Elections News ArticlesExcerpts of Key Elections News Articles in Media
Researchers from the Argonne National Laboratory in Illinois have developed a hack that, for about $26 and an 8th-grade science education, can remotely manipulate the electronic voting machines used by millions of voters all across the U.S. The researchers ... performed their proof-of-concept hack on a Diebold Accuvote TS electronic voting machine, a type of touchscreen Direct Recording Electronic (DRE) voting system that is widely used for government elections. Diebold's voting-machine business is now owned by the Denver-based Dominion Voting Systems, whose e-voting machines are used in about 22 states. Roger Johnston and Jon Warner from Argonne National Laboratory's Vulnerability Assessment Team demonstrate three different ways an attacker could tamper with, and remotely take full control, of the e-voting machine simply by attaching what they call a piece of "alien electronics" into the machine's circuit board. The electronic hacking tool consists of a $1.29 microprocessor and a circuit board that costs about $8. Together with the $15 remote control, which enabled the researchers to modify votes from up to a half-mile away, the whole hack runs about $26.
Note: Why isn't this making news headlines? For more on this critical development, click here. For many other news articles on serious problems with elections, click here.
In an e-mail uncovered and released by the House Judiciary Committee last month, Tim Griffin, once Karl Rove's right-hand man, gloated that "no [U.S.] national press picked up" a BBC Television story reporting that the Rove team had developed an elaborate scheme to challenge the votes of thousands of African Americans in the 2004 election. Griffin wasn't exactly right. The Los Angeles Times did run a follow-up article. But ... most of the major U.S. newspapers and the vast majority of television news programs ignored the story even though it came at a critical moment just weeks before the election. In fact, not one U.S. newsperson even bothered to ask me or the BBC for the data and research we had painstakingly done. The truth is, I knew that a story like this one would never be reported in my own country [the U.S.], because investigative reporting ... is dying. Again and again, I see this pattern repeated. Back in December 2000, I received two computer disks from the office of Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris. Analysis of the data ... indicated that Harris' office had purged thousands of African Americans from Florida's voter rolls as "felons." Florida now admits that many of these voters were not in fact felons. Nevertheless, the blacklisting helped cost Al Gore the White House. I reported on the phony felon purge in Britain's Guardian and Observer and on the BBC while Gore was still in the race, while the count was still on. Yet the story of the Florida purge never appeared in the U.S. daily papers or on television ... until months later, that is, after the Supreme Court had decided the election.
Note: The American-born author of this article, BBC reporter Greg Palast, has repeatedly exposed major corruption in the British media, yet the U.S. press often ignores his well-researched stories. For possibly the most amazing story he wrote which got virtually no U.S. media coverage, click here.
Half of all the money contributed so far to Democratic and Republican presidential candidates - $176 million - has come from just 158 families, along with the companies they own or control. Who are these people? According to the report, most of these big contributors live in exclusive neighborhoods where they have private security guards instead of public police officers, private health facilities rather than public parks and pools. Most send their kids and grand kids to elite private schools rather than public schools. They fly in private jets and get driven in private limousines rather than rely on public transportation. They don't have to worry about whether Social Security or Medicare will be there for them in their retirement because they've put away huge fortunes. It's doubtful that most of these 158 are contributing to these campaigns out of the goodness of their hearts. They're largely making investments, just the way they make other investments. And the success of these investments depends on whether their candidates get elected, and will lower their taxes even further, expand tax loopholes, shred health and safety and environmental regulations so their companies can make even more money, and cut Social Security and Medicare and programs for the poor - and thereby allow these 158 and others like them to secede even more from the rest of our society. These people are, after all, are living in their own separate society. They want to elect people who will represent them, not the rest of us.
Note: This essay was written by former US Secretary of Labor Robert Reich. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing income inequality news articles from reliable major media sources.
It's a perfect storm. I'm talking about the dangers facing our democracy. First, income in America is now more concentrated in fewer hands than it has been in 80 years. Almost a quarter of total income generated in the United States is going to the top 1 percent of Americans. The top one-tenth of 1 percent of Americans now earn as much as the bottom 120 million of us. Who are these people? They're top executives of big corporations and Wall Street, hedge-fund managers and private equity managers. Hundreds of millions of dollars are pouring into advertisements for and against candidates - without a trace of where the dollars are coming from. They're laundered through a handful of groups. Most Americans are in trouble. Their jobs, incomes, savings and even homes are on the line. They need a government that's working for them, not for the privileged and the powerful. Yet their state and local taxes are rising. And their services are being cut. There's no jobs bill to speak of. Washington says nothing can be done. There's no money left. No money? The marginal income tax rate on the very rich is the lowest it has been in more than 80 years. Under President Dwight Eisenhower ... it was 91 percent. Now it's 36 percent. We're losing our democracy to a different system. It's called plutocracy.
