66/ [Thread 2 of 2]
Hagel, Omaha and elections
67/ In 1988, Chuck Hagel met Mike McCarthy on a fishing trip. http://bit.ly/2D43N9m
68/ They became fast friends and as Hagel later said, "It was one of those things that happens with friends. The chemistry was just right."
69/ Hagel shortly thereafter accepted an offer from McCarthy to serve on the board of American Information Systems (AIS), a small Omaha voting machine company.
70/ The McCarthy Group and the Omaha World-Herald Co. bought a majority stake in AIS the year before. At the time, the Peter Kiewit Foundation was the largest single stockholder of the Omaha World-Herald Co. It also had ownership in the local Omaha World-Herald newspaper.
71/ This meant Kiewit's Omaha World Co. now had ownership in the state's largest newspaper and its voting machines. http://bit.ly/2rBSX8M
72/ McCarthy (below) used to work for Kiewit and a Kiewit subsidiary was invested in the McCarthy Group.
73/ AIS was started by Bob & Todd Urosevich & Jim Lane. After Hagel became chairman, Bob later resigned & eventually became president of Diebold voting systems. In 2006, he was named managing director of Scytl's Americas division. Todd & Jim stayed at AIS. http://bit.ly/2pnFq3k
74/ While Hagel was chairman of AIS and oversaw the building and selling of those machines, he was also working with local and state Republican groups to campaign for party candidates. http://bit.ly/2DQsS8l
75/ He left AIS on March 15, 1995. Two weeks later, he announced his bid for the U.S. Senate. He served as the Republican Nebraska senator from 1997–2009. http://bit.ly/33ks5a7
76/ Hagel's 1st yr as senator, was also the same yr AIS bought the Election Services Division of the Business Records Corporation (BRC) & renamed it Election Systems & Software (ES&S). The acquisition made ES&S the largest voting system vendor in America. http://bit.ly/34SzL4T
77/ BRC was started with money from Texas billionaire Nelson Bunker Hunt. He and Howard Ahmanson were large contributors to the Chalcedon Foundation, a think tank for the Christian Reconstruction movement. http://bit.ly/2r16oOA
78/ They also provided financing to the Urosevich brothers for AIS back in 1984. They were the ones that sold their AIS ownership to Kiewit and the McCarthy Group in 1987.
79/ In 2002, Hagel's finances were looked at by the US Senate Ethics Cmte. He omitted references to work & investments w/ the McCarthy Group & AIS on his federal financial forms. He was required to list his last 10 weeks of work at AIS, but never did. http://bit.ly/2rIZkXA
80/ He also filed his investments w/ McCarthy as "excepted investment funds" which meant they needed to be "widely held; publicly traded (or available) or widely-diversified." They were not.
81/ Hagel was cleared of any wrongdoing. His campaign didn't admit to the ES&S investments until 2003. http://bit.ly/38mpDDt
82/ From 2004–2006, he lists his value of investments in the McCarthy Group and the McCarthy Multi Cap Stock Fund at up to almost $7M. For the next two years, that number moved up to $10.2M. And then down to $1M for just the McCarthy Group in 2012. http://bit.ly/2rGondR
83/ McCarthy was Hagel's campaign treasurer from 1999–2002. From 2000–2008, McCarthy and the Kiewit Corporation gave Hagel and his Sandhills PAC at least $230,000. http://bit.ly/2It9hgm
84/ Peter Kiewit (below) was a wealthy construction entrepreneur. He died in 1979 and through his estate created the Kiewit Foundation. The Kiewit Corp. now has more than 50 subsidiaries and earned $9 billion last year. https://nyti.ms/2Lfm3kT
85/ In February 2009, after Hagel finished his second term as Senator, the McCarthy Group announced he was returning as a Senior Advisor. http://bit.ly/2rnRgLu
86/ A month later, Hagel and former Colorado Senator Gary Hart met with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. They discussed relations between Washington and Moscow. http://bit.ly/2qKbwXL
87/ Hagel and Hart were there as co-chairs of the Obama administration's bipartisan commission on U.S. policy toward Russia.
88/ The Hagel-Hart commission was created to produce a report for President Obama and Congress that offered "policy recommendations to advance America's national interest through a constructive U.S.-Russian relationship." http://bit.ly/34WiVC2
89/ Two months after his trip to Russia, Hagel joined Deutsche Bank's Americas Advisory Board. http://bit.ly/2DhdsK8
90/ At Deutsche, he advised and consulted with bank executives and clients on a "wide range of strategic and market issues, including business development and growth as well as economic, industry, political and social trends."
91/ Six months before Hagel joined Deutsche, it bought a 40% stake in UFG Invest, the Russian investment mgmt. company of UFG Asset Management. UFG Asset Management was founded by former Russian finance minister Boris Fyodorov and US banker Charlie Ryan. http://bit.ly/34mE9Zs
92/ UFG Invest was renamed Deutsche UFG Capital Management ("DUCM").
