Gore Won Florida

Cover-up of Theft of 2000 Presidential Election Continues

Corporate controlled talking heads say “Bush Won FL Recount.” The stories are carefully worded to initially promote an undisputed Bush victory. Then buried within these stories you will find brief and begrudging admittal of the truth.

Dimpled chads aside, given what we know about the overseas ballots, Jeb Bush-Kathy Harris' non-felon felons conspiracy, and intimidation at the polls, it is obvious that Gore won Florida. The consortium study shows Gore won Florida. Add the partisan intervention by the Rehnquist Five and the final result is that, not only did Bush et al steal the 2000 Presidential Election, they also ran their filthy fascists tanks over democracy.

The Regime is saying Americans have gotten over Coup2K--not Americans who believe in the best ideals of democracy--we know that YOU DON'T GET OVER A COUP!!!! If we don't stand together against the Regime, who will?

By Robert Parry November 22, 2001

George W. Bush now appears to have claimed the most powerful office in the world by blocking a court-ordered recount of votes in Florida that likely would have elected Al Gore to be president of the United States.

A document, revealed by Newsweek magazine, indicates that the Florida recount that was stopped last year by five Republicans on the U.S. Supreme Court would have taken into account so-called “overvotes” that heavily favored Gore.

If those “overvotes” were counted, as now it appears they would have been, Gore would have carried Florida regardless of what standard of chad – dimpled, hanging, punched-through – was used in counting the so-called “undervotes,” according to an examination of those ballots by a group of leading news organizations.

In other words, Bush lost not only the national popular vote by more than a half million ballots, but he would have lost the key state of Florida and thus the presidency, if Florida’s authorities had been allowed to count the votes that met the state’s legal requirement of demonstrating the clear intent of the voter.

The Newsweek disclosure – a memo that the presiding judge in the state recount sent to a county canvassing board – shows that the judge was instructing the county boards to collect “overvotes” that had been rejected for indicating two choices for president when, in reality, the voters had made clear their one choice.

“If you would segregate ‘overvotes’ as you describe and indicate in your final report how many where you determined the clear intent of the voter,” wrote Judge Terry Lewis, who had been named by the Florida Supreme Court to oversee the statewide recount, “I will rule on the issue for all counties.”

Lewis’s memo to the chairman of the Charlotte County canvassing board was written on Dec. 9, 2000, just hours before Bush succeeded in getting five conservative justices on the U.S. Supreme Court to stop the Florida recount.

Lewis has said in more recent interviews that he might well have expanded the recount to include those “overvotes.” Indeed, it would be hard to imagine that he wouldn’t count those legitimate votes once they were recovered by the counties and were submitted to Lewis.

The “overvotes” in which voters marked the name of their choice and also wrote in his name would be even more clearly legal votes than the so-called “undervotes” which were kicked out for failing to register a choice that could be read by voting machines.

Intentionally Misguided & Cover-up Articles

This new information indicating that the wrong presidential candidate moved into the White House also makes a mockery of the Nov. 12 front-page stories of the New York Times, the Washington Post and other leading news outlets, which stated that Bush would have won regardless of the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling.

Those stories were based on the hypothetical results if the state-ordered recount had looked only at “undervotes.” The news organizations assumed, incorrectly it now appears, that the “overvotes” would have been excluded from such a tally, leaving Bush with a tiny lead.

In going with the “Bush Wins” headlines, the news organizations downplayed their more dramatic finding that Gore would have won if a full statewide recount had been conducted in accordance with state law. Using the clear-intent-of-the-voter standard, Gore beat Bush by margins ranging from 60 to 171 votes, depending on what standard was used in judging the “undervotes.”

Beyond the big newspapers’ false assumptions about the state recount, the news stories showed a pro-Bush bias in their choice of language and the overall slant of the articles.

The New York Times, for instance, used the word “would” and even declarative statements when referring to Bush prevailing in hypothetical partial recounts. By contrast, the word “might” was used when mentioning that Gore topped Bush if all ballots were considered.

