You Are Invited to

A Parlor with Clint Curtis
Thursday, June 25, 2009 at 7:30 PM
at the Hanna House
1021 E. Broad Street Columbus, OH 43205
Free to the public

A personal, one on one, opportunity to speak with Clint Curtis: brought to you by
the Central Ohio Green Education Fund and the Columbus Institute of Contemporary Journalism and the FREE PRESS

Clint Curtis was an everyday computer programmer in Florida until he was asked by a powerful Republican legislator to create vote-rigging software for electronic voting machines.

Comfest events:
Free Press Workshop
Saturday at the Shelterhouse
June 27, 2009 from 2:00 to 3:00
“Perspectives on Indicting Bush and Cheney”
Bob Fitrakis – Columbus Free Press, Anita Rios – Ohio Green Party, John Quigley – International Law Professor OSU, Clint Curtis

ComFest Free Press Saturday Salon
Saturday at the Solar Stage
June 27, 2009 from 3:20-4:10
“Peoples Tribunal on the Indictment of Bush and Cheney”
Moderated by Bob Fitrakis
Special Guest Anita Rios, john Quigley and Clint Curtis

If you want to help volunteer at the Free Press wine booth during Comfest, please email:

by Bob Fitrakis & Harvey Wasserman
June 23, 2009

Iran’s Ayatollahs have just admitted that in some 50 cities there were as many as 3 million more votes cast than there were voters in the recent presidential election.

But, they say, that’s not enough to change the outcome. So, like Florida in 2000 and Ohio 2004, there will be no total recount and no new election. Election theft should be opposed, whether it’s sanctioned by a supreme Ayatollah or the U.S. Supreme Court.

It’s as if the Iranian government is being advised by Ohio’s former Iman J. Kenneth Blackwell, who, as Ohio’s 2004 Secretary of State, purged hundreds of thousands of voters, and stole, switched and disappeared enough votes to put George W. Bush in the White House for a second term. The dubious Iranian tallies look very similar to the inflated Bush outcomes in 12 Republican southwest Ohio counties, most notably Warren, Clermont and Butler. They are reminiscent of the vote counts in two precincts in Perry County that reported turnouts of 121% and 118% of registered voters.

The chief difference between Iran 2009 and Ohio 2004—and Florida 2000—-is in the opposition. Iran’s Mir Hussein Moussavi has vowed martyrdom.

John Kerry, trailing in Ohio by just 130,000 votes with more than 250,000 yet to be counted, walked away less than 12 hours after exit polls showed him a clear victor.

Gore fought a little, but instead of embracing martyrdom, opted for boredom, and for making sure there was no challenge in the US Senate to the votes stolen.

Nationwide, Bush’s alleged 3 million-vote nationwide margin in 2004, and 600 votes in Florida 2000, were as fictional as those ballots the Ayatollahs now admit should not exist.

Moussavi believes he has a date with destiny. But Kerry apparently had one on the golf course. Gore’s failure failure to effectively respond in Florida 2000 remains an inconvenient truth.

Blackwell, Florida’s Jeb Bush and Iran’s Revolutionary Guard used registration tampering, disinformation, intimidation and fraud to disenfranchise millions of eligible voters before the balloting.

Blackwell and Bush then used a lethal mix of black box machines, faulty scantrons and hijacked ballots to finish the job. Blackwell worked with Diebold, ES&S, Triad, and other electronic magicians that let him disappear or switch all the votes he needed with a few keystrokes at around 2am election night. His high-tech IT henchman, Michael Connell, has since died in a mysterious plane crash.

The Times seems to finally understand the problem. In their July 22 editorial, “How to Trust Electronic Voting,” they argued the following: “In paperless electronic voting, voters mark their choices, and when the votes have all been cast, the machine spits out the results. There is no way to be sure that a glitch or intentional vote theft – by malicious software or computer hacking – did not change the outcome. If there’s a close election, there’s also no way of conducting a meaningful recount.”

Saddled with paper ballots that may or may not still exist, the Iranian authorities have simply trashed the whole election. “I don’t think they actually counted the votes,” one observer told the New York Times.

Because the American people did not take to the streets in the Iranian model, our democracy was subverted.

Thanks to Kerry and Gore, the public follow-up in Ohio and Florida was ineffective. As in Iran, the primary reporting has been largely limited to the Internet. The results—8 years of George W. Bush—speak for themselves.

But in the US, a nationwide election protection movement has arisen that protected the results in 2008, and that could make all the difference for the future of American democracy.

The Iranian people are speaking for themselves, and for the finest principles of democracy. For confirmation and inspiration, they need only look at America 2000-8 to see the consequences of an unelected government.

