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the follow-up question is whose free speech rights are on trial?  It may be a matter of perspective...

now that Russ Diamond, founder of PA Clean Sweep,  has entered a federal lawsuit against uncleansweep.com, the time has come to talk about the meaning of everybody's free speech especially on the Internet

Who gets to speak and write opinions freely?  Russ Diamond, founder of the anti-incumbency organization PA Clean Sweep, has filed a revised federal lawsuit against uncleansweep.com, according to  
 
 
Misleading headline:  Web site linked to state House computer Friday, March 24, 2006
 
 

Russ Diamond PCN interview, Thursday, Feb. 23, 2006.
The following is for informational purposes. 
 
 
 

PCN Interview Russ Diamond occurred Live 7 PM Thursday, Feb. 23, 2006

The interview will be rebroadcast on PCN Saturday, Feb. 25, 2006

1:00 AM

PCN Call-In, State Legislative Races (recorded)

 

Russ Diamond, Founder, Operation Clean Sweep

 

Diamond was asked about the uncleansweep site.

 

PACleanSweep Moves to Amend Federal Suit

Legal counsel for PACleanSweep and its founder Russ Diamond today filed an Motion to Amend and a First Amended Complaint in their ongoing federal suit against House Republican staffer Bob Nye and others. The First Amended Complaint includes evidence of computer activity within the Capitol in Harrisburg in connection with Nye’s anti-PACleanSweep website. ...

http://www.pacleansweep.com/pr032306.html

 

http://www.pacleansweep.com/amended032106.htm

What an abomination of a headline.  Web site linked to state House computer
 
Read the lead:  A Web site attacking government watchdog Russ Diamond might have been modified by someone using a state computer while the Internet site was under construction, according to documents filed Thursday in federal court.
 
Documents filed by Russ Diamond in a federal lawsuit claim there is such a link.  The matter is in court.  Let's hear all of the evidence and proof before stating the Web site linked to state House computer

By Brad Bumsted
STATE CAPITOL REPORTER
Friday, March 24, 2006

HARRISBURG - A Web site attacking government watchdog Russ Diamond might have been modified by someone using a state computer while the Internet site was under construction, according to documents filed Thursday in federal court.

House Republican staffer Bob Nye has acknowledged creating Uncleansweep.com, which anonymously hammers Diamond and his group, PA CleanSweep. But Nye says in a sworn statement that "all of the work on the Web site was done in my home in Elizabethtown, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, on my personal home computer."

Diamond's attorney Lawrence Otter said in court papers yesterday that "recently discovered evidence" shows that a state House computer in the Ryan Office Building, where Nye works in Harrisburg, accessed the Web site on Feb. 9, two days before it was announced by e-mail.

Diamond filed a federal defamation lawsuit last month against Nye and unnamed members of the state House and Senate, both identified only as John Does.

"It's potentially a smoking gun," said Mike Young, a retired Penn State political science professor. The new evidence could be "explosive" if it is proven that government resources were used in connection with the Web site, Young said.

Diamond, of Lebanon County, was a leader of the movement that pushed the Legislature in November to repeal an unpopular pay raise lawmakers voted for themselves over the summer. Diamond's group then helped recruit more than 90 candidates to run for the General Assembly in the May 16 primary.

Tracing the computer's address to the House means that someone in the Legislature at a minimum looked at the site before it was made public, Otter said. In court papers, Otter asserted the site was modified "using taxpayer-paid computers and (while) Mr. Nye was on the time clock for the House Republican Caucus."

The new evidence contradicts Nye's sworn statement and "clearly raises the specter of perjury," Otter said in court papers.

Philadelphia attorney Thomas Leonard, who represents Nye, did not respond to phone calls and e-mail messages. Nye could not be reached for comment.

"Obviously," Otter said in an interview, "something was going on - on state computers, on state time."

However, Otter acknowledged it might have been a state employee other than Nye who at least looked at the site.

"We definitely need to look into it before we comment," said Kelly Fedelli, a spokeswoman for House Republicans.

House Republicans previously said there was no connection between Nye's Web site and the workplace.

"It makes you question the motives (of Diamond) when the press receives (the court filing) before Bob Nye and his attorneys," Fedelli said.

