Good Coverage Overall, But Mag Drops Ball on Atleast One Very Key Point
Fails to Note Responding Yeng Attorney is Feeney Contributor, Former Law Partner!
By Brad Friedman on 12/13/2004, 9:15am PT  

In a fairly even-handed article today, Kim Zetter of Wired.com covers the story of Florida computer programmer Clint Curtis who has charged that he was asked by Congressman Tom Feeney (R-FL), then a Florida legislator, to create a "vote-rigging software prototype" while working at Yang Enterprises, Inc. (YEI) back in October of 2000.

The story picks up on our coverage of Curtis' affidavit [PDF], first reported by The BRAD BLOG in our "WHISTLEBLOWER AFFIDAVIT" shocker story published one week ago today.

The Wired.com piece drops the ball notably in only one area where Zetter quotes a statement from Yang attorney, Michael O'Quinn.

She quotes the attorney as calling the allegations "absurd and categorically untrue" and refers to Curtis as "an opportunist and a disgruntled former employee furthering an agenda by telling lies".

Unfortunately, Zetter, who we had spoken to last week, fails to note that Michael O'Quinn of the lawfirm "Fowler and O'Quinn" has been a longtime campaign contributor to Tom Feeney in both 2002 and 2004. Perhaps more notably, O'Quinn is also a former law partner of Feeney!

As The BRAD BLOG reported over the weekend when the comments from Yang's attorney's were first announced, O'Quinn's lawfirm was previously known as "Fowler, Barice, Feeney, & O'Quinn".

That very notable conflict of interest in the matter should have been acknowledged by Zetter in her article.

The BRAD BLOG has also spoken on several occasions (here and here) about the "disgruntled employee" charge, to point out that there seems to be no known basis for that claim.

Curtis resigned from YEI effective December 2000, but stayed on at the firm for another six weeks, at the request of the company, until a replacement for him could be found. The company was said as well to have thrown a "farewell party" for him when he finally left, and email correspondence reviewed by The BRAD BLOG would seem to indicate that he was missed greatly by employees of the company.

Still, overall, it was a fair enough article, and we're glad to see the story begin to break into some of the "corporate media". And there will be more to come...

Zetter has written a number of articles for Wired debunking, or otherwise disputing electoral malfeasance or irregularities in the 2004 election, so her generally positive coverage of Curtis' story is also notable despite missed notice of the Yeng Attorney's direct connection to Feeney.

CONTACT: Kim Zetter, Wired Magazine

[Originally published at BRAD BLOG TOO while The BRAD BLOG server was down.
Comments left by readers on the original article can be read at the above link.]