Guest Blogged by Alan Breslauer
A great Election Fraud-themed country music video! Including some video of Clint Curtis and much more!
Visit Eliza Jane's website.
w/ Brad & Desi
w/ Brad & Desi
NATIONWIDE STUDY FINDS ALMOST NO VOTER FRAUD
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Brad interviews American patriots...
'Democracy's Gold Standard'
Hand-marked, hand-counted ballots...
GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal 2012...
The Secret Koch Brothers Tapes...
|U.S. Chamber of Commerce 'Terror Tools' Spy Plot...|
|Wisconsin 2011 Supreme Court Election Debacle...|
|Japan Quake/Tsunami/Nuke Emergency...|
|WikiLeaks / Julian Assange...|
|More Special Coverages Pages...|
Guest Blogged by Alan Breslauer
A great Election Fraud-themed country music video! Including some video of Clint Curtis and much more!
Visit Eliza Jane's website.
By Brad Friedman from on the road in Burlington, CO...
The recent Dan Rather report (complete video here) on the gaming of the paper punchcard ballots by Sequoia Voting Systems in Florida, just prior to the 2000 election, plugs up at least one important "hole" in the Clint Curtis story. We first broke Curtis's story back in late 2004 and have been reporting on it ever since.
You'll recall that Curtis alleged --- in sworn affidavit [PDF], live video-taped testimony before a U.S. House Judiciary delegation, and via polygraph test --- that he was asked by Rep. Tom Feeney (R-FL) to create a touch-screen vote-rigging prototype program, just months prior to the 2000 election when they both worked at the same Florida software firm.
One of the main criticisms of Curtis's striking allegations at the time was that "nobody was even thinking about touch-screen voting systems in Florida prior to the 2000 Presidential Election debacle."
Dan Rather's remarkable investigative report, however, would seem to indicate otherwise: seven Sequoia company whistleblowers reveal on camera that, despite their objections, they were forced to use poor quality paper for the punchcards to be used in Florida in 2000. They also revealed that they had been instructed to deliberately misalign the chads for ballots going to Palm Beach County, FL, only.
Unknown to the dubious Zetter at the time, was that someone at Sequoia, as the Rather report now reveals, seems to have known what they were doing when they gamed those paper ballots in Florida in 2000, since the company had already had touch-screen voting machines in the pipe-line, and indeed, already in use since as early as 1999 in California. If someone at Sequoia was pushing towards a change to touch-screen voting for Florida in 2000, the charges that Feeney might well have been aware, and supporting such a move is not quite as absurd as Zetter seemed to suggest in her article.
As well, another recent revelation puts the lie to Feeney's claim, made years ago, that he no longer had anything to do with the owners of the Oviedo, Florida, firm where he was the general counsel and registered lobbyist in 2000 (even as he served as Speaker of the FL House at the same time). Curtis was employed as a computer programmer for the company, which had multi-million dollar contracts with both the state and NASA, where Feeney's wife has worked for several years.
New information reveals that the owners of the company remain personal friends with Feeney, and continue to funnel money to him even while they hope for further contracts from the U.S. House Subcommittee on Space & Aeronautics, in which Feeney has recently been promoted to ranking member.
TOUCH-SCREEN VOTING SYSTEMS AND PRE-2000 FLORIDA
Connecting a few dots here... Sequoia had already deployed its new touch-screen voting systems in several precincts in Riverside County, CA, back in 1999. In 2000 the systems were to be used county-wide for the first time. Sequoia knew damned well that they stood to make millions from the use of touch-screen voting systems long before the 2000 election, even as their paper ballot shop was preparing the flawed paper ballots for use in Florida's election that same year.
As reported by Rather, the company made just pennies per ballot on the punchcards and only a few hundred dollars on punchcard counting machines. But millions stood to be made on their newer technology, which sold for thousands of dollars per touch-screen machine. The stunning on-camera testimony from the seven company whistleblowers suggests that the company --- and/or someone else --- may have had a plan in place to speed the transition to touch-screens prior to the 2000 election in Florida. That, of course, is precisely the same moment in time that Curtis alleges Feeney asked him to create touch-screen vote-rigging software, when they both worked for Yang Enterprises, Inc....
Guest Blogged by Clint Curtis
My name is Clint Curtis, and I am running for Congress in Florida’s 24th District because I am fed up with the corruption and incompetence that continues to plague us in Washington. I'm running because the people of this country deserve honest representation and strong leadership that reflects the true will of the people.
