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Billionaires & Ballot Bandits: How to Steal an Election in 9 Easy Steps Paperback – September 18, 2012


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Billionaires & Ballot Bandits: How to Steal an Election in 9 Easy Steps + Vultures' Picnic: In Pursuit of Petroleum Pigs, Power Pirates, and High-Finance Carnivores + The Best Democracy Money Can Buy
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Seven Stories Press; Original edition (September 18, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1609804783
  • ISBN-13: 978-1609804787
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 5 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (93 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #434,852 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Billionaires & Ballot Bandits:  The Theft of 2012"      
The BBC reporter who busted Katherine Harris' fake felon purge tells weird, hilarious and sick stories of the billionaires who are bankrolling the GOP; with hot new info on the Koch Brothers as well as the filthy rich you've never heard of from his new book & film.   "Bugs Bunny meets Hunter Thompson"
—Buzzflash

Palast’s prose has a zippy, breathless quality that might put you in mind of Michael Moore — “How does a ballot get spoiled? Not by leaving it out of the fridge” — but he’s also an expert in statistics who reports regularly for the BBC, Rolling Stone and other outlets.
New York Times

"The most terrifying book a Democrat could read. Billionaires and Ballot Bandits delineates the potential theft of democracy."
Huffington Post 

“A practical primer on how to exercise your right to vote on Election Day in the face of a calculated Republican multi-pronged plan to prevent you from casting a ballot by any means necessary.”
News Blaze

"Palast ... chronicles how many of America’s super rich — the Koch brothers, hedge fund titan Paul Singer, Texan corporate raider Harold Simmons, among many others — have been patiently and prodigiously subsidizing campaigns not to “get out the vote,” but to keep it down."
Too Much 

“If you really want to understand the forthcoming US presidential election, read this book.”
Green Left 

About the Author

Bestselling author GREG PALAST's most recent book is Vulture's Picnic. Author of a number of previous bestsellers, including The Best Democracy Money Can Buy, and Armed Madhouse, Greg Palast is currently a Nation Institute Fellow and BBC correspondent. He lives in New York City and Long Island. 

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. is the Dean of the Pace University School of Environmental Law, Chairman of the Riverkeeper Alliance, an attorney representing victims of voting rights violations, and contributing editor to Rolling Stone magazine.

Ted Rall's political and social commentary cartoons have appeared in hundreds of publications, including Rolling Stone, Time, Fortune, the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, Village Voice and New York Times. A finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, he has twice won the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Prize. Visit him at Rall.com.

More About the Author

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

Palast turned his skills to journalism after two decades as a top investigator of corporate fraud. Palast directed the U.S. government's largest racketeering case in history-winning a $4.3 billion jury award. He also conducted the investigation of fraud charges in the Exxon Valdez grounding.

Following the Deepwater Horizon explosion, Palast set off on a five-continent undercover investigation of BP and the oil industry for British television's top current affairs program, Dispatches
Palast turned his skills to journalism after two decades as a top investigator of corporate fraud. Palast directed the U.S. government's largest racketeering case in history-winning a $4.3 billion jury award. He also conducted the investigation of fraud charges in the Exxon Valdez grounding.

Following the Deepwater Horizon explosion, Palast set off on a five-continent undercover investigation of BP and the oil industry for British television's top current affairs program, Dispatches.

Palast is best known in his native USA as the journalist who, for the Observer (UK), broke the story of how Jeb Bush purged thousands of Black Florida citizens from voter rolls before the 2000 election, thereby handing the White House to his brother George. His reports on the theft of the 2000 and 2004 US elections, the spike of the FBI investigations of the bin Ladens before September 11, the secret State Department documents planning the seizure of Iraq's oil fields have won him a record six Project Censored awards for reporting the news American media doesn't want you to hear. "The top investigative journalist in the United States is persona non grata in his own country's media." [Asia Times.] He returned to America to report for Harper's Magazine.

Palast's Sam Spade style television and print exposés about financial vultures, election manipulations, War on Terror and globalization, are seen on BBC's Newsnight and Amy Goodman's Democracy Now!

Palast, who has led investigations for governments on three continents, has an academic side: the author of Democracy and Regulation, a seminal treatise on energy corporations and government control was commissioned by the United Nations based on his lectures at Cambridge University and the University of São Paulo.

Beginning in the 1970s, having earned his degree in finance at the University of Chicago studying under Milton Friedman and free-trade luminaries, Palast went on to challenge their vision of a New Global Order, working for the United Steelworkers of America, the Enron workers' coalition in Latin America and consumer and environmental groups worldwide.

