Citizens for Legitimate Government, a multi-partisan activist group established to expose the Bush Coup d'Etat and oppose the Bush occupation in all of its manifestations.

Citizens For Legitimate Government
is a multi-partisan activist group established to expose the Bush coup d'etat, and to oppose the Bush occupation in all of its manifestations.
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Michael Rectenwald replies to a rightwinger who writes, "Gore lost the 2000 election, plain and simple"

Dear D.:

Apparently you haven't read our website, but merely reacted to the titles and other slogans. This is kind of reading practice is symptomatic of the rightwing type of 'literacy' and is apparently the source of much of the confusion regarding the Florida s-election. Having read only a few misleading headlines and not the entire stories and the facts buried within, and having not even approached a thorough research program, the rightwing supposedly believes the spoon-fed pabulum engendered by the mainstream media and supposes with them that the system is fine, that no breach in principles occurred in the 2000 s-election and that all is well in America. However, nothing could be further from the truth. I urge you to read thoroughly and consider what we have to say. Rather than reacting based on a few ideas you have picked up vis a vis mainstream corporate mediation, I suggest you consider a complete research program. Allow me to introduce you to a vast discourse that apparently has eluded your attention to date.

First of all, all of the recounts actually vindicate our view entirely. Here's what Tom Fiedler of the Miami Herald acknowledged and quoted as the fundamental fact in the Herald's reporting of the recount: "[I]f the recount had been started from scratch in each of Florida's 67 counties, The Herald concluded, 'Gore would be in the White House today.'" This was published in the Miami Herald, Sunday, April 8, 2001. Click here to read the whole article, entitled, " Votes aren't sacred," by Tom Fiedler. Fiedler is quoting from the Miami Herald's own story, the story which was buried under the misleading headline that said Bush won the recount by media consortium.

Furthermore, the fact of the matter is that Florida LAW calls for the INTENTION of the voters as a criterion for a vote, and that this intention is to be discerned by vote counters. Hand counting is legally mandated for cases of such close elections in Florida (and most everywhere) and has been used by Republicans when they saw fit (and during the same election, the exact opposite arguments were being used by another Republican in a different state). The propaganda machine set in motion by Republicans that made discerning the intent of the voter into Carnac the magician routine, and hand-counting as some alien enterprise suggested by Satan himself, foisted a series of outright LIES and dastardly innuendoes before the public on a continual basis. Those unable to withstand the assault of the corporate media in order to read and investigate the matter for themselves, found themselves "content" to acquiesce to this view promulgated by corporate mediation. The fact is that the intent of the voters is the STANDARD in Florida law, and hand-counting is not only allowed, but is LEGALLY MANDATED in such close races.

Meanwhile, while Republicans were saying that discerning the "intent of the voters" was a Carnac the magician routine, vote-counters in G.O.P. counties not only discerned the intents of the voters, they RECREATED ABSENTEE BALLOTS based on their discernment of that intent. (Ten thousand ballots were RECREATED this way. Absentee votes went to Bush by a ratio of 2:1. That's a net of 3,300 votes for Bush! How do you spell hypocrisy??? Answer: G. O. P.)

Furthermore, the fact is that not only did not all of the 67 counties perform the required hand-recounting of the ballots; contrary to the Republican propaganda machine, only 18 did the LEGALLY MANDATED recounting of the ballots. The others merely re-reported their original counts. This and other atrocities were cited in a rarely cited article that appeared in the Washington Post, only a "mere" seven months after the "election," ( This article reveals a completely different picture than the pretty one painted for you by the majority of the corporate media outlets in their snippets designed to quell the doubts of the people that the president was "legitimate." As an amalgam of other stories we've read, this article shows that hundreds of ILLEGAL Bush votes were INCLUDED in the count while thousand of LEGAL Gore votes were not included in the count.

