[Ed Note: Cliff Arnebeck, the Ohio attorney representing the plaintiffs in the case discussed below, will be joining me Wednesday evening to talk about the case, when I sit in to Guest Host The Mike Malloy Show, which I'll be doing Wed-Fri this week, from 9p-Midnight ET (6p-9p PT) - BF]
A recent flurry of activity in the long-standing King Lincoln v. OH Sec. of State lawsuit concerning voting rights violations in the state during the 2004 election has resulted in the judge lifting the stay to allow depositions to be taken of key GOP tech-guru Mike Connell, and potentially others, such as Karl Rove.
A subpoena has now been served to Connell, who was recently described by the attorneys working on the case, as a 'high-IQ Forrest Gump...at the scene of every GOP crime.'
Federal District Court Judge Algenon Marbley's brief order [PDF], agreeing to lift the stay, was quietly issued on September 19th. It reads:
On motion of the plaintiffs and agreement of the defendant Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner, the stay in this matter is lifted for the sole purpose of permitting the plaintiffs to take the deposition of Michael Connell and any other witnesses whose testimony, in the judgment of these parties, may be warranted based upon the deposition of Michael Connell.
The BRAD BLOG had learned about the latest court action, which could soon entangle Rove as well, some time ago, but we were asked by parties involved in the case to embargo the information until such time as they were able to serve Connell with his subpoena...
Kansas City Star is among the first out of the box to review the film, calling it a "Must See!" and declaring that it "plays like a high-tension political thriller."
The terrifying feature-length documentary, shot in high-definition video, details, for the first time, the complete Clint Curtis/Tom Feeney/Yang Enterprises vote-rigging scandal, in all of its, yes, sometimes very gory detail. It also tells a tale of the media, as it details my attempts to tell the story over the last four years, to a corrupt, detached, and too-often frightened corporate media. The BRAD BLOG broke the Curtis story originally in late 2004, and we've been investigating and reporting on it ever since.
The DVD of MSVL is finally available for purchase at VotingLies.com and will also be premiering beginning this weekend on LinkTV, for those of you lucky enough to get the satellite TV channel. See LinkTV's main Murder, Spies page for air dates and times, as well as an extended five-minute preview of the film. Sharaf has been kind enough to offer the DVD --- signed by herself and myself --- available as our newest, and perhaps most appropriate, BRAD BLOG premium ever! An online donation of $50 or more gets you your own copy! (And just in time for Halloween!) Snail mail works as well, if you prefer to send a check to: Brad Friedman, 7095 Hollywood Blvd., #594, Los Angeles, CA 90028. The support is greatly appreciated and very much needed.
LinkTV narrates their own 60-second preview of MSVL below...
For those who aren't familiar with the remarkable Curtis/Feeney story of the Florida software programmer who says he was asked by a powerful Republican to create vote-rigging software, where have you been? See this summary version for the quick details.
For those who are familiar with the story, you will learn details in MSVL you never knew, along with new interviews on the case from Gore Vidal, reporter Bob Fitrakis, computer security expert Harri Hursti, whistleblower Steve Heller, Curtis co-worker Mavis Georgalis, and many more!
While the Curtis story has been told, often beautifully, in a number of other documentaries, such as Uncounted: The New Math of American Elections and Stealing America: Vote-by-Vote, this is the first to go all the way into all of the frightening details underscoring this case, including the mysterious death of Florida's Inspector General Raymond Lemme while investigating the allegations, and the bizarre case of the convicted Chinese spy, Hai Lin "Henry" Nee, who worked at the firm with Curtis.
A few quotes from some of the early reviews:
"Must see!...Plays like a high-tension political thriller...Amazingly elaborate and detailed...Want to get hoppin' mad? This'll do it...Let's hear it for paper ballots." - Bob Butler, Kansas City Star
The film is also screening at a number of upcoming film-festivals around the country, including the New Jersey Film Festival this weekend. See the MSVL website for dates & times.
Four years later, I'm happy to still be here to see the release of the film, quite frankly. There were some pretty scary days back there. It's regrettable that nobody's yet gone to jail, but maybe we're getting closer. For many of you who found this blog because of the Curtis story back in 2004, thank you for all of the support throughout the years! I hope you'll get the film, enjoy it, and continue to spread the word.
The Associated Press is reporting that Ohio Congresswoman Rep. Tubbs Jones died today at 6:12 p.m., in Cleveland.
She stood up for America in 2004, by courageously challenging the seating of Ohio's electors in the U.S. House of Representatives. She will be greatly missed.