In 1998 Palast went undercover for Britain's Observer, worked his way inside the prime minister's inner circle and busted open Tony Blair's biggest scandal, "Lobbygate," chosen by Palast's press colleagues in the UK as "Story of the Year." As the Chicago Tribune said, Palast became a "fanatic about documents--especially those marked "secret and confidential" from the locked file cabinets of the FBI, the World Bank, the US State Department and other closed-door operations of government and industry--which regularly find their way into his hands. The inside information he obtained on Rev. Pat Robertson won him a nomination as Britain's top business journalist.

Palast is Patron of the Trinity College Philosophical Society, an honor previously held by Jonathan Swift and Oscar Wilde. His writings have won him the Financial Times David Thomas Prize--and inspired the Eminem video, Mosh. "An American hero," said Martin Luther King III. In the BBC documentary, Bush Family Fortunes, Palast exposed George Bush Jr.'s dodging the Vietnam War draft. Greg Palast, says Noam Chomsky, "Upsets all the right people."

Palast won the George Orwell Courage in Journalism Award for his BBC documentary, Bush Family Fortunes.

What they're saying ...
"Greg Palast is one of my heroes. The last investigative reporter in America. In Armed Madhouse he has the best inside story of the war inside the White House over the war in Iraq, the battle between the neo-cons and Big Oil." -Robert F Kennedy Jr. -Air America Radio
"Twisted and maniacal" -Katherine Harris

"We hate that sonuvabitch." -The White House

"Doggedly independent, undaunted by power. His stories bite, they're so relevant they threaten to alter history" -Chicago Tribune

In England, Tribune Magazine calls him, "The most important investigative reporter of our time."

"Greg Palast is investigative journalism at its best. No one has exposed more truth about the Bush Cartel and lived to tell the story." - Baltimore Chronicle

"Armed Madhouse is great fun. Palast, detective style, provides ... pieces of the secret puzzle." - The New Yorker

The Chicago Reader asks about Greg Palast, "Can one reporter change the entire political discourse of the nation?"

In Britain he's called, "The most important investigative reporter of our time." -Tribune
After exposing on BBC TV the contents of a stack of documents from inside The World Bank and the World Trade Organization, the WTO called his report, "Rubbish rubbish rubbish," and CNN reported, "The World Bank hates Greg Palast" for stories the Wall Street Journal's Jude Wanniski called, "Extraordinary reporting on the IMF," and Nobel Laureate Joesph Stiglitz called, "Excellent on the WTO."

"The information is a hand grenade." - John Pilger, New Statesman

"Up there with Woodward and Bernstein." -Manchester Guardian

"Just read Armed Madhouse - fantastic work." - Comedian Doug Stanhope

"What does a multi-award winning reporting investigator do when he has a huge story to break? If it's Greg Palast, one of America's foremost journalists, he goes to England! Greg Palast has repeatedly scooped the U.S. networks, and newspaper elites, reporting for London's Guardian newspaper, and BBC television's current affairs flagship program, Newsnight. He's reported on the truth behind George W. Bush's theft of the 2000 presidential election, the attempted theft of Venezuelan democracy, the World Bank's willful destruction of Argentina, Enron's looting of California, and the cozy relationship between the Bush and Bin Laden dynasties. The problem is: The men behind the curtain of America's media don't want you to know about these, or any of the other stories he has to tell. Undeterred by the sucking vacuum of America's mainstream media, Greg put together a few of his greatest journalistic hits in the book, "The Best Democracy Money Can Buy: the Truth About Corporate Cons, Globalization, and High-Finance Fraudsters." Ironically, the stories the New York Times didn't find fit to print have become a New York Times best-seller. Now Greg Palast is releasing a DVD, "Bush Family Fortunes," based on "The Best Democracy Money Can Buy," and featuring some of his reports from Britain." - Chris Cook, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation

"Armed Madhouse is a work of Genius" -Robert F Kennedy Jr. -Air America Radio

Awards
Patron of the Philosophical Society, Trinity College (an award previously given to Oscar Wilde and Jonathan Swift)

The Upton Sinclair Freedom of Expression Award The American Civil Liberties Union

George Orwell Courage in Journalism Award: Freedom Cinema Fest at The Sundance Film Festival

The Financial Times David Thomas Prize

Nominated for Business Journalist of the Year 1998 (UK)

Politics Story of the Year on Salon.com 2001

Guerilla News Network's Reporter of the Year

The Peace and Justice Award -Office of the Americas

Path Breaking Investigative Journalism Award--Long Island Progressive Coalition

National Press Club's Arthur Rowse Award for Press Criticism, Book Category, First Place.

