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Latest Featured Reports | Tuesday, July 29, 2014
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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.
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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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Powerful Republican Who Once Ran with Jeb Bush and Worked for a Company That Harbored Chinese Spies, Calls for a More 'Balanced' Relationship While Travelling Abroad
By Brad Friedman on 1/11/2006 2:47pm PT  

Rep. Tom Feeney (R-FL) continues to carry water for his Communist Chinese friends. Even while the media hasn't stopped for a moment to question Feeney's years-long effort at protecting a Florida software company which harbored and employed a convicted Chinese spy. The company, Yang Enterprises Inc. (YEI) continues to lie about that employment.

As an illegal alien in 2004, Hai Lin "Henry" Nee, who worked for years for the company, plead guilty to charges related to three counts of attempting to send Hellfire Anti-Tank Missile chips illegally to China. Stunningly, Nee received only three-years probation and a $100 fine for the crime, even after admitting that he and a partner had sent such shipments "10 to 20 times over the past year" to China. The convictions were the result of a four-year sting effort by the U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security's Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency.

Feeney himself worked as general counsel and registered lobbyist for YEI even while he was the powerful Speaker of the Florida Legislature back in 2000. The conflicts of interest there are mind-blowing. He now sits on the U.S. House Judiciary Committee.

The BRAD BLOG originally took notice of Feeney when we first broke explosive allegations about Feeney and YEI, as made by computer programmer Clint Curtis. Curtis, who first reported all of these matters to Florida's Inspector General back in 2001, alleged in a sworn affidavit [PDF] that Feeney had asked him to create a vote-rigging software prototype while they both worked for YEI. Curtis, who had been a Republican at the time, later gave video-taped testimony under oath to members of the U.S. House Judiciary Committee of the allegations. He later passed a polygraph test confirming the veracity of his charges against Feeney and YEI.

As a report from Reuters today reveals, Feeney is currently in the Communist nation as part of a "congressional US-China Working Group", where he is advocating for a "more 'balanced' discussion about relations with China." A quote below, from Reuters' story, reports Feeney's support for expanding China's space program.

The story fails, of course, to mention Feeney's personal relationship to NASA, which is based in his home state of Florida. As well, NASA is a client of YEI's and, as far as we know, Feeney's wife still works for the space agency, as do many of YEI's employees.

Here's some earlier BRAD BLOG reporting, which links to several of our stories exposing the corrupt congressman's dubious connections to Chinese spying and his activities on behalf of the company, which has apparently been harboring at least one such spy for many years.

And here's the quote from the Reuters story [emphasis added]:

On Tuesday, a U.S. senator on a separate visit to Beijing, Max Baucus, said resentment in Congress about China's $200 billion trade surplus with the United States may prompt lawmakers to pass legislation threatening to punish China unless Beijing revalues the yuan and so makes Chinese exports more expensive.

The other three visiting congressman are members of a congressional U.S.-China Working Group, which advocates more "balanced" discussion about relations with China.

[Mark] Kirk [(R-IL)] said during their six-day visit in Beijing that began on Monday that China's repeated promises to post an intellectual property ombudsman in Washington to take complaints from U.S. businesses, as well as to spend $250 million on legitimate software for government offices.

Tom Feeney, a Republican congressman from Florida, said the lawmakers also discussed expanded cooperation in space, including a proposal for China to engineer the entry docks of its manned spacecraft so they could dock with U.S. and Russian craft, allowing for cooperation in space rescues.

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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The Dots Connect Between Abramoff, Ohio 2004 Election Smokescreen and Ney's Former Staffer Revealed to be on Diebold's Payroll While Working for White House Law Firm
All the While as HAVA --- America's 'Election Reform' Bill --- is Used for Political Payoff in the Bargain...
By Brad Friedman on 1/10/2006 11:21am PT  

There's been a great deal of speculation over the last several days, particularly in the light of Jack Abramoff's recent guilty pleas, concerning the connection of Congressman Bob Ney (R-OH) to Election Fraud in Ohio, vis a vis his stewardship and authoring of the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) back in 2001 and 2002. The heavy-handed tactics he has taken since, in order to keep the flawed act from being changed in any way over the years, along with going to great lengths to keep the nation's eyes off of massive electile dysfunction in Ohio and elsewhere since 2004, may finally get the attention it all properly deserves.

