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Latest Featured Reports | Thursday, November 20, 2014
We're #26! Harvard 'Electoral Integrity' Report Dings U.S.
'World's Greatest Democracy' rated worst among Western nations; Ranked just below Micronesia, just above Mexico in overall list...
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IN MEMORIAM:
Tomas Young, 1979-2014
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'Special Coverage' Archives
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The Secret Koch Brothers Tapes...

By Brad Friedman on 12/27/2004 7:40pm PT  

Sent in by our friend Corey K, and with apologies to the good people of the Sunshine State. Would that this were the only such email/comment we've received along these lines of late since beginning our reporting on the Clint Curtis/Tom Feeney "Vote-Rigging" scandal. Unfortunately, it's just one of many similar...

Just a little memory I thought you'd appreciate...

Sometime in the early to mid 1980s, I'm at DisneyWorld in Orlando with my family. We're about to get on the jungle ride.

My dad is chatting with the boat's "tour guide" as we're boarding, and in the course of the brief conversation my dad says something along the lines of, "Why not? It's a free country."

And the jungle boat tour guide chuckles and says, "Ah... you must be from out of state!"

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MSNBC's Prime-Time Star Continues to Fail To Get the Story Right.
Offers Some Explanation, But Ignores Most Troubling BRAD BLOG Charges.
By Brad Friedman on 12/27/2004 4:38pm PT  

It's amazing how irresponsible some members of the so-called "Mainstream Media" can be. Even while they sniff at us lowly "bloggers" and "Internet-only news sites" for what many of them see as a lack of journalistic integrity, failing to provide proper context for stories and reporting information without properly vetting or confirming it first.

It's hard to argue with those criticisms towards many Internet blogs and news sites. But it's equally hard to stomach it when we've seen so many similar failings from the Mainstream Media themselves. And when they screw the pooch --- from their much larger media platforms --- the consequences can be much more disastrous.

Case in point, the now infamous failings of the New York Times' Judith Miller in her reporting running up to --- and arguably helping America towards --- the war in Iraq based on highly suspect or out and out misinformation. I don't wish to pile on there, but it's a case where the Mainstream Media failed to properly vet anonymous sources, give the appropriate context, and the results were, to say the least, somewhat disastrous for this country. That is just one such example, and an easy one to point to for context.

And then we have MSNBC's Keith Olbermann, who, as we pointed out several days ago, ran a disastrously irresponsible piece on his MSNBC run "Bloggermann" site. So disastrous, in fact, that even a Countdown producer we spoke with about it refused to stand by the report above and beyond saying "This was Keith Olbermann's writing. He didn't work with me or anyone else on this."

As we reported, the most reprehensible failing in Olbermann's original quick hit piece on Clint Curtis (scroll down to item #4 at this link) was that he allowed an unnamed anonymous source, (described as "the attorney for the firm for whom Mr. Curtis worked") to suggest that Clint Curtis "has previously threatened the firm and its top officers, in writing, and that they were sufficiently concerned to file a police report as a result."

We pointed out in our reply to what amounted to little more than a smear piece by Olbermann that at the very least, since this anonymous attorney claimed there was a threat "in writing", that Olbermann should have reviewed that purported "writing" before passing on the information from an anonymous source. (By the way, that would have been at least the third response on these matters from either Yang Enterprises Inc. [YEI] or their Attorneys, but the first time they've bothered to mention a written threat and/or police report in re: Clint Curtis...make of that what you will).

Neither did Olbermann bother to even check with the Oveido Police Department --- where YEI is located --- to confirm if in fact such a report had been filed.

It probably now goes without saying, that Olbermann didn't bother to get comment from Curtis at all on any of the matters he reported on, though one would think that a responsible journalist would have at least attempted to do so before posting such scurrilous allegations.

Well today, Olbermann decided to comment again on his blog, to what he described as "a handful of e-mails" complaining about his coverage last week on this story. That comment is linked here (scroll down to the bulleted text).

Since I'm busy working on actual reporting of the rapidly moving events in this whole troubling story, I'll allow the bulk of his comments, sorry as they may be, to stand on their own. (See the red "Special Coverage" sidebar at right, for the key articles published by The BRAD BLOG on the Clint Curtis/Tom Feeney/Yang Enterprises Inc. matter so far.)

But two items are very noteworthy, and I'd be remiss if I did not point them out. With vigor...

