GSA to go Bush
By MARK KUKIS
WASHINGTON, Dec 13 (UPI) - The White House's General Services Administration was set to hand over transition space and federal funds to GOP Texas Gov. George W. Bush on news of the Supreme Court ruling against Vice President Al Gore, whose hopes for overturning Bush's certified Florida victory dwindled Wednesday.
"I think that we've seen something happen that is a major marker in this process," said General Services Administration spokeswoman Beth Newburger, who hinted that the high court's block of Gore's Florida recount request was enough confirmation of Bush's apparent victory to free $5.3 million in federal transition resources that have remained in limbo since Nov. 7.
General Services Administration chief Dave Barram is expected to make a statement sometime Wednesday, perhaps before Gore and his legal advisers have a chance to react publicly to the latest legal development. Barram has total discretion to release the funds once a winner is "apparent," according to federal law. So far, Barram has left the transition resources on hold while Democratic legal challenges to Bush's certified Florida victory play out.
At issue is financing and office space in Washington dedicated for an incoming administration's work through inauguration Jan. 20. On two floors in one of Washington's most expensive commercial areas, some 90,000 square feet of office space complete with computers and phone lines to accommodate 540 employees has sat empty since the White House race between Bush and Gore fell into confusion more than a month ago. The lease for the transition offices costs an estimated $700,000. The rest of the funding goes toward salaries, travel and other transition-related expenses.
The White House transition resources have become a political prize of sorts as both Bush and Gore sought ways to lend credence to their competing claims to the presidency amid a conflicted vote count in Florida, where Bush managed to eek out a 537-ballot lead over Gore to clench the Sunshine State's crucial 25 Electoral College votes.
Both candidates had moved ahead with tentative transition plans, though Bush made a greater effort to promote his would-be White House publicly with appearances alongside prominent Republicans like Colin Powell, Bush's likely pick for secretary of state. Gore, meanwhile, held transition meetings with his staff behind closed doors at the White house and made no suggestions about cabinet picks.
Bush's campaign raised the profile of its transition efforts recently by opening an office with private funds on the outskirts of Washington. But so far little work appears to have been done in the space, located in McClain, Va. Most of planning or Bush administration has taken place in Austin, where Bush has met with his staff and Capitol Hill Republicans.
Meanwhile, Bush's running mate Dick Cheney has worked on pending transition issues from Washington, holding press conferences and meeting with top lawmakers regularly.
Copyright 2000 by United Press International.
All rights reserved.
D.C. police prepare for protests at inauguration
By John Drake
THE WASHINGTON TIMES
Visit our Election 2000 page
for daily election news and analysis
Anti-establishment activists and liberals are planning to flood the District with massive protests on Inauguration Day, prompting city police to brace for the deluge with an unprecedented level of security. Top Stories
ē Divided court finds recounts unconstitutional
ē Democratic support begins to crumble
ē Florida House OKs Bush electors
ē Democrats won't disclaim Jackson's remarks
ē Daschle denies blocking bill on military voting
ē CDC report links TB, immigrants
Many of the groups that demonstrated against the World Bank here in April intend to return to the District with their puppets and mantras, regardless of who takes the presidential oath of office on Jan. 20.
And supporters of Democratic presidential nominee Al Gore, led by the Rev. Jesse Jackson, are planning a "civil rights explosion" if Republican George W. Bush is officially named the winner.
"We're not planning civil disobedience, but we are planning to fill the streets of Washington with thousands of people," said Brian Becker, co-
director of the New York-based International Action Center, which is coordinating the protests.
Meanwhile, law enforcement officials said they are preparing on an even greater scale than they did in April for the anti-World Bank/ International Monetary Fund protests.
"What we would hope is that any demonstrations that are planned are peaceful," said Metropolitan Police Chief Charles H. Ramsey. "We'll be as gentle or as forceful as we need to be, and play the situation out based on what they do."
"We have to be prepared for anything that may occur. It will not be [the police department] that creates the problem, but we will resolve it," he added.