“A comprehensive review of the uncounted Florida ballots,” the Times wrote, “reveal that George W. Bush would have won even if the United States Supreme Court had allowed the statewide manual recount of the votes that the Florida Supreme Court had ordered to go forward. Contrary to what many partisans of former Vice President Al Gore have charged, the United State Supreme Court did not award an election to Mr. Bush that otherwise would have been won by Mr. Gore.”

Two paragraphs later, the Times noted that the examination of all rejected ballots “found that Mr. Gore might have won if the courts had ordered a full statewide recount. … The findings indicate that Mr. Gore might have eked out a victory if he had pursued in court a course like the one he publicly advocated when he called on the state to ‘count all the votes.’”

Left out of that formulation, which suggests that Gore was a hypocrite, is the fact that Bush rejected Gore’s early proposal for a full statewide recount. Bush also waged a relentless campaign of obstruction that left no time for the state courts to address the equal-protection-under-the-law concerns raised by the U.S. Supreme Court in its final ruling on Dec. 12, 2000.

Note also how the Times denigrates as misguided Gore “partisans” those American citizens who concluded, apparently correctly, that the U.S. Supreme Court awarded the election to Bush.

The headlines, too, favored Bush. The Times’ front-page headline on Nov. 12 read, “Study of Disputed Florida Ballots Finds Justices Did Not Cast the Deciding Vote.” The Washington Post’s headline read, “Florida Recounts Would Have Favored Bush.”

Spreading Confusion

The pro-Bush themes in the headlines and stories were repeated over and over by television and other newspapers, creating a widespread belief among casual news consumers that Bush had prevailed in the full statewide recount, rather than only in truncated recounts based on dubious hypotheses.

Now, Judge Lewis’s memo undercuts both the tone and the content of those news reports. It is certainly not clear anymore that the state-ordered recount would have favored Bush. It also appears likely that the interference by the U.S. Supreme Court was decisive. Based on the new evidence, the major newspapers look to be wrong on both these high-profile points.

Beyond Gore’s narrow victory from the recoverable ballots, the news organizations concluded – but played down – that Gore lost thousands of unrecoverable ballots because of flawed ballot designs in several Democratic strongholds. Gore lost other votes because Gov. Jeb Bush’s administration disqualified hundreds of predominantly black voters who were falsely labeled felons.

The New York Times also reported that Bush achieved a net gain of about 290 votes by getting illegally cast absentee votes counted in Republican counties while enforcing the rules strictly in Democratic counties. Though the new recount tallies did not include any adjustments for these irregularities, the news organizations estimated that Gore lost tens of thousands of votes from these disparities, compared to Bush’s official victory margin of 537 votes.

For months, the leading news organizations have been bending over backwards to protect Bush’s fragile legitimacy, possibly out of concern for the nation’s image in a time of crisis. Yet, whatever the motivation for trying to make Bush look good, the evidence is now overwhelming that Bush strong-armed his way, illegitimately, to the presidency.

In the days immediately after the election, Bush obstructed a full-and-fair recount in Florida, even dispatching hooligans from outside the state to intimidate vote counters. When Gore pressed for recounts in the courts, Bush sent in lawyers to prevent the tallies. Then, after losing before the Florida Supreme Court and the federal appeals court, Bush ultimately got a friendly hearing from five political allies on the U.S. Supreme Court.

If Bush truly respected the precepts of democracy and what those principles mean to the world, he could have joined Gore in demanding as full and fair a Florida recount as possible. He could have accepted the results, win or lose.

Instead Bush opted for the opposite course, deciding that his getting the White House was more important than the voters having their judgment accepted, both nationally and in Florida. By refusing to hold Bush accountable for his key role in thwarting the voters’ will, the major news organizations are not doing the cause of democracy any service.

It turns out that the thousands of demonstrators who protested Bush’s Inauguration were closer to the truth when they shouted at his motorcade, “Hail to the Thief!” (http://www.consortiumnews.com/2001/112101a.html)

Schultz: The ballot that altered U.S. history

By Randy Schultz, Palm Beach Post Staff Writer Sunday, November 18, 2001

The wrong man became president of the United States in January.

