Dead Harry Reid’s Corrupt Cleantech Stock Market Crash Scams
When U. S. Senators Harry Reid and Dianne Feinstein realized they could each make billions of dollars, personally, via their family stock holdings and campaign funds, they didn’t waste a minute stabbing their own constituents in the back to get at that cash. California and Nevada Green Car Companies, Solar Companies, Energy Technology Companies, Green Builders and Transit Companies were hacked off at the knees because they competed with the stock assets that Reid and Feinstein had acquired in their kick-back deals. These other applicants were all “GREEN COMPANIES”: supposedly the Democrat’s favorite things. It doesn’t matter, though, how green your company was, if it was in the path for the green cash from Tesla or Solyndra. Two of the favored companies who paid the kick-backs to federal officials.
Harry Reid, the corrupt architect of the “nuclear option” for judicial appointments, whose dirty, Las Vegas-style politics laid the stage for the current atmosphere of political acrimony in Washington, DC, departed for his final destination Tuesday after a four-year bout with pancreati cancer.
Reid, 82, died “peacefully” and surrounded by friends, his wife, Landra, said in a statement.
The combative former boxer-turned-lawyer was widely-acknowledged as one of toughest dealmakers in Congress, who vexed lawmakers of both parties with a brusque manner and this motto: “I would rather dance than fight, but I know how to fight.”
Over a 34-year career in Washington, Reid thrived on backroom wrangling and kept the Senate controlled by his party through two presidents—Republican George W. Bush and Democrat Barack Obama—a crippling recession and the Republican takeover of the House after the 2010 elections.
He was known in Washington for his abrupt style, typified by his habit of unceremoniously hanging up the phone without saying goodbye.
“Even when I was president, he would hang up on me,” Obama said in a 2019 tribute video to Reid.
But he will best be remembered for lowering the threshold on judicial appointments to 50 senators after being stymied by Republican opposition to Obama far-left appointees.
That precedent allowed his successor, Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., to do the same for former President Donald Trump’s appointees, including three Supreme Court justices who cleared the nomination process with near-unanimous Democrat opposition.
Reid’s move paved the way for the current Democrat effort to permanently end the filibuster—one of the lone tools that the Senate’s minority party has at its disposal—as part of their bid to pass the controversial HR1 election-stealing bill.
Two other events in Reid’s declining years helped punctuate his dubious career as Nevada’s longest-serving member of Congress to date.
During the 2012 election, he falsely claimed on the Senate floor to have damning evidence that GOP candidate Mitt Romney had cheated on his taxes.
The effort to cajole Romney into releasing his private financial affairs never bore out as intended, but the stigma of it contributed to the moderate’s perception as an out-of-touch elitist. When pressed about the unethical scheme, Reid unapologetically boasted, “Romney didn’t win, did he?”
But cosmic justic came to Reid in 2014, when Republicans routed Democrats in the midterm elections, spurring Reid to announce his retirement in 2015.
At the same time, he appeared to wear an eyepatch and announced that he had been the victim of a bathroom mishap involving an elastic exercise band.
Rumors swirled that the episode—which blinded him in one eye as well as leaving him with several broken ribs and bones in his face—was either Mafia-related or was the result of a domestic tiff with his ne’er-do-well brother Larry during a drunken New Year’s Eve brawl.
Although Reid denied the rumors, speculation persisted that he was being less than forthcoming in his explanation for the facial injuries.
Reid in May 2018 revealed he’d been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and was undergoing treatment.
Althought his legacy is one of irreparable damage to the institution of the Senate, Democrats continued to celebrate him for his hardball tactics.
Less than two weeks ago, officials and one of his sons, Rory Reid, marked the renaming of the busy Las Vegas airport as Harry Reid International Airport. Rory Reid is a former Clark County Commission chairman and Democratic Nevada gubernatorial candidate.
