Mob Rule Wins for W : LUSENET : TB2K spinoff uncensored : One Thread

Texas Gov. George W. Bush appears to have sealed his claim to the White House through a premeditated mob action that influenced the crucial Dade County decision to halt a recount.

Egged on by Republican phone banks and heated rhetoric over Cuban-American radio, a pro-Bush mob of about 150 people descended on the Dade County canvassing board Wednesday as it was preparing to evaluate 10,750 disputed ballots.

"Republican volunteers shouted into megaphones urging protest," The New York Times reported in today's editions. "A lawyer for the Republican Party helped stir ethnic passions by contending that the recount was biased against Hispanic voters."

The protestors carried anti-Gore signs, including one that read: "Rotten to the Gore." The demonstration then turned violent as the canvassing board sought to go into closed session to begin examining the ballots.

Dade County's Democratic chairman, Joe Geller, was chased by the crowd and required police protection. The mob also charged the offices of the supervisor of elections and began pounding on the doors. Several people were roughed up before sheriff deputies blocked the demonstrators' path and restored some order.

The shaken three-member canvassing board promptly reversed its decision to count the ballots that many observers believed contained a large number of uncounted votes for Vice President Al Gore.

One canvassing board member, David Leahy, admitted that the board's decision to bail out on the recount was affected by the presence of the angry demonstrators. "This was perceived as not being an open and fair process," Leahy said. "That weighed heavy on our minds."

When the canvassing board halted the recount, the Bush supporters cheered.

The Gore camp saw no recourse but to appeal again to the courts. On Thursday, however, the state Supreme Court rejected a motion to compel Dade County to resume the recount, although the canvassing board previously had judged the recount necessary to correct errors in the voting-machine tabulations.

By stopping the Dade County recount, the Republicans appear to have guaranteed that Bush's 930-vote lead will survive any Gore gains in Broward and Palm Beach counties. That, in turn, means that on Sunday night, Bush almost certainly will be declared the winner of Florida's 25 electoral votes and thus the presidency.

Gore's lawyers indicated that they might contest the Dade County results after the certification of a Bush victory on Sunday. But pressure already is mounting on Gore to drop any further legal challenges and accept Bush's "victory."

Gore is coming under that pressure despite having won the national popular vote and apparently having been the choice of a plurality of Florida voters, though many of their ballots apparently were discarded for a variety of reasons.

Typical of this Democratic desire to submit to angry Republicans, The Washington Post's liberal columnist Richard Cohen wrote today that "Given the present bitterness, given the angry irresponsible charges being hurled by both camps, the nation will be in dire need of a conciliator, a likable guy who will make things better and not worse. That man is not Al Gore. That man is George W. Bush."

Cohen reached his conclusion although Gore has been the one to temper his rhetoric while Bush and the Republicans have escalated their public denunciations of Gore and the Florida Supreme Court.

The mob assault on the Dade County canvassing board came amid this angry Republican rhetoric. Bush's top recount adviser, James Baker, denounced the Supreme Court on Tuesday night and threatened to seek redress from the Republican-controlled Florida legislature.

Bush blasted the Supreme Court on Wednesday as the Miami mob action was in motion. Bush accused the court of using "the bench to change Florida's election laws and usurp the authority of Florida's election officials."

In lockstep with the Bush campaign's verbal assaults, Republicans in Miami unleashed the violent assault on the Dade County canvassing board. Rather than a state Supreme Court order "usurping" the authority of election officials, the Republicans opted for mob action.

The strong-arm tactics carried the day.

Bush now appears likely to ascend to the presidency not only as the first popular-vote loser to do so in more than a century, but as the first presidential candidate in modern U.S. history to benefit from a mob intimidating an election board, which then threw away thousands of ballots cast by American citizens.

-- Consortium (, November 24, 2000



Is that your own original article, or is it quoted from what someone else wrote? If the latter, please supply info about, and a link to, the original author.

-- No Spam Please (, November 24, 2000.

Bush would not have lost the popular vote if the biased media networks had not intentionally called Florida WAY TO EARLY for Gore, even while Bush clearly led the vote there.

In this media 150 people is a "mob", because it is Republicans. Any other organized demonstration would be called just organized demonstration.

-- k (k@a.n), November 24, 2000.

"The demonstration then turned violent as the canvassing board sought to go into closed session to begin examining the ballots." 'bout time! Closed door is totally unacceptable. Nothing fair and accurate about dems "doctoring" up votes.

