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Presidential Candidate Jill Stein Vows to Recount Ohio if there are any signs of election tampering


Franklin County Green Party October 31, 2012 MEDIA ADVISORY Green Party Presidential Candidate Jill Stein Vows to Recount Ohio if there are any signs of election tampering — POLITICS OF COURAGE TOUR VISITS COLUMBUS NOV. 2 — Event/FMI Contact: Bob Fitrakis [614] 374-2380 or [614] 253-2571 or fcgreenparty@gmail.com (Columbus Ohio) The Green Party’s Politics of Courage Tour comes to Columbus this Friday, November 2, 2012 with Green Party Presidential Candidate Jill Stein holding a 1:00 pm press conference in front of the Ohio Statehouse McKinley statute on North High Street. Stein is coming to Columbus to address recently discovered evidence regarding the Romney family ties the Hart InterCivic voting machine company. Stein is concerned with the ownership and programming control of Hart InterCivic voting machines being used in Hamilton and Williams counties in Ohio. Stein believes that the Romney connection is a critical conflict of interest and raises the question of whether partisan private for-profit corporations should be secretly counting the votes of U.S. citizens. Hart InterCivic voting machines failed on all 12 key areas of security during Ohio’s Everest study by former Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner. Stein vows to recount Ohio if there are any signs of election tampering on Election Day. She further calls for Hamilton and Williams counties to use hand-counted paper ballots. Stein will be available for interviews at her press conference between 1-2:00 pm on Friday at the Statehouse. She will be in town until 3pm Saturday for additional interviews to discuss the voting machine issues, the Stein/Honkala Campaign, the Green Party position on issues addressed in the Presidential debates, her arrest outside the Hofstra Debate, and The New Green Deal, the economic centerpiece of the Green Party’s platform for building a sustainable job-creating economic future for America. Jill Stein biography Jill Stein was born in Chicago and raised in suburban Highland Park, Illinois. She graduated magna cum laude from Harvard College in 1973 and from Harvard Medical School in 1979. Dr. Stein is a mother, physician, longtime teacher of internal medicine, and pioneering environmental-health advocate. Stein enjoys writing, performing music, and walks with her Great Dane, Bandita. She lives in Lexington, Massachusetts with her husband, Richard Rohrer, also a physician. She has two sons, Ben and Noah, both college graduates. In 2002 ADD activists in the Massachusetts Green-Rainbow Party approached Dr. Stein and asked her to run for Governor of Massachusetts. Dr. Stein accepted, and began her first foray into electoral politics. She was widely credited with being the best informed and most credible candidate in the race. She has twice been elected to town meeting in Lexington, Massachusetts. In 2003, Jill co-founded the Massachusetts Coalition for Healthy Communities, a non-profit organization that addresses a variety of issues that are important to the health and well-being of Massachusetts communities, including health care, local green economies, and grassroots democracy. In 2008, Stein helped formulate a “Secure Green Future” ballot initiative that called upon legislators to accelerate efforts to move the Massachusetts economy to renewable energy and make development of green jobs a priority. The measure won over 81 per cent of the vote in the 11 districts in which it was on the ballot. Stein’s Vice-President Candidate, Cheri Honkala, is a nationally recognized anti-poverty activist. She is the co-founder of the Kensington Welfare Rights Union as well as a co-founder and current National Coordinator for the Poor People’s Economic Human Rights Campaign, one of our nation’s largest multi-racial, intergenerational movements led by the poor and homeless. Voter support for the Green Party’s Stein/Honkala ticket is at 2% in Ohio and nationally, with the Green Party appearing on enough state election ballots to win the election and garnering sufficient financial support from individual citizens [the GP prohibits PAC contributions] to qualify for federal matching funds for the first time. [CNN Poll] For more information on the GP Presidential Candidate Jill Stein and VP Candidate Cheri Honkala visit www.jillstein.org.

