Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Knox County Commissioners Take Coonrod To Task: What Are We Paying You For?

Carmel Mayor James Brainard's high-paid financial adviser Curt Coonrod has more problems than being duct-taped to a chair and robbed by a woman he was financially supporting and her boyfriend. Knox County Commissioners had some tough questions of Coonrod about a $24,000 bill he submitted to the county for services. The invoice provided little detail about the work Coonrod had performed earlier this year, and some commissioners were concerned of a lack of work product to show for his work. The Vincennes Sun- Commercial reports on the county commissioners' refusal to pay Coonrod's bill at its meeting last week until he can produce a more detailed account of the work he performed.
Most of the items on the invoice, commissioner Larry Holscher explained, were from the beginning of February to the beginning of March, with one exception from January.
“It would be safe to say that $20,000 of this was within that three or four week period,” Holscher said. “But what results came from this, where are the reports?”
The $24,000 claim was detailed with items like “miscellaneous” and “project,” and that’s just not acceptable, said Holscher.

“Who specifically asked you to do the items on this invoice,” Holscher asked. “What is this for, and who gave you the direction to move forward with that?” . . .

“We need more details. Once you can provide us with what exactly was done during this month of billing, then we’ll pay this bill,” Holscher said. “Can we agree to that, is that fair?”

“Well of course not,” Coonrod said. “I would have been happy to prepare it like that initially, but I did what I was told, and I don’t remember ever being asked to specifically provide a report.”

Commission president Rowe Sargent said several years ago Coonrod had indeed been told by the former administration to provide written financial reports, something Sargent said has never seen.

“We did specifically ask you for a detailed financial report to be sent to us,” he said. “I’ve never seen a report like that come our direction.”

Usually, Coonrod said, the contacts are so brief, and through mobile methods, like phone calls or e-mails, a report would take more time to construct — and cost the county more money than — the answer to the initial question.

“I don’t do reports,” Coonrod said. “We do very few reports, I don’t know the last time we sent a report out.”

“Are you telling me you’re not generating anything out of this $24,000,” Holscher said. “How do we justify what’s going here?”
Okay, so this guy is getting paid $125,000 a year to advise the city of Carmel. He sends a bill to Knox County for $24,000 for essentially one-month's worth of work. He has no work product to show for his work and he says that's how he's been conducting business with the county for years. For the life of me, I don't understand how this sort of thing happens. I find it hard to believe that he performed that much work for Knox County at the same time he's billing the City of Carmel at the rates he's billing them. This is how taxpayer dollars get pissed away. If this guy is submitting invoices this large without any work product and writing stuff like "miscellaneous" on the invoices, something just doesn't add up. Where's the State Board of Accounts? If he's billing counties and municipalities like this all over the state, someone at the State Board of Accounts should be asking local officials for documentation of the work he's performed.

Hat tip to the regular reader who forwarded this story.

Monday, April 29, 2013

CIA Delivering Tens Of Millions Of Dollars In Cash To Afghanistan's Karzai

This is precisely why I have lost all confidence in the ability of our U.S. government to implement foreign policies that are in the best interests of the American people. The New York Times reports that the CIA has been delivering tens of millions of dollars in cash to its handpicked, corrupt leader of Afghanistan, President Hamid Karzai for more than a decade now to buy influence with him after dumping a trillion dollars into the hell hole of a country and bringing harm to the tens of thousands of American soldiers who have either been killed or permanently injured, mentally and physically, as a result of war that has achieved not one single benefit for the American people.
For more than a decade, wads of American dollars packed into suitcases, backpacks and, on occasion, plastic shopping bags have been dropped off every month or so at the offices of Afghanistan’s president — courtesy of the Central Intelligence Agency.       
All told, tens of millions of dollars have flowed from the C.I.A. to the office of President Hamid Karzai, according to current and former advisers to the Afghan leader.
“We called it ‘ghost money,’ ” said Khalil Roman, who served as Mr. Karzai’s deputy chief of staff from 2002 until 2005. “It came in secret, and it left in secret.”
The C.I.A., which declined to comment for this article, has long been known to support some relatives and close aides of Mr. Karzai. But the new accounts of off-the-books cash delivered directly to his office show payments on a vaster scale, and with a far greater impact on everyday governing.
Moreover, there is little evidence that the payments bought the influence the C.I.A. sought. Instead, some American officials said, the cash has fueled corruption and empowered warlords, undermining Washington’s exit strategy from Afghanistan.
“The biggest source of corruption in Afghanistan,” one American official said, “was the United States.” . . .  
It is not clear that the United States is getting what it pays for. Mr. Karzai’s willingness to defy the United States — and the Iranians, for that matter — on an array of issues seems to have only grown as the cash has piled up. Instead of securing his good graces, the payments may well illustrate the opposite: Mr. Karzai is seemingly unable to be bought.  
Over Iran’s objections, he signed a strategic partnership deal with the United States last year, directly leading the Iranians to halt their payments, two senior Afghan officials said. Now, Mr. Karzai is seeking control over the Afghan militias raised by the C.I.A. to target operatives of Al Qaeda and insurgent commanders, potentially upending a critical part of the Obama administration’s plans for fighting militants as conventional military forces pull back this year. 
But the C.I.A. has continued to pay, believing it needs Mr. Karzai’s ear to run its clandestine war against Al Qaeda and its allies, according to American and Afghan officials.
The U.S. is not even getting the spoils of the vast natural resources in Afghanistan. The first oil contract Afghanistan signed with another country was with China and that came after it had already inked a deal with the Chinese to mine the country's copper resources. The Chinese were not required to sacrifice one life or provide one dollar of aid to help bring the corrupt Karzai government to power. Afghanistan's largest cash crop, heroin, has risen more than 60% since the American puppet regime was installed. Our own CIA is believed to be involved in the opium production in Afghanistan, if not protecting it. Proceeds from the illegal drug come in handy to finance black budget projects that are protected under our country's national security laws.

The American people have no idea the extent of the harm the people we've entrusted to make our foreign policy and national security decisions are bringing to our country. Most of our national security problems are the direct consequence of their improvident, if not illegal actions. So many people in other countries hate us and direct their anger at the American people and our country because of these very actions. Yet our elected officials like Sen. Dan Coats, who sits on the Senate Intelligence Committee, will always make excuses for their insane policies and assure us that they are acting in our country's best interests. Respected law professor Jonathan Turley sums it up quite well:
The cash deliveries to Karzai were viewed as necessary to keep access to him as if the thousands of killed and wounded Americans (and hundreds of billions in aid) was not enough to keep the door open.
Because no one (including Obama) wants to be blamed for the disaster in Afghanistan, we continue to pour billions into the country and sacrifice military personnel to prop up this corrupt government and maintain a country that is increasingly denying basic rights to women and religious minorities. The bags of cash however truly sum out the lunacy of American policy in Afghanistan.

$100 Million Bailout Legislation Allows Hulman-George Family To Sell IMS

The taxpayers of Indiana get to finance $100 million in new improvements to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway owned exclusively by members of the Hulman-George family. If the family decides it wants to sell the IMS at any time in the future based on a substantially higher market value thanks to the gift from Indiana taxpayers, it is permitted to do so and the new owners can receive the benefit of the generous gift unless a five-member commission made up of appointees of the Governor decides there is not good cause for the sale of the IMS. Last-minute changes to the bailout legislation approved by the General Assembly removed a provision in the House-passed version that would have barred a sale of the IMS as a condition to the granting of the $100 million gift; otherwise, the IMS owners would be compelled to repay the "loan."

Don't believe the news reports that call it a loan. Remember the CIB called the $43.5 million it gave to billionaire Herb Simon's Indiana Pacers a loan. They count on the sheeple being too stupid to figure out that a transfer of money from one entity to another without any real obligation to repay is a gift, not a loan. Assuming Gov. Mike Pence signs this horrible piece of legislation into law, I have no faith that anyone who represents real taxpayers will be appointed to sit on the 5-member commission. Look at the members of the Indiana Stadium and Convention Building Authority. It includes corporate executives from Wellpoint, Eli Lilly, Cummins, former Lt. Governor John Mutz and Barnes & Thornburg lobbyist Joe Loftus. It's a political cronies dream made in heaven. The Indiana Motorsports Commission will be no different. Only people handpicked by lobbyists for the Hulman-George family will get to serve on the Commission.