Andrew Crompton, lawyer for Senate President Pro Tempore Robert Jubelirer, R-Altoona, said nothing in Diamond's filing proves a Senate employee was involved in modifying the Web site.

Nye told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review last month he believed Diamond "had kind of been placed on a pedestal, and I thought it was important to at least get the facts out there."

The Uncleansweep Web site compares Diamond to Enron founder Kenneth Lay and alleges Diamond pocketed Cleansweep money. Those statements are false and libeled him, Diamond contends. He says he was reimbursed for mileage and printing costs.

"It's no big surprise that people inside the House were looking at this, accessing it, days before it's released to the public," Diamond said. "It goes a little further in confirming what we believe" - that legislators played a role in authorizing the site.

Legislators will be identified by name as more information is gathered, Otter said.

"Watch the falling dominoes and connect the dot-coms," he said...

More... http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/tribune-review/trib/regional/s_436332.html 

Vote Fix Observation March 24, 2006 the photographs have not been removed from the uncleansweep.com website http://www.uncleansweep.com/main.html

A spokeswoman for the House Republican Leader Sam Smith repeated earlier assertions that he had no involvement in the Web site.

Among the other items in uncleansweep.com are news postings of a former Adams County coordinator for PaCleanSweep who allegedly fled a courtroom while appearing on bank robbery charges. Juxtaposed photos of Diamond and Lay in handcuffs have been taken down.

The top of the homepage now says: "Hiding within their glass houses, PACleanSweep and their cohorts have soaked in the glory as media darlings. Now, it is time to see how clean these sweepers really are."

More... http://www.heraldstandard.com/site/news.cfm?newsid=16364563&BRD=2280&PAG=461&dept_id=480247&rfi=6

Keystone Politics:Posted by: LVDem on Friday, February 24, 2006 - 12:04 PM |
 
 
...Authorities were looking for two men, Rotharmel of Freeburg and accused getaway driver Donald Palesky, 21, who is listed as PA CleanSweep's Adams County coordinator.
 
Unclean Sweep posts an article, comment, and links to Palesky's involvement with pacleansweep...

 

Breaking News...  (PALESKY WAS LISTED AS THE ADAMS COUNTY COORDINATOR
PA CLEANSWEEP
HAS REMOVED PALESKY FROM THEIR WEBSITE)
http://www.uncleansweep.com/On_the_Inside.html

Robbery suspect flees from courtroom
Man had sought seat on Middletown council
Thursday, February 23, 2006
BY JOHN BEAUGE
AND TOM BOWMAN Of The Patriot-News
(
http://www.pennlive.com/search/index.ssf?/base/news/114069020261240.xml?pennnews&coll=1)

Mr. Palesky's involvement with PA Cleansweep:

Anti-incumbent activist sues Web site creator

2/17/2006, 5:24 p.m. ET
By MARTHA RAFFAELE
The Associated Press
 

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — The founder of a group seeking to defeat incumbent state lawmakers filed a federal libel lawsuit Friday against the creator of an opposition Web site that alleges that his campaign is a "moneymaking scheme."

The site, http://www.uncleansweep.com, compares PACleanSweep chairman Russ Diamond to former Enron Corp. founder Kenneth Lay and alleges that "81 percent of every dime CleanSweep has spent has gone directly into Russ Diamond's pocket."

"The last time I looked, when you call somebody a criminal and it ain't true, that's libel per se," said Lawrence M. Otter, a Doylestown attorney representing Diamond, who said he learned about the Web site's existence on Saturday.

The site is registered to Bob Nye, a Republican staffer in the state House of Representatives. Otter said he believes at least one Republican senator and one Republican representative assisted Nye, and the suit includes "John Doe" defendants under those titles.

"You're talking about the ... people who like PACleanSweep the least in Pennsylvania, and this gentleman works in the same office they occupy," Diamond said.

Otter said he plans to identify lawmakers in an amended court filing once he has gathered enough information, but he added he has subpoenaed both House and Senate Republican leaders. Spokesmen for both caucuses said attorneys are reviewing the subpoenas.

