There WAS a recount on the Prop 37 vote, and it was stopped cold

There WAS a recount on the Prop 37 vote, and it was stopped cold

by Jon Rappoport

March 17, 2013

The relentless Brad Friedman of TheBradBlog ran this story down and broke it. There was, indeed, a recount of the Prop 37 vote.

Prop 37, the ballot measure that would have mandated labeling of all GMO food sold in California, went down to defeat last November, under suspicious circumstances.

So a small group, headed by Tom Courbat, former senior budget analyst for LA County, decided to challenge the vote.

In California, any voter can do that, if they’re willing to pay for it. And they have to pay for the recount county by county. They pick the counties they want to start with, they contact the county registrars, and they’re told what the price is. It’s different in each county.

So the group picked Orange and Sierra Counties. They paid the fee. The votes were recounted, and there was no appreciable change in the numbers.

The group decided Fresno County should be next. That’s when trouble came and whole thing blew up. The county clerk in Fresno, in charge of all voting processes, is Brandi Orth.

As The Brad Blog reveals, Orth came up with a staggering price for a vote recount. Here are a few of the details:

Orth stated there would be an up-front fee, due before the recount even started, of $18,000.

The cost per DAY of doing the recount? $4,000. This included five vote counters who would each be paid $46 an hour—to sit and count. Then there would be a three-person executive staff, each of whom would be paid an astonishing $92 an hour.

Note: In Orange County, the Prop 37 recount didn’t cost $4,000 a day. The fee? Only $600 a day!

But here is the best part. As Tom Courbat, the leader of the Prop 37 recount group, spoke with Fresno County Clerk, Brandi Orth, he suddenly learned he was being charged for the phone conversation—and also for Orth’s staff “getting ready” for a recount!

Understand this. No recount had begun. Courbat hadn’t given the green light for a recount. But, he was informed, he was already $4000 in the hole.

Courbat estimated a vote recount in Fresno County was going to cost his group $78,000 by the end of three weeks worth of work. They didn’t have the money.

The Fresno County recount was toast. And with it went any chance (even if one assumes a recount would be honest) that Prop 37 could be fairly reviewed in California.

At this point, I ran down a few facts about Fresno County. It’s the number-one county in the US for agricultural production; in 2007, $5.3 billion. Major employers? Kraft Foods, Del Monte Foods, Foster Farms, Zacky Farms, Sun-Maid. A local outfit, David Sunflower Seeds, is owned by the giant ConAgra.

Beginning to form a picture? Fresno is Big Agriculture, and the last time I looked, Big Ag isn’t rushing to support GMO labeling. They love Monsanto, crime boss of the GMO world.

Brandi Orth, who blocked the recount, was installed as Fresno county clerk a mere 10 months before Prop 37 went up before California voters. This happened, as The Brad Blog points out, because the previous county clerk, Victor Salazar, suddenly announced his retirement with three years left on his contract.

Who picked Orth as the new county clerk? The five members of the Fresno board of supervisors. I noticed that two of them, Phil Larson and Debbie Poochigian, were members of the Fresno County Farm Bureau.

That’s quite interesting, because in the run-up to the November Prop 37 vote, the Farm Bureau was one of the organizations that signed on to a large NO on 37 print ad.

The Matrix Revealed

One of the two bonuses in THE MATRIX REVEALED is my complete 18-lesson course, LOGIC AND ANALYSIS. This is a new way to teach logic, the subject that has been missing from schools for decades.

Let’s recap. The recount on the Prop 37 vote is stopped cold in Fresno County (a major center of Big Ag), because the county clerk, Brandi Orth put up absurd, incredible, and arbitrary obstacles. Orth was selected for her job, in the first place, by a board of supervisors on which, at the very least, two of the five members were opponents of Prop 37.

Does the California state government and, in particular, the state attorney general’s office give this foul-smelling situation even a sniff? No.

Does the California Secretary of State, Debra Bowen, who is in charge of all voting in the State, budge from her office and investigate, or better yet, go down to Fresno and personally install a fair and equitable and affordable recount of Prop 37? Of course not. She moves right along to other matters.

What does that tell you?

The stink from the blocked vote-recount goes all the way from Fresno up to the capital city of Sacramento and back down again.

Naturally, the major media give this story no play. They remain silent.

As I’ve detailed in other articles (under the ~/category/yeson37/ section of my blog), there are many reasons to reject the truth of the original Prop 37 vote in California, as well as any election in the State. But after these revelations, if you accept California vote-counts as real, you should check your sanity.