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

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Intimidating Letter Faxed to Seminole Chronicle Charges Story on Feeney was 'False and Defamatory'
Feeney Attorney Uses Unrelated and Questionable 'Ethics Investigation' as Sole Basis for Claims
By Brad Friedman on 12/24/2004 6:24pm PT  

Congressman Tom Feeney's (R-FL) attorneys have sent a letter threatening the editors of Florida's Seminole Chronicle intimating possible legal action in light of the news report filed by Editor Alex Babcock last week concerning allegations made in a sworn affidavit [PDF] and in sworn public testimony before members of the U.S. House Judiciary committee by software programmer Clint Curtis.

The story of Curtis' allegations and affidavit was originally reported by The BRAD BLOG several weeks ago. Curtis has alleged, among other things, that Feeney conspired, in an October 2000 meeting, to have a "vote-rigging software prototype" built by Yang Enterprises, Inc. --- a company for which Feeney at the time served as corporate counsel and registered lobbyist even while he concurrently served as Legislator, and eventually Speaker of the Florida House. Feeney was the running mate to Jeb Bush during his first failed bid for Governor of Florida, and is now a U.S. Congressman from Florida's newly created 24th Congressional District. He also now sits on the U.S. House's Judiciary Committee.

The letter from John P. Horan of "Foley and Lardner, attorneys at law", was faxed to Babcock at the Seminole Chronicle office earlier this week. It alleges the newspaper's report "constitute[d] a serious departure from accepted journalism standards and a breach of the Chronicle's fair reporting privilege."

Horan goes on to accuse Babcock of reporting "in a sensational, reckless and unfair manner," and claims that "This conduct exceeds all known bounds of bias and constitutes a reckless disregard for the truth."

According to the letter, Horan's charges on behalf of Feeney, stem from his claim that "These assertions were fully investigated by the State of Florida Commission on Ethics which found that 'there was no probable cause' to believe the assertions and dismissed each complaint."

However, BRAD BLOG research into those ethics charges filed against Feeney, and their supposed "investigation", has revealed that the commission referred to, and the investigation itself, appear to have had serious flaws and conflicts of interest involved. Many of which were reported at the time of the commission's findings by a number of Florida newspapers.

For a start, six of the eight members of the "Commission on Ethics" which Horan's letter refers to, were appointed to the commission by and/or have direct ties to either Tom Feeney or his old running-mate and then Governor, Jeb Bush!

On October 17, 2002, the Daytona Beach News-Journal reported on the "Commission on Ethics" findings that Horan uses as the only basis for criticism of the Seminole Chronicle's article.

The News-Journal reported on those findings by revealing that neither the investigator looking into the ethics complaint nor the two key witnesses in the case were ever even interviewed by the commission! Despite a state law that requires them to do so!

As well, public documents in the case --- including Email which directly contradicted statements made by Feeney to the commission during the "investigation" --- were similarly never investigated, also in apparent violation of state law, according to the paper.

From just one of several articles on this from the Daytona Beach News-Journal...

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

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Second Time in 9 Days!
God Bless Us, Everyone!
By Brad Friedman on 12/23/2004 10:46pm PT  

Precisely seven weeks after Election Day 2004, and exactly one week after the Electoral College met to cast their votes, The New York Times has filed what, by my count, is their second serious article on Voting Irregularities in the 51 days since our last terribly flawed election.

Their first landmark effort was an article just last week by Tom Zeller, Jr. on which we also commented with our recognizably snarky, but always-lovable, demeanor.

Today's outting --- also inked by new BRAD BLOG best friend, Zeller (and others) --- finally puts the paper of record on record as admitting there were "Voting Problems in Ohio". They even go so far as to admit, "Certainly there were problems on Election Day."

Luke-warm, and a good nominee for the BRAD BLOG "Understatement of the Year Award", but for now, in the generous spirit of Christmas, we'll take it!

After a few quotes from an Ohioan who's vote failed to count this year because the provisional ballot he was given when his name didn't appear at the precinct to which he'd recently moved, was rejected because it wasn't dropped into the bucket at the precinct where he used to live, the Times piece mentions what they should have mentioned --- in spades --- on the morning of November 3rd:

From seven-hour lines that drove voters away to malfunctioning machines to poorly trained poll workers who directed people to the wrong polling places to uneven policies about the use of provisional ballots, Ohio has become this year's example for every ailment in the United States' electoral process.

