Crash kills Ohio 2004 fix suspect mid-court

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Crash kills Ohio 2004 fix suspect mid-court

Postby JackRiddler » Sat Dec 20, 2008 3:15 am


Another head-spinner. Consider this a data dump:

UPDATE: Pilot killed as plane crashes in Lake Twp.

By Jewell Cardwell, John Higgins and David Knox
Beacon Journal staff writers

POSTED: 11:30 p.m. EST, Dec 19, 2008

LAKE TWP.: A single-prop, private airplane crashed next to a vacant house on Charolais Street Northwest Friday evening, exploding into flames and killing the pilot.

Michael Connell, 45, of Bath Township, was alone in the plane, according to State Highway Patrol Lt. Eric Sheppard.

Connell was a prominent Republican political consultant. He founded New Media Communications in Richfield, which developed campaign Web sites for Republican presidential candidate John McCain and President George W. Bush.

The plane was attempting to land around 6 p.m. Friday at Akron-Canton Airport when it crashed about three miles short of the runway.

Taylor Fano, who lives two doors away from the crash site on Charolais, said she heard the crash.

''It blew up and shook the ground a little bit,'' Fano said. ''I was standing in the kitchen and I looked out the window and all I saw was fire.''

Fano said the plane came down in the front yard at 2017 Charolais, then skidded along the side of the house.

The plane came down between two houses, separated by about 100 feet, in the upscale neighborhood. Neighbors said one of the homes was unoccupied, while the other was lighted with holiday decorations.

They said wreckage from the plane could be seen sticking up from the ground.

''It took out the flagpole and the cement blocks surrounding the flagpole like a little planter,'' Fano said. ''It skidded across the driveway and right in between a line of pine trees and a small fence around an in-ground pool.''

Neighbor Julie Hufstetler, who lives across the street from the crash site, said she was getting ready for a party at their home when she heard the explosion.

''It was kind of a swish and a boom,'' she said.

When she looked outside, she saw flames billowing from the garage.

Greentown Fire Department Capt. Lorin Geiser said he arrived within three minutes of getting several 911 calls about a plane down.

Geiser said the crumbled fuselage from the plane was fully engulfed. It took less than five minutes to extinguish the flames.

The burning debris apparently set fire to the side of the garage of the unoccupied home.

There was no interior damage to the house.

Several neighbors, bundled up against the frigid temperature, were walking around taking pictures with their cell-phone cameras.

The plane was on final approach to Akron-Canton Airport's Runway 23 when it went down, said Kristie Van Auken, spokeswoman for the airport.

Van Auken identified the plane as a Piper Saratoga, a single-engine propeller craft capable of carrying up to seven passengers.

The plane, which was made in 1997, is owned by a Richfield corporation, Sierra-November Aviation, at 3046 Brecksville Road, according to the Federal Aviation Administration registry.

FlightAware, a Web site that tracks flight plans, reported that the plane was coming from College Park, Md., departing at 3:31 p.m. and scheduled to arrive at Akron-Canton at 5:43 p.m.

The plane had flown from Akron to College Park Thursday morning.

Van Auken didn't think the plane was based at the Akron-Canton Airport, but added, ''We can't verify that at this time.''

Investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board were expected at the crash site Friday night. An FAA spokeswoman said investigations typically take weeks and even months or longer to complete.

In addition to the Greentown Fire Department, others responding included firefighters from Hartville, Uniontown, Plain Township and North Canton.

Van Auken said several members of the airport operations staff were also at the crash scene. ... imony.html

Rove Puppet "Michael Connell" Testified Today
- denies knowledge of ‘04 Vote rigging in Ohio

By GREG GORDON - McClatchy Newspapers

WASHINGTON -- A Republican computer consultant denied under oath Monday that he knew of any GOP effort to steal the 2004 election for President Bush by rigging Ohio's vote totals, an attorney who questioned him said.

A federal judge on Friday ordered Michael Connell, whose firms had consulting contracts with Bush's campaign and with the Ohio secretary of state's office in 2004, to submit to a limited, closed-door deposition in a suit alleging schemes to fix the vote.

A transcript of the deposition was unavailable, but Clifford Arnebeck, the plaintiffs' attorney, whose clients include the Rainbow Coalition and other liberal groups, said that during some two hours of questioning, Connell "denied any knowledge of the altering of votes."
Click here to find out more!

Connell also denied knowing of any leftover "Trojan Horses" - bits of computer code that could play havoc with Tuesday's vote counts, Arnebeck said.

Connell's appearance, on the eve of the 2008 presidential election, culminated weeks of jockeying over his testimony, amid unsubstantiated allegations that he's been subjected to threats of retaliation if he tells all he knows, and U.S. District Judge Solomon Oliver ordered the sealing of any questions about threats to Connell.

Allegations of Republican schemes to shift 2004 votes from Democratic challenger John Kerry to Bush have swirled around Ohio for four years, initially fed by exit polls that showed Kerry winning the election. Bush won the state by 118,601 votes to secure a second term.

Oddities in Ohio's 2004 presidential election continue to surface, including evidence of document shredding and disclosures of the presence of partisan operatives in the office of former Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell, who's been criticized for his office's handling of the election.

Records show that Blackwell hired Connell's Govtech Solutions, LLC, of Richfield, Ohio, as an Internet consultant. SMARTech Corp. of Chattanooga, Tenn., was retained to provide a backup server, which was needed because the secretary of state's Web site got more than 40 million election-night visits, said a spokesman for Ohio's current Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner, a Democrat.

During the same year, Bush's campaign paid New Media Communications, which was owned by Connell, more than $806,000 to for Web services, according to Federal Election Commission records. Connell's firm also has served as a consultant to John McCain's 2008 Republican presidential campaign.

SMARTech was paid more than $72,000 by Bush's 2004 campaign and has hosted hundreds of Republican Web and e-mail sites, including the site for politically related e-mails by Bush White House employees, whose disappearance triggered an outcry from congressional Democrats during last year's Justice Department scandal.

Arnebeck called SMARTech's role "an outrageous conflict of interest."

