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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.

ReddIt this story!



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!... ---

ReddIt this story!



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.
ReddIt this story!



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...

ReddIt this story!



'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.

ReddIt this story!



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.

ReddIt this story!



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.
ReddIt this story!



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!

ReddIt this story!



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]

ReddIt this story!



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