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FTR #493–494 Two Interviews with Daniel Hopsicker about Electoral Fraud

Record­ed Jan­u­ary 2 and 9, 2005
Lis­ten to #493:
MP3 Side 1 [1] | Side 2 [2]
RealAu­dio [3]

Lis­ten to #494
MP3 Side 1 [4] | Side 2 [5]
RealAu­dio [6]

Due to the over­lap­ping nature of FTRs #493 and #494, the descrip­tions for the two pro­grams are merged into a sin­gle, longer doc­u­ment. The pro­grams set forth the crooked nature of com­pa­nies that make the elec­tron­ic vot­ing machines for US elec­tions, as well as that cor­rup­tion’s effects on the Amer­i­can polit­i­cal process. One of the most dis­turb­ing points of infor­ma­tion pre­sent­ed here con­cerns the appar­ent use of pho­ny ter­ror alerts to manip­u­late vote-tab­u­lat­ing com­put­ers in two bor­der­line states. In War­ren Coun­ty, Ohio and Tal­la­has­see, Flori­da, dubi­ous “ter­ror alerts” caused the evac­u­a­tion of key elec­tion facil­i­ties and the secur­ing of both by secu­ri­ty per­son­nel. Much of the dis­cus­sion focus­es on Sequoia Pacif­ic and its long-stand­ing rela­tion­ship with both orga­nized crime and the GOP. A sup­posed com­peti­tor of Sequoia Pacific—ES&S—actually works close­ly with its “oppo­nent.” Daniel Hop­sick­er inves­ti­gates var­i­ous gam­bling ini­tia­tives, and how the orga­nized crime and polit­i­cal ele­ments involved in elec­tion tam­per­ing skew­ered the vote tal­lies on those pro­pos­als. Charles Kane is a “for­mer” CIA offi­cer who advised the Ukraine on elec­tion mat­ters in 1996, and was involved in the high­ly sus­pi­cious han­dling of absen­tee bal­lots in Mar­tin Coun­ty, Flori­da in 2000. The arti­cles by Daniel Hop­sick­er have been repro­duced here, for the con­ve­nience of the lis­ten­er.

Pro­gram High­lights Include: The crim­i­nal con­vic­tion of Lloyd Dixon, head of Sequoia’s pre­de­ces­sor com­pa­ny; Dixon’s successor—Louis Wolfson—tried to bribe Supreme Court Jus­tice Abe For­t­as; Sequoia’s involve­ment with a New Orleans gam­bling ini­tia­tive; the con­vic­tion of SP’s South­east rep­re­sen­ta­tive Pasquale “Roc­co” Ric­ci for brib­ing Jer­ry Fowler, Louisiana’s elec­tions over­seer; the sus­pi­cious “sui­cide” of the New Orleans offi­cial in charge of secu­ri­ty for the build­ing hous­ing the elec­tion machines; Deb­o­rah and Richard Clark’s high­ly ques­tion­able involve­ment with both Sequoia Pacif­ic and SP’s sup­posed com­peti­tor ES&S; the man­ner in which SP and ES&S swap machines back and forth; the extra­or­di­nary maneu­ver­ing Kathryn Fer­gu­son used to pur­chase SP machines for Las Vegas; numer­ous exam­ples of the strange and anom­alous results achieved by some of these elec­tron­ic vot­ing machines.

1. Before pre­sent­ing text that illu­mi­nates the dis­cus­sion in FTRs 493 and 494, we present (in line-items 1–4) Daniel Hop­sick­er’s arti­cles upon which the pro­grams are based:

The Big Fix 2004 [7]
How to Fix a Pres­i­den­tial Elec­tion Pt. 1: Con­vict­ed, Felons, ‘Shad­owy Financiers’ Own Com­pa­nies Count­ing Votes

An inves­ti­ga­tion into the sur­pris­ing­ly-sor­did his­to­ry of Amer­i­ca’s “elec­tion ser­vices indus­try” has revealed that exec­u­tives and own­ers of the two largest com­pa­nies, E S & S and Sequoia Pacif­ic, have been con­vict­ed of bribery and sub­orn­ing pub­lic offi­cials in more than a dozen states.

And while a felony con­vic­tion may be enough »Con­tin­ue orig­i­nal arti­cle» [7]

2.

Elec­tion Com­pa­ny Has Long Crim­i­nal His­to­ry [8]

Thugs, Rack­e­teers Count­ing Amer­i­can Votes

While Ukraini­ans poured into the streets of their cap­i­tal Kiev to protest a pres­i­den­tial elec­tion they say was stolen by that coun­try’s cur­rent regime, here in the U.S. a lit­tle-known elec­tion com­pa­ny called Sequoia Pacif­ic, respon­si­ble for putting our own ‘cur­rent regime’ in pow­er­four years ago, was at the cen­ter of con­tro­ver­sy last week... for the sec­ond Pres­i­den­tial elec­tion in a row.

While U.S. news­pa­pers have been filled with quotes from Amer­i­can offi­cials pon­tif­i­cat­ing »Con­tin­ue orig­i­nal arti­cle» [8]

3.

Back In The USSR [9]
CIA “Help­ful” in Ukraine Elec­tions

A retired CIA agent, whose ille­gal and unfet­tered access to elec­tion rolls in Mar­tin Coun­ty Flori­da was a major source of legal con­tention after the 2000 Elec­tion, trav­eled to the Ukraine four years ear­li­er to teach “grass-roots pol­i­tics” to peo­ple there, The Mad­Cow­Morn­ingNews has learned.

The news came even as cit­i­zens in the Ukraine cel­e­brate »Con­tin­ue orig­i­nal arti­cle» [9]

4.

Fraud by Com­put­er in Flori­da
Elec­tion Offi­cial Thwarts Recount Using Pho­ny Vote Totals

A “mis­take” made in the office of a seri­ous­ly-com­pro­mised Super­vi­sor of Elec­tion in Pinel­las Coun­ty whose hus­band is a top exec­u­tive of the coun­try’s largest elec­tion ser­vices com­pa­ny has almost unno­ticed spiked the best hope for a elec­tion recount in Flori­da that might have thrown a spot­light on the dark cor­ners of the Flori­da elec­tion process con­ceal­ing wide­spread sys­temic and sys­tem-wide vote fraud.