This is to say nothing of the many hundreds of thousands of "over-votes"--in which voters legally wrote in and also punched out the name of their candidates. In such cases, the votes are NOT invalid as suggested by Republicans, but actually legal, and require the inspection of counters to verify their legality. This is to say nothing, again, of the fact that in wealthier, mostly white and Republican counties, vote counting machines spit back "over-votes" and allowed voters to correct them, whereas in poorer, mostly Black and Hispanic counties, no such advantage existed. These factors caused Black votes to be spoiled at a rate of 6 times that of non-Black voters. Given the millions of Black voters and their overwhelming 9-1 choice of Gore over Bush, we lost hundreds of thousands of votes this way.

This is to say nothing of the illegal camping-out inside of elections headquarters by Republican missionaries and their illegal tampering with thousands of absentee ballot applications whose ballots should thereby have been invalidated. A Democratic judge was intimidated by the rightwing rhetoric and violence, and ruled incorrectly.

All of this is to say nothing, again, of the voters who were illegally purged from the voting rolls even in advance of the election. According the Civil Rights Commission, tens of thousands of legal voters lost their right to vote in a purge of voters known to be over-reaching by the company that performed it, and who also informed the State of Florida (Katherine Harris and Jeb Bush) that the over-reaching would wrongly disqualify thousands of legal voters. This is perhaps the most nefarious and sinister aspect of the vote scandal in Florida, and has been reported by so many mainstream media that it is amazing that Republicans have managed to (willfully) avoid the facts concerning it. The coverage is on our "Yes, Gore Did Win" page, but I'll provide a few links here. The story was covered by the Washington Post, the LA Times, CNN, amongst others: (CNN) <--the original reporter who revealed the purge to the mainstream press. <--reprint of exact story in Palm Beach Post

Before the FL Supreme Court decided on the case, N. Sanders Sauls, the district judge of Leon County Circuit Court known for his rightwing propensities although a "Democrat," decided on the merits of the case of the ballots without having looked at a single one. He had all the ballots in question shipped to his offices or thereabouts, but never examined a single one before making a ruling on the evidence. Like N. Sanders Sauls, Republicans have made an a priori decision, having refused to look at the evidence. Like Sauls, they decided on the facts before looking at them.

As for the Supreme Court decision, so much has been written that adding to the litany of criticism should be unnecessary. However, we see that this is not the case. Despite the fact that over 700 legal and Constitutional scholars called the decision egregiously lacking in legal basis and abysmally in departure from Constitutional and legal interpretive practices, running ads in the NYTimes to say so; despite numerous other legal and Constitutional scholars decrying the decision as the most blatantly biased and legally reprehensible decision ever made by a US Supreme Court; despite the fact that some, such as former prosecutor Vincent Bugliosi have called the decision not only the worst in history but also "criminal;" despite the fact that the decision to even hear the case departed radically from the same court's 'state's rights' position--to make the decision blatantly anomalous and thus extremely suspect; despite the fact that at least two of the judges had conflicts of interests the likes of which would have caused traffic court judges to recuse themselves; despite all of this, the rightwing still believes in the goodness and purity of this decision. Such a belief can only be the result of such an abiding bias as to make any and all objective reasoning impossible. Yes, even several Conservative legal scholars can and have gotten beyond their biases to denounce the decision, but the rightwing in general apparently cannot.

Finally, the cumulative evidence of an orchestrated, coordinated and all-out seizure of the presidency at all costs, including millions of dollars donated by Republican-supporting companies later to be humiliated for their scandals (Enron and Halliburton paid for the "recount" Bush attorneys; Database technologies is a huge Republican-supported corporation and received the four million dollar contract to purge legal voters from the voting rolls), including the orchestrated sending of paid rightwing mobs to disrupt the vote counting, including numerous fascist-leaning intimidation techniques, leads us to see the results of the 2000 "election" as nothing short of a coup d'etat--a strike and takeover of the state by one faction from within --which does not necessarily include physical violence, but which in this case actually did.

So, rather than calling for our education on the matter, let me suggest to you that you read even a tenth of the material that we have accumulated and which I myself have read on this election. Thousands of hours of reading, research and thought have gone into our declarations. Let's see you really overthrow them! As you wriote on your website: "WARNING! Don't start a debate you can't finish!"


Michael Rectenwald
Founder and Chair
Citizens for Legitimate Government
December 2, 2002

Writings of Michael Rectenwald




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