Totally biased piece. I especially like these words, "Gore has been the one to temper his rhetoric" Let me see, wasn't Gore the first on the scene, supporting law suits for stupid people who didn't know how to read?

And what does this mean, "Democratic desire to submit to angry Republicans"? Dems desire one thing, to get elected. Gore wouldn't submit to anything. He even said he won't concede but will contest the vote after Sunday's deadline.

-- Maria (, November 24, 2000.

WOW. That Florida is one fucked up place under Jeb Bush's control. The Republicans have got the hot-headed Cuban Mafia on their side, threatening violence just as they did during the Elian incident.

-- (glad.i.don't@live.there), November 24, 2000.

No spam --

-- linkin (, November 24, 2000.

Can anybody say:

Personal responsibility - read ballot and follow instructions. Democrats personal "Rent a Riot" - Jesse Jackson. Gay Riots demonstrations - Hilary Clinton marched. Illegal campaign contributions - renting out the white house. Classified military information in the hands of the Chinese. FBI files illegaly obtained. Jury tampering and lying under oath - "I did not have sex with that woman". on and on and on!

-- Mad As Hell (, November 24, 2000.

The Earthling: Mad as Hell By Robert Wright

Friday, Nov. 24, 2000, at 11:37 a.m. PT

When this presidential election is over, let the record show the following:

(1) Republicans were the first party to resort to mob behavior--the storming of the Miami-Dade vote-counting room that Wall Street Journal columnist Paul Gigot today affectionately called a "bourgeois riot."

(2) This bullying was quite possibly decisive. The "riot" itself-- coupled with word that 1,000 Cuban-American Republicans were on their way to join the ranks--seems to have intimidated Miami-Dade's eternally dithering canvassing board into canceling its manual vote recount, converting Gore's chances of winning the election from solid to slim.

You might think that conservative pundits would be slightly abashed about winning a presidential election through physical intimidation. After all, for two weeks they had been paying hourly tribute to the "rule of law." But no--as ever, they seem deaf to all irony involving themselves. In the very column in which Gigot celebrates the Miami "riot," he writes, "GOP lawyers also pointed out that the law--recall that quaint concept--required that any recount include all ballots." Quaint indeed.

There has been much comment about the asymmetrical animus of the last few weeks. While liberals watch the drama with rapt attention, conservatives watch with barely contained outrage. Commentators such as Gigot have described this contrast with quiet pride. They seem to take it as final proof that justice is on George W. Bush's side. (And they wield it, too, as a kind of threat: A Gore presidency would mean an ungovernable nation!)

But I have another explanation for the anger gap between conservatives and liberals: Conservatives are an angrier group than liberals. It's conservatives, after all, who have Rush Limbaugh. Liberals sometimes mourn the absence of a left-wing Limbaugh, as if this void signified a spiritual energy crisis. I personally think it's a sign of mental health.

Similarly, some liberals were no doubt upset by a New York Times poll shortly after the election which showed that, while virtually all Bush voters considered their man the legitimate winner, a much smaller majority of Gore voters was sure Gore had won. Again, though, I take this as a healthy sign--a sign not of some lack of Democratic commitment but of Democratic open-mindedness.

Yes, yes, I'm aware of how many Democrats are as incapable as many Republicans of seeing an opponent's point of view, of putting themselves in the shoes of The Other. The extremes of any ideology will always be a bit off-kilter. But the fact is that it is Republicans, not Democrats, who depend on a sizeable bloc of voters whose defining characteristic is heated intolerance of people different from themselves (e.g., homosexuals).

The post-election conservative outrage isn't confined to the grass roots. Throughout the take-no-prisoners chess game of the past two weeks, the Bush and Gore camps have evinced clearly different sensibilities. Bush, Baker, et. al., exuding indignation if not contempt, have viewed the game as an attempted theft. Gore, Daley, et. al., have viewed it as, well, as a take-no-prisoners chess game: Each team tries to use the law to its advantage, and whoever wins gets to be president.

Incidentally, that's what the rule of law is. The rule of law doesn't mean that truth and justice always prevail. It doesn't presuppose that the people who administer and interpret the law will be devoid of bias, partisan or otherwise. The "rule of law" just means that when disputes between people arise, there is an algorithm for settling them--an algorithm that, no matter how imperfect in practice, is at least peaceful. At bottom, the rule of law just means that disagreements won't be settled by violence or intimidation, as this election now arguably has been. (The Miami-Dade uprising--which featured cameramen getting knocked to the floor--began, according to Gigot, when "street-smart New York Rep. John Sweeney, a visiting GOP monitor, told an aide to `Shut it down,' and semi-spontaneous combustion took over.")

