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By Brad Friedman on 3/25/2006 11:56am PT  

Blogged by Brad on the Road...

The Fort Worth Star-Telegram picks up on our previous report about Hart InterCivic / Tarrant County, TX election software whistleblower William Singer.

Does the "Startlegram" give any love to The BRAD BLOG in their article? Despite an hour or two on the phone with them after they called for deets and a hook-up with our source last week? Not a jot.

But we're not in it for the love. We're in it for the big bucks.

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Also Mentions Steve Smith Texas Election Challenge
By John Gideon on 3/24/2006 12:28pm PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon

Today our friends at Rawstory posted an article about Clint Curtis giving his background and more about his run for the House of Representatives from the Florida.

To Republicans, Clint Curtis is a traitor; a back-stabbing liar with an imagination that rivaled Jack Abramoff's influence over Congress.

To liberal Democrats, Curtis is a hero; a stand up guy who blew the whistle on computer voting fraud, testifying before a group of U.S. House Committee Judiciary Democrats after the 2004 presidential election.

And to the man himself, the Republican-turned-Democrat is nothing but a computer geek who purports to have found himself smack in the middle of a brazen political plot to tamper with elections in Florida, where fact can be stranger than fiction and politics as shady as swampy underbrush.

Also in the article is a bit about Supreme Court candidate Steve Smith of Texas who is considering challenging the election from earlier this month in which some strange numbers were posted. This was covered by BRAD BLOG earlier this week.

In the Texas case, Republican Steve Smith is preparing a challenge after losing in the state's Supreme Court Justice primary election earlier this month. In Winkler County, Texas, where Smith respectively received 74 percent and 65 percent of the votes in the 2002 and 2004 elections, he received zero votes in the recent primary.

And in Smith's home county, Tarrant, where he outperformed statewide results by 13 percent in 2004, he underperformed statewide results by 23 percent earlier this month.

Smiths' opponent, Don Willet, has close ties to President Bush. Willet served as a special assistant to the president in Bush's quest for faith-based initiatives.

Clint is enjoying the help of some avid supporters.

"Karyn Altman, a freelance writer and hospitality marketing professional in Miami, is one of a small, but dedicated team of volunteers throughout the country working to get Curtis on the ballot. Other volunteers are in New Jersey and California.

"Clint needs to raise $10,000 by April 7th so we can get him on the primary ballot," said Altman, who is in the process of organizing fundraisers for Curtis in South Florida.

Like many Democrats, Altman started becoming disillusioned with politics after the 2000 Florida fiasco in which the Supreme Court voted to put Bush in the White House. In 2002, after the computer voting machines were introduced in Florida, she says it took her three attempts for her vote to register for her Democratic candidate.

"When I discovered afterwards that I was not the only one who'd had this experience, I became obsessed with learning about electronic machines and the ways they could be manipulated without detection," she said.

"I find it outrageous that in spite of all of the evidence, the mainstream media refuses to cover this story," she said. "And the Democratic Party refuses to even consider, at least publicly, the possibility that fraud and election rigging could be taking place.""

For more info on The BRAD BLOG's continuing investigative series on
The Clint Curtis/Tom Feeney/Yang Enterprises Vote-Rigging Scandal series, please see:
- A Quick Summary of the story so far.
- An Index of all the Key Articles & Evidence in the series so far.

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AP Joins 'Tallahassee Democrat' Alleging Violations of State Law When Meeting Between Sue Cobb and Ion Sancho Suddenly Closed, Police Ordered to Remove Reporters
Election Supervisor/E-Voting Hero Buoyed By Broad Support, But Controversy is 'Taking a Toll'
By Brad Friedman on 3/17/2006 4:49pm PT  

The Associated Press is now joining the Tallahassee Democrat in a complaint sent to the Florida Attorney General objecting to an open meeting in the state's capital last Monday which Florida Sec. of State Sue Cobb suddenly took it upon herself to close. She then called the capital police and ordered them to remove reporters from the area.

Earlier this week, The BRAD BLOG reported on the aborted "open meeting" as called by Cobb with Leon County Election Supervisor Ion Sancho and two other county commissioners. The meeting was called in order to discuss the situation in Leon County, where Sancho recently revealed that Diebold optical-scan voting machines could be hacked without a trace left behind.

Sancho told The BRAD BLOG last night he felt "there was no reason" to close the meeting.

"There was nothing we talked about in there that needed to be kept secret. They just don't like open meetings. They like doing their business in secret," Sancho said.

Cobb, on behalf of the state, has been putting pressure on Sancho to purchase new voting equipment, threatening him with removal from his elected position, and suggesting that U.S. Marshall's might come in to run the county's election. That, despite the fact that all three companies certified to do business in the state have now refused to work with Sancho.

Voting Machine Companies, it seems, don't like doing business in the open either.