The office of Super­vi­sor of Elec­tions in Pinel­las Coun­ty, Deb­o­rah Clark, pro­vid­ed inflat­ed totals on the YES side of the gam­bling »Con­tin­ue orig­i­nal arti­cle» [10]

5.

Rogue State: The Covert Op that Ate the World [11]

While both of the ter­ror­ist pilots who crashed into the World Trade Cen­ter were stu­dents at Venice Flori­da’s Huff­man Avi­a­tion, the flight school’s own­er Wal­lace J. Hilliard, 72, of Naples, FL., was simul­ta­ne­ous­ly pur­su­ing his own diplo­mat­ic open­ing to Fidel Cas­tro’s Cuba. A pho­to­graph (left) recent­ly made avail­able »Con­tin­ue orig­i­nal arti­cle» [11]

One of the cen­tral themes in Daniel Hop­sick­er’s arti­cles on elec­tron­ic vote fraud con­cerns the per­va­sive­ness of orga­nized crime in the milieu of the crooked vot­ing machines. In addi­tion, gambling—one of the prin­ci­pal sources of income for orga­nized crime syndicates—also fig­ures in this con­cate­na­tion. It is impor­tant to note, how­ev­er, that orga­nized crime is but one of the ele­ments in the crooked vot­ing machine pha­lanx. One of the com­pa­nies that has both Repub­li­can right-wing AND orga­nized crime influ­ences is Sequoia Pacif­ic. A Gam­bi­no crime fam­i­ly oper­a­tive was involved with the com­pa­ny’s oper­a­tions in New York. ” . . . In fact, the Gam­bi­no fam­i­ly and Sequoia Pacif­ic have had more than a nod­ding acquain­tance, accord­ing to news­pa­pers in New York report­ing on the intrigue sur­round­ing the award­ing of a mul­ti-mil­lion dol­lar con­tract for elec­tion machines in New York City dur­ing the mid-90’s, where Sequoia’s rep­re­sen­ta­tive in the bid­ding gained noto­ri­ety for attempt­ing to grease the skids a lit­tle at a marathon lun­cheon host­ed by Sal­va­tore Reale, a Gam­bi­no under­boss who lat­er pled guilty to rack­e­teer­ing. . . .”
(“Elec­tion Com­pa­ny Has Long Crim­i­nal His­to­ry” by Daniel Hop­sick­er; Mad Cow Morn­ing News; 11/24/2004; p. 3.) [8]

6. From its incep­tion, Sequoia has been inex­tri­ca­bly linked with crim­i­nal activ­i­ties. Begun as Amer­i­can Vot­ing Machine, the com­pa­ny was under the con­trol of stock­hold­ers in [North Amer­i­can] Rock­well, a major defense con­trac­tor. Pres­i­dent and CEO Lloyd Dixon was con­vict­ed of brib­ing an offi­cial and sen­tenced to prison. ” . . . It [Sequoia Pacif­ic] began its mod­ern life as Auto­mat­ic Vot­ing Machine, spun off to share­hold­ers of Defense con­trac­tor Rock­well in the 1960’s. The com­pa­ny’s founder, Lloyd A. Dixon Jr. resigned as pres­i­dent and CEO on Jan. 10, 1973, and lat­er went to prison, after being indict­ed by a New York fed­er­al grand jury for brib­ing Buf­fa­lo elec­tion offi­cials. The com­pa­ny was fined near­ly $50,000 for brib­ing Texas and Arkansas offi­cials. . .” (Idem.)

7. Things did­n’t get any bet­ter after Dixon’s depar­ture and impris­on­ment: ” Last week, we briefly relat­ed the sor­did tale of the next own­er of Sequoia Pacif­ic, financier and cor­po­rate raider Louis Wolf­son. Wolf­son was con­vict­ed of brib­ing the only Supreme Court Jus­tice ever forced to resign in dis­grace, ‘Dis­hon­est Abe’ For­t­as. For­t­as got caught palm­ing a life­time year­ly ‘retain­er’ from the wily Wolf­son’s fam­i­ly foun­da­tion. Alas for ‘Dis­hon­est Abe,’ as he came to be called, the law draws no dis­tinc­tion between ‘accept­ing a retain­er’ and ‘tak­ing a bribe.’ For­t­as cut him­self a deal. He taped phone calls, at the FBI’s behest, with Wolf­son, who was plead­ing with the Supreme Court Jus­tice to dum­my up. In the tran­scripts of these phone calls the word ‘cov­er-up’ enters the Amer­i­can lex­i­con for the first time. Appar­ent­ly, For­t­as coined it at the instant of need, when he said (prob­a­bly for the tape recorder), ‘No I can’t do that! That be a cov­er-up!’ ” (Ibid.; pp. 3–4.)

8. Gam­bling was at the epi­cen­ter of a scan­dal con­cern­ing the appar­ent bribery of Louisiana’s Com­mis­sion­er of Elec­tions Jer­ry Fowler. ” . . . Fowler got him­self in big gam­bling trou­ble at Har­rah’s casi­no in Atlantic City in the mid-’90’s, which helped explained his tak­ing bribes. It was at this same time when alle­ga­tions of vot­ing irreg­u­lar­i­ty became com­mon­place in Louisiana. Curi­ous­ly, gam­bling was the burn­ing issue on the bal­lot in state elec­tions at the same exact time. One propo­si­tion con­cerned Har­rah’s pro­pos­al to build a casi­no in down­town New Orleans. . . .” (Ibid.; p. 5.)

9. Fowler was con­vict­ed of tak­ing bribes from Pasquale “Roc­co” Ric­ci, the South­east­ern rep­re­sen­ta­tive of Sequoia Pacif­ic. ” . . . We first learned of Sequoia Paci­fic’s pen­chant for greas­ing the palms of cor­rupt pub­lic offi­cials from the well-pub­li­cized news accounts in the year 2000 about Louisiana’s Com­mis­sion­er of Elec­tions Jer­ry Fowler, con­vict­ed of tak­ing as much as ten mil­lion dol­lars over a peri­od of a decade from Sequoia’s South­east Rep­re­sen­ta­tive, a man named Pasquale ‘Roc­co’ Ric­ci, from Marl­ton, New Jer­sey. Even after plead­ing guilty to sub­orn­ing democ­ra­cy in the state of Louisiana for more than a decade, Ric­ci remained some­thing of a mys­tery fig­ure, we learned to our sur­prise. . . .” (Ibid.; p. 4.)

