All posts by CJ

Judicial Watch Sues State of California over Voter Registration System | Dec 15 2017

They sued for Clinton’s emails. Now they want information on California voters

|| LA Times

“California’s top elections officer and 11 county registrars have been asked to hand over detailed voter registration records or face a federal lawsuit, a request that centers on new accusations that the records are inaccurate.

The effort by the conservative-leaning organization Judicial Watch seeks an explanation for what its attorneys contend are official records that don’t match the group’s estimates of the legally eligible voting population in the counties, including Los Angeles County.”

We want the actual data,” said Robert Popper, an attorney for the Washington, D.C.-based organization.

The effort was sharply criticized Tuesday by California Secretary of State Alex Padilla, who said he has yet to make a final decision on how to respond.

“It’s bad math and dubious methodology,” Padilla said of the accusations.

Judicial Watch has recently attracted attention for its aggressive effort to gather emails from Hillary Clinton’s time as U.S. secretary of State, as well as documents related to the 2012 attack on the American embassy in Benghazi, Libya.

The latest effort seeks information about two separate lists of registered voters. Like other states, California elections officials maintain both an “active” and “inactive” list of voters. In a letter sent to Padilla last week, the group charged California officials don’t have “an accurate record of eligible voters.”

The exact size of the alleged errors is unclear. Judicial Watch declined a request from the Los Angeles Times to provide the full details of its voter registration analysis.

“We may be in litigation shortly,” Popper said when asked why the information won’t be shared.

Those details, however, are at the heart of the complaint. Judicial Watch alleges that adding together the active and inactive voter lists in the 11 counties produces a total number of voters significantly larger than the estimate of voting-age citizens calculated by the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey. The organization used the ACS five-year average for its baseline of eligible voters.

The letter to Padilla claims that combined registration in the counties — Imperial, Lassen, Los Angeles, Monterey, San Diego, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Cruz, Solano, Stanislaus and Yolo — exceeds 100% of the eligible voting population. Popper said his group believes it’s important to include both active and inactive voters in the tally — because inactive voters can show up and cast ballots.

“There are a lot of different ways that a system can be abused,” he said. “When you get a really big inactive list, like they have in California, it’s a sign that things aren’t going well.”

Dean Logan, the registrar of voters for Los Angeles County, countered that the two lists are quite different. He said the inactive voter list is more like “a fail-safe to make sure that people are not administratively disenfranchised.”

Even then, elections officials argue the lists shouldn’t be compared with ACS data, which are compiled with caveats about population accuracy.

“Voter registration is not a survey,” Gail Pellerin, registrar of voters in Santa Cruz County, said in questioning Judicial Watch’s methodology. “We deal in real facts.”

Pellerin said Santa Cruz County has 44,172 names on its inactive list, and only 12 of them came forward to cast ballots last November. A voter on an inactive file who moves to a new residence must cast a provisional ballot — which isn’t counted until elections officials confirm the person’s eligibility. In her county, Pellerin requires voters who are on the inactive list due to not voting to recite their entire address and sign new registration forms under penalty of perjury.

“We want our voter file to be as accurate as possible,” she said.

Rules governing the list of inactive voters in each of California’s 58 counties are dictated by both state and federal election law. Elections officials aren’t easily able to discard the registration of voters who stop casting ballots. Last year, a long-awaited statewide voter registration database went online that allows counties to quickly maintain records that can track the movement or death of voters.

The Judicial Watch allegations come on the heels of intense debate over President Trump’s unproven claims of massive 2016 voter fraud in California and other states. Those comments led to the creation of a presidential commission on voter fraud, whose leaders have asked for similar details — names, addresses and birth dates — regarding California voters as the new legal complaint.

Padilla, who has twice refused to give the information to the presidential panel, said he doesn’t believe the new allegations are a coincidence.

“To me, it’s clearly part of a concerted effort, a continued attack on voting rights and setting the stage for the Trump administration to roll back voting rights,” he said.

