a state-issued photo ID.

5/7/08: GOP Backed Photo ID Law Keeps Nuns and Students From Voting In Indiana

Heck of a job, Supreme Court.  You have succeeded in keeping at least a dozen nuns from voting in Indiana yesterday, and a whole lot of college students.  Justices, last week, you indicated that the plaintiffs had not shown that anyone had been denied the right to vote under Indiana’s new government issued photo id as a condition of voting law.  Well, how about this AP story about the 98 year old nun who does not drive because she lives in a convent and does not need a government issued photo id and who was known by the Sister who ran the voting place.

Time to make some noise about this  and pass legislation prohibiting the use of photo ids in federal elections.

5/6/08: Support John Kerry’s Investigation Of Military Propaganda

Last month, the New York Times published a major investigative article,
detailing a secret Pentagon program the Times said was designed to recruit and cultivate the "military analysts"
seen on the major news networks in an attempt to create coverage favorable to the Bush Administration's policies in Iraq and elsewhere.

The Times described an extensive program, with dozens of television analysts involved, some of whom had extensive business ties to the Defense Department -- in fact they called it "an effort to transform the analysts into a kind of media Trojan horse -- an instrument intended to shape terrorism coverage from inside the major TV and radio networks."

Since that story ran, there's been a virtual news blackout with no follow-up , and we haven't gotten any closer to finding out the real story.  Is the media covering up for being an instrument of military propaganda?

Senator John Kerry wants to get to the bottom of this scandal and yesterday sent a letter to the Government Accounting Organization requesting an investigation.  Please show your support by virtually "co-signing" the letter with him. “Only with an overwhelming display of grassroots energy can we put this story in the spotlight and press for answers,” says Kerry.

Click here to co-sign the Kerry letter:

4/29/08: Voter ID Laws And The Disenfranchisement Of More Voters

A respected Congressman once said, (paraphrased) “I spend half my time trying to convince people to go to the polls and vote for me, but you (GOP Congress Members) want to impose more barriers to voting.”   Well, the GOP did it again with its bogus voter ID laws.  And this time, it got the Supreme Court a la Bush v Gore, to yesterday uphold the most draconian law in the country requiring a government issued photo ID as a condition to vote.

There is no evidence of voter fraud yet the GOP and its front groups have been trumpeting voter ID laws nationwide supposedly to protect our elections.  However, the real reason for these laws is to disenfranchise voters, especially poor, minority, elderly and handicapped voters.   Millions of Americans do not have government issued photo ids because they don’t travel or drive. They will be sidelined thanks to the GOP.

So now instead of a preemptive strike on this anti democratic voter suppression tool, the Supreme Court says that the law is ok unless someone can  prove that a potential voter did not get to vote because of the law.

On November 5, 2007, we urged quick passage of Minnesota Congressman Keith Ellison’s legislation to prohibit election officials from requiring a photo ID as a condition for voting. Here is the precise language from the House bill.

  • In General- An election official may not require an individual to provide a photo identification as a condition for receiving or casting a ballot in any election for Federal office.
  • We now urge Sen. Harry Reid and Rep. Nancy Pelosi to immediately pass this legislation in order to protect our elections.

4/25/08: Problems With Sequoia—The Company, The Machines

Last month we reported that Sequoia created a public relations nightmare by threatening to sue NJ and Princeton University if the state turned over its failed VC Advantage Touch Screen Vote Machines for independent testing. But even we underestimated the fallout from this anti-democracy stand.

First, in the days that followed Sequoia succumbed to a hostile takeover bid from another vote machine company, Hart Intercivic. Second, a NJ state court ordered the independent testing by Princeton that had been opposed by Sequoia.

Sometimes transparency and democracy win.

4/22/08: Don Siegelman Wants Conyers To Call Additional Witnesses

Last week we reported that House Judiciary Chairman John Conyers had asked Karl Rove to testify under oath regarding the political prosecution of former Alabama Governor Don Siegelman.  Rove’s attorney had indicated that Rove would appear voluntarily.

Well, as expected, Rove is now backpedaling on his  testimony, invoking Executive Privilege.

So yesterday, we received a call from Siegelman thanking us for keeping the pressure on in his case with our ads and posts, and asking us to urge Rep. Conyers to subpoena the other three person’s mentioned in the Jill Simpson affidavit. Those persons cannot invoke Executive Privilege but they are aware of the involvement of Rove.

VR now urges the Judiciary Committee to subpoena Bill Canary, Leura Canary, Alice Martin and Terry Butts.

4/18/08: VR Joins ACLU Call For Special Prosecutor To Investigate High Level Torture Approval

The ACLU has called for the appointment of an independent prosecutor to investigate the approval of torture by the US Government. 

In a stunning admission to ABC news Friday night, President Bush declared that he knew his top national security advisers discussed and approved specific details of the CIA's use of torture. Bush reportedly told ABC, ‘I'm aware our national security team met on this issue. And I approved.’ Bush also defended the use of waterboarding.

Recent reports indicate that high-level advisers including Dick Cheney, Condoleeza Rice, Donald Rumsfeld, Colin Powell and George Tenet were part of the National Security Council's ‘Principals Committee’ that met regularly and approved the CIA's use of ‘combined enhanced’ interrogation techniques, even pushing the limits of the now infamous 2002 Justice Department ‘torture memo.’ These top advisers reportedly signed off on how the CIA would interrogate suspects – whether they would be slapped, deprived of sleep or subjected to simulated drowning. …

The American Civil Liberties Union is calling on Congress to demand an independent prosecutor to investigate possible violations by the Bush administration of laws including the War Crimes Act, the federal Anti-Torture Act, and federal assault laws.

No one in the executive branch of government can be trusted to fairly investigate or prosecute any crimes since the head of every relevant department, along with the president and vice president, either knew or participated in the planning and approval of illegal acts, ‘ said Caroline Fredrickson, Director of the ACLU Washington Legislative Office. ‘Congress cannot look the other way; it must demand an independent investigation and independent prosecutor.’

Fredrickson added, ‘Congress is duty-bound by the Constitution not only to hold the president, vice president, and all civil officers to account, but it must also send a message to future presidents that it will use its constitutional powers to prevent illegal, and immoral conduct."

VR joins with this  call for a special prosecutor. It is time to stop this madness.

4/17/08: Conyers Asks Rove To Testify In Siegelman Case

Today, Congressman John Conyers asked Karl Rove to testify under oath regarding the political prosecution of Former Alabama Governor Don Siegelman.  Conyers’ office also issued a report alleging that the DOJ has engaged in a pattern of politically motivated actions, including firing US attorneys and prosecuting Democrats. We strongly support putting Rove under oath and we urge the widest possible questioning of him by the Judiciary Committee.

4/14/08: VR Whistleblower Files Suit Against Vote Machine Manufacturer

Two years ago, we posted a reward for information about fraud in our national elections. One person who contacted us was William Singer, a former employee of the vote machine manufacturer, Hart Intercivic from Texas.  Mr. Singer made serious claims  of fraud against Hart and we assisted him in getting legal help.  At the time, he filed a qui tam lawsuit which, by law, must be first filed under seal with the Justice Department to give it a chance to pursue the claims of fraud since they involved federal Help America Vote money.  Therefore, we were unable to report about it.

Well,  finally, on March 27, the DOJ decided that it was passing on the suit so Singer was allowed to unseal it and file it through his own attorneys.  The full pdf of the suit is here. What makes this even more newsworthy is that just a few weeks ago, Hart made a hostile takeover bid of another vote machine manufacturer, Sequoia Voting Systems.   Sequoia has been embroiled in its own scandal involving failed voting machines and unethical machine certification procedures.

What more will it take for these vote machine manufacturers to come clean with truth and transparency.

4/8/08: The British Say General Petraeus Wants War With Iran And Soon

At VR, we have been warning for several years about the White House plans to attack Iran.  Well now, the British in a Whitehall report have publicly stated that they fear that General Petraeus will be the catalyst for such an attack.  They believe that Petraeus will tell Congress this week that Iran is conducting a proxy war against the US in Iraq and this will be used by the White House as the basis for ordering a punishing attack on Iran.

Petraeus is going to go very hard on Iran as the source of attacks on the American effort in Iraq," a British official said. "Iran is waging a war in Iraq. The idea that America can't fight a war on two fronts is wrong, there can be airstrikes and other moves," he said. "Petraeus has put emphasis on America having to fight the battle on behalf of Iraq. In his report he can frame it in terms of our soldiers killed and diplomats dead in attacks on the Green Zone.

George Bush believes that if he is going to  attack Iran, it must be done soon.  So, again, we ask that you contact your Congress Members to urge restraint and dialog rather than bombs and death.

4/4/08: Iowa Joins Other States In Banning DREs And Requiring A Ballot For Every Vote Cast

Yesterday, the Governor of Iowa signed legislation requiring all votes cast in the state to  be done on optiscan machines with a paper ballot.  Iowa joins a growing list of states which have heeded our call for a paper ballot for every vote cast.  However, because optiscan machines are also subject to error and manipulation, their tallies must be audited, especially where the election is close. Moreover, the central tabulation results must be carefully audited to ensure that they match the machine audited results. 

3/30/08: Obama Wins Texas Delegate Count

Well, this is why we always say that every vote should be counted before awarding delegates (or the electoral college).  Today, the Obama campaign officially added Texas to its list of wins.  On March 4, Hillary Clinton made a big point of saying she won the Texas primary and Bill Clinton said that she had to win Texas to stay in the race.  Now, after yesterday’s second step in counting the Texas delegates, it is clear that Hillary did not win.  In fact, Obama “won 59 percent of the delegates headed to the state party's June convention to Clinton’s 41 percent. That translates into 1,858 delegates for Obama and 1,270 for Clinton.  That result made it likely that when the delegate selection process is finally completed, Obama will have more Texas delegates to the national convention than Clinton, despite Clinton's having won the March 4 primary vote 51 to 47 percent.” 

So much for announcing early election results.

3/28/08: Governor Don Siegleman Released On Bail

At VR, we have been reporting on the political prosecution of former Alabama Governor Don Siegleman for several months and just this week we started running a new Internet ad demanding his release from prison. Well, our efforts have paid off today big time.  First, the House Judiciary Committee ordered that Siegleman be transported from prison to testify about his political prosecution.  Second, late today, the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals ordered Siegleman released on bail pending his appeal.

We want to thank everyone who took action to help with these huge wins for democracy and justice.  The fight is not over, but these were very good steps toward accountability.

3/20/08: $25,000 Reward For Sequoia Whistleblower And We Want A Sequoia AVC Advantage Touch-Screen Voting Machine

Today, VR offers a $25,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons who programmed the Sequoia AVC Advantage voting machines used in last month's New Jersey election to mistally the votes in several counties throughout the state. Please call our toll free hotline to report this information 1-888-VOTETIP.

We are also seeking a Sequoia whistleblower or elections official to provide us with one or more Sequoia AVC Advantage touch-screen machine in order to have independent computer experts analyze and test the machines.
As we reported earlier today, Sequoia has threatened legal action against NJ elections officials if they provide such a machine to Princeton computer scientists for analysis. We will maintain the confidentiality of the persons who make a machine donation. Call our confidential hotline if you have a machine. 1-888-VOTETIP

3/19/08: Contact The New Jersey Attorney General And Urge An Investigation Of Malfunctioning Sequoia Vote Machines

Sequoia's AVC Advantage touch-screen machines mistallied vote totals across at least six different counties in New Jersey's February 5th Presidential Primary Election. During a post-election canvass, it was found that the number of voters for each party, as reported by the internal printouts on the electronic voting machines, failed to match totals on the internal memory cards inside the same systems. When NJ Governor Corzine tried to vote on the Sequoia machines, they would not boot up.

A Mercer County, NJ official sent a letter to the state Attorney General criticizing Sequoia's bizarre explanation for failures discovered in the systems following the state's recent Primary Election, characterizing what he describes as the company's "strange, confusing solution". He said the company's explanation for the problem, which succeeded in blaming voters and poll workers as usual, was based on a "bizarre scenario, with no cited evidence or testimony.”

Meanwhile, NJ's state clerks association voted unanimously to recommend that the Attorney General commission an independent study of the machines. Velvet Revolution supports the state Elections Officials call for such a technical review of the failed Sequoia systems.

Urgency is key, since the very same Sequoia touch-screen machines will be used next month in Pennsylvania's important Primary Election.

Last week, the statewide clerks' association urged the Attorney General to hire Princeton Computer Scientist Ed Felten, who made national headlines two years ago when he demonstrated how a computer virus could be easily inserted on a Diebold voting machines to undetectably alter election results. VelvetRevolution provided the Diebold machine to Felten after we received it from a Diebold insider.

When Sequoia found out about the possibility of an independent technical review of their machines, its VP of Compliance/Quality/Certification, Edwin Smith, threatened Felten, and the NJ county which initially discovered the failure, with legal action should they analyze the voting systems.

Mercer County Clerk Paula Sollami-Covello told the New Jersey Times that Sequoia's decision to block an independent analysis of its touch-screen voting machines makes no sense if the firm is confident that they work properly. "I think it's unfortunate that they're not letting an independent investigation take place," Sollami-Covello said. "They should have no problem with having a third party investigate the product if they are confident in their product. It's unfortunate that they're not letting an independent investigation take place...They should have no problem with having a third party investigate the product if they are confident in their product."

A Union County, NJ attorney folded to pressure from the company which claimed that Election Officials in NJ --- which spent millions on the voting systems --- are not legally allowed to examine them independently because "the voting machine software is a Sequoia 'trade secret' and cannot be handed over to any third-party."

Fear of a lawsuit from Sequoia, which will also control the state's elections in an upcoming June primary, as well as the November general election, has led to county attorney's backing down from their plans for the time being, unless the state Attorney General jumps in to take action. “We're not going to proceed and invite a lawsuit," said Norman Albert, first deputy counsel in Union County.

Rutgers University law professor, Penny Venetis stated what should be quite obvious in a recent Star-Ledger article...

"We shouldn't have a corporation dictating how elections are run in the state," Venetis said. "If an elected official believes there was an anomaly and the matter has to be investigated, then the official should be able to consult with computer experts without interference."

Livermore Laboratory's computer scientist David Jefferson, who has worked on a number of state studies of e-voting systems,  told The BRAD BLOG, said."We have only a matter of weeks before the Pennsylvania primary in which the same machines will be used in Philadelphia, and only a few months more until the general election," Jefferson wrote. "This bug (and any others discovered) must be fixed."

He urged that concerned citizens contact New Jersey's Attorney General Ann Milgram ASAP in order to request she commission a technical review immediately.

VR joins the call for an immediate, independent technical review of Sequoia's AVC Advantage system.

Please send AG Milgram a polite, but firm request for such an immediate review

In the meantime, VR will be letting Sequoia know that it has a lot to lose by ignoring the will of the voters.  Three years ago we launched our Divestiture for Democracy campaign against Diebold for engaging in similar conduct and it has been dealing with a public relations disaster ever since, as well as lawsuits that we helped initiate, and a massive drop in stock. 

3/18/08: Secretaries of State Debra Bowen and Jennifer Brunner Win JFK Profiles in Courage Award for Taking on Electronic Vote Machines

Today, the JFK Library Foundation Announced that two of our heroes, California SOS Debra Bowen and OHIO SOS Jennifer Brunner have been awarded the John F. Kennedy Profiles in Courage prize for taking on the electronic vote machine companies.

Debra Bowen
Secretary of State, California
After a $450 million investment by California counties in electronic voting systems aimed at modernizing elections, newly elected Secretary of State Debra Bowen ordered an independent review of the new voting technologies to ensure they adequately protected the integrity of the vote. When the study revealed troubling flaws in the systems, Bowen strictly limited the use of direct-recording electronic voting machines, and imposed significant security and auditing requirements on systems to be used in California’s February 5 presidential primary election. Bowen’s decision was met with resistance by voting system vendors and many county elections officials.

Jennifer Brunner
Secretary of State, Ohio
A series of voting irregularities in several major Ohio counties that use electronic voting systems led newly elected Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner to order that paper ballots be provided to any voter who requested one during the state’s March 2008 presidential primary. Furthermore, Brunner called for the replacement of all of the state’s electronic voting systems – used in 53 of Ohio’s 88 counties – with paper ballots and optical scan technology before the November 2008 presidential election. Critics have objected to the cost and questioned the necessity of Brunner’s proposals.

Congratulations to both.

3/11/08: Bush Vetoes Legislation Banning Waterboarding And Other Torture

Congress recently passed legislation, opposed by John McCain, prohibiting the use of torture on US prisoners. And yesterday, George Bush vetoed the legislation because it would intrude on decisions of the Executive Branch. This veto was carried as headline news in the Muslim world.

So America's moral high ground continues on the decline and John McCain wants to continue that freefall. We need elected officials who know the difference between right and wrong.

3/7/08: VR Calls For New Elections In Florida And Michigan

Florida and Michigan violated the rules by moving up their primaries and were therefore stripped of their delegates for the Democrat Convention.  Neither Obama nor Clinton campaigned in either state yet many establishment officials are demanding that the two states’ delegates be seated, to  the obvious benefit of Clinton.  At VR, we believe that every vote should be counted and that the rules should be followed.  In this case, if the delegates are counted after violating the rules, then rules mean nothing and voters everywhere will lose even more faith in the electoral system.  Moreover, it will harm the voters who did not initially vote in the two states because they were told that their votes would not count.

Accordingly, we call for both Florida and Michigan to hold new elections, either by primary or caucus, and award delegates based on those elections and the established rules.  This will ensure that every vote counts and that everyone participates who chooses to do so.   The states should pay for the new elections since they chose to violate the rules.  The candidates should be given a reasonable time to campaign and organize in each state.  This is the fair solution and will negate allegations of election manipulation.

3/1/08: New VR Sibel Edmonds Video on YouTube-Stop Nuclear Technology To Turkey Now!

VR launched a new video on YouTube today featuring FBI whistleblower Sibel Edmonds and urging everyone to contact their Congress Members to stop the planned transfer of nuclear technology to Turkey. The Bush administration has said that it will begin such transfers on April 20, 2008 unless Congress enacts legislation to stop them.  Sibel has stated that US officials have taken bribes and engaged in corruption regarding nuclear transfers to Turkey.  We believe that this Bush order is being used to  immunize those previous transfers. We urge all of our members and readers to spread the word.

2/25/08: Former Alabama Governor Don Siegelman Was Prosecuted Because He Was A Popular Democrat-Karl Rove Directly Involved-Ties To US Attorney Scandal-60 Minutes Expose’ Gets Blacked Out-Take Action Now

We have been watching the story of Don Siegelman carefully and working behind the scenes to get it exposed properly.  Siegelman was the former Governor of Alabama targeted by Karl Rove and the White House for being a popular Democrat.  The evidence against him was fabricated and now scores of people are bringing attention to this sordid case of political targeting, including dozens of attorney generals and congress members. Last night, 60 Minutes ran its own expose’ which was blacked out in parts of the US including Alabama.  Our partner at BradBlog has the whole segment here for those who did not see it, along with all the great coverage by RawStory.

We ask all of you to go to Siegelman’s website and take the following action.

1. Contact Congress Today!
Contact your Member of Congress and ask them to move forward on the Don Siegelman Investigation. It's easy. Click here to find out how!

2. Write a letter to each member of the Judiciary Committee Today!
Thank them for their work so far and encourage them to press on!
Click on the link to the Judiciary Committee membership list.

On Oct. 23, 2007 a hearing was held to review the Siegelman case and other cases of selective Prosecution. Please take time to write a letter and fax the Congressmen on the Judiciary Committee again to thank them and ask that they keep the pressure on until a resolution is found.

3. Thank these former Attorneys General by email
Forty-four former state Attorneys General from 40 of the 50 states, both Democrats and Republicans, submitted a petition urging the United States Congress to investigate the circumstances surrounding the investigation, prosecution, sentencing and detention of Don Siegelman, the former Governor of Alabama. It's simple! Click here to find out how.
4. Contact Don Siegelman in Prison:

Don Siegelman
Satellite Prison Camp
Post Office Box 5010
Oakdale, LA  71463-5019

Click here to find out more ways to help Don!

5. Contribute to the Legal Defense Fund!

Siegelman Legal Defense Fund
P. O. Box 430116
Birmingham, Alabama  35243


6. Tell 60 Minutes You Want More Coverage

60 Minutes is interested in doing additional add-on installments of this story. The show’s reporters and producers have much more to tell about the duo of Bill and Leura Canary and the corrupt judge, Mark Fuller. The network has agreed to run one or two more installments if there is interest shown by the public. Please let them know you want more on Fuller, the Canary couple, and the trial itself. Contact CBS here:

60 Minutes
524 West 57th St.
New York, NY 10019

Phone: 212-975-3247

7.  If you have seen the broadcast, then you now know that the key witness against Don Siegelman lied and that the prosecution was aware of it. There is more to the Nick Bailey story too.  His brother was threatened with jail time by the US attorney's office (because he is allegedly as corrupt as Nick) if Nick did not testify against Siegelman. Based on the Bailey issue alone, Don Siegelman's conviction should be overturned. Moreover, US Attorney Leura Canary must be fired immediately and fully investigated. To accomplish this, please demand that Congress respond to this corruption of the Justice Department.

2/22/08: Three Million Dollars From RNC Buys Silence And An Acquittal

Yesterday, Judge Steven McAuliffe, appointed by George Bush Sr., acquitted RNC political operative James Tobin for his role in the 2002 phone jamming of a NH Democratic get out the vote campaign. In short, the judge said that the statute under which Tobin was charged did  not fit Tobin’s actions. 

The Republican National Committee spent three million dollars on legal fees for Mr. Tobin while throwing co-defendant Allen Raymond under the bus.  Raymond eventually wrote a book, “How to Rig an Election, Confessions of a GOP Operative,” and we interviewed him for three hours about his unethical and criminal experiences with the GOP.

Reached this morning at his home in the DC Metro area, Raymond said, “People should not mistake this for innocence on the part of Mr. Tobin. The judge ruled on a technical legal issue.  The RNC got what it paid three million dollars for – an acquittal and a lot of silence and protection.”  In Raymond’s interviews with us, he unequivocally stated that that Tobin and the RNC are liars and criminals. 

VR has learned that the House Judiciary Committee has met with Mr. Raymond recently and is planning to call him to testify at a hearing on election dirty tricks later this spring.  Raymond says that he is looking forward to working with Congress to hold those responsible for dirty tricks accountable. 

Raymond noted that on a human level, he is glad that Tobin did not have to suffer the indignities of imprisonment, but that Tobin will have to live with his wrongdoing and face a higher authority. 

2/20/08: Mayor Bloomberg Says Fraud Occurred In NY Primary

Mayor Bloomberg charged yesterday that "fraud" was behind the unofficial results in the New York Democratic presidential primary that produced zero votes for Barack Obama in some districts. Unofficial tallies on election night gave Obama no votes in 78 out of more than 6,000 election districts.  It’s no wonder that Hillary Clinton won NY.

"If you want to call it significant undercounting, I guess that's a euphemism for fraud," said the mayor.   We have been calling undervoting fraud for almost three years so it’s nice to see a major politician doing the same.

2/20/08: Bush IT Guru Now Works For “100 More Years Of War” John McCain

We have mentioned our investigation of Michael Connell in previous posts and our $500,000 reward for information about him and his companies, GovTech Solutions and New Media Communications.  He is the Bush family IT guru who was in charge of the election computers in Ohio 2004 for Ken Blackwell and a top man in the IT network in Florida 2000 for Jeb Bush. He has been involved with the majority of GOP election scandals for the past decade and handles a Who’s Who of GOP IT work.  

Well, guess who Mr. Connell and his companies are working for now?  None other than John McCain.  Connell has been hired to “win” the election in November against the Democratic nominee.  That’s “win” as in George Bush win in Florida 2000 and Ohio 2004.  So Democrats beware and be prepared.

We have been investigating Connell and his associates for quite a long time and we will soon be breaking some very disturbing stories about his work for the GOP.  Connell is a brilliant IT man who took the wrong path, a Dr. Josef Mengele of the GOP.  A man who believes so deeply in his Catholic faith that saving the babies caused him to sell out his soul and principles to the Bush family.  He may be the key person responsible for the Bush “wins” in Florida and Ohio, and by extension the deaths and injury of tens of thousands of American soldiers in Iraq, the destruction of that country and the death of up  to a million Iraqis.  Heck of a job, Mikey -- we don’t think the Catholic Church would approve.

We believe a Congressional investigation and a special prosecutor are in order to expose Connell. We hope that our upcoming exposes’ will prompt quick action so Connell cannot be a key player in another tainted election. 

2/15/08: Sign The Petition Demanding That California Election Officials Count 100,000 Non-Partisan Votes Discarded Because Of A Bad Ballot

On Super Tuesday in Los Angeles, the ballot provided to non-partisan voters required that two bubbles be filled out rather than one required for partisan voters.  The ballot and the officials in the polling places caused such confusion that nearly 100,000 non-partisan votes have been discarded because both bubbles were not filled out.  The elections officials are now saying that they cannot count the votes because they cannot with certainty determine the voters’ intent.  This is wrong since most of the voters voted for a particular presidential candidate.  Attorneys from the Courage Campaign, a VR affiliate, sent a three-page letter to the LA County Board of Supervisors calling for all ballots to be counted, in response to Logan's report claiming it would be "impossible." That letter is here [PDF], and includes this notable graf:

In response to the Florida electoral fiasco in 2000, California voters overwhelmingly passed Proposition 43 on March 5, 2002 which amended Article II of the California Constitution as follows: A voter who casts a vote in an election in accordance with the laws of this State shall have that vote counted. Further, state law clearly states that when reviewing votes and voting systems, Election Code requirements "shall be liberally construed so that the real will of the electors will not be defeated by any informality or failure to comply with all of the provisions of the law." (See Cal. Elec. Code Sec. 19001.)

The group has created an online petition calling on Los Angeles County's Acting Registrar of Voters, Dean Logan, to count every vote. Nearly 40,000 people have signed the petition and VR urges all of our members to do so and pass this petition to others.  Every vote should be counted.   

2/13/08: Senate Votes To Ban Waterboarding, McCain Flip Flops

Today, the Senate voted 51-45 in favor of the Intelligence Authorization Bill, which contains a provision establishing that the intelligence community abide by the same standards as articulated in the Army Field Manual which prohibits waterboarding.

Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), a former prisoner of war, has spoken strongly in favor of the standard. When confronted today with the decision of whether to stick with his conscience or vote for torture, McCain abandoned principle and voted for torture.

John McCain was against torture before he was for it. What a shame, the Stockholm Syndrome is alive and well in the McCain campaign.

2/7/08: Another Swing State Election Debacle-New Mexico Too Close To  Call Because Of Voting Problems

We have been predicting problems with the primaries for several months but even we are shocked at what has happened in New Mexico since the voting there on Super Tuesday.

The full story can be found on The BRAD BLOG but the short of it is that thousands of voters went  to the polls only to find that they were not registered.  They  therefore had to vote on provisional ballots and almost 17,000 of them did.  If this weren’t bad enough, those ballots still have not been counted after two days and the spread between Obama and Clinton is only 217 out of 136,000.  Oh, and the Democratic Chair whose husband endorsed Clinton, kept at least three boxes of ballots home after the voting on Tuesday. 

Governor Richardson issued a statement saying that he is deeply disturbed by the problems in the voting.  Fortunately, NM votes on paper ballots so all of this may be fleshed out in the next few days. 

Looks like we might be asking for another recount.

2/6/08: Allen Raymond's Third Interview WIth VR -He Who Wins Makes The Laws

Here is the final of three interviews we conducted with Allen Raymond. We can report that a powerful House Committee is interested in what Mr. Raymond has to say and we have directed that Committee to these interviews.

Session 3 1/4

Re Vote Caging:

  • Went to RNC Campaign College in 1992, meant to be an intensive 3 or 5 day course to replicated the campaign experience, late nights and so on.
  • "didn't call it vote-caging"
  • "called it ballot integrity"
  • "mail first class letters to address and if returned, it stands as evidence the person is not at that address".
  • I didn't use it because it's very expensive.
  • Didn't anyone come up to you and say, "You shouldn't be doing these things?"
  • No. the victor go the spoils.

Session 3 2/4

Were you aware of an explicit what I call, 'swing state strategy'?:

  • In my book, I wrote about a dinner meeting with Haley Barbour where I told him we had a chance to pick up the governor's chair in West Virginia and he asked me "Why would we want West Virginia?".
  • In fact, WV proved to be a key state [for one of the Bush races].
  • There was an emphasis on state legislative races,etc., while Haley Barbour was chair because control of the state process establishes control over the redistricting process.
  • Yes, there was certainly an effort to win these races, there was emphasis on Governorships and legislative races.
  • Gets to "is king law or law king?" It's the infrastructure they put in place [that controls in the future.]

Session 3 3/4

Do you think drug laws are bad?:

  • Drug laws and sentencing laws are awful, we send way too many people to prison. We imprison more people than Russia and Canada combined.
  • "I was flipping these switches without realizing what was the impact in people's lives".
  • ...changed perspective on imprisonment.
  • I never got why we went into Iraq. The whole Powell/Tenet presentation at the UN was a staged thing. "As it was going on, I thought to myself that this is no different than an orchestrated political press conference. I didn't buy it."
  • In politics, you know the point you want to make, you've poll-tested it, you've tested it in the way you want to present it, now you've got to bring people around to understand how you present it.
  • I talk about the 'infoslam' that will so overwhelm that the recipient has to be convinced.
  • 'tell the reporter to put 100 pieces of paper into the fax machine to receive overwhelming information'
  • Iraq looked to you like an election campaign?
  • Yeah, had all hallmarks as a political campaign.

Session 3 4/4

Explicit goal to take elections by controlling the SOS such as in Ohio and Florida?:

  • Certainly a goal of taking legislative and constitutional offices.
  • But it's just common sense, that even if it is a constitutional office, control of elections should not be by a campaign official.
  • My view in Ohio in 2004, it was simply not an equality of deployment to precincts.

Jane Millerick, surprise to learn she's now a contributor to DCI PAC?:

  • Jane Millerick is a liar. None of what she said was true, lied about me.
  • They should've just eaten the scandal up front and it would've gone away.
  • Millerick is among top 10 liars, in my experience.
  • I was part of the group, "we don't break laws, we make laws".

1/30/08: GOP Whistleblower Allen Raymond’s Second Interview With VR Details More Dirty Tricks

As promised, here are the next four segments of our interview with reformed GOP dirty trickster Allen Raymond.  And by the way, we have some autographed copies of his book which we are giving away to the first 25 people who donate at least $50 to us here.

Session 2   1/4

  • Obama, he is a repudiation of the worst Bush Administration policies...war in Iraq primarily.
  • Dynasty: It's clear that if you're a Clinton, you can't be an agent of change.
  • All of the dirty tricks I talk about in my book which is delivering messages in a way that predisposes or asssumes a predisposition among certain demographic groups.
  • The inverted race card. Osama Barack--Educated in a madrassa
  • Expect Hillary Clinton to be rejected vis a vis the dynasty phenomenon. Quarter century of two family rule.
  • Is the law king or the king law?
  • What I mean by that is that once you get into this dynastic series, what it does is open up (and I think you've seen it in the Justice Dept. the last 8 years) using the law to essentially advance their goals. Specifically, in the Bush Administration it is the idea of taking a statute and expanding it beyond its original intent in order to create new laws rather than going through the legislative process.

Session 2  2/4

  • Re DCI Group, in the book you call them the black ops of the RNC. If you were to recommend to a clean government organization such as ourselves...How to expose them most appropriately?
  • The way that DCI makes its living at least for the last eight years is its been the nerve center for the Bush political operation outside of the RNC and the White House.
  • It's where PFA was hatched. Most of the telecommunications budgets would go through there on the campaign and probably at the RNC as well.
  • So what to do about DCI may be taken care of for you by the electorate. The reason I say that is Mitt Romney, in my political opinion, he's just an inauthentic guy...He just is too many different positions on different issues.... So what does that mean?  Most of the Bushies, people involved with the Bush campaign are involved in the Romney campaign.
  • Tony Feather of FLS-DCI was the co-chair of Romney campaign.
  • McCain doesn't have an operation like that, doesn’t’ have infrastructure that Bush 43 had which was also the leftovers from his father.
  • If McCain loses the GE, it's all in flux again, then it's a battle internally for who takes control of the Party.
  • That's where it gets interesting. DCI must perform and win in order to maintain its status which is kind of the clearing house...I mean it seems to me almost all Republicans end up working for DCI...not all but a good number of Republicans end up working for DCI, it's a clearing house.
  • I never worked there but in my book I needed to go there and talk to Mr. Synhorst to get his approval to get funding for my own company. So that gives you an idea of their reach.
  • That's the track for an organization like yours, the academic proof, the clear evidence of "here's a process that doesn't work".
  • I personally have never understood the rush to electronic voting...hanging chads...

Session 2  3/4

  • That that disclosure reports don't show a trail back to contract or buyer and it's in two states, this indicates money involved.

Session 2  4/4

  • As regional political director, what levels of campaigns were you aware of?
  • Served as the eyes and ears of the RNC, told them who were the viable candidates for decisions about where resources should be allocated and where they shouldn't.
  • Dole example of one who was clearly not viable.
  • Power of tobacco money:  "I've ridden on a tobacco jet"

1/29/08: Where Is The US Media When Sibel Edmonds Talks About High Level Corruption And Treason By Government Officials

For three weeks the past month, the UK Times of London has published explosive stories about the cover-up of Sibel Edmonds’ allegations of corruption, bribes and outright treason by high level US government officials.  Much of this information involves the illegal transfer of nuclear technology to Turkey and bribes to Marc Grossman, a former State Department official.

As Sibel expert Lukery Ryland notes in a recent interview with Sibel and a blog post, after “the Times began this series three weeks ago, the White House has quietly moved to legalize the sale of nuclear technology to Turkey in an apparent attempt to 'Exonerate Neocon Criminals' who have been illegally selling this technology for a decade. Congress has 90 days to block this legislation, otherwise it becomes law. If Turkey wants and deserves nuclear technology, this decision should be made openly and transparently, not the result of stealth decisions made by this administration to hide crimes of senior US officials.”

We need a concerted effort to stop this law from going into effect.

Moreover, no major US press has even reported on this story since the Times exposé series began three weeks ago.

We need public open hearings to determine which officials have been supplying the nuclear black market before this becomes law.

How long, if ever, before the New York Times, Washington Post, AP, or any other major U.S. media outlet begins reporting this story?

1/23/08: YouTube Censors VR Political Spoof Video

Three weeks ago, we posted an animation video on YouTube called Obama Asks Hillary About Change which showed Obama serenading Hillary while news headlines flashed across the screen about Hillary’s lack of change.  In three weeks, the vid was viewed over 80,000 times and had hundreds of comments creating quite a fun political dialog. 

Then this morning, YouTube precipitously removed the vid for “inappropriate content.” Here is the video that YouTube found so objectionable. We have asked them what is inappropriate about it but have so far received no response.  It appears that they don’t like political speech or they are supporting a particular candidate through their censorship of this video.  Hey, YouTube, remember the First Amendment?

We are contacting the ACLU to see what legal remedies we have to deal with this and of course we will be doing press releases about this shortly. So stay tuned.

1/23/08: GOP Political Operative Allen Raymond’s Exclusive Three Hour Dirty Tricks Tell-All

As promised, VR has three hours of video interview with Allen Raymond, the former GOP/RNC political operative who was convicted for the 2002 New Hampshire phone-jamming scandal. Allen sat down with us on three separate occasions over a week-long period and spilled his heart out about the evils of the GOP election strategy, the failings of George Bush, and the schism within the GOP after the rise of the Southern evangelicals.  We will present these over the next week in three installments.  Because YouTube only allows ten minute videos, the first installment is in four parts at the following links.  This is really fascinating information and we urge everyone to watch so they can learn what goes on behind the scenes and just how deep the corruption goes in the GOP political establishment.

