Free Press Second Saturday Holiday Salon
December 8 – 6:30pm

Socialize with progressive friends. Eat, drink and be merry for the holidays! Presentation by prisoner advocates.
Theme: Tribute to Motown (1961 – 1963). Music & Emcee by (DJ Buzz). Local artists exhibit & sales. Poetry contest to Motown recordings with prize. Narration of history. Dancing finale. Donations are welcome! Presented by : Crowns Jewels Revue Vol : 2. An Art Mix Production.

1021 E. Broad St., east side door, parking in rear.

Please support this documentary project at whatever level you can afford at
Trailer for an Indiegogo project – a documentary on the inside story of how investigative reporting, the Green Party, the Election Protection movement, pre-emptive litigating and just plain angry voters saved the Dems from Karl Rove in a key 2012 battleground state.

“The Wall Street Conspiracy: Discover the Truth”
Free Press FREE movie at the Drexel
Tuesday, November 27, 2012 – 7:30pm

The collapse of the US banking system in 2008 had been forecasted years before it happened by the people in this film. But no one wanted to listen. Instead our country fell apart in the Fall of 2008, the worst financial collapse in the history of Wall Street.

What is naked short selling? It is selling stock in a public company that you do not own and you never deliver to the buyer. Honest people call this stealing. This is done daily by many big banks for themselves and/or their customers.

How can this happen in today’s environment? 30 years ago stock physically changed hands in person between a buyer and a seller on Wall Street. Today, it is done electronically. In many cases, the stock is sold electronically but never delivered. In essence, our system has trillions of dollars of stock IOU’s that will never be collected.
Sponsored by the Free Press, the Drexel Theater, and the Central Ohio Green Education Fund.

Drexel Theater, 2254 E. Main St., Bexley.

Dear Free Press supporter:

I am extremely proud of our pre-election activism. Andrew Kreig at Justice Integrity Project (Did Expert Witness, Activists Thwart a Rove Ohio Vote Plot?) speculates that we ( may have prevented another stolen election. Art Levin at Huffington Post agrees as does Brad Friedman at Bradblog.

We need your support! The Free Press went into the red in this effort. We do not send emails asking for money before we get started, instead we get to work and ask for help later :). As a result, we need to ask our friends and supporters to contribute what you can to support what has already been done.

If you saw the Karl Rove meltdown on Fox News on election night, you might have been unaware that the Secretary of State AND the Cuyahoga County websites went off-line at approximately the same time as Rove’s meltdown. Deja Vu, election night 2004.

What we sometimes refer to derisively as “establishment” media validated our reporting efforts.

Forbes : The Technological Foundations Of Today’s Election Are Shaky, Especially In Ohio

Forbes: Dear President Obama, Glad You Won, But Can We Fix The Voting Machines Before 2016?

Associated Press: Judge rejects lawsuit’s Ohio voting software claim

Business Insider: Here’s The Truth About The Story About The Romneys Investing In The Company That Makes The Voting Machines

Fox News local Channel 19 in Cincinnati.

Computerworld: Update: Lawsuit filed in Ohio over software updates to vote tabulation machines….

Christian Science Monitor: US judge allows Ohio voting software, alleged to be vulnerable to fraud

Fight Back (Bob’s radio show), interview with Cliff, Gerry and Harvey. (Podcast)

We did not plan it this way, but our reporting turned into a three pronged effort.
• First, we reported on Scytl, and again here. Banking Insider called this the “true” October Surprise.
• Secondly, we reported on ownership of voting machine companies, particularly Romney family and business associates of Hart Inner Civic. Vote counting company tied to Romney
• Former National Security Agency data analyst and election software critic Michael Duniho (37 years, retired) testified in the lawsuit brought by Attorney Bob Fitrakis and Cliff Arnebeck. Duniho’s expertise is beyond reproach and his testimony was powerful.
• Finally we reported on the illegal software patch that was applied (as experimental). We filed a lawsuit in both State and Federal courts in an effort to have this patch removed. The Free Press confirms installation, secret justification of uncertified last minute election tabulation reporting software in Ohio The contract was leaked to the Free Press. If the Free Press did not exist, to whom would this person leak the contract? Who else could be trusted to report it?
We at the Free Press…Bob Fitrakis, Cliff Arnebeck, Harvey Wasserman, Gerry Bello, Suzanne Patzer, myself, the Board of Directors, and many others…agree with Andrew Kreig. We believe we prevented another stolen Presidential election. But we may never know for sure. In any case, we could not have mounted a more vigorous defense of voting rights and democracy. We need your support so that we remain as THE most important and most effective defender of election integrity.

