During the 2000 presidential election, Florida’s Secretary of State, Katherine Harris, acting under the direction of Governor Jeb Bush, authorized 97,000 ballots cast by African-American voters in Florida to be invalidated. This accounted for 14.4 percent, or one in seven, of black votes of whom more than 90 percent chose Al Gore. In sharp contrast, only 1.6 percent of nonblack voters’ ballots, which divided about evenly between Al Gore and George W. Bush, were invalidated. Had Harris allowed all of the ballots to be counted fairly and accurately, Al Gore would have easily won Florida’s electoral vote total by a margin of 87,000 votes, thus legitimately winning the presidential election.

Also, in the months leading up to the November 2000 election, Harris — again, in coordination with Jeb Bush — ordered local election supervisors to purge 57,700 voters from the registries, supposedly ex-cons not allowed to vote in Florida. At least 90 percent of those on this “scrub” list were innocent, and about 54 percent of them were black or Hispanic. Again, this electoral racial directive ordered by Jeb Bush’s operatives gave the White House to his older brother.

By authorizing the disenfranchisement of more than 100,000 of Florida’s African- American voters, Governor Jeb Bush stole the 2000 presidential election from the American people. Now, as he solicits millions upon millions of dollars – mostly in “dark” money from anonymous wealthy donors – in his own campaign bid for the White House, whose interests will he really be serving (hint: contrary to what Mr. Bush says in public, it won’t be your interests that he’s looking out for)?

The electoral crimes for which Jeb Bush was responsible in 2000 have still never been investigated. Meanwhile, with the exception of some progressive media sources in the United States, nearly all of America’s major media outlets have looked the other way.

Investigative reporters in Great Britain, however, have been more assertive. In 2004, Greg Palast, a freelance journalist for the British Broadcasting Corporation, thoroughly researched the electoral larceny that was authorized by Governor Bush in 2000 and submitted the evidence to a progressive news source, The Nation, which then published the editorial, “Vanishing Votes,” in May 2004. In honor of Florida’s black voters, and for the safeguarding of our Republic, we must all make sure that the truth about the crimes which Jeb Bush authorized is finally made known.

From a constitutional and moral standpoint, our country was raped in 2000 … and the rapist got away with it. In return, his older brother ushered in the Iraq War, the financial crash on Wall Street (and, consequently, the Great Recession in communities and markets throughout the world), the appointment of a closedminded reactionary to the Supreme Court, and the emergence of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). Now Jeb Bush is trying to deceive our country again. Will we stop him this time? Can we afford not to?

Tom Kurtz,

Bath