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The son of an officer in the Bureau of Finance, Post Office Department, he graduated B.A. Wesleyan University in 1967 and received a J.D. from Harvard Law School in 1970. He first worked for Ohio Bell in Cleveland, Ohio and later in the legal department for the American Electric Power Company before joining the Jones, Day law firm in Columbus, Ohio.
Arnebeck was a leader in the Ohio campaign for Ross Perot's failed 1992 presidential bid. Questioning the micromanagement of the campaigh by Perot's staff in Houston, Arnebeck eventually challenged its legitimacy in a Washington press conference before the election [not in citation given] In 1996 Arnebeck decided to challenge the political establishment by running for Congress as a Democrat against Wylie's successor, GOP Congresswoman Deborah Pryce. and once again lost by a large margin. Disturbed at what he perceived as the behind the scenes manipulation of the political system, he filed a suit and successfully challenged the Ohio Chamber of Commerce's financing of the campaign in 2000 to defeat Justice Alice Robie Resnick, a Democrat.
Unsuccessful as a candidate, Arnebeck sought to act as a legal watchdog during elections. The handling of the 2004 presidential election by the state Republican administration prompted him to represent groups challenging the legitimacy of the state's vote count in a lawsuit, known as "Moss v. Bush" which was eventually dismissed by the court. Ohio's Secretary of State filed a motion for sanction against the plaintiffs, alleging that the claim in Moss v. Bush was meritless, did not meet the standards of evidence required by law, and was brought only for partisan political purposes. The move to impose sanctions on Arnebeck failed. Since then, Arnebeck has focused on the fraudulent use of computers in counting votes, a main issue in the 2004 suit, as the major threat to American elections. When the former Bush campaign operative Michael Connell died in a 2008 light aircraft crash in Ohio after being deposed by Arnebeck in his on-going suits on the 2004 election, Arnebeck attempted to link Karl Rove and others in the Bush 2004 campaign to the crash.
- American Dream Radio: Cliff Arnebeck, lead counsel for the voters lawsuit in Ohio which seeks to reverse the election outcome because of widespread voting irregularities. He explains about the lawsuit (as opposed to the recount), discusses some of the voter suppression tactics used, and talks about the expected course of the legal wrangling. 19 Dec. 2004 at 9:25 AM(audio)[dead link]
- C-SPAN video: Cliff Arnebeck, National Co-Chairman for the Alliance for Democracy and counsel in a lawsuit challenging the presidential election in Ohio, discusses the legal challenges to the 2004 vote in Ohio. 12/2/2004: WASHINGTON, DC: 30 min. (video, rm)[dead link]
- "Profile of Clifford Arneback". Thefreespeechzone.net. 11 October 1996. Retrieved 2010-05-13. (Note: Attributed to AP Political Service, 11 October 1996, this is a poorly written site which may be unreliable)
- Letter to Clifford O. Arnebeck 18 May 1854, at US Government Accountability Office
- Special News Broadcast recorded from ABC Evening News for Thursday, Oct 29, 1992 at Vanderbilt University Television News Archive
- Fintan Dunne: Ohio Judge Denies Knowing Of Presidential Election Fraud Plot at BreakForNews.com, 30 December 2004
- Sanctions motion at Supreme Court of Ohio, 18 January 2005
- Cliff Arnebeck On Mike Connell in Mark Crispin Miller's Blog, 20 January 2009