09 April 2005

Blogs spin tale of computers, conspiracies

The Web sites say an Oviedo Republican asked a programmer for software to alter electronic vote totals

Lucy Morgan - April 9, 2005

TALLAHASSEE - Democrats around the country have accused Republicans of stealing the last two presidential elections in Florida.

Now some Internet Web sites that traffic in conspiracy theories have fashioned something of a political thriller out of a series of apparently unrelated events they say prove the elections really were stolen.

The tale reaches far beyond elections to include a dead investigator for the state Department of Transportation, a $210 red Coach purse, gambling trips to Las Vegas and Biloxi, Miss., a Chinese computer expert charged with illegally shipping computer chips to Beijing and an Oviedo computer firm accused of overbilling the state.

And the villain? U.S. Rep. Tom Feeney, an Oviedo Republican elected to Congress in 2002 after spending two years as state House Speaker.

To the Internet blogs - short for Web logs - the hero of this tale is Clint Curtis, a 46-year-old computer programmer and self-styled book author, who says Feeney asked him to come up with an undetectable system to fix elections.

No one has proven anything, and no serious investigation appears to be under way, but the blogs are lighting up with the news and suggestions for proving corruption.


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