Gigot seems sure that this use of intimidation was justified. He sees it as evidence that Gore's shameless post-election ploys "finally convinced enough Republicans to fight like Democrats." Um, could we please have an example of Democrats fighting in this manner? The closest Gigot comes is this reference: "True, [the Miami-Dade revolt] wasn't exactly Chicago 1968, but these are Republicans."

It's interesting that Gigot has to reach back 32 years for an example, and that his example is a terrible one (the most disruptive Chicago protestors weren't Democrats--they were trying to disrupt a Democratic convention). But it's not surprising. Though Democrats do a lot of peaceful protesting, examples of them behaving like the Republicans did this week in Miami-Dade county are pretty rare. (Seattle, 1999? Nope. The demonstrators who got physical are no doubt Nader voters, assuming they voted at all--and good riddance to them.)

In the days after this year's election, I was in Europe, where I took a certain amount of kidding about America's electoral mess. Foreigners, of course, are especially amused that the world's famously litigious superpower has put its fate in the hands of lawyers. But I didn't feel at all embarrassed; what foreigners were seeing on television was the strength of our system: The rule of law, naturally, involves lawyers. But footage of Miami's "bourgeois riot" is something I truly am ashamed for the world to see.

-- shameful (, November 24, 2000.

"Democrats personal "Rent a Riot" - Jesse Jackson. Gay Riots demonstrations - Hilary Clinton marched. Illegal campaign contributions - renting out the white house. Classified military information in the hands of the Chinese. FBI files illegaly obtained. Jury tampering and lying under oath - "I did not have sex with that woman". on and on and on!"

The extremes of any ideology will always be a bit off-kilter. But the fact is that it is Republicans, not Democrats, who depend on a sizeable bloc of voters whose defining characteristic is heated intolerance of people different from themselves (e.g., homosexuals).

-- You illustrate it (, November 24, 2000.

Rep. Peter Deutsch asks feds to look into alleged GOP intimidation tactics in Miami-Dade County; Nassau County tosses out its recount and 51 crucial votes for Gore.

- - - - - - - - - - - - By Jake Tapper

Nov. 24, 2000 | WASHINGTON -- Salon has learned that Democratic Rep. Peter Deutsch, D-Fla., will call for a federal investigation into whether Republicans organized an effort to intimidate the Miami-Dade County canvassing board into stopping their recount. Perhaps of more immediate consequence, Salon has also learned that Florida's Nassau County, which is largely Republican, has decided to report its original election returns -- rather than its recount tally -- to the secretary of state Sunday, thus stripping Vice President Al Gore of 51 votes.

Nassau County Commissioner Marianne Marshall confirmed that, just before 9 a.m. EST, she -- as a temporary member of the canvassing board -- was one in a 3-0 vote to use the original Election Day numbers. The vote came upon the recommendation of Supervisor of Elections Shirley King, a Democrat, who "felt that they [the original election night numbers] were more accurate" than the mandated recount numbers, according to Marshall.

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"If she said that that's the way she wanted to go then I support it," Marshall said, offering that the switch would mean a net loss of 51 votes for Gore in the statewide tally. "Shirley King has been the supervisor of elections for Nassau County for 28 years. She has always been very honest and served with integrity and I respect her immensely," Marshall said. Joining King and Marshall in the vote was Judge Bob Williams, also a Democrat.

In addition to the 51-vote loss for Gore, the board voted to allow an overseas absentee military ballot, which went for Gov. George W. Bush.

"This is an example of ignoring the law," said Gore spokesman Douglas Hattaway, "and a reason why we're going to have to contest the results." After it was pointed out that the decision was made by a majority Democratic three-member canvassing board, Hattaway said, "It doesn't matter what party they are, they've got to follow the law."

The Bush campaign was working on a conference call dealing with overseas military ballots and could not immediately be reached for comment.

Deutsch, who represents parts of Southern Florida, told Salon that he was calling for a federal investigation into the events that he said led to Wednesday night's vote by the Miami-Dade canvassing board to suspend its hand recount efforts.

In its petition to the Florida Supreme Court to force the canvassing board to hand recount the votes -- a petition that was rejected -- the Gore recount committee charged that the board was "perhaps influenced by the protests, political attacks and near mob-like action."

