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Latest Featured Reports | Thursday, October 23, 2014
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GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal 2012...
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Throws 'C'est La Vie Comrade Rather' Political Fundraising Event!...
While continuing to protect actual Communist spies with whom he worked in Florida.
By Brad Friedman on 3/5/2005 6:16pm PT  

As reported in yesterday's The Hill:

Rep. Tom Feeney (R-Fla.) is hosting a fundraiser Wednesday at the Capitol Hill Club to celebrate the last broadcast of veteran "CBS Evening News" anchor Dan Rather, who has long vexed conservatives with what they see as a liberal bias.

The "C'est La Vie Comrade Rather" event - for the benefit of Tom Feeney for Congress - will be held from 5-7 p.m., during which attendees will watch Rather's final newscast at 6:30.

Feeney told The Hill that the open bar will remain open only if guests drink from their left hands.

We find the irony of Tom Feeney hosting a "C'est La Vie Comrade Rather" fundraiser to be full of more hubris than can possibly be described in a single blog item.

So we'll just leave it to the reader to draw their own conclusions on that matter while reminding them that Feeney himself was, for years, the corporate counsel and registered lobbyist for a Florida software company run by Chinese nationals. A firm which has been confirmed by Federal officials to have employeed an illegal Chinese alien who has recently been convicted of committing espionage against the United States of America for illegally shipping Hellfire anti-tank missile chips to Communist China during the time in which they were represented by Feeney.

Feeney continues to have direct and sympathetic ties to apparent Communist harborer, Yang Enterprises, Inc. (YEI), an Oviedo, FL company which he represented until being elected to the U.S. House in 2002. The owners of YEI, and their attorneys, Feeney's former law partner, Michael O'Quinn, continue to be large contributors to the Congressman. As well, Feeney's 2004 campaign headquarters is still located in the YEI building, and YEI threw a private party/fundraiser for their longime friend Feeney in May of 2003.

Feeney continues to dodge all public comment about his years-long relationship and continuing close friendship with the Chinese owners of the firm where a convicted Communist spy was allowed to work openly during Feeney's tenure. He has also been accused of conspiring to create a "vote-rigging software prototype" at the firm during the same period.

Perhaps Comrade Feeney should be more careful what he crows about.

On the other hand, time in jail seems to have done wonders for Martha Stewart. So perhaps Comrade Feeney will soon find plenty of enlightening time in a gulag in the "red state" of Florida to reflect upon the difference between actual treason against this country by actual Communist operatives and friends of his who harbor them versus the made-up stuff he seems to enjoy using for his own political self-aggrandizement and financial opportunism at the expense of the livelihood of others.

(Hat tip BRAD BLOG commenter and patriot, "American Woman" for calling our attention to this story.)

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. -
ReddIt this story!



By Brad Friedman on 3/5/2005 5:05pm PT  

We were contacted this morning by a reporter from The NY Times seeking comment on the recent preliminary ruling by California judge which says that "bloggers should not have the same protection afforded to journalists under US law." The case, as reported by the BBC, has been brought by Apple computers against three different blogs who leaked info about products in development.

While we hadn't yet read up on that particular case, we were obviously able to speak from experience about our concerns of bloggers being forced to disclose sources. We have been given information from several sources on the condition that their identities would be protected since they consider that their lives could be in potential danger if they were to be exposed.

We believe our work here clearly demonstrates the need to protect the identity of such sources. Though, in truth, as discussed here recently when we "joked" that "our earlier shameless plea for donations" might soon turn into "a necessary collection for the official BRAD BLOG Legal Defense Fund" it may not be such a "joke" after all! "Real" "journalists" --- even those from The NY Times --- may not have the protection against revealing their sources that most people believe. And a few of them may soon be heading to jail in order to fight for that potentially-disappearing right.

And as if that is not troubling enough, take a look at this troubling interview on CNET with Federal Election Commissioner, Bradley Smith entitled "The coming crackdown on blogging".

It's a chilling interview really, so please give it a quick read. But what it seems to say is that unless legislation is passed quickly by Congress to rework the McCain-Feingold Campaign Finance Law, the FEC may soon be forced to regulate blogs such as ours and regard even links to campaign websites as "campaign contributions"!

If we read the article correctly, it would seem to be Democrats on the FEC whose votes may keep the FEC from fighting a recent court decision that removes the exemption from such regulation for Internet websites and blogs (we're attempting to get clarification on that point).