A 2004 election-night computer architecture map for Blackwell's office appears to suggest that as many as 51 of Ohio's 88 counties periodically sent their results to the secretary of state's office. Jeff Ortega, Brunner's chief spokesman, said that computer technicians in her office have been unable to determine how many, if any, counties transmitted results directly from vote tabulators, rather than from separate computers to shield against outside access to vote counts.

Stephen Spoonamore, a cybersecurity expert who's assisting the plaintiffs in the suit, alleged in an affidavit that SMARTech appears to have had the ability to intercept election returns before they were publicly disclosed. Spoonamore describes himself as a "lifelong Republican."

James Hocker, who was the chief information technology official in Blackwell's office, told McClatchy that there's "no truth" to the allegation.

SMARTech President Jeff Averbeck couldn't be reached for comment.

Blackwell didn't respond to e-mails sent via a close associate or to a message left with the Buckeye Institute, a policy institute with which he's loosely affiliated.

Brunner, who took office in January 2007, has dropped all outside consultants and says she's linked counties to her office via secure, dedicated lines.

She told McClatchy that after she took office, employees advised her that about six months earlier, "the Blackwell administration started shredding paper."

(McClatchy Newspapers correspondent Tish Wells contributed to this report.) ... reats.html

Thursday, August 7, 2008
Witness Protection After ROVE Threats ?
Ohio Election Attorney Asks Attorney General For Witness Protection Of GOP IT Guru After Threats

Today Attorney Cliff Arnebeck, who last week filed papers seeking discovery and depositions from Karl Rove and others for election manipulation, wrote to Attorney General Mukasey asking for protection for GOP IT guru Michael
Connell and his wife Heather. Mr. Arnebeck stated that he had received credible
confidential information from various sources indicating that Rove and his henchmen
threatened Mr. and Mrs. Connell. In short, Rove et al, either directly or
indirectly, demanded that Connell take the fall for the election manipulation
or the Justice Department would target Mrs. Connell for some lobby related
money laundering.

Arnebeck, an officer of the federal court, took these threats seriously. First he reported this to the federal judge handling the case, the Ohio Attorney General and the United States Attorney in Columbus.

Next he wrote to Attorney General Michael Mukasey insisting on protection for the

The entire letter is set out below and more information is on The BRAD BLOG and on ePluribusMedia.

In a short interview with VR, Mr. Arnebeck stated that Rove et al “had just made things a lot worse for themselves. It is a federal crime to threaten a witness – they are engaging in obstruction of
justice, blackmail, suborning perjury, and intimidation. These charges
alone could land them in the penitentiary for a very long time.”

The complete, short email, sent from Arnebeck to AG Mukasey, follows in full below...

Sent: Thursday, July 24, 2008 10:51 AM
Subject: Report of Rove threats against witness Michael Connell

Dear Attorney General Mukasey:

We have been confidentially informed by a source we believe to be credible that Karl Rove has threatened Michael Connell, a principal witness we have identified in our King Lincoln case in federal court in Columbus, Ohio, that if
he does not agree to "take the fall" for election fraud in Ohio, his
wife Heather will be prosecuted for supposed lobby law violations.This appears
to be in response to our designation of Rove as the principal perpetrator in
the Ohio Corrupt Practices Act/RICO claim with respect to which we issued
document hold notices last Thursday to you and to the US Chamber of Commerce
Institute for Legal Reform. See:

I have informed court chambers and am in the process of informing the Ohio Attorney General's and US Attorney's offices in Columbus for the purpose, among other things, of seeking protection for Mr. Connell and his family from this reported
attempt to intimidate a witness.

Concurrently herewith, I am informing Mr. Conyers and Mr. Kucinich in connection with their Congressional oversight responsibilities related to these matters.

Because of the serious engagement in this matter that began in 2000 of the Ohio Statehouse Press Corps, 60 Minutes, the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, C-Span and Jim VandeHei, and the public's right to know of gross attempts to
subvert the rule of law, I am forwarding this information to them, as well.

Cliff Arnebeck, Attorney
Cell ###-###-####

cc: Robert Fitrakis, Esq.
Henry Eckhart, Esq

New VR Interview With Ohio Attorneys Who Have Targeted Rove

On July 17, VR sat down with the two Ohio attorneys who have filed to take targeted depositions of Karl Rove and others to expose their strategy of election fraud. The ten minute interview is a real eye opener because they talk about how they plan to
bring back the rule of law to this country and hold those accountable who have undermined
it over the past eight years. And they name names familiar to everyone—Jack Abramoff,
Bob Ney, Ken Blackwell, Grover Norquist, Michael Connell and others. This is a must see
video so watch it here.

7/18/08: VR Video Of The Ohio Press Conference Announcing The Civil Suit To Target Rove For Manipulating Elections

VR was present at the Ohio press conference yesterday and filmed it. We will be posting an edited clip for YouTube shortly but for all those who want to see it unedited, you can watch it here in eight segments for a total of one hour and two minutes.
We also have this available in high resolution for members of the press upon request.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6
Part 7

Part 8

Ohio Attorneys Launch Targeted Discovery To Expose Election Manipulation By Karl Rove And Others

Yesterday, Ohio Attorney Cliff Arnebeck launched a new legal strategy to expose a national strategy of election manipulation directed by Karl Rove. The implications are stunning. Arnebeck has asked the
Ohio Federal Court to allow for targeted under oath depositions of key
individuals including Rove, Bush IT guru Michael Connell, Jack Abramoff, Ken
Blackwell and others. This will be the first opportunity ever to place
these individuals under oath.

Arnebeck indicated that he has amassed a great deal of information from various sources including whistleblowers implicating Rove. He wrote in yesterday’s court filing that the “suspected lead
perpetrator of this conspiracy against the civil rights of the plaintiffs and
against the rule of law in the United States is Karl Rove…. Rove’s politicization
of the Justice Department is currently being investigation by the US
House Judiciary Committee.”
See pdf.

Arnebeck also notified both Attorney General Mukasey and the Chamber of Commerce that he intends to “assert an Ohio Corrupt Practices Act/RICO claim against Mr. Karl Rove and others based upon their activities
beginning in 2000 to illegally use corporate treasury money and government
power to establish single faction dominance in the United States, military
dominance in the world and generally undermine the rule of law as it had
developed over the course of the past century.”

See pdf 2 and
Word doc.