Neither Harry nor Landra Reid attended the Dec. 14 ceremony held at the facility that had been known since 1948 as McCarran International Airport, after a former U.S. senator from Nevada, Pat McCarran, and today ranks as one of the 10 busiest airports in the U.S.
Reid’s political machine helped stave off several challenges to his own seat—notably one in the 2010 elections, when he looked like the underdog to tea party favorite Sharron Angle.
Ambitious Democrats, assuming his defeat, began angling for his leadership post. But Reid miraculously defeated Angle, 50% to 45%.
As dishonest as he was, he also could be disarmingly blunt about his motives and machinations.
“I don’t have people saying ‘he’s the greatest speaker,’ ‘he’s handsome,’ ‘he’s a man about town,’” Reid told the New York Times in December that year. “But I don’t really care. I feel very comfortable with my place in history.”
Reid’s own personal history also shed some light on his “ends-justifies-the-means” political philosophy.
Born in Searchlight, Nevada, to an alcoholic father who killed himself at 58 and a mother who served as a laundress in a bordello, Reid grew up in a small cabin without indoor plumbing and swam with other children at a pool at a local brothel.
He hitchhiked to Basic High School in Henderson, Nev., 40 miles from home, where he met the wife he would marry in 1959, Landra Gould. At Utah State University, the couple became members of The Church of Latter-Day Saints.
The future senator put himself through George Washington University law school by working nights as a U.S. Capitol police officer.
At age 28, Reid was elected to the Nevada Assembly and at age 30 became the youngest lieutenant governor in Nevada history as Gov. Mike O’Callaghan’s running mate in 1970.
Elected to the U.S. House in 1982, Reid served in Congress longer than anyone else in Nevada history. He narrowly avoided defeat in a 1998 Senate race when he held off Republican John Ensign, then a House member, by 428 votes in a recount that stretched into January.
After his election as Senate majority leader in 2007, he was credited with putting Nevada on the political map by pushing to move the state’s caucuses to February, at the start of presidential nominating season.
That forced each national party to pour resources into a state which, while home to the country’s fastest growth over the past two decades, still only had six votes in the Electoral College. Reid’s extensive network of campaign workers and volunteers twice helped deliver the state for Obama.
Obama in 2016 lauded Reid for his work in the Senate, declaring, “I could not have accomplished what I accomplished without him being at my side.”
The most influential politician in Nevada for more than a decade, Reid steered hundreds of millions of dollars to the state and was credited with almost single-handedly blocking construction of a nuclear waste storage facility at Yucca Mountain outside Las Vegas.
He often went out of his way to defend social programs that make easy political targets, calling Social Security “one of the great government programs in history.″
He even notoriously advocated for junk mail in 2012, declaring, “Seniors love getting junk mail. It’s sometimes their only way of communicating or feeling like they’re part of the real world.”
Reid championed suicide prevention, often telling the story of his father, a hard-rock miner who took his own life. He stirred controversy in 2010 when he said in a speech on the floor of the Nevada legislature it was time to end legal prostitution in the state.
Democrats grumbled about his votes for a ban on so-called partial-birth abortion and the Iraq war resolution in 2002, something Reid later said it was his biggest regret in Congress.
He voted against most gun control bills and in 2013 after the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre, dropped a proposed ban on assault weapons from the Democrats’ gun control legislation. The package, he said, would not pass with the ban attached.
Reid’s Senate particularly chafed members of the House, both Republicans and Democrats.
When then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., railroaded Obama’s health care overhaul through the House in 2009, a different version passed the Senate, and the reconciliation process floundered long enough for Republicans to turn it into an election-year weapon they used to demonize the California Democrat and cast the legislation as a big-government power grab.
Obama signed the measure into law in March 2010. But angered by the recession and inspired by the small-government tea party, voters the next year swept Democrats from the House majority.
Reid hand-picked a Democratic candidate who won the election to replace him in 2016, former Nevada Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto, and built a political dynasty in the state that helped Democrats win a series of key elections in 2016 and 2018.