 

 

Romney family and friends will help tabulate the vote count in Cincinnati: Hart Intercivic holds maintenance contracts on their own machines

by Gerry Bello and Bob Fitrakis
October 24, 2012

Election officials lie to cover the facts
Since the Columbus Free Press broke the story of Tagg, Mitt, HIG Capital and your e-vote, there has been a bi-partisan effort on the internet to restore faith in the system. There are Democrats who wish the Free Press would remain silent, fearing that exposure of these facts will demoralize their base and lead to low voter turnout. Pundits like Chuck Todd have used the phrase “conspiracy theory” and even gone so far as to say “The voting machine conspiracies belong in same category as the Trump birther garbage.” An industry shill, Michelle Shafer, who currently works as media director for Scytl, a Spanish-based vote-counting company, and has worked for all but one of the major voting machine manufacturers, has replied via comment to our articles with additional falsehoods and misrepresentations.

As stated in a previous Free Press article, through a closely held equity fund called Solamere, Mitt Romney and his wife, son and brother are major investors in an investment firm called H.I.G. Capital. H.I.G. in turn holds a majority share and has three out of the five board members on Hart Intercivic, a company that owns the notoriously faulty electronic voting machines that will count the ballots in swing state Ohio on November 6. Hart is majority owned by a private equity firm run by fundraisers for the Romney campaign.

The biggest current lie is that Hart Intercivic has little or nothing to do with the maintenance of its voting machines in the current election. That lie was recently told to the Washington Post by an official in Hamilton County, “Hamilton County director of elections Amy Searcy said Tuesday that officials purchased the system five years ago and that Hart is not involved with its operations or maintenance.”

A statement that Hart has nothing to do with the voting machines in Hamilton (Cincinnati) or Williams counties in the key swing state of Ohio is simply incorrect. Not only does Hart Intercivic have contracts to maintain some of their voting machines, but in Hamilton and Williams counties the tabulation software which will be used to count the votes on Election Day is also made and maintained by Hart, according to public records.

In April as the Free Press geared up for the general election, the Free Press obtained public records relating to election-related hardware, software, contracts, serial numbers and voter registration record storage contracts for all 88 counties in Ohio. According to records given to us by the Hamilton County Board of Elections (read Hamilton County’s actual response email) and Williams County, Hart Intercivic still has a contract to maintain and repair its equipment in each of those counties.

When asked by the Free Press who controlled the “vote tabluation and/or software” in Hamilton County, their board of elections replied “Hart Intercivic.” Also, in Williams County, Hart Intercivic also has the contract to write and maintain the tabulation software which runs on Dell-made computers.

A common practice during the disputed 2004 presidential election in Ohio involved both Triad and ES&S voting machine technicians showing up unexpectedly with “software patches” to install in voting machines just prior to the election. Election protection activists should be on the lookout for this behavior between now and November 6. With a maintenance contract, Hart’s technicians could add software patches right before Election Day that could possibly change the functionality of these machines. Adding patches without them being certified by the Secretary of State is illegal.

A software patch, ostensibly to fix some bug or increase functionality, inserted at the last minute, is one of the best ways to defraud an election. If a malicious attacker waits until the last minute, the software patch can be compiled to reflect the latest poll numbers, thus assuring that votes will be flipped within a seemingly undetectable margin of error.

County election officials from around the country have taken to social media to claim that the machines were bought a long time ago, and Hart has nothing to do with them. Diane Thompson, for instance, wrote:

“I am an Election Authority in the State of Missouri. We use electronic voting equipment….I can tell you, once we purchased those machines, the company that designed/built them has nothing to do with them. They are programmed by a third company not affiliated with their design.” This was posted on ThinkProgress.org.

A former Board of Elections official from Greene County, Ohio posted this misleading statement on his Facebook page 2 days ago:
“Many of my Facebook friends have posted about voting machines being owned by Bain Capital and therefore by members of the Romney family. At least in Ohio that does not threaten the integrity of the vote counting. In Ohio, machines are owned by the individual county Boards of Elections. …The vote tabulations are done in each county, not on a computer in Columbus (or Chattanooga). Spreading fears and doubts about vote integrity may end up suppressing the turnout.”