Bob Fitrakis & Harvey Wasserman have co-authored four books on election protection. Bob’s FITRAKIS FILES are at, where this article first appeared. HARVEY WASSERMAN’S HISTORY OF THE U.S. is at

by Bob Fitrakis & Harvey Wasserman
June 15, 2009

The parallels between the stolen Iranian election of 2009 and the American of 2000 and 2004 are tempting. The histories—and futures—of the two nations are inseparable. Bound up in their tortured half-century of crime and manipulation are the few glimmers of hope for lasting peace in the Middle East.

In both countries, a right-wing fundamentalist authoritarian with open contempt for human rights and the Geneva Convention has come up a winner, with catastrophic consequences. In both countries, the blowback of two George Bushes loom large.

In the US, two “defeated” candidates—Al Gore and John Kerry—said and did nothing in the face of two stolen elections. But an unprecedented election protection movement arose from the ashes of those defeats to assure the 2008 victory of America’s first African-American president.

In Iran, the “defeated” candidate—Mir Hussein Moussavi—is fighting back, along with massive grassroots resistance. How far they get will define the Iranian future—as well as that of the Middle East.

In a fluid and unpredictable situation, here are some indisputables:

1) A half-century ago, the people of Iran attempted a democratic revolution led by a moderate progressive, Dr. Mohammed Mossadegh, whose social-democratic inclinations have been revived by Moussavi.

2) Prime Minister Mossadegh was overthrown by the Eisenhower Administration and its Central Intelligence Agency, which wanted to wall in the Soviet Union and protect western oil interests.

3) Norman Schwarzkopf Sr. (father of the Gulf War general of the same name) used a suitcase full of US taxpayer dollars to bribe Iran’s anti-democratic sympathizers and help overthrow Mossadegh.

4) They installed the pro-U.S. general Fazlollah Zahedi, who handed control of Iran to the brutal and vicious Shah. The Shah ruled through the infamous secret terror/torture police force Savak, which Schwartzkopf helped train.

4) A prototypical CIA asset, the Shah used his iron torturer’s hand to “westernize” the country and make it more user-friendly to US oil interests.

5) Among other things, the U.S., France and other western powers were moving to provide the Shah with up to 36 atomic power plants designed to provide electricity and, ultimately, radioactive materials with which to build his own atomic bombs.

6) Despite his ostensible commitment to human rights, President Jimmy Carter made a point of spending a high-profile New Year’s with the Shah, evoking the bitter hatred of millions of Iranians.

7) The Shah’s overthrow by fundamentalist Ayatollah Khomeini led to the 1979-80 hostage crisis that finally sank Carter’s presidency. Amidst indications of a secret deal involving past and future CIA Directors George H.W. Bush and William Casey, the release of the hostages was delayed long enough to guarantee Carter’s defeat, thus inaugurating the Age of Ronald Reagan, with 12 of its 28 years under the two Bushes.

8 ) Secret dealings between Reagan/Bush and the Iranians led to the Iran-Contra Affair, when covert operatives like Oliver North funneled arms to the Iranians and laundered cash and drugs through the reactionary Contra forces fighting revolution in Nicaragua.

9) The Contras in turn flooded the US with cocaine, feeding a horrific crack epidemic that has crippled the black and Hispanic communities here for two decades.

10) Those US-financed arms were used to fight the Iraqis and Saddam Hussein, whom the US also supported, and whom Donald Rumsfeld publicly embraced in the early 1980s. The American goal seems to have been to weaken both Iran and Iraq through a horrifying war that claimed at least a million casualties, ultimately infuriating both citizenries.

After a half-century of dictatorship under the Shah and the CIA, followed by the Ayatollah and the fundamentalists, the Iranian public appears desperate to return to the social-democratic vision of Mossadegh, denied so long ago.

In the US in 2000 and 2004, the corporate/religious right put George W. Bush in the White House—and then kept him there—with a sophisticated election theft machine built around elimination of voter registrations, manipulation of the vote count, and a wide array of supporting tactics. The US Supreme Court set it all in stone with its infamous Bush v. Gore decision, which prevented a true vote count in Florida 2000. History repeated itself in Ohio 2004.

In Iran 2009, the ruling fundamentalist elite has barely pretended to count the votes at all, merely rushing to announce a prê-determined outcome. The reigning Ayatollah has played the role of the US Supreme Court by certifying the outcome before a real ballot tally could possibly occur. Holes in the texts of Iranian newspapers and an electronic blackout created by official censors reflect the on-going vacuum in the US corporate media, which has yet to seriously face up to what happened to the American elections of 2000 and 2004.

What will happen next in Iran is anyone’s guess. George W. Bush fueled its fundamentalist right by calling it a “terror state” whose nuclear weapons ambitions are fueled with materials produced by the “Peaceful Atom” Eisenhower inaugurated in 1953, around the time he was disposing of Mossadegh.