The meeting last Monday --- held on the first day of "Sunshine Week" celebrating "open government" in Florida --- was suddenly closed by Cobb who then called the police to remove reporters.

"On the first day of 'Sunshine Week' it was a pretty stupid thing to do," Sancho said.

According to the Tallahassee Democrat, both they and the AP have now sent letters of complaint to Florida Attorney General Charlie Crist and State Attorney Willie Megs "expressing outrage" at being barred from the meeting in apparent violation of state law.

As reported by the Democrat...

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---

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Corrupt Congressman Plays the 'Radical Left Conspiracy Theory' Card Already...
By Brad Friedman on 3/14/2006 2:02pm PT  

Tom Feeney, the corrupt, lying U.S. Congressman from Florida's 24th District (the one who is alleged by Clint Curtis to have asked him to create vote-rigging software) is usually the picture of cockiness. Not so of late.

As reported by Orlando Sentinel today, it looks like Feeney is doing a bit of pre-emptive damage control now that he knows Clint Curtis is gunning for his 24th district seat:

Feeney wrote that the radical leftists would receive help from "the local media," which he predicted will report "conspiracy theories and complete lies."

And who knows better from "complete lies" than Tom Feeney?!

(Want to take a polygraph test to back up your assertions, Mr. Feeney? We suspect not, since Clint Curtis already has.)

Please support Curtis' campaign to dethrone Feeney and expose the beast at www.ClintCurtis.com. Right now, Curtis needs financial contributions of any size as Feeney is playing big time for big money from his big base in the very "red" district he carved out for himself in Florida when he was Speaker of the Legislature down there.

If Curtis can survive the primary, a head-to-head matchup with Feeney may do more than anything we've seen in this country so far to bring the Electronic Election Fraud issues front and center into the national spotlight! Now's the time.

For more info on The BRAD BLOG's continuing investigative series on
The Clint Curtis/Tom Feeney/Yang Enterprises Vote-Rigging Scandal series, please see:
- A Quick Summary of the story so far.
- An Index of all the Key Articles & Evidence in the series so far.

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100,000+ Votes Were Errantly Added by Hart Machines in a Single County in Last Tuesday's Primary via Flawed, Paperless 'eSlate' Touch-Screen System!
Former Hart Employee, Tarrant County TX Election Worker Notified State, Legal Authorities in 2004 About Serious Voting Machine Problems, Procedures...All Warnings and Complaints Ignored
By Brad Friedman on 3/13/2006 1:20pm PT  

Continuing in an exclusive BRAD BLOG series of Voting Machine Vendor and Election Fraud whistleblowers, another insider, from yet another voting machine company, has now come forward to reveal a myriad of known problems inside both the company and in several states and counties with whom they do business.

During last Tuesday's Primary Election in the state of Texas, scores of "computer glitches" --- as voting officials and electronic voting machine vendors like to refer to them --- were revealed occurred across the state. Many of those "glitches" occurred on electronic voting equipment manufactured and supplied to various counties in Texas by the Hart InterCivic company.

One such "glitch" occurred in Texas' Tarrant County, which encompasses Fort Worth. That "glitch" resulted in some 100,000 votes being added to the result totals across the county's paperless Hart-Intercivic "eSlate" touch-screen voting system.

Election Officials in Tarrant claim they didn't look into the problems on Election Night as the problem emerged because, as reported by the Star-Telegram last week, "they were dealing with a new system, new procedures and some new equipment."

The BRAD BLOG can now report, however, that according to a Hart InterCivic company whistleblower --- who also happened to have later worked as an "election programmer" in Tarrant County --- the problems with Hart InterCivic's systems in Tarrant County, Texas and elsewhere are not new at all. Not by a longhorn long shot.

Letters sent by William Singer of Fort Worth, a former Hart InterCivic "technical specialist" and Tarrant County election worker, to state officials back in July of 2004 warned of exactly such problems. The letters, obtained and published here for the first time exclusively by The BRAD BLOG, reveal that serious problems and concerns of possible election system meltdowns were already apparent with the Hart machines in Tarrant County long ago. However, the warning letters were all but ignored by both election officials and even state law enforcement officials.

The "glitch" in last Tuesday's primary, as reported the Star-Telegram, "caused Tarrant County to report as many as 100,000 votes in both primaries that never were cast." After the problem was discovered, they report, "the local turnout [dropped] from a possible record high of about 158,103 voters to about 58,000."

A review of several notarized letters sent by Singer to officials in both Texas and Ohio in 2004 warned of fraudulent activities, buggy software and hardware, dysfunctional testing and development procedures, unsecured working environments and possible criminal behavior by both Hart InterCivic and Election Workers in both states.

