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Intimidating Letter Faxed to Seminole Chronicle Charges Story on Feeney was 'False and Defamatory'
Feeney Attorney Uses Unrelated and Questionable 'Ethics Investigation' as Sole Basis for Claims
By Brad Friedman on 12/24/2004 6:24pm PT  

Congressman Tom Feeney's (R-FL) attorneys have sent a letter threatening the editors of Florida's Seminole Chronicle intimating possible legal action in light of the news report filed by Editor Alex Babcock last week concerning allegations made in a sworn affidavit [PDF] and in sworn public testimony before members of the U.S. House Judiciary committee by software programmer Clint Curtis.

The story of Curtis' allegations and affidavit was originally reported by The BRAD BLOG several weeks ago. Curtis has alleged, among other things, that Feeney conspired, in an October 2000 meeting, to have a "vote-rigging software prototype" built by Yang Enterprises, Inc. --- a company for which Feeney at the time served as corporate counsel and registered lobbyist even while he concurrently served as Legislator, and eventually Speaker of the Florida House. Feeney was the running mate to Jeb Bush during his first failed bid for Governor of Florida, and is now a U.S. Congressman from Florida's newly created 24th Congressional District. He also now sits on the U.S. House's Judiciary Committee.

The letter from John P. Horan of "Foley and Lardner, attorneys at law", was faxed to Babcock at the Seminole Chronicle office earlier this week. It alleges the newspaper's report "constitute[d] a serious departure from accepted journalism standards and a breach of the Chronicle's fair reporting privilege."

Horan goes on to accuse Babcock of reporting "in a sensational, reckless and unfair manner," and claims that "This conduct exceeds all known bounds of bias and constitutes a reckless disregard for the truth."

According to the letter, Horan's charges on behalf of Feeney, stem from his claim that "These assertions were fully investigated by the State of Florida Commission on Ethics which found that 'there was no probable cause' to believe the assertions and dismissed each complaint."

However, BRAD BLOG research into those ethics charges filed against Feeney, and their supposed "investigation", has revealed that the commission referred to, and the investigation itself, appear to have had serious flaws and conflicts of interest involved. Many of which were reported at the time of the commission's findings by a number of Florida newspapers.

For a start, six of the eight members of the "Commission on Ethics" which Horan's letter refers to, were appointed to the commission by and/or have direct ties to either Tom Feeney or his old running-mate and then Governor, Jeb Bush!

On October 17, 2002, the Daytona Beach News-Journal reported on the "Commission on Ethics" findings that Horan uses as the only basis for criticism of the Seminole Chronicle's article.

The News-Journal reported on those findings by revealing that neither the investigator looking into the ethics complaint nor the two key witnesses in the case were ever even interviewed by the commission! Despite a state law that requires them to do so!

As well, public documents in the case --- including Email which directly contradicted statements made by Feeney to the commission during the "investigation" --- were similarly never investigated, also in apparent violation of state law, according to the paper.

From just one of several articles on this from the Daytona Beach News-Journal...

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

ReddIt this story!



By Brad Friedman on 12/22/2004 1:00pm PT  

Failing to meet even the usually lax journalistic standards of most Internet bloggers, "self-styled investigative journalist" Keith Olbermann --- who also seems to have his very own prime-time show on a fairly major cable news outlet --- offers a swell Christmas gift for Congressman Tom Feeney (R-FL) and his monied friends at Yang Enterprises, Inc.!

We have mentioned before our appreciation for Keith Olbermann's willingness, virtually alone in the Mainstream Media, to cover a fair amount of the "Election 2004 Irregularity" issues.

We have also pointed out in the past some of Olbermann's horribly embarrasing failures as a journalist in the course of those much-appreciated duties. Amongst them, criticizing another journalist for "distancing himself...from the purported original source of the information".

Olbermann was condescending at the time to "self-styled investigative journalist" Wayne Madsen's reporting. And though we've had at least a few words ourself about Madsen's work, we bothered to contact Madsen to see learn if Olbermann had actually spoken to him, or even attempted to, before levelling the above --- rather-ironic-in-retrospect - criticism of his work.

He hadn't.

And yesterday, Olbermann did it again! This time in a report that mattered! In a blog item filed "from an undisclosed location" (scroll down to Item #4 at the link), Olbermann finally mentioned the Clint Curtis "Whistleblower Affidavit" story as first reported here over two weeks ago.

In those two weeks, Olbermann hasn't mentioned a word about the stunning case which has rocked the vote from Talahassee to Capitol Hill to all corners of the blogosphere. That is, until he decided to botch a report on it from top to bottom yesterday. A report which violates the journalistic standards of even the laziest of Internet bloggers. Or at least this lazy one!

Amongst the most egregious errors and/or failures in Olbermann's "reporting" here was his failure (and that of anybody on his staff) to actually contact Clint Curtis to get his reply to some rather scurrilous charges that Olbermann decided to pass on to readers, as offered up by Rep. Tom Feeney (R-FL) --- the now U.S. Congressman, then Florida Speaker of the House --- who is at the center of this controversy.

Curtis alleges that Feeney asked Yang Enterprises, Inc. (YEI) to create a "vote-rigging software prototype" for him in a 2000 meeting at the company when Curtis was a software designer with the firm.

Feeney was, at the time, the corporate counsel and a registered lobbyist for YEI even while he was serving as a member of the Florida Legislature.

Olbermann (or rather, one of his producers) seems to have gotten comment from Feeney on the matter. No small feat, as Feeney's office has rebuffed most attempts by journalists to get comment over the last two weeks about this growing scandal.

Olbermann explains...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 12/22/2004 11:52am PT  

We have really been trying our best to help the mainstream media folks like Keith Olbermann at MSNBC, Kim Zetter at Wired Magazine and Adam Smith at The St. Petersburg Times.

All of them have passed on, without any supporting evidence, the charges by Yang Enterprises, Inc (YEI) attorney --- and former law partner of Tom Feeney --- Michael O'Quinn (of "Fowler & O'Quinn" nee "Fowler, Barice, Feeney & O'Quinn), that Clint Curtis was a "disgruntled employee".

