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"What Heather Connell Told Me" (& A Bomb Threat) Mark Crispin Miller Interviews Larisa Alexandrovna

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Hissyspit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 12:19 PM
Original message
"What Heather Connell Told Me" (& A Bomb Threat) Mark Crispin Miller Interviews Larisa Alexandrovna
Edited on Sat Jan-24-09 12:55 PM by Hissyspit
http://markcrispinmiller.com/2009/01/what-heather-conne...

What Heather Connell Told Me (an interview with Larisa Alexandrovna)

Posted by mcm January 24, 2009

Yesterday I sent out Point of Impact, the article, in Cleveland Scene, about Mike Connells death.

As I noted, there is much new information in James Renners piece, which anyone who cares about all this should read ASAP. But its also a misleading piece especially on the subject of Mikes widow, Heather Connell, whose version of events is strangely incomplete, and yet it comes across as Gospel in the article.

Specifically, the article repeats, without question, Mrs. Connells very damning take on the reporters following her husbands story in particular, Larisa Alexandrovna of Raw Story. Thus the article suppresses, or ignores, a whopping contradiction, which, if we look into it, may help shed further light on Connells murky, tragic story:

- snip -

MCM: Weve heard that Connell had been signaling a willingness to talk, beyond his deposition. Is that true, as far as you know?

LA: Yescertainly before his deposition. In late 2007 and early in 2008, there were discussions behind the scenes with some of Conyerss people, and some of Kucinichs people, among others. Connell was going back and forth emotionally, which is a common thing with whistleblowers. At first he was interested in simply appearing as an expert on election issues. But then, as more stuff came to light from several researchers in my case, it involved the White House emails, and their connection to the Siegelman and Minor casesConnell started to pull back.

- snip -

LA: The Cleveland Scene article attributing those claims to Heather Connell is, I think, regrettable. The reporter, James Renner, should have spoken to me, given me a chance to comment, but he never did, and then he refused to listen when I tried, through my editor, to set the record straight. This is why I dont talk to online reporters, was all he said. I guess his contempt for online journalism sort of trumped his ethical responsibility to hear my side of the story.

- snip -

LA: So, armed with those incorporation documents, I did what investigative journalists do: I worked the shoe leather. I went to the Connells home on September 25. There was a young boy, maybe 14, playing basketball outside the house. Before I could even stop the car, these dogs came out of nowhere, and literally slammed into the car, barking and growling. I couldnt even open the car door. The boy tried to restrain them, but he couldnt. It was clear to me that I was not going to be getting out of the car as those animals were very aggressive. So I wrote a note saying who I was, and asking Heather to come meet me at a park near the house. I cracked the window open, and asked the boy to give his mom the note.

Ive always kept the boy out of the story, as theres been no reason to include him in this drama. I only mention him because the Renner article claims that I handed Mikes daughter a slip of paper asking Heather to meet (me) in a nearby park. But thats the least of it. The Cleveland Scene piece then claims that the cloak-and-dagger approach frightened Heather so much that Connell called his lawyers and had them prepare a restraining order. Heather never spoke to me, according to that piece.

Thats a total fabrication. The only female I encountered on that day was Heather Connell, who showed up at the park not five minutes later alone, to meet a stranger in the park. She wasnt scared of me or my approach, and had no reason to be scared. Up to that point, I had never called her home, or emailed her, or sent her postcards or anything like that. This one meeting was my first and only contact with her.

MCM: So what did you two talk about? The Cleveland Scene article implies that you told her about Mikes involvement with vote-flipping for the Bush Republicans.

- snip -

MCM: What happened next? Can you tell us more of what she said?

Well, it turned a bit surreal. Remember that were sitting in this isolated park. There was her car, and one other vehiclea pickup truckparked across the seat from where we sat. (I had a colleague with me, who had dropped me off and drove my car away.) Heather Connell and I were sitting not far from that pickup truck. So she and I are talking, and out of nowhere some police cars roar up with their sirens going. My first thought was to wonder if her son had called the cops. Why else would they be there?

So Heather Connell went to speak with one of them, and I spoke to another one. They told us theyd received a call, or some sort of tip, about a bomb threat. Someone told them that that pickup truck was wired. But they made no move to take us from the park, or even ask us to get out of there. It was straight out of the Twilight Zone, and we were both badly shaken by it.

But it was her reaction that really threw me, more than those police cars showing up. She started shaking, even her lips were shaking Id never seen anything like that before. She then asked me if I was FBI, and asked me to empty out my purse (I was dressed very casually in a skirt and sweatshirt, and had a large leather purse with me) to make sure I was not recording her. She also asked me to turn off my cell phone.

I was in such shock that to this day I can remember every detail of those few minutes from when the cops arrived to when she asked me to turn off my cell.

- snip -

MCM: Did you ever contact her again?

LA: No, per my promise, I did not not even after Mike died, because Id said I wouldnt. I conveyed my sympathies through other folks with whom I was in contact, but I did not attempt to contact her in any way

- snip -

MCM: Speaking of which, what do you make of Renners claim that the Connells asked their lawyers to file for a restraining order?

LA: I really dont know what to make of it. She elected to meet me on her own, alone, in a park. She talked with me for around an hour. I then went my way and never broke my promise not to contact her again. How that would translate into her then going home and having Mike file a restraining order is beyond me. I think the reporter may have gotten it wrong, or maybe Heather was referring to someone else. I cant believe that she would lie about that.

At the same time, I couldnt get an answer from the Cleveland Scene as to how Renner went about confirming it. The editors would only say that they refused to make corrections or retractions on any point, while Renner, as I said before, was too contemptous of online journalism to discuss that point or any other. So Im still wondering, did he talk to Connells lawyers, to see if they ever had such a discussion? I simply find it hard to believe, since her one talk with me was voluntary, and I never tried to contact her again. There simply were no grounds for a restraining order. So I dont know what it means or why it was reported as it was.

Everyone comes off looking bad in that article: Heather comes off looking unstable and a little crazy which she certainly is not, at least from what I saw. Cliff Arneback comes off looking like hes chasing aliens, while Ive always found him to be a very moderate and restrained attorney. And worst of all is Connell himself. He comes across as someone leading a double life, with no mention of his struggle to come forward. Thats not fair.

- snip -

MCM: Finally, a question about something else that Connell was involved in, according to Stephen Spoonamore: the missing White House emails. Do you think that theyre out there somewhere, in backup form?

LA: Yes, I do. And I think that there are others who know where. The question is, how do we get to them, and get them to talk? Mike Connell was apparently our closest link to that essential evidence. Sadly, we have lost much with his death.

MORE AT LINK

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Ellipsis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 12:34 PM
Response to Original message
1. Dj vu man! K&R
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DCKit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 12:51 PM
Response to Original message
2. From anyone else, this would sound like total woo-woo.
Knowing bad people and flying in small planes often seems to end in (coincidental) tragedy, but we also know * didn't win either election and Mike Connel was at the hub of contention. Add the follow-up spy capers, and you've got a story Tom Clancy wishes he wrote.

Keep it coming Larissa. It seems we're not going to get Congress interested until they're embarrassed and shamed into doing something.
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annabanana Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 01:00 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. Once again, Larisa goes where many purported journalists
fear to tread. I have more faith in her investigations than any with a big corporate entity propping them up.
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Peace Patriot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 06:14 PM
Response to Reply #2
28. Congress is not going to be interested until we get the 'TRADE SECRET' programming code
Edited on Sat Jan-24-09 06:15 PM by Peace Patriot
such as Mike Connell's and Diebold's, out of our voting system.

Connell used his 'TRADE SECRET' coding of Ohio's election data--his alleged 'right' to profit from our elections, by having SECRETS in the system--as an excuse not to answer questions, and to seal information, in the lawsuit.

