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'Green News Report' 12/16/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
Congress wraps for year w/ GOP anti-enviro initiatives to be signed by Prez; UN summit wraps up in Peru - ALL nations are in for Paris; PLUS: Another Bush, another climate denier...
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Bloomberg Editors Refuse to Correct Inaccurate, Misleading Photo ID Editorial
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Proponents of Oregon GMO Measure 92 Concede Defeat
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  w/ Brad & Desi
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The Clint Curtis Story, Ten Years Later: A KPFK 'BradCast' Special Edition
It's been 10 years since we broke the whistleblower's claim about vote-rigging software, Rep. Tom Feeney (R) and more. So it seemed a good time to catch up with him...
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'Green News Report' 12/9/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
Super Typhoon Hagupit blows 2014 into record books; Doesn't look good for KXL, if Obama on Colbert Report can be believed; PLUS: Rich v. Poor divisions stall UN climate talks...
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Bad News for Fox 'News' Viewers: 'Fox & Friends' Calls for Voter Literacy Tests
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'Recount', Concerns in AZ U.S. House Race
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VA GOP VOTER REG FRAUDSTER OFF HOOK
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Arrest in VA: GOP Voter Reg Scandal Widens
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ALL TOGETHER: ROVE, SPROUL, KOCHS, RNC
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The Secret Koch Brothers Tapes...


By Brad Friedman on 3/28/2005 3:42pm PT  

The National General Counsel for Bush/Cheney '04 Inc., Mark F. (Thor) Hearne, II gave testimony on behalf of his three-day old "American Center for Voting Rights" (ACVR) last Monday at a U.S. Congressional Hearing. He represented the only "Voting Rights" group at the hearing --- called by Republican Bob Ney (R-FL), Chairman of the U.S. House Administration Committee --- purportedly investigating the '04 Ohio Presidential Election mess.

Hearne didn't bother to mention that he worked for Bush/Cheney '04 as their top attorney in his testimony. We're not positive, but fairly certain that no high-level Kerry/Edwards employees were invited to testify, whether they represented a phony "non-partisan" group like the ACVR or not.

Despite the claims of tax-exempt non-partisan status by this Talon News-like outta-nowhere GOP front group, the two known ring-leaders (that we've been able to identify so far) of this phony "Voters Rights" organization masquerading as if they are not-an-insult-to-real-Voters-Rights-groups-everwhere, are both currently veryactive partisans.

Jim Dyke, the group's press spokesman and website administrative and technical contact who, as well as being the 2004 Communications Director for the Republican National Committee, is also a current Fox News GOP Analyst according to Joseph Cannon (though he mentioned to us that, so far, he was unable to confirm that information). He does, however, offer a fine analysis of just one of the likely true missions for this group, and why they have suddenly appeared. And for the record, Cannon made note of this nascient and suspicious ACVR popping up the day before we did!

Meanwhile, Ron Brynaert, a frequent BRAD BLOG commenter, and editor of Why Are We Back in Iraq? has been digging into more on our friend Thor (here and then here) and has uncovered, amongst other chestnuts, Hearne's featured speaking engagement at the Republican National Lawyers Association (RNLA) shindig down at the Florida Chapter's 2005 kick-off on April 14th!

According to the Republican Party-sponsored RNLA's website...

The RNLA is pleased to announce the Florida RNLA Chapter's 2005 Kickoff Reception featuring special guest speaker Thor Hearne, Counsel to Bush Cheney '04 Inc. This Reception will honor the lawyer volunteers who worked diligently in the 2004 elections to ensure that the voters, not the courts decided the election.

The Coral Gables reception --- where they will no doubt continue the fiction that it was voters not lawyers who who decided the election --- is said to be "free" on the RNLA website! Wanna go and say hello to the non-partisan Thor and his Republican National Lawyers Association friends? The website says, "Please RSVP by emailing despain@republicanlawyer.net or calling 703-719-6335 by April 12th"

We might suggest you actually call or email prior to April 12th, as we have a feeling this "free" event is about to become a very closed-to-the-public event.

For more information on the "non-partisan" tax-exempt ACVR scam and the snakeoil salesmen who invented it, Bush/Cheney '04 National General Counsel Mark F. "Thor" Hearne and RNC Communications Director Jim Dyke, please see BRAD BLOG's full Special Coverage of the "American Center for Voting Rights" at http://www.BradBlog.com/ACVR.
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(And they're supposed to be his friends!)
By Brad Friedman on 3/28/2005 1:17pm PT  

When even the Wall Street Journal leaves the reservation to call out one of its own, you know there is trouble afoot...

...Mr. DeLay, who rode to power in 1994 on a wave of revulsion at the everyday ways of big government, has become the living exemplar of some of its worst habits.
...
Whether Mr. DeLay violated the small print of House Ethics or campaign-finance rules is thus largely beside the point. His real fault lies in betraying the broader set of principles that brought him into office, and which, if he continues as before, sooner or later will sweep him out.