Judicial Watch’s letter warned a federal lawsuit is possible if active and inactive voter data aren’t turned over next week. Padilla said he hasn’t yet decided how, or when, to respond to the request.”

…..Continue reading more @ LA Times

 

Evidence of Conspiracy by the FBI in Trump Affair | Dec 14 2017

Smoking Gun Text? Strzok: ‘We Have to Do Something About’ Possible Trump Win

|| PJ Media

“The anti-Trump text messages between Peter Strzok — the recently demoted FBI agent on Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team — and his alleged mistress Lisa Page are worse than anyone imagined, as PJ Media reported here and here. But one of those texts stands out among the others.

The Justice Department provided the House and Senate Judiciary Committees with the text messages late Tuesday night. Republicans on the Judiciary Committee then questioned Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein about them during the committee’s oversight hearing on Mueller’s investigation into Russia’s influence in the 2016 U.S. election.

Out of all the damning, politically charged anti-Trump text messages released, one text from Strzok to Page on August 15, 2016, raised the most suspicion. It referred to a conversation and a meeting that had just taken place in “Andy’s” (widely believed to be Deputy FBI Dir. Andrew McCabe’s) office. According to Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), Strzok had texted this: “I want to believe the path you threw out for consideration in Andy’s office [break] … that there’s no way he gets elected. I want to believe that. … But I’m afraid we can’t take that risk. … We have to do something about it.”

In another text, Page said: “maybe you’re meant to stay where you are because you’re meant to protect the country from that menace.” Strzok replied: “I can protect our country at many levels, not sure if that helps.”

“This goes to intent,” Jordan said. “We can’t take the risk that the people of this great country might elect Donald Trump. We can’t take this risk. This is Peter Strzok, head of counterintelligence at the FBI. This is Peter Strzok, who I think had a hand in that dossier that was all dressed up and taken to the FISA court. He’s saying, ‘we can’t take the risk, we have to do something about it.'”

Jordan contended that the timeline was an important factor here.

“Peter Strzok, January 10 — he’s the guy who changes the exoneration letter from ‘gross negligence’ (criminal standard) to ‘extreme carelessness,'” Jordan said. “July 2nd, he’s the guy who sits in on the Clinton interview. July 5, 2016, that’s when Comey … says ‘we’re not going to prosecute, Clinton’s okay” … and then August 2016, we have this text message. The same month that the Russian investigation is opened at the FBI. … And my guess is that’s the same month that the application was taken to the FISA court … to spy on Americans using this dossier that the Clinton campaign paid for, Democrats paid for. Fake news, all dressed up, taken to the court.”

….Continue reading more @ PJ Media

Homeless ‘Illegal Cooking’ Caused Skirball Fire in Bel Air | Dec 12 2017

Cause of Skirball fire was ‘illegal cooking’ in homeless camp, LAFD says

|| LA Daily News

“An illegal cooking fire at a homeless encampment was determined to be the cause of the Skirball fire, which began last week, authorities said Tuesday.

The illegal cooking occurred just before 5 a.m. Dec. 6 in a brush area adjacent to where Sepulveda Boulevard crosses under the 405 Freeway, the Los Angeles Fire Department said.

The LAFD’s Arson-County-Terrorism Section investigated the fire and the results were released via email Tuesday afternoon.

“At the time of the LAFD’s arrival there were no individuals present at the area of origin,” LAFD spokesman Peter Sanders said in the release.

No arrests have been made in connection to the blaze.

The Skirball fire has burned 422 acres, destroyed six homes and damaged 12 others in the Bel-Air community.

The fire is 85 percent contained with 69 fire personnel remaining on scene to achieve 100 percent containment, fire officials said.

According to the National Park Service, about 90 percent of wildfires nationwide are human-caused.”

