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By Brad Friedman on 1/5/2005 11:38am PT  

Clint Curtis is currently on Capitol Hill now meeting with Senate staffers.

We can report that he has already met this morning with staffers in the office of the following Democratic Senators: Debbie Sabatow (MI), Russell Feingold (WI), Barbara Boxer (CA), Barbara Mikulski (MD) and Barack Obama (IL).

Meetings are scheduled later today with the staffers of these additional Senate offices: Ted Kennedy (MA), Dick Durbin (IL), Patrick Leahy (VT), Ken Salazar (CO).

A source visting the Senate offices with Curtis tells us that so far the reception they've received from each office has been "very positive" and that "things are lit up like a Christmas tree here" with all of the Senate office phones ringing off the hook with callers urging Senators to stand up and object. Almost zero calls coming in advising the contrary as our source describes it.

At the time we talked with our source, the Democratic Senators were in "an issue meeting", and the source tells us that this issue --- the challenge to Electors tomorrow --- is described as "the major issue" being discussed.

There is no way, of course, to know the ultimate effect of all of this, but it is clear that your voices are being heard on Capitol Hill! Please continue to use the links and phone numbers we've made available in this item.

We'll continue to report on anything notable we hear that is happening on The Hill today.

Also, consider this a quick reminder that Curtis will be appearing on radio this evening with Fox News' Alan Colmes at 11pm. Details on that appearance, and a link to listen live is right here.

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Will They Repeat it in 2005?
Or Will They Look at the Facts and Stand Up for their Country and their Constituents?
By Brad Friedman on 1/5/2005 10:27am PT  

Democratic Senators -

Need a reminder of the shame you've carried for four long years? Here's a video reminder.

We tried to overlook and forgive that shame in the hopes of national unity and healing. Of course, the fact that so many of us were not wise enough to pay close enough attention to your failings at the time didn't hurt either. (And that the media didn't bother to help us is no small mark of shame for them as well!)

But that was then and this is now, and this time, we won't overlook or forgive.

You very well may win or lose your next election based on what you do tomorrow. We'll leave it to you to decide what actions may lead to which election result. We hope you use your judgement wisely.

Do your job. Support your constituents, your country, "The Rule of Law" and the U.S. Constitution.

Several heroes on the U.S. House Judiciary Committee staff have been working all night (and for the last two months for that matter) doing your work for you. To make it all easy for you to understand while you were out enjoying your holidays, and a full two months of unwinding after a hectic campaign season.

The results of their work on your behalf, and on behalf of the citizens of the United States can be seen here.

There's even an "Executive Summary", so you won't have to interrupt your meetings with lobbyists and lunches with campaign donors for too terribly long in order to comb through the full 102 pages of hard evidence, data and proof that American Voters were disenfranchised and our recent election was flawed beyond any question of a doubt.

Republican Senators -

You have been given the same package of undeniable evidence that the election system in the world's most important democracy has failed it's promise.

Read it. Or at least the "Executive Summary", since we know you're at least as busy as those Democratic Senators.

But when you read it, ask yourself (as an Emailer suggested to us this morning) that what you are reading was written after the announcement that George W. Bush was the one who LOST the state of Ohio, and the evidence you are reading concerned the failures of the electoral system in Ohio.

Do you suppose if Bush was announced as the loser in Ohio that you might feel any different about the information that has been prepared for you?

We understand politics and political necessity. We hope that you, both Democratic and Republican members of the U.S. Senate, understand that politics is a two-way street. And that it is us, the people, who will ultimately determine your ultimate fate. One way or the other.

Choose wisely.

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Language Reminiscent of Diebold CEO Letter Promising to 'Deliver Electoral Votes' to Bush!
2004 Recount Still Ongoing When OH's "Unbiased" Election Arbiter Announces run for OH Governor and Credits Self for 'Stopping' Kerry 'Disaster from Happening'!
By Brad Friedman on 1/4/2005 6:20pm PT  

RAW STORY has just published an explosive and partisan letter from Ohio Secretary of State J. Kenneth Blackwell in an EXCLUSIVE which reveals Blackwell's plans to run for Governor, and in which he credits himself for "delivering" Ohio to George W. Bush!

The written plea by Blackwell to supporters asking for funds for his gubernatorial bid --- composed even while the recount of votes in Ohio was still ongoing! --- should continue to rock the vote as Congress gathers on Thursday to determine whether Ohio Electors were legally seated.

