The Secret Lists that Swiped the Senate

By Greg Palast

Statistics guru Nate Silver simply can’t understand why every single legitimate poll indicated that Democrats should have gotten 4% more votes in the midterm elections than appeared in the final count.

The answer, Nate, is “Crosscheck.”No question, Republicans trounced Democrats in the Midterm elections.  But, if not for the boost of this voter-roll purge system used in 23 Republican-controlled states, the GOP could not have taken the US Senate.
It took the Palast investigations team six months to get our hands on the raw files, fighting against every official trick to keep them hidden.

Here’s what we found.

Interstate Crosscheck is computer system that officials claim can identify anyone who commits the crime of voting twice in the same election in two different states.  While the current list of seven million “suspects” did not yield a single conviction for double voting, Crosscheck did provide the grounds for removing the registrations of tens of thousands of voters in battleground states.

The purge proved decisive in North Carolina, Colorado, Kansas and elsewhere.  Without Crosscheck, the GOP could not have taken control of the US Senate.  [Read my original investigative report.]

Nate Silver might want to punch these numbers into his laptop:

  • In North Carolina, Republican Thom Tillis upset incumbent Senator Kay Hagan by just 48,511 votes.  North Carolina’s Crosscheck purge list targeted a stunning 589,393 voters.
  • In Colorado, Cory Gardner, the Republican, defeated Mark Udall by just 49,729 votes.  Colorado’s Crosscheck “potential double voter” list totals 300,842.

The Crosscheck purge list also swamped GOP Senate margins in Alaska and Georgia and likely provided the victory margins for GOP gubernatorial victories in Kansas and Massachusetts.

No, states do not purge every name on the lists.  Typical is Virginia which proudly purged 64,581 “duplicates” from its voter rolls in 2013, equal to about 19% of its Crosscheck list.  Other states refuse to provide numbers, but their scrub methods are the same, or even more aggressive, than Virginia’s.

We can conservatively calculate that the purge of 19% of the Crosscheck lists accounted for at least three GOP Senate victories – and thereby, control of the Senate.

If the Crosscheck lists truly identified fraudulent double voters, then we’d have to concede that the election results are legit.  But the ugly truth is, the lists are nothing more than racially-loaded lists of common names.Click to Enlarge

And that’s why GOP Secretaries of State, a gaggle of Katherine Harrises, hid the lists until (Show me more...)

Dispatch from Battleground
North Carolina

By Greg Palast

Jim Crow has risen from the crypt of Segregation.  But now he’s working as Dr. James Crow, database expert.  Read Greg Palast’s Election Day dispatch from Dixie, for Al Jazeera.

[Greensboro, NC]  Here in Greensboro, Reverend Barber recites local history. It was in this small southern town that, in 1960, the beating of students conducting a sit-in at the local Woolworth’s  launched the wave of non-violent protests that became the Civil Rights Movement. The state has made it an official tourist destination.

Rev. Barber’s rally also marks the 35th anniversary of the killing of five protesters by the remnants of the Ku Klux Klan, an event without a tourist marker. “We’ve been through too much to go backwards!" his is deep voice rising with the gospel sound of Sam Cooke’s “A Change is Gonna Come.”

Greensboro is the residence of an astonishing 3,735 voters who supposedly cast ballots in the presidential election illegally in both North Carolina and Virginia. Or, at least, that is how they are listed in the Interstate Crosscheck files.

Read today’s complete report for Al Jazeera, Voting-Rights Groups Challenge Electoral Purges, about the swift (Show me more...)

Look up your Name
on the Crosscheck Voter Purge-List

By Greg Palast

My investigative report, JIM CROW RETURNS: Millions of Minority Voters Threatened by Electoral Purge, is the most-read story ever on Al Jazeera America’s website.

If you haven’t read it yet – the results of a six-month intensive investigation – read it now.

On Oct 29 & 30, Al Jazeera America aired Palast's TV 2-Part report on this new voter purge.

The Palast team has ripped the lid off “Interstate Crosscheck” – a system used by 27 states, almost all under Republican control, which claims to find illegal “double voters,” those who vote in the same election in two different states.

It took us months, but we got our hands on 2.1 million of the names of the so-called “double voters” accused by Crosscheck.

Are YOU a criminal double voter?(Apparently, Michael Moore voted 176 times!)

