Breaking: Michael LoPorto Found Not Guilty in Ballot Fraud Trial

July 18, 2012 at 3:45 pm (Ballot Fraud, Bob Mirch, Democrats, John Brown, Michael LoPorto, New York, Rensselaer County, Sara Couch, Trey Smith, Troy, Voter Fraud, WFP, Working Families Party)

Former City Councilman Michael Loporto, has been acquitted on all 22 counts of second-degree criminal possession of a forged instrument, in the upstate New York ballot fraud scandal.  In May, we predicted that this would be the outcome:

“LoPorto was wise in having his trial separated from his colleague (Ed McDonough).  The hard evidence against LoPorto’s knowledge of the scam is limited, and even witness testimony on his side of things was inconsistent.”

When the re-trial got underway, testimony was again inconsistent.  While several people had placed LoPorto at the scene of the ballot forgery, witnesses who testified could not agree on his exact placement.  One witness had placed him in close proximity, about an arm’s length, while another had him a good 20 feet away.

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But the real break for LoPorto came in May, when Working Families Party operative Sara Couch, requested to change her original testimony.  The Troy Record reported:

A key witness in the original trial of Democrats Ed McDonough and Michael LoPorto for their suspected roles in the 2009 Working Families Party ballot fraud scandal seeks to add to her original testimony.

Couch plans to add one statement that wasn’t contained in her initial testimony as well as adding some words LoPorto had said to her after she left a meeting with former City Councilman John Brown which took place at LoPorto’s restaurant. Brown, who was later convicted of a felony charge in connection to the case, tried convincing WFP members present at that meeting to put a press release out blaming the scandal on former city DPW Commissioner Bob Mirch. LoPorto was said to have been in the back cooking and not part of the meeting.

The contrasting statements gave two very different impressions.  In her previous testimony, Couch said that LoPorto had told her, ““I never gave you those ballots”, suggesting a cover-up.  In her revised statements, Couch said LoPorto followed her to her car, gave her a hug and said, “Had I known, I would have never handed you those ballots.”

LoPorto had maintained his innocence throughout the scandal.  His legal team has made a good point throughout, which is this – The prosecutor Trey Smith, seems to have given very favorable deals to Democrats in the scandal who stood to be most readily convicted for their part in the fraud, while actively pursuing those who played a minor or unwitting (in this case) role.

The question is, why?

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Breaking: Mistrial Declared in New York Voter Fraud Trial

March 13, 2012 at 4:10 pm (Anthony DeFiglio, Anthony Renna, Ballot Fraud, Democrats, Edward McDonough, John Brown, Kevin McGrath, Michael LoPorto, New York, Troy, Voter Fraud, WFP, William McInerney, Working Families Party)

Looks like the circus that is the upstate voter fraud trial will be in town once more.  After repeated declarations from the jury that they were hopelessly deadlocked, and amidst hope that they could come to some sort of partial verdict, Judge Pulver pulled the plug and declared a mistrial, ordering the case retried.  After the jury had been dismissed, supporters of the two defendants, Michael LoPorto and Edward McDonough broke into celebration.  How they could view a temporary reprieve as some sort of victory remains a mystery.

The loser in the case clearly is Troy politics in general, and the Democrat party.  Make no mistake, despite today’s results, several Democrat operatives committed a littany of crimes.

Via the Times Union:

A judge declared a mistrial Tuesday in the ballot fraud case against Rensselaer County Democratic Elections Commissioner Edward McDonough and former City Councilman Michael LoPorto.
Acting state Supreme Court Justice George Pulver dismissed the jury and ordered the case be retried.
The jury began deliberations March 2 and deliberated for approximately 40 hours. For days, jurors said they couldn’t reach a verdict, twice telling the judge they were deadlocked.
“The court concludes that the jury is hopelessly and genuinely deadlocked and that no purpose would be served requiring the jury to continue deliberations,” Pulver wrote in a decision announcing he was declaring a mistrial.
McDonough faced 38 counts of forgery and 36 counts of criminal possession of a forged instrument, both felonies.
LoPorto faced 29 counts of criminal possession of a forged instrument. Pulver dismissed 13 counts of second-degree forgery against LoPorto.

It remains to be seen how prosecutor Trey Smith will proceed, and which charges he wants to bring against the pair, if any.  For now it seems that the Democrats who have masterminded the voter fraud scheme were all given plea deals, exchanging testimony in this trial for a lone felony charge.  Two other Democrats await their own trials.

