Sunday, October 09, 2016

Ralph Nader and the 2000 Presidential election

Jimmy Dore takes a look at Why Al Gore Lost The 2000 Election on TYT's Aggressive Progressives 10/09/2016:

I would say Jimmy is too harsh in saying that Gore was a bad candidate. He did, after all, win the 2000 election. He even won the popular vote in Florida. A media consortium in 2001 did a detailed recounts of the statewide vote the way the Supreme Court in Bush v. Gore said it should have been done but which they own decision prevented from taking place.

But he recalls some other facts about the key Florida vote that Democratic partisans mostly prefer to ignore in the present campaign when they are railing against third party candidates. Polls showed that up to 200,000 Bush voters were Democrats. The exit polls also indicated that a majority of the Nader voters would have voted for Bush instead of Gore if Nader hadn't been on the ballot.

This New York Times article takes too much of a Mugmump position in their analysis, and the headline fits poorly with the actual article: Ford Fessenden and John Brodernov, EXAMINING THE VOTE: THE OVERVIEW; Study of Disputed Florida Ballots Finds Justices Did Not Cast the Deciding Vote 11/12/2001. Not the article's date, a few weeks after the 9/11 attacks. The country and the media were focused on the new War on Terror. And neither the Democratic Party nor, certainly, the corporate media wanted to suggest that the legitimacy of Shrub Bush's Presidency might be under a cloud.

Fessenden and Brodernov reported then:

[T]he consortium, looking at a broader group of rejected ballots than those covered in the court decisions, 175,010 in all, found that Mr. Gore might have won if the courts had ordered a full statewide recount of all the rejected ballots. This also assumes that county canvassing boards would have reached the same conclusions about the disputed ballots that the consortium's independent observers did. The findings indicate that Mr. Gore might have eked out a victory if he had pursued in court a course like the one he publicly advocated when he called on the state to "count all the votes."

In addition, the review found statistical support for the complaints of many voters, particularly elderly Democrats in Palm Beach County, who said in interviews after the election that confusing ballot designs may have led them to spoil their ballots by voting for more than one candidate.

More than 113,000 voters cast ballots for two or more presidential candidates. Of those, 75,000 chose Mr. Gore and a minor candidate; 29,000 chose Mr. Bush and a minor candidate. Because there was no clear indication of what the voters intended, those numbers were not included in the consortium's final tabulations.
The Republican state administration of JEB! Bush also managed to work various irregularities into the voting process. Jimmy mentions the massive voter purge of African-American voters, for instance.

The Times report also noted:

In Duval County, for example, 20 percent of the ballots from African-American areas that went heavily for Mr. Gore were thrown out because voters followed instructions to mark a vote on every page of the ballot. In 62 precincts with black majorities in Duval County alone, nearly 3,000 people voted for Mr. Gore and a candidate whose name appeared on the second page of the ballot, thus spoiling their votes.

In Palm Beach County, 5,310 people, most of them probably confused by the infamous butterfly ballot, voted for Mr. Gore and Patrick J. Buchanan. The confusion affected Bush voters as well, but only 2,600 voted for Mr. Bush and another candidate.
There was also the Brooks Brothers Riot, a reminder that thuggish behavior on behalf of the Republican Party didn't begin with Trump rallies.

Robert Parry relates in Bush's Conspiracy to Riot Consortium News 08/05/2002:

After the Miami “Brooks Brothers Riot” – named after the protesters’ preppie clothing – no government action was taken beyond the police rescuing several Democrats who were surrounded and roughed up by the rioters. While no legal charges were filed against the Republicans, newly released documents show that at least a half dozen of the publicly identified rioters were paid by Bush’s recount committee.

The payments to the Republican activists are documented in hundreds of pages of Bush committee records – released grudgingly to the Internal Revenue Service last month, 19 months after the 36-day recount battle ended. Overall, the records provide a road map of how the Bush recount team brought its operatives across state lines to stop then-Vice President Al Gore’s recount efforts.

The records show that the Bush committee spent a total of $13.8 million to frustrate the recount of Florida’s votes and secure the state's crucial electoral votes for Bush. By contrast, the Gore recount operation spent $3.2 million, about one quarter of the Bush total. Bush spent more just on lawyers – $4.4 million – than Gore did on his entire effort.

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