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Latest Featured Reports | Saturday, November 22, 2014
'Green News Report' 11/20/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
Record-breaking storm breaks Buffalo; October 2014 hottest October on record; Sorry, Repubs: China to cap coal use by 2020; PLUS: Obama doubles down on climate foreign policy...
Previous GNRs: 11/18/14 - 11/13/14 - Archives...
Extreme Weather? What Extreme Weather?
Yes, scientists have been warning us about this for years. And, yes, the record breaking storm in Buffalo is tied to global warming...
We're #26! Harvard 'Electoral Integrity' Report Dings U.S.
'World's Greatest Democracy' rated worst among Western nations; Ranked just below Micronesia, just above Mexico in overall list...
Gag Order Won't Ensure Impartial Jury in Trial of 'Dark Lord of Coal Country'
WV's criminally indicted coal boss and U.S. Chamber of Comm. director Don Blankeship presents challenge for federal prosecutors...
Oxford English Dictionary's 2014 Word of the Year: 'Vape'
That small point likely underscores some very encouraging news for the health of the world...
'Green News Report' 11/18/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
US Senate fails to approve Keystone XL; Can Congress override the Prez next year?; Native Americans: KXL is 'an act of war'; PLUS: Accountability for 'The Dark Lord of Coal'...
Previous GNRs: 11/13/14 - 11/11/14 - Archives...
Sanders on Colbert: Midterms a Vote Against Both Parties
For those mad at us for asserting 'not voting IS a vote', look who just said the same thing...
Exclusive: St. Louis County Was Warned Before Election Paper Ballots Would Run Out
Email obtained by BRAD BLOG reveals County's top election official ignored warnings from election experts, leading to shortages...
Not Voting IS a Vote
Stop blaming those who didn't turn out. Americans did vote. By not turning out, they voted against the two major parties and against the system as a whole. It may have been a dumb vote, but it was a landslide...
Stephen Colbert is Really REALLY Funny
That's not a news flash, but, as this segment makes clear once again, it's very very sad that The Colbert Report is soon going away...
'Green News Report' 11/13/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
Historic US-China climate agreement: The deal Repubs said couldn't be done; New hope for int'l climate treaty; Repubs freak out; Scientists say deal not enough, but a very good start...
Previous GNRs: 11/11/14 - 11/6/14 - Archives...
Crucial Moment for the FCC and 'Net Neutrality'
Will the Democratic majority commissioners support the President's clarion call and thwart GOP opposition to an open Internet?...
Brad on Thom Hartmann TV: More Election 2014 Mess
On thousands of 'missing' votes in Wisconsin, on Nate Silver and polls vs. 'results', on Rightwing 'True the Vote' voter fraud fraudsters, and on much more...
'Green News Report' 11/11/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
'Science has spoken': Final UN report - bad, good & room for hope; PLUS: Margaret Thatcher's historic climate change speech - when conservatives accepted science ...
Previous GNRs: 11/6/14 - 10/30/14 - Archives...
IN MEMORIAM:
Tomas Young, 1979-2014
On Veterans Day, we're sad to report that America has lost another casualty of the War on Iraq -- one who, after first meeting and interviewing him in 2005, we will never forget...
Early Data Suggests TX GOP Photo ID Restrictions 'Worked'
Provisional ballots doubled and turnout was down by more than a quarter-million voters, despite larger population, contested governor's race and increased voter registration...
WI Scanner Fails To Tally Thousands of Votes in 'Citizens United' Referendum
'Programming error' blamed for popular paper ballot computer tabulator recording just 16 of 5,350 votes cast in city of Stoughton, WI...
The Results Were Skewed Toward Republicans: A Response to Nate Silver
The statistics guru unhelpfully explains away mid-term's surprising outcome by presuming pre-election polling was wrong and unverified election results were all correct...
'True the Vote' Group Fails to Find 'Voter Fraud' (Again)
Laughingstock RW org's 'army' of monitors and smart phone app uncover just 18 benign 'irregularities', 0 cases of polling place impersonation...
'Green News Report' 11/6/14
Election 2014-pocalypse: Republican hegemonic hellscape!; Climate deniers now in charge; PLUS: At least one note of very good environmental election news...
About Last Night: KPFK 'BradCast'
Guest Matthew Segal of OurTime.org joins Brad to discuss whether young voters are to blame for Tuesday's election results and, if not them, then who...or what...
Day After...
Important re-re-re-reminder about when it is that probs in elections usually come to light, and a few more Election Day prob reports out of VA, NC, MI, IN & CT...
Reuters: Voting Probs Around Nation, 2,000 Missing Election Judges in Chicago
Wire service summarizes machine probs, Photo ID vote suppression and a really strange story out of Chicago...
Paper Ballots Ran Out in Ferguson, MO
Long lines at e-voting systems as St. Louis County offers both touch-screens and paper ballots. County said printing more ballots throughout day, night...
Electronic Voter ID System Fails in FL
Failure results in emergency court filing by state Democrats as Gubernatorial race between Charlie Crist and Rick Scott is deadlocked in Sunshine State...
AR Voters Illegally Asked for Photo ID
Arkansas Times reports some poll workers attempting to enforce GOP Photo ID restriction found by state Supreme Court to violate constitutional 'right to vote'...
Round-up of Reported Election Failures (So Far) in CT, NC, GA, TX, AL
'Serious problems' reported at the polls in a number of states. Here is a quick summary of just a few of them...
Touch-Screen Votes Flip in VA [VIDEO]
RWers finally become 'believers' in those 'liberal conspiracy theories' about votes flipping on 100% unverifiable voting systems...now that it affects them...
AL Bars Use of Public Housing IDs for Voting
Last minute change of rules may further disenfranchise (certain) voters in state where bloody civil rights march gave rise to the Voting Rights Act in 1965...
NATIONWIDE STUDY FINDS ALMOST NO VOTER FRAUD
Just 10 cases of in-person impersonation in all 50 states since 2000...
VIDEO: 'Rise of the Tea Bags'
Brad interviews American patriots...
'Democracy's Gold Standard'
Hand-marked, hand-counted ballots...
Brad's Upcoming Appearances
(All times listed as PACIFIC TIME unless noted)
Media Appearance Archives...
'Special Coverage' Archives
GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal 2012...
VA GOP VOTER REG FRAUDSTER OFF HOOK
Felony charges dropped against VA Republican caught trashing voter registrations before last year's election. Did GOP AG, Prosecutor conflicts of interest play role?...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