Here are some of the highlights:

Part 1

  • Was a campaign manager who'd hung out his shingle to do telemarketing when he got the call from the RNC in 2002.
  • Was set to be the guinea pig to run a beta test of the phone-jamming operation as suggested by his attorney
  • I can't speak to DCI, they were not involved in this...DCI was only involved tangentially in the jam operation.
  • That tangent was James Tobin, employed by DCI, who was the RNC's Northeast Regional Political Director.
  • Tobin worked in the two national positions that Raymond had, as Regional Political Director of RNC, and NRSC.
  • Attorney: look at this thing, they were probably trying to get you to do the beta test, if successful, they'd probably roll it out.
  • Tobin's call is qualified by Raymond's experience who knows the process- no program sees the light of day unless it's been vetted. This is not an organization of rogues/crackpots.
  • Two assessments, unwaveable conditions -if he's calling me it must be approved, if he's calling me, he also must be somehow in charge of the money.
  • The check for NH Phone jamming was forged -Victory Account of State Committee

Part 2

  • The GOP uses various means to get around prohibitions on soft/hard money
  • GOP sells soft money for hard money like currency trading
  • The Northern Republicans have a distaste for the Southern Republicans and the “Bushies”
  • Southern Republicans went after the old guard GOP when Bush came into office and look what we got, it’s a shame
  • Southern Republicans are the snake-handlers, more ideological, less tolerant. They said, we won, we have a mandate and we are running things
  • Dennis Hastert basically gave away the majority, he was lining up at the service entrance
  • RNC and the Bushies are “liars”
  • Bush did not have the level of accomplishment a President needs but did have a high level of arrogance
  • I have earned the right to call them liars because they lied about  me
  • RNC spent at least 3 million for lawyers for my co-conspirator whose line of defense was that I was a liar


Part 3

  • GOP will “commit crimes to win elections”
  • They committed a crime in my case and then denied it ever happened
  • Vast Right Wing Conspiracy—I am part of it, and proof of it
  • Elections are not about morality, they are about winning
  • Government should not be moral, only churches and cults
  • Elections are like criminal trials, and I was the defense attorney
  • When the judge asked where is my moral compass, I said my compass was to win
  • RNC believes that if GOP wins, they make the laws
  • Campaigns are not about dialog and debate but about winning at all costs
  • We take polls to find out what buttons to push, to find predispositions
  • Don’t believe what you see or read in political campaigns because everything is targeted and polled
  • This book tells people what to look out for in politics
  • When the GOP won, that’s where the money was going to be
  • I could never stomach working  for the Bushies
  • I saw Karl Rove inTexas and he was very impressive, in total control and one of the best
  • RNC Chair Haley Barbour was a powerful presence and he gives his own marching orders


Part 4

  • By 2004, I was neck deep with the FBI and attorneys
  • Ken Blackwell was former chair of Forbes campaign and I knew him that way
  • In Ohio 2004, Blackwell made sure to disenfranchise because people are supposed to vote if in line on time
  • In Florida 2004, the Brooks Brothers riot was an orchestrated event
  • I was working the GOP convention in 1996 getting my section to do things
  • Florida 2000 was a travesty, but Bush would not lose that baby
  • Bush would win because James Baker was a lot tougher than Warren Christopher anyday
  • The mentality was rigorous, Florida was not something to lose, no way
  • Politics is a business, and politics monetizes government
  • Republicans monetize through money and contracts
  • Democrats monetize through entitlement programs that lock people into voting for them
  • The GOP is very good at monetizing government

1/17/08: John Conyers Introduces Bill to Fight Voter Caging

Today, House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers, Jr. (D-MI) introduced the Caging Prohibition Act of 2008. Voter caging is a practice by which mail is sent to a registered voter’s address and, if the mail is returned as “undeliverable” or if it is delivered and the voter does not respond, his or her registration is challenged in order to suppress voter turnout. This may occur even if the voter has simply moved across a college campus or to another location on a miltary base, or simply does not respond to what one might assume is junk mail. It is estimated that the practice has resulted in tens of thousands of voters - often soldiers, college students and low-income families - being purged from the rolls.

“During the 2004 Election, challengers monitored every single one of Detroit’s 254 polling stations,” Conyers said. “With a Michigan lawmaker advocating “suppress the Detroit vote,” it was obvious why the challengers were at every polling place – to create a tense and hostile environment for those eligible voters who simply wished to participate in our democracy by casting a ballot.”

The bill was cosponsored by Reps. Rahm Emanuel (D-IL), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Xavier Becerra (D-CA), Mike Honda (D-CA), John Barrow (D-GA), and John Yarmuth (D-KY), Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), Steven Cohen (D-TN), and Keith Ellison (D-MN). It seeks to make voter caging illegal with the following provisions:

· Provides that the right to register to vote or vote shall not be denied by election officials if the denial is based on voter caging and other questionable challenges not corroborated by independent evidence.
· Prohibits persons other than election officials from challenging a voter’s eligibility based on voter caging and other questionable challenges.
· Requires that any voter challenge by persons other than election officials be based on personal, first-hand knowledge.
· Designates voter-caging and other questionable challenges intended to disqualify eligible voters as felonies, crimes eligible for fines up to $250,000, five years imprisonment, or both.

“Voter caging is inconsistent with the principle that every eligible citizen should be entitled to the right to vote,” Conyers added. “The Caging Prohibition Act of 2007 will clearly define and criminalize voter caging and other questionable challenges intended to disqualify eligible voters.”

1/14/08: Karl Rove Tries To Discredit Exit Polls To Make Sure That Election Cheating Goes Unquestioned

Guest Blogged by Allan Hunt Badiner

Politics makes strange bedfellows, and I am not one for conspiracy theories. Yet, when I read Karl Rove's recent pro-Hillary Clinton piece in the Wall Street Journal, particularly the part about how useless exit polls are, my mind began to seriously entertain a clever dirty tricks campaign to keep Obama from winning the Democratic nomination.

A more mean-spirited and undeserved trashing of Obama has never been written, and coming from Karl Rove, his respectful if sympathetic view of Hillary is peculiar.  In his post mortem, Rove repeatedly refers to the experience issue, and urges Hillary to more effectively "raise questions about the fitness for the Oval Office of a first-term senator with no real accomplishments or experience."

Obama was supported by New Hampshire's wine drinkers, Rove explains, but he was rejected by its beer drinkers.  One wonders why the body of his NH analysis is then devoted to putting down Obama from a more sophisticated perspective-- certainly not the criteria used by the beer drinking crowd. "Obama," Rove writes "has failed to rise to leadership on a single major issue in the Senate. In the Illinois legislature, he had a habit of ducking major issues, voting 'present' on bills important to many Democratic interest groups..."  He proceeds to add on more questionable vitriol:  that Obama is "often lazy, given to misstatements and exaggerations and, when he doesn't know the answer, too ready to try to bluff his way through."

His newfound admiration for Hillary is unconvincing.  Yes, he admits Obama is playing a historical role, but "not enough to push aside the former First Lady and senator from New York. She's an historic figure, too."  In his criticisms of Hillary,  "Obama comes across," Rove churlishly attacks, "as a vitamin-starved Adlai Stevenson."   It's widely agreed that the Republicans are much more comfortable with running against Hillary in November with her high negatives.  If there is going to be election fraud and cheating-- why wait until November?  Why not take steps now to engineer success for the preferred opponent?  Can anyone be sure Karl Rove is really "retired?"

Our media culture endows polls," Rove claims, "especially exit polls -- with scientific precision they simply don't have."

Exit polls, unlike pre-ballot opinion polls, are clearly the closest thing we have to recognizing election fraud. Widely respected in Europe, they are never more than a fraction of a point off the ballot count.  Obviously pre-vote surveys can't be "scientific" since the voter has more opportunities to change their mind-- and many do at the last minute.  Once voters emerge from the voting booth, however, there can be no surprise changes.  To lump the unreliability of opinion polling with the established efficacy of exit polls is highly inaccurate, suspicious, and misleading.  I can understand why Rove is not fond of exit polls since the most compelling case made about the illegitimacy of Bush's presidency was the variance between exit polls and vote results in many specific precincts in several states.  Diebold has been implicated in many of these instances.  The vote in New Hampshire, it turns out, was overwhelmingly tabulated on Diebold scanning machines. To top it off, the percentages of the vote given for Obama and Clinton, according to which counting method was used, were almost precise mirror images of each other. If there was a hack, it may have been as simple as just switching the results without even molesting the numbers.

Last Sunday's New York Times Magazine cover story on the entire e-voting disaster titled, "The Bugs in the Machine," was well timed. Hillary's unexpected success (no doubt a big surprise to her) could possibly have been a massive failure for the nation.   Election fraud and cheating is nothing new in American politics- save possibly for its present scope, sophistication and early deployment.  Every citizen concerned about the viability of our democracy should be raising their voice loudly and firmly in opposition to elections using electronic voting outsourced to private corporations.  Our government, in order to remain of the people, by the people, and for the people, is properly obliged to employ exit polling and should ensure our precious votes are hand counted on paper ballots.

1/12/08: The Book How To Rig An Election Is An Excellent Read And You Can Get It Here—This Book Is About A Past New Hampshire Election

Last week, Simon and Shuster released a new book about GOP dirty tricks titled, “How to Rig An Election, Confessions Of A GOP Operative,” by Allen Raymond. We will soon be releasing several in depth interviews with Allen as part of our Election Protection Strike Force this year. In the meantime, VR has 20 autographed copies of the book to the first 20 donations to us of $50.00 or more here. And please support Mr. Raymond’s whistleblowing by ordering a copy of his book for you and your friends directly from Simon and Shuster here. This is a real eye-opener into the mindset of the Republican National Committee’s win-at-all-cost election strategy.

1/12/08: The Recount In NH Is On For Both Parties –So Pitch In

The primary  votes from the entire state of New Hampshire will be recounted – both the Democrat votes through Dennis Kucinich and the Republican votes through Albert Howard. The candidates have to pay for these recounts before they start on Wednesday January 16, 2008. You can make a donation to the GOP recount here and to the Dem recount here. We will be watching closely, and we have been told that the chain of custody is a prime concern so the ballots are still in the local jurisdictions and will be only transported with armed security and signed off at both ends.

1/10/08: Dennis Kucinich Asks For Recount Of The New Hampshire Primary Results

Late this evening, Presidential Candidate Dennis Kucinich formally requested a hand-recount of the votes in New Hampshire. Here is a copy of his press release:

Kucinich asks for New Hampshire recount in the interest of election integrity

DETROIT, MI – Democratic Presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich, the most outspoken advocate in the Presidential field and in Congress for election integrity, paper-ballot elections, and campaign finance reform, has sent a letter to the New Hampshire Secretary of State asking for a recount of Tuesday’s election because of“unexplained disparities between hand-counted ballots and machine-counted ballots.”
He added, “Ever since the 2000 election – and even before – the American people have been losing faith in the belief that their votes were actually counted. This recount isn’t about who won 39% of 36% or even 1%. It’s about establishing whether 100% of the voters had 100% of their votes counted exactly the way they cast them.”

Kucinich, who drew about 1.4% of the New Hampshire Democratic primary vote, wrote, “This is not about my candidacy or any other individual candidacy. It is about the integrity of the election process.” No other Democratic candidate, he noted, has stepped forward to question or pursue the claims being made.

“New Hampshire is in the unique position to address – and, if so determined, rectify – these issues before they escalate into a massive, nationwide suspicion of the process by which Americans elect their President. Based on the controversies surrounding the Presidential elections in 2004 and 2000, New Hampshire is in a prime position to investigate possible irregularities and to issue findings for the benefit of the entire nation,” Kucinich wrote in his letter.

“Without an official recount, the voters of New Hampshire and the rest of the nation will never know whether there are flaws in our electoral system that need to be identified and addressed at this relatively early point in the Presidential nominating process,” said Kucinich...

VR, The Brad Blog and Progressive Democrats of America have been working together to report as much information as possible on the problems associated with the NH primary.   VR requested an official investigation and posted a $100,000 reward for information about fraud in that election.  Kucinich reviewed all the material and decided that democracy is  best served by a recount.

We believe that such a recount will help restore faith in our elections, and that it will deter any planned fraud in the future.  In fact, our position at VR is that all votes should be cast on ballots and all ballots should be counted and audited and, in close elections, there should be an automatic hand recount with independent observers. 

It appears that even more strange anomalies have been found late tonight as noted on The Brad Blog:

Analysts at the Election Defense Alliance (EDA) have confirmed that based on the official results on the New Hampshire Secretary of state web site, there is a remarkable relationship between Obama and Clinton votes, when you look at votes tabulated by op-scan v. votes tabulated by hand:

Clinton Optical scan 91,717 52.95% Obama Optical scan 81,495 47.05%

Clinton Hand-counted 20,889 47.05% Obama Hand-counted 23,509 52.95%

The percentages appear to be swapped. That seems highly unusual, to say the least.

1/10/08: VR Offers $100,000 Reward For Information About E-Fraud In New Hampshire Primary

The primary election in New Hampshire on Tuesday has left a lot of people with questions about whether something was wrong with the Diebold vote machines used in 80% of the state.  As The Brad Blog has been reporting the past few days,,,,,, the exit polls, the pre election polls and the difference between the hand counted ballots and the machine counted ballots tend to raise questions about the results of the Obama/Clinton race and the Romney/other GOP candidate races.  In short, on the Democrat side, the polls all showed Obama winning handily against Clinton, and the hand counted ballots across the state showed Obama winning.  It was only in key Diebold counted counties that the results were skewed toward Clinton.

Now we don’t know if this discrepancy is attributable to real dynamics on the ground or to something wrong with the Diebold counting machines.  However, we believe that the stunning election upset should be scrutinized fully.  Therefore, we are offering a $100,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of any person or persons who caused a manipulation of the Diebold machines used in the  New Hampshire primary election sufficient to flip the Obama/Clinton race, or information that results in an official change of the first place winner of that Democrat race.

We also recognize that there have been reasonable allegations by the Ron Paul campaign that these same machines were manipulated in the GOP race, but not sufficient enough to change the first place winner results.  (In Sutton County officials admitted to us that they had mistakenly left off 31 votes for Ron Paul, although this was “human error.” See pdf.) Therefore, we urge the Paul campaign to join us in this reward with a matching amount targeted toward  the GOP race.

Tips can be confidentially given at 1-888-VOTETIP.

Other Pre-Election Numbers, For Republicans and Rest of Dems, Nearly Dead on the Money...

Democratic Presidential Candidates: Step Up and Show Us What You're Made Of!

Velvet Revolution co-founder Brad Friedman reports at The BRAD BLOG that there's reason to look very closely at New Hampshire Democratic Primary results.

We're not sure why, given the numbers we're looking at, Obama conceded so soon. His quick concession does not offer Democrats any assurance whatsoever that he understands the issues of election integrity we cover here at Velvet Revolution.

Brad writes, "While I have no evidence at this time --- let me repeat, no evidence at this time --- of chicanery, what we do know is that chicanery, with this particular voting system, is not particularly difficult."

Democrats absolutely need a nominee this year who they know will challenge any fishy election results and stick with that challenge as long as it takes. Now is the moment for every Democratic presidential candidate to step forward and show the voters your stuff. Velvet Revolution calls upon all Democratic Presidential candidates to:

  1. Publicly call upon New Hampshire Secretary of State Bill Gardner to immediately, swiftly and thoroughly investigate the discrepancy in Tuesday's Democratic presidential primary in New Hampshire, including comparison between the approximately 40% of precincts (25% of votes) originally counted by hand and the 60% of precincts counted by the same optical-scan machines that were hacked in Florida
  2. Publicly call upon the other Democratic presidential candidates to join you in this action, and
  3. Seize this golden opportunity to show Democratic Voters throughout the country what you can be depended up on to do should there be suspicious results in other primaries or in November's general election.

Next, the Republicans need to show the exact same respect for the voters, and demand transparency, from top to bottom in the system.  As ever, this is not about Right or Left, but about Right and Wrong. Every candidate, in every party, needs to begin standing up for the voters if they expect us to stand up for them.

Again, the full story, with updates, can be found at The BRAD BLOG.

1/6/08: New York Times Finally Exposes E-Voting Flaws

Three years ago, we launched our Divestiture for Democracy Campaign against the major vote machine manufacturers demanding, among other things, paper ballots, open source code, transparent audits and independent oversight. Not a single one of the companies complied and so we did  what promised--we exposed the problems with their products, we helped initiate lawsuits against some of them, we sent tens of thousands of petitions and letters protesting their conduct, we urged states and counties to boycott and sue the  companies, and we worked behind the scenes to convince officials to  investigate the companies.  This methodical campaign, which our members and affiliates helped with, has had dramatic results.  For example, Diebold’s stock dropped over 30% and its CEO Wally O’dell was fired after one of our lawsuits was filed against the company for stock fraud and now it is being investigated by the SEC.  States across the country are banning and decertifying the machines and suing the companies for fraud and breach  of contract.  And finally, the mass media is reporting on this “train wreck.” 

Today, in a massive 8000 word article on the cover of NYT Magazine, the Times finally comes around to where we were three years ago warning that the evote machines could be a threat to democracy and our country’s elections.  The Clive Thompson article, titled "The Bugs in the Machines," is quite chilling. After the 2000 election," it opens, "counties around the country rushed to buy new computerized voting machines. But it turns out that these machines may cause problems worse than hanging chads. Is America ready for another contested election?" One key passage: "The earliest critiques of digital voting booths came from the fringe --- disgruntled citizens and scared-senseless computer geeks --- but the fears have now risen to the highest levels of government.  One expert says that "about 10 percent" of the devices fail in each election.

One interesting point in the article is where Princeton computer scientist Ed Felten states that an “anonymously donated” Diebold machine was used by his team to prove that a malicious virus could be inserted into a machine to infect all the machines in an election and change the results.  Well, that is not true--we at VR loaned that Diebold machine to Princeton after getting it from one of our whistleblowers who  worked for Diebold.  Professor Felten knows this and why he won’t give credit where credit is due is really beyond us.

Another note is that for years we have been hounding reporters at the Times to investigate and report on the problems with the machines but we were met with derision, silence and outright hostility.  Now, although the article vindicates much of our  work, it does not admit how culpable and wrong the Times has been for not taking this story seriously when we first broke it after the 2004 election.  At that time, the Times called us a bunch of sore losers and whiners.  So we would have liked to see this article written as a mea culpa like the Times did when it admitted that it was wrong on Iraq when it bought into all the lies of the Bush White House??? But better late than never, and let us be clear, there is more to the story of the 2000 and 2004 presidential elections that has not yet been reported by the New York Times (a hint Mr. Intrepid Reporter: not just dirty tricks, but outright illegal conduct when a small cadre of Bush Family loyalists took over the computer systems used to tabulate the votes and thereby manipulated those elections and yes, this is also coming to us from our whistleblowers. If you care to investigate before three years passes, drop us a line).

1/4/08: Bush’s Hometown Paper Reports On Our Mike Connell Investigation

Some good news out of Texas recently and a tip off to all those press people who ignored our previous scoops about problems with our elections.  Bush’s hometown newspaper, the Lonestar Iconoclast, recently did a nice story about our investigation of Bush loyalist Mike Connell and how he was tapped by George Bush Sr. in 1986 to embed  the GOP takeover of the government into the country’s IT network.

Connell is a computer genius who Daddy Bush introduced to Karl Rove and Jeb Bush way before Dubya took the White House. Connell created the first GOP website, controlled the election computers in Florida 2000 and Ohio 2004, launched, and has been involved in virtually every election scandal the past decade – NH phone jamming, Swift Boat Veterans Against Kerry, false phone and direct mail scripting, WH email scandal, US Attorney scandal, and others.  His companies control the majority of GOP IT work, and the scary thing is that his company GovTech  Solutions is now behind the firewall of key committees in Congress, including Judiciary, Intelligence, Ways and Means, and Administration.

We have been investigating Connell and his companies for many months using whistleblowers to provide us with hard incriminating evidence against him and his associates.  More will be coming out in the near future.  When you see a dirty trick during this election, even one against a Republican, be aware that the odds are that one of Connell’s companies is involved in some way.  We are going to expose this attack on democracy front and center so Connell and his ilk are persona non grata.  We will be launching a campaign shortly demanding that candidates pledge not to use Connell’s companies or the tactics they have been engaging in over the past decade. 

1/3/08: Today The Voting Starts And The Bad Guys Are Already Trying To Rig Another Election

Please note that VR has an election protection hotline to report instances of fraud and theft in the 2008 elections, starting with today’s caucus in Iowa. Please spread it far and wide, 1-800-VOTETIP.

Last election, the election reform community was virtually alone in warning of a “train wreck” from the use of electronic voting machines, and we were right  with thousands of reports of problems nationwide.  Well, this year the mainstream media is finally taking notice due in large part to the recent reports out of California, Ohio and Colorado that most of the e-voting machines are unsecure and ripe for rip-offs.   CNN today calls e-voting a “failure”, , USA Today warns that millions have been wrongfully purged from voter rolls,, and the Associated Press reports that our election system is broken.

But e-voting is only part of the problem – another part involves the use of illegal practices by the GOP/RNC as outlined in the book, How to Rig an Election, Confessions of a Republican Operative, due out on January 8th.  The author reports that  the GOP has an  entire playbook of dirty tricks run by black ops staffers at the RNC and operatives at DCI Group. These include illegal phone jamming, false phone scripting, false direct mailers, slush funds, shell companies, co-mingling of soft and hard monies, vote caging and intimidation of voters.  For example, in South Carolina, cards falsely attributed to the Romney campaign were sent to Republicans to  taint his campaign. In Kansas, the Chairman of the Kansas GOP recently bragged about how many voters the GOP had already caged. And today, the Swift Boat Veterans were exposed as at it again with their war chest of lies.

So be diligent and keep an eye out for all this illegal and unethical conduct by the haters of democracy.  Please let us know when you see something.

1/2/08: Obama Asks If Hillary Is Really For Change!

Everyone is talking about change now that 2008 is here and the election is in full swing.  Barack Obama and John Edwards are arguing over who represents change the most. Dennis Kucinich, who really does epitomize change, just endorsed Obama, while Ralph Nader, who changed the 2000 election results, endorsed Edwards. On the other hand, many people are saying that Hillary will play it safe, at least for four years,  and her big policies will be more of the same, catering to lobbyists, corporations and the war machine.

So we decided to have a little fun and create this short music video with Obama serenading Hillary about how he dreams of her as the Junior Senator from New York.  Of course, we at VR want change, big change, but we will leave it to another day to discuss who we think will cause the biggest change. Until then, enjoy this ditty and vote your conscience this year. 

12/23/07: Good News From The Death  Penalty  Front

The USA holds itself out as a protector of life and liberty but it is one of the few countries in the world that actively supports the death penalty for a variety of crimes, including non-violent ones.  In fact, many politicians in this country run on a platform of death, especially those evangelical hypocrites who preach the sanctity of life yet rally around war and death.

Well, this week brought some welcome news to those of us who actually follow our belief that killing is wrong.  First, New Jersey became the only state in more than 40 years to actually outlaw and overturn its death penalty statutes.  Democrat Governor Corzine signed the bill after it passed with strong support by the NJ House and Senate. 

Second, the United Nations passed a non-binding resolution condemning the death penalty and those countries that use it. The US was among 19 countries that voted against the resolution.  According to Amnesty International, more than 90% of all known executions took place in six countries: China, Iran, Iraq, Pakistan, Sudan and the United States.  And in the US, 60% of all executions this year took place in Texas.

12/18/07: VR Launches New Online Voter Registration Form

VR, in cooperation with its co-founder, Justice Through Music,, has just launched a new online voter registration form that you can fill in right from your computer.  It tells you exactly where to send the form to ensure that you are properly registered.   Please feel free to put this linkable voter registration button on your site to help us register a record number of voters this election. We will be partnering with several other sites and organizations that will use this form so let us  know if your site wants to join this registration effort. 

12/18/07: New Music Video Brings Attention To The Genocide in Darfur

VR co-founder Justice Through Music just released a new music video called Black Specter, The Killing Of Darfur to inspire people to take action to stop the genocide in Darfur.  Check it out on YouTube and spread it far and wide.  We have been doing a lot of ads this year about Darfur urging the Bush Administration to show some leadership and initiate a no-fly zone in the area to stop the militias from killing the innocent black Africans. 

This new video includes never before published photos taken by Brian Steidle, a military observer in Darfur who was so frustrated with the lack of action that he brought the photos back to the US and took them to the New York Times. This led to a full feature documentary movie called The Devil Came on Horseback that opened to  wide acclaim this fall.  Brian kindly made all of his photos available to Justice Through Music for this video.  Other footage was donated by the Save Darfur coalition,

12/14/07: Ohio Secretary of State Everest Report Recommends Banning DREs

Five months ago, California Secretary of State Debra Bowen’s Red Team Review found that most of the  vote machines used there were unsecure and so she decertified them.  Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner then ordered her own review by a team of experts and they concluded—ban DRE machines and institute new procedures for central tabulating. We at VR have been advocating this for years.

We believe that the focus on central tabulating here is important especially in light of the fact that there were so many problems in past Ohio elections with the vote totals, the recounts and the allegations of fraud.   Of course, DRE machines are subject to manipulation and paper ballots can alleviate that problem.  However, who watches the central tabulators especially if there is not audit or recount.  We have received tip after tip from whistleblowers who say that elections have been flipped at the central tabulator level in Ohio and elsewhere.   So kudos to SOS Brunner and let’s see if she has the staying power to head off the corrupt OHIO GOP – home of Bob Ney, Ken Blackwell, Wally O’Dell and Brett Rapp. 

12/13/07: Heck of a Job Dubya

In Baghdad's Tobji neighborhood, girls walk to school wearing the hijab, or Islamic head scarf. Teenage gunmen from Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr's Mahdi Army imposed the mandate on the first day of school

The reports from the White House on the success of the surge are filled with platitudes and self congratulations.  But the real truth that really angers us and probably most Americans are coming from, lo and behold, mainstream media.   A few weeks ago, 60 Minutes aired a report that showed that Christians, a faith left alone by Saddam, have been killed, displaced and threatened more since the American  invasion than any time in the past 2000 years.

And today on the Washington Post front page, a story underscored what George Bush has created in Iraq: Shiite fighters stormed into a girls’ high school and, clutching AK-47s, demanded that all the girls wear headscarves or die.  In Basra, girls are being systematically murdered for wearing Western clothing. 

Heck of job, Dubya, and another reason you should be impeached—gross incompetence resulting in terror and death.

12/4/07: New National Intelligence Estimate Exposes More Warmongering And Lies From The White House

George Bush has been telling us that Iran is close to creating an atomic bomb and that we are facing WWIII if Iran is not stopped.  His threats against Iran have been non-stop for years reaching a recent crescendo.  But yesterday, with the release of the latest National Intelligence Estimate, the world can see clearly that Bush has been spinning, and lying and warmongering to keep the American people in fear.

According to the NIE, Iran gave up its nuclear ambitions five years ago.  Bush knew this because he was advised of this at latest last winter.  Yet he continued his charade of fear. This is a disgrace.  But what we are seeing by this frank assessment is that the NIE is now being run by people who do not want to get burned with another Iraq debacle, people who are professional, and people who are not working for a political agenda.  These people are no longer afraid of George Bush and his ilk.

But the really good news for the American people is that this NIE greatly diminishes the probability of war with Iran over its nuclear program.  At VR, we have long advocated for a policy of honesty, diplomacy and engagement with Iran.  Let’s hope that this ray of light opens that door.

12/1/07: White House Claims Secrecy on Bush Contacts with Abramoff-But VR Has The Picture of Them Together

Remember a few years back when Bush said he did  not even know Jack Abramoff and had never met him. Well, now the White House is invoking sensitive secrets to keep from answering several lawsuits about the Bush/Abramoff contacts.  But, we did not believe Bush then and we don’t believe him now.  So we put our money on it – we offered $500 for each different photo of them together. 

And lo and behold, we had to pay out $500 for this picture, courtesy of a whistleblower who wanted to remain anonymous who gave the picture to CREW, It is amazing that this  picture has not been picked up more by the MSM especially when the Washington Post and Time Magazine said that they were shown photos but were not allowed to publish them.

11/21/07: Two Big Reasons To Put Impeachment On The Fast Track

There were two stories recently that underscore just how important and pressing impeaching Bush and his cartel has become.  One story made the news last night on the front page of most national newspapers, but the other is even more sinister and it has gotten almost no press.  The first story involves former White House press secretary Scott McClellan who states in his upcoming book that Bush, Cheney, Libby, Rove and Card knowingly passed on false information to  McClellan when they told him that Rove and Libby were “not involved” in the outing of CIA Agent Valerie Plame. So here we have Bush and his top staff providing false information to  the public and outing a CIA agent to get back at her husband for telling the truth about non-existent Iraq yellow cake.  And this caused false information to be given to a federal grand jury and possibly a federal jury.  And finally, we have Bush giving a pardon to Libby which it now appears was done as a payoff to cover-up Bush’s own criminal conduct.  Nixon articles on impeachment were for similar conduct.

The second story was reported in the foreign press but got very little coverage here at home.  In short, according to a transcript of talks in February 2003 between George Bush and the then Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar at the President's Texas ranch, Saddam Hussein, one month prior to the war in Iraq, offered to relinquish power and go into exile for the sum of one billion dollars. Bush rejected the offer saying, “We’ll be in Baghdad by the end of March.”  Now as a result of this decision, the United States has spent close to a trillion dollars on an unnecessary war, with tens of thousands of American dead and injured, an entire country destroyed and in chaos, and more than one million Iraqis dead, injured and displaced.    This is breathtaking.

Both of these are related to the war in Iraq and both show not just contempt of the truth but actual criminality. When will the Congress say that enough is enough. 

11/12/07: New Music Video On The 2004 Election In Ohio And The Resulting Death Of Our Soldiers

Today, VR co-founder Justice Through Music,, released a new music video tying the manipulation of the Ohio 2004 presidential election to the death of thousands of soldiers in Iraq.  It is called “More Dead Cause of Ohio,” and it is a re-make of Neil Young’s anti-war song, “Ohio,” now with new lyrics and lots of contoversial footage from Arlington National Cemetery, including the digging of new graves.  Regarding the election footage, JTM worked closely with David Earnhardt, the producer of “Uncounted,” a powerful movie about the manipulation of the Ohio election, which was released last week to  rave reviews and a sold out premier.  You can see the trailer and buy the film at  Please spread this video all over and embed it on your site.  This is all you need to know about why it is important to protect our votes.  If we do, we also protect our men and women in uniform. 

11/5/07: VR Supports Proposed Federal Legislation Prohibiting (1) Election Officials From Requiring Photo ID And (2) Caging

On October 31,2007, Minnesota Congressman Keith Ellison introduced legislation to prohibit election officials from requiring a photo ID as a condition for voting. Here is the precise language from the House bill.


(a) In General- An election official may not require an individual to provide a photo identification as a condition for receiving or casting a ballot in any election for Federal office.

Photo ID laws are used as a tool of the GOP to disenfranchise large groups of citizens – the poor, elderly, infirm and minority.  Study after study has shown that the GOP boogeyman of “voter fraud”  is a myth and that there is absolutely no evidence of any recent federal election being compromised by people voting in another person’s name.

The second piece of important legislation, introduced last week by Sheldon Whitehouse and 12 other Senators, is called “The Caging Prohibition Act of 2007,” and it forbids the use of caging which the GOP also  employs to keep people from voting.  Here is a copy of the bill. 

VR supports both of these bills and we urge all of you to write and call Congress and demand their passage.  The days of GOP electoral dirty tricks are coming to a close.  These bills will help to ensure that there will be no more White House Plumbers and Committees to Re-Elect the President (CREEP) manipulating elections and committing coup d’etats through such anti-democratic tactics.

11/2/07: Head of Non-Profit Undergoes Actual Waterboarding And Torture

Since Attorney General designate Michael Mukasey can’t figure out if waterboarding constitutes torture, we are going to help him out.  Brett Kimberlin, the Director of Justice Through Music, a co-founder of VR, wanted to know and to show the public actual waterboarding and torture.  He therefore agreed to be the subject of a music video featuring various means of torture approved by U.S. officials and used by military personnel over the past few years.

The video was filmed in the winter at an abandoned prison under actual conditions.  He  told his "captors" not to hold back, and to make it real.  The video, now on YouTube at, is called "Exile" and it  is a scathing indictment of torture and extreme rendition complete with hoods, guns, handcuffs, hanging, deprivation and humiliation.  It has been viewed over 20,000 times on various Internet sites since its release a few months ago.

President Bush's new US Attorney designate, Michael Mukasey, has refused to state that waterboarding is torture and this has imperiled his nomination. But Mr. Kimberlin has no such doubts:  "I was tortured pure and simple. The waterboarding was extremely frightening and there were long periods when I couldn't breathe and started choking on my own vomit. The water and air temperature were very cold and this added to my extreme discomfort. Following the torture session, I was hobbled for three weeks, had scars on my wrists for months, and contracted a life threatening respiratory infection and shingles for which I had to seek medical treatment.  I still have nightmares about the torture even though I knew that I would get out alive.  I urge Mr. Mukasey to watch the Exile torture video and then tell the Senators that waterboarding is torture. In fact, just as in my case, waterboarding is just one of the tools of torture used against prisoners. So it is not just whether waterboarding in isolation is torture but also whether waterboarding used as part of a palette is torture.  If someone is waterboarded, then subjected to freezing temperatures and becomes deathly ill like I did, then that is also torture.”

Justice Through Music has broadcast quality copies of the Exile video available for Mr. Mukasey’s edification, Congress and the press upon request: jtmpinfo at


At VR we have been advocating for over a year for Congress to pass a simple election reform bill modeled on the bi-partisan bill that passed overwhelmingly in Florida which bans DRE touch screen vote machines. After months of being told over and over by Rep. Rush Holt's (D-NJ) office, People for the American Way (PFAW), and many of the other most ardent supporters of Holt's flawed Election Reform Bill (HR811) that "there is no support in Congress for a ban on DREs," it appears that such support does exist since Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) and co-sponsor Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) filed such a bill today.

Here's the complete bill [PDF] Please note this item from page 41, Line 7:

RESTRICTION ON USE OF DIRECT RECORDING ELECTRONIC VOTING SYSTEMS - A direct recording electronic voting system may not be used to administer any election for Federal office held in 2012 or any subsequent year.

A ban on such machines, finally? Yes! By 2012? Unfortunately, yes. But let's overlook that last point for a moment.

In a statement issued by Nelson today, pointing out that DRE (often referred to as "touch-screen") voting systems are "unreliable and vulnerable to error," the senator says, "The bottom line is we have to ensure every vote is counted – and, counted properly...Citizens must have confidence in the integrity of their elections.”

It’s always nice to know that someone is listening to VR and all of its thousands of members and affiliates who deluged Congress with demands to ban DREs. 

10/31/07: DOJ Voting Rights Section Head Skewered At Conyers Hearing - VR Calls For His Firing

It is always nice to see a blog expose a bad apple in the government and it is even nicer when that blog is our own Brad Blog and the official is John Tanner, the head of the DOJ’s Voting Rights Section who has done everything in his power to keep people from voting. And it was nice to see the pent up anger from the all the bad deeds of Tanner and his ilk came out yesterday in a hearing before the House Judiciary Committee.  But first let’s back up.

Here’s the timeline:

This all started a few weeks ago when Tanner told a conference that voter ID laws would not affect minorities "because our society is such that minorities don't become elderly. The way white people do. They die first."

The BRAD BLOG has a complete live blog and video tape of the official skewering of John Tanner but  suffice it to say that he did not get himself out of hot water. In fact, his performance was so dismal and damaging that we at VR now call for the firing of Mr. Tanner.  He can’t be rehabilitated and his department will not regain its credibility until he is gone.  So let’s be done with him. 

Finally, congrats to Brad for exposing this story, getting presidential candidates and the DNC involved, getting the MSM to take notice and getting Conyers to hold a hearing all in three weeks.  This is a real demonstration of Brad’s credibility and hard work, and it shows precisely how investigative blogs are driving the news and making a real difference.  Look out bad guys, don’t tread on us because we are on to you and we are going to hold you accountable.

10/26/07: VR Sponsors Progressive Challenge 2008.

VR is one of the lead sponsors of “Progressive Challenge 2008” which is seeking politicians who promise to End Imperial Foreign Policy, Redirect Military Funding, Support Clean and Fair Elections, Support Media Reform, Provide Universal Health Care, Ensure Economic Justice, and Protect Civil Rights and Reproductive Freedom. Representatives from this coalition will be handing out tens of thousands of flyers at peace rallies being held across the nation on Saturday, October 27th.

The Progressive Agenda has already been endorsed by such well known figures as Barbara Ehrenreich, Jim Hightower, Jackson Browne, Mayor Rocky Anderson, Bill Fletcher, Jr. and Tom Hayden. It will be utilized in the coming months by activists to pressure candidates for office, including presidential candidates, to endorse it.

Other sponsoring organizations include Progressive Democrats of America, Justice Through Music, Backbone Campaign, HealthCareNOW!,,, Camp Casey Institute, and Hip-Hop Caucus.

Help be a part of the Progressive Challenge 2008 by

  • Adding your name to the list of Progressive Agenda endorsers that includes respected artists, musicians, elected officials and other peace and justice leaders.
  • Confronting politicians as they come to your communities in search of votes. For example: Do they support full troop withdrawal from Iraq and pledge no attack on Iran? If they claim to be for universal healthcare, why don’t they support single-payer Enhanced Medicare for All?
  • Distributing the Progressive Agenda widely face-to-face and via email to friends, neighbors, relatives and fellow activists. Print out a copy and duplicate it. Refer to this agenda in blog comments, letters to the editor and calls to talk shows.
  • Bird-dogging candidates for President, Senate and Congress at their public events, in the media and elsewhere.

10/25/07: MoveOn Smells War With Iran And Bush Wants Stealth Bombers With Bunker Busters

It has been almost two years since VR starting making noise about a war with Iran. In fact, in March 2006, we placed large ads in both the NY Times and Washington Post warning of a war with Iran. You can download that ad here. Although we got the attention of some in Congress and the military, other progressive organizations rebuffed our efforts to broaden our campaign or make it an issue in the 2006 election.

Well, all of that has changed now. Yesterday, finally decided that this issue needs addressing. It has posted Robert Greenwald’s Iran propaganda video on its site and it has urged its members to contribute to a new campaign to stop a war with Iran. Better late than never.

Hillary Clinton is getting blasted daily by all the other Democratic presidential candidates for her vote a few weeks ago to authorize Bush to go after Iran. This will intensify now that Bush has today imposed new sanctions on Iran including labeling its military a terrorist organization.

But what should really get people’s attention is Bush asking for 88 million in emergency funding to modify stealth bombers to carry massive bunker buster bombs, the type that can be used against Iran’s nuclear facilities. Why the emergency???

Look out Hillary. It appears that Rove and Bush just set you up and MoveOn knows it. Let’s play this out for you. Bush bombs Iran, you get blamed by the Democrats for allowing it to happen, you win the primary but lose the general election because the Dems abandon you for being a warmonger. So, in this scenario, we will look for an attack on Iran right after the primary. Another war started for political reasons, and you Hillary gave Bush this political play. Bad move and all the more reason to prohibit the war with Iran.