Jesse at Stakeholder has more...

Heard Franken mention this morning that the only problem with DeLay's potentially upcoming fall from his many self-inflicted wounds, is that he'll be removed too quickly to take down the entire Republican leadership with him! Oh, well. There's always more Republican Tom's where that one came from.

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Describes Himself as 'Advocate of Voter Rights' But Not as Bush/Cheney '04 General Counsel!
By Brad Friedman on 3/24/2005 4:58pm PT  

Monday's testimony to a U.S. House Committee by Mark F. (Thor) Hearne, the leader of the American Center for Voting Rights (ACVR) --- who also happens to be the National Counsel for Bush/Cheney '04, Inc. --- has just been added to the website of the "non-partisan", tax-exempt, one-week old "Voting Rights" group.

In his testimony, Hearne failed to mention to the U.S. House members, either his connection to Bush/Cheney or his long roots in the Republican party going back to the Reagan Administration. The testimony was given last Monday to the U.S. House Administration Committee at hearings held on the Ohio Election problems. The hearings to which Hearne was invited were held just 3 business days after the ACVR suddenly appeared for the first time on the Internet...or anywhere else that we've been able to find. More on that here.

In Hearne's testimony, as seen via the page posted today on the ACVR's website [UPDATE 2007: the testimony may now be found here in the Interenet archives, since ACVR has deleted their site], he describes himself as a "a longtime advocate of voter rights and an attorney experience in election law". No mention of his long-term pedigree as a high-level GOP operative...

Testimony of Mark F. (Thor) Hearne, II
Committee On Administration
Columbus, Ohio --- April 21, 2005 [ed note: Misdated on the website]
Chairman Ney, Members of the House Administration Committee, thank you for inviting me to testify today.

My name is Thor Hearne. I am a principle in the law firm of Lathrop & Gage and a longtime advocate of voter rights and an attorney experienced in election law. I was appointed a member of the Missouri HAVA advisory committee advising the Missouri Secretary of State on Missouri's implementation of HAVA and suggesting appropriate amendments to Missouri election law.

Today I am here in my capacity as counsel to the American Center for Voting Rights. The ACVR is a non-partisan watchdog ? voting rights legal defense and education center committed to defending the rights of voters and working to increase public confidence in the fairness of the outcome of elections. I am joined in this endeavor by the almost a dozen Ohio lawyers from several of this states' prestigious law firms that have submitted a report detailing concerns that have come to our attention in connection with the Ohio 2004 general election...

The rest of his testimony is available at the ACVR website. [UPDATE 2007: ACVR's website has been removed from the Internet, browse their old site here via the Internet Archives.]

Here again is a photo of Hearne taken a few weeks ago at a Republican National Lawyers Association reception in Ohio:

We've learned more about both the mysterious outta-nowhere election experts at the ACVR and Mr. Hearne's "non-partisan" activities which we hope to report later this evening as we've got to do a couple of radio interviews for the next several hours, beginning in just a few minutes.

So check back shortly, and for now...we'll just say...DEVELOPING...

UPDATE: The ACVR National Headquarters! Uncovered! BRAD BLOG has the exclusive photographs!

For more information on the "non-partisan" tax-exempt ACVR scam and the snakeoil salesmen who invented it, Bush/Cheney '04 National General Counsel Mark F. "Thor" Hearne and RNC Communications Director Jim Dyke, please see BRAD BLOG's full Special Coverage of the "American Center for Voting Rights" at http://www.BradBlog.com/ACVR.
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Um...Sort of.
By Brad Friedman on 3/23/2005 5:43pm PT  

Today we attempted to get some more information about the "American Center for Voting Rights" (ACVR), a group who suddenly appeared on the Internet last Thursday. On Monday, they gave testimony to U.S. Congressman Bob Ney's (R-OH) House Administrative Committee during hearings held in Columbus, OH on the 2004 Election mess in the state.

(Please see this previous BRAD BLOG article for the emerging background on this supposedly "non-partisan" tax-exempt organization which was the only such "Voting Rights" group invited to give testimony at the hearings. And, oh yes, every single name attached to this group so far seems to also be attached to Bush/Cheney '04 Inc. and/or the Republican National Committee and/or the Ohio Republican party.)

Mark F. (Thor) Hearne, II --- the National General Counsel for Bush/Cheney '04 Inc. --- gave testimony for the group and is listed on the U.S. House Administrative Committee website as simply "National Counsel, American Center for Voting Rights". No mention of his current high-level connections to Bush/Cheney and his long history of working with other powerful Republican officials all the way back to his time working for the Reagan Administration.

We called him this morning to see if we could ask him a few questions about the ACVR, his involvement as their apparent-organizer and his role as lead contributor for the 31-Page report [PDF] on the Ohio Election produced by the ACVR in time for Monday's hearings.

Hearne's response, "Not right now...Send me some information about who you're involved with and I'll give you a call back."