Voting machines, once purchased, have maintenance contracts. In fact, as is common in the computer industry, most of the money in a contract is in the maintenance of the software, not the sale of the hardware.

Hart could potentially apply software patches in two Ohio counties. Additionally, in many counties these systems interface with voter registration systems maintained by Triad Governmental Services (Triad GSI). Triad, based in Xenia Ohio, is a small family run operation. The Rapp family, who founded Triad, are hard-right evangelicals. Triad technicians “helped” with the recount in Ohio after the 2004 presidential election by bringing in new hard drives and performing maintenance on machines in county boards of elections to make sure “…the count would come out perfect” and the election officials would not have to do a full hand recount of their county.

The Democrats have it half right. The only way to ensure that election fraud will not happen is to have a massive voter turnout that makes cheating within the margin of error impossible. However, a citizen’s obligation to vote does not negate a citizen’s obligation to vigilantly defend the democratic franchise that lies at the center of our society.

———————————
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

Revised October 25, 2012

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Romney family and friends will help tabulate the vote count in Cincinnati: Hart Intercivic holds maintenance contracts on their own machines

by Gerry Bello and Bob Fitrakis
October 24, 2012

Election officials lie to cover the facts
Since the Columbus Free Press broke the story of Tagg, Mitt, HIG Capital and your e-vote, there has been a bi-partisan effort on the internet to restore faith in system. There are Democrats who wish the Free Press would remain silent, fearing that exposure of these facts will demoralize their base and lead to low voter turn out. Pundits like Chuck Todd have used the phrase conspiracy theory and even gone so far as to say “The voting machine conspiracies belong in same category as the Trump birther garbage.” An industry shill, Michelle Shafer, who currently works as media director for Scytl and has worked for all but one of the major voting machine manufacturers, has replied via comment to our reportage and its derivatives with additional falsehoods and misrepresentations.

In Hamilton County, tabulation software which will be used to count the votes on Election Day, is also made and maintained by Hart.

The biggest current lie is that Hart Intercivic has little or nothing to do with its voting machines in the current election. That lie was recently told to the Washington Post by an official in Hamilton County “Hamilton County director of elections Amy Searcy said Tuesday that officials purchased the system five years ago and that Hart is not involved with its operations or maintenance.”

A statement that Hart has nothing to do with the machines Hamilton (Cincinnati) and Williams counties in the key swing state of Ohio and is simply incorrect. In April, as we geared up for the general election, the Free Press requested and received public records relating to hardware, software, contracts, serial numbers and voter registration record storage contracts for all 88 counties in Ohio. According to records given to us by Hamilton (read Hamilton County’s actual response email) and Williams counties, Hart Intercivic still has a contract to maintain and repair its equipment in each of those counties. In Williams county, Hart InterCivic also has the contract to write and maintain the tabulation software which runs on Dell-made computers.

A common practice during the 2004 presidential election in Ohio involved both Triad and ES&S voting machine technicians showing up unexpectedly with “software patches” to install in voting machines just prior to the election. Elect ion protection activists should be on the lookout for this behavior between now and November 6. With a maintenance contract, Hart’s technicians could add software patches right before Election Day that could possibly change the functionality of these machines. Adding patches without them being certified by the Secretary of State is illegal.

A software patch, ostensibly to fix some bug or increase functionality, inserted at the last minute, are one of the best ways to defraud an election. If a malicious attacker waits until the last minute, the software patch can be compiled with the latest poll numbers, thus assuring that votes will be flipped within an seemingly undetectable margin of error.

County election officials from around the country have taken to social media to claim that the machines were bought a long time ago, and Hart has nothing to do with them. Linda Thompson, for instance, wrote:

“I am an Election Authority in the State of Missouri. We use electronic voting equipment….
I can tell you, once we purchased those machines, the company that designed/built them has nothing to do with them. They are programmed by a third company not affiliated with their design.” Posted on ThinkProgress.org.

