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Old 08-27-2006, 10:22 AM   #1 (permalink)
Is Catherine Harris, the Hero in the FLA 2000 Vote Recount, a Mainstream Republican?

Ms. Harris won accolades in 2000, and at the time, republicans did not seem to share the concerns of democrats, who saw her dual role of Florida Secretary of State, the key state official who had the official duty of certifying the accuracy and integrity of the vote, and her role as chairperson of the Bush/Cheney Fla. 2000 campaign, as a conflit of interest. They dismissed protests of democrats, even as Harris interfered with attempts to confirm whether all legitimate votes had been counted, or that the felon "purge list" of registered voters, initiated and implemented by Harris, was fair and accurate.

Now, Harris is in the campaign of her life, trailing badly in the polls, and betrayed by her former campaign advisor, Ed Rollins. Ms. Harris was courted (bribed ?) by Randy Cunningham briber, Mitchell Wade and his defense contracting firm MZM, a company that even did work for the White House, DHS, <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/03/23/AR2006032301605.html">DOD Intelligence - CIFA</a>, and even the Robb/Silberman Commission:
.....In 2004, three MZM employees served as staff consultants to the presidential commission investigating prewar Iraq intelligence, which was run by federal Judge Laurence H. Silberman and former senator Charles S. Robb (D-Va.). One of the three was retired Lt. Gen. James C. King, who then was a senior vice president of MZM for national security. King, who before joining MZM had been director of the National Imagery and Mapping Agency, played a consultant's role in the establishment of CIFA in 2002 before MZM received its first contracts from that agency.

The Silberman-Robb commission report in 2005 recommended that CIFA play a bigger role in the government's counterterrorism activities. In an interview, Silberman said King was not involved in the commission's recommendation that CIFA get more work. "That recommendation was not from King," Silberman said. .....
Katherine Harris

Published August 24, 2006

Why should Florida Baptists care about this primary election?

.........I will tell you that everywhere I go throughout the state and even the nation, people say the pollsters, the politicians and spirituallyóthat Florida is the forerunner state. That what happens in Florida sets the trend for what happens nationally. And with this election, if Bill Nelson wins, itís going to be a very frightening proposition in 2008 in the presidential elections because whoever wins Florida will win the presidency. And heíll be in a position to largely influence. No other candidate can beat Bill Nelson except for me. No one even has a chance because of name identification and fund raising abilities and things like that. But the real issue is why should Baptists care, why should people care? <b>If you are not electing Christians, tried and true, under public scrutiny and pressure, if youíre not electing Christians then in essence you are going to legislate sin. They can legislate sin.</b> They can say that abortion is alright. <b>They can vote to sustain gay marriage. And that will take western civilization, indeed other nations because people look to our country as one nation as under God and whenever we legislate sin and we say abortion is permissible and we say gay unions are permissible, then average citizens who are not Christians, because they donít know better, we are leading them astray and itís wrong....</b>
Harris puts her faith in religion

As more campaign advisers prepare to jump ship, religion takes a bigger role in her Senate candidacy.

Published March 25, 2006

Friends and advisers say Harris has been deeply religious all her life, but religion recently has become a central part of her campaign. Campaign staffers warily describe Harris as leading a "Christian crusade."

"It was always part of the background, but it was never an integral part of the campaign. It never engulfed her," said former campaign manager Jim Dornan, who quit the campaign in November but keeps in touch with staffers. "She's grasping for a pillar she thinks this campaign can be raised on."

Her top campaign advisers, having failed to persuade Harris to drop her struggling campaign against Democratic incumbent Bill Nelson, are preparing to leave. Those include Ed Rollins, a highly regarded GOP strategist and her top campaign adviser; Adam Goodman, her longtime Tampa-based media consultant; and campaign manager Jamie Miller. Harris has been aggressively campaigning for support among religious conservatives, hitting large churches and headlining a "Reclaiming America for Christ" conference in Broward County last weekend. She told hundreds of attendees she was "doing God's work" with her campaign.......

......."I am willing to take this widow's mite, this pearl of great price, and put everything on the line. No matter how much you have, are you willing to take what you have and sell it all for a great price," Harris said in the transcript provided by ABC News.