Singer --- who eventually resigned from the company and ended up working as an Election Programmer for Tarrant County, where last Tuesday's "glitch" occurred --- wrote of allegations that Hart illegally supplied specially prepared machines for testing to state election officials. Along with doing so, they also withheld a number of known security, programming and hardware flaws during official review and certification of the systems.

TROUBLE IN TARRANT COUNTY, TEXAS...

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---

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Damning Complaints of New Troubles and Old Problems in Texas and Ohio...
PLUS: The BRAD BLOG Week in Review and Other Sunday Notables...
By Brad Friedman on 3/12/2006 3:21pm PT  

Tomorrow (Monday) The BRAD BLOG will feature yet another Voting Machine Industry insider who is stepping forward with yet more troubling information and documented accusations about the way his company --- and at least one county in Texas, where there were notable problems in last Tuesday's primary --- have been running elections. Damning complaints about Fraud, Mismanagement, and possible Criminal Behavior were made about many of the alleged problems as long ago as July 2004. We'll have the documentation. The complaints were all but ignored, surprisingly enough (irony inserted there), by both public and company officials. We'll have a full feature on those complaints and warnings on Monday...We believe you'll not want to miss it!

It's been an incredibly busy time here at The BRAD BLOG, in case you haven't noticed. Just scroll down last week's list of stories to get an idea of what's been going on --- at a furious pace. And there is much more on the way. For an audio review of some of last week's best stories, you may wish to listen to my weekly appearance last Friday with the good Peter B. Collins of KRXA 540am wherein we discussed as many of last week's stories as we could fit into one 40 minute appearance [MP3].

A few other quick Sunday items of note...

VoteTrustUSA has begun a campaign in support of Ion Sancho... Sancho, as readers here know, is the Election Supervisor in Leon County who exposed the security flaw in Diebold's optical-scan voting equipment which allows a hacker to completely flip the results of an election without a trace being left behind. Sancho is under attack for this good deed by the State of Florida themselves and yet he's fighting back as best as he can. Click here to send email support for Sancho's efforts!

Stephen Heller, the whistleblower who revealed Diebold's plan... to break the law in California has set up a legal defense fund since being charged with three felony counts. We wrote about Heller previously and the excellent Tribune Media Services columnist, Bob Koehler, covered his story this week as well in a great column. Here are some comments from Heller's wife. He is in need of funds to fight against the bad guys. So, donations can now be made via the Stephen Heller Defense Fund website.

Lastly, for now... and not important at all, but kind of fun. Please Vote for BRAD BLOG in any or all of the 6 categories for which we've been nominated in the Koufax 2005 Weblog Awards! If you're so inclined. We'd much appreciate it! And thanks, as ever, for all the great support!

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'Gag Ordered' Former Translator Seeks to Tell Congress and the American People What She Knows
Online Petition Launched Calling on Congress to Hold Joint Public Hearings by the Senate and House Judiciary Committees to Finally Allow the Truth of Her Allegations to be Told...
By Brad Friedman on 3/3/2006 11:04am PT  

She's fought her case all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. It was the very same day that the facade cracked on the front of the building and a chunk of marble --- just above an allegorical statue representing "Order" and just below the words "Equal Justice" --- came crashing to the ground. The highest court in the land refused to hear her case.

Along the way, the Dept. of Justice has done everything in their power (and then some) to keep her quiet. They invoked the rarely used "State Secrets Privilege" to shut her up --- going so far as to use it, without explanation, to remove her and her own attorneys from the courtroom when arguing their case against her.

In at least two unclassified Senate briefings, FBI officials confirmed the validity of her reports, but the information from those briefings was then retroactively classified by the DoJ --- which served to gag the Congress from further investigation on the matter. The DoJ even retroactively classified a 60 Minutes profile on her --- after it had already aired!

All of that, even after the DoJ's own Inspector General's report found Sibel Edmonds' allegations to be "credible" and "serious" and "warrant[ing] a thorough and careful review by the FBI." The unclassified version of that report was only released by the DoJ after prodding from Congressional members and the 9/11 Commission.

Ranking Senate Judiciary Committee Members Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Pat Leahy (D-VT) both publicly support her case and would like to allow the Congress and the American public to hear more.

Want to know what it is that she knows? What it is that she feels we the people ought to know about? And what it is that has led her to form the National Security Whistleblowers Coalition to support other patriots like herself who are trying to expose crimes and corruption from within our own government? We do. And we hope you do too.

Therefore, The BRAD BLOG is pleased to support a new petition calling on Congress to hold a joint Senate and House Judiciary Committee investigation, with open hearings into all of these matters.

Government of the people, by the people, and for the people. You all remember that, right? Let's make this happen. Please sign her petition right now.

And please spread the word to other blogs and bloggers (and perhaps even the MSM may want to get in on the act --- it is their country too, after all), and ask them to do the same. This one's important.

