Mark Linderman, whom Manjoo cites in his Salon article, and who posts on DU (as “On the Other Hand”), has questioned both RFK Jr.’s and Fitrakis’ references to the Mighty Texas Strike Force. He calls them “unsubstantiated.”

Bob sent this response, which I thought you might interest you.

Also, here is the link to one of the DU exchanges.


Fitrakis response:

The following affidavit was prepared in the Moss v. Bush case during a videotaped interview with Jim Branscome, who described himself as a conservative, following the 2004 presidential election. The affidavit was never submitted in court for the case and after editing and approving the affidavit, Branscome left his position at the Holiday Inn shortly thereafter. I’ve spoken to Linda Byrket about releasing the tape of the Branscome interview and she informed me she would work on digitizing for submission. Also, as the co-host of a twice weekly talk show on WVKO 1580AM during this time, callers made me aware of “white people with southern accents” posting fliers and talking to people in the inner city of Columbus telling people that due to the anticipated heavy voter turnout, that Republicans were to vote on Tuesday and Democrats were to vote on Wednesday. I call was made to my house directing me to the wrong polling place, one, by the way, thanks to Ken Blackwell, that is actually closer to my house. Hundreds of documents obtained by public records requests are being released in September in a New Press book I’ve edited with Harvey Wasserman and Steve Rosenfeld entitled “What Happened in Ohio?

A Documentary Record of Theft and Fraud in the 2004 Election.” Hundreds of other documents will be made available on a digital archive online soon. The Free Press has accumulated over 20,000 election documents, including many public records and sworn affidavits from voters. I would be willing to meet Professor Tokaji for a debate anytime he likes, with each of us presenting our evidence and knowledge. I realize that Tokaji is not the problem, the problem is lack of real debate on the issue. As of today, the Free Press staff has looked at precinct data from over 9300 precincts in Ohio and despite massive roadblocks thrown up by local county officials, intends to look at all the more than 11,000 precincts in the state.

I, James Branscome, residing at XXX South XXXX Street, Newark, Ohio, 43055-3682, do swear and affirm the following:

1. I am an employee of the Holiday Inn, 175 E. Town St., Columbus, Ohio 43215. I work the 3:30-12pm shift drivng people to and from the airport. I have personal knowledge of the incidents relayed below.

2. On October 27, 2004, I picked up 7-10 individuals from the airport to drive them to the Holiday Inn. I made two more runs to pick up people from the group, for a total of approximately 25 people.

3. The individuals identified themselves as the Texas Strike Force. Most of them said they were from Texas, one person was from Florida.

4. The individuals stated they had paid their own way to come to Ohio. The Holiday Inn record for payment for their hotel rooms indicated the rooms were paid for by the Ohio Republican Party.

5. Their hotel rooms were in the back of the hotel, directly overlooking the Republican Party headquarters, which was behind the Holiday Inn.

6. On November 1, I overheard one of the Texas Strike Force men talking on the pay phone in the hotel lobby. He was telling someone that he would call the FBI on them if they went out to vote. He had a big “W” on his shirt.

7. Laverne Sanders, night auditor at the hotel, called the police. When the police arrived, they did nothing. One of the female Texas Strike Force individuals told the police about Democrats at the hotel who were “speaking Arabic.”

8. The phone caller from the Texas Strike Force accused the hotel personnel of violating his civil rights. He was staying in room 617 and was identified by another individual in the hotel as an attorney from California.


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