Dead-on sentiment. Wish they had joined the party earlier. But again, it's Christmas, so in the spirit of Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior (well, not mine, I'm Jewish...but, hey, it's Christmas!) we'll turn the other cheek.

Back to The Times...

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

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Republican Conspiracy Theorists Cry Foul
Sore Losers Can't Seem to Get Over It, Move On
By Brad Friedman on 12/23/2004 7:44pm PT  

In yesterdays item on Election 2004, we reported on the 10 vote lead by Democratic Gubernatorial candidate Christine Gregoire after a hand recount of all ballots in the state of Washington.

With the remaining 700 previously uncounted absentee ballots from Kings County now added to the final results, AP has declared Gregoire the official winner by a convincing 130 vote margin.

The BRAD BLOG originally learned of this news via the Fox News crawl, so we must assume the final count is accurate.

While we are again reminded of the value of being able to count the actual votes of American citizens by hand in close elections when necessary, there are, unfortunately, according to the AP report, some sore losers in the Republican Party who can't seem to let go of the official results and move on.

Several GOP conspiracy theorists and extremist Rightwing bloggers continuing to desperately challenge the election results.

They are charging fraud in the election, along with changing rules and manufactured votes. As well, these extremist from the far rightwing of the Republican party may be preparing to contest the results further due to violations of the U.S. Constitution's Equal Protection Clause.

After several Republican trial lawyers have clogged the courts during the manual recount by filing frivilous lawsuits throughout the process --- only to have such embarrassing challenges roundly rejected by conservative and strictly constitutionalist rulings in several Washington courts, including their Supreme Court --- we can only hope that these extremist whackos will soon be able to set aside their divisive partisan agendas, remove their tinfoil hats once and for all, realize that their candidate got beaten fair and square and quickly get over it for the good of the state.

For some reason, however, we have a feeling they'll have trouble facing the fact that their team lost and that the people of Washington have clearly spoken by giving a broad statewide mandate to the Democrats. The voters there have issued a clear rejection to failed Republican policies along with their ill-conceived agenda.

The BRAD BLOG wishes to congratulate Governor-Elect Gregoire on her triumphant victory of good over evil in the Evergreen State!

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To File Papers in Support of Green/Libertarian Recount!
Turning the Boat Around?
By Brad Friedman on 12/23/2004 5:19pm PT  

A severe snowstorm at the Southern District courthouse in Ohio, which closed the building today, has evidently delayed the filing of papers by John Kerry in support of the ongoing Ohio recount by the Green and Libertarian parties. Reportedly, Kerry's filing will be made either tomorrow or Monday --- whenever the courthouse is next open for business.

The details of the filing were first reported this morning, prior to the courthouse closure, by William Rivers Pitt at Truthout.org:

2004 Democratic Presidential candidate John Kerry will file today, in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio, papers in support of the Green Party/Libertarian Party recount effort. Specifically, Kerry will be filing a request for expedited discovery regarding Triad Systems voting machines, as well as a motion for a preservation order to protect any and all discovery and preserve any evidence on this matter.
...
Kerry's entry into this recount effort changes the math on this matter dramatically. He can likewise show irreparable harm, and unlike the Green and Libertarian candidates, he can also prove a substantial chance for success on the merits because he lost the Ohio vote by a statistical whisker.

It should be noted that Kerry's filing of these requests does not indicate his complete entry into the recount process, but does clearly indicate that he is moving decisively in that direction.

RAW STORY has been able to confirm with a source that "Kerry will engage in a new action" but was unable to report further details.

The BRAD BLOG has not yet been able to independently verify the Pitt report, but as it's a potentially notable development, and as folks are drifting away for the Christmas holidays, we thought we would make the information available at this time. We will, of course, be keeping an eye on these developments.

As well, there have been some further developments in the Clint Curtis story which we have been working on for much of the day, and which we hope to be able to report on later this evening (or tomorrow at the latest).

Please check back soon for news on those developments.

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Bush Deposed in D.C., Blackwell Stalls in OH, Gregoire Leads in WA, Plans Get Rolling in Congress and Americans Take to the Streets
It may be Christmas...But Election 2004 still ain't over.
By Brad Friedman on 12/22/2004 6:40pm PT  

We continue to be unable to report as many Election 2004 Irregularity issues as we might like due to developments in the continuing Clint Curtis story. Some of those developments we've reported on here (see the "Special Coverage" sidebar at right), others we are still unable to discuss publicly. But there is more to come.