Both Abramoff and his partner Michael Scanlon have directly informed prosecutors of Ney's alleged wrong-doing in regard to money and gifts given to Ney, in apparent exchange for support on various legislation and even personal business deals. Ney, who chairs the important U.S. House Administration Committee, has been fingered, and now subpoenaed, for accepting illegal trips, gratuities and other apparent quid pro quo deals with Abramoff's former firms, partners, friends and groups who had paid both him and Scanlon as lobbyists.

His direct connection to the HAVA Election Reform bill passed in the wake of the 2000 Florida Election Debacle, and his various extraordinary efforts to specifically block amendments to the bill and to smokescreen attempted investigations into his home state's conduct during the 2004 Election Debacle, has been less widely reported. Until now.

While Common Cause quietly reported in December of 2004 that Diebold --- the much-beleagured-of-late American Voting Machine company --- paid as much as $275,000 to Abramoff's firm, Greenberg Traurig for lobbying work, The BRAD BLOG has now found additional details that begin to shed new light on Ney's personal connections to Diebold lobbyists.

Such personal connections include those with Ney's former chief of staff turned lobbyist, David DiStefano, who has been working on behalf of Diebold, Inc. and at least one other Voting Machine Company as a registered lobbyist in the House going back to at least 2001. One of DiStefano's online bios crows about his having "an insider's edge to hard-to-reach political officials." That "insider's edge" has proven to have been a very worthwhile investment for the Voting Machine Companies who'd purchased access into Ney's political office.

Congressional lobbying records reveal that Diebold, Inc. has paid at least $180,000 to DiStefano and eventually his partner, Roy C. Coffee, to lobby for the "Help America Vote Act" and other "Election Reform Issues" in Congress since 2003. Another Electronic Voting Machine Company, AccuPoll, Inc., also paid DiStefano some $70,000 to lobby for HAVA on their behalf in 2002, although that relationship was apparently terminated once the legislation was passed by Congress.

In turn, Ney's former employee DiStefano and Coffee themselves have given nearly $20,000 to Bob Ney's campaigns dating back to 2002.

The connections of DiStefano and Coffee don't stop at Congress, however. Both lobbyists now work out of the new Washington office of the Texas-based law firm of Lock, Liddell & Sapp LLP --- the firm of George W. Bush's White House Counsel Harriet Miers. And Coffee, himself, had previously worked as a senior aide to then-Governor Bush back in Texas.

In addition to lobbying in favor of Electronic Voting, DiStefano and Coffee were also paid thousands to lobby Ney on behalf of an obscure firm by the name of FN Aviation, which later became known as FAZ Aviation. FN/FAZ Aviation, the Columbus Dispatch reported last December, paid for Ney's 2003 trip to England. On that trip, Ney met at a casino with FN Aviation's director, Nigel Winfield, a three-time convicted felon, and Fouad al-Zayat, the Syrian-born head of FN Aviation. Zayat, as reported by NBC News, is known as "one of London's biggest gamblers."

As has also been reported by NBC and others, the apparently once-very lucky Ney reported winning some $34,000 a few months later at that same London casino, after an initial $100 bet "on two hands of a three-card game of chance," according to his spokesperson Brian Walsh. Ney, who coincidentally carried at least $30,000 in credit card debt in 2002, was fortunate to be able to report that the debt was paid off in full by the end of 2003.

The dots begin converging, however, in regard to both large campaign contributions and lobbying done by Ney's former chief of staff, DiStefano along with Coffee on behalf of both FN/FAZ Aviation and Diebold, Inc.

Ney was one of the original authors and lead co-sponsors of HAVA, and a fierce defender of both the act and the effort to keep further legislation from moving forward in Congress that would mandate Voter Verified Paper Ballots for electronic voting machines made by Diebold and other e-voting vendors.

