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The Intriguing Death Of Top GOP Consultant Michael Connell

Huffington Post- Thomas B.  Edsall

December 25, 2008 10:01 PM

At 3:31 PM Friday, December 19, Michael L. Connell, a top Internet consultant for the Republican National Committee and for the Bush and McCain presidential campaigns, left Washington from the small airport in College Park, Md. Alone at the helm of a single engine Piper Saratoga, Connell’s flight plan anticipated arrival at his hometown Akron-Canton Airport in a little over two hours, at 5:43 PM.

Instead, about three miles short of the Akron-Canton Airport, Connell’s plane crashed to the ground in an upscale section of Lake Township, killing Connell instantly. “I was standing in the kitchen and I looked out the window and all I saw was fire,” Taylor Fano told The Akron Beacon Journal. “It took out the flagpole and the cement blocks surrounding the flagpole . . . . It skidded across the driveway and right in-between a line of pine trees and a small fence around an in-ground pool.”

The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating the accident and has not yet filed a report, but there was no immediate evidence of wrong-doing or sabotage.

Nonetheless, Connell’s death provoked a groundswell of commentary among conspiracy theorists on the web, including Larisa Alexandrovna, Raw Story, Velvet Revolution, ePluribus Media, and TheZoo.

The most common unsubstantiated allegation on these sites is that Connell was about to provide crucial information in the case of alleged vote fraud in the 2004 Ohio presidential contest, and that that information would implicate Karl Rove and others in the Bush administration. Just last month, Connell was deposed in the ongoing case, King Lincoln Bronzeville Neighborhood Association v. Blackwell. According to accounts of the November 3rd deposition, Connell denied any knowledge of attempts to fraudulently manipulate 2004 Ohio vote counts.

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