VR was at the press conference and extensive coverage is here on our Election Protection Strike Force and on THE Brad Blog.
Raw Story has also covered this with new details on the possible manipulation of the 2002 Senate Max Cleland Senate race.
VR will have a complete video of the press conference up shortly.

7/16/08: Ohio Federal Election Lawsuit to be Re-Opened to Protect 2008 Election—Discovery to Include Karl Rove Emails

Today, Ohio attorney Cliff Arnebeck, lead attorney in the lawsuit over the 2004 Ohio election contest, issued the following press release.

“Counsel for plaintiffs in the federal King Lincoln Bronzeville v. Blackwell case will hold a press conference at 11 AM Thursday July 17, 2008 in the Mezzanine conference room of LeVeque Tower.

We are filing to lift the stay in the case in order to proceed with targeted discovery in order to help protect the integrity of the 2008 election. We also will be providing copies of document hold notices
to the US Chamber Institute for Legal Reform and the US Justice Department for
Karl Rove Emails from the White House.

Our new data security expert in the case, Stephen Spoonamore, one of the leading authorities on data security in the world, is planning to attend the conference and will provide some of his perspectives in this matter.

Representatives from one of our plaintiffs, League of Young Voters, will also be attending.

We look forward to seeing you there tomorrow.

Cliff Arnebeck, Attorney for the Plaintiffs”
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Postby Hugh Manatee Wins » Sat Dec 20, 2008 3:27 am

All the symptoms of a de-Cessna-fication, for sure.

When will people learn to take Greyhound?
CIA runs mainstream media since WWII:
news rooms, movies/TV, publishing
Disney is CIA for kidz!
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Postby StarmanSkye » Sat Dec 20, 2008 11:38 am

or Amtrak. But I guess, when you cross the neocons, your number is up no matter what ya do or how you travel. How much more in-your-face can these scum get?
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to investigate--watch out for others 'investigating' this.

Postby pepsified thinker » Sat Dec 20, 2008 12:35 pm

fanning the flames of a conspiracy 'take' on this/thinking out loud here:

If the guy was being threatened, and if he's a cyber-security wiz or whatever, seems like a good chance he's stashed docs, etc.

Maybe you don't authorize a hit on him unless you have a further hold on whoever might access such material, but seems hard to guarantee such.


a) I'm not going to be surprised if such material surfaces, but

b) as a matter of pursuing the investigation, I'd look for means of accessing such: thunb drives, discs, etc. and especially,

c) I'd look for whoever else was looking for such items.

Then again, maybe his plane just ran out of gas, or whatever--

(but if so, would it still burn--for 5 minutes--on impact?)
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Postby JackRiddler » Sat Dec 20, 2008 2:03 pm


Larisa Alexandrovna says Connell was a source of hers, ready to talk, had received threats, but emphasizes the obvious that she can't know for sure.

This is a vein of research I hadn't really followed very much, so those who did should weigh in with more summaries. Lots of links to review the story below. I think Alexandrovna does good work.

December 20, 2008
One of my sources died in a plane crash last night...


I don't usually reveal sources, but I think this is incredibly important. Michael Connell died in a plane crash last night. He was a key witness in the Ohio election fraud case that I have been reporting on. More importantly, however, he had information that he was ready to share.

You see, Mike Connell set-up the alternate email and communications system for the White House. He was responsible for creating the system that hosted the infamous accounts that Karl Rove and others used. When asked by Congress to provide these emails, the White House said that they were destroyed. But in reality, what Connell is alleged to have done is move these files to other servers after having allegedly scrubbed the files from all "known" Karl Rove accounts.

In addition, I have reason to believe that the alternate accounts were used to communicate with US Attorneys involved in political prosecutions, like that of Don Siegelman. This is what I have been working on to prove for over a year. In fact, it was through following the Siegelman-Rove trail that I found evidence leading to Connell. That is how I became aware of him. Mike was getting ready to talk. He was frightened.

He has flown his private plane for years without incident. I know he was going to DC last night, but I don't know why. He apparently ran out of gas, something I find hard to believe. I am not saying that this was a hit nor am I resigned to this being simply an accident either. I am no expert on aviation and cannot provide an opinion on the matter. What I am saying, however, is that given the context, this event needs to be examined carefully. If you want to understand the context more broadly, I suggest you read this article I did a while back about the break-ins and arson cases that Siegelman and others have experienced.

Just to be very clear and state again, I am not claiming conspiracy theory or direct relation to Karl Rove or the White House in any of these events. What I am saying, however, is that these possible relationships cannot and should not be overlooked by investigators. There are far too many serious and reasonable questions that must be answered for the public.

I have been to Mr. Connell's home. Mr. Connell has confided that he was being threatened, something that his attorneys also told the judge in the Ohio election fraud case. When I met with Heather, his wife, I did so carefully because of the threats he was getting.

I left a note for her in her mailbox and asked her to meet me in a local park near their home. Heather came and through our conversation I got the sense that these were not bad people or corrupt people. The Connell's really believed that what they were involved in served God's plan. Regardless of of what any of us think about their religious views or allegations relating to Connell's involvement in various things, I do think these were good people who got caught up in something bigger than themselves. My heart goes out to Heather and the children.


Okay children - because that is what I am going to call adults who willfully mis-read information. I will say this AGAIN (as I have twice in the above entry and also used bold case so that no one would miss the caveat), I am NOT - I repeat NOT - saying this was a). a murder, b). that it was in any way connected to the White House or to Karl Rove, and c). that I am convinced of any of the above three.

On the contrary, I have said - AND AM NOTING AGAIN - that I don't know what happened. I am NOT an aviation expert. What I am saying - AGAIN - is that the context is important and must be considered. Investigators must conduct their work transparently on this case as to address the many serious and reasonable (not remotely CT-based questions) relating to this crash and the person who died. The public has a right to know and investigators must address these questions by conducting a very open investigation of the crash.

The facts are not all in yet and so I have no answers for you - AS I HAVE ALREADY NOTED. But I felt it important to share the context, obligated even to share it. Now if you folks (you know who you are) want to read this as me rolling myself in tin-foil, then that is your choice. Obviously that is not my hope, but I cannot help the lunacy that people want to engage in.