As long-time BRAD BLOG readers may remember, I have dedicated myself to the cause of election integrity ever since a corrupt congressman asked me to create a prototype vote-rigging software program while we were both working for the same Florida software company back in 2000.
Since then, I have stepped into the sunshine to tell the story, and have become one of the nation's leading advocates for election reform. Working with non-partisan election integrity groups across the nation, I have fought hard for legislation that mandates the use of paper ballots. The state of Florida just passed such legislation earlier this year --- an enormous victory for proponents of election reform and a great win, finaly, for the voters of Florida.
My district is bordered by Cocoa Beach, Kennedy Space Center, Daytona Beach and Orlando. It is a district of stark contrast between the haves and the have nots. Million dollar beachfront palaces sit just a scant few miles away from thousands who subsist in grinding poverty, bereft of hope. This is Florida’s Space Coast, a region of stunning beauty and spectacular innovation, but we have the misfortune to be represented by one of the most corrupt Republicans in Congress, the very same congressman who asked me to create that vote-rigging program: Tom Feeney.
Tom Feeney is the latest Republican congressman to fall under the shadow of the Jack Abramoff bribery and corruption scandal. Feeney is now under investigation by the FBI for his dealings with Abramoff. The writing is on the wall, making Florida’s 24th District one of the top three targeted races in the country.
But I will need your help in running against Feeney, and more importantly for the moment, helping the Democratic power structure in Washington D.C. understand we are ready, willing and able to take this seat and remove Tom Feeney once and for all.
For those of you who are new to The BRAD BLOG and may not be familiar with my story, up until just a few years ago I was a stereotypical, mild-mannered software engineer who would have never in a million years considered running for public office. As I said in a post last week, introducing myself to readers at Daily Kos, I’m just a ‘regular guy,’ a middle class citizen, working hard to make ends meet, like so many of you. And sad to say, for too many years, I bought into the myth that people like us can’t really make much a difference.
I've been a programmer since 1985. I've worked on projects as diverse as NASA to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Department. Although I was always an independently inclined voter, for years I identified more with Republicans than Democrats. I thought they shared my values of integrity, ethics, and honesty. I believe many of them still do. But that trust was shattered when I came to discover what shameless depths bad apple Republican politicians have now sunk to...
Guest blogged by Steve Huff, with additional updates by Brad Friedman.
Police are investigating a possible double murder and suicide in an Orlando, Florida, residence owned by the former Executive Director of the Georgia Republican Party.
The Orange County Sheriff was called to 2420 Hickory Oak Blvd. in Orlando early Thursday. There they found three dead white men and two live dogs. The men may have been dead since Tuesday.
The home where they were found dead was owned by a political consultant/strategist of Rep. Tom Feeney (R-FL), the one who worked on the Congressman's smear campaign against vote-rigging whistleblower Clint Curtis last year. More details on that campaign below.
Feeney describes Gonzalez as "a born political consultant." On commenting on the news, Feeney said of Gonzalez, "He was an adviser and strategist for me and became a very good friend."
In addition to voting Rep. Rush Holt's dangerous Election Reform bill out of committee today (see this late Tuesday story for details), the U.S. House Administration Committee on Tuesday also unanimously voted to dismiss four of the five U.S. House races from last November which had been challenged in Congress under the Federal Contested Elections Act.
Only the contested Jennings/Buchanan race in Florida's 13th district --- which has gotten a great deal of mainstream media coverage for the 18,000 undervotes recorded by Sarasota's touch-screen voting systems in the election decided by a 369 vote margin --- will move forward. Late last week, the committee voted on party lines to send that contest to the non-partisan Government Accountability Office (GAO) for investigation.
Included in the four dismissals on Tuesday was the contest filed by vote-rigging whistleblower Clint Curtis (D) in his race against (allged vote-rigger) Tom Feeney (R) in Florida's 24th district. Late Monday night we reported that was likely occur.
Tonight, we received some comments from Capitol Hill staffers on the committee's reasons for the dismissals...
UPDATE 5/8/07 5:45pm PT: The U.S. House Administration Committee voted unanimously to dismiss all of the U.S. House election contests other than the FL-13 Jennings/Buchanan race. More details now here...
