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Hate to say it but let's see if the emails really turn up.

On C-Span weekend BookTV, not too long ago, author Craig Unger described a similar situation:


Quick Summary:

In violation of Federal Law, which requires that elected representatives conducting official business must
have all their correspondence and transcripts available to the public, Karl Rove had a secret deal with a
Nashville, TN company called Smart Tech. When Bush administration officials were subpoena'd following
the Valerie Plame and Fired Attorney General's scandals, it was discovered that email records germane
and pertinent to those cases had gone through Smart Tech web servers. Not through the same servers
that other elected representatives used. So they were simply, "unavailable." Deniability is right at the top
of Rove's game plan, according to Unger. So if there are problems or leaks or anything gets out that might
bite them in the ass, they don't have to do a lot of messy, open back-tracking.

Even when they have to take extreme measures:


...The SmartTech servers at one point housed Karl Rove's emails. Some of Rove's email files have since mysteriously disappeared despite repeated court-sanctioned attempts to review them.

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

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

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

Until his death Connell remained the IT supervisor....

If you go to the BookTV link, Unger says something like -- 'server traffic increased dramatically -- over 700 percent' and it stayed at that high level.... For as long as it took to flip all those votes.

So the outline of the foot print is still there -----> the record of how much bandwidth was needed to accomplish that task. But there is no imprint of the actual foot. Let alone any toe prints, or identifying or distinguishing marks that could be used to find the individuals responsible.

The bottom line is at the end of the article.

It's one more reason to suspect (as Harry Reid speculated), that on balance, over the last ten years,
Romney may have had ZERO tax liability. He's released incomplete returns for a very small part of
that decade. But using strategies likes this, it's a way to pay a nominal amount to the Mormon church,
and significantly reduce tax liability.

The article quotes Harry Reid:

“For all we know Mitt Romney could be one of those who have paid no federal income tax. Thousands of families making more than a million dollars per year pay nothing in federal income tax,” the Nevada Democrat observed. “Is Mitt Romney among those? We’ll never know because he refuses to release his tax returns.”

“We know that Mitt Romney pays a lower tax rate than middle-class families, thanks to a number of things he’s done: Swiss bank accounts, Cayman Islands tax shelters. And we can only imagine what new secrets would be revealed if he showed the American people a dozen years of tax returns like his dad did.”

Reid noted that most of “those people” who Romney talked about “are not avoiding their tax bills using Cayman Islands tax shelters or Swiss Bank accounts like Mitt Romney. Millions of the 47 percent are seniors on Social Security, who don’t have Bain Capital retirement funds or inherited stock to fall back on.”

Also, I'm not following when you say, "...you get no present-day tax write-off because you can't touch the cash."

That's not the point. Churches are not liable for capital gains taxes, so you do get that write-off. Your investment grows tax deferred, and it dribbles back to you in manageable chunks.

At least that's how I read the Bloomberg report.

That sounds familiar.

They weren't recruited by attorneys and it wasn't about redistricting, but I remember something kinda similar when there were "Pay Day Loan" (reform) bills in the legislature. To try and put a cap on 500 and 600% annual percentage rates being charged. Those least able to repay were the ones to whom those 'services' were marketed. So open hearings were held on the North Side of Milwaukee (Washington Park Senior Center) and the South Side (West Allis City Hall.) The PR people for the loan sharks had a posse of po' 'n black folks steppin' up to the mic at both locations. Saying that they 'appreciated the opportunity' to pay those high interest rates, because they really needed the money.

I talked to one of them, later, outside the hearing room. What she told me sounded a little unusual, but she had looked like their best witness to me, so I wonder if she had received special attention. She had gotten some kind of start up loan to get a HEPA vacuum and was working on getting certification to be able to do (government-mandated?) or (agency-approved?) clean up. Which paid the sub-contractor a very BIG dollar-per-hour rate. Pay Day Loans, which normally are repaid in two or three weeks, and Small Business start up loans are totally different things, but there she was, telling the crowd what a wonderful service the Lenders were providing. Some of the other folks there looked like they were testifying in exchange for less convoluted quid pro quo's. (Coupons for free pizza, 6-packs of Coke and Chee-Zee Bread, maybe.) They definitely didn't look like they were regular attendee's of public hearings, but they all really looked like they could use a buck.

Similar things happen when there are "minority participation" mandates for hiring, for some kinds of public construction jobs. The projects are Mega-million dollar bonanza's for the same big bidders that always get big contracts. But they take the time to hire small electrical sub-contractors to put the face-plates on electrical panels, when everything else is done. They pay them a few thousand bucks for the opportunity to make sure they have black faces available for photo-opportunities, when they're needed. On the front end of those same jobs, before anything's even begun, they'll hire some ex-felons for a few hours to push brooms or wheel barrows around. They'll keep their names on file as steady workers on those projects, even though they only end up working a few hours, or days.....

J-S article from the time, about Pay-Day Loan reform


"....Some lawmakers said they didn't see a reason for the Legislature to regulate the industry, saying people should be able to make their own financial decisions, even if they make poor choices.

"Why is it the government's job to protect people from themselves?" said Rep. Joel Kleefisch (R-Oconomowoc)....

.....The chairman of the Financial Institutions Committee, Rep. Jason Fields (D-Milwaukee), said he hasn't seen a need for the rate cap and that the committee is unlikely to pass a cap because of a lack of support from Sheridan and the Senate.......

Fields said he has concerns about creating a database because other state computer systems have had security breaches.

"We haven't been the most successful at keeping people's private information private," Fields said.

We didn't win that one, but Jason Fields is no longer representing that Assembly district. Mandela Barnes (keep an eye on him) wore out his shoes going door to door and with next to no money, won the race going away.

Edit Afterthought:

How many years has it been? Why don't people get it? Anatole France quote from the late 19th Century:

La majestueuse égalité des lois, qui interdit au riche comme au pauvre de coucher sous les ponts, de mendier dans les rues et de voler du pain.

The law, in its majestic equality, forbids the rich as well as the poor to sleep under bridges, to beg in the streets, and to steal bread.

Le Lys Rouge [The Red Lily] (1894), ch. 7

Variant: How noble the law, in its majestic equality, that both the rich and poor are equally prohibited from peeing in the streets, sleeping under bridges, and stealing bread!
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