Despite having demonstrated how Mr. Curtis seems to have been anything but disgruntled on several occasions here, having reported that he stayed on an extra six weeks at YEI after his resignation date at the request of the company's CEO and had even received a farewell party from the company when he finally did leave...apparently some of those "responsible mainstream media" reporters seem to think they needn't offer any context or supporting evidence when helping embattled parties to defend themselves against serious charges by simply slurring individuals without even the slightest shred of evidence or fact-checking!

In our final attempt (we hope) to answer once and for all to the unsupported "disgruntled employee" slur, we offer yet another exclusive piece of evidence that would seem to belie those charges.

And this time, it's a visual aid!...With cute cartoon animals! Perhaps that will be easier for such "reporters" to comprehend...

(Our promised complete reply to Olbermann's inexcusably irresponsible report filed yesterday on the Clint Curtis matter has now been published here.)

ReddIt this story!



Mainstream Media Boy Gets It Wrong...
Again.
By Brad Friedman on 12/21/2004 12:53pm PT  

I've got some appointments and personal issues to deal with this morning/afternoon, so I cannot reply in full yet to Mr. Olbermann's take (scroll down to his Item #4) on the Clint Curtis case which he has finally discussed for the first time today.

I'll be updating this item later with a full reply, and additional hard evidence to demonstrate that he --- frankly --- got the story 100% wrong, unfortunately.

For the moment, however, please see RAW STORY's response to Olbermann's piece. They cover several of the most notable gaps and out-and-out errors in his report that, too sadly, seems to have been entirely based on what Feeney had to say (without presenting evidence to back up his charges) and that of Yang's attorney who are --- as Olbermann triumphantly and embarrasingly failed to note --- Feeney's old law partners and contributors.

More specifics...with new evidence...later...

(Where oh, were is the responsible mainstream media in 2004? What a pity. For America.)

UPDATE: A few previously-scheduled personal issues, and this concept known as FACT-CHECKING have delayed my response here to Mr. Olbermann's completely irresponsible piece today in regards to Clint Curtis.

Therefore, it will be tomorrow before I issue what will be a rather direct response to several of Olbermann's inexcusable failings. Along with some additional never-before-seen evidence that I'm confident you will enjoy!

Just one minor point that I can't wait any longer to mention...Apparently neither Olbermann, nor anyone on his staff ever actually spoke to Clint Curtis before filing his report!

That's right! Before posting his item repeating what Feeney had told him (or, actually, his producers) Olbermann never bothered to get a reply from Curtis in regards to Feeney's comments! Or a reply to the comments he gave from Yang (YEI) or their attorneys (who as I've noted too many times...ARE THE FORMER LAW PARTNERS OF TOM FEENEY!)

Much much more on all of that tomorrow.

But for now, please read this rather brilliant bit of satire as sent in by an Emailer (who's name I'm withholding until he offers permission to give it!) Enjoy...

Bloggerman - Keith Olbermann is on vacation again. From a secure and undisclosed location, Keith has followed up on the reported burglary of the Democratic National Headquarters in Washington DC.

Mr. Olbermann Reports - "I've been hiding out on vacation again, but I felt that a minor story might develop into a major one, so I did some followup work on the break-in at the DNC. Turns out I was wrong. No story there. Here's what happened.

First of all, I wasn't there. I asked a very reliable reporter to interview the key players and sort out the wheat from the chaff. Here's what he found.

Five men were caught breaking into the Democratic National Committee by Frank Wills, the security guard at the Watergate Building. One of the men was James W. McCord, Jr. who was identified as the chief of security for The Committee to Reelect the President. At first, it looked pretty suspicious that the chief of security of the CRP, someone apparently close to the President, would be involved in an act of political espionage.

So we asked the President's secretary, Ron Zieglar, about it. Mr. Zieglar assured us that Mr. McCord had no connection whatsoever with the President and that the break-in was not politically motivated.

In order to complete our due diligence as investigative reporters, we contacted John Mitchell, the chief law enforcement official of the nation. Mr. Mitchell confirmed Mr. Zieglar's statement that the burglars had no connection whatsoever with the President or the CRP.

It turned out that there really was no burglary at all. It was an accidental break-in. The five men found at the DNC headquarters had been locked out of their own offices, and, by mistake, had accidentally picked the lock at the DNC.

After talking to Bob Haldeman, the President's chief of staff, we found out that Mr. Wills (the Watergate Security guard) was really a disgruntled former employee of the Committee to Reelect the President. Mr.Wills had been let go from his position several weeks earlier. Mr. Wills had threatened the head of the CRP just after his termination for an as yet unknown offense (rumored to be indecent exposure). Mr. Haldeman stated that its possible that Mr. Wills himself had changed the locks at the CRP, locking the men out of their offices and indirectly causing the break-in at the DNC.

Mr. Haldeman's story helped us locate some logical disconnects in Mr. Wills story. Apparently the same break-in had occurred 3 weeks before, due to the same causes. If Mr. Wills had knowingly locked the men out of their offices before and had knowingly done it a second time, then Mr. Wills might have tacitly committed a felony.

At the end of our interview with Mr. Haldeman, he politely mentioned that any news organization considering this story should check with their legal counsel first.

For Mr. Mitchell's part, he willingly answered 7 questions (although these questions could only be general, not specific questions). In keeping with the general nature of the questions, it was clear that Mr. Mitchell was generally right. When it came right down to it, Mr. Mitchell is the Attorney General (and head of the CRP), and Mr. Wills is not. Case closed.

Neither rain, nor snow, nor sleet, not vacation can deter yours truly from following up on the smallest story.

Happy Holidays! (imagine me throwing a wad of paper at your computer screen)!"

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More in the Continuing Saga of the Clint Curtis, Tom Feeney (R-FL), Yang Enterprises
By Brad Friedman on 12/20/2004 5:06pm PT  

While the bulk of the mainstream media seems to be sitting on their hands, the Internet-only news organization RAW STORY is actually making calls, confirming info, and advancing the story as the very model of what investigative journalism used to look like in this country.

