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By Brad Friedman on 12/7/2004 4:27pm PT  

The BRAD BLOG has learned that a D.C. Ethics watchdog group has met with, and is now investigating the claims made by Clint Curtis in an affidavit [PDF] that we released exclusively here yesterday.

According to a spokesperson Naomi Selligman of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), Curtis was referred to the group by aides on Capitol Hill after they recieved and reviewed Curtis' affidavit.

From Selligman's email to BRAD BLOG:

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), www.citizensforethics.org is a legal watchdog group dedicated to ensuring integrity in public officials through the legal system. Recently, CREW wrote the complaint filed by Congressman Chris Bell against Leader Tom DeLay, for which DeLay was later admonished by the House Ethics Committee.

Seligman confirmed the email by phone, and has informed The BRAD BLOG that Republican Majority Leader Tom Delay has since sought to have CREW found in contempt of Congress for their role in having drafted the complaint against him.

[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!



By Brad Friedman on 12/7/2004 2:49pm PT  

FYI... Mr. Curtis' dog was shot and killed a few hours after I published my original story on the BRAD BLOG. This is the second time that Mr. Curtis has been the apparent victim of intimidation through such tacticts. Another one of his dogs was killed in 2002.

Here is part of an emotional note I wrote to my friend at Crooks & Liars just after I'd heard of the incident and while I was unable to post at the main BRAD BLOG site due to the heavy traffic after I published the story.

As I'm unable to get to The BRAD BLOG due to the crush of traffic since reporting the "WHISTLEBLOWER AFFIDAVIT: Programmer Built Vote Rigging Prototype at Republican Congressman's Request!" story, I am also unable to report on a sad new related item just in.

I've just spoken with Clint Curtis, the "whistleblower" in this case, and he's reported that his previously healthy three-year old German Shepard has been found dead. Just a few hours after I published my story on Mr. Curtis.

I don't wish to give any other details for the moment, but the story should get out there. And I'm sorry to say that this is the second time this has occured to Mr. Curtis over the years since he began trying to tell his story.

I am angry, frustrated, hurt and feel somewhat responsible somehow. But I suppose it's a good reminder of the kind of folks that Mr. Curtis has been dealing with down in Florida for so many years.

As well, I'll have to take it as a good reminder of how important it is that we continue to fight for a government populated by people who we can trust. And to continue working towards a world where this sort of thing just doesn't happen to good honest individuals like Mr. Curtis who has put up with so much in order to tell his story.

I would also like to mention something to whoever decided it was a good idea to kill an innocent animal in order to threaten or warn or intimidate Mr. Curtis in some way. Clint's remarkable courage in reporting what he has seen over the years, has lead directly to charges being filed against people who were committing espionage against the United States of America.

If there were more folks like him, willing to stand up bravely rather than sink to the cowardly level of destroying an innocent animal to make a point, I'm quite certain everyone in this country would be much better off for it.
...
Regards,
Brad
THE BRAD BLOG - The uprising WILL continue...

I have seen speculation that the dog story is a hoax or something. And I certainly don't expect anybody to take my word for it.

To that end, I hope to have info from a police report (and I don't know that one was yet filed or not, checking into it) when I can get it.

But as I believe folks have found most of my other reports (See the Raymond Lemme issue for example) have, in fact, been confirmed and are real, I hope you will give the benefit of the doubt until anything I have reported has been proven to be incorrect.

I encourage your skepticism in the entire affair. I have tried to remain equally as skeptical about all of these charges since I initially heard of them, at least until I have seen substantiation. Most have been substantiated with evidence. The most notable charges for this moment concerning election charges are clearly less substantiated with hard evidence. At this time.

MUCH STILL DEVELOPING...THANKS FOR ALL OF YOUR SUPPORT!

[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!



By Brad Friedman on 12/7/2004 1:02pm PT  

Many folks have had trouble find information about the FDOT Investigator who was said to be working on the case, and who Clint Curtis says in his Affidavit (PDF), was close to a break on the case. Curtis quotes him as saying "he had tracked the corruption 'all the way to the top'".

The newspaper obit for Lemme follows...

As well, I have about 25 more pages of documents on the Lemme case from the police records (all public records, by the way, from the Valdosta Police Dept).

I'll be posting much of that shortly here as well!

[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!



CLAIM: Rep. Tom Feeney (R-FL) Asked Company to Create E-Vote Fraud Software!
*** A BRAD BLOG EXCLUSIVE! PLEASE CREDIT! ***
By Brad Friedman on 12/6/2004 10:57am PT  

In stunning revelations set to rock the vote from Tallahassee to Capitol Hill --- and perhaps even a bit further up Pennsylvania Avenue --- a Florida computer programmer has now made remarkable claims in a detailed sworn affidavit, signed this morning and obtained exclusively by The BRAD BLOG!

- Affidavit in .PDF format -

The programmer claims that he designed and built a "vote rigging" software program at the behest of then Florida Congressman, now U.S. Congressman, Republican Tom Feeney of Florida's 24th Congressional District.

Clint Curtis, 46, claims that he built the software for Feeney in 2000 while working at a sofware design and engineering company in Oviedo, Florida (Feeney's home district).

