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Feds say they’ll look into FL elections law changes

by Dara Kam | May 17th, 2011

The U.S. Department of Justice will “carefully consider” changes to Florida’s elections laws under a bill Gov. Rick Scott is expected to sign into law this week.

U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson complained to the feds before the bill was passed that the measure would impose severe restrictions on Floridians’ voting rights. Democrats are convinced the measure is aimed at suppressing Democratic votes in next year’s presidential election in the swing state considered crucial by both parties.

Nelson drew flak with his comments at the time likening the fight against the elections overhaul to the the years-long covert operation that culminated in the death of Osama bin Laden.

The bill (HB 1355) would force voters to cast provisional ballots if they change their address at the polling place, make it harder for third-party groups to register voters and shorten early voting days. Nelson asked U.S. Attorney Eric Holder’s office to investigate the elections changes. Five counties in Florida remain under federal scrutiny because of discrimination against minority voters decades ago.

“We appreciate your bringing your concerns to our attention,” Assistant Attorney General Ronald Weich wrote Nelson in a letter dated yesterday. “The Department of Justice will carefully consider the information you have provided in the course of our enforcement and administrative review work under the Voting Rights Act. If you have any more information you wish to share, the Department would be pleased to receive it from you.”

Florida’s Congressional Democrats also today asked the justice department’s civil rights division to check out the bill.

U.S. Rep. Ted Deutch of Boca Raton and others wrote that the bill “seriously undermine the basic voting rights” of Floridians.

“We are confident that any honest examination of this legislation will determine that it is in clear violation of the Voting Rights Act,” they wrote.

After the GOP-dominated legislature passed the measure, the League of Women Voters of Florida announced they would no longer conduct voter registration drives. The ACLU and others are expected to challenge the law in court if Scott signs it as expected. He has until May 21 to act on the bill.

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23 Responses to “Feds say they’ll look into FL elections law changes”

  1. JimmyJack Says:

    Absolutely nothing wrong with the provisional ballot and early voting issues. The third party thing is a bit too tough. Quit crying, Nelson, and win an election the old fashioned way — free of corruption.

  2. Holder is a Joke Says:

    Maybe Holder will have the Junior Black Panthers monitor the election for him. Of course, they’ll be armed with their clubs. But please don’t view that as a form of intimidation.

  3. Marty Says:

    The FEDS will CRUSH the Fascist Scott!

  4. OBIWAN Says:

    Did you notice Florida only received $11 Bn in SPENDuLUST funds…

    … but will pay its normal 6% of everything Federal – or about $60 BN, plus interest!

    Missouri went GOP in 2010… they flooded 150,000 acres worth $1,000 a year to ‘save’ 500 homes in Cairo, Illinois that remains fanatically DNC.

    Those 500 ‘shacks’ were in need of raizing when the hiway actually went thru that stringtown 50 years ago!

    Black Panthers intimidating voters in Philadephia is not a Federal matter.

    ACORN buying vote registration is not a Federal matter.

    Requiring voting materials be turned in timely is suddenly ‘voter intimidation’…

    … like in as stupid as thinking eliminating dry hole expenses tax deductions for ‘oil companies’ will not end up creating higher pump prices??

  5. LadyMarian Says:

    Yeah, JimmyJack, just like Rick Scott bought his title.

  6. Ms Vicky Says:

    The Federal Government needs to look into this new bill and everything else this governor does. He’s corrupt from Day 1 and can NEVER be trusted. He already ripped off the federal government, so they’re on to him. And I’ll share another suspicion I have: I’m NOT convinced Scott won his governorship fair and square. Only 48% of Floridians voted, and Scott eeked by with less than 51%. Shortly afterward, uncounted ballots were found in the tri-county area. WE WILL MAKE CERTAIN THAT THIS NEXT ELECTION IS WATCHED OVER SCRUPULOUSLY! We won’t suffer another debacle as we did in 2000. If Gore had won, this country would not have gone under the way it did with Bush! We would not have lost thousands of American lives needlessly and found ourselves a trillion dollars behind. And anyone who isn’t in agreement with this is in DENIAL (OR is Esther Scott, Rick’s mother)!

  7. Nik Bramblett Says:

    It’s clear that here, as with most other places, the commenters operate by a simple, age-old rule: if you can’t win a reasonable debate, NAME CALL and LIE about history.