Chief Ramsey will mobilize the entire Metropolitan Police Department for the event, and he has invoked "mutual aid" agreements with police in surrounding counties to increase staffing.
As many as 950 officers from Fairfax, Montgomery, Arlington and Prince George's counties and Alexandria will be federally deputized so they can enforce D.C. laws, officials said.
Federal police agencies will be out in force, and other agencies ó such as the FBI, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms ó will be on standby for major incidents.
Publicly, law enforcement officials said they do not anticipate anything out of the ordinary, even if anti-establishment protesters stage large demonstrations.
But the closest presidential race in history has produced unusually intense partisan tensions, and the new anti-establishment movement could attract many more demonstrators.
For those reasons, police forces are "anticipating problems" among anti-establishment protesters and partisans disappointed at their candidate's loss, several officials told The Washington Times.
"The uncertainty of the election process, regardless of who wins, makes us think they will use the inauguration to show their displeasure one way or the other," a law enforcement official told The Times.
Gore supporters have hinted they will demonstrate if the U.S. Supreme Court, which is considering the propriety of ballot recounts in Florida, rules in favor of Mr. Bush, essentially ensuring his victory.
"There will be nonviolent, disciplined protests if the scheme to disenfranchise voters is successful," Mr. Jackson told The Times yesterday.
"We can afford to lose an election in democracy, but you cannot afford to lose your franchise," he said. "And Americans will not take well, and should not take well, to be disenfranchised because of these very sinister schemes in Florida."
Asked if he would encourage sit-ins, Mr. Jackson said, "No, we're not there yet."
The assortment of groups working under the International Action Center are bipartisan protesters ó they will demonstrate if Mr. Bush or Mr. Gore wins, Mr. Becker said.
"It will be a loud protest, we think, and very visible," he said.
However, "if [Mr.] Bush wins, there will be thousands, perhaps more, of people from unions and civil rights organizations who will want to join us," he added.
Mr. Becker stressed that his organization and groups working with it do not plan to shut down the inauguration. But they will not abide by what activists derisively call "protest pits," fenced-in areas usually far from the official public event.
"We're not going to go for that," Mr. Becker said. "It would be very much in the interests of police to do the right thing, and that is to allow us to stage a spirited but legal and orderly protest close to the inaugural route, even if it's an 'inconvenience,' rather than trying to marginalize us or shut us down."
Local and federal law enforcement agencies have been meeting for months about security and shared intelligence on groups that could disrupt the inauguration, officials said.
"The law enforcement partnership is aware and cognizant of events, being fully briefed and will be that much more aware of their duty," a federal official said.
D.C. police had intelligence as far back as two or three months ago that anti-establishment activists were planning Inauguration Day protests, Chief Ramsey said.
Despite the promises by protesters not to break the law or commit violence, Chief Ramsey has not forgotten how events played out in April, when city police arrested hundreds of activists blocking streets.
"My experience with these folks is that they tend not to do what they say," he said.
Democrats won't disclaim Jackson's remarks
By Donald Lambro
THE WASHINGTON TIMES
Visit our Election 2000 page
for daily election news and analysis
Democratic congressional leaders yesterday refused to directly repudiate the Rev. Jesse Jackson's call to "take to the streets" to delegitimize and discredit George W. Bush if the U.S. Supreme Court rules in his favor. Top Stories
ē Divided court finds recounts unconstitutional
ē Democratic support begins to crumble
ē Florida House OKs Bush electors
ē Daschle denies blocking bill on military voting
ē D.C. police prepare for protests at inauguration
ē CDC report links TB, immigrants
No leader spoke or issued a press release on the inflammatory statements by the black civil rights leader, who threatened a "civil rights explosion" if the court rules against Vice President Al Gore. He also compared the election dispute to the Dred Scott case, the 1857 high court ruling that said no black ófree or slave ó could claim U.S. citizenship.