Where have we heard this before? From ES&S in FLA-13 in 2006. ES&S voting machines 'disappeared' 18,000 votes for Congress in Democratic precincts, in an election that the Puke 'won' by only some 350 votes. When the lawyers for the real winner--Christine Jennings--took the matter to court, and asked to examine ES&S's 'TRADE SECRET' code, to try to figure out what happened to those 18,000 votes, they refused, and argued that their 'right' to 'TRADE SECRET' profits from our election system trumps the right of the voters to know how their votes were counted. The Bushbot judge agreed! The matter then went to Congress, where it...DISAPPEARED, just like those 18,000 votes, never to be heard of again.

There isn't a member of Congress who can prove that he or she was actually elected (except Al Franken!). That's what's wrong here. In half the voting systems in this country, no verification is even possible. 'TRADE SECRET' code--owned and controlled by secretive, rightwing corporations--tells us who won, with nothing to back it up. And even in the best systems, only a miserably inadequate 1% audit is conducted. Not even Bararck Obama can prove that he was really elected (--although I BELIEVE that he was--that's all it is, a good guess--no one can prove it).

Mike Connell was running Ohio's election system, and Karl Roves' nefarious message network, as a private enterprise cloaked in 'TRADE SECRETS'! He was the node, the center of it all, whether he was complicit in it or not--something we may never know, because, ahem, his small plane fell out of the air for no apparent reason. This system was like every voting machine and every central tabulator and every voter registration database in the country, writ large--powerful, dangerous and cloaked in secrecy.

This is what is wrong with our country! It is all traceable to this. And the blank stares of our Congress critters, when this fundamental issue is brought to their attention, tells you everything.
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pleah Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 01:01 PM
Response to Original message
4. Yes, it does sound like something out of the Twilight Zone.
K&R
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bertman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 01:17 PM
Response to Original message
5. thanks for posting this, hissyspit. Unfortunately, there are a lot of "old school" journalists
who view online journalism as inept, inaccurate, hobbyist-type reporting. That's too bad, but it's true. So I'm not surprised that Renner would be so condescending toward Larisa.

On the other hand, Renner may have been getting orders from above that would not allow him to follow up with her. Newspapers are owned by people who often ARE the corporatocracy. I don't know about the Scene.

This is a BIG story. Now wonder the cops came swooping down on those two while they were in the park. The modus operandi fits perfectly: intimidate the parties involved. Keep them under constant surveillance (obviously the Connell family was being watched, and maybe Larisa was too). Disrupt any attempts to communicate privately. Who knows what Mike Connell was told about Larisa?? that may have prompted him to take out a restraining order--if that was true. It doesn't seem too far-fetched to me that someone in their circle would have fed him that kind of crap.

We are so lucky to have folks like Larisa and Mark Crispin Miller trying to keep us informed about the threats to our democracy. Please let us know how we can support their efforts.


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lala_rawraw Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 01:42 PM
Response to Reply #5
8. you know what gets me is this...
let us assume for a moment that as he sees it, I am a fake journalist. let us assume that this is in fact true. as a supposed "real" journalist, however, is it not his obligation to still report facts and seek out a response against whom he is making allegations? let us assume it is true that Heather Connell did in fact want to file a restraining order - why, I have no idea, but let us assume for a moment that is true - why did he leave out of the article that she met with me, alone, in a park for around an hour and that I never contacted her again? that is an important piece of information to leave it, is it not? did she deny it? he does not say. in fact, he goes on to claim that she confronted her husband about the allegations - what allegations? if she did not meet with me, how then did she confront her husband?

so regardless of what he may think of me - and I would pick being a self-styled anything and be ethical than be an "official" anything and have such little regard for fairness, fact, ethics - he still had an obligation to write a story with facts in it. he still had an obligation to examine all of the pieces and present them. instead, he cuts out that she met with me - perhaps intending to paint me as a stalker, but then does not explain how she came to confront her husband - and in the process confuses everyone.

so that is what irks me. not what this guy thinks of me. i don't need his respect - rather, he should seek mine. but he has an obligation that he failed to honor and his editors refuse to honor it on his behalf. and remember, this too is an alternative paper, which reduces the credibility of alternative press in general. we have to hold our own accountable as well as the corporate owned. and his editors feel he did nothing wrong when he violated the most basic principles of journalism: seek out facts impartially and present them accurately and fairly.
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John Q. Citizen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 04:01 PM
Response to Reply #8
17. It is a smear job against you, and anyone who might be curious about vote manipulation.
Edited on Sat Jan-24-09 04:04 PM by John Q. Citizen
I guess Renner may be worried you are stepping on his turf or something?

Notice how he subtly manipulates the reader:

After her husband was named as a witness in Arnebeck's lawsuit, Heather Connell was hounded by self-styled online journalists. Some sent threatening postcards. One, a reporter for the website Raw Story, handed Mike's daughter a slip of paper asking Heather to meet her in a nearby park. The cloak-and-dagger approach frightened Heather so much that Connell called his lawyers and had them prepare a restraining order. Until she spoke to Scene last week, Heather had taken to siccing her dogs on anyone who approached her front door. She spends a lot of time in her husband's basement office these days, chain-smoking thin cigarettes and drinking Diet Coke.

"Maybe I'm the one that's crazy," she says. "The whole thing truly does sound like some spy novel. If there is some secret safe where Mike was keeping everything, I'd like to know where it is."
http://www.freetimes.com/stories/15/90/point-of-impact


"After her husband was named as a witness in Arnebeck's lawsuit, Heather Connell was hounded by self-styled online journalists. he doesn't say who. Or what he means as "hounded."

"Some sent threatening postcards." What does that mean? Who sent "threatening postcards?" what is the nature of these threats? Did they (the family) file a police report?

Now he doesn't explicitly say you did any of these things. In fact he doesn't say who did these things. What he does do is imply that you may have done some or all of these things.

The reporter (James Renner) also subtly implies that anyone who thinks Conner could or would be somehow involved with the technical aspects of vote manipulation is a 'conspiracy theorist.' All coloration and characterization of both the crime of vote manipulation, and the hassle of having the media want to talk to you is from the widow.

Maybe Renner is jealous that you got the first interview on his turf, because the way he writes his copy makes it sound like all others before him got the dogs sicced on them until he, the "real" reporter got the real story.

One interesting part of the article that has nothing to do with the straw-man, broad-brush, innuendo attack on your reputation is this:

"...Shortly after, Connell put Cole in charge of GovTech. "Mike wanted Spoonamore to help him build what he was calling a 'black box,' something the people in Burma could use to shield their data from the authorities that were trying to track them down. "He liked to come up with the big ideas," says Cole. "It was usually my job to implement them." But the project was never completed, and Cole left the company last year to run for state representative."

that black box sounds like what the bush white house wanted for it's emails. a way to stash data.
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lala_rawraw Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 08:38 PM
Response to Reply #17
41. yes and here is something else that i just noticed...
the dogs were out when i got there and he is saying that she started putting them out after... but that was the whole reason i could not get out of the car. lol, this is getting pretty funny actually.

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GeorgeGist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-09 08:31 AM
Response to Reply #8
64. This does not make sense to me ...
I was in such shock that to this day I can remember every detail of those few minutes
from when the cops arrived to when she asked me to turn off my cell.
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Ellipsis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-09 09:00 AM
Response to Reply #64
66. Cell phones can be retasked as listening devices...
some say even when they are turned off.
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demobabe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-26-09 12:24 AM
Response to Reply #8
106. have no idea what to make of all of this
Edited on Mon Jan-26-09 12:48 AM by demobabe
The Cleveland Scene doesn't say that YOU sent postcards, but it sounds like from both your description and the article's description, that you got the dog treatment that was described. Why did you show up at her home without calling or contacting her in any way first? If I were her, I'd consider restraining orders as well - that isn't cool to just show up at someone's home - I don't even like it when FRIENDS who do that to me.

