by Davis Henderson
Prior to September 11, 2001 the political fortunes of President George W. Bush were not near as bright as the 73% approval rating that he enjoyed in the following year. As the nation dipped deeper into economic recession increasing numbers of people were starting to place the blame at the feet of Mr. Bush's 2001 economic program, which included large tax cuts for the wealthiest citizens. His vision of huge increases in defense spending, the resurrection of that right wing sacred cow, the "Star Wars" missile defense system, as well as radical "reform" inside the nations public schools, were going nowhere fast.
Even worse for the new administration, damaging information was starting to surface that caused even further doubt as to the validity of his very election. Media recounts of Florida's election ballots, new books written by respected authors, and legal scholars, clearly revealed that George W. Bush did not win the state of Florida and should not have assumed the Presidency on January 20th, 2001!
Nineteen knife wielding terrorist provided Mr. Bush something that more than fifty million American voters refused to do in November of 2000, they provided him a mandate to govern.
When you talk to people it seems that their opinion of what really occurred in the 2000 presidential election falls along the lines of whom they voted for. Republicans will tell you that Bush clearly won, "every recount" proved this, and that the Democrats were simply "sore losers." If you ask supporters of former Vice President, Al Gore, it's an established fact that George W. Bush stole the election, or in the best case scenario is an "accidental" president.
The purpose of this article is to provide a convincing argument that backers of George W. Bush indeed stole the Presidency. We believe there is more than enough evidence that America inaugurated the wrong man on January 20th, 2001. Keep in mind; the theft of an election is a crime that borders on treason. This is why we dispute the claim of one prominent Republican political handler when he said gleefully, "We stole this election fair and square!"
There was a concerted effort among people in high places to make sure that George W. Bush would be our next President. When things didn't work out as planned on Election Day it became a conspiracy after the fact. These people had no regard for the truth, the U.S. Constitution, or anything else. In effect, it was an illegal coup and it reached into the highest levels of the United States Government, including top brass inside the nations military.
Prior to election night experts following the race between Bush, and Gore, knew that to win the presidency the eventual winner would have to win the State of Florida. There was simply no other way for either man to obtain the 270 electoral votes needed without the 25 at stake in Florida. Early on Florida appeared to be easy pickings for the Republican Bush. His brother John Ellis "Jeb" Bush was the sitting Governor, of Florida, with a lofty approval rating. However, the Gore-Lieberman ticket had far greater appeal especially to Florida's elderly and retired population, than political pundits realized. By the weekend before the election, Republican's everywhere seemed in a panic because according to almost every poll Al Gore was ahead in Florida.
On the day of any election, major media outlets conduct something called "exit polls." Based on these, they almost always know who is going to carry a state even before the polls close. Extensive interviews with Florida voters after they cast their ballots indicated that Vice President Gore would take the state, and it's electoral votes by a margin of around 30,000.
All major news networks declared Florida for Gore within minutes of each other. The Bush campaign was devastated, everyone other than the candidate and his powerful brother, the sitting Governor, of Florida! Did they know something that we didn't? Within an hour all of the networks took back the projection for Gore and moved Florida into the undecided column. Hours later FOX News, and John Ellis, the first cousin of G.W. Bush, who was employed by FOX News in its election coverage, declared that George W. Bush was the winner of Florida, and the presidency. Not wanting to be outdone the other networks quickly followed suit.
There was one major problem with the call for Bush. It was not based on solid data and it was premature. Soon the vote margin between the two candidates sunk to within a few hundred out of millions cast. Once again the call had to be taken back! The premature call for Bush should have aroused grave suspicion upon the motives of Mr. John Ellis. There is plenty of information out at this point to conclude that Ellis’ call was made with his heart and not the data at hand. Ellis' bad call of the election had a far-reaching effect upon the eventual outcome. Most Americans went to bed thinking that George W. Bush had been elected President. In spite of the events to follow, Bush being declared "President Elect" gave him the appearance of inevitability, and made the election his to lose in the eyes of the public at large.
Was it only a coincidence that John Ellis, the first cousin of John Ellis "Jeb" Bush, and candidate, George W. Bush, had such a key role in declaring the outcome of the election? Was he just being the good relative by staying in constant telephone contact with the Bush brothers all through Election Day and night?