Renit Schmelzer, Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle's spokeswoman, said her boss "has consistently said that we should not heighten the rhetoric and whoever is ultimately declared the winner of that election, the country should accept that and respect it.
"He has said that it is not appropriate for people to be attacking the Florida Supreme Court for its earlier decision and he does not think it appropriate to attack the U.S. Supreme Court," she said.
Asked if Mr. Daschle rejects Mr. Jackson's remarks, she replied, "I think what I said addressed Reverend Jackson's remarks."
Fred Clark, spokesman for House Democratic Whip David E. Bonior, said, "The political atmosphere is poisoned enough as it is. When the new president is chosen, we will need to work together to find common ground for the good of the country."
Asked to respond directly to Mr. Jackson's remarks, Mr. Clark said "I have no comment on that."
After the Supreme Court's ruling last night, Mr. Jackson said the decision "goes down in infamy with the Dred Scott decision ó both disenfranchised black voters."
While spokesmen for senior Democratic spokesmen sought to distance their party from Mr. Jackson's rhetoric, Republican leaders attacked the comments as inflammatory and divisive.
"I think it is irresponsible," Rep. J.C. Watts Jr., the House Republican Conference chairman, told The Washington Times. "I think that language in my opinion is too strong for the difficulty our nation finds itself in right now."
Said Michelle Davis, chief spokeswoman for House Majority Leader Dick Armey: "Anyone in a position of leadership in this country will have to repudiate remarks like that. Leadership means Democrats who want to bring the country together will have to reject Jesse Jackson remarks."
House and Senate Democrats have been preaching the need for the country to come together once the presidential election is settled, but Miss Davis said, "You can't come together when one of their strongest sponsors is preaching division."
Appearing outside the U.S. Supreme Court Monday after the nine justices had heard oral arguments in the Florida election dispute, Mr. Jackson angrily attacked Mr. Bush ósuggesting that he was attempting to "steal" the election ó and blamed his brother, Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, for reputed efforts to block and intimidate blacks who showed up at the polls on Nov. 7.
"We will take to the streets right now, we will delegitimize Bush, discredit him, do whatever it takes, but never accept him," Mr. Jackson told reporters outside the high court where demonstrators for both Mr. Bush and Mr. Gore had gathered in support of their candidate.
He characterized the large number of disputed ballots filled out by black voters as "a bold attempt to take from people their franchise. . . . I can live under Bush winning, I can't live under Bush stealing," Mr. Jackson said.
As for charges by black voters that police stopped them at the voting places and asked for their driver's licenses and ID cards, Mr. Jackson blamed Jeb Bush for the incidents.
"It is under his watch, therefore, he is responsible," he said. "No doubt about it that Jeb Bush was a major factor in the Florida breakdown."
Mr. Jackson's remarks were tape-recorded by a reporter for Human Events, the conservative weekly newspaper. The full text of his comments was published yesterday in the Drudge Report Web site.
But the Bushes and the Republicans were not the only target of Mr. Jackson's anger. He also attacked the Clinton Justice Department, accusing them ó incorrectly ó of doing nothing to investigate charges that black voters were prevented from voting by police and polling officials.
"They have abdicated their job. They have a role to play, they were absent, when 80 percent of those in question were black voters, the Department of Justice took a hike. Mother Liberty was blindfolded today and closemouthed," he said.
Mr. Watts said yesterday that "When all these charges first hit, I did my own investigation in Florida and talked to people down there. You did have some people who were stopped, but the police officers were just doing their job."
In one instance, where "10 people were stopped, three were black and seven were white," he said, adding that officials had a responsibility to check and see if voters were voting in the wrong precinct.
"That has happened in other states, but it just didn't happen with black people. There were red, yellow, black and brown people who did that," he said.
"And most of the workers in these places where complaints were lodged were Democrats. They were not Republicans," he said.
Moreover, the Justice Department has an active inquiry under way to look into possible civil rights violations in the Florida election.
"We're continuing to review allegations that we received and determine if there is any basis for a federal investigation and we're still in the process of reviewing those allegations," said Kara Peterman, a Justice Department spokesman.