In the meantime, who else but Congressman John Conyers is the first brave legislator out of the box to state his unambiguous objection to this potential coming nightmare. In a draft letter to the FEC Chairman and Commissioners he responded quickly yesterday by writing:

...we urge you to remove any ambiguity and make explicit in this rule that a blog would not be subject to disclosure requirements, campaign finance limitations or other regulations simply because it contains political commentary or includes links to a candidate or political party's website, provided that the candidate or political party did not compensate the blog for such linking.
...
The past decade has witnessed exponential growth of the Internet, as well as in the number of Americans accessing the World Wide Web. Along with this growth has been the emergence of Web reporters more commonly known as "bloggers" who play a critical role in commentating on American political affairs and who seek to inform the debate in an environment that is generally accessible by all.

In our view, this "democratization" of the media is a welcome development in this era of media consolidation and a corresponding lack of diversity of views in traditional media outlets. Given the emergence of this new method of reporting and Americans' increasing reliance on it for their political information, it is critical that BCRA's press exemption should be clarified to apply to those who are solely reporting on the Internet.

Conyers to the rescue again!

Until recently, we had felt that any attempts to regulate blogging or "The Internets" would be quickly found unconstitutional even if mandated by legislative action. We didn't really take such a potential threat to our freedoms particularly seriously. However, the increasing number of news items on this matter pointing towards legislation and court-decisions leaning towards regulation has made us think twice about our previous position on it, and about what may lie ahead...

ReddIt this story!



Support Operation Truth!
By Brad Friedman on 3/4/2005 10:27pm PT  

Great American hero, Paul Rieckhoff (we wrote about him and his courageous statements against the way the troops were being treated back in May of last year after he returned from Iraq) has asked me to lend a link to his fundraising efforts for Operation Truth. Happy to. Please check out his site and support the great work he's doing by buying a few dog tags in support of our troops!

Also, keep an eye out for the documentary Gunner Palace, filmed by the troops in Iraq, which (we believe) he exec produced. Hopefully it's coming to a theater near you. We recently saw the trailer (you can see it online at the link above) and can't wait to see this film!

ReddIt this story!



By Brad Friedman on 3/4/2005 5:45pm PT  

Since we've been busy with a number of things all day, and haven't yet been able to share a word of it with you, perhaps it's best to let you share your words with us. Open thread!

Oh...also, we'd hate to give anybody the idea that we've been brought to a sleazy motel in Valdosta, GA, or elsewhere. We're fine. Just busy. With good things. More later. Open thread until then...

ReddIt this story!



By Brad Friedman on 3/3/2005 3:57pm PT  

In case CNN's crucial coverage of the important Michael Jackson Trial took precedence, we thought we'd let you know that "War President", George W. Bush has just succeeded in watching (or not noticing) the 1500th U.S. Troop die in his War on Iraq.

We congratulate him on his "catastrophic success" as he so smartly put it some months ago.

That number, of course, doesn't include the scores of thousands of US troops injured, 100,000+ Iraqi civilians killed...and then there are all those dead U.S. Troops that the DoJ is rumored not to count at all in their tallies because they were only wounded in Iraq, but were kind enough to wait to die hospital or airspace outside of Iraq.

0 WMDs have been found as of today's impressive milestone.

Can ya smell the liberty spreading?!

ReddIt this story!



By Brad Friedman on 3/3/2005 3:17pm PT  

Jesse Lee over at the Stakeholder has some news about today's "Motion to Commit" on the House floor (discussed briefly in this earlier item):

House GOP Votes Against Fair Allocation of Machines and Poll Workers

In another astounding display of political hubris, today every single Republican voted against a Conyers-Waters amendment to provide that states provide a minimum required number of functioning and accurate voting machines and poll workers for all precincts.

The purpose of the amendment was simple, and one would have thought, non-controversial - to avoid the misallocation of voting machines and poll workers that led to lines of ten hours or more in the Ohio presidential election and disenfranchised tens of thousands of thousands of minority voters. (The amendment was offered in the context of an arcane continuity bill, providing for expedited elections in the event of an attack on Congress...)

Any questions on where Republicans now stand in regards to fair elections?

ReddIt this story!



By Brad Friedman on 3/3/2005 2:33pm PT  

Thanks again to Radio Left and host Geoff Staples for having us on to discuss Velvet Revolution's "Divestiture for Democracy" campaign! Have you sent your email to the companies yet?

Here's today's interview. About 17 minutes in your choice of three delicious audio flavors: Streaming RealPlayer, Windows Media Player, or MP3 Download.

ReddIt this story!



