"We're not going to get over it"

Published July 19, 2004 6:26PM (EDT)

The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights has asked the Justice Department to investigate tactics employed by Jeb Bush's Florida for "purging" felons from voter rolls. They go something like: Democratic-leaning blacks purge-worthy, GOP-leaning Hispanics not so much.

But daring to suggest that black voters were intentionally disenfranchised in 2000 will still raise a ruckus on the House floor, as Rep. Corrine Brown, D-Fla., found out. "I come from Florida, where you and others participated in what I call the United States coup d'etat," she said, directing her comments at Rep. Steve Buyer, R-Ind., who wrote an amendment to bar the use of federal money for U.N. elections monitors to watch the November vote. "We need to make sure it doesn't happen again. Over and over again after the election when you stole the election, you came back here and said, 'Get over it.' No, we're not going to get over it. And we want verification from the world."

The House voted 219-187 to strike her words from the record after the House presiding officer, Rep. Mac Thornberry, R-Texas, ruled that Brown's words violated a House rule -- accusing a member of committing a crime, stealing an election.

By Geraldine Sealey

Geraldine Sealey is senior news editor at Salon.com.

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