A former Board of Elections official from Greene County, Ohio posted this misleading statement on his Facebook page 2 days ago:
“Many of my Facebook friends have posted about voting machines being owned by Bain Capital and therefore by members of the Romney family. At least in Ohio that does not threaten the integrity of the vote counting. In Ohio, machines are owned by the individual county Boards of Elections. …The vote tabulations are done in each county, not on a computer in Columbus (or Chattanooga). Spreading fears and doubts about vote integrity may end up suppressing the turnout.”

Voting machines, once purchased, have maintenance contracts. In fact, as is common in the computer industry, most of the money in a contract is in the maintenance of the software, not the sale of the hardware.

Hart could potentially apply software patches in two Ohio counties. Additionally, in many counties these systems interface with voter registration systems maintained by Triad Governmental Services (Triad GSI). Triad, based in Xenia Ohio, is a small family run operation. The Rapp, family, who founded Triad, are hard-right evangelicals. While they have an ideological commitment to an overall Republican victory, Hart is majority owned by a private equity firm run by fundraisers for the Romney campaign.

The Democrats have it half right. The only way to ensure that election fraud will not happen is to have a massive voter turnout that makes cheating within the margin of error impossible. However, a citizens obligation to vote does not negate a citizen’s obligation to vigilantly defend the democratic franchise that lies at the center of our society.


Gerry Bello is the chief researcher at Columbus Free Press. He holds a degree in computer security from Antioch College. Bob Fitrakis is editor-in-chief of the Free Press. He holds PhD in Political Science and a JD.

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Come to the Free Press FREE film night – Free For All

Come to the Free Press FREE film night – Free For All
Tuesday, October 23 — 7:30pm

Free For All is a documentary film by John Wellington Ennis. John Ennis is planning to be here for the showing. This is a re-release of his original film with updated information.
How did America get so off track? Nagging doubts about the legitimacy of the 2004 election force John Ennis to get off his sofa and investigate Ohio leading up to the 2006 elections – even though he is just some dude. He meets with journalists, politicians, election officials, attorneys, activists, and everyday Ohioans in a search for truth. Along his journey, Ennis uncovers a web of schemes that swing U.S. election. Re-released with updated information including the mysterious death of Mike Connell.
Followed by a discussion.

Free and open to the public as part of the Free Press Film Night at the Drexel. This screening is co-sponsored by the Free Press, the Columbus Film Council, the Central Ohio Green Education Fund, and the Drexel.

Location: Drexel Theater, 2254 E. Main St., Bexley
Phone: 253-2571
Email: truth@freepress.org

Green Lit Drop

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THE GREAT GOP ELECTION THEFT PARTNERSHIP NYC Press Conference Oct.22, 2012

New York City press conference, Monday, October 22, 2012
THE GREAT GOP ELECTION THEFT PARTNERSHIP:
The Romney Family, Hart InterCivic, a major American voting machine company and Karl Rove’s Wireless Election Management Empire…
Harvey Wasserman and Bob Fitrakis of the Free Press (www.freepress.org) will present shocking new information on the Bain Capital part ownership of one of America’s chief voting machine companies, Hart InterCivic that counts many votes around the US. Additionally, Jill Simson and Jim March will present on the wireless empire of Karl Rove and associates for possible election manipulation. Both presentations will be part of a panel which also includes NYU professor Mark Crispin Miller and election activist Lori Grace on other possible upcoming election manipulations in the November 2012 elections nationwide.

Time: Monday, October 22nd, 12:00-2:00 pm. EST
Place: New York Open Center, 22 E. 30th street, New York, NY 10016

Harvey Wasserman and Bob Fitrakis are the editors of the Free Press www.freepress.org which has played a major role in exposing election manipulations since 2004. Bob Fitrakis and Cliff Arnebeck have participated in the KingLincoln Bronzeville lawsuit against Bush where they held him and Rove accountable for election stealing in 2004. Mark Crispin Miller is author of Fooled Again: The Real Case for Electoral Reform.