Nye did not immediately return a telephone message left at his office Friday. His attorney, Tom Leonard of Philadelphia, defended the site's content and contended that Diamond was trying to "choke debate and silence his critics."

"Truth is a defense, and to the best of our knowledge, everything on the Web site is true," Leonard said.

In newspaper stories published about the site this week, Nye was quoted as saying that he is the only one involved with the site and maintains it on his own time, with his own money. He told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review for Friday's editions that he believes Diamond has "kind of been placed on a pedestal and I thought it was very important to at least get the facts out there."

The Web site includes links to campaign finance reports filed last year by PACleanSweep's political action committee, which include payments to Diamond and to the Annville media-recording business he owns for such things as printing costs, tolls and mileage. Diamond said all of those expenses were approved by the organization's board of directors.

The complaint also alleges that PACleanSweep's civil rights have been violated because http://www.uncleansweep.com seeks to thwart its effort to field challengers against incumbent lawmakers in the primary and general elections. The organization says it has recruited more than 80 candidates.

Anti-incumbent activist sues Web site creator By MARTHA RAFFAELE

Another article:
 
The following is intact for discussion purposes only.
 
Site slams activist By Brad Bumsted and Debra Erdley Wednesday, February 15, 2006 Tribune-Review
 
HARRISBURG -- Russ Diamond shines in the media spotlight as one of the chief critics of the Legislature, but it makes him an easy target.

Diamond, founder of PACleanSweep, a group recruiting people to run against incumbent legislators, on Tuesday learned that someone posted an anonymous Web site targeting him.

The site, www.uncleansweep.com, compares him to Enron Corp. founder Kenneth Lay -- now on trial for fraud and conspiracy -- and threatens to reveal "dirt" about any legislative challengers.

"I don't know who put it out, but we are going to get to the bottom of it," said Diamond. He suspects someone with connections to legislative leaders and said he might file a lawsuit to help uncover who's behind it.

Legislative leaders from both parties said they weren't aware of the Internet site and denied involvement.

Diamond, a Lebanon businessman, garnered publicity last year by protesting the now-repealed pay raise legislators gave themselves, state judges and top state employees.

The site accuses Diamond of "lining his pockets by riding the pay issue," alleging that more than $7,000 of PACleanSweep expenditures reimbursed Diamond or his company. He said PACleanSweep reimbursed him for mileage at 25 cents a mile and his company for copying costs.

"I'm not making a profit," Diamond said.

The site also promises a link called "The Citizen Informer," asking for "tidbits and other information" about PACleanSweep-backed candidates.

Eric Epstein, founder of rockthecapital.org, a reform-minded Web site, said the anonymous attacks are "a desperate and pathetic attempt to discredit challengers."

"It's political sewage," said Epstein.

Joseph DiSarro, chairman of the political science department at Washington & Jefferson College in Washington, Washington County, predicted the on-line attacks might backfire and "add momentum to CleanSweep." The site "will be perceived as an attempt to protect incumbents," DiSarro said.

Mike Long, chief of staff to Senate Majority Leader Robert Jubelirer, R-Altoona, said he hadn't seen the site but wasn't surprised to learn of it.

"It's a new world out there," Long said.

He wouldn't speculate about the site's origin. "It's not me and it's not anyone I know of -- or if it is, they haven't told me," Long said.

Spokesmen for House leaders also denied knowledge of the site.

"We did not know anything about it until (this) showed up," said Steve Miskin, spokesman for House Majority Leader Sam Smith, R-Punxsutawney.

"It's not us, nor any of the campaigns," said Bob Caton, an aide to House Minority Whip Mike Veon, D-Beaver Falls.

Tim Potts, co-founder of Democracy Rising Pa., a statewide reform coalition that gained momentum during the pay raise controversy last year, said he heard rumors for some time that repercussions would occur against those leading the anti-incumbency campaigns.

Pennsylvania reformers "want the highest standards of integrity in America. The people who are operating this site obviously have the lowest standards of integrity in America," said Potts, who was disturbed by the anonymity.

Epstein isn't worried about becoming a target because of his group.