From the Troy Record:

Former City Clerk Bill McInerney, former Councilman John Brown and operatives Tony DiFiglio and Tony Renna all pled guilty to a felony each and testified on behalf of Smith.

Charges, including felonies, against two other Democrats, former Council President Clement Campana and Councilman Gary Galuski, remain outstanding.

How these deals were decided upon by Smith is anyone’s guess, but they are questionable to say the least. For instance, defense attorneys during the trial raised the question that Bill McInerney could have faced several hundred felony counts, but only had to plead to one.

Then there is the story of current Troy City Councilman, Kevin McGrath, who received his own immunity agreement.  Details of the that agreement came out during testimony when McGrath admitted on the stand that he has gotten favorable treatment – meaning no prison time – for several alleged crimes, including a felony drug conviction.

 In a June op-ed, former Democrat Party Chairman, Frank LaPosta, wrote:

Troy City Councilman Kevin McGrath, D-District 1, got the deal of a lifetime revealed in a recently disclosed cooperation agreement with the special prosecutor in the Troy voter fraud investigation. This agreement allows McGrath to avoid criminal prosecution for any wrongdoing on his part in the voter fraud scandal…

The people of District 1 and the city of Troy have a right to know why McGrath was given such favorable treatment to avoid criminal prosecution for acts he may have committed as part of the voter fraud scandal. These acts are very similar to what two individuals did who were in turn indicted by the same grand jury for multiple felony counts of alleged fraud and forgery. McGrath himself benefitted from the voter fraud in 2009 which allowed him to secure the Working Families party line on the ballot.

So while the McDonough and LoPorto families celebrate, at least 49 voters in Troy have had their vote stolen from them.  Some of them were targeted specifically for their lesser knowledge on election procedures, such as the mentally disabled.  Some of them were targeted for their lesser understanding of language and laws, such as immigrants.  Some were targeted based on their income, such as college students who were actually paid for their vote.

All of them were targeted for one specific reason.  Democrats thought they were infallible, and that theft of an election was a ‘normal political tactic’.

Do they have any reason to think otherwise?

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Top 8 Moments in the New York Voter Fraud Trial

March 8, 2012 at 7:24 pm (Anthony DeFiglio, Anthony Renna, Ballot Fraud, Edward McDonough, John Brown, Kevin McGrath, Michael LoPorto, New York, Troy, Voter Fraud, WFP, William McInerney, Working Families Party)

While the city of Troy, New York, anxiously awaits the jury’s verdict in the upstate voter fraud case, we thought it would be a good time to take a look back at some of the more outrageous, if not flat-out criminal moments of the trial thus far.

The trial involves two Democrats – former City Councilman Michael LoPorto, and Rensselaer County Board of Elections Commissioner Edward McDonough.  The two have been accused of over 100 combined felonies in connection with the alleged defrauding of the 2009 Working Families Party primary.

We chose eight moments, in honor of the eight Democrats who have been indicted in the case.
Anthony Renna, a long-time Democrat operative who has already been found guilty of second-degree forgery, actually had the fortitude to state the following with a straight face:

When asked why he handed ballots to former City Councilman John Brown, Renna said that he didn’t know what Brown’s intentions were and that “I wasn’t involved in any criminal procedures.”

The ballot fraud case in Troy, New York, shifted from a long parade of defrauded voter testimony, and focused on two operatives in the Working Families Party (WFP) Monday  – Thomas Aldrich and James Welch.  

Aldrich testified about his volunteer efforts on behalf of the Democrat party, which included knocking on doors and handing out brochures.  McDonough’s defense attorney, Brian Premo, pointed out that Aldrich’s name is on 13 of the allegedly fraudulent ballots.  Aldrich however, said that “He was not involved in any wrongdoing, and had no reason to believe anything illegal was happening…”

Perhaps more intriguing was the testimony of James Welch, Chairman of the Rensselaer County WFP.  A 2009 report by the Times Union indicates that some of the absentee ballots were returnable either to Democrat or WFP operatives, including Welch and Aldrich.  In a statement at that time, Welch claimed that “my conduct was strictly proper”.

However, on January 26th, State Police Investigator John Ogden testified that Welch was given a cooperation agreement to testify in the case…

… The question is, why would Welch or any member of the WFP need a cooperation agreement to testify?  If they were truly simply ignorant of the process, naive pawns in the voter fraud being schemed by the Democrats, then why wouldn’t their honest testimony be enough?