The campaign of Clint Curtis (D), the vote-rigging/Tom Feeney whistleblower who challenged Feeney (R-Abramoff) for the U.S. House seat in Florida's 24h Congressional district last November, has told The BRAD BLOG that the U.S. House Administrative Committee is set to dismiss Curtis' Congressional contest of the race --- filed under the Federal Contested Elections Act --- when the committee meets on Tuesday morning.
Though they've yet to examine the "hard evidence" the Curtis campaign says they've collected in the matter, the reason for the dismissal, as given to campaign manager, Marty Ward by a Capitol Hill staffer, was "insufficient evidence". Ward says that two different offices have informed the campaign of the committee's plan to dismiss the case tomorrow.
Ward told us tonight, however, that Congress hasn't even seen, much less investigated, the "hard evidence" in the form of sworn affidavits from voters that the campaign's volunteers have collected over the past several months via door-to-door canvassing in the district. The results of that canvass, the campaign says, reveal that Curtis' votes, as tallied on Florida's paperless touch-screen voting systems, were under-reported by anywhere from 12% to 24% per precinct so far canvassed.
Curtis was declared the loser by some 16 points after the election, despite an "Election Eve" Zogby Poll which declared he and Feeney to be in a "statistical dead heat". An 8 point or better misreporting of the true results in the race, they maintain, would have swung the election in Feeney's favor as they believe likely happened.
Ward sent us these thoughts in response to the Democrats plans earlier this evening...
Rep. Tom Feeney's (R-FL) office followed the specific instructions of Jack Abramoff's office in reporting the precise cost of his golf junket to Scotland with the disgraced lobbyist as $5,643, instead of the $20,000 the trip actually cost, according to an email obtained by the St. Petersberg Times.
The brief email is posted at the bottom of this article.
Feeney, the corrupt, once-powerful GOP congressman and very close friend of the Bush Family, has denied for years that he knew the lobbyist had paid for the trip, but the email from Abramoff's assistant seems to suggest otherwise, according to the Times Anita Kumar:
In reality, the extravagant trip that began with a trans-Atlantic flight on a private jet and featured twice-daily golf at world-famous locales cost about $160,000, or $20,000 per person for each of the eight attendees.
Feeney, 48, an Orlando-area Republican who has been contacted by the FBI as part of the Abramoff investigation, reported precisely the details supplied by Abramoff's office in his congressional travel report on the Scotland trip.
The email fails to list thousands of dollars in greens fees incurred by the Scotland contingent's twice-a-day rounds of golf at the legendary Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews, one of the world's oldest and most exclusive courses. Feeney now claims he paid those greens fees himself...
[UPDATED WITH VIDEO]
And speaking of Tom Feeney and Clint Curtis, the man who made a number of alarming accusations about him; including (but not limited to) a vote-rigging conspiracy in 2000, protection of an undocumented alien who pled guilty to espionage charges related to sending restricted missile chips to Communist China, and much more...
Curtis released a statement last week in regard to the contest he's filed in the U.S. House last December under the Federal Contested Elections Act following his House race against Feeney in Florida's 24th district last November. (The statement is posted at end of this article.)
In an exclusive BRAD BLOG interview from early March, Curtis spoke about "hard evidence" gathered by his campaign showing that his votes were under-recorded --- and/or Feeney's over-recorded --- on the paperless touch-screen voting systems used in the race. Their evidence has been gathered via a precinct-by-precinct, door-to-door canvass being carried out by the campaign volunteers.
"We have now found absolutely…more votes for Democrats than the official results show," Curtis told us earlier this year. "Absolutely more votes. No trends, no guesses. More votes. That should never happen."
The campaign's news release claims that "In every precinct studied, the data shows that Curtis received 12-24% more votes than stated in the official result."
The House recently announced the formation of a panel to investigate the contested election between Christine Jennings and Vern Buchanan in Florida's 13th district, but has failed to take similar action on the other three contested Sunshine State elections which "remain in limbo," according to Curtis's campaign. Another House race from Louisiana has also been contested in Congress. All of the contests were filed last year under the federal act meant to carry out Congress's Constitutionally specified mandate as the final arbiter of the seating of its members.
"Only an official independent investigation, backed by the authority of the U.S. House, can dispel lingering questions regarding the accuracy of the 2006 election results," in Florida's 24th district and the other contested races, the campaign says. They are calling for the immediate formation of a panel in Congress to "determine the accuracy of the electronic voting systems in question, and ensure legitimate representation for the voters in those districts."
