Faster than you can say Court TV, a high-priced flock of Democrat Party lawyers packed their polo shirts and jetted to Florida to investigate claims of election fraud.
Al Gore's presidential campaign is reportedly drumming up $3 million from lobbyists to pay for the legal fishing expedition. Democratic National Committee spokeswoman Jenny Backus was quickly dispatched down south to protest "thousands -- literally thousands of reports of irregularities." She decried the confusing design of ballots in Palm Beach County. Moreover, she complained, "There is (sic) ballot boxes that are missing."
Where, Backus asked, was the "sunshine in the Sunshine State?"
CNN aired these sensational allegations relentlessly, including several stories that poll workers in black churches lost boxes containing ballots or left them uncounted in precincts. Complete bunk. The Miami Herald reported Thursday that election officials accounted for all transfer cases used to transport ballots to the elections department. Those mysterious locked ballot boxes left behind by workers contained supplies -- not votes. As for the whining about misleading "butterfly" ballots in Palm Beach County, they were approved by Democrats and widely publicized before election day.
The Democrats' newfound passion for fairness, openness, and integrity in the election process is fascinating.
While they bray about honoring the rule of law, the party's legal scholars are mum on the bothersome constitutional questions surrounding the election of a dead man in Missouri, Mel Carnahan, to the U.S. Senate. Nor are the Democrats' lawyers troubled by a slimy judicial stunt that allowed citizens in Democrat-heavy St. Louis to cast ballots for 40 extra minutes past the voting deadline. Incumbent Sen. John Ashcroft conceded defeat to Carnahan's widow and brushed aside calls to litigate. It was an extraordinary display of grace and humility -- two traits foreign to the Gore campaign.
Will any of the DNC attorneys be dispatched to Wisconsin for an open-and-shut case of election bribery? Deep-pocketed doyenne Connie Milstein, a New York real estate heiress who raised more than $1 million for Gore, told Milwaukee TV station WISN that she was "asked to come down and ring doorbells, go to shelters, see if I can get as many people as I could out to the polls." She lit up voters' interest -- literally -- by persuading homeless men to come to the polls for free cigarettes and food. Milstein and several other Gore campaign workers were caught on tape with huge bags teeming with tobacco. In Wisconsin, it's illegal to procure votes with gifts valued at more than $1.
If Wisconsin is too far, how about a side trip by the Democrat legal squad to investigate dubious election practices in New Jersey? Democrat Jon Corzine bused homeless people and drug addicts from Philadelphia to New Jersey for $75 a day plus coffee and sandwiches to get out the vote for his Senate campaign. The investment banker, who poured some $60 million into his winning effort, said it was all part "of the normal process of getting people out to vote."
Normal? When GOP consultant Ed Rollins mentioned $500,000 in "walking around money" spent on ministers and Democratic Party workers during the 1996 gubernatorial campaign in New Jersey, he was excoriated by the press. When sponsors of the successful Initiative 200 campaign in Washington state bused in paid volunteers to gather signatures for the measure, which eliminated government racial preferences, Democrats cried foul.
But not a peep was heard from the liberal legal eagles about Al Gore's dangerous drive to loosen immigration laws and naturalize 1 million aliens in time for election day 1996. Some 75,000 of those new voters had criminal records that would have otherwise disqualified them for citizenship. Nor did Democrats protest when California Democrat Loretta Sanchez beat Rep. Bob Dornan by 979 votes in a highly suspect race. A congressional investigation found that two-thirds of the ballots were invalid -- most were cast by illegal aliens.
Two years later, when Dornan challenged Sanchez and asked for election monitors to oversee the polls, Democrats accused him of "political thuggery" and "Gestapo" tactics.
When Democrats lure minorities to the polls, it's "outreach." When Republicans shine light on election abuse, it's racist trickery. Who are the real frauds here?