Last week, Attorney General Janet Reno said the Justice Department was reviewing complaints of suspected voter irregularities in Florida, and department officials confirmed that lawyers from the agency's Civil Rights Division were "on the ground" in Florida.
Miss Reno said the department was looking into the accusations brought by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and others to determine "whether there is a basis for federal jurisdiction." At the same time, she noted that while the review would continue, "the conduct of elections at all levels is primarily a matter of state law."
"What the Justice Department wants to do is to make sure that it looks at everything, that it take only action that is appropriate, and that we don't do anything that will interfere with the appropriate resolution of this matter in any way that would be described as partisan," she said.
In an interview with The Times yesterday, Mr. Jackson defended his use of the incendiary phrase "civil rights explosion" in his remarks at the court Tuesday ó arguing that nonviolent demonstrations are explosions.
"Gaining in 1965 the right to vote ó that was an explosion," he said.
And he made it clear he was not backing away from his charge that "there was a scheme, there was a plan" to disenfranchise black voters in Florida.
"It's too widespread and too targeted to be accidental," he said.
ē Jerry Seper and John Drake contributed to this report.
XXXXX DRUDGE REPORT XXXXX MON DEC 11, 2000 20:32:41 ET XXXXX
JESSE JACKSON: 'WE WILL TAKE TO THE STREETS';
BUSH BROTHER DISFRANCHISED BLACK VOTERS, VIOLATED 'CIVIL RIGHTS'
"We will take to the streets right now, we will delegitimize Bush, discredit him, do whatever it takes, but never accept him."
Those are the threatening comments made by Rev. Jesse Jackson on Monday to reporters outside of the US Supreme Court in Washington.
Jackson also accused Bush's brother Jeb of stealing the election by intimidating black voters all over the state of Florida.
Jackson made the stunning comments to two reporters from HUMAN EVENTS magazine -- who captured the exchange on tape.
Jackson: To me the issue, one, is the court so political that its mind is already made up; thatís a real question. Justice Scaliaís son is a lawyer who works for Bush, on todayís Internet Justice Thomasís wife is recruiting staff members for Bush who works for Heritage Foundation.
So is the court so predisposed politically that the arguments donít matter is a very real question. I hope the court rises above the political partisanship, and chooses the Republic over Republicans, and the democracy over Democrats, and makes that kind of decision.
But maybe the biggest decision of this sort since the 1857 Dred Scott decision, or the 1896 Ferguson decision, so itís a huge decision to be made today. Second,, is that they kept asking for uniformity of remedy, but you know how uniform procedures, by county.
If University of Florida plays Florida State in football, or Miami, all the football fields are 100 x 50. The playing field is even, the rules are public, the goals are clear, so you have uniform standards. But then those voting standards vary from county to county and indeed African-Americans were targeted, 80 percent of those are in discussion are really African American voters, who were targeted, only African Americans were stopped by police as they stopped to vote, and as they were asked for their ID cards and for their driverís licenses. 8000 people, mostly African Americans were sent, (inaudible,) they were felons by Mrs. Harris, a private firm from TX, none of them were, some were misdemeanors, and some hadnít been arrested at all, or within the black community, you had the most broken down machinery. We know the pattern of who was in fact targeted, during the campaign.
Lastly, will the courts honor the intent of the voter? Governorís made two arguments lately. Friday in Seminole county, they said honor the intent of the voter, and in Miami-Dade, they said honor the machine, so they got to the fork in the road, and they chose the fork.
They really must honor the intent of the voter. There will not be a legitimate winner unless the voters determine who that winner is. The courts must not take unto themselves to make that determination, the voters must determine who the actual winner is. If you govern with the consent of the governed, thatís democratic. But if in fact we are governed without our consent, we are being ruled. And that is despotism. We want democracy, not despotism.
Question, reporter unknown: From the way the proceedings went, do you think Mr. Gore has a chance of winning this case?