10/23/07: VR Begins Preparations for Election Protection Strike Force 2008

Yes, it’s a year before the 2008 general election but since the stakes are so high, we have decided to get ahead of the curve by doing a soft launch of our 2008 Election protection Strike Force now. We are doing this because there are elections this November in states across the country and we want to make sure to keep an eye on them. Moreover, the presidential primaries are starting early this year, with the first ones in January. So we are here to support election reform, registration and protection organizations nationwide in every way possible. If your organization wants to join this effort, drop us a line.

To start off, pass around our vote fraud tip line, 1-888-VOTETIP if you know of any wrongdoing by bad guys trying to manipulate the vote machines, tabulators or elections in other nefarious ways. We also have an email for this purpose: tips at

Next, if you know of conferences to educate people about the elections, we can post those here and maybe even help sponsor them. If you know of a close election or one which may be controversial, let us know and we will help to arrange some polling so there is less chance of cheating.

We will let you know as we add to Strike Force 2008, and once we are fully up and running we will make a lot of noise about the launch along with all of our campaigns, partners and friends. Here is a list of the primaries and caucus dates, and soon we will outline how we will be helping to watch the polls, video the vote and, offer rewards, and challenge any election wrongdoing. We look forward to your suggestions on what else we need to do to ensure that the 2008 election is as clean and honest as possible.

10/19/07: Spread VR’s Darfur Ads Far And Wide

VR has started placing ads on the Net to focus attention on the genocide in Darfur and the lack of action by George Bush. Please feel free to use the ads for your site.

450,000 Dead and Counting

Since 2003, Arab militias and government troops have systematically killed 450,000 Africans in Darfur. It has taken four years for Bush to impose economic sanctions while coddling the Chinese/Sudan oil machine. Hold Bush accountable for allowing this genocide and demand a UN enforced no-fly zone!

More People Die Every Day

The black African population of Darfur is being systematically destroyed by Arab militias. The support of the Sudanese Air Force is a key element in these actions. A UN-enforced no-fly zone over Darfur would greatly hinder their genocidal efforts. Let Congress know economic sanctions are not enough!

No Fly Zone Now!

Sudanese Hind-D gunships like this one are supporting Arab militias in the genocide of the Black population of Darfur. President Bush has imposed sanctions, but since Sudan produces its own oil and sells most of it to the Chinese, these sanctions have little effect. Tell Congress it's not enough!

10/14/07: Al Gore Wins The Nobel Peace Prize

The irony of it all. George Bush stole the 2000 election from Al Gore and went on to become the most hated president in modern history and purveyor of death. Gore in contrast became a man of vision and his stature and reputation grew larger than any former vice president since Thomas Jefferson. Bush’s name is now synonymous with war and Gore is synonymous with peace. And Gore was just given the ultimate award for his work – the Nobel Peace Prize. This is what karma is all about pure and simple. Congratulations Al.

10/6/07: VR Requests Criminal Investigations Of Multiple Voting By Members Of The Texas House Of Representatives

Last week, Austin Texas KEYE TV reported on its investigation of multiple voting by scores of Members of the Texas House of Representatives. In short, Members engage in a widespread practice of voting for other members who are not present when the vote is called. In the investigation videotape, several Members are seen voting four times. Watch the video here on YouTube. This is a violation of Section 47 of the House Rules which prohibits the voting for another member. Violations are supposed to result in disciplinary action. However, in the good-old-boy State of Texas, no one gets disciplined. (Sounds like the way the Texas boys in DC also do it).

Coincidentally, the House Member targeted in the video is none other than Debbie Riddle, the GOP Representative who introduced the recent Voter ID legislation requiring Texas voters to produce a photo ID before casting a vote on election-day. She wants this law passed so citizens will not commit vote fraud by voting more than once. So here we have hypocrisy at its worst – House Members can vote as many times as they want because they are “trustworthy,” but lowly citizens have to have a photo ID to vote even though all studies have shown that the GOP boogeyman of vote fraud is virtually non-existent.

We don’t like hypocrites no matter what the party and we really don’t like politicians who think they are above the rules.  So we have sent three letters requesting that action be taken against those who have engaged in multiple voting in the Texas House. One letter went to the Speaker of the Texas House asking that he discipline the guilty parties. The second and third letters went to the Texas Attorney General and the Texas FBI Office in Austin asking that they conduct a criminal investigation into this multiple voting scandal because many of the votes involved State and Federal funds and therefore the multiple voting probably violated the respective fraud and conspiracy statutes.  We will be issuing a press release about this tomorrow and we ask that all of you contact the parties mentioned and demand an end to this shocking, third world conduct in the State of Texas.

Download the letters in word format here: _1_, _2_, _3_.

9/27/07: The MoveOn Ad And Hypocrisy

We are big supporters of free speech here at VR and we don’t like hypocrisy.  At the same time, we have been reluctant to post about the MoveOn ad because so many others are already talking about it.  However, we want to make it clear that we support MoveOn’s First Amendment right to speak out on the war.  And it is nice that something got people talking about the war even if it was an ad rather than the trillion dollar war budget or the almost 4,000 dead American soldiers. Moreover, we want to chastise the NYT for stating that the ad violated their policy against personal attacks.  Come on, this was not a personal attack, it was an attack on immoral war policy and the crossing of the lines between the military and the White House.  General Petraeus has taken on the roll of WH spokesperson and he is therefore fair game for attacks just as Bush would be. Indeed, we at VR have put numerous ads in the NYT that attack Bush and his policies.

What is really worse than the NYT caving in to right wing pressure is those Senators and Representatives who voted to condemn the MoveOn ad.  Where was the Congress when one of its own, Max Cleland, who lost half his body in Vietnam, was personally attacked in an ad which included footage of Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein?  Where was the Congress when another of its own, John Kerry, was personally attacked during a presidential election campaign by the Swift Boat Veterans with false information?  And why are Democrats buying into the right wing spin on this story?  Well, last night, the Big Dog Bill Clinton had enough and he spoke our sentiments on CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360.  So here it is, – enjoy and realize that our job and your job is to speak the truth to power, to lies and bullies.

9/25/07: Since 2003, Sudanese President al-Bashir and his Arab Janjaweed militias

have systematically destroyed the African population of Darfur killing almost a half million people, displacing another three million and causing millions to be dependent upon foreign food aid. Yet it has taken four years for George Bush to impose limited economic sanctions on Sudan while coddling the Chinese/Sudan oil machine. A UN sponsored no-fly zone would have stopped the killing long ago.  But Bush is asking the UN for more economic sanctions. This is not leadership and it’s a little too late.  We don’t need more speeches. We need a no-fly zone and if the UN won’t do it, the US should.  Hold Bush accountable for failing to act decisively to stop the Darfur genocide. Call Congress today, contact the media and make some noise to demand a no-fly zone and criminal prosecutions of those directly responsible for this genocide.

Download it here.

9/19/07: VR’s New Ad Against DRE Touchscreen Machines

VR launched a new ad this week that will appear in various forms of this theme. Please download it and spread it wide. And, as we posted in September 5th, don’t forget to support the Davis Amendment to restrict the use of DRE touchscreen voting machines.

9/24/07: VR’s Second Anti-DRE Ad

Here is our second anti-DRE ad, presently running on The BRAD BLOG, Copy it and spread widely.

Download it here.

9/17/07: Corrupt Congressman Tom Feeney And The Clint Curtis Challenge

Last week, clean election advocate Clint Curtis announced his 2008 congressional contest against Congressman Tom Feeney in FL-24. This is his second attempt to unseat the veteran Florida Representative. In 2006, after winning the primary with over 61% of the vote, Curtis allegedly lost to Feeney in the general election, 42-58%. We say allegedly because Curtis took the unprecedented step after the election of walking the precincts to discover, lo and behold, that the election results were not accurate and that Curtis, if the votes had been counted properly, actually won. Curtis went on to mount an election challenge in Congress but was rebuffed. So, he is at it again, this time starting more than a year early and seeking endorsements and contributions to make sure he wins hands down in 2008. And, it appears that Clint has a little more help on his side this time underscoring Clint’s many previous assertions that Feeney is corrupt and associating with criminals,

In April, the FBI has announced that Feeney is under investigation in the Jack Abramoff corruption probe, and several people other than Abramoff are now cooperating with the DOJ, including two of former congressman Bob Ney’s chiefs of staff. However, that is not all. Earlier this month, one of Feeney’s top advisors, campaign managers and friends, Ralph Gonzalez, was killed in an apparent double murder suicide in Orlando. There has been a lot salacious reporting on this story that leads us to speculate that Curtis will have a mound of ammunition to connect Feeney to even more sleaze and corruption.

We believe that it is time for the powers in Washington, both Republican and Democrat, to call for Feeney’s ouster from Congress. If not, we urge the citizens of FL-24 and all Democrats to elect someone who promises to run a clean ship that is responsive to the people. Say, someone like Clint Curtis.

9/14/07: GW Has His Sights On Iran And Joe Lieberman Is His Loudest Cheerleader

VR has been warning for almost two years that GW has his sights on a war with Iran. Well lately, even the mainstream press is jumping on the new war bandwagon with stories in the Washington Post, Times of London, Time Magazine, and the New York Times. Many of these articles are repeating the White House line just as they did during the Iraq war run up. And who, pray tell, has been the Administration’s strongest advocate for an attack on Iran – none other than warmonger in chief Joe Lieberman. On CBS's Face the Nation, Lieberman said, "If [the Iranians] don't play by the rules, we've got to use our force, and to me, that would include taking military action to stop them from doing what they're doing." And during this week’s testimony by General Petraeus, Lieberman asked if the general wanted "the authority" from Congress to "pursue the Qods forces into Iranian territory." Lieberman believes that an attack on Iran would protect Israel but it would have the opposite effect causing massive retaliation against the Jewish State and American interests everywhere, including against troops in Iraq.

Again, it’s time to call your Congress Members and tell them to condemn Lieberman’s calls for another war, and to hold quick hearings to find out if indeed George Bush intends to attack Iran.

This madness needs to end.

9/11/07: DRE Touch Screen Machines Turn Back The Clock On Minority And Handicapped Voting Rights

One thing that has really perplexed us here at VR is why, in light of all the evidence of lost and disappeared votes on touch screen vote machines, do the major minority and handicapped organizations support the continued use of DRE touch screen machines. The reasons given are basically: 1) they are easy to use, 2) they are accessible to all types of disabilities, and 3) they can be programmed to accommodate many different languages. OK, fair enough, but certainly other types of voting machines are or could provide the same. But more fundamentally, and what appears to be the elephant in the room that no one talks about, is how these organizations that fought long and hard battles, even with lives and blood, are so willing to give up votes to a machine that has been proven over and over to be faulty, unsecure, and unreliable. And more startling is how these organizations can trust those who make, run or have access to those machines when they know for a fact that they can be programmed to flip votes, to erase votes, and to create votes. They know that the companies that make many of these vote machines have extremely close ties to people who have spent their entire political careers trying to suppress the minority and disability vote.

So what is going on here? Is it some form of collective amnesia or even worse a variation of the Stockholm Syndrome that technology created by oppressors is somehow good for the victims because it protects them by making them think they are voting when they really aren’t?

At VR, we believe that the right to vote is fundamental and that our fight for verification of every vote cast is a continuation of the civil rights struggles of minority and disability organizations. We urge these organizations to wake up by asking a simple question: How can we justify our past struggles demanding a right to vote, if our votes can be taken away by a machine without a trace and without recourse? Congressman John Conyers, a leader in the civil rights movement, has shown conclusively that past recent elections have been manipulated by these machines. Please, it’s time for civil rights and disability organizations to reconsider their reasons for supporting DRE touch screen machines. It’s time for them to continue their stand for civil rights, for voting rights and to honor all of those who paved the way, not only for the right to vote but to have that vote counted as cast. Demand a paper ballot for every vote cast and to have that ballot counted on election night.

9/9/07: Our $500,000 Reward For Election Fraud Whistleblowers Update

Last month we posted and advertised a big reward for whistleblowers to come forward about several Ohio companies that have reportedly been implicated in election tabulation fraud. These companies include Triad GSI, Gov Tech Solutions, Technomania and New Media Communications, controlled by either Brett Rapp, Michael Connell or Randy Cole. We have had some very interesting responses and we have launched a very serious investigation based on those tips. We also had our ad censored by the Akron West Side Leader Newspaper. After sending the Leader our ad along with payment for a full page ad, their representative called and said that the ad was "killed by the legal department." Despite numerous requests, we were never allowed to talk to anyone in the legal department nor given any policy whatsoever on why our ad was killed. And to make things more interesting, the exact same ad ran the next week in the Akron Beacon Journal without any problem. Clearly, the Leader engaged in inappropriate censorship in violation of the First Amendment. So, was the Leader protecting people or companies in Ohio? If you are in Ohio, maybe you should contact the Leader and ask why they refused to run our ad.

On a side note, Congressman Henry Waxman long ago asked the White House for emails and documents related to the US Attorney scandal, and he was informed that hundreds of such emails were missing. So then he asked the White House for the name of the company that was in charge of archiving those emails. And guess what? The White House refused to even disclose that company name. Well, based on information from two of our whistleblowers, we believe that Congressman Waxman would be smart to subpoena documents from Michael Connell and his companies, especially GovTech Solutions and SmartTech. It was GovTech that set up the email severs used by Karl Rove et al in the US scandal, including the infamous

9/5/07: Representative Susan Davis Wants A Law To Restrict The Use Of DRE Touch Screen Machines

The Holt election reform bill (HR 811) allows the continued use of DRE touch screen machines even though virtually every expert in the field says they are a threat to our democracy because they can be hacked and manipulated. We would have thought that Holt would have pulled his bill after the recent California Red Team Review that decertified almost every voting machine in that state. But he kept it alive even after it had been marked up by the corporate vendors to make it even worse. Now, even past supporters of the bill like MoveOn are having trouble asking members to support it.

And so, it is with pleasure that we see Representative Susan Davis step up to offer an amendment to HR 811 to severely restrict if not outright ban those anti-democratic DRE machines. We hope that the amendment is allowed and that it passes, but we still have grave doubts about HR 811 chances for passage. We just can’t imagine GW signing a bill that gets rid of electronic vote machines, especially before the 2008 election.

8/27/07: Attorney General Gonzales Resigns But The Torture Continues

GW’s protector in chief resigned, finally. So what does this mean? Well, like Karl Rove’s resignation earlier this month, it means that there will be one less lightening rod with which to attack the Bush Administration, and GW’s poll numbers will reflect this in a month or so. However, the torture will go on and the DOJ will not change because there will be no house cleaning on GW’s watch. The federal prison population with continue to balloon and the privatization of criminal justice will make more friends of the GOP very rich. In short, nothing will really change until GW and his entire corrupt administration is gone.

So will congressional investigations falter now? You can make sure that they don’t by letting your congress member know that you want complete investigations and full accountability for all the nefarious conduct of Alberto and his cronies.

8/14/07: Karl Rove Resigns But His Legacy Of Nefarious Conduct Lives On

Yesterday Karl Rove resigned as George Bush’s wunderkind. We have been urging his resignation for years so it is a welcome turn of events. Moreover, without the White House walls to shield him, it will be easier for Congress to finally put Rove under oath and ask him the kinds of questions he needs to answer.

However, we believe that Rove did not leave Bush to spend more time with his family. Instead, we believe that Rove wants to be free from government service so he can try to engineer another GOP election victory (another election manipulation). But beware, Mr. Rove, we are hip to your nefarious tactics and we will be watching and waiting for any missteps by you and your associates.


Debra Bowen Announces DRE (Touch-Screen) Machines to be Used Only One Per Polling Place for Disabled Voters with 100% Manual Count of Paper Trails

VR was present during a dramatic late-night press conference where California Secretary of State Debra Bowen decertified, and then recertified with conditions, all but one voting system used in the state. Her decisions, following her unprecedented, independent "Top-to-Bottom Review" of all certified electronic voting systems, came just under the wire to meet state requirements for changes in voting system certification. This is what VR has been working for since we launched our Divestiture for Democracy Campaign against the major vote machine companies more than 30 months ago.

Bowen announced that she will be disallowing the use of Direct Recording Electronic (DRE, usually touch-screen) voting systems on Election Day, except for one DRE machine per polling place which may be used for disabled voters. The paper trails from votes cast on DREs manufactured by voting machine companies Diebold and Sequoia must be 100% manually counted after Election Day.

The California Red Team review of voting systems last week found that all Electronic Voting Systems certified in California were easily accessible to hacking. A single machine, the testers discovered, could be easily tampered with by an election insider or other employee or individual in such a way that an entire election could be flipped without detection.

The Certification/Recertification documents for each of California's voting systems, including security mitigation procedures and other requirements for use, are now posted on the CA SoS website.

The late-night press conference, following her decisions, was held in Sacramento at 11:45pm PT, just in time to meet the state law requiring a six-month notification, prior to an election, for changes to certification of voting systems. California's Presidential Election Primary was recently moved up several months by the state legislature to February of '08.

VR staffer Emily Levy was at the press conference and VR co-founder Brad Friedman of The BRAD BLOG was able to listen in to the presser via a poor cell phone connection out of Bowen's office. Here is the story from their vantage point along with Brad’s contemporaneous notes. Interestingly, the press conference was supposed to take place at 5pm PST but did not occur until shortly before midnight. A person on the scene said: "It's a few minutes to midnight, with the Bowen decision on decertification due by midnight. This is an execution death watch, hoping for the corporate death penalty, in this case."

Thank you all for hanging in there tough with us over the past years through the long struggle to fix election security. There is much more work to do, but we should take a moment to savor this victory, and see hope for our beloved democracy, and thank Debra Bowen and those she entrusted to work on this issue. A special thanks goes out to Lowell Finley, Bowen’s Assistant Secretary of State in charge of elections, with whom we have worked extensively over the years when he was Director of Voter Action.

The full report with Brad’s notes from the press conference are here.

7/30/07: Justice Through Music Video Shows New Torture Footage In Campaign To Oppose Torture And Extreme Rendition

VR affiliate Justice Through Music ("JTM") and the band Op-Critical have just released a new music video called “Exile” as part of a campaign in opposition to the use of Torture and Extreme Rendition by the United States government. "This video takes a very hard hitting look at these inhumane and barbaric practices and makes a statement that this type of conduct is wrong," says JTM Director Brett Kimberlin. "We wanted to make an authentic video so we filmed it at an abandoned prison, and took hours of footage of me actually being subjected to real torture, including waterboarding, hanging from my wrists till I bled, and being hooded and handcuffed. I wanted to experience it unsanitized and in real time – it was terrifying, and I still have nightmares about it months later," he added. The video is on YouTube at This video ties in closely with VR’s new anti-torture ad campaign where we are releasing ads every week opposing these draconian methods.

JTM and Op-Critical have been working together for the past year on a series of protest videos. A few months ago, they released "Happy Springtime, Bush is Over," a take off of the John Lennon song, "Happy Christmas, War is Over." That song has been viewed and played more than 200,000 times on YouTube, MySpace, JTM, and Op-Critical sites. It can be seen on YouTube at

7/24/07: VR Launches New $500,000 Reward For Whistleblowers With New Information Of Election Fraud

Today, we are launching a new campaign to attract whistleblowers to come forward with new information about election fraud in 2004, 2006 and in 2008. We are offering up to a $500,000 reward for information about illegal conduct by employees of GovTech Solutions, SmartTech Corporation, New Media Communications, Technomania, Triad GSI and other companies owned or operated by Mike Connell, Randy Cole, or Brett Rapp. We are placing large full color reward poster ads in the newspapers where each company is located. Check out the ads here. And here is the text of one of the ads:


We are offering you up to a

$500,000 REWARD

Do you have documented information about improprieties and illegal conduct of the Akron/Richfield, Ohio companies, GovTech Solutions, Technomania and New Media Communications and their staff with regard to past and future elections? Specifically, can you add to information we have already received from other whistleblowers regarding the manipulation of the 2004 presidential election in Ohio through inaccurate election result tabulations, interference with the 2004 Ohio recount, the manipulation of 2006 elections, the planned manipulation 2008 election in Ohio and elsewhere, the US Attorney scandal, and illegal vote caging by political partisans? We also want information regarding:

  • The removal, change, reprogramming or destruction of hard drives of local, county or State of Ohio vote tabulation equipment.
  • The unsupervised access to and manipulation of vote tabulation hardware by any non-election employee
  • The intentional destruction of official emails or non-official email, or the email servers discussing these matters
  • The creation of non-official email servers and email accounts for government officials to hide email from official email servers
  • The effort to re-write or modify computer code in election tabulation machines
  • The transfer and manipulation of Ohio vote tabulation results through third-party or out of state computer servers prior to final tabulation by the Ohio Secretary of State>/li>
  • The surveillance of official emails and email servers used by the House Judiciary, House Intelligence, and House Ways and Means Committees
  • The surveillance or other stalking of Ohio county Boards of Elections
  • Illegal plans or conduct between GovTech Solutions, Technomania and New Media Communications or their staff, and companies owned or operated by Michael Connell or Randy Cole or their families, including GovTech Solutions, New Media Communications, SmartTech Corporation and Technomania Corporation, and Triad GSI owned by Brett Rapp
  • Illegal conduct between GovTech Solutions, Technomania and New Media Communications or their staff and Diebold Elections Division
  • Illegal conduct between GovTech Solutions, Technomania and New Media Communications or their staff and any other company, person, political operative, or politician
  • The planned manipulation of the 2008 presidential election

We are seeking new information not previously in the public domain. The information must lead to or result in the arrest and conviction of those responsible. Whistleblower and legal protections will be offered in addition to the reward. All contacts will be kept strictly confidential.

Please contact us now at 1-888-VOTETIP or

7/06/07: VR has joined with Robert Greenwald, Brave New Films and a host of other progressive organizations in a new campaign to impeach.

That's right, we said the "I" word again, loud and clear. And you should be saying it too -- to your family, your friends, your neighbors, and the hearty 26% of Americans who somehow still believe the Bush/Cheney team more worthy of sitting in the Oval Office than an undisclosed location stripped of all authority to further damage the country we love.

You'll want to say it even more after watching the new Greenwald video with articles of impeachment right there:

Dick Cheney has been a malevolent force on the checks and balances of American government for over six years. He has subverted government processes to lead us into this tragedy in Iraq, and is now seeking to do the same with Iran. Two countries he did business with while CEO of Halliburton. And this week, he got George Bush to issue a get out of jail free card to his top aide, Scooter Libby, in order to buy his silence and subvert the judicial process.

We are at an important moment in American history. If we don't take action in light of the High Crimes and Misdemeanors committed by Richard Cheney, we might as well throw the word away. Indeed, there has never before been a time when impeachment was more justified.

Sign the petition:

Fourteen House Members already support H. Res 333, the articles of Impeachment against Dick Cheney. Your signatures will be used to get other members to sign on. We are working with a substantial and growing coalition of progressive organizations to make this possible. >/p>

Let's make this travesty a turning point in our history. Please join us in restoring democratic principles to our government by IMPEACHING DICK CHENEY. And yes, we have been advocating the impeachment of Bush for years - more on that campaign shortly.

7/3/07: Once More, The Injustice Of George Bush

Yesterday, we were once again sickened by the crassness of George Bush. Rather than allow justice to be served, Bush cut it short for his crony, Scooter Libby, on the ground that the sentence of jail was excessive. But we all know the real reason: Bush protects his friends, especially friends who committed crimes on his behalf. And we all know that Bush doesn’t give one fig for excessive sentences. He signed more death warrants in Texas than any other governor; he has denied over 4000 clemency petitions the past six years; he has issued fewer pardons and commutations than any recent president; and he has totally ignored the largest federal prison population ever, most without a voice or a powerful friend.

So what do we do now? Well, we have a few suggestions. First, let’s understand that Bush does not want Libby to turn on him and Cheney. In other words, Libby knows well all the crimes this Administration has committed and Bush cannot afford to let him talk. So Libby needs to be made to talk and there are two ways of doing that outside of the criminal process – through deposition in the Plame civil suit and through testimony before Congress. Both of these will be conducted under oath. Of course, Libby may choose to plead the Fifth, but that argument would fail since, under double jeopardy, he cannot be again tried or convicted for his criminal behavior in the Plame case.

Remember, Libby is still on probation for the next two years. That means he must abide by all laws, including testifying truthfully. If he violates probation, proof beyond a reasonable doubt does not apply, only proof with a preponderance of the evidence before Judge Walton. Every month, Libby must sign a probation report that swears under oath that he has committed no crimes. Moreover, probation rules require that Libby cooperate in legal processes, both civil and criminal. So let’s hold his feet to the fire.

Second, push for impeachment of Bush. George Mason, the father of the Bill of Rights, argued at the Constitutional Convention in favor of providing the House of Representatives the power of impeachment by pointing out that the President might use his pardoning power to "pardon crimes which were advised by himself" or, before indictment or conviction, "to stop inquiry and prevent detection." James Madison, the father of the U.S. Constitution, added that "if the President be connected, in any suspicious manner, with any person, and there be grounds to believe he will shelter him, the House of Representatives can impeach him; they can remove him if found guilty."

Here we have a clear case of Bush misusing the clemency process to stop an inquiry into his own illegal activity. We need to cut this cancer short by quickly impeaching Bush and Cheney. This is a criminal regime abusing the legal process to protect itself, by stonewalling inquiries, keeping Alberto Gonzales running the DOJ, and now buying Libby’s silence.

Bush gets away with his behavior because Congress allows it. What more has to happen to wake up Congress?? Impeachment must be on the table. The White House must be fumigated now.

At VR, we remember vividly the day that we woke up to the inhumanity of George Bush. It was when he was Governor of Texas and Karla Faye Tucker was facing death in the execution chamber. Millions of people worldwide urged Bush to commute her sentence, including from Waly Bacre Ndiaye, the UN commissioner on summary and arbitrary executions, the World Council of Churches, Pope John Paul ll, and Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi, among other world figures. Unusual pleas came from conservative American political figures such as Newt Gingrich and Pat Robertson. Huntsville Prison's warden testified that she was a model prisoner and that, after 14 years on death row, she likely had been reformed. Despite these pleas, Bush signed her death warrant. In 1999, during the 2000 presidential primary, conservative commentator Tucker Carlson interviewed Bush for Talk Magazine (September 1999, p. 106). Excerpt from this interview is quoted below:

In the weeks before the execution, Bush says, a number of protesters came to Austin to demand clemency for Karla Faye Tucker. "Did you meet with any of them?" I ask. Bush whips around and stares at me. "No, I didn't meet with any of them", he snaps, as though I've just asked the dumbest, most offensive question ever posed. "I didn't meet with Larry King either when he came down for it. I watched his interview with Tucker, though. He asked her real difficult questions like, 'What would you say to Governor Bush?'" "What was her answer?" I wonder. "'Please,'" Bush whimpers, his lips pursed in mock desperation, "'don't kill me.'" I must look shocked — ridiculing the pleas of a condemned prisoner who has since been executed seems odd and cruel — because he immediately stops smirking.

6/21/07: VR Launches New Hard Hitting Ad Campaign Opposing Torture And Extreme Rendition

VR is launching a new hard-hitting ad campaign to bring attention to the immoral use of torture and extreme rendition by the Bush Administration. Here is our first ad, appearing on The BRADBLOG today. We will be partnering with many well known organizations over the next few months to bring these ads to millions of readers. You can use the ad on your website or in your print media for free. Copy the ad here. We will be posting a new ad every week for at least eight weeks so please check back often.

6/30/07:The Constitution Stepped On In Blood

Here is our second anti torture ad – Blood On The Constitution. It’s up on The BRADBLOG, and you are welcome to copy it here for your website or print media.

7/9/07:The Constitution Gets Flushed

Our third anti-torture ad appeared today on The BRADBLOG. Go ahead, copy, print and spread this all over.

7/16/07:This Administration Shocks The Conscience

Our fourth in a series of anti-torture ads will appear on The BRADBLOG today. Spread this far and whide.

7/23/07:Homeland Security – using tactics becoming of the enemy

Here is our fifth ad in our torture series. It’s going up on The BRADBLOG The Brad Blog and you can copy and spread it here. here.

8/6/07:No Lawyer, No Justice

OK, here is our anti torture ad number 6. Check it out on The BRADBLOG and download it here. Also, check out our anti-torture music video "Exile" at

8/13/07:The Torture By The Bush Administration Continues

Here is number seven in our anti-torture, anti-rendition campaign. It appeared today on The BRADBLOG, and is available for all of you to spread around here.

8/27/07:OK, here is number eight in our nine-week anti-torture campaign.

Bush reportedly said that the Constitution was just a piece of paper that did not have to be followed. The Administration has not denied that report as far as we know. Download it here.

9/10/07:Well, this is the last of our torture ads for the time being.

This one will appear in the Atlanta Progressive News for the next month.

Get it here and spread it widely.

6/20/07: VR, BradBlog And Justice Through Music Awarded The Paul Wellstone Leadership Award At The Take Back America Conference

Last night, VR, BradBlog and Justice Through Music were among a few dozen recipients of the Paul Wellstone Leadership Award for being part of the blogosphere and making a difference. Several thousand well known and lesser known progressives were on hand at the annual Take Back America conference to honor us. Here are a few pictures of VR co-founder accepting the award at the gala dinner and award ceremony. We are not used to getting formal awards, but it is really nice to know that our work is being recognized.

6/11/07: VelvetRevolution’s Expose’ Of GOP Front Group ACVR: Is It Close To Implicating Karl Rove In Illegal Activities?

More than two years ago, VelvetRevolution first exposed the American Center for Voting Rights (ACVR) as a GOP front organization dedicated to helping the GOP win elections by engaging in a campaign to disenfranchise voters through voter ID legislation, caging, and intimidation of voter registration orgs. ACVR was run by a host of Karl Rove operatives, including Thor Hearne, chief counsel for Bush/Cheney/04. Over the past two years, VR co-founder Brad Friedman has written dozens of exposes about ACVR.

VR launched a vigorous campaign against the Baker/Carter election reform commission because it included ACVR. ACVR wanted to use B/C to advance voter ID laws nationally. VR’s campaign marginalized the B/C report and its recommendations, including voter ID, were largely ignored.

With our help, ACVR has now been exposed as a major player in the US Attorney scandal enveloping Washington. We have learned and reported that ACVR demanded that many of the now fired US Attorneys initiate voter fraud charges to intimidate Democrat voters. We believe that ACVR contacted US Attorneys Iglesias, Graves and McKay, all who were fired for not pursuing voter fraud charges. We believe that ACVR worked hand in hand with Karl Rove in these matters and that ACVR had direct contact with the Justice Department’s voting rights section about these fired US Attorneys. Last month, immediately after we made the connection between ACVR, Rove and the US Attorney scandal, the ACVR website was suddenly taken off the Internet and references to it were scrubbed from various other sites.

We have also learned that Tim Griffin the interim US Attorneys who replaced Bud Cummins in Arkansas, was a right hand man for Karl Rove. We reported two weeks ago that Griffin was the man behind an illegal White House campaign to “cage” hundreds of thousands of voters in the 2004 election. Caging identifies voters who may have moved, like soldiers, the homeless and the poor. Griffin’s operation sent thousands of these voters letters which, when returned undelivered, were used to strike them from the voting rolls. Monica Goodling, Alberto Gonzales’s top aide in recent hearings on the US Attorney scandal, mentioned in passing that there was a campaign of caging going on. Greg Palast, who has been recently guest blogging on BradBlog (co-founder of VR), disclosed copies of emails implicating Goodling and Griffin this illegal caging campaign. We were able to tie Goodling’s testimony with Palast’s emails, and push this caging story into the mainstream media and to the attention of Congress Members.

After we reported this caging operation, three important things happened. First, Tim Griffin abruptly resigned as interim US Attorney in Arkansas. Second, John Conyers met with Greg Palast to review the emails involving the caging. Afterwards, Conyers stated that he “is not done with Mr. Griffin.” Third, the mainstream media began reporting on ACVR’s connection to all these scandals. In the past month, Slate, NPR, and McClatchy newspapers have all reported on ACVR. In one report, ACVR director Hearn blamed BradBlog for all his troubles.

VR has initiated a campaign, both privately and publicly to urge Congress to issue subpoenas and hold hearings on ACVR involvement in the US Attorney scandal, the caging of voters, the false allegations of voter fraud, the frightening push of voter ID laws, and the connections to Karl Rove and the White House. We will be urging that Congress subpoena all of ACVR’s emails, and question under oath all of the employees of ACVR. We plan to post a new reward for information about ACVR’s activities as they relate to the White House and voter disenfranchisement.

We believe that criminal laws may have been violated by ACVR and its directors in concert with Karl Rove, officials of the Justice Department and other private companies. We hope that a Congressional investigation will lead to criminal charges.

5/24/07: GOP Engaged In Illegal Campaign To Steal Elections

On August 23, 2005, almost two years ago, VR exposed the agenda of the American Center for Voting Rights, a phony GOP front group run by Bush/Cheney attorneys – its sole purpose is to disenfranchise Democrat voters using voter ID laws and legal intimidation. Now, it appears that the US attorney scandal that has engulfed Washington was part and parcel of the AC4VR agenda. When that scandal broke, the AC4VR website was taken offline and the principal’s names have been scrubbed from other sites.

Now it appears that those involved in the scandal have actually been involved in criminal activity – at least that’s what secret emails are showing. In fact, BradBlog reported today that one of the emails actually has a title called "caging" and the GOP actually disenfranchised thousands of soldiers, minorities and homeless. However, it is a federal crime to cage voters.

VR will soon be initiating an action to pressure Congress into investigating AC4VR, and we will need your support.

5/11/07: The Holt Election Reform Bill Passes Out Of Committee But DREs Are Still Allowed To Tally Votes

Earlier this week, the Holt Election Reform bill passed out of the House Administration Committee with amendments, many of which we called for in our Essential Revisions document. Indeed, it appears that the Lofgren HR 811 Substitute, which was passed, has incorporated six of our eight essential amendments. Several of the positive amendments are: increased funding to one billion dollars; no Internet connections to machines or tabulators; audits have been funded up to 100 million annually; audit provisions have been clarified and audits must take place in front of observers and in the place where the ballots are stored; and voters have a right to request a paper ballot to cast their votes.

Unfortunately, the bill still allows states to use unverifiable DRE electronic ballots for tallies instead of paper ballots, in violation of HAVA's provision which requires that voters be allowed to verify their ballot before it is cast and counted.

Furthermore, though the bill mandates paper trails on all DRE systems by 2008 (and misleading refers to them as "paper ballots" even though they are never counted on Election Day and usually 97% of them will never be counted) such paper trail systems are arguably worse than systems which use no paper trail, since at least on those systems, we know what we don't know. A DRE system with a "paper trail" adds only a false sense of security for the voter. It's inexcusable that the Holt bill perpetuates such a fiction in our American democracy.

So we at VR along with our coalition partners are increasing our demand for a paper ballot for every vote cast and the counting of those ballots. We believe that the Holt bill, when passed, should really fix the problems with our elections, and we will continue to work with Members of Congress make sure that this occurs. This week, we were joined in this demand by the Puerto Rican Legal and Education Defense Fund, which issued a letter demanding that where DRE devices are used in elections, they must produce a paper ballot "that is the official ballot for all tallies and audits."

We will push to have HR 811 amended before the full House vote on May 21st, and we will work diligently with the Senate to make sure that its bill includes our demands. We will be adding other organizations to our paper ballot campaign in the near future. You continued support is needed

5/2/07: Congressional Task Force To Investigate FL-13 And DRE-Voting

On November 10, 2006, just days after the election, VR formally issued a no-confidence declaration in the FL-13 race and demanded a revote and investigation. Finally today, the U.S. House task force voted to formally investigate that disputed congressional election in Sarasota County, and has asked the Government Accountabilty Office to design a study of the electronic voting machines used there. This will be the first federal investigation into 18,000 undervotes. Previous state investigations have been found lacking and evidence was withheld from investigators by the DRE vote machine manufacturer, ES&S.

U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan, R-Sarasota, was sworn into office with a 369-vote margin after the election in November, but Democratic challenger Christine Jennings, also of Sarasota, challenged the results in the House.

U.S. Rep. Charlie Gonzalez, D-Texas, said it was the first time in knowledge that the House has tackled an electronic voting machine case. Several other candidates are contesting their Florida congressional elections on similar grounds, including Clint Curtis.

4/24/07: Justice Through Music Releases Song And Video, Happy Springtime, Bush Is Over, A Take Off Of The Lennon Song, Happy Xmas, War Is Over

Today, VR co-founder, Justice Through Music, a non-profit that works with famous bands to educate youth about peace, voting and civil rights, released a new song, Happy Springtime, Bush Is Over, featuring the band Op-Critical and the children’s choir, Harmonic Angels. The song is a take off of the John Lennon tune, Happy Xmas, War Is Over, with new lyrics and a modern sound.

"Like Lennon more than 30 years ago, we are hoping for a quick end to an era of darkness," said Storm from Op-Critical. "So we are psyched that Justice Through Music worked with us to get this song out so quickly," he said.

In the original tune, Lennon used the Harlem Children’s Choir to sing the chorus, and Op-Critical brought in the Harmonic Angels, who really put the song over the top.

"We are making a statement with this song that we will not live in fear and by imagining peace we will create peace. This is a real tribute to the message of Lennon, and we want every person on earth to be inspired by the song and video." said Craig Gillette, spokesman for JTM.

