What’s in Feeney’s File on Rove?

In my post on the dead-enders doing Dallas, I briefly noted an exchange between Rove and a former Tom Feeney staffer. The eye-popping part was Rove’s admission that he has a file on Feeney’s perceived disloyalty to Bush.  But just as interesting was the staffer, Jason Roe’s reminder to Rove that Bush owed his presidency to Feeney, the speaker of the FL House of Representatives during the 2000 recount.

Roe walked over to the table, "I’m Jason Roe."

Rove: "Oh, the famous Jason Roe."

Roe: "I don’t know that I’m famous, but I’m Tom Feeney’s former chief of staff, and I’m offended by your comments on Fox about Tom. You guys wouldn’t be in the White House without Tom. And you made these really degrading comments about him that offended a lot of people."

(Sidenote: Tom Feeney was the speaker of the Florida House of Representatives during the whole Bush/Gore 2000 recount.)

Rove: "Well, I have a file on the things Tom Feeney said about George Bush."

Roe: "That says more about you than me that you kept a file on Tom Feeney. This guy was so restrained in his desire to criticize the president — even against this staff’s advice." 

Rove: "I have a file."

Along with a bunch of other people, I nagged Brad Friedman, who has covered allegations that Feeney contracted with asked a software company in 2004 to rig touchscreen voting machines, to comment on the Roe reference. Brad separated out Feeney’s known role in 2000…

But as to the "You guys wouldn’t be in the White House without Tom" line, we don’t have any hard evidence of anything newly nefarious in that, given what is already on the public record concerning Feeney’s helping hand to Bush during the FL 2000 democracy abortion.

Amidst the 36 day battle following Election Day 2000 in the Sunshine State, Feeney, who was then Speaker of the FL House and arguably the second most powerful politician in the state (after Dubya’s brother Jeb, who was Governor at the time), made it clear that he was prepared to pass legislation in the Republican Florida House to grant all of Florida’s electors to George W. Bush no matter what the U.S. Supreme Court ended up deciding. As the state’s Constitution grants the power to determine Presidential Electors to the legislature, and that power has been passed on by them to the voting electorate, Feeney was prepared to take that power back for his buddy Dubya (Feeney had previously run as Jeb’s running mate in his unsuccessful 1994 bid for the Governorship), and select Bush’s electors by government fiat, no matter what the courts had determined.

Sleazy? Of course. We’d expect no less from Feeney. But nefariously illegal? Not really. But that, we suspect, is what Roe was most likely referring to in his comments to Rove.

Feeney had other roles to play, of course, in the theft of Florida’s 2000 election, according to the whistleblower Curtis who spoke of "exclusion lists" and the use of armed police at polling places in minority areas which, he says, "Feeney used to brag about".

..from the allegations of voting machine hacking that came out in 2004…

In his now fairly well known allegations against Feeney, first broken here in December of 2004, Curtis had alleged that Feeney first asked the CEO of the company where they both worked (Yang Enterprises Inc. — Curtis as computer programmer, Feeney as general counsel and registered lobbyist, even as he was also speaker of the FL House) for what amounted to a touch-screen vote-rigging software prototype, in "late September or October of 2000", according to his sworn affidavit [PDF]. That would have been just a month or two before the 2000 FL election, and the short demonstration program that Curtis says he created for him, wouldn’t likely have been in time to use for that November’s election. Furthermore, though a version of the program could easily have been adapted for use on central tabulating computers (the main vote counters), the progam was allegedly meant for use on touch-screen voting systems, which FL hadn’t yet been using at the time.

After the 2000 race however — where paper ballots were allegedly gamed in Palm Beach County, according to the stunning on-camera testimony of 7 former company employees from Sequoia Voting Systems who’d produced the bulk of the state’s punch-card paper ballots (broadcast video here) — Florida moved quickly thereafter to touch-screen voting systems across much of the state.

Thanks, Brad, for laying that out. Click through to Brad’s post for a review of still-unexplained issues with the 2000 election. 

Now, if Jason Roe has any further revelations about how Feeney helped out Bush, I’d be happy to hear it. 

