Clint Curtis is a programmer, vote rigging whistleblower, politician, and election integrity activist. In the early 2000s, he worked as the lead programmer at Yang Enterprises (YEI), a Florida technology contractor with ties to GOP politician Tom Feeney. Curtis documented numerous legal violations and abuses at YEI, including illegal alien labor, Chinese espionage, and Feeney's commissioning of election rigging software. He soon left to work at the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT), one of YEI's clients, only to discover YEI was overbilling the agency. Curtis lost his job for blowing the whistle on YEI's activities, and the investigator of his allegations died suspiciously. Following the 2004 election, Curtis became concerned that election fraud was employed for Bush, and told his story to the public. Curtis became a consistent advocate for the cause of election integrity and incorporated the issue into several unsuccessful political campaigns.
Family and early life
Clint Curtis was born in 1958 in Illinois, where he grew up. He studied political science history at Illinois State University. Curtis later taught himself computer programming and founded a software company.
Yang Enterprises employment
In the mid 1990s, Curtis moved to Florida. He got a job at Yang Enterprises (YEI) in 1998, becoming their lead programmer. YEI was an engineering company owned by Chinese-American woman Li-Woan Yang that did business for government agencies and corporations. Some of its clients included Exxon, NASA, and the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT); some of its business partners included Northrop Grumman and SAIC.
Early on, YEI struck Curtis as "odd". It soon became apparent that Yang was engaging in Chinese espionage. He observed other employees sneaking around and downloading stolen client data to Yang computers. Mrs. Yang sent information to her brother in China, who had been deported for spying. Hai Lin "Henry" Nee, the quality control manager, took internal data from NASA off the Yang premises several times. Curtis later learned that Nee had inserted a wiretapping module into FDOT software, and suspected he had done something similar for NASA. He also found out that Nee was an illegal alien.
In the early fall of 2000, Curtis was introduced to Tom Feeney, incoming Speaker of the Florida state house who was the longtime corporate counsel and chief lobbyist for YEI. Curtis sat in multiple company meetings with Feeney, in which they discussed the viability of clients' projects and how to get the contracts.
Curtis recalled a particularly strange meeting with Feeney around late September/early October. He claimed to be there with Feeney, Mrs. Yang, Mike Cohen (YEI executive secretary), and two other employees who were periodically in-and-out. Feeney allegedly asked if YEI could develop a prototype of a vote rigging program. It had to be touchscreen-capable, require no additional equipment to trigger, and be hidden within the voting system's source code. Curtis, as the YEI technical advisor, remarked that hiding the rigging code would be impossible if the source code was inspected, but possible to do if nobody reviewed it. Mrs. Yang ultimately agreed YEI would build the prototype to give Feeney "something to show".
Being a Republican at the time, Curtis believed Feeney wanted the prototype so he could catch the Democrats trying to rig the voting machines. He wrote the prototype in Visual Basic, along with documentation on how to detect such a program if it was deployed on voting machines. Curtis approved it with Henry Nee and gave it to Mrs. Yang, explaining to her how voting machine rigging could be detected. She then allegedly told him that he misunderstood Feeney's request: the manipulation had to be hidden in the source code, since the program was "needed to control the vote in South Florida". Curtis was shocked that Feeney actually wanted to steal the election, and after reiterating to Mrs. Yang that hiding the program would be impossible, she nevertheless decided to give it to Feeney.
According to Curtis, there were several subsequent meetings with Feeney before the 2000 election, where Feeney openly discussed voter suppression. He bragged about how "exclusion lists" and "proper placement of police controls" could reduce the "black vote" to help Republicans win.
Curtis had progressively become disgusted at the corruption and criminality in YEI. He resigned from YEI around the time of the 2000 election. However, he appeared to leave on good terms, as Mrs. Yang threw him a farewell party and personally signed a card telling him he could come back anytime.
Florida DoT job
After leaving Yang Enterprises, Curtis came over to FDOT, one of Yang's clients. He was hired by Mavis Georgalis, an FDOT employee whom Curtis knew through YEI's contract with FDOT, to the technology department.
