|07-29-2004, 08:15 AM||#1|
Ring of Famer
Join Date: Apr 2003
2000 election stolen debunked, finally.
Dems Won't Permit Facts to Get in Way of '00 Election Myth Print Mail
By John R. Lott Jr., Brian Blase
Posted: Wednesday, July 28, 2004
Investor's Business Daily
Publication Date: July 28, 2004
You know that the political debate has been poisoned when 85 percent of African-Americans feel President Bush stole the 2000 election. At least that is what a CBS poll released last Friday finds.
Possibly this just reflects the same 85 percent of African-Americans who disapprove of the job that Bush is doing. But if nobody really believes the election was stolen and it is all window dressing, it is hard to explain why the Democrats keep raising the issue at almost every possible opportunity.
Michael Moore is not alone in asserting the election was stolen. On Monday night at the Democratic Convention, both former Vice President Al Gore and former President Bill Clinton raised the election issue that “this time every vote is counted” and “this year, we're going to make sure they're all counted.”
Before both the NAACP and the Urban League during July, Senator John Kerry said that in 2000 there were “a million disenfranchised African Americans” and that it was the “most tainted election in history.”
Jesse Jackson recently claimed that “in the year 2000, the loser won and the winner lost” and that “our birthright was stolen.”
The continued charges of Bush stealing the election from Gore are remarkable considering that exhaustive studies by the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights and newspaper organizations have found little, if any evidence voter harassment, intimidation and disenfranchisement occurred in Florida.
Probes Come Up Empty
The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights began an investigation in January 2001 following the public outcry after the election. Although Democrats appointed 6 of the 8 commissioners and the hearings were often hostile toward Republicans, the Commission could not find evidence that a single person was intimidated, harassed, or prevented from voting by Florida law enforcement.
The Commission could not find evidence of systematic disenfranchisement of African-American voters, and concluded that state officials were not at fault for widespread voter disenfranchisement.
A favorite charge is that Republicans threw African-Americans off the voter rolls to take votes away from Democrats.
Florida bans felons from voting, unless they had been granted clemency. Before the 2000 vote, the state hired Database Technologies to purge rolls of felons and dead people. Unfortunately, some non-felons were erroneously removed from the rolls--but the errors didn’t target minorities.
The liberal-leaning Palm Beach Post found that “a review of state records, internal e-mails of [Database Technologies] employees and testimony before the Civil Rights Commission and an elections task force showed no evidence that minorities were specifically targeted.”
In fact, while more African-Americans were removed from the voter roles simply because most felons in Florida are black, whites were twice as likely to be erroneously placed on the list as African-Americans were.
The evidence does not support the charges that there was a nefarious plot to deny African-American voters their right to vote.
In fact, the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights reports that in 24 of the 25 counties with the highest percentage of non-voted ballots for president, the county supervisor was a Democrat. In the remaining county, the supervisor was an independent.
Additionally, the overall rate of spoiled ballots was 14 percent higher when the county election supervisor was a Democrat, and 31 percent higher when the supervisor was an African American Democrat. The famed butterfly ballots of Palm Beach County were creations of Democrats.
Thus, if these nonvoted ballots are viewed as disenfranchisement, not simply that some voters didn’t intend to vote in a particular race, then the ire of Democrats should be directed toward Democrats in Florida.
Recent research published by one of the current authors in the Journal of Legal Studies shows that if any African-Americans in Florida had an unusually high rate of spoiled ballots it was African-American Republicans, not African-American Democrats.
By income, it was voters with family income over $500,000, hardly a group that one could attribute their nonvoted ballots to mistakes on their part.
To start the Democratic convention, newspaper headlines blared: “Democratic Convention aims to stay positive.”
Of course, there were the obligatory charges from speakers such as Jimmy Carter that President Bush had lied about the Iraq war.
But Bill Clinton is the master at simultaneously claiming that Democrats have sought to unite Americans, while Republicans “need a divided America,” and lacing his speech with issues that divide Americans: the supposedly stolen election or rich versus poor being just two.
Senator Kerry and the Democratic Party elites will undoubtedly continue to trumpet their message of the 2000 election as “stolen” and “tainted” because it resonates with their base. But at what costs are these short-term electoral gains achieved? How harmful is it to race relations that African-Americans believe that others are conspiring to keep their votes from being counted?