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Latest Featured Reports | Thursday, September 18, 2014
ACLU Files Emergency Petition to Halt 'Electoral Chaos' in WI
Seeks full 7th Circuit hearing after remarkable three-GOP judge ruling reinstating Photo ID restrictions just weeks before election...
'Green News Report' 9/18/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
DiCaprio takes climate role at UN; Jindal plays dumbest role yet; Fracking confirmed (again) to contaminate; Black lung coal disease on rise; PLUS: Polluter front groups newest attack...
Previous GNRs: 9/16/14 - 9/11/14 - Archives...
Oil & Water: KPFK 'BradCast'
BRAD BLOG's Desi Doyen sits in for Brad with guests Matthew Heberger on water wars, David O. Atkins on CA's latest fracking fight, and Margot Paez on Mars!...
Audio of 911 Call from Judge Mark Fuller's Wife as She's Heard Repeatedly Struck
MSNBC's Chris Hayes plays horrifying audio from the wife-beating incident of Federal Judge Mark Fuller; ALSO: calls for accountability from two Alabama U.S. Congresswoman...
Bobby Jindal: Climate Denier, Boy Genius
Louisiana's governor and pretend 2016 GOP Presidential hopeful pulls the old 'I know you are, but what am I?' maneuver by calling the Obama Administration 'climate deniers'...
'Green News Report' 9/16/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
Hottest year on record in CA, hottest Aug. on record for planet; Record hurricane hits Cabo San Lucas; Warm-water fish found in Alaska; PLUS: Burlington, VT now 100% renewable!...
Previous GNRs: 9/11/14 - 9/9/14 - Archives...
Wife-Beating Federal Judge Finally Mentioned on MSNBC
MSNBC contributor asks about lack of outrage, impeachment for federal judge Mark Fuller who beat his wife bloody in August...
Outrage Slowly Grows After Wife-Beating Federal Judge Avoids Prosecution
Fellow GOP District Court judge calls for accountability, says 'no one should trust Mark Fuller's judgment in a federal trial courtroom'...
GOP PHOTO ID RESTRICTION LAW RESTORED IN WI
Republican voter suppression laws getting huge boosts from GOP-appointed federal judges in NC, where 100s recently disenfranchised, and now in WI, in advance of critical mid-terms...
Not Taking the ISIS Bait
The media and the U.S. Government have decided to give the latest barbaric idiots to rise up in the Middle East all the publicity they crave, despite the 'exaggerated' threat posed to the U.S., or even in the region. We're not interested in playing along...
'Green News Report' 9/11/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
Greenhouse gas emissions jump at record rate; Australia's emissions soar after carbon tax axed; Oceans acidifying at historic rate; PLUS: Some good news: Ozone Hole begone!...
Previous GNRs: 9/9/14 - 9/4/14 - Archives...
Accountability for Judge Fuller?; O, Mighty ISIS!:
KPFK 'BradCast'
Will Alabama's wife-beating U.S. District Court Judge face impeachment? Plus: Callers, lots of 'em, on what to do about ISIS...
Wife-Beaters: Rice Loses Job; Judge Fuller Continues Lifetime Appointment
America was outraged by the NFL superstar. So, what about Alabama's federal judge who beat his wife bloody and is now off scot-free?...
'Green News Report' 9/9/14
Floods: Catastrophic in Pakistan, Historic in Phoenix; Hillary on Global Warming; Rand Paul dismisses; PLUS: Lobster Boat Blockade wins!...
GA GOP State Senator: Too Many Black People Will Vote in DeKalb County!
Vows to close 'election loophole' allowing convenient Early Voting in area 'dominated by African Americans'; UPDATE: Says just wants 'more educated voters'...
GOP Allows 'Citizens United' Amendment to Move Forward, Will Vote Against
Koch Brothers' beneficiary Sen. Rand Paul wouldn't even allow that much...
NYT Public Editor Calls Out Paper for Phony 'Balance' on 'Voter Fraud', Global Warming
Margaret Sullivan's no weasel (unlike a predecessor). She's calling out the 'paper of record' again for misreporting on GOP myths...
Siegelman's Judge Strikes Deal to Avoid Trial After Beating Wife Bloody
U.S. District Court Judge Mark Fuller to have record expunged following drug/alcohol evaluation, domestic abuse counseling...
ObamaCare 'Nightmare': 2015 Premiums Rates to DECLINE in Many Major Cities
This whole 'tyrannical government takeover of health care' thing is really a disaster...for Republicans...
Federal Judge Orders Restoration of Early Voting Hours in OH -- Again
'Ohio GOP keeps trying to cut early voting and federal courts keep striking the cuts down'...
'Green News Report' 9/4/14
Accountability for BP in Gulf Oil Spill Disaster and for PG&E in deadly pipeline explosion; CA bans plastic bags, regulates groundwater for first time in history...
The Corruption of U.S. District Court Judge Martin Feldman: KPFK 'BradCast'
GUEST: Attorney and BRAD BLOG legal analyst Ernest A. Canning...
NATIONWIDE STUDY FINDS ALMOST NO VOTER FRAUD
Just 10 cases of in-person impersonation in all 50 states since 2000...
VIDEO: 'Rise of the Tea Bags'
Brad interviews American patriots...
'Democracy's Gold Standard'
Hand-marked, hand-counted ballots...
Brad's Upcoming Appearances
(All times listed as PACIFIC TIME unless noted)
Media Appearance Archives...
'Special Coverage' Archives
GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal 2012...
VA GOP VOTER REG FRAUDSTER OFF HOOK
Felony charges dropped against VA Republican caught trashing voter registrations before last year's election. Did GOP AG, Prosecutor conflicts of interest play role?...