Pro journalist or blogger, it doesn't matter. You have to follow the basic rules of respect for people's privacy.
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annabanana Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 06:07 PM
Response to Reply #5
26. I had never heard of Renner...
His wiki is a bit thin.
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lala_rawraw Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 06:23 PM
Response to Reply #26
31. clearly there is a reason as to why we have not heard of him
and he explains it himself below
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bjobotts Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-09 03:02 AM
Response to Reply #5
56. What are the odds of a bomb threat right then and right there.What bullshit
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bjobotts Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-09 03:04 AM
Response to Reply #56
57. Was a time when newspaper reporting was not considered "journalism"
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creeksneakers2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 01:21 PM
Response to Original message
6. That's a very interesting interview
I've been following this mystery closely and the interview has lots of new information and answers many of the questions I had about what happened.

I think Renner has a duty to apologize for not including Larisa's side of the story and not letting her confront him about this.
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lala_rawraw Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 01:34 PM
Response to Reply #6
7. thank you...
although I think Mr. Renner thinks I am too insignificant for him to have to apologize to. he has made that clear to my editor and in your post when he wrote he had no intention of letting me respond to begin with. that is absolutely unethical. so thanks for the support. it means a great deal.
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creeksneakers2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 01:48 PM
Response to Reply #7
9. I don't see how working in print makes one more important
than someone whose work is on the net. From what I've seen, you probably are far more widely circulated than he is.
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lala_rawraw Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 02:05 PM
Response to Reply #9
10. well, logic is not a factor...
He called me a liar to my editor and said some fairly ugly things about bloggers and online publications... and his article includes his opinion, which seems a bit personal, since he never did speak to me or allow me to respond. And again, you saw what he wrote in your post. His editors are backing him... do you realize that if we had gotten a letter like the one we sent to them, point by point on all of the things that he got wrong - my head would be on a platter. It is not up for debate IF these things are wrong:

1. he KNOWS she met with me, in a park, alone. He does not dispute that. So he left it out on purpose, skewing the story to fit his narrative.
2. he KNOWS i have had no contact with her before or after, but he does not mention that, again skewing the story
3. he has been told that he made an error about the daughter, BUT HE REFUSES to correct it or provide the context for why I left the note rather than go to the front door


ON those three things alone my head would have been on a platter. Hell, my editor would never allow an article like that to leave the shop. I would have gotten a grilling before as I always do (how do you know this? what did this person say when you asked them? how many sources? and so forth)

In fact, I have had a US attorney write me a letter about one of my reporters which called him a liar, a fraud, and so forth. I went point by point with the US Attorney addressing every single issue. It turned out that he had confused to different things, articles. But we send these people a three page letter going point by point and they send us a 2 sentence response - cookie cutter. I am shocked that they are behaving so brazenly and they are going to label me "self styled" as though it excuses their behavior?

I don't know what to make of it. And then to make things worse, he uses the excuse that I am dishonest to justify his behavior - despite never having talked to me. He does not say how I am dishonest or what errors I have made, nor does he follow standard methods of addressing issues that need corrections. If he found issues in any of my work, he could have drafted a note or even called my editor as we did with him and his editor. But suddenly, when called into question about his own work, he points to vague supposed errors in mine as his defense. Even assuming there are errors in my work (and I am human and things happen), how does that free him of his obligation to be honest, ethical, and present the facts and do so fairly? I have never in my life responded this way when I have been contacted about errors - and I have made some, spelling errors, city names... I am human, it happens. But I am the first to want to correct these things because it is my reputation and the publication's reputation on the line. It is like they don't care at all. I am truly baffled by this.
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bleever Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 02:53 PM
Response to Reply #10
11. "It's like they don't care at all."
I think you've answered your own question.

If a reporter wrote an article that "Joe, a low-life sleazeball, claimed he saw Kennedy's killer", and Joe called him up to say that he had never said any such thing, only to be rebuffed by the reporter claiming that he doesn't talk to "sleazeballs", it's obvious that the reporter is invested not in the truth or a complete accounting of the story, but in his original report.

Why is he invested in that report, as opposed to the truth? That's a different question, worthy of investigation.

But it's patently obvious that that is his investment. And that is anything but journalism.
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JamesRenner Donating Member (3 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 03:30 PM
Response to Reply #10
14. Larisa

I guess all I have to say is that Heather Connell has a very different interpretation of the events Larisa is talking about. I think Larisa must have assumed Heather would not talk to another reporter and so her version of events was safe and could stand as fact. I don't know what is leading Larisa to make such weird statements. I chose not to talk to Larisa because it became clear after talking to Heather and Randy Cole that Larisa's version of events could not be trusted for accuracy. For instance, Mike told Heather that he was never a willing source of information for Larisa (Larisa has made it sound like he was her DeepThroat), that Larisa had misconstrued what he told her in the past, and that he was afraid of her fanaticism (frankly, I don't blame him). He did contact his lawyers about getting a restraining order against her and her boyfriend, Kyle.

I would go so far as to say Heather Connell, Randy Cole, and myself, have a very different view of reality than Larisa. I feel a little sorry for the young lady, actually. I think she would have made a decent journalist if she had gotten in with a better crowd.
-James
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Hissyspit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 03:48 PM
Response to Reply #14
15. Speaking as a former print reporter...
Edited on Sat Jan-24-09 04:16 PM by Hissyspit
that's a pretty weak rationalization for not talking to her, yet identifying her in your article. (Yes, I know you did not name her, but I figured it out right away, as did others.)

Larisa has already made a "decent journalist." Go to her wikipedia page and see the stories she has broken that were then followed up by mainstream media outlets. Your bias against Internet-based journalism is not a decent defense and is pretty naive considering the developments over the past decade or so.

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lala_rawraw Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 03:56 PM
Response to Reply #14
16. that is very strange...
I got an email from Randy Cole this morning that describes a very different take on your article. So the only person that leaves is Heather, but I am certain the rest will shortly be confirmed on way or another. And James, don't feel sorry for me hon. But do tell me how Mike could have told Heather he was not a source if I ONLY came out with that AFTER his death? Did he call her from the grave? I will forward Mr. Cole's letter to your editors. Nice sourcing their buddy.
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Hissyspit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 04:15 PM
Response to Reply #16
18. James Renner response via Mark Crispin Miller:
Here is James Renner's response to my interview with Larisa Alexandrovna. I send it
out with some reluctance, as I don't see any point to it, other than to score some nasty
points. (I told Renner as much, and he replied, "I'm okay with that.")

If all that he can say, or intimate, is that Larisa's lying, and/or nuts, then I'd say that
her account is even more convincing.

I'll add only that James Renner is functioning here not as journalist, but as a member
of Team Connell, whose claims he sees as beyond question. (And it's remarkable
that, taking sides with them, he charges her--Larisa--with "fanaticism"!)

MCM


Mark,

I guess all I have to say is that Heather Connell has a very different interpretation of the events Larisa is talking about. I think Larisa must have assumed Heather would not talk to another reporter and so her version of events was safe and could stand as fact. I don't know what is leading Larisa to make such weird statements. I chose not to talk to Larisa because it became clear after talking to Heather and Randy Cole that Larisa's version of events could not be trusted for accuracy. For instance, Mike told Heather that he was never a willing source of information for Larisa (Larisa has made it sound like he was her DeepThroat), that Larisa had misconstrued what he told her in the past, and that he was afraid of her fanaticism (frankly, I don't blame him). He did contact his lawyers about getting a restraining order against her and her boyfriend, Kyle.

I would go so far as to say Heather Connell, Randy Cole, and myself, have a very different view of reality than Larisa. I feel a little sorry for the young lady, actually. I think she would have made a decent journalist if she had gotten in with a better crowd.

-James

On Sat, Jan 24, 2009 at 11:51 AM, Mark Crispin Miller wrote:
James,

As promised.

MCM
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lala_rawraw Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 04:30 PM
Response to Reply #18
20. It is amazing to watch someone unravel
when they cannot defend their lies. and again, citing Cole this publicly was really a bad idea. Heather I can understand, she is grieving and confused and this guy is taking advantage. but Cole? that was a really bad idea ... I will find out when we can put forth Cole's email (we have to go to lawyer and see if we can use it publicly)...but wow, talk about going bat-shit off a cliff.
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Richard Steele Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-26-09 05:18 PM
Response to Reply #20
110. This guy is a TOOL...and not a very sharp one.
Thanks for all you do, Larisa!