Here are the reading materials in case you have not followed any of this closely. These are articles I have done over spanning over a year of investigative work:

Part 1 - Political Prisoner ... _1125.html

Part 2 - Siegelman's Daughter Speaks Out ... _1127.html

Part 3 - Karl Rove Running Elections from the White House ... _1216.html

Part 4 - Mississippi Prosecution, Justice Oliver Diaz ... _0401.html

Part 5 - Justice Diaz Speaks ... _0408.html

Part 6 - Break-ins plague targets of political prosecutions ... _0430.html

Part 7 - Justice for Sale ... _0828.html

Related articles:

Judge who denied Paul Minor release was protoge of Karl Rove ... _0821.html

DOJ Investigating 2 US Attorneys ... _0604.html

60 Minutes Segemant on Siegelman "dropped" in Alabama ... _0225.html

Republican IT Consultant Subpoenaed in Ohio election fraud case ... _0929.html

Abramoff said he had agreement with White House aide just a month after Bush took office ... _1117.html Treasury

Department investigating US Attorney for leaking state Supreme Court Justice's tax returns ... _1201.html

A few of the usual suspects rushing to point out high death rates in small planes, shit happens, to think this might be a tad incredible in the timing is a "conspiracy" idea, golly we're not aviation experts, etc. etc. See here for a start: ... 89x4689417

Depending on how this plays, a bunch of pilots who never write on any other topic are going to show to educate everyone about how accidents happen, only the NTSB could know why, blah blah blah. Since I'm so crazy myself, I take that as a strong indicator of a cover-up campaign (i.e., the sudden appearance of new posters claiming special expertise, as opposed to the usual suspects with the usual mocking tactics).

As one of the pseudo skeptics might say, "think horses not zebras"! Political assassinations, including those dressed up as accidents and suicides, are sadly routine business.

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Postby StarmanSkye » Sat Dec 20, 2008 3:49 pm

Thanks for the out-loud conspiranoid thinking; Good thoughts there.

I'd expect the GOP/Rovian election-fraud/security operatives to have electronically eavesdropped and thoroughly searched Connell's contacts, home and office(s), phone logs, computer(s), close associates' homes and physical property, etc., to trace and locate possible backup information and any tell-all exposes he might have hidden as insurance against reprisals or blackmail or actual harm, ie. being Wellstoned.

But whatta idiot, flying alone in a single-engine plane, against the backdrop of many dozens of extremely suspicious politically-related 'accidents' that have occurred with almost metranomic regularity. Was Connell somewhat arrogant, overconfident that he was protected, because he had (what he thought) was failsafe insurance guaranteeing he wouldn't be harmed?

Cripes, for all we know, the Rovian machine set-up a variety of mechanisms to insure they couldn't, wouldn't be compromised in the event Connell was fingered as an election-fraud witness or suspect. Among steps possibly taken: 24/7 discreet surveillance to trace his contacts and habits, monitoring his written records and notes and conversations and correspondence/e-mails, bugging his meetings and social network, turning his closest, most trusted associates as confidential informants possibly with some variation of bogus 'official' secret investigation reinforced by whatever incentives are likely to have best results, ie. payments, blackmail, appeals to patriotism, etc. tailored for each unique situation. (Y'know, they DO that -- even using intel agencies or clever fake authority). Possibly, setting-up their own mole to befriend Connell and act as his backup confidant.

The bit about threatening to have Justice hassle his wife for laundering lobbyist fees, is probably one of many standardized set-ups used by the PTB's consigliori and capos to provide leveraged influence and risk-management insurance over assets, by which most politically-expedient lackeys are either controlled, pressured or rendered harmless from retribution or turncoat disclosure. That and the skillfully-administered threat of final termination if they don't follow 'suggestions' (nothing so crass as 'orders'; but the distinction is only a concession to co-conspirator's sense of dignity and respect given to a soldier for the Cause).

So Connell perhaps thought he was untouchable -- protected despite going against Rove's wishes he fall on his sword for the Team; Enough to fly alone in a single-engine plane, when something like a tightly-focused microwave-beam burst would melt his arteries, short-circuit his neurons while disintegrating the airplane's fuel-lines and frying the electrical system. The ensuing fireball and ground-impact conveniently masks all evidence of pre-crash mechanical and biological damage. Not just despite but even because of its being so diabolical and unconscionable, such a possible, hypothetical *hit* --IF such a weapon and means of at-a-distance assassination has been perfected and routinely used by the usual political suspects, its actually kinda brilliant -- in a sick and twisted way favored by those who convince themselves of their cause's invincible righteousness. In which a highly-developed sense of priveleged membership in a fraternity of common-cause idealism, elitist entitlement and absolute self-preservation leads to ever greater crimes and moral outrages, as past frauds, abuses, conspiracies, plundering, treason, betrayals, murder, warcrimes, plots, schemes and corruption surpassing in effect the horrors and moral violence of most of the other world-class despotic, brutal criminal regimes, require an unending escalation of more and ever greater crimes and frauds to cover-up what has been done, is being done and why.

Assuming Connell didn't just have a mechnical mishap, or suffer a sudden incapacitating medical malady, or succumb to an operator-error misjudgment or an uncontrollable suicidal impulse, then he was eliminated as a high-risk non-responsive loose-cannon that wouldn't take the bullet for the good of the Team. By the way, also providing yet another subtle object-lesson warning to those team members who might tend to forget the consequences when their loyalty to the group and its ideals becomes less than absolute.

Which introduces another point -- the opportunity, now, for secreted information to be found implicating Connell as the sole architect/engineer of the election fraud in Ohio he's been implicated in, perhaps accompanied by a confession note in which he agonizes over his struggle to come to terms with suicide as an easier if not more noble solution to his dilemna than the ignominy and disgrace that was sure to catch up with him now that Federal hounddogs were on his trail.