In 2004, prior to the Presidential Election, Ney went so far as to send a "Dear Colleague" letter signed along with the other HAVA co-sponsors, to members of congress urging them not to amend the original legislation. He argued at the time that paper records on such machines would somehow disenfranchise disabled voters, who had been cleverly afforded a special provision in the bill which mandated at least one disabled-accessable device in every voting precinct in the country. That device, of course, would be a paperless touch-screen electronic voting machine, like the ones made by Diebold, which, legislators, vendors and lobbyists would later proffer, were required to meet provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Ney had also personally gone out of his way to keep Rep. Rush Holt's (D-NJ) "Voter Confidence and Increased Accessibility Act" (HR 550), which would mandate paper records for all votes cast, from ever seeing the light of day in the House Administration Committee. That, despite Holt's bill having now nearly 160 bi-partisan co-sponsors. Ney has succeeded brilliantly at squashing Holt's bill, first proposed as HR 2239 back in 2003, as it continues to both gain co-sponsors and gather dust as the powerful Republican committee chair still refuses to allow it even to be brought up for hearings.

The American Prospect's Art Levine broke a superb exposé last May concerning Ney's alleged payoffs from a number of the Indian tribes that now-disgraced, once-uber-lobbyist Abramoff was representing in exchange for promises to support their hope for new gambling legislation back in 2002.

"Just met with Ney!!! We're f'ing gold!!!! He's going to do Tigua," wrote Abramoff to Scanlon in an Email, after Ney reportedly promised to add the Tribe's hoped-for legislation to HAVA while the bill was still pending.

Ney then told the tribes --- who had been instructed by Abramoff and Scanlon to give tens of thousands of dollars to his campaign and to pay for a $100,000 trip to play golf at St. Andrews in Scotland --- that he was working with the Democratic Senator from Connecticut, Chris Dodd, to add gambling language in HAVA that would be favorable to the tribes.

In reality, Dodd had rejected the idea early on in no uncertain terms, as Levine reports, but that didn't keep Ney from spinning tales to the tribal groups. He told them on several occassions, at least once personally, that things were moving smartly forward as he kept accepting more cash and gifts from them along the way.

Finally, when the HAVA legislation was passed, and the promised language was nowhere to be found, Ney informed the tribes that Dodd had reneged on the deal at the last minute.

That was, of course, not true, since Dodd had rejected the plan months earlier.

But as the spotlight of corruption has finally begun to shine bright and clear in the Mainstream Media onto Ney, renewed interest in his support and authorship of HAVA itself --- along with the connections between that legislation, chicanery in Ohio's Election, Abramoff and several other GOP operative and lobbying firms' merry band of pay-for-players --- are helping to bubble up towards the surface a few previously overlooked, but very important, details that may finally now receive the attention they always deserved from the Mainstream Media...

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

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The BRAD BLOG apologizes for the oversight...
And we're also happy to remind readers about allegations that he attempted to rig the vote, is Tom DeLay's #1 fan and a great travelling companion for foreign agents to boot!
By Brad Friedman on 1/6/2006 12:00pm PT  

What with all this talk of Abramoff, DeLay, corruption in DC, we have a strange feeling our old friend, Congressman Tom Feeney (R-FL), may soon be finding his way into the news more and more in the coming weeks and months. For those reasons (and more to come), now may be a good time to remind BRAD BLOG readers who may not have been around during the Clint Curtis affair, just how dirty this guy is!

Of course, you can read the summary of Feeney's involvement with a computer programmer in Florida who was allegedly asked by the one-time Florida House Speaker, one-time Jeb Bush running mate, now-U.S. Congressman on the House Judiciary Committee, to create Vote-Rigging Software. That summary will also give you an idea of the confirmed Chinese Spies who worked at the same firm where Feeney was a registred lobbyist (even while he was Speaker of Florida's House) and how the computer programmer, Curtis, has passed given a sworn affidavit, sworn video-taped testimony before members of the U.S. House Judiciary Committee, and how he has passed a polygraph test concerning all of the above. All of the key articles in that series are also indexed here for convenience.

Then you can flashback to our coverage revealing that Tom Feeney was one of indicted former-House Majority Leader Tom DeLay's #1 supporters! And vice versa! The two lovely Tom's are just like two peas in a corrupt pod!

So inseperable, in fact, that (in case you didn't know, we'll remind you) Tom Feeney took some of those very same Foreign Agent-funded overseas trips that DeLay did! Yup, Feeney loves his St. Andrews Golf as much as the next Tom. And trips to Asia? Don't even get us started! Here's a lovely breakdown of Feeney's trips as he was most recently listed as amongst the Top 13 "Ethically Challenged Members of Congress!"