We've reported over the last few months about various aspects of Edmonds' case. However, for those unfamiliar with the larger pictures of Edmonds' allegations and what she would like to testify about before the Congress and the American people --- all based on what she heard and saw first-hand while working as an FBI translator just after 9/11 --- please see the following bullet point summary of just a few of her explosive whistleblowing allegations...

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---

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Huffington Post Picks Up the Cause...
Please take action!
By Brad Friedman on 2/27/2006 10:36am PT  

Last week we briefly discussed Stephen Heller who, out here in Los Angeles, is now facing three felony charges for exposing the illegal scheme by Diebold to use uncertified software on their voting machines in the state several years ago. The LA Times coverage is here.

Heller blew the whistle on the company's plan to defraud California voters when he exposed documents he saw while working as a temp worker at Diebold's California law firm, Jones Day. The courageous act, from which Heller stood to gain nothing (he, in fact, was fired for it) led to the decertification of Diebold in the state by former Sec. of State Kevin Shelley, and then to the eventual settlement between the company and the state of California for $2.6 million in 2004.

Today, several Huffington Post blogger take up on Heller's behalf, along with issuing some calls to action to contact the LA District Attorney's office to encourage tell them to drop this appalling case of punishing the patriot, Heller at the behest of the the bullies at Diebold.

Peter Soby Jr.'s coverage is the most complete. Here's a snippet:

Let's make this clear, folks. The docs Heller is accused of exposing were important evidence. First, they show that Diebold and their attorneys, Jones Day, conspired to mislead the California secretary of state, and that the lie they told was material, and resulted directly in the disenfranchisement of voters. Second, another document demonstrates that Diebold lied to the secretary of state when it represented that certain problems with its software were "fixed." This document, the release notes for the new software, showed that the problems were not fixed. Third, the documents showed that Diebold had been advised by Jones Day that what it had been doing with its uncertified software was illegal. Fourth, the documents show that Jones Day advised Diebold that it was subject to criminal prosecution. So in a nutshell, Diebold was defrauding the state government and taxpayers of California, and disenfranchising the voters of California. And the documents PROVE it.

And for allegedly exposing Diebold's felonious behavior (which led directly to Diebold being de-certified in California), for allegedly helping protect the taxpayers and voters of California, for allegedly helping to keep elections clean and fair, what happens? Diebold, the true criminal in this case, and their powerful international law firm Jones Day, press the L.A. District Attorney's office to hammer Heller, a whistleblower. Three felonies! Diebold was (and probably still is) screwing California voters, Heller is alleged to have seen the smoking gun evidence of Diebold's crimes, and, like a true patriot and whistleblower, allegedly exposed that smoking gun evidence, and now HE'S the one facing jail time. Only in Bush's America!

Soby goes on to offer some talking points and helpful contact information for the LA District attorney. Please check them out and take action.

As well, Lyn Davis Lear (Norman's wife), speaks up in support as well.

...CONTACT...
District Attorney's Office
County of Los Angeles
210 West Temple Street, Suite 18000
Los Angeles, CA 90012-3210

Email: lada@co.la.ca.us

Telephone: (213) 974-3512
Fax: (213) 974-1484
TTY: (800) 457-7778 (8:30am - 5:00pm M-F)

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By David Edwards on 2/27/2006 7:51am PT  

Guest blogged by David Edwards of Veredictum.com


Video in Streaming Flash format...
Video in Windows Media format...
Audio in MP3 format...

Thanks to a heads-up from Larisa at The Raw Story, we were able to captured this broadcast of CNBC's Tim Russert show. Russert interviewed James Risen and Robert O'Harrow, Jr. The video contains about 24 minutes of clips from CNBC's Saturday broadcast.

James Risen broke the NSA warrantless domestic spying story for the New York Times. He also has a new book out, State of War: The Secret History of the CIA And The Bush Administration. Risen is known to have sources within various intelligence agencies and has recieved information from several NSA whistleblowers. One of those whistleblowers, Russell Tice, recently testified before congress that NSA domestic surveillance programs may be much more widespread than the "limited" program that the Bush Administration has admitted. Tice has said that some programs could be monitoring "millions of Americans".

Robert O'Harrow, Jr. is an award-winning reporter for the Washingon Post with an expertise data mining and privacy issues. His recent book, No Place to Hide: Behind the Scenes of Our Emerging Surveillance Society, describes "a surveillance society that's less centralized and more a joint public/private venture".

Together, Risen and O'Harrow paint a picture of an enormous partnership between U.S. intelligence agencies and private data collection firms. Spying agencies like the NSA can leverage its' massive computing power to mine data collected by these private firms. The result is a mind-boggling domestic surveillance capability with access to nearly any information imaginable. Phone calls, email, video as well as financial, criminal and other personal records can all be searched at the same time. The NSA's powerful computers can mine the data to find otherwise imperceptible links for profiling groups and individuals.

