The robocalling campaign, in which a caller posed as an official of Elections Canada telling voters their polling places had been moved, benefitted the Conservative Party in the area riding, or election, in Guelph. In the aftermath, suspicion fell on Michael Sona, a Conservative staffer of MP Eve Adams who had served as communications director for candidate Marty Burke.
Sona vehemently denied involvement in the robocalling effort, even after he had resigned his position on the staff of Adams. Enter Brett Warren, who posted a Youtube video in which he claimed to be Michael Sona and confessed involvement in the robo-calling scandal. Warren's timing was impeccable, because Liberal Party members had claimed that the person who had posed as "Pierre Poutine" on the robo-calls would be coming forward the exact same day that Warren posted his Youtube video in which he posed as Michael Sona. The references he made to the specifics of the scandal were spot-on, making his impersonation of Sona all the more credible.
|Warren's registration page as a convicted felon with the State of Florida|
In point of fact, the Conservatives were able to point to the involvement of Liberal Party research staffer Adam Carroll in a Twitter account by the name of @Vikileaks30 that attacked Public Safety minister Vic Toews. And here is where things overlap with the documented methods of Brett Warren and his associates in the Beandog Militia: the Twitter account posted personal information from court documents detailing Toews's messy divorce. This would be consistent with what the Beandogs did to Twitter users like @GregWHoward and @SwiftRead, among others.
When it became apparent that Sona was not the man in the Youtube video confessing to guilt in the robo-calling effort, Canadians managed to use the image of the man posing as Sona to identify him as Brett Warren, who had personally been involved in the online effort against @GregWHoward. What the Beandogs did to Greg W. Howard was similar to what Adam Carroll did to Vic Toews: they dug up court papers relating to Howard's bankruptcy, and publicized the details online, including how much back child support Howard owed.
It would strain credulity to believe Warren's explanation for his Youtube post, which is that a Canadian friend sent him the articles on the robo-calling scandal via email with a note on how similar he looked to Michael Sona. Warren is a resident of Maitland, FL, hardly a hotbed of Canadian exiles who follow politics back home. Considering the documented interactions between members of the Beandog Militia and Neal Rauhauser, who is himself associated with Velvet Revolution founder Brett Kimberlin, now infamous for his possible involvement in the SWATting of Los Angeles Assistant District Attorney Patrick Frey and blogger and CNN contributor Erick Erickson of Redstate, robo-calling efforts would not be outside the realm of what we know to be the Beandog's documented history.
Instead, it would appear entirely plausible that Warren, his friends in the Beandog Militia like @leducviolet and @methadonna, along with Rauhauser and others, may have expanded their campaign of online and phone mischief into Canadian electoral politics. Also, the likelihood of their involvement in the SWATting effort increases given their possible involvement or participation in the robo-calling effort in Guelph, or it could at the very least indicate their coordination with similarly-minded locals. Then again, it could simply be a case of Brett hijacking the misdeeds of another to increase his own already considerable notoriety.
Recent revelations by blogger Brooks Bayne on his site The Trenches include a letter from Neal Rauhauser to Mike Stack and Jay Liederman in which Neal points the finger at the Beandogs for the SWATting of Mike Stack, also known as @goatsred on Twitter, who broke the story of Anthony Weiner's impending lewd photo scandal.
Strange Life: Brett Warren's Florida Life
It is difficult to comprehend what drives Brett Warren, who first came to national prominence for his antics on Youtube as a Florida Gators fan. Warren posted a video in which he gave out the details of his ticket to the Alabama-Florida game, replete with seat number and the gate at which he would meet any Alabama fan who wanted to fight him. Warren claimed to know four different types of martial arts and warned that he would use them. It was, for lack of any better description, epic douchebaggery.
At the time he posted the video, Warren was a convicted felon under community supervision in Florida. By all indications, he had a good job and a decent life. His online page as a registered felon in the state of Florida gives his current address in Maitland, FL as a home with an estimated value on Zillow of $424,300 (however, the County Assessor's site values it at $252,840). Why he would want to jeopardize his freedom by getting his parole revoked with a video in which he made violent threats to out of state Alabama fans over a football game is anyone's guess.
