Home > GOP & The Election, Political Ranting > BBC: Bush “Caging List” in Florida Reveals Voter Intimidation Plan

BBC: Bush “Caging List” in Florida Reveals Voter Intimidation Plan

October 27th, 2004

From The BBC:

A secret document obtained from inside Bush campaign headquarters in Florida suggests a plan – possibly in violation of US law – to disrupt voting in the state’s African-American voting districts, a BBC Newsnight investigation reveals.

Two e-mails, prepared for the executive director of the Bush campaign in Florida and the campaign’s national research director in Washington DC, contain a 15-page so-called “caging list”.

It lists 1,886 names and addresses of voters in predominantly black and traditionally Democrat areas of Jacksonville, Florida.

The BBC is presenting it as a big deal, indicative of illegal activity; I am not certain about that. It appears to be the same kind of plan that the GOP is outwardly carrying out in Ohio; the Bush campaign claims that it is a list of voters with questionable addresses that they plan to challenge. The charge of illegality is based upon the fact that “US federal law prohibits targeting challenges to voters, even if there is a basis for the challenge, if race is a factor in targeting the voters.” And Jacksonville is predominantly black. Still, intent of racial bias may be hard to pin down in federal court, especially if the Bush campaign can produce similar lists for other counties (which they probably have).

I would be especially interested to know exactly who called it a “caging list”; the BBC article is not specific about that. If it was language used by the Bush campaign, then that word alone could be heavily charged.

When it comes down to it, I see this as yet another plan–just like in Ohio–to intimidate voters at the polling place. The list certainly details how the GOP operatives there plan to stop people, and forcing so many to sign 2-page legal affidavits at the polling place will at the least be a disruption, and at most could discourage a great many people from voting. And while the elections supervisor quoted in the BBC article is a Democrat and so bias must be anticipated, he nevertheless reveals an interesting fact: “not one challenge has been made to a voter “‘in the 16 years I’ve been supervisor of elections.'” Which means that this Republican tactic is a new thing.

The BBC article also notes rather suspicious activity by shady characters at the early polling places:

In Jacksonville, to determine if Republicans were using the lists or other means of intimidating voters, we filmed a private detective filming every “early voter” – the majority of whom are black – from behind a vehicle with blacked-out windows.

The private detective claimed not to know who was paying for his all-day services.

Note: The BBC so far is the only news organization reporting this. None of the US services are mentioning anything about this, 8 hours and more after the story broke.

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  1. Pat (Tcia11)
    October 27th, 2004 at 14:22 | #1

    It’s from the dead letter file on the parody re-election site. The emails, however, they claim are real, and sent by accident to them and not the official site at .com

    http://www.georgewbush.org/deadletteroffice/

    The folks at DailyKos were on them like a dog on a bone. Everything from: ‘let’s get ’em’ to: “Hold it! It’s got Rovian fingerprints all over it!” Things have been busy there, it’s dropped off the diary list.

    I first saw it thru a link on wonkette:
    http://www.wonkette.com/archives/bush-letters-sent-to-the-wrong-email-address-so-many-internets-to-choose-from-024159.php

    I myself accidently downloaded a “caging list”—names & addresses!—in excel format.

    Pat

  2. Luis
    October 27th, 2004 at 15:23 | #2

    Yeah, I saw the email and was going to post it, but I considered the source and decided to wait until verification could come from another source.

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