In an interview that concluded a little after noon eastern time, Bush Florida point man and Poppy's former chief of staff and Sec. of State James Baker gave the nation a warning, saying that on the basis of the informal, unofficial, and uncertified AP report that the Florida recount came out in favor of George W. Bush by 327 votes, Al Gore should acknowledge that George W. Bush won the election and give such an announcement prior to Florida's official announcement scheduled a week from today. If this is not done, Baker implied that Bush could retaliate by beginning formal challenges to pro-Gore vote counts in states such as Wisconsin and New Mexico, which would, in his implied estimation, lead to a national crisis. After the interview, the CNN reporter then went over those editorials and columns in today's papers that ask Gore to stop his challenge in the name of healing the nation as quickly as possible. Some referred to Nixon's decision to do so in a previous presidential election. However, in an opinion column in the Boston Globe this morning, Joan Vennochi pointed out that the Nixon decision is irrelevant and "we shouldn't let politics muddle the quest for truth."

Last evening an Emory University reporter observed on CNN that both sides have moved from a consideration of legality to a consideration of politics. "What we are seeing," he said, "is a battle for public opinion." It seems clear to us that the Bush campaign is employing the strategy it had previously promised, outlined in a Daily News story last week, to be used if Bush lost the electoral college vote. The new goal is to get Gore to remove himself from the fray so that Bush can win. The working explanation is this would be for the good of the country, but if Gore doesn't act soon, the Bush team will retaliate, moving the country into chaos. Think about the logic, here. The way the strategy was described and the way it applies here is that, first, Bush spokesmen would take a negative view of Gore and his plans. This began on Wednesday. Then, the media would be manipulated to reflect the Bush point of view. This began yesterday and has doubled today. Then, more Bush spokesmen would be employed to reinforce the views expressed in the media. This has happened with Mr. Baker. The next step would be to get the man on the street involved through phone calls, e-mails, and talk shows. This will begin today and continue through Saturday. Then, the Bush people would try to use various members of the clergy to extend the Bush message. Finally, Bush spokesmen would reappear to announce that the will of the people demands that Gore stepdown, even though he is presently ahead in both the popular vote and the electoral college vote. This will happen on the Sunday morning talk shows. The swift movement of the Bush propaganda campaign suggests that this will continue on Monday. Clearly the Bush team is feeling the heat of the charges of corrupted voting in key election districts in Florida. --Politex, 11/10/00

Wouldn't it be poetic justice if the man George W. Bush called "a major legue asshole" turns out to be the one who found a way to deprive him of the presidency? In today's New York Times, Adam Clymer wrote: "Some commentators [including Politex] have suggested that the election would be thrown to the Republican-controlled House of Representatives if neither Vice President Al Gore nor Gov. George W. Bush of Texas gets a majority of the 538 electors for whom Americans voted on Tuesday. But the Constitution requires only that a winning candidate have the votes of "a majority of the whole number of electors appointed." If Florida's votes are not resolved by then, or if a legal restraining order bars Gov. Jeb Bush from filing a certificate listing Florida's electors, then Mr. Gore has enough votes from other states, if current vote totals stand and if his electors keep their pledges, to reach a majority of the 513 electors actually appointed." Thus, the Bush team has a good reason for doing what it can to resolve any court suits about Florida voting irregularities as soon as possible. --Politex, 11/10/00

FLORIDA NEWS UPDATE...Bush leads Gore by 327 votes with all counties reporting, according to the AP. This total does not include any outstanding absentee ballots, which must be received in county offices by next Friday. Also, the present total is informal and is subject to change when the state of Florida provides a formal report of the votes on Tuesday or Wednesday. Further, the total is subject to change on the basis of tomorrow's hand counts in Volusia County (a 100% hand count) and in Palm Beach County (a 1% hand count). As of 7 a.m. ET Friday morning, there is no word on what Dade and Broward counties plan to do, if anything, about the Dem request for hand recounts in those counties. On the legal front, according to CNN a Florida state juedge has ruled that the votes from Palm Beach County may not be certified prior to a scheduled Tuesday hearing. On the political front, the Bush campaign has asked Gore to "cease" any activities to overturn the informal AP unofficial report and give the win to Bush, a request that theGore campaign finds absurd. As a Gore spokesman said, "This is just the beginning of the process." An Emory University political observer observed that what we are seeing is "the battle for public opinion," but in order to give legitimacy to the eventual winner, the eventual loser must acknowledge the winner, something that neither Bush nor Gore is willing to do at this point. --Politex, 11/10/00



