When is a coincidence too much of a coincidence to be one?
So now Ohio 2004 is revving up again. Old news? Not old enough. So many lame answers while so much remains unresolved. For those of us troubled by eight years of election Ping-Pong, the evolving investigation of Bush-squared longtime IT confidante Michael Connell is encouraging. But don't stop there. And don't stop in Ohio.
Cast a wider net. A veritable den of hands-on players lingers only one degree of separation from Michael Connell and George W. Bush: Florida Governor Jeb Bush, Republican Senator Chuck Hagel of Nebraska, Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris, Florida Secretary of State Sandra Mortham, and U.S. Representative Tom Feeney, former Speaker of the Florida House of Representatives. All have been integrally involved in election flimflam.
So when is a coincidence too much of a coincidence to be one? When does a convergence of like-minded players embroiled in skullduggery constitute conspiracy?--
Briefly, for those who missed Mark Crispen Miller's Tell McCain to Fire Mike Connell article on OpEdNews and the Connell articles on BradBlog, Mike Connell has been at the scene of virtually every electoral scandal of the past decade, including running Florida computers during the 2000 election, and Ohio election computers during the 2004 election. Connell has worked for the Bush political network since 1986. He built Jeb's website... and he's currently working for John McCain. (1)
But Connell's not alone.--
Jeb & George:
Jeb and George. Jeb and Michael. Jeb and Katherine. Jeb and Sandra. Jeb and Tom. Jeb and 2000, 2002, 2004, 2006. Culpability by association, intent or manipulation. In Florida at least, Jeb in his prime was the hub of all things elections. His broad reach is illustrated in part by the actions of his friends and their own influence on elections. More specific detail on Jeb is provided in the section titled Florida's Governor Jeb Bush below.--
Jeb & Sandra. Florida Secretary of State Sandra Mortham:
Former Secretary of State Sandra Mortham was the ES&S lobbyist who convinced the Florida Association of Counties to endorse ES&S. In exchange for the Association's endorsement, ES&S paid the Association a fee each time ES&S won a county contract. (Matthew Haggman, "Buyer' Remorse." (2) In the end, ES&S received orders totaling more than $70 million in taxpayer money from 12 counties, while the Florida Association of Counties received kickbacks of approximately $300,000. (3) See more on ES&S below.--
The Mortham factor is interesting, but not remarkable unless of course one considers Mortham's relationship with Jeb Bush. Mortham was Jeb Bush's first-choice running mate in 1998. When selecting Mortham, Jeb said, "I wanted someone who was my friend, someone who could serve with distinction as governor... She is far and away the most qualified person to be part of this team and it is a team. (4)
By January, Sandra Mortham withdrew over ethical and spending lapses. (5)
Jeb & Tom. Governor Jeb Bush's 1994 running mate, U.S. Rep Tom Feeney:
Republican Congressman Tom Feeney was Jeb's running mate the first time Jeb ran for governor in 1994 and lost. Then in 2000, as speaker of the Florida House, Feeney was instrumental in leading the Legislature to seat George W. Bush as president while the election debacle was still playing out in the courts.