…..Continue reading more @ Daily News

Muslim Terror Strikes New York City Again | Dec 12 2017

Trump’s Desired Immigration Reforms Could Have Stopped Last Two Terror Attacks

|| Daily Caller

“The Diversity Visa Lottery, a program President Trump wants to end, is at the heart of two recent terrorist attacks in New York City.

The alleged perpetrator of an October truck attack immigrated to the U.S. from Uzbekistan via the visa lottery program.

The alleged bomber at a subway station near Times Square Monday received a visa from Bangladesh due to a relative who came to the U.S. through the visa lottery.

Both attacks were reportedly done in the name of the Islamic State. The October attack allegedly committed by Sayfullo Saipov left eight killed and Monday’s attack allegedly by Akayed Ullah, left four, including Ullah, injured.

Meet the Staff at Atelier Crenn

How Dominique Crenn’s team has grown — and how they’ve helped her grow, too.

“VISA LOTTERY STRIKES AGAIN,” a White House official told The Daily Caller in an email Monday highlighting how Ullah entered the U.S.

Ullah is a Bangladesh citizen that immigrated to the U.S. in 2011 due to extended family chain migration, a program Trump also wants to eliminate.

“The chain was initiated by the suspect’s relative who became a U.S. Citizen after entering the country via a visa lottery program,” Tyler Houlton, a Department of Homeland Security spokesman, wrote on Twitter.

In a statement following Monday’s attack, Trump placed the focus on America’s immigration policies.

“The terrible harm that this flawed system inflicts on America’s security and economy has long been clear,” Trump said. “I am determined to improve our immigration system to put our country and our people first.”

Three additional terrorists have also entered the U.S. through the Diversity Visa Lottery program, which was established in 1990. It gives 50,000 permanent residence visas (green cards) to foreigners from nations without a large amount of immigration to the U.S.”

The White House released statistics in November that showed nearly 30,000 foreigners from state sponsors of terror have won the Diversity Visa Lottery since 2007.

Congressional Republicans are looking to tackle immigration reform in 2018. A bill introduced last week by Senate Republicans would reduce chain migration, but it doesn’t end the Diversity Visa Lottery.”

….Continue reading more @ Daily Caller

 

Becerra Tried To Block Server Admin Over Red Flags, But Logins Continued, With Muted Reaction

|| Daily Caller

CA Atty Gen Becerra May have spied on fellow Dems while allowing info to leak to Pakistani Spies

“Xavier Becerra, the chairman of the House Democratic Caucus, barely reacted when he learned the caucus server had been infiltrated in 2016, although he loudly decried the hack of the Democratic National Committee that happened around that same time. No one has faced punishment for the caucus server infiltration.

The then-congressman, who is now California’s attorney general, refused to articulate even the barest details of the cyber breach at a press conference Wednesday, and would not say whether he’s seeking criminal charges against longtime IT aide Imran Awan and his family.

Members of the Awan family logged on to the Caucus server 7,000 times without authorization between October 2015 and August 2016, according to a House investigation. The logins suggested “the server is being used for nefarious purposes and elevated the risk that individuals could be reading and/or removed information,” it said.

Multiple sources said Sean McCluskie, who was Becerra’s chief of staff and is now chief deputy attorney general of California, knew of problems well before law enforcement was brought on board in October 2016.

Imran’s brother Abid Awan had no connection to either the caucus or Becerra’s congressional office and had no authorization or reason to log in, but he was doing so anyway, according to investigators. Becerra had paid Imran to manage his personal office server since 2004, adding in his wife Hina Alvi as a second IT aide in 2013. Hina Alvi was also the sole IT aide on the payroll of the caucus, which has its own staff and equipment. Other aides had no connection or authorization to access it.

McCluskie suspected Abid and quietly tried to address the issue by quietly blocking him. Abid defied him and continued to access the server, which should have raised urgent red flags, the sources said.

