Ooops! This One is How Democrats Steal Elections...sorry : LUSENET : TB2K spinoff uncensored : One Thread

ELECTION 2000 'How Democrats steal elections' Veterans of hand recounts describe techniques used to change outcome

By Jon Dougherty and David Kupelian B) 2000

The manual vote recounts being insisted on by Democratic operatives in Palm Beach County, Fla., have been used for over 20 years to steal elections from Republicans, claim several GOP veterans of hand-recount election-upsets.

According to Bob Haueter, chief of staff to the California Assembly Republican Caucus, and an expert on manual recounts, a Democrat lawyer intimately involved in "stealing" elections from Republicans through hand recounts admitted to the process and even shared the techniques involved.

After Tuesday's vote and an automatic recount still left GOP nominee George W. Bush ahead by a slim 288-vote margin, Palm Beach elections officials decided that a manual recount of all 425,000 votes should be undertaken.

"What's happening in Florida is exactly the game plan laid out to me by an attorney who represented the Democrats in a recount in California where they stole a seat from us," former California Assemblyman Pat Nolan told WorldNetDaily.

A staunch conservative legislator, Nolan served in the California Assembly from 1978 until 1994, when he was convicted, along with several other lawmakers, in a federal corruption probe. After spending a little over two years in federal prison, he emerged to become president of Justice Fellowship, the public policy arm of Watergate figure Chuck Colson's Prison Fellowship Ministries. For the past four years, Nolan has worked with Colson -- another fallen-but-reformed public figure -- to reform the criminal justice system.

Regarding the 1980 California Assembly race between Republican Adrian Fondse and Democrat Pat Johnston, Nolan recalled that the Republican won "by about 54 votes or so."

But after the election, Democrats "brought in their junkyard dog lawyers from around the country," said Nolan, "and basically harassed the local registrar -- got in their faces and demanded to handle ballots" -- which were of the same type now in dispute in Palm Beach.

The same issue of "hanging chads -- the little squares in the punch cards -- was also an issue in Stockton," says Nolan. The Democrats' strategy, he says, was to handle them as often as possible -- perhaps bending, crinkling or otherwise altering them -- so that additional chads become displaced, thereby disqualifying the ballot.

The result? In the Stockton election, Nolan said Democrats were successful in getting the vote count reversed from a plus-54 win by Republicans to a minus-17 loss.

"I vowed that I'd never let that happen again," Nolan said. "So I asked my staff to track down the lawyer that headed up the team for the Democrats."

Haueter was, at that time, chief of staff for Nolan, and it was he who first contacted attorney Tim Downs, who readily admitted the Democratic strategy and even described the tactics to Nolan.

"When I first called him and explained to him who I was and why I was calling, he chuckled and said, 'I wondered when you guys would get around to calling me,'" Haueter said, adding that Downs told him -- "'I've taken several seats from you across the United States.'"

"Downs told me, somewhat tongue-in-cheek, 'You get me within 100 votes and I can steal any election,'" Haueter told WorldNetDaily.

Nolan subsequently hired Downs and "brought him out to train my staff in the techniques they [Democrats] were using" so they could protect themselves against future election-fraud victimization, Nolan said.

Nolan and Haueter said Downs described three basic tactics:

"The first rule is, you keep counting until you're ahead. And if that doesn't put you ahead, you recount, re-recount -- you keep counting until you're ahead. If you're behind, then you've got nothing to lose."

Second, Nolan said, "the more times those ballots are handled, the more chance there is that chads will break loose" and hence disqualify the ballot.

Third, he said, "the minute you're ahead, you stop and declare yourself the victor."

"After that, you don't want the ballots handled any more," Nolan said, "because some of the chads for your candidate might break loose. While you're behind it doesn't matter, but if you're ahead and more break off or become disqualified for your candidate, that's a bad thing."

A favorite tactic, said Nolan, is to ask election officials for ballots, "allegedly so they can look at it more closely." When operatives do, often they will bend or crinkle ballots covertly in an effort to break another chad loose and thus have the ballot thrown out.

"This whole process sounds like exactly what is going on in Florida," Nolan said. "And the more times those ballots are handled, the more chances are you'll break some of them [chads] loose."