Was it pure coincidence that Mrs. Katherine Harris, the Secretary of State, in Florida, (the person in charge of the states elections) also happened to be the co-chair of G.W. Bush's Florida election efforts?
Our patriotic sentiments after September 11th should not blind us to injustices done before that dreadful day. If George W. Bush was an illegitimate President before September 11th, he is still illegitimate. The right to vote and fair elections are the most sacred freedoms that we have in America. The travesty of the 2000 Presidential election has ramifications far greater than Bush, or Gore. It begs the question, are we really free?
Vice President Gore won the nationwide popular vote by more than 540,000.
Every media recount that examined ALL of the disputed Florida ballots reveal a Gore victory.
Right wing journalist Pat Buchanan received 3407 votes in Palm Beach County, five times more than he received in any other Florida county.
Pat Buchanan admitted on national television two days after the election, that at least 95% of his Palm Beach vote belonged to Al Gore.
Palm Beach officials began to receive complaints about the butterfly ballot by 8:30 AM election day.
Many Palm Beach voters asked for new ballots after realizing their mistake but were refused.
The design of the butterfly ballot in Palm Beach, county was illegal under Florida law.
Socialist Party candidate David McReynolds recieved 332 votes in Palm Beach County, and 602 State wide.
On Election Night in Volousia County, a computer glitch showed a Socialist Party candidate had more than 9,000 votes, while Vice President Al Gore had minus 16,000. Those numbers were sent out over the Internet, picked up by local newspapers and subsequently reported by themajor networks on Election Night. The socialist eventually ended up with 9 votes in the county.
680 overseas military ballots were allowed to be counted even though there was NO evidence that they were mailed prior to election day. This was a clear violation of Florida law.
The Bush campaign worked to disqualify military ballots in counties that might favor Gore.
Several thousand absentee ballots that could not be read by machine were "re-created" by Republican precinct workers, based on the "intent" of the voter.
Hundreds of absentee ballot applications in Seminole County, Florida, were corrected by Republican Party activists, in violation of Florida election law.
While claiming to have "recused" himself from the election controversey Florida Governor John Ellis "Jeb" Bush's e-mail and telephone records show otherwise.
According to the Miami Herald newspaper, had Florida's voting system functioned properly, Al Gore would have won the state by at least 20,000 votes.
Prior to the election the State of Florida hired the firm of Data Based Technologies to purge the Florida voter lists of "felons." It was discovered after the election that the list was 90% incorrect!
More than 175,000 Florida ballots were thrown out due to either double punches or undervotes. The vast majority of them came from Democratic parts of the state.
More than 100,000 optical scan ballots were never recounted the first time.
According to the New York Times, hundreds of ballots disappeared between election night and the media recounts. They have never been accounted for. (page 279 of "Too Close to Call" by Jeffery Toobin)
The "protesters" that stormed the Dade County elections offices causing the manual recount to be shut down, were in truth Republican activists from Washington. They were in Florida on an all expenses paid trip thanks to an organization controled by right wing Congressman, Tom Delay, of Texas.
In spite of Republican denials there were police road blocks set up near polling places in Democratic, Leon County, Florida, on election day.
Members of the nations corporate elite, and political king makers, decided soon after the 1996 Presidential election that Texas Governor, George W. Bush, was going to be the next President of the United States. The Governor's Mansion in Austin, Texas, became a revolving door for Republican politicians, captains of industry, and others, to pay homage to the next king. Millions of dollars were raised on his behalf even before Mr. Bush expressed his intention to seek the highest office in the land. For those wielding the power, G.W. Bush was a dream come true! In the words of Ralph Nader, Bush is " a corporation dressed up as a man!"
Bush represented everything that right-wingers longed for since the end of the Reagan era. Someone with an agenda far to the right, but with the ability to appear moderate to America's great political middle. Bush promised to fight for large tax cuts benefiting the wealthy, and the elimination of income taxes for large corporations. In addition, he would place numerous corporate puppets in key positions of power. In Texas "Dubya" had become the darling of the religious right because of his supposed "Pro life" stance on abortion. The suit fit Mr. Bush, and the ruling class of America was going to see to it that he got to wear it!
