Voter Fraud Retrial For Democratic Elections Commissioner Set For November

August 17, 2012 at 9:00 am (Ballot Fraud, Clement Campana, Edward McDonough, Gary Galuski, Lansingburgh School District, Michael LoPorto, Rensselaer County, Sara Couch, Trial, Voter Fraud, Working Families Party)

Ed McDonough, the Democrat Elections Commissioner in Rensselaer County embroiled in a voter fraud scheme which has seen others of his party either serve time or accept plea deals for their actions, will go back on trial in November, with jury selection beginning on the 13th of that month.

From the Times Union:

In November, Rensselaer County Democratic Elections Commissioner Edward McDonough will stand trial for the second time this year on charges he allegedly forged absentee ballots to help Democrats secure the 2009 Working Families Party primary…

…  McDonough, who faces 38 felony counts of second-degree forgery and 36 felony counts of second-degree criminal possession of a forged instrument, was first tried alongside former City Councilman Michael LoPorto earlier this year. That highly publicized trial took nine weeks, beginning Jan. 17 and ending in a mistrial with a hung jury March 13.

This trial, and the ensuing ones should provide a plethora of exciting details.  The first combined trial with LoPorto (who has since been acquitted) and McDonough saw accusations of voters being paid for their signatures, accusations of immigrants being targeted, stories of mentally disabled men being used for their ballots, and Democrat councilmen joking about their past felony convictions.

Such is the state of politics in upstate New York.

McDonough’s trial will then likely be followed by the trials of two other Democrats allegedly involved in the scheme.

Former City Council President Clement Campana awaits trial on charges of first-degree falsifying business records and four counts of illegal voting, all felonies, and a count of conspiracy to promote or prevent election, a misdemeanor.

City Councilman Gary Galuski still faces four felony counts of first-degree falsifying business records.

Our original prediction was that the first trial for LoPorto would end up in his acquittal, based on varying witness accounts and a convenient changing of testimony by Working Families Party operative Sara Couch.  McDonough does not have such luxuries, and may well face some level of conviction.

McDonough also currently serves on the school board for the Lansingburgh School District.

Permalink Leave a Comment

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.

JJFWFPER7HR6

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?

Permalink Leave a Comment

Working Families Party Operative Wants to Change Testimony in Voter Fraud Scandal

May 10, 2012 at 8:05 am (Ballot Fraud, Democrat, Ed McDonough, Judge George Pulver, Karen Scharff, Michael LoPorto, New York, Sara Couch, Voter Fraud, Working Families Party)

The Troy Record calls it ‘augmenting’.  Perhaps she’s just ‘evolving’ like our President.  The rest of us would call it perjury or false testimony.

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.

In a letter sent to LoPorto, a former City Councilman and his former defense attorney Michael Feit, Special Prosecutor Trey Smith informs both men and Judge George Pulver that then WFP employee Sara Couch plans to add to the testimony she gave during the two month long trial of LoPorto and McDonough, the Rensselaer County Board of Elections Commissioner, which ended in a mistrial in April.

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 statements (new and previous) can be found here.

They certainly do provide a new tone for the conversation with LoPorto, who was wise in having his trial separated from his colleague.  The hard evidence against LoPorto’s knowledge of the scam is limited, and even witness testimony on his side of things was inconsistent.

Couch however, along with WFP operatives James Welch and Thomas Aldrich have some explaining to do.  We have long held the contention that the WFP’s role in this scandal was greater than they or the Democrats would acknowledge.  Couch, Aldrich, and Welch all worked under Karen Scharff, co-chair of the Capital District WFP at the time.  The Capital District WFP controlled the Rensselaer County arm of the WFP during the alleged fraud.

Here again is a rundown of the relationship between the WFP, Scharff, and the controversial organization ACORN, a group known for their voter fraud tactics:

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.  At the time that this ballot fraud in Troy was allegedly being carried out, the two organizations had several ties:
  • RedState has demonstrated that the WFP was founded by key members of ACORN, and shares many of its political strategies.
  • The WFP has listed ACORN as an affiliate program directly on their Web site.
  • Roger Stone called the New York Working Families Party “one of ACORN’s most successful projects”.
  • The New York Post analyzed the many shady dealings of the WFP, and its affiliation with ACORN.
As for Scharff, who co-chaired the Capital District Branch and thus oversaw Welch’s county branch, she also shares a history with the uber-corrupt ACORN:
  • Scharff has been involved in health care meetings coordinated by her group, Citizen Action, and ACORN.  A picture of one such event appears on the Times Union blog.
  • Her name appears on a letter of support for ACORN, in which criticism of their work is labeled as ‘mainly partisan’ attacks.
  • An article regarding the power of fusion politics, a tactic used by the WFP, shows Scharff’s activism in the election of Albany District Attorney, David Soares. The article covers the tandem work of the WFP and Citizen Action, along with the strong ties that the WFP has with ACORN. One key element here is the mention of Bertha Lewis who is described as ‘the executive director of ACORN’s New York City chapter’. Lewis also serves as co-chair for the WFP.
  • Another article celebrating the Soares victory appears in the Nation, in which Scharff’s WFP work is mentioned alongside the work of Dan Cantor. Cantor also serves as Executive Director for the WFP, and was national organizer for the ‘New Party’ in the ‘90s, a socialist group with strong ties to ACORN. In fact, the New Ground described the New Party’s ‘biggest asset and biggest liability’ as ACORN.
  • Scharff serves on the Advisory Board for the Center for Working Families, alongside Jon Kest, Director of the New York Association of Community Organization for Reform Now.
There undoubtedly will be more to come on this situation….

Permalink Leave a Comment