“The Caucus Chief of Staff requested one of the shared employees to not provide IT services or access their computers,” but “this shared employee continued,” the House report found. The logins continued for months, and eventually, police said the entire server with evidence on it disappeared and was replaced with a different one.

The Daily Caller News Foundation asked Becerra about the incident and his response to it on Wednesday.

“Go back and research your facts, you’ve got them wrong. I understand that this matter is still under investigation, and we have cooperated with the authorities both within Congress and with the federal government on this,” Becerra said. He refused four times to say what facts he was contesting or to elaborate on the incident in any way.

His reaction is odd given Democrats’ vocal abhorrence of the breach of the DNC resulting in the publication of its emails by Wikileaks, which Democrats have called an “assault on our democracy.” Early signs of that breach were treated casually by the DNC when first detected: A tech manager said he was too busy with other matters to chase down leads, the FBI’s calls weren’t returned, the DNC delayed a response to focus on the primaries, and Donna Brazile said when DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz finally relayed the news of the breach to officers weeks later, her tone was “casual.”

But even after the Wikileaks publication of DNC emails, Becerra never publicly acknowledged nor demanded consequences for the cyber breach on the server of a group similar in nature to the DNC.

Eighteen months later, no one has been charged or disciplined for the breach, which is perhaps not surprising since the victims don’t appear to be asking for it.

The Awan family was logging in to Becerra’s Caucus server with 17 different accounts belonging to offices whose data should have had no connection to the caucus, according to the House investigative report. The patterns were consistent with data being funneled onto Becerra’s server from other members of Congress, but members said Becerra never alerted them of any aberrations.

When TheDCNF broke the story about the caucus server in September, neither a Becerra representative nor McCluskie acknowledged the breach occurred. A spokesman finally told Fox News a month later that “since he was first approached by the authorities, AG Becerra has worked with them to provide them the information requested.”

Along with Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Rep. Gregory Meeks of New York, Becerra was Awan’s most consistent and earliest backer. He hired him in 2004, and between his personal office and the caucus that he controlled, paid the Awan family more money than any other member, payroll data shows.

This means examining Awan’s activities in 2016 could have created problems for Becerra and raised questions about more than a decade of potentially-compromised data as well as his judgment for not acting on warning signs. After 2004, Imran’s entire family — and a friend whose most recent job experience was at McDonald’s –eventually joined the House payroll. The staffers were mostly paid chief-of-staff level salaries, and newly-elected members said other lawmakers encouraged them to put the on their payroll by other lawmakers.

A senior Republican official with direct knowledge of the probe told TheDCNF “they [the Awans] had access to all the data including all emails. Imran Awan is the walking example of an insider threat, a criminal actor who had access to everything.”

“They were using the House Democratic Caucus as their central service warehouse … It was a breach. The data was completely out of [the members’] possession. Does it mean it was sold to the Russians? I don’t know,” the official said.

On Jan. 24, 2017, Becerra vacated his congressional seat to become California’s attorney general and hoped to clear his data. “We asked for an image of the server, and [the Awans] deliberately turned over a fake server,” the senior official said.

It was only then that the Awans were banned from the network. Since that time, Democrats have claimed they have never been informed of any breach, and those who did know — including Becerra — have gone to lengths to avoid discussing it or even defended the Awans. Wasserman Schultz suggested Islamophobia fueled criticism of the Awans’ alleged behavior. IT colleagues said they have long sensed something untoward in members’ relationship with the Awans, and even suspected that the Awans might be blackmailing members with their own emails.

Investigators also suspected the Awans of falsifying invoices for computer equipment in the House, and their attorneys said members of Congress or their staffs told them to fudge the records.”

….Continue reading more @ Daily Caller

CA Congressman Ted Lieu Caught Lying Again | Dec 11 2017

Democrat Ted Lieu Repeats CNN‘s Debunked Wikileaks Claim, Deletes Widely-Shared Tweet After Being Called Out

|| Law & Crime

“Representative Ted Lieu (D-CA) tweeted out baseless accusations against President Donald Trump and Wikileaks before deleting the accusatory tweet after being publicly shamed for it.