Note: Whether you are on the left or right of the political spectrum, this incisive article by former US Sect. of Labor Robert Reich is well worth reading in its entirety. For more in income inequality, click here.
To determine what it would take to hack a U.S. election, a team of cybersecurity experts turned to a fictional battleground state called Pennasota. The state uses electronic voting machines. The experts...concluded in a report issued yesterday that it would take only one person, with a sophisticated technical knowledge and timely access to the software that runs the voting machines, to change the outcome. The report, which was unveiled at a Capitol Hill news conference by New York University's Brennan Center for Justice and billed as the most authoritative to date, tackles some of the most contentious questions about the security of electronic voting. The report concluded that the three major electronic voting systems in use have significant security and reliability vulnerabilities. But it added that most of these vulnerabilities can be overcome by auditing printed voting records to spot irregularities. And while 26 states require paper records of votes, fewer than half of those require regular audits. Republican Reps. Tom Cole (Okla.) and Thomas M. Davis III (Va.), chairman of the House Government Reform Committee, joined Rep. Rush D. Holt (D-N.J.) in calling for a law that would set strict requirements for electronic voting machines.
Charlie Matulka, who lost to Senator Chuck Hagel of Nebraska [in 2002], does not trust the results in his election. Most of the votes were cast on paper ballots that were scanned into computerized vote-counting machines, which happen to have been manufactured by a company Mr. Hagel used to run. Mr. Matulka, suspicious of Senator Hagel's ties to the voting machine company, demanded a hand recount of the paper ballots. Nebraska law did not allow it, he was informed. In his primary race in 1996, Mr. Hagel, who had lived in Virginia for 20 years, beat the state attorney general by nearly two to one. In the general election, he defeated the governor, who had been elected two years earlier in a landslide. In 2002, against Mr. Matulka, he won more than 80 percent of the vote. What gets conspiracy theorists excited is not just Mr. Hagel's prodigious wins, but his job before jumping into the 1996 race: heading American Information Systems, the manufacturer of the machines that count 85 percent of Nebraska's votes. Rob Behler ... who helped prepare Georgia's machines for the 2002 election, says secret computer codes were installed late in the process. Votes ''could have been manipulated,'' he says, and the election thrown. Modern technology is creating a whole new generation of conspiracy theories -- easy to imagine and, unless we're careful, impossible to disprove. Among the growing ranks of electronic-voting skeptics ... Mr. Hagel's wins in 1996 and 2002 have taken on mythic status. The problem is, there is no way to prove the right man was elected. A healthy democracy must avoid even the appearance of corruption. [The] Nebraska elections fail this test.
This week, I was hacking my way through the Florida swampland known as the Office of Secretary of State Katherine Harris and found a couple thousand more names of voters electronically 'disappeared' from the vote rolls. About half of those named are African-Americans. They had the right to vote, but they never made it to the balloting booths. When we left off our Florida story two weeks ago, The Observer discovered that Harris's office had ordered the elimination of 8,000 Florida voters on the grounds that they had committed felonies in other states. None had. Harris bought the bum list from a company called ChoicePoint, a firm whose Atlanta executive suite and boardroom are filled with Republican funders. ChoicePoint, we have learned, picked up the list of faux felons from state officials in ... Texas. In fact, it was a roster of people who, like their Governor, George W, had committed nothing more than misdemeanours. Most of those targeted to have their names 'scrubbed' from the voter roles were African-Americans, Hispanics and poor white folk, likely voters for Vice-President Gore. Add it up. The dead-wrong Texas list, the uncorrected 'corrected' list, plus the out-of-state ex-con list. It's enough to swing a presidential election.
Note: The entire article at the above link is highly recommended. It provides virtual proof of criminal fraud. For lots more on blatant deception in the decisive Florida count of the U.S. 2000 presidential election, click here.
