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Truth, Lies, & Politics

When is a coincidence too much of a coincidence to be one?
George W., Jeb, Sandra, Katherine, Tom, Chuck, & Michael

Players Play ..... The Bush Connection
Do you believe in election conspiracies? I don't.... Well, at least I didn't until I started collecting "facts" for Deputy Elections Supervisor Cady Palmer. I just wanted to tell a good story and while I was at it call attention to our broken elections. Now I believe without a doubt a silent coup could rage across the country in our high-tech state-of-the-art independent vote-counting machines. The trick would be to keep the wins within the margin of error. Would we ever know?

Deep within the covert caverns of the computer, we can change day into night, call a donkey an elephant... or visa versa. We can even replace computer program code on the fly when our mission is done. Yep. The code running Election Day may not be the same that's left over for a proper investigation should election results be questioned. Poof, gone. Today, experts express concerns of lax security and the potential for hackers to breach an election. No small risk. Still the breach of a major voting machine vendor from an inside source is much more sinister and much less apt to be discovered. Consider the risk of a techie devising a method for siphoning off a few votes per voting machine. When one company deploys over a 100,000 touch screens and 25,000 optical scanners nationwide, flip a few votes here and there and you've got yourself a real cyber kingmaker.

When is a coincidence too much of a coincidence not to be one? When does a convergence of like-minded players embroiled in skullduggery consititute conspiracy? Since the Great American Meltdown of 2000, there has been no shortage of facts and rumors and suppositions roiling about.  However, this page and those that follow contain only some of the more interesting factual information. Just substantiated facts.
Jeb's Brother George: Bush/Rove/GOP Computer Expert Michael Connell Stonewalls Federal Subpoena in Case Investigating Election Rigging
WASHINGTON, Oct. 1 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The GOP's top computer expert, Michael Connell, CEO of GovTech Solutions, was subpoenaed on September 22nd to testify under oath in a federal lawsuit in Ohio regarding his knowledge of election rigging and vote manipulation in past elections and the upcoming election.

Michael Connell, after hiding under the radar for almost two decades as the GOP's secret IT weapon for manipulating elections, has now been thrust into the limelight by other GOP whistleblowers, most notably world renowned cyber-security expert Stephen Spoonamore, who identified Mr. Connell as the person with the most intimate knowledge of GOP computer networks including those in the White House and Congress.
Mr. Connell, who has worked for the Bush political network since 1986, has been at the scene of virtually every electoral scandal of the past decade -- running Florida computers during the 2000 election and Ohio election computers during the 2004 election, helping to create Swift Boat Veterans for Truth IT network, putting his computer servers in control of the most sensitive Congressional IT networks, and setting up Karl Rove's off grid White House email system used in the firing of the US
Attorneys for political purposes. . .
Continued. Reuters, 10/01/08.  Source: VelvetRevolution.us
George's Brother Jeb . . . and Mike Connell. Florida Governor Jeb Bush hired long-time Bush technical guru Michael Connell to build his Florida website. But if cyber-security expert Stephen Spoonamore is right, Connell was instrumental in the 2000 and 2004 elections as well.
Jeb and George.
Jeb and George. Jeb and Michael. Jeb and Katherine. Jeb and Sandra. Jeb and Tom. Jeb and 2000, 2002, 2004, 2006. Jeb and John McCain. Culpability by association, intent or manipulation. In Florida at least, Jeb in his prime was the hub of all things elections. His broad reach is illustrated in part by the actions of his friends and their own influence on elections. More specific detail on Jeb is provided in the section titled Florida's Governor Jeb Bush below.
Jeb and Sandra. Florida Secretary of State Sandra Mortham.
Former Secretary of State Sandra Mortham was the ES&S lobbyist who convinced the Florida Association of Counties to endorse ES&S. In exchange for the Association's endorsement, ES&S paid the Association a fee each time ES&S won a county contract. (2) In the end, ES&S received orders totaling more than $70 million in taxpayer money from 12 counties, while the Florida Association of Counties received kickbacks of approximately $300,000. (3) See more on ES&S below.

The Mortham factor is interesting, but not remarkable unless of course one considers Mortham’s relationship with Jeb Bush. Mortham was Jeb Bush's first-choice running mate in 1998. When selecting Mortham, Jeb said, "I wanted someone who was my friend, someone who could serve with distinction as governor... She is far and away the most qualified person to be part of this team and it is a team. (4)

By January, Sandra Mortham withdrew over ethical and spending lapses. (5)
Jeb & Tom. Governor Jeb Bush's 1994 running mate, U.S. Rep Tom Feeney. Republican Congressman Tom Feeney was Jeb’s running mate the first time Jeb ran for governor in 1994 and lost. Then in 2000, as speaker of the Florida House, Feeney was instrumental in leading the Legislature to seat George W. Bush as president while the election debacle was still playing out in the courts.