Curtis, in his affidavit, says that as technical advisor and programmer at Yang Enterprises, Inc. (YEI) he was present at company meetings where Feeney was present "on at least a dozen occasions".

Feeney, who had run in 1994 as Jeb Bush's running-mate in his initial unsuccessful bid for Florida Governor, was serving as both corporate counsel and registered lobbyist for YEI during the period that Curtis worked at the company. Feeney was also concurrently serving as a Florida state congressman while performing those services for YEI. Feeney would eventually become Speaker of the Florida House before being elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2002. He is now a member of the U.S. House Judiciary Committee.

At an October 2000 meeting with Feeney, according to the affidavit and BRAD BLOG interviews with Curtis over the past three days, Feeney inquired whether the company could build a "vote fraud software prototype".

At least three YEI employees are said to have been present at that meeting; Curtis, company owner, Mrs. Li Woan Yang, and her executive secretary, Mike Cohen. Two other YEI employees may have come in and out at different points of the meeting according to Curtis.

Curtis says that Feeney "was very specific in the design and specifications required for this program."

"He detailed, in his own words, that; (a) the program needed to be touch-screen capable (b) the user should be able to trigger the program without any additional equipment (c) the programming to accomplish this needed to stay hidden even if the source code was inspected."

Though there was no problem with the first two requirements, Curtis explained to the Congressman that it would be "virtually impossible to hide such code written to change the voting results if anyone is able to review the uncompiled source code"

Nonetheless, he was asked at the meeting by Mrs. Yang to build the prototype anyway.

Curtis, "a life-long Republican" at the time, claims that it was his initial belief that Feeney's interest was in trying to stop Democrats from using "such a program to steal an election". Curtis had assumed that Feeney, "wanted to be able to detect and prevent that if it occurred."

Upon delivery of the software design and documentation on CD to Mrs. Yang, Curtis again explained to her that it would be impossible to hide routines created to manipulate the vote if anybody would be able to inspect the precompiled source code.

Mrs. Yang then told him, "You don't understand, in order to get the contract we have to hide the manipulation in the source code. This program is needed to control the vote in South Florida." [emphasis in affidavit]

Mrs. Yang then took the CD containing the software from Curtis, reportedly for later delivery to Feeney.

In other meetings with Feeny prior to the 2000 elections, it became clear to Curtis that Feeney had plans to suppress the vote in strong Democratic precincts. In the affidavit, Curtis claims that in those meetings Feeney had "bragged that he had already implemented 'exclusion lists' to reduce the 'black vote'." Feeney also mentioned that "proper placement of police patrols could further reduce the black vote by as much as 25%."

Curtis says that he submitted his resignation to YEI effective December 2000, but stayed on until they had found someone to replace him in February of 2001. He eventually became employed by the Florida Dept. of Transportation (FDOT) after leaving YEI.

But the scandals didn't stop there.

In May of 2001, while at FDOT, Curtis and another FDOT employee, Mavis Georgalis, discovered and then reported several allegations to the Inspector General at FDOT concerning over-billing by YEI --- who had been an FDOT contractor --- and software that was never delivered by the company. Allegations also included the employment of a suspected illegal alien, Mr. Hai Lin Nee, who worked as YEI's "quality control" manager.

Both Curtis and Georgalis were reportedly harassed after filing their complaints about malfeasance at YEI and pressure mounted on the FDOT --- purportedly from the powerful Feeney who was still working with YEI --- to have them both fired.

In November 2001, after Curtis filed his complaints at FDOT, both he and Georgalis' were subsequently sued by YEI "in retaliation" for their complaints against the company. The charge was "theft of intellectual property", which Curtis has catagorized as "ridiculous" in interviews, because the "intellectual property" in question was, in fact, software that FDOT had long ago paid YEI to develop for them.

YEI was represented in the lawsuit by Congressman Feeney's law firm.

When the two had sought help from FDOT in fighting YEI's suit against them, they were told that FDOT couldn't help them because FDOT had not been named in the suit.

After several rounds of court battles, Georgalis was finally successful in having FDOT added to the suit as a third co-defendant. The suit was originally filed in Seminole County, but moved to Leon County upon the addition of FDOT.

In April of 2002 --- on the very same day --- Curtis and Georgalis were both fired by FDOT without explanation.

The Daytona Beach News-Journal reported extensively in 2002 on the case. They reported at the time that Curtis had written to the Inspector General at FDOT to inquire why no investigation had yet been made into YEI. As well, Curtis had contacted the Florida Bar, since Feeney was a member, to inform them that "Feeney has used his position to promote the profits of Yang Enterprises, from whom he received compensation under the guise of lobbyist and attorney."

According to The Orlando Sentinel in 2001, of 160 Florida congressmen, Feeney was the only known registered lobbyist. He would later be cleared of all ethics violations brought against him in the Florida house on these matters by the Ethics Committee which included four Republicans appointed to the committee by Feeney. Curtis was never interviewed by the Ethics Committee concerning his allegations.

