Donkey doofuses

By Andrew Ross

By Letters to the Editor

Published November 29, 2000 8:34AM (EST)

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The article was pretty accurate. We are recent arrivals in Florida (transplants from Southern California), Democrats living in a very Republican area: St. Johns County in northeast Florida. The Democratic Party in this area is near death, except for a few brave individuals willing to run for office or work openly for the party. If you want evidence, take a look at the Duval County (Jacksonville) mess where all sorts of ballots weren't counted (as many as 22 to 27,000 -- mostly from Democratic areas, read African-American). Many more voters were turned away from the polls due to registration problems and other technicalities. The Democratic Party organization in Duval County was very late and very quiet in following up and protesting. There were no demands for recounts until it was much too late. No counterpart of Rep. Wexler to draw attention to the issue.

There was little or no party money or support for Democratic candidates before the election -- except for Rep. Corrine Brown, who was being challenged by a black Republican woman candidate in the geographically complex 3rd District. There was no money for a ground organization to get out the vote -- nothing compared to the well-financed and organized Republican effort. Jesse Jackson made a last minute registration drive, but much of this effort seemed to have been thwarted by the state and local registration system.

Although northeast Florida is the most Republican region of the state, the Democratic Party could have benefited by paying even a little attention to candidates and local Democrats. The Democratic Party in Florida seems to be rather disorganized statewide and even may have been infiltrated by a few Republicans! Sometimes it sure seems like it. With even a little effort, Gore could have gotten a few more votes from this Republican area. In our county, despite volunteer efforts, there was a very low turnout of Democrats. Some Democrats are afraid to admit their political preference since they fear they could lose their jobs or become socially unacceptable -- this is a cruel area politically, a bad mix of gated communities and rednecks, but it has other redeeming qualities. Anyway, Florida politics, elections and local government could be ripe ground for some investigative reporting when the smoke clears.

-- Bruce Scrogin
Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.

It is sad that a man who claims to be contesting this election "for the American people" is destroying the very system he pretends to be so concerned about. It is clear from Gore's actions to only count votes in select counties, to exclude military ballots and the math that shows them subtracting absentee military ballots in order to gain the necessary votes that this man has no intention of getting a "complete and accurate count." Only a count that serves his ambition to be in the White House. What about my vote? Why isn't he making sure that my vote in North Carolina counted? Because he only cares about votes that were cast for him. I thought that Al Gore at least loved his country. Now I see he only loves himself. When he pointed his finger at me during his speech, I remembered the same gesture used by Clinton in telling me he did not know "that woman." When will we see that character really does count and that the lack of character will be the fall for all of us?

-- Ronnie W. Heiniger

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2000 Elections Democratic Party