10. The Ricci/Fowler liai­son was brought to light when Susan Bernack­er, a los­ing can­di­date test­ed the vot­ing machines. When she vot­ed for her­self, the Sequoia Pacif­ic machines reg­is­tered a vote for her opponent—Nick Giambel­lu­ca. ” . . .Vot­ing machine tests per­formed and video­taped by a sus­pi­cious local can­di­date imme­di­ate­ly after this elec­tion demon­strat­ed that votes Susan Bernack­er cast for her­self dur­ing the test were elec­tron­i­cal­ly record­ed for her oppo­nent. (The test was repeat­ed sev­er­al times with the same result. The aston­ish­ing video footage is in our doc­u­men­tary The Big Fix 2000 [12].) . . .” (Ibid.; p. 4.)

11. It is inter­est­ing to note that the Super­vi­sor of Elec­tions in New Orleans—Tony Giambelluca—allegedly com­mit­ted sui­cide behind a dump­ster two weeks before the elec­tion. It is unclear whether Tony was relat­ed to Nick Giambel­lu­ca. ” . . . Tony Giambel­lu­ca, who held the keys to the ware­house where the elec­tion machines were kept, turned up an appar­ent sui­cide. He had cho­sen to take his life behind a garbage dump­ster, which seems an odd deci­sion. Giv­en the choice, we fig­ure most peo­ple would choose to end their exis­tence in a slight­ly more scenic locale. . .” (Idem.)

12. Sequoia Pacif­ic and anoth­er elec­tron­ic vot­ing company—E S & S—operated in con­junc­tion with one anoth­er, rather than in com­pe­ti­tion. The col­lu­sion between E S & S and Sequoia will be high­light­ed again lat­er on in this descrip­tion. (For more about E S & S, see FTRs 470, 487 [13].) ” . . . Study of this case revealed some inter­est­ing details about the way the ‘elec­tion ser­vices’ indus­try works. . . First, the scheme showed that there was col­lu­sion, rather than com­pe­ti­tion between the two major elec­tion ser­vices firms, Sequoia Pacif­ic and E S & S. Court doc­u­ments revealed the two sold vot­ing machines back and forth to each oth­er until they had arrived at the fig­ure they want­ed the client, the state of Louisiana, to pay. Nor was this an iso­lat­ed case. The bribery con­vic­tion of Arkansas Sec­re­tary of State Bill McCuen, for exam­ple, revealed that E S & S’s pre­de­ces­sor com­pa­ny. Busi­ness Records Corp. of Dal­las, arranged for con­tracts which led to Smur­fit Pack­ag­ing Corp. and its sub­sidiary, Sequoia Pacif­ic Vot­ing Equip­ment Inc. More col­lu­sion. . . .” (Ibid.; p. 6.)

13. Sequoia oper­ates through dum­my front com­pa­nies: ” . . . Anoth­er dis­cov­ery was that, like the CIA, Sequoia Pacif­ic oper­ates through a num­ber of dum­my front com­pa­nies. For exam­ple, two Flori­da elec­tion execs, Glenn Boord and Ralph Escud­ero, pled guilty to con­spir­a­cy to com­pound a felony (pub­lic bribery), who had owned a paper vot­ing-machine com­pa­ny called Uni-lect, which was just a front for Sequoia Pacif­ic. Pasquale ‘Roc­co’ Ric­ci’s com­pa­ny, Inter­na­tion­al Vot­ing Machines, was also real­ly Sequoia Pacif­ic. So, too, was Harold Web­b’s Gar­den State Elec­tions. (And also Herb Web­b’s Elec-tec.) Webb, a New Jer­sey elec­tions equip­ment exec­u­tive who par­tic­i­pat­ed in the bribery and kick­back scheme that result­ed in the con­vic­tion of Fowler also played a key role in the infa­mous Mar­tin Coun­ty, Flori­da dra­ma over Repub­li­can absen­tee bal­lots in the 2000 elec­tion.” (Idem.)

14. “New Jer­sey elec­tion ser­vices com­pa­nies con­trolled by Webb were key sup­pli­ers to Mar­tin Coun­ty, Flori­da, which calls into ques­tion the ver­sion of events sur­round­ing the tam­per­ing with absen­tee bal­lot appli­ca­tions tes­ti­fied to by Repub­li­can Par­ty oper­a­tives in court in 2000. In coun­ties where their name nev­er sur­faced, Sequoia sup­plied both com­put­er and punch card sys­tems, and used tab­u­lat­ing machines from Sequoia Pacif­ic dis­guised as being from oth­er ven­dors, and used the same (doc­tored) machines as Louisiana, sup­plied by the same ‘shad­owy’ sources. When a reporter for the Fres­no Bee inter­viewed Sequoia’s chief exec­u­tive, the reporter told us lat­er he had been ‘tak­en aback by his secre­tive nature.’ In truth, Sequoia’s chief exec­u­tive has a lot to be secre­tive about. . . .” (Idem.)

15. Next, the dis­cus­sion turns to the issue of the vote tam­per­ing in Mar­tin Coun­ty, Flori­da. (Sub­se­quent dis­cus­sion of the Flori­da elec­tion scams will return to the appar­ent role of gam­bling in these machi­na­tions.) A pro­found irony con­cern­ing elec­toral fraud in the U.S. con­cerns the dif­fer­ence between the reac­tion of the U.S. media and elec­torate to the Amer­i­can and Ukrain­ian elec­tions. The exit polls in both the U.S. and Ukraine were fun­da­men­tal­ly dif­fer­ent from the elec­tion results. How­ev­er, the U

