UPDATED: Republican Corruption in Florida: Hanging Chads and Tom Feeney (FL-24)
As my previous post discussed, Tom Feeney (FL-24) has a corrupt past anyway, linked to the Abramoff scandal.
Feeney is a sitting Congressman, but let's start out by realizing that Tom Feeney has already been fined by the House ethics committee for his Abramoff connections. He has already been found to be corrupt by the House Ethics Committee, yet is still a "respected" member of the Republican Party and has not resigned from Congress.
But there is probably more coming...it seems that the FBI is investigating Tom Feeney further for those Abramoff connections. Gee, and the Republicans wanted us to think the Abramoff scandal had blown over. This is run of the mill fraud for Republicans. But Feeney may have had a hand in the stolen 2000 election.
Yes, I say ACTIVE PARTICIPATION in voter fraud. Tom Feeney has been accused of recruiting computer programmers to write software that could alter vote totals on touch-screen voting machines in Florida. From the Seminole Chronicle:
Republican Congressman Tom Feeney of Oviedo asked a computer programmer in September 2000, prior to that year's contested presidential vote in Florida, to write software that could alter vote totals on touch-screen voting machines, the programmer said.
Former computer programmer Clint Curtis made the claim Monday in sworn testimony to Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee investigating allegations of voter fraud in the 2004 presidential election involving touch-screen voting in Ohio.
In his testimony, Curtis said that Feeney, then a member of the Florida House of Representative, met with Curtis and other employees of Yang Enterprises, an Oviedo software company, and asked if the company could create a program that would allow a user to alter the vote totals while using the touch-screen machine. The program had to be written so that even the human-readable computer code would not show its illicit capabilities, Curtis recalled.
Curtis said he wrote a prototype program for Feeney, and that he believed the program might not only be usable on touch-screen voting machines, which some counties - predominantly in South Florida - now use, but also on optical-scan machines, which most of the state's counties used in the 2004 elections.
Feeney could not be reached for comment.
If true, THIS is one of the most disgusting attacks on American democracy I can think of, whether you are Republican or Democrat. Tom Feeney is accused of trying to subvert American democracy, plain and simple.
And Curtis' accusations got a boost recently. Many criticized Curtis for claiming that people were trying to subvert the touchscreen machines BEFORE the 2000 election when supposedly no one was thinking touch screen. Well, some actual investigativg journalism by Dan Rather has revealed that people WERE thinking touch screen before the 2000 election and, in fact, the problems that arose in 2000 in Florida may have been part of the push for touch screen machines. This was broken, as far as I know, by the Brad Blog:
The recent Dan Rather report (complete video here) on the gaming of the paper punchcard ballots by Sequoia Voting Systems in Florida, just prior to the 2000 election, plugs up at least one important "hole" in the Clint Curtis story. We first broke Curtis's story back in late 2004 and have been reporting on it ever since.
You'll recall that Curtis alleged --- in sworn affidavit [PDF], live video-taped testimony before a U.S. House Judiciary delegation, and via polygraph test --- that he was asked by Rep. Tom Feeney (R-FL) to create a touch-screen vote-rigging prototype program, just months prior to the 2000 election when they both worked at the same Florida software firm.
One of the main criticisms of Curtis's striking allegations was that "nobody was even thinking about touch-screen voting systems in Florida prior to the 2000 Presidential Election debacle."
Dan Rather's remarkable investigative report, however, would seem to indicate otherwise: seven Sequoia company whistleblowers reveal on camera that, despite their objections, they were forced to use poor quality paper for the punchcards to be used in Florida in 2000. They also revealed that they had been instructed to deliberately misalign the chads for ballots going to Palm Beach County, FL, only.
As well, another recent revelation puts the lie to Feeney's claim, made years ago, that he no longer had anything to do with the owners of the Oviedo, Florida, firm where he was the general counsel and registered lobbyist in 2000 (even as he served as Speaker of the FL House at the same time). Curtis was employed as a computer programmer for the company, which had multi-million dollar contracts with both the state and NASA, where Feeney's wife has worked for several years.
New information reveals that the owners of the company remain personal friends with Feeney, and continue to funnel money to him even while they hope for further contracts from the U.S. House Subcommittee on Space & Aeronautics, in which Feeney has recently been promoted to ranking member.
Go to the Brad Blog for MUCH more on the issue. Hanging chads...intentional? Use of low quality paper and intentional misaligning? In California I used punchcard voting for years...and never had a problem. I always wondered why it was such a problem in Florida. Sounds like it is because certain companies wanted to see states high priced touch screen machines and certain Republicans wanted to subvert the vote using such machines.
Tom Feeney may have been part of the stolen 2000 election...
Now I want to turn to Feeney's voting record. Feeney's probable corruption is damning enough. But his voting record damns him at least as much. Simply put, Tom Feeney votes AGAINST Americans: (voting record from Project Vote Smart)
Feeney opposes a woman's right to choose, and essentially supports forcing a woman to carry a rapist's child to term...even at the risk of her own life. Feeney receives 0/100 ratings from Planned Parenthood every single year.
Feeney gets a 0/100 rating from National Farmers Union. He sure isn't pro-farmer!
Feeney is anti-freedom: Gets 0/100 from ACLU, Arab American Institute, National Council of La Raza, Human Rights Campaign and low ratings from NAACP. Feeney does not believe in Civil Rights.
Feeney hurts our children: gets 0/100 from Children's Defense Fund.
Feeney hurts working class Americans: Gets below 10/100 from almost every Union out there, including SEIU, AFL-CIO, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Worker, American Postal Workers Union, United Auto Workers, International Brotherhood of Boilermakers...shit, if I were Feeney I'd worry about meeting any of these folk in a dark alley. Solid, working class Americans hate Feeney.
Feeney hurts America's Senior Citizens: He consistently gets below 10/100 ratings from Alliance for Retired Americans.
Feeney hutrs American soldiers and Veterans: Gets an abyssmal D+ grade from Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America in 2006, and gets a 0/100 rating from Disabled American Veterans in 2004 and 2005 (he did better in 2006 with a 66/100 rating).
THIS is the Republican who represents FL-24. The DCCC has more information on Tom Feeney and his anti-America, corrupt stands. Here are some examples:
* Rep. Feeney voted against cracking down on the oil and gas industries price gouging.
* Big oil and gas industries have given Rep. Feeney $15,200. Any surprise?
* Rep. Feeney voted to strip overtime protection from millions of workers.
* Rep. Feeney voted to allow federal loans to American companies that have escaped paying U.S. taxes by moving offshore.
* Rep. Feeney voted to continue awarding contracts to Halliburton even if the Pentagon's own audit processes found that more than $100 million of their contractor's costs in Iraq were unreasonable.
* Rep. Feeney opposed expanding access to the military's TRICARE health insurance program to thousands of Reservist and National Guard members, even though 20 percent of all Reservists do not have health insurance, and 40 percent of Reservists aged 19 to 35 lack health coverage.
* Rep. Feeney voted against granting a bonus to grant a $1,500 bonus to every American service member serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, including National Guard and Reserve forces.
You can help defeat Tom Feeney in FL-24 by donating to the FL-24 Congressional race on this Act Blue Page. If you want to preserve American democracy against corruption and voter fraud, send Washington a message by donating at the above Act Blue site to win in Florida in 2008.