The video accompanying the song features the band and choir and includes new footage of Yoko Ono’s Imagine Peace billboard and her Peace Prayer Trees on the Washington, DC Mall. It is getting thousands of views on YouTube at and on JTM. The song is also getting hundreds of plays per hour on

Gillette hopes that the video will go virtual across the Internet so that the message of peace is spread far and wide. And other organizations that are spreading the word at, and

4/18/07: Where Is The Peace – 33 Killed In Virginia In One Day And 100s Killed Every Day In Iraq

The sadness is palpable over the senseless loss of life at Virginia Tech this week. The suffering of the families, the institution and the country gives everyone pause as we reflect on this terrible tragedy. Leaders are saying that this can never be allowed to happen again and we need to stop such gratuitous attacks on human beings.

As we reflect, we must remember that every day for the past four years, we have witnessed senseless violence in Iraq. Hundreds of civilians are killed virtually every day, and several hundred violent incidents are reported every day. How many times have we read about students being massacred at schools and colleges in Iraq? How many families are suffering there?

In Virginia, we can blame a lone gunman who had mental problems. In Iraq, the person ultimately responsible for all the suffering is our own president. He unilaterally unleashed a bloodbath of civil strife that has already been called the nation’s biggest foreign policy blunder.

It is no wonder, then, that a person of precarious mental state would somehow believe that killing innocent civilians is ok when the president of his adopted country, the country his parents came to for a better life, has demonstrated such a callous disregard for human life. What a tragic lesson this leader of our beloved America has taught…

4/4/07: Imagine Peace

Yesterday, Yoko Ono came to Washington to unveil a 55 foot square banner on the side of the Verizon Center. It says simply, "IMAGINE PEACE." VR was there and shot some great pictures and video. We are working with our Justice Through Music affiliate on a new campaign in the spirit of John Lennon’s peace campaign and we will have more on that in the near future. In the meantime, imagine peace, it’s coming...

4/2/07: Gonzales And Bush And The Culture Of Death

Alberto Gonzales was GW’s general counsel in Texas. One of his duties was preparing documents summarizing the cases of persons sentenced to death – and 152 were killed during the Bush reign of terror. Those summaries show that there was hardly a single case that gave Gonzales any pause – it did not matter if the person was female, retarded, rehabilitated, innocent, subject to police lies and corruption or had an incompetent attorney. As long as they were found guilty and sentenced to death, the process worked and GW signed the death warrant presented to him by Gonzales.

These men get off on death, on the euphoria of their power to extinguish life. That is why Gonzales wanted so badly to replace US Attorneys who were circumspect in their use of the death penalty. That is why GW relished the hanging of Saddam and does not give a fig about the deaths of soldiers, civilians and kids in Iraq and elsewhere. That’s why these men had no compunction about ordering the torture and disappearance of thousands of other human beings.

Our country and our Justice Department are led by men who lack a moral compass. They have enshrined our flag in a culture of death and shame. History will be a harsh judge and karma will be unforgiving. Let us all remember who we are dealing with.

3/16/07: New VR Ad In New York Times – Don’t Attack Iran

Today VR launched a powerful new ad on the New York Times editorial page demanding that Congress Members and military officers stop an attack on Iran. This ad is to coincide with the huge anti-war rallies this week across the country, including the candlelight vigil at the White House by Christian leaders tonight and tomorrow’s demonstration at the Pentagon. The full ad can be seen and downloaded here. We plan to run a version of this soon in the Washington Post.

Please DONATE TO VR to help continue our ad campaign!


Voters with disabilities are finally beginning to speak out against the use of Direct Recording Electronic (DRE, often known as "touch-screen") voting systems! In two separate statements, these disability leaders call for the discontinuation of unsecure, unverifiable, and disenfranchising DRE touch screen voting technology, and the statements destroy the myth that the disability community needs DREs for accessibility. As one statement says, "DRE machines are neither fully accessible nor secure and accurate ... [They] are inappropriate for use, because these systems make it impossible for voters to verify that their votes will be counted as cast."

After years of DRE supporters, and indeed the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) of 2002, using the canard that blind and disabled voters must use DREs to vote privately and independently, a number of leaders in the disabilities community are speaking out against their having been used as a wedge to force the nationwide implementation of such disenfranchising, dangerous voting systems.

Two different landmark statements on the issue have now been released. One statement [PDF] released last week by the Disability Law Center and the ACLU speaks in support of the decision by the Massachusetts Secretary of State to approve the use of ballot marking devices, as opposed to DREs, for use by the state's disabled voters.

The second, released today to The BRAD BLOG in advance of Congressional subcommittee hearings tomorrow, is signed so far by more than 20 leaders of the blind and disabled communities and calls for "an immediate ban" on DRE voting systems. Like the release from the Disability Law Center, the newly released statement crushes the long-overused myth that such unsecure, disenfranchising, failed technology is required for disabled access to private, independent voting.

3/7/07: Scooter Libby Is Facing A Boatload Of Time And Had Better Cooperate

This week has been interesting on the legal front. On Monday, the Supreme Court denied the appeal of Bernard Ebbers, the former CEO of WorldCom who had been sentenced to 25 years in federal prison for white collar corporate fraud. Then on Tuesday, White House Chief of Staff Scooter Libby was convicted of four counts of obstruction of justice, false statement and perjury, and he is facing 25 years.

A year and a half ago, VR nudged the Libby case a little by widely publishing a worst case analysis of the sentence that could be imposed on those involved in the Valerie Plame outing. See VR Post 10/7/05 and At the time, with the investigation stalled and no indictments, we sent this analysis out by press release and mailed it to White House officials and their attorneys. Within a matter of days, several of these suspects were making a beeline for Patrick Fitzgerald’s office and the indictment of Libby soon followed.

Our analysis of the US Sentencing Guidelines showed that those involved were facing life in prison if all the charges being discussed in the press resulted in a guilty finding. We noted, however, that even a single conviction of "perjury or obstruction of justice … would result in the maximum sentence because both charges have a base offense level of 14, and those convicted will most probably receive enhancements of 3 levels for substantial interference with the administration of justice, 6 levels for victimizing a government employee and family member, 2 levels for abuse of the public trust, and 4 levels for being a leader. These total 29 levels, which equals 87-108 months in federal prison under the Guidelines, far above the …statutory maximum...."

We also noted just why a White House official would receive such a heavy sentence. "[T]he Guidelines are very specific about adding enhancements based on conduct of a defendant. In this case, there is a 6 level enhancement under section 3A1.2(b) 'if the victim was a government employee or member of the immediate family of a government employee and the offense of conviction was motivated by such status….' Both Valerie Plame and Joe Wilson clearly meet this definition of a victim since their lives have been risked and they have suffered severe emotional harm.

In addition, because an official such as Karl Rove or Scooter Libby would obviously be considered 'an organizer or leader' of the criminal conduct under section 3B1.1, he would receive another enhancement of 4 levels. Moreover, all the defendants' conduct constitutes 'an abuse of the public trust' as set forth in section 3B1.3, which would add another 2 levels.

Furthermore, because of the 'willing obstruction and impeding of the administration of justice during the investigation' …, they will receive another enhancement of 2 levels under section 3C1.1.

Finally, because of the grievous harm to our country and the 'potential disruption of governmental function,' the sentencing court, even if the guidelines were not so severe, would most certainly find, under section 5K2.0(a)(1)(A), aggravating circumstances sufficient to warrant an upward departure from the guidelines."

The hook to our analysis was that officials could only save their skins by cooperating prior to indictment, and currently we know that Ari Fleischer and Karl Rove did just that.

So what does Libby do now? He has three choices: play the long odds of the appeal with no guarantees; hope for a pardon, again with no guarantees and with odds getting longer with each new Bush scandal; and, cooperate with Fitzgerald to nail other corrupt officials in the White House. Only the last choice is guaranteed to reduce his sentence or stop him from going to prison.

Scooter, VR urges you to come clean. It will be good for your soul, your karma, your family and the country. Plus, VR has a standing offer to donate $100,000 to the Scooter Libby defense fund if your cooperation/testimony against Bush, Cheney or Rove results in a conviction.

And Scooter, think about Bernie Ebbers when you sit around the table with your wife and two kids. Ebbers never believed that he would be sentenced to 25 years in prison for defrauding stockholders, and he thought he would win on appeal. Don’t make the same mistake or continue protecting the people who put you up to this, especially since your actions helped to start a terrible war that has caused the grievous suffering and death.

3/3/07: John Edwards Wants To Ban Touch-Screen Vote Machines

Presidential candidate John Edwards, who lost the last presidential election due to fraud, became the first candidate to state publicly that touch-screen (DRE) vote machines should be banned. Edwards is the second national politician to take a stand against these anti-democracy machines. Last week, Congresswoman Maxine Waters threw down the gauntlet on the new Holt bill because it would allow such machines to keep miscounting our elections.

It appears that your voices are being heard but we need more big names to lead this fight to save democracy. So over the next few days and weeks, we will be issuing some new action items for all of you to take this to another level.

2/22/07: The Holt Bill Needs Amending Now!

VR and scores of other organizations are opposed to the Holt bill as written. We will not support it unless it is amended with at least the changes set forth in this ESSENTIAL REVISIONS TO HR 811.

Yesterday, Cong. Maxine Waters, an original co-sponsor of the Holt bill, stated publicly that she would be withdrawing her support of the bill and working for amendments.

We urge everyone to sign this new blast demanding that the Holt bill be amended.

2/8/07: VR’s New Hard Hitting War Crimes Ad Debuts Today

VR has launched a new ad that will appear today in full page spreads in the Washington, DC City Paper and the Crawford, Texas Lonestar Iconoclast warning those who support an attack on Iran that they will be accomplices to war crimes. The ad asserts that Congress Members and Generals must take that long overdue trip to the White House and demand that George Bush resign. The complete text can be read here and you can download it here.

2/5/07: VR Presents Reward To CREW For Abramoff/Bush Photo

Today, VR presented a $500.00 check to Melanie Sloan, the Executive Director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington ("CREW") for posting the first photo of George Bush together with convicted felon Jack Abramoff.



VR posted a reward for such a photo a year ago after the White House indicated that Bush had never met Abramoff. Congratulations to CREW!!

2/3/07: Florida Governor Recommends Paper Ballots For Every Vote Cast (Almost)

Well, we are really making headway when the new Republican Governor of Florida takes a strong stand against the DRE vote machines that have rocked our democracy. This week Governor Charlie Crist announced plans to abandon the touch screen voting in favor of paper ballots, and to do so before the 2008 presidential elections. He will allow some form of DREs with paper records for early voting and disabled persons.

Asked about the $32 million price tag for the new system, Crist said, "The price of freedom is not cheap. The importance of a democratic system of voting that we can trust, that we can have confidence in, is incredibly important."

Also, on Monday, Congressman Rush Holt will be introducing a new bill in Congress to require a paper ballot (not exactly and not what we consider a paper ballot) in time for the presidential primaries. The bill will also provide for $300 million to help pay for the upgrade. Unfortunately, there are serious concerns with the Holt bill that must be rectified before VR and others in the Election Reform movement can support it. Despite endorsements by VoteTrustUSA, Common Cause and People for the American Way, please make sure to read the bill before adding your support. We will have more on this shortly. Also, there will other competing legislation introduced in the near future by other members that may hopefully address concerns and loopholes in the Holt bill. The last thing we need is HAVA2 passed with the support of the very organizations that are supposed to protect our right to vote.

Clearly, all of you have been helping to push for paper ballots but now we need to keep the pressure on to make sure that politicians do not backslide or compromise on this number one protection of elections. Please join the 50 organizations and tens of thousands of people who have signed the Paper Ballot Petition demanding that Congress quickly pass real paper ballot legislation.

1/28/07: The January 27 Peace Rally In Washington DC

VR was part of yesterday’s Peace rally on the Washington Mall. There were hundreds of thousands of people there and, for the first time ever, they completely surrounded the US Capitol as they marched. Here is a little VR clip featuring Jane Fonda speaking against the war for the first time in 34 years. And here are a bunch of pictures we took including several of our Impeachmobile which was parked in some prime real estate right at the end point of the March. As you can see, it was an ocean of people from 3rd Street to 7th Street. We also participated today with thousands of others lobbying Congress to stop this war and The Decider. The revolution is starting to be broadcast.

1/25/07: Princeton Scientists Discover Huge Diebold Security Flaw

VR readers recall that last September, Princeton University computer scientists showed that a malicious virus can be inserted into a Diebold vote machine to rig an election, all in less than a minute and undetected. It was VR that provided the machine to Princeton.

Now the same scientists have reported that they have been able to make a key to open all Diebold machines right from the photo on the Diebold website. This is a profound security flaw for which Diebold itself is responsible. This underscores why these machines must be relegated to the trash heap and replaced with paper ballots for every vote cast. Sign the Paper Ballot Petition here.

1/24/07: Jim Webb Speaks The Truth

Last night, Senator Jim Webb, a combat Marine vet, gave the Democratic response to the State of the Union Address. In short, he stated that the President was wrong to start a war with Iraq and is still wrong in his prosecution of the war.

It is time to recognize that progressive voices have been right about virtually every issue since Bush took office. It is time to admit that Bush and his cheerleaders have been wrong about virtually every issue. These include, the Iraq war, the war on terror, bin Laden, the Patriot Act, wiretapping of phone calls, global warming, tax breaks for the rich, Alito, Katrina, pre-emption, Dept. of Homeland Security, privacy, torture, engagement of Russia, media reform, electronic voting machines, and Bush v. Gore. By progressives we do not necessarily mean Democrats, because many of them joined Bush in these dreadful policies. No we mean people such as Howard Dean, Al Gore, Ted Kennedy, Robert Byrd, John Conyers, Barbara Boxer, and all those who were labeled as traitors for speaking the truth to power.

Mr. Bush, as several members of Congress have said recently, "the jig is up." Spare the country and the world any more of your reckless and dangerous actions. Resign, leave the stage or, as Jim Webb said, "we will show you the way."

1/17/07: More Organizations Endorse The Paper Ballot Campaign

The Paper Ballot Campaign that was launched last month by 35 organizations has now grown to almost 50. Here is a list of new signers and endorsers and we will add new endorsers to this list as they come on board.
Progressive Democrats of America
Friends of the Earth
Hip Hop Caucus
Case America
Case Ohio
Peacemakers of Schoharie County
Hip Hop Caucus Colorado
Election Reform Network
The American Voter
Missourians for Honest Elections
Defenders of Democracy
Citizens for Accurate Mail Ballot Results

If your organization wants to endorse this important campaign, please let us know. And make sure you sign the petition to Congress demanding a paper ballot for every vote cast. Thousands of petitions have been sent to Congress already and we need your help to send more.

1/8/07: VR's Year-End Report Of Our Campaigns, Causes And Issues

We are proud of our track record at VelvetRevolution of taking action and getting things done. While we take pride in what we've been able to accomplish, we recognize that these successes would not have been possible without all of you who make up the Revolution and the many other activists who are toiling hard every day to make sure our elections are transparent and auditable, and our country is a place in which we want our children to live. These citizen activists are making a huge difference in their local communities and nationally. VR's role only complements their work. Many of our efforts, of course, continue to be works in progress and we will be launching many other hard hitting campaigns throughout 2007 to create a progressive society based on the rule of just laws, enlightened policies and accountability. We ask for your continued support and want to thank all of you for making them possible.

Rewards for Whistleblowers

  • VR posted large six-figure rewards for whistleblowers that have knowledge of vote rigging and faulty e-vote machines.
  • Several whistleblowers came forward who helped to expose efforts to defraud elections and expose the untested, unreliable, hackable voting systems made by Diebold, ES&S, Sequoia and Hart Intercivic. VR arranged for several whistleblowers to meet with and/or testify before members of Congress.

The Princeton Report

  • VR received several voting machines from whistleblowers and we supplied Princeton University with a Diebold touch-screen system, for the first ever such independent investigation of one of those machines.
  • Princeton showed that the Diebold machines are not secure and that a virus can be inserted into the machines capable of stealing an entire election without a trace being left behind. The scientists from Princeton testified before Congress and on national TV concerning their landmark findings.

The RFK Jr. Articles and Lawsuits

  • VR and co-founder Brad Friedman of The BRAD BLOG worked closely with Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. in his articles for Rolling Stone outlining how American elections have been manipulated and we enabled him to contact several of our whistleblowers. These articles help to force the important issue of Election Integrity into the national mainstream and resulted in RFK Jr. and his partner Mike Papantonio filing qui tam (fraud) litigation against voting machine companies in federal court.

The Science Application International Corporation Report

  • The SAIC report commissioned by the State of Maryland in 2003 was heavily redacted and kept from the public. VR worked to help expose the first public released copy of that report.
  • In October 2006, we received a copy of the unredacted SAIC report and we released it on our website. It shows that Maryland officials were informed that the Diebold voting machines are not secure and could cause a catastrophic failure in an election. Sources have told us the FBI has launched an investigation into the matter.

The Election Protection Strike Force

  • In the summer of 2006, VR launched the Election Protection Strike Force, seeking to bring together VR affiliates, members and scores of other groups to help protect the 2006 election from fraud and manipulation and fight against voter disenfranchisement via voting machine failure and other means.
  • VR used ads, lawsuits, videos, pollwatchers, rewards, whistleblowers, hotlines, a tip line, exit polls and the media to help deter wrongdoing. We coordinated with leaders of election protection groups around the nation to deal with election problems in real time with an Election Protection War Room. We sponsored and funded many election protection conferences around the country to educate and mobilize citizens.

Government Accountability Campaign

  • VR singled out numerous government officials for corruption and urged investigations of them, including Congressmen Bob Ney, Tom Delay and Tom Feeney, Bush pal Tom Noe, Jack Abramoff, Susan Ralston, Ken Lay, George Bush, Richard Cheney, Michael Scanlon and others. We launched a Government Accountability Reward Fund of 100K for info leading to the arrest and conviction of high government officials and pushed information we received to the FBI and into the media.
  • Many of those singled out by VR have been arrested and/or convicted including Ney, Noe, Abramoff, Delay, and Scanlon.

Voter Registration

  • VR worked closely with Justice Through Music to register youth to vote.
  • VR promoted JTM's text messaging voter registration campaign and its ROCK YOUR RIGHTS DVD campaign which donated tens of thousands of the DVDs to voter registration organizations around the country to encourage a record number of youth at the polls in 2006.

Emergency Paper Ballot Legislation

  • Following the release of the Princeton report, we launched a campaign for emergency ballot legislation which was introduced by Rush Holt in the House and Barbara Boxer in the Senate.
  • Scores of Congress members co-sponsored the legislation but Congress was unable to pass it before the election recess.
  • VR then led a strong coalition of more than 50 election reform groups and national leaders demanding that each Governor and Secretary of State make emergency paper ballots available, along with plans for their use during the November election.

Media Propaganda Campaign

  • VR initiated the Truth in Media campaign to demand that the press report real news, and we insisted that every TV affiliate in the country institute policies against the use of prepackaged government news and paid government journalists.
  • VR sent letters to approx 1000 TV stations and networks nationwide informing them that the use of such propaganda was illegal and improper, and that we would be watching and holding them accountable. We demanded that they institute policies against such propaganda. Every one of the dozens of TV stations that responded, except Fox stations, promised not to use such pieces.

The National Institute of Standards And Technology Campaign

  • In spring of 2006 VR initiated a letter writing/email campaign calling on NIST to protect elections with paper ballots, tough standards for secure voting systems and that they stop siding with the voting machine vendors.
  • The new December 2006 NIST guidelines recommend that voting machines have an independent verification system such as a paper ballot.

The Paper Ballot Campaign

  • In December 2006, we were one of the leaders in a new campaign to require Congress to pass legislation to requiring a paper BALLOT (not a paper "trail" or paper "record") for for every vote cast in America.
  • Thirty five non-partisan election integrity organizations signed on to this PBC campaign and many other organizations have endorsed it. Congressman Rush Holt plans to amend his HR550 legislation to require paper ballots. VR is hosting the petition being sent to Congress and thousands of citizens have sent the petition to their Congress Members.

CA50 Lawsuit

  • In the June 2006 special election/primary in California's 50th district between Francine Busby (D) and Brian Bilbray (R), we learned of vote machine "sleepovers" that undermined the confidence and integrity of that election. In short, it is a violation of state and federal law to allow pre-programmed, election-ready voting machines to be given to pollworkers unsecured in the days and weeks prior to the election. Studies have shown that a single person with such unrestricted access to such voting systems can steal an entire election.
  • We generated public interest in this issue, raised money for the lawsuits to contest the election and the use of sleepovers, and brought this to the attention of the media and politicians. The new Secretary of State in California, Debra Bowen, has now stated that she believe such sleepovers are, in fact, illegal. Howard Dean has called for an end to the practice, and the DNC Voting Rights Institute, for the first time in it's history, called for a full hand-count count of the CA50 election.

Divestiture for Democracy Campaign

  • In the spring of 2005, VR launched a Divestiture for Democracy Campaign to hold the nine major vote machine companies, most controlled by Republican interests, accountable for their actions.
  • VR's campaign helped to drive Diebold stock down by more than 30%, helped lead to numerous investigations of Diebold and other companies, helped result in a major stock fraud securities lawsuit to be filed against Diebold, factored into the removal of Diebold CEO Walden O'Dell (who had promised to deliver the electoral votes of Ohio to George W. Bush in a Republican fundraising letter prior to the '04 Election) and helped to drive a relentless publicity campaign to expose the lack of transparency and illicit conduct of the e-voting machine companies. The campaign, as so many that we've sponsored, continues to this day and is encompassed in many of other campaigns to hold the voting machine companies accountable for their unpatriotic, anti-democratic actions.

The Baker/Carter Election Commission

  • VR launched a campaign to fight against the stacking of the Baker/Carter Commission on election reform and helped expose the scam - the commission was created by Republican operatives to call for disenfranchising ""Photo ID" restrictions at the polls and was dominated by GOP and voting machine interests.
  • VR protested, and sent over 70,000 emails to the Commission and its members demanding James A. Baker step down from the commission. Several members withdrew, helping to discredit the ""Photo ID" movement, and ensuring that the final report was taken with the large grain of salt it was due.

Out of Iraq Campaign

  • In June 2005, VR launched an Out of Iraq campaign to focus attention on the criminal nature of the Iraq war.
  • This campaign has used ads in major and minor newspapers, actions to Congress, Camp Democracy on the Mall in September 2006, and many other activities to continue the pressure to bring an end to Iraq War.

Downing Street Memos

  • The Downing Street Memos were disclosed in England in early May 2005 proving that George W. Bush cooked the evidence to create the basis for war with Iraq.
  • VR was a founding member of (ADS), which collected 560,000 signatures on a petition for Congressman John Conyers to demand that the White House come clean about the run-up to war. VR continues to fund ADS which was named as the Best Progressive Blog of 2005 and Best Accountability Blog of 2006 by The Nation magazine.

Cindy Sheehan

  • VR worked to promote Cindy Sheehan before she was a household name. VR co-founder had her appear on his syndicated radio program and in June 2005 he took the program to Crawford, Texas where VR sponsored the program for two straight weeks in August during Cindy's camp-out there. The program was the only regular, live daily program to broadcast from on the ground, inside of Camp Casey.
  • VR worked to promote Cindy Sheehan before she was a household name. VR co-founder had her appear on his syndicated radio program and in June 2005 he took the program to Crawford, Texas where VR sponsored the program for two straight weeks in August during Cindy's camp-out there. The program was the only regular, live daily program to broadcast from on the ground, inside of Camp Casey.

    The Florida 13 Election Contest

    • The 2006 congressional election in Florida 13 between Christine Jennings (D) and Vern Buchanan (R) had 18,000 missing votes and studies shown that had the votes been properly registered by the ES&S voting systems, Jennings would have won.
    • VR immediately called for "no confidence" in the election results, for the resignation of the elections supervisor Kathy Dent, for a revote and for an investigation by Congress. We also helped to fund a lawsuit to contest the election. Now Congress is investigating the entire election and could seat Jennings in the coming months.

    The Impeach Campaign

    • VR was the first org to demand accountability via impeachment for George W. Bush in a series of print and Internet ads.
    • At the time we first ran the ads, there was very little talk of impeachment, but now impeachment is on the minds of millions of Americans as recent polls have shown a majority of Americans support impeachment, and there are finally Congress Members demanding investigations and even articles of impeachment. We have just launched a new campaign to pressure George W. Bush, Dick Cheney and their minions to do the right thing for the country by resigning.

    The Valerie Plame Investigation

    • In the summer of 2005, the investigation into the leaking of Valerie Plame's name by the White House was bogged down in legal wrangling. VR filed a written analysis of the crimes involved and how long a sentence people in the White House would face for committing those crimes. VR noted that the only way people could get a lesser sentence was to cooperate with Special Prosecutor Fitzgerald. VR published this on the Internet, sent out press releases, and had it delivered to WH officials and their attorneys.

    The Impeachmobile

    • In December 2005, VR built a 14x8 foot double-sided billboard with Impeach Bush signs on both sides.
    • On dozens of occasions, VR has driven this mobile billboard around the Capitol, the White House, The Mall, and at numerous events to bring impeachment to everyone's attention to help raise awareness of this issue and courage at the grassroots level.

    The Iran War

    • Prior to March 2006, no one in the mainstream media was talking about a US war with Iran with plans to use nuclear weapons. On March 17, 2006, VR put an Iran/Impeachment ad in the Washington Post and on March 31, placed a similar ad in the New York Times.
    • Soon thereafter, the press began its own investigation into the Iran war and the WaPo reported that the White House plans included n-weapons. Congress members got on board and this became a real news event. Citizens sent hundreds of thousands of petitions to the Congress and the media demanding a stop to the drumbeat to another unnecessary war. Now the war with Iran is a hot topic and scrutiny is on both the United States and Israel for their reported plans to use tactical nuclear weapons against Iran.

    The VR Media Campaign

    • VR has issued scores of press releases on our different campaigns; Brad Friedman of our co-founding organization, The BRAD BLOG, has appeared on hundreds of radio and TV shows to talk about them; in the summer of 2005, we supported The BRAD SHOW to highlight these issues; and Brad has written articles that have appeared in dozens of media, both Internet and mainstream. VR has posted print ads in mainstream media, progressive media and weekly media. We have produced and publicized radio ads and PSA's.
    • Many of these media appearances have been breaking news stories, including the SAIC report, the Princeton report, the RFK Jr. articles, and Abramoff's trips to the WH.

    VR posts detailing most all of these issues and campaigns can be found on the VR site -- just scroll down the front page and visit our special Election Protection Strike Force Site at Again, a big thank you to the VR citizens' brigade is in order - that means all of you VR members, affiliates, funders and supporters. Without you, we're nothing…

1/13/07: A Year Ago VR Warned Against A War With Iran And Now Everyone Is Talking About It

On March 17, 2006, VR, as an adjunct to our NYT and WashPo ads, launched a petition to Congress to stop a war with Iran. Thousands of you signed the petition then and the war was averted for the time.

Now, however, Bush has lost the mid-term election and has stated that he does not care what people think, he intends to escalate the Mid-East war no matter what. This includes an attack on Iran. As we have stated, and now even Israel agrees, the Bush misadventures have made the region less safe and secure


VR believes that the American people would be well served by the diplomatic engagement of Iran and Syria per the recommendations of the bipartisan Iraq Study Group. We have joined a coalition called Americans Against the Escalation in Iraq to bring pressure from citizens opposed to more escalation. We will be launching more ads to make this point and get people to sign our petition to hold Bush accountable for his military hubris. Years ago, sailors used to mutiny when the captain of the ship became reckless. More recently, politicians relied on the impeachment process. Now, however, the stakes are so grave that we believe that the Generals and the Senate and House leadership need to take that long overdue walk down Pennsylvania Avenue and demand that Bush and his minions resign before they embark on another military debacle.

Please sign our petition and donate to our new ad campaign.

1/8/07: Congratulations to Lowell Finley Of VoterAction – Now Deputy SOS of California

The new Secretary of State, Debra Bowen, today announced that she has appointed Lowell Finley of the election reform group VoterAction to be her new Deputy Secretary of State for Voting Systems and Technology. Wow! It was Finley who filed many of the lawsuits against different states using DREs, and he is one of the attorneys who filed the lawsuit in FL-13 where 18,000 votes were missing in the Jennings/Buchanan race. VR has worked closely with VoterAction and Finley in our CA-50 lawsuit, our Paper Ballot Campaign, our Emergency Paper Ballot Campaign, our Election Protection Strike Force and we have provided funding for the FL-13 suit.

We want to congratulate Lowell and VoterAction, and commend Debra Bowen for keeping her word and standing strong for accountable elections. A complete rundown of this story can be found on The BRAD BLOG.

1/8/07: Citizens For Responsibility And Ethics In Washington Wins VR Reward For Photo Of Bush And Abramoff Together

On January 31, 2006, VR, as part of its Government Accountability Campaign, posted a $500 reward for any previously unpublished photo of Jack Abramoff and George Bush together. Well, today Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, CREW, published such a photo on its website. VR will deliver a $500 check to the Washington offices of CREW later this week. Congratulations on the winner!!

1/7/07: VR Supports The Right Of Felons To Vote, And Congress Should Too

Now that a new Congress is in the office, it is time to enact legislation based on fundamental fairness, due process and equal protection guaranteeing every American citizen the right to vote, including the more than five million felons who have been disenfranchised simply because of a felony conviction. According to an editorial in the Washington Post, these disenfranchisement "laws are a vestige of a time when states sought to discourage blacks from voting, and they do, in fact, disproportionately disenfranchise African Americans." The non profit Sentencing Project states: "This fundamental obstacle to participation in democratic life is exacerbated by racial disparities in the criminal justice system, resulting in an estimated 13% of black men unable to vote. … Public opinion data clearly shows strong support for reform - 80% of the public supports restoration of voting rights for ex-felons who have completed their sentences, and 64% and 62% respectively support the right of probationers and parolees to vote."

We are not alone in our position here. Human Rights Watch, The Brennen Center, American Correctional Association, Jimmy Carter, Gerald Ford, Howard Dean, Wesley Clark and many others support allowing voting rights to felons. It is high time that Congress step up to the plate and stop these disgraceful Jim Crow laws. America will be better off by having all citizens, including felons, participate in our political process.

12/31/06: George W. Bush and Dick Cheney Must Resign. For the Good of this Nation

As we enter the new year, VR renews our call for George W. Bush, Richard Cheney and their minions to do the only respectable thing in the wake of the myriad disasters they have wrought on our country and our world. It is time for them to resign and spare the nation two more painful years spent by Congress bringing accountability for the recklessness and disregard for our Constitution by this Administration.

We urge all of those good Senators and Generals who have enabled this administration to take that long overdue walk up Pennsylvania Avenue to the White House to demand the end to our long, six year national nightmare.

Americans -- and indeed the world -- deserve better than this House of Shams. Bush was placed into office via a sham decision after a sham election. He declared a war via the use of sham intelligence. He has instituted sham policies, based on sham "science" and the sham "advice" of lobbyists and corporate interests disguised as consultants. He has given the American people sham "facts" about policies both foreign and domestic, and now he has killed Saddam Hussein in the wake of a sham trial.

Bush leaves behind a legacy of shams and failures. However, it is anything but a sham for the thousands of families who have lost loved ones due to Bush's many selfish schemes and ill-conceived shams. Nor will it be a sham to those of us forced to clean up, for generations, after his self-deserving arrogance and utter incompetence.

It is said that karma is a powerful force. Those with clarity of vision and intellectual honesty can see the writing on the wall and the karma now pounding loudly on the door of this administration. The House of Bush teeters on complete collapse and can’t be stopped, but the damage during the downfall may be minimized if grown-up steps are now taken.

If George W. Bush ever had the ability to make one single honest and unselfish decision, let it be soon, and for the good of the country. It is time for him to step down.

No doubt, his enablers understand they too will be prisoners of Bush's karma if they don't act soon to stop the bleeding. The recompense of 2008 is only around the corner. It's time to save the ship before those enablers are sent down with it.

Americans are tired and ashamed by the stain on the White House, on the country and on the world. We are exhausted by the lies and shamed by the deaths brought by this Administration.

It is time for that one honorable move, Mr. Bush. It is time for you, Mr. Cheney and your minions, to take your leave. It is the right thing to do and there will be no better moment for you to do it than now. Spare us the last of your self-righteous indignation and, for once, put your country before yourselves. We call for you to resign your office before any more damage is done. We will be taking steps to ensure you make that decision as soon as possible.

12/20/06: Time Magazine Names The Online Movement As Person Of The Year

A few years ago Internet news services and blogs were disparaged by the mainstream media. But now Time Magazine has named us Person of the Year.

All of you should be proud to be part of VR and the whole new media revolution.

12/14/06: Election Reform Coalition Launches Paper Ballot Campaign

A coalition of more than 30 election reform organizations today launched a new campaign to urge the new Congress to quickly pass legislation requiring paper ballots for every vote cast. A copy of the complete letter to Congress is here. VR is hosting the petition for the campaign and we are asking everyone to sign it and to pass it along to your friends. We have seen what problems paperless vote machines cause and want to reform our elections before the next election. Moreover, we do not want paper trails or paper records -- we want paper ballots. Please sign the petition here.

12/1/06: VR Campaign Succeeds: National Institute on Standards and Technology Recommends Paper Ballots

Last spring, VR launched a campaign to pressure the Election Assistance Commission (“EAC”) and the National Institute of Standards and Technology ("NIST") to protect elections rather than vote machine vendors by enacting standards for paper ballots for all votes cast.

Well, it now appears that all those tens of thousands of emails that you sent had a huge effect because, as reported today on the front page of the Washington Post, NIST has now recommended to EAC that all vote machines without paper ballots be decertified, and that future elections include a paper ballot for each vote.

This is a big win for all of you who made your voice heard. Shortly, VR will launch a new campaign to pressure the incoming Congress to enact federal legislation to require paper ballots, not paper trials or paper records, but paper ballots starting in the 2008 presidential election season. We will demand that this be a first order of business, hopefully in the initial days of the new Congress.

UPDATE: 12/06/06: NIST Panel Passes Resolution To Require Verified Votes.

11/20/06: Bush Pal Tom Noe Sentenced To 18 Years

Today, VR corruption target Tom Noe, the $150,000 Bush Pioneer and Ohio's GOP moneyman, was sentenced to 18 years in state prison for corrupt activity, theft, money laundering, tampering with records and forgery. He is still facing a host of federal charges for other corrupt activities.

Mr. Noe's wife, Bernadette, was chairman of the Lucas County Republican Party and the Lucas County Board of Elections and was accused of massive irregularities during the 2004 general election.

On September 15, 2005, VR offered a $100,000 reward for evidence proving that the 2004 election in Ohio was rigged in favor of George Bush. Well, Mr. Noe, since all those evil deeds you did for Republicans don't seem to be helping you out of your present difficulties, maybe you should take up our offer because we will pay off and you will certainly need that extra 100K in the coming months. Moreover, if your attorneys haven’t told you, the only way to get a sentence reduction is to cooperate against a bigger fish. But don’t wait too long since everyone seems to be spilling the beans on the GOP culture of corruption nowadays.

11/15/06: VR Demands Resignation Of FL-13 Supervisor Of Elections Kathy Dent

Today VR is demanding the resignation of Kathy Dent, the Supervisor of Elections in FL-13, in Sarasota, Florida. That race, a week after the election, has still not been decided because of 18,000 ballots for Congress are missing from the non-paper ballot touchscreen machines. Kathy Dent vehemently opposed any paper ballots in the race prior to the election, and she denigrated the people asking for paper ballots.

There is a recount going on in FL-13 which we predict will show the same results from the election because the machines will only be spitting out the same garbage. This is why we have always insisted on paper ballots as a backup insurance policy. We also have our doubts about the court ordered audit, although we expect it to show some anomalies but not the true extent of the problem. As we said last week, we believe that a revote is the only way to correct the mistakes made in FL-13.

If this were 2008 and the presidential election hinged on FL-13, the whole country would be up in arms insisting that nothing has changed since 2000. We can’t afford to have incompetents such as Kathy Dent making decisions and running elections. She has failed miserably and she should resign or be removed immediately.

11/10/06: VR Declares "No Confidence" In Fl-13 Because Of 18,000 Lost Votes By Electronic Vote Machines

In Fl-13, unofficial results show that Republican Vern Buchanan defeated Democrat Christine Jennings by only 373 votes -- triggering a likely recount. However, there were more than 18,000 blank ballots -- representing 13 percent of the 142,284 ballots cast – which surely affected the outcome of one of the most hotly contested congressional races in the country.

Florida officials have ordered an audit of that election. However, VR believes more should be done – the machines should be impounded and analyzed by the best IT security analysts, vote company officials and technicians should be questioned under oath, and steps should be taken to rid the electorate of this type of vote machine.

There have been problems in elections all over the country and we at VR are monitoring numerous races and awaiting the final counts before deciding to take action. However, at this time, we are issuing a "NO CONFIDENCE" declaration in the results of the Congressional race in FL-13. If the audit cannot find the missing votes, then we demand a district wide revote on paper ballots. We demand that the results not be certified nor a winner be declared until all the votes are counted.

We are working with other organizations that are contesting the FL-13 race, including VoterAction, Common Cause, MoveOn, People for the American Way and Progressive Democrats of America. We will not accept this blatant assault on our democracy.


Previously Unreleased 200-Page Report Said to Document Some 180 Security Flaws and Recommendations Made to Diebold and the State

Linda Lamone

On Friday night, The BRAD BLOG broke Rebecca Abrahams' exclusive story concerning the long-sought, yet never-released complete "Risk Assessment Report" of Diebold's electronic voting systems as commissioned by the state of Maryland from the Scientific Applications International Corporation (SAIC) in 2003.