So This Is The Kind Of Development The Mid-Town TIF Is Helping?

Remember all the sob stories about how badly the mid-town TIF was needed to bring development to areas of Indianapolis' northside that are supposedly struggling with redevelopment of struggling neighborhoods? The first beneficiary of that new TIF district may be an $18 million development project in Broad Ripple that includes a Whole Foods store, which is being proposed by the politically-connected Browning Investments firm. The proposed site is located within a block of the city-financed Broad Ripple mixed use/parking garage development near the village's busiest intersection. A petition drive to block $5 million in proposed TIF funding for the project has been launched. According to the petition found at the Change.org website, organizers complain that the 5-story, 35,000-square foot Whole Foods, which would be built only 100 yards from The Good Earth store, will have an adverse affect on local retail establishments. The petition questions why $5 million in TIF funds is being used to build another Whole Foods store less than two miles from an existing store. Residents are urged to contact Mayor Greg Ballard and their city-county council member, along with the Broad Ripple Village Association, which is backing the deal, to urge opposition to TIF funding for the project.

City County Council, Mayor Greg Ballard & Broad Ripple Village Association: Stop $5 Million in TIF funds from going to proposed B.R. Development

According to an Indianapolis Star article on the proposed new development last week, the developer is seeking the TIF funds to pay for drainage and sewage improvements at the proposed site. The owner of The Good Earth store expressed his concerns about the city providing economic incentives to a new chain store located so close to his store. That article notes that Sunflower Market closed its store on Broad Ripple Avenue shortly after North Carolina-based Fresh Markets opened up a gourmet grocery store at 54th and College. See, Matt Tully. This is who John Barth was really interested in helping when he fed those sob stories to you about why this mid-town TIF was created.

Why Wasn't David Bisard's Driver's License Suspended?

It's a good question people are asking after Officer David Bisard's latest DUI crash over the weekend. Why did suspended IMPD Officer David Bisard still have a driver's license following his 2010 fatal alcochol collision that caused that death of one motorcyclist and seriously injured two others? The answer lies in the legal wrangling over the original blood draw taken from him following his first accident. The Star's Jon Murray provides this explanation offered by a local DUI attorney of why he still has a driver's license.
“The first case was so poorly investigated and the blood draw was done so inappropriately that the case is still pending” nearly three years later, said John Tompkins, a veteran defense attorney in drunken-driving cases who is not connected to Bisard’s cases. “If it’d been investigated by the normal procedures, the 2010 case would have been over.
“And this offense never would have occurred.”
Indeed, the screw-ups following Bisard’s crash in August 2010 have mounted, starting with a failure by police officers to suspect at the accident scene that Bisard was under the influence of alcohol.
That led, directly or indirectly, to a judge’s ruling that Bisard could keep his driver's license; dueling decisions by two elected prosecutors over whether to pursue the drunken-driving charges; and a nearly two-year court battle over whether prosecutors could present evidence of a contested blood draw showing Bisard was legally drunk. The Court of Appeals ruled last year that the prosecution could use the blood-test results.
The article doesn't state this point, but a person's driver's license is automatically suspended following a DUI arrest for one year if the person refuses to take a portable breathalyzer test. As Tompkins points out, police didn't ask Bisard to submit to a portable alcohol test at the scene because his fellow officers didn't suspect him of driving drunk. Because there was a fatality, police were required by law to have his blood drawn from testing. A new law that had just recently taken effect over how that blood alcohol test can be administered was not followed by police in the first case, which led to the screw-up in that case. The Marion Co. Prosecutor's Office, meanwhile, will seek a court order requesting that Bisard's bond be revoked allowing him to remain free while he awaits trial on charges still stemming from the 2010 case when he is formally charged on his latest arrest over the weekend following a crash where his blood alcohol level was found to be more than twice the legal limit.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Dan Coats Has No Intention Of Getting To The Bottom Of Boston Marathon Bombing

If you are so inclined, listen to this milquetoast discussion Sen. Dan Coats had with CNN's Candy Crowley today on the Boston Marathon bombings. Last week, he claimed he wanted to "get to the bottom" of what happened in Boston. Nope, he's only interested in figuring out more ways to spend money on beefing up our national security and suspending our constitutional rights, which is the whole reason why these "events" happen. As long as he can find an excuse for feeding more money to the military-industrial complex, that's all he's concerned about. He certainly doesn't care about Americans' civil liberties despite having a law degree. You will learn more about what happened in Boston reading this blog than anything you will ever hear coming out of Sen. Coats' mouth. It really bothers Sen. Coats that Hoosiers are learning details about the bombing that he doesn't want them to learn by reading this blog. Coats and his colleagues are in full cover-up mode. We have no intention of letting them get by with it again as they've done repeatedly in the past.

Ex-CIA Official Fuller: Astonished To Find Himself Two Degrees Of Separation From Accused Bombers

Graham Fuller, a former top official with the CIA, is publicly denying any connection to the two men accused of carrying out the Boston Marathon bombings other than by happenstance of his daughter's marriage to their uncle. Fuller tells Opposing Views that his daughter was married to the accused bombers' uncle, Ruslan Tsarni, for a few years back in the 1990s and that the couple lived in his home for about a year. He even acknowledges meeting the accused bombers' father at least once in Kazakhstan, but beyond his connection to the family by marriage, any insinuation of his knowledge of the bombers' activities is "absurd."
“Samantha was married to Ruslan Tsarnaev (Tsarni) for 3-4 years, and they lived in Bishkek for one year where Samantha was working for Price Waterhouse on privatization projects,” said Fuller, who retired from the CIA in 1987. “They also lived in our house in [Maryland] for a year or so and they were divorced in 1999, I believe.”
He described Ruslan as an interesting son-in-law, but said he was homesick and moved back to Central Asia after the couple divorced.
“Like all Chechens, Ruslan was very concerned about his native land, but I saw no particular involvement in politics, [although] he did try to contact other Chechens around,” Fuller said. “He also felt homesick and eventually went back to Central Asia after the divorce. His English was shaky. (We always spoke Russian together).”
Fuller said he thinks he met father of the suspects, Aznor Tsarnaev, once in Kazakhstan, but he admitted his daughter knew the family better.
Of the Boston bombing, Fuller said: “I for one was astonished at the events, and to find myself at two degrees of separation from them.”
“I doubt [Ruslan] even had much to say of intelligence value other than talking about his own family’s sad tale of deportation from Chechnya by Stalin to Central Asia,” Fuller noted. “Every Chechen family has such stories.” Josef Stalin deported all Chechen men, women, and children from the Caucasus to Central Asia in February 1944.
The Opposing View's story notes that Fuller was a former CIA officer in Turkey and Vice-Chairman of the National Intelligence Council under former President Ronald Reagan before he retired from the CIA in 1987. His career in the CIA lasted 27 years before he joined the Rand Corporation according to Wikipedia. He also served as the CIA's station chief in Kabul, Afghanistan. Fuller is credited with authoring a "think-piece" while at the CIA which led to the Iran-Contra affair during the Reagan administration under which arms were illegally sold to Iran in exchange for the release of hostages and the proceeds of the arms were diverted to fund the Contra rebels seeking to overthrow the Sandinista regime in Nicaragua.

A former FBI translator/whistle blower, Sibel Edmonds, quickly pointed out that Fuller is on her rogue gallery of persons she learned that were under investigation by the FBI while she was employed there, which included former congressmen, including former House Speaker Dennis Hastert and U.S. Rep. Dan Burton, who she accused of taking bribes from Turkish authorities. She claims the Justice Department prevented persons like Fuller from being prosecuted for breaking U.S. law under a little-used State Secrets exemption. Former Attorney General John Ashcroft took her case all the way up to the U.S. Supreme Court to prevent her from pursuing her whistle blower case under the State Secrets exemption. Edmonds says she presented Fuller as one of the "top culprits in [her] State Secrets Privilege Case" for what she described as "CIA-NATO terror operations in Central Asia and Caucusus since the mid-1990s. Interestingly, Tsarni started working for USAID in the mid-1990s. Edmonds complains that "not a single media outlet . . . was willing to touch this." See this interview of Edmonds uploaded to YouTube discussing Fuller and the Tsarnaev brothers.