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lala_rawraw Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 04:21 PM
Response to Reply #14
19. Oh Jim, since you are here, we have some questions
1. Why did you leave out that Heather went to the park of her own volition to talk to me and sat with me for around an hour? Did she deny this? If not, why did you exclude this from your article?

2. Did she tell you that I ever contacted her before or since? Did she deny this? If not, why did you not include it?

3. You say that Heather and I talked about vote flipping. How did you go about verifying this? And since you left out that she met with me, how did she and I have this discussion?

4. Given that Heather only ever met ME, not my editor or anyone else, I find it strange that she would want to file a restraining order against my boyfriend. Did she actually tell you this?

5. Why did you report that I met with a daughter, when in fact I met only the son? How did you verify this?

6. If she was going to file a restraining order, as you claim, how did you verify this? Did you contact the lawyers? What did they say? What would be the grounds for a restraining order given that I met with her once, of her own choice, in a public park?

7. Why did she not file the restraining order?

8. How can Mike have denied talking to me IF I ONLY came forward AFTER he died? How did you verify this? Because Heather told you? Is that it?

10. Why did you include the Channel 19 report, which we (the self-styled reporters) that we are had already debunked it? How did you confirm this report? Did you reach the source for the Channel 19 report?

11. Who sent Heather these alleged threats via postcard and may we please see the postcard? The implication is that I was involved and since you don't intend to correct the record, then we would like to see the postcard. I think everyone - all of us self-style reporters, bloggers, and whatever, want to see this astonishing array of evidence.

12. Why did you lie in the last DU thread when you said you made no effort to contact me, when in fact, you sent me an email on 1/13 asking me if I lived in Ohio and if we could get together to discuss "this strange case?" You submitted your draft shortly thereafter.

13. Did Mr. Cole say these things about me, on the record? If so, please make that available to us. As I noted upthread, I have a very different version of events from him. And I think you will find that no one you cite is remotely happy with your article. As I noted, your publisher and editor will get a copy of this email.

In short, you have some nerve. Regardless of what you think of me - and believe me, at this point I take it as a compliment - you are obligated to print my response. Choosing NOT to because YOU DECIDED what YOU THINK happened, is not journalism. You should know that, you big important "real" reporter you.

And coming around and spreading more lies to defend yourself only adds to the obvious intent to defame, which is the only thing missing from a defamation case. We have the proof of BS, we just had to prove intent. You have helped us by proving that you had no intention of writing the truth and continue to defend yourself by defaming me.

Finally, does your editor know that you publicly admitted that you never had any intention of allowing me to respond?
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Garbo 2004 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 05:07 PM
Response to Reply #14
22. 1. Larisa's account is a response to your reporting so how do you figure "Larisa must have assumed
Edited on Sat Jan-24-09 05:17 PM by Garbo 2004
Heather would not talk to another reporter..." when your article cites Heather and predates Larisa's response to your published article?

2. Who is "Brett Kimberland" cited in your article? Perhaps you meant "Brett Kimberlin:" http://www.newprogressivecoalition.com/node/4355
You and your editor are not issuing a correction on that?

3. Since when is it sound, ethical journalistic practice to not bother to try to get the "other side of the story" because you decided in advance the person's account could not be "trusted for accuracy?" Based on what? Your own judgment? Your own bias? Is this the Judy Miller school of journalism?

4. Your condescension would be amusing considering your youth...but the quality of your reporting doesn't warrant such evident smug self-satisfaction.
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lala_rawraw Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 05:39 PM
Response to Reply #22
23. and you will notice
That Renner feels he has a right to respond, both here and published with Miller's interview. He does, it is ethical that he be given that right. And MCM does not think him credible, but published his response. Renner, however, would not allow me the same. He does not see the irony, when that is all that I asked for. And when my editor called him, instead of taking it seriously, he basically said we were not worthy of his time to correct anything. Who behaves in such a manner? And who publicly states (per the other thread) that he had no intention of letting me respond? What kind of reporter does this - even if he had reason to find me dishonest - he is still obligated ethically to allow me to respond. I am really shocked that he continues to defend his behavior by calling me a liar. Even if I WERE liar (Karl Rove for example), he is still bound by the ethics to behave fairly. He has not and he defends this by attacking me. Very strange. And I wonder if his editors know he is behaving in this manner?
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creeksneakers2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 05:41 PM
Response to Reply #14
24. I guy here called OnTheOtherHand asked you a great question
Why not answer it?

How is it that Mrs. Connell was so terrified of having a meeting but later confronted her husband with information she got from a meeting? Did she meet with Larisa? Where?
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Ellipsis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 06:11 PM
Response to Reply #14
27. You aren't really James Renner are you?
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lala_rawraw Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 06:24 PM
Response to Reply #27
32. it is him... he sent MCM the same crap n/t
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SpiralHawk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-09 04:27 PM
Response to Reply #14
80. Speaking as another former print reporter, I need to call you on your shit Renner
You are insulting, patronizing and defaming Larisa. And you are refusing to talk with her and get her side of the story. That is juvenille, unprofessional, unethical, and propagandistic.

Stop whining, and do your job.
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demobabe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-26-09 12:53 AM
Response to Reply #10
107. self delete
Edited on Mon Jan-26-09 12:56 AM by demobabe
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SpiralHawk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-09 04:22 PM
Response to Reply #7
79. Yes. It is indeed clearly unethical. It is then merely propaganda dressed up as 'journalism'
a republicon homelander mindf*ck technique
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Sancho Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 02:54 PM
Response to Original message
12. There is a big story here...
:tinfoilhat: :tinfoilhat: :tinfoilhat:
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peacetalksforall Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 02:55 PM
Response to Original message
13. What about the police? There must be a report of the call, their follow-up, what they found out
Edited on Sat Jan-24-09 02:57 PM by higher class
about the truck? Did they take their names?

What does is take to get credibility with people like this?

Are the lies and slander of Limbaugh and Hannity accepted because they are on radio and tv?

Republicans sure listen to and use Drudge. (He may have a column now, but I remember his early days - he admitted to Bryan Lamb that he was not a journalist, but defended his role.

If independent citizens can patrol the border, why not independent investigators who break no rules?

What is the road to getting recognition if a person is an online investigator?

FOIA - police department.

Larissa - get the badge numbers. Have someone watching your back. Or wear a big hat - if they're spying on you by sateillite. Maybe I'm teasing about the hat. I can't imagine that we would be paying for someone to spy on you by satellite. But, this is important to those who need to hold on to their secrets.
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lala_rawraw Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 06:30 PM
Response to Reply #13
34. i don't know that they were spying
i don't know that they were not spying...all i know is that i was worried that it would spook Heather and I kept my focus on calming both of us down... but they stayed by the pick up truck and as I was leaving, I pulled up and looked into the bed of it, nada, nothing. so it could have been a fake call or tip to get them there, it could have been a real call or tip, it could have been an excuse to spy or it could have been they told us something that was untrue (we each talked to a different cop, so I find this hard to believe)... i don't know.

but my colleague came back to get me in the park and was concerned because the cops were there and was worried about both me and Heather. then I called my editor from the car and told him the whole thing and took crazy fast notes.

at the time i thought i was just being paranoid... who the hell knows... i don't know what it means... there is so much worse that has happened that this seems like nothing in comparison and as soon as i can and am allowed to do so, i will explain what i am talking about. but i can say that i was being threatened by a person, who has been arrested by the fbi and indicted. i cannot say more until i am no longer a witness in the case. but those i am friendly on here were informed while i was being threatened as it was happening and i sent them some of the stuff at the time and they have seen the news (although I am only identified as person a). so this does not seem as bad in comparison. i simply don't know what to make of it.

by the way, i was thisclose to getting a gun because of the threat situation. and i did not... says something for my position on gun control i think. one day i will write about it (and laugh about it i am told... although that seems impossible now).
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peacetalksforall Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 08:03 PM
Response to Reply #34
39. I was thinking that if there was a police record - you could use it for support
in your side of the story against the person who is misrepresenting the story and trying to make you look bad.