Please contribute to the Free Press here —
or simply send a check to Columbus Institute of Contemporary Journalism (CICJ) at 1021 E Broad St, Columbus, Ohio 43205. You contribution is tax deductible.

Thank you,
Pete Johnson
CICJ Board President

by Bob Fitrakis

Looks like Assistant City Attorney Glenn Redick-the man charged with the task of taking on Police Chief James Jackson and ferreting out police corruption-took a dive in the mayor’s prosecution. Either the fix was in, or Redick was sleepwalking during the hearings. As one veteran reporter covering the hearings commented, “The rug is getting thicker and thicker as they sweep the dirt under it.”

A scenario floating from various sources goes like this: about two weeks ago, attitudes began to change in the Jackson probe. As a precursor to this, Columbus City Council members John Kennedy, Les Wright and Michael Coleman had pressured the mayor’s investigation team to wrap up quickly. Rumors abounded that a deal was being struck between the mayor and Council members. The Chief and his backers were battling back with embarrassing information they had in their possession. Did they really want the Chief under oath testifying about everything he knew concerning escort services? The public exposure of the Arthur Shapiro murder file finally cemented the deal. The Chief, who, after all, was protecting some of the most important political and business movers and shakers in Columbus, was to get a slap on the wrist. And it will be business as usual in systematically and institutionally corrupt Cowtown.

This takes us to Arthur Shapiro. Let’s rehash that story. Local attorney and everyone’s favorite creative accountant, Shapiro, was gunned down in what was considered a mob hit the day before he was to testify to federal authorities concerning problems he was having with the IRS in 1985. A partner at Schwartz, Shapiro, Kelm & Warren, Shapiro’s clients included The Limited, and he was at the time being investigated for his dealings with Berry L. Kessler, an accountant later convicted of helping Shapiro avoid paying income tax. Kessler is serving time in Florida for hiring a hitman to kill a business partner. He also was suspected of having a hand in the Shapiro slaying.

Because Shapiro worked for The Limited, Elizabeth Laupp of the Organized Crime Bureau did linkage analysis that pointed out in a June 6, 1991 memo the obvious connections between The Limited’s Les Wexner, former City Council President Jerry Hammond and current City Councilwoman Les Wright. Wexner helped fund Hammond’s now-defunct Major Chord nightclub in the Short North, and Wright served as vice president of the company that owned it. Shapiro reportedly worked on a land deal that paved the way for Wexner’s vast New Albany Company development, and Hammond’s and later Wright’s votes on Council helped facilitate that development.

Attorney James Balthaser took over some of Shapiro’s most interesting work at Schwartz, Kelm, Warren & Rubenstein. Balthaser is now at Thompson, Hine and Flory, where he is a law partner with the Chief’s lawyer, Bill Wilkinson. Wilkinson and Balthaser both happen to work for the firm that’s the primary legal counsel for the mighty Banks Carbone Construction Company, recently listed in Business First as Greater Columbus’s leading minority-owned firm with sales nearly equal to the second- and third-ranked firms combined. A miraculous success story for high school graduate T.G. Banks, the Chief’s close buddy. They share a lot of things, like an interest in the steel industry. The Chief, we recall, is a steel magnate; he runs Interstate Steel from his home on Bryden Road. We know from the Ohio Department of Taxation that he’s the president, secretary and treasurer of Interstate. But less well known is that Banks was listed as the owner of the company when it was incorporated in 1992. In most cities, a police chief operating a steel business with no steelyard in a residential neighborhood might raise eyebrows. Not here.

Anyway, Wilkinson looked like a heavyweight champ against the lackluster punching-bag Redick. And the Chief can soon go back to protecting and serving. After all, he’s done such a fine job. It was the Chief who insisted that Ted Oshodi be our Civilian Crime Prevention Coordinator although he was rated last among half a dozen candidates and was investigated last year for allegedly repeatedly raping his daughter from 1986-’88. While the charges weren’t brought to a grand jury for criminal prosecution since the daughter reported them years later and only had a polygraph to back her up, they still were open for a police Internal Affairs investigation that doesn’t have to meet “a beyond a reasonable doubt” standard. When Oshodi was ordered to take a polygraph on these charges, an August 11, 1995 memo from Officer Cathy Collins of the polygraph unit complained about an order she received “per chain of command … not to ask any questions of Ted Oshodi … prior to his hire date” of December 6, 1994. Interestingly, the alleged rapes took place prior to his hire date. And, the order reportedly came directly from the top. Eventually, Collins won out and she concluded the following: “that Mr. Oshodi was NOT TRUTHFUL when answering” four questions about sexually abusing his daughter. She also determined that the daughter was “truthful” on all four questions.