Criminal GOP Voter Registration Fraud Probe Expanding in VA
State investigators widening criminal probe of man arrested destroying registration forms, said now looking at violations of law by Nathan Sproul's RNC-hired firm...

DOJ PROBE SOUGHT AFTER VA ARREST
Arrest of RNC/Sproul man caught destroying registration forms brings official calls for wider criminal probe from compromised VA AG Cuccinelli and U.S. AG Holder...

Arrest in VA: GOP Voter Reg Scandal Widens
'RNC official' charged on 13 counts, for allegely trashing voter registration forms in a dumpster, worked for Romney consultant, 'fired' GOP operative Nathan Sproul...

ALL TOGETHER: ROVE, SPROUL, KOCHS, RNC
His Super-PAC, his voter registration (fraud) firm & their 'Americans for Prosperity' are all based out of same top RNC legal office in Virginia...

LATimes: RNC's 'Fired' Sproul Working for Repubs in 'as Many as 30 States'
So much for the RNC's 'zero tolerance' policy, as discredited Republican registration fraud operative still hiring for dozens of GOP 'Get Out The Vote' campaigns...

'Fired' Sproul Group 'Cloned', Still Working for Republicans in At Least 10 States
The other companies of Romney's GOP operative Nathan Sproul, at center of Voter Registration Fraud Scandal, still at it; Congressional Dems seek answers...

FINALLY: FOX ON GOP REG FRAUD SCANDAL
The belated and begrudging coverage by Fox' Eric Shawn includes two different video reports featuring an interview with The BRAD BLOG's Brad Friedman...

COLORADO FOLLOWS FLORIDA WITH GOP CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION
Repub Sec. of State Gessler ignores expanding GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal, rants about evidence-free 'Dem Voter Fraud' at Tea Party event...

CRIMINAL PROBE LAUNCHED INTO GOP VOTER REGISTRATION FRAUD SCANDAL IN FL
FL Dept. of Law Enforcement confirms 'enough evidence to warrant full-blown investigation'; Election officials told fraudulent forms 'may become evidence in court'...

Brad Breaks PA Photo ID & GOP Registration Fraud Scandal News on Hartmann TV
Another visit on Thom Hartmann's Big Picture with new news on several developing Election Integrity stories...

CAUGHT ON TAPE: COORDINATED NATIONWIDE GOP VOTER REG SCAM
The GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal reveals insidious nationwide registration scheme to keep Obama supporters from even registering to vote...

CRIMINAL ELECTION FRAUD COMPLAINT FILED AGAINST GOP 'FRAUD' FIRM
Scandal spreads to 11 FL counties, other states; RNC, Romney try to contain damage, split from GOP operative...

RICK SCOTT GETS ROLLED IN GOP REGISTRATION FRAUD SCANDAL
Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL) sends blistering letter to Gov. Rick Scott (R) demanding bi-partisan reg fraud probe in FL; Slams 'shocking and hypocritical' silence, lack of action...