FBI Charging Affidavit Against Tsarnaev Contains Factual Error

The Obama-loving Talking Points Memo, which once faulted everything the FBI and the federal government did in its War On Terror until Barack Obama became president, acknowledges that "even the FBI is not immune to swirl of bad info in Tsarnaev case." The fact that TPM says a federal charging affidavit against Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev made by the FBI's chief investigator got wrong was the location of where it claims the two brothers carjacked a Chinese national and his Mercedes SUV. The affidavit says the carjacking took place in Cambridge. The suspect told the Boston Globe he was carjacked in Boston, a minor point TPM says and is not one of consequence.

The error is blamed on language barriers in reference to the victim's Chinese nationality. Yet TPM doesn't challenge law enforcement's reliance on his suggestion that the suspects planned to head to New York to commit their next terrorist attack, even though he couldn't understand everything they said because the two suspects spoke in Russian part of the time during his ordeal, laying aside his English language barrier. Here's how TPM describes the factual error in the FBI affidavit:
In the days since law enforcement agents apprehended the surviving suspect in the Boston Marathon bombing last Friday, officials and news reports have been clarifying and correcting the record on a number of points, large and small, related to the attack and the ensuing search for the suspects.
Some misinformation, such as individuals wrongly identified by media outlets as suspects or persons of interest in the case, was easy enough to sort out. (Even if the emotional impact on wrongly-fingered individuals can’t be undone.) Other aspects of the case, like the alleged actions of the Tsarnaev brothers on Thursday night and early Friday morning last week, have proved harder to pin down.
And it turns out even the federal investigators most closely involved in the case were caught in the early swirl of bad or incomplete information: an affidavit written by a FBI agent in support of the initial charges filed against Dzhokhar Tsarnaev now appears to contain a factual error about the events of Thursday night.
“Near midnight on April 18, 2013, an individual carjacked a vehicle at gunpoint in Cambridge, Massachusetts,” Daniel Genck, an FBI special agent in Boston, wrote in the affidavit filed on Monday in federal court in conjunction with the compliant against Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.
It’s a minor point, but it now appears the carjacking occurred in Boston, not across the Charles River in Cambridge. The carjacking victim said so in an interview with the Boston Globe, which published a story on Thursday based on the victim’s harrowing tale. And the Cambridge Police department confirmed as much to TPM.
“The Cambridge Police Department has always maintained that [the carjacking] occurred on Brighton Ave. in Boston,” Dan Riviello, a spokesperson for the Cambridge Police Department, told TPM on Friday.
According to Riviello, a statement published on the department’s website last Friday, which said the carjacking occurred in Cambridge, was actually drafted by the Middlesex County District Attorney’s Office. The statement was later edited to remove a reference to the incident having occurred on Third Street in Cambridge, Riviello said. (Told by TPM that, as of Friday afternoon, the statement still referred to an “armed carjacking in Cambridge,” Riviello said that should probably be edited as well.) 
“From the start there was a little bit of confusion because there was a language barrier,” Riviello said, in apparent reference to the victim of the carjacking, a 26-year-old Chinese national whom the Globe identified only by his American nickname, Danny. Riviello said the confusion might have been a mix-up based on the victim’s home address. According to the Globe, Danny lives in Cambridge.
The Cambridge/Boston mistake speaks to just how pervasive bad information can be. But the discrepancy should not have any effect on the case against Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. According to Ronald Sullivan, the director of the Criminal Justice Institute at Harvard Law School, the slip up will have “absolutely no impact on the affidavit or on the validity of a subsequent indictment.”
“A fact of that nature, or a misstatement of that nature, is not consequential for the purposes of the affidavit,” Sullivan told TPM on Friday. “Boston and Cambridge sit right next to each other. That’s something that, even if an indictment listed Cambridge instead of Boston, that could be cured by what’s called a superseding indictment.”
The location and time of the carjacking is critical, however, to whether the two suspects could be placed at the scene in Cambridge where they allegedly shot and killed an MIT police office. Earlier news reports based on law enforcement accounts claimed the MIT police shooting was reported at 10:30 p.m. and the armed carjacking took place near the police shooting moments later. As CBS News reported:
  • 10:30 p.m. Thursday: An MIT campus police officer was found shot in his vehicle in the area of Vassar and Main Streets. According to authorities, the officer was found with multiple gunshot wounds. He was transported to Massachusetts General Hospital and pronounced dead.
  • Moments later, police received reports of an armed carjacking by two males in the area of Third Street in Cambridge. The victim was carjacked at gunpoint by two males and was kept in the car with the suspects for approximately a half hour. The victim was released at a gas station on Memorial Drive in Cambridge. He was not injured.
  • Authorities said the suspects threw explosives from the car as police followed it into Watertown, just west of Cambridge. The suspects and police exchanged gunfire, and one of the suspects was critically injured. A transit police officer is seriously injured.
  • 1 a.m. Friday: Gunshots and explosions are heard in Watertown. Dozens of police officers and FBI agents converge on a Watertown neighborhood. A helicopter circles overhead.
The FBI affidavit places the timing of the carjacking almost 90 minutes later than earlier reported. As the Boston Globe reported, the carjacking victim's ordeal lasted "a harrowing 75 minutes." Yet the police stop in Watertown where the shootout between the suspects and the police occurred began about 12:42 a.m. according to the Boston Globe based on police radio dispatch accounts. By 12:51 a.m., one police officer was down, along with the suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev, and Dzhokhar had fled in the carjacking victim's SUV from the scene of the shooutout. The Boston Globe account says the carjacking victim pulled his SUV over to respond to a text message, but that he had noticed a lot of police cars presumably rushing to the shooting scene as he passed by the MIT campus before crossing the river into Boston where he says he was carjacked.
It was a cool spring night, and a 26-year-old entrepreneur from Cambridge had picked the perfect way to unwind: take his new $50,000 Mercedes-Benz out for a spin.
As he drove his spacious 2013 black SUV toward Boston, the man — a Chinese immigrant who asked to be identified only by his American nickname, Danny — noticed a swarm of police cars with flashing blue lights near the MIT campus.
After a short drive across the river, Danny, who earned a master’s degree from Northeastern University last year and is trained as an engineer, pulled his car to the curb on Brighton Avenue to answer a text message.
Suddenly, an old sedan swerved behind him and slammed to a stop. A thin young man in dark clothes got out, approached the passenger window, and rapped on the glass. Danny lowered the window.
The man reached an arm through, unlocked the door, climbed in, and pointed a handgun . . .
What followed was a harrowing 75 minutes during which 26-year-old Tamerlan Tsarnaev — soon joined in the car by his brother Dzhokhar — forced Danny on a circuitous journey through Brighton, Watertown, and back to Cambridge.

It was around 12:15, an hour and a half since he was abducted. Danny realized it was a critical moment: The doors were unlocked. Dzhokhar was in the store. The gun was tucked in the driver’s side door. And Tamerlan was distracted, struggling with the GPS device he had brought with him on the carjacking.
“I was thinking I must do two things: unfasten my seatbelt and open the door and jump out as quick as I can. If I didn’t make it, he would kill me right out, he would kill me right away,” Danny said . . .
At 12:42 a.m., Watertown’s dispatcher warned: “Okay, the vehicle is now in Watertown, units, in the area of 89 Dexter,” part of a slumbering neighborhood of tidy houses and duplexes whose residents proudly decorate their homes with flower boxes. A lot of Watertown was like that — a small town where many of the police officers never fired their guns outside of the practice range.
“I’m right behind that vehicle,” Reynolds replied.
The patrol supervisor, Sergeant John MacLellan, advised caution. “Don’t stop the car until I get there,’’ he told Reynolds, according to Watertown Police Captain Raymond Dupuis. “Wait for help to come.’’
But there was no time. The SUV took a sudden left turn from Dexter Avenue onto Laurel Street and came to an abrupt stop — right behind a second vehicle, the green Honda Civic that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev had retrieved moments earlier. As Reynolds watched, one brother emerged from each car.
“The suspects get out and start shooting at Joe Reynolds,’’ said Dupuis.
I wouldn't describe the factual error in the FBI's affidavit as an inconsequential error. It's not just the location of where the carjacking supposedly occurred it got wrong. The timing of when it occurred is off by nearly 90 minutes, which causes the entire narrative of accounts to break down. The FBI affidavit places the time at which the suspects stopped at the gas station where the victim made his escape at 12:17 a.m. based on surveillance camera footage taken from the gas station of the suspects. The timeline is way off, and that's a very troubling discrepancy. The carjacking victim simply could not have been with the suspects for nearly 75 minutes if he was carjacked about midnight as the FBI affidavit claims.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

More On The Straubification Of Spokane

I previously told you about the mark former Indianapolis Public Safety Director Frank Straub was already making in his new job as Spokane's police chief. Barely on the job a few months, he caused quite a controversy when he had the long-time police officer, who had acted as the city's police chief on an interim basis while the city chose a new chief, escorted from the building and ordered to undergo psychological evaluation due to concerns Straub supposedly had that he might engage in workplace violence due to dissatisfaction with the new role Straub had assigned him to perform after demoting him.