Nolan referred to Fox News' Tony Snow's weekend interview with Bush campaign representative and former Secretary of State James Baker, in which he asked Baker why -- after each time election officials run ballots through mechanical vote-tally machines -- there have been more votes counted or taken away from both candidates.

"Baker didn't have an answer to that," Nolan said. "But the answer is, because they've handled those ballots more times, breaking loose more of those chads" -- those that perhaps weren't completely punched through.

"The tactics fit what [Downs] told me back in 1982 and 1983," Nolan said, who added that he didn't know who Downs may have worked with using these tactics recently.

WorldNetDaily attempted to reach Downs by phone on Sunday, but was unsuccessful.

Following a mechanical recount over the weekend, Palm Beach election officials awarded an additional 36 votes to Gore, while Bush lost three.

"A hand count of four selected precincts turned up enough additional votes for Gore to prompt the Democratic majority on the county election commission to order the hand recount in all 531 precincts," the Associated Press reported.

Republicans, news accounts said, lodged "strenuous protests" and pledged to file a lawsuit halting yet another recount of Palm Beach votes. That hearing is scheduled for today.

Reports said nearly 30,000 ballots have already been rejected in Palm Beach County because they had two or more holes punched for president, or because computers could not detect any holes at all. Ballots with two votes also are rejected in hand counts.

Corroborating Haueter's and Nolan's account is a parallel story by Los Angeles-area political strategist Arnold Steinberg. In a National piece titled "Beware of Hanging Chads," Steinberg asks, "Do you know what two words will determine the Presidential election?" The chilling answer, he said: "Hanging chads."

Steinberg, describing a 1980 congressional race between long-time incumbent, Democrat James C. Corman, and Steinberg's client, Republican challenger Bobbi Fiedler, recalls how after Fiedler's upset victory -- by a slim margin -- over the heavily favored Corman, the Democrats called for a hand recount.

"Democratic Party lawyers and recount specialists descended on the county registrar's office," says Steinberg. "Each recount station had a government employee to do the counting, flanked by one Democratic and one Republican observer.

"The Democrats' agenda was, of course, to change the election result, and they went about it systematically. At their urging, the recounting began with Corman's strongest precincts, Fiedler's weakest. Their intention was to recount ballots in those areas until the election outcome was reversed, and then stop the recount. Similarly, today in Florida, the Gore people are demanding hand recounts in their favored counties, where they would be most likely to gain."

Just as important as the order in which the precincts are recounted, however, is outright ballot tampering, says Steinberg.

"Their hired guns tried lots of tricks on Corman's behalf, but what I remember most was the hanging chads. A chad is the perforated square (or circle) on the ballot that a voter depresses with a pin to indicate his preferred candidate. The chad hangs from the ballot if the voter didn't fully depress it -- for instance, if an older person did not press firmly enough. This matters because voter machines usually are not able to tabulate cards with hanging chads.

"It often comes down to interpreting the voter's intention. Does the chad hang 'strongly' -- i.e, detached only a little -- meaning that it is a mistake that should not be counted? Or does it hang loosely -- i.e., mostly detached -- as an intended vote would be?

"What my lawyers soon discovered was that the opposition would eyeball a disputed ballot before picking it up to officially inspect it. If the hanging chad indicated a vote for Fiedler, the lawyer for the other side picked up the ballot ever so carefully, so he could argue that the voter really never intended to vote for Fiedler. If the hanging chad was a Corman vote, the lawyer picked up the ballot quite vigorously, so that the chad soon was no longer hanging.

"'You see,' their guy would declare, 'that voter obviously intended to vote for Corman.'"

Luckily, says Steinberg, "it didn't take long to figure out all the opposition's tricks. I added more lawyers, more observers, and the bad guys eventually caved. Bobbi Fiedler's victory was preserved. But it was a nasty business."

Echoing Nolan's and Haueter's experience with manual-vote recounts, Steinberg says, "The more things change, the more they stay the same."

How Democrats Steal Elections

-- Ain't Gonna Happen (Not Here, November 15, 2000


"The first rule is, you keep counting until you're ahead. And if that doesn't put you ahead, you recount, re-recount -- you keep counting until you're ahead. If you're behind, then you've got nothing to lose."