krain­ian peo­ple were vocal and vis­i­ble in their reac­tion to the appar­ent fraud. The Amer­i­can peo­ple, on the oth­er hand, were alto­geth­er pas­sive. It is par­tic­u­lar­ly note­wor­thy that The Wash­ing­ton Post and The New York Times were vehe­ment in their con­dem­na­tion of the elec­tion results in the Ukraine, while dis­miss­ing U.S. crit­ics of the elec­tions as “con­spir­a­cy the­o­rists.” (For more about this, see FTR#485 [13].) DANIEL HOPSICKER NOTES THAT THERE IS A LINK BETWEEN UKRAINIAN ELECTIONS AND THE FRAUDULENT BALLOT TALLIES IN FLORIDA—“FORMER” CIA OFFICER CHARLES KANE. “A retired CIA agent, whose ille­gal and unfet­tered access to elec­tion rolls in Mar­tin Coun­ty Flori­da was a major source of legal con­tention after the 2000 Elec­tion, trav­eled to the Ukraine four years ear­li­er to teach ‘grass-roots pol­i­tics’ to peo­ple there, the Mad­Cow­Morn­ingNews has learned. The news came even as cit­i­zens in the Ukraine cel­e­brate their new-found free­dom, while in the U.S. sus­pi­cion con­tin­ued to fes­ter that vote fraud may have cost Amer­i­cans their own right to free and hon­est elec­tions.”
(“Back in the U.S.S.R.: CIA ‘Help­ful’ in Flori­da, Ukraine Elec­tions” by Daniel Hop­sick­er; Mad­Cow­Morn­ingNews; 12/8/2004; p. 1.) [9]

16. “In a bit­ter­ly iron­ic twist, Charles Kane, for­mer Direc­tor of Secu­ri­ty at the Cen­tral Intel­li­gence Agency, and mem­ber of the Flori­da Repub­li­can Exec­u­tive Com­mit­tee, spent four days in Kiev, the cap­i­tal of the for­mer Sovi­et repub­lic, host­ing train­ing ses­sions for Ukrain­ian polit­i­cal par­ties in 1996. Insti­tute offi­cials chose Kane to go to the Ukraine, accord­ing to the Feb­ru­ary 20, 1996, Stuart/Port St. Lucie News, appar­ent­ly straight-faced, ‘because of his expe­ri­ence in grass-roots cam­paigns.’ ” (Idem.)

17. Kane lat­er par­tic­i­pat­ed in the Mar­tin Coun­ty (Flori­da) elec­toral shenani­gans: “Four years lat­er, Kane’s cre­den­tials as a pro­po­nent of democ­ra­cy were receiv­ing much clos­er scruti­ny. . . . ‘Kane’s efforts were part of a sin­is­ter under­ground con­spir­a­cy to help Bush,’ Edward Stafman, attor­ney for the Mar­tin Coun­ty chal­lengers told the Asso­ci­at­ed Press on Decem­ber 7, 2000. . .” (Ibid.; pp. 1–2.)

18. ” . . . The career of the much-trav­eled Kane, it must be stat­ed, resem­bles noth­ing so much as a con­spir­a­cy the­o­rist’s wet dream. . . He was also involved, years ear­li­er, in the inves­ti­ga­tion into the JFK assas­si­na­tion, dis­patch­ing a memo to the FBI regard­ing the where­abouts on the day of the assas­si­na­tion of noto­ri­ous pipe-smok­ing Water­gate bur­glar E. Howard Hunt.” (Ibid.; p. 2.)

19. As Daniel notes, Kane’s pres­ence in the Ukraine and Flori­da (as well as his intel­li­gence back­ground), rais­es ques­tions about his activ­i­ties in Mar­tin Coun­ty. (For more about Kane, see FTR#268 [13]. An excel­lent web site fea­tur­ing infor­ma­tion about the appar­ent fix­ing of the 2004 elec­tion is www.campaignwatch.org [14]. Infor­ma­tion about Charles Kane can be found here [15].) Daniel relates Kane’s role in the Mar­tin Coun­ty vote sna­fu: “Char­lie Kane’s pres­ence in both the Ukraine and the 2000 elec­tion deba­cle prompt­ed us to take a quick back­ward glance at the con­tro­ver­sy which became famil­iar dur­ing the weeks fol­low­ing the infa­mous Flori­da Vote Sna­fu of 2000. Two heav­i­ly Repub­li­can coun­ties in Flori­da had allowed par­ty offi­cials access which they said was to fix hun­dreds of flawed absen­tee bal­lot appli­ca­tions that had been sub­mit­ted by vot­ers but reject­ed by the elec­tions office. The Mar­tin Coun­ty super­vi­sor of elec­tions, a Repub­li­can, let Repub­li­can Par­ty work­ers take away the bal­lot requests on a dai­ly basis, add miss­ing vot­er iden­ti­fi­ca­tion num­bers and resub­mit them, a deputy elec­tions super­vi­sor said.” (Ibid.; p. 3.)

20. “Just days before the Nov. 7 elec­tion, Charles Kane and his bud­dy Thomas Hauck were labor­ing in front of a com­put­er at the local Repub­li­can head­quar­ters in Stu­art, sup­pos­ed­ly as part of their par­ty’s sophis­ti­cat­ed but botched statewide effort to get out the absen­tee vote. A print­ing com­pa­ny had failed to put the required vot­er iden­ti­fi­ca­tion num­bers on thou­sands of absen­tee bal­lot request forms that were mailed to vot­ers. So Hauck and Kane got busy in Mar­tin Coun­ty, aid­ed by a Repub­li­can super­vi­sor of elec­tions who let them remove forms from her office.” (Idem.)

21. Daniel notes that Kane’s access to the print­ing com­pa­ny forms may have led to fraud in oth­er parts of Flori­da, since the same forms were used all over the state. “Kane, who chaired the 2000 Bush-Cheney cam­paign in Mar­tin Coun­ty, sup­pos­ed­ly read the num­bers from the par­ty’s data­base. Hauck, the local GOP trea­sur­er and a 20-year vet­er­an of local cam­paigns, sup­pos­ed­ly filled in the blanks on the request forms. But the print­ing com­pa­ny’s forms were used state-wide. Had this per­haps ‘con­ve­nient’ fact been used as an excuse to allow ille­gal access in oth­er places in Flori­da as well? The ques­tion was nev­er answered.” (Idem.)