He also accused Wikileaks, Trump and Donald Trump Jr. of collusion. On December 8, at 5:49 a.m., Lieu wrote:

Trump’s own CIA Director stated Wikileaks acts like a “hostile intelligence service.” Russia used Wikileaks against democracies. Now we know @POTUS & Donald Trump Jr. & others in Trump campaign were given access to hacked documents on Wikileaks. Sure looks like collusion.

Lieu’s tweet also contained a link to the now-discredited CNN report.

As noted by journalist Glenn Greenwald, Lieu’s tweet was ultimately shared in excess of 7,000 times and liked more than twice that number. Perhaps in response to being called out by Greenwald, Lieu eventually deleted his tweet–quietly and without admitting his error.

In that now-debunked story, CNNoriginally claimed an email was sent to President Trump and his eldest son regarding certain Wikileaks releases on September 4–ten days before the releases were publicly available.

In truth, the email in question was sent to Trump and his son on September 14–one day after Wikileaks published the DNC emails and began promoting them online. A report issued by the Washington Post hours after CNN published their false story provided the actual email–which was curiously missing from CNN‘s original reporting.

That same email, written by one Michael J. Erickson, also referenced other publicly-accessible emails of Colin Powell‘s available at DCLeaks.com.

CNN initially claimed their now-discredited story was a massive bombshell regarding Trump and Wikileaks.

The thrust of their initial reporting and promotion of the now-retracted story was that the media network had discovered physical evidence of an apparently nefarious relationship between the Trump campaign and Wikileaks.

Those claims–the entire basis of CNN‘s story–were ultimately shown to be false.

Law&Crime reached out to Lieu’s office for comment, but no response was forthcoming at the time of publication.”

…Continue reading more @ Law & Crime

Anaheim Hills Arsonist Caught in the Act in Brushy Area | Dec 09 2017

Arson Suspect Detained After Being Chased Down by Witnesses in Anaheim Hills Area

|| KTLA

“A man suspected of trying to set multiple vegetation fires in the Anaheim Hills area Friday was detained after two witnesses chased him down, police said.

Authorities responded after receiving reports that a male subject dressed all in black was setting fires in an area near the Festival Center, Anaheim Fire and Rescue tweeted shortly before 6 p.m.

The man managed to spark one blaze before being detained by two witnesses who ran after him and held him at the scene until police arrived, authorities said.

An off-duty lieutenant was having dinner with his family when he spotted someone setting a fire in the brush near Santa Ana Canyon Road and Festival Drive, according to police.  He called 911.

Another person who was staying at a nearby hotel also saw flames. Scott Nelson watched as authorities set up a perimeter to search for the arsonist.

He was told by a fire commander that authorities were looking for the perpetrator.

While crews were busy putting out the fire, Nelson spotted someone who looked suspicious. Nelson said he has trouble walking, but nevertheless he went after the person.

“Even though I suffer from MS, you know, you got to stop somebody like that,” Nelson told KTLA. “Then I passed a gentleman, said, ‘Hey, there’s an arsonist, I need help.'”

 Josh Vietti, a resident of Ventura who was staying in the area because the Thomas Fire is burning in his community, said he had heard rustling prior to being approached by Nelson.

Together, the two men followed the suspect about a half-mile and cornered him until police arrived and took him into custody, Vietti told KTLA.  

Authorities thanked the two witnesses for helping to detain the suspect, and said things could have been pretty bad if the alleged arsonist had ignited a blaze.

“This area is very thick underbrush … historically if we have fires in those areas we have hundreds of homes and thousands of residents who would be at risk,” Anaheim Police Department Sgt. Daron Wyatt said.

