Who is Roy Cales and What's his Connection to Mike Connell?

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  • Posted on: 8 August 2008
  • By: luaptifer

Florida's First CIO Roy Cales was Candidate Jeb Bush's 'Computer Dude'

Roy Cales was gubernatorial candidate Jeb Bush's 'computer dude' in 1998. Cales incorporated Gencom Network, Inc. apparently to host Jeb.org, on his first day working for Bush in September 1997, two months after Connell registered the domain and the month before New Media unveiled the first statewide campaign website in the US.

Gov. Bush hired Cales as Director of Information Services for the Executive Office of the Governor (EOG) and then appointed Cales to be the State of Florida's first CIO over the new State Technlogy Office, in November 1999.

Only in May did Cales divest himself of Gencom Network, after creating the appearance of several conflicted interests in one deal. Former Florida GOP Chairman, Tom Slade, established a powerful new lobbying firm, Tidewater Consulting, when his successful campaign to elect Jeb led to a failed bid for the Chair of the Republican National Committee. Slade registered the domain, TidewaterInc.com, with Cales' network services company as domain name services provider and Cales as the Administrative and Technical contact through his campaign address cales@jeb.org.

Roy Cales, was Florida's first CIO during a chaotic period in which he undertook to consolidate all State IT neworks under one central authority, his own. Mike Connell's jobs for State agencies began in this period which saw Cales and other affiliates becoming enmeshed in a variety of controveries or, by at least one allegation, outright illegal activity. Throughout that period, and until well after Cales' departure taking fire for a grand theft charge from 1996, IT audits from throughout the State repeated findings of serious security deficits.

Connell's association with the Bush family preceded Gov. Bush's election by ten years and Mike Connell was invited in at the top for his EOG website and other jobs. His prior affiliation with the top admnistrator of Florida State IT systems, Roy Cales, would create an easy entrance to physical access of the network infrastructure independently of the four State contracts. Woven throughout these circumstances was the persistent reality that much of the system was apparently as secure as a sieve.

New Media's website reported its contact location in Tallahassee Florida as Suite 311d of the same building as the address of Tidewater Consulting, Inc., (suite 308). For the entire period New Media's website reported doing business in the State, the contact phone and fax listings were identical to the business listing for Tidewater.

In addition, Suite 311d was recorded in at least two DOS filings of Tidewater's General Counsel, J. Alisson DeFoor, as his office.

new|media communications - tallahassee office
200 west college avenue
suite 311d
talahasse, florida 32301
v/ 850.681.6400
f/ 850.681.7080

[Note: New Media's Washington DC address coincided with that of DCI Group when the Tallahassee address was first recorded in September 1999. For the period of its incorporation, DCI-New Media recorded DCI Group's address as one of its own. GovTech Solutions' first address was that of DCI Group.]

Comments

From an online chat dated November 13, 2000 published on Ohio.com (archive.org link)

Buddy: If anything good comes out of this election, I hope it will be the realization that the current election technology is outdated. What do you think will be the next step? Do you foresee us voting online from home?

Mike Connell: The results of this election will bring focus to thevoting process. Electronic vote tabulation is better than its predecessor -- manual counting, but it is not perfect. Every election there are spoiled ballots and other issues, but often the public does not focus on this because the margin of victory is great enough. Technology is always held to a higher standard, but it is my belief that online voting will be less fallible, more accessible, and more reliable. These events may actually help fuel public acceptance.

When you work with Rove, you just know these things.

Four months later his suitemates registered to lobby for what became Diebold as Jeb and Katherine Harris pushed for the machines.

Roy Cales was still in the process of pulling the State's networks together.

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"I hope we shall crush in its birth the aristocracy of our moneyed corporations which dare already to challenge our government in a trial of strength, and bid defiance to the laws of our country." - Thomas Jefferson