Way to go, Tom! And we have a feeling we'll be talking much more about you in the not-too-distant future!

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By Brad Friedman on 11/23/2005 4:00pm PT  

The congressman man who ran sham hearings in House Administration Committee on last year's Ohio Election mess (the ones that exposed the insidious ACVR hucksters), was recently subpeonead by the DoJ where he is said to be under investigation on four different aspects of an ongoing probe, looks to be in big big trouble in the wake of the Michael Scanlon indictment.

Jesse of Stakeholder has a round-up of today's headlines on the apparently-soon-to-be-indicted U.S. Congressman Bob Ney (R-OH). Here's what Jesse's found just today at a quick glance:

"Plea Deal Ties Ney to Second Tribe" [Roll Call]

"Rep. Bob Ney is poster boy in bribe probe" [AP]

"Ney's Troubles Are Mounting" [Roll Call]

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And Curtis Speaks in Orlando this Weekend...
By Brad Friedman on 11/12/2005 11:15am PT  

While I was up recently to speak at the "National Summit to Save Our Elections" in Portland, OR, I was asked to sit down for a few minutes with Clint Curtis to do a quick interview for "SourceCode" on Free Speech TV. Apparently their episode devoted to Election Fraud has been airing all week to folks who have satellite TV (which I don't).

I haven't yet had time to watch the entire episode, but here's the specific segment in which I interview Curtis. It's a quickie (about 4 minutes), so we don't get into too much detail for folks who already know the story, but hopefully the interview is worthwhile nonetheless.

The longer audio and text transcript of the interview I did with him onstage at the conference (as noted previously) is available here.

ALSO...I've just been informed --- at the very last minute, sorry --- that Curtis will be speaking at an E.R. event near Orlando today and tomorrow. Info follows...

What: "Achieving Election Reform: A Florida Statewide Conference"
Where: SeraLago Hotel & Suites, Kissimmee (just south of Orlando)
When: Saturday and Sunday, November 12-13, 2005
Time: 10 a.m. Saturday until 1 p.m. Sunday
Hosted by: Florida Fair Elections Coalition (FFEC)
Cost: Free (donations accepted)

Clint will be speaking at 4pm ET Saturday the 12th (that's today!) and will be available to meet with conference goers from 9a to Noon on Sunday the 13th. Go say hello if your read this in time and happen to be in the 'hood!

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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Republican U.S. Congressman, Bush Crony, Attempts to Restore 'Voter Confidence' by Disenfranchising Voters, Offering Misleading Information and Calling for Unconstitutional Measures at Poll
Published Same Day as U.S. Appellate Court Upholds Decision that Georgia's Photo ID Law is Unconstitutional 'Poll Tax'
By Brad Friedman on 10/29/2005 2:33pm PT  

Congressman Tom Feeney (R-FL) wrote an Op/Ed this week in the Orlando Sentinel in hopes of fooling the American public into supporting his atrocious new "Election Reform" bill in the U.S. House. His Op/Ed which supports his bill's call for National Photo ID requirement at the polls, was published the same day that the U.S. Court of Appeals upheld a previous decision by a Federal Court that Georgia's recent bill requiring Photo ID amounted to a new "poll tax" and was therefore unconstitutional.

Here's the Counter-Op/Ed I just sent to the Sentinel in reply to Feeney's. I've added links here to the items I mention in the letter and for easy access to just some of the criminal conspiracy allegations made against Feeney as reported since last December by The BRAD BLOG. Contact info for the Sentinel, if you should wish to conatct them or write a letter as well, is at the bottom of this item...

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

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Conyers: GA Legislature Should Have Never Passed 'Modern Day Poll Tax'
By Brad Friedman on 10/18/2005 3:11pm PT  

A federal judge has just issued an injunction to keep the new Photo ID requirements at polling places in the state of Georgia from moving forward. As reported many times on The BRAD BLOG, the requirement for photo ID at the polls would disenfranchise anywhere from 10 to 20 million Americans who do not have driver licenses --- mainly the elderly, minorities, the poor and other urban dwellers.