We persisted nonetheless, and asked if he could describe any of the "voter education and outreach" programs which the "About Us" page at the ACVR website describes as one of their activities. Or if he could tell us about any of the "symposiums and conferences" the group claims to be sponsoring as also mentioned on the site.

His response, "We certainly anticipate those. You keep an eye on our website."

We pressed on...

BRAD BLOG: How is it that you guys were invited to testify for a U.S. House Committee hearing after just forming so recently?

MARK F. (THOR) HEARNE, II: You'd have to ask the [House] committee...

BB: But to be invited as the only such organization so quickly after being formed? How did that happen?

HEARNE: I couldn't tell you. We're out here doing what we're doing and we accepted the offer.

He was, indeed, rather terse in the answers to our attempted questions, and so we wondered why he didn't wish to be more forthcoming about his "non-partisan" group.

"Sounds to me like your coming from the Left," he told us.

We informed him that --- though we think didn't think any of our questions were particularly partisan or Left-like --- he might well say that we are indeed coming from the Left. Nonetheless, we consider free and fair elections to be a non-partisan issue. As his website claims to be a non-partisan organization, we figured he wouldn't mind answering some questions about it.

Mr. Hearne told us to "Email me some information on who you are and I'll get back to you."

We have done so and look forward to his call and a report here on his answers to some of our many concerns.

Next we tried a call to Jim Dyke who is listed as the "contact" in a press release issued Monday by AVCR.

Dyke, we have subsequently learned, also happened to have been the Communications Director for the Republican National Committee during the 2004 Election.

Perhaps he would be more open with us about this nascient group and their seemingly newfound concern for "Voting Rights" in America. Indeed, Dyke was much more willing than was Hearne to speak at length with us...

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

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...and a few other insta-thoughts.
By Brad Friedman on 3/14/2005 11:21pm PT  

I've been attempting to prepare a few answers (okay, alotta answers) to the many questions posted by readers on the recent story about the mysterious "suicide" case of Raymond Lemme. I've been working on getting further details, speaking with some folks "in the know", and trying to keep up with the now record number of comments left on that article (currently 722 of them as of this posting!) so that I can share with you which points I may be able to help clear up and which points I cannot. Yet.

At the same time, as you'll note at the top of the blog, I've been doing quite a few media appearances concerning both this story and Velvet Revolution's DV4D campaign. (Have you sent your Email to the Voting Machine Companies yet?!)

I'm attempting to wrestle with my personal interest of continuing to investigate and report on the FeeneyGate story and all its remarkable continuing twists and turns, and the need to get the story itself out there.

For the moment, I believe more than enough information has been compiled here over the last three months to merit getting it out there to a wider public. Even if that means my investigation/reporting on new information is a bit slower than I would like. I think the price is worth it, however, to help reach the broadest possible audience with this information.

So this is just a quick note to thank you for your patience at this point in the story, and I will have that promised follow-up to the Lemme piece (and more!) soon. It's just difficult to know how soon for the moment. There are also some other stories brewing...But more on that in due time.

Thanks again for all of your support in all of these matters. You guys make it all very much worth all of the hard work, long hours, lack of sleep and lack of salary! Democracy, as someone mentioned to me of late, is its own reward...

For more info on The BRAD BLOG's continuing investigative series on
The Clint Curtis/Tom Feeney/Yang Enterprises Vote-Rigging Scandal series, please see:
- A Quick Summary of the story so far. -
- An Index of all the Key Articles & Evidence in the series so far.
ReddIt this story!



By Brad Friedman on 3/11/2005 11:23pm PT  

Yesterday morning Air America's Unfiltered program discussed the latest wrinkles in the Clint Curtis/Raymond Lemme revelations reported here earlier this week. It was a quick hit. Just a few minutes during a short segment on some recent news items with host Rachel Maddow and her guest, Isaac Davey Aaronson (we hope that's how it's spelled!).

A few points in the story were bungled and they missed one big one (the photos that didn't exist!), but they mentioned BRAD BLOG enough times that we're more than willing to overlook any innocent transgressions on their part. (Never let it be said we aren't generous!)

The clip is short enough that even dial-uppers should be able to give it a quick listen.
About 3.5 minutes: Streaming RealPlayer, Windows Media Player, or MP3 Download.

By the way, we'd be happy to guest on Unfiltered to give 'em the unbungled skinny if they'll have us. Feel free to suggest it to them!

(Thanks to eagle-eared BRAD BLOG friend, Jaime, for catching it, and letting us know! And thanks to Air America Radio Place for making AAR archives available! We've heard tell of many BRAD BLOG mentions on AAR in the past, but never knew where to go back and hunt 'em down until now! Free BRAD BLOG T-Shirt to the next BRAD BLOG reader who catches another BRAD BLOG cite on AAR!...If we should ever have BRAD BLOG T-Shirts that is...And while you're at it, ask Randi Rhodes to have us on as well!...And Al Franken...And all the rest!...Let's go, people! I can't do everything around here!)