Drawing a contrast with the FL-13 contest, which Curtis's campaign aptly notes is based on largely circumstantial evidence --- though a mountain of it --- at this time, his group of volunteers in South Florida claim to have "gathered hard evidence" in the form of sworn affidavits from voters, which show "exactly where the election results are inaccurate."
"The evidence that the election integrity group has gathered can be independently reproduced and can determine whether or not the voting machines recorded accurately," the campaign contends.
UPDATE 4/26/07: Here's a video, courtesy of Ginny Ross of the Election Defense Alliance, featuring an interview with Curtis detailing his campaign's efforts "Walking for Democracy" efforts to canvass the district:
The complete press release from the Clint Curtis campaign is posted in full below...
Orlando Sentinel has some fresh details and Politico has some observations on the papers filed yesterday by the FBI concerning the guilty plea by Mark Zachares in the Abramoff affair, as we discussed yesterday in our item covering the FBI interview of the corrupt Rep. Tom Feeney (R-FL).
In addition to what looks like trouble in the case for at least two other GOP Congressmen, it looks like Feeney is being fingered as "Representative #3" in yesterday's filing...
That can't be seen as good news for Feeney who, we'll remind readers, is a very close friend of the Bush family, having run (unsuccessfully) as Jeb's Lieutenant Governor during his first run in Florida in '98, serving as point man in the FL House during the 2000 Election Debacle (when he promised to give the state's Electors to GWB no matter what the Supreme Court ended up deciding), and much, much more.
We'll also remind readers that the imprisoned Rep. Bob Ney (R-OH) was once designated as "Representative #1" before being indicted in the Abramoff affair himself....
Two related stories collide to suggest some possibly very bad news for our friend, the notoriously corrupt Tom Feeney (R-FL).
First this just in today from the St. Petersberg Times...:
Feeney's office said the congressman is cooperating voluntarily.
WASHINGTON - The FBI has asked U.S. Rep. Tom Feeney for information about his dealings with Jack Abramoff as part of its ongoing investigation into the lobbyist convicted of defrauding clients.
FBI agent Kevin Luebke refused to say whether Feeney, a Republican from the Orlando area, is under federal investigation.
Federal agents also have asked the St. Petersburg Times for an email sent to the newspaper by Feeney's office describing a golfing trip the congressman took with Abramoff to Scotland in 2003.
"Rep. Feeney considers this an embarrassing episode in his 17-year career as an elected official and an expensive lesson for him as a public servant," according to [a statement released by Feeney's office].
The FBI contacted the Times last week to ask for the February 2006 email that Feeney's then chief of staff Jason Roe wrote to the newspaper in response to a series of questions about interactions between Feeney and Abramoff. The Times has referred the FBI's request to its attorney.
Feeney, 48, who spent a decade in the Florida Legislature where he was speaker of the House, has paid $23,000 in legal fees this year - more than any other expense - according to his latest campaign finance reports.
"Rep. Feeney anticipates voluntarily cooperating with the Justice Department in any further investigation of this trip and looks forward to promptly resolving this matter," according to Feeney's statement.
"Any assertion that this office knew Abramoff paid for the Scotland trip is a g--d----- lie," Roe wrote in the email being sought by the FBI. The email was quoted in a newspaper article last year.
"Tom has never written a letter for Abramoff. Abramoff has never been in our office. Abramoff has never asked anything of us," Roe wrote in the email. "There is no accusation of a quid pro quo. No quid pro quo exists."
More details in the full story on what we've been reporting for years --- in what seemed like a vaccuum until now --- on Feeney's golf junkets with Abramoff to St. Andrews, Scotland. (See this May 2006 story for example: "Feeney/St. Andrews/Abramoff and Ney/HAVA/Abramoff Connections Still Flying Beneath the Radar")
There were three Congressmen who went on those trips. The first two, Tom DeLay (R-TX) and Bob Ney (R-OH), have both been forced out of Congress in the bargain and are respectively under indictment or in jail. Only Feeney, so far, has escaped both notice and legal accountability.
That may be about to change, however, with today's news that Mark Zachares, an aide to Rep. Don Young (R-AK), will plead guilty tomorrow to accepting some $30,000 worth of goods from Abramoff, with a promise of a job down the line in an interesting scheme that could also reveal something about what Feeney might have been discussing in some fashion with Abramoff.
