Through all of this Florida election results battle, we have seen the true face of each candidate. Granted they both want to be president, but beyond that, what has been their primary campaign promise to us and are they keeping it?
"If elected, I shall"...
How did these promises play out in Florida [Texas East]? At this moment, Gore is fighting to get the people's votes hand-counted from the "poorer, mostly Democratic counties" that use a paper ballot in contrast to the mostly Republican counties that used voting machines. This is because the mandatory machine recount turned in such a huge difference and because of several irregularities that were found in the process during this recount. In such a situation, a hand-count of ballots is legal in Florida if requested.
GW Bush, who claimed that he "trusted the people" opposed this. He not only went back on his promise to "trust the people" who voted in good faith, but he tried to use the courts to keep their votes from being counted. There is much more. The Secretary of State in Florida is co-chair of the Bush Campaign. She led the Bush fight to keep these votes from being counted, first by declaring the counting illegal and then by refusing to accept the results.
Her name is Katherine Harris, but Maureen Down calls her "Cruella." This state official, who should have been neutral, put roadblock after roadblock in the way of the counties that had agreed to do a hand count of the ballots. As Secretary of State, she prepared to call the election for her boss, GW Bush, backed up by his brother, Jeb Bush, the Governor of Florida. These are tactics right out of the Banana Republic's play book -- might makes right. The result of their actions has delayed the hand recount for over a week. Now the Florida Supreme Court has stepped in and ordered the Secretary of State to hold off certification of the election. The hand-count of ballots continues.
Is this hand-recount fair? We wouldn^'t know much about the process of counting ballots by hand except for the fantastic "Sunshine Laws" of the "Sunshine State." The entire process has been conducted out in the open under the eyes of the citizens and television cameras. None-the-less, Republicans continued their Banana Republic maneuvers claiming that the process is flawed and illegal. Their comments to the press are creating anger and causing near riots by Bush supporters.
Strangely, Cruella appears unconcerned about ballot irregularities that have surfaced, especially those relating to absentee ballots where a Florida law was broken as seen in an article from the New York Times of November 14, 2000, headlined, GOP Played Role in Absentee Vote. Thousands of requests for absentee ballots, completed except for the applicant's signature and Social Security number were mailed to party voters before the presidential election by Republicans.
They did this to increase absentee votes for Bush. Problem was that many of the forms lacked the voter registration number that was required by Florida's anti-fraud election laws. So most election officials supplied the missing number on the forms and sent out the ballots. The law is specific. Ballots may not be issued unless the applicant provide I.D. which includes their voter I.D. number. The law was broken this year. [Article by Michel Moss and Ford Fessenden. http://nytimes.com]
Not to be undone or overlooked, Trent Lott, Republican Senate Majority leader, echoed the mean spiritedness of the Florida Republican Officials. In a childish, foot stamping pissy fit, he verbally assaulted the newly elected Senator from the State of New York, Hillary Rodham Clinton. He suggested that it would please him greatly if she were struck by lightning and not arrive in the Senate at all. However, if she did get into the Senate, he, Lott would see to it that she had his special attention, leaving no doubt that it would be malevolent.
In many instances, Republicans have shown themselves to emulate the tactics of the renowned bully boys of "Banana Republics." Had they played by the rules, the recounts would probably be completed by now. We thank Paul Begalia for originating the term, Banana Republicans.
Copyright 2000 Renee T. Louise and Ruth M. Sprague, Ph.D. These articles may be republished for noncommercial use only, provided that they are copied intact, and that this copyright notice is attached. Address all queries to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
G e n d e r G a p p e r s T M