Russert calls it a "sobering" discussion. The interview only scratches the surface of how extensive the scope of Big Brother's monitoring of Americans may be. The surveillance programs are a dramatic departure from what the public has come to believe. It's easy to see why the Bush Administration has avoided legislation and oversight.

It's quite possible that the American people would not stand for Bush's spying policies if they had a sense of the true nature of the government's surveillance.

UPDATE 5/8/06: Luke has now posted a text transcript of this Russert/Risen/O'Harrow interview.

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Lots of Electoral Stuff in One Neat Package...
By Brad Friedman on 2/22/2006 10:00pm PT  

Notable news around the nation in regard to Electronic Voting, Election Reform and Voting in general is coming now at a more and more frenetic pace. We've got much more we're personally working on, but today there were a few other small-ish, yet notable-ish stories worth mentioning. Here they are --- wrapped into one single, user-friendly, BRAD BLOG item...

1) California May Want to Get Ready for Diebold Related Lawsuits
Voter Action --- the group who has successfully received a Temporary Restraining Order against the purchase of Sequoia voting machines in New Mexico while they enjoy unprecedented "discovery" on such machines --- has turned their eye towards Diebold in California, given the latest developments/shenanigans concerning SoS Bruce McPherson's re-certification in apparent violation of state laws and regulalations. The Voter Action press release issued today indicates that litigation in California, similar to that in New Mexico, might be very appropriate. Stay tuned.

2) Greens/Libertarians Demand Reinstatement of Federal Ohio '04 Recount Suit
Yes, they're still fighting for your vote to be counted. A Federal judge recently dismissed their lawsuit charging that the 2004 Ohio Presidential Recount was gamed. The reason for the dismissal: The point was now moot, since the 2004 recount procedures would not be used again. But, according to 2004 Green Party Presidential Candidate David Cobb, what the judge didn't know when he dismissed the case, was that Ohio's SOB SoS, J. Kenneth Blackwell, recently announced that recount procedures would be the same in the future. Game back on, says Cobb in his motion to re-instate the case.

3) Diebold Whistleblower Charged With Three Felony Counts
The LA Times reports today (link above) that Stephen Heller, the man who released internal memos from Diebold's California law firm in 2002 showing they were aware of a number of election law violations pled "not guilty" to the charges. Says his attorney, "Certainly, someone who saw those documents could have reasonably believed that thousands of voters were going to be potentially disenfranchised in upcoming elections." Diebold fought to keep the docs from being published. They lost. Eventually it all led to a multi-million dollar settlement with California and BlackBoxVoting.org, who has more on this...

4) TV News Waking Up to Election Reform Issues!
WGAL in Philadelphia covers the Electoral mess hitting their state. The second of their two-part report takes a look into the unsavory legal backgrounds of virtually ALL of the American Voting Machine companies. From ES&S to Sequoia to Danaher to Diebold, etc. Here's to more local news outlets jumping into the game where the national media is failing!

5) George W. Bush Acts Like He Gives a Damn About the Voting Rights Act
A few years ago, he didn't know what it was. Now, with it coming up for renewal in 2007, after his Dept. of Justice has all but gutted it, Bush has the temerity to call for its renewal as if he cares about it. Says Bush in this short video today (thanks David Edwards!): The VRA is a "milestone in the history of civil Rights. Congress must act to renew the Voting Rights Act of 1965." Like he could give a shit.

6) Parallel Universe: Election Reform as Covered by Fox "News"
A preview of how the MSM (led as usual by Fox) will likely cover Election Reform as soon as they notice the massive crisis. Which is to say, they'll report on everything that doesn't matter, but that which Fox and the GOP tells them is important. In their article, Fox, of course, puts the emphasis on States that haven't implemented HAVA fast enough, Photo ID requirement laws, the non-existent problem of "Voter Fraud" (yes, all the Baker/Carter Commission cretins, including our friend, the unrepentant Robert Pastor make unsurprisingly Fox-friendly cameos) and finally, at the end --- the very end --- a brief nod to a few concerns about Electronic Voting. The biggest concern there? "Inexperienced poll workers" having problems with the "new technology." Hey, it's the "#1 Name in News" for a reason, baby!

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DeLay's #1 Supporter Unapologetic About Money Taken from Duke Cunningham, Abramoff-Funded Golf Trip to Scotland, Foreign Agent-Funded Trips to Asia and More...
Clint Curtis' Campaign Gets Some Florida Ink in the Bargain...
By Brad Friedman on 2/20/2006 12:32pm PT  

Looks like our old friend, the indefatigably corrupt Rep. Tom Feeney (R-FL), is making news again.