VIDEO: Brad Breaks GOP Reg Fraud Scandal on Hartmann TV
Breaking coverage as the RNC fires their Romney-tied voter registration firm, Strategic Allied Consulting...

RNC FIRES NATIONAL VOTER REGISTRATION FIRM FOR FRAUD
After FL & NC GOP fire Romney-tied group, RNC does same; Dead people found reg'd as new voters; RNC paid firm over $3m over 2 months in 5 battleground states...

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After fraudulent registration forms from Romney-tied GOP firm found in Palm Beach, Election Supe says state's 'fraud'-obsessed top election official failed to return call...

GOP REGISTRATION FRAUD FOUND IN FL
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The Secret Koch Brothers Tapes...


Conyers Sends New Letters to Agencies, Continues to Amend Request by 52 Congressmen, Argues Fees Should be Waived as Agencies Keep Up Stonewall
DoD, State, Question House Members' Ability to 'Disseminate Info to Public'
By Brad Friedman on 4/21/2006 10:31am PT  

Congressman John Conyers (D-MI) is continuing his negotation, on behalf of more than 50 members of the U.S. House of Representatives, for the release of documents related to the Bush Administration's plans for War in Iraq long prior to the beginning of hostilities, according to new letters written by the ranking member of the U.S. House Judiciary Committee and obtained exclusively by The BRAD BLOG.

After the revelations in Spring of 2005 from the so-called Downing Street Memo and other related documents --- a series of secret memos created by British officials documenting Bush Administration efforts to "fix" the "intelligence and facts...around the policy" of going to war with Iraq no matter what --- Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests were filed by 52 House Members [PDF], including Conyers, for the release of documentation of Administration Iraq policies going as far back as the day after the 2000 Election.

The original FOIA requests were filed [PDF] with both the Departments of Defense and State, in June of 2005 after the disclosure in May, by Sunday Times of London, of the initial memo. Both federal agencies have largely stonewalled in response to the request. Correspondence from the agencies have claimed that the House Members must first agree to pay large fees for the requested material on the grounds that they do not meet FOIA standards which allow such fees to be waved.

The Dept. of Defense has estimated [PDF] the fees chargeable for answering the FOIA request would be approximately $110,000. The State Department has not yet given a similar estimate, but has also informed the members that they would have to agree in advance to such payment.

FOIA, however, allows such processing and copy fees to be waived in cases where the information provided will be widely circulated to the public and will "contribute significantly to the public understanding of activities or operations of the government."

Several communications from both DoD and State have suggested that since the requests for information did not come formally from a U.S. House Committee, the members' request does not meet the standard required for waiving fees or expediting the release of the information.

Conyers' disagrees...

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

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Head of 'Non-Partisan' Republican Front Group 'American Center for Voting Rights' Singled Out by Rove
By Brad Friedman on 4/10/2006 2:46pm PT  

Working on several items, so we'll defer to RAW STORY's coverage of the story.

Suffice to say, Karl Rove spoke to Republican lawyers this weekend (carried on C-SPAN) and thanked them for their work ensuring "clean elections" in 2000 and 2004.

He singled out Mark F. "Thor" Hearne by name. Hearne was the National General Counsel for Bush/Cheney '04 Inc. who, along with RNC Communications Director Jim Dyke, created the so-called non-partisan "American Center for Voting Rights" (ACVR) just three days before being called to testify before Rep. Bob Ney's (R-OH) U.S. House Administrative Committee hearing in March of 2005 on the Ohio Election. The front group, which declared tax-exempt 501(c)3 status, has still failed, to our knowledge, to disclose any information of it's funders or proof of their 501(c)3 non-profit, non-partisan status. They operate out of a PO Box in Houston, TX, though neither of their founders live in Texas.

ACVR was the only "Voting Rights" group called by Ney to testify at the hearings, and identified himself only as a "longtime advocate of voter rights" in his testimony. He failed to mention his connections to Bush/Cheney '04 Inc.

Hearne and ACVR have done little more since they opened shop beyond creating propaganda reports to suggest that their is an epidemic of Democratic voter fraud in the country to encourage state legislatures around the country to implement Democratic voter disenfranchising "Photo ID requirements" at the polls. Their charges of a voter fraud epidemic has been roundly disproven in various court cases around the country. (Though it does appear that at least one voter, Ann Coulter, seems to have engaged in voter fraud lately.)