"Bring it on," he said.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/tribune-review/trib/regional/s_424027.html

 
 
 
 

Penn Patriot Online discusses this issue and other matters in its blog
 

Web site targets activist

The Evening Sun

http://www.eveningsun.com/localnews/ci_3516043

Web site targets activist
The Evening Sun

By JOHN LATIMER

For The Evening Sun

It stands to reason that when you declare war against the entire Pennsylvania Legislature, you are going to make enemies.

Political activist Russ Diamond says that's exactly what he expected last summer, when, in response to the legislative pay raise, he launched PACleanSweep - a Web-based, grassroots political movement with the expressed goal of replacing all of the state's representatives and senators.

He's getting what he expected. A new Web site that appeared last week, UncleanSweep.com, counters Diamond's organization and targets him personally.

A statement at the top of the UncleanSweep homepage - next to a cartoon-style drawing of an eyeball peering through a magnifying glass - indicts PACleanSweep. However, even a quick examination of the site reveals that the focus is squarely on Diamond, the owner of an Annville CD- and DVD-reproduction production company.

Diamond said he was alerted to the existence of UncleanSweep.com on Saturday by its creator, who sent a mass e-mail to every member of PACleanSweep.

"We just laughed," Diamond said.

The Internet counterattack came as no surprise, Diamond said, noting that a founding statement on the PACleanSweep.com Web site predicts that opponents "will surely use every tool at their disposal to discredit this effort, to cast doubt upon my integrity and punish me for my desire to subvert the wishes of political figureheads and their various committees."

Much of the UncleanSweep Web site is still under construction, but what's there promises revelations about "the real Russ Diamond."

The one completed section compares Diamond with former Enron boss Ken Lay, accusing him of "lining his pockets by riding the pay-raise issue."

Citing - and linking to - financial statements filed with the Pennsylvania Department of State, it shows that $7,006 of the $8,636 contributed to PACleanSweep has gone to Diamond's company, Raintree Productions.

"(T)he self-appointed, self-promoting leader of his self-concocted political revolution has stolen the limelight and blinded his followers with his ranting rhetoric that has gone unanswered," states the Web site in its lambaste of Diamond. "Our elected officials have gone through public scrutiny. Now is the time to hold Diamond and his minions to the same standards as they seek public approval."

Diamond defended the spending, explaining that it went toward organizational and promotional items that he produced at cost.

"I think I've lost money doing this," Diamond said. "I am not making a dime on this, unlike my friends in the House and Senate. ... The only money coming to me is a 25-cents-a-mile reimbursement for my traveling expenses.

"Which, by the way, is lower than the 42.5 cents that the federal government allows."

Just exactly who is behind the Web site is a mystery.

UncleanSweep.com was registered Feb. 6 with Domains By Proxy, an Arizona-based company explicitly created to shield the identity of Web-site operators.

After a Jan. 30 news conference in which he announced the names of 81 candidates who will be running for seats in the Legislature under the PACleanSweep banner, Diamond said, he was tipped off by a member of the state capital press corps that his opponents would try to discredit the movement by discrediting him. Diamond said he has a "sneaking suspicion" that it was created by someone employed by the Pennsylvania Senate, but he would not be more specific.

Several prominent Senate staffers said this week they were not responsible for UncleanSweep.com and did not know who was. They spoke on condition of anonymity, explaining that they did not want their names - and the names of their bosses - associated with the Web site.

Diamond said he is considering legal action against Domain By Proxy to force it to reveal the site's owner.

The company's bylaws stipulate that it may break its agreement to protect a Web-site owner's identity if the owner is hiding behind anonymity in order to "defame, embarrass, harm, abuse, threaten, or harass third parties."

from uncleansweep site:
 
"Elect anyone who runs against an incumbent, regardless of their philosophies.  (Diamond) said no matter if the person is a
'thief, a crook or a liar'"

- Russ Diamond (Meadville Tribune 12/12/05)

http://www.uncleansweep.com/The_Real_Russ.html

Meadville Tribune russ diamond Elect anyone who runs against an incumbent

 

 


Progressive PA Politics raises the issue of candidacy of founder of pacleansweep, Russ Diamond, in January, 2006
 
January 09, 2006
PPP Exclusive

Russ Diamond Exposes Himself

Russ Diamond, the founder of PACleanSweep.com, has authorized the formation of a political committee to raise money for a campaign for a Pennsylvania elected office. Many (including PPP) had speculated that his work was merely a public relations campaign to propel a Diamond candidacy, but he has repeatedly said he would not run for office in order to maintain the integrity and independence of PACleanSweep. Now he has exposed his true intentions.

