GOP poseurs in Florida


Mark Follman
November 2, 2004 6:56AM (UTC)

Blogger and LA Weekly contributor Joshuah Bearman reports what appear to be some rather pathetic partisan efforts to influence early voters in Florida:

"We followed the congregants of the Mt. Hermon AME to vote after their Sunday service. The Pastor gave a rousing speech that shook the walls about exercising ones 'God given right to vote.' Outside, there were vans waiting to take people over to an early voting station in Ft. Lauderdale at the African American Research Library, where many thousands of people have already voted in the past two weeks. ...

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"An Election Protection corps in black uniforms passed out flyers printed with voting rights. A couple of Kerry/Edwards people handed out candy from plastic pumpkins. And then there was this other curious contingent, an obvious bunch of Republicans pretending to be from ACT UP. ...

"There were four of them, two men and two women, all carrying signs with similar social wedge issues. One of them, wearing ratty boots and a denim shorts and vest matching suit with a leopard skin collar, walked up and down the line, yelling 'Vote for Kerry -- support gay marriage!'

"'What are a bunch of Republican staffers doing here on Sistrunk pretending to be gay?' I asked the one who seemed to be the ringleader.

"'I know all about Polk Street and the Castro,' he said. 'Stanford University. I'm from San Francisco, and I'm for gay marriage.' He was wearing a yellow golf shirt, tucked into khaki chino shorts with a call phone clipped to his belt -- the Republican uniform. 'Our candidate, John Kerry, supports gay marriage, gay adoption, everything gay.'

"The ruse, apparently, was supposed to target this church-going Democratic crowd by misrepresenting Kerry's politics. It was a little surprising at first; but then again, that's the only way Republicans can win: by misleading people."

Bearman's got a couple of pictures to go with. You'd think these folks would've at least dressed the part a little better...

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Mark Follman

Mark Follman is Salon's deputy news editor. Read his other articles here.

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