Mark F. (Thor) Hearne
This article is part of the Center for Media & Democracy's spotlight on front groups and corporate spin.
Mark Ferlund (Thor) Hearne II is a partner with the St. Louis, Missouri, law firm of Lathrop & Gage, a former official in the Reagan administration, and a "Republican operative" who was the director of the American Center for Voting Rights established in March 2005. Hearne has been described as the "National Election Counsel to Bush-Cheney '04 and Missouri counsel to Bush-Cheney '00".
The archived American Center for Voting Rights' biography for Mark F. (Thor) Hearne, Counsel, reads as follows:
- Thor Hearne is one of the nation's most experienced election attorneys. Prior to joining ACVR Legislative Fund, Hearne served as National Election Counsel to President Bush's reelection campaign and in 2000 was Missouri counsel to the Bush campaign. Hearne was on the Bush campaign recount team in Broward county Florida in 2000. Hearne has also served as legal counsel to many other political candidates and campaigns on the federal and state level. Hearne was appointed by the Missouri Secretary of State as an advisor to the Missouri Help America Vote Act (HAVA) implementation task force. Hearne testified before the U.S. House Administration Committee hearings in March 2005 into the conduct of the presidential election in Ohio. Hearne also testified before the Missouri commission to investigate the 2000 Missouri general election and voter fraud in the City of St. Louis. More recently, Hearne served as an academic-advisor to the bi-partisan Carter-Baker Commission on Election Reform.
- Hearne is a longtime advocate of voter rights and an attorney experienced in election law and litigation. Hearne has spoken to numerous groups and organizations about issues of election reform and served as chair of the Republican National Lawyers Association ("RNLA") National Election Law School in 2003 and 2004. The RNLA Election Law School is a continuing education program for attorney's involved in election law and is accredited by the bar associations of various states. Hearne was named one of Missouri's ten best attorneys by the Missouri Lawyers Weekly in 2004. Hearne was also named one of the "Up and Coming Young Attorneys" by the St Louis Business Journal.
- Hearne also served as an attorney and law clerk in the U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights during the Reagan Administration.
- He has been admitted to the Michigan and Missouri bar and has been admitted to and practiced in a number of courts including the United States Supreme Court, the United States Court of International Trade, the Supreme Courts of Missouri and Michigan, the Eighth, Second and Federal Circuit Courts of Appeals.
- Hearne received his law degree from Washington University Law School and his B.A. from Washington University in St. Louis. He is a licensed pilot who has provided commentary for National Public Radio, FOX News and MSNBC and has authored a number of law review articles on various legal issues.
Resources and Articles
- Firm profile for Mark "Thor" Ferlund Hearne II, Lathrop & Gage L.C., accessed June 14, 2007.
- Brad Friedman, "New 'Non-Partisan' 'Voting Rights' Org Appears Little More than Republican Front Group! 6-Day Old Tax-Exempt Group Run by High Level GOP Operatives! (GOPUSA/Talon News, Anyone?)," The Brad Blog, March 22, 2007.
- Brad Friedman, "Blackwell Finally Testifies in OH as a New 'Voters Rights' Group Appears 'Talon News-style' out of Nowhere... Director of 4-Day Old Group Called as Expert Witness along with Blackwell in U.S. House Hearings Yesterday," The Brad Blog, March 22, 2005.
- Archived ACVR Biography for Mark F. (Thor) Hearne, accessed June 15, 2007.
- Brad Friedman, "High-Level Republicans from the New 'Non-Partisan' 'American Center for Voting Rights' Explain Themselves… Um…Sort of," The Brad Blog, March 23, 2005.
- Brad Friedman, "'Voting Rights' Group Leader Withholds Bush/Cheney/RNC Ties During Congressional Testimony! Describes Himself as 'Advocate of Voter Rights' But Not as Bush/Cheney '04 General Counsel!" The Brad Blog, March 24, 2005.
- Brad Friedman, "Air America Picks up Our Story on the ACVR! Fake GOP Front Groups Run by Guys Named Thor & Dyke Make for Good Radio! (And they put their money on this story breaking into the Mainstream Media…We'll see…)," The Brad Blog, March 25, 2005.