To that end, RAW STORY followed up today on an article published by The BRAD BLOG last week, in which we issued a point-by-point reply to the "full statement" of Yang Enterprises, Inc. (YEI) in regards to the explosive Clint Curtis charges we broke here two weeks ago.

Those charges concerned, amongst other things, the allegation that Rep. Tom Feeney (R-FL) asked Curtis to create "vote-rigging software" back in a 2000 meeting at YEI where Curtis worked at the time. Feeney was then their corporate attorney and registered lobbyist, as well as a Florida state legislator who would shortly thereafter become Speaker of the Florida Legislature.

In RAW STORY's piece this morning, editor John Byrne was able to get a short reply from a YEI Vice-President concerning the evidence we posted refuting the companies claim that Hai Lin Nee (a/k/a Henry Nee) "has never been an employee of YEI." Nee had plead guilty in October of this year to espionage charges concerning the shipment of Hellfire Anti-Tank Missiles parts to China, and was named by Curtis in his affidavit [PDF] as being an "illegal-alien" working for YEI and having added "wiretapping routines" to software that YEI was contracted to create for NASA and other companies.

In our reply to that, we published several "Weekly Time Reports" (received via Public Records Requests) submitted by YEI to the Florida Dept. of Transportation (FDOT). The time cards with YEI stationery were signed by Nee and indicated that he worked as a "Consultant" for the company as many as 60 hours a week on the "Electronic Document Management System" contract (EDMS) that YEI had with FDOT.

Yang, when told of the timecards, denied that Nee was ever employed there.

"He was never an employee," Yang Vice President Lowell Weaver said by telephone Monday. "Henry Nee was not a consultant either."

Weaver added that Yang had never paid Nee for any services. He declined to comment further and did not say that the timecards weren't real, deferring comment to Yang's attorney, who is on vacation until Jan. 2.

We also posted several emails in our article replying to YEI's "full statement" --- including one from Nee himself, and another from the CEO's exective secretary, Mike Cohen --- which indicated that Nee, did in fact work at YEI in apparent contradiction to both the "full statement" on the YEI website, and the comments above from Weaver.

Additionally, RAW STORY was able to contact Tom Yowell, the Special Agent assigned to the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force in Orlando Florida, concerning his email to Clint Curtis indicating that YEI was "under investigation by another Division of the FBI."

Yowell confirmed to RAW STORY that he did in fact send that email to Curtis on Nov. 22nd, 2004 as The BRAD BLOG first reported.

But then Yowell seemed to do a bit of interesting backtracking on the matter...

Reached this afternoon, Yowell told RAW STORY that he had indeed sent the email, but said he was less certain about an investigation.

"It turns out that I'm not even sure it's the same company," he said. He stated that he would call another FBI office which might be able to furnish more information.

In their "full statement", YEI had claimed they were "not under investigation by the FBI". Which Yowell's email to Curtis would seem to dispute.

Why a Special Agent for the FBI Joint Terorrism Task Force would tell a concerned citizen one thing via Email after he reported a number of activities concerning YEI and then begin backtracking only after the information became public knowledge is a question that we will continue to look into as this remarkable story continues to develop...

ReddIt this story!



By Brad Friedman on 12/19/2004 11:48pm PT  

In the "Tom Feeney - In his own words" section of his official U.S. House of Representatives website page, Mr. Feeney (R-FL) reposts an Op-Ed he penned for the Orlando Sentinel --- apparently not ironically --- entitled "FLORIDA GETS IT RIGHT ON ELECTIONS".

The Op-Ed was published --- apparently not ironically --- on April 1, 2004 (April Fools Day).

In the piece, Mr. Feeney offers some well-informed opinions of the "unnecessary and devisive", "destructive lawsuits" challenging Florida's voting system by "vocal naysayers, who for partisan reasons are doing their best to portray the Sunshine State's voting technologies in a negative light."

The entire piece is certainly worth a read in full! If only for so many such --- apparently not ironic --- turns of phrase!

But there were two --- not ironic at all --- passages which, for some reason, leapt out at us this evening [emphasis added]:

Florida is a national leader in election reform. Much of the credit goes to state legislators who helped position Florida to make the necessary changes in the state's voting processes and technologies. That commitment has paid off, despite the criticisms and insults from partisan leaders who are ill-informed and have made every attempt to derail voter confidence and undermine our entire elections process.

What Mr. Feeney modestly fails to note in that paragraph is that he --- as Speaker of the Florida state legislature in 2000 (where he remained until joining the U.S. House in 2002) --- was himself, apparently, one of those "state legislators who helped position Florida to make the necessary changes in the state's voting processes and technologies." At least as Clint Curtis would tell us.

But aside from that, Mr. Feeney's right! That commitment has paid off!

Though for all of Mr. Feeney's hard work in changing "the state's voting processes and technologies" it seems that he may be the "ill-informed" one on some of these matters. Just look what he had to say in the same --- apparently not ironic --- Op-Ed in regards to voter-verified paper trails [emphasis once again added]:

As time goes on, I expect that Florida will continue to improve its voting systems and processes --- particularly as technology continues to evolve. But the argument that printers should be attached to touch-screen voting machines in the counties that use them is unrealistic as of today. Such companion technology does not currently exist, and in all likelihood will not exist by the November election.

Well, that's odd...And not at all ironic! And it may even be news to the entire state of Nevada!

Perhaps Mr. Feeney missed this information posted on the website of his good friends at the Sequoia Voting Systems corporation:

State of Nevada to Utilize Sequoia Voter Verifiable Paper Record Printers Throughout the State in 2004 Primary and General Election

WASHINGTON, DC - Sequoia Voting Systems today announced it has successfully passed federal testing of the VeriVote ? printer upgrade to the company's popular AVC Edge touch screen voting system. The printer, which allows voters to view a paper copy of their electronic ballot before leaving the polling place, will be used throughout the State of Nevada for their September 7, 2004 Primary Election and the November 2, 2004 Presidential General Election.