22. Still more about the absen­tee bal­lots and the role they may have played in both the Mar­tin Coun­ty vot­ing results and in the results of Flori­da as a whole: “More­over, while Gov. George W. Bush edged Vice Pres­i­dent Al Gore by 56 per­cent to 44 per­cent in Mar­tin Coun­ty, the absen­tee votes—control of which vio­lat­ed the rules of chain of custody—broke near­ly 2 to 1 for Bush. . . . Oth­er tan­ta­liz­ing clues have emerged, like the recent state­ments made by Jeff Fish­er, Demo­c­ra­t­ic can­di­date for the U.S. House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives from Flori­da’s 16th Dis­trict, which, curi­ous­ly, encom­pass­es both Mar­tin as well as Palm Beach Coun­ty, where the vote count has been dis­put­ed in an analy­sis by UC Berke­ley researchers. Fish­er has evi­dence, he says, not only that the Flori­da elec­tion was hacked, but of who hacked it and how. Per­haps the proof of vote tam­per­ing, if proof is ever found, will be found by pierc­ing through the implau­si­ble expla­na­tion offered for Char­lie Kane’s ille­gal access to elec­tion records . . .” (Idem.)

23. In anoth­er of Daniel’s arti­cles on vot­er fraud, he returns to the sub­ject of Sequoia Pacif­ic, its rela­tion­ship to ES&S and evi­dence of elec­toral fraud in Flori­da. Exem­pli­fy­ing the shady over­sight of the elec­toral process in Flori­da is Deb­o­rah Clark, appoint­ed by Jeb Bush to the office of Super­vi­sor of Elec­tions in Pinel­las Coun­ty. And once again, we see gam­bling ini­tia­tives fig­ur­ing in the sce­nario. “I’m shocked—shocked—to learn that there’s gam­bling going on in this estab­lish­ment!” ” . . . The office of Super­vi­sor of Elec­tions in Pinel­las Coun­ty, Deb­o­rah Clark, pro­vid­ed inflat­ed totals on the YES side of the gam­bling ini­tia­tive which were then used by state offi­cials in the offi­cial state tal­ly of the hot­ly-con­test­ed gam­bling ini­tia­tive known as Amend­ment 4. The ini­tia­tive would allow casi­no slot machine gam­bling in South Flori­da, an out­come devout­ly to be wished by own­ers of the spank­ing new $700 mil­lion Hard Rock Café Casi­no in Hol­ly­wood, Flori­da, a facil­i­ty all dressed up but with cur­rent­ly nowhere to go.”
(“ ‘Fraud by Com­put­er’ in Flori­da: Elec­tion Offi­cial Thwarts Recount Using Pho­ny Vote Totals” by Daniel Hop­sick­er; Mad­Cow­Morn­ingNews; 12/14/2004; p. 1.) [16]

24. Daniel relates Deb­o­rah Clark’s curi­ous behav­ior with regard to the gam­bling ini­tia­tive: “Pinel­las Coun­ty vot­ers defeat­ed the gam­bling ini­tia­tive by more than 17,000 votes. But t

he offi­cial state record says the exact oppo­site, the result of a ‘mis­take’ by the office of Pinel­las Elec­tions Super­vi­sor which would have gone unno­ticed, said local reports, had it not been caught by out­side observers. A recount of Flori­da’s votes on the state gam­bling ini­tia­tive offered an oppor­tu­ni­ty to cor­re­late what was found with what are so far just ‘the­o­ries’ of how the Pres­i­den­tial elec­tion in Flori­da might have been stolen. Deb­o­rah Clark pro­vid­ed an extra 34,000 votes on the YES side of the ini­tia­tive, suf­fi­cient to legal­ly pre­clude what would have oth­er­wise been a man­dat­ed recount.” (Ibid.; pp. 1–2.)

25. Return­ing to the inces­tu­ous rela­tion­ship between Sequoia Pacif­ic and ES&S, the dis­cus­sion high­lights Deb­o­rah Clark’s hus­band Richard, after not­ing that a recount of votes on the gam­bling ini­tia­tive might very well have shed light on how the vote was manip­u­lat­ed for the pres­i­den­tial race. “As a long­time top exec­u­tive with ES&S, the com­pa­ny which counts more than half the U.S. vote, Richard Clark prob­a­bly had more to lose from a recount than almost any­one alive. . . . Should rumored anom­alies sur­face in the recount, the for­tunes of any elec­tions firms involved would no doubt suf­fer. A recount of the gam­bling ini­tia­tive, known as Amend­ment 4, elec­tion experts said, would have offered clues as to how and why 90,000 extra YES votes for gam­bling were record­ed in Broward Coun­ty, for exam­ple. This num­ber is almost equal to the ‘extra’ votes for Pres­i­dent Bush cast in Broward Coun­ty, which researchers say were inex­plic­a­ble except through manip­u­lat­ed elec­tron­ic vote tabulation—which were count­ed in the same coun­ty’s tal­ly.” (Ibid.; pp. 2–3.)

26. More about Deb­o­rah Clark’s hus­band Richard and his pro­fes­sion­al involve­ment with ES&S and Sequoia: ” . . . More seri­ous­ly, while Deb­o­rah Clark had worked as a top offi­cial in the Pinel­las Super­vi­sor of Elec­tions Office, her hus­band Richard Clark’s employ­er Elec­tions Sys­tems & Soft­ware, was award­ed more than $400,000 in busi­ness with the office, and was up for a lucra­tive con­tract worth as much as $15-mil­lion to sell new vot­ing machines to Pinel­las Coun­ty. . .” (Ibid.; p. 3.)

27. When read­ing the text that fol­lows, recall the inces­tu­ous nature of the rela­tion­ship between ES&S and Sequoia dis­cussed above. The two sup­pos­ed­ly com­pet­ing com­pa­nies swap machines back and forth. ” . . . He [Clark] said he quit ES&S for about five years, hav­ing joined the firm when it acquired the com­pa­ny that pre­vi­ous­ly employed him, Busi­ness Records Corp. [For more about Busi­ness Records Corp. and its con­nec­tions to the ultra right-wing Hunt fam­i­ly of Texas, see FTR#470 [13].] But Clark said he quit ES&S just before his wife was named elec­tions super­vi­sor because he was wor­ried that his employ­ment with the firm could appear as a con­flict. But so far, Clark’s new com­pa­ny, Richard A. Clark Enter­pris­es, works for just one com­pa­ny, ES&S. The selec­tion process in Pinel­las Coun­ty became mired in eth­i­cal con­flicts after coun­ty com­mis­sion­ers learned in July 2001 that ES&S had ‘very’ close ties to Deb­o­rah Clark.” (Ibid.; p. 5.)