Several phrases in particular are reminiscent of the controversial fundraising letter by Walden O'Dell, the CEO of voting machine manufacturer Ohio-based Diebold, Inc., sent to Republicans in the summer of 2003 when he promised his committment "to helping Ohio deliver its electoral votes to the president next year."

Blackwell, proudly crows, on several occasions, about his role as Ohio's Co-Chair of Bush/Cheney '04 and refers to "helping deliver the great Buckeye State for George W. Bush."

In speaking of his personal role in keeping "an unapologetic liberal Democrat named John Kerry" from winning, Blackwell says, "you and I stopped that disaster from happening!"

More excerpts from the letter are now posted below.

The extraordinarily partisan and combative letter overfloweth with enough far-right Christian Republican buzzwords and phrases to make even Karl Rove's brain spin!

The letter even speaks --- presumably without irony --- of Blackwell's role in "preventing" voter-fraud in Ohio's 2004 election!

The following are some key excerpts from Blackwell's shameless five-page letter which RAW STORY now links to in-full in their EXCLUSIVE.

Most of our excerpts here refer to Blackwell's role in Election 2004, though a few are just thrown in for good Liberal-bashin', God-fearin' fun! [All emphasis replicates the original underscoring and footnotes added to appear as though the various items were underlined or checkmarked by hand.]...

As the Co-Chairman of Bush/Cheney '04 in Ohio, I want to say thank you for helping deliver the great Buckeye State for George W. Bush.

Without your enthusiasm, generous support and vote, I'm afraid the President would have lost...

...And an unapologetic liberal Democrat named John Kerry would have won.

Thankfully, you and I stopped that disaster from happening!

[...]

That's why in the late hours of Election Night, I was truly pleased to announce President Bush had won a critical and clinching victory here in Ohio, on the belief that it was statistically improbably for Senatory Kerry to recover.

[...]

I have never shied away from giving the liberals fits. And I'm sure that with all of the potential voter-fraud we prevented during this last election, they will be looking to get even with me in my next political campaign.

...After much thought and prayer, I am asking for your personal support in my campaign to become the next Governor of Ohio.

As Secretary of State, I have been sued almost 30 times since this summer because I stood up for the rights of voters like you and against liberal trial laywers and activist judges who wanted to give this election to Senator Kerry.

I don't compromise for the sake of winning kudos from the media, and I have been accused on more than one occasion of having "rocked the boat" in Columbus against the express wishes of the liberal special interests.

[...]

My Christian parents taught me that if I did what was right, nobody could ever deny me the success I strived for.

When the ACLU and other members of the radical left worked to stop me from cracking down and prohibiting outrageous ways to commit voter fraud, I fought back and won.

** I never bowed to political pressure and stuck to my guns. I was completely vindicated when I prevailed before the Supreme Court and the federal appellate court.

[...]

I can assure you that John Kerry's liberal allies here in Ohio are hoping to throw my campaign under a bus as soon as they can, and I will need every penny I can to fight back.

So sayeth the man responsible for a free, fair, transparent and non-partisan Presidential Election in Ohio.

As of this evening, he is also still ducking all attempts by attorneys to take a deposition from him concerning the Election Fraud case filed with the Ohio Supreme Court.

UPDATE: It has been requested that we post the full text of Blackwell's letter. So here it is, courtesy of a BRAD BLOG reader...

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---

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And other Details from This Week in D.C.
By Brad Friedman on 1/4/2005 3:25pm PT  

We've just received word from the producer of Fox News Live with Alan Colmes on the Fox News Radio Network that Clint Curtis will be appearing live tomorrow night (Wednesday) as Colmes' guest at 11pm ET.

Alan is a regular BRAD BLOG reader, so be nice! ;-)

If you don't pick up Colmes' show in your area, you can listen live online via this link.

We will attempt to record the hour if possible to make the audio available later as an update to this item for those who can't listen live. Though we're not always successful at such audio captures, and appreciate anyone else who may be able to attempt same as a backup for us.

As previously reported, Curtis will be in D.C. tomorrow to participate in a number of rallies and attend several meetings on Capitol Hill and elsewhere.

We have also learned that the hearing led by outgoing Florida Democrat, Congressman Peter Deutsch, which had been announced in this news release, likely will not occur as scheduled.