For decades the Bush family has rubbed elbows with America's elite class. They have been at the heart of numerous profitable, but questionable business transactions since the start of WW II. There is clear evidence that at least some of the Bush fortune came from dealing with Hitler's Germany in the late 1930's and early 40's.
Other than the Senate seat held by Prescot Bush until the late 1950's, the Bush family had wielded it's power from behind the scenes. That all changed with the emergence of George Herbert Walker Bush, who would become the 41st President of the United States. Since that time, the Bush family has viewed the U.S. Presidency as their own personal right of passage. When candidate George W. Bush, selected Richard Cheney, as his running mate, there were more sinister reasons for this choice, which didn't make a lot of strategic sense at the time.
Selecting Cheney as his Vice President was done out of selfish family interests. Cheney's health is fragile after several heart attacks. Even if he stays around for eight years it is very unlikely that he would seek the Presidency in his own right. It is a virtual given that John Ellis "Jeb" Bush is next in line to be the Republican nominee for President. Not even a defeat in his re-election bid during the 2002 Florida Governor's race would have changed this.
The Bush family has powerful friends inside of every crucial area of American life. In spite of Republican claims of a dominant "Liberal" bias inside of America's news media, it is clear that the Bush family enjoys a free ride when it comes to press coverage. Compare the lack of media investigation into the background of George W. Bush, to the witch-hunt that the press went on during both Bill Clinton's candidacy, and time as President. The DUI arrest of Mr. Bush back in the 1970's was only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to scandal involving the current President. Bill, and Hillary Clinton's "Whitewater" land deal in which everyone agrees that they lost money on, is a tempest in a teapot compared to many of G.W. Bush's business dealings. The collapse of the Enron Corporation has the fingerprints of Bush, and his adminstration's officials, all over it. President Bush has a history of failed business dealings in which he walked away with huge windfalls. How many of you know about his involvement in probable insider stock trading of the defunct Harken Energy Corporation? Is the mainstream media drawing attention to the fact that Mr. Bush appears to have lied under oath while Governor of Texas, regarding his relationship with the SCI Corporation, a funeral home empire, and it's CEO?
In 1992, the issue of Bill Clinton's avoidance of military service during the Vietnam War was gone over with a fine-toothed comb by the mainstream news media. The question of the entire campaign was, did Clinton's avoidance of service in Vietnam disqualify him to serve as Commander and Chief? In spite of strong evidence that George W. Bush walked out (went AWOL) on his service in the National Guard during the Vietnam conflict, the national press corps turned their backs on the story. Why? In addition, overwhelming evidence surfaced to prove that Mr. Bush's father pulled strings in order to get him in the Texas Air National Guard, still not a peep from the dominant media. Why?
There is more than enough evidence for the news media to run with the claim that Mr. Bush was party to an ILLEGAL abortion in 1971. The name of the woman, the medical facility where it took place, and quotes from people who knew Mr. Bush, and his girlfriend can be found on a number of web sites. Does anyone believe that they would sit on this story if it involved former President Bill Clinton?
During the election of 2000, and the post November 7th controversy the dominant news media constantly beat the drum for G.W. Bush. The theme of almost every political pundit show was "When is Gore going to give up?" Right wing political pundits such as Tony Snow, Bill O'Reily, and Ann Coulter spent hours spinning the re-count story in Bush's favor. Gore was being a "sore loser" and making a mockery of the political process. During the election 2000 dispute GOP think tanks faxed daily spin to their mouthpieces on talk radio. Rush Limbaugh said that "the question is not rather or not Al Gore was trying to steal the election, it is rather or not he will get away with it." Limbaugh wannabe's such as Michael Reagan, Ken Hamblin, and countless others kept the spin coming day after day. While these "journalist" and talk show hosts had every right to express their views, it's clear that they served as key players in this illegal coup.
Still, the greatest asset that the Bush campaign had during the election controversy was the fact that G.W. Bush had been declared the "President Elect" by the major news networks before most American's went to bed on election night. As mentioned earlier in this article this was orchestrated by Bush cousin, John Ellis Bush, and the right wing FOX News network, headed by former Republican strategist Roger Ailes.