What we found is that Crosscheck is simply a list of common first and last names.  And the list is a sloppy, absurd mess. Over a million and half of these alleged double voters have mis-matched (Show me more...)

GOP-led Purge Threat to 3.5 Million Voters

By Greg Palast for Al Jazeera AmericaElection officials in 27 states, most of them Republicans, have launched a program that threatens a massive purge of voter rolls, especially targeting minority voters.

Al Jazeera America has obtained 2.1 million names from the target lists,  kept confidential until now.  Experts reviewing the lists conclude it is suspiciously over-weighted with Black, Hispanic and Asian-American voters.

The targeted voters have been tagged as “potential  duplicate voters,” suspected of voting twice in the same election, in two different states, a felony crime punishable by 2-10 years in prison.

Until now, state officials conducting the purge have refused to turn over their lists on grounds that these voters are all subjects of a criminal investigation.


Read the full exposé
Watch the 2-part TV report

The match lists of suspected double voters, called Interstate Crosscheck, has been compiled for each state by Kansas’ controversial Republican Secretary of State, Kris Kobach.

The lists are rife with literally millions of obvious mis-matches:
Al Jazeera found that nearly a fourth (23% ) of the accused voters lack matching middle names.

For example, Kevin Thomas Hayes of Durham, North Carolina, is allegedly the same man who voted in Alexandria, Virginia, as Kevin Antonio Hayes.

“Jr.” and “Sr.” are regularly mismatched, potentially disenfranchising two generations in the same family.

While Kobach, in his public description of Crosscheck, claims that double voters are matched by Social Security number, in fact, internal documents admit that “Social Security numbers might or might not match.”

So far, no case has been made against a single one of the accused double-voters on the lists, though tens of thousands have already lost their right to vote based on inclusion in the lists.

North Carolina has hired a full-time former FBI agent to arrest double voters.  However, because the match list of 190,000 suspects in that state is so recklessly compiled, the Board of Elections has admitted to Al Jazeera that not one voter has been charged with the crime of voting twice.  Nevertheless, the Republican-controlled Board of Elections has begun the process of removing the registration of voters on the lists.

The lists are heavily over-weighted with names such as Jackson, Garcia, Patel and Kim, common to minorities who vote overwhelmingly Democratic. Indeed, one in seven African-Americans in those 27 states are listed as suspected of the crime of voting twice, one in eight Asian-Americans, and one in eight Hispanic votersWhite voters too, one in eleven, are at risk, though not as vulnerable as minorities.

Georgia Democrats Angered by “Stealthy” Purge

Georgia’s Democratic leaders say they are shocked that they have been kept in the dark about the state’s use of Crosscheck purge lists — and the racial profile of the targeted voters.

“It’s biased, I think, both in form and intent,” says Rep. Stacey Abrams, leader of the Democrats in the Georgia state legislature. “But more concerning to me, is the fact this is being done stealthfully. We have never had this information presented to us.”

“It’s Jim Crow all over again,” says Rev. Joseph Lowery, who succeeded Martin Luther King as chairman of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. Lowery, now 93, says he recognizes in the list of threatened voters a sophisticated new form of an old and tired tactic. “I think [the Republicans] would use anything they can find. Their desperation is rising.”

Read the entire investigative exposé by Greg Palast at Al Jazeera.

(Show me more...)

Palast's Biggest Exposé Ever
3.5 Million Voters Threatened with Purge

Three million threatened in purge of voter rolls
The removals, which target minority voters,
were begun in secret in the battleground state of Georgia

Atlanta, Georgia – A six-month-long nationwide investigation by Al Jazeera America has discovered that voting officials in 27 states, almost all of them Republicans, have launched what is threatening to become a massive purge of black, Hispanic and Asian-American voters. Already, tens of thousands have been removed from voter rolls in battleground states, and the numbers are set to climb.

Read the full story on America.AlJazeera.com.

Also watch the two-part exposé on "America Tonight" on Al Jazeera America
Oct. 29 & Oct 30 - 9pm ET. (check your local channel guide)

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *
Greg Palast, available to media at interviews (at) gregpalast.com, was the reporter who, for BBC TV and  The Guardian, broke the story in 2000 of Katherine Harris' wrongful purge of innocent black voters as "felons".

