barbarahowardweb.gifAs voters in Michigan and Florida angrily complain about being disenfranchised by the ridiculous rules of the Democratic Party in the selection of their presidential candidate for the 2008 election, Hollywood rehashes the 2000 election debacle in their made-for-TV movie, Recount, on HBO.

A smart man once told me that the best con is one where the truth is so overwhelming that it is almost impossible to see the camouflaged lie.

And that’s what Recount was – a big con.  Or should I say the continuation of the big lie – that George Bush “stole” the 2000 election.

While Recount gave what was the most fair and accurate account of the election to date, it was still “highly inaccurate” according to famed Miami attorney Joe Klock, a Democrat who was with then-Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris throughout the entire process.

In fact, most members of the legal team advising Harris during the recount were Democrats who Harris hired as independent counsel “so the process would be orderly and fair.”

Klock stated on conservative Fox News TV show Hannity & Colms (Monday, June 02, 2008) that the author of the film, Danny Strong, never bothered to talk to Katherine Harris (neither did Laura Dern, who played her,) and admits to making up her dialogue because “he wanted to portray her in a highly negative way.”

Harris and Klock stated that had Strong done his research, he would have discovered that Harris asked the Florida Supreme Court to order a statewide recount with uniform counting standards one week after Election Day, filing an action at 3 a.m. on November 15, 2000, but the Gore campaign vociferously objected and fought it because they wanted to “cherry-pick” four heavily Democratic districts. 

Later that same day, the Florida Supreme Court (all but two of whom were Democrats appointed by Democratic Governor Lawton Chiles) dismissed the state’s request without prejudice then later intervened (without request) and “rewrote the law, which they are not supposed to do.”

The real deal is “that had Al Gore listened to his Florida legal counsel (who wanted to follow the law) instead of his political consultants, (Harris) could have certified the results — a mere procedural action — Gore could have petitioned the Supreme Court for a statewide recount with uniform procedures and would have had time to complete the recount statewide.”

Instead they tried to manipulate the system, and then screamed foul when they couldn’t get the results they wanted.  Bottom line is had Ralph Nader not taken almost 98,000 Democratic votes, Al Gore would have won.

So all the votes were counted and, during the three recounts, George Bush still came out ahead getting 2,912,790 votes to Gore’s 2,912,253.

When I told my Democratic friends that the election supervisors of the counties that Gore’s team selected were all Democrats, they didn’t believe me.

Nor did they believe me when I said that CNN called Florida for Gore before even 10 percent of the votes had been counted, and many of the precincts on the west coast of Florida were still open. 

Recount at least got these facts right. But for the record, the scene where Republican demonstrators disrupted the recount in Miami-Dade County never happened. 

I was in the Election Department during the recount, and the recount people were so far in the back of the department of over 100 staff that no one could even see them unless allowed in the area.  I couldn’t even get back there, and I normally had access to the entire area.

But the one thing Recount really got right was the line by Ben Ginsberg (played by Bob Balaban), national counsel to the Bush-Cheney presidential campaign.

He said, “It never ceases to amaze me how the Democrats will lie, cheat and steal to win an election.”

Now they’re doing the same thing in their own primary with manipulation of the Michigan and Florida votes.  Even the creation of superdelegates is a configuration of manipulation to redirect control of the party, created after the infamous 1968 Democratic National Convention marred by rioting and chaos.

Hispanic-American philosopher George Santayana writes in The Life of Reason, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”

Barbara Howard is president of Barbara Howard & Associates and the Florida state chair for C.O.R.E. (the Congress of Racial Equality).