The "non-partisan" Dyke went on to work for the White House to flak for John Roberts during his Supreme Court nomination, and now works out Dick Cheney's office.

Ney, who pushed the so-called "Help America Vote Act" (HAVA) through Congress in 2002 --- the bill which urges all States and Counties in the country to impliment hackable electronic voting machines by 2006 --- recently stepped down from his chairmanship of the House Admin Committee after being named in the on-going Jack Abramoff investigations. His former chief of staff, David DiStefano is Diebold's main lobbyist in congress, as BRAD BLOG reported in January, and Diebold has made thousands of dollars in so-far unexplained payments to Abramoff's old firm, Greeburg Traurig.

See RAW's story for Rove's comments about Hearne and the other "non-partisan" GOP attorneys over the weekend.

For more information on the "non-partisan" tax-exempt ACVR scam and the snakeoil salesmen who invented it, Bush/Cheney '04 National General Counsel Mark F. "Thor" Hearne and RNC Communications Director Jim Dyke, please see BRAD BLOG's full Special Coverage of the "American Center for Voting Rights" at http://www.BradBlog.com/ACVR.
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Priced at $5000 Despite $2100 Campaign Fundraising Limit!
Tom DeLay's #1 Friend in Congress Knows How to Offer Supporters Their Money's Worth!
By Brad Friedman on 4/5/2006 7:14pm PT  

Posting this in full here because Roll Call is subscription only, and I had trouble reading the text due to a funky background at Sunlight Foundation where Paul Blumenthal ran this piece today.

In case you don't finish reading the whole thing, a plug is included right here for Clint Curtis who is running against Tom Feeney (R-FL) for his seat 24th District seat in the U.S. Congress. When you read the story, you'll see why it's important to help Clint Curtis raise money for his run! His website is www.ClintCurtis.com and donations can be made right here.

Feeney learned his lessons well from his #1 supporter (and vice versa) in the U.S. House, the disgraced and indicted Tom Delay.

Curtis is the software programmer who has alleged that Feeney asked him to create electronic vote-rigging software back in 2000. His extraordinary story, including details of the polygraph test that Curtis passed, and video-tape of his sworn testimony before members of Congress is summarized here.

And now, back to Feeney and the big bucks...

Tom Feeney Sells Access for an Entire Season:

Ever wanted to buy a season ticket pass to a sitting congressman. According to Roll Call, Rep. Tom Feeney is offering all-access for only five grand:

Last week, the campaign of Rep. Tom Feeney (R-Fla.) invited lobbyists to a Spring Break Bash at the American Legion Hall on Capitol Hill. The price of admission: $49 a person or $500 per political action committee. But for those wishing to dispense with all that messy check-writing for the entire year, how about buying a "season ticket pass" for a cool $5,000?

The invite says: "Get a Season Ticket Pass: $5,000 per calendar year gives you complimentary invitations to all Feeney for Congress events in that year."
?
About that $5,000 for a "calendar year," though, keep in mind that individual contributors can give candidates only $2,100 per election for each two-year election cycle (that is, a total of $4,200 for the primary and general election). PACs are permitted to give a total of $10,000 per election cycle.

Individuals can give $5,000 a year to leadership PACs. Feeney has one called Federalist PAC, but the invitation specifically asks donors to write checks to "Feeney for Congress."

But Roe said the $5,000 refers to PACs. He added that the April 6 Spring Break Bash --- which will feature music from the band Blame It On Jane, whose lead singer is pharmaceutical lobbyist Jane Adams --- is a "laid-back" event the campaign does every year to highlight "the fact that Feeney has one of the nation's premiere spring break destinations in his district, Daytona Beach."

The article leaves it a bit unclear as to whether Feeney is violating campaign laws by instructing season ticket holders to make out $5,000 checks to his campaign committee rather than his PAC. It seems to me that this would be a violation. One thing that is clear: I would be happy to die and never have to hear a band fronted by a pharmaceutical industry lobbyist.

(Thanks to emailer Sharon A. for the heads up!)