I Googled “mainstream media is…” And there it was. Google’s autocomplete suggestions: “mainstream media is… dead, dying, fake news, fake, finished”. Google’s first suggested link ... leads to a website called CNSnews.com and an article: “The Mainstream media are dead.” How had it, an obscure site I’d never heard of, dominated Google’s search algorithm on the topic? In the “About us” tab, I learn CNSnews is owned by the Media Research Center. It receives a large bulk of its funding – more than $10m in the past decade – from a single source, the hedge fund billionaire Robert Mercer. Robert Mercer is the money behind an awful lot of things. He was Trump’s single biggest donor. Since 2010, Mercer has donated $45m to different political campaigns – all Republican – and another $50m to non-profits – all rightwing, ultra-conservative. This is a billionaire who is ... trying to reshape the world according to his personal beliefs. He is reported to have a $10m stake in the [Cambridge Analytica], which was spun out of a bigger British company called SCL Group. It specialises in “election management strategies” and “messaging and information operations”, refined over 25 years. In military circles this is known as “psyops” – psychological operations. Cambridge Analytica makes the astonishing boast that it has psychological profiles based on 5,000 separate pieces of data on 220 million American voters. With this, a computer ... can predict and potentially control human behaviour. It’s incredibly dangerous.
Could an American election’s outcome be altered by a malicious actor on a computer keyboard? I have had three jobs that, together, taught me at least one thing: If it’s a computer, it can be hacked. I served as the White House senior cybersecurity policy adviser. I served on [President Obama's] five-person post–Edward Snowden investigative group on the National Security Agency, intelligence and technology. And for over a decade I have advised American corporations on cybersecurity. Those experiences confirm my belief that if sophisticated hackers want to get into any computer or electronic device, even one that is not connected to the internet, they can do so. Now consider that a majority of states use some kind of combination of electronic voting and a type of paper trail, but there is no standard nationwide. In most states the data that are used to determine who won an election are processed by networked, computerized devices. There are almost no locations that exclusively use paper ballots. Some states ... employ electronic voting machines that produce no paper trail, therefore there is nothing to count or recount and no way to ensure that what a voter intended is what was recorded and transmitted. If someone makes the charge after this election that the results were altered by hackers, our country has almost no way of credibly refuting that claim. Thus American voters will have no way to know if they can trust the results of the election.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing elections corruption news articles from reliable major media sources. Then explore the excellent, reliable resources provided in our Elections Information Center.
Princeton professor Andrew Appel decided to hack into a voting machine. He bought one online. Appel parted with $82 and became the owner of ...the Sequoia AVC Advantage, one of the oldest and vulnerable, electronic voting machines in the United States. He summoned a graduate student named Alex Halderman, who could pick the machine’s lock in seven seconds. Clutching a screwdriver, [Appel then] deftly wedged out the four ROM chips - they weren’t soldered into the circuit board, as sense might dictate - making it simple to replace them with one of his own: A version of modified firmware that could throw off the machine’s results, subtly altering the tally of votes, never to betray a hint to the voter. The attack was concluded in minutes. Elections could be vulnerable at myriad strike points, among them the software that aggregates the precinct vote totals, and the voter registration rolls that are increasingly digitized. But the threat, the cyber experts say, starts with the machines that tally the votes and crucially keep a record of them - or, in some cases, don't. It’s not just the voting machines themselves - it’s the desktop and laptop computers that election officials use. And the computers that aggregate the results together from all of the optical scans. If any of those get hacked, it could could significantly disrupt the election. Hackers this year have [already] targeted voter registration rolls in Illinois and possibly Arizona, another attack highlighted by the Princeton alums.
Note: For the text of the video at the above link and more, see this webpage. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing elections corruption news articles from reliable major media sources. Then explore the excellent, reliable resources provided in our Elections Information Center.
Russia was behind the hacks into the Democratic National Committee’s computer network that led to the release of thousands of internal emails just before the party’s convention began, U.S. intelligence agencies have reportedly concluded. The FBI is investigating. WikiLeaks promises there is more data to come. The political nature of this cyberattack means that Democrats and Republicans are trying to spin this as much as possible. Even so, we have to accept that someone is attacking our nation’s computer systems in an apparent attempt to influence a presidential election. This kind of cyberattack targets the very core of our democratic process. And it points to the possibility of an even worse problem in November. Over the years, more and more states have moved to electronic voting machines and have flirted with Internet voting. These systems are insecure and vulnerable to attack. But while computer security experts ... have sounded the alarm for many years, states have largely ignored the threat, and the machine manufacturers have thrown up enough obfuscating babble that election officials are largely mollified. Government interference with foreign elections isn’t new, and in fact, that’s something the United States itself has repeatedly done in recent history. But what is new is a foreign government interfering with a U.S. national election on a large scale. Our democracy cannot tolerate it, and we as citizens cannot accept it.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing elections corruption news articles from reliable major media sources. Then explore the excellent, reliable resources provided in our Elections Information Center.