St. Petersberg Times takes a front page look at the "allegations pil[ing] up" against Feeney. Here's some highlights:

Three members of Congress went on a golfing junket to Scotland with lobbyist Jack Abramoff. Two of them are under investigation.

The third is Rep. Tom Feeney of Florida.
...
Feeney, 47, has tried to move past the allegations but, in typical fashion, has shown little regret or caution.

He kept patronizing Abramoff's Washington restaurant, Signatures, long after others stopped. He defended former majority leader Tom DeLay even after the Texas congressman was indicted. He let a private group pay for his trip to China last month, even though many in Congress are avoiding such travel because of bad publicity over questionable trips.
...
Feeney, usually one of the most accessible of the state's congressional delegation, refused to answer questions. His staff described questions into his relationship as a "fishing expedition" and said he has done nothing wrong.

So will Feeney disclose who paid for that trip to China last month, in which he visited the Chinese Space Agency and called for more cooperation with them? Perhaps he should, considering that NASA, where his wife also works, is in Feeney's district. Even more notably, Feeney spent years as the general counsel and registered lobbyist for the firm Yang Enterprises, Inc. --- which harbored an illegal Chinese alien eventually found guilty of espionage charges related to sending military missile guidance chips to China --- a firm that currently has lucrative contracts with NASA.

Full disclosure on this matter would seem to be particularly important, given the revelation of Feeney's lies regarding his continuing relationship with the Yangs and their company.

On a related point, here's an unfortunate little tidbit from the article:

Feeney...has been infatuated with politics since he dressed up as his childhood hero Richard Nixon in a mock grade school election

The list of allegations against Feeney continues in the article, along with some ink for Clint Curtis' run for Congress against him:

Feeney was immediately taken with DeLay, to whom Feeney sometimes is compared, and voted with him almost all the time. Later, Feeney became a prominent defender of DeLay, giving $5,000 to his legal defense and supporting a Republican move to allow him to keep his leadership post if indicted.
...
He received $5,000 from former Rep. "Duke" Cunningham's PAC before Cunningham resigned last year amid a bribery scandal.

"My concern about him is that he seems to view the rules are optional," said Melanie Sloan, executive director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics, a group that has primarily criticized Republicans. "Rules are there for a reason."

In September, Feeney was named one of "the 13 most corrupt members of Congress" by Sloan's group. The Congressional Accountability Project demanded that the House ethics panel investigate Feeney and others for their ties to Abramoff.

"No one likes being attacked but he still continues with his daily routine," said Rep. Ginny Brown-Waite, a Brooksville Republican who served in the Florida Legislature with Feeney. "This hasn't changed him at all."

Feeney did not face opposition in 2004 but this year already has two opponents, veterinarian Andy Michaud, a Democrat, and computer programmer Clint Curtis, a lifelong Republican turned Democrat. Both Curtis and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee question Feeney's ethics.

Here's a complete list of Reps who received money from Duke Cunningham. Feeney is among those accepting the most, but has not returned the money at this time.

Hat-tip to Jesselee from Stakeholder, who has more on the St. Pete Times article.

Clint Curtis' campaign website, where he needs much financial and logistical support if he's to have a chance of taking on Feeney and the Florida Republican Machine is right here.

For more info on The BRAD BLOG's continuing investigative series on
The Clint Curtis/Tom Feeney/Yang Enterprises Vote-Rigging Scandal series, please see:
- A Quick Summary of the story so far.
- An Index of all the Key Articles & Evidence in the series so far.
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Eavesdropping Programs Monitoring 'Millions of Americans'
By David Edwards on 2/16/2006 10:49am PT  

Guest blogged by David Edwards


Video in Streaming Flash format...

On Tuesday, a former NSA employee, Russell Tice, testified before the House Government Reform Subcommittee on National Security, Emerging Threats and International Relations. Tice told the committee that he was concerned that undisclosed domestic spying programs were far more widespread than the recently exposed Bush/NSA warrantless wiretap program.

One or more still classified "Special Access" surveillance program may be monitoring the communications of "millions of Americans". While Tice could not share classified details of the program(s), he believes that the Constitution and FISA laws are being violated.

An article published by UPI has more information about the widespread domestic surveillance programs.

The hearings focused on protection for whistleblowers and a pattern of retaliations by the Bush Administration. This article from the Christian Science Monitor provides an excellent summary of testimony from whistleblowers appearing before the committee.

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Former Republican turned Democrat says: 'I'm Purple with a Blue Tint'
On Opponent Tom Feeney and Friends: 'The values of the Republican party have ceased to exist', Will Ask Feeney to Take Polygraph!
By Brad Friedman on 2/15/2006 1:03pm PT  

NOTE: In his first broadcast interview since the news of his potential run against Tom Feeney has been made public, Clint Curtis will be one of our guests this evening on The Young Turks radio program, where I'll be sitting in as Guest Host. Tune in via Sirius Satellite Channel 146 or at www.TheYoungTurks.com to listen, watch and call in from 6p-9p ET!

