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Those Crazy Florida Recounts: It's Johnny Rocco Time, See?

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of

I'd planned to spend the day begging editors for the hundreds of dollars it would cost for a ticket to see political rock star Michelle Obama launch her book (and presidential campaign) with Oprah Winfrey, and then join the rest of the media in pro-Michelle hysteria.


I'd also planned to imagine Hillary Clinton, alone in her afternoon kitchen, reaching for another box of cheap chardonnay, muttering bitterly: "Michelle thinks she's Beyonce? (Bleep) that. I'm the boss ... Who's the boss who's the boss who's the boss?"

But then Johnny Rocco had to butt in and ruin things.

With angry charges of vote fraud and racism and incompetence in the botched Florida recounts of close races for governor and the U.S. Senate, it's time to consult Johnny Rocco.

He's a political expert, see? With roots along the Chicago Way but wise in the way of Florida vote recounts too, see?

"I take a nobody, see? Teach 'em what to say, get his name in the papers," Rocco says while getting a straight razor shave down in Key Largo. "Yeah, pay for his campaign expenses. Dish out a lot of groceries, and coal, get my boys to bring the voters out, and then count the votes over and over until they added up right and he was elected ... yeah."

Yeah, Johnny. Yeah.

Rocco was loosely based on a Chicago gangster named Al. Yeah, that Al. It was long ago, hence Rocco's references to coal and "the papers." Edward G. Robinson, with his never-ending use of "see?" played Johnny Rocco in the old movie "Key Largo," with Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall.

But in Florida this week, just as it was 18 years ago with hanging chads and Chicago's Bill Daley trying to stiffen Al Gore's limp spine, it's Johnny Rocco time.



Because thousands of Democratic votes were miraculously found in Florida's heavily Democratic Broward County after polls were closed on Election Day.

The Republican candidate for Senate, Florida Gov. Rick Scott, had the votes to declare victory. On Tuesday night. And Republican Ron DeSantis, the candidate for governor, had the votes to win. On Tuesday night.

But after Wednesday morning, and with those thousands of votes coming in, things changed.

And Brenda Snipes, the Broward election supervisor with a sodden history of incompetence and repeated violation of election law, was at it again.

Ballots were found in abandoned boxes and other mysterious places. And ballots that were supposed to be kept separate from other ballots were mysteriously mixed together. Election deadlines for reporting votes were ignored. And those who criticized Snipes for her incompetence were branded, of course, as racists.

Is it fraud, as President Donald Trump and other Republicans say? Members of the Democratic Media Complex that loathes Trump insist there is "no evidence" of fraud, but that smacks of political complicity.

I suppose that "no evidence" means there are no videos of Florida Democrats trading extra Jell-O to seniors for Democratic votes.

Snipes didn't know or wouldn't say how many ballots she had when polls closed. Sixty-five other election supervisors in Florida were able to complete their tasks on time.


"Saying her office 'was not as slow as last year,' offers little consolation," said the Fort Lauderdale-based Sun Sentinel in an editorial calling for Snipe's ouster.

And those mysteriously discovered boxes of ballots and all the rest? Those don't appear to be political sins of commission as much as they're political sins of omission. Mistakes happen, see?

Johnny Rocco would tell you as much, after giving you a good slap in the mouth. What do you need, a road map?

Is it just simple stupid racism that drives the criticism of Snipes? The race card is the Democratic left's default position, always.

MSNBC's habitual liar and lefty cheerleader Joy Reid -- who makes CNN buffoon Jim Acosta sound somewhat reasonable -- proved this by playing the race card clumsily but with gusto.

"Here is the way they are treating Brenda Snipes, who is the longtime election supervisor there, who by the way is an older black woman in the Deep South," said Reid.

Ah, older black woman, Deep South. I see where you're going, Joy, except that racially diverse and heavily Democratic Broward County isn't exactly the "Deep South" of your wishful knee-jerk mythology.

Snipes also piped up, and angrily too, bothered as she was by increasing calls for her resignation.

"It's sort of hard to rule out race, but I won't say, 'Oh, I'm a black woman and that's why.' I'm not saying that," Snipes said.


Oh, you're not saying that? Well, it sure seems like you're saying exactly that, see?

People without wits reflexively reach for the race card, even when it doesn't apply, because it has worked time and again. Perhaps it's time to stop.

Broward County is "not just the most troubled elections office in the state, it's the most troubled elections office in the nation," Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio told

Broward County's history of election incompetence and failure is well-known, from missed election deadlines and shoddy reporting to ballots destroyed when the law mandates they should have been saved.

Democrats are being accused, but Republicans bear the burden here too, since former Gov. Jeb Bush, a Republican, appointed Snipes. And she was kept on by Scott, even after she repeatedly proved her incompetence.

Johnny Rocco is smiling.


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