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Betty Freauf
December 16, 2002

I don't know about you but day after day hearing about Senator Trent Lott's remark is getting a little tiring. Whether he was caught by the "thought police" in our politically correct environment because he said something that has long been on his mind or whether what he said is being taken out of context and exaggerated by the media and others, even including the talking heads of a few conservative groups, is immaterial to me.
Let's face it. The Democrats have been on the warpath since the Florida 2000 presidential election when they were certain George W. Bush stole the election from Al Gore and they have been looking for a way to retaliate ever since.  Lott's slip of the lip gave them fuel for the fire. It's now all about the control of the senate which they lost in November 2002 that added insult to injury.
After the presidential election Al Gore immediately launched an effort to discredit the Republicans when he had Jesse Jackson, head of a nonprofit organization, spread race hatred by claiming the black vote was prevented from voting due to roadblocks or their ballots being tossed due to some irregularity.
First of all, it is illegal for the heads of any tax-exempt non-profit group such as the Jackson's Rainbow/PUSH organization to participate in partisan political activities. However, Jesse had traveled extensively prior to the 2000 election to garner Democrat black votes for Al Gore violating I.R.S. and federal election laws.
Although the Democrat National Committee (DNC) refused to disclose how much it was spending, an October 22, 2000 Associated Press story, "Democrats Start Big Push for Black Vote" indicated it would probably top the $3 million it spent in 1996. According to Kenneth R. Timmerman, author of Shakedown, Exposing the real Jesse Jackson, said that Jackson's nonprofit groups spent more than $14 million in 2000, according to the groups own financial records, when Jackson was working feverishly in support of the Democrat ticket.
Timmerman also writes that on December 8, USA Today reported "the most widely reported incidents on Election Day have turned out on closer inspection to be unfounded." The famous "roadblock" near Tallahassee was a routine check for faulty auto equipment that stopped a total of 150 drivers and gave 18 warnings or citations, six to minorities, twelve to whites. Another roadblock turned out to be police responding to a burglary call near a polling place in a black neighborhood..."
He goes on to say that Jackson and his allies claimed "a clear pattern of suppressing the votes of African-Americans." But an analysis of spoiled votes from all of Florida's precincts, conducted for minority members of the U.S. Civil Rights Commission by Yale University scholar John R. Lott, Jr. (Hmmm...wonder if he's related to Trent Lott) found that the reality was just the opposite. "If spoiled ballots do indicate disenfranchisement, then the new data show that, by a dramatic margin, the group most victimized in the Florida voting was African-American Republicans," Lott wrote. In fact, black Republicans were "in excess of 50 times more likely than the average African-American to have had a ballot declared invalid." Lott found similar data among white voters, where Republicans were much likely than Democrats to have their ballots tossed out. "We found that the overall rate of spoiled ballots was 14% higher when the county election supervisor was a Democrat, and 31% higher when the supervisor was an African-American Democrat." Lott concluded, "If there were intentional victims in Florida, they were targeted not because of race but because of party."
Then Timmerman says these facts did not deter Jesse Jackson because he saw a dim political future for himself under a Republican administration and implored Gore to "use every means available" to fight on. The Clinton administration had been very generous in grant money for Jesse's organization and he wasn't eager to see his perks dry up.
He and his anti-American professional protestors provided by the International Action Center in New York went on to make noise at the Supreme Court hearing and then Jesse was planning on "massive" marches in Tallahassee and Washington, D.C. to coincide with the presidential inauguration. Again, disregarding the facts, Jackson insisted, "This election has exposed in Florida - and across the nation -  systemic discrimination against poor voters of color."
And then, something happened said Timmerman. The movement's High Priest was taken out, removed from the scene by a scandal of his own making that rocked Jackson's supporters and caused the Democrat Party acute embarrassment. The National Enquirer published the results of a seven-week-investigation into his private life and the fact that Jackson had fathered a baby girl out of wedlock with staffer Karin Standford in 1998.
But potentially more damaging for Jackson than his moral lapse were revelations that he had used his nonprofit empire to pay "hush money" to Karin Stanford.
By the way, the American Conservative Union (ACU) filed a complaint against Jackson with the FEC alleging violation of election laws. This group plus the National Legal and Policy Center filed separate complaints with the IRS demanding an audit of Jackson's nonprofit empire for massive violations of its tax -exempt status but the damage had already been done and it appears as though no further investigation is in the works. Even Bill O'Reilly from FOX has been unsuccessful getting some action on Jackson's "illegal" activities.
"Imagine (the outcry) if the head of the National Rifle Association went in a corporate jet paid for by the RNC soft money to campaign on behalf of George W. Bush, "said ACU lawyer Cleta Mitchell. And how about all the appearances Jackson made in those black churches. And with regard to partisan politics, I guess the separation of church and state doesn't apply to Jackson and the Democrats. 
And while Timmerman goes on for 434 pages about other infractions by Jesse, all well footnoted, these portions of his book which I just happened to be reading as the Trent Lott debacle began to unfold told me any discrimination in the election process is usually against the Republicans.
Time will tell whether Trent Lott will be forced to resign his U.S. Senate leadership position but in the meantime, when it comes to discrimination and "segregationist" issues, while the Democrats are pointing a finger at Lott and the party of Lincoln who freed the slaves, I just thought I'd call it to your attention that three are pointing back at them.

2002 - Betty Freauf - All Rights Reserved

Betty Freauf is a former Oregon Republican Party activist having served as state party secretary, county chairman, 5th congressional vice chairman and then elected chairman, a precinct worker for many years and twice ran unsuccessfully for the Oregon state legislature. The Republican tradition is to stay neutral in Primary races but in Betty's case, they supported her opponent.  E-Mail: [email protected]