On Monday, we broke the story that vote-rigging whistleblower Clint Curtis is exploring a run for the U.S. Congress in Florida's 24th district. He hopes to challenge Rep. Tom Feeney, the man who Curtis alleges asked him to create a vote-rigging software prototype back in 2000 when they both worked at the same firm. Curtis was a software programmer, Feeney was the company's general counsel and registered lobbyist, even while he served as speaker of the Florida Legislature.

Curtis has now officially set up a website to support the campaign and raise much needed funding to take on both Feeney and an opponent in the Democratic primary race (Curtis was previously a life-long Republican until his experience with Feeney and friends left him with a distaste for Republican party politics).

See our previous item for more details on Curtis' extraordinary story and Feeney's alleged corruption and continuing failure to tell the truth about any number of things. If you're not familiar at all with Curtis' story, it's a remarkable one, and worth the read. A Quick Summary is available here.

I have been talking to Curtis for a while about running against Feeney since not long after The BRAD BLOG broke his story. In fact, I first brought up the notion with him back in January of 2005 when I met him in person for the first time at the Freedom Cinema Festival in Park City, UT where I was interviewing him on stage for a live festival event.

In hearing about Curtis' decision to finally go ahead and announce an exploratory campaign in hopes of running against Feeney --- and first against primary opponent Dr. Andy Michaud --- I sent several questions to Curtis via email last weekend. Here are those questions and his answers --- on his reasons for running, his chances of winning, how he plans to take Feeney head-on and confront him directly about corruption from the vote-rigging allegations to Feeney's cozy relationship with Tom DeLay. And of course, whether or not he'll ask Feeney to take a polygraph test, as Curtis himself has successfully done on questions relating to these matters...

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---

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Whistleblowing Computer Programmer Seeking to Challenge GOP Congressman Charged With Asking Him to Create Vote-Rigging Software!
Exploratory Campaign Website Created, Public Announcement to be Made Wednesday in Florida
By Brad Friedman on 2/13/2006 2:01pm PT  

In what could be one of the most interesting campaigns for the U.S. House in 2006, The BRAD BLOG can now reveal that computer programmer turned electronic vote-rigging software whistleblower Clint Curtis is officially planning a run for the U.S. Congressional seat in Florida's 24th District.

The 24th Congressional District seat is currently occupied by Rep. Tom Feeney, the very man who Curtis has alleged once asked him to create a vote-rigging software prototype program back when both men worked for the software firm Yang Enterprises, Inc. (YEI) in Oviedo, Florida.

Curtis' startling allegations that then-State Senator Feeney had sought to have such a program built was first broken nationally by The BRAD BLOG in a story based on his sworn affidavit [PDF] which "rocked the vote from Tallahassee to Capitol Hill" when it was originally published in early December of 2004. Indeed, it was so popular that it took down our blog entirely for four straight days.

Since filing his original allegations, Curtis has given stunning sworn, video-taped testimony about the matter to members of the U.S. House Judiciary Committee in a public hearing, and later, successfully passed a polygraph test in regard to the charges.

Feeney, who was once Jeb Bush's running-mate during his first ill-fated run for Governor in 1994, was also the Speaker of the Florida Legislature who infamously promised to award Florida's electoral votes to George W. Bush during the 2000 Election Debacle --- no matter what the state Supreme Court would ultimately decide about the matter. He later went on to run for the U.S. Congress in 2002 in Florida's conservative 24th District, which is said to have been carved out expressly by Feeney for himself during his time in the statehouse.

Rep. Feeney now sits on the U.S. House Judiciary Committee and continues to face charges of ethical transgressions concerning his conduct during his tenure as a U.S. Congressman where was recently reported to be Tom DeLay's #1 supporter. Said Feeney at a "Salute to Tom DeLay" last May, "Tom DeLay is the most effective leader the House has seen in 50 years."

Curtis, in preparing for a run his against Feeney, (who has been caught by The BRAD BLOG in more than a few "contradictions" over the time we've been covering this story,) has set up a campaign website to support his potential run at www.ClintCurtis.com where he is currently welcoming much-needed contributions and supporters.

In addition to the vote-rigging charges, Curtis also alleged that YEI employed an illegal Chinese alien involved in placing "wire-tapping" modules into software created by the company who had top-secret security contracts with NASA, the Florida Dept. of Transportation (FDOT), amongst other clients. Feeney was both general counsel and registered lobbyist for YEI for years during that time, even while he was Speaker of Florida's Legislature, where he also faced ethics charges during his tenure.

