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Please begin with an informative title:

This is not going to be either a sexy or outrage generating post, merely an updating to make a record about a few things that are going on now. The Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, as you may recall, evolved into the Swift Vets and POWs for Truth and sprang into national prominence in the 2004 campaign to take out John Kerry, after the organizers' efforts on behalf of John McCain failed. In a sense, the POWs were sort of an add on. They arrogated a discontented group, much as the Taxed Enough Already people were taken over by the billionaires. But, there's a big difference in that one of the prime movers of the POWs, William Edward Franke, despite being suckled by the public teat, keeps falling into bankruptcy.

For the record, let me first note in passing that the Wikipedia description of "swiftboating" as an "unfair or untrue political attack," somewhat misses the mark. What the swiftboaters do is attack a person's virtues or strengths, calling into question something a person is not prepared to defend simply because they are strengths. It is this element of surprise, in addition to the deception, which throws the victims off their stride. So, being aware of the tactic makes it largely ineffective. That the Swifts were officially disbanded in 2008 is not surprising.


You must enter an Intro for your Diary Entry between 300 and 1150 characters long (that's approximately 50-175 words without any html or formatting markup).

Anyway, one of the main organizers of that nasty band of brothers was one William Edward Franke who, perhaps coincidentally in 2004, was also the chief executive of a company, Gannon Technologies, which had provided the Ohio Secretary of State with its unique and proprietary computer software program and which may or may not have contributed to problems with the Ohio electoral results in 2004.

Last I'd read, Gannon Technologies was on the financial ropes, so to speak, but they seem to have recovered and identify themselves as GTG, for Gannon Technologies Group, a subsidiary of Gannon International. Well, at least they still have a presence on the web where they tout their expertise:

GTG’s graph based technology is extremely effective in detecting and extracting objects of interest embedded in large, complex images. Objects are extracted and transformed into topological relationships and feature data. By bundling data elements and their relationships into a compact graph structure, a wide variety of real-world problems can be solved. Current work in GTG labs show exciting promise towards recognizing the patterns of objects, especially when captured partially or at particular perspectives, in two and three dimensional images.
AboutWilliam E. Franke, Gannon International tells us:
Mr. Franke served a tour in Vietnam during the Vietnam conflict while a commissioned officer in the United States Navy. He served as Officer-in-Charge of a river patrol boat and Operational and Tactical Commander of a task group which included twelve river patrol boats, multiple aircraft and approximately three hundred ground troops. He was awarded the Silver Star, the Bronze Star, the Purple Heart and the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry. His task group was awarded two Presidential Unit Citations and the Navy's Meritorious Unit citation.

In 1970 and 1971, Mr. Franke was stationed at the Naval Communications Command in Washington, D.C. where he served with the Inspector General and as a Congressional Liaison. Twice during this period he was assigned to the State Department as Naval Liaison in special negotiations with the British on an Indian Ocean base. Mr. Franke has also represented the United States with Saudi Arabia's OPEC staff and with Israeli and Egyptian peace treaty negotiating teams.

Mr. Franke has been a member of many civic organizations, especially those concerned with the protection of children, including the State of Missouri's Children's Trust Fund and The Children's Family Resource Center. He has served on the U.S. Department of Energy's Advisory Committee on Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Ventures. Mr. Franke has been actively involved in a number of charity endeavors, including Operation Smile, an international, non-profit organization providing reconstructive surgery for needy children around the world. He was also responsible for the delivery of several million containers of milk to children orphaned by the 2004 Tsunami, and for providing coats and baby beds to needy children in the U.S.

You'll recall that Operation Smile was one of the favorite charities of Cindy McCain.

The Gannon Team is made up of four parts:

Gannon International
Gannon Technologies
Gannon Pacific
Gannon Realty

Sourcewatch provides a nice precis of what all these components do, although the data are not current. Just a taste:

"The Gannon Technologies Group has provided the software support and services for several United States federal and state agencies, including an extensive staffing commitment to the Anti-Trust Division of the United States Department of Justice.

"The Gannon Technologies Group created the electronic databases for citizenship records for two Central American countries.

"The Gannon Technologies Group has provided critical technical support and created electronic databases for several high profile matters, including the Office of Special Counsel for the Branch Davidian (Waco, Texas) Investigation and the Federal Election Commission's investigation of political fundraising practices."

GTG is, of course, located in Virginia in proximity to its customer base. A current description of its enterprise reads as follows:
Information Technology

Gannon Technologies Group & Litigation Systems Inc.

Gannon's two constituent technology partners, GTG and LSI, are both located in Alexandria, VA. These two firms are uniquely positioned to address the specialized information management, intelligence, data mining, and E-Discovery needs of a rich diversity of clients in the Washington, D.C. metro area and around the world.
Gannon Technologies Group

Technology Innovators and Pioneers

Gannon Technologies Group develops and delivers cutting-edge Research & Development, data mining services, and software products related to the location and extraction of embedded content on large volumes of documents and images. The mainstay of GTG's business is related to the conversion of paper documents into searchable full-text databases, as well as the extraction of key information from these documents for inclusion in "fielded" databases or assignment of XML tags. The firm boasts a highly skilled and ingenious team of R&D professionals who go beyond the theoretical to create dynamic, customized client solutions that deliver results. GTG's revolutionary biometric and pictographic applications, with nearly flawless data reproduction accuracy, offer both commercial and non-commercial possibilities for forensics, intelligence, medicine, litigation, the Internet, and more.

Gannon Realty is still headquartered in Missouri and the folks in the heartland have, perhaps, a somewhat different perspective on Mr. Franke.

The St. Louis Business Journal has been keeping track. Last July it reported on the latest bankruptcy.

Jul 12, 2013, 1:10pm CDT
Gannon International forced into bankruptcy
St. Louis-based Gannon and its founder and CEO Bill Franke have faced a string of litigation in the past couple of years, mostly over unpaid loans.

Most recently, in late June, Gannon and Franke were sued for $3.29 million by T. Boone Pickens, who chairs Dallas-based hedge fund BP Capital Management, over an unpaid bank loan.

Gannon was once one of the largest private companies based in St. Louis, with revenue of $101 million in 2009, the latest figure available.

Before that, it was Bank of America that won a four million dollar judgement against Franke.

One is left wondering if perhaps this collapse is the result of the public teat having dried up. After all, Franke got his start with HUD and a contest with his wife.

This case stems from a Missouri divorce judgment awarding Cynthia McNeill a 20% interest in a private promissory note secured by a mortgage lien against five residential apartment complexes. McNeill recorded her interest, and her former husband, William E. Franke, retained the remaining 80%. Contrary to the divorce judgment's terms, Franke later unilaterally refinanced the note with a loan made under the National Housing Act and co-insured by the Federal Housing Administration, a branch of the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). When Franke's partnerships defaulted on the
[171 F.3d 563]
loans, HUD was assigned mortgage liens against the property. Seeking to foreclose her mortgage interest and to determine the relative priority between her lien and HUD's liens, McNeill filed this lawsuit in federal district court. The district court dismissed the federal case as barred by collateral estoppel and res judicata based on a Missouri contempt judgment against Franke. McNeill appealed, and we reversed. See McNeill v. Franke, 84 F.3d 1010 (8th Cir.1996). On remand, HUD moved to dismiss the case for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. After HUD sold its mortgages to Prairie Properties, L.L.C., McNeill sought to add Prairie Properties as a defendant. The district court granted HUD's motion to dismiss and denied as moot McNeill's motion to add Prairie Properties. McNeill again appeals, and this time we affirm.
God forbid our public information systems are actually being managed by people with such a history of financial probity.
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