Not surprisingly, Scott Stephens felt the move by Straub had been carried out by him to destroy his reputation within the department, sort of like the way Straub demoted three high-ranking IMPD officers after blaming them for the David Bisard fiasco knowing full well that none of the three had done anything wrong in the investigation. They simply followed his orders to return to the downtown headquarters to discuss with their chief problems Straub was having with negative press reports about him and how his image might be repaired instead of tending to the more-pressing fatal alcohol crash involving IMPD Officer David Bisard. Stephens sued Straub and the city for defamation and now the city is settling with him for a six-figure sum. Local news reports in Spokane indicate that the city has reached a $190,000 settlement with Stephens. His original lawsuit sought $750,000 in damages.

Feds Scrutinizing Health & Hospital Corporation's Nursing Home Scam

Throughout the debate over the referendum to allow the Marion County Health & Hospital Corporation to issue bonds to construct a new, $750 million hospital without raising a dime in new tax revenues, I repeatedly called attention to the scam the HHC had become involved with its entry into the nursing home business. It's essentially a scheme under which HHC pretends to own and operate nursing homes that are actually owned and operated by a privately-owned nursing home chain, American Senior Communities. Nursing homes "owned" by HHC receive close to 50% higher reimbursement rates from Medicare and Medicaid because the county-owned hospital it operates serves a disproportionate share of indigent and uninsured patients. Its revenues from that nursing home business that HHC is relying upon to pay debt service on the new hospital bonds. What exactly a nursing home in Allen, Tippecanoe or Vanderburgh County has to do with providing health care to the poor in Marion County where the HHC statutory authorization to provide government-funded health care services is limited has been a bit of a mystery to me.

HHC officials scoffed at my criticism of their funding mechanism when I repeatedly raised alarm bells during the debate over the referendum to approve the issuance of the bonds. The IBJ's J.K. Wall is reporting in the latest edition that the feds, no surprise, are starting to scrutinize the HHC's nursing home racket.
In March, the federal agency that oversees the Medicare and Medicaid programs sent out a letter saying it would give additional scrutiny to the programs county-owned hospitals have used to pull in extra nursing home revenue from the federal government.
That scrutiny now affects more hospital around Indiana. Since 2011, Indiana's county-owned hospitals have acquired licenses of 205 nursing homes around the state-many of them from the campuses of their new owners.
In Indianapolis, any changes to nursing home reimbursement would hit Wishard Health Services particularly hard. The county-owned hospital system's 59 nursing homes generated cash flow of $104 million last year--money that is particularly helpful to Wishard as it pays for the $754 million replacement hospital its' building downtown.
Wishard officials say they are not concerned about changes to the program, But they and other hospital executives are monitoring the situation . . .
Not concerned? Hah. They better be. It makes absolutely no sense under the Affordable Care Act, whose purpose is to eliminate the current problem of the uninsured and the disproportionate impact that has on health care providers, like Wishard, which serve this population. If the ACA works as intended, there will be far fewer uninsured patients. Why then would the federal government continue providing disproportionate payments to county-owned hospitals as it has in the past, let alone allow them to pretend to operate nursing homes in order to further scam the system? The ACA calls for $155 billion in cuts to county-owned hospitals like Wishard over the first decade. The IBJ notes that the fiscal cliff deal enacted in January took away another $15 billion and the federal budget sequester will take away another $10 billion. At the same time, Indiana cut Medicaid payments 5% last year. Don't be surprised if you learn some day in the near future that HHC is going to be hiking your property taxes significantly to make up for cuts in federal funding.

Leucadia Front Man Claims Rockport Deal Dead Because Legislation Requires Oversight Of $2.8 Billion Project

The politically-connected company behind a proposed $2.8 coal gasification plant at Rockport say their plans to build the plant are dead if Gov. Mike Pence signs into law legislation requiring further regulatory oversight of the project. Under a one-sided agreement inked with the company by former Gov. Mitch Daniels, Indiana utility companies would be forced to purchase the high-priced gas produced at the plant, which would be passed on to the state's natural gas utility consumers. The Evansville Courier-Press's Eric Bradner has the company's reaction through the eyes of former Gov. Mitch Daniels' old pal Mark Lubbers to the legislation passed last night by lawmakers before they adjourned for the year.
A tough set of oversight measures for the proposed Rockport coal-to-gas plant has won Indiana lawmakers’ approval despite developers’ warnings that the new standards would surely scuttle their $2.8 billion project.
The legislation’s passage in the House and Senate in the wee Saturday morning hours could ease new Republican Gov Mike Pence's path out of the 30-year contract inked two years ago by his predecessor, former Gov. Mitch Daniels.
Though the state’s deal to buy and then resell the Rockport plant’s synthetic natural gas is the subject of a legal battle currently pending before the Indiana Supreme Court, developers said even a victory there could not save the project.
“We would have never spent a dime on this plant if the law passed tonight had been in place,” said Mark Lubbers, the project manager for Indiana Gasification LLC, which is being financed by New York-based Leucadia National Corp . . .
Lubbers said the resulting bill would force the plant through new hurdles that would delay construction by at least two years, and it would put in place the kind of constant regulatory review that developers had sought to avoid.
As a result, he said, the project cannot go forward.
“The legislature has killed 1,500 high-paying jobs and $1 billion of guaranteed consumer savings,” Lubbers said.
“Indiana Gasification invested $20 million in engineering, land acquisition, permitting and regulatory approval in good faith and in reliance on the rule of law. Now, after four years and on the verge of construction, the legislature has changed the law.”
Well boohoo, Mark. So you won't get the multi-million dollar payoff you expected to receive on the backs of utility consumers. Your loss will be the public's gain. Let's hope that Gov. Pence signs this much-needed legislation to help level the playing field from the public's standpoint.

Suspended IMPD Officer Who Caused Fatal DUI Collision Busted For Another DUI

This is simply unreal. Suspended IMPD officer David Bisard, who still awaits trial for his August 2010 collision in his police cruiser with several motorcyclists, which left one of the cyclists dead and two others critically injured, at which time a blood alcohol test revealed he was heavily under the influence of alcohol, has been arrested yet again for driving while intoxicated following a crash this afternoon in Lawrence. WTHR reports on this shocking development:
Suspended Indianapolis Metro Police Officer David Bisard has been arrested for suspected Operating a vehicle While Intoxicated (OWI) following an accident Saturday afternoon in Lawrence.
According to sources, Bisard blew a .16 on an alcohol breath test but refused a chemical test at the hospital.
Officers were dispatched to the 10000 block of Indian Lake Boulevard South in Lawrence around 2:30 p.m. for a property damage accident. Police say Bisard was the driver of the vehicle involved in the accident.
Lawrence Police walked Bisard into Wishard Hospital for a blood draw. They arrived in an unmarked vehicle and Bisard was taken inside handcuffed. After the blood draw, Bisard was taken to the Marion County Arrestee Processing Center.