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.
- Curtis is now running for U.S. Congress against Feeney.
To support or for more info, see: www.ClintCurtis.com
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To Drop Out of Upcoming Election and Leave Congress Shortly!
The Exterminator Gets Exterminated...
By Brad Friedman on 4/3/2006 8:06pm PT  

-- TIME Mag covers here...
-- WaPo covers here...
-- MSNBC covers here...
-- CNN covers here...
-- AP covers here...
-- LATE ADDITION: Houston Chronicle offers more details, and DeLay's Political Obit in the early/late web edition (12:44am PT - Hat tip to Pokey A. in Houston)

From TIME...

Rep. Tom DeLay, whose iron hold on the House Republicans melted as a lobbying corruption scandal engulfed the Capitol, told TIME that he will not seek reelection and will leave Congress within months.
...
"I'm going to announce tomorrow that I'm not running for reelection and that I'm going to leave Congress," DeLay, who turns 59 on Saturday, said during a 90-minute interview on Monday.
...
The surprise decision was based on the sort of ruthless calculation that had once given him unchallenged dominance of House Republicans and their wealthy friends in Washington's lobbying community: he realized he might lose in this November's election.
...
Asked if he had done anything illegal or immoral in public office, DeLay replied curtly, "No." Asked if he'd done anything immoral, he said with a laugh, "We're all sinners." Asked what he would do differently, he said, "Nothing."
...
DeLay brushed off the torrent of investigative news articles questioning the funding behind the golf, private planes and resort hotels that marked his travel at home and abroad. He even accepted a plane from R.J. Reynolds Tobacco to go to his arraignment. "There's nothing wrong with it," he said. "They had a plane available. My schedule was such that I couldn't do it commercially --- that I had to get up there and then get back and do my job. And that's the only plane that was available at the time."

"You can't prove to me one thing that I have done for my own personal gain," he added.
...
DeLay said he is likely to leave by the end of May, depending on the Congressional schedule and finishing his work on a couple of issues.

What TIME didn't mention, but WaPo did...And which would seem to explain a lot more about his sudden exit after his bravado of the last six months since his indictment...

The decision came just three days after his former deputy chief of staff, Tony C. Rudy, pleaded guilty to conspiracy and corruption charges, telling federal prosecutors of a criminal enterprise being run out of DeLay's leadership offices.

From CNN...

Last week, a former senior aide to DeLay pleaded guilty in federal court to fraud conspiracy, saying he joined a scheme with lobbyist Jack Abramoff and others to enrich themselves and illegally influence members of Congress.

In a deal with federal prosecutors, Tony Rudy --- DeLay's former deputy chief of staff and press secretary --- pleaded guilty to one count of mail and wire fraud in a conspiracy after he left DeLay's office to become a lobbyist. (Full story)

Says MSNBC...

[Chris] Matthews said that DeLay told him in an interview that "the polling on him in the 22nd District was going down," as a result of his part in a campaign contribution controversy.

And here come the bloggers. First in, from Josh Marshall who tends to know this stuff cold...

I haven't seen anything but the headlines yet. But I think the story here is clear. Prosecutors knocking down one pin at a time. Paul Kiel and I were talking about this before I left the office early this evening: Rudy, to Buckham, to DeLay. They're each going to down. And the road map was clear --- though largely implicit --- in the Rudy plea documents.

DeLay's lawyers must have sat him down over the last 72 hours and explained to him that he needs to focus on not spending most of the rest of his life in prison.

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

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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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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.

ReddIt this story!



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.
ReddIt this story!



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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'Gag Ordered' FBI Whistleblower Gives Statement to BRAD BLOG Questioning Letter to Vanity Fair by House Speaker's Legal Counsel
Calls on Hastert to 'Come Clean' on $500k in Un-Itemized Campaign Donations, Relationship With Turkish Interest Groups
By Brad Friedman on 2/7/2006 10:43am PT  

In the September 2005 issue of Vanity Fair, a lengthy feature article on former FBI translator Sibel Edmonds discussed a number of claims that Edmonds has by and large been disallowed from expressing publicly.

Her attempts at whistleblowing on the malfeasance and cover-ups she alleges to have witnessed during her time at the bureau in late 2001 and early 2002 --- during which she translated covert wiretaps recorded prior to 9/11 --- have been silenced by the U.S. government. An arcane "states-secret privilege" has been applied to her which effectively "gag orders" her from discussing her claims including allegations which the Dept. of Justice's own Inspector General found to be "credible" and "serious" and "warrant[ing] a thorough and careful review by the FBI," according to a declassified version of their investigation into her claims.

