Go, Molly, Go!
Molly Ivins shines the light on two scandals indicating that Florida is ready to be stolen again in 2004, plus a few more scndals to boot!
The first scandal:
"Florida, the Fun State, is off to a fast start on election shenanigans this year. Undeterred by the state's electoral disgrace in 2000, elections officials there have all but publicly announced, "We're going to cheat again this year." In July, voting rights groups asked for the audits of the 2002 gubernatorial election, supposedly collected by new electronic voting machines. Ooops. Records gone.
Two computer crashes last year, officials said, erased the records of both the primary and general elections. Here's my favorite part: A spokesman for the Miami elections office said the reason no announcement was made at the time was officials believed "it was merely a record-keeping issue."
The second scandal:
Governor Jeb Bush this year tried to repeat his 2000 scandal by trying to purge 47,000 supposed ex-felons from the state's electoral role list.
"A Miami Herald investigation of the new list found it named Democrats by a three-to-one margin and wrongly listed 2,100 people whose citizenship had already been restored through a clemency process.
The Tampa Tribune produced an even more startling discovery: While half of those on this year's list are black, the list contains the names of fewer than 100 Hispanics. Hispanics in Florida tend to be Republican-leaning Cuban-Americans. Gosh, Gov. Bush was just astonished about the no-Hispanics thing -- except the state had been repeatedly warned about it. He finally withdrew the list on July 11. Then, on July 14, the First District U.S. Court of Appeals in Tallahassee ruled the state must help felons fill out the form they need to win back the right to vote after serving their time. Instead, Gov. Bush eliminated the form."
Ivins points out that "The Republican Party in Florida is now urging its voters to use absentee ballots." I would strongly urge all US voters to do the same!
The third scandal:
"The Department of Defense is now outsourcing the job of preparing the national defense budget to... private defense contractors. Isn't that special? The Center for Public Integrity has found at least three private-sector contracting firms advertising jobs for analysts to work on the development of the president's defense budget. "
Why not just out-source the entire US Army to Bush & Co, who could then launch a military takeover of the USA? It would certainly simplify things.
The fourth scandal:
"Those vigilant folks at Homeland Security are allowing the nuclear industry's leading lobby to develop the teams of mock-terrorist attackers who will supposedly probe and evaluate security at nuclear power plants. According the Project on Government Oversight, "The lobby, called the Nuclear Energy Institute, in turn hired the company with the biggest financial stake in finding no problems at the plants -- Wackenhut Corp., the nation's largest security plan provider."
"This is more than a case of the proverbial fox guarding the henhouse," said the project's director. "It is not an apparent conflict of interest, but a blatant conflict of interest." "