in part from Pelast's book by workingforchange.com.
series is part of the WorkingForChange campaign,
in cooperation with Martin Luther King III of
the Southern Christian Leadership Conference,
to prevent the theft of the presidential election
of 2004. There is a link included to sign onto
the WorkingForChange/King petition.
Harris: "Palast Twisted"'
And then, evidence began to disappear.
The counsel for the Civil Rights Commission told
me he was most concerned about the purge of the
2,834 felons who did have a right to vote (he'd
read my Nation article) -- a willful violation
of two court orders. Proof of the illegal procedure
was in a September 18, 2000, letter to county
supervisors. The letter was read to me by two
county clerks, but the sources were too nervous
to fax me a copy. So I called Janet Keels in Governor
Jeb Bush's Office of Executive Clemency; I wanted
a hard copy of the letter. A crew with the documentary
Unprecedentedcaptured the call on camera.
. . .
name is Gregory Palast and I'm calling from London.
name is Troy Walker."
maybe you can help me. There is a letter from
Janet Keels's [Governor's] Office of Executive
Clemency, dated September 18, 2000.This is to
Hillsborough Board of Elections dealing with registration
of voters who moved to the state, committed a
felony but have received executive clemency. I'm
sure you have a copy of it. . . .
do have a letter referencing something close to
what date is that letter?
letter is dated February 23, 2001."
He then read me a letter from Keels saying the
exact opposite of the September 18 memo.
September 18 (before the election): convicts
from other states moving to Florida "would be
required to make application for restoration of
civil rights in the State of Florida."
February 23 (after the election): out-of-state
convicts "need not apply for restoration of civil
rights in Florida."
The post-election letter was drafted one week
after the Civil Rights Commission began to question
Florida about the illegal maneuver -- and now
Troy was telling me there was no recordof
the first letter in Keels' files, or in the office's
files, or in the state computers. Uh, oh. There
were two explanations. Maybe I had screwed up.
My most serious accusation, that the governor's
office barred and removed thousands of legal voters
in violation of two court rulings, may have been
dead wrong. After all, the cautious clerks had
merely read me the text of the letter. What if
it had never been sent? What if I'd been had by
my sources? The first edition of this book had
already gone to press.
The other possibility: The letter existed but
had been purged faster than a Black voter from
the governor's files, replaced by the February
23 letter, with opposite meaning. If so, then
Jeb Bush's office was skirting close to obstruction
Did the incriminating September 18, 2000, letter
exist? In 2002, I obtained the answer -- from
the most extraordinary source.
Katherine Harris: "Palast Twisted"
Palast distorts and misrepresents the events surrounding
the 2000 presidential election in Florida in order
to support his twisted and maniacally partisan
conclusions." Had I said something to upset the
secretary of state? So began Harris's letter,
a vein-popping screamer running beyond a thousand
words, dated April 2002, to my editors at Harper's.
It contained, despite its gonna-beat-you-up tone,
astonishing confessions. First, she does not deny
the core allegation: that her list of 57,700 felons
contained the names of thousands of innocent Democratic
voters. You could have knocked me over with a
feather when I read her acknowledgment that the
debacle over which she presided as secretary of
state "exposed flaws in the elections process
that had festered across America for decades."
In the world according to Harris, blame flew everywhere,
from the legislature to the attorney general,
never landing on herself. But what caught my eye
and made me grab for the phone was her excuse
for the illegal purge of out-of-state convicts.
Harris wrote that the governor's Office of Executive
Clemency "issued a letter" telling her
elections divisions to carry out the deed. "Hello.
I just received a note from Secretary Harris regarding
a letter she received from Governor Bush's office
regarding [here I mentioned the felon issue, leaving
off the bits about "twisted"]. . . . Could you
fax me a copy?"
And within the hour, the clerk had sent me, word
for word as it had been read to me by my sources,
letter dated September 18, the smoking gun. Obstruction
of justice, incontrovertible evidence. Somebody
call Mr. Ashcroft and read Ms. Harris her rights.
[Take a look for yourself. Compare the post-election
letter handed investigators to the pre-election
letter spirited out of the Governor's files at
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