Contest to be Dismissed During Tuesday Mark-up Session of Rush Holt's Election Reform Bill
'Insufficient Evidence' Given as Reason, Despite Failure by Committee to Review 'Hard Evidence' Collected...[NOW WITH UPDATED NEWS ABOUT DISMISSAL]
By Brad Friedman on 5/8/2007, 12:58am PT  

UPDATE 5/8/07 5:45pm PT: The U.S. House Administration Committee voted unanimously to dismiss all of the U.S. House election contests other than the FL-13 Jennings/Buchanan race. More details now here...

The campaign of Clint Curtis (D), the vote-rigging/Tom Feeney whistleblower who challenged Feeney (R-Abramoff) for the U.S. House seat in Florida's 24h Congressional district last November, has told The BRAD BLOG that the U.S. House Administrative Committee is set to dismiss Curtis' Congressional contest of the race --- filed under the Federal Contested Elections Act --- when the committee meets on Tuesday morning.

Though they've yet to examine the "hard evidence" the Curtis campaign says they've collected in the matter, the reason for the dismissal, as given to campaign manager, Marty Ward by a Capitol Hill staffer, was "insufficient evidence". Ward says that two different offices have informed the campaign of the committee's plan to dismiss the case tomorrow.

Ward told us tonight, however, that Congress hasn't even seen, much less investigated, the "hard evidence" in the form of sworn affidavits from voters that the campaign's volunteers have collected over the past several months via door-to-door canvassing in the district. The results of that canvass, the campaign says, reveal that Curtis' votes, as tallied on Florida's paperless touch-screen voting systems, were under-reported by anywhere from 12% to 24% per precinct so far canvassed.

Curtis was declared the loser by some 16 points after the election, despite an "Election Eve" Zogby Poll which declared he and Feeney to be in a "statistical dead heat". An 8 point or better misreporting of the true results in the race, they maintain, would have swung the election in Feeney's favor as they believe likely happened.

Ward sent us these thoughts in response to the Democrats plans earlier this evening...

THE HOUSE ADMINISTRATION COMMITTEES reasons for possibly dismissing the Clint’s Contest:

  • Not enough evidence. What we did not have is mainstream media coverage. What we do have is hard evidence that there is a discrepancy between the official count and the affidavits that were gathered from actual voters.
  • Sworn affidavits not good enough. In the past, it was exit polls that were considered not good enough because they did not connect the vote with the voter. Our system does exactly that. It is like having a paper ballots to count except even better. It is signed. Affidavits and eye witness testimony are the corner stone of our legal system.
  • Your signature not good enough. If the committee is not willing to accept what every court in the country requires as evidence, what level of proof are they willing to accept?
  • Source code. If the committee requires the errors in the code to be found, we must be allowed access to the code and the machines. We are aware of hundreds of experts willing to independently examine and blueprint those proprietary systems should that opportunity become available.

In the meantime, an Independent Investigation will determine once and for all if the machines in District 24 counted accurately.

  • An Independent Investigation can be conducted easily and inexpensively and the results verified. Hundreds of thousands of dollars have been spent on Jennings’s race chasing votes that unfortunately can never be found. For under $30,000 you could know for sure what happened in District 24. This is not about partisan politics. It is about our Democracy. Every vote needs to be counted.

Two weeks ago we ran a story with more details on the above as the campaign had then issued a press release calling for an investigation after months of inaction by the committee.

Last week, the House Admin Committee decided to ask the GAO to investigate the contested Jennings/Buchanan FL-13 election. Aside from that race, where 18,000 votes disappeared on Sarasota's touch-screen systems in an election decided by 369 votes, no public action (or even private, as far as we can tell) has been taken on Curtis' race. Another two challenged races from Florida and another from a Louisiana race have all be contested under the federal act this year.

Neither Curtis, nor the candidates in the other challenged elections --- other than FL-13 --- have been allowed to testify to Congress concerning their contests.

While there is no notice on the Democratic House Admin Comm website about tomorrow's meeting, a page on the Minority website confirms consideration of the Holt Election Reform Bill (HR811) on Tuesday along with the election contests of: "Russell v. Brown-Waite (FL–5), Gonzalez v. Diaz-Balart, Lincoln (FL–21), Curtis v. Feeney (FL-24), Cox v. McCrery (LA–4)".

An emailer --- not part of the Curtis campaign --- writes to us late tonight concerning the House Democrats reported plans to say: "How dare they say there's not enough evidence [in the Curtis/Feeney matter] and then push a bill [Holt's HR811] that allows continued use of machines that hide the evidence! If that's not an invitation to steal elections, I don't know what is."

Another writes: "This case is of the utmost importance. If sworn affidavits from the voters don't count, what counts? Only the machine count?"

An action alert being circulated tonight by the People's Email Network and the Curtis campaign asks citizens to voice their concerns by phone and/or email before tomorrow's meeting (if possible) to the members of the House Administration Committee whose contact info is posted below...

Contact info for individuals on House Administration Committee - 110th Congress:

Note: Juanita Millender-McDonald (D-37th/CA) was the Committee Chair until she passed away recently due to cancer.

Robert A. Brady (D-1st/PA), Chair
ph: (202) 225-4731, fax: (202) 225-0088
Chief of Staff: Stan White

Zoe Lofgren (D-16th/CA)
ph: (202) 225-3072, fax: (202) 225-3336
Chief of Staff: Stacey Leavandosky

Michael Capuano (D-8th/MA)
ph: (202) 225-5111, fax: (202) 225-9322
Chief of Staff: Robert Primus

Charles A. Gonzalez (D-20th/TX)
ph: (202) 225-3236, fax: (202) 225-1915
Chief of Staff: Kevin Kimble

Susan A. Davis (D-53rd/CA)
ph: (202) 225-2040, fax: (202) 225-2948
Chief of Staff: Lisa Sherman

Vernon Ehlers (R-3rd/MI), Ranking Member
ph: (202) 225-3831, fax: (202) 225-5144
Chief of Staff: Bill McBride

Dan Lungren (R-3rd/CA)
ph: (202) 225-5716, fax: (202) 226-1298
Chief of Staff: Victor Arnold-Bik

Kevin McCarthy (R-22nd/CA)
ph: (202) 225-2915, fax: (202) 225-2908
Chief of Staff: James Min

# # #

For more info on The BRAD BLOG's continuing investigative series on
The Clint Curtis/Tom Feeney/Yang Enterprises Vote-Rigging Scandal series, please see:
- A Quick Summary of the story so far.
- An Index of all the Key Articles & Evidence in the series so far.
- Curtis eventually ended up running for U.S. Congress against Feeney in 2006.
For more info, see:
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