The widow's mite refers to a New Testament parable about a poor woman giving what little money she had to the temple.

Burroughs, a former staffer with Campus Crusade for Christ, said that in the last month Harris has been deeply moved by the Bill Bright book The Joy of Supernatural Thinking - Believing in God for the Impossible. The book explains that "it's not you trying to do something but God working through you. ... What we all see as impossible, God sees as possible," Burroughs said........

..........An assistant finance staffer had her last day with Harris on Friday. Pollster Ed Goeas dropped off the campaign last week after advising Harris she should drop out because he saw no chance of success...........

........ Burroughs said with a laugh that it would be "crazy" to think she might have any significant role in the campaign and said her role is simply as "a dear friend helping her refocus on the things she already knows."

Though little known in Florida political circles, Burroughs is well respected among some of the country's most prominent Christian conservative political activists. She is a spiritual adviser, for instance, to members of the Arlington Group, a coalition of religious conservatives that includes James Dobson of Focus on the Family, Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council, Gary Bauer of American Values, Don Wildmon of the American Family Association and Moral Majority founder Jerry Falwell.

For months, Harris' campaign suffered from weak fundraising, heavy staff turnover and a lack of party support. She has trailed well behind Democratic incumbent Nelson in polls. Just as her campaign was starting to turn around, federal prosecutors revealed that a defense contractor at the center of a bribery case had given Harris more than $30,000 in illegal contributions.

Rather than pull the plug, Harris went on national TV to tell conservative commentator and Harris supporter Sean Hannity she was putting $10-million of her own money in. She invoked her father, who died in January, and sounded like she planned to invest her inheritance in the campaign:

"I'm going to put everything on the line. Everything. Not just my future and my reputation. My father's name. I'm going to take his legacy that he gave to me, everything that I have, and I'm going to put it in this race. I'm going to commit my legacy for my father, $10 million," she said......

.......Harris noted that federal campaign laws prevent her from loaning money to her campaign - then repaying herself later. "People know I'm putting it all on the line," said Harris, who has already put $250,000 of personal money in her campaign..........
Posted on Fri, Aug. 25, 2006

Harris fighting for credibility in U.S. Senate race
Associated Press

TAMPA - A hero to some, a pariah to others, Katherine Harris parlayed her famous role in deciding the 2000 presidential election in favor of George W. Bush into two terms in the U.S. House and rising-star status in the Republican Party.

But her planned ascent to U.S. Senate seat this year hasn't been as easy.

State GOP leaders - including Gov. Jeb Bush - don't think the 49-year-old Sarasota congresswoman can win and tried to find someone else to run. Fundraising has lagged, frustrated campaign workers have defected in droves and the issues have been overshadowed by news of her dealings with a corrupt defense contractor who gave her $32,000 in illegal campaign contributions......

.......But Harris has dug in her heels and refused to quit, blaming the media, disgruntled former staffers and some in the Republican leadership for trying to undermine her campaign.

"People don't care about all these extraneous things," she said. "What they care about is how we're going to conduct ourselves in the Senate and where we're going to fight for the people of Florida."

By many accounts, the Harvard-educated congresswoman is energetic, smart, charming and has a good grasp on the issues. She says her ability to work with members from both parties has made her an effective congresswoman. Among gatherings of Republican voters she is greeted with adoration and treated like a rock star.

"She's sincere and she is real," gushed Barbara Stephens, president of the Central Pinellas Republican Club, where Harris got two extended standing ovations at an appearance recently. "She's a true conservative Republican. She's a lady of courage, and she's person who I feel does what is right."

She's also generated questions and headlines about her dealings with defense contractor Mitchell Wade, who pleaded guilty to bribing a California congressman and admitted funneling illegal donations to her.

Harris said she didn't know Wade was reimbursing employees who contributed to her congressional campaign. After dining with Wade in Washington, Harris sought $10 million in federal money so Wade's firm, MZM Inc., could set up a Navy counterintelligence program in her district, a project that was rejected. The Department of Justice is investigating but has said that Harris isn't a target. She blames the media for "beating it to death."

On top of that, former staffers started talking to reporters about their former boss, describing her as a micromanaging bully who is prone to temper tantrums and unpredictable behavior. Some quit because they couldn't take it anymore.......