  8. Ms Vicky Says:

    Hey Nik, Nice piece about Rock Hill, SC!
    (Some people don’t want to be confused by the facts.) Loved your comment about Jon Stewart. I watched it, too. Very funny! Fox is really taking a beating lately but, of course, people who only watch Fox won’t know that. Recently I spoke to a Fox devotee who never heard a word about Senator Ensign. I had to spell the name for her so she could google it…sigh.

  9. Clint Curtis Says:

    Special Report

    Texas to Florida: White House-linked clandestine operation paid for “vote switching” software

    By Wayne Madsen
    Online Journal Contributing Writer…

    December 6, 2004—The manipulation of computer voting machines in the recent presidential election and the funding of programmers who were involved in the operation are tied to an intricate web of shady off-shore financial trusts and companies, shady espionage operatives, Republican Party politicians close to the Bush family, and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) contract vehicles.
    An exhaustive investigation has turned up a link between current Florida Republican Representative Tom Feeney, a customized Windows-based program to suppress Democratic votes on touch screen voting machines, a Florida computer services company with whom Feeney worked as a general counsel and registered lobbyist while he was Speaker of the Florida House of Representatives, and top level officials of the Bush administration.
    According to a notarized affidavit signed by Clint Curtis, while he was employed by the NASA Kennedy Space Center contractor, Yang Enterprises, Inc., during 2000, Feeney solicited him to write a program to “control the vote.” At the time, Curtis was of the opinion that the program was to be used for preventing fraud in the in the 2002 election in Palm Beach County, Florida. His mind was changed, however, when the true intentions of Feeney became clear: the computer program was going to be used to suppress the Democratic vote in counties with large Democratic registrations.
    According to Curtis, Feeney and other top brass at Yang Enterprises, a company located in a three-story building in Oviedo, Florida, wanted the prototype written in Visual Basic 5 (VB.5) in Microsoft Windows and the end-product designed to be portable across different Unix-based vote tabulation systems and to be “undetectable” to voters and election supervisors.
    Yang, an engineering and computer services company subcontracted to NASA prime contractors like Lockheed Martin, was founded in 1986 by Dr. Tyng-Lin (Tim) Yang. Granted minority-owned “Section 8A” and woman-owned preferential status by the U.S. government, Yang’s clients also include the Florida Department of Transportation (DOT). Yang’s President, Li-Woan (Lee) Yang, is Tim Yang’s wife. Feeney was the registered agent for another Yang company, Y & H Greens, Inc., a company that was dissolved in 1988 and operated from the Yangs’ residence on Merritt Island. The Yangs also serve as co-trustees for an entity called Yang of Merritt Island, Ltd., founded on January 31, 2000, and also run from their residence.

    Clint Curtis Affadavit:

    http://www.bradblog.com/Docs/ClintCurtis/CC_Affidavit_120604.pdf

    This coupled with Jen Bush’s administrative order denying the recounts of any paper ballot secured elections for republicans in 2004 and 2008 right here in Central Florida!

  10. Dinah Says:

    Miss Vicky I concur with every statement you made. The poor Republicans have yet to figure out they are the pigs who voted for this butcher. When they get roasted by one of their own it will be too late because all of Florida will be over cooked and living in poverty.