Diamond’s website (www.draftrussdiamond.com)  admits it authorized by him to begin raising money for a campaign:

"Does Russ know you’re doing this? Do you have his permission?

Yes and yes! In order for us to raise money in his name, he has to sign a form called a DSEB-501 that authorizes a committee to raise money in his name. He has done this, and we have filed the proper paperwork in both Harrisburg and Lebanon County. Russ has insisted that if he decides not to run for office in 2006, all the money raised (less minor expenses we mentioned earlier) will go to the charity of his choice. Russ has this in writing from us, and you have our word on that.

What state offices could Russ pursue in 2006?

Pennsylvania State Assembly (District 101), Pennsylvania State Senate (District 48), Lieutenant Governor, and Governor (yes, Governor!)”

More issues noteworthy http://progressivepapolitics.com/weblog/clean_governmentelectoral_reform/

Whosis Search Results PROGRESSIVEPAPOLITICS.COM

Who will the public follow in order to rid Harrisburg of incumbent legislators?
 
the picto-comment on the website of www.uncleansweep.com
 
"Elect anyone who runs against an incumbent, regardless of their philosophies.  (Diamond) said no matter if the person is a
'thief, a crook or a liar'"

- Russ Diamond (Meadville Tribune 12/12/05)
 
 
Article which contains the quote of Russ Diamond:
 
The following is highlighted here for discussion purposes only.
 

Group attempts to have a challenger for every incumbent in next year’s election

By Jane Smith
12/12/05

WATERFORD — Wearing blue jeans, a dark flannel shirt over a black turtleneck sweater, Russ Diamond paced the floor of the Libertarian Headquarters here for more than 90 minutes to get his message across: “Vote ’Em All Out.”

The “Em” he was referring to are the state legislators and all government officials.

Diamond, 42-year-old computer business owner from Lebanon County, urged the approximately 50 persons in attendance to get involved now and line up a candidate to run against every incumbent as a protest against last July’s pay raise.

Diamond, who said he is a conservative Republican, ran unsuccessfully for Congress and the state House as a Libertarian last year, according to an Inter-net site. He said he ran at the urging of people in his district.

Touting the success of his organization in making history by defeating Supreme Court Justice Russell Nigro for retention in the Nov. 8 election, Diamond said it was because of the Internet. Legislators, he said, “had no clue the role it would play,” citing the thousands of people that can be contacted now that did not have access 10 years ago.

Despite the fact the Legisla-ture has repealed the pay raise, Diamond said, “That is not good enough for me,” saying there is nothing to prevent the Legisla-ture from repeating the measure.

“It’s a matter of trust,” he said, noting if the Legislature did that “in the middle of the night when nobody was looking, what else are they doing?”

Diamond said he got involved after talking with his nephew, who was furious that one state senator received a $34,000 pay raise when his nephew was operating a pizza shop seven days a week and not making $34,000 a year.

At the same time, Diamond said the Legislature is not doing its job. While it talks about property tax reform, Diamond said that is just a symptom of the problem. He said Legislature has not addressed the “broken education, health care, poor economy and poor business climate in Pennsylvania.”

Instead of addressing those problems, Diamond said legislators are involved in the “Incum-bent Protection Program” and worry more about being re-elected than solving the state’s problems.

Although it was snowing outside and cold, Diamond said now is the time to recruit candidates for the May primary. Noting nominating petitions must be filed by March 7, he said they can be circulated for signatures beginning Feb. 14, meaning candidates should be ready to go by the end of January. “That’s only six weeks away,” he said.

Those running for the House of Representatives need 300 signatures; for the Senate, 500.

“Why are you not running for office?” he asked the audience. “What is holding you back?”

“Money,” was one reply. “Education,” was the second.