Source: The Brad Blog, “Forget About Fresno: How One CA County Clerk Stopped Prop 37’s Oversight ‘Recount’

Jon Rappoport

The author of an explosive collection, THE MATRIX REVEALED, Jon was a candidate for a US Congressional seat in the 29th District of California. Nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, he has worked as an investigative reporter for 30 years, writing articles on politics, medicine, and health for CBS Healthwatch, LA Weekly, Spin Magazine, Stern, and other newspapers and magazines in the US and Europe. Jon has delivered lectures and seminars on global politics, health, logic, and creative power to audiences around the world. You can sign up for his free emails at

45 comments on “There WAS a recount on the Prop 37 vote, and it was stopped cold

  1. S says:

    Nice article. Can’t repost this link on facebook as FB marks it as SPAMMY. just fyi.


    Hi S, thanks for attempting to share on FB.



  2. Umbabog says:

    Jon Rappoport,
    Thanks for putting this up. I have believed all along that the Prop. 37 vote was rigged.
    Think about this: 90% of the people nationally want their food labeled, and yet not one of our fifty State Legislatures has given its citizens what they want. Some things are beyond coincidental.
    I found the quote below, and believe it to be pertinent. People forget that the Bolsheviks were ten times worse than the Nazis.
    “You know, comrades,” says Stalin, “that I think in regard to this: I consider it completely unimportant who in the party will vote, or how; but what is extraordinarily important is this — who will count the votes, and how.”

  3. Deborah Norton says:

    Just posted it to FB and it posted. Hope we can get the message out to as many people as possible. Thanks for the great truths Jon.

  4. doug girard says:

    But hey, Orth likely got an all-expenses trip to the destination of her choice out of the deal. What’s the big stink, just business as usual. Playing by the rules does not work when the rules are change-as-we-go.

  5. Sean says:

    Sounds like “business as usual” in Amerika.

  6. icetrout says:

    Don’t worry the worm is about to turn…

  7. icetrout says:

    Dang communism @ it’s best!!! Censer 7 words! Who ya’ll working for Con-Agra or the WH… 😛

  8. Rob Grey says:

    Joeseph Stalin once said “Those who vote change nothing – those who count the vote change everything.” Also it was Benito Mussolini who once defined fascism as “a merger of corporations and government.” Sounds like both of those gents would be quite at home in the America of today –

  9. archie1954 says:

    It nseems as if in the US, the major fraud is closer to home in the county government offices. The only closer wouuld be the city governments. This matter definitely needs some investigating.

  10. […] Check out how Fresno killed the Proposition 37 recount HERE. […]

  11. Reblogged this on Spartan of Truth and commented:
    It’s absolutely astonishing how much corruption there is in our world. People, be vigilant and keep up the great work, vote with your wallets also.

    Thanks Jon!

  12. Reggie says:

    Seriously? Is there any hope left for US.
    BTW, our beautiful North Carolina Blue Skies have
    been blotted out for days with Chemtrails.
    So sad but what to do?

  13. Anonymous says:

    Ya, I think that Brandi Orth should be spoken to. I think she should really be spoken to to obtain information about what’s going on.

  14. vision5d2012 says:

    Hi Jon – Thanks for continuing to cover this story. I’ve been posting your updates to FB up til now but just had the same “spammy” message this time. Will try to get it on, using a re-blog link directly. Thanks again for your diligent follow up with this matter.

  15. vision5d2012 says:

    Hi Jon – My idea worked. I posted the re-blog link from for anyone else wishing to get in onto FB.
    All the best.



  16. Anaxamander T. Gormlay says:

    “Its not who votes that counts. Its who counts the votes” — attributed to Stalin.

  17. M J Sperry says:

    The ultimate solution is to end the problems “cause”. The introduction of “secrecy” via the “secret ballot” around 1875-1880 brought with it the inability to “verify” the vote. Today the vote is only “certified” not “verified” by the registrar. There’s a “big” difference between the two!

    The “solution” was first proposed some five years ago. It is called “Vva” for Voter verified audit. It will catch virtually “all” vote fraud and do it without the help or intervention of the registrar. It is simple, easily conducted by voters themselves and doesn’t require permission or license of government to implement. See:

  18. Hi Jon,

    Thanks for posting this. Facebook was marking this as spam, so we linked your post to our site and posted that page to circumvent. Thanks for getting the word out there!

    Here’s the link to our Facebook article:

    Keep up the great work!


    Thanks for sharing!

  19. jerry verducci says:

    All this BS is a precursor to Agenda 21. Mugbook wouldn’t allow me to post either.Criminals everywhere ya look.