(Show me more...)

Greg Palast on Firedoglake Book Salon
on Robert Mutch's Buying the Vote

A book review by Greg Palast for Firedoglake Book Salon

Buying The Vote: A History of Campaign Finance Reform

Using money to influence—ie. purchase—elections began when Thug gave Ugg a big, sharp rock in return for his vote for cave leader. It’s an ugly scene—and it has never stopped.

But with the advent of formalized democracy, purchasing a vote has gone through a psychological shift. With money, you can buy a voter’s neurons, board the brain like a pirate, and steal the booty—some poor schmuck’s “choice” made in a voting booth.

If political ads, balloons dropped at conventions, phone banks and all that detritus that makes for a US electoral campaign really can change a vote – and we know they can—then the candidate with the biggest pile of this partisan dreck, this mind-wrecking machine, has the best chance of winning. And as all this stuff costs money, the guy with the biggest pile is likely to have the I-just-won smile.

So this is what Tom Paine’s and Tom Jefferson’s democracy has come down to: sucking up bucks like a reverse ATM gone wild and spitting out (Show me more...)

Investigó a Paul Singer y cuenta quiénes pudieron ganarle

by Francisco de Zárate for Clarin.com

Investigó a Paul Singer y cuenta quiénes pudieron ganarle

Entrevista con Greg Palast, periodista de la BBC y The Guardian También relata cómo el poderoso titular del fondo buitre NML venció a Perú y al Tesoro de Estados Unidos.

Durante su vida anterior, cuando era detective privado, el estadounidense Greg Palast (62) trabajó para sindicatos, para el Gobierno de Estados Unidos y hasta para los indios nativos de Alaska, a los que ayudó a descubrir un fraude de British Petroleum por el desastre ecológico del petrolero Exxon Valdez en 1989. Hasta que se cansó que ver cómo los reporteros hablaban de su trabajo y se pasó al otro lado: “Me convertí en periodista de investigación de la BBC y The Guardian (Leer la traducción del artículo). No les importaba que supiera o no escribir. Lo que les interesaba era la información”.

Desde Nueva York, Palast habló por teléfono con Clarín sobre Paul Singer. El hombre que maneja el fondo NML y principal demandante de Argentina en el conflicto por la deuda en default, (Show me more...)

Scotland Should Declare
Its Independence From Alex Salmond

By Greg Palast for Reader Supported News

I mean, what's the bloody point? Why pretend to declare your independence only to chain yourself to a coin with a British snout on it and simultaneously beg to become a colony of Angela Merkel's Fifth Reich, aka the European Union?

I realize that, (Show me more...)

BP and the Three Stooges Defense

By Greg Palast for Truthdig
Forget Stephen King. If you want scary, read U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier's 150-page Findings of Fact released Thursday in the Deepwater Horizon case.

Although the judge found BP liable for “gross negligence,” some U.S. media failed to mention that Barbier let BP off the hook on punitive damages. And that stuns me, given that the record seems to identify enough smoking guns to roast a sizable pig.

Here's a standout example:

Every rig operator knows that, before a rig can unhook from a drill pipe, the operator has to (Show me more...)

Lap Dancers, the CIA, Pay-offs, and BP’s Deepwater Horizon

By Greg Palast | for Truthdig

Originally published April 17, 2014

From his investigation for Channel 4 Television in the newly released film, Vultures and Vote Rustlers.

There was CIA involvement through a company called Mega Oil. They were shipping in arms under the cover of oil tools.


The BP executive was explaining to me how the CIA, MI6 and British Petroleum engineered a coup d'état, (Show me more...)

Crime Scene – New Orleans

By Greg Palast for Reader Supported News

[Lower Ninth Ward, New Orleans]  Nine years ago this week, New Orleans drowned.  Don’t you dare blame Mother Nature.  Miss Katrina killed no one in this town.  But it was a homicide, with nearly 2,000 dead victims.  If not Katrina, who done it?  Read on.


The Palast Investigative Fund is making our half-hour investigative report available as a free download – Big Easy to Big Empty: The Untold Story of the Drowning of New Orleans, produced for Democracy Now.  In the course of the filming, Palast was charged with violation of anti-terror laws on a complaint from Exxon Corporation. Charges were dropped, and our digging continued.