UPDATE: Friend of The BRAD BLOG Matthew Segal of the Student Association of Voter Empowerment (SAVE) was among those students at Kenyon College in Knox County, OH, where the last vote was not cast in 2004 until well after 2am. He sent us a video of an Election Integrity event that both he and Tubbs Jones spoke at just weeks ago in Ohio, and noted, "Her discussion of the Ohio election (and electoral vote certification) was riveting." The clip is longer than the YouTube-allowed 10 mins, but we'll try to get it posted somewhere.
With the video, he emailed the following personal thoughts this afternoon while we were on the road, and as the Congresswoman was still clinging to life...
Stephanie Tubbs Jones is not only my political hero but has also been both a friend and mentor to me. I met her back in 2004 after the disastrous voting situation in Ohio. Her office called me and asked me to speak at a rally in Cleveland to endorse her "Count Every Vote" legislation with Senator Clinton. From there, we have kept in touch closely and she has gone out of her way to support the efforts of SAVE and to help empower young voters through legislation. She is a giant in the election reform movement and has fought courageously for a more accessible, transparent and participatory democracy. I have the deepest respect for her.
Student Association for Voter Empowerment
Congratulations to filmmaker David Earnhardt and crew! See below for the press release, just out today from Starz, announcing that his seminal election integrity documentary, Uncounted: The New Math of American Elections, will be premiering on several of the pay cable net's outlets beginning on August 28th.
"Think your vote counts? Think again," the announcement trumpets, before describing the film as "A searing indictment of the election process as it affected both the 2004 and 2006 Elections...And could affect the outcome of the 2008 Election."
We, of course, have been singing Uncounted's praises for quite some time here at The BRAD BLOG --- even though we're prominently featured in it, we highly recommend it nonetheless --- and we'll take this opportunity to again remind readers that Earnhardt has been kind enough to offer hand-signed DVD versions of the film available as a premium here only for our readers.
(Snail mail donations are also welcome; see the blue box on the right of every page here for our address. For other related premium offers, helpful in keeping our work going, please see this page. As always, your support is greatly appreciated and much needed! It will also help us with gas money to get out to the Democratic Convention next, where we're sure the Dems will just be delighted to see us, after having refused us press credentials. But, of course, we've got a Plan B. Wish us luck! And thanks in advance for any help you can offer!)
The complete news release, announcing Uncounted's premiere on the Starz network, follows below...
So we learned last week that new information concerning Republican high-tech guru Mike Connell's alleged participation in computer-aided fraud from Florida to Ohio to the Swiftboaters to RNC headquarters to Congress has helped lead Ohio attorney Cliff Arnebeck to reignite a long-standing federal lawsuit concerning Ohio's 2004 Presidential Election.
We learned this week that Connell may have been threatened by Karl Rove should the GOP's "high IQ Forrest Gump" --- so described for his uncanny ability to be found "at the scene of every [GOP] crime" --- fail to "take the fall" for election fraud in Ohio, according to a letter sent by Arnebeck to AG Michael Mukasey asking for Connell's protection.
The following clip (appx 6:45 mins) from the new documentary film, FREE FOR ALL! (downloadable in full, free for all, at www.freeforall.tv) by filmmaker John Ennis, gives us a small taste of who Connell is, and how he fits into the big picture.
BRAD BLOG readers will likely recognize a few faces here. Please enjoy...
Ohio Attorney Cliff Arnebeck, who notified Attorney General Mukasey yesterday about threats made by Karl Rove against the GOP's high-tech guru, Mike Connell, as we reported last night, will join Peter B. Collins and me during my weekly Friday 5pm PT appearance on PBC's syndicated radio show.
You'll be able to listen online at www.PeterBCollins.com if his show is not aired in your town. And you may call in with questions and comments for Arnebeck or myself at 888-5-PeterB (or post them here, and I'll try to ask them). Hope you'll tune in!
POST-SHOW UPDATE: Arnebeck joined us for the first half-hour of the show and dropped a few interesting details during our discussion. Among them: 1) Bush can't pardon someone convicted under a civil RICO case, which is what Arnebeck is compiling. (Also, can't remember if it came up during the interview, but as some have suggested that Rove simply invoke Executive Privilege to avoid being deposed in this case, Exec Privilege does not come into play in such a case. It only refers to Congressional testimony.) 2) Connell had agreed to meet with the House Judiciary Comm. several months ago, but so far Judiciary hasn't followed up. 3) Arnebeck makes a tantalizing reference to the finding in the Paula Jones case that sitting Presidents may be deposed in civil cases. More detail on those points and others in the audio interview. Download MP3 or listen online here...
