This Is Important
I would ask my 'pub friends to read the following, and then answer these questions:
1. Do you believe the meeting took place?
2. Do you believe a decision by Jeb Bush to implement the flawed "felon purge list" is defensible, or is it evidence of an attempt by the Governor of Florida to improperly influence the election?
3. Is this something that needs to be investigated, and if it is, can the investigation wait until after Nov. 2nd?
4. Why should I trust the election results that come out of Florida in 16 days?
The Sarasota Herald-Tribune is in possession of a May 4, 2004 e-mail in which a State of Florida tech-type working on the infamous Florida "felon purge list" informs a colleague that the top tech-type in FL had advised Jeb Bush in May that the purge list had the problems that ultimately led to it being junked in July, after the problems were publicly disclosed, but that Bush ordered that the purge list be nonetheless implemented. Just this morning Jeb Bush denied that any such meeting ever took place.
This is how the AP reported it:
The e-mail said state election officials "weren't comfortable with the felon matching program they've got," but added, "The Gov rejected their suggestion to pull the plug, so they're 'going live' with it this weekend."The writer of the e-mail identified the person who informed him of Jeb's decision as Paul Craft, the FL dept. of state's top computer expert. When the Sarasota H-T attempted to contact Craft by telephone, Craft hung up. If the meeting between Bush and Craft didn't take place, why didn't Craft say so? If the meeting didn't occur, why didn't Craft explain that the e-mail writer was mistaken? It's not clear why Craft didn't debunk the meeting story, but it's perfectly understandable why he would hang-up. Mr. Craft must realize that his job, and more, is on the line if he crosses the Bush family.
It is apparent that Jeb Bush was informed in May that the voter purge list would purge large numbers of black voters (who tend to vote dem) but almost no hispanics (who tend to vote 'pub in FL), because the purge list methodology required a perfect match between the race designation on the criminal record and the race designation on the voter registration records. The problem is that one or the other set of records (I forget which) generally didn't have a "hispanic" category, while the other set of records did, and accordingly in most cases hispanics were categorized as caucasians in one set of records. That's not a match, and accordingly hispanics weren't being included on the purge list and therefore would remain on the voter rolls even though they plainly should have been purged. Jeb Bush was informed of this in May 2004 according to this e-mail, but ordered that the purge list be implemented anyway.
This is precisely the kind of circumstance that obtained so often during the Clinton blow job scandal. Credible information confirming the culpability of an elected official would be presented, and frequently corroborated by documentary evidence (such as the May 4, 2004 e-mail detailing the meeting with Jeb), and yet the party faithful would stand by their man out of blind partisanship, at grievous cost to political comity and therefore our democracatic processes. I found the evidence of Clinton's deceit credible, and repeatedly called on Clinton to come clean, present his case to the public and trust the good judgment of the electorate. Clinton, rather than lying about Monica, should have said "yeah, I was blown by this girl - I fucked up, but the 'pubs aren't gonna lynch me." My 'pub friends similarly demanded the truth. It is time again for them to demand the truth. The integrity of our democracy is at stake. If this meeting took place, and Jeb nonetheless ordered the implementation of this defective purge list, it is imperative that we begin planning immediately for independent oversight of the election in Florida.
I don't want to hear the spin, or the Jeb Bush defense counsel response. It's time for my 'pub friends to step up, just like they did when credible evidence of Clinton's deceit was produced. I really want my 'pub friends to explain to me why I should trust the election results that come out of Florida in a few weeks, and why I should trust the Governor of Florida. I want my 'pub friends to explain to me why Jeb Bush should not be forced to resign from office today. This is no time for the usual partisan bullshit. I want someone to convince me that the democracy incessantly invoked by our president to justify the sacrifice of our troops' lives in Iraq is not being systematically subverted by his brother and his party.