Jackson: He certainly has a chance, but the assumption would be that their minds are already made up, for example, Justices OíConnor and Kennedy raised very challenging questions to the Bush lawyers at the very outset. That could suggest that they at least have been thinking about the process. Scalia challeneged over and over the Gore lawyers, and Clarence Thomas more or less mused through it all, he had nothing to say. He was really a spectator.
But the biggest spectator was the Department of Justice, they have abdicated their job, they have a role to play, they were absent, when 80 percent of those in question were black voters, the Department of Justice (hereinafter DOJ) took a hike. Mother Liberty was blindfolded today, and closemouthed, and should have had something to say.
Tim Carney, Human Events Magazine: Do you think there is actually a concerted effort to take away the votes of blacks?
Jackson: Absolutely! You can document it, you can look at where, who got disenfranchised, the quantity, and who, from Liberty City, to Broward, to Lakeland, to Rivera Beach, Orlando, to inner city Jacksonville, most of those disenfranchised were African Americans Students at FL A&M, Bethune-Cookman, went to vote, the ballots registration in their hands, their name not on the polls. 80 percent were African American. And you had the Holocaust survivors in the West Palm area, who pushed the button for Gore and they got Buchanan, they didnít mean to do that, their was a violation, of them for example. And so, in Duval County, 27000 ballots were thrown away, they were held back until the protest period was over, in fact. And so, if this were Yugoslavia, and at the end, Milosevic was losing, you got to the last state where Milosevicís brother was the governor, and in that state the machinery broke down, and he won by the margin of machination in his brotherís state, we would be slow to certify that election, it would not pass the smell test.
Carney: So do you think Jeb Bush orchestrated the disenfranchisement of black voters?
Jackson: No doubt about it that Jeb Bush was a major factor in the Florida breakdown. He sent out for example absentee ballots over his name and state seal. That was illegal. Mrs. Harris sent out the 8000 blacks, claiming they were felons. Well, the fact is, none of them were felons. Some were misdemeanors. And some had no arrests at all. It was a very targeted violation, and so in a democracy, you can afford to lose, you win some, you lose some; you canít afford to lose your franchise. And thatís why if this decision goes down as it should go, the voters will determine the winner. But if in fact, we lose this case, our civil rights struggle will expand. We will not surrender our right to vote, our citizenship or our dignity. We will not go backwards in our quest to affirm our citizenship.
Jackson, later, speaking while walking to his car: "ÖÖIn some sense we will lose our moral authority to judge elections around the world, and weíre less able to say to China, to say to Europe, " this is how elections are supposed to go". The Bush forces may have short term, given a long term pain to our country. This is not the way to conduct an election, they should be open, free, and transparent, and credible. This one does not meet those standards.
Carney: You donít think itís a very serious charge to charge Jeb Bush with civil rights violations?
Jackson: Itís a very serious charge, and an accurate charge. Itís serious, but accurate.
Carney: So do you want the DOJ to investigate him?
Jackson: He took the position, you know against affirmative action. You know, sons of inheritance, attack sons of daughters of achievement, and they should understand, and they seemingly do not understand. You know, Bush makes a lot of how much he loves veterans. He could have been a veteran, but he dodged the war. He could have been a veteran. I love veterans, my father was a veteran. Came back to America, and did not have the same rights that the Nazi POWís had. I love veterans. I went to Iraq, and brought 600 veterans wives back from jail. I went to Yugoslavia and brought Americans home who were under Milosevic. And so, we love veterans, the issue here today, is shall we honor the intent of every American voter? The veterans, the military votes should have counted. Holocaust survivors, all those votes should have counted PauseÖ.because, then, you have a legitimate winner! I can live under Bush if he is a legitimate winner, thatís not the issue. In America, you win some, you lose some. The issue here is will our democracy have legitimacy, by honoring the intent of the voter. You canít say that a holocaust survivor punched two, one for Gore, one for Buchanan, and say, "well, your pain, my gain, Iím your leader." You canít say to the Haitian boat people, "well, you canít read and write well, but tough, you should go to Yale, like I did. Thatís not the spirit of democracy.