93/ In 2010, Deutsche expanded its Personal Wealth Management (PWM) investments in Latin America, the Middle East, Russia and Asia. The next year, it took 100% ownership of DUCM and PWM further expanded its position in Russia. http://bit.ly/2rnqF18
94/ By 2012, Deutsche's Global Transaction Banking (GTB) division "had established a strong position in attractive growth markets worldwide such as China, India, Latin America and Russia." http://bit.ly/33KcJfc
95/ Deutsche sold DUCM to Russian investment group Aton in 2013. http://bit.ly/33gK9lf
96/ Aside from Hagel, the McCarthy and Kiewit companies have other connections to the election industry, as well as Trump and Russia.
97/ Kiewit builds airports, highways, military bases, POW camps, airfields, air & missile defense systems, coal mines, oil platforms, gas & chemical facilities, canals, geo domes, dams, energy plants, bridges, shopping centers, museums, high-rises, etc. http://bit.ly/2NUSpTB
98/ One of those subsidiaries is the Kiewit Building Group of Honolulu. It built the Trump International Hotel and Tower at Waikiki Beach Walk. http://bit.ly/2KkuGKg
99/ Southwest Valley Constructors is another subsidiary. It has $1.3 billion in contracts with the Department of Homeland Security for three of Trump's Arizona border wall projects. http://bit.ly/368Oj0h
100/ Kiewit was involved in the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, which ends in Steele City, Nebraska. It connects with another Keystone pipeline that Kiewit helped build almost a decade ago. http://bit.ly/34i6O1O
101/ The company also amassed a large part of the infrastructure that's considered the "backbone" of the Internet.
102/ In 1988 —the same year Hagel started working with McCarthy — Kiewit spun off its Kiewit Diversified Group and renamed it Level 3 Communications (Level 3). It raised $14 billion from its IPO. http://bit.ly/343E7pu
103/ Kiewit builds and maintains the fiber optic cables that transmit content, audio, video and phone data for billions of customers around the world. It's been the Internet service provider for Microsoft, Netflix and Yahoo. https://nyti.ms/32PAhyJ
104/ A few years ago, Level 3 announced it had reached an interconnection agreement with Google to more efficiently connect their networks and improve the speed of the Internet. https://prn.to/369afs9
105/ Level 3 has had more than 100 subsidiaries. One of those is Global Crossing, a telecom with a history of doing classified work with the U.S. government. It was incorporated in Bermuda. http://bit.ly/2XHYEgH
106/ In 2001, the Pentagon selected Global Crossing for a three-year contract to develop a military communications network connecting 6,000 scientists working on U.S. military projects. http://nyti.ms/2OLkmMK
107/ Global Crossing and Level 3 have provided the broadband for a similar system in Russia. RUNNet is Russia's largest computer network for its Scientists. It connects more than 250 universities and research institutes. http://bit.ly/2DHimjv
108/ In 2002, Global Crossing was one of at least a dozen companies chosen to travel with then Secretary of Commerce, Donald L. Evans on a business development mission to Moscow. The trip was to help foster American business in Russia. https://wapo.st/2LzxxzL
109/ From 2002–2008, Level 3 entities donated at least $20,600 to Hagel. http://bit.ly/2O2nR16
110/ In Sept 2011, Global Crossing became the ISP for VKontakte (VK) —the Russian Facebook-like social platform with 150M users. Its subsea cables allow VK's content to be delivered to Europe & the U.S. Level 3 bought Global Crossing for $3B a month later. http://bit.ly/35pGrHy
111/ VK's Founder and CEO Pavel Durov (below), later gave up control of the company to Rosneft CEO Igor Sechin and Mail.[ru]'s Alisher Usmanov. VK was estimated to then be worth $2 billion to $4 billion. Durov left Russia after the deal. https://bloom.bg/2KNd8Xl
112/ Usmanov and Russian billionaire Yuri Milner used Mail.[ru] and D.S.T. to invest billions of dollars in U.S. tech companies like Facebook, Groupon, AirBnb, Zynga and others. https://twitter.com/blmohr/status/916427095659728897?s=20
113/ In 2013, Level 3 signed a contract w/ the NATO Communications & Information Agency to install & maintain an IP VPN for the NATO-Russia Council Cooperative Airspace Initiative. It was done to enhance airspace transparency between NATO & Russia. http://bit.ly/2OyWGex
114/ Later that year, it was alleged that the National Security Council was eavesdropping on the communications of Google and Yahoo users through hacking the unencrypted cables of Level 3. https://nyti.ms/2rAkuqu
115/ Level 3 is also involved in elections.
In 2001, it filed an application for a patent to provide a secure verified voting process. Specifically, a method for "receiving election selections, producing a receipt representation of the election... http://bit.ly/2COVDBE
116/ ...selections, the receipt having a unique receipt number for a voter and publishing election results, the election result including the election selections and unique receipt number." http://bit.ly/33RJlEF
117/ In an online voting patent filed by Scytl, it cites Level 3's verified voting patent as a resource for its own patent. https://twitter.com/blmohr/status/1150359583145308161?s=20
118/ Scytl partners with ES&S. http://bit.ly/2HTqn8b
119/ Level 3 was sold to CenturyLink in 2016 for $34 billion. http://bit.ly/35aW7Oy
120/ That same year—before the U.S. presidential election—ES&S was investigated by the FBI for suspicious IP addresses attempting to gain access to its system.