The two men worked out a "two-year plan" in which Abramoff would build a homeland security lobbying practice that Zachares ultimately would join.
Feeney has insisted that there was never a deal for anything between him and Abramoff, unlike with DeLay and Ney. However, the notion of long term plans, such as the deal Abramoff was working on with Zachares, has never been discussed in relation to Feeney.
And as luck would have it, Zachares was on that trip with Feeney and Abramoff in 2003 and is cooperating with the feds --- all of which could spell out very bad news indeed for Feeney.
We've been covering the corrupt Congressman in great detail for years in relation to allegations by Florida computer programmer Clint Curtis that Feeney asked him to create a vote-rigging software prototype when they worked together at a software firm in 2000, while Feeney was serving as a registered lobbyist for the company even while he was Speaker of the Florida House. We originally broke that story in December 2004. A summary version is here.
Let's hope Curtis saved those "Clint Curtis for Congress" signs. He may need them again sooner than he might have thought.
As you can imagine, we'll be watching this one closely. And likely with no small amount of elan...
UPDATE 4/24/07: Feeney fingered as "Representative #3" in FBI filings. Details...
*** Special to The BRAD BLOG
*** By Guest Blogger Jim Cirile
Clint Curtis just won’t roll over. And that, fellow Americans, is a very good thing.
Curtis came to prominence a few years back when The BRAD BLOG broke the story of his blowing the whistle on Republican congressman Tom Feeney (FL-24) who, as Curtis alleged in a sworn affidavit, asked him to write an election-rigging software prototype when both men worked at the same Oviedo, FL, software firm in 2000. Curtis was a programmer, Feeney was then Speaker of the Florida House as well as the general counsel and registered lobbyist for the company, Yang Enterprises, Inc. (YEI)
A lifelong Republican, Curtis did as asked, believing the program was meant to be used to prevent election tampering by Democrats. When he learned the true purpose was to manipulate the vote in South Florida, Curtis went to the authorities and finally to the public. The BRAD BLOG has been following his story closely ever since.
Last year Curtis, who switched to the Democratic party in the wake of his experience and others like it with Feeney and YEI, challenged the powerful Feeney on his own turf --- he ran against him for the U.S. House seat in Florida’s 24th district, where Feeney had ascended in 2002.. Feeney's campaign against Curtis was as slimy as expected, with the powerful Republican friend of DeLay, Abramoff, and the whole bunch spending big bucks on a smear campaign in hopes of painting Curtis as a wacko conspiracy theorist, despite years of evidence shoring up Curtis’s original claims – including his successful passing of a polygraph test – and one report after another revealing massive holes in the claims of innocence by both Feeney and YEI.
Despite pre-election polls, including one from Zogby International, Inc., just prior to the election, showing the two men to be in a statistical dead heat, Feeney defeated Curtis 58% to 42% according to Florida’s officially certified election results.
But Curtis smelled a rat. Backed up by polling and his remarkable online vote verification tool, VoteNow 2006, he refused to concede. His race is now one of five challenges (four of them from the state of Florida, including the well-known FL-13 Jennings/Buchanan contest) currently pending in the U.S. Congress as having been filed under the Federal Contested Elections Act.
We spoke with Curtis late last week about what’s going on with those challenges, about his ongoing efforts to lobby Congress to finally bring reform to our broken election system, his experience with the Democrats "50 State Strategy," and whether he plans to run against Feeney again in 2008.
Suffice to say, like those three gals from Texas, Clint Curtis isn't "ready to make nice" either…
Two groups have issued media releases concerning the provisional seating of Congressional candidates in the U.S. House.
Both releases laud Congressman Rush Holt (D-NJ) for championing the challenges in the U.S. House.
The first one, issued yesterday by a representative from the Democratic Clint Curtis campaign, points out that there are four Florida elections being contested in the House under the Federal Contested Elections Act, including Curtis's race in Florida's 24th district against the corrupt Republican Tom Feeney (whose violation of House travel rules seems to have been discovered by the Ethics Committee last summer, but was only announced yesterday along with a gentle rap on the wrist and a polite request that he cough up the money equivalent to what Feeney estimates was paid by Jack Abramoff for Feeney to go and play golf with him in Scotland).
