Doing 'anything to win'

Posted: Nov 23, 2000 12:00 AM
For those of you who insist on taking the position -- regardless of the evidence -- that Gore and Bush (and more broadly, Republicans and Democrats) are guilty of equal misconduct and heavy-handedness in the Florida post-election chaos, I urge you to consider this evidence: Gore's actions are inconsistent with his words; he insists that he wants every vote counted, but is doing everything he can to have only his votes counted. Gore said in December 1999, "I'm not like George Bush. I'll do anything to win." Democrats requested recounts in four of the most Gore-favoring counties. The Democratic machine dispatched an army of lawyers throughout the state armed with a five-page legal memo for the express purpose of disqualifying the maximum number of military ballots (40 percent of those ballots were disqualified when many of them legally shouldn't have been); Joe Lieberman had the audacity to claim that he and Gore wouldn't subscribe to such a strategy. The Los Angeles Times reported that Gore flooded Florida with seasoned Democratic operatives to rustle up votes for Gore, with a Democratic lawyer reminding them that "we only need 301 votes to win this." The lawyer said, "Our goal is to preserve the Al Gore vote. It's very, very important that if you see any kind of mark -- a scratch, a dent, a pinprick in Al Gore's column -- that you challenge." When asked how they should treat such marks on Bush ballots, the lawyer said, "Keep your lips sealed." Gore's DNC hired a telemarketing group to agitate voters into complaining about the ballots. The Gore forces were exalting the decisions of county officials until Broward and Miami-Dade Counties voted not to conduct a full manual recount, at which point Gore threatened to sue and forced them to proceed. The Democrats in Broward County changed a 10-year-old rule in the middle of a manual recount to more liberally construe ballots to enhance Gore vote totals. Miami-Dade suspiciously closed its recount to the press. At least 39 felons -- mostly Democrats -- were permitted to cast illegal absentee ballots in Democratic counties Broward and Miami-Dade. Gore negotiator Warren Christopher called the Democratic lawyer for Palm Beach County's elections supervisor to try to get him to exert influence on the county to conduct a manual recount. The lawyer said he didn't think Christopher's call was appropriate. Gore has been personally contacting newspaper columnists to gin up support for his cause. Longtime Democratic operative Bob Beckel has admitted that he's indirectly contacting electors with the hope of persuading some Republican ones to vote for Gore. Clinton-Gore hitman Paul Begala wrote a fire-breathing, hate-gorged column depicting the Bush states variously as racist, murderous, homophobic and anti-Catholic. Democrat Mort Kondracke admitted that the ongoing manual recount will send a signal to Democratic County commissioners as to how many votes they're going to need to overcome Bush's lead (quickly adding that he wasn't suggesting the commissioners were corrupt). The Gore forces were orchestrating the most vicious character assassination of Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris for exercising her duty under the law -- while Gore was simultaneously requesting a meeting with Gov. Bush to improve the tone of the discourse. MSNBC reported that Gore's aides said that if Bush wins with the help of Katherine Harris, "the investigation of her role in this entire situation will make Whitewater look like a picnic." Republicans have refrained from reciprocating with a similar attack against Democratic Attorney General Bob Butterworth. Five separate affidavits have been filed alleging misconduct on the part of controversial Palm Beach County Democratic election official Carol Roberts. Eyewitnesses have reported that in one case, six Bush ballots were placed in the Gore stack to be counted for Gore and that in several instances, chads were taped to Bush "holes" and then Gore's holes were punched. While Americans overwhelmingly want finality to this process, Joe Lieberman refused to rule out further legal challenges to the election if he and Gore are still losing upon completion of the manual recounts. The Baltimore Sun confirms that the Gore legal team is already preparing further legal challenges to the election. I rest my case.