Monday, August 16, 2004

Crime family in action

Vito Corleone would be speechless with admiration at the sheer brazenness of the Bush crime family. Molly Ivins reports that after the 2000 voting debacle, Jeb Bush has no intention of cleaning up his act:

This year, same song, second verse. Jeb Bush tried to purge 47,000 supposed ex-felons. A Miami Herald investigation of the new list found that it wrongly listed 2,100 people whose right to vote 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 few Hispanics. Hispanics in Florida tend to be Republican-leaning Cuban-Americans. Gosh, Jeb Bush was just astonished about the no-Hispanics thing -- except that the state had been repeatedly warned about it.

Florida finally withdrew the list on July 11. Then, on July 14, the 1st District U.S. Court of Appeals in Tallahassee ruled that the state must help felons fill out the form that they need to win back the right to vote after serving their time. Instead, Bush eliminated the form.

One tries not to be alarmist, one tries not to be paranoid, but this doth smelleth. Is there any Republican who would be happy if the role of the parties were reversed here and only Hispanic felons had been on Jebbie Bush's little list, but no blacks? Come on.

The Republican Party in Florida is urging its voters to use absentee ballots so they will have a paper trail in case of a recount. Hey, if it's good enough for Republicans …

I watched lil' Jeb on TV last week when two hurricanes were bearing down on Florida, and I thought: This is God's judgment on Jeb Bush for the 2000 election scandal. The only problem with that line of reasoning is too many innocent people get hurt along with him.

Seriously, the news coming out of Florida indicates two strategic points for Democrats: (1) We have to be vigilant about protecting voters' rights in Florida (and everywhere else), so John Edwards needs to line up lawyers as poll watchers; and (2) We can't let it come down to Florida again. I don't think it will, but I also don't have much faith in the brainpower of the 10 percent who are currently "undecided."


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