Last Sunday October 24th, Karl Rove was served with a subpoena alleging he is "the principal perpetrator in an Ohio racketeering conspiracy". The subpoena was approved by outgoing Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner, and described illicit coordination with the head of the US Chamber of Commerce Tom Donahue in funnelling an "influx of billionaire/global corporate money where the actual source of the funding and speech is concealed."
If this subpoena is bogus, a witch hunt, partisan gamesmanship, sour grapes, past history, or a baseless attack on Karl Rove, the media should say so. But the press is not reporting it either way, cherrypicking "reality" in a coordinated blackout on unprecedented allegations.
Eyewitnesses have claimed CBS and CNN both had cameras rolling when Rove was slapped with the subpoena, yet neither news agency has reported the event, even to debunk it's merits or simply share Rove's reaction after the process server told him "you've been served". Rove let the packet drop to floor and said "No I haven't."
A hearing has been scheduled for 9am on Monday, November 1 in Columbus seeking to compel Rove and the Chamber of Commerce to broad discovery that, according to lead attorney Cliff Arnebeck, could result in indictments for racketeering, money laundering and conspiracy.
Under the US Supreme Court's recent Citizens United decision, independent contributions from wealthy private and corporate donors can fund unlimited "free speech" in third party electioneering communications, but collusion between partisan candidates and groups like the Chamber of Commerce's Partnership for Ohio's Future and Rove's American Crossroads ostensibly make the funds laundered "gifts" to the campaign.
"This secret money is an in-kind contribution to these campaigns", Arnebeck claims, urging a finding of probable cause by the Election Commission to make this case a test of the legality of this post-Citizens United campaign funding process. Arnebeck argues assertion of criminal liability under Ohio racketeering statutes must be proven or disproven through disclosure by Rove.
The complaint also includes new information about Michael Connell, the late IT guru who testified in this same case one day prior to the November 2008 presidential election. Tied directly to Rove, Connell has been accused of serious conflicts-of-interest, moonlighting for former Secretary of State Ken Blackwell to oversee the official Ohio state vote reporting network at the same time he was running IT operations for the Bush campaign, the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth campaign and the RNC website. Connell was at the center of the lawsuit alleging Ohio 2004 was rigged, but the case largely stalled out after Connell's death, until it was revived Thursday.
As of last week, President Obama himself made the case that Karl Rove's organization was gaming US elections, buoyed by reports which showed secret contributions were pouring in from overseas donors and a tiny cadre of billionaires including the Koch brothers and major Swift Boat backer Bob Perry.
Though we see news media running headlined articles about Rove's verbal pot shots against Sarah Palin and the Tea Party, no major outlet has reported the allegations his entire fundraising operation is illegal, that he coordinated the theft of an election, or even that he was accosted on the street by a process server.
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As time ticks away, we wonder why the press is pretending not to see this story. Careful monitoring of the keyword "Rove" has shown the Twitterverse has steadily increased mentions
of the subpoena story since Sunday, overtaking several articles about Rove's human interest pecadillos. Searches in Google News show the story climbed into the top three hits, including articles posted on PR Newswire/US Newswire, AlterNet, CounterPunch, Democratic Undergound, Smirking Chimp, Political Carnival, The Ohio Examiner and OpEd News
Oddly, The Huffington Post published one report
submitted directly by co-plaintiffs Harvey Wasserman and Bob Fitrakis, but has not headlined or promoted it, essentially burying their own breaking news for reasons unknown.
Mark Crispin Miller, author of Fooled Again
which laid out the case of election rigging in Ohio 2004 has the story on his blog
, opining that news media may be reluctant to report the story in fear of Rove who may have "dirt" on them, collected during a Bush era when surveillance improprieties were well reported.
As I pondered
in April of 2009, this important election integrity story for some reason has been deemed "toxic" by the media, including Rachel Maddow, arguably the left-most host on cable TV. For years now, it seems strange the media wouldn't even have reported on this, if only to ridicule the lawsuit. Instead, we see complete radio silence either way, as if the story simply never existed.
The whitewash may be because Brett Kimberlin is a principle in many of the "RoveCybergate" allegations published to date. Kimberlin, along with his watchdog group Velvet Revolution has claimed for example to have screenshots of server IP addresses showing official Ohio 2004 election night vote results were diverted through servers located in the offices of Connell's firm in Chattanooga, TN.
But because of Kimberlin's past
which included felony jail time, the media may have reservations about mentioning any of the claims attributed to Kimberlin. Another possibility is that the idea 2004 was stolen and our elections are still vulnerable is just too goddamn depressing, or that it could even throw America into a state of alarm.
We welcome your comments - particularly if you are in the media - if you are privy to any insight on the news whitewash we are currently seeing with regard to this issue. We will update this page if it hits the networks or print media and encourage readers to share articles regarding Rove's subpoena on Twitter, Facebook or other networking venues.
Update: The subpoena story has now been reported at The Bradenton Herald (FL), Common Dreams, DailyKos, Crooks and Liars and War is a Crime.
On Nov. 1, Rove did not show for the hearing but lawyers for the US Chamber of Commerce did, faking out Arnebeck and the courts with a deceptive stall tactic
to prevent from disclosing their donors in time for the Midterm elections Tuesday.