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Employees of Romney Family’s secret bank tied to fraud, money laundering, drug cartels and the CIA

by Gerry Bello and Bob Fitrakis
October 20, 2012

As previously reported in by the Columbus Free Press, the Romney family, namely Mitt, Ann, G Scott and Tagg Romney, along with Mitt’s “6th son” and campaign finance chair have a secretive private equity firm called Solamere Capital Partners. This firms ties to Romney’s campaign and bundlers is already well documented, along with its connection to the manufacture and distribution of voting machines. What is not as well documented is a subsidiary of that secret bank hiring employees of a failed firm tied to a ponzi scheme that has a long history of money laundering for Latin American drug cartels and to the Iran-Contra scandal.

As reported by ThinkProgress, Solamere Capital Partner’s subsidiary Solamere Advisors is a investment advisory group, providing advice to Solamere clients and boosting sales. Would-be corporate pugilist Tagg Romney is a director. According to the New York Times, all but one of its 11 employees came from the Charlotte office of the Stanford Financial Group, the US investment arm of convicted felon R. Allen Stanford’s offshore banking and fraud network that comprised a host of companies including the Stanford International Bank, Stanford Capital Management, The Bank of Antigua, Stanford Trust and Stanford Gold and Bullion. Three of these employees, Tim Bambauer, Deems May, and Brandon Phillips, received incentive compensation related to their direct sales of securities linked to a fraud that brought down this banking network.

Tim Bambauer has left his position as managing partner at Solamere Advisors. May and Phillips remain employed as partner and chief compliance officer respectively.

Allen Stanford is currently serving a 110-year prison sentence for convictions on 13 counts of fraud. His companies were placed in receivership. $8 billion of Stanford’s stolen money has yet to be recovered and the victims are in court to recover those funds and incentive pay bonuses to Stanford employees (including Bambauer, May and Phillips) for fraudulently getting people to invest in an operation that later bilked many of them out of their life’s savings.

Stanford’s shady history and criminality did not begin with the fraudulent investments that lead to his downfall, nor was it unknown at the highest level of United State’s Government. In a 2006 diplomatic cable released by WikiLeaks, the US Ambassador to Antigua advised “Embassy officers do not reach out to Stanford because of the allegations of bribery and money laundering. The Ambassador managed to stay out of any one-on-one photos with Stanford during the breakfast. For his part, Stanford said he preferred to conduct his business without contacting the Embassy, resolving any investment disputes directly with local governments. It is whispered in the region that Stanford facilitates resolution with significant cash contributions.”

Similarly investigations by the SEC, FBI and Scotland Yard into Stanford’s empire stalled or failed all the way back to the 1980s. The Independent Newspaper in the UK alleges that Stanford’s network was on the FBI’s radar for more than 20 years. Stanford set up his first offshore bank in 1986, just as Eugene Hausenfaus, shot down while gun running for the CIA in Nicaragua, was being connected to another company named Stanford, in this case the “Stanford Technology Trading Group” owned by Richard Secord, Albert Hakim, and 4 unknown other persons, perhaps including Allen Stanford. According to Iran-Contra Whistleblower Al Martin (Lt. Cmdr. USNR ret.) “Anything with the name Stanford on it belonged to Secord”. When finally brought to trial, Stanford employed the same defense attorney, Dick DeGuerin, as Iran-Contra defendant Oliver North.

As the Iran-Contra explosion crippled the CIA’s Caribbean bank of choice, the Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI), Stanford’s offshore banking empire got using the same techniques and embracing the same moral category of clients. Stanford’s banks were known to have laundered money from the Juarez Cartel and alleged to have done so earlier for the Medellin Cartel, and one of his private planes has been seized by the Mexican government in a drug case.

On top of legal woes in the United States and Mexico, the London Daily Telegraph reported that Stanford’s Venezuelan offices were raided by Venezuela’s military intelligence over claims that its employees were paid by the CIA to spy on the South American country. When asked about this in a CNBC interview which was cited in a story by independent journalist Tom Burghardt, Stanford declined to comment on any involvement with the CIA rather than outright deny it.