It wasn’t an Act of God.  It was an Act of Chevron.  An Act of Exxon. An Act of Big Oil.

Take a look at these numbers dug out of Louisiana state records: (Show me more...)

Robin Williams and the Happiness Industry

By Greg Palast

I  can't help feeling that Robin Williams was a victim of his industry: the happiness industry.

Williams was typecast for those parts with manic, unstoppable joy.  Listen up, Aladdin! Williams' genie said, You're not suffering from poverty–what you need is a positive attitude!  You know, put on a happy face! Let a smile be your umbrella!  

Our culture despises and fears unhappiness. We pathologize unhappiness; we conflate it with a disease, "depression." And it's a disease we insist you can cure–so you don't spread your unhappiness germs to the rest of us.  We stigmatize those who are unhappy, like we stigmatize those who are overweight:  If you're fat, you just don't have any self-control. If you're unhappy, it's your personal failure to just buck up.

We laud the congenitally happy, like Ronald Reagan, the chipper Gipper, the Grinning Grandpa, who could unleash his death squads and smile all the while.

We are a nation of salesman, commercially optimistic. We don't like downers; we don't like people who spoil the party.

And so we push those who find themselves unhappy to medicate themselves–avoid The Deep, get out of the blues and join the Disney.  Williams chose booze, pills and (Show me more...)

Cómo podría Barack Obama poner fin
a la crisis de deuda argentina?

Argentine president cites and posts Palast report on “The Vulture”

(Show me more...)

Obama Can End Argentina's Debt Crisis with a Pen

The President has the Constitutional power to pluck vulture-fund billionaire Paul Singer. Obama hasn't. Why not?

By Greg Palast for The Guardian

The "vulture" financier now threatening to devour Argentina can be stopped dead by a simple note to the courts from Barack Obama. But the president, while officially supporting Argentina, has not done this one thing that could save Buenos Aires from default.

Obama could prevent vulture hedge-fund billionaire Paul Singer from collecting a single penny from Argentina by invoking the long-established authority granted presidents by the US constitution's "Separation of Powers" clause. Under the principle known as "comity", Obama only need inform US federal judge Thomas Griesa that Singer's suit interferes with the president's sole authority to conduct foreign policy. Case dismissed.

Indeed, President George W Bush invoked this power against the very same hedge fund now threatening Argentina. Bush blocked Singer's seizure of Congo-Brazzaville's US property, despite the fact that the hedge fund chief is one of the largest, and most influential, contributors to Republican candidates.

Notably, an appeals court warned this very judge, 30 years ago, to heed the directive of a president invoking his foreign policy powers. In the Singer case, the US state department did inform Judge Griesa that the Obama administration agreed with Argentina's legal arguments; but the president never (Show me more...)

The Vulture:
Chewing Argentina’s Living Corpse

Vulture investor Paul Singer has forced the nation of Argentina into default. Here’s the real story, from Billionaires & Ballot Bandits by Greg Palast.

A call came in from New York to my bosses at BBC Television Centre, London. It was from one of the knuckle- draggers on the payroll of billionaire Paul Singer, Number One funder for the Republican Party in New York, million-dollar donor to the Mitt Romney super-PAC, and top money-giver to the GOP Senate campaign fund. But better known to us as Singer The Vulture.

“We have a file on Greg Palast.”

Well, of course they do.

And I have a file on them.

I had just returned from traveling up the Congo River for BBC and the Guardian. Singer’s enforcer indicated that Mr. Singer would prefer BBC not run a story about him— especially not with film of his suffering prey: children, cholera victims.

Like any vulture, Singer feasts when victims die. Literally. For example, Singer made a pile buying asbestos company Owens Corning out of bankruptcy. The company had concealed from its workers they would get asbestosis from handling their product.

You don’t want to die of asbestosis. Your lungs turn to mush and you drown inside yourself.

The asbestos company was forced to pay tens of thousands of its workers for their medical care and for their families after their deaths.

But then Singer used his political muscle to screw down the compensation promised to the workers. He offered them peanuts. And, dying, they took it. Like the Ice Man, Singer The Vulture used the cudgel of “tort reform” to beat the weakened workers into submission. With asbestos workers buried or bought-off cheap, Singer’s asbestos death factories were (Show me more...)