For there to be a crime the key suspects always have the means, motive, and opportunity, to accomplish what they set out to do. Do we not have all of these things concerning the major Republican players in the 2000 election? There is no possible chance that any of these crimes will be honestly investigated. Vice President Al Gore put the matter behind him more than a year ago now. What can we do considering that the Bush Administration controls the Federal Justice Department, and Bush appointee John Ashcroft, further to the right than Bush, now calls the shots?
It's important to note that the author of this page did NOT vote for Al Gore, and is in not affiliated with the Democratic Party. Still, the 2000 election was the theft of our democracy. When we sat back and allowed George W. Bush to steal the Presidency we turned our backs on the very principles that we were founded upon. Vice President Al Gore was the rightful winner of the 2000 election and it was a crime against the American people when he was not allowed to take office. The actions of G.W. Bush and his supporters were no different than an illegitimate coup in a banana republic! They forcefully took power that Mr. Bush did not win. I thought this type of thing could not happen in the United States of America? How wrong I was.
It is obvious that most American's fail to realize, we do NOT live in a democratic nation. Right-wingers will boastfully remind us that America is a "Representative Republic." Here in lies the problem with our political system. As a result of the wealthy few being able to buy access to America's political leaders, the real people, the majority, average American's are shut out of the process.
Before election reform or any other political solution is dealt with, the American people must take back their influence over those that are supposed to serve them. The first priority is real honest to goodness campaign finance reform. All private contributions to individual political candidates must be outlawed. We the people should insist upon PUBLIC financing of campaigns. The cost of such a system would be a drop in the bucket considering the benefit such a system would provide. With total public financing the elected officials would only be beholding to us. No longer would their decisions be influenced by wealthy corporate executives, special interest political PACS, or overseas billionaires. Every dime spent in election campaigns should be OUR money. Television and radio networks do not own the very airwaves that they broadcast over, (they are licensed by the federal government) US to use them. As a condition of their licenses they should be required by law to grant FREE airtime to ALL credible office seekers.
According to those advocating this constitutional dinosaur the electoral college was designed by the founding fathers to insure that smaller states like Vermont, and New Hampshire, have proportional say in Presidential elections. Nothing could be further from the truth. The Electoral College was a compromise between those who wanted the direct election of our President, and those who wanted elected representatives to make this decision. It had nothing to do with concern over the smaller less populated states.
Furthermore, would not the votes of the people in Vermont, and New Hampshire, count more without the Electoral College? Direct election of the President would require candidates to consider the needs of the smaller state voters. It would also encourage voter turn out. Consider the 2000 election. George W. Bush was a virtual shoe in in his home state of Texas. As a result there was no reason for supporters of Al Gore to go out and vote in the Presidential election. Since Mr. Bush was going to receive the states electoral votes (the only votes that matter) Gore voters had no reason to turn out. After all, their votes would not even count! The same can be said for states in which Gore was a shoe in. What incentive was there for Bush voters to turn out in New York, or California? Direct election would make everyone's vote matter in the race for the highest office in the world.
We elect every other public official through a system of direct popular election. Why not do the same for the most important office all? Al Gore received 543,000+ more votes for President than did G.W. Bush. What kind of democracy is this?
Why do we as a free people allow two exclusive clubs to decide who our next President will be? What God given right allows the Democratic, and Republican Party's, to make this decision on behalf of the rest of us? It was once said "The Soviet Union has but one party. In the United States we have two!"
There needs to be a national primary in the weeks before the general election. Have all candidates for President run in the primary. The top two vote getters would be the finalist in the general election. If one candidate garners more than fifty percent in the primary, they would become President of the United States. Most cities elect their city councils in this manner, why not the President?
Have you ever wondered why we hold elections on Tuesday? Is this not one of the worst days of the week if you want a high voter turn out? Election polls should open at 6 PM on Friday's and close at 6 PM on Sunday's. People should be allowed to vote at any number of locations. Polling places could be set up in malls, grocery stores, and even sporting events. We have the technology to insure integrity to the system if it became a national priority.
Recent events have proven that those in the Republican Party like the concept of low voter turnouts. Over the years Republican's have fought any new laws designed to increase voter turn out. History has shown that Republicans do better in low vote turnouts. Democrats do better when the turn out is high.
You can rest assured that none of these common sense solutions will ever be implemented. Those who wield the real power (the corporate elite) do not want the people to have this much say in America's political decisions. Instead they wish to sell us our President like they sell us their products!
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