Briber paid for 2nd meal for Harris

The Senate candidate didn't pay for her share of another meal with a contractor. A spokesman calls it an oversight.

By ADAM C. SMITH, Times Political Editor
Published May 21, 2006
Rep. Katherine Harris wound up embroiled in a firestorm last month after acknowledging she had a $2,800 meal with a defense contractor convicted of bribery.

Now it turns out that wasn't her first fancy meal with corrupt contractor Mitchell Wade. Harris had dined with Wade previously at the same tony Washington restaurant and failed to pay her share as required by congressional rules, her campaign acknowledged Friday.

"She takes responsibility for the oversight that there was no reimbursement," campaign spokesman Chris Ingram said.

Ingram said the Republican Senate candidate has made a charitable donation equivalent to her share of that meal, but he could provide no details. He said he did not know how much that meal cost, how much Harris donated to charity or what the charity was.

Harris vehemently denied any wrongdoing in a sometimes heated Political Connections interview airing 11 a.m. today on Bay News 9. She did not address the second meal in that taped interview but gave what apparently is her most extensive public response to the scandal involving Wade.

"I've done nothing wrong. The Justice Department has not asked me any questions. I simply had the opportunity to have a naval intelligence program in my district," Harris said in the interview. Starting Monday, it can be seen on channel 340 Tampa Bay on Demand.

Harris' campaign to unseat Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson has been dogged by her ties to Wade and his company, MZM, which is at the center of a bribery scandal that led to the imprisonment of former Rep. Duke Cunningham of California.

In March 2004, Wade funneled $32,000 in illegal campaign contributions to Harris, who says she had no idea he illegally reimbursed MZM employees and spouses for those donations to her.

Harris' former chief campaign adviser, Ed Rollins, said in a phone interview that those illegal campaign contributions came when Harris and Wade first dined together at the posh restaurant Citronelle.

After conducting an internal investigation into Harris' ties to MZM, Rollins said he and other advisers, including her lawyer, urged Harris to drop her Senate bid out of concern that she might be vulnerable to federal corruption charges. He said he did not believe Harris intentionally broke any laws.

"But her story kept changing," said Rollins, who said he thoroughly investigated her role in the scandal in hopes of proving her innocence. "Our great concern was that you get into trouble when you don't tell the same story twice ... Maybe you don't think you did anything wrong, but then maybe you start getting questioned about it and so forth, and you may perjure yourself."

Wade's February plea agreement says that in March 2004, he gave Harris the illegal contributions because he "thought Representative B (Harris) had the ability to request appropriations funding that would benefit MZM and that Representative B would be an advocate for MZM and its existing facilities," the court papers say.

A year after those donations, in March 2005, came the second Citronelle dinner that cost $2,800. Prosecutors say Wade and Harris discussed the possibility of MZM hosting a fundraiser for Harris and of her helping obtain funding for a naval counterintelligence program in her Sarasota area district. She submitted that funding request a few weeks later, though it was never approved.

Harris has since acknowledged that despite House rules allowing no gifts to members of more than $50, Wade picked up a $2,800 tab. She recently donated $100 to a Jacksonville church, saying that covered her share of the tab.
For Katherine Harris, one very costly dinner

When a new poll this week showed her 29 points behind in her race for the U.S. Senate, Florida Rep. Katherine Harris tried to write it off as the sort of problem facing members of her party everywhere. "It's a tough environment for Republicans now," Harris said. "I'm confident that we'll continue to only go up.".....

.......The defense contractor, Mitchell Wade, took Harris out for a $2,800 dinner at Washington's Citronelle restaurant last year -- at the same time he was seeking her help in obtaining $10 million in federal funding for one of his projects, the Orlando Sentinel reports. A spokeswoman for Harris denied earlier this year that Wade had paid for the dinner, but Harris fessed up in an interview with the Sentinel this week. Sort of.

Harris told the Sentinel's reporter that it was "news" to her that the dinner was so expensive, then said that her campaign had "reimbursed" the restaurant for the cost. The reporter, apparently as puzzled as we are, asked why Harris would reimburse the restaurant, which had already been paid for the meal by Wade. Harris' response: The Sentinel says she "abruptly ended the interview and walked off." An hour later, the paper says, a spokesman for Harris called the reporter and asked him not to write anything about what Harris had said about the dinner.