Worse, Welch seemingly isn’t the only member of the WFP who was ignorant of the voter fraud being perpetrated upon innocent people using their ballot line.  Karen Scharff, co-chair of the Capital District WFP at the time, the branch which controlled Welch’s Rensselaer County arm, had this to say:

“It’s extremely troubling that local Democrats in Troy appear to have committed fraud in an attempt to win a primary fight with Troy Republicans for our ballot line.”

The really troubling matter with Scharff’s WFP is that they’re a stone’s throw away from the influence of the New York Communities for Change – formerly known as ACORN.

Testimony also showed operatives may have targeted immigrants and other people not familiar with the English language or the U.S. election process.

Those witnesses needed a Spanish interpreter just to get through their testimony.

Maritza Berrios said she was not even registered to vote in 2009. Shown an absentee ballot with her signature, she said it was not hers.

Ana Berrios only said she signed something she was asked to sign. She said she really did not know what it was. When asked if she wrote in the required “where you will be on election day” box that she would be on vacation in Cape Cod, she replied — “I don’t even know where that is.”

Johanna Torres said she just did what she was told.

“He said sign here and I did and that was it,” Torres said.

The first witness called to testify in the upstate New York ballot fraud case, Jermaine Joseph, provided the expected testimony – ballots were filled out on his behalf, votes were cast across a straight Democrat party line, etc.

But an interesting caveat was also revealed, something Joseph did not provide in his grand jury testimony – He claims he was paid for his troubles.

Via the Times Union:

A former Hudson Valley Community College football player told jurors Wednesday that he was paid $10 to register to vote by a man from Troy City Hall.

Jermaine Joseph was the first witness called to testify at the trial of two Democrats accused of forging absentee ballots to hijack the 2009 Working Families Party primary.

Joseph said that he and his roommate were each given $10 by a man from Troy City Hall after they signed voter registration cards in 2009. He did not identify the man.

Is it possible that evidence against Democrats in Troy, New York, has finally hit rock bottom?  When they weren’t paying off college kids with their vote, they were apparently tricking mentally impaired voters into signing absentee ballots, telling them “the city made it easier to vote this year.”

A witness who testified in the upstate New York ballot fraud case explained that she would frequently visit two brothers, both of whom had ‘mental disabilities’.

Three men allegedly paid a visit to the family home of Michele Ziglitt one day.  Two of the men were identified as Gary Galuski, and Anthony DeFiglio.  Galuski, a city council member who also works for the Board of Elections, was charged with four felony charges that he left blank spaces on absentee ballots so they could be fraudulently filled in at a later time.  DeFiglio is a Democratic Committeeman who pleaded guilty to falsifying business records, and claimed that such rampant forgery was actually a ‘normal political tactic’.

Ziglitt testified that both of her brothers, Joseph Mammone, and Steven, who has since passed away, were asked to sign a ballot by Galuski.  Ziglitt thought that she was casting a vote for Galuski, even though he wasn’t even on the ballot that year.  The brothers also signed.

Ziglitt then claimed that, “They told me all I had to do was sign that paper and that was it.”  The statement continues the same pattern of the many voters who have already testified in the trial, in which they were tricked into signing the form while the rest of the information was filled in by the Democrats themselves.

Kevin McGrath, who currently sits on the Troy City Council, testified yesterday at the upstate New York voter fraud trial, that he was concerned about running for public office because of his history of substance abuse, and ‘the fact that he is a convicted felon’.

These days it seems, McGrath is far less concerned about public perception, at one point cracking a joke about his lack of drug-peddling business savvy – a comment that forced him to apologize to the judge.

During his testimony, McGrath stated that he was not convicted of distributing 220 lbs. of pot, but rather, he was involved with less than 10 lbs, or 100 kg.  Which led him to deadpan this joke – “I wasn’t too good. Didn’t make much of a profit.”  The comment prompted an apology for Judge Pulver.  Apparently, making light of a serious crime doesn’t sit well in Pulver’s courtroom.

Yesterday brought testimony from the former city clerk who allegedly spearheaded the operation, William McInerney.  The Democrat admitted his own guilt in the forgery case, while implicating others as well.  McInerney testified to preying on people living in public housing saying, “I went to the projects to see if voters would sign the applications and if not I’d forge them.”  McInerney officially pled guilty to forgery back in August…

… Adding insult to injury, McInerney also testified about a drunk driving conviction, had to answer questions about a sexual harassment claim which led to his termination at a job with the New York State Legislature, and having an order of protection issued for stalking his ex-wife.