The call for Photo ID at the polling place is the latest attempt by Republicans who hope to further disenfranchise Democratic-leaning voters across the country. The effort has been pushed hard by the self-declared "non-partisan" phony GOP "voting rights" group calling themselves the American Center for Voting Rights and was called for by the shameful Baker/Carter National Election Reform Commission, which was led by disenfranchisement expert and Bush family crony James A. Baker along with high-level GOP operatives from the ACVR.

This just in from AP...

ATLANTA (AP) --- A federal court has barred Georgia from enforcing a new state law requiring voters to show photo identification at the polls.

In the ruling issued today, the U.S. District Court in Rome agreed with critics who claimed the law amounts to an unconstitutional poll tax.

The U.S. Justice Department approved the law in August. The department said that while Attorney General Alberto Gonzales did NOT object to the state's voter I-D requirement, the federal agency's approval did NOT preclude lawsuits against it.

The Republican-backed measure sparked racial tension during the state's legislative session last spring. Most of Georgia's black lawmakers walked out at the state Capitol when it was approved.

In a news release just issued to The BRAD BLOG, Congressman John Conyers (D-MI), ranking minority member of the U.S. House Judiciary Committee, lauded the decision to stop what he referred to as "a modern day poll tax."

Says Conyers in the release: "Truth be told, the issue should have never reached this point - the Georgia Legislature should never have passed this modern day poll tax, the Governor should not have signed it, and the Justice Department should have intervened to stop it. That is why 21 Members and I asked the Department to prevent this law from taking effect."

The full press release from Conyers office follows...

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

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Little-Known, but Powerful U.S. Congressman Bob Ney (R-OH) up to Eyeballs in DeLay, Abramoff, Corruption Probe
Tied to Gambling, Illegal Favors and TeleCom 'Election' Fixing Investigations...
By Brad Friedman on 10/18/2005 12:57pm PT  

In an extremely detailed 2891-word page one Washington Post report today by James V. Grimaldi and Susan Schmidt, Congressman Bob Ney (R-OH) is tied to at least four different aspects of ongoing probes being carried out by criminal investigators looking into the corruption of GOP lobbyist Jack Abramoff and former U.S. House Majority Leader Tom Delay --- both of whom have been indicted recently on charges relating to the various investigations.

Ney has not yet been indicted, but the WaPo exposé ties him to several different scandals including the SunCruz casino boat fraud/murder investigation (for which Abramoff has recently been indicted), several illegally funded overseas vacations, support of Indian gaming in apparent trade for favors received in the form of cash contributions and other gifts from Abramoff and --- yes --- the apparent "fixing" of an election administered by Ney of telecommunications companies to determine who would receive a large contract at the U.S. Capital building.

Ney is chairman of the powerful U.S. House Administration Committee. BRAD BLOG readers will remember Ney's committee as holding a "show hearing" earlier this year on "Election Irregularities in Ohio" during the 2004 Presidential Election. That hearing, which attempted to whitewash the thousands of troubling reports calling the Ohio election into question, called just one witness from a "voting rights" group. That witness turned out to be Mark F. "Thor" Hearne of the American Center for Voting Rights (ACVR), self-described "non-partisan" organization which had appeared out of the blue just days prior to the hearing. Hearne, identified himself in the hearings as a "long time voting rights advocate", but failed to mention that he was actually the National General Counsel for Bush/Cheney '04 Inc. The other "non-partisan" founder of ACVR was Jim Dyke, former RNC Communcations Director, and recently installed White House spokesman for Dick Cheney.

(BRAD BLOG's full special coverage of ACVR, the so-called "non-partisan" GOP front group masquerading as a "voting rights" organization, can be found here.)

The WaPo story reports that Ney is currently "under investigation by Florida federal prosecutors looking into Abramoff's acquisition of SunCruz, according to sources familiar with the investigation who spoke on the condition of anonymity."

Excerpts from the full WaPo report follow...