All of the these dealings by Stanford, and the complicity of his employees in facilitating them, was public information before January 2010, when Mitt Romney addressed the first full meeting of Solamere’s investors. Yet his son Tagg chose to hire into his family these alleged white collar criminals as soon as Stanford’s criminal empire collapsed. The Romney family stands by the new employees associated with their secret bank, as evidenced by Tagg’s response to interview questions from ThinkProgress regarding Solamere’s ability to reign them in: “Hey guys, We’re done here”.

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Employees of Romney Family’s secret bank tied to fraud, money laundering, drug cartels and the CIA

by Gerry Bello and Bob Fitrakis
October 20, 2012

As previously reported in by the Columbus Free Press, the Romney family, namely Mitt, Ann, G Scott and Tagg Romney, along with Mitt’s “6th son” and campaign finance chair have a secretive private equity firm called Solamere Capital Partners. This firms ties to Romney’s campaign and bundlers is already well documented, along with its connection to the manufacture and distribution of voting machines. What is not as well documented is a subsidiary of that secret bank hiring employees of a failed firm tied to a ponzi scheme that has a long history of money laundering for Latin American drug cartels and to the Iran-Contra scandal.

As reported by ThinkProgress, Solamere Capital Partner’s subsidiary Solamere Advisors is a investment advisory group, providing advice to Solamere clients and boosting sales. Would-be corporate pugilist Tagg Romney is a director. According to the New York Times, all but one of its 11 employees came from the Charlotte office of the Stanford Financial Group, the US investment arm of convicted felon R. Allen Stanford’s offshore banking and fraud network that comprised a host of companies including the Stanford International Bank, Stanford Capital Management, The Bank of Antigua, Stanford Trust and Stanford Gold and Bullion. Three of these employees, Tim Bambauer, Deems May, and Brandon Phillips, received incentive compensation related to their direct sales of securities linked to a fraud that brought down this banking network.

Tim Bambauer has left his position as managing partner at Solamere Advisors. May and Phillips remain employed as partner and chief compliance officer respectively.

Allen Stanford is currently serving a 110-year prison sentence for convictions on 13 counts of fraud. His companies were placed in receivership. $8 billion of Stanford’s stolen money has yet to be recovered and the victims are in court to recover those funds and incentive pay bonuses to Stanford employees (including Bambauer, May and Phillips) for fraudulently getting people to invest in an operation that later bilked many of them out of their life’s savings.

Stanford’s shady history and criminality did not begin with the fraudulent investments that lead to his downfall, nor was it unknown at the highest level of United State’s Government. In a 2006 diplomatic cable released by WikiLeaks, the US Ambassador to Antigua advised “Embassy officers do not reach out to Stanford because of the allegations of bribery and money laundering. The Ambassador managed to stay out of any one-on-one photos with Stanford during the breakfast. For his part, Stanford said he preferred to conduct his business without contacting the Embassy, resolving any investment disputes directly with local governments. It is whispered in the region that Stanford facilitates resolution with significant cash contributions.”

Similarly investigations by the SEC, FBI and Scotland Yard into Stanford’s empire stalled or failed all the way back to the 1980s. The Independent Newspaper in the UK alleges that Stanford’s network was on the FBI’s radar for more than 20 years. Stanford set up his first offshore bank in 1986, just as Eugene Hausenfaus, shot down while gun running for the CIA in Nicaragua, was being connected to another company named Stanford, in this case the “Stanford Technology Trading Group” owned by Richard Secord, Albert Hakim, and 4 unknown other persons, perhaps including Allen Stanford. According to Iran-Contra Whistleblower Al Martin (Lt. Cmdr. USNR ret.) “Anything with the name Stanford on it belonged to Secord”. When finally brought to trial, Stanford employed the same defense attorney, Dick DeGuerin, as Iran-Contra defendant Oliver North.