Bush’s counterpart, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, is now turning the state terror apparatus—reminiscent of the Shah’s—against those who would mention the illegitimacy of his rule.

Thus tragedy looms at the brink of opportunity. That democracy in Iran so clearly won at the polls is a sign of great courage and hope on the part of the Iranian people. They are fighting terrible odds, not of their making. Should they break free, the storm would re-shape the Middle East—and much more.

In the meantime, perhaps their American counterparts, instructed by the ghost of Mossadegh, might finally face up to the true price of sowing such cynical, lethal whirlwinds.

Bob Fitrakis and Harvey Wasserman have co-authored four books on election protection. Bob’s FITRAKIS FILES are available via, where this article first appeared. HARVEY WASSERMAN’S HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES is at

By Dr. Robert Fitrakis
June 1, 2009

Former Chair of the House Budget Committee John Kasich of Ohio formally declared his candidacy for governor of Ohio June 1, 2009. His timing could not have been worse. As a Congressman, Kasich championed the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and worldwide free trade. Now he announces for governor of Ohio, as General Motors files for bankruptcy. It will be interesting to see how Kasich, who focused recently on eliminating Ohio’s income tax, plans to explain how his free trade policies that sent tens of thousands of Ohio jobs to Mexico and China will help the state weather what looks more and more like a Depression.

With over 10% of the state’s labor force officially unemployed, Kasich will also have to explain his ties to the bankrupt and defunct investment banking firm Lehman Brothers. After leaving Congress in 2000, Kasich took a job as managing director of the Columbus, Ohio investment banking division of the company. Kasich, like the assets of Lehman Brothers, ended up with the British banking firm Barclays.

So, while Kasich’s candidacy has that 1936 Alf Landon for President disaster feel, he should not be counted out first and foremost, because of the Fox Factor. As the former host of the neo-hokum “Heartland with John Kasich” show and a frequent guest host filling in for Bill O’Reilly on the “O’Reilly Factor,” Kasich is a political celeb with his own propaganda machine.

Moreover, in his early political campaigns, Kasich was aided by followers of the self-proclaimed Messiah, Rev. Sun Myung Moon. Moon’s ties to the Washington Times, the UPI, and other publications, could serve as an asset to Kasich as well. Moon’s past history of passing money to Republican Party candidates may also prove beneficial.

With his Wall Street and Moon connections and celebrity status, Kasich could claim the Statehouse in a floundering economy where Governor Ted Strickland often appears as a paralyzed moderate with little vision to initiate a green revolution in the state. If President Obama’s stimulus fails to stimulate the Buckeye State economy, Kasich’s “maverick” image as a budget cutter may appear as a fresh and wholesome alternative to economic stagnation.

Kasich, a 1974 graduate of The Ohio State University, frequently stresses his blue-collar background and his father who worked as a postman. Both of his parents were tragically in a 1987 automobile accident which Kasich has spoken and written about. He’s authored two books Courage is Contagious and Stand for Something: The Battle for America’s Soul. The genre they best represent is re-worked Horatio Alger rags to riches myths.

Kasich is running for governor in 2010 during Congressional off-year elections. A victory in Ohio, our nation’s great barometer state, would indicate future problems for President Obama’s re-election campaign in 2012. As Ohio goes, so goes the nation.

Republican State Senator Kevin Coughlin of Cuyahoga County is also seeking the Republican nomination for governor.

The Democratic Party pre-empted Kasich’s announcement by leading an onslaught against him as the “candidate of Wall Street.” The Ohio Dems can also take solace in the fact that Kasich’s 2000 run for president was a certified debacle. He withdrew early after achieving status as perhaps the Republican’s leading non-entity in the field.

Kasich will no doubt stress the fact that the budget was balanced in the years he chaired the House Budget Committee. Here Kasich can claim he worked with Bill Clinton to stimulate the economy and restore fiscal responsibility.

While the Dems blast Kasich’s Wall Street connections, Ohio’s Republican Party Chair Kevin Dewine is busy attacking Gov. Strickland for the loss of 300,000 in Ohio. Their theme is that the Democrats committed to fix economy, but it’s just getting worse. “The only Ohioan who deserves to lose a job in this economy is the guy who promised to turn it around and failed miserably,” Dewine said in a statement.

Still, Governor Strickland’s popularity remains high and President Obama’s even higher. Yet, those numbers may begin to fall if the hope of real reform and change is seen as empty campaign rhetoric rather than the reality of a new high-tech sustainable Buckeye economy.

Bob Fitrakis is Editor of, is a political theorist, ran against against Kasich for the 12th District of Congress in 1992 and ran as a Green candidate for Governor in 2006. This article was originally published by