EXCLUSIVE: Intvw w/ FL Official Who First Discovered GOP Reg Fraud
After fraudulent registration forms from Romney-tied GOP firm found in Palm Beach, Election Supe says state's 'fraud'-obsessed top election official failed to return call...

GOP REGISTRATION FRAUD FOUND IN FL
State GOP fires Romney-tied registration firm after fraudulent forms found in Palm Beach; Firm hired 'at request of RNC' in FL, NC, VA, NV & CO...
The Secret Koch Brothers Tapes...


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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Republican Chairman Stuns Room by Shutting Down Hearings!
Turns Off Hearing Room Microphones in Middle of Testimony! FURTHER UPDATES...PELOSI DEMANDS APOLOGY!
By Brad Friedman on 6/10/2005 11:19am PT  

As originally reported here yesterday, Democrats on the U.S. House Judiciary Committee invoked a rarely used rule to extend Committee hearings on the renewal of the Patriot Act.

Apparently, they inappropriately called witnesses to testify today from whom the Republicans did not wish to hear. And thus, in what can only be seen as an unprecedented tyrannical abuse of Majority power in the U.S. House of Representatives, Chairman James Sensenbrenner (R-WI), suddenly and without warning, gavelled the hearings to a close! Unilaterally, without debate, and in the middle of ongoing testimony!

The extraordinary video clip of Sensenbrenner's appalling display, was captured by C-SPAN. Take a look at the meltdown...

BuzzFlash describes the remarkable incident in some detail as follows...

GOP House Judiciary Chair Uses Pinochet Tactics to Abruptly and Unilaterally Shut Down Hearing Into Abuses of the (Un)Patriot Act, Because He Was Afraid the Truth Would Come Out. America: "IT" is Happening Here. Democracy is Being Dismantled by GOP Thugs.

A BUZZFLASH EDITORIAL
June 10, 2005
BuzzFlash News Analysis

This morning, House Judiciary Chairman James Sensenbrenner, Jr. (R-WI) unilaterally and arbitrarily shut down committee hearings on the reauthorization of the Patriot Act without comment or issuing a statement. Sensenbrenner gaveled the committee hearings in the middle of witnesses testifying about human and civil rights abuses at Guantanamo Bay, racial profiling of individuals of Middle Eastern descent, prolonged detentions of Americans after September 11th and other abuses.

The suppression of free speech and testimony in the congressional committee in charge of protecting our civil liberties shows the Republican's power grab has no limits and no decency. The irony was not lost on anyone.

UPDATE: We must go on the air on Tony Trupiano's show in a just a few minutes, so this must be quick for now. (Link to that interview, with a lot more information on my conversation with a Democratic staffer who was in the room, is now below.)

To clarify some confusion on this matter, what had been referred to as "Democratic Hearings" today in some places, actually were not Democratic-only hearings (unlike the hearings that took place in January on Ohio Election Irregularities, and the recent Media Bias forum held by Conyers and other Dems).

Today's hearings were called under the archane provision of House Rule 11, which, we are told, allows the Minority to call for an additional day of hearings and to choose their own witnesses if they are unsatisfied with the hearings as held by the Majority.