We take some comfort, however, in the fact that there are now many more folks covering the story than there were in the lonely days just after November 3rd.

So while we stay on top of Curtis coverage like a dog with a bone, we offer a few recommendations for superb coverage of all the latest breaking Election 2004 items (and there have been many of them of late!).

We recommend daily reads at CannonFire, Democrats.com, the Columbus Free Press, and of course, RAW STORY. There are many, many more folks doing similary exhaustive and important coverage right now, many such sites will be linked from some of those that I just mentioned.

But to get momentarily back here to the growing confidence crisis that is quickly eroding the very core of our democracy...even while the Mainstream Media shamefully fails America by missing the story entirely...here are several of the latest and most noteworthy developments in this saga, and a few opportunities for the people to stand up for the country we love...Because somebody's got to...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 12/22/2004 1:00pm PT  

Failing to meet even the usually lax journalistic standards of most Internet bloggers, "self-styled investigative journalist" Keith Olbermann --- who also seems to have his very own prime-time show on a fairly major cable news outlet --- offers a swell Christmas gift for Congressman Tom Feeney (R-FL) and his monied friends at Yang Enterprises, Inc.!

We have mentioned before our appreciation for Keith Olbermann's willingness, virtually alone in the Mainstream Media, to cover a fair amount of the "Election 2004 Irregularity" issues.

We have also pointed out in the past some of Olbermann's horribly embarrasing failures as a journalist in the course of those much-appreciated duties. Amongst them, criticizing another journalist for "distancing himself...from the purported original source of the information".

Olbermann was condescending at the time to "self-styled investigative journalist" Wayne Madsen's reporting. And though we've had at least a few words ourself about Madsen's work, we bothered to contact Madsen to see learn if Olbermann had actually spoken to him, or even attempted to, before levelling the above --- rather-ironic-in-retrospect - criticism of his work.

He hadn't.

And yesterday, Olbermann did it again! This time in a report that mattered! In a blog item filed "from an undisclosed location" (scroll down to Item #4 at the link), Olbermann finally mentioned the Clint Curtis "Whistleblower Affidavit" story as first reported here over two weeks ago.

In those two weeks, Olbermann hasn't mentioned a word about the stunning case which has rocked the vote from Talahassee to Capitol Hill to all corners of the blogosphere. That is, until he decided to botch a report on it from top to bottom yesterday. A report which violates the journalistic standards of even the laziest of Internet bloggers. Or at least this lazy one!

Amongst the most egregious errors and/or failures in Olbermann's "reporting" here was his failure (and that of anybody on his staff) to actually contact Clint Curtis to get his reply to some rather scurrilous charges that Olbermann decided to pass on to readers, as offered up by Rep. Tom Feeney (R-FL) --- the now U.S. Congressman, then Florida Speaker of the House --- who is at the center of this controversy.

Curtis alleges that Feeney asked Yang Enterprises, Inc. (YEI) to create a "vote-rigging software prototype" for him in a 2000 meeting at the company when Curtis was a software designer with the firm.

Feeney was, at the time, the corporate counsel and a registered lobbyist for YEI even while he was serving as a member of the Florida Legislature.

Olbermann (or rather, one of his producers) seems to have gotten comment from Feeney on the matter. No small feat, as Feeney's office has rebuffed most attempts by journalists to get comment over the last two weeks about this growing scandal.

Olbermann explains...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 12/22/2004 11:52am PT  

We have really been trying our best to help the mainstream media folks like Keith Olbermann at MSNBC, Kim Zetter at Wired Magazine and Adam Smith at The St. Petersburg Times.

All of them have passed on, without any supporting evidence, the charges by Yang Enterprises, Inc (YEI) attorney --- and former law partner of Tom Feeney --- Michael O'Quinn (of "Fowler & O'Quinn" nee "Fowler, Barice, Feeney & O'Quinn), that Clint Curtis was a "disgruntled employee".

Despite having demonstrated how Mr. Curtis seems to have been anything but disgruntled on several occasions here, having reported that he stayed on an extra six weeks at YEI after his resignation date at the request of the company's CEO and had even received a farewell party from the company when he finally did leave...apparently some of those "responsible mainstream media" reporters seem to think they needn't offer any context or supporting evidence when helping embattled parties to defend themselves against serious charges by simply slurring individuals without even the slightest shred of evidence or fact-checking!

In our final attempt (we hope) to answer once and for all to the unsupported "disgruntled employee" slur, we offer yet another exclusive piece of evidence that would seem to belie those charges.