Uncle Ruslan Was Married To Daughter Of Top CIA Official

When the accused Boston bombers Uncle Ruslan Tsarni stepped before a staged press event with D.C. reporters outside his suburban Washington, D.C. home with plain-clothed federal agents at his back to throw his nephews, Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev under the bus, I asked why the mainstream media wasn't asking the obvious question about Uncle Ruslan's ties to our own government. Alternative media learned that he had been employed as a consultant for a known CIA front agency, the federally-funded USAID, in Kzakhstan before immigrating to the U.S. where he earned a law degree at Duke University before becoming a top corporate attorney for a string of oil and gas companies here in the U.S. Now we learn that Uncle Tsarni was married to the daughter of a top CIA official from Madcow:
The uncle of the two suspected Boston bombers in last week’s attack, Ruslan Tsarni, was married to the daughter of former top CIA official Graham Fuller
The discovery that Uncle Ruslan Tsarni had spy connections that go far deeper than had been previously known is ironic, especially since the mainstream media's focus yesterday was on a feverish search to find who might have recruited the Tsarnaev brothers.
The chief suspect was a red-haired Armenian exorcist. They were fingering a suspect who may not, in fact, even exist.
It was like blaming one-armed hippies on acid for killing your wife.
Ruslan Tsarni married the daughter of former top CIA official Graham Fuller, who spent 20 years as operations officer in Turkey, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Afghanistan, and Hong Kong. In 1982 Fuller was appointed the National Intelligence Officer for Near East and South Asia at the CIA, and in 1986, under Ronald Reagan, he became the Vice-Chairman of the National Intelligence Council, with overall responsibility for national level strategic forecasting.
At the time of their marriage, Ruslan Tsarni was known as Ruslan Tsarnaev, the same last name as his nephews Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the alleged bombers.
It is unknown when he changed his last name to Tsarni.
What is known is that sometime in the early 1990’s, while she was a graduate student in North Carolina, and he was in law school at Duke, Ruslan Tsarnaev met and married Samantha Ankara Fuller, the daughter of Graham and Prudence Fuller of Rockville Maryland. Her middle name suggests a reference to one of her father’s CIA postings.
The couple divorced sometime before 2004.
Today Ms. Fuller lives abroad, and is a director of several companies pursuing strategies to increase energy production from clean-burning and renewable resources.
Uncle Ruslan has offered a head fake that has sent everyone on a wild goose chase looking for this mysterious character named Misha, who supposedly turned Uncle Ruslan's nephews into radical Islamists waging jihad on the United States, when the real source of their inspiration, if any, is hiding in plain sight.

This morning, I had the pleasure of joining Mark Small and Paul Ogden's Indiana Talks live broadcast of "Civil Discourse Now" with Indianapolis' renowned psychic Marilene Isaacs of the Center of Peace where we discussed the Boston Marathon bombings and other false flags Mariline and I agree are being staged by rogue forces within our own government to continue the War on Terror in perpetuity at the expense of losing our civil liberties that are supposed to be guaranteed to all of us by the Bill of Rights in our U.S. Constitution. I'll upload today's podcast when it becomes available.

RIP George Jones

The New York Times' headline says it best: "His life was a country song." Legendary country music performer George Jones is dead at 81.

Boston Bomber Carjacking Victim Tells Story Like A Tarantino Movie Boston Globe Reports

This paragraph from the Boston Globe story recounting the "harrowing night" a 26-year old Chinese national claims he endured after he was carjacked by the two Boston bomber suspects is an apt description of his tale:
The story of that night unfolds like a Tarantino movie, bursts of harrowing action laced with dark humor and dialogue absurd for its ordinariness, reminders of just how young the men in the car were. Girls, credit limits for students, the marvels of the Mercedes ML 350 and the iPhone 5, whether anyone still listens to CDs -- all were discussed by the two 26-year-olds and the 19-year-old driving around on a Thursday night.
I don't know about you, but I think the movie script for this terror attack was a bit too amateurishly-written for my taste? Maybe the FBI counter-intelligence guys should have used Ben Affleck as a consultant on this one.  I wonder if he would have gone along with letting them using as the two lead actors in this movie graduates of his Boston high school?

By the way, Commissioner Davis, whatever happened to the bombing of the JFK library you said happened at your first press conference? Oh yeah, never mind.

Hulman-George Family Gets Its $100 Million Subsidy

News reports indicate that the General Assembly passed the legislation sponsored by State Sen. Mike Young, SB 91, which provides a $100 million giveaway masquerading as a loan to the Hulman-George family to spend on improvements at their Indianapolis Motor Speedway. "Representative Eric Turner (R-Cicero) says the state has a chance to turn its long motorsports heritage into a major economic development tool," WIBC reports. This will constitute the first time in Indiana history that taxpayers have been compelled to finance a privately-owned sports facility.

I would like to describe the final version of the bill, but despite the news reports of its passage, the General Assembly has still not published the conference committee report online that lawmakers voted on late last night. I would be too ashamed to let the public read what a horrible, unconstitutional piece of legislation I had just sent to the Governor as well.

Will the Hulman-George family send each of the lawmakers a new, limited edition piece of Tiffany crystal like the crystal pieces they've been receiving every year from the family, which don't seem to appear on lawmakers' financial disclosure statements, along with all the free tickets they receive to every IMS event? Hey, if you're going to accept bribes for passing laws to help the state's richest families, at least go all in and get something of a little bit more value. It's amazing how much public welfare is handed out to the wealthiest families in this state just so lawmakers can attend every sporting event for free.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Carmel Officials Stand By High-Paid Financial Adviser With A Checkered Past

Cheyenne Poole, 21, faces preliminary charges of armed robbery, criminal confinement, auto theft and resisting law enforcement for allegedly robbing her benefactor Curtis Coonrod, 58.Photo provided by Lawrence Police Department (left), submitted photo (right).Public accountant Curt Coonrod's sordid relationship with a 21-year old woman he supported financially before she and her boyfriend plotted to rob money from him and steal his car is just the latest in a string of Coonrod's dirty laundry that calls into question his judgment. According to Cheyenne Pool, Coonrod befriended her after meeting her on a "sugar daddy" website and began helping her out financially, including furnishing her an apartment in which to live. She tells police that she and her boyfriend staged an armed robbery in her apartment while Coonrod was visiting her, tied up Coonrod and then stole his car, pretending that her boyfriend was kidnapping her. Poole told police that she grew tired of Coonrod's sexual advances and wanted it to stop as the excuse for staging the armed robbery. Incredibly, Coonrod insisted on Poole's innocence after she confessed to her role in the armed robbery.

Ordinarily, Coonrod's case would simply be dismissed as a private matter. He's not charged with committing any crime; just exercising very poor judgment. Coonod isn't just anyone. He's a certified public accountant who is paid $125,000 a year to provide financial advice to the City of Carmel. Mayor Brainard wasted no time in dismissing his arts adviser, Evan Lurie, after he was arrested for soliciting an undercover IMPD police officer. Carmel officials, at least at this point, are reserving judgment on Coonrod, if not outright defending him. The Star's Michael Boren and Dan McFeely, found Carmel officials mostly sympathetic towards Coonrod:
Carmel officials say they have no plans to end a $240-an-hour contract with Curtis Coonrod, the city’s longtime financial adviser, despite headlines concerning his involvement with a young college student he met on a “sugar daddy” dating website . . .
“One thing is clear, this is a very murky story as I have read,” Sharp told The Star, “and Mr. Coonrod has acknowledged that he is embarrassed.
“But it doesn’t seem that he has done anything improper. And his personal life is his personal life.” . .  .
“He presents excellent financial information and has done a superb job for the city,” Sharp said. “I see no reason why this (incident) would interfere with that.” . . .
Councilwoman Luci Snyder called the incident involving Coonrod as “most unfortunate, both for (him) personally and for those communities who have employed him.”
But she said she has not spoken to other council members about the situation and wants to withhold her thoughts.
“I find that opinions offered before all of the facts are in usually get you in trouble,” she said.
When this story first surfaced earlier this week, it came to my mind that Coornod had experienced a falling out with partners in a former accounting practice over his sexual perversions. Today's story provided more information concerning that situation that resulted in litigation between him and his former partners.
Meanwhile, this is not the first time Coonrod’s actions involving other women have landed him in hot water.
In 2003, a legal spat within his previous Greenwood-based accounting firm burst into the public eye when Coonrod was sued by two former partners who alleged he hired a stripper as a personal assistant and often surfed pornographic websites on office computers. 
That lawsuit, filed in Johnson County, was filed by Eric Reedy and Jeffrey Peters, former partners who had themselves been sued by Coonrod over a non-compete clause when they left to form their own firm.
According to news reports at the time, the accountants accused Coonrod of hiring a former exotic dancer as his “personal assistant and escort” allowing her to use company funds to purchase lipstick, perfume and oil changes.
They also charged that Coonrod billed clients for hours of work performed by this personal assistant, even though she did not do meaningful work. Peters and Reedy also alleged that Coonrod used the business computers to surf a website called jailbabes.com in order to make contact with female prisoners.
That lawsuit was eventually settled out of court. Peters, reached Thursday by phone, declined to comment publicly.
Perhaps it's just a private matter that he seems to only be able to socialize with members of the opposite sex by offering them money. I was particularly appalled several years ago to learn of what I viewed as an unseemly practice of him taking advantage of unsophisticated county auditors. Coonrod, who was an Indianapolis City-County Councilor at the time, had figured out that the Indiana Department of Revenue had not been properly disbursing all of the local income taxes to the counties. Knowing that there were unclaimed tax receipts just waiting to be claimed, Coonrod would approach county auditors with an offer of his professional services under which he would search for uncollected assets under a contingency fee agreement, not unlike personal injury attorneys enter into with their clients. The contract provided that Coonrod would be paid 33 1/3% of the amount of revenues he recovered for the county from the state.