  11. Clint Curtis Says:

    Feeney had long been a voice in Florida GOP politics. He was gubernatorial candidate Jeb Bush’s running mate in 1994, a race in which Democratic incumbent Lawton Chiles defeated Bush. Chiles once referred to Feeney as “the David Duke of Florida politics.”
    In 2002, Feeney asked Curtis if he could develop a touch screen voting machine “flip flop” program. According to Curtis, Feeney asked him, “Can you write a program to flip votes around on touch screen machines?” Curtis said Feeney wanted the program to merely reduce votes in heavily Democratic areas and flip Republican votes to 51 percent and keep Democrat votes to 49 percent. Curtis added that Feeney “did not want to win by a lot.” In return, Curtis said Feeney offered him “big jobs.” Curtis’s main tasks at Yang were to develop the Florida DOT’s Electronic Document Management System. He also worked on the Project Pipeline Information System at another one of Yang’s major clients, Exxon Mobil’s Coral Gables facility.
    Curtis said he developed the voting program and eventually handed off his prototype to Feeney. The program was also reviewed by Curtis’s senior coder, Hai Lin (Henry) Nee, who according to Florida Department of Transportation sources, was an illegal alien working in the United States. According Curtis, not only did Nee review the vote switching program code but he constantly downloaded sensitive data to his computer from NASA’s computers. Nee, according to Curtis, moonlighted at an Orlando company called Azure Systems, described by The Orlando Sentinel as a “three person engineering firm” and one of a number of companies linked to Ting Ih-Hsu, a former Lockheed Martin employee. At the same time Nee was reviewing Yang’s vote switching program, he was also being investigated by U.S. federal investigators for illegally shipping Hellfire missile parts to China. Oddly, although U.S. law enforcement agents had put Nee and his associates under surveillance for illegal exports of technology to China in 1999, he and his colleagues were not arrested until March of this year.
    Curtis claimed that Yang’s corporate bosses stressed that the company had “unlimited” sources of money that came “mostly” from China. According to Florida DOT employees, House Speaker Feeney pressured their agency to give money to Yang for nonexistent software. The sources also revealed that Feeney was aware that Yang was employing a number of illegal aliens on State of Florida and federal contracts.

  12. Clint Curtis Says:

    Feeney’s ties to Yang paralleled similar close ties to NASA. Feeney’s wife Ellen has worked as an engineer for NASA’s Kennedy Space Center since 1985. Jeb Bush ensured that Florida’s 24th Congressional District was redrawn so that Feeney would have an easy time in his 2002 race against Democratic opponent Harry Jacobs. According to Florida state officials, who spoke on the condition anonymity, 500 Yang employees at the Kennedy Space Center were paid for their time when they agreed to picket against Jacobs. In addition, NASA administrator Sean O’Keefe, according to the same sources, lobbied extensively for Feeney within NASA. In addition, O’Keefe and his close friend and former Pentagon boss, Vice President Dick Cheney, made campaign appearances for Feeney at the Kennedy Space Center.
    Feeney’s close ties to Jeb Bush and Cheney paid off. In 2002, he was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in a race that also saw the re-election of Jeb Bush. Early in “vote switch’s” development stages, Feeney had told Curtis that he wanted the program “made to control Palm Beach” in 2002. Palm Beach County’s Election Supervisor was still the controversial Theresa LePore, nicknamed “Madam Butterfly,” who designed the infamous “butterfly ballots” in the 2000 election. LePore had once been an employee of Saudi multi-billionaire Adnan Khashoggi, a Saudi link that is tied to a huge multi-billion tranche of money distributed throughout off-shore trusts, accounts, and corporations with interlocking directorships that are controlled by Bush interests in Houston. It was this Bush-controlled money cache, originating in the East, and known in Houston by the name “Five Star” and other cryptonyms that was, according to U.S. intelligence insiders, used to fund the rigging of the 2004 election.
    When he arrived in Congress, Feeney was given a seat on the House Science and Technology Committee, which oversees NASA’s operations. Feeney was also appointed to the important House Finance and Judiciary Committees. He was also given a clean bill of ethical health by Florida’s Ethics Commission, a panel that has a Republican majority.
    After Feeney’s ascension to Congress, Yang’s questionable billing activities with its Florida DOT contract came to the attention of Ray C. Lemme, a seasoned senior investigator with the Florida DOT Inspector General’s Office and a combat veteran of the Vietnam War. Lemme had a lot of evidence to suspect that Yang was overbilling the DOT for “millions.” After discovering Yang’s dirty laundry, Curtis went to work for the DOT. Mavis Georgalis, the DOT’s contracting officer for the Yang contract, was also aware of improprieties with the contract.