As a completely unrelated and not-ironic-at-all side note, Mr. Feeney has still refused to return the phone calls of many reporters seeking comment from the Congressman in the two full weeks since The BRAD BLOG began reporting on allegations that he sought to create "vote-rigging software" from Yang Enterprises, Inc. (YEI) --- in his hometown of Oviedo, FL --- back in 2000 where he served as corporate counsel and registered lobbyist while concurrently serving as Speaker of the Florida Legislature. (See our "Special Coverage" sidebar at right for more info.)

On that point, Mr. Feeney may deserve the benefit of the doubt, however. We cannot know for certain, after all, if his office has "the companion technology" necessary to return such phone calls.

As such, any expectation that he or his staff would be able to use such "evolving technology" --- such as the telephone --- in order to do so, might well be "unrealistic as of today".

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Including --- for the first time --- the FULL Video of Clint Curtis' Sworn Testimony!
By Brad Friedman on 12/18/2004 1:41pm PT  

Where's the media? They're right here...and they're paying attention to reporting by The BRAD BLOG. I urge you to count no chickens in regards to coverage by major media on this story, friends. It's a rather explosive story, and the big boy media folks need to cross all their t's and dot all their i's before letting loose with these charges!

Of course, feel free to let them know about it! And ask them to cover it!

Until those media big big boys jump in however (and there's at least one very big big boy that I hear has been sniffing around this story!) take note of a few of the other recent Clint Curtis media appearances in one form or another...

FULL VIDEO TESTIMONY...

ON RADIO...

  • Live on Sunday! Curtis was on the Mark Levine radio show for an hour today. Levine is on an "inside the beltway" D.C. station (WAGE AM-1200), but he also streams live via the web. UPDATE: The archive of today's broadcast is now available here! Listen up!
  • Curtis was on the Ed Schultz radio show broadcast nationwide on Thursday, but unfortunately I failed to capture the interview while I was finishing up my response to YEI's "full statement" on the Curtis charges. I've contacted the producers of the show and am hoping to get the audio to post or link to here soon.
  • Audio from Curtis' radio appearances on Air America Radio and the Thom Hartman program during Week 1 of this scandal, are linked this previous item.

IN PRINT...

  • Feeney's hometown paper, The Seminole Chronicle covered the story very smartly yesterday. We spoke about it in detail, and linked to it right here...
  • Bob Fitrakis, the excellent investigative journalist and Senior Editor of Columbus' Free Press who has been doing so much good work on the entire Ohio mess, covered Curtis' testimony to the Judiciary Committee members in Ohio last Monday, in an article on the hearings right here. Fitrakis describes Curtis' testimony as "riveting". (The Free Press website seems to be "down" as of this posting, let's hope it gets back up in good order soon, and has not come under the same type of DDos hack-attacks that The BRAD BLOG suffered when we first began reporting on Election Irregularaties after Nov. 2nd! Given the tremendous coverage that FP has been offering, however, it wouldn't surprise me a bit.)
  • Adam Smith covered the Curtis story in The St. Petersburg Times last Sunday. But while including a response from YEI's "outside general counsel", Michael A. O'Quinn, on the matter, Smith failed to note that O'Quinn was Feeney's old lawpartner for years in Florida and that there was no evidence for O'Quinn's "disgruntled employee" charge which was later dropped in YEI's full statement. Smith is a decent columnist, but dropped the ball on that matter! Smith can be politely informed about this important oversight at adam@sptimes.com

INTERNATIONAL MEDIA...

  • Curtis is scheduled to interview with the great German investigative journal Der Speigel shortly. Marc Pitzke is covering the story for the magazine. We'll let you know when that article appears, and if an English translation being made available.
  • TV Asahi (a CNN affiliate from Japan) is working up a piece on Curtis for their "Hodo Station" program. Interesting that Japan may beat the US to a TV story on Curtis! Though perhaps their story may make CNN take notice of it!

As I hinted earlier, however, there is at least one major TV network news operation looking into this story. I don't want to say too much about who that is, as I don't wish to spook things for the moment, and as well, I've not yet been personally able to confirm it with the producers. But I've now heard about it from several different reliable sources.

As always, more info on all of the above as it becomes appropriate to publish here, soon!

[Originally published at BRAD BLOG TOO while The BRAD BLOG server was down.
Comments left by readers on the original article can be read at the above link.]
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By Brad Friedman on 12/17/2004 2:12pm PT  

Alex Babcock, editor and reporter at Florida's Seminole Chronicle has just filed a tremendously good story on the explosive Clint Curtis allegations which we originally broke here last week!

Finally! A smart and thorough print media account of this extraordinary story! And in Tom Feeney's hometown paper no less!

And as if that isn't good news enough, unlike previous coverage in both Wired Magazine and The St. Petersburg Times, Babcock does not allow the "outside general counsel" to Yang Enterprises, Inc (YEI) to skate on their scurrilous charges made against Curtis several days ago!

As we mentioned in several previous stories on this, YEI's attorney Michael A. O'Quinn of "Fowler and O'Quinn P.A." had made a general statement over the weekend smearing Curtis as "a disgruntled former employee" and claiming that his "allegations are categorically false."

What both Wired and St. Petersburg Times failed to point out in covering O'Quinn's statement was that O'Quinn --- as well as being a campaign contributor to Feeney along with Dr. and Mrs. Yang --- is also Feeney's former law partner from as late as 2002 when the firm was known as "Fowler, Barice, Feeney and O'Quinn P.A."!

Babcock does not make the same mistake, and responsibly offers some context for Feeney's long-term association with O'Quinn as his former law partner.

While Babcock was unable to pin down O'Quinn in regards to any supporting evidence for the "disgruntled former employee" charge --- one that so far seems to have zero basis in reality, and which was notably dropped from YEI's "formal statement" on the matter issued last Tuesday --- Babcock does somewhat speak to O'Quinn's all-new suggestion that Curtis is "motivated by money".

He points out that Curtis has stated, as also confirmed in an interview with RAW STORY, that he has no interest in the $200,000 reward being offered by Justice Through Music for evidence of vote fraud in 2004.

In regard to Hai Lin Nee (a/k/a Henry Nee) who Curtis has charged with adding "wiretapping routines" to software that YEI built for NASA and other projects --- and who was indicted and plead guilty to espionage charges earlier this year --- Babcock notes that YEI "said that the man named by Curtis as the recipient of NASA-related information has never worked for the company."

