The Brad Blog: ALL E-VOTING MACHINES IN NATION TO BE TRASHED! (In the Nation of Ireland)

-By Brad Friedman

June 29, 2012- Breaking from today's Irish Times

In a final vote of no confidence, Ireland’s ill-fated e-voting machines are finally headed to the scrap heap.

An Offaly-based firm, KMK Metals Recycling, was declared the Government’s preferred bidder out of seven tenders.

The company paid a mere €70,267 for the machines – a steal when one considers the €55 million they have cost the State to date. The price paid also works out at just half the annual €140,000 cost of storing them.

Minister for the Environment Phil Hogan said he was “glad to bring this sorry episode to a conclusion on behalf of the taxpayer”.

“From the outset, this project was ill-conceived and poorly delivered by my political predecessors and as a result it has cost the taxpayer €55 million.

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AP: Obama prepping thousands of lawyers for election

By Mike Baker (Associated Press)

June 26, 2012- President Barack Obama's campaign has recruited a legion of lawyers to be on standby for this year's election as legal disputes surrounding the voting process escalate.

Thousands of attorneys and support staffers have agreed to aid in the effort, providing a mass of legal support that appears to be unrivaled by Republicans or precedent. Obama's campaign says it is particularly concerned about the implementation of new voter ID laws across the country, the possibility of anti-fraud activists challenging legitimate voters and the handling of voter registrations in the most competitive states.

Republicans are building their own legal teams for the election. They say they're focused on preventing fraud — making sure people don't vote unless they're eligible — rather than turning away qualified voters.

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ABC News: What Romney’s Donors Heard at This Weekend’s Retreat

-By Arlette Saenz and Shushannah Walshe

June 24, 2012- Mitt Romney’s donors attended a golf outing today at the Red Ledges Gold Club in Heber, Utah, but the excitement was really what went on Friday and Saturday at the events and panels. Romney’s top donors were treated to panels on specialized policy topics, such as healthcare or the financial services industry, heard speeches from stars of the Republican Party, such as former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, and were granted access to the presidential candidate’s senior advisors for information about the inner workings of the campaign. All events were closed to reporters, but ABC News has the rundown of some of what these donors were privileged to hear.

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Mother Jones: In Iowa, Paying Your Debt to Society Isn’t Quite Enough

—By Kevin Drum

June 26, 2012- Via Ed Kilgore, we learn today that voter suppression is alive and well in Iowa. On his first day in office after winning the 2010 election, Gov. Terry Branstad reinstituted a long and laborious process that prevents most released felons from voting:

Henry Straight, who wants to serve on the town council in the tiny western Iowa community of Arthur, is among those whose paperwork wasn't complete. Straight can't vote or hold office because as a teenager in Wisconsin in the 1980s, he was convicted of stealing a pop machine and fleeing while on bond.

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Huffington Post: Supreme Court: U.S. Chamber Of Commerce Undefeated This Term

-By Mike Sacks

June 21, 2012- The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is undefeated at the Supreme Court this term, continuing to improve its success in securing business-friendly judgments since Chief Justice John Roberts took the bench in 2005.

The Constitutional Accountability Center, a left-leaning think tank and law firm, reported its findings on Thursday, noting that this term, which began in October and will likely conclude by the end of June, could be the chamber's "first 'perfect' term before the Supreme Court since at least 1994."

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Huffington Post: Bob Bauer, Obama Campaign’s Top Lawyer, Demands Retraction From Karl Rove

-By Sam Stein

June 21, 2012- The Obama campaign's top lawyer fired off a letter to Karl Rove Thursday, demanding a retraction of a "mystifying" comment Rove made and raising questions about his upcoming appearance at a Mitt Romney campaign event.

The letter is the second that Bob Bauer has sent to Rove this week. The first argued that Rove could no longer insist that his advocacy group, Crossroads GPS, was policy oriented — a distinction that allowed it to shield the names of its donors. The follow-up letter, obtained by The Huffington Post, makes that same point, arguing that there is no "social welfare" component to the group's operations.

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New York Times: When ALEC Takes Over Your Town

-By Joe Nocera

June 18, 2012- The Rhode Island State Legislature finally adjourned its 2012 session around 3:30 a.m. on Wednesday morning. It had been a brutal last few days.

In May, the State Senate had approved a supplemental property tax increase of 13.8 percent, to be imposed on the residents of Woonsocket, a struggling city with a $10 million deficit. But when the bill moved to the House of Representatives, two conservative Woonsocket representatives refused to go along, and no amount of late-night negotiating could change their minds. Everyone finally gave up and went home.

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