How important is it to count every vote and to perfect voting systems? Just ask Christine Jennings, whose 2006 “loss” to Vern Buchanan by a few hundred votes was the direct result of thousands of ballots being spoiled or disappearing in Democratic-leaning areas of Sarasota. More voters cast ballots for Hospital Board in these precincts than for Congress, an illogical impossibility if viewed through an objective lens.
Congressman Buchanan owes his seat in Congress largely due to faulty voting systems and the unwillingness of the National Democratic Party’s new majority to really fight to ensure every vote counted. He appears to have held his seat since through various forms of fraud. CNN’s investigation should have a devastating affect on Buchanan’s continued congressional service, but he is simply a poster child for a greater problem.
Make no mistake about it. Vern Buchanan is proof positive of what happens if progressives are not vigilant about protecting Florida’s Democratic institutions. Having taken his seat in Congress without the type of protests and scrutiny that would have ensued had a Democrat won under similar circumstances (The Democrats in 1984 seated an Indiana Congressman that had clearly lost an election, and that was one of the rallying cries that helped organize the Newt Gingrich revolution. In that case the GOP was right, the Democrats had abused power and they continued to cite that case for the following decade.) Buchanan clearly thought he was untouchable. While Jennings and many local activists in Sarasota cried foul, the Democrats, happy with their new Congressional majority and focusing on the 2008 Presidential race, shut down what was in fact simply a token investigation.
Democrats who complain about voting systems and voter fraud need to be more vigilant and ignore short term polling data. As the Republicans proved throughout the 1980s both in Florida and nationally, taking a long term view on issues and political targeting yields greater results than the short term defensive moves that characterize the Democrats. (More on this subject tomorrow)
The Republican solution to this voting dilemma is to disenfranchise voters, making American “democracy” less open and more exclusive. Ostensibly that will make counting votes easier, but does nothing to ensure voting systems work properly and that precinct workers are properly trained.
The Democrats need to be vocal and seize the moment following the Buchanan revelations. Not simply by backing Keith Fitzgerald’s candidacy against Buchanan but by making him akin to the new Tom Delay. A power hungry wealthy Republican willing to manipulate election laws in order to obtain and maintain power.
Buchanan is the poster child for why we need a more open system and why the Democrats MUST continue to push electoral reform and campaign finance reform, whatever the short term consequences.
8 thoughts on “Buchanan The Poster Child For Voting Reform”
Great site. Been reading for a while but this is my first comment.
Jennings appeals were turned down by the DCCC and DNC because the one seat did not appear to matter in the larger scheme of things and it would have looked like a heavy handed maneuver by a new majority.
I think it is a bit unfair to question them for this. However, I do think it is more than fair to question why florida dems seem to have forgotten this race and its implications when debating election reform, voting systems and voter fraud.
Obviously Buchanan will have a hard time getting elected again but will the Florida dems take full advantage locally. Doubtful.
While I do not believe the House could have seated Jennings without more irrefutable proof as to what happened in Sarasota, the national party did not do much to raise money for her lawyers or make an issue of voting reform once in power. I will not give them a pass.
I agree with all your points on the state party.
Why have we not heard about this yet from the party?
My recollection is that we had almost 12,000 under-votes, most of which Jennings would have gotten. She would have won quite comfortably.
Yes she would have. I helped a great deal on the campaign and it is sad again how the party dropped the ball
Buchanan is in big big trouble and I assume the DCCC will target the race heavily now.
Defeating Buchanan should be the top Dtrip priority.
This web site is designed to expose key documents against US congressman Vern Buchanan of Sarasota Florida, whom is Chair of the republican campaign contribution arm and on the House Ways and Means .
This site is being released to public Monday, there will be two updates before the election. One update will be a taped interview with Lilly Council the wife of former auto dealership partner of Buchanan. Mr. Council was a former top dog for Asbury then went into partnership with Buchanan. In this interview she states her husband was involved in giving back campaign money in cash to many individuals under instruction of Buchanan going back to 2003
user name: Press
This site has documents exposed that the public and press have never seen.
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