Babcock did not note, and the information may have come too late to meet his deadline, our report yesterday which revealed "Weekly Time Reports" and several emails indicating that Nee did, in fact, work for the company.

We hope Babcock will follow up soon in that regard, as well as continue to report on this topic. To that end, I'd hope that you folks would send a quick email to the paper thanking them for their coverage, and encouraging Babcock --- and Michelle Yoffee-Beard who also contributed to the story --- to continue to report on this very troubling story! (The same, by the way, is true for any of the reporters who prove courageous enough to get the truth out there on this issue!)

You can email Alex Babcock via this link.

[Originally published at BRAD BLOG TOO while The BRAD BLOG server was down.
Comments left by readers on the original article can be read at the above link.]
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...And The BRAD BLOG Responds In-Kind!
But With Hard Evidence Contradicting YEI's Claims!
By Brad Friedman on 12/15/2004 2:16pm PT  

It has been well over a week since The BRAD BLOG first released our original exclusive article on the "WHISTLEBLOWER AFFIDAVIT" of Clint Curtis.

In his affidavit, Curtis accused U.S. Rep. Tom Feeney (R-FL) of asking him to create a "vote-rigging software prototype" program while Curtis worked for Yang Enterprises Inc. (YEI) in a meeting at YEI in October of 2000.

Curtis also accused YEI of employing Hai Lin Nee (a/k/a Henry Nee), who Curtis described as "an illegal-alien" who had placed "wiretapping modules" into software created by YEI for NASA, the Florida Dept. of Transportion (FDOT) and others with whom YEI had contracts.

Yesterday we released court documents showing that Nee plead guilty, in October of 2004, to one of the charges related to attempted shipments of Hellfire Anti-Tank missile parts to China for which he was indicted last March after a four-year sting operation by the U.S. Immigration & Customs Encorcement (ICE) agency. Nee was allowed to go free with 3 years probation and a $100 fine.

Back in 2000, the time of Curtis' "vote-rigging software prototype" claims, Feeney was a corporate attorney and a registered lobbyist for YEI, an engineering firm in Feeney's hometown of Oveido, FL.

While serving as counsel and lobbyist for YEI, Feeney was also a Florida state Legislator who would shortly thereafter become Speaker of the Florida House. In 1994, Feeney was Jeb Bush's running-mate in his original failed bid for Florida Governor.

Feeney's lawfirm at the time, where he was a partner, was "Fowler, Barice, Feeney, & O'Quinn P. A." which is now known as "Fowler & O'Quinn, P. A." since Feeney has left to serve in the U.S. House where he sits on the House Judiciary Committee.

As "outside general counsel" for YEI, Michael A. O'Quinn, Esquire (a campaign donor to Feeney, along with company owners Dr. and Mrs. Yang) issued a short statement on Saturday on behalf of YEI suggesting that Curtis was "a disgruntled employee".

We discussed and answered in detail to O'Quinn's charge in this BRAD BLOG article, reporting that we have yet to find any evidence to suggest that Curtis was "a disgruntled employee". We pointed out that Curtis resigned from YEI in December of 2000 and stayed, at Mrs. Yang's request, for another six weeks until they were able to find a suitable replacement for him. We posted other evidentiary details to that effect in the article, and discussed the "farewall party" that YEI reportedly threw for Curtis at the time.

YEI posted a brief statement on their website at the end of last week, announcing that "An official statement will be forthcoming", that "all" of Curtis' allegations were "100% FALSE!!" and instructing "God" to "Bless America." The BRAD BLOG discussed that statement originally here, and then again in more detail here.

And yesterday, YEI's "official statement" was finally posted on their website.

We will respond to that below, with evidence that seems to demonstrate that, at least part of their statement, is patently untrue. But by way of reminder, since our original story was posted at the beginning of last week, Curtis, who claims to have been "a long-time Republican" has since that time...

  • Met with and been interviewed by Democratic staffers on the U.S. House Judiciary Committee in D.C. (where Feeney is also a member)
  • Met with and been interviewed by members of the office of U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) who is a member of the Senate's Science, Technology and Space sub-committee which oversees NASA on Capitol Hill
  • Has been extensively interviewed by --- and is now being aided by --- Citizens for Ethics & Responsibility in Washington (CREW), the watchdog organization who helped prepare the recent ethics charges against Republican majority leader Sen. Tom Delay
  • Has told his story via interviews on a number of radio outlets including Air America Radio and The Thom Harmann program and will today be on the Ed Schultz radio program at 5:05pm ET
  • And on Monday of this week, gave startling sworn "jaw-dropping", public testimony to U.S. Judiciary Committee members in in a public hearing held on Voting Irregularities in Columbus, Ohio.

At this time, The BRAD BLOG is unaware of any claim that Curtis has made either publicly, in any of his official interviews, media interviews, in his sworn affidavit, or in the extensive interviews that we have done with him that has yet been proven to be untrue in any way.

In fact, quite a few articles by various media outlets over the past week have confirmed a fair number of the charges that Curtis has made, and there is an extensive paper trail of newspaper articles and public records documenting and corroborating many of his claims going back at least as far as a three full years.

While it's still The BRAD BLOG's official position that Clint Curtis may either have his facts wrong or may not be telling the truth about some portions of his story, we have as yet been unable to unearth any evidence to suggest either of those possibilities is the case. Indeed, all our checking so far into public records and extensive interviews with individuals who have known Curtis for some time and/or are familiar with his case for a number of years all seem to corroborate the veracity of Curtis. As at least three different people who know him, but who were not present for and therefore cannot confirm the specific "vote-rigging software prototype" story, have told The BRAD BLOG, "Clint doesn't lie."

We have found nothing to contradict that sentiment so far.

That said, let's take a look at the unsigned and unattributed statement released by YEI yesterday on their website, and at some of the documentary hard evidence which would seem to dispute or disprove at least a portion of their official statement...

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

ReddIt this story!