Brad on the Radio, on the Phone and Conyers on the House Floor...
By Brad Friedman on 3/3/2005 11:43am PT  

Busy with much this morning, so just a few quick notes for the moment.

- I'll be on Radio Left at 4:20pm ET (1:20pm PT) to discuss VR's "Divestiture for Democracy". You can listen live online, and we'll otherwise try to get a link to the recorded appearance later. For media who'd like more info on the campaign, and to discuss appearances, etc., please write to DV4D@VelvetRevolution.us.

- For media folks who'd like to participate in next Tuesday's BlogCall conference call that I'll be doing, along with Clint Curtis, to discuss developments in his story, please email me and I'll try to get an invitation out to you for the call.

- The great John Conyers (aside from smartly endorsing VR's campaign yesterday!) today has forced the issue of Election Reform onto the floor of Congress during debate of the House's bill to determine what happens to ensure continuity of government during a terror attack.

He used a surprise maneuver to do so known as a "Motion to Recommit". As Will Pitt explains in his TruthOut article an hour or so ago..."Rep. Conyers finds it ridiculous that the House is spending so much energy (and acting with such speed) to solve a hypothetical problem, about a hypothetical election, when there are so many real problems with our real elections." Pitt has the details, and Conyers official statement on the floor. Good on Conyers again!

- A task force assembled by Gov. Christine Gregoire in Washington state "has found that public trust in Washington state's election system was damaged by last year's tight gubernatorial race that took two months to resolve." Do ya think? The AP story is here. What a shame it takes governmental action for anything to happen on Election Reform. Wouldn't it be lovely if the press reported on the problems and the government followed with reform (the way it used to be) instead of vice versa? That is, when the press even bothers to report at all, even on governmental action...which they do, but only when it's Republican governmental action it seems. And so it goes...

ReddIt this story!



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.)

ReddIt this story!



Sends Letters to all 9 Companies Urging them to Take VR Recommendations!
Threatens Legislation to Withhold HAVA Money!
By Brad Friedman on 3/2/2005 11:03am PT  

We couldn't be more honored. A stunning and ringing endorsement from the U.S. House Judiciary Committee's ranking minority member!

Read the good congressman's full statement of support on ConyersBlog! But here's a quick quote...[emphasis added]

Do we have to settle for another questionable election where many of us doubt that the official results reflect the true will of the voters?

No. Not if the political movement that brought about the challenge to Ohio's electors has anything to say about it. The activists over at VelvetRevolution want action now in their "Divestiture for Democracy" campaign. Today, I am formally endorsing this campaign and have sent letters to every single voting machine company asking for their support of this effort.

Conyers also sends a very clear message in his letter to the Voting Machine Companies, even threatening to introduce legislation to deny the companies HAVA funds (federal money from the Help America Vote Act which was earmarked to purchase E-Voting machines from these vendors), if they don't follow the recommendations made by VR: [emphasis added]

To avoid another election cycle where there is not widespread confidence in the outcome, they have initiated a “Divestiture for Democracy” campaign which specifically asks your company to take many of the above steps voluntarily because the American people should not have to wait for legislation to feel confident that their vote is counted. I agree with that position and urge you to implement the recommendations that they have recently made to your company. They are essential to our democracy.

Your company has an obligation to take these actions now. Congress has funded the(“HAVA”) with taxpayer money to buy vote counting machines from companies such as yours. Moreover, your company is performing a purely governmental function by counting the vote. Therefore, you have a duty to all Americans to act in a fully transparent way just as would any government entity. It is time for your company to demonstrate good corporate leadership in this area by announcing that you will take these vital steps. It is my position that only companies that take these actions deserve to be funded under HAVA and I will urge my colleagues to support legislation to that effect

Conyers' Letter to the 9 Voting Machine Companies here.
Conyers' Letter to Brad here.

ReddIt this story!



By Brad Friedman on 3/1/2005 7:48pm PT  

...And it looks like America's Voting Machine Company leaders may be none too happy about VR's DV4D Campaign...

From RAW STORY's article which is now up...

Howard Van Pelt, CEO of Advanced Voting Systems, was more frank about his opposition to the Velvet Revolution campaign. “What in the hell are these people talking about?” asked Van Pelt. “They think we're all crooks, and I resent that!”

We resent losing complete confidence in the most fundamental aspect of democracy, Howard. Voting.

After you've read RAW's story, be sure to send a letter to Howard and the others! It's time that your voice is finally heard!

