Bill Stone of the Tampa Bay Scene writes a devasting and detailed cover story in this week's issue, on the allegations of computer programmer Clint Curtis that Congressman Tom Feeney (R-FL) asked him to create vote-rigging software when they both worked for the same firm in Oviedo, Florida back in 2000.
-- PDF version of the article here: Tampa Bay Scene's posted version is in the PDF of the entire issue of this week's paper.
-- Plain HTML version of the article here: They've given us the go ahead to post an HTML version of the piece in full.
(NOTE: Some graphic photos are included with the article!)
Stone's report covers much of the ground we've detailed extensively at BRAD BLOG over the past two years since we first broke the story in December of 2004. Nonetheless, he brings a great deal of that reporting together in one easy-to-read article, and also brings us up to date on the latest shenanigans of Feeney, who finds himself facing Curtis this year, mano-a-mano, in the election for the U.S. House in Florida's 24th Congressional district.
Hardcore readers of The BRAD BLOG will be familiar with much of the story. Indeed, Stone credits us with a great deal of his sourcing, as we spoke to him for several hours at length during our recent summer travels around the country. His article, however, includes new details to chew on.
In particular, Stone hits on a fresh point or two in regard to the death of Raymond Lemme, the investigator from the Florida Inspector General's office --- the first official that Curtis had informed of his allegations against Feeney.
As well, Feeney's camp now has a new slur word they're shamelessly attempting --- without evidence, as usual --- to use to smear Curtis...
Lemme was found dead in a Valdosta, Georgia motel room, just days after Curtis says Lemme had told him his report on the matter was almost complete and that he'd found it went "all the way to the top." His mysterious death approximately a week later --- and the photographs from the death scene, which weren't supposed to have existed originally, according to the police report --- are covered extensively and in detail in our original report on Lemme's death, after the photos were suddenly unearthed. Stone manages to get a few interesting new comments from the Valdosta Police Department on the issue.
One new claim comes from Capt. Brian K. Childress, whom we interviewed in our original coverage. He now claims the apparent bruising on Lemme's neck in several of the photos is "attributed to shadows" according to "the crime scene technician who took the pictures."
Funny "shadows", given the fact that a flash bulb was used and the shadowing from the flash in the photographs appears to clearly be on the other side of Lemme's head from where the apparent bruising is. That apparent bruising also appears in several of the photos.
Childress also suggested the apparent bruising was due to manipulation of the photo when it was posted on the Internet. However, we've got the originals as sent from the VPD, and the apparent bruising is plainly in those versions. When we ran our original story on this, we posted both the original version, and one where the contrast was adjusted to make the bruising easier to spot. We labelled both photos accordingly so that it was plain to the reader.
Stone reports that he too spoke with a very cooperative Childress --- at first. Eventually, however, his experience mirrored ours almost exactly: upon requesting information on detailed questions that remained unexplained in the case, Childress promised to "obtain the case file" and call back with answers.
He never called back Stone, nor did he take any further calls despite repeated attempts from Stone. We shared the same frustration with Childress back in March of 2005 after Childress promised to get back to us on several details, including the name of the person whom, Childress said, had called from the Florida Department of Transporation, prompting the VPD to close the investigation shortly after re-opening it --- after we broke our original story here at BRAD BLOG.
As to the latest responses --- or, rather, the latest non-responses --- from Feeney on all of this, the corrupt Congressman refused to personally answer any of Stone's questions.
Feeney spokesperson on these matters, Shannon Corrado, alleges in the story Clint Curtis is a "stalker." She does so without providing any evidence for such a claim. It would seem to be the next phase in Feeney's admitted smear campaign attempting to impugn Curtis' character.
"Like most stalkers," Corrado tells Stone in the article, "Clint Curtis believes that he knows Mr. Feeney well."
Stone, however, goes on to report that "Curtis says he never claimed or insinuated 'he knows Mr. Feeney well.'"
We can corroborate that general point. In the two years since we've been reporting on Curtis' story, in all the hours and hours of interviews we've done and discussions we've had, he's never implied anything of the sort.
It's also worth noting (since Feeney's people are similarly spreading lies about this point), Curtis has never, to our knowledge, accused Tom Feeney of murder!
As to the broader allegations concerning the vote-rigging software prototype Curtis claims Feeney asked him to create, both Feeney and Corrado refuse to speak to any of them. Corrado would only answer Stone's questions by saying, "Representative Feeney is focused on having a reality-based discussion with voters on the issues he has fought for, such as..." blah, blah, blah.
No comment on the allegations. No comment on Feeney's work as the general counsel and registered lobbyist for a company doing business with the state of Florida while he was simultaneously serving as Speaker of the Florida House. No comment on working for that company even while they harbored an illegal alien, who later plead guilty to espionage-related charges of attempting to send Hellfire anti-tank missile chips to Communist China. No comment on Curtis' allegations that Feeney asked Curtis to create vote-rigging software when they both worked for that same company.
And finally, no comment on why it is that Tom Feeney is apparently afraid to take a polygraph test (as Curtis did, and passed) in regard to his claims of wide-eyed innocence in all of these matters.
For one of the "Most Corrupt Members of Congress," as detailed recently by a non-partisan DC ethics watchdog group, and one who has been found time and again to have misled ethics commissions and violated U.S. House rules... and as the only remaining U.S. Congressman not yet facing indictment who has travelled with Jack Abramoff to St. Andrews, Scotland to play golf on the uber-lobbyist's dime, Tom Feeney sure does have a lot to NOT comment on.
The investigation continues...
The Clint Curtis/Tom Feeney/Yang Enterprises Vote-Rigging Scandal series, please see:
- A Quick Summary of the story so far.
- An Index of all the Key Articles & Evidence in the series so far.
- Curtis is now running for U.S. Congress against Feeney.
To support or for more info, see: www.ClintCurtis.com