One of the illegal aliens at YEI reported by Curtis to the Florida's Inspector General's office in 2001 as working at the company and said to have been placing the "wire-tapping" modules into software before it shipped, was arrested in 2004 after a four-year sting, and has pled guilty to charges related to espionage in attempting to illegally ship Hellfire anti-tank missile chips to China. Feeney himself just returned from yet another trip to Asia, this time touring China's space facility where he reportedly called for "more balanced relations" with the Communist nation.

Charges that Curtis had made concerning over-billing of YEI contracts with FDOT have also since been confirmed by the Florida Inspector General's office who finally completed their report on Curtis' case in early 2005.

Feeney, who claimed, as late as February of 2005 that he had ended his relationship with YEI once he reached the U.S. House in 2002, was revealed by The BRAD BLOG to have been the honoree at a private party/reception given by company owners --- and continuing large contributors to Feeney's campaign --- Dr. and Mrs. Yang in 2003. As well, Feeney's campaign headquarters for his 2004 campaign, during which he ran unopposed, was housed in YEI's main headquarters building in Oviedo. Feeney's campaign website still lists YEI's address --- 1420 Alafaya Trail --- as the place to contact his campaign.

Unlike Curtis, Feeney has not taken a polygraph test in relation to his denial of Curtis' charges.

Many of those denials have since been debunked by The BRAD BLOG.

As our coverage of the Clint Curtis story has been extensive over the last 14 months, we'll refer you to this Quick Summary of the main points in his extraordinary story, as well as this Index of Key Articles, for more details in the continuing saga. We promise there is more stunning revelations to be found there, including some startling details of the mysterious death of the original Florida Inspector General's investigator assigned to Curtis' case.

Beyond the Curtis-related allegations, Feeney has been described as one of the "13 Most Ethically Challenged Members of Congress" in light of his lobbyist and foreign-agent sponsored trips such as his Tom DeLay/Jack Abramoff golf junket to St. Andrews, Scotland (yes, he was right there along with them) and elsewhere. Josh Marshall of Talking Points Memo described Feeney just last month as a "bamboozler" for his attempts at playing both sides of the field concerning his vote on new rules which DeLay was pushing through the House Ethics Committee. When asked how he voted on the new rules, as attempted by DeLay, Feeney tried to avoid giving an answer to the media by saying there was no actual vote on the matter. Despite the fact that there was.

Feeney's history as a bamboozler seems to be becoming legendary.

Curtis, formerly a "life-long Republican," became a self-described "Conservative Democrat" after his various disturbing dealings with Feeney and friends. He will be making his first public announcement about his intentions to form an exploratory campaign at a local Democratic party gathering at the Cocoa Civic Center in Brevard County this Wednesday evening.

Before facing Feeney directly, however, Curtis will have to survive a primary race against Dr. Andy Michaud who has reportedly pledged to spend quite a bit of his own money in order to face one of the most effective fundraisers in Congress.

We also imagine Michaud will be seeing a sudden influx of financial support in the days ahead from the many supporters of Feeney who, we have a feeling, would rather not have to face Curtis in the General Election next November.

Therefore fundraising from across the nation, Curtis tells The BRAD BLOG as part of a "Campaign Q&A" with him which we will publish here tomorrow, will be key.

"As with most battles of good vs. evil, good can only win if it receives sufficient help," says Curtis. "If my campaign does not receive both unprecedented financial support as well as huge volunteer efforts, this could be a very difficult quest to fulfill."

Difficult indeed. Curtis who, unlike both Michaud and Feeney, has never participated in a political campaign before, will have his work cut out for him. But he's faced more daunting --- and terrifying --- fights in the past. His tireless years-long effort to hold accountable those who he sees as having committed wrong-doing against this country has not come at a small cost. But that struggle may serve him well in his "good vs. evil battle."

Curtis explains that he feels he has little choice at this point but to enter the battle, and in discussing it, he expresses a sentiment heard all too rarely from Democrats these days: "I am now convinced that fearing a loss is not a valid reason for never entering the fight."

And so the fight begins...

###

BRAD BLOG's exclusive Q&A with Candidate Curtis is now published here. Contributions to Curtis' exploratory campaign may be made via his website at this link.

For more info on The BRAD BLOG's continuing investigative series on
The Clint Curtis/Tom Feeney/Yang Enterprises Vote-Rigging Scandal series, please see:
- A Quick Summary of the story so far.
- An Index of all the Key Articles & Evidence in the series so far.
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By Brad Friedman on 2/13/2006 2:45am PT  

This could be fun.

Until it's good to go, if you're not familiar with the Clint Curtis story, see this Quick Summary or this Index of Key BRAD BLOG Articles on the matter from the last 14 months of reporting the amazing saga. It's well worth diving into if you're not familiar with it.

If you're already up to speed on Curtis, distract yourself until we break the new story with Sunday's "Live Blogging" of Deadeye Dick...

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