  13. Clint Curtis Says:

    After Feeney’s ascension to Congress, Yang’s questionable billing activities with its Florida DOT contract came to the attention of Ray C. Lemme, a seasoned senior investigator with the Florida DOT Inspector General’s Office and a combat veteran of the Vietnam War. Lemme had a lot of evidence to suspect that Yang was overbilling the DOT for “millions.” After discovering Yang’s dirty laundry, Curtis went to work for the DOT. Mavis Georgalis, the DOT’s contracting officer for the Yang contract, was also aware of improprieties with the contract. As a result of pressure from the Florida State House, both Curtis and Georgalis were eventually fired by the DOT because of their complaints about the Yang contract. Someone was obviously trying to send Curtis a message when, on August 14, 2002, he discovered that someone poisoned his pet Pomeranian dog, Emily. Lemme was forced to stop his official investigation of Yang for similar reasons. However, he decided to continue an “unofficial” investigation of Yang and its practices on the side. It was a fateful decision.
    According to DOT employees familiar with the Yang case, Lemme was aware that it was Jeb Bush who personally shut down his investigation of Yang. Lemme also leaked details concerning his investigation to the Daytona Beach News Journal. The investigator had previously requested a full audit of the Yang contract with the DOT, a request that was denied. Lemme also became aware of something else outside the framework of the DOT contract—that Yang had been involved in producing a prototype vote switching program for use with touch screen voting machines and that Tom Feeney was in on the scam. The last time Clint Curtis spoke to Lemme, he remembers the silver haired investigator excited about where his case was leading. Lemme told Curtis that the cover up of Yang was coming from “as high up as I could imagine” and that he had “proof” that was “shocking.”

  14. Clint Curtis Says:

    On Sunday, June 29, 2003, evidence indicates that Lemme drove from Tallahassee to Valdosta, Georgia, the home of Moody Air Force Base. A motel receipt indicated that Lemme checked in at the Knight’s Inn off Interstate 75 at 6:49 p.m. Lemme’s wife said that her husband left home for work on Monday, June 30, at 5:15 a.m., an hour earlier than usual. According to a Leon County Sheriff’s report, Lemme’s wife said she received a voice message after she returned home at 6:45 p.m. on Monday. The message was from her husband’s supervisor, Bob Clift, who informed her that earlier in the day, at 6:15 a.m., Lemme called into work, left a message, and said he would not be coming to work that day. Clift said he was checking up on Ray Lemme. Mrs. Lemme called Clift and told him that her husband was not at home. Mrs. Lemme told police that her husband was working on a “big case.” Mrs. Lemme filed a missing person report with the Leon County, Sheriff’s Office. Clift later determined that Ray Lemme made his earlier call to work at 6:15 a.m., one hour after he supposedly left his home for work, from a pay phone at the junction of Interstate 10 and Highway 1 in Jefferson County, Florida. Shortly after 11:00 a.m. on Tuesday, July 1, the maid assigned to clean Lemme’s room—132—received no answer when she knocked. The door was locked. There was no response when the maid called the room’s telephone. The hotel manager then called the police.
    The following is from the Valdosta Police Detective Report filed by Detective Craig Spencer and dated July 1, 2003: “On July 1, 2003 at approximately 1330 hours, I received a page advising me to be en route to Knights Inn at 2110 West Hill Avenue in reference to an unattended death.” When Spencer and other police officers and detectives arrived at the motel, the manager told them that the occupant of Room 132, Ray Lemme, was to have checked out by 11a.m. The officers yelled through the slightly ajar door but received no answer and they discovered the upper swing latch was locked. The officers used a special tool provided by the motel to open the swing latch lock. Spencer said that one of the officers entered the room and found a suicide note and then proceeded to the bathroom where Lemme was found dead in the bathtub. Police also discovered that the inside of Lemmes’s left elbow—the cubital tunnel—was slashed. There were spurts of blood on the wall but no blood found on the floor. A belt possibly used as a tourniquet and a double- edged straight razor blade were found on the side of the tub. A bath towel was unfolded and neatly placed on the floor next to the tub.
    Later on July 1, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation Crime Laboratory in Moultrie informed the Valdosta Police that based on the “suicide” details, no autopsy would be performed on Lemme. Unlike Florida, Georgia does not perform mandatory autopsies. A doctor, with 25 years’ clinical experience, who was interviewed for this story claimed that the circumstances of Lemme’s death appeared to him to be a classic “mob hit.” If the Leon County Sheriff missing person report is to be believed, it is clear that someone other than Lemme checked into the Valdosta motel on Sunday evening using his name. Clearly, the Leon County Sheriff’s report contains a number of details that directly conflict with facts found in the Valdosta Police report. In addition, the Lowndes County, Georgia, Coroner’s report fails to indicate an estimated time of death based on a full medical examination—it surmised that the time of death was the same time as indicated on the suicide note: 8:10 a.m. on July 1.
    An empty manila folder and a blank legal pad notebook were found on the hotel room’s desk along with an undated and unsigned suicide note written on lined paper, which lacked any identifiable fingerprints, from Lemme’s day planner. The note merely contained the time 8:10 a.m. with the following notation: “I love my family (family underlined once) with all my heart. I am sorry. I am depressed and in pain. Mary Ann (Lemme’s wife), I love you.” (“I love you” underlined twice). It was certainly not indicative of a person who was ecstatic that he was finally going to nail a long investigation that involved vote rigging, overbilling, and fraud abetted by the very top political leadership in Tallahassee. Interestingly, the last number on Lemme’s pager (an 850 960-XXXX) ended with the number “911.” It is also interesting that Lemme’s watch, when discovered by the police, was stopped at 12:34 p.m. on June 30–a possible indication that Lemme was trying to convey the time of a possible in extremis situation. Also, Lemme’s Florida driver’s license was in his room while his wallet was in the glove box of his car, which was parked in front of the room. Two motel receipts were found in Lemme’s room by the police. One was a check-in receipt dated June 29 and timed at 6:44 p.m. The other was a receipt, without a notation of check-in or check-out, dated June 30 and timed at 6:54 a.m. A witness told police that Lemme’s car was parked in front of his room on the afternoon of June 30.