Update: corrected some inaccuracies. Curtis alleged that Feeney asked Yang Enterprises to do the vote-rigging software in 2000, though there is no indication it was or could have been used in 2000. 

37 replies
  1. Loo Hoo. says:

    Found it at Slate:

    Rove: “It was a big night, no doubt about it, but look, the people who got defeated last night were people who had not done their homework and hadn’t gotten ready for a tough race.

    “You know, like this guy Feeney in Florida.”

    Colmes: “Tom Feeney, yes.”

    Rove: “Tom Feeney, who — who had a bunch of ethical issues raised and then voted against the rescue package. You know, voting against the rescue package was supposed to be a sure thing to get you elected in some quarters.”

    • ShotoJamf says:

      Also OT. Not getting a lot of press, but the effect of the two corporate CU’s going down is that the correspondent institutions must pony up to replenish the fund. In my neighborhood, the $1 billion dollar CU’s are writing checks in the $8-9M range – which drops right to the bottom line, and severely affects the capital ratios. I’m guessing we’re going to see some ripple effect from that. Already very substantial layoffs and branch closures.


  2. SaltinWound says:

    Why would it matter in 2009 who was disloyal to Bush? Even if Rove wanted to punish someone, there’s no enforcement mechanism–unless he’s looking to blackmail people with their illegal actions, I suppose, but Rove’s hands are dirty too. I really don’t know what he’s driving at here or why he thinks “I have a list” is an ominous thing to say.

    • emptywheel says:

      That’s the real question, isn’t it?

      So perhaps the thing to do is go back to the underlying exchange.

      Rove said (basically): Tom Feeney lost because 1) ethical issues, and 2) voted against rescue package. The first is true, to a point, but of course Rove was trying to dismiss that election day was a bloodbath (again) because people hate Bush so much. In other words, Rove was blaming others–in fact blaming those who were disloyal–for the unpopularity of Bush.

      So Roe complains and says, “you guys would never had made it to the WH without us”–basically attacking Rove for being disloyal himself.

      And ROve’s response was, “we’ve got a list.”

      Now, obviously, if both these pols were going entities, then you might see one punish the other in the future for disloyalty. Whoeevr wins control of the party will enforce discilpine on the other for breaking ranks.

      Thing is, it’s a asymmetric relationship. As shitty as Bush’s rep is, Rove’s is still viable (among some Republicans anyway), whereas Feeney will be gratefully to avoid jail. (Which is not to say Rove’s not got his own legal issues; his could get really ugly really quickly).

      But then underlying all of this is that they were involved in some stuff–in addition to the voting stuff, the Abramoff stuff–that they coudl rat out each other on.

      SO there’s the possibility that Rove could be a key part of the nucleus of a revived party. There’s the possibility that the famous Bush revenge on disloyalty coudl kick in. Or there’s the possibility that two crooks are trying to suss out what the other one has–and to disempower the other–as part of a decision process on legal issues.

      • freepatriot says:

        SO there’s the possibility that Rove could be a key part of the nucleus of a revived party.

        never thought I’d say this, but


        I think you got some bad shit there, ew

        paraquat must be making a comeback or something

        (or it could have been a bad bottle of Beamish)

        KKKarl rove could be the nucleus of a new party ???

        what party would want him ???

        the LEPER party, maybe ???

        turd blossom made shit from gold

        check the state of the repuglitard party after 8 years of kkkarl’s handiwork

        any repuglitard could have put up a decent showing in 2000, and probably won legitimately. george bush barely squeaked by, and he had to destroy Rienquist’s legacy to do it

        I still ain’t convinced bush won Ohio on the square in 2004

        the repulitards have lost FOURTEEN SENATE SEATS in four years, and I don’t know how many House seats

        I could destroy the repuglitard party in eight years, if I really tried

        but kkkarl wasn’t trying to destroy the repuglitard party

        anybody who thinks kkkarl rove is a political genius deserves the ass whipping the got comming

          • freepatriot says:

            But, Rove’s got the freaking FILES!!!


            kkkarl can “Produce” those files

            it will help him recover his memory in front or the JURY

            and upon further review, we don’t let felons vote, or form political parties

            my crystal bong doesn’t show a happy future for kkkarl

            karma is a bitch, and she has kkkarl’s balls in her hands …

    • fatster says:

      Remember Nixon’s Enemies List and Jedgar’s voluminous files? Such lists and files do serve a purpose. Why, even Santa Claus keeps a list, though his focuses on the positive!