- Brad Friedman, "'Non-Partisan' Ring-Leaders of GOP 'Voting Rights' Front Group Currently Very Active Partisans!" The Brad Blog, March 28, 2006.
- Brad Friedman, "High-Level White House/DoJ Operative Thor Hearne Hired a High-Level White House/DoJ Operative to Put out Fire in Missouri Investigation Leading to Dismissal of U.S. Attorney. Powerful GOP Missouri Lawyer at Powerful GOP Missouri Law Firm Admits Bringing Powerful GOP Attorney William Mateja in to Manage DoJ Investigaton of Lathrop & Gage, Missouri Governor Matt Blunt. Firm Also Recently Hired Governor's Sister Amy... More is Still to Come...," The Brad Blog, May 2, 2007.
- Brad Friedman, "McClatchy: 'Missouri Was Ground Zero' For GOP 'Voter Fraud' Scam, Thor Hearne and ACVR at Center of Scheme. National Mainstream Media FINALLY Picks up on, Exposes the 'Non-Partisan' 'American Center for Voting Rights' Fraud...," The Brad Blog, May 2, 2007.
- Richard L. Hasen, "The Fraudulent Fraud Squad. The incredible, disappearing American Center for Voting Rights," Slate, May 18, 2007.
- Murray Waas, "Scales of Justice," National Journal, May 31, 2007.
- Brad Friedman, "NPR Covers the American Center for Voting Rights (ACVR) 'Voter Fraud' Scam. 'Liberal Blogger Brad Friedman' Interviewed in Report on Disappearance of GOP 'Vote Fraud' Fraudsters and Their White House Connections. Nobody from ACVR Agrees to Speak to Them on the Record, But the St. Louis Post-Dispatch Says Thor Hearne Has Some Complaints About The BRAD BLOG...," The Brad Blog, June 6, 2007.
- Brad Friedman, "Post-Dispatch: ACVR's Thor Hearne Blames The BRAD BLOG for His Demise. (Imagine What We Could Have Done if the GOP Gave US the Million Dollars That Thor Had?!)," The Brad Blog, June 7, 2007.
- Rick Hasen, "Someone Named Sam92077 Has Cleansed Thor Hearne's Wikipedia Entry to Remove References to the American Center for Voting Rights," Election Law Blog, June 11, 2007.
- Brad Friedman, "Wikipedia Entry for GOP 'Voter Fraud' Front Group Co-Founder, Thor Hearne, Scrubbed of References to ACVR. Latest Edit Performed by Someone at Hearne's Lawfirm, Lathrop & Gage, According to Rick Hasen of Election Law Blog...," The Brad Blog, June 12, 2007.
- Richard L. Hasen, "Implausible Deniability. The Internet foils fudging by three 'voter fraud' warriors," Slate, June 13, 2007.
- Brad Friedman, "GOP Vote Fraudster Thor Hearne's Attempt to Disappear Himself from Wikipedia Continues. PLUS: The GOP 'Voter Fraud' Legislation-Influencing Front Group Lied on Their Tax Disclosure Forms, Claiming They DID NOT Attempt to 'Influence Legislation'...," The Brad Blog, June 13, 2007.
- Mrs. Panstreppon, "Mark 'Thor' Ferlund Hearne II, American Center for Voting Rights Director and General Counsel," House of Labor / TPM Cafe, June 13, 2007.
- Jo Mannies, "Voting rights group disappears from Web," St. Louis Today, June 14, 2007.
- Brad Friedman, "Didn't Get the Memo: Bush 'Civil Rights' Appointee Repeats Discredited White House/ACVR 'Voter Fraud' Bullshit in Senate Testimony. Refers to GOP Operative, Mark 'Thor' Hearne, by Name as Source of 'Information'. Hearne and His Disinfo Operatives Need to be Subpeonaed Immediately...," The Brad Blog, June 14, 2007.
- Bob Fitrakis,"Ohio, the DOJ scandal and 'Thor' - the god of voter suppression," The Free Press, June 18, 2007.