At around 11:25 pm EST on election night, Karl Rove knew something had gone terribly wrong. Minutes earlier, Fox News called the key battleground state of Ohio for President Obama, sealing his re-election. But as the network took live shots of jubilant Obama supporters camped outside the Obama re-election headquarters in Chicago celebrating their victory, Karl Rove began building a case against the call his employer network had just made. Rove explained that when Fox called Ohio, only 74% of the vote was in, showing President Obama with a lead of roughly 30,000 votes. But, as Rove contended, with 77% reporting according to the Ohio Secretary of State office, the President’s lead had been slashed to just 991 votes. “We gotta be careful about calling the thing,” Rove said. Rove was supremely confident that the numbers coming in from Ohio throughout the night that favored President Obama weren’t indicative of who would win Ohio when all the votes were ultimately tabulated by the state's computers. With a quarter of the vote still out there, Rove was anticipating a shift to the Right just after 11 pm, which, coincidentally, is exactly what happened in 2004. So the question is: on election night this year, when Karl Rove was protesting the call his network had just made in Ohio, was Rove anticipating a wave of unpredicted vote totals to swing the election back to Mitt Romney after a statewide server crash, just as had happened in 2004? Just two days after Election Day ... Anonymous released a press statement claiming it did indeed prevent an attempt by Rove to steal the election for Mitt Romney.
Note: We don't normally use Truthout as a source, but as no major media sources have yet covered this most important news, we are including it here. We have independent, reliable sources confirming that it is very likely that Rove tried to swing this election, as he did in 2004, but was stymied by an anonymous group. For another inspiring article describing how Karl Rove may have been stopped from manipulating the US elections, click here. And for a well researched articled suggesting that it was not Anonymous who stopped Karl Rove, but another group called "the protectors," click here.
Rapid advances in the development of cyberweapons and malicious software mean that electronic-voting machines used in the 2012 election could be hacked, potentially tipping the presidential election or a number of other races. [A University of Pennsylvania] study concluded "virtually every important software security mechanism is vulnerable." Most at risk are paperless e-voting machines, which don’t print out any record of votes. Four swing states – Pennsylvania, Virginia, Colorado, and Florida – rely to varying degrees on paperless machines. Alex Halderman, a researcher at the University of Michigan, and a colleague at Princeton University hacked into a paperless touch-screen voting machine in 2010 and installed the video game Pac-Man. Similarly, he and Princeton researchers in 2006 demonstrated that if someone could get a few minutes’ unattended access to a paperless machine, that person could install a software virus that could spread to other machines and switch those machines’ votes before deleting all traces of itself. Among the 23 states that use touch-screen Direct-Recording Electronic (DREs) machines ... only California, Indiana, and Ohio were rated excellent in a national report this summer by Verified Voting. For a savvy hacker, the time and access needed to infect a machine is so small that it could be done while in a voting booth. A hacker could in theory use the Internet to target an e-voting machine company, which would then unknowingly infect its own machines when it serviced them. It's impossible to know if newer machines and software are really secure because their source code is largely unavailable for analysis. Voting-equipment makers frequently say their software is a trade secret.
Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on serious problems with the US elections system, click here.
