Before the presidential race of 2000, Gov. Jeb Bush promised his brother, President George W. Bush, that he would win Florida for him, but nobody thought he meant that it would be stolen.
But that’s exactly what investigative reporter Greg Palast claims happened.
“Forget the hanging chads and the goof-ups,” said Palast, a reporter with the British Broadcasting Company. “This was deliberate.”
Palast, who also writes for the London-based newspaper the Guardian, spoke at the Falk Theater on the University of Tampa campus Sept. 21 as part of the Tampa premier of “Unprecedented,” a documentary detailing the 2000 presidential elections.
Palast said Florida hired Data Base Technologies to compile a list of convicted felons in order to ensure their removal from the voting polls in compliance with a Florida law that forbids felons from voting. Palast added that the data-collecting firm, under the direction of former Secretary of State Katherine Harris, completely mishandled the so-called “felon purge list.”
Palast cited the fact that the final list consisted of 94,000 names – over half of which were blacks – though, 91,000 of those listed had never been convicted of a felony.
In addition, Palast said an individual had actually been convicted of a crime he supposedly committed in 2007 and another branded a felon after serving on a federal jury.
Why was this done?
Palast said one reason is that 93 percent of blacks vote Democratic.
“I know the elections in Florida are a joke, but I’m not sure it’s that funny,” Palast said. “This was a Jim Crow election.”
But not many of these or other irregularities were reported by the mainstream media.
Palast said that CBS and ABC had expressed interest in the story, but that for different reasons decided not to pursue it. ABC decided to air a different report, and CBS, after placing a call to Gov. Jeb Bush’s office, claimed the story “didn’t check out,” said Palast.
“The story of the theft of the American presidency was everywhere on the planet except the United States of America,” said Palast. “It’s not that blacks are too dumb to vote; it’s that white reporters are too dumb to report.”
Palast said he started checking into the legitimacy of the elections after hearing reports of “a purge of voters” on television. The first article he wrote on the issue was published on Salon.com and won the “Politics Story of the Year 2000.”
The event, sponsored by the listener-supported radio station WMNF, also featured a talk by the film’s producers Joan Sekler and Richard Ray Perez.