In addition to the FL-24 Curtis/Feeney challenge and the FL-13 Christine Jennings(D)/Vern Buchanan(R) race, the release also states that challenges have been filed in the FL-5 John Russell(D)/Ginny Brown-Waite(R) contest (Update: Tampa Tribune catches up, posts details here.) and the FL-21 Frank Gonzales(D)/Lincoln Diaz-Balart(R) race.
Though they didn't mention those last two races, USA Today reported yesterday that the election in Louisiana's 4th district between Patti Cox (D) and Jim McCrery (R) is also being contested on the allegation that McCrery isn't actually a resident of the district, or even the state.
The second news release is from People for the America Way (PFAW) today and focuses on the Jennings/Buchanan touch-screen debacle in FL-13, where PFAW is one of the groups contesting the election in State court and calling for a revote.
In a comment sent to The BRAD BLOG last night from Holt's office in reply to the Curtis statement, the office says Holt's actions in the House "will focus on Christine Jennings and FL-13, but the ruling will apply broadly." As well, they say that while Holt will be "championing the cause of anyone who has a pending legal or official house electoral contest, the genesis of his involvement is certainly with" Jennings and that he's "more able to attest to the merits of her case."
The fight to ensure that the voice of the voters is heard --- and heard accurately and legally --- continues. Both releases are posted in full below...
Republican U.S. Congressman Tom Feeney of Florida's 24th District has been ordered today by the House Ethics Committee to pay $5,643 for the cost of a "recreational" golf trip to St. Andrews, Scotland, which he had taken with the now-disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff in 2003. The bill had been previously paid for by Abramoff, the committee has found.
The slap on the wrist issued today by the U.S. House Ethics Committee on the last day before the change-over to the new Congress was announced in a terse, one paragraph, bare-bones statement posted to the committee's website. AP reported the matter here. Outgoing defeated Congressman Curt Weldon (R-PA) was also found in violation of House rules and has agree to pay back more than $23,000 in inappropriate gifts.
The findings from the Ethics Committee, however, may be just the tip of the iceberg for Feeney as there continues to be a number of other allegations and claims of misconduct, both new and old, which still hang precariously over the Congressman's head.
The claimed cost of Feeney's Scotland trip, $5,643, was apparently supplied to the committee by the Congressman himself in March of 2005 after the many tentacles of the Abramoff corruption scandal were beginning to reveal themselves. Only after the trip had been reported by the media did Feeney take the matter to the Ethics Commission.
Feeney, who has been named for the second year running as one of the "Most Corrupt Members of Congress" by the non-partisan ethics watchdog group the Committee for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), had previously claimed that the trip, and several others, were pre-approved by the House Ethics Committee. As well, he had also originally claimed on his disclosure forms for the Scotland trip that it had been paid for by the National Center for Public Policy. The center has denied paying for the trip and Feeney has supplied no evidence that we're aware of that the Ethics Committee had pre-approved his vacation with Abramoff or any of the others.
In a statement released this afternoon, the National Center for Public Policy Research reiterated their denial of having had anything to do with Feeney's travels, despite continue statements from Feeney's office suggesting that they did. "The National Center for Public Policy Research played no role in this trip," the statement reads, "and only learned of its existence from media inquiries two years after it was taken."
No action has yet been taken on the other questionable vacations, one to Korea which was sponsored by he Korea-U.S. Exchange Council (KORUSEC), a registered foreign agent, and another to West Palm Beach, Florida, which Feeney had listed as having been paid for by a lobbying firm, which would also be a violation of House rules.
According to the Orlando Sentinel today, Feeney’s Chief of Staff Jason Roe --- who has had his own conduct questioned --- said of Feeney: "He’s personally and professionally embarrassed and considering it an expensive lesson."
The "lesson" however, was not all that "expensive" by Congressional standards, and certainly not if the $1.3 million that Feeney raised, mostly from corporate PACs, to spend on his recent campaign might be any indication of the funds that the once-exceedingly powerful Florida Republican has quick and easy access to.
"It's like he robbed a bank and was just asked to give back the money," said Naomi Seligman Steiner of CREW in deriding the light treatment given to Feeney by the commission.
The other two congressmen who had gone on junkets to St. Andrews with Abramoff, Tom Delay (R-TX) and Bob Ney (R-OH), have since resigned in the wake of criminal charges and guilty pleas. The cost for former Republican Majority Leader Delay's trip to Scotland with Abramoff was estimated to have been between $70,000 and $100,000. Feeney is the only Congress member of the three still serving in the U.S. House.