    Hi Jerry,

    Thanks for attempting to share on Mugbook.

  20. Daniel says:

    This is incredible but now that I look at it, I also believe the vote may have been rigged. Isn’t the state attorney general interested in this?
    She should be!

  21. Tony says:

    I was able to post this link on FB:


    Thanks Tony.


    FB has specifically blocked the domain.

  22. Victor Taylor says:

    Perhaps an attorney could be engaged to explain to Ms Orth that if she is acting outside her scope of official duties and outside of state law by pulling expenses/costs out of her backside, she will be held personally and criminally liable in front of a Federal Jury and legal expenses will not be covered by Fresno County. Her imagination can run wild.

    Further, her supervisors and spouse can possibly be held accountable for failure supervise and as accessories after the fact for covering up her apparent crimes. Personally liable for violating your civil rights of due process under law? Just a thought. Don’t give it up just because she is stonewalling.

  23. Anonymous says:

    jerry brown should here about this …i wonder how he will respond. only buy non gmo brands

  24. daniheart21 says:

    Maybe we need to implement a different counting system. I honestly don’t see why we can’t hire independent recount people and just pay them. Why does that county have to have anything to do with it. It would seem to me that different people recounting would be better anyway. This stinks…

  25. Wow. I had no idea. I live in Fresno County and voted yes on 37, and signed the petition for the recount. I also posted this to FB — seemed to work fine for me.

    But it was no surprise to me that Fresno County might be a point of opposition, as I am well aware of the agricultural dependency of the County. Still, there has to be something that we can do from the inside to bring down Big Ag…

  26. First, the reason it may be marked as “spammy” somwhere might be for the same reason that McAfee’s Site Advisor stopped me when I first tried to visit this page, telling me that it was dangerous. Usually when Site Advisor does that, it’s because there’s a known virus or other kind of malware — or at least something unsafe — somewhere on the website in question. In the case of WordPress, it’s not so much that there’s a virus on it as much as it’s likely that this particular blog is using a plug-in/extension or something that has been identified as dangerous. The blog owner should definitely investigate. Many, many people use McAfee Site Advisor, and so any of them who trust it, and don’t hit the “visit the site anyway” button will be blocked from visiting this blog… which is not, obviously, what its owner wants.

    Second, I’ve written many, many local ordinances in my life, as part of my consulting work, some of which have been licensing and/or zoning ordinances; and if there’s one thing that anyone who writes licensing and/or zoning (but especially licensing) ordinances tends to become in a big hurry is something of an expert in at least the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States; but also, likely, the 4th thru 10th, and the 14th and 16th Amendments, as well; and, try as one might, one may not, if one’s a responsible ordinance writer, avoide reading relevant case law until one is ready to open a vein.

    In such reading, I found no shortage of case law which expressly prohibits local government from imposing unreasonable fees for services, which fees may be fairly easily shown to be intended to dissuade whomever seeks said services. Outrageously-high license application and/or administrative fees, for example, to try to ensure that only those who can afford it may seek whatever is the license, and that all others will not (or, worse, that no one will, because, in the end, it’s something that local government doesn’t really want anyone to do), has been summarily struck down by many courts, many times, in many places; as have outrageously-high fees to cover the costs of any citizen or group thereof from simply exercising their rights as provided by constitution, statutory law, or case law. Though local government may definitely charge a fee to actually do something unusual that the citizen is asking of it, said fee may not be unreasonable; and, moreover, no fee may be charged just for the citizen’s inquiring about it of government, or arranging for it with government.

    I remember that whole little ultra-Right-winged cabal down there in Fresno (and surrounding areas) back during the summer of 2008 when same-sex marriage was briefly legal…

    Here’s my involvement with and position on that

    …and how county officials there refused to cooperate. They’re like the mob, down there; and someone, once and for all, needs to drag ’em into court and have a judge explain how things should be to them! Instead of spending all that money on a recount, Courbat, et al, should be spending likely less than half of that, at least initially, to drag Fresno into court and tune it up.

    Gregg L. DesElms
    Napa, California USA
    gregg at greggdeselms dot com

  27. bart roberts says:

    Google: wirepro scam
    AT$T charged me for a product I never ordered, wanted or needed!!! And, now they refuse to return the funds that they stole from me!!!
    I think they do this because all the executives starting with Randall L. Stephenson get paid so much money. They have to figure out ways to legitimately steal as much of their salary as possible. These people are no different than the crazies who horde cats or trash, except these people horde money.

  28. Five-alive says:

    Why are we not protesting this?? If this is important enough we should be raising funds to occupy Fresno in a major protest.

