In the 2006 election, I did a small amount of volunteer work on the U. S. House (District 24) campaign of Clint Curtis
, the man who challenged Republican incumbent Tom Feeney
and intends to do so again in 2008. Over the past few days, a plethora of stories has appeared in the traditional news media and the blogosphere about the FBI finally
having a chat with Feeney regarding his relationship with former corrupt powerhouse lobbyist and current convicted felon Jack Abramoff
. Here's a tiny sampling in case anyone needs to catch up:
I can think of no better time to reintroduce Clint. Some of you may know Clint as the man who testified under oath before a voting forum initiated by Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) in December 2004. This YouTube video has Clint's entire testimony:Rigged USA Elections Exposed
(length: 12 min)
It's difficult to condense Clint's story because of all the bizarre twists and turns it's taken since he met Feeney in the year 2000. Here are the most basic details:
Curtis is a programmer who worked for Yang Enterprises (YEI) in Oviedo, Florida until February 2001. Curtis is notable chiefly for making a series of "whistleblower" allegations about his employer YEI and powerful Republican Congressman Tom Feeney.... At the time of the alleged incidents, Feeney was simultaneously YEI's corporate attorney, a registered lobbyist for YEI, and a member of Florida's House of Representatives. He also maintained his election office in the YEI building....
In September 2000, at the behest of Rep. Feeney, [Clint] was asked to write a program for a touchscreen voting machine that would make it possible to change the results of an election undetectably. This technology, explained Curtis, could also be used in any electronic tabulation machine or scanner.... Curtis spoke about this to the Conyers Voting Forum, after Conyers left the forum and turned over the dais to a local politician, on 2004-12-13....
On March 3, 2005, Curtis took a polygraph test.... The test did not detect any attempt at deception on the part of Curtis in any of his responses. Curtis has stated that the test was based on all the allegations in the affidavit that was provided to Conyer's Voting Forum.
Please refer to Clint's dKosopedia entry
for a more complete story and numerous links to outside sources.
Unfortunately, Clint is still not very well known beyond the sphere of people and groups particularly concerned with election manipulation. (I mean no disrespect here; all progressives are very much worried about the sad state of this country's electoral system. I'm referring, though, to the people involved with the "nuts and bolts" of elections.) Clint ran against Feeney in the 2006 election, but "lost" the election to Feeney, 58% to 42%. Sixteen percent is a sizable margin, to be sure, until one considers the following:
- Clint didn't enter the race until March 2006, a painfully short time to raise money and gain support in time for the fall elections
- Clint had to expend resources defeating a Dem primary challenger, while Feeney had no primary opponent
- Clint's campaign warchest was a fraction of Feeney's (I don't have exact figures, but I've heard it was something like $100,000 vs. over $3 million)
- Clint received little or no financial or other assistance from the DCCC or other prominent national groups
You may be wondering why I enclosed the word lost
in quotes in the above statement about the 2006 election. This is because Clint has not conceded the election to Feeney and has called for an independent investigation
into voting irregularities he and his team believe they've uncovered:
Curtis did not concede the race because the 16% loss did not reflect the Zogby Poll taken just weeks before the election nor the polling conducted by the online vote verification tool www.VoteNow2006.net . Instead, he enlisted a dedicated group of grassroots election integrity volunteers who have been Walking For Democracy by canvassing the 24th District since November. They have interviewed individual voters and gathered data. In every precinct studied, the data shows that Curtis received 12-24% more votes than stated in the official result. Unlike Christine Jennings in Florida’s 13th Congressional District, which has 18,000 missing votes that can not be verified, the group has gathered hard evidence that shows exactly where the election results are inaccurate. [emphasis mine]
Brad Friedman of Brad Blog interviewed Clint
in March on the Walking For Democracy effort.
All these considerations lead me, at least, to believe that if Clint can gather grassroots/netroots and national support starting now, 18 months before the 2008 election, and with Feeney's name now plastered all over the place in connection with Jack Abramoff, Clint has an excellent chance of winning the FL-24 seat.
There are some rumors floating around that Clint is unhinged, delusional, paranoid, etc. I've met the man, having done a small amount of volunteer work on his 2006 campaign, and I can tell you he's none of these things, although I can certainly say he's "insanely committed" to election honesty and integrity, something we sorely need in today's political climate. He's an honest man who works tirelessly on election fraud issues. And he has a sharp, dry wit and a silly sense of humor. (I once stopped by his campaign office in Daytona Beach wearing my uniform for my tai chi school, and he tried to get me to "attack him" so I could demonstrate some moves. After I explained that tai chi is purely a defensive martial art and I could not fight back unless someone attacked me first, he then attempted to enlist an elderly man standing nearby to attack me instead.)
Clint Curtis basically ended up in a bizarre situation very few of us could imagine. But instead of just "getting over it" as his detractors might hope, he decided not to take it lying down. Clint could have easily made the decision to protect himself and his reputation by fading into the woodwork, but because he's an ethical man who loves America, he decided to make immense personal and professional sacrifices to bring the truth to light. Wow, could I possibly have used any more cheesy cliches in this paragraph? Tee hee. Sorry, but it's true.
At any rate, who would you rather have in Congress - an "unhinged" Democrat who fights like hell for election integrity, or just another corrupt Republican resident of the House that Jack Built
Please donate to Clint if you can. You don't have to live in the FL-24 district
to do so. All you have to do is care about fair and honest elections.Clint Curtis for Congress
Race tracker wiki: FL-24[crossposted with minor modifications to DailyKos]
Labels: clint curtis, election integrity, fl-24, jack abramoff, tom feeney