For more info on The BRAD BLOG's continuing investigative series on
The Clint Curtis/Tom Feeney/Yang Enterprises Vote-Rigging Scandal series, please see:
- A Quick Summary of the story so far. -
- An Index of all the Key Articles & Evidence in the series so far.
ReddIt this story!



Accused of Illegally Taking Luxury Golf Trips on Lobbyist Tab!
What? Unethical Behavior by Comrade Feeney? Say it ain't so!
By Brad Friedman on 3/9/2005 1:04pm PT  

Looks like our friend, Comrade Feeney (R-FL), has now been linked to the ethics scandal that's been plagueing Senate Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-TX).

Credit when it's (too rarely) due. In this case, to an investigative report from today's LA Times by Chuck Neubauer and Walter F. Roche Jr.

Feeney, who represented Yang Enteprises, Inc. (YEI) --- a Florida software firm which harbored at least one illegal alien indicted and convicted recently on espionage charges related to illegally sending missile chips to China --- is, ironically enough, throwing a "C'est la vie, Comrade Rather" fundraising party this evening. Feeney was YEI's corporate attorney and registered lobbyist for years while he was also Florida Speaker of the house before heading to the U.S. Congress in 2002. He was also Jeb Bush's former running mate in his first failed bid for Florida governor. He has also been implicated by programmer Clint Curtis for conspiring to build a "vote-rigging" program in 2000.

But according to the LA Times --- surprise, surprise! --- Feeney is being identified as having taken expensive luxury golf trips to St. Andrews, Scotland on the tab of a Republican lobbying firm now under criminal investigation.

From this morning's Times...

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

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[Updated]
By Brad Friedman on 3/8/2005 9:23pm PT  

We think it went very well!...Today's Blogcall press conference call is playing "LIVE" right now at RadioLeft.com. It may repeat throughout the evening.

[UPDATED] The Blogcall is now posted for posterity in the archives at WhiteRoseSociety.org for your listening pleasure anytime in the future.

The guests were myself and Clint Curtis, and we took questions for the hour. I also took the opportunity to break the news about this morning's Raymond Lemme story on the call...

UPDATE 3/14/05: The New York Times publishes an article on Blogcall after attending the above mentioned conference call. Our comments on their article is here.

For those just learning about the Clint Curtis/Tom Feeney/Yang Enterprises Vote-Rigging Scandal, please see:
- A Quick Summary of the story so far. -
- The Index of Key Articles & Evidence in the BRAD BLOG investigative series. -
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Raymond Lemme Crime Scene Photos Said Not to Exist are Published on Net!
Photos, Evidence and FDOT Involvement with Valdosta, GA Police Raise New Questions in Mysterious Death!
By Brad Friedman on 3/8/2005 2:23am PT  

The case of the mysterious suicide of Raymond Lemme of the Florida Inspector General's office was reopened by Valdosta, Georgia police last December shortly after we broke the story of computer programmer Clint Curtis' sworn affidavit charging that he had built a "vote-rigging software prototype" at the request of Rep. Tom Feeney (R-FL)!

Furthermore, graphic and disturbing photos from the crime scene --- said in the original police report to have not existed due to a failure in the camera's "flash memory cards" --- have recently been published on the web!

Those crime scene photos, which clearly do exist, can be viewed via this link.
WARNING: THE PAGE LINKED ABOVE INCLUDES GRAPHIC MATERIAL!

A spokesman from the Valdosta Police Department has confirmed the legitimacy of the photos but has so far failed to explain several inconsistencies that the photos and materials from the supplementary detective reports reveal when compared to the original police report.

Supplementary evidence from the reports would seem to indicate that Lemme was not even in Valdosta, Georgia at the time that the motel receipts show that he had checked-in to the room where he was eventually found dead.

Furthermore, involvement from the Florida Dept. of Transportation (FDOT) may have lead to the quick re-closing of the case shortly after it was recently re-opened!

Lemme was the first official from the FL Inspector General's office to investigate the charges originally made by Curtis' 2001 whistleblower complaint at the FDOT, where he had gone to work after leaving Yang Enterprises, Inc. (YEI) in the wake several disturbing meetings at the software firm with Feeney and YEI's CEO, Mrs. Li-Woan Yang.

In Curtis' 2001 complaint to the IG's office, filed along with another FDOT whistleblower, he charged that an illegal Chinese alien was working at and committing espionage out of YEI and that YEI was illegally over-billing FDOT in a multi-million dollar contract. That contract, Curtis charges, was received with assistance from Feeney, who was, at the time of Curtis' original complaint, the Florida Speaker of the House as well as legal counsel and a registered lobbyist for YEI. Feeney had previously been Jeb Bush's running-mate in his original failed bid for Florida governor in 1994. Feeney now sits on the U.S. House Judiciary Committee representing Florida's 24th Congressional district.