That isn't an opinion. It's a fact. History will draw its conclusions as to whether the country benefited from the mistake.

In March, The Post published the most important ballot review from the 2000 presidential election in Florida. The paper reported that the "butterfly ballot" cost Al Gore about 6,600 net votes in Palm Beach County because of confusion that resulted in double punches. George W. Bush's margin in Florida, the state that put him in the White House, was 537 votes.

Last Monday, The Post -- part of an eight-member consortium -- published a statewide review of under-votes and over-votes that examined nine under-vote recount scenarios. Mr. Bush won three, including the one in place before the Supreme Court decided the election. Mr. Gore won six, including one based on standards that the Republicans had said were acceptable.

Reviews of the under-votes, though, turn on educated guesses. They matter because under-votes were the basis of the lawsuits. They matter because of history and the need to modernize voting systems. But this story began in Palm Beach County early last Nov. 7 with alarms about over-votes and mistaken votes. Nearly 13 months later, over-votes and mistaken votes still explain why George W. Bush and not Al Gore is leading the fight against terrorism.

Over-votes, Buchanan votes

The consortium's review said Theresa LePore's ballot cost Mr. Gore about 6,400 net votes. That conclusion vindicated this paper's independent reporting. Add to the over-votes at least 2,000 legal votes mistakenly cast for Pat Buchanan, and it is clear that Palm Beach County's elections supervisor altered history.

Not that she ever will admit it. Ms. LePore said the consortium's review isn't reliable because it didn't examine every ballot statewide. You could say that her refusal to acknowledge what happened is understandable. You also could say it's denial, which would be closer to the truth. Ms. LePore has fussed whenever anyone or any organization has wanted to look at the ballots. But the ballot was only one part of her catastrophic failure.

Let's dispel one myth. The county's Democratic and Republican parties didn't "sign off" on the butterfly ballot, as Mr. Bush's spinmeisters got away with claiming last year. The parties don't have to approve the ballot. Democratic officials never saw the ballot in the voting machine. The elections supervisor just has to get the names right and in order. Other supervisors told The Post that Ms. LePore never showed them her plan for putting all the candidates on two pages, and that if she had, they would have warned her about confusion.

Once the complaints began, Ms. LePore's office did nothing to make certain that voters from both parties -- double-punches cost Mr. Bush votes, too -- were sure of their choice. Calls to her office got busy signals; I watched one poll worker try for 10 minutes. Ms. LePore has spent more energy rationalizing since Nov. 7 than she did responding on Nov. 7.

LePore wriggles, but she's on the hook

You could say that Ms. LePore is getting too much blame. After all, Duval County's multi-page ballot -- the "caterpillar" -- caused many first-time voters there to punch two names for president. Mr. Gore may have lost more votes in Duval than in Palm Beach. As many as 40,000 more people statewide may have wanted to vote for Mr. Gore than for Mr. Bush. Why single out this county?

The answer is that had Mr. Gore been credited with those 8,000-plus votes in Palm Beach County, there's a chance no one would have looked at other counties. Mr. Bush might have been off to mount challenges in other close states. When the networks first called Florida for Mr. Gore, the general feeling in our newsroom was that Ms. LePore was off the hook. But she isn't, no matter how much she wriggles.

It took selflessness and patriotism for Al Gore to concede the election, knowing that a majority of voters picked him. That spirit of putting country before self will enable the U.S. not just to recover from Sept. 11 but to make the world a safer place. Still, how many times must Al Gore have wondered since Sept. 11 whether he still is mad about the mistake or grateful? How many times must George W. Bush have pondered the circumstances that put him in office?

And how many times since Nov. 7 -- and Sept. 11 -- must Theresa LePore have thought about that ballot? If anybody hopes Mr. Bush does well, she does.

Randy Schultz is editor of the editorial page of The Palm Beach Post. Comments about the Opinion section may be sent to him at schultz@pbpost.com