Money should not be a major factor, he said, noting the Republicans spent $1.5 million to help keep two Supreme Court justices on the bench. “We spent nothing and we made history,” he said, referring to Nigro’s defeat.

“You don’t need a lot of money to speak about great ideas,” he said. “They (the Republi-cans) spent millions of dollars to support a bad idea.”

He said what is needed is a $100 filing fee and “time. The most important thing you do,” he said, is spending time campaigning, noting it takes a lot of “shoe leather.”

He said education is not a criteria for election. Requirements for a state representative are that the candidate must be 21 years of age, have lived in Pennsylva-nia for four years, in a specific district for one year, and pay the filing fee. “That’s it,” he said. He asks that candidates asking for his organization’s help be able to “read the constitution and know the difference between right and wrong.”

“We have 74 candidates so far; we need a lot more,” he said of the 2006 elections where all 203 state House seats and 25 state Senate seats will be up for grabs. He also wants to defeat the governor and all incumbent office holders, saying they all deserve to be taken out of office. He wants an opponent on every ballot.

“I can’t do it alone,” he said as he urged people to get involved and work together. He said it would be better to have only one candidate on a ballot opposing an incumbent, noting if there are more than one, they split the votes and the incumbent will be nominated again.

Responding to questions about philosophies about candidates, Diamond said that is not the concern of Clean Sweep. He said if one starts worrying about philosophy and policy, it will divide the efforts.

Instead, he said, elect anyone who runs against an incumbent, regardless of their philosophies. He said no matter if the person is a “thief, a crook or a liar,” to vote for them, noting they can be defeated in two years. The important thing for 2006 is to vote out all the incumbents, he said, noting it’s time to make Penn-sylvania a better state and a great asset.

See comments... http://www.meadvilletribune.com/local/local_story_345224728.html

 

2 Web sites duel over pay-raise matters

PACleanSweep founder takes hits on Internet
Thursday, February 16, 2006
BY JAN MURPHY
Of The Patriot-News

PACleanSweep is finding out politics can be dirty business.

The founders of the Web-based movement to oust all state lawmakers seeking re-election have become the target of an opposing Web site.

Uncleansweep.com, launched this week, takes swipes at Russell Diamond, the founder and board chairman of the PACleanSweep.com campaign, which grew from the public outcry over last summer's legislative pay raises. Those raises, which ranged from 16 percent to 54 percent, were repealed.

The Uncleansweep site questions some of the nonpartisan group's expenses and promises to post profiles of Diamond and others involved with the campaign.

"Hiding within their glass houses, PACleanSweep and their cohorts have soaked in the glory as media darlings," the Web site states. "Now, it is time to see how clean these sweepers really are."

Barry Kauffman, executive director of government watchdog Common Cause Pennsylvania, said the surfacing of Uncleansweep is not surprising.

"People play dirty here, and people play to win," Kauffman said, adding that Common Cause does not endorse PACleanSweep's goal of ousting all incumbents.

Spokesmen for the Republican and Democratic state committees denied involvement, as did campaign committees for the House and Senate Republican and Democratic caucuses.

The Web site was registered by Domains By Proxy Inc. of Scottsdale, Ariz., a service that specializes in maintaining Web sites for people who don't want to be identified.

Last night, Bob Nye, 29, of Rockwood Drive, Elizabethtown, Lancaster County, confirmed that he started the Uncleansweep Web site.

Page 2 of 3

Nye, who works in the state House of Representatives, said he started the site with his own time and money and said it is not connected to any political parties.

"It's important that people know about the candidates that CleanSweep is putting up," Nye said.

Nye said his service provider informed him about a lawsuit that is attempting to shut down the site. Nye said he has not seen the suit.

"Someone is afraid of what may have come up," Nye said.

Diamond, an Annville businessman, said the situation reminded him of the Republican State Committee's scrutiny of him when he unsuccessfully ran for Congress in the 17th District in 2004.

"I'm not finger-pointing at them," Diamond said. "But it's an odd coincidence."

Nye's Web site takes shots at the media, saying they failed to report on "Diamond's intentions of lining his pockets by riding the pay-raise issue." It claims that Diamond has "pocketed $7,006.51 of the money" contributed to his campaign.