The next day, the Sentinel reports, Harris' campaign issued a statement admitting that Harris hadn't actually reimbursed anyone yet. But to put an end to any questions about her dinner with Wade, Harris said, she would be donating $100 to a local charity, "which will more than adequately compensate for the cost of my beverage and appetizer."

We're not sure how giving $100 to an outfit called Global Dominion Impact Ministries absolves Harris of the conflict of interest inherent in sharing a $2,800 dinner with a defense contractor seeking federal funding. But then, conflicts of interest aren't anything new for this candidate: She's the one, after all, who presided over the Florida recount in 2000 after serving as the cochairwoman of George W. Bush's Florida campaign. .......
"Do I look like I ate $2,800 in one sitting?" the petite congresswoman quipped on Political Connections. "I always get a couple of appetizers and something to drink."

Much of the Citronelle tab was for bottles of wine that Wade took home with him, she said. The restaurant has said no one ever leaves with unopened bottles of wine, but Harris dismissed that.

"I'm sure it doesn't match the laws (taking wine to go), but he actually got into an argument with the waiter and left with bottles of uncorked wine that evening," Harris said of Wade......

......Rollins said that at their second Citronelle dinner in March 2005, Wade talked about organizing a $200,000 fundraiser for Harris. He said he and her campaign lawyer, Ben Ginsberg, fretted that prosecutors might interpret Harris' seeking funding on behalf of MZM - after a $2,800 meal and the promise of a $200,000 fundraiser - an illegal quid pro quo.

"Unlike Cunningham, I don't think she set out to violate the law, but I think she was very careless," said Rollins, who noted that he never could find any evidence MZM intended to put a facility in her district. "She heard whatever she wanted to hear, but we could find no evidence whatsoever that this was a project going into her district."......
....anyway....I started this thread, planning to argue the "conservative side" of this controversy.....I wanted to defend Ms. Harris. She seems to me to be very similar to every other republican, "pol"....even the POTUS. She panders to the christian right;
Harris tries to douse furor over remarks to Baptists

Jim Stratton | Sentinel Staff Writer
Posted August 27, 2006

....."My comments were specifically directed toward a Christian group," said Harris, a Republican Senate candidate from Longboat Key.......
...about as well as anyone else who "talks the talk" to that vital republican constituency.....she flirted with Mitchell Wade....a prerequisite that has enveloped every national security related agency, and oversight committee in congress, and involved receiving money from either Wade or Brett Wilkes, and linked or destroyed, prominent figures from the jailed Cunningham, to the former #1 at CIA, Goss, #3 at CIA, Foggo, to Hastert, Delay, and Jerry Lewis in Congress.

Ms. Harris is a republican icon, she is symbolic of all that was effective, and quite successful in the last dozen years of republican politics....so what is the problem? Show me how to defend this woman...how is she different from every other elected republican currently serving in a federal elected office?

Last edited by host; 08-27-2006 at 10:30 AM..
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Old 08-27-2006, 01:41 PM   #2 (permalink)
Deja Moo
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Location: Olympic Peninsula, WA
Ms. Harris is a republican icon, she is symbolic of all that was effective, and quite successful in the last dozen years of republican politics....so what is the problem? Show me how to defend this woman...how is she different from every other elected republican currently serving in a federal elected office?
Errrmmm, she hasn't yet offended everyone?

Harris View of the World Pisses Off Jews, Other Non-Christians, Christians, Democrats, Republicans, Gays, Straights, and Model Airplane Enthusiasts
The off chance that vigorous use of a paint scrapper would reveal Bob Dole in drag? I love that guy's sense of humor.

Pretty Woman
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Old 08-27-2006, 02:23 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Location: In the land of ice and snow.
I'm just amused by the apparent conservative inquisition going on in florida. One has to wonder about the implosion of the republican party when one of its governers, jeb bush, seeks to ruin the election prospects of harris, the most republican of republicans in florida.
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Old 08-28-2006, 06:09 AM   #4 (permalink)
Lennonite Priest
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Location: Mansfield, Ohio USA
All I can say is Karma is a bitch. I'm surprised her good friend W or his brother Jeb aren't trying to help. Kind of sends a bad signal to all the other people who helped W get elected.