One of the allegations discussed by reporter David Rose in the VF article concerned FBI intercepts out of Chicago that Edmonds claims to have listened to. Reportedly, those intercepts suggest that U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-IL), may have been bribed by a large number of small "donations" emanating from shadowy Turkish interest groups. Such donations, $199 and smaller, are not required to be itemized in public filings according to Federal Election Commission rules.

Rose's article reports that Hastert's campaign received nearly $500,000 in such "un-itemized contributions" between 1996 and 2000. By contrast, Tom DeLay (R-TX), one of the House's best fundraisers, received just under $100,000 in such contributions. Only one other congressman, Clay Shaw (R-FL), received more in such contributions than Hastert, bringing in just over $550,000, during that same period.

In late 2000, Hastert announced he would support a resolution in the House declaring the killings of Armenians in Turkey from 1915 to 1923 to have been a "genocide". Armenians have long been pushing for such a resolution in Congress to little avail until Hastert's sudden interest in the effort. The Turkish government has long opposed such a resolution.

The VF article claims the reported content of one of the Chicago wiretaps is of "a senior official at the Turkish Consulate" claiming that "the price for Hastert to withdraw the resolution would have been at least $500,000." After Hastert was able to see the resolution through the House International Relations Committee, he withdrew it just minutes before the full House was to have voted on it, citing a plea from President Bill Clinton who is said to have warned the measure would harm U.S. interests.

The February issue of Vanity Fair finally offers a rebuttal of sorts from Hastert's counsel, Randy Evans, in the form of a letter to the editor. That letter, as printed in VF, is posted below, followed by Edmonds rebuttal which she submitted to us over the weekend for publication by The BRAD BLOG...

Edmonds' reply to Evans' letter, in which she calls on Hastert to fully disclose his un-itemized contributions and explain apparent contradictions in his claims about his relationship with Turkish interest groups follows...

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

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Charges Remarkably Similar to Those Made Previously Under Oath by Clint Curtis!
Front Page WaPo Story Also Indicates IG Officer's 'Retaliation Against Whistle-Blowers'
By Brad Friedman on 2/3/2006 12:13pm PT  

Page one at WaPo today describes an inquiry, now underway, of the NASA Inspector General's failure to investigate several charges and his retaliation against whistle-blowers.

BRAD BLOG Readers familiar with the Clint Curtis story, however, will note a very interesting development here. Emphasized in bold in the quoted text below...

An FBI-led watchdog agency has opened an investigation into multiple complaints accusing NASA Inspector General Robert W. Cobb of failing to investigate safety violations and retaliating against whistle-blowers. Most of the complaints were filed by current and former employees of his own office.

Written complaints and supporting documents from at least 16 people have been given to investigators. They allege that Cobb, appointed by President Bush in 2002, suppressed investigations of wrongdoing within NASA, and abused and penalized his own investigators when they persisted in raising concerns.

The complaints are being reviewed by the Integrity Committee of the President's Council on Integrity and Efficiency. The complaints describe efforts by Cobb to shut down or ignore investigations on issues such as a malfunctioning self-destruct procedure during a space shuttle launch at the Kennedy Space Center, and the theft of an estimated $1.9 billion worth of data on rocket engines from NASA computers.
...
IG auditor Carroll Tom Hassell described how "a person in a South American country" over three days in late 2002 logged into the Marshall Space Flight Center's supposedly secure computer system, stole space shuttle data valued at $1.9 billion and shipped it to a third country.

I have several meetings today, so I can't get into too much detail for the moment. But for those not familiar with Clint Curtis, among his allegations is that Yang Enterprises Inc. (YEI), his employer back in 2000 in Florida, was spying on NASA via their contracts with the space agency. He alleges, in a sworn affidavit, that YEI inserted "wire-tapping modules" into software they were contracted to write for NASA, and that an undocumented Chinese worker, Hai Lin "Henry" Nee, was in charge of the programming that pulled it all off.

Nee was charged, some years later, for attempting to send Hellfire anti-tank missile chips from YEI to China, eventually pleading guilty.