Second, Nolan said, "the more times those ballots are handled, the more chance there is that chads will break loose" and hence disqualify the ballot.

Third, he said, "the minute you're ahead, you stop and declare yourself the victor."

Sound familiar to anyone?

-- Ain't Gonna Happen (Not Here, November 15, 2000.

Well, come Saturday, you will be one happy Bush camper, no? :-)

-- sumer (, November 15, 2000.

Third, he said, "the minute you're ahead, you stop and declare yourself the victor."

Sound familiar to anyone?

Yes, isn't this the current Bush strategy?

-- (hmm@hmm.hmm), November 15, 2000.

Yes, isn't this the current Bush strategy?

No, he agreed to one recount as directed by Florida law. Al Gore has never felt bound by legal restictions and continues the counting again and again still as we write.

-- Ain't Gonna Happen (Not Here, November 15, 2000.

The point is the more you handle the ballot, the more useless they become. A machine has no partisan affiliation, very non-partisan. Bringing in humans, also brings in partisanship, subjectivity, and human error (whether intentional or unintentional). Hand counting should be discontinued, IMO.

-- Maria (, November 15, 2000.

No, he agreed to one recount as directed by Florida law.

And then he stopped and declared himself the victor because he was ahead.

A machine has no partisan affiliation, very non-partisan. Bringing in humans, also brings in partisanship, subjectivity, and human error (whether intentional or unintentional). Hand counting should be discontinued, IMO.

What did they ever do before they had machines?

-- (hmm@hmm.hmm), November 15, 2000.

I would also like to add that now, once again, the Gore camp is redefining how to manually recount the votes. They want "dimpled" votes to count. This is the subjectivity introduced by someone desperately wanting to win. Also Gore asked that 500 lawyers donate their time to the "butterfly ballot" law suit.

Gore agreed that the EC would decide the next prez. Now that he won the popular vote, he wants to see the people decide but knows that won't go anywhere. So he hopes to get the people on his side by "making sure that all votes count". Sorry I see through his smoke and mirrors. Votes do count and they have been counted fairly. Let's move on, please?

-- Maria (, November 15, 2000.

I have to agree that I wish they would just decide which votes they want to count. Dimpled ballots or pimpled ballots, pregnant chads or post-menopausal chads, swinging chads or monogamous chads, I don't care. Just make a decision and start already.

-- (hmm@hmm.hmm), November 15, 2000.

Warren Mitofsky's Florida exit polls had it right after all.

Florida voters went for Gore. It was the voting machines that were wrong when they threw out tens of thousands of ballots -- more than all of Ralph Nader's 92,000 Florida votes. And that's NOT counting the 19,000 ballots thrown out due to the voting irregularities caused by the Palm Beach County "butterfly" ballot. There were an additional 11,000 Palm Beach ballots thrown out for "under voting," i.e., no presidential vote registered on them because they were not completely punched through -- the "hanging chad problem," and the machines could not read them. With Bush leading Gore by less than 400 votes, the Bush machine is moving heaven and earth to stop the hand count of ballots that would, evidence shows, give the election to Gore.

The news media for the most part have not made it clear to the public that Palm Beach board is NOT proposing to count the "over votes," i.e., the thousands of votes that were punched twice due to the confusing design of the ballot -- despite Bush attempts to imply that they are.

Warren Mitofsky heads the Voter News Service (VNS), the exit poll operation subscribed to by most of the news media, which called Florida for Gore at 8:15 p.m. on election night based on interviews conducted with voters as they left the polls. "I've done over 3,000 elections over thirty years," the professorial Mitofsky told the Lehrer Newshour, "and have called it wrong only five times in all that time." Mitofsky, who has been taking a beating in the media, may be exonerated -- but he may not be if Bush's lawyers succeed in stopping the manual count. And they are playing for keeps.