Our sources in the Judiciary Committee have informed us that the Republicans revoked the privilege for Democrats to use the hearing room one they heard what the hearing was to have been about.

Anyone surprised?

UPDATE: 1/6/05 Colmes gave Curtis a good (and very tough) grilling! Happy to hear it! And I think he stood up well to the questioning. I heard no inconsistencies in his story.

The Colmes/Curtis radio interview is now online. Thanks to our pals at CrooksAndLiars.com!

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KEEP THOSE CARDS AND LETTERS GOING THROUGH 1PM ET THURSDAY!
<-- Scroll down for latest BRAD BLOG items! -->
By Brad Friedman on 1/4/2005 2:59pm PT  

If just half of the people who read this blog every day take the time to call, fax or email U.S. Senators asking them to join Conyers' challenge to the Electoral Results, the Senators will be drowning in calls, faxes and emails.

If you (and I do mean you) have been sitting on your hands hoping that things would get better...somehow...then you too are responsible for whatever it is this country (and world) may become as a result of your inaction.

If you hope to see a change in the results of a horribly tainted election, hope to see George W. Bush's phony "mandate" and self-proclaimed "political capital" be exposed for the opportunistic fraud that it is, or hope to see real Election Reform in the future so that such questionable outcomes like the one we've seen in 2004 simply can no longer occur due to a reliable and transparent election system, then you must act NOW.

Here are a few things you can do today. We recommend you do as many of them as possible:

  • Call your Senator by phone at 1-800-839-5276 and demand that they join Conyers in objecting to Electors not seated by the Rule of Law!!
  • Email your Senators through True Majority and demand that they join Conyers in objecting to Electors not seated by the Rule of Law!
  • Email several Senators through Progressive Democrats of America and demand that they join Conyers in objecting to Electors not seated by the Rule of Law!
  • FAX a few Senators! [UPDATED Link to different Fax-o-matic, probs reported with previous link!]
  • Write your U.S. House Representatives and demand that they join Conyers in objecting to Electors not seated by the Rule of Law!
  • Attend the rally in D.C. on Jan 6th at 10am in Lafayette Park across from the White House.
  • Attend a vigil at John Kerry's house in Boston. (through 1/5 only)
  • Watch this 24 minute film online, be outraged, and let others know about it!
  • Use the "Email it someone!" link at the bottom of this blog item to send this info to everybody you know!
  • As they say on TV...Act NOW! And as if your democracy depended on it! You have but one full day left to take advantage of this great offer! Don't delay! Start clicking! Start dialing!

    Make noise. It does make a difference!

    UPDATE 1/5/05 3:25pm PT:Please see the several latest items for updates on activities in D.C. today, and various information about contacting Senators, etc. This is just a quick update to mention that after being unable to get through to Sen. Barbara Boxer's office in D.C. and Los Angeles for the last three hours or so, I was finally able to get through to her San Diego office at (619) 239-3884. There are additional numbers for her at her website here.

    They are open until at least 4:30pm PT, and have told me that currently the tally for this one operator at the San Diego Office is currently approximately 250 calls in favor her challenging, and 10 against.

    &media=news&topic=politics&newwindow=1" target="_blank"> Digg this story! -->
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    By Brad Friedman on 1/3/2005 10:32pm PT  

    We have some crazy memories. Wasn't it the Republican party who used to act like they gave a damn about "The Rule of Law! The Rule of Law!" --- yeah, we think it was the Republican party.

    In the meantime, "The Rule of Law" no longer seems to matter at all in Ohio, and apparently --- by extension --- in the United States of America.

    And yet, it's difficult to find a Republican who seems to care about that notion anymore...or equal protection under the law, or statewide standards, or all those things they acted like they cared about back in 2000.

    We suppose they must have just been kidding about all of that.

    Well, we're not kidding about that. We give a damn about "The Rule of Law". We did then, and we do now.

    And with 86 of the 88 counties in Ohio not recounted according to The Rule of Law, and Ohio Secretary of State, J. Kenneth Blackwell who is supposed to be in charge of open, fair, free, unbiased and transparent elections cynically ducking legal depositions in the case, refusing to answer all congressional U.S. Judiciary Committee inquiries about the election, and simply continue to run out the clock until his candidate, George W. Bush wins "by default"....Well, I guess there's a reason he was also named co-Chair for the Bush/Cheney Re-Election Committee in the state.