"[O]pponents of the tabulation ... launched personal attacks directed at Canvassing Board members and election personnel," the petition stated. "Those tactics plunged to even uglier depths, exemplified by a New York Congressman's accusations that 'thugs' were trying to 'steal' the election ... Scores of noisy demonstrators engulfed the counting floors ... yelling and some pounding on the doors and windows ... Democratic personnel were physically assaulted within yards of the vote counting."

Deutsch will take those charges a step further in a letter he plans to write to the U.S. Justice Department's division of elections. "What happened in Miami-Dade was illegal," Deutsch said in a phone interview with Salon. "Out-of-town paid political operatives came to South Florida to disrupt a federal election," he charged, alleging that such actions violate a law that prohibits crossing state lines to "intimidate" parties supervising a federal election.

A 1996 study in the Yale Law Journal concluded that "in considering the Civil Rights Act of 1968, the 90th Congress found that there was 'no question of the constitutional power of Congress to punish private interference with voting in Federal elections, interstate travel or interstate commerce.'"

But Jim Wilkinson, a spokesman for the Bush recount team who was present at the protest outside the Miami-Dade canvassing room, says that there was nothing orchestrated about the protest. "There were between 80 and 100 of us" outside the room, Wilkinson said, "and it was a very emotional group of young people. But they thought the election was being held behind closed doors." Hence they all walked outside the canvassing room and protested -- emotionally, but spontaneously, Wilkinsons said.

Wilkinson observed that the Democrats have their share of protesters in Miami, too. "Al Gore has union volunteers that they've bused in from out of town to down here in Miami," he said. "Jesse Jackson brings a thousand or 10,000 volunteers to Florida and they have no problem with it. All of a sudden, we have 100 people and we're intimidating. Republicans are using Democrat protest tactis and they don't like it."

As for Deutsch's complaint, Wilkinson said, "Welcome to the First Amendment, Mr. Deutsch. Press conferences and rallies are protected speech."

"All Al Gore -- and the American people -- want is a fair an accurate count," Deutsch said. "Unfortunately, all Governor Bush seems to want is to do everything he can, legal and extralegal, to stop the count. And now he's done something illegal. If America stops and thinks about what has occurred, it is beyond anything you'd see in a movie." Gore spokesman Hattaway said that "We support Congressman Deutsch's call for an investigation. We've urged the Bush campaign to call off their supporters who are intimidating officials in Florida."

-- -- (-@-.-), November 24, 2000.

Shame, shame, shame on Republicans, everyone knows your name.

Clearly this election is a critical turning point for America. If Bush takes the office, everyone except for the financially elite will be oppressed into silence. Nazi-esque goons of the organized crime world will use violence to beat the middle class into submission. Bush will execute those who do not lay down to domination and control of our country by the multinational oil conglomerates. God help us all when he begins to use our military to force his twisted desires for power on the rest of the world. He will settle for nothing less than having his psychotic fantasy become reality. If not stopped at this point in time, he will ultimately precipitate the final armageddon and the end of civilization as we know it.

-- (, November 24, 2000.

If not stopped at this point in time, he will ultimately precipitate the final armageddon and the end of civilization as we know it.

If I understand you correctly, what with armageddon and all, perhaps life insurance isn't a good bet? Thanks for the heads-up.

-- Bingo1 (, November 24, 2000.

Good point Bingo, you are very astute. Also, the first place he will go to demonstrate his power is back to Iraq to finish of Saddum (prounounced "sad"-"uhm" among the Bush's). The Arab nations aren't going to be amused, and neither are Russia and China. At this point, feel free to begin maxing your credit cards, you won't need to worry about paying them off.

-- (very@good.grasshoppah), November 24, 2000.

Hmm, isn't kinda like anti-matter for Sleazyboarders? I bet if you put somebody like Invar in the same room as, there would be a massive explosion. When the smoke cleared, there'd only be a "Q" key from a keyboard, and maybe a left mouse button.

Ya think?

-- Professor Glayvin (, November 24, 2000.

Thank you for the compliment Professor. If I am antimatter to Sleazyboarders then I am pleased, for that is exactly what I strive to be.

I would recommend this to everyone... if you are ever lacking for a good role model or an example of how to be your best, simply study them and strive to be the opposite. :-)

-- (opposing.evil@is.good), November 24, 2000.

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