We're with you. I hope the tide is turning for you and that there is success with all issues that need attention and correction. We are lucky to have you.
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bjobotts Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-09 02:44 AM
Response to Reply #34
48. A man ws murdered for fear that he might reveal what he knew...
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bjobotts Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-09 02:45 AM
Response to Reply #48
49. Make sure everyone knows everything you know...it wasn't just vote flipping
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bjobotts Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-09 02:47 AM
Response to Reply #49
50. all of congress' computer systems was set up by Connell...and all the back doors
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bjobotts Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-09 02:48 AM
Response to Reply #50
51. This is part of why Comey and Justice heads were ready to resign over
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bjobotts Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-09 02:49 AM
Response to Reply #51
52. They couldn't pull it off this time...and Connell ends up dead. If they lied
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bjobotts Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-09 02:50 AM
Response to Reply #52
53. lied us into a war and tortured people there is nothing they would not do
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bjobotts Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-09 02:52 AM
Response to Reply #53
54. Connell lacked the stamina to continue on with what he created
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bjobotts Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-09 02:58 AM
Response to Reply #54
55. The story is huge and gets less attentiion than Lewinski's suicide. Rove
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cherokeeprogressive Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-09 03:22 AM
Response to Reply #55
59. Monica Lewinski committed SUICIDE? n/t
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lala_rawraw Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-09 09:22 AM
Response to Reply #59
67. what? when?
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Garbo 2004 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-09 03:14 PM
Response to Reply #59
76. No. And it's "Lewinsky." n/t
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lala_rawraw Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-09 09:24 AM
Response to Reply #48
68. we don't know he was murdered...
i think it is important to focus on what we do know and see if that can lead to answering some additional questions
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cherokeeprogressive Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-09 03:09 AM
Response to Reply #13
58. If all was on the up and up, there would CERTAINLY be a record of a bomb threat.
There would probably have been some kind of media involvement as well because the police do not operate in a vacuum in a place so public as a park. Someone would have heard the call on their scanner. There would also have been a recording of the 911 call and the dispatcher's subsequent instructions to units in the area. Police have to account for their whereabouts on a constant basis. If there is absolutely no record of a bomb threat that caused police units to respond to a park then something is up, or someone isn't telling the whole truth. Especially if that park is in a remote deserted area no more than five minutes away from the Connell sub-division. Understand that I make no judgment about one or the other. I gots me some questions though. These questions do not require the release or acknowledgment of information that must remain secret. I want to see * in a prison jumpsuit as as much, if not more than anyone.

"to this day I can remember every detail of those few minutes from when the cops arrived to when she asked me to turn off my cell." LA's words. Based on her recollection, I would ask the following questions, as would anyone who claims the title of investigative journalist:

Does mcm base his statement about Mrs. Connell's story being "strangely incomplete" on what he was told by LA?
What are the names of "Kucinichs people" and "Conyers' people" who were part of the discussions signaling Connell's "willingness to talk"?
Will LA provide a transcript of the "back and forth" communications (names redacted of course) between "Conyers' people" and Mr. Connell that signified his willingness to talk?
Was Rep. Conyers aware of the above mentioned communication?
What is Rep. Conyers' statement about Connell's death?
Who on Conyers' staff decided that Dennis Kucinich should "handle" Mr. Connell?
How is Tom Synhorst associated with Karl Rove?
How did LA know the boy playing basketball was Mrs. Connell's son?
How many dogs were there and what breed might they have been?
Did the attacking dogs actually make physical contact with her car while it was moving?
Was it apparent that the boy assumed to be Mrs. Connell's son was familiar with the dogs and did he call them by name, and how did he attempt to restrain them?
What is the name of the park and where is it located?
The park was "not five minutes" away from the Connell house. How could it be described as "in the middle of nowhere, and deserted"?
How did LA come to know of the location of the park she asked Mrs. Connell to meet her at?
What is the name of the colleague who drove the car away?
How many police cars showed up in the park because of the bomb threat?
From what agency were the police cars dispatched (what was the city name on their car doors)?
What was the name of the officer LA spoke with (the one that told her about the bomb threat)?
Was the situation with the bomb threat resolved before her meeting with Mrs. Connell was over?
If so, was there ever a bomb squad on the scene?
Lastly, and this is the most important question in my opinion but has two parts; WHY did LA make a PROMISE to Mrs. Connell that her investigative journalism would END with one conversation that took place in a park "in the middle of nowhere, and deserted", with no witnesses present, and what would motivate an investigative journalist to make such a promise if the journalist thought there was more to the story?

Lots of questions, I know. I ask them for one purpose and one purpose only: How can we take ANYONE'S story at face value now that we know the depth of the lies we've been told? Remember; Al Capone wasn't incarcerated for MURDER even though he was directly and indirectly involved in HUNDREDS. He was jailed for tax evasion. Maybe we can jail * for complicity in Connell's murder, and if not complicity, then complicity in its cover-up. Answers to the above questions will probably go a long way toward that end.

Let's jail GWB. Let's use LA's hard work to do it. Fuck the Hague. Let's do it here and show the WORLD we're serious about holding our elected leaders' feet to the fire.
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lala_rawraw Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-09 09:48 AM
Response to Reply #58
70. answering your questions...
Good questions, for the most part. MCM was presenting my side as fact, which the publication refused. We did the interview quickly and the details were sort of glossed over. Because you have such a long list of questions, can you shoot me an email? It will take me a while (and many words I think) to all of them (and some things I have to go fetch out of my notes) and I did not want you to think that I was ignoring you. Can you send to larisa rawstory.com?

But remember, Heather does not deny meet with me, at a park. Some of these questions are redundant in that regard. Others are very good (like names of staffers, which by the way, MCM has). Anyway, shoot me this all in an email so I can respond properly. :)
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cherokeeprogressive Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-09 12:30 PM
Response to Reply #70
72. I certainly will, and thanks!
I believe that facts = credibility and think you should put as many facts out there as is possible in this situation, short of endangering yourself or anyone else. I'm sick and tired of being sick and tired of seeing good people suffer because of their pursuit of the truth.

Have a Wonderful Day!
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Jambalaya Donating Member (359 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-09 09:27 PM
Response to Reply #72
99.  Rove Treasure Trove of Info
Connell, Rove and the GOP Boys, Positioned for McCain?In the current cycle, Karl Rove joined John McCains campaign in March 2008 ..... claimed by FHLS / FLS-DCI in July 2001 applies equally to DCI-New Media. ...
thejournal.epluribusmedia.net/index.php/features/1-latest-news/137-connell?q=connell - 46k - Cached - Similar pages~~~~~~~~
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bertman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-09 11:15 PM
Response to Reply #70
104. Larisa, would it be possible to post your answers to Cherokee's questions on this thread?
I think he raises some excellent points and, if it does not compromise your work, would benefit all of us to see your response.

Thanks.
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Jambalaya Donating Member (359 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-09 09:05 PM
Response to Reply #58
95. Synhorst/Rove
May I suggest you check out posts #93 and #94?
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lala_rawraw Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 04:42 PM
Response to Original message
21. has anyone noticed something interesting
Renner feels like he needs to provide his side of the story, even Dr. Miller (who did not want to or even find it had merit) allowed Renner's response to his interview. Yet this is exactly what Renner denied me. Strange, no?
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annabanana Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 06:02 PM
Response to Reply #21
25. I DO notice that he made one hit-and-run post on this thread and
never came back to respond to eminently sensible and reasonable questions...

pretty damn lame
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file83 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 06:20 PM
Response to Reply #25
29. Can we be sure that was really him? Don't forget that on the internet
not everything is at it seems. Just saying...