    What a fraud.

    The "Rule of Law" is a sham. And every Republican, be they elected official or simply American citizen who sits on their hands and says nothing, knows that they are frauds.

    We know it too.

    When did hypocrisy become a "moral value"? Liars.

    Rally at 10:00am ET on Thursday, Jan 6th in Lafayette Park across from the White House. Sponsored by the good folks who really do give a damn about the Rule of Law. Folks like the Green Party and the Progressive Democrats of America.

    Be there.

    UPDATE: P.S. If you elected Democrats think you're off the hook, think again. Stand up for democracy on Thursday, or proceed at your own peril. The BRAD BLOG has a very long memory.

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    Staffers --- and Senator --- Are Hopeful According to Source!
    Nelson Press Secretary Denies 'At This Time'; Judiciary Staffer Offers Additional Info...
    By Brad Friedman on 1/3/2005 12:06pm PT  

    We've been receiving reports via Email all morning concerning the possibility of Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) joining Rep. John Conyers' announced intention to challenge to the Electoral College results when the Congress meets in joint session to ratify (or not) those results this Thursday.

    Only one member of the House and one member of the Senate is required to begin debate on an Electoral challenge. More info on those statutory Congressional procedures here.

    A source in Bill Nelson's office has informed The BRAD BLOG that Nelson is seriously taking a look at the issue, and is currently amidst meetings and phone calls on the very topic.

    As it is their "first day back to work since the holidays," as the staffer who wished to keep their name off the record told us, much is currently "up in the air" for the moment. Therefore, the source told us, they "cannot confirm anything as of yet."

    The staffer was willing to tell us off the record, in regard to whether Nelson will join the challenge, that "I am hoping that he will. And so is he...There are many of us in the office who are hoping he will do so."

    Pressed about the "so is he" comment, the staffer explained that Nelson has been a long time campaigner for "higher voter accountability" and is troubled by many of the reports he's seen concerning the results of Election 2004.

    The staffer told The BRAD BLOG that Nelson has been in communication with Sen. John Kerry, and is currently "waiting to hear back" from him. They could not, however, tell us what the results of those communication have been so far.

    Senator Nelson can be contacted via Phone, Fax or Email at this page.

    UPDATE 2:30pm PT: Conflicting information has now been giving to us by Nelson's Press Secretary...And additional info from a source on the Judiciary Committee... Both reports updated here shortly!

    UPDATE 3:03pm PT: The BRAD BLOG has now been contacted by Bryan Gulley, the Press Secretary for Senator Bill Nelson. Gulley has said in an email to us that our report is "completely false".

    While we are pleased to report the information from Gulley, we stand by our original report of what we were told this morning by a Nelson staffer as being 100% accurate. We reported precisely what we were told.

    Gully, however, understandably takes issue with the information that we were told and reported above. He has given this statement to us via email within the last hour:

    Senator Nelson believes valid concerns have been raised about the conduct of the election, but that no conclusive evidence has been presented to warrant overturning the results. Absent such evidence, Senator Nelson doesn't at this time feel he can support a congressional challenge.

    Meantime, he's awaiting the findings by several government agencies that are investigating allegations of voter irregularities. And in the upcoming session of Congress, he intends to file legislation to further improve our election process.

    After having been given similar information from a RAW STORY reporter earlier (which is now being reported here), in regards to our story, we spoke with a source on the U.S. House Judiciary Committee staff to inquire whether or not they have had any contact with Nelson's office on this matter.

    Our source reported that, "To my knowledge, we haven't had any contact with him or his staff".

    After we read Nelson's Press Secretary's statement to our source, they told us --- "with all due consideration to Senator Nelson, who has been incredible in fighting for voter-verified paper trails and other important election reform causes in the past" --- that perhaps Nelson's office was currently "setting the bar too high" for what is constitutionally required to challenge the Electoral votes in Congress.

    According to our source, "I think that what he's articulated as what it'll take to challenge the Electors is higher than the Constitituion requires. It does not require evidence that will overturn the election. It simply requires evidence that the Electors were not legally appointed, which means that there were substantial illegal actions within a state."

    That information would seem to be borne out by information on the Constitutional and statutory implementations concerning the challenge of Electors, which our article had previously pointed to.