The Feeney factor is also interesting, but unremarkable. That is unless one considers that in 2004, Feeney was implicated in vote fraud by Clinton Curtis when Curtis testified before the House Judiciary Committee investigating vote fraud in the 2004 presidential election. (6) 

Note: Bradblog.com contains a full video and transcript of Clinton Curtis' testimony. ("Video Online of Clint Curtis Testimony!" Brad Friedman,
Bradblog.com, 12/13/2004.)
Fast forward to August 2007 and Dan Rather's Report. Brad Friedman "connects the dots." Feeney served as Speaker of the Florida House of Representatives at the same time he served as general counsel and registered lobbyist for Yang Enterprises, Inc. It was at Yang Enterprises, Inc. that Feeney is alleged to have asked Curtis to write a vote-rigging program. (7)

Note: Yang Enterprises, Inc. had multi-million dollar contracts with the state of Florida and NASA where Feeney's wife is employed. Yang Enterprises, Inc. is also the Oviedo, Florida company, where Curtis was employed at the time Feeney is alleged to have asked Curtis to write his vote-rigging program.
Punchcard Ballots Rigged.
Seven Sequoia Voting Systems* employees revealed they had been instructed to deliberately misalign the punchcard chads for ballots going to Palm Beach County, FL. They were also directed to use poor quality paper for the punchcards used in Florida's 2000 election. In 1999, Sequoia's touch-screen voting machines were already deployed in several precincts in Riverside County, CA. ("Rather Reports on Sequoia's Gaming of Florida Punchcards in 2000," Brad Friedman; Dan Rather Report, BradBlog.com, 8/28/2007) Note: the Sequioa incident has not been linked to Jeb.

*Sequoia manufactures voting machines but is also certified to print ballot products for most major voting system.
Jeb & Katherine. Florida Governor Jeb Bush and Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris.
Secretary of State Katherine Harris first served as co-chair for George W. Bush's campaign. Then she stepped up to win him the presidency. Harris’ single-purposed interpretation and application of Florida’s gaping election laws were pivotal in winning George W. Bush the presidency. But again, Katherine Harris served Jeb Bush and many were convinced that Jeb Bush and other powerful Republicans called the shots for her. (8)

Both Jeb and Katherine were "singled out in particular for ignoring 'mounting evidence' of problems with outdated voting technology in a number of counties, and for ignoring requests for guidance and assistance from local officials."

Local election supervisors failed to adequately prepare for the election, showed a lack of leadership, and allowed an "unequal distribution of quality voting equipment." Older voting equipment was distributed disproportionately to African-American precincts, resulting in a higher rate of voting errors among African-American voters. ("Florida 'grossly derelict' in 2000 vote,"
U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, 6/5/2001. InsidePolitics.com, 6/5/2001.)
Bush and Senator Chuck Hagel.
Chuck Hagle was on George W.’s short list of contenders for the Republican Vice-Presidential nomination in 2000. (9)

When Hagel first ran for the U.S. Senate in Nebraska in 1996, he won both the primaries and the general election in unprecedented victories and was the first Republican to win a Nebraska senatorial campaign in 24 years. Six years later Hagel was re-elected to his second term with 83% of the vote, the biggest political victory in the history of Nebraska. (10)

Coincidence? Hagel was part owner, Chairman and CEO of ES&S voting machines. ES&S was the only voting machine vendor whose machines counted Hagel's votes in the 1996 and 2002 elections. Hagel's campaign finance director, Michael McCarthy was also an owner and a director of ES&S.  (11, 12)
Jeb and John McCain.
A year or so ago, I would have placed the big bets on a McCain-Jeb ticket, regardless of the McCain-Bush animosity. However, after a few initial dips into international affairs, Jeb wisely hangs back in today’s soured climate. So where’s the McCain connection? Through Michael Connell. As mentioned previously, Connell works for McCain now. Will McCain heed Velvet Revolution’s call for McCain to fire him? (14)
Florida's Governor Jeb Bush.
Circling back to Jeb Bush. Jeb professed to remain hands off during the 2000 fiasco. Still he cast an impressive shadow. Affirming the obvious, Florida was his state, George W. his brother, and Katherine Harris his minion.

Moreover, while Jeb publically kept his distance, those who worked for him did not. Jeb’s acting general counsel Frank Jimenez took an unpaid leave of absence the day after the election and was substantially involved in shaping the Republican legal strategy in Florida. Jimenez was seen by both sides as an instrument of Jeb's political will. ''When you take a leave like that, everyone knows you're an emissary,'' according to a prominent lobbyist who worked both sides of the aisle. Four other lawyers from Jeb’s office of general counsel also took unpaid leaves, advising Jeb on legal matters related to the election. ''Clearly [Jeb's] been keeping a low public profile. But obviously every move the secretary of state has made is in keeping with the Bush strategy,'' according to an aide to Vice President Al Gore.

Katie Baur, a spokeswoman for Jeb Bush, also took a brief unpaid leave, stating, ''I was a Republican long before I came to work for the governor.''  (15)
Baur’s brief statement is perhaps more profound than intended. For apparently, fidelity to the party quashed allegiance to country. Jeb Bush and Katherine Harris not only failed the voters in the state of Florida, they robbed the citizens of this country of a fair and honest election. Clearly, they embraced a value system where partisanship dictates actions, right or wrong, and the win justifies the means.