Carney: Do you think itís appropriate to make this entirely racial issue talking about Jews, and whites, and Haitians, etc?
Jackson: Itís not entirely, but I can tell you, I know who was targeted, because Iíve been there, I understand it, you see? I worked in with in Boca Raton with the Holocaust survivors who wept bitterly because they voted for Pat Buchanan. He said it wasnít his vote, and they said it was not their vote, and so, the Jewish factor is real, because they said itís real...
Students at Florida A&M, Bethune Cookman, were not allowed to vote. And so, this is not about "chadism", this isnít about dimples, thatís abstract. Itís about people who really are Americans that didnít have their right to vote honored.. Yesterday, the Redskins played Dallas. Redskin fans are disappointed they lost, but not in an angry sense, because they know the playing field was even. But if in Dallas, the Dallas players had to get 8 yards for a first down, and the Redskins had to get 12, theyíd still be fighting.
When the playing field is even, and the rules are public, and the goals are clear, we can accept winning or losing. But here what were weíre talking about is that the playing field has not been even. We deserve better.
Jackson, 2 minutes later, still on the way to the car: Gore believes he won this campaign, so he says "count". Bush believes Gore won, so he says, "Donít count." It should come down to finally who was eligibly counted? Do you choose the people or the machines? You get groceries at the store. And if there are 20 dollars on the counter, and it comes out all zeroes. You donít walk away with groceriesÖIf it comes out all zeroes again, you donít put Ďem back, you do a hand count, thatís what you do. You go to the airport, and you take all your stuff out, and the machine doesnít work, and they do it again. And of course! Thatís the law in Texas, the law in Florida. So a bold attempt to take from people their franchise, is ugly. I can live under Bush winning, I canít live under Bush stealing. We must not give legitimacy to an attempt her to take away Americaís honor. I travel a lot around the world. You know, one of the great things I do around the world, is certify elections. You know, South Africa, Asia, etc. We are less able today to do that. We have lost our moral authority, because we are paying a big price just to win!
Weíve got to fight to save our country. We must also do so with integrity. You canít build trust around blatant dishonesty.
Jordan Gehrke, Human Events, "Sir, who specifically do you think was intimidating black voters in Florida?"
Jackson: Who are you with?
Gehrke: "Human Events."
Jackson: OK. Alright. In some places, police were stopping blacks at the polls, within the polling area. Asking for their driverís licenses and ID cards. That happened. In some other places, blacks were in the area where you had the oldest machines that broke down, they did not have affidavits there. In other instances, students at FL A&M, Bethune-Cookman, and Even Waters in Jacksonville, went to vote, and had in their hand voter registration cards, and their names not on the polls. That happened. In Jacksonville, you had one ballot in the paper, another ballot in the booth. So if you honored the procedure you were eliminated.
Gehrke: Who do you think was giving the orders to do this stuff?
Jackson: Well, all of this is on the watch of Jeb Bush, and Mrs. Harris. The Republican Machinery, the Governor, the Sec. Of State, the legislature, someone is responsible. The state government is responsible for administering elections.
Gehrke: So, you are saying that Jeb Bush ordered police to intimidate black voters to keep them from voting?
Jackson: It is under his watch, therefore, he is responsible. You can set a cultural climate, where you set a the spirit that flows. But the buck stops somewhere. Thatís what leaders must do. When the stuff got thick, Jeb left the state, and left James Baker speaking for the state."
Unknown reporter: "In the new Congress, what do you think we can expect, just people completely taking the gloves off in the new session?"
Jackson: I hope itís not that ugly but, you know, Tom Delay, and Trent Lott, sent staff down to Miami-Dade to intimidate those who were counting. Now, thatís a bit far for seasoned congress people to go to alter the outcome of an election. So when you do that you lose your capacity to speak and be heard.
Filed By Matt Drudge