Tonight, The BRAD BLOG is releasing that report exclusively in full as provided by "a patriotic high-level state official" very close to this situation in the Maryland government.

The original, never-before-released SAIC report was nearly 200 pages in all as completed, and details a number of extraordinary security vulnerabilities found in Diebold's AccuVote-TS (touch-screen) voting systems as deployed by the state of Maryland initially in 2002. The version of the SAIC report that was eventually released to the public, after extreme redaction, was a mere 38 pages long.

Regarded by many in the computer science, security and election integrity community as "The Pentagon Papers of E-Voting", the report as released by MD's State Election Administrator, Linda Lamone, was edited, changed and, of course, highly redacted by someone.

If security vulnerabilities were indeed found in 2003 by SAIC, but subsequently kept covered-up by Diebold or their allies such as longtime booster Lamone, within the MD State Elections division, the question of accountability — and even the specter of malicious out-and-out fraud — has been raised.

During an interview with Abrahams and Stephen Spoonamore, the CEO of computer security firm Cyberinth LCC, on a radio program we co-hosted yesterday, they suggested that an FBI investigation may currently be under way in Maryland concerning several events surrounding the use of Diebold machines in the state.

Given the importance of this never-before-released information — and after close consultation with Abrahams and several others, we believe the national public interest in the information contained in this report requires full and immediate release and disclosure.

Section 1 [PDF, appx 3mb]
Section 2 [PDF, appx 8mb]
Section 3 [PDF, appx 8mb]
Section 4 [PDF, appx 6mb]
Section 5 [PDF, appx 2mb]



RewardLIVE Team Broadcast to be Carried over Multiple Radio Networks, Stations, Internet Outlets -- All Invited to Carry Program Free All Night Long!

Coverage will focus both on continuing, growing election problems around the country, as well as the "horse race." Beginning Tuesday, Nov. 7nd at 3pm PT (6pm ET) and continuing until 1am PT or as long as events on the ground warrant.

Peter B. Collins (host of the daily syndicated Peter B. Collins radio show) and Brad Friedman (radio personality, investigative journalist at, election integrity advocate and co-founder of are announcing plans for a coast-to-coast Election Night Marathon Broadcast to be carried LIVE over multiple air affiliates via the Jones satellite feed and multiple streaming internet outlets. The landmark broadcast is as a joint effort of Collins, Friedman and' Election Protection Strike Force effort in coordination with a number of national organizations and sponsors to be announced soon.

All interested networks, air affiliates, and Internet networks are invited to carry this special one-of-a-kind programming free of charge all evening! This special broadcast is available to any radio station in the country, and stations are welcome to carry as much of the broadcast as they wish. The satellite feed will be on the Jones Starguide system, channel Jones 1 left. For the program clock and traffic information, contact Collins Media Services at 415-258-9467 or email

While the rest of the media will likely be focusing on the "horse race" on Election Night, Friedman and Collins' special coverage will focus on the issues of election integrity and the massive trouble expected at polling places with new, untested, electronic voting systems -- found to be vulnerable to both failure and tampering -- which now litter the nation's electoral landscape for the first time this year.

Drawing on Collins' and Friedman's considerable knowledge, sources and expertise on these issues, the program will feature live, as they break reports from a raft of high-profile guests, election integrity activists on the ground and callers around the nation. As well, regular reports on the incoming numbers will featured on a regular basis each hour during the broadcast.

The co-hosts will be working with and interviewing many of country's foremost experts on Election Integrity issues across the county, hoping to draw from their team of colleagues and sources including Thom Hartmann in OR, Greg Palast in NY, Mark Crispin Miller in NY, Bev Harris in WA, Bob Fitrakis in OH and many many more.

Breaking news and interviews will be featured side-by-side with the "horse race" numbers and featured guests will come not just from the Election Integrity Advocacy movement, but also from among the nation's top politicians, newsmakers, journalists and bloggers.

Beginning during Collins' regular daily broadcast on Tuesday (starting 3pm PT, 6pm ET), the special LIVE programming will continue throughout the night until 1am PT (4am ET), or as events warrant and will likely feature live cross-over simulcasts with other Election Night programming as both Friedman and Collins will be interviewed on other networks throughout the night as well. Collins' will be working out of his San Rafael, CA studios and Friedman will be broadcasting from Los Angeles.

We'll soon be announcing some of the air affiliates and Internet networks -- such as in Chicago and in Houston -- who will be adding capacity and streaming our special live coverage. We expect to be announcing several late-joining sponsors for this revolutionary broadcast shortly as well. Please contact if you're interested in being a sponsor.

11/3/06: VR Strike Force New Ad And Flyer


VR Strike Force has created a new ad that can be used by our members, affiliates and others to place in newspapers or make flyers for distribution.


Please use it


Get the ad here





11/3/06: Maryland Election Officials Cover Up And Alter SAIC Report – FBI Investigates


This is big, so big it is being called the "Pentagon Papers of Election Fraud." In short, we got a copy of the SAIC (Scientific Applications International Corporation) Risk Assessment Report for Diebold vote machines in the state of Maryland. The 280 page unredacted report was commissioned in 2003 but was only released in a 38-page redacted version. VR co-founder Brad Friedman did an exclusive release on this story last night on The BRAD BLOG which lays out how Maryland officials, in concert with Diebold, covered up the real substance of the report and actually changed language and meaning. In short, the SAIC found that the Diebold machines were unsecure and that they pose a high threat of changing the will of the voters.

We have been informed that the FBI has been alerted to this massive fraud on the citizens of this country and that it is now investigating. The cat is out of the bag and we will be reporting more on this shortly.

10/31/06: VR Sponsors New Lawsuit in CA-50 To Require Paper Ballots And Prohibit Sleepovers


On Monday October 30, 2006, a VR funded lawsuit by San Diego County voter Kathy Peterson was filed with the California Court of Appeals, seeking a writ of mandamus compelling Registrar of Voters Mikel Haas to do his job by providing and counting paper ballots of all voters in CA-50 and prohibiting sleepovers of the Diebold election machines.

Ms. Peterson is represented by Carlsbad attorney Ken Simpkins, who has also served the cause of democratic elections along with attorney Paul Lehto in the election contest involving the 50th Congressional District in California, the Busby/Bilbray race to replace imprisoned former Congressman Duke Cunningham.

The lawsuit, set for expedited decision prior to the election and served on the defendants on Monday as well, seeks additional relief to guarantee an adequate supply of "emergency" paper ballots, which are required by a California order of the Secretary of State to be available to any voter upon request, as well as for distribution to all voters in the event of a meltdown or other voting machine breakdown. Preliminary indications are that absentee ballots, another "paper ballot" option, are being requested in far higher numbers than in the most recent off year federal election in 2002.

As its third and final form of relief requested, the lawsuit requests a peremptory writ regarding "sleepovers" of electronic voting machines, seeking appropriate security logs and precautions to be instituted, since the Registrar of Voters has failed completely to secure the machines, apparently preferring plausible deniability of scattering the voting machines to innumerable volunteers for one to two weeks over the accountability. As reported by The BRAD BLOG, Haas has sent already sent all the voting machines home with pollworkers in violation of state federal law.



Please spread our new VR Election Protection Strike Force far and wide. We have tons of information there to provide an insurance policy to voters in the November mid-terms. The Election Protection Strike Force reveals a new approach to grassroots action, a multi-pronged hot-as-lightning campaign to put U.S. elections where they belong, in the hands of the people. So please get involved.

10/24/06: VR Commissions Zogby Poll in Clint Curtis/Tom Feeney Florida Congressional Race – It’s a Dead Heat!

Clint Curtis

As part of our VR Election Protection Strike Force, we commissioned Zogby to conduct a poll in FL-24 between Democrat Clint Curtis and Republican Tom Feeney. The Zogby poll shows a dead heat, and reveals that Curtis is leading among likely voters who describe themselves as independent by a full 11 points! Large majorities of Hispanics (60%) and African Americans (71%) also support Curtis.

According to the report from Zogby International of 402 likely voters in Florida's 24th district, when asked "If the election for Congress were held today and the candidates were Democrat Clint Curtis and Republican Tom Feeney, for whom would you vote?", respondents replied as follows:

   Feeney - 45%
   Curtis - 43%
   Other - 2%
   Not sure - 10%

"The race for the U.S. House of Representatives in Florida’s 24th District is a virtual toss-up. Incumbent Tom Feeney holds the slimmest of leads over challenger Clint Curtis, 45% to 43%, with one in ten (10%) undecided," noted Zogby.

It appears that Feeney’s close relationship with corrupt lobbyist Jack Abramoff and sexual predator Mark Foley has had a big effect on the Curtis/Feeney race.

10/20/06: VR Sponsors No Vote Machine Sleepovers Forum In San Diego

Sleeping Voting Machines?

Velvet Revolution Election Protection Strike Force is hosting an Emergency Town Hall Election Forum in San Diego on 10/25/06 from 5:50 - 9:00 p.m. Please come and participate.

10/16/06: VR Leads Effort With Open Letter to States Urging Emergency Paper Ballot Plans and Procedures for November Election

Urgent Plea

Urgent Plea Mailed to 50 State Governors, Sec's of State and Election Directors Signed by Broad Coalition of Election Integrity Advocacy Orgs, Congressional Members, Elections Officials, Computer Scientists, Civil Rights Attorneys and Journalists Initial Federal Effort Calling for Back-Up Paper Ballots Now Moves to States, Citizens Asked to Join the Call!

An urgent letter has been sent today to the Governors, Secretaries of State and State Election Directors of all 50 states urging them to immediately create and implement plans and procedures for allowing the use of Emergency Paper Ballots at every local jurisdiction during this November's general election.

The missive, signed by a broad coalition of more than 50 Election Integrity Advocate groups, congressional members, elections officials, computer scientists, attorneys and journalists comes on the heels of Federal legislation recently introduced in both the U.S. House and Senate. Those bills, which were not brought up for a vote before Congress adjourned for the Election Recess, called for funding to states who implement plans to provide Emergency Paper Ballots. The legislation was introduced in the wake of recent primary elections around the country where voters were unable to cast a vote due to failure, malfunction, or other inability of electronic voting systems.

The two-page letter [PDF] was signed by individuals such as: Sen. Barbara Boxer, Robert F. Kennedy Jr., Sen. John Kerry, Rep. Rush Holt, Leon County, FL Supervisor of Elections Ion Sancho, OH elections attorney Cliff Arnebeck and University of Iowa computer scientist Doug Jones. Organizations signed on include: Common Cause,,,,, National Coalition on Black Civic Participation,, and many other national, state and local Election Integrity advocate groups.

Progressive Democrats of America (PDA), one of the initial signatories, has created an online petition for citizens to urge their Secretaries of State and Governors to ensure such plans and procedures are created and implemented immediately. Take action by clicking here…

10/8/06: $500,000 Reward For Information About Election Fraud In The November Election

Paper Ballots VelvetRevolution is offering a $500,000 reward for information about election fraud and manipulation in the November 7th mid-term elections. That’s a quarter million dollars to the persons or persons who provide us with definitive and conclusive proof that a United States House or Senate election has been rigged by illegal means.

The information must result in an overturning of a congressional election and a conviction of the person or persons responsible for the fraud. We want whistleblowers to come forward and to provide us with evidence, documents, tape recordings, and admissions. Send to tips at

This reward is one part of VR’s ongoing Election Protection Strike Force, with lots more to come.


For more info, and to sign the "No Confidence" declaration demanding a manual hand count of all paper ballots and "paper trails" in the race, click here...

9/29/06: VR’s Proposal For Emergency Paper Ballots Has Been Endorsed By Senators, Representatives, The DNC And Lot Of Others

Paper Ballots

A week ago, following all the primary election failures, VR proposed an emergency paper ballot law to provide paper ballots for all elections this November. We called this the "Let America Vote Act" and urged Senators and Representatives to introduce the legislation.

On Tuesday, Senators Boxer and Dodd, and Representative Rush Holt followed our call by introducing the "Confidence in Voting Act of 2006" in both houses. The bills were quickly endorsed by many Congress Members, including Senator Kerry.

Many of our affiliates have endorsed the bills and asked their members to contact Congress, including Progressive Democrats of America, AfterDowningStreet, The Peoples Email Network,, VoteTrustUSA, Verified Voting and others. Moreover, Common Cause, the New York Times, RFK Jr., Lou Dobbs, and Debra Bowen, have done the same.

Late yesterday, the DNC also came out in support of the bills.

Now Congress is ready to adjourn for the fall recess so where does that leave these important bills? Well, everyone needs to support those Congress Members who endorsed the bills and condemn those who did not. Additionally, everyone must now take this fight to the states. This is a non-partisan issue that everyone should be able to understand – having a paper ballot insurance policy when the machines crash.

9/28/06: Princeton Scientist Testifies Before Congress About Hacking Diebold Machines With Virus To Rig Elections

Hacking Diebold Machines

Today, in incredible testimony, Ed Felten, testified before a packed House Administration Committee about Princeton’s recent hack of Diebold touch screen machines with a computer virus. See full testimony and a demo hack here.

VR was there since we provided the machine to Princeton. Afterwards, Felten and Congressman Holt held a press conference which was attended by CNN, ABC, NBC, Reuters, Washington Post and others where Felten did the hack to close-up cameras. Here are some highlights.


Call on Congress to Mandate Emergency Paper Ballots at Every Polling Place in America this November!

VR calls on Congress to pass an emergency measure requiring Paper Ballots be made available at the polls during this November's general election. In primary after primary this year, voters have been told to "come back later" or, at best, given a provisional ballot (which may or may not ever be counted) when voting machines either failed to work or, frequently, weren't even present by the time voters showed up to vote. That is voter disenfranchisement, pure and simple, and it affects voters of any and all political stripes. Things were so bad in Maryland’s primary last week that today GOP Governor Ehrlich called for the total scrapping of the Diebold vote machines and a return to all paper ballots.

VR now urges all citizens to contact their Congress Members — as well as their state and local officials — to demand that non-provisional Paper Ballots be made available at the polls this year! This is simply common sense.

For more reasons and information on why this legislation needs to be passed by both Houses of Congress and signed by the White House with Terry Schiavo-like speed in the last days before they recess for the election -- and for the complete suggested legislative language for the bill, and a few words in response to naysayers -- Read BRAD BLOG's coverage here..

-- Click here to contact your Congress members!
-- Contact your local media here!

The complete suggested language for the LET AMERICA VOTE ACT is posted below. It will take you 30 seconds to read in its entirety. Please do whatever you can to help it find sponsorship and see it passed by Congress immediately! American democracy is worth the effort!


WHEREAS significant failures of electronic voting machines have occurred in various jurisdictions during primary elections held in Illinois, Texas, Georgia, Maryland and other states during 2006, and

WHEREAS such failures have forced legitimate, registered voters to have been turned away from the polls by the thousands so far in 2006 primary elections simply because neither voting machines nor paper ballots were available for use when the voters arrived at their polling place, and

WHEREAS the probability exists that such failures will continue and the adverse results of such failures will be multiplied and increased in magnitude by the additional number of voters participating in the November 7, 2006 General Election, and

WHEREAS the potential exists for massive disenfranchisement of American voters in the November 7, 2006 General Election, by such failures of electronic voting machines,

NOW THEREFORE be it enacted that:

A. For the November 7, 2006, General Election, each election jurisdiction shall be required to prepare and print Emergency Paper Ballots of the proper ballot style for all races and propositions which shall be contested in that jurisdiction.

B. Such Emergency Paper Ballots shall be printed in sufficient quantity to guarantee that every voter who may require one, either as requested or as a result of voting machine unavailability, shall be able to receive such an Emergency Paper Ballot.

C. As with all provisional ballots, such Emergency Paper Ballots shall be printed in all languages specified for ballots in that jurisdiction.

D. Any voter eligible to vote in the jurisdiction in which he or she requests an Emergency Paper Ballot shall be entitled to receive and cast such Emergency Paper Ballot, regardless of the type of ballot that shall have been specifiied in that jurisdiction through operation of law, without further qualification, request, proof or furnishing of reason for such request.

E. Such Emergency Paper Ballots shall be official ballots for purposes of casting, tabulating, audits, redundant counts and recounts, and shall not be considered provisional ballots.

F. Emergency Paper Ballots shall be cast and tabulated in the same manner as all other ballots cast on November 7, 2006.

G. The associated costs to states for this mandate will be reimbursed out of Help America Vote Act funding.

H. This Act shall terminate and cease to have effect on February 28, 2007.

9/18/06: VR Strike Force Presents STEALING AMERICA: Vote by Vote


A New Documentary Film Produced by DOROTHY FADIMAN
EMMY Award winning, OSCAR-nominated Documentary Filmmaker
STEALING AMERICA: Vote by Vote brings together behind-the-scenes perspectives from Election 2004. Interviewees include voters who experienced hardships, poll workers, computer experts, nationally recognized journalists, as well as others concerned about the Presidential election of Nov. 2, 2004 and democracy in the United States. For more information or to arrange a screening, please visit

Screening Schedule, September-October 2006

Tuesday, September 19
City: Washington, DC
Place: Peoples Congregational Church, 4704Thirteenth Street NW
Time: 7:30 PM
Cost: FREE. Viewers will be invited to make a donation.
Film will be introduced by Matthew Segal. The filmmaker will be in attendance.
Sponsor: Velvet Revolution (
RSVP: Kat L'Estrange,

Tuesday, September 19
City: Mountain View, CA
Place: Adobe Building, 157 Moffett Boulevard
Time: 7 PM
Cost: FREE
The filmmaker will not be in attendance.
Contact: Tamara Colby,
Sponsor: League of Women Voters of Los Altos

Thursday, September 21
City: New York, NY
Place: Millennium Film Workshop, 66 East 4th Street, Manhattan, NYC
Time: 8 PM
Cost: FREE. Viewers will be invited to make a donation.
Film will be introduced by Mark Crispin Miller.
The filmmaker will be in attendance.
Contact/RSVP: Kat L'Estrange,

Sunday, September 24 - OHIO PREMIERE
City: Columbus, OH
Place: Drexel Gateway Theater, 1550 North High Street
Time: 7:30 PM
Cost: $8/ticket
Film will be introduced by Bob Fitrakis.
The filmmaker will be in attendance.
Contact: Suzanne Patzer,
Sponsor: Free Press (

Monday, September 25
City: Cincinnati, OH
Place: Esquire Theatre, 320 Ludlow Ave
Time: 7:30 PM
Cost: $5/ticket
The filmmaker will be in attendance.
Contact: Andrew Warner,

Thursday, September 28
City: Youngstown, OH
Place: Youngstown University, McKay Auditorium in Beeghley Hall - Building #5
Time: 8:00 PM
Cost: FREE. Viewers will be invited to make a donation.
The filmmaker will be in attendance.
Contact: Kim Akins,
Sponsor: Peace Action

Saturday, September 30
City: Cleveland, OH
Place: Cuyahoga County Community College, 2900 Community College Avenue. The Theater in Media and Theater Arts (MTA) building.
Time: 4:30 PM
Cost: $5/ticket. Free for We Count conference attendees.
The filmmaker will be in attendance.
Sponsor: We Count 2006 (, Velvet Revolution, Election Defense Alliance

Wednesday, October 4
City: Oakland, CA
Main Speaker: Mark Crispin Miller
Place: Oakland Grand Lake Theater, 3200 Grand Avenue
Time: 7 PM (film at 9:30 PM)
Cost: $10/ticket
The filmmaker will be in attendance.

Sunday, October 15 - LOCAL PREMIERE
City: Palo Alto, CA
Place: Cubberley Theatre, 4000 Middlefield Rd. Palo Alto, California
Time: 7:30 PM
Cost: FREE. Viewers will be invited to make a donation.
The filmmaker will be in attendance.
Contact: Ana Hays,

Tuesday, October 26
City: Mountain View, CA
Place: Michael's on Shoreline, 2960 N Shoreline Blvd
Time: 6:30 registration 7 pm dinner 7:30 pm Program
Cost: $25 Fundraiser for ACLU
Cost: Free. Viewers will be invited to make a donation.
The filmmaker will be in attendance.
RSVP: Tamara Colby by October 14
Sponsor: The Mid-Peninsula Chapter of The American Civil Liberties Union


Finally.... An Exhaustive Analysis Of The Diebold Machines From Top To Bottom

The Princeton Report, as it is called, has finally been released after a complete four-month analysis of a Diebold TS voting machine. A full article is on The BRAD BLOG

Here is the report, the executive summary, and a ten-minute video demonstrating how a virus can be inserted into the machine to steal an election, and how that single virus can infect other machines. This is all undetectable.

As Brad reported yesterday at Salon, "the Princeton computer scientists obtained the Diebold system with cooperation from VelvetRevolution, an umbrella organization of more than 100 election integrity groups, which I co-founded a few months after the 2004 election. We acquired the Diebold system from an independent source and handed it over to university scientists so that, for the first time, they could analyze the hardware, software and firmware of the controversial voting system. Such an independent study had never been allowed by either Diebold or elections officials."

Here is part of the Executive Summary concluding in short that these machines are dangerous and unfixable.

  1. Malicious software running on a single voting machine can steal votes with little if any risk of detection. The malicious software can modify all of the records, audit logs, and counters kept by the voting machine, so that even careful forensic examination of these records will find nothing amiss. We have constructed demonstration software that carries out this vote-stealing attack.

  2. Anyone who has physical access to a voting machine, or to a memory card that will later be inserted into a machine, can install said malicious software using a simple method that takes as little as one minute. In practice, poll workers and others often have unsupervised access to the machines.

  3. AccuVote-TS machines are susceptible to voting-machine viruses — computer viruses that can spread malicious software automatically and invisibly from machine to machine during normal pre- and post-election activity. We have constructed a demonstration virus that spreads in this way, installing our demonstration vote-stealing program on every machine it infects.

  4. While some of these problems can be eliminated by improving Diebold's software, others cannot be remedied without replacing the machines' hardware. Changes to election procedures would also be required to ensure security.

Please let your elections officials know that these machines must be discarded and that they cannot have any confidence in the results of their elections. More information will follow.

For the most recent version of this paper, answers to frequently asked questions, and videos of demonstration attacks, see:

9/10/06: VR Launches Election Protection Strike Force For The Mid-Term Elections

VelvetRevolution has launched an election protection strike force campaign for the mid-term elections this November. This campaign consists of three major components – legal, media and activists.

  1. Legal- VR is working to coordinate with a dream team of the best, brightest and most fearless attorneys and investigators specializing in election law. We will be ready in key states and key races to immediately and forcefully challenge specific subversions of the voting process through illegal means.
  2. Media- VR will brief the media prior to the election to be on the lookout for a laundry list of possible manipulations of the vote. Concerned reporters who are interested in this issue will be identified and on call prior to, during and after the election. The blogs and independent news outlets including radio and TV will be included in this campaign. VR will retain a PR firm to mobilize the mainstream media and VR will be mobilizing the online media.
  3. Activists- VR will put millions of activists on various organizational lists and blogs on notice to be on the lookout for election problems and to be ready at a moment's notice to send hundreds of thousands of emails, letters, and phone calls to those in a position to stop the problems. The activists will also be primed to engage in protests, marches, meetings and rallies to stop the problems.

A big component of this strike force will be a large reward fund of at least $500,000 for information about electoral illegalities that change the result of an election. This will be tied into a election fraud hotline for whistleblowers to call for quick investigation of their allegations. We are presently getting pledges for this fund and it will be announced shortly. Whistleblowers can contact us at: tips at

A second component will be an awareness campaign targeting all elections officials, secretaries of state, voting registrars, poll workers, campaign workers, and vote machine employees and election volunteers. They will be told, in very clear and direct terms, that Americans expect a clean and honest election and that any violations of the law or other improprieties will be discovered, exposed and prosecuted civilly and criminally to the full extent of the law. In short, they will know that they are being watched, and that they can lose their job, money, reputation and freedom if they participate in illegalities.

VR is not waiting until November to use this strike force. Indeed, we started in June with our campaign to challenge the procedures used in the CA-50 Congressional race in San Diego to replace Republican Duke Cunningham. We had whistleblowers in place prior to the race and they knew what to look for. They reported illegalities to us on the day of the race. We rallied activists and sent tens of thousands of petitions to officials demanding a ballot count. We conducted town hall meetings and created tons of press. We brought in other organizations to join with us and persuaded the DNC and Howard Dean to support our call for a complete handcount of the election. We raised money for an elections lawyer and we filed suit to decertify the election, contest the procedures used and enjoin the state from allowing the illegalities to occur again in November.

Moreover, we have started our education process by sponsoring election reform conferences across the nation to educate activists. See post below. Now we need your help – spread the word, get involved, donate, and we will do everything we can to protect this election.

9/10/06: VR Sponsors More Election Integrity Conferences Across The Country

Election Integrity

VelvetRevolution is sponsoring more election integrity conferences across the country to educate and activate people about election integrity and what they can do to protect themselves. If any of you are located in these areas, please participate and get involved. And if you know of an org that wants to put on an election integrity conference, drop us a line for support – we may be able to help you with media and money.

Sponsor it!
Spread the Word!
Sign Up

Electoral Reform Day sponsored by Focus on Democracy. Senator Mike Gravel speaks at noon, at 3p.m., and at 6p.m. about "How" the people exercise democratic power and what we must do to "Take Back America & Keep It" from the military/industrial cabal. At 1p.m. and 4p.m. electoral reform experts Rob Richie, Robert Fitrakis, Jonathan Simon and Kevin Zeese will talk about uniting the electoral reform issue groups and what every citizen can do to help fix our broken democracy. All discussions will be highly interactive. At 8p.m. we will premier the new movie "Stealing America, Vote by Vote". Please come talk and learn about what we must do about our democracy and while you're out make the movie your perfect Friday night movie date on the mall, under the stars and twinkle lights,.
Location: Between Mall and Constitution Avenue, between 14 and 15 Streets

CALIFORNIA: "If They Can Steal Ohio... they can steal California."
Saturday, September 16, 3:00 to 5:00 p.m.
Immanuel Presbyterian Church, 3300 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles

On September 16, 2006, VR Co-Founder Brad Friedman will emcee the SoCal Grassroots Election Protection Forum, featuring Congresswoman Maxine Waters, State Senator Debra Bowen, Alan Dechert of Open Voting Consortium, Mimi Kennedy of PDA, and Bob Fitrakis of the Columbus FreePress.

Join them to also get a sneak peek at the propaganda your election officials don't want you to see, an advance look at the new film, "Votergate," a first-ever look deep into election systems and participation in a live, mass cell phone call-in to the media.

OHIO: We Count 2006-Ohio
A Conference about Fair Elections and Democracy
September 29th-30th, 2006
Friday - 6pm to 10pm; Saturday - 9am to 9pm
East Mount Zion Baptist Church
9990 Euclid Avenue * Cleveland * Ohio Featuring

Mark Crispin Miller * Bev Harris * Bob Fitrakis * Greg Coleridge * Kathleen Wynne * Steve Freeman * Richard Hayes Phillips * Ron Baiman * Kathy Dopp * Jonathan Simon * Victoria Lovegren * Bruce O’Dell * Nancy Tobi * Bob Koehler,
More details, info...

Mass, Cambridge: Stop Pretending The Didn’t Steal The 2000 and 2004 Elections – Featuring Greg Palast --
Thursday, September 28, 7:30pm,
First Parish Church,
Church and Mass Ave, Harvard Square, Cambridge.

9/9/06: Camp Democracy – A Virtual Tour

Camp Democracy 1

Camp Democracy is alive and well in Washington DC and we have a virtual video tour here as it was being set up. Every day has something different: lots of workshops, new connections and alliances, and well known names passing through.





Camp Democracy 2

We will update this post occasionally so drop on by.







9/5/06: Clint Curtis Wins Florida 24 Primary—Now He Faces Tom Feeney

Today, Clint Curtis won the primary race in FL-24 by an astounding 64 to 35% of the vote. This landslide was brought about by the netroots and grassroots. Congratulations are in order to Clint, his campaign team and to all those of you who supported this election protection hero. Now Clint faces GOP Congressman Tom Feeney, who has been named one of the most corrupt members of Congress.

VR and The BRAD BLOG have reported on Clint’s election reform work and his race when no one thought he had a chance of winning against a well funded Democratic opponent. Now it’s time for all those who sat on the sidelines to step up and support Clint big time. This will be one of the hottest and most exciting races this November with Clint demanding that Feeney take a polygraph test to prove that he is not corrupt. "Take the test, Tom."

GOP Power Grab In CA-50


The Fight Is On So Please Donate

As all of you know, VR has been leading the challenge of the fraudulent election in CA-50 -- the Busby/Bilbray race to replace Duke Cunningham. In short, laws were broken, Diebold machines were used in an illegal manner, security protocols were not followed, the paper ballot count was thwarted by the GOP Registrar and transparency was violated. VR succeeded in getting a lawsuit filed to challenge these improprieties and yesterday, there was a hearing on the Registrar's and Bilbray's Motion to Dismiss. In that motion, they argued that the California State Court did not have jurisdiction to hear the case because once a Congress member is sworn in, only the House of Representatives itself can hear an election contest. The State Judge agreed late yesterday and the case was dismissed. See full report on The BRAD BLOG.

So why are we up in arms about this -- because this is a GOP power grab pure and simple just like Bush v. Gore in the Supreme Court. Oh yes, the GOP loves to talk about states rights except when the states might rule against them. In the 2000 presidential election, they moved it to the Supreme Court and here they moved it to the House, and they did it blatantly and with hubris.

The Busby/Bilbray election occurred on June 6, and VR started raising questions about it on June 8th. On June 13, Bilbray was rushed to Washington DC by Dennis Hastert for his swearing in. Normally, such swearings do not take place for at least 30 days and certainly not until all the votes are counted and the election is certified by the state officials. In this case, however, all the votes had not been counted and the election was more than two weeks away from certification. Moreover, Bilbray was sworn on the basis of a fax listing unofficial and uncertified results sent from a GOP official in California.

Francine Busby said yesterday that the judge's decision was wrong. "It's outrageous that this judge just said the state of California doesn't have jurisdiction over our own elections, over this election," Busby said. "What happened today should be of concern to all voters."

VR is urging a quick appeal of this decision because of the terrible precedent it sets -- any Congressional candidate can be rushed to D.C. and sworn in thereby depriving the state and federal courts of jurisdiction to hear any challenge to any Congressional election, even outright fraud. In Bilbray's case, VR has no confidence whatsoever that he won the election yet under the Court's decision we and the voters of CA-50 are powerless to do anything about it because of the GOP power grab. This is what dictatorships do, and it is a stain on our Constitution which relies on checks and balances.

VR will be sounding the alert to the mass media and everyone who matters. Voters have a right to clean and honest elections. The Bilbray election is neither and now we know why he was sworn in such an unconventional way. Chalk it up to another dirty trick in the GOP playbook -- but VR and you are not going to sit on the sidelines and let this go unnoticed.

VR has been raising the funds for this CA-50 legal fight and the appeal will not be inexpensive. So please dig deep. We regret having to come back to all of you after just sending out an alert yesterday, but the election season is here and it is you, the people who care about our country, who will be saving it. Clearly, we can't count on officials in Washington. PLEASE DONATE.

8/24/06: Register To Vote With Your Cell Phone

VR co-founder Justice Through Music has launched a simple, new and innovative way of getting young people to register to vote – with a text message from their cellphones. Here is a quote from the JTM website on how easy it is:

"Now you can register to vote by texting MYVOTEROCKS to 75444 on your cellphones. You will get a response back with instructions on how to reply with your name and address, or email address. If you send your name and address you will receive a completed voter registration form in the mail, and all you will have to do is sign it and send it in! If you send an email, you will get a link to a registration form. A voter registration form will be generated and you can print it out. Then all you have to do is sign it and mail it in! You can choose to get a text message telling you of your voting location, and on Election Day you will receive a text message reminder to go out and vote. So, text away and text all your friends telling them to do the same!"

All voter registration orgs should contact JTM to link to this cool new get-out-the-vote campaign. Jtmpinfo at

8/23/06: New Zogby Poll Finds That 92% Of Public Support Election Transparency

Today, Zogby released a poll that supports what VR has been saying for years – that most Americans, 92% in fact, want transparent public viewing of vote counting and oppose secret vote counting outside the observation of the public. Moreover, most of those surveyed— 80%—said they want votes to be counted in front of observers representing the public, and that elections officials should not rely solely on the proprietary software that operates electronic voting machines that are presently being installed all over the United States. Finally, 61% said that they are aware of the problems associated with e-vote machines.

It looks like we are getting through to somebody – wonder when the politicians will wake up.

8/18/06: Is John Bonifaz The Next Ned Lamont?

The next Ned Lamont lies just across the Connecticut border in Massachusetts, where voting rights leader John Bonifaz is similarly taking on the Democratic Party establishment in his grassroots campaign for Secretary of State. John, the Democrat who sued George Bush on the eve of the Iraq war on behalf of soldiers, families of soldiers and members of Congress trying to prevent the illegal invasion, squares off against the incumbent, Bill Galvin, on September 19.

But the Lamont connection runs even deeper. Bill Hillsman, the media guru who produced the winning ads for Lamont and Paul Wellstone, is eager to jump into the race on the Bonifaz campaign, which could be the final ingredient that puts John over the top. What John needs now is the financial support to make the Hillsman addition a reality -- $25,000 raised by August 23 will make this happen.

Meeting this goal would lead to Hillsman joining the campaign through the primary and the production of ads that would be used on the air, on the web and as tools for further fundraising success. Please go to John’s web site today to help make this winning combination possible. Your contribution is vital. We must support Democrats who stand up against entrenched interests and stand up for our rights as voters.

At this very moment, John’s opponent has not only admitted that the state will fail to meet the September 19 deadline for having the required new technology for voters with disabilities in place - and poll workers properly trained – but he is seriously considering purchasing Diebold-owned electronic voting machines for Massachusetts. The state already uses Diebold’s AccuVote machines in many cities and towns.

Under the current Secretary’s watch, Boston, Lawrence, Lowell and Springfield are all under separate Justice Department investigations for potential voting rights violations. According to a report by the Caltech/MIT Voting Technology Project, approximately 122,000 Massachusetts voters were unable to vote in 2000 due to registration problems or difficulties encountered at polling locations. Last year, MassVOTE, a non-partisan voting rights organization, reported that in 2004, at least 100,000 and as many as 200,000 voters were denied the right to vote when arriving at the polls.

As Secretary of State, John will create an election system that will serve as a model for the rest of the nation. He'll also use the position as a platform to pressure other secretaries of state to protect voting rights rather than exclude voters to skew election results – as was the case with Katherine Harris in Florida and Ken Blackwell in Ohio.

The next week is crucial. John needs our support to help put him over the top. This is too great and important an opportunity to pass up. Please make a contribution today.

8/10/06: VR Sponsors Election Integrity Conferences Across The Country

Right to vote

Almost 50 years ago, Americans marched and died to protect their right to vote. Now, with e-voting and partisan disenfranchise efforts, we are facing another threat to that fundamental right. Therefore, VelvetRevolution is sponsoring a number of election integrity conferences across the country to educate and activate people about election integrity and what they can do to protect themselves. If any of you are located in these areas, please participate and get involved. And if you know of an org that wants to put on an election integrity conference, drop us a line for support – we may be able to help you with media and money.

  • ILLINOIS: The Illinois Ballot Integrity Project is hosting an event outside of Chicago to be emceed by VR Co-Founder Brad Friedman. The event will several election protection luminaries including Mark Crispin Miller, author of Fooled Again, How the Right Stole the 2004 Election & Why They'll Steal the Next One Too. Miller will speak during the TAKE BACK THE VOTE RALLY which will take place from 1:00 pm to 6:00 pm on Saturday, August 19th at the IBEW (Local 701) HALL in Warrenville - 28600 Bella Vista Parkway - Warrenville, IL, 60555. Admission to the event is FREE. Miller’s remarks will be followed by a question and answer period and a book-signing session.

    In addition to Miller’s appearance, a Panel Discussion about the Coming Trainwreck in November will feature Bob Fitrakis of The Free Press, Bob Koehler from Tribune Media Services and members of the Illinois Ballot Integrity Project who will present views on voting irregularities in DuPage County and incontrovertible evidence of vote fraud in Ohio in the 2004 presidential election. The program will also feature a showing of the video, "Help America Vote . . . On Paper," a production of EON, the Ecological Options Network, and Mainstreet Moms. More details and info...

  • CALIFORNIA: "If They Can Steal Ohio... they can steal California."
    Saturday, September 16, 3:00 to 5:00 p.m.
    Immanuel Presbyterian Church, 3300 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles

    On September 16, 2006, SoCal Grassroots Presents an Election Protection Forum, featuring Congresswoman Maxine Waters, State Senator Debra Bowen, VR Co-Founder & creator Brad Friedman, Alan Dechert of Open Voting Consortium, Mimi Kennedy of PDA, and Bob Fitrakis of the Columbus FreePress.

    Join them to also get a sneak peek at the propaganda your election officials don't want you to see, an advance look at the new film, "Votergate," a first-ever look deep into election systems and participation in a live, mass cell phone call-in to the media.

  • OHIO: We Count 2006-Ohio
    A Conference about Fair Elections and Democracy
    September 29th-30th, 2006
    Friday - 6pm to 10pm; Saturday - 9am to 9pm
    East Mount Zion Baptist Church
    9990 Euclid Avenue * Cleveland * Ohio Featuring
    Mark Crispin Miller * Bev Harris * Bob Fitrakis * Greg Coleridge * Kathleen Wynne * Steve Freeman * Richard Hayes Phillips * Ron Baiman * Kathy Dopp * Jonathan Simon * Victoria Lovegren * Bruce O’Dell * Nancy Tobi * Bob Koehler, More details, info...