28. ” . . . Even Clark’s deputy admin­is­tra­tor, Karen But­ler, is a sis­ter of San­dra Mortham, Flori­da’s for­mer sec­re­tary of state and a lob­by­ist for ES&S before the state leg­is­la­ture. . . .” (Idem.)

29. More about Richard Clark and his rela­tion­ship with the inces­tu­ous­ly-relat­ed ES&S and Sequoia Pacif­ic and the lat­ter’s rela­tion­ship with orga­nized crime, includ­ing the Louisiana scan­dal: ” . . . Clark had been work­ing in Birm­ing­ham, Ala. as an inde­pen­dent con­trac­tor, after resign­ing from the com­pa­ny. . . Appar­ent­ly, no one noticed that when Richard Clark went to Birm­ing­ham, anoth­er Birm­ing­ham elec­tion exec, Phil Fos­ter, was being indict­ed on felony bribery charges. Fos­ter, a region­al sales vice pres­i­dent was alleged­ly involved in a con­spir­a­cy and mon­ey-laun­der­ing scheme that involved the sale of machine parts at inflat­ed prices and kick­backs of near­ly $600,000. Pinel­las com­mis­sion­ers were sur­prised when the St. Peters­berg Times report­ed that Fos­ter, a key employ­ee for front-run­ner Sequoia Vot­ing Sys­tems, had been indict­ed for the elec­tions kick­back scheme in Louisiana. . . .” (Ibid.; pp. 5–6.)

30. ” . . . Tes­ti­mo­ny in Fed­er­al Court in Baton Rouge revealed that, in fact, Sequoia had engi­neered the com­plex scheme, an action which pro­vides yet anoth­er elec­tion irony. Pinel­las Com­mis­sion Chair­man Calvin Har­ris told the Times he assumed the state had checked out the com­pet­ing com­pa­nies while their machines were being cer­ti­fied. Not so, said Clay Roberts, direc­tor of the state’s Divi­sion of Elec­tions, who main­tained that back­ground checks were a job for coun­ties. So while the state of Flori­da was death on vot­ing by con­vict­ed felons, there were no safe­guards in place to pre­vent the votes from being count­ed by felons. . . .” (Ibid.; p. 6.)

31. It is inter­est­ing to note Deb­o­rah Clark’s capri­cious views on spend­ing for vot­ing tech­nol­o­gy. She was against spend­ing $2 mil­lion to retro­fit Pinel­las Coun­ty’s machines. But she was in favor of spend­ing $14 mil­lion on Sequoia machines in the first place. ” . . . Although she had­n’t shown much con­cern over spend­ing $14 mil­lion on the machines, she said that the $2 mil­lion expense of retro­fitting Pinel­las Coun­ty’s new touch screen vot­ing machines to gen­er­ate a receipt for vot­ers which would ver­i­fy how their bal­lots were cast was unnec­es­sary. The coun­ty’s touch screen vot­ing sys­tem, built by Sequoia Vot­ing Sys­tems, was safe from tam­per­ing.” (Ibid.; p. 5.)

32. Before return­ing to the Flori­da vote sub­terfuge, let’s once again note the pres­ence of gam­bling (“ . . . shocked, shocked!”) in the envi­ron­ment of the crooked vot­ing machine com­pa­nies. ” . . . For why this hap­pens, there’s no bet­ter exam­ple than. . . . where else? Las Vegas. . . Back in 1993–94, many observers won­dered why new Clark Coun­ty elec­tions chief Kathryn Fer­gu­son would com­mit to what turned out to be tens of mil­lions of dol­lars in expen­di­tures to adopt Sequoia Paci­fic’s elec­tron­ic vot­ing machines. So deter­mined was Ms. Fer­gu­son to buy the Sequoia machines for Las Vegas that a for­mer mem­ber of her elec­tions depart­ment team stat­ed Fer­gu­son resort­ed to the sim­ple exi­gency of hav­ing Sequoia Paci­fic’s rep­re­sen­ta­tive send a list of bid spec­i­fi­ca­tions designed so that Sequoia’s machines were the only ones that could meet them. [Empha­sis added.].” (Ibid.; p. 7.)

33. Note again the inces­tu­ous rela­tion­ship between ES&S and Sequoia: “This hard­ly seems sport­ing. And it’s def­i­nite­ly ille­gal. Asked at the time, Fer­gu­son said she had no con­cern that her accep­tance of a job at Sequoia Pacif­ic might appear to be a pay­off for favors ren­dered. Today, Kathryn Fer­gu­son is ES&S’s chief spokesman. She’s good to go.” (Idem.)

34. At times, the vote sna­fus in Flori­da were of tru­ly com­i­cal pro­por­tions. In a 2002 pri­ma­ry elec­tion, Hills­bor­ough Coun­ty record­ed a total of 118,699 votes for state attor­ney. Con­sid­er the fol­low­ing: ” . . . A total of 118,699 peo­ple turned out to vote coun­ty­wide. But some­how, 125,891 vot­ed in the race for state attor­ney.” (Idem.)

35. One town in Hills­bor­ough coun­ty was remark­able for its per­for­mance in that same pri­ma­ry elec­tion: ” . . . For exam­ple, in the Aug. 31, 2002 pri­ma­ry, the pop­u­la­tion of an entire small town—12,498 voters—appeared at the polls in Hills­bor­ough Coun­ty and appar­ent­ly decid­ed not to vote in the race for state attor­ney. The town cast votes in all the oth­er con­tests, but not in the race for state attor­ney. Had there been a town-wide secret pact?” (Ibid.; p. 3.)

36. In the 2004 elec­tion, there were two sus­pi­cious ter­ror alerts—one in War­ren Coun­ty (Ohio) and one in Tal­la­has­see (Flori­da). It appears alto­geth­er pos­si­ble that the evac­u­a­tions result­ing from the alerts per­mit­ted vote tam­per­ing. ” . . . In Ohio, there was the famous ‘War­ren Coun­ty Lock­down’ because of ‘ter­ror’ threats, and in Flori­da, a ‘bomb threat’ at the State Elec­tions Office in Tal­la­has­see. The State Elec­tions Office in Tal­la­has­see holds, of course, that state’s main tab­u­lat­ing com­put­ers. . .”
(“Back in the USSR”, p.4.) [9]

37. ” . . . ‘The Repub­li­can-dom­i­nat­ed (War­ren Ohio) Coun­ty threw out all the media and inde­pen­dent vote watch­ers when votes were being count­ed at the end of Elec­tion Day, claim­ing ‘home­land secu­ri­ty’ issues.’ ” (Idem.)