"Saying it was a matter of critical public importance, Volusia County’s Elections Canvassing Board unanimously agreed Thursday to take the extraordinary step of manually counting the ballots cast Tuesday in the race for President. The laborious process of counting all 184,018 ballots is likely to begin Saturday morning. The count, which will be conducted under the supervision of the Canvassing Board with witnesses from both major political parties, is expected to take until Tuesday to be completed.Volusia voters supported Vice president Al Gore over Governor George Bush by a margin of 97,063 to 82,214. The outcome was verified Wednesday evening when the Canvassing Board completed an automatic recount of the votes The State Executive Committee of the Florida Democratic Party made the request for a manual recount of the ballots late Thursday afternoon. "During the balloting process, the subsequent tabulation of ballots, and the statutorily required recount, numerous problems transpired which call into question the accuracy and the veracity of Volusia County’s returns for the Offices of President and Vice-President of the United States," states the written request for a manual recount. The Republican Party objected to the request. Party representatives said the ballots already had been recounted and in the interest of public "finality" the time-consuming manual recount request should not be granted.Volusia County, Florida is located 60 miles northeast of Orlando. It has a permanent population of approximately 430,000. Its largest city is Daytona Beach. There are 260,752 registered voters, 43 percent Democrats and 38 percent Republicans." --Volusia County, 11/9/00


During the CNN program on the Florida presidential voting recount this afternoon, as the three-member committee was walking out of the room and the reporters were gathering up their belongings, shouts from the back of the room from unphotographed people were heard: "WHAT ABOUT THE STUDENTS? WHAT ABOUT THE STUDENTS?" The Florida elections committee looked back, but sheepishly continued out of the room. The CNN announcer quickly said, "Those shouting people are not reporters." That was the end of it for CNN. No camera shots of the shouters, no description by CNN of what was going on.

This evening on Jim Lehrer's PBS news show, we learned that those shouting were students from various Florida colleges, sitting in throughout the Florida Capitol Building, trying to get the attention of the committee. On Lehrer, we saw the face of a black woman from Florida A&M. She said the students were staging a sit-in, not to protest the results of the presidential election in Florida, but to protest how numerous voters were being disenfranchised from their right to vote. We got the impression that she was speaking about more than Palm Beach County. As Paul Harvey says, "Now you know the rest of the story." Or as Fox News says, "We report. You decide." --Politex, 11/9/00

FROM A FLORIDA BUSH WATCHER...I've been an avid BushWatcher for a long time and you deserve to know the true story behind the students at the Florida Capitol Building. I live in Tallahassee just a few blocks from the Capitol Building. Today my black friends told me that Florida A&M students have always had a place to vote on campus and when they went to vote on Tuesday they were told that they had to go somewhere else to vote this time. When they went to the precinct to which they had been directed they were told that they were not registed to vote there and were turned away and did not get to vote. So today the FAMU students were joined by FSU students in a march on the Capitol to protest the Highway Patrol roadblocks in Wakulla, the Palm Beach fiasco and the FAMU students who were not allowed to vote. This FAMU story needs to get out. It's just another example of the rampant racism in Bush's Florida. 11/9/00


Yesterday Florida promised the nation that the recount of the state's votes in the presidential race would be finished today and be presented. This did not happen. Instead, in a way, the members of the state election committee took a step back. Reporting on only 53 of 67 counties, the commiteee said Bush was leading Gore by 1784 votes. However, a press consortium has already reported that the Bush lead has slipped to a scant 362 votes with three counties remaining. Further, the committee reported that the remaining 14 counties now had until next Tuesday to report their results.

This change of plans on the part of the state of Florida appears to mean that the various state law suits which the Democratic Party planned to launch on Monday may be on hold until at least next Wednesday. 7,000 overseas ballots have been sent out and 3,500 have been returned, with more than half expected to favor Bush. The state's footdragging on getting out the promised recount works in Bush's favor, since looking for remedy through the Florida courts could be a time-consuming process, and the Electoral College is scheduled to meet on December 18.

If Florida is unable to report its presidential election results by that date, two delegations of electoral voters, one Republican and one Democratic, could be sent to Washington, with the Republican Congress probably selecting the Republican delegation, making Bush the next President. Or no delegations from Florida could be sent, preventing the Electoral College from electing the next President, throwing the question to the Republican majority Congress, which, again, would probably elect Bush. The only viable Democratic plans would be for Gore to win the popular vote by Friday, which seems unlikely at the moment, or expedite the legal battles in state courts, free up the winning votes, and send a Democratic delegation to the Electoral College on December 18th. --Politex, 11/9/00