Monday, December 13, 2004

WIRED MAG Picks Up Clint Curtis Story

Good Coverage Overall, But Mag Drops Ball on Atleast One Very Key Point
Fails to Note Responding Yeng Attorney is Feeney Contributor, Former Law Partner!

In a fairly even-handed article today, Kim Zetter of covers the story of Florida computer programmer Clint Curtis who has charged that he was asked by Congressman Tom Feeney (R-FL), then a Florida legislator, to create a "vote-rigging software prototype" while working at Yang Enterprises, Inc. (YEI) back in October of 2000.

The story picks up on our coverage of Curtis' affidavit [PDF], first reported by The BRAD BLOG in our "WHISTLEBLOWER AFFIDAVIT" shocker story published one week ago today.

The piece drops the ball notably in only one area where Zetter quotes a statement from Yang attorney, Michael O'Quinn.

She quotes the attorney as calling the allegations "absurd and categorically untrue" and refers to Curtis as "an opportunist and a disgruntled former employee furthering an agenda by telling lies".

Unfortunately, Zetter, who we had spoken to last week, fails to note that Michael O'Quinn of the lawfirm "Fowler and O'Quinn" has been a longtime campaign contributor to Tom Feeney in both 2002 and 2004. Perhaps more notably, O'Quinn is also a former law partner of Feeney!

As The BRAD BLOG reported over the weekend when the comments from Yang's attorney's were first announced, O'Quinn's lawfirm was previously known as "Fowler, Barice, Feeney, & O'Quinn".

That very notable conflict of interest in the matter should have been acknowledged by Zetter in her article.

The BRAD BLOG has also spoken on several occasions (here and here) about the "disgruntled employee" charge, to point out that there seems to be no known basis for that claim.

Curtis resigned from YEI effective December 2000, but stayed on at the firm for another six weeks, at the request of the company, until a replacement for him could be found. The company was said as well to have thrown a "farewell party" for him when he finally left, and email correspondence reviewed by The BRAD BLOG would seem to indicate that he was missed greatly by employees of the company.

Still, overall, it was a fair enough article, and we're glad to see the story begin to break into some of the "corporate media". And there will be more to come...

Zetter has written a number of articles for Wired debunking, or otherwise disputing electoral malfeasance or irregularities in the 2004 election, so her generally positive coverage of Curtis' story is also notable despite missed notice of the Yeng Attorney's direct connection to Feeney.

CONTACT: Kim Zetter, Wired Magazine


Blogger Dredd said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

12/13/2004 10:47 AM  
Blogger Dredd said...

I emailed the reporter and pointed out that should have noted the link between O'Quinn and Feeney. I also pointed out that the Lemme (FDOT investigator) death should be looked into more thoroughly.

12/13/2004 10:48 AM  
Blogger BradF said...

Yes, there is certainly more on the Lemme death, and I'll be reporting on that here at a later date, but have not done so for now since I've been working on several points of the story and, as well, don't wish to see that part of the story for now serve as a distraction to the central charges being made by Curtis.

But there will certainly be more on that in the not-too-distant future here.

12/13/2004 11:34 AM  
Blogger Geoff Wickersham said...

Ya know, that thing about Lemme's death is the biggest load of bull. That's what sunk this whole "exclusive" story for me. Brad, you've got to work for the GOP b/c Clint's story sounds like the stuff that they made up about Bill Clinton in the 90's about Vince Foster's death/suicide in Hillary's apartment, Clinton's illegitimate black children, etc.

If you have a link to some newspaper announcement of Lemme's "death", I'd love to see it. Go track that info down and then share what the sheriff has said about this incident.

12/15/2004 7:14 PM  
Blogger BradF said...

Nice try, Geoff. But as of this time, The BRAD BLOG has described Lemme's death here only a suicide as stated in the police records (which we have, and have been reviewing).

As to your requested newspaper article, we posted one last week. It is right here.

Lemme know if you have any other "questions".

12/15/2004 10:49 PM  

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