The Hendricks County Auditor was one such person who foolishly signed a contract with him. After Coonrod identified over $8.2 million in local income taxes the state had failed to distribute to the county, he sent the auditor a bill for over $2.7 million. The county commissioners, who had never approved the contract, weren't too happy with the bill. The county auditor had to tell Coonrod she couldn't pay him. Coonrod sued her in her official capacity to collect his fee. The trial court granted summary judgment in favor of Hendricks County, holding that she lacked statutory authority to enter into the contract with him without the consent of the commissioners. Coonrod appealed and the Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court's judgment. I'm not sure how many counties he convinced to enter into these dubious professional service contracts, or whether they paid him a contingency fee for his services, but it struck me as shady dealing with public officials. Guys like Coonrod always seem to thrive in getting lucrative no-bid contracts from public officials. It probably says something about the people we elect to make decisions on how to spend our tax dollars.

Indiana Becomes First In The Nation To Prove Obama's Presidency Was Procured By Fraud

The Birther Report has held steadfast in its advocacy of the view that Barack Obama rose to the presidency of the United States using an assumed identity through the use of false documents, including a forged birth certificate, stolen social security numbers and fraudulent selective service registration record, among others. If they are correct, it would constitute the biggest fraud perpetrated on the American people in the country's history. The Birther Report's video clips always begin by showing Obama stating, "The only people who don't want to disclose the truth are people with something to hide," followed by the word "FORGED" stamped over his image in bold red letters.

Indiana now has the distinction of becoming the first state in the country to prove that Obama's presidency was procured through fraud. A St. Joseph Co. jury found that Obama only had a place on the 2008 Indiana primary ballot because Democratic campaign workers in that county forged voters' signatures to secure his place on the ballot. The so-called birthers now have the first definitive legal decision in their more than five-year quest to prove Obama's election was only made possible by fraud. Without those forged signatures, one could argue that Obama would have failed to secure the necessary delegates he needed to win the 2008 Democratic presidential race he won over Hillary Clinton by a razor-thin margin. Birthers owe this win to the whistle blower, Lucas Burkett, and the able special prosecutor, Stanley Levco, who proved the crimes Burkett alleged occurred did in fact occur.

Arizona's Sheriff Joe Arpaio has still not given up his investigation of Obama's identity fraud. His Maricopa County Cold Case Posse says it still hopes to secure criminal charges against Obama based on the findings of its investigation, which it insists proves the principal documents Obama has used to prove his identity are forged documents.

So despite the guilty verdicts of the St. Joseph County Four--Butch Morgan, Dustin Blythe, Beverly Shelton and Pam Brunette--the four will always have the satisfaction of knowing that but for their criminal acts, Barack Obama would not be president today.

UPDATE: I thought I would share with you this YouTube clip I found on the Gateway Pundit, which shows how easy it is to register to vote in Colorado without any form of identification.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Butch Morgan And Democratic Party Worker Guilty On All Counts In Presidential Petition-Forging Scheme

Owen "Butch" Morgan/Courtesy: St. Joseph County Sheriff's Department
Butch Morgan
Dustin Blythe/Courtesy: St. Joseph County Sheriff's Dept.
Dustin Blythe

Former St. Joseph Co. Democratic Chairman Butch Morgan and a Democratic voter registration worker Dustin Blythe have been found guilty by a jury tonight on all counts of the charges brought against them in connection with their scheme to forge signatures on the presidential nomination petitions of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton during the 2008 presidential primary. Jurors deliberated for just three hours before returning their verdicts. This represents a clean sweep for special prosecutor Stanley Levco, who brought charges against Morgan and three of the Democratic Party's workers in the St. Joseph Co. Voter Registration office.

This story first broke in 2010 when the South Bend Tribune and Howey Politics reported on the scheme Morgan led to secure the necessary signatures Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton needed to make the Indiana Democratic primary ballot in 2008, which became one of the hardest fought primary races that year. As it turned out, the forged signatures in St. Joseph Co. were critical to the Obama campaign meeting the minimum number of signatures required to make the ballot that year. If Obama had failed to make the ballot in Indiana, it very well could have cost him his party's nomination, which he won narrowly over Clinton. Clinton wound up carrying the Indiana primary by a razor-thin margin, but she split the delegates with Obama almost evenly.

Morgan was charged with two counts of conspiracy to commit petition fraud, a Class C felony, and two counts of conspiracy to commit forgery, a Class D felony, and Blythe was charged with two counts of forgery, a Class C felony, and one count of falsifying a petition, a Class D felony. Each Class D felony conviction carries a sentence of up to three years, and each Class C felony carries a sentence of up to eight years. Because neither Morgan nor Blythe have any prior convictions, it is likely they will receive lesser sentences. Morgan took the witness in his own defense and insisted he had no knowledge of the scheme and did not instruct anyone else to forge signatures on petitions. Two other voter registration workers, Pam Burnette and Beverly Shelton, previously pleaded guilty to the charges and cooperated as witnesses for the government against Morgan and Blythe.

Legislative Budget Deal Big Victory For Pence

It's not the 10% income tax cut he sought, but the budget deal Republican legislative leaders announced today gives Gov. Mike Pence a significant part of the tax reductions he sought. The plan announced today provides for a 5% reduction in state income taxes phased in over the next four years, but it immediately repeals the state's inheritance tax retroactive to January 1, a big boost to family-owned farms and small businesses. Planned reductions in the state's corporate tax rates will continue, along with similar tax cuts for financial institutions. Together, the tax reductions will save Indiana taxpayers $1.1 billion over four years. Gov. Pence wasted no time in declaring victory:
“Today Hoosier taxpayers won a great victory. The agreement reached between our administration and legislative leaders will be the largest state tax cut in Indiana history. The combination of a 5 percent individual income tax cut, inheritance tax repeal and additional tax relief for businesses is the right tax relief at the right time and will give a much needed boost to working families, small businesses and family farms. 
I am grateful for the leadership of Senate President Pro Tem David Long,  Speaker Brian Bosma and other key fiscal leaders for working diligently with our administration to craft this historic package of tax relief. Their efforts demonstrate the commitment of the General Assembly to put taxpayers first.”
This is quite a different place than Pence found himself in January when he first announced his tax cut plan. Legislative leaders scoffed at his original plan, but in the end, gave him part of the tax cuts he sought and additional cuts he didn't seek. Part of that change of heart was due to altered revenue projections showing the state taking in $290 million in higher revenues over the next two years than had originally been projected. According to the Star, the budget deal announced today includes the following spending highlights:
■$215 million per year increase for roadwork, plus $200 million per year for a reserve fund for future work.
■A 2 percent increase for K-12 education funding in 2014 and 1 percent in 2015, plus $30 million in additional money will be provided for high performing schools and $300 million to a tuition reserve fund .
■$70 million to pay back bonds at the Indiana State Museum, and $58 million for the Forensics and Healthy Science Labs.
■$206 million for new university projects and $66 million per year for university performance funding.
■$250 million to a reserve Medicaid contingency fund. It authorizes the governor to negotiate an expansion of Medicaid through the Healthy Indiana Plan or a similar model with the federal government.
■$35 million for additional caseworkers and hotline improvement at the Department of Child Services — $5 million more than the Senate had proposed.
■a $120 million annual surplus and a $2 billion reserve.