'Course, this has some potential to backfire, as those other co-conspirators close to the fraud feel their own role may become a group liability and that becoming a protected state witness might be the more sure route to continued existence than trying to prove they're not a loose end. That's the danger of sacrificing one's own troops, as happened with various mafia families, most notably with notorious hitman Sammy 'the Bull' Gravano who turned on his boss and family, which then fell like a house of cards as everyone scrambled to make a deal and tell all.
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Postby MinM » Sat Dec 20, 2008 8:47 pm

BREAKING: Federal Judge Compels Deposition from GOP 'IT Guru' Mike Connell in OH '04 Election Case
Contentious Hearing Today Results in Order For Republican 'High-Tech Forrest Gump' to Testify Under Oath on Monday
Appearance to Answer Questions on 2004 Election Scheduled Just 24 Hours Prior to Election 2008...

The Republican IT guru, recently described as a "high tech Forrest Gump" for his proclivity to be "at the scene" of so many troubling elections since 2000, and even at the heart of the "lost" White House email scandal, has been ordered by a federal judge to appear for an under-oath deposition next Monday in Ohio.

The BRAD BLOG has learned that Mike Connell, the Republican IT guru whose company, GovTech Solutions, created Ohio's 2004 election results computer network, appeared in federal court today, as compelled, and has been ordered to appear for his deposition on Monday, November 3, just 24 hours before Election Day 2008.

Today's court order came after a contentious hearing, at which Connell was present. The hearing was part of a long-standing voting rights violations lawsuit, King Lincoln v. Blackwell, as previously covered by The BRAD BLOG and by Velvet Revolution's Election Protection Strike Force here and here.

Though Connell's attorneys have fought to quash the subpoena, recently issued after the judge lifted a stay on the case several weeks ago, it looks like his options to avoid testimony, or at least jail for avoiding it, may have come to an end. The attorneys in the case have said that Connell's testimony may well lead to the subpoenaing and under-oath questioning of Karl Rove, who, they say, would be unable to use Executive Privilege as an excuse to avoid such a subpoena in a civil RICO case...

For more details on Connell, and his role in the '04 election and within the GOP, see the video clip at right from John Ennis' recently-released documentary Free For All.

The issues in the King Lincoln v. Blackwell suit are complex, but in a nutshell, some Ohio voters filed a lawsuit alleging voting rights violations and election irregularities in the 2004 Presidential election in the Buckeye State. Taking the sworn deposition of Connell, the man who set up the computers for reporting election results, and re-routing them through his company's own Tennessee servers late on the night of the '04 election, has been a high priority for Election Integrity advocates and attorneys in Ohio.

While this story is still breaking and developing, from what we've been able to learn so far, sources tell us that Monday's depo will have a time limit of two hours. Any information gathered regarding trade secrets related to Connell's company, GovTech Solutions, will be under seal, as per the judge's order today.

Also under seal will be any and all information gathered about allegations that Connell has been the victim of witness intimidation by Karl Rove and/or Rove's associates. As reported on by The BRAD BLOG reported last Summer, plaintiff's lead attorney in the case, Clifford A. Arnebeck, had sent an email to Attorney General Michael Mukasey on July 24, 2008, stating in part: ... t&p=226615
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Postby Code Unknown » Sun Dec 21, 2008 10:56 am

The suspicious, disturbing death of election rigger Michael Connell
by Bob Fitrakis & Harvey Wasserman
The Free Press
December 20, 2008

Michael Connell, the crucial techno- lynch pin in the theft of the 2004 election, and much more, is dead at the age of 45. His unnatural, suspicious death raises serious questions about the corruption of the American electoral process that now may never be answered.

Connell died Friday, December 19 when his Piper Saratoga plane crashed near his northern Ohio home. He was flying himself home from the College Park, Maryland airport. An accomplished pilot, flying in unremarkable weather, his death cuts off a critical path to much of what may never be known about how the 2004 election was shifted from John Kerry to George W. Bush in the wee hours of November 2. His plane crashed between two houses in an upscale neighborhood, one vacant, just 2.5 miles from the Akron-Canton airport.

A long-time, outspokenly loyal associate of the Bush family, Connell created the Bush-Cheney website for their 2000 presidential campaign. Connell may have played a role in various computer malfunctions that helped the GOP claim the presidency in 2000. As a chief IT consultant and operative for Karl Rove, Connell was a devout Catholic and the father of four children. In various interviews and depositions Connell cited his belief that abortion is murder as a primary motivating factor in his work for the Republican Party.

Connell recently wrote the following in his New Media Communications newsletter, regarding Barack Obama's election: "In our 230 year history, our democracy has suffered worse fates. It's just that none come to mind right now." Connell wrote: "This is just a moment in time and this too shall pass. Enduring is the fact that 2000 years ago, a babe was born in Bethlehem. When our Lord God sent his only Son for our salvation,...In spite of the current economic and political conditions, salvation is eternal."

Ohio Republican Secretary of State J. Kenneth Blackwell hired Connell in 2004 to create a real-time computer data compilation for counting Ohio's votes. Under Connell's supervision, Ohio's presidential vote count was transmitted to private, partisan computer servers owned by SmartTech housed in the basement of the Old Pioneer Bank building in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Connell's company, New Media Communications worked closely with SmartTech in building Republican and right-wing websites that were hosted on SmartTech servers. Among Connell's clients were the Republican National Committee, Swift Boat Veterans for Truth and, that housed at one point Karl Rove's missing emails. Rove's email files have since mysteriously disappeared despite repeated court-sanctioned attempts to review them.

In 2001, Michael Connell's GovTech Solutions, LLC was selected to reorganize the Capitol Hill IT network, the only private-sector company to gain permission from HIR [House Information Resources] to place its server behind the firewall, he bragged.

At 12:20 am on the night of the 2004 election exit polls and initial vote counts showed John Kerry the clear winner of Ohio's presidential campaign. The Buckeye State's 20 electoral votes would have given Kerry the presidency.

But from then until around 2am, the flow of information mysteriously ceased. After that, the vote count shifted dramatically to George W. Bush, ultimately giving him a second term. In the end there was a 6.7 percent diversion---in Bush's favor---between highly professional, nationally funded exit polls and the final official vote count as tabulated by Blackwell and Connell.

Until his death Connell remained the IT supervisor for six Congressional committees. But on the day before the 2008 election, Connell was deposed by attorneys Cliff Arnebeck and Bob Fitrakis about his actions during the 2004 vote count, and his continued involvement in IT operations for the GOP, including his access to Rove's e-mail files and the circumstances behind their disappearance.