Redick forgot to ask the Chief about the bizarre restrictions he supposedly placed on Oshodi’s polygraph test. Also, Redick did not call Sharlynn English, the Chief’s very close friend and admitted former employee of “Dulcet” Escort Services; nor English’s good friend, next-door neighbor and close companion to Commander Walter Burns, Carol Huffman; nor Gail Richey, who observed the Chief’s relationship with English in the late ’80s. English’s sworn deposition reveals that the Chief visited her regularly two to three times a week for six to nine months at 5318 Karl Road for nooners. Right next door, at 5328, Richey was receiving then-Lieutenant Walter Burns, whose alleged involvement with the prostitution ring spurred the Jackson investigation.

Fight Back – Episode: 11/07/12 Stealing Votes

Join us this Saturday night!
Free Press Second Saturday Salon
Saturday, November 10, 2012
6:30pm – midnight
Enjoy food, drink, music, art, good friends and acquaintances for socializing, networking, and just relaxing and having fun. Join us for post-election analysis and social justice planning session.
1021 E. Broad St., east side door, parking in rear.

Saturday, November 10, 2012, 6:30pm – midnight
Enjoy food, drink, music, art, good friends and acquaintances for socializing, networking, and just relaxing and having fun. Join us for post-election analysis and social justice planning session.
1021 E. Broad St., east side door, parking in rear.

by Gerry Bello and Bob Fitrakis
November 5, 2012

Citizen concerns about untested software have multiplied since the Columbus Free Press broke the news that Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted’s office installed uncertified and untested software on the central vote tabulation machines in up to 39 counties in the state.

Memos circulated amongst senior staff at the Ohio Secretary of States’ indicate that they consider this skirting of Ohio Election Law is justified because the software does not directly tabulate or communicate actual votes. Their statements to the mainstream press reveal a different set of facts about the software and a different justification.

In statements to the theGrio, NBC’s political blog, SOS spokesman Matt McClellan said the software is to “assist counties and to help them simplify the process by which they report the results to our system.” and that it was deemed experimental because “It is a pilot project that we’re doing with about 25 counties or so. So it’s not statewide, but it is a pilot project we’re trying.”

Ohio election law does not allow software or hardware to be used in election until it has been tested or certified by the Ohio Board of Voting Machine Examiners unless it is experimental. The confidential internal memos indicate that this software was never tested because of claims that it is not involved with the tabulation or communication of votes. Reporting election results from county tabulation systems to the secretary of state’s office, which is the purpose of this software as explained by McClellan, is in fact communication of votes.

The potential federal illegality of this software has been hidden from public scrutiny by the Secretary of State’s Election Counsel Brandi Seske. In a September 29 memo, Seske wrote, “Please see the attached letter from Matt Masterson regarding de minimis changes – one submitted by ES&S and one by Dominion Voting Systems. He has reviewed and approved the changes.” “De minimis” is a legal term for minute. Federal election regulations have a very specific definition of de minimis. This definition was clarified to all state level agencies in a federal Elections Assistance Commission memo dated February 8, 2012 entitled “Software and Firmware modifications are not de minimis changes.”

Ohio election law provides for experimental equipment only in a limited number of precincts per county. Installing uncertified and untested software on central tabulation equipment essential affects every single precinct in a given county. Nowhere in the memos circulated by Seske, nor in the contract, is the software called “experimental.”

The Secretary of State’s office has given one questionable justification to its own Board of Voting Machine Examiners and another to the public.

The contract provides for testing, performed jointly by the counties and the vendor within 30 days of the software being installed. This testing was required to be independent and overseen by the Board of Voting Machine Examiners, as required by Ohio law.

McClellan told theGrio “I’m not sure the exact timeline of that [the installation and testing], but I know we’ve been working with the counties for the past couple of months on getting these in place, testing them to make sure they work properly, and working with the vendors as well.”

This uncertified and untested software could easily malfunction and corrupt votes on the central tabulation machines, thus destroying any electronic record of the actual votes by citizens. This “experimental” software, as outlined in the contract, has no security protocols. A “man in the middle” attack, like the one that stole the Ohio election for George W. Bush in 2004, could be directly facilitated by this untested and uncertified software installation.

The Secretary of State’s office has used every legal contortion to avoid the use of science and the possibility of public scrutiny of this possibly illegal software. The Free Press will continue to report on this story as it develops.

Gerry Bello is the chief researcher at the Columbus Free Press. He holds a degree in computer security from Antioch College. Bob Fitrakis is the Editor of the Free Press. He holds Ph.D. in Political Science and a J.D. from the Moritz College of Law at Ohio State University.