And this time, it's a visual aid!...With cute cartoon animals! Perhaps that will be easier for such "reporters" to comprehend...

(Our promised complete reply to Olbermann's inexcusably irresponsible report filed yesterday on the Clint Curtis matter has now been published here.)

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Mainstream Media Boy Gets It Wrong...
Again.
By Brad Friedman on 12/21/2004 12:53pm PT  

I've got some appointments and personal issues to deal with this morning/afternoon, so I cannot reply in full yet to Mr. Olbermann's take (scroll down to his Item #4) on the Clint Curtis case which he has finally discussed for the first time today.

I'll be updating this item later with a full reply, and additional hard evidence to demonstrate that he --- frankly --- got the story 100% wrong, unfortunately.

For the moment, however, please see RAW STORY's response to Olbermann's piece. They cover several of the most notable gaps and out-and-out errors in his report that, too sadly, seems to have been entirely based on what Feeney had to say (without presenting evidence to back up his charges) and that of Yang's attorney who are --- as Olbermann triumphantly and embarrasingly failed to note --- Feeney's old law partners and contributors.

More specifics...with new evidence...later...

(Where oh, were is the responsible mainstream media in 2004? What a pity. For America.)

UPDATE: A few previously-scheduled personal issues, and this concept known as FACT-CHECKING have delayed my response here to Mr. Olbermann's completely irresponsible piece today in regards to Clint Curtis.

Therefore, it will be tomorrow before I issue what will be a rather direct response to several of Olbermann's inexcusable failings. Along with some additional never-before-seen evidence that I'm confident you will enjoy!

Just one minor point that I can't wait any longer to mention...Apparently neither Olbermann, nor anyone on his staff ever actually spoke to Clint Curtis before filing his report!

That's right! Before posting his item repeating what Feeney had told him (or, actually, his producers) Olbermann never bothered to get a reply from Curtis in regards to Feeney's comments! Or a reply to the comments he gave from Yang (YEI) or their attorneys (who as I've noted too many times...ARE THE FORMER LAW PARTNERS OF TOM FEENEY!)

Much much more on all of that tomorrow.

But for now, please read this rather brilliant bit of satire as sent in by an Emailer (who's name I'm withholding until he offers permission to give it!) Enjoy...

Bloggerman - Keith Olbermann is on vacation again. From a secure and undisclosed location, Keith has followed up on the reported burglary of the Democratic National Headquarters in Washington DC.

Mr. Olbermann Reports - "I've been hiding out on vacation again, but I felt that a minor story might develop into a major one, so I did some followup work on the break-in at the DNC. Turns out I was wrong. No story there. Here's what happened.

First of all, I wasn't there. I asked a very reliable reporter to interview the key players and sort out the wheat from the chaff. Here's what he found.

Five men were caught breaking into the Democratic National Committee by Frank Wills, the security guard at the Watergate Building. One of the men was James W. McCord, Jr. who was identified as the chief of security for The Committee to Reelect the President. At first, it looked pretty suspicious that the chief of security of the CRP, someone apparently close to the President, would be involved in an act of political espionage.

So we asked the President's secretary, Ron Zieglar, about it. Mr. Zieglar assured us that Mr. McCord had no connection whatsoever with the President and that the break-in was not politically motivated.

In order to complete our due diligence as investigative reporters, we contacted John Mitchell, the chief law enforcement official of the nation. Mr. Mitchell confirmed Mr. Zieglar's statement that the burglars had no connection whatsoever with the President or the CRP.

It turned out that there really was no burglary at all. It was an accidental break-in. The five men found at the DNC headquarters had been locked out of their own offices, and, by mistake, had accidentally picked the lock at the DNC.

After talking to Bob Haldeman, the President's chief of staff, we found out that Mr. Wills (the Watergate Security guard) was really a disgruntled former employee of the Committee to Reelect the President. Mr.Wills had been let go from his position several weeks earlier. Mr. Wills had threatened the head of the CRP just after his termination for an as yet unknown offense (rumored to be indecent exposure). Mr. Haldeman stated that its possible that Mr. Wills himself had changed the locks at the CRP, locking the men out of their offices and indirectly causing the break-in at the DNC.

Mr. Haldeman's story helped us locate some logical disconnects in Mr. Wills story. Apparently the same break-in had occurred 3 weeks before, due to the same causes. If Mr. Wills had knowingly locked the men out of their offices before and had knowingly done it a second time, then Mr. Wills might have tacitly committed a felony.