Warren went on to further infamy as a member of the Beandog Militia, a group of Twitter users united by their shared disdain for conservatives and Tea Party supporters. With the user name @solaar, he trolled Twitter constantly looking for confrontations. One of those confrontations took place in February of 2011 with Greg W. Howard and me. I had never met Brett, had no idea who he was, and had no reason to go looking at him when he posted one message in my feed referring to me as a fag.
My curiosity was piqued, and when I pulled his profile up, I saw threats of physical harm to Greg W. Howard, along with tweets regarding drug consumption and photos of pills. There were also pictures of Brett on a ski trip to Colorado, along with more pictures of his buddy in the back of an ambulance after a drug overdose. Brett was obviously reckless, because he chronicled each and every illegal act he and his friends committed during that trip via Tweets and posted photographs.
Unlike the rest of the people Brett bullied, I had no prior court records to exploit. There were no bankruptcy filings, no criminal convictions, no anything. At most, Brett and his online associates like Neal Rauhauser had one piece of information: I was in law school. They also knew that my then-wife had epilepsy. There were the requisite taunts about my wife's medical condition, along with a call from Neal to the law school. Neal also emailed one of my Facebook profiles intimating legal action. He gave a phone number for me to call him.
I did, and Neal insinuated that he would use his position and reputation to put me on a watch list with the Southern Poverty Law Center as a domestic terrorist and hate crimes supporter. I told Neal I would sue him for defamation if he even so much as insinuated that I endorsed racism in any form, shape, or fashion whatsoever. I also told him that I had already informed my deans of the possibility that he might be calling them. He still did, but nothing came of it because I had not violated any laws or rules of conduct as a law student. Truth is an absolute defense to defamation, and Neal had no grounds to make any threats towards me whatsoever.
After a time, things died down. Greg Howard and I parted ways for the most part over his association with the Wrecking Crew and his continued antagonism of the Beandogs and Rauhauser. I had a life, and I wanted to get on with it. Spending endless amounts of time chasing Neal and his pals down the rabbit hole didn't strike me as productive. My disagreement was with the Obama Administration and the federal government in general, and I preferred to focus my efforts on highlighting their shortcomings rather than chasing diversions.
And then the SWATting scandal broke, and I began to hear Neal's name yet again. I started to revisit all the screenshots, emails, and communications and documentation I had of the Beandogs and Brett, and I started digging online to see what Brett was up to these days. What I found was Brett's involvement in the robo-calling debacle in Guelph, as well as his apparent startup of a business out of his parent's home (the Maitland address on the assessor's website list Francis B and Mary B Warren as the owners). The business, Advanced Engineering Inc., is profiled on Manta as a business with annual revenues of $150,000 and two employees. Brett is listed as the principal.
It's a weird life, but it doesn't end there. Brett's company doesn't show up on the Florida Department of State Division of Corporations under his name. He's a convicted felon with online profiles for an engineering services business run out of the exact same address that he's registered as a convicted felon under community supervision, and he's running a corporation that isn't registered with the State of Florida.
Brett's life defies description. According to his Facebook profile, he was a University of Florida and Harvard educated Ph.D candidate for a doctorate in mathematics. On the profile, he went under the name Samuel Therber, which just so happens to be the same alias he used when he tried to explain away his Youtube video posing as Michael Sona. His CV is available online, but it only has one t instead of two. This isn't inconsistent with his known names as a registered felon with the State of Florida. The question is whether or not a convicted felon in Florida really is an associate professor at the University of Florida with a fellowship at Harvard University, and if so, why the University of Florida or Harvard would hire or associate with him in the first place as a convicted felon with a penchant for online malfeasance and hijinks?
Of course, the simpler explanation could be that Brett Warren, convicted felon and infamous Youtube and Twitter troll, has impersonated Bret Warren the Associate Professor who taught Computational Linear Algebra at the University of Florida in Gainesville. The truth is indeed stranger than fiction in certain instances, though it would be hard to see how the story of Brett Warren could get any stranger. The most recent arrest of Brett that I could document was in Orange County on March 15, 2011, and this is his mugshot from that arrest. And while Scott Tracey, the Guelph Mercury writer who reported on Brett's Youtube impersonation of Michael Sona, contacted Ann Howard of the Florida Department of Corrections, I found no evidence that Warren was arrested for his conduct in that instance. Instead, Howard's reply was simple enough: “That sounds like a Canada issue, and we’re way down here in Florida.” Indeed.
Florida Gators vs Alabama 2010 Preview by lanekiffinshow