As we broke earlier this week, after previous snubs and threats of subpoenas, Ohio's disgracefully-partisan former Sec. of State J. Kenneth Blackwell was finally set to testify to the House Judiciary Committee today (as well as another legendary GOP vote suppressor, former FEC chair and DoJ Voting Rights Division gamer, Hans von Spakovsky.)
After a late start, and a then a blackout of the Judiciary Committee's webcast feed just after Blackwell began his opening statement ("Thank you Mr. Chairman..." and then suddenly the feed went out), things picked up again during the opening statement of GOP propagandist/attorney Cleta Mitchell who went on and on about the same old nonsense concerning "voter fraud" via voter registration applications submitted by ACORN, the GOP's old "voter fraud" strawman...
The U.S. House Judiciary Committee's subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties will be holding a hearing this Thursday on "Lessons Learned from the 2004 Presidential Election."
Though no press release has yet been sent out by the Committee, and the link to the hearing's page at the Judiciary website is currently broken, The BRAD BLOG has both good news and bad news to report here.
The good news: Ohio's former Sec. of State J. Kenneth Blackwell has been invited to testify and has confirmed that he will actually show up this time, according to several Judiciary sources. Blackwell had previously snubbed the committee's earlier invitation to testify back in February about the myriad crimes that were committed on and by his watch in the 2004 Presidential Election.
Following his last refusal to appear --- when he responded to the committee claiming "my schedule will not permit me to attend the hearings" --- Judiciary Committee spokesperson Jonathon Godfrey hinted that a subpoena might be forthcoming if Blackwell continued to refuse to appear. This time, at least as of today, it looks like he's coming, according to confirmation by Godfrey this afternoon. Thus guaranteeing what should be a very lively hearing.
More good news: Shameless GOP "voter fraud" zealot and disgraced former FEC chair Hans Von Spakovsky will also be appearing. By invitation of the Republicans on the committee, amusingly enough. What were they thinking in inviting this embarrassment? Beats us, but we're happy to hear he'll be back on the Congressional hot seat. Thanks Repubs!
'Whether He's Pulling the Gun or Not...He's the Guy Who Made the Gun,' Allege Buckeye Lawyers About Man Said to Have Been Behind Florida 2000, Ohio 2004, RNC Emails, Congressional Computer Networks, & More...
Last week Ohio Attorney Cliff Arnebeck held a press conference in Columbus to announce his motion to lift the stay on the long-running King Lincoln Bronzeville v. Blackwell lawsuit in which massive improprieties, irregularities, and violations of the Voting Rights Act are alleged to have taken place in the 2004 Presidential Election in Ohio.
In the wake of the failure by the Buckeye State's Attorney General to properly investigate the allegations, and new evidence and testimony unearthed by Arnebeck and other private investigators, he is now asking that the stay on the lawsuit be lifted by the court in order to refocus the case and depose Karl Rove, and a number of other top GOP operatives believed to be involved in manipulating the results of the '04 election.
One of those operatives is Republican tech-guru Mike Connell.
Steve Heller covered last week's press conference for us, which featured comments from data security expert Stephen Spoonamore alleging fraud in the '04 election and Arnebeck's assertion that he believes "Rove will be identified as having engaged in a corrupt, ongoing pattern of corrupt activities specifically affecting the situation here in Ohio."
After last week's presser, Velvet Revolution's Brett Kimberlin sat down to follow up with Arnebeck and attorney/investigative journalist Bob Fitrakis, who participated in both the original '04 election lawsuits and has reported in detail on the related matters continuously since then at the Columbus Free Press.
In the video-taped interview, posted at right (appx. 10 mins), the two attorneys focus specifically on their concerns about GOP operative/IT specialist Connell, who, they allege, has been found to have been "at the scene of the crime" for numerous questionable elections since 2000. Connell's firm was also responsible for creating the RNC email systems used by Karl Rove and others. He is also said to have installed the existing Congressional computer networks for high-security House and Senate committees such as Judiciary and Intelligence.
The complete text transcript of the interview follows below...
Transcript of the 7/17/2008 VelvetRevolution.us Interview
with Cliff Arnebeck and Bob Fitrakis
VELVET REVOLUTION: Cliff and Bob you just had a press conference, talking about the next steps you are going to take in litigation. It looks like you're looking for discovery to understand the facts behind what happened in 2004 and make sure this doesn't happen in 2008. Can you give us an idea of the kinds of people or the names of people that you intend to target?