He was recently declared the winner by the state of Florida in the U.S. House race for 24th congressional district where Feeney ran one of the dirtiest --- and most expensive --- U.S. House campaigns in the nation against Clint Curtis, a computer programmer turned whistleblower. In early December of 2004, The BRAD BLOG broke the news of Curtis's affidavit alleging that Feeney was involved in a conspiracy to create electronic vote-rigging software when both men worked for the same Oviedo, Florida, software firm, Yang Enterprises, Inc. (YEI), in 2000. At the time, Feeney was employed as YEI's general counsel and registered lobbyist, even while he served as the powerful speaker of Florida's House of Representatives.
Curtis also charged at the time that Feeney had helped cover up a number of other legal violations by the company, including the employment of illegal aliens at YEI who he claimed had had been spying for Communist China. Curtis also alleged YEI was over-billing on state contracts and had been inserting illegal wiretapping modules into software the firm had been contracted to write for NASA and the Florida Dept. of Transportation (FDOT). In the ensuing years, one of YEI's employees, Hai Lin "Henry" Nee, the man Curtis accused of writing the wiretapping modules, pled guilty after being arrested by Federal Authorities in a four year sting in which he admitted sending computer chips used in Hellfire anti-tank missile guidance systems to Communist China. As well, a report issued by the State of Florida's Inspector General's office found that YEI had, in fact, over-billed the state of Florida on contracts and that Nee had indeed been an illegal alien.
Feeney, a good friend of Dr. and Mrs. Yang, the owners of YEI --- who have given thousands of dollars in campaign support to the disgraced congressman over the years --- still keeps his main campaign headquarters in the YEI office building in Oviedo, Florida, to this day. Feeney had previously been caught lying about his association with the Yangs.
Feeney's troubles, however, are likely far from over. As a member of the Republican Leadership in the 109th Congress --- he was a deputy whip --- Feeney has yet to detail what he knew about his Florida colleague Rep. Mark Foley's sexual transgressions with minors. After reports had surfaced that the Leadership had been made aware of the concerns about Foley many years ago, Curtis issued a press release during the campaign calling on Feeney to come clean on what he knew about Foley, when he knew it, and what he did about it. Feeney has stayed mum to this day, refusing to give details about his knowledge in the matter.
Feeney, who has claimed Curtis is both "crazy" and "a liar" has refused to take a polygraph test despite having been challenged publicly by Curtis, and others, to do so. For his part, Curtis successfully passed a lie detector test concerning his charges against Feeney and YEI back in early 2005.
Additionally, Curtis has since filed a challenge in Congress to the election of Feeney, claiming a number of irregularities found in the Diebold electronic voting systems used across several counties in Florida's 24th district. Yesterday, the National Election Data Archive issued an analysis [PDF] of precinct data for the election detailing a number of inexplicable discrepancies in the results as reported by the state of Florida. The non-partisan Election Integrity organization has announced that the discrepancies in the numbers are "consistent with a pattern that would be caused by voter disenfranchisement, vote fraud, or innocent miscount."
When the Congressional challenge was filed in the race between Christine Jennings (D) and Vern Buchanan (R) in the FL-13 race --- where the votes of some 18,000 Florida voters failed to register on ES&S touch-screen voting machines in Sarasota, with a reported margin of just 369 votes between the two candidates --- Feeney declared the Constitutional challenge to be "total political dictatorship." His statement was made to the media, however, before it was publicly known that Feeney's election would as well be challenged in the same Congress under the same Federal Contested Elections Act.
Curtis's challenge, and several others originating in the state of Florida, will reportedly be championed in the House by Congressman Rush Holt (D-NJ), who has long been an advocate for election reform in the U.S. House. We hope to have more details here at The BRAD BLOG on the Curtis challenge, and other related matters, shortly. Stay tuned...
We hinted at this last week when Florida's corrupt Rep. Tom Feeney (R-Abramoff) expressed his obnoxious indignation over the democratic (small "d") Congressional election challenge filed by Christine Jennings (D) against Vern Buchanan (R) in the FL-13 U.S. House race. This is the contest in which the perpetually election-challenged state of Florida certified Buchanan as the winner by 369 votes, even though some 18,000 votes seem to have disappeared altogether on Sarasota County's paperless ES&S touch-screen voting machines.
