Michael Collins: Election Fraud and Tyranny: Part 1
Mark Crispin Miller's new book, "Loser Take All," identifies and analyzes election fraud, the foundation of extremist power in the United States since 2000. Manipulated elections have enabled everything we've experienced from the Iraq war to the current economic meltdown. None of that would have been possible without the ongoing series of "surprise" wins for extremists and their enablers following the outright theft of the 2000 presidential election.
Miller illustrates his overarching analysis with a collection of carefully chosen essays. They map the rise of what key figures on the right and left refer to as tyrannical rule by the Bush - Cheney administration. Through a sequence of critical elections from 2000 on, Miller shows the particular outrages in each that enabled the retention and expansion of power. In doing so, he defines the basis for our current troubles.
A Sequence of Outrages
"Loser Take All" is organized sequentially beginning with the critical election of 2000 through 2006. In addition, we're given predictions of anticipated problems in 2008. Just part of what we learn is how: Gore lost Florida 2000 even before election day; key Georgia voting machines were modified before the stunning losses by Gov. Barnes and Sen. Cleland in 2002; and, Bush won 2004 in the big cities, if you believe the national exit poll. Part 1 of this series covers the 2000, 2002, and 2004 federal elections.
2000 Air and Land Assault
The Bush ascendancy and the tragedies that followed began with the "shock and awe" of a combined air and land assault worthy of our greatest generals. There were no weapons or troops involved just public officials, various bureaucracies, party operatives, and "the machines."
Lance Dehaven-Smith outlines the cooperation between Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and Secretary of State Catherine Harris and the national Republican campaign starting well before the election. A database vendor, DBT, was charged with purging felons from the rolls of Florida voters. Like many states, Florida felons were effectively denied the vote for life. The task consisted of matching felon lists from Florida and other states, most prominently Texas, with names on Florida's registration rolls.
The standards used to match registered voters with the combined list of felons were so loose nearly 91,000 legitimate voters were wrongly eliminated as registered voters. When they showed up to vote, they were told to go home. Before and during the process, the Florida Department of Elections was warned by DBT that the criteria was producing "false positives" - voters tagged as felons who were not true matches with the felons on the lists used.
After the lists were distributed to county boards of elections, several election administrators offered serious warnings about inaccuracies. Nothing was done to correct the errors.
The removal of tens of thousands of legitimate voters from Florida's election rolls before the election sealed candidate Al Gore's fate. More than half of those excluded were minority voters, predominantly black. Given the turnout rates and Gore's huge advantage with black voters, nearly 9 to 1 in Florida, a clean election would have given Al Gore the presidency in 2000.
David B. Moore describes the "air" war against democracy in 2000. The critical moment in the public perception of the campaign came when Fox News called the election in Gore's favor. It didn't matter that Gore won the popular vote. That was not "hot news." What did matter was that Fox declared Bush the winner prematurely.