December 22, 2008
WMR has learned from knowledgeable sources in Ohio that Republican Party computer networking guru Mike Connell was warned not to fly in anonymous warnings conveyed to principals in the ongoing federal civil lawsuit of King Lincoln Bronzeville Neighborhood Association v. Blackwell, stemming from GOP-engineered vote fraud in the 2004 Ohio presidential election, as well as a potential Ohio racketeer-influenced criminal organization (RICO) criminal proceeding against former Bush White House aide Karl Rove and Blackwell, in the conspiracy to illegally steer Ohio’s 20 electoral votes to the Bush column in 2004.
Connell’s Piper Saratoga single-engine plane crashed during the evening of December 19 in Uniontown, Ohio, as it was preparing to land at Akron-Canton airport. There were no other passengers and Connell was killed in the crash. Connell had flown to College Park, Maryland, the previous day. Connell, who lived in Akron with his wife Heather and four children, often flew to Washington for activities related to his IT businesses.
Connell’s name surfaced as a key player in Rove’s election fraud conspiracy after this year’s July 17 Columbus news conference hosted by Cliff Arnebeck, the Ohio attorney who has been representing plaintiffs in the federal civil suit against former Republican Secretay of State J. Kenneth Blackwell. On the phone at the conference was John McCain campaign adviser and computer security specialist Stephen Spoonamore who identified Connell as a key player, as well as potential trial witness, in the GOP’s conspiracy to flip Ohio votes in the 2004 election.
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Spoonamore and Connell had reportedly worked together on foreign elections in programs sponsored by the International Republican Institute (ISI) and the National Endowment for Democracy (NED). Both had traveled abroad together on special election projects to ensure “fair voting” procedures.
For the first time, WMR has learned that the GOP vote flipping conspiracy was in place earlier than the November 2004 general election and was used to deny votes to Democratic candidates John Edwards and Dennis Kucinich in the March 2, 2004, Democratic primary. John Kerry won the primary with 52 percent of the vote to 34 percent for Edwards and 9 percent for Kucinich.
After Connell was identified as a potential witness in the civil case against Blackwell and a possible criminal Ohio RICO case against Rove, Blackwell, and perhaps others, the plaintiff attorneys received a tip from a high-level source in the McCain presidential campaign that Rove had issued a threat against Connell. Connell had worked for the 2008 McCain presidential campaign on the development of its web pages.
WMR has learned from our Ohio sources that five threats against Connell were conveyed to the election fraud plaintiff attorneys with the last tip being “Connell is in danger.” One of the threats reportedly made by Rove to Connell was that Connell could forget about a pardon from President George W. Bush if he did not “take the fall” in the event criminal charges were brought and that his wife Heather, who was used as a majority stockholder for one of Connell’s web design companies, GovTech Solutions, would be prosecuted for illegal lobbying. Connell’s other company is New Media Communications, Inc.
We have also learned that one additional tip was relayed to Connell’s wife and it was to the effect that Connell “was in danger and he should not fly his plane.”
Connell’s firms received contracts to place its servers behind the House of Representatives firewall courtesy of then-House Administration Committee Chairman Bob Ney (R-OH), later jailed for his role in the Jack Abramoff lobbying-influence peddling scandal. Connell also designed and ran the web sites for the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and the House Judiciary Committee. WMR has learned that through effective GOP control of these web sites, the Bush White House was able to monitor all committee e-mails and documents, including planning documents for House Judiciary Committee impeachment hearings against Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney.
We have also learned that Connell’s IT firm did classified web site development work for the CIA.
Based on the threats against Connell, the federal judge hearing the civil suit King Lincoln v. Blackwell, conveyed to Connell that the court would protect him if he came forward. On October 17, 2008, Connell’s attorneys attempted to quash an October 8, 2008, plaintiff subpoena for his court appearance. On October 31, U.S. Judge Solomon Oliver denied the motion to quash the subpoena and ordered Connell’s deposition to proceed on November 3, the day before Election Day. WMR has learned that on Friday, October 31, Connell was nervous and “beet red” during the hearing to quash the subpoena. On Monday, November 3, Connell was composed and it is believed that his top shelf law firm had been selected by Rove to represent Connell for the deposition. Rove’s intent was to ensure that there would be no deposition from Connell before the November 4 election.
WMR has also learned that Connell was prepared to testify before the House Judiciary Committee about the election fraud in Ohio and other states but that the offer of testimony was not acted upon senior staffers for House Judiciary Committee Rep. John Conyers (D-MI). A source in Columbus told us that some of Conyers’ senior staffers on his committee and in is office are not to be trusted on issues related to election fraud.
In addition, Rove and the Bush White House attempted to forestall testimony by election officials in Mahoning County and Youngstown, Ohio, on election fraud in 2004 by promising to have former Rep. James Traficant (D-OH), who is currently imprisoned after being convicted of corruption, released early in return for their silence. Traficant is not scheduled for release from federal prison until Sept, 2, 2009.