Five Clay County [Kentucky] officials, including the circuit court judge, the county clerk, and election officers were arrested Thursday after they were indicted on federal charges accusing them of using corrupt tactics to obtain political power and personal gain. The 10-count indictment, unsealed Thursday, accused the defendants of a conspiracy from March 2002 until November 2006 that violated the Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO). The defendants were also indicted for extortion, mail fraud, obstruction of justice, conspiracy to injure voters' rights and conspiracy to commit voter fraud. According to the indictment, these alleged criminal actions affected the outcome of federal, local, and state primary and general elections in 2002, 2004, and 2006. Clay County Circuit Court Judge Russell Cletus Maricle, 65, and school superintendent Douglas C. Adams, 57, allegedly used their status in the county to influence the appointment of corrupt members to the Clay County Board of Election Officials. [They also] caused election officers to commit acts of extortion, mail fraud, and bribery. Clay County Clerk, Freddy Thompson, 45, allegedly provided money to election officers to be distributed by the officers to buy votes. He also instructed officers how to change votes at the voting machine. Paul E. Bishop, 60, ... hosted alleged meetings at his home where money was pooled together by candidates and distributed to election officers, including himself. He was also accused of instructing the officers how to change votes at the voting machine. The investigation preceding the indictment was conducted by the FBI, Kentucky State Police, and Appalachia
Note: For some strange reason, the article is no longer available at the link above. To read it on an MSNBC affiliate website, click here. The media have almost always proclaimed that voting maching tampering has never been proven to affect election outcome. This article demonstrates that not only does it happen, but it may be much more prevalent than most would think. For more on this indictment, click here. For more reliable information on widespread election fraud, click here.
As the primaries start in New Hampshire this week and roll on through the next few months, the erratic behavior of voting technology will once again find itself under a microscope. In the last three election cycles, touch-screen machines have become one of the most mysterious and divisive elements in modern electoral politics. In hundreds of instances ... they [have failed] unpredictably, and in extremely strange ways; voters report that their choices “flip” from one candidate to another before their eyes; machines crash or begin to count backward; votes simply vanish. Most famously, in the November 2006 Congressional election in Sarasota, Fla., touch-screen machines recorded an 18,000-person “undervote” for a race decided by fewer than 400 votes. The earliest critiques of digital voting booths came from the fringe — disgruntled citizens and ... computer geeks — but the fears have now risen to the highest levels of government. One by one, states are renouncing the use of touch-screen voting machines. California and Florida decided to get rid of their electronic voting machines last spring, and last month, Colorado decertified about half of its touch-screen devices. Also last month, Jennifer Brunner, the Ohio secretary of state, released a report in the wake of the Cuyahoga crashes arguing that touch-screens “may jeopardize the integrity of the voting process.” She was so worried she is now forcing Cuyahoga to scrap its touch-screen machines and go back to paper-based voting — before the Ohio primary, scheduled for March 4. Michael Shamos, a computer scientist at Carnegie Mellon University who has examined voting-machine systems for more than 25 years, estimates that about 10 percent of the touch-screen machines “fail” in each election.
Note: 10% of the machines fail, yet many still believe the results from previous elections were accurate. For many revealing reports on the serious problems with electronic voting machines, click here.
There is little assurance your vote will count. As we've been reporting almost nightly...for more than a year, electronic voting machines are placing our democracy at risk. These machines time and again have been demonstrated to be extremely vulnerable to tampering and error, and many of them have no voter-verified paper trail. Only 27 states have laws requiring the use of voter-verified paper trails. 15 states [have] no mandated requirements for safeguarding your vote. During the 2004 presidential election, one voting machine...added nearly 3,900 additional votes to Bush's total. Officials caught the machine's error because only 638 voters cast presidential ballots at that precinct, but in a heavily populated district, can we really be sure the votes will be counted correctly? [In] the May primary election in Cuyahoga County, Ohio...the electronic voting machines' four sources of vote totals -- individual ballots, paper trail summary, election archives and memory cards -- didn't even match up. The report concluded that relying on the current system for Cuyahoga County's more than 1.3 million people should be viewed as "a calculated risk." Are we really willing to risk our democracy? A 2005 Government Accountability Office report on electronic voting confirmed the worst fears of watchdog groups and election officials. "There is evidence that some of these concerns have been realized and have caused problems with recent elections, resulting in the loss and miscount of votes." That is simply unacceptable. Congress and the White House need to immediately take steps to assure the integrity of electronic voting with paper trails that could be audited in any recount.