The Chinese spy reported by Curtis was eventually indicted and pled guilty to espionage charges (see this previous BRAD BLOG report for more details). For their part, YEI was recently found --- in the IG's final report begun by Lemme in 2001 and finally released in February 2005 --- to have billed FDOT for more than $300,000 in "questionable charges" (see this recent BRAD BLOG report for more info on that).

THE 'BIG' CASE...

In his 2004 affidavit, Curtis describes a mid-June 2003 meeting with Lemme in which he claims that Lemme told him he "had tracked the corruption 'all the way to the top' and that the story would break in the next few weeks and I would be satisfied with the results."

On July 1, 2003 --- just two weeks later --- Raymond Camillo Lemme was found dead in a bathtub, with his arm slashed twice with a razor blade near the left elbow in Room #132 of the Knights Inn motel in Valdosta, Georgia; a border-town some 80 miles from Tallahassee, Florida where Lemme lived and worked.

A handwritten note, unsigned, was found by police on the desk in the room in a black leather day planner. Here is a photocopy of that note...

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

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Report based on Investigation Initiated by Clint Curtis Complaints!
Chalk another one up to Curtis!
By Brad Friedman on 3/2/2005 2:00pm PT  

The New Times Broward-Palm Beach, who two weeks ago reported on Clint Curtis and his sworn allegations that Rep. Tom Feeney (R-FL) and Florida software firm Yang Enterprises, Inc. (YEI) conspired to create vote-rigging software when Curtis worked at the company in 2000, has a follow-up today. (Scroll down to the fourth story, "Crazy Guy").

Their latest news item is based on the recently released report from the FL Inspector General's office at the Florida Dept. of Transporation (FDOT) where Curtis had initially made his complaints about both Feeney and YEI. The report was finally released this month after an investigation initiated by Curtis and another whistleblower at FDOT back in 2001. (The BRAD BLOG is currently examining the full report, and will have more on it in upcoming stories.)

From the New Times article...

The troubling charge of vote tampering has yet to be proved, of course, but almost everything else Curtis said about his former employer has been. Curtis charged that Yang Enterprises engaged in a pattern of dirty dealing, including intentionally overbilling the state on the company's contract with the Florida Department of Transportation. Curtis said that he had heard Feeney, who was Yang's former lawyer and lobbyist, airily tell Yang, "Bill them [FDOT] anything you like." And Yang Enterprises did. A report by FDOT Investigations Manager Michael K. Bowen, released earlier this month, found $248,255 in questionable charges, and the state wants a refund.

Bowen also discovered that Curtis was correct when he told state authorities that Yang employed a Chinese spy who was given access to state and NASA data. A former consultant for Yang, Hai Lin "Henry" Nee pleaded guilty in federal court last year after trying to ship Hellfire missile technology to China.

The article also goes on to mention...

Though no major South Florida news organizations have reported on Curtis' charges, Tailpipe has an eerie feeling that we haven't heard the last of them.

Other than a column in The St. Petersburg Times, which got a number of key details wrong, "Tailpipe" is correct.

And BRAD BLOG continues to ask of the MSM (and we know there are many who read this blog) how much more does it take before you realize the importance and veracity of Clint Curtis' story?! Still need more? ... Okay, more will be coming soon. We'd love it if you beat us to punch.

(For a listing of all of the key articles in our Special Coverage series on the Clint Curtis/Tom Feeney/Yang Enterprises Vote-Rigging Scandal, please click here.)

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Party/Reception Thrown for Feeney in 2003 by YEI!
The year after Feeney claims to have ended his ?connection? with the scandal-plagued FL software firm!
By Brad Friedman on 2/28/2005 3:01pm PT  

After an interview with Congressman Tom Feeney (R-FL), The New Times Broward-Palm Beach reported:

He ended the professional relationship [with Yang Enterprises, Inc], which had extended through all 12 years of his time in the state House, only after he was elected to the U.S. Congress in 2002.

After another interview with Feeney, Keith Olbermann of MSNBC reported:

In short, Feeney says he doesn't remember meeting Mr. Curtis; that his only connection to Yang Enterprises was as an attorney prior to 2002.

Despite the reports above, we've discussed the fact several times that Feeney's Campaign Headquarters is still located in the YEI building, and that the Yangs and their attorney Michael O'Quinn continue to be huge campaign donors to Feeney...

But --- other than that --- no ?connection to Yang Enteprises" since 2002?

Well, that's interesting, because it looks like the truth is --- again --- somewhat different from what Feeney would have folks believe. Look what we seem to have found here (Screencaptured, just in case it disappears from the net like so much else these days.):

There are several more photos of Feeney with Dr. and Mrs. Yang at this YEI-sponsored event in 2003 along with members of ATAYAL on the linked page above.

Feeney's questionable --- and apparently, continuing --- connections with YEI were brought to light in early December when we first reported exclusively on programmer Clint Curtis' sworn affidavit alleging that Feeney had asked him to create a "vote-rigging software prototype" during an October 2000 meeting at YEI in Oviedo, Florida.