House Republican Leadership Bypassed Turner For Ways & Means Committee Over Self-Dealing Concerns

The AP's Tom Lobianco is reporting that House Speaker Brian Bosma passed over State Rep. Eric Turner for the powerful budget-writing role as chairman of the House Ways & Means Committee because of concerns Republican members raised about his and his lobbyist daughter's lobbying activities. Lobianco, citing unnamed Republican legislators as sources, says fellow Republican lawmakers approached Speaker Bosma to express their concerns about Turner filling the post after Bosma began looking for a replacement to retiring State Rep. Jeff Espich last year.
A ranking Indiana House member under scrutiny for using his position to help his children was passed over to head the powerful House Ways and Means committee last year because fellow Republicans were concerned about his and his daughter's lobbying efforts, lawmakers told The Associated Press on Wednesday.
House Speaker Pro Tem Eric Turner, R-Cicero, seemed poised to become the committee's chairman and to write the state's $30 billion budget, which lawmakers will approve in the coming days. His daughter, Jessaca Turner Stults, lobbies on behalf of Amazon.com, Insure-Rite, nursing home operators and other groups.
Republican lawmakers bypassed Turner for the chairmanship last year amid concerns over his potential conflicts of interest. House Speaker Brian Bosma instead handed the seat to Rep. Tim Brown, a consensus pick without any apparent conflicts of interest . . .
Asked if he was concerned about any conflict of interest arising from a Turner chairmanship, Bosma talked broadly about looking at many things when picking his leadership team.
"You weigh a lot of different factors when you're trying to pick any of the chairman," he said Wednesday.
But three lawmakers who spoke to The Associated Press said they raised their concerns with Bosma and his staff last summer. They said they were worried that clients represented by Turner's daughter would either get special treatment in the budget or appear to get a leg up on competition. The lawmakers insisted on anonymity because they weren't authorized to publicly discuss their private conversations . . .
Turner's work as a lobbyist for the U.S. Fireworks Safety Commission, which represents the fireworks industry in other states, and his daughter's lobbying in the Indiana Statehouse have long been a concern, said another lawmaker. But it wasn't until it looked like Turner might write the budget that Republicans pressed Bosma.
A third lawmaker confirmed the accounts of the other two representatives.
Turner has occasionally been rebuffed by his colleagues in the General Assembly on issues involving his family's interests.
Members of the Ways and Means Committee last month rejected a Turner amendment that would have opened the door for Insure-Rite to win a multimillion-dollar state contract. But a similar measure was included in a Senate bill signed by Pence earlier this month.
In 2011, Turner abstained from voting on a measure limiting the number of beds in nursing homes following a newspaper report about how it would benefit his son's company. Turner says he always planned to abstain on the vote and questioned the report . . .

Woman Admits To Reporters She Plotted With Boyfriend To Rob Former Council Member

I'm not sure why the Indianapolis Star has become obsessed with the love life of former Indianapolis City-County Councilor Curt Coonrod, or the sad lack thereof to be more precise, but it has another big story today discussing the woman he supposedly believed was a friend who police say plotted with her boyfriend to rob him at gunpoint and steal his car while pretending to be kidnapped. Coonrod, astonishingly, believes the woman he says he met on a social Internet site is innocent. Here's more on Star reporter John Boren's jailhouse interview with her:
The woman accused of robbing former Marion County politician Curtis Coonrod plotted against him after feeling overwhelmed by his repeated sexual advances, she told The Indianapolis Star on Wednesday.
“He wanted kissing and feeling, and that was something that did not interest me at all,” Cheyenne Poole, 21, said in an exclusive interview from the Marion County Jail. “But I never wanted to tell him that, just because I didn’t want him to be angry.”
Poole confessed to organizing an armed robbery Friday against Coonrod, a former Marion County auditor and City-County Council member. Coonrod has insisted the two were just friends, but Poole said Coonrod wanted something more not long after meeting her on the “SeekingArrangement.com” dating website. Its motto is the “Elite Sugar Daddy Dating Site for those Seeking.” . . .
Coonrod, who is single, told The Star he could not recall having a profile on the dating site but did not deny meeting Poole there.
“I’ve heard of that site, and I’ve seen it,” said Coonrod, 58, Lawrence. “So I just don’t remember if that’s where I met her. But she says it was, so I’m not disputing that.” . . .
Coonrod, a public accountant, said he felt attracted to Poole but would not discuss whether he was intimate with her . . .
But Coonrod remains convinced Poole is innocent, even saying he feels confident the charges will be dropped. He is furious, he said, that he hasn’t been able to speak to Poole since the robbery. That is because of an order of protection the court placed on Poole, which bans suspects from talking to victims.
“They are bullies, the Lawrence police detectives,” Coonrod said. “I don’t detect that they are interested in justice. They are interested in proving themselves right, and they decided before there was any evidence that she was guilty.”
Lawrence Detective Jim Vaughan scoffed at the accusation, saying he has never heard someone confess to a crime in his 15 years as quickly or easily as Poole.
“I just don’t understand how we were bullies,” he told The Star. “I think we went above and beyond on the investigation.”
Uh, Curt, she was driving the car you reported stolen when she took an entirely different police agency in a different city on high speed chase. Why would a kidnapped victim flee the police in your stolen car? Is it just me, or does everyone seem to be losing it?

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Law Enforcement Lied About Bombing Suspects Capture: No Gun On Him, No Suicide Attempt

Apprehended: Dzhokhar is searched and given medical attention after he is found hiding on Friday evening
It's an ever-changing narrative when it comes to what law enforcement officials are telling us about the circumstances surrounding the police shootout in Watertown that left Tameran Tsarnaev dead and led to a nearly 24-hour massive manhunt during which the entire city of Boston was placed under martial law as police in military combat vehicles and gear forced residents from their homes at gunpoint to conduct warrantless searches for the dead suspect's brother, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, shown above following his capture.

Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davies claimed after Dzhokhar's capture that he had engaged police in gunfire exchanges for nearly an hour before police unleashed a barrage of flashbangs to prod him out of the boat where he had been found hiding until he was found by the boat's owner shortly after officials lifted their martial law order allowing residents to leave their homes. News reports originally cited police as saying Dzhokhar was armed with a M-4 carbine rifle, and that he had attempted to commit suicide by shooting himself in the neck prior to his capture. Officials are now telling the AP that Dzhokhar was unarmed! Those same law enforcement sources tell the AP that just one 9mm handgun claimed to have been used by his brother at the shootout in Watertown the night before was the only gun recovered from that crime scene, which supposedly caused injury to a transit officer.
Two unnamed U.S. officials have told the Associated Press that the surviving suspect in the Boston bombings was unarmed when police captured him hiding inside a boat in a neighborhood back yard.
The report contradicts the Boston police department's own account of Dzhokar Tsarnaev's capture on Friday - after commissioner Ed Davies described a firefight between him and officers before the terror suspect was captured.  
The New York Times also said an M4 rifle had been found on the boat - another claim contradicted by the latest revelations. 
Officers had originally said they had exchanged gunfire with Tsarnaev for more than one hour Friday evening before they were able to subdue him.
But on Wednesday, the law enforcement officials told the AP that no gun was found aboard the vessel . . .  
It also contradicts many media accounts of Tsarnaev's final moments of freedom.
The New York Times reported that an M-4 carbine rifle-similar to the weapon used by American troops fighting in Afghanistan-was found aboard the boat and that officials had recovered two handguns and a bb gun used by the two robbers. 
The throat wound sustained by Tsaernev was also said by numerous law enforcement sources to be self inflicted.
Sources told Newsday that Tsarnaev's bullet wound looked to be self-inflicted, due to the location of Tsarnaev's wound and the trajectory of the bullet.
And Reuters reported that the suspect was shot through the mouth by a round that exited through his neck.
Dozens of bullet holes were seen on the exterior of the boat in photos taken shortly after the final standoff in the Watertown backyard.
The officials told the AP that say investigators only recovered a 9 mm handgun believed to have been used by Tsarnaev's brother, Tamerlan, from the site of a gun battle Thursday night, which injured a Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority officer.