    "What it means," our source continued, is that "The threshold question for a Senator is not whether Sen. Kerry would have won Ohio...The threshold question is whether there is substantial and credible evidence that there were significant illegalities in the conduct of a state's election. In other words: Did Ohio follow it's own law and the Federal law and the Constitution in implementing it's election. That's the question that needs to be answered when considering the challenging of Electors."

    To that end, The BRAD BLOG has been told that Rep. John Conyers' office and the U.S. House Judiciary Committee staffers, "anticipate" in the next day that they "will release a major report that will detail that full body of evidence. And will be sending it to every Senator."

    The source added, "It will make it absolutely crystal clear what the standard is for challenging Electors."

    The BRAD BLOG will, of course, continue to follow these developments throughout the week as the January 6th date nears for ratifying (or not) the Electoral College votes in a joint session of Congress.

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    By Brad Friedman on 1/2/2005 7:33pm PT  

    ...on what may lie ahead.

    I know Fox News won't be telling you about it (unless and until they have to).

    (Thanks to Coalition Against Election Fraud for the summary, and to our friend "understandinglife" for the pointer.)

    ReddIt this story!



    By Brad Friedman on 1/2/2005 12:22pm PT  

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    And Another 'BRAD BLOG Intellectual Honesty Award' Winner!
    By Brad Friedman on 1/2/2005 12:07pm PT  

    In a posting title, "A Message From A Real Republican", thirty-year Republican party member, Dr. Garth Eldritch easily claims the latest "BRAD BLOG Intellectual Honesty Award".

    We haven't been able to give one of those out to a Republican for quite a few weeks (months?) --- so we're pleased that BRAD BLOG commenter, "Bando Bling", has pointed us towards Eldritch's brilliant letter.

    Please read the entire thing. Particularly you apologists for the Bush Administration who still consider yourselves either Republican or --- more ironically still --- "conservatives".

    Here's a few key passages in the meantime. After describing the proud and storied history of a once great Republican party, Eldritch goes on to ask...

    So what the Hell happened?

    If Republicans gave a single thought to their origins they would know they are the ones who would stand up for personal liberties, not disfranchise people for their lifestyles, beliefs and financial circumstances.

    They are the original party of 'an ye harm none, do as ye will'. If you are a Republican you should know what that means, in which case you should also realize that such a philosophy is no longer in practice in your party.

    When 'Republicans' become the party of suppression we are in dire straights indeed.
    Banning people from the pursuit of happiness when they harm no one is very un-republican.
    Casting the ideas and lifestyles of others as 'evil' while not having dealt in earnest with those individuals is petty and graceless.

    Assuming those who disagree with you are not patriots is childish, they may know something you don't.

    Ignorance is VERY un-patriotic.

    Learn about your issues before you claim to be in my party.

    Talk to people on the 'other side' and understand their perspective before you claim to be Republican. You may SAY you understand --- but if you have demonized anyone at all, you do not.

    If you say 'Those Liberals' are like this and 'The Conservatives' are like that; if you claim that 'they' want to do 'this' or 'that' to the country, then you do not understand what 'they' really want.

    The fact is --- you have become 'them' too.

    Indeed. And though the divisiveness Eldritch describes above was invented by --- and has now become a staple political weapon/strategy of --- GOP operatives towards only the goal of "staying in power" rather than fighting for the good of our country, it is not only Rightwingers who are guilty in the matter...

    --- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---

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    Will Settle for a 'President by Default'
    Don't let them.
    By Brad Friedman on 1/1/2005 8:36pm PT  

    Concerning the lawsuit filed in Ohio's Supreme Court demanding the results from a fraudulent election be set aside due to claims that votes were moved from Kerry's column to Bush's...This from today's Toledo Blade...

    COLUMBUS - Partisan activists contesting the presidential election results in Ohio said the state's highest court appears willing to "allow the clock to run out" so that the Electoral College results become official on Jan. 6.

    Cliff Arnebeck, an attorney who filed the election contest on behalf of a coalition of activists led by the Rev. Jesse Jackson, said Secretary of State Ken Blackwell has chosen to not appear at a deposition to answer questions under oath about the Nov. 2 election.

    "If George Bush indeed won this election, there would be no one with a greater interest in proving that to be the case," Mr. Arnebeck said at a news conference yesterday. "They want the clock to run out. They want to win by default."

    The Republican party: "A President by default is good enough for us!"

    They must be very proud.

