Three hurricanes (Irma, Jose and Katia) and one still-unnamed tropical depression are all now spinning in the Atlantic, with the massive, record-breaking Category 5 Irma devastating Caribbean nations, slamming Puerto Rico and still on target for south Florida, where evacuations are being advised. Desi Doyen joins us for the latest. Then, after some good news, for a change, for voters in Illinois and word that Donald Trump's Kris Kobach-led "Election Integrity" Commission is violating federal law by using personal email addresses for public business (Lock them up!), we move to some troubling news for voters in California.
I'm joined by longtime Election Integrity advocate JIM SOPER, just back from lobbying at the California state legislature in Sacramento, against an amendment to an election bill (AB 840), slipped in at the last minute by Dems in the state Senate and supported by Democratic Secretary of State Alex Padilla. Soper, founder of CountedAsCast.org and co-chair of the Voting Rights Task Force, explains how the state Senate's 11th-hour changes to a bill that had already passed in the Assembly, would put some 4 million vote-by-mail and provisional ballots out of reach of the state's already-weak post-election 1% "audit" law.
Soper explains the sleight-of-hand, and what California voters need to do to help prevent it — and quickly — as well as what voters in other states can learn from this mess.
"They snuck this in, hoping we wouldn't notice," he tells me. "We're now in the end-game period in the legislature, where the last votes are being taken. They tried to sneak it in. We got a call last week, and we've just been at it full bore ever since, trying to mount an opposition, saying, 'Wait a minute — you have to subject all the ballots — all of them — to a random spot check.' The (county) Registrars are saying, 'Oh, no we don't, we're just trying to check the scanners and once we've proved with the first batch that they're good — they're good.' No. That's not what the law says."
"Instead of following the law," Soper explains, "they want to re-write the law so they don't have to include 4 million ballots in the spot check." That, he details, creates a very "predictable" road map for defrauding the election system.
Finally, following up on yesterday's show with Salon's Heather Digby Parton, we open the phone to callers today to get their thoughts on what Congressional Democrats should be willing to trade — or willing to threaten — in exchange for passage of a legislative version of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (or DACA) program which Donald Trump cruelly decided to end this week. Some 800,000 "dreamers" are now at risk of being deported by the Trump Administration in six months, to countries that many of them don't even remember, for the "crime" of being brought here as children by their undocumented immigrant parents.
Listeners ring in on that topic today, including one who claims to be an immigrant himself, even while asserting that Trump "solved" the problem with DACA. As you may imagine, lively conversation therewith ensues.
We'd love to get your feedback at email@example.com