1)       New York Democrats – Voter Fraud is ‘A Normal Political Tactic’ (01/17/2012)


According to a recent Fox News report, Anthony Renna, a Democrat guilty of second-degree forgery, and Anthony DeFiglio, a Democrat guilty of first-degree falsifying business records, are trying to drag all local politicians, regardless of party affiliation, down with the ship. 

Thus far, eight people have been charged in connection with the ballot fraud investigation, four of which have pleaded guilty.

Reports emerging from the investigation indicate that the Democrats are trying to implicate Republicans of the same conduct they have been charged with.  According to the state police, Renna and DeFiglio both claimed that, “voter fraud is an accepted way of winning elections, and faking absentee ballots was commonplace.”

Renna explained that the process of handing in forged ballots and fake votes ensures that “ballots are voted correctly.”  He adds, “‘Voted correctly’ is a term used for a forged application or ballot.”
DeFiglio added that such fraud is actually “an ongoing scheme and it occurs on both sides of the aisle.  What appears as a huge conspiracy to nonpolitical persons is really a normal political tactic.”

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Democrat Guilty of Forgery Testifies ‘I Wasn’t Involved In Any Criminal Procedures’

February 29, 2012 at 5:32 pm (Anthony DeFiglio, Anthony Renna, Ballot Fraud, Brian Premo, Crime, Democrats, Edward McDonough, Elections, Integrity, John Brown, Michael LoPorto, New York, Primary, Troy, Voter Fraud, WFP, William McInerney)

Oh what a knee-slapper we witnessed at the upstate New York voter fraud case today!

The Democrat party in this area is but a comedy of errors, day after day in court – problem being, they are the only ones who have had a laugh at the expense of poor, minority voters whose rights were being trampled during recent elections.

Anthony Renna, a long-time Democrat operative who has already been found guilty of second-degree forgery, actually had the fortitude to say the following with a straight face:

When asked why he handed ballots to former City Councilman John Brown, Renna said that he didn’t know what Brown’s intentions were and that “I wasn’t involved in any criminal procedures.”

Of course, in addition to having already been charged, Renna and a cohort in the scandal, Anthony DeFiglio,  told police that, “voter fraud is an accepted way of winning elections, and faking absentee ballots was commonplace.”

Fraud and forgery must not register as illegal in the mind of Democrats.

Earlier this month we reported on another statement made by Renna:

Renna explained that the process of handing in forged ballots and fake votes ensures that “ballots are voted correctly.”  He adds, “‘Voted correctly’ is a term used for a forged application or ballot.”

It would appear that Renna still isn’t aware that forgery is indeed a criminal procedure.  Of course, that might be because he and the Democrats in New York had been getting away with it for some time.

Testimony today revealed that one of the defendants in the case, Edward McDonough, one of two Democrats facing a litany of charges involving forgery and falsifying documents, had provided State Police with evidence that Renna himself had forged ballots in the 2007 general election, as well as the 2009 primary.

At one point during his testimony, Renna was challenged by defense attorney Brian Premo, “You committed many felonies of voter fraud over the past 20 to 30 years, isn’t that right?”


Renna denied that was the case, but as we reported earlier in the trial, a State Police Investigator stated that DeFiglio had referred to the voter fraud scheme as a ‘normal political tactic’ that had been taking place for ’25 years’.  


Th crux of the defense’s argument was that long-time operatives in the Democrat party such as Renna were actually the ones who had developed the forgery scheme throughout the years, and had simply showed newcomers the ropes.


All told, Renna admitted to forging ten ballots on the stand Wednesday.


He also made statements suggesting that he may have tried to get DeFiglio out of the area to, as in the words of the defense “tamper with the witness”.  The exchange as reported by the Times Union:

Premo also asked Renna if he tampered with evidence during the investigation by suggesting that Democratic operative Anthony DeFiglio leave the state when the fraud case broke.
Renna said McInerney sent him to DeFiglio with a job offer in Vermont.
“You wanted to tamper with the witness, right?” Premo asked.
“It all pertained to him not having a job at that time,” Renna said.
“In fact, they did not want him to talk to investigators, right?” Premo asked.
“There was a feeling he might be better off leaving the area,” Renna said.

Renna frequently came off as inept during his testimony, making statements that were not made during previous interviews or testimony, and forgetting names and individuals involved in scenarios when cross-examined.

Premo believes the inept act to be just that – an act.

“In fact you are just play acting for this jury, acting like you are slowed by illness when in fact you’re very streetwise, right?” he asked.

At least the city of Troy can rest easy knowing that Renna and the other Democrats still don’t believe what they did could be considered ‘criminal procedures”.