The challenge brought Feeney slithering out from under his rock to charge that Jennings' Constitutional request that Congress not seat Buchanan --- who appears to have "won" only due to failures in Sarasota's voting equipment (which even ES&S's own "expert witness" admitted on the witness stand during a hearing on the election contests filed by both Jennings and voters in Florida) --- amounted to "total political dictatorship."
At least that's what Feeney told the Orlando Sentinel at the time.
What he doesn't seem to have told them is that he too is the object of a similar Constitutional challenge in Congress by his own opponent, Clint Curtis, in the race for U.S. House in Florida's 24th district.
Curtis, who originally exposed Feeney's alleged attempt to create touch-screen vote-rigging software back in 2000 (a story broken by The BRAD BLOG in 2004 and followed in detail ever since), campaigned to unseat Feeney this year for the first time, but was declared the loser. Curtis disagrees.
Warren Stewart at VoteTrustUSA covered both the Curtis and Jennings challenges on the Thursday before XMas weekend, along with a posting of the complaints filed by both candidates (Curtis' complaint here, Jennings's complaint here, both in WORD format) as filed in Congress. We've yet to review either complaint or discuss them with either candidate personally, so we'll refer to Stewart's coverage and the actual complaints for the moment and let you people do some work for a change.
The Orlando Sentinel, however, picked up on the story of Curtis's challenge on Xmas Eve in a brief post in their "This Just In" section. Here's the full item...
Clint Curtis, who challenged Rep. Tom Feeney, R-Oviedo, in the general election, lost by nearly 28,000 votes. Or did he? Curtis, a Democrat whose campaign centered on questioning the integrity of the nation's vote-counting system, has filed formal notice of an election challenge with the U.S. House of Representatives.
Among the charges is that official voting results are "wrong, unreliable and not worthy of any election in this country." Why? Mishandling of election laws, malfunctioning voting machines and --- wait for it --- the likelihood that affidavits furnished by Curtis from voters who say they voted for him will add up to more than the totals reflected in the official record.
Whew! Stay tuned.
Stay tuned, indeed...The saga continues...
Now that he's temporarily been sent back to the U.S. House of Representatives --- after having spent more than $1 million in corporate PAC money to achieve an unimpressive victory over Clint Curtis, the computer programmer who spent about $40k on his campaign and has accused Feeney of conspiring to create vote-rigging software in Florida --- Feeney is ready to rumble!
"That is total political dictatorship," Feeney tells the Orlando Sentinel today in regard to the Congressional election challenge filed yesterday by Democrat Christine Jennings in the U.S. House after 18,000 votes disappeared in her recent election in Florida's 13th District, leading to a reported "loss" by 369 votes to Republican Vern Buchanan.
And, if anybody knows anything about "total political dictatorship" it would be Tom Feeney. The man who, as Speaker of the Florida House in 2000, promised to deliver the state's Electoral Votes to George W. Bush no matter what those democracy haters on the U.S. Supreme Court had to say about it!; the man who worked as general counsel and registered lobbyist (even while speaker of the Florida House) for a company that had harbored at least one illegal alien who pled guilty to charges related to sending Hellfire anti-tank missile chips to Communist China; the man who keeps his campaign headquarters in the firm's headquarters building even today!; the man who didn't raise a peep when the Republican controlled U.S. House sent a letter ordering a California judge to dismiss a lawful election contest in San Diego's special U.S. House election last Summer after the House had rushed to swear in apparent-winner Brian Bilbray just 7 days after the election, with thousands of votes still uncounted and a full two weeks before the state would even certify the close and disputed election which was run illegally on compromised, decertified electronic voting machines.
Now --- even after the only expert witness put forward in Florida by ES&S, the voting machine company that makes the touch-screen systems used in FL-13, admitted yesterday on the stand that Jennings would have won the election were it not for problems with the voting equipment --- Feeney is the man sticking his bright red, irony-impaired face out to declare that Democrats would be participating in "total political dictatorship" by exercising their constitutional right to "determine the manner and seating of their members."
"Total political dictatorship" - Nobody knows it better than Tom Feeney.
Oh, and could he also be so angry about this because it turns out that Clint Curtis himself has now filed a Congressional challenge in his race against Feeney? More on that, hopefully, later....
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