Wednesday, June 13, 2007

The Puke State

In March of 2006, U.S. Attorney for Arkansas’ Eastern District Bud Cummins was investigating Missouri Governor Matt Blunt’s scheme to award franchises for satellite state licensing fee offices. The scheme was carried out by Mark F. “Thor” Hearne’s law firm, Lathrop & Gage. You may wonder why a U.S. Attorney from Arkansas was handling a Missouri investigation. Good question.

From Hidden we learn:
The U.S. Attorney for Missouri's Western District, who would have otherwise overseen the investigation, was Todd P. Graves, who would also end up being replaced. Graves’s wife, as it turns out, “had been given a no-bid contract to run the second most lucrative motor vehicle fee office in Missouri, [in Gladstone.]” The contract to the wife of the U.S. Attorney was said to be worth some $2.6 million. Further, Graves’s brother-in-law had received a similar no-bid contract from Blunt for $1 million, and two staffers of Graves’s brother, Congressman Sam Graves, had also been given two similar contracts.

“[T]his situation amounts to $3.6 million in corruption insurance for Blunt,” the Missouri Democrats would later write in a petition drive calling for an investigation.
The Talking Points Memo reported that Sen. Kit Bond (R-Missouri) personally went to the White House and requested that Graves, (brother of right wing wacko Congressman Sam Graves) be removed from his position due to “his direct role in the Fee Office Scandal in Missouri.”

And so it was that Bud Cummings of Arkansas came to be investigating Missouri Governor Matt Blunt and Republican operative Thor Hearne.

Who is this Thor Hearne? Again, according to Hidden
Hearne had been both Blunt's right-hand legal man for some time; as well as a GOP point man in Florida in 2000 (but who wasn’t?); as well as the Bush/Cheney ’04 general counsel in Missouri (at the specific, personal request of Dubya’s uncle, Bucky Bush, according to Thor himself in Missouri Lawyer’s Weekly); before he then became the Bush/Cheney ’04 national general counsel; and after the election, he became the founder of the scam “non-partisan” GOP front group calling itself “American Center for Voting Rights” (ACVR); which was, in turn, behind virtually every report, initiative, claim, piece of legislation, Congressional testimony, legal case, “official commission,” or public statement concerning the cooked-up case for the mythical epidemic of Democratic “voter fraud” that has been at the heart of the GOP/White House/DoJ attempts at vote-shaving via politicization and suppression at the ballot box since at least 2004.
Nobody knows who put Bud Cummings on the DoJ hit list, but it is pretty clear that Thor Hearne had the juice to do it if he wanted to. But of course, he would have to take care to keep his fingerprints off of it.

Enter the powerful white-collar criminal defense attorney William B. Mateja of the D.C./Dallas law firm of Fish & Richardson. You can read about his extensive connections to the White House and the Department of Justice, (e.g. Senior Counsel to James Comey) on Hidden For now, the thing that is important is that Mateja, repeatedly called Cummins to inquire if his client, Blunt, was the target of an investigation. And then, in June of 2006, Cummings was informed that his resignation was being requested.

On October 4, 2006, Cummings issued a press release which stated: “The matter has been closed with no indictments sought, or returned. Second, at no time was Governor Blunt a target, subject, or witness in the investigation, nor was he implicated in any allegation being investigated.”

Sure, it looks like Cummings was fired to interfere with an on-going investigation of Governor Matt Blunt, son of House Minority Whip Roy Blunt. But don’t overlook the fact that his investigation was also very uncomfortable for Thor Hearne. And the Rovians had a special fondness for Hearne because, as we have seen, he was the pointman on the phony voter fraud issue.

Remember Todd Graves, the U.S. Attorney from Missouri, who was also dismissed? He was replaced by none other than Bradley Schlozman. In a letter to Schlozman dated May 7, 2007 from Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), and Ranking Member Arlen Specter (R-Pa.), we read:
Recent news accounts have suggested that Todd Graves, the former U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Missouri and the person you succeeded as an interim United States Attorney, may have been on a list for replacement because of his refusal to endorse a lawsuit against the State of Missouri alleging voter fraud before the 2006 election. This is a lawsuit you approved while Acting Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division and then filed soon after you were interim appointed as Mr. Graves’ successor by Attorney General Gonzales. Several weeks ago, a federal judge ruled in favor of Missouri in that case, finding “no evidence” of major voter fraud in the state.
In 2006, Claire McCaskill won the Senatorial election in Missouri with just 49.6% of the vote, compared to 47.3% for incumbent Jim Talent. (The Democratic candidate for State Auditor won by a margin of almost 10%) Just a little more voter suppression in St. Louis, fired up by claims of voter fraud, could have turned the election, and the Senate, towards the Republicans.

“… and tell ’em Big Mitch sent ya!”

1 comment:

BillORightsMan said...


The tangled web of deceptions and lies WILL catch up with these criminals. This all falls into place with Tom Delay's claim of a "permamnent Republican Majority" when he was leader of TRMPAC. (It's amazing bugman is STILL walking around a free man, no?)

Thursday's testimonies in Conyers' House Judicial Committee and Linda Sanches's Subcommittee on Commerical Administrative Law will be interesting. Check C-SPAN3 streaming at NOON and may repeat later on C-SPAN1. Look forward to your comments on these two hearings!

Heard your call to Peter B. Collins tonight on The Jon Elliot Show and have begun linking to this post and your blog. GREAT WORK!