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

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Further Disenfranchises Democratic Voters, Doesn't Guarantee Accuracy of Results...
Clint Curtis: 'Feeney Trying to Protect His Fixed Voting System'
By John Gideon on 10/5/2005 12:09pm PT  

Guest blogged by John Gideon of VotersUnite.Org

In a move that some people found amazing and others expected, Rep. Tom Feeney (R-FL) has filed a new elections bill. HR-3910 ? Verifying the Outcome of Tomorrow's Elections Act of 2005 does nothing to verify the outcome of "tomorrow's" elections, but it does further the RNC's wish to keep as many poor, elderly, disabled, and people of color (in other words ? normally Democratic voters) away from the polls as they possibly can.

And who is this Rep. Feeney? If you recall, he was the person alleged to have asked for a programmer to write software to switch the touch-screen votes, undetected, in Florida. Clint Curtis, whose story was originally broken here at BRAD BLOG, was the programmer. When asked about this latest step by Feeney, he responded via email simply: ?Appears that Mr. Feeney is still trying to protect his fixed voting system?.

Around the water coolers on ?The Hill?, there has been talk that Rush Holt's Voter Confidence and Increased Accessibility Act (HR 550) would be going to mark-up sometime in October. It is timely that suddenly Rep. Feeney would produce a bill that will now allow the House leaders to blend the two bills and make one bill that represents their view of privatization of elections.

This bill provides for a voter verified paper audit trail but it leaves to the states how that audit trail will be used, if at all. No verification there.

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

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NEW CHARGE COULD BRING LIFE IN PRISON!
Also: Bush's Dept. of Justice Confirms Own DeLay/Abramoff Investigation!
By Brad Friedman on 10/4/2005 12:32pm PT  

Former Republican House Majority Leader Tom DeLay was re-indicted today on a second charge related to the $190,000 in corporate money that DeLay is said to have illegally participated in laundering for use in a number of Texas state races from 2002.

Using corporate money to finance campaigns has been illegal in the state of Texas for nearly 100 years. Yet DeLay, who had previously been indicted on criminal conspiracy charges in the scheme, is now being charged with directly laundering the money. All of which, incidentally, Republican apologist Ann Coulter has no problem with.

From this morning's NY Times:

The indictment was announced without warning on Monday in Austin, the state capital, after lawyers for Mr. DeLay went to court earlier in the day to ask that the original conspiracy indictment be dismissed on technical grounds.
...
Within hours, Mr. DeLay and his aides had been indicted on the new money-laundering charges, which can carry a prison sentence of up to life in prison.
...
The new indictment was issued as Bush administration officials confirmed news reports in London that the Justice Department had asked the British police to question former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher about the circumstances of her meeting in 2000 with Mr. DeLay during a trip to Britain organized by the Washington lobbyist Jack Abramoff.

The interview request was the first publicly disclosed evidence from the Justice Department that Mr. DeLay was under scrutiny in the department's wide-ranging corruption investigation of Mr. Abramoff.

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By Winter Patriot on 7/9/2005 10:35am PT  

Guest Blogged by Clint Curtis

INTRODUCTION {by Winter Patriot}: We are indeed most fortunate to welcome Clint Curtis, whose "incredible" story turns out to be just a little bit too credible after all. For those not familiar with the story, here's a quick summary:

Vote-Rigging Sofware Fit For A Congressman

by Brad Friedman

In an affidavit and sworn testimony, Florida software programmer Clint Curtis told members of the U.S. House Judiciary committee that U.S. Congressman Tom Feeney (R-FL) asked him to design a "vote-rigging software prototype". This request, according to Curtis, took place in October 2000 during a meeting at Yang Enterprises, Inc. (YEI), a computer consulting firm in Oviedo, Florida.

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

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Unrequested 'Report' Dismisses, Ignores Evidence of Discrimination, Disenfranchisement!
DoJ Report Also Reveals More than 100,000 Voters NEWLY 'Purged' from Rolls in One Ohio County Alone!
By Brad Friedman on 7/1/2005 3:57pm PT  

There is almost no other way to put this, but we are simply floored by the report just released by the Department of Justice concerning the Franklin County, OH elections.

If there ever was a report which could be called a whitewash, this would be the very dictionary definition --- with the emphasis on WHITE.

The DoJ four-page report, based on dodgy figures, uninvestigated charges and undocumented information and details, simply concludes that "Franklin County assigned voting machines in a non-discriminatory manner", that "no violation of Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act" was found and they "are thus closing our file."