  29. Holly says:

    Why don’t you crowdsource the money for the recount of Fresno? That is possible with this message!

  30. Anonymous says:

    Seriously? We’re going to let money get in the way of this? Of course there’s more money on the other side, but if $78,000 is the only thing between us and GMO labeling, I’m pretty sure we could canvas and raise that from personal donations & the good corporations who paid for Prop 37 to be funded in the first place. It saddens me that I didn’t hear about this recount process, because I would have definitely been on the ball to try and raise money outside of natural grocery stores & farmers markets. Think about it, 6,088,714 voted yes on prop 37. If we each donated a dime we would have $608, 871 to spend on the recounts – that’s 7 x $78,000. And if the corporations who helped fund Prop 37 jumped on board too, we could actually pay for a recount and not feel cheated out of the election.
    I know we can’t win the war when it comes to who has the most money, but if we can actually find out the price for all of the different counties, and come up with a sum, I feel like we could work together to make it happen. And if more counties act like Fresno – that’s something that they don’t want us to know about. I’m sure that big ag thinks they can shut us up by throwing out a big number, but I don’t think we should be intimidated. Prop 37 caused all these other states to start being aware of the issue and addressing it themselves. We have people power. Lets act upon it before the people give up hope.

  31. Anonymous says:

    there are at least 2 news sites that would be happy to share this info 1 is this author writes many articles about Monsanto & would love this info so does the owner of this news site by the way I had no trouble posting to facebook

  32. Yoda222 says:

    How can this be prevented? Can a law be passed to assure limits are set on recounts be done in a costly & timely manner if needed? This is a serious breach of what the voters wanted and Fresno county has impeded my rights along with many Cali peeps. What can be done?

  33. What would the state’s Prop 37 count have been if Fresno county’s numbers were excluded? If Fresno is the deciding factor, it’s certainly worth pursuing a fight with them.

  34. Anonymous says:

    Good job Jon; I always enjoy reading your articles.

  35. Tom Courbat says:

    We were attempting to authenticate election results that are just “announced” with no backup to show how the numbers were arrived at! One method is to call for a recount, as we did on Proposition 37, the “You MUST LABEL GMO products as such” proposition – stating that ANY genetic modification to a product you are buying must be clearly stated on the packaging. Anyway, it got over 6 million votes, but still lost by a somewhat significant number.
    Lori Grace, an activist and philanthropist, funded the cost of the entire effort, and for that, I want to publicly thank Lori for funding something NO ONE ELSE was willing to put a dime up for. Thank you Lori!

    I left out the MOST significant article (an expose, actually) authored by my good friend Brad Friedman. This man spent a lot of time documenting the B.S. that we faced in Fresno County, vs the low cost to us and great reception we received in both Sierra and Orange Counties. People chose to act however they want to – I’d like to believe most people act with integrity and grace.
    Go here…

  36. Tom Courbat says:

    The statewide difference was about 350,000. Fresno represented about 58,000, so it alone would not have made the difference.

  37. Melanie says:

    I think I just posted this successfully to FB. Let’s see if it disappears.

  38. Deb says:

    Right after the election, it was reported at Natural News that there were a lot of counties that didn’t get counted at all.

    Whatever happened with that? Orange County is the only one on the list of the biggest uncounted counties that Tom and crew demanded a recount on. L.A. County, Santa Clara County, and San Diego County were the other big ones that didn’t get counted (at that time). Why weren’t they chosen to be “recounted”? There were a LOT of votes uncounted since those are huge counties. What’s the status on those counties now? Did they finally get counted and I just haven’t heard about it? My apologies, if so.

    The other thing I wanted to ask was about the proposition itself. I’m hearing that it wasn’t actually that well-written or something. That things which shouldn’t have to be affected by the law would be–not just GMOs. As in, the law would have been too broad, and consequently start to hurt small farmers or perfectly good products? Can someone clarify?

    Perhaps it’s best that this law didn’t go through? Who wrote the proposition? Is it really that broad? I thought it was just requiring foods containing GMOs to be labeled. Are there exceptions that should have been written in to enable small manufacturers and farmers to operate as they should be allowed?

    I’m sorry; I know that’s vague. At the moment, I can’t recall what examples were given of the proposition which would have made the law too broad–or not specific enough even. I do believe that was the other thing: some parts of it weren’t specific enough. ? I think it had to do with animals fed GMOs. ? Does anyone have information about these supposed issues that people have with Prop 37?