  15. Clint Curtis Says:

    Yea! Maybe the Feds should look into the Florida voter corruption! While they are here they might just as well look at all the corruption in Florida! Start with Lake County, the most corrupt county in Florida.

  16. Informed Citizen Says:

    I thought Clint Curtis had finally slipped back under his rock when his story was proven to be a lie several years ago.

    According to Curtis, Mr. Feeney is evidently psychic and knew in the early part of 2000, when Florida still used punch cards, that problems would occur later in the year which would lead to the purchase of touch screens in 2002 – two years in the future. There were no touch screens in Florida in 2000. The timeline of his tale makes no sense!

    Curtis should have used Feeney’s gift of seeing into the future to write computer programs for winning the lottery.

  17. Lewis Johnson Says:

    Did not the Dems put these law in affect. Now the Reps wish to change them. Yes,People have a right to vote but not a absoulte right. Do they not have to register, be of age, etc. None of these changes would take away ones right to vote. This is just Dems trying their best to do their number one Job – GET RE-ELECTED.

  18. Lewis Johnson Says:

    This is just Dems doing their number one job- GET RE-ELECTED. None of these changes would take away one’s right to vote. Think about it. People have a right to vote, but not an absoulte right, does not one have to register, be of age. They can not just walk in and ask to vote. Do they.

  19. Ms Vicky Says:

    The reason the Republicans are trying to pass so many specious election laws is because THEY KNOW THEY WILL BE VOTED OUT IN 2012. They are venal, but they aren’t (all) totally ignorant. They know they are NOT doing the people’s work, so they better scurry around and try to find ways to stop the inevitable tsunami of unhappy Floridians that will sweep them out of office like a tidal wave in 2012.This bunch of miscreants is the BEST thing that ever happened to Democrats, independents and AMERICAN JUSTICE! Tea-Party, read this and WEEP!

  20. Rob Says:

    I don’t think there’s a reasonable person out there that thinks this won’t eventually be struck down in some court. There’s already precedents for striking down portions of this bill.

    The arrogance of it though is appalling. It’s clearly an attempt at disenfranchising voters.

  21. just the facts thats all Says:

    To the MIS-informed citizen trying to spin the truth into lies. Funny how you slime slither out to defend your corruption when the truth hits the light of day! Stay tuned! Gov Scott is not one of your Jebbie baby cronies and he a slow learner but when he finally gets it he keeps it!

  22. carolo Says:

    Oh yes. Let’s have a nice legal election like in 2000 between Bush and Gore where it took 11 months after Bush was President to declare Gore the real winner!

  23. Ms Vicky Says:

    Just the facts, I guess you’re unaware of JUST HOW COMICAL you are! You admit that Jeb has his “cronies,” but you don’t know that Rick Scott is his # 1 fan! LOL!(Just like a Tea Party member. Stop watching the rasslin’and wet tee-shirt contests on Fox news and educate yourself.) Rick Scott and George Bush are business partners. Check out the Scott + Bush connection. And when you mention slime, corruption and lies…get your head right! YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT RICK SCOTT, AND EVERYONE IS ON TO YOU!

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