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Breaking: First Witness in New York Ballot Fraud Case Claims He Was Paid to Register

January 25, 2012 at 1:03 pm (Anthony DeFiglio, Ballot Fraud, Clement Campana, Democrats, Ed McDonough, Elections, James Gordon, Jermaine Joseph, John Brown, John Ogden, Michael LoPorto, New York, Omaira Rodriguez, Trey Smith, Troy, Voter Fraud)

The first witness called to testify in the upstate New York ballot fraud case, Jermaine Joseph, provided the expected testimony – ballots were filled out on his behalf, votes were cast across a straight Democrat party line, etc.

But an interesting caveat was also revealed, something Joseph did not provide in his grand jury testimony – He claims he was paid for his troubles.

Via the Times Union:

A former Hudson Valley Community College football player told jurors Wednesday that he was paid $10 to register to vote by a man from Troy City Hall.

Jermaine Joseph was the first witness called to testify at the trial of two Democrats accused of forging absentee ballots to hijack the 2009 Working Families Party primary.

Joseph said that he and his roommate were each given $10 by a man from Troy City Hall after they signed voter registration cards in 2009. He did not identify the man.

The Troy Record reports that the man told them to go grocery shopping.

Additionally:

Smith had Joseph read how the ballot cast in his name was filled out: It was a straight Democratic line. Democrats were running for the party nomination.

Another witness, Omaira Rodriguez, also testified, claiming that a signature and general hand-writing on an absentee ballot that she never requested, was not hers.

For more background on the case, please go here…

UPDATE:

Rodriguez said that said that “she had voted in the 2009 WFP primary but said she did not do it through an absentee ballot.”

Troy Record:

In documents presented by Matthew Hugg, an attorney assisting Smith during the trial, it showed that an application was filled out in Rodriguez’s name claiming she would be in New York City on Sept. 15, 2009. Rodriguez said she was not the one who indicated on the absentee ballot application that she would be on vacation around the time and added that she had not been to New York City since 2005.

New York State Police Investigator John Ogden was also questioned.

Ogden said he was assigned the case on Oct. 15, 2009. He went through the various leads that were developed through interviews with people involved in the alleged scheme such as Working Families Party operative Sara Couch and Democratic Party operative and former Troy Housing Authority employee Anthony DeFiglio. DeFigilio pled guilty to one felony of falsifying business records in December, 2011.

UPDATE:

Ogden says that the handwriting on the 2007/2008 applications was similar to the fraudulent 2009 applications.

In other words, local Democrats have been doing this for years.  No wonder they thought it was a ‘normal political tactic’.

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VIDEO: Opening Statement Heard in Upstate New York Voter Fraud Case

January 24, 2012 at 5:05 pm (Ballot Fraud, Bob Mirch, Brian Premo, Clement Campana, Democrats, Ed McDonough, Elections, James Gordon, John Brown, Michael LoPorto, New York, Trey Smith, Troy, Voter Fraud)

Opening statements were made by both the prosecution and the defense in a massive upstate New York voter fraud case.  Special prosecutor, Trey Smith, promises to expose the seedy underbelly of Democratic politics in the city of Troy, something other Democrats already charged in the case have referred to as ‘normal political tactics.’

The trial involves Democrat Board of Elections Commissioner Ed McDonough, and former Councilman Michael LoPorto, who combined, face over 100 total charges that include second-degree forgery, second-degree criminal possession of a forged instrument, and second-degree criminal possession.

Smith has claimed that Democrats ‘went for a power grab to ensure that several of its candidates, namely former Councilman John Brown, LoPorto, and former Council President Clement Campana, won the 2009 Working Families Party primary, which would help them win the general election a month later.’

For his part, defense attorney Brian Premo, isn’t necessarily denying the accusations but rather, trying to place “the blame on Democratic politicians and operatives”.  He even admitted a scheme in which Brown and Campana, both aspiring mayoral candidates, concocted a story to blame the fraud on then Department of Public Works Commissioner Bob Mirch, a Republican.

When the act of fraud was made public, Premo said Brown then held a meeting with members of the Working Families Party and workers from the Board of Elections at LoPorto’s Restaurant on fourth Street. There, he suggested the WFP members blame the fraud on then-Department of Public Works Commissioner Bob Mirch.

In our report last week, James Gordon, Chairman of the Troy Republican Committee said, “This was greed, ignorance, lack of ethics, and laziness.  Bad people doing bad things.”

Watch the prosecution’s opening statement below…

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