On his way out of office, he repeatedly lambasted Donald Trump, calling him at one point “a sociopath” and “a sexual predator who lost the popular vote and fueled his campaign with bigotry and hate.”
Reid’s guileless manner made him political enemies, however, not only in Washington, but also in his home state, a notorious Mafia hotbed.
As head of the Nevada Gaming Commission investigating organized crime, Reid became the target of a car bomb in 1980. Police called it an attempted homicide. Reid blamed Jack Gordon, who went to prison for trying to bribe him in a sting operation Reid participated in over illegal efforts to bring new games to casinos in 1978.
Following Reid’s lengthy farewell address on the Senate floor in 2016, his Nevada colleague Republican Dean Heller declared: “It’s been said that it’s better to be feared than loved, if you cannot be both. And as me and my colleagues here today and those in the gallery probably agree with me, no individual in American politics embodies that sentiment today more than my colleague from Nevada, Harry Mason Reid.”
“The voting machine lobby, led by the biggest company, ES&S, believes they are above the law,” said Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., a member of the Intelligence Committee who co-signed the letter. “They have not had anybody hold them accountable even on the most basic matters.”
ES&S Chief Executive Tom Burt dismissed criticism as inevitable and impossible to answer, but he called for greater oversight of the national election process.
“There are going to be people who have opinions from now until eternity about the security of the equipment, the bias of those companies who are producing the equipment, the bias of the election administrators who are conducting the election,” Burt said in an interview. “I can’t do anything to affect those people’s opinions.”
“What the American people need is a system that can be audited, and then those audits have to happen and be demonstrated to the American public,” Burt said. “That’s what will cut through the noise.”
Supply chain questions
ES&S invited NBC News journalists into its headquarters, the first time it has done so for a national news organization. The walls were decorated with images of the Constitution and inspirational messages about quality control. In glass-walled rooms etched with the company’s patents, technicians tested machines under tight security.
NBC News examined publicly available online shipping records for ES&S for the past five years and found that many parts, including electronics and tablets, were made in China and the Philippines, raising concerns about technology theft or sabotage.
During the tour, Burt said the overseas facilities are “very secure.” He said the final assembly of voting machines takes place in the U.S.
Chinese manufacturers can be forced to cooperate with requests from Chinese intelligence officials to share any information about the technology and therefore pose a risk for U.S. companies, NBC News analyst Frank Figliuzzi, a former assistant director of the FBI for counterintelligence, said. That could include intellectual property, such as source code, materials or blueprints. There is also the concern of machines shipped with undetected vulnerabilities or backdoors that could allow tampering.
In a letter to NBC News, ES&S said it takes “great care” with its foreign supply chain, including conducting risk assessments and making on-site visits to suppliers to make sure that components “are trusted, tested and free of malware.” It said that all of its facilities adhere to international standards, that it manufactures in compliance with all federal guidelines and that it follows cybersecurity best practices.
The company says that its overseas manufacturing site has been successfully audited by the Election Assistance Commission and that the company conducts on-site visits of its suppliers “to ensure that components are trusted, tested and free of malware.” “Some components (such as surface mount capacitors, resistors, inductors and fixed logic devices) may be sourced from China-based manufacturers,” the letter said, referring to basic circuitry components. ES&S said it conducts quality assurance tests on the machines.
Questions about who owns the major voting machine manufacturers have followed the industry for years. The issue took on greater urgency after the FBI disclosed in July 2018 that a Russian oligarch had invested in a Maryland election services firm. Officials in Maryland and North Carolina have started questioning voting machine makers about potential foreign ownership.Because it is privately owned, ES&S is not legally obligated to reveal its ownership or any other details about its finances, although Burt did confirm that the company generated about $100 million in sales last year.