121/ Homeland Security concluded that a "small percentage of the IP addresses identified as originating from Russian state actors were scanning the ES&S' systems, but there was no evidence of a compromise." http://bit.ly/2KHnQi4
122/ By 2016, ES&S had paid more than $600,000 to Peck Madigan Jones to lobby the federal government. For part of the time Hagel was a senator and invested in ES&S, it was lobbying on issues like the Help America Vote Act (HAVA). http://bit.ly/34argB8
123/ Peck Madigan Jones has been paid $6 million by Deutsche and $2.25 million by Facebook for lobbying work over the last decade. http://bit.ly/2YLRJ6L http://bit.ly/2RMBQvA
124/ In 2018, Senators Amy Klobuchar and Jeanne Shaheen wrote a letter to ES&S, Dominion Voting Systems and Hart Intercivic asking if they had allowed Russian officials to review their software code.
125/ "According to voting machine testing and certification from the Election Assistance Commission, most voting machines contain software from firms which were alleged to have shared their source code with Russian entities.
126/ We are deeply concerned that such reviews may have presented an opportunity for Russian intelligence agents looking to attack or hack the United States' elections infrastructure."
127/ Nebraska's state government also has curious connections with the McCarthy Group.
128/ From 2000-2004, Art Burtscher was President of McCarthy Group Asset Management. From 2004–2010, he was the Chairman of McCarthy Group Advisors. He now serves as Lead Independent Director of NIC. http://bit.ly/2LYR8cL
129/ NIC and its 40-plus subsidiaries build and maintain portals and software solutions for 13,000 digital government services for more than 5,500 U.S. federal, state and local governments. http://bit.ly/37EaJbw
130/ BPro is a subsidiary of NIC. It provides a wide array of election technology that's currently being used in at least 10 states and 350 counties. http://bit.ly/2POkko3
131/ It also has a history of election night software crashes, no-bid government contracts & ePollbook failures. In Washington, it built a $9.5M program (partially paid for by HAVA) to unify all 39 county voting systems in the state into a single platform. http://bit.ly/2XMW6OJ
132/ Despite issues with the system, it was put into use for the state's August primary elections. In one county where it debuted, there were numerous problems. http://bit.ly/34hQIoo
133/ "Including issues w/ mailing addresses, including issues that cropped up in the middle of an election…we saw issues w/ duplicate ballots being issued to voters w/ slightly different name differences," said King County Dir. of Elections Julie Wise. http://bit.ly/2PcwgAQ
134/ But despite the issues, Montana SOS Corey Stapleton signed a no-bid, $2M deal w/ BPro to use its TotalVote election night software. Montana got $3M in funding from HAVA last yr. Stapleton wants all counties using the new software by 2020 elections. http://bit.ly/33XXGOQ
135/ BPro also advises the Nat. Assoc. of Secretaries of State Election Cybersecurity Task Force. Part of its mission is to "foster partnerships w/ public/private stakeholders, including...federal govt. entities." Facebook, Microsoft & Amazon are also advisors to the task force.
136/ Sarpy County is the county just south of Omaha's Douglas County. They were some of the first counties that used AIS voting equipment. https://drive.google.com/open?id=1nWUgD--VET6bDYFWEofSiANfrEtCyIFj&usp=sharing
137/ In October, Google announced it was building a $600 million data center there. It's joining Facebook, Level 3, Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, PayPal and TD Ameritrade who already have data centers in the area. http://bit.ly/35okt7F
138/ Joe Ricketts (below) founded TD Ameritrade. He has a net worth of $2.7B. He's the owner of the Chicago Cubs and a major Trump supporter. http://bit.ly/2Rop6uN
139/ In 2015, he bought nearly 1,000 acres in Sarpy County to build a "church inspired" spiritual retreat. He said he was "giving the land back to God." http://bit.ly/34972Ix
140/ Kiewit recently completed the construction of the USSTRATCOM Command Center in Sarpy County. It also built Nebraska's FBI headquarters and the Air Force Weather Agency headquarters, located in Bellevue, Nebraska. http://bit.ly/2OTvVTz
141/ Admiral James O. Ellis, Jr., a retired 4-star admiral and former Commander at USSTRATCOM, is a former Chairman of the Board of Level 3. https://hvr.co/2PjwxRa
142/ In October, Sarpy County signed a 3-year contract w/ Scytl to provide election reporting services. The service stores all voter election data on Scytl's rented cloud servers. http://bit.ly/2OTCuFt
143/ All central scan units used to record votes in Nebraska are made by ES&S. Level 3 has multiple data centers in Omaha and is the area's largest ISP. http://bit.ly/2qSDXCP
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