Florida Representative Received Death Threats

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I certainly found this article interesting. My favorite part? Bush's "spokesperson" denying all knowledge of the parties making these threats.

I'm sure that they have been residing in an RV parked outside of the canvassing offices for a couple of weeks now, hm? Perhaps they're some of the folk who have been standing outside of Al Gore's official residence, chanting "Get out of Cheney's house"?

Fla. Rep. Received Death Threats

By TERRY SPENCER, Associated Press Writer

MIAMI (AP) - A Democratic congressman is under increased security after receiving numerous death threats following his outspoken support of Vice President Al Gore during Florida's recount of presidential ballots, an aide said Monday.

U.S. Rep. Robert Wexler of Boca Raton is just one of several election participants who say they have been threatened or harassed since the recounts and election protests began.

Carol Roberts, a Palm Beach County commissioner and member of the canvassing board that oversaw the county's manual recount, was assigned a sheriff's department body guard after receiving threats.

Democrats, including vice presidential candidate Joseph Lieberman, accused protesting Republicans of using intimidation to force Miami-Dade County's canvassing board to stop its manual recount.

But Democrats on the board said they stopped the recount because they could not meet Sunday's deadline, not because of intimidation by the crowd outside.

Tucker Eskew, speaking for Bush, said he hopes those who threatened Wexler and Roberts are identified and prosecuted.

``We express revulsion that any such threats were made,'' he said.

Wexler has not canceled any appearances because of threats against him, aide Eric Johnson said Monday.

The FBI, which investigates threats against federal officials, also declined to comment.

-- Just another feminist (shrubya@knows.com), November 27, 2000



Mob Scene in Miami

We look at the players behind the "spontaneous" protest that preceded the shutdown of Miami-Dade's recount


Marjorie Strayer insisted she was just a Virginian on vacation in Miami. She had come to the downtown Stephen P. Clark Government Center to watch the Dade County vote recount--something to do before the trip to the Seaquarium. But Strayer, it turns out, is a top aide to New Mexico's Republican Congresswoman, Heather Wilson, and was one of hundreds of paid G.O.P. crusaders who descended on South Florida last Wednesday to protest the state's recounts. "The system is unfair, inaccurate, fraught with human error!" Strayer cried. In a Winnebago outside, G.O.P. operatives orchestrated the ranks up to the 19th floor, hoping to halt the tally of the largest potential lode of Gore votes.

Republicans, not usually known for takin' it to the streets, got what they wanted. Just two hours after a near riot outside the counting room, the Miami-Dade canvassing board voted to shut down the count. Yet the way the Republicans went after it, by intimidating the three- member board or by providing the excuse it was looking for, gave Americans the first TV view of strong-arm tactics in what was supposed to be a showcase of democracy in action. If Jesse Jackson can do it, the Republicans argued, so can we. But the G.O.P.'s march turned into a mob. The screaming, the pounding on doors and the alleged physical assaults on Democrats suddenly made a bemused public queasy. "I'm all for anyone's right to protest," says Miami-Dade Democratic chairman Joe Geller, who had to have a police escort. "These were Brownshirt tactics."

It was the Dade vote counters, however, who provoked the Republican machine. Seemingly oblivious to G.O.P. anger over the Florida Supreme Court ruling to allow manual recounts, the canvassing board tried an end run around the court's Sunday deadline by deciding to recount only some 11,000 of Dade's 654,000 ballots. Those disputed ballots, most of which did not register presidential votes in the machines, were thought to favor Gore. Worse, the board moved into a smaller room that cut off public observation. "They denied our legal rights," says Paul Crespo, an ex-Marine and coordinator of a group called Young Professionals for Bush. "We cried foul." In fact, the Republicans, who justifiably delight in throwing 1960s chants back at Democrats, began shouting, "The whole world is watching!"

What the world watched was a G.O.P. melee. When Geller walked out of the room with a sample ballot, the crowd accused him of stealing a real one and responded as if he had just nabbed a baby for its organs. Geller says he was pushed by two dozen protesters screaming, "I'm gonna take you down!" Luis Rosero, a Democratic observer, claims he was punched and kicked. Republicans dispute the charges, but video cameras caught scenes of activism that had morphed into menace. The organizers in the RV outside, who G.O.P. protesters have told TIME were led by hardball Washington strategist Roger Stone, had phone banks churning out calls to Miami Republicans, urging them to storm downtown. (Stone could not be reached for comment.) One of them was a fire fighter, Rob Eltus, 45: "What Americans are finally seeing is Republicans fed up."

But what really may have given the canvassing board pause was a sight that strikes fear in any Florida politician, especially elected Dade County judges like Lawrence King, the board's chairman: angry Cuban voters. They marched on the Clark Center after a conservative radio station, Radio Mambi, broadcast interviews with two Cuban-American G.O.P. members of Congress, Lincoln Diaz-Balart and Ileana Ros- Lehtinen, who decried the board's moves. For Miami's Cubans, almost 80% of whom voted for Bush, this election is mostly about avenging Elian Gonzalez. One of Judge King's paid political consultants is Armando Gutierrez, the man who distributed the Orwellian videotape of Elian denouncing his father last spring.

Democrats last week called for a federal probe of the incident. Sources close to Democratic Miami-Dade Mayor Alex Penelas tell TIME that a G.O.P. intermediary, Miami political consultant Herman Echevarria--at the behest of state Republican leaders--tried to approach Penelas Wednesday morning to see if the mayor "might talk" to the canvassing board. The sources say Penelas preferred to stay out of it. (Dade elections supervisor David Leahy, a board member, also works for Penelas.) Both Echevarria and Florida G.O.P. chairman Al Cardenas deny such contact. But Penelas, a Cuban American, is seen as vulnerable by G.O.P. leaders because he has been estranged from the Gore campaign since the Elian debacle. Either way, Democrats are asking what the board said--and with whom they met--while holed up in the Clark Center waiting out the riot.

-- (threats@nd.strong arm tacticts), November 27, 2000.

I certainly found this article interesting. My favorite part? Bush's "spokesperson" denying all knowledge of the parties making these threats.

Are you saying that Bush's "spokesperson" did have knowledge of these death threats? Can you prove that? It is your civic duty to inform the FBI of this diabolical plot.

BTW, just curious, how were the death threats delivered (mail, phone, internet, carrier pigeon, verbally in person?). Were they witnessed? Are there copies or recordings of these threats?

-- (just_another_masculinist@chippendale.chophouse), November 27, 2000.

-- (hmm@hmm.hmm), November 27, 2000.

The Bush New World Order

-- (Advent of @ The. Fourth Reich), November 27, 2000.

Robert Wexler was also one of the more ardent supporters of Clinton during the impeachment. I doubt that earned him any extra brownie points with these folks. This evening on Geraldo, he seemed almost subdued (for him, anyway).

-- I'm Here, I'm There (I'm Everywhere@so.beware), November 27, 2000.

Just another masculinist,

I notice that the FBI is already on the job re: threats to Wexler and Roberts.

I'm sure we'll all be getting an updated report when the parties making the threats are found and arrested for it.

It'll also be interesting to find out who knew what and when. Kinda' like when Shrubya was on nationwide television, denying that Dick Cheney had nothing more than some "discomfort," and Cheney was in open heart surgery at the time.

-- Just another feminist (shrubya@knows.com), November 27, 2000.

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