Of course, it could be him, but until it's confirmed, take it with a grain of salt.
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lala_rawraw Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 06:23 PM
Response to Reply #29
30. it is him... he sent MCM the same crap
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file83 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 06:26 PM
Response to Reply #30
33. Well I should have known you'd confirm it.
Typical me stating the obvious.
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lala_rawraw Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 06:31 PM
Response to Reply #33
35. no no... upthread... see update up thread
hissy posted it
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chill_wind Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 07:46 PM
Response to Reply #29
37. Would seem so. One of his blogs-
Edited on Sat Jan-24-09 07:54 PM by chill_wind
has a self-reference to his piece and more:

"The True Story of Karl Roves IT Guy"

http://jamesrenner.wordpress.com/2009/01/23/the-true-st...

It appears to be commentable.
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bleever Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-09 01:37 AM
Response to Reply #37
44. Wait...he's a blogger?
Pffft.
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Ellipsis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-09 08:56 AM
Response to Reply #37
65. Funny. There's a comment by a constantly reoccurring troll...
Edited on Sun Jan-25-09 09:01 AM by Ellipsis
who masqueraded with a similar name as Creaksneakers2 (tombstoned after one post) who Renner responds to. Interesting response. Small world?
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Ellipsis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-09 10:37 AM
Response to Reply #65
71. My bad, the troll double posted. Renner didn't respond.
Surfing Pre-coffee. Apologies.
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creeksneakers2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-09 12:31 PM
Response to Reply #65
73. I have nothing to do with the guy
Who keeps coming on here posting the same things about Brett Kimberlin (sp?) and then getting kicked off. He's very recognizable. That's why he got picked off last time after one post.

I did post questions on Renner's blog under creeksneakers2.
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Ellipsis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-09 12:35 PM
Response to Reply #73
74. I know. It's all good n/t
:hi:
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emlev Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-09 02:27 AM
Response to Reply #21
46. You and MCM are self-styled, of course, while JR is Corporate-styled
And BTW, I like your style.
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Garbo 2004 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-09 03:51 PM
Response to Reply #46
77. Renner writes for an alt weekly. "Journo career" relatively recent. Not exactly MSM & doesn't
have established journo cred himself to warrant his attitude.
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MasonJar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 06:50 PM
Response to Original message
36. And even though McConnell was probably eliminated, nothing will
ever come of it. According to Larissa, he was the most credible, likely whistleblower. Although isn't Spoonmaker (sp) also knowedgeable? If so, I hope he is very careful. Maybe with the GOPers out of power, these corporate media flunkies will go the way of dinosaurs. They and their bosses have created this mess; I only hope they all lose their shirts because of their complicity. They have already lost their honor and their souls.
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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-09 02:43 AM
Response to Reply #36
47. McConnell elimination . . .
is warning to Spoonmaker ....?

People with this knowledge are under the greatest of threat -- and seemingly so are

their families. So are the journalists.

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Jambalaya Donating Member (359 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-09 10:59 PM
Response to Reply #47
102. Location.location,location
I tend to agree about a "warning shot across the bow" to Spoonamaker.

Otherwise, Connell could have theoretically met his fate otherwise and elsewhere rather than on his home turf in Ohio.
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bertman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-09 11:06 PM
Response to Reply #36
103. Spoonamore, I think.
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lala_rawraw Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-26-09 11:18 AM
Response to Reply #103
108. Yes
and not McConnell, but Connell :)
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Hissyspit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 07:55 PM
Response to Original message
38. Previous thread on the article:
Edited on Sat Jan-24-09 07:56 PM by Hissyspit
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wildbilln864 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 08:19 PM
Response to Original message
40. ***k&r! nt
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bonito Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 11:43 PM
Response to Original message
42. K&R ...
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BobTheSubgenius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-09 01:09 AM
Response to Original message
43. This is a very bizarre story, and a big mystery that I don't know what make of it.
I just hope we end up knowing as much about it as we need to. More or less everything, in other words.
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Norrin Radd Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-09 02:17 AM
Response to Original message
45. kr
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myrna minx Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-09 03:36 AM
Response to Original message
60. K&R n/t
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Eurobabe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-09 03:46 AM
Response to Original message
61. Why do you think those bastard Bushies were spying on journalists?
:tinfoilhat:
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Faygo Kid Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-09 09:32 AM
Response to Reply #61
69. Excellent point. This, the Siegelman matter, the Justice Dept. firings, and more.
Rove in the middle of all of it, and yet he spits in Congress' eye and makes a fortune at Faux News. Time to get tough.
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fasttense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-09 08:09 AM
Response to Original message
62. Putting on my tin foil hat
I think Bob Corker/Porker might know something about this.

He was Mayor of Chattanooga when all those vote tallies were being moved back and forth from Ohio and Chattanooga. Then suddenly he becomes a TN Senator, out of the blue. His approval ratings as Mayor were only a little over 50% (very few people knew of him outside of the city). Not that 50% is bad but it's just not what you would expect for a little known mayor to be launched from a very sleepy little town into the US Senate. Then to top it off, he made big bucks off a land scandal.

Then there are the Missing Papers: On September 9, 2006 The Commercial Appeal reported that official records from both Corker's 2001 to 2005 service as mayor and his 1996 service as state finance commissioner are missing. The missing records include letters written and received by Corker during a six month period in 1996 and e-mails written and received by Corker in his official capacity as mayor between 2001 and 2005.

Now, out of nowhere Corker/Porker is our TN Senator.

So I think he might know something.



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glitch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-09 08:16 AM
Response to Original message
63. You have defended yourself enough agains this crap. Shift your energy back to Connell activities.
Smears against you are meant to distract your focus. It's important to respond, which you've done, but don't get sucked deeper into their game.

The reason why you are attacked is because any energy you spend on defending yourself is energy not spent on investigating the Connells.

You smacked this guy down now get back to work, that is, unless you needed a break and smacking gnats is how you relax. In which case ignore this post. :hi:
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Jambalaya Donating Member (359 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-09 02:25 PM
Response to Reply #63
75. AMEN!
Glitch, truer words were NEVER spoken!

Even Thomas Edsall over at Huff Po had the professional courtesy and personal grace to apologize to Ms. A about his dismissive and condescending remark when her stor y about Connell's crash first broke.

And just as an aside,isn't it interesting that its the male journalist(s) who are being less than generous with her?What happened to being a gentleman AND a journalist,too? Smacks of gender bias to my ear.

Think they'd be as dismissive and disdainful of a fellow male? Just sayin'.
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lala_rawraw Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-09 07:45 PM
Response to Reply #63
85. hehehe...
Thanks. Mostly, it is not that he so misrepresented the facts, it is his arrogance that online journalists are beneath him and so he can make things up without having to be held to account. That is why I won't let this drop, because the work we do is just as important (and in the last few years, I would say more so) than any other delivery mechanism or medium. Otherwise, I would have let it go because his paper has a tiny circ and no one has heard of him outside of Cleveland as far as I can tell. Him showing up to defend himself (funny, if we don't matter, why bother?) by lying and insulting, rather than addressing the issues just proved my point. And yes, for about five min this was fun and yes, i am working. In fact, a Paul Minor piece I recently finished should be going to press tomorrow I think :)
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Ellipsis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-09 08:14 PM
Response to Reply #85
86. Don't forget judge John Whitfield...
and I thoroughly agree with the rest of your post. :thumbsup:
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lala_rawraw Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-09 08:31 PM
Response to Reply #86
88. have not...
just that for one to get out, the other one must be let out, because if one party in an alleged crime (or in this case, no crime) is released on appeal, then the other party has a better chance.
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Jambalaya Donating Member (359 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-09 08:44 PM
Response to Reply #85
93. "Badjacketing"
Your very welcome.

It is said one is known by the company we keep. Mark Crispin Miller is fine company indeed. One of my favorites. Have a couple of his books.

I have wondered why there has not been(or I haven't run across it) more made of Connell's ties to DCI and FLS-DCI? Tom Synhorst-the S in FLS-DCI was one of the founding members,with Connell's wife Heather , of Gov.tech,Connell's IT company,right?