Curtis took his charges to Raymond Lemme, from the Inspector General's office in Tallahassee, FL. Lemme allegedly told Curtis that his investigation had traced these matters "all the way to the top"; two weeks later, Lemme was found dead in a Valdosta, GA hotel room. The police ruled the case a suicide, but several inconsistencies in their report remain unexplained, including the claim that the photos taken at the crime scene could not be developed --- those same photos were later found, and published, here at BRAD BLOG.

At the time, the general counsel and registered lobbyist for YEI was U.S. Congressman Tom Feeney (R-FL), who also served as the in-coming Speaker of the Florida Legislature, and who is most famous for his claim during the 2000 Florida Election Debacle that the electoral votes in Florida would be delivered to George W. Bush no matter what the Florida Supreme Court had to say about it. Feeney --- who continues to receive money from YEI and their attorneys, and houses his campaign headquarters in their building in Oviedo, FL --- now sits on the U.S. House Judiciary Committee. Feeney also ran as Jeb Bush's running-mate for Governor in 1994, and has most recently been implicated in the Abramoff/Tom DeLay scandals for participating in one of the now-infamous lobbyist-paid golf trips to St. Andrews, Scotland.

Clint Curtis made his claims to members of the House Judiciary committee in sworn video-taped testimony, and has successfully passed a lie-detector test in regard to these charges.

And, oh yes, Curtis, a computer programmer --- who was a Republican at the time --- claims that Feeney asked him, while they both worked for YEI at the time, to create a touch-screen vote-rigging software prototype. But you'll have to read up on the quick summary of Curtis' story to catch up on that part of it.

We'll be keeping our eye on this one, naturally...

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.
ReddIt this story!



Palm Beach Post Covers Software Programmer's Audience with Voting Technology Committee
By Brad Friedman on 1/24/2006 1:14pm PT  

The Palm Beach Post covers Clint Curtis in an article yesterday, headlined "Paper-trail advocate to air rigging concerns". The detailed article is occassioned by Curtis' "official audience this week with the committee advising Palm Beach County on voting technology."

Those not familiar with the extraordinary tale which we broke exclusively back in December of 2004, can read a short summary of the remarkable story here. It essentially concerns Curtis' sworn allegations that former Florida House Speaker, now U.S. Congressman Tom Feeney (R-FL), asked him to create vote-rigging software back when Curtis worked as a programmer for the Oveido, FL software firm Yang Enterprises Inc. (YEI). At the time, Feeney, in addition to leading the FL statehouse, was also the general counsel and a registered lobbyist for YEI.

The story also concerns Curtis' long-standing and now-verified claims that YEI was employing a now-convicted Chinese spy and was also engaged in massively overcharging on contracts such as the one it had with the Florida Department of Transporation. As well, there is the startling tale of the untimely, and unexplained demise of the Florida Inspector General, Raymond Lemme, who had been investigating Curtis' charges against YEI and Feeney. Curtis has since passed a polygraph test concerning these charges.

The Post piece covers much of the territory, of course, that BRAD BLOG readers familiar with our year-long plus Clint Curtis coverage will know well by now. Apparently, reporter George Bennett has spent quite a bit of time reading our work here, which we are happy to see.

The downside of the Post article, is the usual misrepresentation of information disquised as "balance" that we see so often these days, not just in coverage of Curtis, but in the MSM in general. Eg., Bennett feels it important, and properly so, to give YEI's attorney's rebuttal to Curtis' charges. But, of course, Bennett then fails to point out that YEI's attorney is also Feeney's old law partner dating back to just prior to his joining the U.S. Congress. Bennett also fails to point out that both YEI and their attorney continue to be large donors to Feeney and that Feeney has continued to lie about his ongoing relationship with the company.

That's just one example of the downsides. The upside, however, is hopefully the additional attention to Curtis' story at a time when a host of new questions are arising concerning Tom Feeney's corruption (he was, you know, on one of those now-infamous trips to St. Andrews to play golf, like Tom DeLay and Bob Ney, for example!)

In addition to this latest article, we have reason to believe there will be still more information and coverage elsewhere of the continuing Clint Curtis saga soon...

UPDATE 1/31/05: We were contacted today by George Bennett, author of the recent Curtis piece in the Palm Beach Post. He had the following reply to this blog item:

One small-ish quibble of my own. You wrote:

"Eg., Bennett feels it important, and properly so, to give YEI's attorney's rebuttal to Curtis' charges. But, of course, Bennett then fails to point out that YEI's attorney is also Feeney's old law partner dating back to just prior to his joining the U.S. Congress."