8/9/06: Congressional Candidate And Election Reformer Clint Curtis Needs Your Help

Clint Curtis is running for Congress in Florida’s District 24 against Abramoff-tainted GOP Congressman Tom Feeney, named as one of the most corrupt members of Congress. While VR is not in the habit of endorsing candidates, we do want to help Clint with his race because he is a champion for election integrity and he will raise awareness of this issue with a win. For all those who don’t know about Clint, please read The BRAD BLOG investigation reports about Tom Feeney requesting that Clint create a software program to rig the vote in favor of the GOP.

Last week, the Orlando Sentinel wrote a terrific story about Clint that would make all progressives proud to support him. His primary race against a missing-in-action Democrat is coming up in about a month. Clint needs money, volunteers, phone callers and all the other things necessary to win the election. If he wins the primary, then the DNC, DCCC and lots of other groups will come in with boatloads of help in an epic battle to unseat Feeney.

Let’s help out Clint from the grassroots and the netroots. Contribute to him now at and contribute to him again after the primary. Write to his campaign and offer to volunteer and to make phone calls, and call all your friends in his district and ask that they help Clint with money, volunteers and money.

8/9/06: Ned Lamont Wins Democratic Primary In Connecticut And Joe Lieberman Loses

VR wants to congratulate all those in the VR brigade who supported Ned Lamont in the Connecticut Democrat primary. Lamont got a well deserved win with the help of all of those who want change in our government and its priorities. Joe Lieberman became a symbol for entrenched special interests and out of touch politics which led to his downfall.

Much has been made about Lieberman’s support for the war, but that is only part of his problem. Indeed, his underlying problem is that he suffers from a type of Stockholm Syndrome where he identifies and ingratiates himself to those who harmed him and his interests. In this case, George Bush and the GOP literally stole the 2000 election from Gore/Lieberman. Yet, Lieberman did not react as would a normal victim to such a heinous crime, by rejecting the criminal behavior of the criminals. Instead, he embraced, kissed and assisted Bush at every step and backed his criminal behavior. And now, he has stated his every intention of turning his back on the democratic process itself by running as an independent thereby possibly creating the means for a GOP win in November. Joe is the GOP gift that can’t stop giving.

However Joe, the VR brigade has your number and you better start counting because your days are numbered. Just ask Patty Hearst.

8/4/06: VR Becomes The Prime Sponsor Of Camp Democracy – Make Sure To Participate And Donate.

VelvetRevolution is now the prime sponsor of Camp Democracy which will take over of the Washington Mall from September 5-21. We want everyone to participate with their friends to let the world know that it is not ok to steal elections, strip away basic rights, spy on citizens, and launch wars based on lies.

People across the world are gathering and protesting unenlightened policies based on military might rather than discourse and diplomacy, and Camp Democracy will be our chance to do the same. There will be music, rallies, training and lots of food. So come and plan to camp out. Cindy Sheehan will move her Camp Casey here and we expect lots of appearances by politicians, celebrities, and other well known activists. So mark your calendars and please donate.

7/31/06: Election Contest Lawsuit Filed In Busby/Bilbray Race Because Of Violations Of State And Federal Law

Today in the San Diego County Superior Court, an election contest lawsuit is being filed by famed election attorney Paul Lehto on behalf of voters of CA-50. The suit asserts that the election must be decertified because it was conducted in non-compliance with state and federal laws regarding the security of the Diebold voting machines used on June 6. As VR and The BRAD BLOG have reported earlier, the machines were sent home with poll workers for weeks prior to the election.

"Given the fact that all the voting machines were circulating in the county for at least a week prior to the election, and manipulation of a single machine can rig an election, there is no basis for voters to have confidence in the election results," attorney Lehto said.

A press conference is scheduled for 10:30 am today on the courthouse steps to discuss the suit and plans for future action to ensure the compliance with all of California’s election laws. Donations for the legal action are being accepted here at VR.

7/21/06: Court TV’s Catherine Crier Succinctly Defines All The Election Problems And Singles Out VR Co-Founder Brad Friedman As The Go-To Person For Info About Election Issues – And Yesterday She Had Brad And RFK Jr. On Her Live Program

Well, it’s about time that someone with a loud mouthpiece in the MSM came out and distilled what we have been saying at VR for the past 20 months re the problems with these new fangled, highly unreliable and fallible electronic vote machines. Apparently, Catherine Crier from Court TV has been reading VR and The Brad Blog for months and now has taken on this cause with gusto. Last week, she reported on many of our election stories and urged everyone to read what VR co-founder Brad Friedman has been saying about the problems facing our elections and democracy. Click here to view the video.

And yesterday, she had Brad on her show live with Robert F. Kennedy Jr. to discuss the "stolen" 2004 presidential election and the criminal and fraudulent conduct of the major vote machine manufacturers. For ten minutes during prime time, Brad and Bobby were finally able to tell the frightening truth about our elections. Clearly, we have finally gotten through and now we have to keep up the pressure until we save our democracy and hold those accountable who have undermined it. Click here to view the video.

7/14/06: The VR Brigade Is Moving Election Reform Into The National Consciousness – The DNC Supports Our Demand For A 100% Count In The CA-50 Race

Five weeks ago, VR came out with a demand for a full count of all the paper ballots and trails in the Busby/Bilbray special election to replace convicted Republican Duke Cunningham. Over the next few weeks, numerous orgs, press and politicos joined our demand, and tens of thousands of our VR brigade sent emails to the San Diego Registrar, the California Secretary of State and the Busby campaign demanding an accurate paper count. We raised over ten thousand dollars for a legal challenge and to support the count. However, San Diego Registrar Mikel Haas stonewalled the count demand by refusing to provide the documentation necessary for the count and allowing the time limit for the count to lapse. He also demanded almost $150,000 to conduct the count.

Well, all this has not fallen on deaf ears because last Thursday, the DNC, after monitoring the situation for the past month, came out swinging with a statement condemning the administration of the race and calling for "a swift and verifiable 'manual count' of all 150,000 ballots cast in California's 50th District's 'bellwether' June 6th special election." Also, on Friday at Dem Fest in San Diego, DNC Chairman Howard Dean, with hundreds of activists chanting and holding signs saying "Count The Votes," said that poll workers must be prohibited from taking home vote machines and that all the paper ballots in the Busby race must be counted.

Brad Friedman demanded that California Attorney General William Lockyer investigate the illegal acts of Haas surrounding the election. Friedman explained that votes cast on uncertifiable machines, once out of custody of the ROV, are "illegal votes". Friedman also exhorted the press and crowd to be at the San Diego County Board of Supervisors meeting Tuesday July 18, at 9 am to witness and support Jess Durfee, Chair of the San Diego County Democratic Party Central Committee, who will be asking the Board to investigate the wrongdoing of Haas.

VR will continue to raise money to contest this race both through the civil courts and court of public opinion. Please donate here so we can build a war chest to fend off all these challenges to our democracy.

7/5/06: Bush’s Criminal Financier Ken Lay Died Before He Could Cooperate With Federal Prosecutors, And Now His Conviction Will Be Annulled

Last month, VR posted ads in newspapers around the country showing that convicted Enron CEO Ken Lay financed GW's election and the GOP Florida recount effort. Ironically, on the night of July 4th, Lay died.

"Kenny Boy," as his good friend George W. Bush referred to him, was facing the prospect of years in federal prison or cooperation with Federal Prosecutors for a reduced sentence. Now that's he gone, however, an interesting piece of information that may raise many an eyebrow – Kenny Boy’s conviction will now be set aside as if it never happened. Under federal law, if a defendant dies during the pendency of an appeal, the entire conviction is abated.

So it would seem that the citizens who were bilked out of billions of dollars in pension funds and tax payers (like those in California who were scammed by Enron) may never see justice brought. A fitting ending, perhaps, for George W. Bush and his administration who rarely seem to be held accountable for anything despite there years prior to the election endlessly discussing the importance of the "Rule of Law." Apparently, they were just kidding about that.

As usual, with this gang, nobody may be held accountable for anything. But at VR, we will continue to fight to make sure that happens eventually, hopefully with your help.

7/1/06: Bobby Kennedy Jr. Plans To File Whistle-Blower Lawsuits Against Two Major Vote Machine Companies

This week’s Rolling Stone, reports that Robert F. Kennedy Jr. plans to file whistleblower lawsuits against two major vote machine companies for misleading states about the reliability and security of the machines. Humm … do you think, since The BRAD BLOG was given an exclusive on the release of Bobby’s article that maybe, just maybe, that the whistleblowers Bobby is talking about are our DIEB-THROATS?

6/30/06: In Light Of New Supreme Court Decision, George Bush And Others Must Be Held Accountable Under The Geneva Convention And Federal Law

This week, the Supreme Court ruled in Hamdan v. Rumsfeld that Article 3 of the Geneva Convention applies to Al Qaeda and the Bush Administration – a ruling that makes high-ranking Bush administration officials subject to prosecution under the federal War Crimes Act. For the past four years, GW and his minions have argued that they are not bound by the Geneva Convention because Al Qaeda is not a country. This argument is now without merit.

Indeed, the Bush Administration has argued that it could torture Al Qeada prisoners because they are not noncombatants under the Geneva Convention. However, "Common Article 3 forbids 'cruel treatment and torture [and] outrages upon personal dignity, in particular humiliating and degrading treatment.' The provision's language is sweeping enough to prohibit many of the interrogation techniques approved by the Bush administration. That's why the administration had argued that Common Article 3 did not apply to the war on terror, even though legal experts have long concluded that it was intended to provide minimum rights guarantees for all conflicts not otherwise covered by the Geneva Convention.

But here's where the rubber really hits the road. Under federal criminal law, anyone who 'commits a war crime … shall be fined … or imprisoned for life or any term of years, or both, and if death results to the victim, shall also be subject to the penalty of death.' And a war crime is defined as 'any conduct … which constitutes a violation of Common Article 3 of the international conventions signed at Geneva.' In other words, with the Hamdan decision, U.S. officials found to be responsible for subjecting war on terror detainees to torture, cruel treatment or other 'outrages upon personal dignity' could face prison or even the death penalty."

It is time to hold the Bush Administration and those who followed its illegal orders accountable under the Geneva Convention. The legal issues are settled – let the prosecutions begin.

6/16/06: UPDATE - Illegal Voting Machines Used in Busby/Bilbray Race Requires Immediate Manual Hand Count To Verify Results!

The BRAD BLOG reports that the Diebold machines used in the Busby-Bilbray congressional race to replace the corrupt Duke Cunningham are not in compliance with state or federal law. Sending them home with poll workers overnight immediately decertified them for use in the election by both state and federal law. This is another reason that Americans must demand the results are verified! Please sign our petition demanding a 100% hand count of the paper ballots and paper trails from that election. The CA-50 results are as suspect as possible because the machines and memory cards were unsecured prior to the election, and using non-compliant machines provides the basis for invalidating the election. Sign our petition demanding a hand count. Then spread the word! We have added Secretary of State Bruce McPherson’s email address to the petition now as well.


Massive/Illegal Security Breach as County Registar Allowed Poll Workers To Take Home Highly Hackable Diebold Voting Machines for Days and Weeks Prior to the Election Between Francice Busby and Brian Bilbray.

A Manual Hand Count Must Occur to Assure Validity of Election!

Click here to declare 'No Confidence' and demand a hand count immediately!

VR is very careful about making allegations of vote fraud and stolen elections and we are not making those claims here. At this time, we are stating NO CONFIDENCE in the reported results of the special election that took place last Tuesday to replace disgraced former Congressman Randy "Duke" Cunningham for California's 50th district due to deliberate corruption of the chain of custody in the unsecure and hackable Diebold voting machines. Officials announced that Democratic candidate Francine Busby lost by three percentage points to former lobbyist Republican Brian Bilbray on election night. VR believes that the results should not be certified unless and until there is a 100% recount of all the paper ballots and the paper trails from the Diebold optical scan and DRE vote machines used in the election. The BRAD BLOG has covered this issue extensively.

Why, if we are not alleging fraud, should there be a manual hand count of the ballots? Well, it is very simple. The poll workers took the Diebold machines home in the days and weeks prior to the election in violation of all established security protocols (not to mention common sense) as implemented by California's Secretary of State Bruce McPherson after demonstrating that Diebold voting machines, both optical scan and touch screen, are highly prone to tampering. Since then, dozens of revelations have been made concerning alarming vulnerabilities in Diebold's voting equipment that could allow a single malicous person to change the results of any election carried out on these machines if they are able to have two-minutes, or less, of unfettered physical access to the machines. Diebold itself has even admitted these flaws.

McPherson recently implemented special security procedures and mitigation threat requirements which were violated when the San Diego County Registrar of Voters sent hundreds of machines out to spend days and weeks in the homes, cars and garages of San Diego poll workers.

We have no idea if the results of the optically-scanned ballots or the touch-screen systems have been corrupted. But with a race of this importance to the entire nation and billions of dollars at stake in the bargain, election results based on the machine counts of contaminated machines is inexcusable and intolerable for a democracy in which the American electorate must have confidence.

At this time, the San Diego County Registrars Office is unable to demonstrate, in any way, that the count announced on Election Night is indeed accurate. And the onus is on them to prove the accuracy of their election, since that's precisely what we, the American people -- who were forced to pay millions of federal dollars to San Diego so they could purchase the world's most unreliable voting equipment -- pay them to do.

In order for the election to be proven as valid, VR demands that San Diego County elections officials immediately secure the chain of custody of all paper ballots and touch-screen "paper trails" from the race, and manually count them to determine the accurate results of the Busby-Bilbray race. It is only with such a full manual count that the electorate can be sure who actually won the election and that the election was decided accurately.

VR has launched a petition that we ask everyone to sign which will automatically be sent to both the Busby campaign and the County Registrar’s office and to your local media if you check that box on the petition form. We, the people, must ensure that our democracy is verifiable and that elections officials are held accountable for carrying out clean and accurate elections in which American's can have confidence!

As time is off the essence, please declare 'No Confidence' and sign our petition immediately....

6/5/06: VR Launches New Ad Demanding Bush's Resignation For Running A Criminal Regime

Today VR launched this new ad that will appear in papers across America demanding that George Bush resign for using illegal money to finance his election and running a criminal enterprise out of the White House. First, it will appear as a middle two-page spread in George Bush's hometown paper, the Crawford, Texas Iconolcast. On Friday, it will appear in a full page Washinton City Paper spread and next Wednesday in the Progressive Populist. VR is seeking additional donations to place the ad in the Washington Post and New York Times.

Bush surrounds himself with criminals, allows them to formulate official policy, and then protects them. Despite this, his criminal regime is falling apart with some of his top capos getting indicted-- Delay, Abramoff, Safavian, Libby, Noe, Lay, Skilling -- and lots more in line for years in prison. And this has happened despite the fact that Bush and the GOP control all three branches of Government.

If a drug dealer or mafia boss spent ill gotten gains on anything, he would be accused of laundering money and the DOJ would seek the return of the funds from the parties that recieved it. Bush and the GOP received at least two million dollars from Ken Lay to put him in office and to fight the recount effort in Florida. Wouldn't it be nice if the DOJ demanded that Bush return that money to the Enron pensioners and stockholders. Wouldn't it be nice if Bush and his band of felons did what criminals are supposed to do when exposed -- accept responsibility and atone for their criminal behavior.

Of course, this is wishful thinking but to all those Congress Members who do not want to be accomplices to criminal activity, pull yourselves up, chin high, and march together over to the White House and demand Bush's resignation. If he refuses, impeach him before it is too late.

Please donate generously to our ad campaign either by check, credit card or Pay Pal. Spread this ad far and wide and urge your friends to get it placed in your local papers. It is time for people to see Bush wearing his true colors, black and white stripes. Yes, it is ok to judge Bush by the company he keeps, especially when they are criminals who put Bush in office and paid Team Bush millions of dollars.

6/2/06: Robert Kennedy Jr. Takes A Prosecutor’s View Of The 2004 Presidential Election And Concludes That A Theft Occurred

RFK Jr.VR has been arguing since November 2004 that the presidential election was manipulated in favor of George Bush. At first we were called crazies but after months and months of repeatedly being validated, the MSM has finally started taking notice. And now, in the most definitive article to date, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. takes a prosecutor’s view of the election, especially the mess in Ohio, and concludes that it was stolen in favor of George W. Bush.

The Brad Blog was given an exclusive on this article and noted that in a sidebar to the article, Rolling Stone itself called for a complete federal investigation into the election.

VR doesn’t have much faith in federal investigations – remember the Carter/Baker Commission on electoral reform. However, if it was run by a special prosecutor with subpoena power and threats of jail time, then we would support it. Indeed, for almost a year, we have had a $100,000 reward out for hard evidence on how the election was stolen. So please, all of those who have such info drop us a line. We have heard that Jack Abramoff, Tom Noe and Neil Volz might be a good place to start. We will ensure that it gets the attention it deserves.

5/23/06: Al Gore, The Stolen Election, And Good Old Karma

Wanted A new phenomena in politics has sprouted lately with people across the political spectrum calling George Bush the "worst president ever." (here, here and here) This week, John Edwards joined the chorus and backed it up with his reasons.

WantedAlso this week, Al Gore indicated that he believes that George Bush stole the 2000 election:

Gore pauses a long time and stares into the middle distance. "There may come a time when I speak on that," Gore says, "but it’s not now; I need more time to frame it carefully if I do." Gore sighs. "In our system, there’s no intermediate step between a definitive Supreme Court decision and violent revolution.

Later, I put the question of Gore’s views on the matter to David Boies, his lawyer in the Florida-recount battle. "He thought the court’s ruling was wrong and obviously political," Boies says. So he considers the election stolen? "I think he does—and he’s right."

What comes around, goes around, as they say. We call it karma - if you steal, lie, cheat, and bribe, you are a criminal. Criminals tend to get their dues because of universal justice. George Bush’s justice so far has been that he is a failed leader – the worst president ever. But criminals who get away with their crimes tend to gain hubris which leads them to bigger crimes, like torture, illegal war and indiscriminate death. We believe that karma is not done with George Bush.

5/14/06: New York Times Editorial Calls Out White House Traitors


Well, better late than never. Frank Rich of the New York Times finally uses the word "traitor" to describe those in the White House who are running this country. As VR affiliate Raw Story puts it:

Defending journalists who have been castigated as traitors for exposing government blunders, New York Times columnist Frank Rich writes that any "witch hunt" for traitors should begin in the White House.

"What really angers the White House and its defenders about both the Post and Times scoops are not the legal questions the stories raise about unregulated gulags and unconstitutional domestic snooping, but the unmasking of yet more administration failures in a war effort riddled with ineptitude," Rich writes.

"It's the recklessness at the top of our government, not the press' exposure of it, that has truly aided the enemy, put American lives at risk and potentially sabotaged national security," Rich continues. "That's where the buck stops, and if there's to be a witch hunt for traitors, that's where it should begin."

Ex-CIA Director Porter Goss should not be allowed to "escape into retirement unexamined," Rich argues, calling him "so inept that an overzealous witch hunter might mistake him for a Qaida double agent."

"His mission was not to protect our country but to prevent the airing of administration dirty laundry, including leaks detailing how the White House ignored accurate CIA intelligence on Iraq before the war," Rich writes.

Rich ends his column by suggesting that if Air Force General Michael Hayden is confirmed by the Senate to replace Goss then "someone should charge those senators with treason, too."

5/4/06: Diebold Machines Are A Threat To National Security

Don't askThis week has demonstrated that Diebold e-vote machines are not simply bad for democracy but also constitute a real threat to national security. First, one of our sources contacted us to tell us that there is a security flaw in Diebold Touch Screen machines that would allow a person to install a virus into the machines through a manipulated voter card that could then infect the entire system within a state and rig the vote in favor of a particular candidate. This source, who is a security expert in international corporate espionage, stated that the main concern is not the GOP, WH or RNC rigging the vote, but rather foreign governments that do not want a Democrat in the White House. We have a lot more info in this regard which we are pursuing and will keep you informed as we are able.

Second, as was fully reported Friday on The Brad Blog, the state of Pennsylvania locked down all of its Diebold touch screen machines due to a newly discovered threat which it describes as a "major national security risk." In short, officials found a flaw in the firmware that cannot be corrected with a software patch and that flaw allows entry into the system where manipulation can occur over and over.

VR will be issuing a press release nationwide on Monday May 7, 2006 to alert the country about these threats. Last month there was a storm of controversy about foreign countries running our national ports. Well, now we face the possibility of a clandestine security service deciding who wins elections in the United States because it prefers the foreign policy decisions of a particular party. And there doesn’t have to even be any collusion with US officials. Now that’s scary.

4/28/06: Hear Neil Young’s Historic Living With War CD At Justice Through Music

Neil Young New CD

VR affiliate Justice Through Music is working with Neil Young to promote the release of his historic new CD, Living With War. JTM has the entire CD here for you to listen to in streaming format. The CD will be available for sale via digital download on May 2nd at JTM and it will be in stores in a few weeks. Enjoy and get inspired to get involved.

4/21/06: Neil Young’s New CD, Living With War – A Preview And A Review

Neil Young New CDNeil Young has had enough of the state of our union and he is speaking out with his new CD, Living With War. VR co-founder Justice Through Music was invited to a special exclusive preview of the entire CD at Reprise Records this evening with a handful of other folks. BradBlog guest blogger Jim Cirile got the lucky assignment and his terrific review is at JTM. JTM has set up a special page to cover the news, lyrics and music from this new historic CD.

4/17/06: VR Co-Founder Justice Through Music Launches New Protest Music Video Campaign And Contest

Justice Through Music Today VR co-founder Justice Through Music launched Harmony Vids!, a very cool campaign and contest to inspire people to create music videos to protest the state of the union. The first video in the campaign is called 'Ornament' and it is about a wife who lost her husband in the Iraq war and it can be seen on the band website, a band which gave JTM 12 songs for the campaign. Justice Through Music This is probably the only music video ever filmed at Arlington National Cemetery. Whoever makes the best videos will win a cash prize, tons of exposure, inclusion on the best of DVD, submission to cable, and a PR campaign.

Please tell all your video and filmmaker friends to get involved and spread the word.

4/11/06: We Need 100,000 People To Sign The Petition To Stop The War With Iran

Don't attack Iran Last month VR was the lonely voice in the wilderness screaming for people to come together to stop the Bush Administration’s drumbeat toward war with Iran.

On March 17, we placed a large ad in the Washington Post and did a repeat two weeks later in the New York Times. We put up a petition on VR and the response to these ads was phenomenal, including from the sleepy press and accommodating politicians.

Within days of our the NYT ad, virtually all the mainstream press reported on the probability of war and the incredible plans of the White House to use nuclear weapons for the first time since World War II. Indeed, Paul Krugman basically rewrote our ad in telling readers not to believe the White House denials. And then Sy Hersh wrote in the New Yorker that GW has already started the war.

This week, VR and a number of other progressive orgs came together and launched to gather 100,000 signatures on a petition demanding a stop to the Iran war madness. So far we have gotten more than 10,000 signatures. Also, other orgs, including MoveOn, the People’s Email Network and True Majority asked all their members to oppose the war. And now, numerous members of Congress are demanding an explanation from the White House.

Thanks to all of you who really made a difference in getting this issue into the public consciousness. This shows that the revolution really is working. Please spread the word and ask your friends to sign the petition at

3/31/06: VR Launches Ad In New York Times Demanding That Congress Stop Bush From Starting Another War

Ad in New York TimesTwo weeks ago, VR launched an ad in the Washington Post, see 3/17/06 post below, demanding that Congress listen to the American people and stop George Bush from starting another foolish war, this time against Iran. The response to this ad was so successful that we have now placed the same ad on the op-ed page of today’s New York Times. Please sign our Petition to Congress demanding accountability, investigation, censure and impeachment so that Congress will have the fortitude to stand up to further military follies by George Bush. And please donate generously to VR so we can continue our ad campaign speaking truth to power.

Sign our Petition to Members of Congress, Demanding they do their Constitutional Duty, hold the White House Accountable and Stop another War in Iran!

3/26/06: The Mainstream Media Is Finally Getting It One Year After We Launched Our Divestiture For Democracy Campaign

Tom TolesA year ago January, VR launched its Divestiture for Democracy Campaign to force changes in the way e-voting manufacturers conduct business. As John Conyers put it, "the idea behind this campaign is to urge the voting machine companies, recipients of large sums of our tax dollars, to do the right thing -- voter verified paper ballots on every voting machine, open source code, and refraining from partisan political activity. I hope they do."

When the companies rejected VR’s demands, we pulled out all stops to educate the public and officials about the dangers of the machines to the future of our democracy. We issued press releases, supported litigation, funded activist orgs and investigations, uncovered whistleblowers, hired a PR firm, hollered on hundreds of radio programs, created ads, wrote to all Secretaries of States, attended conferences, worked with Congressmembers, and did many things behind the scenes, several of which will soon become evident. At first, we were called conspiritorialists, nuts, lefties and other unprintable nasties. Ah, but the glow of vindication is finally in the air with so many election related stories breaking lately that we have to rely on BradBlog to keep track of them all. And the stories that Brad does not feature he covers in the Daily Voting News from our affiliate at VotersUnited.

And to top it off, a story that Brad covered weeks ago about Ion Sancho today hit primetime in the A-section of the Washington Post. And in that same paper, political cartoonist Tom Toles even takes on Diebold.

Well, that will teach them to listen to VR, the citizens brigade that includes all of you who cared, saw and acted. And for all the MSM out there, VR is now taking on the Executive Branch for its disastrous policies, so don’t wait a year to report the truth.

3/24/06: Join The Push For Paper Ballots And Election Integrity By Supporting H.R. 550 During Lobby Days On April 6 and 7

Join The PushCongressman Rush Holt’s election integrity bill, H.R. 550, which requires a paper ballot for every vote cast and random audits to verify the vote counts, and prohibits secret software and wireless communication devices, has the strong support in Congress. However, it needs greater bipartisan support to pass. Please join the Lobby Days effort by going here and signing up to lobby in Washington or in your own congressional district.

3/17/06: VR Launches New Ad In The Washington Post Demanding That Congress Listen To The American People And Stop Bush From Starting Another War.

FINAL JOB APPROVALOn Sunday, March 19th, this ad will demand that Congress stop the Bush march to war with Iran. How can this march to madness be stopped? Through Accountability, Censure, Investigation and Impeachment. A war with Iran will be yet another example of Bush's failed leadership and it will make the world less safe. Please sign this Petition to tell the Democrats do the job they were elected to do -- serving the best interests of the country. And tell the Republicans to stop enabling a failed leader whose every major decision has been wrong, has undermined the security of our country and has cut the heart and soul out of our beloved democracy.

Bush misled the American people about the war with Iraq, and the resulting consequences have been disastrous. Bush has demonstrated that he is not an effective or trustworthy Commander in Chief who deserves the people's support. The citizens of this country have stated in no uncertain terms that they do not want Bush to wreak havoc with another deadly misadventure.

We will make sure that Congress hears you so sign the Petition and also contact your Congressmembers and demand that they initiate impeachment proceedings before it is too late. Just yesterday, Bush reaffirmed his policy of pre-emptive war and he singled out Iran as a target. Clearly, he is trigger happy and he fails to consider the horrible consequences of more death and destruction or the aftermath of his shock and awe. It is a real indictment that eight presidents deterred the former Soviet Union for 40 years from using thousands of nuclear weapons pointed at the United States, yet Bush cannot even deter Iran from developing nuclear weapons.

Our ad is the proverbial canary in the coal mine speaking truth to power. Please join VelvetRevolution and donate generously to our continuing ad campaign to force Congress to protect the citizens and the country they were elected to serve.

Sign our Petition to Members of Congress, Demanding they do their Constitutional Duty, hold the White House Accountable and Stop another War in Iran!

To see a larger version of ad or download the ad in PDF format, click here.

3/17/06: UN Ambassador John Bolton Compares Iran Threat To 911

John BoltonYesterday, UN Ambassador John Bolton, in a Nightline interview, compared the threat from Iran's nuclear programs to the September 11 terror attacks on the United States. "Just like September 11, only with nuclear weapons this time, that's the threat. I think that is the threat", he said.

We all know how Bush fixed the facts around the Iraq policy, and it looks like his minions are at it again. But such fearmongering will not work this time if the American people let their Congressmembers know that they are "mad as hell and they are not going to take it anymore."

Sign our Petition to Members of Congress, Demanding they do their Constitutional Duty, hold the White House Accountable and Stop another War in Iran!

3/17/06: Is A Major Attack On Iran Coming -- It Sure Looks Like Deja Vu From Our Perspective

BushWe at VR are not ones to speculate, but from what we are hearing privately and through some very authoritative sources, GW is planning to bomb Iran if he can get away with it. In short, the excuse will be to rid the world of nuclear weapons facilities but the underlying reasons have to do with GOP elections, control of oil, military power and fundamentalist religion. Here at VR, we believe that threats posed by any country can be handled through effective leadership, something sorely lacking in Bush, and that a resort to violence clearly demonstrates a weak and misguided leader.

President of IranThe saber rattling for war has reached the United Nations, and the mainstream press has been filled with official and anonymous pronouncements and propaganda for why Iran should be stopped from pursuing a nuclear policy. Condi Rice yesterday called Iran, the "Central Banker of terrorism," Former Iraq weapons inspector Scott Ritter has said for months that GW has already signed off on the bombing of Iran. Sy Hersh quotes US officials as saying, "It's not if, ... they're going." Indeed, according to the Pentagon this week, the Bush policy of preemptive war is alive, well and focused squarely on Iran.

Ironically, there was not a great deal of international support for a war until recent statements by the new President of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, that Israel should be wiped off the map and that the Holocaust never happened. Now even Russia, Europe -- and John Kerry are saying publicly that Iran cannot be allowed to control nuclear enrichment.

Israel has always had a plan to thwart Iran's nuclear designs and it will certainly play a role in any attack, either in the first wave or following Iranian retaliatory strikes on Israel. Rational arguments for why an attack will not occur have been debunked by experts. Just today, Juan Cole writes that Bush is fishing for a pretext to attack, and that WMDs is the best pretext on the table.

In an detailed article last January, Professor Michel Chossudovsky lays out the evidence for a massive air attack on Iran without putting one boot on the ground. He asserts that Iran has lost virtually all of its support and that GW will make the case by arguing that bombing Iran will make the world safe from nuclear war and terror. What is incredible, however, is that GW has authorized the use of "mini-nukes alongside conventional weapons," to ensure the massive destruction of specific targets in Iran.

In short, GW knows that Iran has limited support, and that there will be no love lost internationally if it goes down. He also knows that ever since the Iranian takeover of the US Embassy in Tehran in l979, the American public detests the fundamentalist leadership of that country. Moreover, he knows that the Iran's Arab neighbors are concerned about Iran's plan to make the mid-East into a united Islamic fundamentalist state. Finally, he knows that an attack on Iran will rally the US electorate behind him, and distract the press, Congress and others from impeaching him for his actions in the war on terror. Indeed, according to our sources, the GOP has already started drafting talking points to attack people and organizations in the United States that will question the bombing of Iran.

If all of this is true, as it appears to be, then there is a tremendous need to hold GW accountable now for not fulfilling his constitutional duty as Commander in Chief. A new poll this week finds that a plurality of Americans favor plans to censure Bush and 42% favor removing him through impeachment due to his past follies. His hubris, recklessness and arrogance are endangering us all, and of course, we all know that GW does not plan for what happens after the bombing ends. Join with VR in demanding a stop to another Bush disaster.

Sign our Petition to Members of Congress, Demanding they do their Constitutional Duty, hold the White House Accountable and Stop another War in Iran!

3/13/06: Senator Feingold Calls For Censure of GW For Illegal Wiretaps -- Add Your Support

Take ActionOn March 12, Senator Russ Feingold called on the Senate to censure GWB for authorizing the illegal wiretapping of American citizens in violation of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.

FeingoldThe People's Email Network, a VR affiliate, is urging everyone to send emails to Congress and the press supporting this censure effort. VR urges everyone sign up and sign on.

3/9/06: VR's Launches New Knock-Out Banner Ad -- And It's Spreading Fast Across The Web

Today VR launched a new hard-hitting web banner ad pointing out how much GW is out of touch with reality. This ad will spread across the web, so if your org wants to run with it, just copy from our ad page, and let us know where it's posted. And by the way, these ads aren't cheap, so don't forget to donate here.

Here it is in two sizes:

468 x 58

728 x 90

3/1/06: Gagged Whistleblower Sibel Edmonds Wants Congress To Allow Her To Talk About What She Knows--Sign Her Petition Now

Sibel EdmondsSibel Edmonds, co-founder of VR affiliate National Security Whistleblowers Coalition, has launched a petition drive to pressure Congress into letting her tell everything she knows that the Administration is hiding from the American public and it is a lot. To see the explosive list of topics she is prepared to discuss, go here, but don't forget to sign the petition.

2/22/06: Abramoff's Birthday Bash--Wear Orange Jumpsuits

Orange JumpsuitJack Abramoff's Birthday is today and many of his friends will be in court to deal with all the party favors he passed out the past several years.

  • David Safavian--lied to the feds, will be in court today
  • Michael Scanlon--Jack's DC partner in crime, will have a court status conference on Wednesday
  • Adam Kidan--Jack's Florida partner in crime, will be sentenced for fraud in a Florida court on Wednesday
  • Tom Delay--Jack's booster, will have his redistricting case heard in the Supreme Court on Wednesday
  • Duke Cunningham--Jack's California GOP competitor for most prolific briber, will be sentenced Friday for fraud and bribery
  • Tom Noe--Jack's Ohio GOP competitor for most prolific thief, watching from home and waiting for the next shoe to drop.

A reminder to all of these partygoers -- VR has some big rewards for you if you give us some smoking guns on how the 2004 election was manipulated.

People are talking, so it would be a good idea to come clean because that's what is now expected of you, and you are in the rehabilitation process, and of course, confession cleanses the soul.

2/19/06: Diebold Gets Slammed This Week From Coast To Coast

DieboldOver a year ago, VR launched its Divestiture for Democracy campaign against voting machine companies that did not meet a long list of criteria necessary to safeguard democracy. Diebold was VR's poster child for all that is wrong with vote machine companies.

In the past year, Diebold's stock has dropped by more than 30%, it's CEO Wally O'Dell, has resigned under pressure from the board, its has been buffeted by a series of stock fraud and insider trading lawsuits, and it has been decertified in several states.

Well, this week things got even worse. First, the Governor of Maryland wrote a scathing letter which said that he had no faith in Diebold machines producing an accurate election result in Maryland.

Second, RawStory reported that an election and primary were held in Maryland on illegal and uncertified Diebold machines.

Third, the University of Berkeley issued a report which states that Diebold machines are unsecure, in violation of federal and state law, and that their software code has bugs in it.

Fourth, the California Secretary of State, based on the Berkeley report, conditionally certified Diebold machines, but only if Diebold fixes all the bugs, provides the source code and revises that code, protects the AccuBasic code from tampering, removes the interpreters and interpreted code and program code from the memory cards, and complies with all state and federal law.

So, congrats to all of you who supported our Divestiture Campaign -- the dividends keep on paying.

2/17/06: Clint Curtis Announces Run for Congress Against GOP Rep. Tom Feeney

Clint Curtis For CongressShortly after the 2004 election, Clint Curtis contacted VR with allegations that GOP Representative Tom Feeney, Fl 24, had asked him to create a software program to flip the votes in favor of Republicans. Curtis swore out an affidavit, testified before Congress Members and passed a rigorous polygraph test.

Well, now Curtis is going to face off with Feeney in this year's congressional race. In short, Curtis will run as a straight shooter on a progressive platform against Feeney, who has been called one of the most corrupt members of Congress and a protégé of Tom Delay and Jack Abramoff.

For all of those who believe in true democracy and representation by people who will not sell out, Clint Curtis is the real deal. Volunteer for him, spread this news far and wide, and donate to his campaign.

2/14/06: Nonviolent Peaceful Demonstrations In Front of Congress Members' Homes Every Weekend, Progressive Democrats of America, After Downing Street, Gold Star Families for Peace, Hip Hop Caucus, Democracy Rising, and Velvet Revolution, are working to organize grassroots teams in all 435 Congressional Districts plus 5 Delegate Districts (DC, PR, VI, GU, and AS) and to hold nonviolent peaceful demonstrations every weekend in front of the homes of congress members.

Our Mission: to persuade each of our Representatives to support

  1. Impeachment: Support John Conyers' Watergate-style investigation (H.Res. 635) of Bush's Iraq War lies - and also immediately introduce Articles of Impeachment for Bush and Cheney
  2. Getting Out of Iraq: Support John Murtha's bill to remove troops from Iraq (H.J. Res 73) and Jim McGovern's bill to end funding for the Iraq War (H.R. 4232)

How to Volunteer:
Register here:

Read the whole plan:

Organize your congressional district:

2/13/06: Bush Pioneer and Ohio Republican, Tom Noe, Indicted Today On 53 Felony Counts Carrying 175 Years In Prison

...The Ohio Republican scandal just keeps on breaking: today, Tom Noe, the $150,00 Bush Pioneer and Ohio's GOP moneyman, was indicted on 53 felony counts for corrupt activity, theft, money laundering, tampering and forgery.