The key articles from our series of reports on that matter can be read here.

Our call to Feeney's press spokesperson seeking explanation about the 2003 party thrown for Feeney by YEI has not yet been returned. We have not yet been able to ascertain who actually paid for Feeney's trip to Asia, but, of course, we will continue to look into this story and report any new developments.

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Report Validates Yet Another Clint Curtis Allegation!
Convicted Chinese Spy Was Illegal when Working for YEI as of 2000!
ALSO: Official Report Claims YEI 'Petitioned' I.N.S. on Nee's Behalf!
By Brad Friedman on 2/21/2005 4:28pm PT  

Documents from the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) at the Florida Dept. of Transportation (FDOT) recently obtained by The BRAD BLOG confirm yet another of Clint Curtis' stunning allegations against Oviedo software firm Yang Enteprises, Inc. and Rep. Tom Feeney (R-FL).

The documents, released exclusively here, in full, by The BRAD BLOG, show that, according to Federal officials at the Homeland Security Department's Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency, convicted spy and Chinese national, Hai Lin Nee (a/k/a Henry Nee) had been --- as Curtis alleged, first in 2001 and again in his sworn affidavit [PDF], --- an illegal alien during the period that Curtis worked with him at YEI.

According to the report --- published as part of a three-year investigation spurred by the charges of Curtis and another whistleblower at FDOT who first reported in 2001 on alleged wrong doing at YEI --- Nee's legal alien status in America had expired on December 31, 1999.

From the report...

On August 27, 2004, SA Curtis Johnson, Department of Homeland Security, ICE, Office of Investigation, stated that Nee's legal alien status was good until December 31, 199. SA Johnson went on to say that as of January 1, 2000, Nee would have been out of legal status and would have been an illegal alien.
...
On October 26, 2004, SA Curtis confirmed the information he previously provided stating that Nee's legal alien status lasted until December 31, 1999, and as of January 1, 2000, Nee would have been an illegal alien.

The report also shows that YEI --- who has on several occassions denied that Nee was ever an employee, or even a consultant at YEI --- petioned the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) on Nee's behalf to extend his visa sometime during 1999!

The report goes on to say, "That request was disapproved by INS based on a lack of information on the application for Nee submitted by YEI."

The BRAD BLOG has previously published records showing "Weekly Time Reports" from YEI which demonstrate that Nee did, in fact, work for YEI. The OIG's recent report, as well, further confirms that fact. (We will have more from the FDOT IG's recent report later this week as we finish studying the documents.)

During the period in which Nee was working for YEI, Feeney was their general counsel as well as their registered lobbyist. All that while he also served as the powerful Speaker of the Florida House at the same time. Feeney, who was a one-time running mate to Jeb Bush and currently sits on the U.S. House Judiciary Committee from Florida's 24th district, was charged, by Curtis, with having asked him to build a "vote-rigging software prototype" while Curtis was a YEI employee.

Previously, we had published a number of emails from several company employees, including Nee himself, indicating that Nee worked at the firm after 1999, when his legal alien status would have lapsed and when Feeney was working with YEI to help them procure large contracts with the state and others, including NASA.

One of those emails, from Mike Cohen, YEI CEO's executive secretary, indicates that he was aware that Nee was illegal (the misspellings are Cohen's):

From: "M C" |XXXXXXXX@hotmail.com|
To: XXXXXXXXXXXX@XXXX.XXX
Date: Sat, 14 Apr 2001 15:47:46 -0400
Message-ID: |F145mS40m3DwZpu6ZY00000b1f9@hotmail.com|
...
Henri is ever still tryhing to become a non-illegal alien; you know, he dodn't probably have to pay tazes, and I do. I don't like that.

And on April 15th, 2001, the day after the above email from Cohen, Nee himself wrote to Curtis indicating his work at YEI where Curtis had recently resigned due to the alleged shenanigans at the company:

From: XXXXX@aol.com
To: XXXXXXXXXXXX@XXXX.XXX
Date: Sun, 15 Apr 2001 22:50:33 EDT
Subject: (no subject)

Clint:

Long time no talk, how are you doing? How is the weather treating you?
Any progress on your job search?

Fernado keeps adding boxes to the alrerady very crowded PE screen, it is really killing us, may be you should come back and save us, ha ha ha.

Best regards,

Henry

Mike Cohen, discussed in a recent article here as having filed a potentially false police report against Curtis, was said to have been present along with YEI CEO, Mrs. Li-Woan Yang, during the October 2000 meeting at YEI when the vote-rigging software was alleged to have been discussed by Feeney.

It is not clear in the OIG's report why it took until August of 2004 to confirm Nee's illegal alien status since Curtis had reported him as illegal to several officials as long ago as early 2001.

There are indications in the report, however, that Federal Officials, for unexplained reasons, refused to supply information to the OIG on Nee's alien status until after Nee's federal indictment on three charges of espionage for having attempted to ship chips used in the Hellfilre anti-missile system to the People's Republic of China had been completed.