By Brad Friedman on 12/14/2004 1:59pm PT  

· Man Referred to in Curtis Affidavit, Testimony Admits Guilt in Plea Deal on Single Count!
· Sent Such Parts out of Country 'ten to twenty times' in Past Year!
· COURT DOCS: Hai Lin "Henry" Nee Free To Go After Sentencing of 3-Year Probation, $100 Fine!

Court Documents obtained exclusively last Friday by The BRAD BLOG from the U.S. District Court, Middle District of Florida, Orland0 Division, show that the Tiawanese born national referred to in the Clint Curtis' affidavit released exclusively here last Monday, and again in Curtis' sworn testimony before House Judiciary Committee members yesterday, was charged by a grand jury with three counts related to the illegal exportation of computer chips made by a Lockheed-Martin subsidiary and intended for delivery to the People's Republic of China.

As mentioned in Curtis' affidavit, and reported by the Orlando Sentinel in March of this year (link now archived, requires $ to view), Hai Lin Nee (a/k/a Henry Nee), an employee with whom Curtis claims to have worked at Yang Enterprises, Inc. (YEI), was taken into custody last March by the U.S. International and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency for attempting to ship "Missile Components to China". The "low-frequency amplifier" chips are said in the article --- and confirmed by a statement on the the official ICE website --- to be used for "radar-frequency guidance systems for fourth-generation Hellfire anti-tank missiles".

According the official indictment which The BRAD BLOG has reviewed after receiving it from the Circuit Court in Orlando, Nee was charged in the case of UNITED STATES OF AMERICA v. TING-IH HSU, HAI LIN NEE a/k/a Henry Nee on March 10, 2004 on three counts. The official case number is: 6:04-cr-38-Orl-31DAB.

Nee plead guilty, according to a plea agreement signed on July 15, 2004 and obtained by The BRAD BLOG and was then sentenced by U.S. District Judge Gregory A. Presenell on October 7, 2004 on Count Three of the indictment concerning False Statements made to Customs Officials and on official documents.

The Nee sentencing documents [3 pages total] are available online here, as generously hosted by RAW STORY. (The indictment and plea agreement docs total about 23 pages, so we are not yet posting those until we are able to secure sufficient bandwidth. Those documents, however, are public records available from the U.S. Circuit Court in Orlando).

The first two charges related to "export[ing] protected electronic components to the Peoples Republic of China without...Authorization" were subsequently dropped as part of the Nee plea agreement.

According to that agreement:

Count Three carries a maximum sentence of 5 years imprisonment, a fine of $250,000, a term of supervised release of not more than 3 years, and a special assessment of $100 per felony count thereafter.

The official sentencing documents, however, reveal that Judge Presnell sentenced Nee to be released under a 3-year supervised probation and a $100 fine to be paid immediately. Case closed.

The plea agreement also quotes Nee as admitting "that business has been slow in the last year and that he had only sent parts out of the country ten to twenty times..." [emphasis added]

The Sentinel's Henry Pierson Curtis reported on March 17, 2004 that "A 4-year-old sting operation over a shipment of Hellfire missle parts to China finally will face its day in court."

That report goes on to explain that...

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

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UPDATED TO INCLUDE FULL VIDEO TESTIMONY!
By Brad Friedman on 12/13/2004 7:43pm PT  

UPDATE 12/18/04: The full video of Clint Curtis' sworn testimony before the U.S. House Judiciary Members in Ohio is now available.

Previously, we only had links to a portion of his testimony, which did not include his naming of Rep. Tom Feeney (R-FL) as having asked him to write the "vote-rigging software prototype! This clip now includes all of Curtis' testimony!

FULL CLINT CURTIS TESTIMONY ON VIDEO:


The testimony was reported as "jaw-dropping" and "stunning" last week in this earlier BRAD BLOG exclusive!

The transcript of the earlier partial video, transcribed by the good "ignatz" from DKos is here. (Though you'll miss the audible gasps as heard on the video versions and the naming of Tom Feeney!) The full transcript is now here.

Be the media.

[Originally published at BRAD BLOG TOO while The BRAD BLOG server was down.
Comments left by readers on the original article can be read at the above 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!



PUBLICLY NAMES FEENEY IN FRONT OF COMMITTEE AS ASKING HIM TO DEVELOP 'VOTE-RIGGING' SOFTWARE!
*** BRAD BLOG EXCLUSIVE! PLEASE CREDIT! ***
By Brad Friedman on 12/13/2004 1:48pm PT  


Testimony Described as 'Show Stopper'!
'Stunner', 'Jaws Dropped'!
Audible 'Gasps' heard in chamber room!

The BRAD BLOG has just received an exclusive first-hand account of Clint Curtis' sworn testimony (as reported earlier) to the Judiciary Committee Democrats holding hearings this morning in Columbus, Ohio on Election 2004 Voting Irregularities.

The software programmer, whose sworn affidavit was first reported by The BRAD BLOG, named Republican U.S. Congressman Tom Feeney (a Republican member of the Judiciary Committee!) as having asked him to create "vote-rigging" software in a meeting at Yang Enterprises, Inc. (YEI) prior to the 2000 elections!

Feeney was, at the time of the alleged meeting, a Florida legislator and later became Speaker of the Florida House. He was also the running mate to Jeb Bush in his failed 1994 bid for Florida Governor.

Curtis was the only witness to be sworn in at today's hearings.

Here is the exclusive account as we've just received it by a very reliable BRAD BLOG source inside the committee hearings!

The following account may sound melodramatic but it is highly accurate.

None of these are quotes and represent my best recollection.

At apprx 1p, after a witness had finished, cliff arnebeck --- who had given a presentation some time before --- interjected and asked to call one more witness. He was given permission to do so. He said he was calling clint curtis.

Some of the audience literally gasped while others applauded. They clearly knew who he was.

Curtis stood at the front of room with arnebeck seated behind him. Curtis was about five to ten feet from the members of congress. At the front of the room, he placed his hand on a bible and was sworn. To my knowledge, he was the only witness sworn.

Arnebeck began a direct examination of curtis with basic questions, name, residence....

Then got to his qualifications.