CLIFF ARNEBECK: At the very top of the list is probably Mike Connell. For the same reason that Spoonamore is so valuable to us as a witness, Connell has a breadth of perspective in this stuff and when Connell, with his politics and his position, identifies Triad and the Rapp family as an area, as a point of vulnerability - Well, we're saying, if Connell makes the same observation --which we think he will because if you look at this objectively, it makes no sense. Here's a guy, he's a mathematician or an engineer or whatever; we anticipate he is going to say "Yeah, that looks odd."
So Connell's an important witness and because we're talking about a conspiracy, one of the problems is you say 'where's the coordination, where's the communication?' --- Here's one individual who's been part of all the elements of the things that we think are problematic.
BOB FITRAKIS: He's a high IQ Forrest Gump. It's like everything important --- 2000 election Florida; 2004 Ohio; firewall in Congress --- he happens to show up and be the builder of these [im]penetrable forces and also may know who has the key to get in.
VR: So he's at the scene of the crime... whether he's pulling the gun or not.
FITRAKIS: Every single crime --- Well even more than that. He's the guy who made the gun.
At a press conference this morning in Columbus, Ohio, Cliff Arnebeck, lead attorney for the plaintiffs in the case of King Lincoln Bronzeville v. Blackwell, announced that he is filing a motion to "lift the stay in the case [and] proceed with targeted discovery in order to help protect the integrity of the 2008 election."
Courtesy of our colleagues at Velvet Revolution, you can watch the entire press conference here, and an interview with Cliff Arnebeck and Bob Fitrakis is here.
Arnebeck will also "be providing copies of document hold notices to the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform and the U.S. Justice Department for Karl Rove emails from the White House."
See PDFs of the hold letter to AG Mukasey here, the hold letter to the U.S. Chamber here, and the motion to lift the stay here.
This case has the potential to put some of the most powerful people in the country in jail, according to Arnebeck, as he was joined by a well-respected, life-long Republican computer security expert who charged that the red flags seen during Ohio's 2004 Presidential Election would have been cause for "a fraud investigation in a bank, but it doesn't when it comes to our vote."
"This entire system is being programmed in secret by programmers who have no oversight by anybody," the expert charged, as Arnebeck detailed allegations of complicity by a number of powerful GOP operatives and companies who had unique access both to the election results as reported in 2004, as well as to U.S. House and Senate computer networks even today.
The presser was attended by some of the corporate-controlled media, including the head of the Ohio AP bureau, the Columbus Dispatch, and IndyMedia. Listening in by phone were ABC News, our friends from RAW STORY, and I, your humble blogger. I recorded the presser, so I have no links for the quotes in this post, but I transcribed them word-for-word and can vouch for their accuracy.
One of the more delightful and interesting quotes comes from Arnebeck, concerning what he expects to discover as the stay is lifted: "[W]e anticipate Mr. Rove will be identified as having engaged in a corrupt, ongoing pattern of corrupt activities specifically affecting the situation here in Ohio."
Well, at least Democrats --- in Ohio anyway --- prove they know how impeachment is supposed to work. When it comes to impeaching one of their own anyway. In this case, OH's Democratic AG Marc Dann.
Democrats still know what the word "impeachment" means.
They are willing to use it, at least when it involves going after one of their own.
Holding one's own party accountable is something Republicans might learn from (but won't).
Democrats at the national level would be well-served to remind themselves of their Constitutional responsibility to do the same at the federal level when High Crimes and Misdemeanors have occurred (but won't).
Sex scandals are the Highest Crime and Misdemeanor of them all.
For the record, when Dann was running for Attorney General in '06, he campaigned to Election Integrity folks such as Bob Fitrakis, Cliff Arnebeck, Paddy Shaffer, and others in the Buckeye State that he intended to bring accountability to folks like former SoS J. Kenneth Blackwell and others, for the crimes committed to deliver OH for Bush in '04.
He promised, at the time, "to put whoever were to mess with Ohio elections in jail."
"If necessary," he said, "I could even convene a grand jury to take a look at the 2004 election. And I think that may be something that we may want to look at...to get to the truth about what happened in 2004."
The short video of those promises is at left. Apparently, he was just kidding.
UPDATE: Dann resigns. So, additional lesson here: When impeached for crimes actually committed, the accused tends to resign, rather than fight.
With more than 3,000 counties in the United States of America, only heavily Republican Warren County, Ohio --- one of the last to report election results in the Buckeye State that night --- took action on Election Night 2004 to lock out members of the public and the media from their tabulation room.