YEI seemed to immediately panic when they learned Curtis was working at FDOT. Mike Cohen called him, offering Curtis a substantial raise to come back to YEI and then eventually promising him $1 million just to leave Tallahassee. Curtis shared this hush-money offer with several of his FDOT co-workers, including Georgalis. When he called Cohen one night to find out what was going on, Cohen purportedly admitted to YEI's illegal activities and then threatened Curtis's life.
One of the crimes Cohen mentioned was overbilling FDOT on their contract. Georgalis had previously discovered Yang was overbilling them, and when she rejected their invoices, Feeney's name and political influence was used by YEI to intimidate her. Curtis looked into the billing himself and found that all of his hours worked at YEI had been billed to FDOT, even though he was working on several Yang contracts. YEI had even billed for Curtis for a couple days after he resigned.
Together, Curtis and Georgalis filed a report with Ray Lemme, an investigator in the FDOT Inspector General office. Their complaints regarding YEI included overbilling, improper political influence from Feeney (through Georgalis's supervisor Nelson Hill), and the employment of illegal aliens. Curtis told Lemme about everything that had occurred at Yang, including the vote rigging software Feeney had requested. Lemme recorded all of their testimony, but in his official IG report, only mentioned the issues pertaining to FDOT.
Soon after filing the report, Nelson Hill again began harassing Georgalis. Curtis, meanwhile, became frustrated at the IG office's inaction, and asked FDOT IG Cecil Bragg why they weren't investigating. FDOT responded the next day by firing Curtis, Georgalis, and half a dozen other employees familiar with the Yang contract. (Georgalis, in particular, had worked at FDOT for nearly 15 years and previously received an exemplary performance review in January 2001.)
Life after FDOT
Curtis and Georgalis both filed whistleblower suits against FDOT. Georgalis succeeded and was reinstated to her job, but Curtis missed the filing deadline. He attempted to get another programming job, but nobody was willing to hire him, likely because of poor recommendations from YEI and FDOT. As a result, Curtis was forced to take a low-wage job at the dollar store instead.
One day, Curtis recalled Ray Lemme walking up to him at the store. Lemme told Curtis he was just stopping by, but he returned on several following dates to interview Curtis about his YEI allegations, including the spies and vote rigging software. While he didn't reveal much, Lemme let on that he was unofficially working the Yang case on the side. He made it known to Curtis that the YEI matter was far bigger than it seemed, something Curtis relayed to Georgalis.
In June 2003, Lemme ecstatically told Curtis about his progress. He said he had tracked the corruption "all the way to the top", that the story would break in a few weeks, and that Curtis would be thrilled with the results. A few weeks later, on July 1, Lemme turned up dead in a Valdosta GA motel room. A police investigation claimed Lemme's death was suicide, but there were troubling inconsistencies with the situation hinting otherwise. Curtis, for his part, was immediately convinced that Lemme had been murdered to silence him.
Curtis reported what he knew about Henry Nee to Leon County authorities in late 2003 or early 2004. In March 2004, Nee was arrested by federal officers on charges that included sending missile chips to a Chinese company.
Still, he remained frustrated that after Lemme's death, the YEI case had essentially stalled. Curtis tried to get the YEI story out by detailing it in a book, Just a Fly on the Wall. Before even publishing it, he received an email in July 2004 warning him that his life was in danger for writing the book. Curtis also reported his story about YEI to the FBI, CIA, DHS, and Florida Department of Law Enforcement. The only reply he received was in November 2004, from a Florida Special Agent working with the FBI. They informed Curtis that YEI was under FBI investigation, but he heard nothing further from them or the FBI.
Joining the election integrity cause
For the most part, Curtis had initially paid little mind to Feeney's interest in vote rigging software. He believed that keeping such a program hidden would be impossible, since a careful examination of the source code would find it. But in the summer of 2004, Curtis saw a news report about how voting system source code was kept proprietary by the vendors. That the code wasn't available for review, he claims, made him very concerned that voting machine rigging could actually happen, and drove him to tell "anybody and everybody" about Feeney's interest in doing so.
Following the suspect 2004 election, Justice Through Music put out a $200,000 reward for proof of election fraud. Curtis contacted them, making clear that he wanted to blow the whistle on Yang and Feeney but had no interest in the reward money. He was put in touch with Brad Friedman, the chief editor of BradBlog, a progressive site focused particularly on election integrity. Brad got Curtis to put his allegations into a sworn affidavit and broke the story on his blog. During that same period, Curtis testified before Congress about being asked to write election rigging software.