Then, he asked curtis something like whether voting machines could be hacked. He said yes. Arnebeck asked him on what he based that opinion. He said because I wrote a program that could do it. Arnebeck asked when that happened. Curtis said feeney had asked him to design such a program at yang enterprises.

Jaws dropped. Tubbs jones and waters looked shocked.

Tubbs jones, waters and nadler asked questions. Waters asked him to repeat who asked him to do it. Congressman feeney, he said. Nadler asked him some questions, as did tubbs jones and a state senator.

Curtis was asked what he would conclude if there was such a substantial deviation btwn exit polls and actual results. He said he would conclude the election had been hacked. Gasps. Could have heard a pin drop.

In the end, curtis was very very convincing to everyone in attendance. He was a show stopper, a stunner. It was a really amazing moment.

MORE....

As we've previously reported since breaking our original exclusive story on the Curtis affidavit [PDF] last week (Key articles are linked in a box in our right sidebar) Curtis last week met privately with staffers on the Judiciary Committee as well as Senate staffers.

Wired Magazine revealed today in their article on Curtis that it was staffers in Sen. Bill Nelson's office with whom Curtis met last week in D.C.

Nelson oversees NASA in the Senate. Curtis had charged in his affidavit that an employee, Hai Lin Nee (a/k/a Henry Nee) with whom Curtis worked at Yang Enterprises, Inc. (YEI) had inserted "wiretapping routines" into programs that YEI had been contracted to create for NASA, among other companies (including the Florida Dept. of Transportation).

Nee was charged with shipping chips used in Hellfire anti-tank missiles to the Peoples Republic of China in March of this year, and has since plead guilty to one of those counts (more on Nee soon!)

At the time of the alleged October 2000 meeting at YEI when Curtis claims that Feeney asked him to create a "vote-rigging software prototype", Feeney was a member of the Florida Legislature, a corporate attorney for YEI, as well as being a registered lobbyist for the company.

Feeney was said to have been, at the time, the only registered lobbyist known to have been serving concurrently as a legislator in the 160 member Florida statehouse.

Shortly thereafter, Feeney became Speaker of the Florida Legislature.

In 2002 Feeney won a U.S. Congress seat in the newly created 24th Florida congressional district.

Feeney was the running mate to Jeb Bush during his first failed bid for Governor in 1994.

As we noted earlier, Wired Magazine article quotes YEI Attorneys as saying that Curtis was a "disgruntled employee", but does not note that the Attorney who made the statement is both a campaign contributor to Feeney, and, as well, is Feeney's former law partner in Florida.

As well, there seems to be little to indicate that Curtis was "disgruntled" with YEI or vice versa. He submitted his resignation in December of 2000 and stayed on, at YEI's request for an additional six weeks afterwards until a replacment could be found.

It has been reported YEI threw a "farewell party" for Curtis, and email correspondce that The BRAD BLOG has seen would indicate that employees --- including Nee --- missed Curtis a great deal in the months after he finally left the company.

...CONTINUING TO DEVELOP!...

UPDATE: Video of portions of Curtis' testimony now available online!

[Originally published at BRAD BLOG TOO while The BRAD BLOG server was down.
Comments left by readers on the original article can be read at the above 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!



ALSO: More News Out of the Hearings...
MORE: Conyers Letter asks Ohio Gov, Speaker & Senate Leader to Delay Electoral College vote!
By Brad Friedman on 12/13/2004 11:13am PT  

Judiciary Committee sources have just informed The BRAD BLOG via Email from their hearings now taking place in Columbus, Ohio, that Clint Curtis is now testifying under oath before the committee!

MORE...Apparently Curtis was the only witness to testify under oath.

BreakForNews.com has more detailed info on the hearings so far this morning in Ohio. We'll report specifics in a new item shortly. UPDATE: Audio highlights now available at that link!

UPDATE: Bob Fitrakis of Columbus Free Press offers additional details.

Audio report on Triad Computer engineer alleged by Green Party Presidential Candidate David Cobb today to have disassembled tabulation machine in Ohio last week via this report from What We Know!

Also...See the letter from Conyers to the Governor of Ohio, and the Leaders of the Ohio Senate and House asking them to delay or set aside the Electoral College results in OH until recount can be accomplished.

The BRAD BLOG's original exclusive story on Clint Curtis is here. Further key points to the story are now linked in the sidebar at right.

MORE DETAILS COMING...

UPDATE: CURTIS' SWORN TESTIMONY 'STUNS' HEARINGS! NAMES FEENEY! EXCLUSIVE detailed first hand account here!

[Originally published at BRAD BLOG TOO while The BRAD BLOG server was down.
Comments left by readers on the original article can be read at the above link.]
ReddIt this story!



Good Coverage Overall, But Mag Drops Ball on Atleast One Very Key Point
Fails to Note Responding Yeng Attorney is Feeney Contributor, Former Law Partner!
By Brad Friedman on 12/13/2004 9:15am PT  

In a fairly even-handed article today, Kim Zetter of Wired.com covers the story of Florida computer programmer Clint Curtis who has charged that he was asked by Congressman Tom Feeney (R-FL), then a Florida legislator, to create a "vote-rigging software prototype" while working at Yang Enterprises, Inc. (YEI) back in October of 2000.

The story picks up on our coverage of Curtis' affidavit [PDF], first reported by The BRAD BLOG in our "WHISTLEBLOWER AFFIDAVIT" shocker story published one week ago today.

The Wired.com piece drops the ball notably in only one area where Zetter quotes a statement from Yang attorney, Michael O'Quinn.

She quotes the attorney as calling the allegations "absurd and categorically untrue" and refers to Curtis as "an opportunist and a disgruntled former employee furthering an agenda by telling lies".

Unfortunately, Zetter, who we had spoken to last week, fails to note that Michael O'Quinn of the lawfirm "Fowler and O'Quinn" has been a longtime campaign contributor to Tom Feeney in both 2002 and 2004. Perhaps more notably, O'Quinn is also a former law partner of Feeney!

As The BRAD BLOG reported over the weekend when the comments from Yang's attorney's were first announced, O'Quinn's lawfirm was previously known as "Fowler, Barice, Feeney, & O'Quinn".