In truth, a detailed analysis of the flaws in this report, and an unwaivering condemnation of this reprehensible piece of "official documentation" is needed. But as folks are disappearing for the Holiday Weekend, we're afraid any analysis we took the time to compile right now would likely get lost in the holiday news-hole. So, for the moment, we're gonna dump these documents here and leave the detailed analysis and shouts of outrage and condemnation to BRAD BLOG readers. If we can follow up a bit more after the holiday, we will.

Essentially, John Conyers' office requested a criminal investigation by the Department of Justice investigation back in January on a number of very troubling matters related to Ohio's 2004 Presidential Election on behalf of the minority members of the Judiciary Committee. (Letter requesting a Special Prosecutor from the DoJ is here [PDF]. Coverage of it by RAW STORY is here, and BRAD BLOG's own reporting at the time, which led to one of the complaints in the letter to the DoJ, is here.)

Amongst the items for which Conyers' January 14, 2005 had requested an investigation at the time --- according to the response to the report Conyers sent on Wednesday --- were "serious charges concerning Voter Intimidation and Misinformation; Improper Purging and other Misconduct; Caging of New Minority Voters; Misuse of HAVA Funds; Tampering of Voting Machinery and Records; Perjury by a County Board of Election Official; and the Misuse of the Great Seal of the United States on Secretary of State Blackwell's Personal Campaign Materials."

While no "substantive response to the many instances of voting irregularities and civil rights violations in the state of Ohio" about which Conyers' submitted evidence has been forthcoming by the DoJ since that January letter, apparently someone within the DoJ took it upon themselves to conduct --- and as we've said WHITEWASH --- an investigation concerning what happened in just one county in Ohio.

The DoJ's resulting four-page report, conducted by "The Voting Section of the Civil Rights Division" and sent to Franklin County officials on Wednesday, is a masterwork of obfuscation, disinformation, misinformation, smoke and mirrors and out and out lies. And remember, it comes directly from your Department of Justice.

As we've said, a more detailed point-by-point analysis of the outrage is called for. But for now, we feel it's important to get the information out as is so folks can see with their own eyes what has "flabbergasted" Conyers' as according to the response he sent in reply to the DoJ yesterday.

There is, however, at least one paragraph which jumped out at us, but that Conyers' reply does not deal with directly (understandably, frankly, since there is so much to be "flabbergasted" about in this DoJ report!). We feel this one is important to point out as we find it particularly disconcerting for what the future may hold in Ohio [emphasis added]:

A major complicating factor in the appropriate allocation of voting machines was the artificially inflated voter registration rolls in the county. The 845,720 registered voters in 2004 actually exceeded the 2000 total voting age population of Franklin County (800,657) by 45,063 persons. This unsettling disparity resulted from the loss, during preparation for computer system changes in anticipation of the year 2000, of voter history data necessary for purging the voter rolls of ineligible voters as required by the National Voter Registration Act. The County chose to start fresh with new voter histories, with the result that there had been no voter purge since 1999. The County resumed regular purging of its voter list only after the 2004 election, and on June 20, 2005 removed approximately 114,000 ineligible individuals from its voter registration list. The 2005 purge brings the voter registration total well below the 2000 voting age population in the county.

Yes, you read that right. Franklin County's "bi-partisan" Board of Election has just now "purged" 114,000 voters from the rolls! Tee-ing things up nicely, it would seem, for many more thousands of voters to find themselves suddenly ineligible to vote when they show up at the polling place in 2006!

Over one hundred thousand voters scrubbed from the voting rolls in just one Ohio County alone by their presumably "bi-partisan" BoE. That, while we have learned over the past several months how these Ohio BoE's are certainly not "bi-partisan" as Blackwell and their other defenders continue to maintain since a) There are "Democrats" on these boards who are specifically plants, in other words, "Democrats" in name only and b) All BoE members serve at the partisan pleasure of the distinctly partisan Secretary of State and Bush/Cheney Co-Chair, J. Kenneth Blackwell, who has routinely threatened BoE members with dismissal if and when they refuse to follow his personal partisan edicts.

But that's just one of the outrages. We'll let Conyers' handle a few more. Here is his response to the DoJ report first, followed by the complete report itself by John Tanner, the Chief of the DoJ's Voting Section. Prepare to be appalled...

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

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