As the Iran-Contra explosion crippled the CIA’s Caribbean bank of choice, the Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI), Stanford’s offshore banking empire got using the same techniques and embracing the same moral category of clients. Stanford’s banks were known to have laundered money from the Juarez Cartel and alleged to have done so earlier for the Medellin Cartel, and one of his private planes has been seized by the Mexican government in a drug case.

On top of legal woes in the United States and Mexico, the London Daily Telegraph reported that Stanford’s Venezuelan offices were raided by Venezuela’s military intelligence over claims that its employees were paid by the CIA to spy on the South American country. When asked about this in a CNBC interview which was cited in a story by independent journalist Tom Burghardt, Stanford declined to comment on any involvement with the CIA rather than outright deny it.

All of the these dealings by Stanford, and the complicity of his employees in facilitating them, was public information before January 2010, when Mitt Romney addressed the first full meeting of Solamere’s investors. Yet his son Tagg chose to hire into his family these alleged white collar criminals as soon as Stanford’s criminal empire collapsed. The Romney family stands by the new employees associated with their secret bank, as evidenced by Tagg’s response to interview questions from ThinkProgress regarding Solamere’s ability to reign them in: “Hey guys, We’re done here”.

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Does the Romney family now own your e-vote?

by Gerry Bello, Bob Fitrakis & Harvey Wasserman
October 18, 2012

Will you cast your vote this fall on a faulty electronic machine that’s partly owned by the Romney Family? Will that machine decide whether Romney will then inherit the White House?

Through a closely held equity fund called Solamere, Mitt Romney and his wife, son and brother are major investors in an investment firm called H.I.G. Capital. H.I.G. in turn holds a majority share and three out of five board members in Hart Intercivic, a company that owns the notoriously faulty electronic voting machines that will count the ballots in swing state Ohio November 7. Hart machines will also be used elsewhere in the United States.

In other words, a candidate for the presidency of the United States, and his brother, wife and son, have a straight-line financial interest in the voting machines that could decide this fall’s election. These machines cannot be monitored by the public. But they will help decide who “owns” the White House.

They are especially crucial in Ohio, without which no Republican candidate has ever won the White House. In 2004, in the dead of election night, an electronic swing of more than 300,000 votes switched Ohio from the John Kerry column to George W. Bush, giving him a second term. A virtual statistical impossibility, the 6-plus% shift occurred between 12:20 and 2am election night as votes were being tallied by a GOP-controlled information technology firm on servers in a basement in Chattanooga, Tennessee. In defiance of a federal injunction, 56 of Ohio’s 88 counties destroyed all election records, making a recount impossible. Ohio’s governor and secretary of state in 2004 were both Republicans, as are the governors and secretaries of state in nine key swing states this year.

As we have previously reported, H.I.G. Capital has on its board of directors at least three close associates of the Romney family. H.I.G. Capital directors John P. Bolduk and Douglas Berman are major Romney fundraisers. So is former Bain and H.I.G. manager Brian Shortsleeve. H.I.G. employees have contributed at least $338,000 to Romney’s campaign. Fully a third of H.I.G.’s leadership previously worked at Romney’s old Bain firm.

But new research now shows that the association doesn’t stop with mere friendship and business associations. Mitt Romney, his wife Ann Romney, and their son Tagg Romney are also invested in H.I.G. Capital, as is Mitt’s brother G. Scott Romney.

The investment comes in part through the privately held family equity firm called Solamere, which bears the name of the posh Utah ski community where the Romney family retreats to slide down the slopes.

Unlike other private equity firms, Solamere does not invest in companies directly. Instead, Solamere invests in other private equity funds, like H.I.G. Capital. Solamere calls them “partners.” These partners, like H.I.G., then invest in various enterprises, like Hart Intercivic, the nation’s third-largest voting machine manufacturer.

As reported by Lee Fang of The Nation, Solamere was founded by Tagg Romney and Spencer Zwick, Papa Romney’s campaign finance chair. Ann Romney and Mitt’s brother G. Scott Romney are also invested. Mitt himself threw in $10 million “seed money” to get the fund going, and spoke personally to its first full investors conference. Solamere’s public web presence has been reduced to a front page only, so a complete list of it’s “partners” can not be found. But reportage by the New York Times, Boston Globe, Esquire and the Nation have slowly given us a partial picture of which funds are being funded by Solamere. Some $232 million has been raised so far, according to SEC filings and industry publications.