That very notable conflict of interest in the matter should have been acknowledged by Zetter in her article.

The BRAD BLOG has also spoken on several occasions (here and here) about the "disgruntled employee" charge, to point out that there seems to be no known basis for that claim.

Curtis resigned from YEI effective December 2000, but stayed on at the firm for another six weeks, at the request of the company, until a replacement for him could be found. The company was said as well to have thrown a "farewell party" for him when he finally left, and email correspondence reviewed by The BRAD BLOG would seem to indicate that he was missed greatly by employees of the company.

Still, overall, it was a fair enough article, and we're glad to see the story begin to break into some of the "corporate media". And there will be more to come...

Zetter has written a number of articles for Wired debunking, or otherwise disputing electoral malfeasance or irregularities in the 2004 election, so her generally positive coverage of Curtis' story is also notable despite missed notice of the Yeng Attorney's direct connection to Feeney.

CONTACT: Kim Zetter, Wired Magazine

[Originally published at BRAD BLOG TOO while The BRAD BLOG server was down.
Comments left by readers on the original article can be read at the above link.]
ReddIt this story!



Statement Made by Fowler & O'Quinn - Feeney's Old Law Firm!
...BRAD BLOG connects the dots and follows the money...
By Brad Friedman on 12/11/2004 7:05pm PT  

Yesterday we reported that Yang Enterprises, Inc. (YEI) had issued a terse --- yet patriotic --- statement on their website in regard to Clint Curtis' allegations (first reported here) that YEI had colluded with U.S. Congressman Tom Feeney (then a Florida Legislator, Speaker of the House, as well as YEI Corporate Counsel and registered lobbyist) to create a "vote-rigging software prototype" at Feeney's request in 2000.

This was the text posted yesterday on the YEI website...

Recently there have been several accusations against this corporation by Clinton Eugene Curtis. All of the allegations are 100% FALSE!! An official statement will be forthcoming. Thank you for your concern and God Bless America.

Curtis has also alleged malfeasance by YEI and their CEO, Mrs. Li-Woan Yang concerning the shipping of secrets to China from Yang, over-billing to the Florida Dept. of Transportation (FDOT), and the employement of an illegal-alien, Hai Lin Nee (a/k/a Henry Nee) who, Curtis charges, added added "wiretapping routines" to software that YEI created for NASA and FDOT among others.

This morning, Elites TV announced that they had received the following statement from Michael A. O'Quinn, Esquire of Fowler & O'Quinn, P. A. representing himself as "outside general counsel" for YEI.

Here's O'Quinn's statement, in total, as reported by Elite TV:

Dear Sir or Madam,

As outside general counsel to Yang Enterprises, Inc., please be advised that Yang Enterprises, Inc.'s response to the allegations of Mr. Curtis is as follows:

(1) Mr. Curtis's allegations are categorically false; and

(2) Mr. Curtis is a disgruntled former employee trying to harm a former employer by lying and making false allegations.

Thank you,

Michael A. O'Quinn, Esquire
Fowler & O'Quinn, P. A.
28 W. Central Boulevard
Orlando, Florida 32801

As The BRAD BLOG has previously noted, there seems to be no basis currently known for O'Quinn/YEI's "disgruntled former employee" charge.

Curtis has told us, and we have confirmed with several additional sources, that he was not fired by YEI, but rather submitted his resignation effective December 2000.

Afterwards, YEI then asked Curtis to stay on until a permanent replacement could be found. One was soon found, but he reportedly quit the same day and Curtis ended up staying at YEI for another six weeks past his original resignation date.

As well, a "Farewell Party" was reportedly thrown by YEI for Curtis upon his leaving! We hope to report more details and related evidence for that soon.

The BRAD BLOG has also reviewed email, supplied by Curtis, purportedly sent to him by several YEI employees --- including Mike Cohen, Mrs. Yang's executive secretary who was, with Mrs. Yang, said to have been present during the now infamous October 2000 meeting where Feeney allegedly described the "vote-rigging software" that he was seeking. Several of those notes indicate that Curtis was missed by company employees after he left YEI.

One note, purportedly from Hai Lin "Henry" Nee --- who Curtis has charged in his affidavit as being an illegal-alien employed by YEI and having included "wiretapping routines" into software for NASA and FDOT --- shows that he was missed at the compnay.

That note from Nee, apparently sent on April 15, 2001, just a few weeks after Curtis had finally left YEI, includes the following:

Fernando keeps adding boxes to the alerady [sic] very crowded PE screen, it is really killing us, may be you should come back and save us, ha ha ha.

Best regards,

Henry

The BRAD BLOG will have more to report on Mr. Nee in the coming days.

As to the lawfirm of Fowler & O'Quinn P. A. --- YEI's "outside general counsel" who issued the statement reported by Elites TV this morning, it seems that they are the lawfirm previously known as "Fowler, Barice, Feeney, & O'Quinn P. A."! That's right, Tom Feeney's old lawfirm where he served as a partner at the time he represented YEI as corporate attorney and registered lobbyist!

Furthermore, a quick spin through Tom Feeney's page at CampaignMoney.com reveals that Quinn is a campaign contributor to Feeney!

Michael A. O'Quinn, attorney of Fowler & O'Quinn P.A. is listed by CampaignMoney.com as having given $1,500 on 11/19/03 to Mr. Feeney's campaign.

Not uninterestingly, that contribution is listed just above another one on the same page as being from Tyng Lin Yang, Yang Enterprises Inc./president who gave Feeney $1,250 on 6/23/03.

His wife, Mrs. Li-Woan Yang, CEO of Yang Enterprises Inc., present at "the meeting" is also listed as having given $2,000 to Feeney's campaign on 9/5/03 and another $2,000 on 3/23/04.

Tom Feeney ran unopposed for Florida's 24th Congressional district in the November 2nd, 2004 election.

YES...IT'S STILL DEVELOPING...

[Originally published at BRAD BLOG TOO while The BRAD BLOG server was down.
Comments left by readers on the original article can be read at the above 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!



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