38. The cir­cum­stances in Tal­la­has­see are sus­pi­cious as well. Note the nature of the “threat” that neces­si­tat­ed the evac­u­a­tion of the build­ing hous­ing the cen­tral tab­u­lat­ing com­put­er. What hap­pened dur­ing that evac­u­a­tion? ” ‘State elec­tions work­ers got off to a slow start this morn­ing after Tal­la­has­see police evac­u­at­ed their build­ing. Inves­ti­ga­tors called in the bomb squad after find­ing a sus­pi­cious pack­age.’ The events seem strange­ly sim­i­lar. More­over, the expla­na­tion giv­en in Flori­da lacks a cer­tain je ne sais quoi, we dis­cov­ered in an area that stores quilts and oth­er art­work that is part of the depart­men­t’s his­toric archive.’ The pack­age turned out to be a bun­dle of doc­u­ments, sup­pos­ed­ly being blown by an air vent. . . . ‘Call­ing out the troops’ to pro­tect Flori­da’s col­lec­tion of quilts seems a dubi­ous excuse. . . made far more sus­pi­cious by the unfor­tu­nate box’s prox­im­i­ty to the state’s cen­tral tab­u­lat­ing com­put­er on the eve of the elec­tion. They must be some real­ly impor­tant quilts.” (Ibid.; pp. 4–5.)

39. The last arti­cle (as of the time FTR#494 was record­ed) that Daniel pub­lished on elec­toral fraud draws con­nec­tions between Wal­ly Hilliard (of Huff­man Avi­a­tion) and Adnan Khashog­gi, the Egypt­ian-born Sau­di weapons deal­er who was a prin­ci­pal fig­ure in the Iran-Con­tra scan­dal. Daniel uncov­ered trips that Hilliard had made to Cas­tro’s Cuba. “While both of the ter­ror­ist pilots who crashed into the World Trade Cen­ter were stu­dents at Venice Flori­da’s Huff­man Avi­a­tion, the flight school’s own­er Wal­lace J. Hilliard, 72, of Naples, Fl., was simul­ta­ne­ous­ly pur­su­ing his own diplo­mat­ic open­ing to Fidel Cas­tro’s Cuba. A pho­to­graph recent­ly made avail­able to the Mad­Cow­Morn­ingNews shows a smil­ing Hilliard strap­ping a Rolex with the must-have dia­mond beveled-face onto the pre­sum­ably grate­ful wrist of one of Fidel Cas­tro’s top aides, Guiller­mo Gar­cia Frias, known in Cuba as ‘the Com­man­dante of the Rev­o­lu­tion.’ ”
(“Rogue State: the Covert Op that Ate the World” by Daniel Hop­sick­er; Mad­Cow­Morn­ingNews; 1/4/2005; p. 1.) [11]

40. What was Hilliard doing in Havana? ” . . . Hilliard was look­ing to cut a deal with Cas­tro, said Rob Tiller, who pro­vid­ed the pho­to­graph, to buy a 10,000 acre cat­tle ranch on the island for the Mor­mon Church in Utah, report­ed­ly in antic­i­pa­tion of the resump­tion of nor­mal diplo­mat­ic rela­tions between Cuba and the Unit­ed States.” (Ibid.; p. 2.)

41. Next, Daniel ties Hilliard in with Adnan Khashog­gi. They appear to be involved in an effort to secure land­ing rights on Rum Cay in the Caribbean, appar­ent­ly in con­nec­tion with drug smug­gling activ­i­ties. ” . . . But it’s Hilliard’s involve­ment with Adnan Khashog­gi, the Sau­di bil­lion­aire and inter­na­tion­al fugi­tive, which is most intrigu­ing. We learned of it from a busi­ness rival of the two men, both vying for rights to build a casi­no on a remote island in the Bahamas. Like a ‘ban­dit cab’ in the air, Hilliard’s Lear jet was fly­ing with­out any appar­ent offi­cial sanc­tion. Though the FAA license under which it oper­at­ed has been sus­pend­ed, (that of Air Flori­da, belong­ing to Pak­istani Per­vez Khan) the plane was mak­ing reg­u­lar runs to the Bahamas. We received a pho­to tak­en in Rum Cay attest­ing to its pres­ence bol­ster­ing one side in a strug­gle for con­trol of the iso­lat­ed island and its cov­et­ed run­way, which had recent­ly been upgrad­ed for jets.” (Ibid.; p. 4.)

42. “Locat­ed 375 miles to the south­east of Ft. Laud­erdale in the remote south­east­ern Bahamas, Rum Cay, we soon learned, is the very def­i­n­i­tion of ‘seclud­ed.’ In fact, that’s its charm. The island once served as a refuge for pirates, and had been a cen­ter of gun-run­ning dur­ing the Amer­i­can Civ­il War before grow­ing to true promi­nence dur­ing Pro­hi­bi­tion as a port used for boot-leg­ging. What was going on at Rum Cay was that there was a new run­way, which now allowed pri­vate jets like Hilliard’s Lear to land on the island. Local news­pa­pers were run­ning reg­u­lar items with head­lines like ‘Cops Seize $50 Mil­lion in Drugs.’ ” (Idem.)

43. “The reput­ed head of one group vying for con­trol was a South African named Les­ley Greyling, report­ed­ly fronting for Khashog­gi. News accounts about Mr. Greyling relied rather heav­i­ly on the ‘M’ word. . . . Mob­ster. But not a mob­ster of the ‘dese dem & dose’ vari­ety. . . Greyling helmed a Palm Beach com­pa­ny, Mem­bers Ser­vice Corp., whose chair­man was for­mer Repub­li­can Gov­er­nor of Flori­da Claude Kirk, and includ­ed not­ed attor­ney F. Lee Bai­ley, and Sau­di arms deal­er Adnan Khashog­gi. Greyling was said to be also con­sid­er­ing help­ing the Sau­di arms mer­chant and Iran-Con­tra mid­dle­man build a casi­no on the Gaza Strip. Saud­is and the Mob and ter­ror flight school own­er Wal­ly Hilliard all bump­ing chests togeth­er in the world’s Bermu­da Tri­an­gle of nar­cotics traf­fick­ing. It’s a Strange Brew. . . .” (Ibid.; pp. 4–5.)