  3. FrankProbst says:

    The only thing here that I find interesting is that Roe seems surprised that Rove would go after Feeny. After Katherine Harris went under the bus, you’d think all those Florida Republicans would have realized that they’re worth less than used Kleenex to Team Bush.

  4. rosalind says:

    when i heard that “i have a file” line i flashed on chapter one of “angler”.

    i can easily picture piles of files containing all the deep, dark dirt to keep the loyal foot soliders in line.

  5. maeme says:

    Armed Police at inner city polling places throughout Florida provided by the Florida Sheriff’s Association, President at the time, Neil Perry, St. Johns County Sheriff.
    Co-Chair to re-elect the Bushes always. SJC home of Colombo the smuggler Bush, and Jeb’s daughter, Nicole, the prescription pill shopper, GP the stalker, and Jeb Jr.. the Marsh Landing kid who had the best and wildest parties in all of SJC that never got busted.

  6. freepatriot says:

    well, we all knew the repuglitards was gonna get ugly in their death struggle

    but nobody predicted “teh stooopid” was gonna consume the repuglitards before they consumed themselves

    glen beck is gonna try INTENTIONAL COMEDY for once

    princess pandora is arguing about the great benefits of abstinence with the kid who knocked up princess pandora’s daughter

    mikey steele sees no evidence of the depression he could see last week

    America took a GOOD look at lushbo limpballs, and now America knows who the enemy is

    and the repuglitards think they’re making good progress

    david broder tried to spin the rassmussen poll again, and half of the comments asked why dickless broder didn’t mention the fact that the repuglitards are a dying party, outnumbered by independents (and yes, it’s true, the man has no dick)

    the repuglitard message is that Barack Obama is a militant christofacist-muslim-jew, who wants to destroy America and the world with bitter commie-pinko tax cuts

    and the repuglitards think they got a winner there


    but we can all grab some popcorn and enjoy it …

    • JohnJ says:

      I don’t know if I’m the only one, but it was a terrifying ride before the dim-witted American public caught on.

      Nice to see you in true form again fp!

      Oh, and for all: JEHoover called his extortion instrument a “Jacket”, which was, of course, a file folder. Just so we use the historically accurate term *g*.

      • freepatriot says:

        this whole “tea bagging” thing has been playing real well in Peoria, so I’ve been gettin a lot of positive feedback in the meat world

        ya shouldn’t do that, it just encourages me

        people been LAUGHING OUT LOUD about the repuglitards obtuseness. I live kinda close to San Francisco, so we’ve been personal witnesses to the Gay Rights Movement there. A lot of people around here know what tea bagging is about

        half of them don’t believe there really is a tea bagger protest movement (and btw, they’ve been askin me, okay, I’m not mentioning it to them)

        they’re gonna be surprised as hell on Wednesday (i hope these idiot repuglitards don’t let me down)

        I’m lovin life

        let’s just say I’m a snark assassin, and I live in a “Target Rich Environment”

        I don’t make this shit up, I just explain it to people, and they fall over laughing …

        it’s easy to be funny with material like this


        nobody could have predicted this

  7. freepatriot says:

    as kkkarl would say, I can’t see why you people are so focused on the past

    it’s time to discuss our future under Our New Canine Overlord

    cuz you know the corporate media is gonna be all over it

    fookin Obama, upstaging my teabagger morans an shit, teh bastid …

  8. MadDog says:

    What I’d like to know is “What’s in Conyer’s Feeney’s File on Rove?”

    Like how many times Turdblossom was caught perjuring himself before the HJC staff attorneys?

  9. JohnJ says:

    If we are drawing parallels here, the worst thing that JEH thought he could accuse someone of being was a homosexual.

    What does Rover accuse everyone of?

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