Various threats have been repeatedly reported involving Connell and other IT experts close to the GOP. On July 24, 2008, Arnebeck emailed Attorney General Michael Mukasey, stating: "We have been confidentially informed by a source we believe to be credible that Karl Rove has threatened Michael Connell, a principal witness we have identified in our King-Lincoln case in federal court in Columbus, Ohio,...."

Connell's death comes at a moment where election protection attorneys and others appeared to be closing in on critical irregularities and illegalities. In his pre-election deposition, Connell was generally evasive, but did disclose key piece of information that could prove damaging to Karl Rove and the GOP. Examining attorneys in the King- Lincoln-Bronzeville civil rights lawsuit, stemming from the 2004 election theft, were confident Connell had far more to tell.

There is widespread concern that this may be the reason he is now dead. ...

Bob Fitrakis & Harvey Wasserman have co-authored four books on election protection, including AS GOES OHIO and HOW THE GOP STOLE AMERICAS 2004 ELECTION..., available at, where this article first appeared. They are attorney and plaintiff in the King- Lincoln-Bronzeville civil rights lawsuit which subpoenaed and was deposing Michael Connell.
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Postby Code Unknown » Sun Dec 21, 2008 11:11 am

Note the conspicuous absence of Karl Rove's name; i.e., who was allegedly doing said threatening.

Bush IT specialist dies in plane crash

Last update: 9:28 p.m. EST Dec. 20, 2008

AKRON, Ohio, Dec 20, 2008 (UPI via COMTEX) -- Michael Connell, who operated campaign Web sites for President George W. Bush and GOP presidential nominee John McCain, has died in a plane crash in Ohio.
Connell, 45, was killed Friday evening when the single-prop private airplane he was piloting crashed into a vacant house in Lake Township, the Akron (Ohio) Beacon Journal reported. The plane burst into flames after the crash, which occurred about three miles short of Akron-Canton Airport as Connell was approaching the airport to land.
State Highway Patrol Lt. Eric Sheppard said Connell was alone in the plane.

Connell founded New Media Communications, which built campaign Web sites for Bush and McCain.

He was a figure in an ongoing controversy about alleged vote flipping in Ohio in the 2004 presidential election. In October, U.S. Judge Solomon Oliver of Ohio ordered Connell to testify in a lawsuit in connection with charges that electronic voting apparatus in some Ohio districts flipped votes to Bush from Democratic nominee John Kerry.

Cliff Arnebeck, the lead attorney for the plaintiffs in the suit, alleged in an e-mail to U.S. Attorney Michael Mukasey in July that Connell and his family had been threatened in connection with Connell's possible testimony.

"I have informed court chambers and am in the process of informing the Ohio Attorney General's and US Attorney's offices in Columbus for the purpose, among other things, of seeking protection for Mr. Connell and his family from this reported attempt to intimidate a witness," Arnebeck said.

Copyright 2008 by United Press International End of Story
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Postby Code Unknown » Sun Dec 21, 2008 11:30 am

Ohio Attorneys Seek Protection for Mike Connell and his Family against Alleged Threats from Karl Rove
ePlurbis Media

Posted Thu, 07/24/2008 - 10:18 by cho

Sources close to the Ohio Corrupt Practices Act/RICO claim sent us a copy of the following letter that asks Attorney General Mukasey for protection for Michael Connell and his family who have been allegedly threatened by Karl Rove. Rove is believed to be the strategic mastermind behind the Bush 2004 re-election campaign and the possible Ohio election improprieties. The alleged threats appear to be the result of the re-opening, through the Ohio Corrupt Practices Act/RICO claim, of the stalled investigation into the 2004 Ohio Elections.

Date: Thu, 24 Jul 2008 13:50:55 EDT Subject: Report of Rove threats against witness Michael Connell Dear Attorney General Mukasey: We have been confidentially informed by a source we believe to be credible that Karl Rove has threatened Michael Connell, a principal witness we have identified in our King Lincoln case in federal court in Columbus, Ohio, that if he does not agree to "take the fall" for election fraud in Ohio, his wife Heather will be prosecuted for supposed lobby law violations. This appears to be in response to our designation of Rove as the principal perpetrator in the Ohio Corrupt Practices Act/RICO claim with respect to which we issued document hold notices last Thursday to you and to the US Chamber of Commerce Institute for Legal Reform. See: and ... oCourtCase. I have informed court chambers and am in the process of informing the Ohio Attorney General's and US Attorney's offices in Columbus for the purpose, among other things, of seeking protection for Mr. Connell and his family from this reported attempt to intimidate a witness. Concurrently herewith, I am informing Mr. Conyers and Mr. Kucinich in connection with their Congressional oversight responsibilities related to these matters. Because of the serious engagement in this matter that began in 2000 of the Ohio Statehouse Press Corps, 60 Minutes, the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, C-Span and Jim VandeHei, and the public's right to know of gross attempts to subvert the rule of law, I am forwarding this information to them, as well. Cliff Arnebeck, Attorney 614-224-8771 Cell 614-361-9434 cc: Robert Fitrakis, Esq. Henry Eckhart, Esq

For background information, below the fold are the links GreyHawk and others have amassed.
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Postby seemslikeadream » Sun Dec 21, 2008 1:18 pm ... 89x4693892

19 News Cleveland says a Connell friend warned him that someone may

be tampering with his plane and that Connell canceled a couple of flights because he thought someone may have tampered with his plane.Reported that at 10pm,didn't say where they got info ,didn't say it was an "exclusive".I doubt it's on their website yet or if it will be or if that story is all over the place already.Their news is on at 10 on channel 43,then at 11 on 19,so I suppose they'll repeat the story at 11.
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Postby StarmanSkye » Sun Dec 21, 2008 2:20 pm

Hmmm... A coupla Microwave wireless-reciever-activated solenoids to detonate C4-type explosive-oxidizer strips places along primary control linkages and fuel tank or lines ... Becuase you have to initiate some flight anamoly causing an uncontrolled descent, which resulkts in rough landing and unsuspicious bursting into flames, thoroughly destroying what evidence of tamperiong remains. Air traffic investigations conclude a mechanical failure ie. control rod linkpin failed, or dislodged... Just one of those things.