44. Evi­dence sug­gests that Khashog­gi may be involved with com­pa­nies impli­cat­ed in some of the funky vote tech­nol­o­gy. (Note that this link has not been com­plete­ly “closed” as yet.) ” . . . Hilliard is in busi­ness, to cite one exam­ple, with Sau­di bil­lion­aire arms deal­er and inter­na­tion­al fugi­tive Adnan Khashog­gi, whose name has now sur­faced in con­nec­tion with at least one, and pos­si­bly two, Amer­i­can elec­tion com­pa­nies mired in con­tro­ver­sy. The sto­ry which fol­lows is of vital cur­rent inter­est only for what it reveals about the milieu in which the 2004 elec­tion was fixed. . . .” (Ibid.; p. 5.)

45. ” . . . Was Adnan Khashog­gi a prin­ci­pal in a com­pa­ny which has been count­ing the votes of Amer­i­can ser­vice­men over­seas? Answer: high­ly like­ly. Both Election.com and Tri­ad, the elec­tion com­pa­ny cit­ed for caus­ing most of the prob­lems in Ohio, should receive close scruti­ny for evi­dence of Khashog­gi involve­ment.” (Ibid.; p. 7.)

46. Next, Daniel notes that Khashog­gi has been involved with a num­ber of enter­pris­es named “Tri­ad.” Whether he was in any way involved with the elec­tion machine com­pa­ny of the same name remains to be seen. “While there has been no sug­ges­tion of it any­where in the media, the name ‘Tri­ad’ was used exten­sive­ly by Khashog­gi at exact­ly the same time (the ear­ly 80’s) and in exact­ly the same place (Palm Beach, Flori­da) as the ‘Tri­ad Gov­ern­men­tal Sys­tems’ involved in Ohio’s cur­rent elec­tion ‘dif­fi­cul­ties.’ Khashog­gi owned a num­ber of com­pa­nies named ‘Tri­ad.’ Khashog­gi owned ‘Tri­ad Inter­na­tion­al Mar­ket­ing.’ ‘Northrop the Los Ange­les-based air­craft and elec­tron­ics man­u­fac­tur­er owes Tri­ad Inter­na­tion­al Mar­ket­ing, S.A., a Liecht­en­stein cor­po­ra­tion con­trolled by Khashog­gi. $31 mil­lion in com­mis­sions on sales to the Sau­di air force,’ report­ed the L.A. Times on August 29, 1987. Kashog­gi owned ‘Tri­ad Amer­i­ca.’ ‘Cred­i­tors claim they are owed more than $100 mil­lion by Tri­ad Amer­i­ca and its sub­sidiaries. . . in Salt Lake City. Leonard Gumport, the court-appoint­ed exam­in­er, also is rec­om­mend­ing that Tri­ad Amer­i­ca seek repay­ment of the $189.2 mil­lion loaned to com­pa­nies con­trolled by the Khashog­gis,’ report­ed the Salt Lake Tri­bune.” (Idem.)

47. “In 1982, Khashog­gi owned Tri­ad Farms in Ken­tucky. In The Blue­grass Con­spir­a­cy [17] by Sal­ly Den­ton, she revealed that the large drug smug­gling oper­a­tion called ‘The Com­pa­ny,’ [had] head­quar­ters near Lex­ing­ton, Ken­tucky, at Tri­ad Farms, owned by Khashog­gi. That’s just about the same time (1982) that TRIAD Gov­ern­men­tal Sys­tems was found­ed. From the com­pa­ny’s lit­er­a­ture: ‘TRIAD Gov­ern­men­tal Sys­tems, Inc., is a nation­al­ly rec­og­nized cor­po­ra­tion that is com­mit­ted to pro­vid­ing qual­i­ty, com­put­er based sys­tems for gov­ern­men­tal vot­ing units. Incor­po­rat­ed in 1982, TRIAD GSI was found­ed to pro­vide qual­i­ty sup­port and ser­vices for Rapp Sys­tems’ Elec­tion prod­ucts, with elec­tion expe­ri­ence that spans a quar­ter of a cen­tu­ry.” (Idem.)

48. Tri­ad had prob­lems as far back as 1988. “We also dis­cov­ered that a strik­ing­ly sim­i­lar alle­ga­tion of Tri­ad employ­ee tam­per­ing was lodged against the com­pa­ny all the way back in 1988. . . Accord­ing to Jack­ie Beville, a for­mer employ­ee of the Super­vi­sor of Elec­tions in Hills­bor­ough Coun­ty, Tri­ad work­ers adjust­ed the soft­ware to clear up a bal­lot-count­ing prob­lem short­ly before the elec­tion, and the machin­ery should then have been re-cer­ti­fied fol­low­ing the work. When ques­tioned she was told that Tri­ad work­ers were just fix­ing prob­lems caused by a light­ning strike. Beville dis­putes that the weath­er had any­thing to do with the repair work. But even if it did, ‘My ques­tion is, why was it a secret? The par­ty chair­men were not called in. The can­vass­ing board was not noti­fied. The Divi­sion of Elec­tions was not noti­fied.” (Idem.)

49. “ ‘Why was I for­bid­den to men­tion it? If the par­ty chair­men and divi­sion had been noti­fied, it may not have been a big deal. But it should have been made pub­lic. Every­one has a right to know.’ Tri­ad man­u­fac­tures punch-card vot­ing sys­tems, and also wrote the com­put­er pro­gram that tal­lied the punch-card votes cast in 41 Ohio coun­ties last Novem­ber. The com­pa­ny is owned by a man named Tod Rapp, who has donat­ed mon­ey to the Repub­li­can Par­ty as well as the elec­tion cam­paign of George W. Bush. Giv­en the broad dis­tri­b­u­tion of Tri­ad vot­ing sys­tems in Ohio, the alle­ga­tions that have been lev­eled against this com­pa­ny strike to the heart of the assumed result of the 2004 elec­tion. And not just Tri­ad. . . .” (Ibid.; pp. 7–8.)