FLS-DCI and DCI are the go to GOP favorite PR firm for political dirty tricks. Robo calls,phony grass roots groups,third party PACS and 527's-whatever needs done to win elections.

Karl Rove even has a personal recommendation of their services on their homepage.

FLS-DCI is joined at the hip to Norm Coleman,incidentally. He shares their same mailing address in Minesota and rents a basement in Larsen's house in DC.{Incidentally,Larsen is the one who bought Sarah Palin's big bux $$$ Neiman Marcus wardrobe.}

It would be worthwhile to review this firm's history relevant to the GOP candidate roster they have served ever since Poppy Bush was in office.

BTW, does anyone know with whom Connell was meeting prior to his doomed flight?

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Jambalaya Donating Member (359 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-09 08:56 PM
Response to Reply #93
94. DCI
Michael (Mike) L. Connell is President, Chief Political Strategist and CEO of New Media Communications, Inc., a Republican website development and internet services firm based in Richfield, OH.

New Medias GOP clients are a Whos Who of Republican politics.New Media also designed GOP.com for the Republican National Committee, RGA.org for the Republican Governors Association, and between two and three dozen state GOP sites.

In April 2001, Connell spun-off GovTech Solutions from New Media to handle its growing list of federal government clients, such as MajorityWhip.gov for Tom DeLay and Johnny Isakson. Business filings in the state of Ohio show that Govtechs founding members were Connells wife Heather, and the well-known GOP operative and Chairman of the DCI Group, Thomas J. Synhorst. By 2004, Govtechs clients would grow to include more than 20 members of the U.S. House of Representatives, GOP.gov, the web site of the House Republican Conference, and the House Intelligence, Judiciary, Financial Services, Way and Means, and Administration committees. The latter was acquired while House Administration was chaired by former-U.S. Rep. Bob Ney of Ohio, who was convicted in 2006 of conspiracy to defraud the United States.~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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lala_rawraw Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-09 09:25 PM
Response to Reply #94
98. Freedom's Watch (related)...
From an article MK and I did while back:

Freedom's Watch and Democracy Data

"In August 2007, a grassroots organization called Freedoms Watch began running a series of ads attacking those who disagree with the Bush administrations strategy in Iraq as anti-victory. According to their mission statement, the group seeks to give voice to Iraq war issues which it claims have been underrepresented because those who want to quit while victory is possible have dominated the public debate about terror and Iraq since the 2004 election.

Although Freedoms Watch is a non-profit corporation dedicated to educating individuals about and advancing public policies that protect Americas interests at home and abroad, the group was exposed by the online publication, Politico, as largely consisting of wealthy Republican donors, Neoconservatives, and, most prominently, former White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer.

In his role as press secretary, Fleischer had helped sell the Iraq war to the American people. At a September 2002 press briefing, he said, There is already a mountain of evidence that Saddam Hussein is gathering weapons for the purpose of using them. And adding additional information is like adding a foot to Mount Everest. (WH Press Briefing 9/6/2002).

But Freedoms Watch's relationship to Fleischer, as well as other political operatives in the RNC, is not the only issue surrounding the startup grassroots effort.

Freedoms Watch is hosted on servers belonging to Democracy Data and Communications (DDC) DEMOCRACYDATA.COM which for many years had common ownership, leadership, and even shared office space and telephone numbers with Direct Impact.

According to public records, in 2001 both Direct Impact and Democracy Data were located at 1029 North Royal Street, Alexandria, VA. They also shared the following telephone number: 703-684-9690 and the following fax number: 703-683-9626. In 2005, well after Burson-Marstellar had acquired Direct Impact and also well after Veith had become CEO, they continued to share the same address as well as the same phone and fax numbers.

Although there is no apparent current direct link between Freedoms Watch and Direct Impact, the overlapping of relationships raises questions about the true origin of the Freedoms Watch grassroots effort and a larger, more political use of domestic organizations to convey a message that mirrors that of the Administration."
http://rawstory.com/news/2007/All_presidents_PR_men_Raw...
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Jambalaya Donating Member (359 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-09 10:37 PM
Response to Reply #98
101. Big Sky Astro-roots----------- [Link]
Third party campaigning is growing in the state
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lala_rawraw Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-26-09 05:08 PM
Response to Reply #98
109. Mr. Renner, this is what real journalism accomplishes...
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lala_rawraw Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-09 09:18 PM
Response to Reply #93
96. there has...
that is what i have been talking and writing about and have another article coming out soon. that is what I asked Heather about is why she was on the documents with Synhorst of all people. very good points you bring up and this should be the discussion I think :)
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Jambalaya Donating Member (359 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-09 09:37 PM
Response to Reply #96
100. Swiftboating the truth
Connell and Rebecca Donatelli set up and registered the website for the SwiftBoat Veterans for the Truth website back in '04.

Check out the Donatelli Group.
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glitch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-09 11:40 PM
Response to Reply #85
105. Ha! They cannot long divert the truly intrepid reporter from her duty with their petty annoyances.
Furthermore, as if the medium determined the value of the message! That is amazingly limited thought. Exactly what we expect from RW tools.
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SpiralHawk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-09 04:17 PM
Response to Original message
78. Thank you once again for good journalism, Larisa
Now why don't the blowdry corporate media toadies take a clue...and do some honest work on behalf of the truth for a change.
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Ellipsis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-09 07:11 PM
Response to Original message
81. Oped News headlines MCM interview.
Edited on Sun Jan-25-09 07:13 PM by Ellipsis
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lala_rawraw Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-09 07:13 PM
Response to Original message
82. FYI
MCM got a bunch of emails of support (thank you everyone) and here is one below just as an fyi:


##

David Earnhardts email to CLEVELAND SCENE
at January 25, 2009

To the Editors:

James Renners attack on investigative reporter Larisa Alexandrovna in the Mike Connell article was completely unfair - especially since he never even contacted her for her side of the story. I would encourage you to read the many impressive and thorough stories Ms. Alexandrovna has written on the Connell story, as well as the Don Siegelman story and many other important matters she has investigated. As you read her work, you will see her journalistic standards and the measured approach in her writing. I have always found that she approaches her work with the highest of journalistic standards - and Mr. Renner simply did not exhibit the same standards in his work by refusing to even call her for her perspective on her meeting with Ms. Connell.

Please insist that Mr. Renner or another reporter interview her and include her perspective on Mr. Renners incomplete story in the coming weeks edition of your paper. Thank you.

David Earnhardt
Producer/director/writer, Uncounted: The New MAth of American Elections
www.UncountedTheMovie.com
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Hissyspit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-09 07:23 PM
Response to Original message
83. Responses and Emails to Editors regarding Renner's article via Mark Crispin Miller:
Peter B. Collins Writes to Cleveland Scene

Mr. Gallucci,

I wish to add my voice to those protesting Mr. Renner's coverage of Larisa Alexandrovna in the Connell story. I have talked to Alexandrovna on many occasions, and always found her reporting and commentary to be reliable and accurate. Her investigation of the Don Siegelman case showcases her skills, accuracy, and sound journalism.

Your paper owes its readers and Ms. Alexandrovna both an apology and fair coverage of the matters in question. For Mr. Renner to characterize Alexandrovna the way he has, without ever talking to her, displays a bias to Heather Connell but not a commitment to truth-telling.

Sincerely,

Peter B. Collins


The Peter B. Collins Show
3-6p Pacific Time Mon-Fri
KRXA/540 Monterey
KGOE/1480 Eureka
KPOJ/620 Portland, OR
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KMPT/930 Missoula, MT
KKGN/960 San Francisco
KPTK/1090 Seattle
WWZN/1510 Boston Live 6-9pm EST NEW!!
www.peterbcollins.com


DUer BradBlog's Email to James Renner

James,

I've yet to read Mark's interview with Larisa, but looking forward to it. In the meantime, I did see your reply to Mark and found it quite bizarre.

