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Boldly Go -- Election Integrity Candidate Clint Curtis Fights On

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Clint Curtis doesn’t know when to quit.

From The Brad Blog

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The Florida computer programmer turned infamous whistleblower was allegedly asked by Jeb Bush crony (and future FL-24-R Congressman) Tom Feeney to write vote-flipping software for him in 2000 (here's the quick summary version of BRAD BLOG's coverage of the scandal). At the time, Curtis, then a loyal Republican, delivered the vote-rigging prototype to Feeney under the assumption that his software would be used to prevent e-voting manipulation by Democrats. When Curtis learned that the true purpose was to game the election results in South Florida, he blew the whistle.

A stacked-deck investigation by the Florida Ethics Commission -- where 6 of the 8 members of the panel are either Bush or Feeney appointees, or closely tied to one or both -- dismissed Curtis’ allegations without allowing him to testify, and without examining email and other evidence in the case, in violation of FL law. But Curtis would not go quietly.

He became a crusader, speaking at election integrity events around the country and eventually delivering jaw-dropping testimony (video here) to a stunned Congressional committee (who did nothing in response). Curtis even passed a lie detector test administered by the retired chief polygrapher for the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. Meanwhile, Feeney has been branded among the “Top 25 Most Corrupt in Congress,” for three years straight, by CREW, the non-partisan DC ethics watchdog group, most notably for his involvement -- and golf junket to Scotland -- with disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff.

In 2006, Curtis launched his first congressional bid -- now as a Democrat -- taking on Feeney himself for his FL-24 seat. A pre-election Zogby poll showed Curtis in a statistical dead heat with Feeney -- despite Feeney’s big-money smear campaign against Curtis (‘’ featured doctored photos of Curtis wearing a tin foil hat). But on election night, Feeney was announced the winner 57%/43%. Problem is, those election results didn’t make much sense based on the Zogby poll or Curtis’ own internal polling. So Curtis did something remarkable. He filed a Congressional election challenge.

His team went door to door collecting signed affidavits from FL-24 voters testifying as to how they voted. They found the results to be wildly off, by double digits in some places. Despite this evidence, the Democratically controlled House committee summarily dismissed his election challenge, along with several others, without bothering to even review Curtis' evidence.

And yet, Curtis is once again going after the FL-24 Congressional seat. Only this time, he’s not just running against Feeney. First he must defeat an attempt to challenge him by the Democratic party's hand-picked candidate.

We caught up with Curtis on the campaign trail where he made it clear, in our exclusive interview, that he had no intention of lying down or rolling over for naysayers, Democratic insiders, the woman chosen by the DCCC to challenge him, and certainly not the corrupt Tom Feeney...

BRAD BLOG: Clint, bring us up to speed on the fund raising deadline the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee hit you with.

CLINT CURTIS: Well, we’ve been talking to the DCCC. And they said basically, “Your problem is you can’t raise any money.” They don’t care about policies. They don’t care if you’re doing anything interesting. All they care about is if you can raise money. We’ve talked to them before, and they’ve always been just about the money. To them, it’s like a business deal. So I said, okay, well, how much will it take to get your support? And they said, “Well, if you could raise $250,000 in this next quarter, we would be interested.” And of course, we weren’t close. Our base is grassroots, and grassroots doesn’t have money to throw around like that. They give what they can, but they don’t have that much to give. Our average contribution last time [Curtis’ ’06 congressional bid] was $11.

BB: So they’re looking for the big-money corporate donors.

CURTIS: They select who they’re going to support based on who has money in the bank. The problem with people who have money is, sometimes they’ve kind of sold themselves to get into politics.

BB: Was the DCCC willing to listen at all to how you built the whole grass roots network -- or that you might well have won, were it not for some dubious election results?

CURTIS: Well, the party in general had never really gotten on board before the election. They never really helped us with election issues or with the campaign. The DCCC promised to support us if we won the [’06] nomination. Well, we won the nomination, and they never did. And they’re still not on board with election reform issues, which is why the challenges [by him and 4 other candidates in 2006] haven’t gotten anywhere in Congress. They are basically a status quo operation. They want to raise money. I don’t think they really care that much about beating the Republicans, because if they stay equal, it’s all status quo. They’re calling each other names so they can raise money. It’s kind of sad, but I think that’s where they are. They asked questions like, “If you get elected, are you going to vote with Speaker [of the House Nancy] Pelosi?” Of course my response is, “No. I represent the people of District 24. If she has good plans, good policies, we’ll listen. But if my constituents don’t like it, then that’s not the way we go.” I don’t think that impressed them much. They don’t understand that the only reason Feeney is vulnerable is because we’ve exposed him as basically being a crook. He’s basically selling his vote out. If they understood that, they wouldn’t have [recruited former Florida legislator Suzanne] Kosmas, because she has the same issues.

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Neoconvict is a Southern California-based activist who has written for Brad Blog and Justice through Music. he is currently working on the Clint Curtis for Congress campaign in FL-24.
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