Mike Connell, Karl Rove’s IT guru–who was compelled six weeks ago to testify in an Ohio vote-tampering case–was killed late Friday night in a solo plane crash. His plane crashed into the garage of an empty house. Per Cybrinth CEO Stephen Spoonamore, Connell was also considered "vital to uncovering the truth" about the missing White House emails considered a critical link to the Justice Department and White House’s involvement in the firings of nine US attorneys.
According to Spoonamore, as reported by Rebecca Abrahams, at an October 11, 2006 meeting between Spoonamore, Connell, and GovTech Solutions President Randy Cole–who ran and lost for State Representative in Ohio this election–
Connell asked him about ways to "permanently destroy hard drives." Spoonamore said "If this is what I think you’re talking about, this meeting is over."
Investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board are on site today. Investigations typically take weeks and even months or longer to complete, according to an FAA spokeswoman.
Connell, president of GovTech Solutions and New Media Communications, was a website designer and IT professional who created the website for Ohio’s secretary of state Kenneth K. Blackwell that presented the 2004 election results in real time as they were tabulated.
Connell created websites for Blackwell’s election runs was well as the one which tabulated and displayed votes in real time. During the 2004 elections, Blackwell was also chairman of Bush-Cheney 2004 reelection effort in Ohio, successfully leading the campaign for the 2004 Ohio Constitution Amendment banning state recognition of same sex marriage or civil unions. Blackwell was defeated in 2006 by Ted Strickland.
Connell refused to testify or to produce documents relating to the system used in the 2004 and 2006 elections until compelled by a judge on on November 1 of this year.
The Ohio RICO lawsuit King Lincoln Bronzeville Neighborhood Association v. Blackwell, brought by Cliff Arnebeck, alleged alleging that vote-tampering during the 2004 presidential election resulted in civil rights violations. The lawsuit maintains that Karl Rove, with the assistance of Mike Connell, designed, built and directed a strategy to manipulate elections through the use of computers. On November 1, 2008, a judge ordered Connell to testify, though his resulting deposition two days later was disappointing to many. Connell’s attorney advised him to not answer many questions including, "Who directed you to set up the Swift Boat Veterans For Truth IT Network?"
In addition to his with his work creating Blackwell’s election websites and the anti-Kerry website swiftboatvetsfortruth.org, per reporter Rebecca Abrahams, Connell also developed websites for the House Intelligence, Judiciary, Financial Services, Ways and Means, and Administration Committees. The builder of RNC.org, and head of IT for the McCain campaign, Connell was also
the architect and cyber keymaster of George W. Bush election websites including GeorgeWBush.com and GWB43.com, the site Karl Rove used for 95-percent of his email communication. Connell is also the CEO of Govtech Solutions, the company responsible for building and managing congressional email servers and firewalls.
In 1999, Connell told Inside Business magazine, "I’m loyal to my friends and I’m loyal to the Bush family."