Now we've learned the astonishing news that George W. Bush's first cousin John Ellis, a producer in the political shop at the Republican- dominated Fox News Channel, was the one who pronounced Bush the president-elect at 2:16 a.m., November 8, based on the erroneous vote count at that time. That gave Bush the advantage of seeming the dethroned but rightful king. Republicans and the media, led by Tim Russert and the partisan Chris Matthews joined Republicans to demand that Gore "concede gracefully." Yet, not until Tuesday, November 14, did the New York Times and the Washington Post spell out to their readers Ellis's questionable involvement in the naming of the next president of the United States, including being in constant communication with his cuzzes Jeb and W., Auntie Bar, and Unca George that night. The Times's story appears deep inside the paper, and in the Post, in the "Style" section. The major media are so frightened of being labeled "liberal media elites," by Republicans that they skew and modulate their reporting to avoid the charge.

James Baker, III ("the third stands for the three coverups he's handled for the Bush family so far, not including this one," writes Internet activist J.M. Prince), has been spinning madly, but even he may not be able to put this one over on the American people, despite his past love affair with the "elite" media. There's a lot of information out there. And, unlike the financial and legal details of Whitewater, this is one the public, and even the media, show evidence that they understand. Support for the process is shrinking a bit, however, mainly due to the successful PR efforts of the Bush cabal who relentlessly pound away with untruthful claims.

Baker says that manual counts are less accurate than machine counts, and hints at corruption among the Palm Beach County voting officials. But Florida election officials, and many others around the country vehemently dispute that, saying that manual recounts are often taken to resolve problems in close elections. It is well established that computer glitches give inaccurate counts for a variety of reasons, in the Florida case because of incompletely punched ballots that didn't register properly. And as Baker knows very well, the recount will take place with Democrats and Republicans and all manner of other officials monitoring it closely, as was the case with Palm Beach's earlier sample recount of under votes that showed significant differences with the machine recount.

Baker and Company hope to paint Gore as a whining poor loser by saying that Gore wants "recount after recount after recount." But the only recount taken so far was the machine recount automatically triggered by Florida election law because of the closeness of the original count. And that recount reduced Bush's lead from about 1800 votes to 327, an 85 percent drop.

Florida law allows the counties and Gore to ask for a manual count of the votes, and a sampling recount of several precincts began in Palm Beach County and two other counties on Friday. However, Bush asked the Federal District Court in Southern Florida to stop the recounts -- despite Bush's own request on Friday for a manual recount that was taken in another Florida county. (It helped Bush and Karen Hughes wouldn't say whether they would accept the votes or not.) The hypocrisy doesn't stop eminence gris Baker from trying to spin the country for the Bushes. The request to bar manual recounts was rejected by Federal Judge Donald Middlebrooks, but Florida's Secretary of State, Katherine Harris, a George W. Bush supporter who campaigned for him, ordered all voting results to be in her office by 5 p.m. Tuesday, November 14, which if upheld, would end any manual vote recount in Florida. And would, by all signs, hand the election to Bush.

Baker has said repeatedly that he "was in the room" when former President Gerald R. Ford decided he would not contest his 1976 defeat by Democrat Jimmy Carter. Carter had 297 electoral votes, however, and won the popular vote by 1,682,970 while Ford had only 240 electoral votes. Does Houston corporate lawyer Baker really think he can revise history before our very eyes. A veteran political reporter remembers, "That wasn't even much of a story at the time."

Today, Baker today is trying to fool the nation into believing that the lawsuits filed by Florida citizens were in fact filed by the Gore camp.

But there is a danger that Gore could lose the PR battle. Baker has been joined in that aspect of this political war by Ted Olson who argued and lost before Middlebrooks. Olson was the chief architect of the Machiavellian and successful conjoining of the Whitewater witchhunt and Paula Jones charges which led to Clinton's impeachment. Olson's efforts in Arkansas and in Washington were funded by the right-wing scion of the Mellon fortune, Richard Mellon Scaife, whose billions have funded every single one of the assaults on the the Clinton administration, including the ongoing effort by Larry Klayman of Judicial Watch to disbar Bill Clinton. (And Olson's wife Barbara was one of the most poisonous anti-Clinton TV commentators.)

This political drama closely resembles the uncertain playing out of Nixon's coverup of his Watergate crimes. No one knew whether the system would work in that crisis, but it did. Now we shall see if the system still works.

-- M.D. (, November 15, 2000.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