Click. RECOVERED HISTORY - "The Cradle Will Rock."



Published: 12:43 a.m. Nov. 15, 2000 Author: BRAD HAHN, JON BURSTEIN and MITCH LIPKA

After a dizzying day of delays, conflicting court rulings, partisan sniping and unresolved ambiguities, Palm Beach County's canvassing board decided Tuesday to again begin the hand count of 462,000 ballots -- and hope that Florida's secretary of state accepts the result.

Secretary of State Katherine Harris responded by ordering that county officials send her a written statement by 2 p.m. today explaining why she should accept vote counts after the state's deadline, which passed at 5 p.m. Tuesday.

Palm Beach County Commissioner Carol Roberts, a member of the canvassing board, said the reasons were already plain.

"I thought we did a pretty good job of explaining it, and it's because according to state law if you think it could change an election, you have to have a recount -- and that's why we're doing it," she said.

The board said it will embark on the manual count at 7 this morning, seizing on a portion of a Leon County circuit judge's ruling that allows Harris to accept supplemental vote counts past the Tuesday deadline.

With no green light for the hand count, the board also voted to certify its most current election returns, those from the machine recount that ended early Sunday. It gave those numbers to a Division of Elections representative in time to meet the Harris deadline.

That machine tabulation gave Vice President Al Gore 269,732 votes, compared with Texas Gov. George W. Bush's 152,951 -- a net gain of 682 votes for Gore since the initial count on Nov. 7.

The board also agreed to attach results from Saturday's hand count of four county precincts -- which represented about 1 percent of the vote. Through that process, Gore's lead in the county grew by 19 votes.

"Just give them what you have today, period," County Attorney Denise Dytrych advised the canvassing board at a raucous public meeting outside the county's Emergency Operations Center.

Dytrych recommended the board hold off on a hand count until it received a definitive opinion from a court. But with no idea of how long that would take, board members said they wanted to move ahead.

They noted that a judge might still order them to stop the process. "What happens? Do we go to jail? Because I'm willing to go to jail," Roberts said.

Her comments brought cheers from some in the crowd, which included scores of Gore and Bush partisans amid hordes of media people. Gore supporters shouted, "No recount, no peace," while Bush adherents yelled, "Every vote's been counted twice."

County Judge Charles Burton, who early Tuesday had successfully pressed for halting the hand count originally slated that morning, said he saw no point in putting off the process any longer.

"I just think it would not be wise to sit and wait another day or two or however long to get some guidance," said Burton, chairman of the three-member board.

"If we start and the [state] Supreme Court tells us to stop, that's what we'll have to do," Burton said. He joined Roberts and Elections Supervisor Theresa LePore in a 3-0 vote to hand count all the county's ballots for president.

Democrats celebrated the decision.

"This is a great day for us," said Lance Block, a West Palm Beach attorney working for the party to push the recount. "All we're trying to do is get the votes counted." Republicans pointed scathingly to the board's reversals.

"What we've seen today is a process that has taken a new, even more troubling, turn away from accuracy," said Tucker Eskew, spokesman for Bush-Cheney. "Today we've seen inconsistency on the part of this panel. They've chosen to ignore their own words from this morning."

The board had planned to begin the hand count early Tuesday, but decided against it after the state Division of Elections sent word that county officials weren't allowed to recount the votes by hand without proof of mechanical failures in the Nov. 7 balloting.

Attorney General Bob Butterworth, a Democrat and state chair of Al Gore's campaign, immediately issued an opinion to the contrary -- and the board decided to halt everything while asking the state Supreme Court who was right. The case may be heard today.

But, true to the day's surprises, it was a ruling in another court case that emboldened the canvassing board to move ahead with the hand recount.

And for a while, it seemed that the county might run out of available judges before any ruling came. In quick succession, four circuit court judges, citing conflicts of interest, recused themselves from all the presidential election lawsuits filed by aggrieved voters.

