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.
http://adap2k.blogspot.com/2008/11/mich ... 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 gwb43.com 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.)
http://adap2k.blogspot.com/2008/08/witn ... 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
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: http://www.bradblog.com/?p=6189
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
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.
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.”
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
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”