    How can we make sure all the bases are covered, yet protect small business? Who is allowed to write those propositions? And again, who wrote Prop 37? Could it be revised and submitted for the next vote? I know that’s a long time away, and I personally don’t want to wait that long for labeling to be required, but if Prop 37 can’t get a true recount and those one counties remain uncounted then the next chance isn’t until election again. Correct? So I guess a new proposition is already being written by someone?

    Lastly, is anyone able to follow up on the information provided by Gregg DesElms? Is there a lawsuit that should be filed against Fresno for charging those outrageous fees and for charging any money at all for just asking questions? That can surely be reversed or fought out in court, right?

    I see that there aren’t enough people in that county alone to make Prop 37 lean the other way, but I am curious as to whether those creeps are going to actually get away with doing that. The other counties should be used as examples of what a “normal” fee would be for recounting. The matter needs to be brought to the attention of someone higher-up (who isn’t corrupt, preferably).

    Are they kidding with the $46-an-hour pay for people to sit there and count? What a joke!! If they have that much money to burn, I’m sure there are better things they could do with it. Hell, if I could, I’d fly out there and work for free if they wanted to save money! I count very well. Lol.

  39. Anonymous says:

    labeling GMO’s is not the answer and the bill was written very badly – that’s why there are just as many people whom you don’t hear about it, who voted No. to my knowledge, it actually allows for animal products fed with GMO to pass through the inspection – amongst one of the few loopholes. they wanted this to pass so quickly without careful, intelligent analysis of the consequences. they never wanted to answer questions about: 1. who would be the party to verify the process and who holds this party accountable? 2. what would prevent mis-labeling and bought-off labeling which is happening in Organic foods by the USDA (therefore, Organic is not really organic anymore as they allow for passage of a percentage of pesticides and herbicides to pass through – unless you go grassroots, do not trust USDA Organic label compromised and corrupted). and the most common sense question could never understand why they couldn’t get this: if they think getting the FDA or the government involved in basically forced labeling, what makes them think that the FDA in cahoots with Monsanto (and the USDA Organic) is going to “take care” of the food safety? you want MORE govt? * there are so many bad loopholes in the bill, and the campaign people did not want to answer any of these questions and brushed honest organic consumers like me off and like we were crazy. and, they never wanted to talk about Banning GMO’s – it was like taboo. Allowing labeling of GMO’s is saying, Yes, we still WANT GMO”s in the food markets and GMO’s still to be doled out by Monsanto, as long as it’s labeled. that’s not the right way and that is giving GMO’s in the food system, in your foods, permission to exist and never go away. You have to go right to the core of the problem. BAN GMO’s is the next course of action. We don’t have a lot of time anymore for excuses and justifications – and there were plenty. We have to BAN. Peru did it. Poland did.


    Yes. Definitely need an all out ban. Great points.

    The above article focuses on exposing the fraud around “Prop 37 voting”.

    … for why we should have an all out ban.

  40. Soumya says:

    28 March
    Dear Ones,
    I have lived in India for over 15 years and I have NEVER seen a label for a GMO product. Like you, I have heard copious stories of Indian farmers committing suicide because they could not get out of the Monsanto seed loop, so the plants are there, but it is all hush hush.
    Once you posted the list of companies that supported the anti-GMO labeling campaign, I recognized that they are really everywhere. They have so many silent subsidiaries that I made the decision not to support any major company any longer by purchasing their food products. I feel like they are all back room buddies. I also feel that if everyone did this, or even a significant number of people, the companies that might be really clean would be forced to label their products non GMO to keep clientele. Like the Wal-Mart thing, it would automatically make the companies to label from their side. Money/simple economics is the best pressure there is.
    Anyway, I am only one, and I am all the way in India, but I make my feelings known to all the westerners I come into contact with when the subject comes up. The word is spreading and awareness is building, one person at a time. We can speed this process up, of course, and people like yourselves have contacts and ways that individuals do not.
    I support you as much as I can from here and know that consciousness is on the rise all over the planet and good souls simply are not going to stay quiet for long. I like the idea of a quiet revolution, simply not purchasing anything from the big companies. God is on our side, or rather, we are on God’s side in this. We cannot fail.
    The whole thing on Prop 37 only makes us more determined to keep on. Even if the count were correct, we came so close, we have it within our grasp. This is not the time to stop.
    God bless all of you for your wonderful work.

  41. […] There WAS a recount, headed by Tom Courbat, former senior budget analyst for LA County. The recount process was met with cooperation in Orange and Sierra counties and with massive opposition in Fresno County, to the point that the private citizens who were paying for the recount were unable to pursue and complete the recount. You can read the whole story here:… […]

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