    Call us unpatriotic, but we prefer our Presidents chosen by democracy, not default.

    Make noise. Go to Ohio. Go to D.C. Take your country back. It's time for America's Velvet Revolution.

    UPDATE: For a very fine roundup of today's latest Election Irregularity news, see Joseph Cannon hard at work on New Years Day with "American democracy, RIP: 1789-2005"

    ReddIt this story!



    By Brad Friedman on 12/31/2004 9:45pm PT  

    ReddIt this story!



    Again. For More Testimony Before Members of Congress.
    Part of several important events just announced this coming week!
    By Brad Friedman on 12/31/2004 9:41pm PT  

    According to a press release just out, several coalitions who are "working on a Constitutional Challenge to the electoral votes of Florida, Ohio and potentially other states" will be holding a forum on Wednesday, Jan 5th at the Captitol in D.C.

    The forum, sponsored by groups such as The Coalition to ReDefeat Bush, the We Do Not Concede Coalition and others, will be led by outgoing U.S. Congressman Peter Deutsch (D-FL) who finishes his tenure in the U.S. House of Representatives on the 3rd.

    Featured guests to be questioned by Deutsch include Bev Harris of BlackBoxVoting.org and Clint Curtis who some of you may have read something about recently at The BRAD BLOG.

    From the press release...

    For the benefit of Members of Congress considering supporting the challenge, Deutsch will be publicly questioning Bev Harris of Black Box Voting, who witnessed the unlawful disposal of original voter registreys [sic] that are required to be archived under Florida law. He will also question Clint Curtis, the Florida whistleblower who has testified that he was asked by Congressman Tom Feeney's [sic] to create the software necessary to modify the results of electronic voting machines.

    "I am enormously pleased to be working with Peter Deutsch," said ReDefeatBush founder David Lytel, "because I am sure that he can explain what happened in Florida on election day with great clarity. Peter's intellect, integrity and his standing with his former colleagues make him the ideal person to help us with this," Lytel added.

    As well, ReDefeatBush.com is sponsoring "two Rallies for the Republic" next week. One in Boston on Monday at 7:00 PM at Fanueil Hall. The other in San Francisco on Tuesday at the Herbst Theater at 7:00 PM.

    Both rallies will feature Linda Byrket's extraordinary 24 minute film shot on Election Day in Columbus, OH. We've seen it, and it's worth the price of an airline ticket to Boston or San Francisco.

    In lieu of that, however, you can --- and should --- watch this disturbing film online. Scroll down the right side of the linked page for plenty of viewing options.

    We dare you to watch that film, and then explain to us why this Election should not be challenged, and the entire system REFORMED from top to bottom. (UPDATE: The filmmaker, Ms. Byrket, has just contacted me to say that if there's any problem downloading the film at the above link, you can also get at it via jeff04.com --- so please do!)

    The groups --- great patriots all, in our humble opinion --- also announced that they will be placing a quarter page ad on Washington Post's Federal Page this Monday.

    It's time to rock the vote.

    ReddIt this story!



    'The Oviedo Voice' Jumps Into the Fray!
    Reports on 'Off Record' Interview with Congressman.
    By Brad Friedman on 12/31/2004 1:36pm PT  

    As mentioned on Wednesday, and following in the footsteps of The Seminole Chronicle before them, Tom Feeney's other hometown weekly newspaper has jumped into reporting on the emerging "FeeneyGate" scandal. The previously promised article in their Dec. 30th edition hit the stands yesterday.

    While The Oviedo Voice --- the older of the two local newsweeklies --- has a website, we are told they are currently transitioning it and thus it is not being regularly updated. Given the national attention this story is now receiving, however, the editors of the paper have told The BRAD BLOG that they will make an attempt to get their full Feeney article online this coming Monday. We'll update this item to provide a link to it at that time.

    For now, we've received a faxed copy of the story, and it represents mostly the "balanced coverage" the paper had promised in their previous week's teaser item.

    While chosing to focus, for now, only on the initial Feeney-related allegations in her article (as opposed to the wider-reaching Yang Enterprises, Inc. and Florida Dept. of Transportation related charges), reporter Darla Kinney Scoles writes that her report would "only address those statements made regarding Mr. Feeney."

    The result is a mostly even-handed story, though it fails to advance the story-to-date too terribly much.