Very freaky, bold and almost reckless considering the attention this freak accident was sure to raise. We'll see how squeeky-smooth and insulated Rove is, whether he'll squirm or saunter past these allegations or whether some gangsta-hit slime will attach to him, and protected witness-program CI's will begin to spin the beans and leaks are dribbled to the blogsphere, even fake leaks and innuendos. Does anyone here believe Rove was NOT deeply, principly involved in deciding which asset-risks could be dealt with fatally, ie. the borne-again useful-dupe Connell?

Wonder how this is playing in NE Ohio?

Whattya think, some old-skool Mafia familias know quite a lot about this incident, ie. shopped backup information and surveillance, gossip and such, tho the actual mehcanic(s) would be outside guys. So at some point, the state police and FBI begin getting info in response to get-out-of-jail cards being played by wannabe wiseguys about Rove's termination network, and deals or payback promises being made. Damage control has to try to divert these reports and quell investigations, and/or consolidate the officers and departments involved into a managable, loyal group. Bribes, and/or threats, don't-rock-the-boat, it's bigger than us, etc.

Ah, I'm rambling. Is any of this relevant, really?

Poor deluded fool. Goes to show how folks can convince themselves they're doing the right thing no matter what that is, even what some people would claim is treason and betrayal of core ideas. That kinda propaganda that induces otherwise moral, principled, devout folks like Connell to believe their fraud is justifiable, a good and necessary thing is sure a cornerstone of the neocon gang. You can imagine how Rove would be a master at commanding the loyalty of bible-believers like him. Anything to defeat the traitorous, commie-loving democrat ass-humping, terrorist-appeasing sell-out tax-grifting lefty lib'rals.
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Postby MinM » Sun Dec 21, 2008 2:31 pm

Syriana's Stephen Gaghan talks about being 'Wellstoned'
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Postby operator kos » Sun Dec 21, 2008 3:18 pm


Contact: Ilene Proctor PR, +1-310-858-6643

WASHINGTON, Dec. 20 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Michael Connell, the Bush IT expert who has been directly implicated in the rigging of George Bush's 2000 and 2004 elections, was killed last night when his single engine plane crashed three miles short of the Akron airport. Velvet Revolution ("VR"), a non-profit that has been investigating Mr. Connell's activities for the past two years, can now reveal that a person close to Mr. Connell has recently been discussing with a VR investigator how he can tell all about his work for George Bush. Mr. Connell told a close associate that he was afraid that George Bush and Dick Cheney would "throw [him] under the bus."

A tipster close to the McCain campaign disclosed to VR in July that Mr. Connell's life was in jeopardy and that Karl Rove had threatened him and his wife, Heather. VR's attorney, Cliff Arnebeck, notified the United States Attorney General , Ohio law enforcement and the federal court about these threats and insisted that Mr. Connell be placed in protective custody. VR also told a close associate of Mr. Connell's not to fly his plane because of another tip that the plane could be sabotaged. Mr. Connell, a very experienced pilot, has had to abandon at least two flights in the past two months because of suspicious problems with his plane. On December 18, 2008, Mr. Connell flew to a small airport outside of Washington DC to meet some people. It was on his return flight the next day that he crashed.

On October 31, Mr. Connell appeared before a federal judge in Ohio after being subpoenaed in a federal lawsuit investigating the rigging of the 2004 election under the direction of Karl Rove. The judge ordered Mr. Connell to testify under oath at a deposition on November 3rd, the day before the presidential election. Velvet Revolution received confidential information that the White House was extremely concerned about Mr. Connell talking about his illegal work for the White House and two Bush/Cheney 04 attorneys were dispatched to represent him.

An associate of Mr. Connell's told VR that Mr. Connell was involved with the destruction of the White House emails and the setting up of the off-grid White House email system.

Mr. Connell handled all of John McCain's computer work in the recent presidential campaign. VR has received direct evidence that the McCain campaign kept abreast of the legal developments against Mr. Connell by reading the VR dedicated website,

VR demands that the Ohio Attorney General and the United States Justice Department conduct a complete investigation into the activities of Mr. Connell and determine whether there was any foul play in his death. VR demands that federal law enforcement officials place the following people under protective custody pending this investigation. Heather Connell who
is the owner of GovTech Solutions, Randy Cole, the former President of GovTech Solutions, and Jeff Averbeck, the CEO of SmartTech in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Both GovTech and SmartTech have been implicated in the rigging of the 2000 and 2004 elections and the White House email scandal. Our prior request to have Mr. Connell protected went unheeded and now he is dead.

SOURCE Velvet Revolution
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Postby Username » Sun Dec 21, 2008 4:10 pm


December 21, 2008 at 08:48:34

Check out all these unexpected deaths of people involved with elections
by Pokey Anderson

Keep your coincidence caps handy, folks. People involved in elections and voting machine companies seem very unlucky. Especially those in Ohio (4 of the 7) and Georgia (2 of the 7).

--Pokey Anderson

1. Dan Rocco -- April 1, 2002 -- ChoicePoint VP -- plane crash
He died on April 1, 2002, in a plane crash in Gainesville, Georgia. He was an executive vice president at ChoicePoint, the firm that gained infamy with their faulty "felons" list supplied to Katherine Harris during the 2000 election in Florida. As a result of this list, over 90,000 voters (mostly African-American voters) were wrongly identified as felons and purged from the rolls. ... dies.shtml

2. Wesley Vance -- April 26, 2003 -- Diebold VP -- plane crash
Pilot Killed In Plane Crash Was Top Exec At Diebold
April 28, 2003
(Jackson-AP) -- The pilot of a single-engine airplane that crashed in southern Ohio over the weekend was the chief operating officer of Canton-based Diebold Incorporated.
The company says 45-year-old Wesley Vance of Canton was flying a private plane that crashed Saturday near the Jackson County Airport. ...The company says Vance joined Diebold in October, 2000, as president of its North America business unit. He was named chief operating officer in 2001. Chief Executive Walden O'Dell will assume the company's daily operational responsibilities until a successor is found for Vance. An airport spokesman says Vance was practicing takeoffs and landings in a six-seat Beachcraft A-36 when it crashed near the airport.