In the end, a Republican whose name was pulled out of a hat stuck with the case. Circuit Judge Jorge Labarga, an appointee of Gov. Lawton Chiles, lifted a temporary injunction issued Thursday that stopped certification of Palm Beach County's ballots.

After an hourlong hearing on the case, which involved a lawsuit filed by two Boca Raton women, Labarga also ruled that a manual recount could go forward if the canvassing board wanted it.

The day began with hand count-to-hand count combat, as canvassing board members sparred over the conflicting opinions issued about 7:30 a.m. by the Elections Division and the attorney general.

Burton said the board must abide by the Elections Division view that a manual recount wasn't permitted.

"As a county court judge and as chairman of this board," he said, "it is my opinion we should follow the law."

Roberts disagreed. "I still believe we have an obligation to allow everybody's vote to be counted," she insisted.

The board met in the parking lot of the Emergency Operations Center off Military Trail in West Palm Beach, seated at a table on a platform. Board members had sought legal opinions asking whether they should continue with the time-consuming manual count.

Dytrych told the board the Elections Division opinion was binding. That incensed Roberts, who said she would never have asked for an advisory opinion if she'd known the board would have to abide by it.

The scene outside the Emergency Operations Center, a newly built command post meant for natural disasters like hurricanes, was chaotic. More than 200 members of the media chased anyone who would talk. Jesse Jackson showed up for an impromptu news conference, mindful of how many camera operators were sitting there, waiting for something to happen.

The frenzied atmosphere extended to the courthouse. Outside courtroom 4D, furious attorneys rattled the locked door but were denied entrance by the bailiffs. The courtroom was more than full and their cases weren't being heard, they were told.

(Staff writers Shana Gruskin and Marian Dozier contributed to this article.)

From Undernews / Progressive Review 11/14/00  From Ronn at FutrSource

RECOVERED HISTORY - The Cradle Will Rock

A remarkable film -- both good viewing and good history -- depicts three well hidden stories from 1930s America. First, movie centers on the New Deal's Federal Theater Project and attempts by a right-wing House committee to shut it down.  Specifically it is the tale of "The Cradle Will Rock," written by Marc Blitzstein [Hank Azaria] and starring a 21-year-old Orson Welles [Angus Macfadyen]. A joyfully leftist musical funded by the federal project, it eventually ran afoul of congressional opponents and a subsequent
budget cutback that effectively canceled the play's opening night. As one account describes it, "Welles, however, refused to postpone: high irony, because none of his previous theatrical projects had opened on time, due to his impossibly elaborate technical requirements. Cradle was hardly ready either, but no matter: when the over-sold audience gathered outside the Maxine Elliot Theater, they found it padlocked and guarded by WPA 'Cossacks' (John Houseman's term) to make certain that no 'government property' (that is, sets, props, or costumes) were removed. The actors mingled with the audience, entertaining them with songs and scenes, while Welles furiously phoned around town to find a vacant theater. Stage manager Jeannie Rosenthal was circling the city in a truck, carrying a rented piano, destination unknown... Just when no theater seemed to be available, a little man in the audience spoke to Welles  . . .  He had a theater, the Venice, and it was both empty and available, as well as cheap. The show had a theater! Rosenthal delivered the piano, and Welles began leading the opening night throng to the Venice, on foot," where the musical was performed if with considerable theatrical anarchy.

Second, the movie tells of the sometimes warm relationship between Mussolini and members of the American establishment, notably William Randolph Hearst. For example, in 1939, Hearst's Cosmopolitan published an article in which psychiatrist Carl Jung called Mussolini "warm and human." Of Hitler, Jung said, "There is no question but that Hitler belongs in the category of the truly mystic medicine man. As somebody commented about him at the last Nuremberg party congress, since the time of Mohammed nothing like it has been seen in this world. This markedly mystic characteristic of Hitler's is what makes him do things which seem to us illogical, inexplicable, curious and unreasonable ... So you see, Hitler is a medicine man, a form of a spiritual vessel, a demi-deity or, even better, a myth."