Note: For lots more reliable, verifiable information on the various aspects of the elections cover-up, see http://www.wanttoknow.info/electionsinformation
It's hard to believe that nearly six years after the disasters of Florida in 2000, states still haven't mastered the art of counting votes accurately. The most troubling evidence comes from Ohio...whose electoral votes decided the 2004 presidential election. A recent government report details enormous flaws in the election system in Ohio's biggest county, problems that may not be fixable before the 2008 election. Cuyahoga County, which includes Cleveland...recently adopted Diebold electronic voting machines that produce a voter-verified paper record of every vote cast. Investigators compared the vote totals recorded on the machines after this year's primary with the paper records produced by the machines. The numbers should have been the same, but often there were large and unexplained discrepancies. The report also found that nearly 10 percent of the paper records were destroyed, blank, illegible, or otherwise compromised. Some of these problems may be explored further in a federal lawsuit challenging Ohio's administration of its 2004 election. Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell...has been criticized for many decisions he made on election matters that year. New York's Legislature was shamefully slow in passing the law needed to start adopting new voting machines statewide. Now localities are just starting to evaluate voting machine companies as they scramble to put machines in place in time for the 2007 election. Because of a federal lawsuit, New York has to make the switch a year early.
Note: Why has the media barely mentioned the federal lawsuit challenging Ohio's administration of the 2004 election? This was the state that determined the winner. For more on elections cover-up, click here.
Forbes has seen numerous reports of broken machines causing epic queues and peeving voters. One of the more concerning tales came from New Jersey, where one voter complained not only of machines being broken but claimed an official decided to say "maybe Russians did it". If an official did say those words, whether in seriousness or in jest, it'd have been unwise given fears around Russia's hacking of the election, following the breach of the Democratic National Committee earlier this year. Many took to Twitter to complain about broken machines, including those voting in Michigan, North Carolina, Texas, Columbia and San Francisco. Most complaints have come from New York and Detroit. ProPublica also reported issues across Illinois, Kentucky and Ohio. The Tennessean reported issues ... too. A spokesperson for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) [stated] the department has been offering cybersecurity assistance to state, county and local election agencies, and found vulnerabilities during system scans, though wouldn't disclose their nature or provenance. Voting machines have always been vulnerable, said Matt Bernhard ... an expert on the security of electoral systems. "This year isn't that different, other than I'm expecting higher turnout which may stress the infrastructure more," added Bernhard, who yesterday released a report highlighting how different areas of the U.S. use poorly-protected machines.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing elections news articles from reliable major media sources. Then explore the excellent, reliable resources provided in our Elections Information Center.
The Maine Clean Elections Act, originally passed in 1996 and strengthened in 2015, gives candidates the option to finance campaigns with taxpayer dollars. Candidates who choose to run a publicly financed campaign don’t need to spend time courting wealthy donors - in fact, they’re prohibited from raising private money. Instead, constituents show their support through $5 contributions to the Maine Clean Elections Fund made on behalf of a candidate. But that money doesn’t go to the candidate - instead, it shows support and helps fund the public-financing program. Once candidates have raised the required number of donations, they receive a flat fee from the state, which can vary depending on the office being sought. During [State representative Joyce] McCreight’s first campaign, in 2014, the state gave her nearly $5,000 once she’d collected 60 contributions. She won, and by the end of her first term, she’d helped to write a bill that makes it easy for low-income people without insurance to get reproductive health [services]. The bill passed, and McCreight expects it to save the state $2.5 million a year. McCreight’s story ... was made possible by a network of activists who came together in 1995 to draft and support the Maine Clean Elections Act. The Clean Elections system has given Maine the most economically diverse legislature in the nation. About 14 percent of Maine legislators are working class: waitresses, cashiers, machinists. Only 2 percent of the U.S. Congress comes from similar backgrounds.
Note: Why is the major media not reporting this important and inspiring news? Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.
The pervasive influence of corporate cash in the democratic process, and the extraordinary lengths to which politicians, lobbyists and even judges go to solicit money, are laid bare in sealed court documents leaked to the Guardian. The John Doe files amount to 1,500 pages of largely unseen material gathered in evidence by prosecutors investigating alleged irregularities in political fundraising. Last year the Wisconsin supreme court ordered that all the documents should be destroyed, though a set survived that has now been obtained by the news organisation. The files open a window on a world that is very rarely glimpsed by the public, in which millions of dollars are secretly donated by major corporations and super-wealthy individuals to third-party groups in an attempt to sway elections. Five Wisconsin prosecutors carried out a deep investigation into what they suspected were criminal campaign-finance violations by the campaign committee of Scott Walker, Wisconsin governor. In 2015, Justice Prosser refused to recuse himself from a case in which the state supreme court sat in judgment over the John Doe investigation, despite the fact that the investigation focused on precisely the same network of lobbying groups and donors that had helped him hang onto his seat. The judge joined a majority of four conservative justices who voted to terminate the investigation and destroy all the documents now leaked to the Guardian.
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