Customer Reviews

Greg Palast tells it like it is!!
Maxwell
As wary as I am of overstatement, I would urge all Americans of voting age to read Billionaires & Ballot Bandits: How to Steal an Election in 9 Easy Steps.
bennof
In the middle of this one is a comic book by widely-published Ted Rall, as funny as it is full of facts.
J.B. Lyle

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

64 of 65 people found the following review helpful By J.B. Lyle on September 19, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Urgently recommended, because it's about who's buying and stealing American elections, how they do it, and how to keep them from getting away with it.

Having read this author's other books, most recently Vultures' Picnic, I already knew he wrote with ferocious, if often appropriately hilarious, journalistic passion--plausibly claiming, however, to be non-partisan. In light of what he writes about the Clintons and Obama as well as Karl Rove and the Koch brothers, it does appear that he turns a blind eye to nothing and puts it all out there. Based on the evidence in this book, today in our country one political party is the overwhelming champ at wielding money to influence voters--and in case that alone doesn't produce the desired outcomes, disenfranchising them. One state's House Leader notoriously acknowledged--though he didn't intend a tape of this to reach a general audience--the real purpose of burdensome new voter ID laws, which he said would allow his party's presidential candidate to win his state.

Other methods of suppressing or stealing votes include purging and/or caging voter lists, as well as spoiling, ejecting, blocking, rejecting, "prestidigitizing," tossing, and stuffing ballots. If the reader isn't clear on how any of these methods work, not to worry, it's all explained, complete with photos and documents. As in his other books, Palast provides links to additional layers of information. In the middle of this one is a comic book by widely-published Ted Rall, as funny as it is full of facts.

Palast, an investigative journalist, or "gumshoe," as he calls himself, tells the reader who the Billionaires of the title are, what they've done to get so rich and what they're doing to get even richer.
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35 of 37 people found the following review helpful By JBG on September 26, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The machinery by which American democracy operates is being hijacked by a tiny group of wealthy men. The process is far along, and American news reporting has almost entirely failed to raise the alarm.

Enter Greg Palast, investigative reporter extraordinaire, with Billionaires & Ballot Bandits: How to Steal an Election in 9 Easy Steps. In B&BB, Palast demonstrates he has the goods on the operation.

It is tempting to try to convey here a sense for its extent, ranging from think-tanks and astroturf organizations, called into existence by huge money, to the connivance of corrupt election officials, and the sufferance, or worse, of much of law enforcement and the judiciary, including the Supreme Court.

But that is too large a task to attempt in this space; refer to the book and website. What I can do here is describe the mechanics, the "9 easy steps", by which the dirty deed is being done. Honest people of all political persuasions will find these practices contemptible.

The '9 Easy Steps'

1 Purging is the use by partisan election officials of computer databases that identify voter characteristics (race, ethnicity, residence location, etc) to remove from registration rolls names of persons likely to be sympathetic to the "wrong" political party. Plausible pretexts for the removals are sometimes offered, but often not. Purging is what Katherine Harris did to tens of thousands of Florida voters in 2000, claiming the mostly black voters were felons when they were not.

2 Caging is the mailing of do-not-forward, first-class letters to selected groups and using letters returned as 'evidence' that voters' listed addresses are fraudulent.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By A. Siegel on September 23, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Another mind-boggling, stomach-churning well researched work from Palast! This one focuses on the derailment/destruction-in-motion of our democracy through vote theft/vote-suppression and a myriad of other techniques directed and funded by the "powers that be" - billionaires (Koch brothers, for example) and the politicians and officials they've bought and control. Since 2000, these forces have been on a roll, eliminating by various means, the votes of an increasing number of mostly Democratic-leaning citizens. This November, Palast warns, will see the worst of it yet and could well result in yet another stolen Presidency as well as other stolen political offices across the country.

Palast's very readable, often humorous style (somehow he manages to be funny despite the critical information he imparts), along with his jaw dropping, often shocking exposes, makes this book very compelling reading - in fact, I couldn't put it down! Here's an example of humor slipped into a discussion about the gaming of voting machines: "I once suggested to President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela that if he didn't like US foreign policy, he should buy into a voting machine company. So, his buddies did just that." Sadly amusing, but very true, as Palast shows.

The reports in this book will not be found in US mainstream media. In fact, most of the investigations were sponsored by the BBC and broadcast only in the UK and Europe. This book is an urgent must-read for everyone concerned about the future of this country. It both reveals truths and offers practical ways to fight back. Buy this book, and then tell others!
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