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seafan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 09:52 AM
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Congressman Bob Ney's downfall had Broward connections
Congressman's downfall had Broward connections

October 12, 2006

Congressman Bob Ney's guilty plea in a bribery conspiracy scheme last month stemmed in part from his dealings with a Broward ex-convict who did prison time for swindling Elvis Presley, and later worked as a paid mob snitch for the FBI.
Nigel Winfield, 69, of Plantation, is an airplane broker, former fixed-based operator at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport and three-time felon.
In February 2003, Winfield played host to the Ohio Republican during a luxurious, three-day casino junket to London paid for by FN Aviation Systems, an aircraft sales and leasing company. Winfield and his partner, a Syrian named Fouad al-Zayat, owned the company.

The trip was arranged after Winfield and al-Zayat were introduced to Ney by two lobbyists, including a former staff aide to President Bush. FN Aviation hired those lobbyists because it wanted to sell airplanes and airplane parts to Iran, and hoped Ney could help get around a U.S. embargo on such sales. Ney agreed to help after accepting thousands of dollars in free gambling chips from al-Zayat, according to court records filed when Ney's guilty plea was announced.

Today, the London trip is part of a grab bag of corruption that Ney admits put his office up for sale. Another buyer: fallen super-lobbyist Jack Abramoff. Prosecutors have said Abramoff plied Ney with free meals, tickets, campaign contributions and a golf vacation in Scotland in exchange for Ney's influence on Capitol Hill and with federal officials like then-Housing Secretary Mel Martinez, who's now a U.S. senator.
But long before Winfield was hosting Ney, documents obtained by The Miami Herald show that he was providing the FBI with ''extensive information'' about mobsters, drug suspects, terrorists, and international arms traffickers.


NBC News and Newsweek previously named both men. Newsweek also reported that after Ney's trip, he approached then-Secretary of State Colin Powell seeking an exemption that would allow FN Aviation to do business with Iran. The deal never happened, though, and Winfield and al-Zayat soon ended their partnership.
Washington lobbyist Roy Coffee, the ex-Bush aide who with ex-Ney chief of the David DiStefano was hired to lobby the House by Winfield and al-Zayat in 2003, would not talk about his former clients. But Coffee did release a statement saying the London trip ``was a legal and proper trip to discuss . . . a legitimate and legal humanitarian exemption for commercial aircraft and parts.''


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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 10:42 AM
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seafan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 11:28 AM
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2. Winfield ties back to Broward Co, FL, Abramoff's stomping ground.
So we have a tangled story involving South Florida, gambling, sale of military parts to Iran, arms dealing, ties to Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan.

Somehow, Jack Abramoff is lurking in the shadows, just out of focus.

And now we learn that Winfield was an FBI snitch for decades.

Great link, thanks.

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Qutzupalotl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 01:53 PM
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3. Here's an earlier story with further info:

His direct connection to the HAVA Election Reform bill passed in the wake of the 2000 Florida Election Debacle, and his various extraordinary efforts to specifically block amendments to the bill and to smokescreen attempted investigations into his home state's conduct during the 2004 Election Debacle, has been less widely reported. Until now.

While Common Cause quietly reported in December of 2004 that Diebold the much-beleagured-of-late American Voting Machine company paid as much as $275,000 to Abramoff's firm, Greenberg Traurig for lobbying work, The BRAD BLOG has now found additional details that begin to shed new light on Ney's personal connections to Diebold lobbyists.

Such personal connections include those with Ney's former chief of staff turned lobbyist, David DiStefano, who has been working on behalf of Diebold, Inc. and at least one other Voting Machine Company as a registered lobbyist in the House going back to at least 2001. One of DiStefano's online bios crows about his having "an insider's edge to hard-to-reach political officials." That "insider's edge" has proven to have been a very worthwhile investment for the Voting Machine Companies who'd purchased access into Ney's political office.

Congressional lobbying records reveal that Diebold, Inc. has paid at least $180,000 to DiStefano and eventually his partner, Roy C. Coffee, to lobby for the "Help America Vote Act" and other "Election Reform Issues" in Congress since 2003. Another Electronic Voting Machine Company, AccuPoll, Inc., also paid DiStefano some $70,000 to lobby for HAVA on their behalf in 2002, although that relationship was apparently terminated once the legislation was passed by Congress.
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seafan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 07:43 PM
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4. It all leads back here to Florida. It never varies much from that theme.
This is the scene of the Crime of 2000. And we are all still paying dearly.

Thanks for that link.
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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-13-06 02:34 AM
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5. I hope the keep on this story. It ALL should come out, all of it.
Whatever the reason, South Florida has been a big attraction for politicians and other criminals for decades.

Now it seems a lot of contemporary Republican politicians are connected to Florida, as well. What could be more obnoxious than Ohio politicians with criminal ties to Florida, and both Florida and Ohio being the places many of us lost our hopes of trustworthy elections as they died a grisly death in the Bush years.

Who can forget Richard Nixon's getaway home in Key Biscayne, which he improved on U.S. taxpayers' dime, and his bestest friend, Cuban immigrant, crook, Bebe Rebozo?

Rebozo and Nixon
Rebozo short study:

Who isn't aware that the Bushes have been tangled up in Florida going back many, many decades?

What is it about Florida which is irresistable to loathesome, slimey, dirty right-wing politicians?
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seafan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-13-06 08:38 AM
Response to Reply #5
6. Keep bustin' these rocks until we rip out the mother lode of corruption.
What is it about Florida which is irresistible to loathesome, slimey, dirty right-wing politicians?

As long as we are in the death grip of right-wing corruption in this state and nationally, it won't get any better.

And, I suppose, criminals like good weather too.
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