 Authorities searched the area but did not find anyone else and believe they have the sole suspect in custody. He has not been arrested yet.”

….Continue reading more @ KTLA

 

The Latest: California governor: Fires are ‘new normal’

|| San Jose Mercury News

“California Gov. Jerry Brown says deadly and destructive wildfires in winter are “the new normal.”

Brown on Saturday toured Ventura County neighborhoods ravaged by a weeklong wildfire that killed at least one person and destroyed hundreds of homes and other buildings.

At a news conference, Brown said drought and climate change mean California faces a “new reality” where lives and property are continually threatened by fire, at a cost of billions of dollars.

He added that gusty winds and low humidity are continuing and warned that there’s a good chance of seeing “firefighting at Christmas.”

He said it will take “heroic” efforts in the U.S. and abroad to stem climate change and urged U.S. lawmakers to pay more attention to dealing with natural disasters such as fires, floods and earthquakes.

Authorities say they’ve counted some 800 homes and other buildings destroyed by wildfires ravaging Southern California for the past week.

Six fires driven by gusty Santa Ana winds have torched neighborhoods and rural communities from Ventura County north of Los Angeles all the way south to San Diego County.

One person died in a car crash Wednesday trying to escape the largest fire in Ventura County.

Gov. Jerry Brown toured the devastated neighborhoods on Saturday.

The fire also is burning toward a sanctuary for the endangered California condors in Los Padres National Forest.”

….Continue reading more @ Mercury News

Dir of U.S. Forest Fire Managment Says SoCal Fires ‘Human Caused’ | Dec 08 2017

Firefighter Says California Fires Are ‘Human Caused,’ Then Backs Off

|| Daily Caller

“The raging California wildfires were started by humans, Robert Baird, the Director of Fire and Aviation Management for the U.S. Forest Service, said on Fox News Friday.

“When you have human caused fires which these all are, they’re not related to lighting or anything, then the wind whips up the fires and makes them very difficult to contain, and that causes a challenge for us on the ground,” Baird said during an interview on “America’s Newsroom.”

Baird then back pedaled his answer.

Host Bill Hemmer asked Baird for clarification on whether the fires were started intentionally.

“However they were started, accidentally is often the situation, but that’s being dealt with by law enforcement,” Baird said.

“I’m focused on getting containment,” he added. “We are focused on life and safety and protection of the public. Law enforcement is coming in to determine what the cause and origin of these fires were.”

….Continue reading more @ DailyCaller

 

Fireworks, arson fires set in Isla Vista during red-flag conditions

|| ABC TV

“Amid severe fire warnings throughout Southern California, commercial-grade fireworks were set off in Isla Vista and four items were set on fire during an impromptu gathering, Santa Barbara County officials said.

The southern part of Santa Barbara County was hit with a power outage for several hours Monday night as the Thomas Fire raged in Ventura County. During that time, someone began setting off commercial grade fireworks in the beachside community, described as both mortar style and cinder cones.

Some were set off over the ocean and others at intersections in residential areas.

The fireworks attracted thousands of college students and local residents, who began to congregate on Del Playa Drive. As they gathered, some individuals set a number of items on fire, including two couches, a chair and a dumpster, and in at least one instance used gasoline as an accelerant.

Isla Vista is known to be home to many students of the University of California, Santa Barbara as well as Santa Barbara City College. Individuals involved in setting off the fireworks and fires have not been identified.

County authorities said the incident required a diversion of resources as they were being kept busy with the Thomas Fire and the power outage.

“Fortunately, no one was hurt, but the series of events diverted resources away from other important calls for service,” the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s office said.

“The Sheriff’s Office wants to remind the public that first responders and the Santa Barbara County Public Safety Dispatch Center are extremely busy due to the Thomas Fire in Ventura County and the widespread power outages we have experienced in southern Santa Barbara County. We request your cooperation as we work together to provide safety during this crisis period.”

….Continue reading more @ ABC7.com