"Inside an Investigative Reporter"
Greg Palast gives the full Monty

Download or listen to the full PRN broadcast.

Palast tells tales of undercover investigations, poetry, honey traps and why you stay the hell out of journalism school to Danny Schechter, the News Dissector.

*  *  *  *  *  *
Greg Palast is the author of the New York Times bestsellers Billionaires & Ballot Bandits, The Best Democracy Money Can Buy and Armed Madhouse and the highly acclaimed Vultures’ Picnic.

(Show me more...)

Happy birthday, World War One!

Greg Palast in Sarajevo, near where Archduke Franz Ferdinand was shot, tracing the trail of rogue financier 'Goldfinger.' (Photo: Richard Rowley for BBC-TV. The first ten readers to find Palast in the photo, will get a free copy of the film of this story, Vultures & Vote Rustlers.)

Happy birthday, World War One! Walking the mortar-cratered streets of Sarajevo, Bosnia, I was reminded that World War I started here, and World War II and World War III, World War V and VI and the current World War IX. Here in the city where the ghosts of Muslim, Catholic, Orthodox and Jewish victims outnumber the living, as I hunted another corpse-chewing financier, it became clear to me that the endless parade of war is not about a clash of civilizations, but the CASH of civilizations.

Before the Panzers rolled into Poland, they rolled into (Show me more...)

Don't Leave Without Saying Good-Bye
A personal note from Greg Palast

I wish my enemies to take note that my quadruple by-pass heart surgery three weeks ago was quite successful.  My doctors say I can suit up for dragon-slaying in about six weeks. Bless you all for your thousands of healing notes and thoughts.

The day before going under the knife, I was reminded that, "You can't take it with you” – because the insurance company will take it first.  (Bada-bing!)  So, I invited my attorney to the cardiac unit (no kidding) to tweak my last will and testament – insuring that royalties to my books and films will continue to go the Palast Investigative Fund.

I truly wish you a long, happy and healthy life.  But, alas, one day we all must shuffle off our mortal coils.

So, please, don't leave without saying goodbye. It's easy.  Simply include the Palast Investigative Fund in your will. And contact us to let us know.


I am pleased to announce my new association with Al Jazeera for a series of in-depth globe-spanning investigative reports. It is a great honor to join with journalists whose inestimable courage I cannot hope to replicate, but whose high standards we will dignify with our best work.
Al Jazeera: “Journalism is not a crime.”


For those of you who seek more elaborate tax-savvy estate planning, our not-for-profit foundation has retained the services of an expert who can help guide you, please contact us.

But, if you're the impatient type, you can donate RIGHT NOW, and enjoy one of our special thank you gifts. Donate at least $50 dollars and get a signed copy of Billionaires & Ballot Bandits.  Donate $1,000 and get a listing as a producer of the film, Billionaires & Ballot Bandits: The Movie.

You can also donate for any amount (no matter how large or small) or browse here for our many other gifts. (Show me more...)

Lap Dancers, the CIA, Pay-offs, and BP’s Deepwater Horizon

By Greg Palast | for Truthdig

From his investigation for Channel 4 Television in the newly released film, Vultures and Vote Rustlers.

There was CIA involvement through a company called Mega Oil. They were shipping in arms under the cover of oil tools.


The BP executive was explaining to me how the CIA, MI6 and British Petroleum engineered a coup d'état, overthrowing an elected president of a nation who was “not favorable to BP.” The corporation's former Vice-President, Leslie Abrahams, is pictured here, holding an AK-47 in front of BP headquarters in Baku, Azerbaijan.  Like most of the other BP executives I spoke with, he proudly added that while he was working for BP, he was also an operative for MI6, British intelligence.

The conversation was far from the weirdest I had in my four-continent investigation of the real story of the Deepwater Horizon.

The BP oilrig blew out on April 20, 2010, four years ago this Sunday.

Earlier this month, the Obama Administration officially OK'd BP's right to resume drilling in the Gulf of Mexico. And two weeks ago, just to assure the company that all is forgiven, (Show me more...)

Give me 95 seconds

This is the best 95 seconds you can have with your clothes on. Watch this now! And pass it on:


Now, get yourself a copy of this film, Vultures and Vote Rustlers — an hour-long real-life detective story. Get the DVD – signed. (Show me more...)

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