But in response to questions this year from the North Carolina State Board of Elections, ES&S disclosed which investors own more than 5 percent of the company. They include Burt, Chief Financial Officer Tom O’Brien and the Omaha-based private equity firm McCarthy Group, which owns a controlling interest. The letter identified two passive investors, Nancy McCarthy and Kenneth Stinson, who own stakes of more than 5 percent in McCarthy Group.
ES&S said McCarthy Group’s bylaws prevented it from revealing other individual investors, but it affirmed that they are all U.S. citizens or trusts or corporations owned by Americans. The company offered to pay for an independent auditor to verify that all the investors are Americans. NBC News declined, as citizenship itself wouldn’t answer other potential questions, including political affiliations or other conflicts of interest.McCarthy Group did not respond to NBC News’ requests for comment.
Virtually no laws govern the cybersecurity aspects of voting machine technologies. But ES&S points to its voluntary efforts to improve voting machine security, most notably a new program with the Energy Department’s Idaho National Labs, the same federal facility that tests the power grid and nuclear power generators. ES&S machines underwent eight weeks of vulnerability testing and penetration by government hackers.
Chris Wlaschin, head of systems security for ES&S, said at a Homeland Security cybersecurity summit in Washington in September that the company’s machines are not prone to a remote attack over the internet. But he added that someone with enough time and access could make a machine “inoperative or unusable.”
Although Wlaschin said the company would release an executive summary of the government testing, the company recently said it has nothing for “external release.” It said recommendations from the tests would be incorporated into “future voting system releases.” Wyden said he was concerned by the company’s foreign parts supply and was working on legislation to limit it. “What you have found is particularly important because of the China connection,” he said.
“They’re claiming that the Department of Homeland Security has been working with them. I’m going to ask for this information on the basis of your report within 10 days,” he said.
Eddie Perez, global director of technology development for the Open Source Election Technology Institute, a nonprofit election technology research group with which NBC News has partnered since 2016, said the lack of oversight is problematic.
“The way people vote is managed by a couple of entities that people don’t know a lot about, and that creates risks for the country,” he said. When it comes down to the essentials, voting machine makers “behave based on the level of regulation they have,” Perez said.“They have to check the boxes,” he added. “But once they’ve done that, they focus on selling their product.”
They were concerned about hacking back in 2019 but magically those concerns have evaporated.
In a Jan. 9 House Administration Committee hearing, three of the largest U.S. voting system manufacturers said they would support a range of new regulatory and reporting requirements, but at least one election security expert said that may not be enough.
Among the potential requirements being floated are that states purchase voting machines with paper records and conduct post-election audits for every vote cast, publicly report on equipment-related security risks and follow new federally crafted guidelines for how to best set up their manufacturing supply chains.
The three companies — Election Systems and Software, Dominion Voting Systems and Hart InterCivic — have a history of resisting outside scrutiny of their products, but company representatives expressed openness to new federal regulations to bolster confidence about the security of their products.
“I think we would support any requirements that [apply] to all vendors in our industry that would help educate users of our system and anyone who interacts with them,” said E&S CEO Tom Burt.
What sort of banana republic has to farm out the counting of the votes to a foreign country?
Catherine Engelbrecht, founder of True the Vote, noted that many states commissioned a foreign company based in Spain to provide various election services — including online voting — in the 2020 presidential election.
Engelrecht offered her remarks on Wednesday’s edition of SiriusXM’s Breitbart News Daily with host Alex Marlow.
Eyebrows rose when the USPS made the contract with CBRE in June 2011 for all real estate transactions. Blum chaired CBRE at the time; he stepped down last year, but remains a director and a major shareholder. Feinstein, D-Calif., has always denied involvement in the deal, which proved lucrative as the cash-strapped Postal Service looked to its excess real estate to finance operations.
The contract enables CBRE to market and sell properties, and conduct negotiations for leases of postal buildings. Prior to the contract, USPS negotiated leases directly with landlords. Now, CBRE often represents both the Postal Service and the landlord in negotiations, known as “dual agency transactions.”