    We are told by the editors, however, that they "intend to continue reporting on this story over the next three to four weeks at least". Encouraging news. And we hope, in the process, that they will be able to investigate more of the specifics in those future pieces now that they've gotten the main meat and potatos of the story out of the way for their readers.

    Aside from (note to our former best-friends at crosstown-rival Seminole Chronicle) the appreciated hat tip to The BRAD BLOG for the "over 50 pages" said to have been reviewed by Kinney Scoles in preparing her piece, the most notable point taken from the article is the fact that Feeney himself, who had contacted the paper to offer an interview on the matter, kept his promise, but would not allow the interview to be "on record"!

    As reported by Kinney Scoles...

    The Oviedo Voice was indeed contacted by Congressman Feeney last week and was able to speak with him concerning these allegations and to gain extensive background information on the long and often complicated story as it has thus far evolved.

    What we were not able to do was to interview Feeney ?on record' as we had hoped.

    Once again, Feeney continues his now-growing track record of, if not having anything to hide, sure as hell acting like someone who does!

    Why did he chose to duck attempts to get comment weeks ago from Oviedo's Seminole Chronicle? Why did he decide to approach The Voice only after The Chronicle published their report on the matter? Why all the "off record" interviews and comments to reporters? Why the apparently coordinated threats of lawsuits against a small local newsweekly for merely reporting on public news of note to their local readers?

    And perhaps most notably: Why no such legal threats by Feeney against the actual person, Clint Curtis, making the allegations which Feeney's attorneys have described as "outrageous" and "obviously false and defamatory"?

    As all responsible news organizations say: We report, you decide.

    A few other items of note from the Voice piece...

    We appreciate that Kinney Scoles points out the very plausible reason for the lack --- so far --- of corroborating sources who have been willing to come forward (publicly, via affidavit or at least "on the record" anyway) to confirm some of the details of Curtis' claim that Feeney conspired to create "vote-rigging" software.

    On that point, she astutely notes:

    In Fairness: Not everyone is willing to give up his or her job, name, etc. for a cause. Perhaps they are also leery of Feeney's connections to the U.S. House Judiciary Committee and their subpoena power, which could, in theory, provide him direct access to the names of those who would seek protection before testifying.

    It would be nice if other members of the media would recognize that seemingly-obvious point before reporting on a surely-relevant aspect of the story, but doing so without bothering to look particularly closely at the matter.

    A point which would be made particularly clear if such reporters actually took the time to examine some of the horrifying things that Curtis claims has happened to him over the years as a result of initially blowing the whistle with these allegations.

    For Feeney's part, Kinney Scoles quotes Feeney staffer Shannon Conklin as saying "These claims are too ridiculous to answer. It is irresponsible for anyone to publish allegations without close investigation of all claims."

    Such broadly dismissive boilerplate comments from both Feeney and his surrogates have, by now, become all too commonplace and accepted by many of the journalists who have been looking into these matters. Particularly in light of the very "close examination of all claims" that has occurred and continues to occur over these last nearly-four weeks by us and many others. Add to that the "close examination" of many of the related claims made previously in the matter against Feeney in a long series of articles by both The Daytona Beach News-Journal and The Orlando Sentinel back during 2001 and 2002 when the bulk of these charges were first brought to light.

    Lastly, the article finishes on a by-now fairly obvious, though no-doubt disconcerting note for Feeney who might have hoped to put out the fire set ablaze in the past few weeks by giving an "off record" interview to a hopefully-friendly hometown paper:

    As one source put it, ?We cannot say that where there is smoke there is fire. We do have to say that there is some smoke.? The Oviedo Voice continues to follow that smoke, as do other media outlets.

    And with that we are pleased to add The Oviedo Voice to the growing list of news organizations who seem willing to place the public interest ahead of both fear and political cronyism.

    At least for now.

    AS IT IS SAID...DEVELOPING...

    ReddIt this story!



    By Brad Friedman on 12/31/2004 8:15am PT  

    Funds pledged by the Bush Administration on behalf of the United States for aide to victims of the greatest natural disaster in the history of mankind: $35 million.

    Funds being spent by Republican supporters on the inauguration parties for the worst President in the history of the United States: $40 million.

    Efforts made to convince sentient human beings that the Bush Administration or its Republican supporters understand the meaning of the phrase "Moral Values" or the word "Compassion": Pointless.

    ReddIt this story!



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