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The Empire Strikes Back!
Thought it was over in the Buckeye State? Think Again!
By Brad Friedman on 3/1/2005 3:05pm PT  

Just breaking via William Rivers Pitt at TruthOut. Looks like Blackwell, who doesn't think he should have to sit for depositions, now thinks Kerry and Edwards should!

OHIO ATTORNEY GENERAL AND SECRETARY OF STATE SEEK TO TAKE DEPOSITIONS OF SENATOR KERRY AND FORMER SENATOR EDWARDS IN OHIO RECOUNT CASE

In a filing today in the Ohio recount case in federal court in Columbus, Ohio, the Ohio Attorney General and Ohio Secretary of State asked a federal judge to allow them to take depositions of Senator John Kerry and former Senator John Edwards. Ohio Attorney General Jim Petro and Ohio Secretary of State J. Kenneth Blackwell urge the court to dismiss Kerry-Edwards as an intervening party in the recount case. They argue that they should have the right to place Kerry and Edwards under oath for questioning on the grounds that the 2004 presidential and vice-presidential candidates should no longer be allowed involvement in the case.

Full story at TruthOut.

We guess the fat lady hasn't sung yet. Thanks, Ken! Keep up the good work!

ReddIt this story!



This time, your voice WILL be heard!
By Brad Friedman on 3/1/2005 12:59pm PT  

On February 21, 2005 (President's Day), I sent a letter on behalf of Velvet Revolution's directors to each of of the nine major American Voting Machine companies --- (Advanced Voting Solutions, Diebold, Danaher-Guardian, Election Systems & Software [ES&S], HartInterCivic, MicroVote, Sequoia Voting Systems, Triad GSI and UniLect Corp) --- asking them to do the right thing for our country!
In short, our letter gives the companies 60 days to take the following patriotic actions:

  • Voluntarily open their hardware and software for independent public inspection and analysis.
  • Provide auditable, voter-verified paper ballots for all votes cast.
  • Assure that there can be no form of networking on their machines.
  • Allow for non-partisan, independent monitors of the vote tabulation process.
  • Institute a corporate policy prohibiting the company and all of its executives from supporting candidates for public office or political action groups.
  • Disclose all data, codes and records from the last three national elections, if requested.
  • Adopt all feasible best practices suggested by a national committee of experts.
  • Do all of the above at no extra cost to their governmental clients with which they work.
  • If the companies publicly commit to all of the above within the 60 days, we will broadly recognize them for their efforts.

    If, however, they choose not to take these steps to ensure free, fair and transparent elections in America, then VR --- along, we hope, with all of you! --- will encourage all Americans to (1) divest from these companies and those with which they are affiliated, and (2) participate in a massive national boycott targeting them, their affiliates and their clients. We will also launch an extensive education campaign for the American public explaining the ways in which these companies are secretly doing the public's business of handling elections in the world's most important democracy!

    VR has the support of more than 80 Affiliate organizations in this effort, representing millions of Americans, and more are joining up every day! Please join the revolution by stopping by the site to send an email to all nine companies stating your support of this campaign! It'll take you less than a minute!

    We're all in this democracy together, and without you, we're nothing!

    And so begins the revolution...

    The Official Press Release for this campaign is available here online or may be downloaded here in WORD format.

    For more information on VR's "Divestiture for Democracy" please visit:
    http://www.VelvetRevolution.us/Campaigns/DV4D
    or write to:
    DV4D@VelvetRevolution.us

    ReddIt this story!



    At least for juveniles...
    By Brad Friedman on 3/1/2005 12:26pm PT  

    Good news from the Supreme Court for a change. America may be entering into the community of civilized countries...Though it's been a long and slow process, and we've still got a ways to go.

    According to The NY Times...

    The Supreme Court ruled today, in one of the most closely watched capital punishment cases in years, that imposing the death penalty on convicted murderers who were younger than 18 at the time of their crimes is unconstitutional.

    The 5-to-4 decision, arising from a Missouri case, holds that executing young killers violates "the evolving standards of decency that mark the progress of a maturing society," and that American society has come to regard juveniles as less culpable than adult criminals.

    The ruling, which acknowledged "the overwhelming weight of international opinion against the juvenile death penalty," erases the death sentences imposed on about 70 defendants who were juveniles at the time they killed. Although 19 states nominally permit the execution of juvenile murderers, only Texas, Virginia and Oklahoma have executed any in the past decade.

    Well, good for us. For once.

    And on "International Death Penalty Abolition Day" of all days! Details on that and more at fine organizations here and here.

    ReddIt this story!



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