After Curtis and Georgalis were fired by FDOT, each attempted to file "Whistleblower Suits" in the state of Florida. Georgalis' suit was successful and FDOT was eventually ordered, after lengthy court battles, to reinstate her with full back-pay by the circuit court. Curtis' suit was not successful due to having missed the filing deadline for the suit.

That suit, filed over three years ago, is still pending. The reason, explained Curtis, is that YEI has since avoided all defendants attempts to depose company employees in the case.

By May of 2002, the FDOT had finally taken up the investigation into malfeasance by YEI.

In one particularly chilling paragraph in the affidavit, Curtis explains what became of Raymond Lemme, the inspector at FDOT who was said to be pursing the allegations against YEI, Tom Feeney and the other reported matters:

"[I]n June of 2003, he told me that 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. A few weeks later, on July 1st, Mr. Lemme was found dead with his arm slashed in a hotel room in Valdosta, Georgia."

The death was ruled a suicide by the Valdosta Police. The BRAD BLOG has obtained and is currently reviewing many official documents related to Mr. Lemme's death.

Mr. Hai Lin Nee, "the ilegal alien" who had worked at YEI and was reported by Curtis, was arrested in March of 2004 on espionage charges which included "shipping radar guidance system chips for Hellfire Anti-Tank Missiles to a company in Communist China."

Curtis discussed in detail, during our interviews, Mr. Nee having placed "wiretapping modules" into software code created by the company. The secret "wiretapping modules", Curtis claims, were to download information from programs built by YEI for contractors, and then either copy or send that information via Email back to YEI. Such software, Curtis claims, was created for companies such as NASA with whom YEI held substantial contracts.

According to both the Curtis affidavit and email dated November 22, 2004 obtained by The BRAD BLOG, YEI is currently under investigation by the FBI.

That information was sent to Curtis after he had attempted on several occassions to notify law enforcement authorities of his seemingly remarkable story of espionage, possible vote tampering and other ethical concerns.

In July of this year, in an email we've reviewed which purports to be from a current YEI employee whose name we are withholding, Curtis was sent the following message in regard to a book that the employee had learned Curtis was working on:

They know about the book. You should not have sent it to a bush supporter. They are going crazy...like they weren't after you already.

So I get to warn you AGAIN. They will do everything thwey [sic] can to keep it from getting published. They are also going to try to take you out again. Don't be alone. They specifically want to limit casualities to just you. As long as they can't catch you alone they won't touch you. You are such a loser........

Moi

In what he describes as "an attempt to get this story out there", Curtis told part of the tale on a website, www.justaflyonthewall.com where he has changed the names of some of the specific parties involved. (e.g. "Wong" is substituted for "Yang" on the site)

Additional charges by Curtis also include that databases and information were routinely sent by Mrs. Yang to her brother in China who, Yang had told Curtis on one occasion, had previously been deported for "being a spy". The BRAD BLOG has not yet been able to confirm the espionage charges concerning Mrs. Yang's brother.

Curtis' affidavit is being turned over this afternoon to staffers at the U.S. House Judiciary Committee. An investigation into Curtis' story is pending.

While we've been working on this story for several days in order to get it right, we had hoped to hold it a bit longer to confirm a few more of the details. As well, we had hoped to allow the Judiciary Committee and others time to comment before making this story widely available.

However, as of late Sunday night, Curtis' story has been reported elsewhere on the Internet by Wayne Madsen. His detailed account references an older, very short affidavit that Curtis had made in regards to the information contained in a self-published book on some of these matters.

While Madsen's article was independently researched and reported --- and offers some very good detail in relation to Curtis, YEI, FDOT and Feeney, much of which that we can confirm --- he then ties those stories to a much grander CIA/Bush family conspiracy.

While we have looked somewhat cursorily over the last several weeks into some of the larger matters which Madsen discusses, and has been reporting on for some time, we cannot confirm any of those grander details as playing any part in this particular story. While his claims may be true, The BRAD BLOG has seen no evidence to support them as being related to the Curtis story at this time.

Frankly, we find the information related in Curtis' sworn affidavit, and via our interviews with him and others directly related to his story to be rather stunning as is, and we will stand by our reporting of those matters at this time.

Given the importance of the many allegations in his story if they are true --- and we have so far been unable to identify any major holes or discrepancies in his information --- we thought it necessary to release the full details contained in this sworn affidavit immediately so that Curtis' story and the explosive allegations contained therein could be more accurately assessed.

DEVELOPING...HARD...

UPDATE: For a great deal of follow-up info on this story, please see BRAD BLOG TOO which we've had to set up for now as a supplemental site while we arrange for the bandwidth required on this site to continue reporting the story here! Due to the heavy traffic, I am largely unable to access this site to post to it, until we can up the bandwidth here. Sorry for the inconvenience...

Brad Friedman is a freelance writer, investigative blogger, software designer and all around trouble maker. He broke the story of the "White House Website Scrubbing" amongst other stories, and has been closely following the story of "GRAND THEFT AMERICA" since Election Day at his site, The BRAD BLOG, which can be read --- when it's not being overwhelmed by traffic --- at http://www.BradBlog.com

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