The president of the county's Board of Commissioners claimed at the time that during a "face-to-face meeting between the FBI and our director of emergency services we were informed that on a scale from one to 10...Warren County in particular was rated at 10, 10 being the top highest risk."
Nobody, however, in Warren County has ever named the supposed FBI official who gave the warning, and to this day, the director of the county's Department of Emergency Services, Frank R. Young, will not reveal the name of the official with whom he claims he spoke, even as the FBI maintains "there was no information given to Warren County of an imminent terrorist threat to that county or to Southern Ohio," and that "None of our agents...advised of any type of any terrorist threat or anything like that."
Additionally, no one has ever been held accountable for what happened.
During The BRAD BLOG's exclusive interview last December with Ohio's new Secretary of State, Jennifer Brunner, she was asked about the infamous Warren County Lockdown and encouraged to investigate the matter to ensure something similar would not be allowed to occur during the 2008 election. She noted that she was still "troubled" by the '04 incident and "[couldn't] find any justification for it."
"We'll look again at that situation and see what the best course of action is to prevent it from happening in the future," she promised at the time.
The Cincinnati Enquirer picked up on that section of our interview at the time, and now, going on four years since the Lockdown occurred --- first reported by The BRAD BLOG on November 8, 2004 --- a mainstream corporate media outlet has finally taken the issue seriously enough to devote some resources to a legitimate investigation.
Jon Craig's investigative report in Sunday's Cincinnati Enquirer notes: "Among those locked out were an Enquirer reporter, a TV reporter, and a stringer from the Associated Press." He goes on to report that "(t)he AP had stringers at all 88 boards of elections, and only in Warren County were they not allowed in."
Despite a misleading summary early in Craig's article, asserting the paper has "learned...A casual conversation about terrorism between the county emergency services director and a friendly FBI agent in a parking lot may have been the final trigger for the lockdown," what's clear is that to this day, no one from the FBI has ever come forward to substantiate Young's claims. Even today, while Young is taking responsibility for recommending the lockdown, he's sticking to his story that it was his conversation with an FBI official --- whom he still refuses to name --- that led him to his decision.
Both the FBI and the Warren County Sheriff tell Craig that Young's claims, essentially, are complete bullshit...
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Last week, Reps. John Conyers (D-MI) and Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), both of the U.S. House Judiciary Committee, sent a letter to the former Ohio Secretary of State and Co-Chair of the state's Bush/Cheney '04 campaign committee, J. Kenneth Blackwell, inviting him to appear next week at a subcommittee oversight hearing on voter suppression issues.
To the surprise of almost nobody, Blackwell has refused the invitation to testify, claiming his "schedule [would] not permit" him to attend the hearings.
The snub, according to both the following report from Jon Craig at the Cincinnati Enquirer and additional indications given to The BRAD BLOG by a Judiciary staffer other than the one quoted by Craig, may lead to an escalation of the longtime standoff between Conyers and Blackwell. A congressional subpoena requiring an appearance by the controversial former SoS, who presided over one of the worst-run Presidential Elections in American history, may well be in the offing.
Election integrity expert and author of Fooled Again, Mark Crispin Miller, made some remarkable comments while speaking to the LA Election Protection Task Force last night. Robert Carillo Cohen, producer of Hacking Democracy, was also a featured speaker at the event.
After covering some preliminary matters, Miller retold the story of his post 2004 election encounter with John Kerry when the Democratic candidate admitted that he believed the presidential election was stolen. This shouldn't surprise anyone since, as Miller states:
And believe me, a cursory study of the evidence makes it abundantly clear that the election was stolen and it wasn't even that close.
Which ultimately leads Miller to conclude that Kerry is in denial:
Because if you really do accept what happened, you realize that it is a catastrophe, it's an emergency. And it's something that a guy like John Kerry or Al Gore is simply not built to deal with, right? Because if you come to terms with what went down, you realize that it is an attack on American democracy. Business as usual can't simply continue. We gotta do something. We gotta hit the barricades.
But resistance to the idea that American democracy is under attack goes far beyond Kerry and Gore. Miller believes the way to break through this resistance is to:
keep publicizing, to keep spreading the word, to keep making clear that it is not just this little thing here or that little thing there, we're talking about a fringe movement that has taken over the Republican party that has been dismantling democracy, that has been destroying the voting system on every conceivable front, not just the machines. They are even messing with the census. They are preventing another census from being taken because if you have census data you can track this stuff more easily.
Finally, Miller concludes by going over a 12-step approach to reforming our elections.