What else are they lying about? I've reached the point where I don't believe a damn thing federal law enforcement officials are telling us about the bombings and the two persons the FBI has fingered. Perhaps their friends initial impressions of them before learning they were told the two were responsible for the horrible terrorist acts are closer to the picture than the one federal authorities are now painting of the two men. It has all the hallmarks of another false flag. Wake up, America.

Saudi Person Of Interest In Boston Bombing Visited White House Multiple Times, Special Hospital Visit Paid By Michelle Obama


Bill Ayers no longer has the distinction of being the only accused terrorist with whom Barack and Michelle Obama have palled around. Add to the list Abdul Rahman Ali Al-Harbi, the first person of interest identified by federal law enforcement officers following last week's Boston Marathon bombings before they cleared him after the First Lady paid him a visit in his Boston hospital room but after he was placed on a terrorist watch list and quiet arrangements were made for his removal from the country after the Saudi government's foreign minister paid an unscheduled visit to the White House to meet with President Obama. Oh, and did I mention several members of the Al-Harbi clan are being held at Gitmo as enemy combatants?

UPDATE: The Russians now say they not only informed the FBI of their concerns about Tamerlan Tsarnaev but also the CIA. Intelligence sources confirm to the Globe the CIA received the same information from the Russians as the FBI. Will John Brennan ever admit that the Tsarnaevs were CIA assets? When pigs fly. From the Boston Globe:
Russian officials alerted the Central Intelligence Agency about their concerns over the potential radicalization of Tamerlan Tsarnaev in late September 2011, and a US intelligence official says the agency nominated Tsarnaev for inclusion on a government terror watchlist.
“In late September 2011, the CIA received information from a foreign government on Tamerlan that was nearly identical to the information the FBI received in March 2011,” a US intelligence official said Wednesday in a written statement.
The information was transmitted to the CIA by Russia’s Federal Security Service.
“The CIA then nominated him for inclusion in the watchlisting system and, given his status as a U.S. person, shared the information with the appropriate Federal Departments and Agencies specifying that Tamerlan may be of interest to them,” the official said.
While Tsarnaev’s name was added to a database of 540,000 people that should be monitored as potential terrorist threats, the listing expired after a year.
News of the CIA’s involvement adds further evidence to the growing pile of information that was available to US authorities about a potentially dangerous and potentially radicalized individual residing in Cambridge. Member of Congress are raising questions about whether the FBI had sufficient information to keep Tsarnaev under greater scrutiny, and whether the Boston Marathon bombings could have been prevented if it had.
Members have said the United States continues to suffer from poor sharing of intelligence information about potential terrorists.
The US intelligence official appeared to seek to deflect any blame from the CIA, stating that the agency properly shared the information it received.
“The CIA shared all the information provided by the foreign government including two possible dates of birth, his name and a possible name variant as well. No information was incorrectly entered in the watchlisting system, all the information was shared precisely as the foreign government provided it,” the official said.
The official added that Russia warnings about Tsarnaev, which were nearly identical, included two possible dates of birth, his name in Cyrillic letters, and a possible variation of his name.
Tsarnaev, who died after a shootout with police on Thursday, and his younger brother, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, who is in fair condition at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, are suspected of planting the bombs that killed three and injured more than 200 people near the finish line of the Boston Marathon on April 15.
The FBI provided more information Wednesday about its handling of the Russian information. The agency undertook an investigation of Tsarnaev in 2011 which did not uncover terrorist activity.
``The request [from Russia] stated that it was based on information that he was a follower of radical Islam and a strong believer, and that he had changed drastically since 2010 as he prepared to leave the United States for travel to the country’s region to join unspecified underground groups,” said Supervisory Agency Jason J. Pack.
“In response to this 2011 request, the FBI checked U.S. government databases and other information to look for such things as derogatory telephone communications, possible use of online sites associated with the promotion of radical activity, associations with other persons of interest, travel history and plans, and education history. The FBI also interviewed Tamerlan Tsarnaev and family members. The FBI did not find any terrorism activity.”

Former Voter Registration Worker: Democratic Boss Repeatedly Met With Co-Defendants To Plot Strategy For Fighting Petition-Forging Charges

The prosecution rested its case after calling two former Democratic voter registration workers who previously agreed to plead guilty to charges that they conspired with St. Joseph Co. Democratic Party Chairman and another co-worker to forge signatures on the 2008 Democratic presidential nominating petitions of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. Jurors also heard today from an forensic document expert, who couldn't say with certainty that any of the signatures on the forged petitions belonged to one of the charged, Dustin Blythe and nine persons whose signatures had been forged on the petitions, including South Bend police officer Sgt. Lee Ross. Ross said he signed a petition for Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jim Schellinger but not for Barack Obama.

Beverly Shelton testified that former Democratic county party boss Butch Morgan and fellow co-worker Dustin Blythe held several strategy meetings with the four charged in the petition-forging scheme at which they discussed denying all of the charges against them. According to Shelton, Morgan assured his co-defendants that "everyone would be all right" if they stuck together and worked to discredit former co-worker Lucas Burkett, the whistle blower who first went public with allegations of the scheme to forge signatures on 2008 Democratic presidential primary nominating petitions of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. Without those forged signatures, Obama would have lacked a sufficient number of signatures to compete in the closely-fought Indiana primary against Hillary Clinton, which Clinton narrowly won but the candidates almost evenly split the delegates.

Beverly Shelton told jurors that she decided to switch course and plead guilty after Morgan met with the four accused in February and asked her if she would be interested in a plea agreement that would require her to serve jail time only on weekends. Shelton changed her plea to guilty the following month, followed by fellow co-defendant Pam Burnette's guilty plea earlier this month. Both told jurors today that they had forged signatures on petitions and that Morgan and Blythe were behind the scheme. "Brunette today took the stand and identified 10 specific signatures that she copied. Brunette said that Morgan told her to use different ink and to change the handwriting to cover things up," WNDU-TV reported. "In Shelton’s words, 'I did this crime over and over.'  Shelton said she realized what she was doing was illegal, but she didn’t realize the severity of it."

WNDU reports that Morgan may take the stand in his own defense when his trial reconvenes on Thursday.

Former House Speaker And Powerful Gaming Lobbyist Busted For Drunk Driving

Former House speaker Michael K. Phillips was arrested on suspicion of driving drunk in the Circle Centre Mall parking lot on Tuesday night.
Former House Speaker Mike Phillips
A prominent lobbyist for gaming interests and former Democratic Speaker of the Indiana House of Representatives, Mike Phillips, was arrested last night for drunk driving after he crashed his car while exiting a Circle Centre parking garage on Maryland Street after leaving the off-track betting parlor according to the Indianapolis Star. Police say the 69-year old Phillips registered a blood alcohol level of 0.16. According to police, Phillips crashed his Cadillac SUV into a pole while attempting to exit the garage and then struck an unattended parking attendant booth when he tried to correct his path. Phillips initially refused to take a breathalyzer test after failing a field sobriety test but later agreed to one after he was transported to Wishard where his blood was also drawn for testing according to an IMPD police report. Phillips was taken to the processing center at 2:08 a.m. this morning before he was released after posting $150 bond at his 1:00 p.m. court appearance today. The police report indicates that Phillips had more than $1,800 in cash on him at the time of his arrest. 

Naked Guy Taken Into Custody Night Of Watertown Shootout Sure Looks Like Tamerlan

After law enforcement took the second suspect into custody last Friday, I asked who the naked man was that media had initially identified as the suspect police had taken into custody following the police shootout with Tamerlan and Dzohkar Tsarnaez in the early morning hours last Friday. It couldn't be Tamerlan because police tell us he was shot multiple times during the shootout with police and then run over by his own brother during his escape and killed. I was watching the local new reports being broadcast live the morning of the shootout. The naked man in the video was clearly identified at that time as the suspect police had taken into custody with the other suspect remaining at large. That story quickly fell apart when no more than an hour later the live media reports said the suspect taken into custody had been transported to an area hospital where he died from injuries sustained in the shootout with police in Watertown. Later, the police said this man was not a suspect; rather, he was just someone who just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time and was forced to strip naked, taken into custody for questioning and later released when police determined he had no connection to the bombings. When Tamerlan's aunt, Maret Tsarnaeva, saw the video, she claimed it was her nephew. A lot of bloggers and alternative media have noticed the remarkable similarity between the naked man and Tamerlan. What do you think?