Aside from not recognizing the 2000 election as a product of malfunctioning systems, machines, processes, materials, and antiquated, gaping election laws, both Jeb Bush and Katherine Harris were "singled out in particular for ignoring 'mounting evidence' of problems with outdated voting technology in a number of counties, and for ignoring requests for guidance and assistance from local officials." Local election supervisors also failed to adequately prepare for the election, showed a lack of leadership, and allowed an "unequal distribution of quality voting equipment." Older voting equipment was distributed disproportionately to African-American precincts, resulting in a higher rate of voting errors among African-American voters. (16)
Election System & Software (ES&S).
What do these states have in common: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Indiana, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Nebraska, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Washington, Wisconsin, and Wyoming? All own ES&S voting machines. All experienced ES&S election failures. Thirty-four states documented and still counting experienced election equipment failures. (If you live in one of these states and want more information, or if you’re curious about the failures experienced with other election equipment, this information and more is presented ESS Failures on VotersUnite.org. Hone in on failures by state, vendor, failure type. It’s guarantied to make a believer out of you.)
ES&S owns a plethora of election failures, including but not limited to my recent Florida favorites: Florida’s 2006 Attorney General’s race where a conservative estimate of 89K missing votes were never accounted for or even investigated. And 2006’s Sarasota’s District 13 race, where 18K missing votes were investigated by the GAO in a restricted effort with no conclusive results.
The following information illustrates the influence one voting machine vendor holds over an election, the country. According to privately owned ES&S, ES&S is the world's largest provider of total election management solutions with over 170,000 systems installed worldwide. ES&S provides end-to-end, start-to-finish solutions. In layperson terms, this means bluntly,
“I’ll tell you what to do, how to do it, figure out who your voters are
                              and in the end tell you how they voted.”

In more technical terms, ES&S systems control management of Voter Registration, Ballot Production, Warehousing and Delivery, Election Programming, Voter Education/Outreach to Voting, Counting and Tabulation, and Election Results Reporting. In the past five years alone, ES&S was responsible for printing more than 450 million ballots.

Today, nearly 67 million registered voters are supported by ES&S equipment. On a national scale, ES&S systems counted approximately 50 percent of the votes in the last four major U.S. elections. Approximately 97,000 ES&S iVotronic Touch Screen Voting Systems are installed in 20 states. Approximately 30,000 ES&S optical scan tabulators are used in 43 states and worldwide.

Incidentally, again according to ES&S,  “The iVotronic was the first touch screen voting device officially certified for use in the State of Florida, and its innovative technology enables all voters to easily and correctly cast their vote in complete privacy.” (17)

No it doesn’t.
Conspiracy? Coincidence? Skullduggery? How about an innocent little nudge here and there to hedge your bets? How many fleas do you pick off your collar before you know… Perhaps you’ve conclusions of your own. Or perhaps you’ve a new interest in what goes on in that big black box once you’ve done your part, cast your ballot, and entrusted your precious vote to your election officials. But whether or not you conclude conspiracy, intent, ineptitude, or patriotic void, none of us should condone the blatant disrespect to our country and ourselves as demonstrated every election through the incompetent mismanagement of our right to vote in this country.
1. VelvetRevolution.us, 10/01/08
2. "Buyers Remorse," Matthew Haggman. 
Daily Business Review, 2/3/2003.
The Buying of the President 2008, http://www.buyingofthepresident.org/index.php/archives/2004/555/.
4."Jeb Bush Jumps Into 1998 Florida Governor's Race,"
cnn.com/ALLPOLITICS, 11/12/1997.
5. "Bush Running Mate Quits Race in Florida,"
NY Times, 01/14/1998.)
The Seminole Chronicle, 12/16/2004.)
7. Brad Friedman, "Another 'Hole' Plugged in the Clint Curtis/Tom Feeney 'Vote-Rigging' Scandal via Dan Rather Report on Sequoia's Gaming of Florida Punchcards in 2000,"
Bradblog.com, 8/28/2007.
NY Times, 11/17/2000.
11. Bev Harris, author of "Black Box Voting: Ballot-Tampering," "Senator Hagel Admits Owning Voting Machine Company,"
Scoop Independent News. 01/31/2003.
12. The Hill, Independent Washington Paper, 01/2003. 14. 10/01/08.  Source: VelvetRevolution.us15. Barstow and Sengupta.16. "Florida 'grossly derelict' in 2000 vote," U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, 6/5/2001. InsidePolitics.com, 6/5/2001.17. http://www.essvote.com/HTML/about/dyk.html, 2008/10/17
** As of August 2007, more than 126,000 touch-screen voting machines and more than 25,000 optical scanners are deployed by Texas based Diebold customers. (Diebold is now Premier Election Solutions). Premier Election Solutions. ES&S has approximately 97,000 iVotronic touch screen voting systems installed in 20 states and has implemented more than 30,000 optical scanners in 43 states and worldwide. Elections Systems & Software.
Truth, Lies, & Politics
Homepage What You May Not Know About 2000 Remember the Main E-Vents - 2006, 2004, 2002 Touchscreen Payola