RS has some good info that’s not in the main article, especially the Abramoff connection. He bribed Ney at the behest of his client, Diebold. Diebold aims to control the electronic voting machine market and used their tight relationship with Ohio Sec. of State, Kenneth Blackwell to do it. Read more:
After the Florida fiasco in 2000, Diebold saw an opportunity. To persuade Rep. Bob Ney to promote its machines in a package of election reforms he was drafting called the Help America Vote Act, the company hired two lobbyists with close ties to the Ohio congressman. Diebold paid at least $180,000 to David DiStefano, Ney’s former chief of staff. And it shelled out as much as $275,000 to the lobbying firm of the best-connected man on Capitol Hill: Jack Abramoff.
Abramoff has now been convicted of bribing Ney — but Americans will be paying for the results of Diebold’s influence for years. As part of the Help America Vote Act, every precinct in America is now required to install at least one machine accessible to disabled voters — a mandate that has already fueled the spread of touch-screen technology and cost taxpayers almost $3 billion. ”These vendors have a Halliburton-like hold on the Republican leadership,” says Rep. John Conyers.
Diebold’s influence extends to Ohio, where top Republicans have pushed hard to install the company’s machines. Matt Damschroder, the chair of the Franklin County Board of Elections, was fined a month’s pay last year for accepting a $10,000 check from Diebold made out to the county GOP in 2004, on the same day the board accepted bids for new voter-registration software. Once he was caught, Damschroder ratted out his friend, Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell, telling authorities that a Diebold consultant boasted of funneling $50,000 to Blackwell’s ”political interests.”
Blackwell and Diebold deny the transactions ever took place. But in April of last year, after engaging in secret negotiations with the company, Blackwell emerged with the triumphant announcement that he’d reached a deal to equip Ohio with Diebold machines at a cut-rate price. He didn’t bother to mention that he had just bought nearly $10,000 in Diebold stock — a ”mistake” he now blames on his financial manager. He also neglected to reveal that as part of the deal — as revealed in a company e-mail to Blackwell — Diebold insisted he use his influence as secretary of state in a way that would guarantee the company a state monopoly. Blackwell complied by setting such an early cutoff date for counties to select their new machines that other manufacturers would be unable to get their equipment certified in time.
Man, this story has it all. Corruption, bribery, vote-rigging, damaging emails, and pattern of activity that seems to indicate a plan to steal elections.
I tell ya: elected officials are like children. You can’t leave’em alone for more than 2 seconds or they start getting in heaps of trouble. Except for elected officials, the trouble is usually dangerous to us rather than themselves.