Curtis's story attracted a lot of interest in the election integrity community. He was interviewed by multiple alternative media outlets, and some local Florida newspapers even began printing the Feeney allegations. Feeney and YEI denied Curtis's story, smearing him as a serial liar and disgruntled employee. But Brad managed to accumulate evidence to back up nearly every single one of Curtis's claims. Virtually every fact in Curtis's affidavit, aside from the vote rigging software (which was a he-said-they-said matter difficult to prove), was proven by public records and witnesses testimony, proving in turn that Feeney and YEI were liars. He also passed a polygraph test on his affidavit administered by a Florida law enforcement professional.
The Curtis story also briefly caused the Ray Lemme death case to be reopened in late 2004. However, it was closed immediately afterwards following a discussion with someone at FDOT. Photos of the motel room, which Valdosta police omitted from their report because the camera supposedly malfunctioned, were then released on the Internet in early 2005 after being obtained from the police department. These photos clearly contradicted the police investigation, showing bruising on Lemme's neck potentially indicative of strangulation or beating.
Curtis became a popular guest at many election integrity gatherings across the US. He mentioned his experience at YEI, demonstrated a recreated prototype of what he had written for Feeney, and promoted the importance of election integrity.
2006 congressional campaign
In 2006, Curtis ran for Congress against Feeney. He had switched to the Democratic Party following the YEI/Feeney incident. Feeney refused to debate Curtis and aggressively smeared him as a mentally-unbalanced conspiracy theorist. Despite this, pre-election polls showed them running dead-even just before the election. Yet Curtis lost 42% to 58% in the official electronic tallies, a 16% red shift between the polling and the vote count.
Rather than conceding, Curtis and his campaign sought out evidence of the fraud they suspected. They canvassed Democrats and independents throughout Feeney's district, having them sign affidavits that they had voted for Curtis. What they found was a 12-14% Democratic undervalue compared to the electronic count. Curtis filed this evidence as an election challenge before Congress. However, all five challenges in 2006 (four of which came from Florida) were dismissed.
- Clint Curtis affidavit
- Murder, Spies, and Voting Lies part 2
- Murder, Spies, and Voting Lies part 1
- Murder, Spies, and Voting Lies part 3
- Farewell card for Curtis from YEI
- Murder, Spies, and Voting Lies part 4
- Murder, Spies, and Voting Lies part 6
- Addressing alleged holes in Curtis's story
- BradBlog investigation on Curtis's story
- Confirmation of Yang overbilling
- Confirmation of Henry Nee being an illegal alien
- Confirmation of Nee being a Chinese spy
- Murder, Spies, and Voting Lies part 7
- 2006 election fraud evidence
- "Walking for Democracy" video
- BradBlog investigation on Curtis's story
- "Mr. Curtis' Dog Has Been Killed", 2004/12/07
- "Yang (YEI) Responds in 'Full' to Clint Curtis Charges!", 2004/12/15 - shows Curtis himself was forthcoming about a controversy with his previous employer; shows FBI SA Tom Yowell confirm to Curtis that matters relating to Nee were "under investigation"; cites multiple emails proving that Henry Nee worked for YEI (including after 2000), which the company inexplicably denies
- "YEI Dodges, FBI Ducks...", 2004/12/20 - validation of Yowell email
- "EXCLUSIVE: 'Bloggermann's' Alleged Clint Curtis 'Threat' Letter, Police Report Discovered!", 2005/02/18
- "Of Polygraphs, Pulitzers, Patriots and Prevaricators...", 2005/04/11 (critical response to St. Petersburg Times, "Blogs spin tale of computers, conspiracies" by Lucy Morgan, 2005/04/09)
- John Byrne, "Addressing questions, programmer says vote-rigging prototype could be used for optical scan machines", 2004/12/08
- Interviews with Clint Curtis
- One took place sometime in 2005, and was done by Canadian interviewers; the link is being (TODO) searched for
- Radio Left interview by Bob Fertik on 2005/03/08
- Uncounted documentary footage of "Million Dollar Programmer" Clint Curtis
- Murder, Spies, and Voting Lies parts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7