...Mr. Noe's wife, Bernadette, was chairman of the Lucas County Republican Party and the Lucas County Board of Elections and was accused of massive irregularities during the 2004 general election.

On September 15, 2005, VR offered a $100,000 reward for evidence proving that the 2004 election in Ohio was rigged in favor of George Bush. Well, Mr. Noe, since all those evil deeds you did for Republicans don't seem to be helping you out of your present difficulties, maybe you should take up our offer because we will pay off and you will certainly need that extra 100K in the coming months.

2/9/06: Sibel Edmonds Demands That House Speaker Dennis Hastert Come Clean About Allegations Of Bribes

... On September 15, 2005, VR offered a $100,000 reward for information proving that House Speaker Dennis Hastert accepted hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes to protect Turkish interests. These allegations were detailed in the September 2005 issue of Vanity Fair. Well, in the February 2006 issue of that magazine, Rep. Hastert's attorney challenged those accounts saying that "less than $9,200 was donated in October 2002." See Brad Blog for the complete letter and story.

...Sibel Edmonds, who runs the VR affiliate, National Security Whistleblowers Coalition,, has been prohibited from speaking about the wiretaps she translated detailing these bribes, although others have testified about them in closed door congressional hearings. However, Sibel, in a long reply to the attorney's letter, reported exclusively yesterday at Brad Blog, pointed out that the bribe allegations covered a six- year period and were verified by several sources, and that Hastert took trips to Turkey during that same period and lied about knowing about the American-Turkish Council which sponsored those trips. In short, she demands that Hastert come clean.

VR also demands that Hastert come clean and urges anyone who has information about these bribes to contact us at

2/9/06: Diebold May Be Getting Out of Election Business???

Diebold Ohio According to CEO Tom Swidarski, Diebold seems to be looking to unload its beleaguered Elections Division as part of his $100 million "restructuring plan" as recently promised to share holders.

NORTH CANTON, Ohio (AP) - Diebold Inc.'s new chief executive, determined to cut $100 million in costs over three years, said he is reviewing whether the company should continue investing in its embattled electronic voting business.

"There's pieces and aspects of each of our businesses that I'm going to be looking at with a very critical eye in terms of what the future holds for us," Swidarski said in his first media interview since taking over in December the company best known for its automatic teller machines and security systems.

Risk within any of Diebold's businesses will be weighed against profit potential, Swidarski said. "If any of the pieces don't fit or any of the pieces don't add the value we think is associated with that risk, then we'll make appropriate decisions at that point," he said.

It is amazing what we have been able to accomplish with our VR Divestiture for Democracy Campaign in just one short year. Congrats to everyone who helped out but it's not over yet. Make sure to contact your local Board of Election or Secretary of State if they are considering signing a contract with Diebold and let them know that the company may not even be around in a few months!

For more information and key articles on the downfall of Diebold, see this BRAD BLOG Special Coverage Page...

2/6/06: VR's Impeachmobile Makes Some House Calls Around Washington

White House

VR's rolling billboards have been making house calls around Washington since their launch last week, and lo and behold, everyone who sees it gives high fives, thumbs up, horn honks and yes yells. Even most of the cops have been nice except for the few who pulled us over for no obvious reason.

Washington Monument

We plan on making some more house calls shortly at events where some very conservative names will be speaking. But of course we have our trusty camcorder on hand to memorialize any uncivilized action against us...

Capitol Hill

In the meantime, please continue to donate to this campaign -- we have to pay drivers, get gas and insurance, and create and buy these wonderfully expensive ads. Click here for a secure donation using all major credit cards.

2/5/06: Why Isn't America's Mainstream Media Covering The Newly Leaked 'White House Memo' Which Shows Once Again That Bush And Blair Lied About The Iraq War

White House MemoLast week, the international press reported on a newly leaked document, dubbed the 'White House Memo,' which conclusively shows that George Bush and Tony Blair decided to go to war against Iraq in January 2003 no matter what the UN decided and no matter if no WMD were found. It also shows that they knew that the war was unlawful and that they were trying to create a pretext for war, including painting US aircraft with the colors of the UN in the hope that Saddam would fire on the planes.

This White House Memo lends more strong evidence for impeachment since it appears to prove that George Bush lied both to Congress and the American people about the basis for the war, and that he acted in violation of international law. Why then, has not the American MSM jumped all over this story?

Well, we at VR are taking notice and joining our AfterDowningStreet affiliate to use all of our power to force the MSM to do its job. We urge everyone to contact your local and national news outlets and demand coverage of this explosive story. Here is an action link to get started.

1/31/06: VR Offers Cash To Anyone Who Provides A Bonifide, Unpublished Photo Of George Bush With Jack Abramoff Or Michael Scanlon

Bush and...AbramoffAs part of VR's Government Accountability campaign, we are offering $500 for each bonifide, previously unpublished photo of George Bush together with lobbyists Jack Abramoff or Michael Scanlon. In order to assure that the photos are legitimate, they must include the time, date and place of the photo. Reply at

1/26/06: VR Rolls Out Capitol Hill Billboard Truck Campaign!

The Velvet Revolution is ready to roll! We've got a new billboard truck, and beginning next Tuesday (State of the Union Day) we're gonna be all over Capitol Hill with it! This will be on one side of the truck...

And this will be on the other...

We could use your help in paying for the creation of the billboard signs, however! Please donate here to the effort if you can! And spread the word!

And thanks to our affiliates at for the assist!

(NOTE: VR Affiliate, has made a printable WORD version of the first graphic available if you wish to make your own noise, in your own hometown!)

1/26/06: VR Offers Michael Scanlon $100k for Information Concerning the Tampering of Election 2004!

ConyersRepublican lobbyist Michael Scanlon, partner of Jack Abramoff, started cooperating with DoJ attorneys last month to implicate scores of corrupt officials in Republican criminal activity. The first result of Scanlon's cooperation was the quick plea by Abramoff, which included his agreement to also cooperate with the DoJ. The probe is expected to be extremely wide-reaching, beyond the already well reported connections Scanlon/Abramoff had with the indicted former House majority leader Tom Delay (R-TX) and Rep. Robert Ney (R-OH).

In light of these events, VR, on Janurary 2nd, offered to pay $100,000 toward Abramoff's legal bills if he provides both us and the Dept. of Justice with conclusive evidence (a smoking gun) of Republican rigging of the 2004 Presidential Election. We now make that same offer to Mr. Scanlon. Of course, we will compare the information we receive from both to see if they match and we urge each man to come clean, as required by their plea agreements.

In September of 2005, VR offered a $100,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those who may have committed election fraud in the 2004 Presidential Election and we have received numerous tips concerning Scanlon/Abramoff deals with Republican power brokers in a position to illegally manipulate the vote count. As well, we have indications that they had ties with folks associated with Voting Machine Companies including both Diebold and ES&S. Finally, press accounts have revealed that much of the money paid out by Scanlon/Abramoff was used to affect elections, leading us to conclude that they should know of illegal schemes to rig our elections.

We hope Mr. Scanlon will take up our offer and we note that if he has informaiton concerning illegal election tampering and does not disclose that information to prosecutors, his plea agreement will be off and he can face additional charges.

1/23/06: VR Joins Congressmembers Who Warned Administration Officials That They Face Criminal Prosecution

ConyersLast Friday, several Congressmembers warned George Bush and others in his Administration that future criminal charges are possible against them for violating numerous criminal statutes with regard to their conduct. "These are clearly crimes and the statute of limitations extends beyond this president's term," which will end in January 2009, said Rep. Jerry Nadler D-N.Y., at an ad hoc hearing called by House Judiciary Committee's Democrats to assail Bush's contention that his order for warrantless domestic wiretaps on American citizens is legal. Another member, Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Pasadena, said, "I hope the administration ceases and desists, at least out of respect for their own liability."

Clearly, if the political climate or the political party changes in Washington, there will certainly be those who will demand prosecution of those presently making decisions that violate the law. VR again reaffirms its position that any official who has engaged in criminal conduct, even if approved by a superior, better make a bee line for the career prosecutors at the Department of Justice and start cooperating. We also urge all officials to start covering their backsides by collecting documents that show criminal activity, and giving those to your attorneys. VR believes that if an official engages in or knows about criminal activity but hides or withholds that information, he or she should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.

1/22/06: Kudos to VR Affiliate GuvWurld For Its Campaign To Unite California Election Reformers

DieboldWhen VR and BRAD BLOG demanded the corporate media focus on the Government Accountability Office (GAO) report on election conditions, VR affiliate GuvWurld was among the first to respond. In just a few short weeks, the Humboldt County based GuvWurld Blog prompted a half dozen local media mentions ( 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6). Then, based on the GAO report and its cited sources, including an April 2004 CA Secretary of State (SoS) Staff Report, GuvWurld initiated a statewide campaign to unite California election reformers in opposition to Diebold and those elected officials who continue to defend and excuse its machines and corporate conduct. In short, that campaign:

  1. Urges citizens in each California county to contact the District Attorney, Grand Jury, County Supervisors, local media and elections officials to investigate who on the local level allowed Diebold, as the SoS report revealed (p.3), to illegally install uncertified software in machines in all 17 of its CA client counties. Asks if there was complicity, conspiracy or simply negligence?
  2. Insists that local government and elections officials commit to ceasing all further business with Diebold, and ban all privately owned, proprietary technology from future voting systems. Insists on the acknowledgment and affirmation of the GAO's findings, or the resignation of those who accept the use of Diebold machines.
  3. Encourages the promotion and adoption of the Voter Confidence Resolution, as the City Council in Arcata, CA did recently, and challenges the assumption that the government still has the Consent of the Governed.

Its great to see our affiliates take the initiative to save our democracy. Please visit the GuvWurld Blog for the full list of affected CA counties and links to contact info and other resources.

1/22/06: Washington Post Finally Reports On The Possibility Of Vote Machine Hacking

DieboldFor more than a year, we at VR have been pressing the mainstream media to tell the truth about the problems with electronic voting machines, especially the possibility of hacking and manipulating election results. Well, lo and behold, in today's Washington Post on page A6, there is a huge article doing just that.

In short, the article covers the recent hack in Florida which allowed a simple memory card to effectively flip the votes on a Diebold vote machine without a trace, even on the final audit trail. The article also mentions that "Johns Hopkins University computer sciences professor Avi Rubin ... is leading a group that has received a $7.5 million grant from the National Academy of Sciences to research election technology..."

VR hopes that Avi Rubin is finally able to get to the bottom of all these vote machine security problems, and that this Post article will bring a lot of attention and credibility to this very important issue. It's about time....

1/16/06: Arlen Specter: Impeachment Possible Remedy For Illegal Wiretaps (And Lots Of Other Illegal Actions)

Arlen SpecterGeorge Stephanopoulos interviewed Senator Arlen Specter on today's edition of ABC's This Week.

On the issue of warrentless NSA Wiretaps authorized by the president, Stephanopoulus asked Specter what the possible remedies would be if the president's actions were found to be illegal. Specter replied, "...Impeachment is the remedy. After impeachment, you could have a criminal prosecution..."

Video in Streaming Flash format...
Video in Windows Media format...

1/10/06: Rep. Bob Ney Gets Hammered In A New Series Of Ads And In An Explosive Article On BRAD BLOG Connecting Ney To Electoral Fraud

TV Ad...VR Affiliate, Campaign for America's Future,, released a new set of hard hitting ads urging Reps. Bob Ney and Tom Delay to resign in light of all the scandals and disrepute they have brought on Congress. The Delay TV ad is here, the Ney radio ad is here, the Ney billboard is here, and the press release is here.

Radio Ad...Also, VR co-founder Brad Friedman today released an explosive article tying Ney and his former Chief of Staff, David DiStefano, to electoral fraud.

Bill board...Once again, VR urges Rep. Ney, Mr. DiStefano and all others who have knowledge of electoral illegalities to walk over to the Department of Justice with piles of documents and come clean. If you don't, you will go to jail for a very long time....promise.

update 1/11/06: Rep. Tom Delay threatens to sue any TV station that runs ads accusing him of corruption. See KHOU-CBS video here and press release here.

update 1/21/06: New Delay ad in Houston urges him to resign because of his corrupt practices. Press release here.

1/9/06: RawStory Map of the Republican Corruption Machine -- We Knew What Was Coming

Mugshot...VR affiliate RawStory worked with us on an article last spring about the sleazy Republican ties to the Baker-Carter Commission on Electoral Reform. As part of that article, RawStory spent months researching those ties and created a telling map which, in light of the recent exposure of the Republican culture of corruption, should be viewed by all. It is frightening that these people have been making decisions that affect all Americans. But the revolution is happening and you all are on the side of right....


Susan Ralston...If someone were to ask who the key to the Republican corruption vault is, Susan Ralston's name would be at the top of many lists. She has been the personal assistant to serial briber Jack Abramoff and serial leaker Karl Rove. She is also a special assistant to George Bush. According to RawStory, Mrs. Ralston has been repeatedly called to testify before the grand jury investigating Mr. Rove. It appears that she also been called to testify before the Abramoff grand jury because she was in charge of his skybox giveaways.

However, there is one event on which she has not yet testified -- the 2004 presidential election. In the accompanying photo, on November 2, 2004, Mrs. Ralston sits next to Karl Rove keeping track of the election results as they came in. We would like to know if there is any truth to the reports that Rove was told that GW was losing the election and so he went to the WH war room to maniulate the votes in a half dozen swing states. Our curiosity is strong because of Mrs. Ralston's duties at the time as White House Liaison to the Bush-Cheney ’04 (BC’04) campaign. "I work on the coordination of all activities between the campaign and the White House, including the Republican National Convention," she told Asian Fortune. Indeed, since it appears that she has a Forrest Gump-like history of being at the heart of the most scandalous political crimes of the Bush Administration, the odds are that she is the Rosetta Stone for all information about crimes committed around the election.

Susan Bonzon Ralston, it is not enough to appear at a grand jury and answer questions put to you about your bosses. Instead, you need to walk on over to the Department of Justice with your attorneys and all those documents you have been stashing to cover your backside (you were that smart weren't you), and tell it all. It appears that your choices for employment have not been the best, and it would be a shame if you were dragged down to the next official residence of those bosses. Of course, like the wife of a mob boss, it is difficult to give up all the trappings of wealth and power by turning on those who got you involved in criminal activity. However, it is the right thing to do, for you, your family and your country. We urge you to take that step today ... and don't look back.

1/4/06: Dear Elected Official...It's called 'Money Laundering' when you accept ill-gotten gains from Criminals! Donating to Charity doesn't help you get away from that!

Jack Abramoff...Now that Jack Abramoff has admitted in federal court to years of criminal activity involving dozens of DC politicos, the recipients of his bribes and largess, such as George Bush and House Majority Leader Dennis Hastert, are scrambling to unload that hot money by donating it to charity. Unfortunately (or fortunately), there is a federal law against accepting illegally gotten gains from a criminal and it is called "money laundering." Under 18 USC section 1957, it is unlawful to engage in a monetary transaction of over $10,000 derived from criminal activity. And, in a prosecution, the Government "is not required to prove that the defendant knew that the offense from which the criminally derived property was received was specified unlawful activity." Each time a person receives such money, he faces 10 years in federal prison and forfeiture of the money.

So, all you so-far unindicted co-conspirators of Mr. Abramoff can clear neither your consciences nor the criminal slate by simply donating the illegal money to charity. Like drug and mob money, it is subject to forfeiture which will then be used to pay back the victims of the criminal activity. You would be much better off walking into the Department of Justice and coming clean in exchange for your cooperation against other corrupt politicians. Then you may avoid indictment altogether, but at least you would be able to get a reduced sentence. VR has repeatedly warned corrupt officials not to wait until indictment before deciding to cooperate in order to limit jail time. The time to come clean is now....

Jack Abramoff...1/2/06: VR Offers Jack Abramoff $100k for Information Concerning the Tampering of Election 2004!

Republican uber-lobbyist Jack Abramoff, reached an agreement with Department of Justice prosecutors and pleaded guilty today to a host of charges including fraud, conspiracy and tax evasion in exchange for his complete cooperation against other political criminals who participated in his vast and decade long criminal enterprise. Dozens of elected DC officials -- and even their spouses! -- are reportedly "lawyering up" in the wake of the news that Abramoff will be telling all he knows to criminal prosecutors. The probe is expected to be extremely wide-reaching, beyond the already well reported connections Abramoff had with the indicted former House majority leader Tom Delay (R-TX) and Rep. Robert Ney (R-OH).

In light of today's plea, and with a particular eye towards Abramoff's relationship to Ney who held phony "Ohio Election Irregularities" hearings in the House Administration Committee, which he chairs, last March, is offering to pay $100,000 towards Abramoff's legal bills if he provides both us and the Dept. of Justice with conclusive evidence of Republican rigging of the 2004 Presidential Election.

In September of 2005, VR offered a $100,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those who may have committed election fraud in the 2004 Presidential Election and we have received numerous tips concerning Abramoff deals with Republican power brokers in a position to illegally manipulate the vote count. As well, we have indications that he had ties with folks associated with Voting Machine Companies including both Diebold and ES&S. Finally, press accounts have revealed that much of the money paid out by Abramoff was used to affect elections, leading us to conclude that he should know of illegal schemes to rig our elections.

We hope Mr. Abramoff will take up our offer as we note that his plea agreement requires a complete accounting of all his criminal activity and his knowledge of the criminal activity of others. If he has informaiton concerning illegal election tampering and does not disclose that information to prosecutors, his plea agreements in both Florida and Washington, DC will be off.

And to help make our offer clear, if we don't get receive such information from Mr. Abramoff, we will be more than happy to make similar offers in the future to his co-conspirators when they start rolling. Do yourself another favor, Jack. It's time to come clean. About everything...

1/1/06: VR NEEDS YOU TAKE ACTION NOW TO STOP HACKABLE ELECTRONIC VOTING MACHINES! is pleased to join our affiliate in a vital campaign to help restore democracy and confidence to our electoral system!

In light of recent revelations of "interpreted" code used on Diebold voting machines, which allowed for the results of a test election in Leon County to be entirely flipped without a trace left behind, we are now calling for all American citizens to take action and demand that the governing bodies and overseers responsible for protecting elections from such unsecured software immediately withdraw the previous certification that they've granted for such election machinery.

"Interpreted" code is specifically banned in electronic election machinery by the Help America Vote Act 2002 guidelines. And yet, this dangerous code, that allowed hackers to change the way software in Diebold election machines behaved in the recent hack test, has been found in election systems against those guidelines.

Please use this action page to contact the Election Assistance Commission (EAC) and the Independent Testing Authority (ITA) which grants such certification, to request they immediately withdraw Federal certification for all electronic election systems which contain any such banned -- and dangerous -- software coding!

Your immediate participation is of the utmost importance at this time! Click here now and fill in the easy-to-use form! It will take just a minute or two of your time, but may be very key to restoring integrity and confidence in our electoral system!

As well, national, state, and local election integrity groups can sign this Open Letter to the EAC which will be sent to both the EAC and ITA on January 3.

(For more details on all of the above, see John Gideon's report at The BRAD BLOG here...)

12/20/05: 'THE CONSTITUTION IN CRISIS': Support Rep. Conyers' Motion to Censure Bush and Cheney for Misleading Congress, Failing to Respond and Violating Internation Law...

Read the New Report...Ranking House Judiciary Democrat Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) has introduced a motion to censure President Bush and Vice President Cheney for providing misleading information to Congress in advance of the Iraq war, failing to respond to written questions and potential violations of international law. The motions were filed along with the release of a massive report today entitled "THE CONSTITUTION IN CRISIS: The Downing Street Minutes and Deception, Manipulation, Toture, Retribution, and Coverups in the Iraq War"

The resolutions were introduced Sunday evening along with a third resolution (HR 635) to create a Select Committee to investigate the administration’s intent to go to war prior to congressional authorization. The committee -- which has been compared to the Ervin Committee which led to Watergate Impeachment charges -- would also be charged with examining manipulation of pre-war intelligence, thwarting Congressional oversight and retaliatory attacks against critics. As part of this resolution, House Judiciary Democrats seek also to explore violations of international law as pertaining to detainee abuse and torture of prisoners of war.

Democrat Rep. John ConyersThe Select Committee seeks to subpoena the President and other members of the administration in hopes of ascertaining if impeachable offenses have been committed. Sources close to the Judiciary Committee indicate they believe this is the only avenue left after not getting responses to repeated letters requesting answers about the so-called "Downing Street Documents" and the outing of covert CIA officer Valerie Plame Wilson. HR 635, which would create the select committee, could recommend articles of impeachment against both the President and Vice President.

House Resolution 636 seeks to censure the President for failing to respond to repeated requests for information on pre-war intelligence, possible war crimes against detainees and violation of international law, and retaliatory action against critics of the administration. House Resolution 637 seeks censure the Vice President for the same alleged abuses of power and failure to respond to repeated requests for information and testimony.

CensureBush.orgVR is part of the coalition, which today launched, to galvanize support for these resolutions. We urge everyone to join with us in this important campaign.

For more information, links to the new report, a statement from Conyers, and several Petition Campaigns launched along with this effort, see this BRAD BLOG article...


The People's Email NetworkVR is issue based and so we call it like it is when an issue we support is trumpeted by Democrats, Republicans, Greens or Independents. So this week we congratulate and thank Senator John McCain for his stand to codify the law against torture by the United States and its contractors. We don't agree with many of his McCain's positions but here he was right on the money. He refused to be cowed by the Vice-President of Torture himself, Dick Cheney, and his Partner in Crime, George W. Bush. McCain, who suffered years of torture as a POW during Vietnam, made the point very succinctly when he said to his opponents, "this is not about the terrorists, it is about us, about who we are." One of our VR affiliates, The Peoples Email Network, took the lead on this issue by generating tens of thousands of emails to Congress supporting the McCain position (and VR has its NO TORTURE button on our left front page).

BlackBoxVoting.orgVR also wants to congratulate our affiliate for its work in the highly successful hack of the Diebold machines in the mock election in Leon County, Florida. In short, using a hacked card, the hackers "flipped" the votes from 2-6 to 7-1 without any evidence trail. Today, the Director of Elections in that county said that he believes that his Diebold machines were hacked during the 2000 presidential election.

The BRAD BLOGFinally, VR wants to congratulate our own Brad Friedman for his terrific work on the Diebold lawsuit story. Of course, a lot more went on behind the scenes that we are unable to report, but suffice it to say that it was (and VR) that worked with the law firm to bring you information on the developing suit as they moved forward with litigation against Diebold and its executives for stock fraud and insider trading.  Within a week, its CEO, Wally O'Dell, had resigned, and the suit had been filed. Brad has also been reporting widely about the hacking of the Florida machines.

There is a revolution happening....


Here is the full Securities Fraud Class Action complaint as filed yesterday against Diebold, Inc and eight top officers including former CEO Walden O'Dell and current CEO Thomas Swidarski for fraud, concealment and insider trading. . It was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio, Eastern Division, case number is: 5:05CV2873.
Case document in PDF

For those unaware, here is the full story on the litigation as broken yesterday by The BRAD BLOG.

This initial 13-page filing has been described to us as "a bare-bones version" with additional information to be added via amended complaints in the weeks and months ahead.

Update 12/15/05: VR has been contacted by numerous other large law firms that intend to file similar suits against Diebold on behalf of other clients. News and financial reports today listed two of those suits.

Update 12/16/05: On Tuesday, experts hacked Diebold machines in Florida and actually flipped the votes without any evidence of the hack. This led the Elections Director to state that he believes the 2000 election was similarly hacked in his county taking 16,000 votes away from Al Gore. Accordingly, Diebold machines will no longer be allowed in Leon county. Let's hope every elections director does the same.

Controversial, Partisan Head of Voting Machine Company Steps Down for 'Personal Reasons'

 Diebold, Inc. CEO Walden O'Dell has resigned due to what company officials describe in a press release as "personal reasons". O'Dell has been replaced by the company's president and chief operating officer, Thomas Swidarski.

As The BRAD BLOG reported late last last week, the filing of a securities fraud class action litigation against the company, O'Dell and other current and former members of their Board of Directors is now imminent. The case is reportedly to be filed as early as tomorrow in Ohio Federal District court. We will, of course, have more details when that occurs. announced our "Divestiture for Democracy" campaign in February 2005 with the intention of taking on those American Voting Machine companies who failed to do the appropriate and patriotic thing for this country in opening their hardware and software to public inspection, including paper ballots with every vote cast, and ensuring top-level executives stayed clear of partisan activities. Unfortunately, Diebold was unwilling to do the right thing, and the country has suffered for it. We will continue to expose the failures of Diebold as litigation moves forward and welcome those who owned or purchased stock in the company anytime from October 22, 2003 through September 21, 2005 to contact us at so that we may forward your information to attorneys for consideration of possible inclusion in the pending class action.


12/12/05: Conyers Registers 'Downing Street' & 'Iraq Report' Domain Names!
Domains Re-Directed to Ranking Judiciary Committee Democrat's Website

Names Suggest Report on DSM and Manipulation of Pre-War Intel by Bush Admin May be Imminent...

John Conyers has registered a series of Internet domain names that suggest a forthcoming report based on ongoing investigations held by the Ranking Minority member of the U.S. House Judiciary Committee may be coming. The domain names, including,,,,, and are all set to for automatic re-direction to Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) personal campaign website has been partnering with to bring information forward about the "Downing Street Documents" and the Bush administration use of pre-war intelligence which the mainstream media has been shamefully lax in reporting.



Documents and comments provided by Company Insiders suggest Diebold could be the next Enron as All-New Legal Troubles Mount for Voting Machine Giant...

Additional Individual, Union Owners of Diebold Stock, Mutual Funds Sought for Addition to Plaintiff Class by Velvet Revolution!

The BRAD BLOG has received exclusive detailed information about a developing potential class action securities litigation against Diebold, Inc. (stock symbol: DBD). The class for the suit will involve shareholders who purchased or owned stock in the Ohio-based company any time from October 22, 2003 through September 21, 2005.

Though we are not at liberty at this time to discuss the specifics of the potential litigation and the causes of action in the complaint being compiled, The BRAD BLOG has learned that the class action lawsuit, currently being drawn up, will involve securities fraud violations and other troubling matters for the controversial company, its CEO as well as current and former members of its Board of Directors.

Those who owned or purchased Diebold stock, or mutual funds which carried Diebold during the period mentioned, are asked to contact where contact information submitted may be turned over to attorneys currently working on the case for possible addition to the plaintiff class. Union groups who own or owned shares of Diebold or mutual funds which invest in the company are specifically urged to contact VR about joining the class action...



In two amazing news accounts in the Washington Post the past few weeks, it has become clear that the DOJ is being used as the most audacious political tool of the Bush White House to impose one party rule in the United States. Not content to have manipulated the past two national elections in its favor, the White House appointed loyalists to DOJ with the now clear agenda to keep the Republicans in power through rigged elections no matter how unlawful. These are two of the most brazen and sinister attacks on democracy since the shameful days of Jim Crow and should cause all election reform naysayers to reconsider.

Both of these reports, by Dan Eggan, are based on leaked memos (which leads us to believe that there is a DeepThroat at DOJ who is not buying into the DOJ political agenda). The first shows that the Attorney General overruled staff experts who had recommended against pre-approval of Georgia's new Photo ID requirement at the polls. Although that new law has since been found unconstitutional by a federal court as a "Jim Crow-era poll tax," the leaked memo makes clear that the AG did not care that the law would violate the Voting Rights Act and disenfranchise the poor, minorities and other typically Democrat voters.

The second report shows that eight staffers at the DOJ, including the heads of the Voting Rights Division, advocated against redistricting in Texas, but Attorney General agreed to allow the changes anyway! The Voting Rights Act requires DOJ pre-approval of changes to electoral law in several states where minority voting rights have historically been an issue. These changes allowed Rep. Tom Delay to manipulate the Texas redistricting and led to seven new Republicans being elected to the House of Representatives.

And there are still those who don't believe that the Bush & Co would violate the law to rig an election. Folks, this is why we need a revolution... no more partisan, loyalist hacks who want to hijack our democracy and our right to vote. VR is in the process of determining how to best address this frightening information, so stay tuned....


Antonin Scalia, the leading conservative on the Supreme Court, has demonstrated once again that he is not a brilliant intellectual but rather a partisan loyalist hack. In two statements last week regarding the shameful 5 to 4 decision in Bush v. Gore decision, he revised history. First he said that the controversy around the decision was Al Gore's fault because he brought the case to the Supreme Court. Sorry Antonin, but, as the case title shows, Bush was the petitioner who brought the case to the Court. Maybe you need to take a refresher course in court procedure offered by the DC Bar Continuing Legal Education Board.

Second, in a discussion with editors from Time and other journalists, he said "What did you expect us to do.... [G]ive the Florida Supreme Court another couple of weeks in which the United States could look ridiculous?" (So now the standard for granting cert is the appearance of ridiculousness). No, Antonin, we wanted you to decide in favor of Bush so the United States could look ridiculous forever and so Bush could start wars, create fear and havoc, ruin international relationships, impugn global warming, become the world leader of torture chambers, flush civil rights down the toilet, steal elections, lie to Congress, divide the nation and world, help big oil and the rich get richer, and pack the Supreme Court with toadies like you.

But maybe Antonin, you know a little American history about how those judges who ruled in favor of King George were not looked upon kindly after the Revolution. And of course, you must know that from 1811 until the time of his death in 1820 King George became progressively insane and blind from porphyria. He spent his time in isolation, and was often kept in straight jackets and behind bars in his private apartments at Windsor Castle. Yes, there is something called karma, and history does repeat itself...


Ok, did the WH set out to neutralize the two top newspapers in the country or did it just work out that way? Let's back up for a minute, remember what happened with 60 Minutes in its report about Bush's National Guard records -- egg on the face, tail between the legs, and reduced credibility along with long term timidity. Humm, pretty good results from a classic Rovian strategy.

Now wait, what newspaper broke Watergate, and what was that reporter's name? And, gee, what other newspaper has the clout, credibility and financial means to dig into top level corruption? Right, those bastions of liberality, the New York Times and the Washington Post. Humm, what would happen if their top reporters, you know, the ones who would do anything for access and who really believe that they have to protect their sources, were given confidential information about that turncoat Joe Wilson? The secret is so important that they won't be allowed to even tell their editors. Maybe, just maybe they could be bought, hook, line and sinker...

Alice and Wonderland in the Times and Post newsrooms where the lunatics are in control, where the inmates are running the jail, and where editors are so blind and dumb they are led around by the line staff. How did the two top newspapers in the country, if not the world, become the protectors of a mass of lies and corruption in the Executive Branch? How did they become defenders of two reporters who sold their souls to the devil just to get and keep access? Are the days of accountability in the newsroom over with?

Although the Rovian strategists are pleased to have now reduced the credibility and influence of the three top investigative news outlets in the country, we at VR know that what has sprung up to take their place is a more powerful phenomenon - millions of patriotic Americans who demand to know the truth, who investigate corruption, and who will be heard. This is how the collective "we" hold the media and corrupt politicians accountable. The revolution has begun...


we do salute some Dems for their correct stands

Oh that mainstream media, that bandwagon media. Here is something that it should be reporting in every news outlet across America -- Not only has the White House been wrong about virtually every issue the past four years, but the progressives have been right about every issue. And by progressives, we don't mean the Democrats, because many of them, including many of the so-called Democratic leaders, have followed the WH blindly. But we do salute some Dems for their correct stands, such as Robert Byrd, John Conyers, Howard Dean, Ted Kennedy, and Barbara Boxer. So let's take a minute to trumpet just a few of the issues on which we progressives have been on the correct side: the war, preemption, tax cuts for the rich, Dept. of Homeland Security, Patriot Act, privacy, global warming, torture, engagement of Russia, media reform, electronic voting machines, and Bush v. Gore. Just think what a better world and country we would have today if the enlightened progressive agenda had been followed the past four years rather than the dreadfully regressive, repressive, and deadly policies of the WH. But don't dispair, the revolution has begun...


VP Cheney's poll ratings have dropped in the 20's

VP Cheney's poll ratings have dropped in the 20's lately as virtually everyone with a braincell realizes that most everything he says is either factually incorrect or an outright lie.
Of course, we all remember Baghdad Bob, another information minister who became the laughing stock of the world during the early days of the war when he repeatedly went on international TV networks to say that Saddam was winning and the infidels would be run out of Iraq within a few days. One wonders if such people actually believe their lies or they are just spouting the party line.

Either way, like Baghdad we all remember Baghdad Bob Bob, Dick Cheney's warping of reality does tremendous damage to the credibility of American ideals. In Iraq, Baghdad Bob lost his job because of the US invasion. In America, although Cheney has already been largely marginalized by his own words and actions, the American people should make sure that he too loses his job for lying them into war.


VR protests the U.S. visit of criminal

VR, in a letter signed by dozens of activists, including many VR affiliates, formally protested the visit by Ahmed Chalabi to the United States because of his criminal activities, lies to intelligence services and the media, and theft of taxpayers money. See letter here.

VR also actually protested at Chalabi's speech on Wednesday at the American Enterprise Institute, who was rushed in the back alley by body guards so he would not have to face the protesters. See video here.

Chalabi, who is supposed to be under investigation by the FBI, is in the U.S. to urge for his coronation as the leader of Iraq. Basically his pitch is that he is the only person who can keep Iran in check because of his deep connections with the Shia leadership there. And this is the same Chalabi who said two years ago that he had no political ambitions in Iraq. So let's get this straight, we go to war to rid the world of Saddam based on false info from an indicted Chalabi. Then we coronate Chalabi as the new leader of Iraq so we can keep Iran under control. But wasn't Saddam keeping Iran under control? So we have traded a dictator for the criminal thief prevaricator in waiting while destroying a country and killing over 2000 American soldiers and tens of thousands of Iraqis. No, this is not our idea of democracy Mr. Chalabi.


VR is banned from taking video

VR is working with its affiliate Justice Through Music on some music videos about the war in Iraq, and a few weeks ago we asked to shoot some footage at Arlington National Cemetery. We got permission to video some actual funerals and did so in the press area with the other national media. However, when we left the press area to shoot footage of the thousands of graves throughout the massive cemetery, we were told that we could not do so without specific permission and we were escorted off the grounds.

On Monday, November 7th, we returned with permission to film another funeral. However, this time we were stopped at the gate and told that we could not do any more filming unless we received permission from the US Army Office of Public Affairs, LA Branch. We immediately contacted OPA-LA and advised that we are a legitimate press outlet that has covered scores of political events and stories for years. However, we were told that we could not do any more filming at Arlington because we are an advocacy group. When we pointed out that hundreds of tourists each day and those attending the funerals shoot video without restriction, we were told that "they are not the press." So the policy is really arbitrary. VR is the press, but it is banned for advocating a certain position on the war while Fox news can film all the funerals it wants because it supports the war. So much for freedom of the press in America today.


New Ad

VR launched another new ad in the Washington DC City Paper to expose those who lied us into war. Since the start of the war, 2000 soliders have been killed and over 15,000 soldiers have been maimed and wounded. This death and destruction was unnecessary, and VR urges people to reform our government with enlightened and progressive leaders. Please make copies and give them to everyone you know, and donate to support this ad campaign so we can blanket the country with these ads!

Donate to the VR Ad Campaign here.
More info on the latest ad here.
Download the ad in PDF format to print out here


REPORT: 'Loss and Miscount of Votes in Recent Elections'!
House issues BI-PARTISAN Press Release: Report 'A Wake Up Call', 'Foundation of Democracy Rests Upon Security, Integrity of our Voting System'

"[C]oncerns about electronic voting machines have been realized and have caused problems with recent elections, resulting in the loss and miscount of votes."

That's just one of the chilling revelations from the non-partisan Government Accountability Office's (GAO) 107-page report on the security of Election Voting Machines in America as just released. The report confirms many of the greatest concerns expressed by VR since the deeply flawed 2004 Presidential Election.

Read the full article here.

10/18/05: VR AFFILIATE RAWSTORY BREAKS THE NAME OF A WHITE HOUSE OFFICIAL WHO IS COOPERATING WITH SPECIAL PROSECUTOR FITZGERALD…AS WE PREDICTED LAST WEEK affiliate RAWSTORY, for the second time in a week, has broken a major story about the Valerie Plame investigation, beating out all the mainstream media. Last week, was the first to report that Special Prosecutor Fitzgerald was actively investigating the role of Vice President Dick Cheney in the outing of Valerie Plame as head of the White House Iraq Group (WHIG). And today, RawStory is the first to report that a highly placed White House Official is cooperating with Fitzgerald. "Individuals familiar with Fitzgerald's case tell Raw Story that John Hannah, a senior national security aide on loan to Vice President Dick Cheney from the offices of then-Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Affairs, John Bolton, was named as a target of Fitzgerald's probe.They say he was told in recent weeks that he could face imminent indictment for his role in leaking Plame-Wilson's name to reporters unless he cooperated with the investigation."

According to RawStory, Hannah was told that he was going to be indicted in the matter and decided to cut a deal to limit his possible jail time. Last week conducted an analysis of the federal sentencing guidelines and concluded that senior White House officials convicted in this case could face life in prison unless they decided to cooperate with Fitzgerald. Under the Guidelines, the only way to effectively lower a sentence is to cooperate in the case against another person. It appears that, although Hannah will be indicted along with a host of others, he, unlike the others, will minimize his prison sentence. It's nice to see that VR had it right … again.

Read the RawStory article here.


Today RawStory again showed the MSM how real reporters work by naming the second cooperating witness in the TreasonGate probe. "Now, those close to the investigation say that a second Cheney aide, David Wurmser, has agreed to provide the prosecution with evidence that the leak was a coordinated effort by Cheney’s office to discredit the agent's husband....Wurmser, Cheney’s Middle East advisor and an assistant to then-Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Affairs John Bolton, likely cooperated because he faced criminal charges for his role in leaking Wilson's name on the orders of higher-ups, the sources said."