Diamond said the Web site's claim is ridiculous. While the campaign expense report might show that money has been paid to him or his media production business, Raintree, he said the payments are legitimate, documented, approved by the group's board and paid by checks signed by the group's treasurer.

Many of the expenses are reimbursement for Clean- Sweep charges on Diamond's business credit card because the campaign does not have a charge card, he said.

He also offered an explanation for such charges as the $344.50 bill for 2,500 color copies, plus tax, paid to his business. Diamond said that charge was about a third the amount the group would have paid had it gone elsewhere. He said "no profit was made."

Page 3 of 3

Al Bowman, a spokesman for the House Republican Campaign Committee, said the questions about the payments illustrate why he urges Republican lawmakers to avoid paying for services from a company they own.

"It leaves open the door for questions about impropriety," Bowman said.

Diamond said he and other board members "double document everything." He said he has the original receipts for campaign expenses and receipts for the reimbursement provided by PACleanSweep to his business....

More lengthy article... 2 websites Duel 

GOP staffer behind attacks

By Brad Bumsted
STATE CAPITOL REPORTER
Friday, February 17, 2006

HARRISBURG -- An aide to House Republicans created a Web site that attacks the head of anti-incumbency group PACleanSweep.

House leaders insist that Bob Nye, who works in the state Capitol in the district operations office under House Majority Leader Sam Smith, acted alone and that lawmakers were unaware he had posted the site.

"Nobody knew he was doing it," said Steve Miskin, spokesman for Smith, R-Punxsutawney.

Miskin said Nye isn't likely to be disciplined or fired.

"For doing something on his own time? For doing something he believes in?" Miskin said Thursday.

The Internet site, www.uncleansweep.com, which was first reported by the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review on Wednesday, anonymously levels criticism at Russ Diamond, founder of PACleanSweep, and encourages readers to provide "tidbits and other information" on candidates Diamond recruits to run for the Legislature.

Diamond's attorney, Larry Otter, of Doylestown, Bucks County -- threatening a lawsuit -- contacted Domains by Proxy Inc., of Scottsdale, Ariz., where the site is registered. The company's specialty is providing privacy for people who establish Web sites.

The company identified the site's founder as Nye, of Elizabethtown, Lancaster County.

"Bob Nye is clearly the guy behind the uncleansweep Web page," said Otter.

Nye, 29, who previously worked for the Republican National Committee, said he developed the Web site because he believes Diamond has "kind of been placed on a pedestal and I thought it was very important to at least get the facts out there. I really did this site to make sure the truth comes out."

He acknowledges being a Republican but contends that the site is not slanted toward either party.

"I would say this is something I've done, absolutely, on my own. I've used no state time. I've used no state equipment," said Nye, adding that he was not encouraged to create the site by Republican leaders.

Miskin said Nye was upset that journalists have not given Diamond the same scrutiny as other public figures, including legislators.

Diamond started PACleanSweep -- which urges voters to oust incumbent legislators -- after lawmakers approved a later-repealed pay raise for themselves and state judges last year.

The site claims Diamond "lined his pockets" with PACleanSweep donations.

Diamond, who maintains he was reimbursed only for mileage and printing costs, was not surprised to learn that a legislative staffer was behind the site.

"It's the whole establishment gang up there," he said.

Diamond is still considering litigation.

"These people are out of control, and character assassination is the coin of the realm," Otter said.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/tribune-review/trib/regional/s_424824.html

 
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Lawsuit aimed at electronic voting By Nancy Petersen Posted on Wed, Jan. 18, 2006 

A citizens group in Bucks County filed a lawsuit yesterday in Commonwealth Court hoping to throw a wrench into the county's plans to replace its lever voting machines in time for the May 16 primary.

The action, filed by the Coalition for Voting alleges that the state is using inconsistent standards to certify which new computerized voting systems can be purchased by local counties. The suit claims the inconsistency is unconstitutional.

The group is essentially asking the court to waive the May deadline for getting a new voting system in operation, the group's Doylestown attorney, Lawrence Otter, said.

"We want the status quo preserved for the May 16 primary," Otter said. "I don't want to see the county get rushed into switching to a new system that is unreliable, and that is the most charitable description...

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