At the end of our interview with Mr. Haldeman, he politely mentioned that any news organization considering this story should check with their legal counsel first.

For Mr. Mitchell's part, he willingly answered 7 questions (although these questions could only be general, not specific questions). In keeping with the general nature of the questions, it was clear that Mr. Mitchell was generally right. When it came right down to it, Mr. Mitchell is the Attorney General (and head of the CRP), and Mr. Wills is not. Case closed.

Neither rain, nor snow, nor sleet, not vacation can deter yours truly from following up on the smallest story.

Happy Holidays! (imagine me throwing a wad of paper at your computer screen)!"

ReddIt this story!



(so far)
We'll get back to the 100,000+ Innocent Dead Civilians Later.
By Brad Friedman on 12/20/2004 11:06pm PT  

Perhaps I missed the announcement on the Fox News Channel, but at some point over the last few days, the official number of U.S. Military deaths in Iraq (may not include troops who died after evacuation due to injuries received in country) went over the 1,300 mark to 1,304.

We congratulate Mr. Bush on his continuing "catastrophic success".

We also take note that as of today, The Washington Post is reporting that a majority of Americans finally understand that this war was "not worth fighting".

Wow. Who knew?

ReddIt this story!



More in the Continuing Saga of the Clint Curtis, Tom Feeney (R-FL), Yang Enterprises
By Brad Friedman on 12/20/2004 5:06pm PT  

While the bulk of the mainstream media seems to be sitting on their hands, the Internet-only news organization RAW STORY is actually making calls, confirming info, and advancing the story as the very model of what investigative journalism used to look like in this country.

To that end, RAW STORY followed up today on an article published by The BRAD BLOG last week, in which we issued a point-by-point reply to the "full statement" of Yang Enterprises, Inc. (YEI) in regards to the explosive Clint Curtis charges we broke here two weeks ago.

Those charges concerned, amongst other things, the allegation that Rep. Tom Feeney (R-FL) asked Curtis to create "vote-rigging software" back in a 2000 meeting at YEI where Curtis worked at the time. Feeney was then their corporate attorney and registered lobbyist, as well as a Florida state legislator who would shortly thereafter become Speaker of the Florida Legislature.

In RAW STORY's piece this morning, editor John Byrne was able to get a short reply from a YEI Vice-President concerning the evidence we posted refuting the companies claim that Hai Lin Nee (a/k/a Henry Nee) "has never been an employee of YEI." Nee had plead guilty in October of this year to espionage charges concerning the shipment of Hellfire Anti-Tank Missiles parts to China, and was named by Curtis in his affidavit [PDF] as being an "illegal-alien" working for YEI and having added "wiretapping routines" to software that YEI was contracted to create for NASA and other companies.

In our reply to that, we published several "Weekly Time Reports" (received via Public Records Requests) submitted by YEI to the Florida Dept. of Transportation (FDOT). The time cards with YEI stationery were signed by Nee and indicated that he worked as a "Consultant" for the company as many as 60 hours a week on the "Electronic Document Management System" contract (EDMS) that YEI had with FDOT.

Yang, when told of the timecards, denied that Nee was ever employed there.

"He was never an employee," Yang Vice President Lowell Weaver said by telephone Monday. "Henry Nee was not a consultant either."

Weaver added that Yang had never paid Nee for any services. He declined to comment further and did not say that the timecards weren't real, deferring comment to Yang's attorney, who is on vacation until Jan. 2.

We also posted several emails in our article replying to YEI's "full statement" --- including one from Nee himself, and another from the CEO's exective secretary, Mike Cohen --- which indicated that Nee, did in fact work at YEI in apparent contradiction to both the "full statement" on the YEI website, and the comments above from Weaver.

Additionally, RAW STORY was able to contact Tom Yowell, the Special Agent assigned to the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force in Orlando Florida, concerning his email to Clint Curtis indicating that YEI was "under investigation by another Division of the FBI."

Yowell confirmed to RAW STORY that he did in fact send that email to Curtis on Nov. 22nd, 2004 as The BRAD BLOG first reported.

But then Yowell seemed to do a bit of interesting backtracking on the matter...

Reached this afternoon, Yowell told RAW STORY that he had indeed sent the email, but said he was less certain about an investigation.