No explanation is given in the report for the delay from Federal Officials on releasing information about Nee's alien status, but it does go on to say that:

Assistant U.S. Attorney Tylke confirmed that she had instructed SA [Special Agent] Oliver from ICE not to release any information regarding Nee's alien status.

Nee's indictment was the result of a four-year federal sting operation by ICE who, in describing the arrest on their website (Ed Note: Page was archived off of the ICE site, here is a version of the page we saved before it was removed), had explained that each of the three charges was punishable by "up to 10 years in prison and $50,000 in fines."

The plea agreement eventually struck, in July of 2004 between Nee and the Feds on Count Three of the indictment, quotes him as having said, "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]

It also specified that the one count on which Nee was pleading guilty "carrie[d] 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."

However, as first reported exclusively by The BRAD BLOG last December, Nee was eventually sentenced in October of 2004 to a total of just three years probation and a $100 fine.

Nee still resides near YEI in Oviedo, FL.

Curtis' allegations about Nee were just one of many made by the software programmer about improprieties at YEI. The startling allegation that Feeney had asked Curtis to create the "vote-rigging software prototype" while at YEI continues to rock the vote from Tallahassee to Capitol Hill.

Both Feeney, Cohen and YEI's attorneys have denied those allegations, but then again they've denied a number of related allegations as well. Many of those denials, however, have already been proven false by continued reporting on this matter since December at The BRAD BLOG and elswhere.

To date, none of Curtis' allegations have been in any way proven to be untrue. And, in fact, many of them --- including this latest information showing that Nee was an illegal alien, as Curtis charged long ago --- have, in fact, proven to be completely accurate.

The BRAD BLOG will, of course, continue to report on this explosive developing scandal...

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Letter Entirely Unthreatening, Claims Reported from Feeney and Unnamed YEI Attorney Unfounded!
MSNBC Prime-Time Star's Original Unconfirmed, Unfortunate, Irresponsible Report Entirely Off-Base!
By Brad Friedman on 2/18/2005 1:32pm PT  

In a text-book case of everything that the MSM might appropriately use to illustrate everything that can be wrong and dangerous about bloggers and blogging, a report filed just before Christmas on the Clint Curtis/Tom Feeney/Yang Enterprises Inc. (YEI) vote-rigging software scandal was published by a blogger.

The report included demonstrably false information passed on by the blogger on behalf of both Feeney and an unnamed attorney from YEI. The report was so poorly researched, so scurrilously irresponsible and so inappropriately damaging to a single American citizen, that if all blogs articles were like this one, we'd be the first in line calling for the immediate abolition of all such Internet web logs.

Unfortunately, that reprehensible report was filed on the "Bloggerman" blog of the mainstream media's (or MSM's) own Keith Olbermann of MSNBC's prime-time Countdown program.

As we reported back in late December of last year, Olbermann gave a wonderful Christmas gift to Rep. Tom Feeney (R-FL) and his longtime friends and clients at YEI by filing a one-sided, unconfirmed and unverified report on his blog, sourced only by Feeney himself and YEI's unnamed attorney.

The victim was, of course, Clint Curtis, who Olbermann didn't even bother to reach for comment before giving Feeney a national platform to say that Curtis had "slandered and defamed a lot of people." Neither did Olbermann give any examples of who Feeney was claiming to have been slandered nor how they were defamed.

(Attempts to reach Olbermann for comment after he posted his blog item went unanswered, but his producer, who asked to remain unnamed, distanced themselves from the "reporting" by telling The BRAD BLOG that "this was Keith Olbermann's writing. He didn't work with me or anyone else on this.")

There was a fair amount of other inaccuracies in his report, but it was this following chestnut, apparently not fact-checked in any way, from an unnamed YEI attorney (believed to be Tom Feeney's old law-partner and current contributor, Michael O'Quinn) that has really ticked us off over the last two months:

Its lawyer claims Curtis has previously threatened the firm and its top officers, in writing, and that they were sufficiently concerned to file a police report as a result.

...And what might have been, for actual reporters, a promising lead or break to look into in order to advance the story and perhaps add a new dimension to it, was dumped wholly unfact-checked on an eager public from Mr. Olbermann's high-profile perch.

The BRAD BLOG has spent the last two months attempting to track down this anonymously claimed threat to "the firm and its top officers". A threat, mind you, that was described as being "in writing" and apparently so threatening that it required a police report be filed.

Olbermann, apparently, thought it perfectly proper to pass that information on to the nation without asking the unnamed attorney if he might be allowed to review the alleged "in writing" threat, or to even contact the police to find out if, in fact, any such report had ever been filed.

Well, The BRAD BLOG did both.

After nearly two months trying to track down the unchecked Olbermann report, we've finally located the supposed threatening writing as well as the police report which was indeed filed. Though it was not filed at YEI's local police precinct in Oviedo, FL. Nor by "the firm" or its "top officers".