[Note - On September 21, 2005, Diebold announces that its current COO will leave his post and the board. Stock drops 16% intraday. O'Dell will temporarily assume the post.]

~~~ ... -02-03.htm

Vance was an Eagle Scout, elected to Boys State, and a church-going Mormon, married, father of five. He earned a degree from Brigham Young University. He was described as a confident person who people liked to be around. His senior class in high school voted him "favorite boy". He had been a pilot for over twenty years. He was named to Diebold's No. 2 position as COO in 2001, managing the company's global operations.

3. Anthony J. Celebrezze Jr. -- July 4, 2003 -- Diebold consultant -- cause of death not confirmed
Anthony Celebrezze Dies
07/05/03 ... 113640.xml

Former Ohio Attorney General Anthony J. Celebrezze Jr., 61, died yesterday in an Urbana hospital. Champaign County Coroner Joshua Richards confirmed that Celebrezze died about 9 p.m. yesterday, but would not confirm a cause of death.

Celebrezze, a Democrat of Columbus, was a stalwart in Cleveland and Ohio politics.... He was 38 when he was elected secretary of state in 1978.

He was Ohio attorney general from 1983 to 1991, and Ohio secretary of state from 1979 to 1983. Celebrezze ran against George Voinovich for governor in 1990 but lost.

Wayne Hill, Celebrezze's longtime communications director during the 1978 campaign for secretary of state and then attorney general, was in shock at Celebrezze's death yesterday.

Hill said Celebrezze, who enjoyed racing cars, was at Shady Bowl Speedway in De Graff for a Fourth of July race when he felt ill. De Graff is west of Columbus.

"It's beyond a shock. Tony had a passion for racing," said Hill in a telephone interview. "It's unbelievable. It's not right."

...After his loss to Voinovich, Celebrezze joined the law firm of Kegler, Brown, Hill & Ritter, and recently was a consultant for Diebold Inc., promoting electronic voting machines.

4. Athan Gibbs, Jr. -- March 12, 2004 -- invented the TruVote system -- car crash - collided w/ 18-wheeler
Was planning to present his new voting machine, and its paper verification features, to the Georgia legislature within a week of the crash.

"Death of a Patriot: No More 'Blind Faith Voting,'" by Bob Fitrakis

"Black Voting Machine Inventor Dies," by Hazel Trice Edney, The Call,

March 26, 2004

5. Andy Stephenson -- July 7, 2005 -- nationally known election activist -- pancreatic cancer

Andy had worked for Black Box Voting and barnstormed around the country investigating and speaking. It was Andy who uncovered (among other things) much of the story of Jeffrey Dean, the VP at Diebold who did software programming, who was a convicted felon whose crime had been embezzlement using computers. Andy went to many of the nation's election hotspots, including Florida and Ohio.

In January 2005, Andy noticed he didn't feel well. In April, he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. He was eventually treated at Johns Hopkins, after the national election community raised $50,000 in eleven days for his treatment. He died of post-surgery complications and a series of strokes. He was 43. His surgery had been postponed for two weeks due to the efforts of people who tried to monkeywrench Paypal and Johns Hopkins, and who spread nasty rumors that Andy wasn't really sick, and that this was all a scam. Someone managed to shut down his Medicaid after the surgery, once again slowing things down. One of his supporters in Baltimore had her car vandalized.

He had said a year earlier: "I've been threatened by these people [makers of voting machines]. I've been followed from my home to work. The president of Diebold told me to back off or I would get a visit. My phone's been tapped. I've been ridiculed. I've been called a conspiracy theorist. You bet I'm going to demonize them. It's wrong. We're privatizing our elections. It's something that should remain in the hands of the people...We need to take it back. It's We the People." "If they take our right to vote away, we're nothing but slaves. I'm sorry. I'm not willing to be a slave. I'm not willing to go quietly into the night." --Andy Stephenson, July 13, 2004 in an interview following a press conference next to the Austin State Capitol Rotunda.

6. Rev. Bill Moss -- August 2, 2005 -- lead plaintiff in Moss v. Bush -- stroke

Columbus, Ohio resident Bill Moss was highly visible in the efforts to rectify the many wrongs of the November 2004 election in Ohio. Elected five times to the Columbus Board of Education, Rev. Moss was an eloquent speaker. He was considered a possible national spokesperson for the election reform movement, in an informal meeting held in Houston on June 30, 2005 after the Election Assessment Hearing. Like Athan Gibbs, Moss was African-American.

7. Mike Connell -- December 19, 2008 -- national GOP computer guru -- solo plane crash

"Pilot killed as plane crashes in Lake Twp."
By Jewell Cardwell, John Higgins and David Knox
Akron Beacon Journal staff writers
11:30 p.m. EST, Dec 19, 2008

Connell was "a key witness in the King-Lincoln v. Blackwell lawsuit regarding fraud in the 2004 election in Ohio. That ongoing lawsuit led to Connell's deposition on November 3, 2008, the day before the general election. According to plaintiff's lead attorney Cliff Arnebeck, Connell was also threatened by Karl Rove in attempt to intimidate him into 'taking the fall' for Ohio election fraud."

--"BREAKING: Mike Connell, GOP 'IT Guru' Reportedly Killed in Solo Plane Crash!"
By Emily Levy

Local firefighters and law enforcement personnel look over the wreckage of a small plane that crashed near a home at 2017 Charolais St. on Friday, Dec. 19, 2008, in Lake Township, Ohio. (Ed Suba Jr./Akron Beacon Journal)

Pokey Anderson has broadcast or published numerous reports on voting machine issues over the past four years. She co-produces a weekly news and analysis radio program, The Monitor on KPFT-Pacifica in Houston. A previous article was "Even a Remote Chance." She has done research with a number of authors, contributing to a Nation cover story on elections by Ronnie Dugger, and providing extensive research for a book on Enron's collapse by Mimi Swartz with Sherron Watkins. Her email address is Pokey at

1 comment following article (so far)
by Jack Harrington
There was another

high ranking exec, from one of the big voting machine manufacturers. A Holiday standoff with cops a few years ago, and an 'apparent' suicide before the cops got into his house. If I have time later I will try and look it up. Minnesota I think. Made the national news.

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