"It turns out that I'm not even sure it's the same company," he said. He stated that he would call another FBI office which might be able to furnish more information.

In their "full statement", YEI had claimed they were "not under investigation by the FBI". Which Yowell's email to Curtis would seem to dispute.

Why a Special Agent for the FBI Joint Terorrism Task Force would tell a concerned citizen one thing via Email after he reported a number of activities concerning YEI and then begin backtracking only after the information became public knowledge is a question that we will continue to look into as this remarkable story continues to develop...

ReddIt this story!



(One Day Late. So Sue Me. I'm Busy!)
(P.S. Read it. Good ending!)
By Brad Friedman on 12/20/2004 3:26pm PT  

ReddIt this story!



By Brad Friedman on 12/19/2004 11:48pm PT  

In the "Tom Feeney - In his own words" section of his official U.S. House of Representatives website page, Mr. Feeney (R-FL) reposts an Op-Ed he penned for the Orlando Sentinel --- apparently not ironically --- entitled "FLORIDA GETS IT RIGHT ON ELECTIONS".

The Op-Ed was published --- apparently not ironically --- on April 1, 2004 (April Fools Day).

In the piece, Mr. Feeney offers some well-informed opinions of the "unnecessary and devisive", "destructive lawsuits" challenging Florida's voting system by "vocal naysayers, who for partisan reasons are doing their best to portray the Sunshine State's voting technologies in a negative light."

The entire piece is certainly worth a read in full! If only for so many such --- apparently not ironic --- turns of phrase!

But there were two --- not ironic at all --- passages which, for some reason, leapt out at us this evening [emphasis added]:

Florida is a national leader in election reform. Much of the credit goes to state legislators who helped position Florida to make the necessary changes in the state's voting processes and technologies. That commitment has paid off, despite the criticisms and insults from partisan leaders who are ill-informed and have made every attempt to derail voter confidence and undermine our entire elections process.

What Mr. Feeney modestly fails to note in that paragraph is that he --- as Speaker of the Florida state legislature in 2000 (where he remained until joining the U.S. House in 2002) --- was himself, apparently, one of those "state legislators who helped position Florida to make the necessary changes in the state's voting processes and technologies." At least as Clint Curtis would tell us.

But aside from that, Mr. Feeney's right! That commitment has paid off!

Though for all of Mr. Feeney's hard work in changing "the state's voting processes and technologies" it seems that he may be the "ill-informed" one on some of these matters. Just look what he had to say in the same --- apparently not ironic --- Op-Ed in regards to voter-verified paper trails [emphasis once again added]:

As time goes on, I expect that Florida will continue to improve its voting systems and processes --- particularly as technology continues to evolve. But the argument that printers should be attached to touch-screen voting machines in the counties that use them is unrealistic as of today. Such companion technology does not currently exist, and in all likelihood will not exist by the November election.

Well, that's odd...And not at all ironic! And it may even be news to the entire state of Nevada!

Perhaps Mr. Feeney missed this information posted on the website of his good friends at the Sequoia Voting Systems corporation:

State of Nevada to Utilize Sequoia Voter Verifiable Paper Record Printers Throughout the State in 2004 Primary and General Election

WASHINGTON, DC - Sequoia Voting Systems today announced it has successfully passed federal testing of the VeriVote ? printer upgrade to the company's popular AVC Edge touch screen voting system. The printer, which allows voters to view a paper copy of their electronic ballot before leaving the polling place, will be used throughout the State of Nevada for their September 7, 2004 Primary Election and the November 2, 2004 Presidential General Election.

As a completely unrelated and not-ironic-at-all side note, Mr. Feeney has still refused to return the phone calls of many reporters seeking comment from the Congressman in the two full weeks since The BRAD BLOG began reporting on allegations that he sought to create "vote-rigging software" from Yang Enterprises, Inc. (YEI) --- in his hometown of Oviedo, FL --- back in 2000 where he served as corporate counsel and registered lobbyist while concurrently serving as Speaker of the Florida Legislature. (See our "Special Coverage" sidebar at right for more info.)

On that point, Mr. Feeney may deserve the benefit of the doubt, however. We cannot know for certain, after all, if his office has "the companion technology" necessary to return such phone calls.

As such, any expectation that he or his staff would be able to use such "evolving technology" --- such as the telephone --- in order to do so, might well be "unrealistic as of today".

ReddIt this story!



By Brad Friedman on 12/19/2004 1:21pm PT  

ReddIt this story!



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