Full story here.


The pledges to our 'Government Accountabilty Reward Fund' have now reached $120,000. We launched this reward with 100K on September 15th. So pass the word to all those white knights who want to make history (and some extra bucks) by exposing illegal activity in the White House, House of Representatives, and the scandal ridden state of Ohio.


Demands Paper Ballots

A full page ad appeared in yesterday's New York Times demanding paper ballots and endorsing H.R. 550, Rush Holt's Voter Confidence and Increased Accessibility Act (which VR did last month). The cool thing about this ad is that it was not placed by the usual electoral reform orgs but by an array of very credible organizations and important people. However, it is nice to see that one of them is Robert Koehler, the Tribune Reporter who appeared last week at the Portland Electoral Reform Conference with VR co-founder Brad Friedman. The full text of the ad is here.


Rove Arrested

It looks more and more like Karl Rove and his GOP associates made a huge mistake when they decided to disclose the identity of Valerie Plame in retaliation for statements by Ambassador Joe Wilson about the implausibility of President Bush's statements about Iraq's nuclear capabilities. By going after Wilson and his wife, they committed serious crimes which, apparently, they then compounded by obstructing justice and committing and suborning perjury. As a result, they have virtually ensured that, if convicted, they could receive a sentence up to life in federal prison under the United States Sentencing Guidelines, which are used to compute sentences based on severity offense levels. The higher the level, the greater the sentence, and federal courts routinely follow the Guidelines in the vast majority of cases.

Read the full article here.

10/6/05: NEW VR AFFILIATE 'REFORM OHIO NOW' NEEDS YOUR SUPPORT TO CHANGE THE WAY ELECTIONS ARE RUN IN THE SCANDAL-RIDDEN STATE OF OHIO is a new VR affiliate that deserves support from all those who care about democracy. They have successfully gotten four issues on the November ballot that will have a profound effect on the way elections are run in Ohio. So... VOTE YES on Issues 2, 3, 4, and 5 on November 8 -- real, common-sense reforms to take Ohio back from the politicians who have failed its citizens:

  • Issue 2: Makes it easier to vote by allowing all Ohioans to vote by mail
  • Issue 3: Helps stop the influence of big money in elections by greatly reducing campaign contributions.
  • Issue 4: Stops the politicians from drawing their own legislative districts and puts an Independent Commission in charge of this process.
  • Issue 5: Places a bi-partisan Board of Supervisors in charge of Ohio's elections, instead of a partisan official who backs candidates and takes sides in elections.

Reform Ohio Now is working with thousands of volunteers across the state to pass these reforms. The Canton Repository called RON "fresh air in the stale room that has become state government." But they can't do it without your help, so get involved today. And, the folks at RON are spreading the word about VR's Reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of persons who rigged the 2004 election in Ohio.


Velvet Revolution supported the electoral reform hearings held by the on June 29 in Houston, right around the corner from the faux Baker/Carter hearings. Well, last week, the 54-page Election Assessment report was issued, and sent out for peer review. In short, the report identifies numerous problems with past elections and makes significant recommendations to insure that all future votes are cast and counted. VR recommends that everyone take the time to review this important document and congrats to all those who spent so much time to come up with this real and honest report. Read the full report here in pdf format.


Velvet Revolution Co-Founder, Brad Friedman was invited to speak and broadcast from the National Summit to Save Our Elections held 9/29-10/2 in Portland, Oregon. The archives from that live "Democracy at Stake" broadcasts are now availble via Brad's BRAD SHOW page. Highlights include interviews at the summit with Tribune Media Services' Bob Koehler, Vote-Rigging Software Whistelblower Clint Curtis, some amusing presentations by Brad at the summit, and an impromptu roundtable on the show with Green Party Presidential Candidate David Cobb and Air America Radio's Thom Hartmann.
Listen up here...


On September 30th, the Government Accounting Office ('GAO') issued a blistering report which concluded that the funding of government news segments and the paying of journalists constitutes propaganda and violates numerous statutes. In the words of the GAO:

"The failure of an agency to identify itself as the source of a prepackaged news story misleads the viewing public by encouraging the audience to believe that the broadcasting news organization developed the information. The prepackaged news stories are purposefully designed to be indistinguishable from news segments broadcast to the public. When the television viewing public does not know that the stories they watched on television news programs about the government were in fact prepared by the government, the stories are, in this sense, no longer purely factual. The essential fact of attribution is missing."

As VR readers know, back on May 24th, we sent letters to almost 1000 TV networks and affiliates making a similar argument and demanding that they stop using such propaganda. It is nice to know that we were right... All three GAO reports are available on Senator Frank Lautenberg's website, here, here and here.



Last February, VR launched a Divestiture Campaign demanding that nine companies that make vote counting machines meet a list of conditions to ensure that our votes are counted properly. These include a voter verified paper ballot, open source code, no staff involvement in partisan elections, and independent analysis of machines. Well, only one company rose to the challenge and put it all in writing -- "Accupoll is proud to say that we meet all of your demands and that our philosophy and actions demonstrate that we are different than our competitors." See full letter here. Many thanks to all of you who have supported the VR campaign for honest elections, and please spread the word far and wide about Accupoll. By the way, Diebold has not met our demands and, as we reported last week, its stock has lost over 30% since we launched our Divestiture Campaign. Congrats to everyone who wants to see the good guys win and the bad guys lose.


VR was at the Washington March and we will take you there with our ten minute video of the actual March. Literally, there were people shoulder to shoulder in five lanes on all the streets around the White House and the line did not stop for three solid hours. It was truly an amazing event that showed that people do care about injustice.

See the video here

9/24/05: A VR in DC...

VR in DC!

VR in DC!

VR in DC!

More photos from the huge rallies here...
Videos of speeches before the march here...
Special Coverage all weekend long at BRAD BLOG...


New Ad

VR launched a new ad today in the Washington DC City Paper to tie in with the huge opposition protests around the White House this Saturday. Cindy Sheehan and tens of thousands of Americans will be on hand to oppose the war and other negative policies of the Administration. VR will distribute hundreds of the ads at the protest and urge people to reform our government with enlightened and progressive leaders. Please make copies and give them to everyone you know, and donate to support this ad campaign so we can blanket the country with these ads!

Donate to the VR Ad Campaign here.
More info on the latest ad here.
Download the ad in PDF format to print out here


New Report from Discredited Baker/Carter 'Election Reform' Commission Dead-on-Arrival
Recommended Jim Crow-Style Photo ID Restrictions Seen as 'New Poll Tax', Roundly Criticized by Pols, Voting Rights Activists and Even Members of the Commission!

Landing with a mighty thud today in the Nation's Capitol, the so-called Baker-Carter "National Commission on Election Reform" delivered precisely what true voting rights advocates in America had been warning about for months. FULL STORY HERE...

9/17/05: FOR THE FIRST TIME...

DIEB-THROAT : 'Diebold System One of Greatest Threats Democracy Has Ever Known'

A source from inside America's top voting machine company speaks in a BRAD BLOG exclusive! Identifies U.S. Homeland Security "Cyber Alert" issued prior to the 2004 Election warning that votes can be 'Modified Remotely' via an 'Undocumented Backdoor' in Diebold's Central Tabulator Software! Read the full story....


Let’s Get Paper Ballots and Transparency Passed

VelvetRevolution supports legislation requiring accountability and transparency in elections. Although there are several bills presently pending in Congress proposing to address this, and none of them does everything we hope for, VR believes that a bill introduced by Rep. Rush Holt (D-NJ), The Voter Confidence and Increased Accessibility Act (H.R. 550),) is currently the most comprehensive on this subject and has the best chance of passage. If it does pass, it will begin to fix multiple fundamental problems with our voting systems in time for the 2006 election cycle. Moreover, it currently has over 100 co-sponsors and several of them are even Republicans! This bill is a good starting point and if we pass it now, we will be on a much stronger footing to continue our fight for truly verifiable and transparent elections in the world's most important democracy. Send an email to your Congress Member here.



$100,000 Reward!

$100,000 REWARD

VR today launches the 'Government Accountability Reward Fund' to induce whistleblowers to come forward with information about criminal activity by high government officials. Specifically, VR has a reward of up to $100,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of officials involved in the following three incidents: 1) the illegal outing of CIA Agent Valerie Plame, 2) the illegal payment of bribes to Congressman Dennis Hastert, and 3) the rigging of the 2004 Presidential election in Ohio. In the event more than one person provides information or information about more than one incident, the money will be split between the persons. Details here.


New Orleans Official Weeps On National TV Because The Disaster President And His Team Lied and Lied While People Cried and Died
VelvetRevolution launches 'No More Lies' campaign to say that enough is enough of the spin, deception and lies of this Administration. VR cannot say it any better than Aaron Broussard, the President of Jefferson Parish, Louisiana, who was interviewed Sunday by Tim Russert on Meet The Press, and this video is a must see for all Americans.

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Tim Russert BROUSSARD: "We have been abandoned by our own country. Hurricane Katrina will go down in history as one of the worst storms ever to hit an American coast. But the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina will go down as one of the worst abandonments of Americans on American soil ever in U.S. history. … Whoever is at the top of this totem pole, that totem pole needs to be chainsawed off and we've got to start with some new leadership. It's not just Katrina that caused all these deaths in New Orleans here. Bureaucracy has committed murder here in the greater New Orleans area and bureaucracy has to stand trial before Congress now.

Three quick examples. We had Wal-Mart deliver three trucks of water. FEMA turned them back. They said we didn't need them. This was a week ago. FEMA, we had 1,000 gallons of diesel fuel on a Coast Guard vessel docked in my parish. When we got there with our trucks, FEMA says don't give you the fuel. Yesterday - yesterday - FEMA comes in and cuts all of our emergency communication lines. They cut them without notice. Our sheriff, Harry Lee, goes back in, he reconnects the line. He posts armed guards and said no one is getting near these lines…

Tim Russert

I want to give you one last story and I'll shut up and let you tell me whatever you want to tell me. The guy who runs this building I'm in, Emergency Management, he's responsible for everything. His mother was trapped in St. Bernard nursing home and every day she called him and said, "Are you coming, son? Is somebody coming?" and he said, "Yeah, Mama, somebody's coming to get you." Somebody's coming to get you on Tuesday. Somebody's coming to get you on Wednesday. Somebody's coming to get you on Thursday. Somebody's coming to get you on Friday… and she drowned Friday night. She drowned Friday night! [Sobbing] Nobody's coming to get us. Nobody's coming to get us. The Secretary has promised. Everybody's promised. They've had press conferences. I'm sick of the press conferences. For god's sakes, just shut up and send us somebody."


Special Daily BRAD SHOW radio broadcasts, Live on the ground from Camp Casey!
BradshowThe BRAD SHOW via RAW RADIO is the only radio program in the country broadcasting live from Camp Casey in Crawford, Texas, and today it will begin airing VR's 30-second 'Dog Tags' ad with 'Taps' playing underneath.

· Listen to the Female Version [MP3]
· Listen to the Male Version [MP3]

Join in on the discussion as radio host VR co-founder Brad Friedman examines the reasons behind the Iraqi invasion and the failed Bush policies that have led to the deaths of nearly 1900 American soldiers. He is interviewing families of soldiers killed in Iraq, veterans, lawmakers, celebrities, newsmakers and peacemakers from Camp Casey and around the nation! Listen for continued debate on the most important national and international issues we face today LIVE on The BRAD SHOW via RAW Radio

"I was actually on vacation, camping in the Great Basin National park with no phone and and no net," Friedman says. "But I got a scratchy signal of Rush Limbaugh on my radio lying about Cindy Sheehan and what's going on down here. I knew I had to get down here and try to correct the record and tell the real story."

"I drove across the country and figured out how to get on the air with no remote truck, no satellite uplink, no money, no nothing. We did it. So far we're doing at least four or five hours every day. And we're not leaving until it's over in Crawford."

"Note to George W. Bush: Some things are worth interrupting your vacation for," adds Friedman.

This special radio program needs donations, sponsors and advertisers to keep it on the air. Please tell your org to sign up for an ad today -- send the text or the mp3 for your 60-second spots. Brad is giving special rates for the next two weeks to those advertisers who support us during Operation Noble Cause. Please contact for more information. Make your donations online at


First AdVR today launched a long-term advertisement and awareness campaign to galvanize American citizens into taking their country back from those who believe that they are untouchable and unaccountable. This campaign will graphically show that those in power have lost touch with real people through a pattern of lies, corruption, fear mongering, incompetence, indifference and arrogance.

The first ad will appear today as a full two-page spread in the Crawford, Texas Iconoclast newspaper and will be delivered to the President's ranch during his long five-week vacation. Cindy Sheehan and hundreds of others opposed to Iraq war are protesting nearby and they will all be given free copies of the paper. VR supports Cindy and her cause, and she was interviewed on June 18th by VR founder Brad Friedman on the BradShow. Cindy's son Casey was killed five days after arriving in Iraq in what the President calls a "noble cause." Now, however, in light of the Downing Street Memos, the world knows that the war was based on lies and deception.

Read full story here.
Become a VR member here.
Donate to the VR Ad Campaign here.

8/4/05: VR Hosts Speeches Focusing on Election Reform from May's National Gathering to Save our Democracy in Nashville

VR is pleased to be the exclusive site hosting the speeches from the National Gathering for Democracy held recently in Nashville. Listen to speeches from Cliff Arnebeck, Joanne Roush, Dr. Richard Hayes Phillips, and Dr. Bernard Windham, and other speeches will follow.

Dr. Clifford Arnebeck Attny Clifford Arnebeck: Arnebeck is chairman of the Ohio Honest Elections Campaign of the Alliance for Democracy. This campaign was the vehicle for the legal challenge to the reported victory of George W. Bush in the 2004 election, contrary to the independent exit poll results for Ohio and the nation. Arnebeck is also Co-chair of the Alliance and he also serves on the Ohio Advisory Board of Common Cause, as Chair of its Legal Affairs Committee, and he is on the National Advisory Board of Public Campaign. Arnebeck has successfully led litigation against the Ohio Chamber of Commerce over the period 2000 to the present in its use of illegal corporate treasury money to influence the outcome of Ohio Supreme Court elections. He has twice run for Congress, once as a Republican and once as a Democrat, on an election reform platform. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Wesleyan and Juris Doctorate degree from Harvard.

Listen to the speech here.

Dr. R.H. Phillips Dr. R.H. Phillips: Dr. Phillips resides in Canton, New York. He served as the leading statistician in the AMoss v. Bush@ lawsuit seeking to overturn the Ohio election results. In this capacity, Dr. Phillips analyzed precinct canvass reports in 15 counties and he presented 21 research papers under oath to the Ohio Supreme Court. A former college professor, he earned his PhD in Geomorphology from the University of Oregon. He is a longtime environmental activist and a recognized expert witness in karst hydrology. In this capacity, he has testified under oath in federal proceedings as a forensic statistician in opposition to the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP), the world's first permanent nuclear waste dump near Carlsbad, New Mexico.

Listen to the speech by Dr. Richard Hayes Phillips here, and to an addendum by Cliff Arnebeck here.

Ms. Joanne Roush Joanne Roush: Ms. Roush is a resident of Menasha, WS who served as a recount volunteer for the Ohio recount. She is a retired small business owner, freelance designer, and sometimes truck driver who lives in a swing county in the swing state of Wisconsin. She is a passionately practical Liberal with roots in the Vietnam antiwar movement, who believes in the power of grass roots organizing, in the ability of minorities to become majorities, and in leveraging personal commitment to achieve great things. She is currently working to elect progressive candidates in her county, and working to find citizens who are willing to believe that peace is achievable and absolutely essential to the survival of the human species.

Listen to the speech by Joanne Roush here.

Dr. Bernard Windham Dr. Bernard Windham: A resident of Florida, Dr. Windham is a national election data-sets analyst (including the Election Incident Reporting System). He is a statistician, mathematician and demographer, with graduate degrees in each field. He has served on scientific advisory panels for 4 federal agencies and several state agencies. He is the founder and member of several local political and environmental programs and advisory committees. In the past, he has also served as a lobbyist for Common Cause.

Listen to the speech by Dr. Bernard Windham here.


A new organization of high-level GOP operatives, cynically named the American Center for Voting Rights (“ACVR”), released six press releases this week to tout its new "report" accusing Democrats and liberal organizations of massive "Election Fraud" in the November 2004 Presidential election. The releases and report contain false and misleading information intended to advance GOP plans to disenfranchise millions of voters via legislation calling for national voter registration databases and a demand for photo IDs at the polls. Though the report claims to focus on "Election Fraud" by both parties, in fact, it documents almost exclusively only incidents of alleged voter registration concerns, and only those which involve left-leaning voting organizations. See full press release here and full story here.

7/25/05: The Revolution Grows...The Truth Will Out...
Downing Street Gatherings while the White House Continues to Betray our National Security...

Conyers in Detroit on 7/23/05
Hundreds of people were turned away today as capacity crowds packed public forums in U.S. cities to discuss the Downing Street Memo and related evidence that President Bush lied about the reasons for war. Halls were filled to capacity and beyond in LA, Oakland, Seattle, Detroit, Northampton, New York, and elsewhere, for events led by Congress Members, including Maxine Waters, Barbara Lee, Jim McDermott, John Conyers, and Maurice Hinchey...

GERGEN: "What did the President know and when did he know it?"Our partners at have much more on the weekend's historic 3rd Anniversary Downing Street Events...

And "The Question" now on everyone's lips: "What did George W. Bush know and when did he know it?"

7/08/05: America and Velvet Revolution Lose a Freedom Fighter...
Andy Stephenson
Last night, our friend Andy Stephenson passed away after a short but valiant fight against cancer. He was a great supporter of VR's as well as one of the original advisors for our "Divestiture for Democracy" campaign. He was a tireless fighter for Election Reform in this country, and his loss is a tremendous blow to that cause. We will, however, fight on as Andy would have wanted us to.

He was a friend, a great American, and he will be missed more than we can adequately describe here.

Godspeed, Andy.  We love you and will always miss you...

6/28/05: REAL Election Reform Hearing to be Held in Houston Prior to Baker/Carter's 2nd and Final Commission Hearing!

Please help VR inform the Baker/Carter Commission about's Hearings to be held in Houston on June 29th, the day prior to the Baker/Carter National Election Reform Hearing in the same city.'s Hearings will feature the real Election Reform experts and advocates and witnesses to what went horribly wrong in Election 2004 that the Baker/Carter Commission should have invited to testify at their hearings! Unfortunately, the Baker/Carter Commission has now irrevocably discredited themselves by stacking the deck with Partisan Operatives and Voting Machine Company Representatives. So it's up to groups like to present the honest testimony required for any commission to make real recommendations for Election Reform in the United States of America!
Click here to send Email to Baker/Carter Commission Members about's Hearings...

6/21/05: VELVET REVOLUTION BEGINS 'OUT OF IRAQ' CAMPAIGN! (And so does the U.S. House!)

Just in time for the Conyers hearings on the Downing Street Memos, VR launched our latest "issue" campaign last week, officially named "Out of Iraq".

The new VR issue brings together a compendium of many resources on the matter, including the latest news and action items updated daily with the most important headlines you need to know about. So keep an eye on it, and spread the word!

The day after we launched "Out of Iraq" at VR, 50 U.S. House Members announced the formation of an "Out of Iraq" caucus. Great minds think alike...And the Revolution continues...

6/21/05: Downing Street Campaign Continues to Gain Traction!

The Downing Street Campaign pulls it off with more than 560,000 signatures on a petition demanding an inquiry into the basis for the war from George W. Bush.  John Conyers held a historic hearing last week and then went to the White House gate with boxes of petitions which many of you signed.  And for the first time in our campaigns, we were able to help bring in well established orgs including MoveOn, TrueMajority and Democracy for America to make this a true revolution of massive proportions! And heat continues to bring attention to this most troubling issue. The Mainstream Media is finally beginning to report on the matter, including a full hour-long "Special Edition" on MSNBC's Hardball last night devoted entirely to the Downing Street Minutes!


Velvet Revolution helps launch the grassroots citizens movement,, calling for a Congressional "Resolution of Inquiry" into the now-infamous Downing Street Minutes/Memo in which the Bush Administration is recorded as having determined to topple Saddam Hussein by military force some eight months prior to the war. Most damningly, the minutes conclude that "the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy" by the Bush Administration!


Today VR sent letters to almost 1000 TV networks and their affiliates demanding that they institute internal company policies against the use of Government packaged propaganda news and paid government journalists. See full letter here. Because the Government needs these networks to broadcast such propaganda, VR has put them on notice that their credibility is at stake and that there is a price to pay for partnering in such anti-democratic conduct.

Update 6/24/05 VR has received numerous responses to its letter, and the networks seem to have gotten the message. Every response so far states that the TV station either does not or will not ever broadcast such propaganda.

5/6/05: Voting Standards are for Citizens!
Not Voting Machine Companies!

The Electoral Assistance Commission (EAC) and the National Insititute for Standards & Technology (NIST) are in the process of determing the latest standards to be applied to Electronic Voting Machines! And it looks like they've turned to the Voting Machine Companies for advise! Send them an Email NOW to let them know that Voting Standards are for the citizenry! Not for the Voting Machine Companies!

4/15/05: YES to Election Reform!
NO to James Baker & his Anti-Reform Cronies!

Sign the VR webletter to Jimmy Carter calling for James Baker and the anti-reformers, partisans and voting machine representatives to step down immediately from the National Election Reform Commission!

Bush Family friend, loyalist, operative and architect of the 2000 Bush/Cheney strategy to keep American's votes from being counted has no place as Co-Chair of bi-partisan commission with esteemed former-President Jimmy Carter!

Velvet Revolution calls for Baker's immediate removal from the Commission! VR's Full Statement...

UPDATE 4/12/05: John Conyers sends letter to Jimmy Carter!
Says Baker on commission "Inappropriate"! Calls for Velvet Revolution and others to be included instead! Asks...
"How can an individual who played a critical role in the disenfranchisement of tens of thousands of Floridians now co-chair a Commission which should have as its mission ensuring that every vote counts?"
ConyersBlog Article and Letter to Carter here...

2/26/05: Democracy or Divestiture?
VR's Massive New Campaign for America Begins...
[UPDATED 4/27/05]

VR's Divestiture for Democracy - A campaign of the people, by the people and for the people!

It's time to call on America's Voting Machine Companies
to do the right thing for America!
And on February 21 -- President's Day -- VR did exactly that!

Now we need your help, so that they answer the call for democracy!
Click the link to send a letter in 30 seconds!
Let them know you stand with the Velvet Revolution and support free and fair elections in the United States of America!

Check out VR's massive new "Divestiture for Democracy" campaign!
And let your voice -- finally -- be heard!
(And pssst...pass it on...

...Latest DV4D Campaign NEWS!...

Send your Email to the American Voting Machine Companies!· 4/27/05: We have received responses from a number of the American Voting Machine companies and are currently reviewing them. We will be announcing our strategies for the Divestiture for Democracy in the coming days. In the meantime, please feel free to send an email to the Voting Machine Companies if you have not done so already! Thanks for all of your support for this important campaign!

OVC first Election Software Developer to join VR's DV4D Campaign!· 4/4/05: E-VOTING SOFTWARE DEVELOPERS ENDORSE! - Today, in a letter from 'Open Voting Consortium' President, Alan Dechert, the non-partisan open-source election software group became the first election software developers to endorse the principles of VR's DV4D Campaign! OVC's letter to Velvet Revolution here!

Ralph Nader is second 2004 Presidential Candidate to join VR's DV4D Campaign!· 3/31/05: NADER ENDORSES! - Consumer Advocate, Corporate Watchdog and two-time Presidential Candidate, Ralph Nader, is the second 2004 Presidential Candidate to endorse VR's DV4D Campaign! Sends strong letter and clear signal to America's Voting Machine companies! Nader's letter to the Voting Machine Companies and Velvet Revolution here!

· 3/27/05: VR Co-Founder, Brad Friedman on a few of his recent radio interviews concerning Velvet Revolution's "Divestiture for Democracy" campaign.

-> 3/25 on Radio Liberty with the charming Dr. Stan Monteith, a Republican who gets it! (50 mins: Streaming RealPlayer, Windows Media Player, or MP3 Download)
-> 3/21 on Atlanta, Georgia's "Wednesday World Party" on WFRG (23 mins: Streaming RealPlayer, Windows Media Player, or MP3 Download)
-> 3/23 on Lila Garrett's Connect the Dots on KPFK, Pacifica Radio's Los Angeles affiliate (15 mins: Streaming RealPlayer, Windows Media Player, or MP3 Download).

23 House Members Call for Transparency from Vote Machine Companies!
Congressional support continues to grow as 23 House Members sign on to Waters/Conyers' letter to Voting Machine companies! Companies given until April 15th to reply! Members vow to withhold HAVA funding from companies who do not comply with standards set forth in VR's DV4D Campaign! Click here for list of signers, the full letter to the voting companies, and a letter to VR from John Conyers!

Maxine Waters joins John Conyers in endorsing VR Campaign!· 3/16/05: CONGRESSIONAL SUPPORT GROWS! - Maxine Waters joins John Conyers in asking colleagues to sign letter to Voting Machine companies in support of VR's DV4D Recommendations! Click here for the text of letter to colleagues and voting machine companies!

Green Party Presidential Candidate David Cobb endorses VR Campaign!· 3/16/05: COBB ENDORSES! - Green Party Presidential Candidate David Cobb Endorses VR's DV4D Campaign! Sends letters to all nine Voting Machine Companies urging them to accept VR's Recommendations! Cobb's letter to the companies and to Velvet Revolution here!

· 3/10/05: A powerful hour and a half on the nationally syndicated The Power Hour with Joyce & Dave discussing VR's DV4D campaign and much more! With a lot of very smart callers! Listen online here (appx 90 mins): Streaming RealPlayer or Windows Media Player.

· 3/9/05: VR's Brad Friedman discussed the VR DV4D campaign on Don Grady's Louisian Live today. Listen online here (appx 27 mins): Streaming RealPlayer, Windows Media Player, or MP3 Download.

Dubya's hometown Crawford paper writes about the Velvet Revolution!· 3/8/05: VR's DV4D makes the front page of The Lone-Star Iconoclast! George W. Bush's hometown Crawford paper!!!

· 3/3/05: Velvet Revolution Co-Founder, Brad Friedman, discussed VR's DV4D campaign on Radio Left today. Listen online here (appx 17 mins): Streaming RealPlayer, Windows Media Player, or MP3 Download.

Congressman John Conyers' Endorsement!· 3/2/05: CONYERS ENDORSES! - Ranking minority member of the U.S. House Judiciary Comm., John Conyers' Endorses VR's DV4D Campaign! Sends a letter to all 9 Companies urging them to follow VR's requests! Threatens legislation to withhold HAVA funds to companies who do not!

· 3/2/05: From RAW STORY's great article today on VR's DV4D:

Howard Van Pelt, CEO of Advanced Voting Systems, was more frank about his opposition.

“What in the hell are these people talking about?” Van Pelt asked. “They think we're all crooks, and I resent that!”

... According to Van Pelt, who formerly ran Diebold’s Global division, the issue of how to deal with voter verified paper trails is something that “every vendor is grappling with.”...“Attaching a paper printer to the side of voting machines would inevitably lead to problems,” he said.
Mr. Van Pelt, with all due respect, our letter asked you to do the right thing for our country and help restore confidence in America's electoral system. We never accused anybody of being "crooks". And as to the "problems" of paper printers, we've noticed that this technology seems to have worked well in the ATM machines that these same companies produce, so we're somewhat at a loss to understand what the "inevitable problems" would be. We'd love to hear more about your concerns, however, so please feel free to contact us so that we can discuss them.

From the same article, a spokesman for Sequoia said about the letter we sent them, "This is a political document and not much more".

While counting the votes of Americans would certainly be a part of the political process, we hardly feel that our request to open up the way in which those votes are counted so that we can trust our political process is a "political document". As VR Co-Founder, Brad Friedman mentioned in the same article, this is “not left versus right, but right versus wrong.”

· 3/1/05: VR's DV4D Press Release is online here, WORD version here.

2/20/05: A VR Sponsored Election Reform "Teach-in", Feb 26/27 in CA!
The great folks at along with Velvet Revolution and Progressive Democrats of America are sponsoring "Who Got Glitched & How to Fix It!" an election reform "teach-in" next Saturday and Sunday, Feb 26th and 27th in Santa Monica, CA.

There's a very impressive array of guests and speakers set! So, if you're anywhere near Santa Monica please try to stop on by!

  • Sat. Feb 26: Short films on Election 2004 with the filmmakers!
  • Sun. Feb 27: Just added Keynote Speaker: Rep. Maxine Waters! Followed by panel discussion with guests including: Brad Friedman (VR Co-Founder), Bob Fitrakis (Columbus Free Press), Bev Harris (Black Box Voting), Butch Wing, (Rainbow Push) Kevin Spidel (PDA) & Blair Bobier (Green party Cobb/LaMarche). $10 Entrance Fee, but nobody turned away!

-> Buy tickets here!
-> Download PDF Flyer here!

2/10/05: A 24/7/365 Revolution...
The content on Velvet Revolution is updated every day!

Be sure to click on any of the Issues and/or categories in the left sidebar to access all of the latest News, Analysis, Action Items and more for Election 2004/Election Reform as well as emerging issues and concerns for Velvet Revolutionaries in the VR Watch section!

Discuss any of those stories, or others you are interested in the VR Discussion Forums!

And use the new "Submit-a-Link" feature (you'll find a new button for it on each category on all of the VR Issue Pages) to help tell us about information and articles that you feel VR should be letting members know about!

In other news...We hope to be announcing our first major mobilization effort early next week if the gods are with us! And we hope you'll be on board for it! It's very exciting, and we think you'll agree!

So please sign-up as a VR Member now (it's free) if you haven't already, and be sure to spread the good news about VR far and wide until then! We're a citizens' brigade! So please help us to bring your fellow citizens on board!

If you haven't noticed, we've been growing and adding affilliates like crazy over the lasst several weeks. Scroll down the left side and take a look if you haven't done so lately! Get on board! (And a note for webmasters: Show your support! Add a VR Flag Logo or Banner to your website today!)

Oh, and P.S. Feel free to donate to the effort! We are trying to do quite a lot with rather little right now, and we can use all the help we can get! Saving democracy can be an expensive affair, so your support is appreciated!

2/5/05: VIDEO: America's Illegitimate Election 2004

Never forget what happened on November 2nd, 2004... Here's a video to help...

We've updated the short video compiled by a few Velvet Revolutionaries from Democratic Underground.

It is our hope that this video may serve as the definitive record of what happened in American during the 2004 Presidential Election. It documents -- in a few short minutes -- how your American right to a free, fair and transparent electoral system has been taken from you by the cynical and un-democratic powers-that-be.

This sort of thing should never happen in the world's most important democracy. And yet -- again in 2004 -- it did. Enough is enough.

It's time for the people to take both our country and our democracy back. If you still have any questions about that, please take a look at this video:

  • Streaming RealPlayer (broadband version)
  • Streaming RealPlayer (dial-up version)

  • Windows Media Player (broadband version)
  • Windows Media Player (dial-up version)

  • Quicktime (broadband version)
  • Quicktime (dial-up version)
  • Americans have died for the Right to Vote. November 2nd, 2004 will serve as a continuing reminder that we still have a long way to go in this country before every American has that right.

    Please watch the video...And then pass this link... everyone you know so they can remember (or learn) as well!

    The mainstream media will not be doing it. Democracy in America is now up to you!

    (Thanks to Dzika, Faye and all the patriotic and democracy-loving Velvet Revolutionaries of for compiling this video to help us all remember!)

    1/21/05: Signs of a Velvet Revolution...
    Taking back our country...
    See the full Inauguration photo essay...
    The one you likely didn't see on Fox "News".

    1/17/05: VR Words of Wisdom...
    "Rebellion to tyrants is obedience to God."
    -- Thomas Jefferson

    "The only thing necessary for evil to flourish is for good men to do nothing."
    -- Edmund Burke

    "Power. Corruption. Revolution.
    Lather. Rinse. Repeat.
    -- Joan of Arcadia

    Show your true colors!
    Add a free VR Flag or Banner to your site today!
    VELVET REVOLUTION -- Revolution Begins at Home!

    1/15/05: Our Opening Week and Granny D on the Velvet Revolution...
    The response from all of you in our first week has been tremendous! We hope that you will continue to share the news about Velvet Revolution with your friends, families and co-workers, and visit here frequently! We will soon be adding a VR Banners and Logo page so that you can help spread the word high and low! We are a citizens brigade, and the more we have on board, the stronger our message will be.

    Be sure to check our "Election 2004" page regularly as it is updated everyday with the latest News, Opinion/Analysis and Action Items on issues related to the Election and the growing Election Reform movement.

    We are also adding content to our "VR Watch" page as we look to the future, and our Discussion Forums on both topics are already hopping! Please join in to speak up, make noise and help us all get organized!

    As promised, we will be continuing to add content and features to the site over the coming days and weeks, and will be announcing an exciting VR Mobilization effort very soon! So we'd like as many folks signed-up by then as possible to help rally the forces! It's free, so what are you waiting for?

    More on all of that soon, but we thought you'd be interested in some of the news about Velvet Revolution that is hitting the Internet and beyond as the VR movement swells.

    Doris "Granny D" Haddock / Photo by Jody Hilton, BostonActivist Doris "Granny D" Haddock, best known for her cross-country walk for Campaign Finance Reform spoke out yesterday with extraordinary eloquence about "Our Velvet Revolution".

    (A RealPlayer slideshow of some of her heroic efforts over the last several years is available here.)

    She will be participating in several of the upcoming Counter-Inaugural events in DC, and her 95th birthday will be four days later. Her statement, published by Democracy Week today, are meant as her 95th birthday remarks.

    On velvet revolutions and the freedoms and pursuit of happiness, we'll quote just a few of her words from her beautiful piece:
    We remember and honor the poet revolutionary Vaclav Havel of Czechoslovakia, where Charter 77 rendered the flowers and songs of a velvet revolution more powerful than the guns of oppression. We remember the shipyard hero, Lech Walesa, of Poland. We remember those who stood non-violently in Russia, in Yugoslavia, in Tiananmen Square, in East and West Germany.

    When people stand united with certain courage, they get their way.
    [T]he pursuit of happiness? There it is, a phrase central to the world's idea of America. If some people in this country could erase those words from our Declaration, they would do so--and replace them with something more religious or otherwise authoritarian and demanding of obedience instead of the nurturing of our human potential. But the words remain there on that parchment, and indelibly upon our hearts and imaginations. That is why there is a velvet revolution brewing, and it is not the whining of spoiled children, but the song of freedom of brave men and women who are prepared to let the bales upon their backs fall and mix with the old tea in the harbor.
    I have long admired the Europeans for the fact that they discuss politics constantly. The sidewalk café conversation is superior for the maintenance of democracy, when compared to our sitting in front of endlessly dumbed-down news broadcasts and newspaper accounts. Even during this recent disclosure of election fraud in Ohio, the news channels all but ignored it, and the main story in the New York Times, even as Senators stood against a sham election, was a long report on the disruption made to Congress's mindless train schedule.

    The sharing of email and our occasional standing together in protests is the best we Americans can do to create the community of democracy and raise the barricades of its defense. Or is it?
    This is our Velvet Revolution, American style. We resist what we must and what we can, but our victory is not in defense, but in a cultural offensive made irresistible by the power of love and courage, pulling our people together, and our own lives together, over time.

    We have tried this before in America. Things got in our way: drugs, wars, fears. We became parents. We became distracted. It is now time to get it right.
    Dennis Burke of Democracy Week, who joined Granny D on her walk, follows up her article on the Democracy Week blog with a piece on our Velvet Revolution featuring a short interview with VR co-founder, Brad Friedman.

    Just a quick quote or two from the interview:
    "What we have learned (or at least I have) over the past two months or so, is that leadership is desperately sought right now. Our ad hoc groups made tremendous progress over the past weeks. Accomplishing the invocation of an arcane Constitutional provision for only the second time in well over one hundred years [the objection to the Electoral votes cast from Ohio in Congress] was nothing short of miraculous, given the disparate nature of all the folks working on these issues," Mr. Friedman said.

    He expanded: "Imagine what we could do if we all came together! At least with an umbrella organization set up to *support* all of the disparate efforts. Not to drive them, or create them, or to force them on anybody. But rather to be able to turn on a dime and funnel people and resources and attention and money to those small groups...or even those single citizens who are doing something so important for democracy, but need the power of the people behind them. That's what I hope Velvet Revolution will be able to do."
    We thank both Democracy Week, who is one of our newest founding Affiliates and the inimitable Granny D for both the coverage and the inspirational words of wisdom.

    The Velvet Revolution  continues...

    1/10/05: Welcome to Velvet Revolution!

    Pardon our dust as we bring things together, and add new features and content
    in the coming days and weeks! Revolutions can be messy.

    For now...please Explore Velvet Revolution and help spread the word!

    Without you...we're nothing!

    Velvet Revolution! -- The New American Patriot!

    Much more coming soon!

    "I hold it, that a little rebellion, now and then, is a good thing,
    and as necessary in the political world as storms in the physical."
    -- Thomas Jefferson

    "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world.
    Indeed it's the only thing that ever has." -- Margaret Mead

    The World is Watching... We Are Watching Them...

    ...revolution begins at home...



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