Actually, after I made a few calls to YEI, the person who returned my call and introduced himself as YEI's general counsel was named Charles Harrison, who has a law office in Winter Park. He does not appear to be connected to Feeney's old law firm. If O'Quinn or somebody from that firm had spoken on behalf of YEI, I would have noted the connection to Feeney.

The BRAD BLOG appreciates Bennett's clarification, and we're happy to post it here for the record.

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.
ReddIt this story!



By John Gideon on 1/15/2006 5:41pm PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon

In an attempt to beat the inevitable and still save some face, Rep. Bob Ney has announced that he will agree to step down from his seat of power as the House Administration Committee Chairman.

According to the Associated Press:

"Unfortunately it has become clear to me in recent days that the false allegations made against me have become a distraction to the important work of the House Republican Conference and the important work that remains ahead for the House Administration Committee," Ney said in a written statement.

It appears that Bob Ney will continue in the same vein as Tom Delay and kick and scream and deny all the way to court.

If you haven't already, please see BRAD BLOG's exclusive expos� from last week revealing Ney's previously unreported connections to Abramoff, Diebold and HAVA.

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Soon-to-be-Indicted Ohio Congressman's Luck Begins to Run Out...
By Brad Friedman on 1/13/2006 4:45pm PT  

The powerful Ohio Congressman man who, while gambling at a London casino on a lobbyist paid vacation, got "lucky" and won $34,000 on a $100 bet (just in time to pay off a $30,000 credit card debt) may be seeing his luck finally run out.

Reports now breaking all over the place that House Speaker Denny Hastert is pushing Ney out of his chairmanship position on the House Adminstration Committee...

House Speaker Dennis Hastert is trying to force out Ohio Rep. Bob Ney as chairman of the House Administration Committee, a week after Justice Department documents linked Ney to a bribery scheme involving convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff.

Ney's committee has jurisdiction over the Republican reform agenda in the wake of the Abramoff scandal, and Hastert believes it is inappropriate to let Ney run it, said a GOP leadership aide, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the negotiations between Ney and the speaker.
...
"I'm considering it --- stepping down temporarily --- and once the issue is over, I'll come back," he said.
...
The aide said the speaker himself cannot fire Ney, and unless Ney steps aside it would be at least three weeks until the GOP caucus, on holiday break, could consider removing him.

He'll step down "temporarily" and "come back". Now where have we heard that before?

COVERAGE:

-- MSNBC...
-- Hotline...
-- Roll Call... [subscription required]
-- AP...
-- CNN...

-- BRAD BLOG's Ney exposé from Tuesday...

UPDATE from David Edwards: Video Report by CBS News:

-- Video in Streaming Flash format...
-- Video in Windows Media format...

Ney, a principal author and advocate for the disastrous Help America Vote Act (HAVA) of 2002 was revealed, last Tuedsay, in a detailed BRAD BLOG exposé to have had very close ties to lobbyists paid by Diebold and Jack Abramoff's firm, Greenberg Traurig.

Most of those ties had yet to be reported by the mainstream media who have been focusing primarily on information concerning Ney's lobbyist-funded trips, gifts and other monies raised via his close relationship with Abramoff and his clients. Much of the information so far reported by the MSM was revealed by the guilty plea agreements filed by Abramoff and his former associate Michael Scanlon.

As we reported in our piece on Ney, his former chief of staff, David DiStefano, was hired by the beleagured and duplicitous Voting Machine Company, Diebold, Inc. in order to lobby Ney to ensure that HAVA's provisions mandating disabled-accessible voting machines in every precinct in the country stayed firmly in place. At the same time, via his post as Chair of the House Administration Committee, Ney was able to hold hearings to smokescreen massive election irregularities in Ohio in 2004 and see to it that bills calling for voter-verified paper records for every ballot cast would never see the light of day.

Our story also reported the thousands of dollars being paid by Diebold to Jack Abramoff's firm, Greenberg Traurig. Though we have yet to find any official disclosure of those payments via congressional lobbying databases. So for the moment, we're still left wondering what happened to that money, and what precisely it was meant to be used for.

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