The U.S. House Judiciary Democrats have been unable to do that previously on issues like Election 2004 and Media Bias because the Majority hadn't called a hearing at all on those matters, and thus, they were forced to call their own hearings.

We are told by a Democratic Staffer who The BRAD BLOG has just spoken to, and who was present at today's debacle, that the Majority has been quite disturbed by those previous hearings for some time, and, in fact, during the airing of Conyers' Media Bias forum (it ran as taped on C-SPAN at 8:30pm ET a few Saturdays ago), an email was sent to a Judiciary Committee staffer which said, in effect, "I'm watching your forum right now, hope you enjoyed it, it will be your last."

We'll have more detail after we're off the air, but the staffer just explained to us that the Minority was displeased with the witnesses called previously in the Commission hearings on renewal of the Patriot Act, and attempted to work with the Majority to call additional witnesses.

According to the staffer, they were told, "'You're gonna get your hearing, but it's gonna be 8:30am on Friday morning'...Never in the history of the Judiciary Committee have we been able to find a time when a hearing has been scheduled like that. The Congress was not in session today. We've never been able to find an instance when a hearing was called when Congress wasn't in session."

"The irony, when we're debating the Patriot Act," we were told, "of cutting off the debate and acting so anti-democratic when that's going on, is unbelievable!

"In the committee with sole jurisdiction over civil rights and civil liberties, for the chairman to say, I don't want to hear about guys who are getting their testicles shocked, it's breathtaking arrogance, it's testimony to abuse of power and how this place is now run. They've become everything they said they deplored when they took over the house in 1994."

Conversations with the House Democratic leadership on currently ongoing. The BRAD BLOG has learned that they are "very very concerned" about this matter, and that "the issue will be elevated."

"Ms. Pelosi is very concerned about this," said the staffer.

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

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Few House Members, None from Texas Delegation Showed Up Despite Free Tickets!
But Tom Feeney Was There!
By Brad Friedman on 5/28/2005 3:16pm PT  

Featuring actual reporting (as opposed to just rewritten press releases), the Texas Observer actually writes about what happened at Tom DeLay's recent "Conservative Movement Salute" held in D.C. recently to shore up the failing GOP House Leader.

They accomplished this feat by actually attending the event, talking to people who were there, and reporting on what they saw and what they didn't see. Imagine that.

What they didn't see, was the bulk of DeLay's Republican colleagues, nor the many K Street lobbyists with whom DeLay has infamously raised millions...

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

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Encourage C-SPAN to Cover it NOW!
By Brad Friedman on 5/20/2005 1:07pm PT  

It's official. Just in from the folks at Conyer's office...Fighting on every front...God bless him...In the DC area next week? Go help 'em make some noise!

Better yet, write to C-SPAN today and ask them to cover this event!!! We spoke with Conyers' office earlier this morning, and they made it clear they would appreciate any help that "6 or 7" of you might be able to provide in encouraging C-SPAN to be there!

...CONTACT...
Suggest Events: Submit a public event that you think C-SPAN should cover
events@c-span.org
Main Number: (202) 737-3220
FROM THE NEWSWEEK CONTROVERSY TO THE DOWNING STREET MEMO, CONYERS HOSTS FORUM: "MEDIA BIAS AND THE FUTURE OF FREEDOM OF THE PRESS"

WASHINGTON, D.C. - On Tuesday, May 24, at 1 p.m., Rep. John Conyers, Jr. and other Members will host a forum concerning the state of the freedom of the press in this country.

There are few liberties which are more precious to our citizenry or important to our democracy than a free and independent press. Unfortunately, in the present environment, the fourth estate appears reticent to cover numerous issues of genuine public import, and has frequently retreated in the face of criticism and threats from government officials.

For example, the mainstream media has largely ignored the implications of the "Downing Street Memo," which points to a secret agreement between the Bush and Blair Administration to not only go to war, but create the conditions necessary for the war. Similarly, in the wake of the Newsweek "retraction" of the Koran story, the Administration has sought to mandate that the magazine alter its coverage of our involvement in the Middle East.

Tuesday's Forum will provide a timely opportunity to assess the nature of media bias and the extent that press freedoms are at risk in the post-9/11 world.

WHAT: Forum: "Media Bias and the Future of Freedom of the Press"

PANEL:

  • Al Franken, the Al Franken Show on Air America Radio, author of Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them: A Fair and Balanced Look at the Right
  • David Brock, founder of Media Matters
  • Randi Rhodes, the Randi Rhodes Show on Air America Radio
  • Joe Madison, The Black Eagle Radio Show
  • Justin Webb, Senior Washington Correspondent of BBC News
  • Eric Alterman, Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress
  • Steve Rendall, media watchdog group FAIR (Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting)
  • John Aravosis, America Blog
  • Mark Lloyd, Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress
  • WHEN: Tuesday, May 24, at 1 p.m.

    WHERE: 2226 Rayburn House Office Building

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