For a start, I disagree with Mark in that I didn't find the original story to be quite as objectionable as he suggested, though it was disturbing that there was not more detail from RAW STORY's perspective, given how you named them. Why didn't you seek their comment for the story?

Nonetheless, I found interesting bits and pieces in the story beyond that, but am far more troubled by your response to Mark. Comments such as: "I chose not to talk to Larisa it became clear after talking to Heather and Randy Cole that Larisa's version of events could not be trusted for accuracy." Is about as odd as it gets.

If you had spoken to Larisa first, might she have been able to convince you not to speak to Heather or Randy Cole because their "version of events could not be trusted for accuracy"?? Of course you wouldn't do that, so I'm flummoxed as to why you seem to have done the same thing in reverse.

Similarly, you went on to say that "Mike told Heather that he was never a willing source of information for Larisa (Larisa has made it sound like he was her DeepThroat)".

So did Mike tell you that's what he told Heather? (I'm guessing not) Or did Heather tell you that's what Mike told her? (Much more likely). If so, why would you simply take Heather's comments at face value? Couldn't she have been lying? Couldn't she have misinterpreted what Mike said? Couldn't Mike have been lying? Why would you report that (albeit in email) as fact, when, unless you spoke to Mike before he died (and happened to be there when he supposedly told this to Heather), you can't possibly know what's true there or not.

In that same vein, you simply decided that "Larisa had misconstrued what told her in the past." Based on what? Heather's belief that she did???

Based on your story alone, wherein you report Heather saying (paraphrasing) "Mike would never do anything wrong", but in another graf report that Heather was used on paper to head the company so they could get minority status (when, in fact, Heather reportedly knows absolutely nothing about the business that Mike is involved with, and the company she supposedly heads). That would verge on fraud, on the party of Mike and/or Heather.

So this woman who had, according to your report, collected body parts and put them in a box in her house (rather than giving them to authorities), who may have defrauded the federal government, and who is relaying third party thoughts to you is the one who should be believed at face value???

While you, Heather and Randy may, as you say "have a different view of reality than Larisa", it's just odd that you wouldn't bother to check that reality -- with Larisa or someone else at RAW STORY at the very least -- before relaying the information in a public story. You further go on to smear her "crowd". Huh?

As mentioned, I'm far more troubled by the revelations from your note than I was by your story originally. Such that your comments to Mark reveal an extraordinary lack of journalistic ethics (101 stuff), and such that you seem to have ignored the apparent admissions of fraud (and other very strange, if not illegal behavior by Heather) in your very own story, I'm now moved to ask: What is your relationship to Heather Connell, Randy Cole, Mike Connell or anybody else on "that side" of the story? Do you have one? I hope not, because I'd presume you would have disclosed such a relationship in the story itself, but after your note, I must admit, I'm no longer certain.

Finally, due to the troubling nature of the questions raised above, I'm also CC'ing this to the eds at Cleveland Scene because I think they should be apprised of this entire affair, in case they wish to take action, by way of due diligence, concerning any of the above -- particularly the last point, about a prior relationship to Connell, Cole or the others involved in this story. I do so not by way of accusation, but out of an abundance of caution, just in case my speculation in that regard may -- in anyway -- be accurate.

Again, thank you for the work you did do on this story. And I hope you'll take all measure to speak to the questions that have been raised since it's publication.

Best,
Brad

---
Brad Friedman
Publisher/Editor, The BRAD BLOG
http://www.BradBlog.com


An Ohioan's email to Cleveland Scene

To the Editor:

Instead of journalistic documentation, Mr. Renner chose to malign Ms.
Alexandrovna's character and honesty in words reeking of Karl Rove.
No surprise, as Connell's story leads directly back to Rove. At the
expense of Renner's own integrity, his slanderous attack leaves us
with further questions about cover-up.

Funny, these days I find internet reporters to be the true
investigative journalists, and that certainly goes for Larisa
Alexandrovna.

Marji Mendelsohn
Cincinnati, Ohio


Jason Leopold on the restraining order

From Jason Leopold:

Mark,

People reading the James Renner story should know that his claim
about the Connells or Heather Connell contemplating a restraining
order against Larisa is complete BS. A restraining order is not
something that a person is simply given because they request one from
a judge. You have to supply evidence and there is a hearing, etc.

More importantly, Larisa is a journalist and you would be hard
pressed to find a judge granting a restraining order against the
member of the media. She not only has a right to ask Heather Connell
questions she has a duty to if she is doing so in the course of her
reporting. Unless Larisa tried to break into this woman's house there
is no way a restraining order would be granted. Even if Larisa called
the woman 100 times a day to try and get a quote from her a
restraining order would not be granted because she is acting as a
member of the media and is simply trying to obtain information.
Additionally, she enjoys many constitutional protections as a member
of the media that the average person would not enjoy if they acted
similarly.

James Renner knows this. He has reported on unsolved murders and has
written two books on unsolved murders in his state and knows full
well what it takes to pursue sources and quotes and he knows one must
be aggressive in doing so to obtain info. That he included the
restraining order aspect in his story was a way for him to try and
show Larisa as being unhinged, unstable, etc., while she was pursuing
the story. But he knows it's bulllshit and I guarantee you if you or
anyone else contact the Connells' attorney they will discover that no
filing was ever going to be made, no paperwork was ever drawn up.

Personally, I think he made Larisa come across like an agressive,
tenacious reporter.

Best
Jason


Another letter to Cleveland Scene

To the Editor:

James Renner's response to Mark Crispin Miller's article on the Mike
and Heather Connell
story makes me think fondly of my days in Washington DC.

It's what's called a "non-denial denial." Slandering another person's
character with no evidence
is a classic version, used by people who haven't got a real case in
their own defense

Contrary to its intent, Renner's letter clearly underlines everything
Mr. Miller wrote.

Sincerely,
Anne Paxton

12514 42nd Ave. NE
Seattle, WA 98125


David Earnhardt's email to Cleveland Scene

To the Editors:

James Renner's attack on investigative reporter Larisa Alexandrovna in the Mike Connell article was completely unfair - especially since he never even contacted her for her side of the story. I would encourage you to read the many impressive and thorough stories Ms. Alexandrovna has written on the Connell story, as well as the Don Siegelman story and many other important matters she has investigated. As you read her work, you will see her journalistic standards and the measured approach in her writing. I have always found that she approaches her work with the highest of journalistic standards - and Mr. Renner simply did not exhibit the same standards in his work by refusing to even call her for her perspective on her meeting with Ms. Connell.

Please insist that Mr. Renner or another reporter interview her and include her perspective on Mr. Renner's incomplete story in the coming week's edition of your paper. Thank you.

David Earnhardt
Producer/director/writer, "Uncounted: The New MAth of American Elections"
www.UncountedTheMovie.com

Earnhardt Pirkle, Inc.
2123 8th Avenue South
Nashville, Tennessee 37204
david@ep-video.com




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lala_rawraw Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-09 07:32 PM
Response to Reply #83
84. thank you, everyone
thank you
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merh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-09 08:23 PM
Response to Reply #84
87. we thank you
thank you for keeping the light of truth shining
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lala_rawraw Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-09 08:32 PM
Response to Reply #87
89. no, after you...
:)
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merh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-09 08:43 PM
Response to Reply #89
92. .
:hug:
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Ellipsis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-09 08:34 PM
Response to Reply #87
90. .
Edited on Sun Jan-25-09 08:38 PM by Ellipsis


Evenin'
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merh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-09 08:41 PM
Response to Reply #90
91. .
:hug:
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chill_wind Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-09 09:24 PM
Response to Reply #83
97. Thanks for that update, Hissyspit. It is gratifying to see wider-spread reaction
Edited on Sun Jan-25-09 09:37 PM by chill_wind
to what passes (disturbingly) as acceptable journalistic standards at The Cleveland Scene.

And thank you to Larisa. May the truth continue to unravel and to prevail.
We the people need to know.
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