In addition to Romney’s finance chair Spencer Zwick, Solamere has also provided the campaign with its finance director, Richard Morley, and a western regional finance coordinator, Kaitlin O’Reilly. O’Reilly is listed as an “executive assistant” at Solamere, and also at SJZ LLC, which was founded by her boss Spencer Zwick. The SJZ LLC campaign finance consulting firm has billed Mitt’s campaign over $2 million this election cycle as well as doing another $9,687,582 in billing to various Congressional Campaigns. The host of the private fundraiser at which Romney made his infamous “47%” speech was Marc J. Leder, co-CEO of Sun Capital, another “partner” of the Solamere fund.

As in virtually every close presidential race, Ohio may well hold the key to the Electoral College decision as to who will become the nation’s next chief executive. The presence of Hart Intercivic machines in Hamilton County, home to Cincinnati, means there is a high likelihood the votes that will decide the presidency will be cast on them. Major media like CBS have begun reporting that Cincinnati could be “ground zero” in this year’s election.

But these Hart machines are deeply flawed and widely know to be open to a troubling variety of attacks and breakdowns. There is no legal or other means to definitively monitor and re-check a tally compiled on Hart or other electronic voting machines. Ohio’s current governor and secretary of state are both Republicans.

Does this mean the Romney investment in Hart Intercivic through H.I.G. Capital and Solamere will yield it not only financial profits but the White House itself?

Tune in during the deep night of November 7, when the electronic votes in swing state Ohio are once again opaquely reported to the nation and the world, without meaningful public scrutiny or legal recourse.

Gerry Bello is chief researcher for Free Press. Bob Fitrakis and Harvey Wasserman are co-authors of five books on election protection, including WILL THE GOP STEAL AMERICA’S 2012 ELECTION? an e-book at Free Press.

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Police arrest US presidential candidate Jill Stein at debate site

http://rt.com/usa/news/police-jill-stein-debate-589/ ‘);

Edited: 17 October, 2012, 13:18

Video from Long Island Report http://longislandreport.org/ (3.3Mb) embed video

Police arrested Green Party Presidential candidate Jill Stein and her running mate, Cheri Honkala, after they tried to enter the site of tonight’s presidential debate at Hofstra University.
The two were protesting against the exclusion of all but the two major political parties from taking part in the debate.
“Jill Stein, Cheri Honkala arrested, call tonight’s #debate a “mockumentary”,” said a tweet posted on her account.

The presidential candidate and her vice-presidential nominee were arrested by local police when they tried to enter the grounds of Hofstra University, in Hempstead, New York, Stein’s campaign website says. The women were later released from police custody.
A video posted on YouTube shows police officers ushering Stein and Honkala away after they apparently tried to stage a sit-in.
The arrest comes after an announcement by the Green Party that the candidates will take “Occupy the Commission on Presidential Debates” action on the night of the debate.
“Stein and Honkala will walk from Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum at 2 PM to the debate perimeter at Hofstra, where they will then attempt to walk through security checkpoints and reach the debate hall,” read the release.
“This is a great day for democracy,” Stein told The Philadelphia Weekly by phone as she headed to the debate site. “It’s a great day for the politics of courage.”

The candidates claim that the Commission on Presidential Debates is an unfair entity formed by Democratic and Republican leaders designed to exclude any opposition.
Jill Stein is the Green Party’s nominee for President of the United States in the 2012 election. A Harvard-educated physician, she also stood for election for Governor of Massachusetts in both 2002 and 2010. A staple of her campaign is the “Green New Deal,” a plan to recharge the US by giving “every American willing and able to work” a job on renewable energy projects in the country. She is backed by American leftist icon Noam Chomsky and acclaimed journalist and harsh critic of unregulated capitalism Chris Hedges.

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