It was filed in Winter Springs, FL, the next town over, at the local police precinct of Mike Cohen, Curtis' co-worker and the executive secretary, at the time, to YEI's CEO, Mrs. Li-Waon Yang. The letter "sufficiently concern[ing] to file a police report" as Olbermann described it, seems very clearly meant as an attempt by Curtis to help his former friend and co-worker, Cohen, not to threaten him...

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

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TIME Reports China Exporting Spies by the Thousands!
While Republicans Pretend to Give a Damn.
By Brad Friedman on 2/13/2005 2:24pm PT  

The short article in this coming week's TIME Magazine begins this way:

"Ning Wen and his wife were arrested last fall at their home office in Manitowoc, Wis., for allegedly sending their native China $500,000 worth of computer parts that could enhance missile systems."

Sound familiar? It will to regular BRAD BLOG readers.

The article, titled "China's Big Export: When it comes to spying, Beijing likes to flood the zone", continues...

As these naturalized citizens await trial, similar episodes in Mount Pleasant, N.J., and Palo Alto, Calif., point only to the tip of the iceberg, according to FBI officials keeping tabs on more than 3,000 companies in the U.S. suspected of collecting information for China...Says a senior FBI official: "China is trying to develop a military that can compete with the U.S., and they are willing to steal to get [it]."

But instead of assigning one well-trained agent to pursue a target, "the Chinese are very good at putting a lot of people on just a little piece and getting a massive amount of stuff home," says a U.S. intelligence official.

So if this is a real problem in the United States, why has at least one --- Hai Lin Nee (a/k/a Henry Nee), the one who was reported to authorities years ago by Clint Curtis as spying on the United States while working at Yang Enterprises, Inc. (YEI) --- been arrested on three counts, allowed to plead guilty to just one, and then let go with hardly a slap on the wrist?

(Nee, believed by Curtis and YEI CEO's Executive Secretary, Mike Cohen, to be an illegal alien has been allowed to stay in the U.S. and received just three-years probation and a $100 fine after having admitted "that business has been slow in the last year and that he had only sent parts out of the country ten to twenty times" according to the plea agreement. See our earlier exclusive report for more details and a look at the court papers.)

Perhaps the answer to that question might be found in TIME's closer:

To help sort the few who go to America to spy from the thousands who go there for a better life, the FBI relies heavily on Chinese informants. Says a high-ranking Silicon Valley agent: "We have almost more assets than we can deal with."

Hmmm...Has Henry Nee turned "asset"?

Is he now spying on/informing on his old friends at YEI?

Is that why late just last year the Feds allowed him to plead guilty to just one charge and then walk despite his arrest after a four-year sting operation?

Is that why he is still allowed to work for YEI, a company which requires "Top Secret clearance" for sensitive contracts with NASA and others which Jeb Bush's former running-mate Rep. Tom Feeney (R-FL) had helped them attain? A company which, despite their denials, a "Special Agent assigned to the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force in Orlando, Florida" claimed via email on Nov. 22 of 2004 was "under investigation by another Division of the FBI"? (Would the company even know if they were being investigated by the FBI? Does the FBI send out telegrams as a courtesy to inform such companies in order to give them time to shred the evidence?) A company, mind you, which still claims that Nee had never been an "employee" or a "consultant" despite public records published late last year by The BRAD BLOG which demonstrate they are lying?

Has Henry made a secret deal with the FBI to turn state's evidence against the Yang's in exchange for his extraordinarily light sentence?

And finally, on a somewhat personal sidenote, shouldn't all the rightwingers who've unsuccessfully attempted to discredit Curtis as a liar be ashamed of themselves for doing so simply to protect Feeney and his good friends, the Bush's, while Curtis has been, apparently, both patriotic and extremely courageous in trying to help keep secrets of United States weapons technology from being stolen by the People's Republic of China?

Do such rightwingers have any allegiance to their country and the safety of its citizens? Or is the retension of political power for their party of choice, even at the expense of National Security, one of those "moral values" they pretend to have and that we've heard so much about?

We have a feeling this story will continue...

(Thanks to BRAD BLOG friend, reader, occassional guest-blogger and "asset", Fin of What We Know, for the tip on the TIME article!)

ReddIt this story!



By Brad Friedman on 2/9/2005 5:01pm PT  

I've posted important updates to two different stories from yesterday.

One is on the story of Yang offering Curtis $1 Million to come back and "work" for them in a No-Show job. The update now includes actual evidence of Curtis having told this story to the now-deceased FDOT Inspector General Raymond Lemme back in April of 2002. A piece of that recently uncovered evidentiary report is now included to partly corroborate Curtis' story on the matter. The updated story is here.

And the New Times Broward-Palm Beach story on Clint Curtis has now published. A link to the very good story online, and a quick comment or two from yours truly (what did you expect?) are available via the original item from yesterday.

No comments link on this thread so you can post any you may have at the appropriate story.

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