In the Nation, Dana Frank has written, "From 1927 through the mid-thirties, Hearst solicited and ran regular columns from Benito Mussolini and then Adolf Hitler. After years of courtship, Hearst finally got to meet Hitler in 1934 in a carefully arranged rendezvous. Hearst flattered (and protected) himself by reporting that he had used the occasion to pressure Hitler to back off on the persecution of Jews." In Friendly Fascism, Bertram Gross notes that Mussolini also won "the friendship, support or qualified approval" of the American ambassador, Cornelius Vanderbilt, Thomas Lamont, many newspapers and magazine publishers, the majority of business journals,
and quite a sprinkling of liberals, including some associated with both the Nation and The New Republic." In the film a Mussolini emissary [Susan Sarandon] sells Da Vincis to New York luminaries while partying with the likes of Rockefeller.

Finally, 'Cradle' recounts one of the great incidents of art censorship, the destruction of Diego Rivera's [Ruben Blades] Rockefeller Center mural that had been commissioned by Nelson Rockefeller [John Cusack]. Rivera's demise was caused by the inclusion in the 17' x 63' mural, a depiction of Lenin clasping the hands of a black and a Russian solider. The Encyclopedia of Censorship Description of the Art Work reports that, "On May 22, 1933, Rivera was called down from his scaffold where he was still working on the unfinished mural. He was handed a check for $14,000, the balance of his fee, and informed that he had been dismissed. Within 30 minutes the mural had been covered by tarpaper and a wooden screen. Seeking a compromise, Rockefeller suggested that Rivera should replace Lenin with some unknown face; the artist offered to add Lincoln but refused to expunge Lenin. Charged with willful propagandizing, he declared only that 'All art is propaganda.' Since he had accepted his payment, Rivera was unable to force the Rockefellers to exhibit or even keep his work. The mural was subsequently removed from the wall..." The following year, Rivera began a smaller version of the mural on a wall at the Palacio de Bellas Artes in Mexico City.

Although some of the dates have been compressed to fit the plot, the underlying story is true, and one that those in charge of the past don't care for you to know.

Contact: Philip Smith (202-661-6350)         


WASHINGTON, D.C. - The public - and especially 500,000 American Indians who
are plaintiffs in a class action against the secretary of the Treasury - have a right to see an internal investigative report by Treasury on egregious misconduct by six of the Department's lawyers, Indian plaintiffs said in a court filing today.

[For the filing, visit and click on Case Documents.]

The plaintiffs asked U.S. District Judge Royce C. Lamberth to reject an attempt by Secretary of the Treasury Lawrence Summers to have the report sealed by the court.  The Dow Jones Co, Inc., publisher of The Wall Street Journal, also has asked Lamberth's permission to intervene in the case on the side of publication of the report.

Treasury agreed to investigate misconduct by six of its attorneys after a court- appointed Special Master determined last December that the lawyers were guilty of violating the Rules of Professional Conduct and that misleading statements they had made to the judge constituted a potential fraud on the court.

Treasury submitted the results of its investigation to the court on Nov. 2, along with a request by Summers that the report be sealed by the judge.

The six Treasury attorneys are Ingrid Falanga, deputy chief counsel of the Financial Management Service; FMS Senior Counsel Randy Lewis; FMS Senior Counsel Daniel Mazella; FMS lawyer James Regan, and Treasury Deputy Assistant General Counsels Eleni Constantine and Roberta McInerney.

Despite orders by the judge since the case began in 1996 that the Treasury and Interior departments were to preserve and produce documents and records crucial to the Indians' case, Treasury employees destroyed 162 boxes of documents in a suburban Maryland warehouse between November 1998 and January 1999.

Treasury lawyers waited for five months, until May 11, before informing Judge Lamberth of the destruction. The revelation came after a contempt trial by Lamberth in which he found Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt, then-Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin and Assistant Interior Secretary Kevin Gover in contempt of court for failing to produce documents in the case.

The class action, Cobell v. Babbitt, seeks to force Interior and Treasury to account for mismanagement of individual Indian trust accounts going back to at least the 1880s.