On a similar note, Blackwell is trying a similar "religious" themed campaign against Strickland. the whole "if you want abortion, gay marriage, and lose the Pledge of Allegiance to liberals.... vote for Strickland, but if you want a true Christian that will promote Christian values..... vote Blackwell for Governor."

Strickland is pounding him in the polls.

Not a good year for Sec. of States that have been accused of stacking elections for the GOP and W, to run for higher office.

As for the Religious Right, their support will only win so many national elections (the whole pendulum thingy....) so if your party panders to them, and has not truly found a way to win without them ....... then errr ummmm years like this are bound to happen. Same with the Radical Left.
I just love people who use the excuse "I use/do this because I LOVE the feeling/joy/happiness it brings me" and expect you to be ok with that as you watch them destroy their life blindly following. My response is, "I like to put forks in an eletrical socket, just LOVE that feeling, can't ever get enough of it, so will you let me put this copper fork in that electric socket?"

Last edited by pan6467; 08-28-2006 at 06:13 AM..
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Old 09-01-2006, 04:27 PM   #5 (permalink)
Location: Buffalo, New York
I would hope that the Republican Party could become more centrist, because I am sick of the Religious Right, neo-conservative groups and some of their ideas on where the party should be.
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Old 09-06-2006, 11:04 AM   #6 (permalink)
Rail Baron
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Location: Tallyfla
It appears she is. She won the primary yesterday. Dun dun dun.
"If I am such a genius why am I drunk, lost in the desert, with a bullet in my ass?" -Otto Mannkusser
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Old 11-09-2006, 04:50 PM   #7 (permalink)
Deja Moo
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Location: Olympic Peninsula, WA
I don't know whether to call this irony or karma:


SARASOTA, Florida (AP) -- The touch-screen voting machines Katherine Harris championed as secretary of state after the 2000 presidential recount may have botched this year's election to replace her in the U.S. House, and it's likely going to mean another Florida recount.

More than 18,000 Sarasota County voters who marked other races didn't have their vote register in the House race, a rate much higher than the rest of the district, elections results show.

Sarasota County Elections Supervisor Kathy Dent defended her staff and the voting machines, arguing that the thousands of voters must have either overlooked the race -- which was pushed to a second screen by a glut of minor U.S. Senate candidates on the ballot -- or simply decided not to vote for either candidate in a race marked by mudslinging.

"My machines have recorded accurately for 40 elections," Dent said.

But she couldn't explain why the undervote rate in her county was so much higher than in the four other counties in the district.

Republican Vern Buchanan declared victory in the race with a 373-vote lead over Democrat Christine Jennings -- less than 0.2 percent.

"Sarasota voters have been victimized by not having their votes count," Jennings said Wednesday.

Buchanan's campaign said a recount would confirm their candidate won.

Florida law requires a machine recount if the difference between the top candidates is less than half a percent. If the machine tallies find a margin of less than a quarter percent, a manual recount is conducted.

To do a manual recount for touch-screens, officials go back over the images of the electronic ballots where the machine didn't register a choice. But state rules essentially say that if the machine doesn't show that a voter chose a candidate, the voter is assumed to have meant to skip the race -- it would be tough to prove otherwise.

Final results must be certified by November 20.

Harris, a congresswoman since 2002, ran for U.S. Senate this year but lost to incumbent Bill Nelson.

As secretary of state in 2001, Harris pushed for an election overhaul that outlawed the punch-card ballots involved in the 2000 presidential race recount that made Harris a GOP star. The law now requires counties to use touch-screen devices or optical scan machines that read paper ballots voters filled in.

Harris spokeswoman Jennifer Marks said Harris had no comment on the House race.
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Old 11-09-2006, 10:54 PM   #8 (permalink)
Lennonite Priest
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Location: Mansfield, Ohio USA
As much as I truly do not want to laugh...... that is funny and very Karmic.

Thanks for sharing it Elph.
I just love people who use the excuse "I use/do this because I LOVE the feeling/joy/happiness it brings me" and expect you to be ok with that as you watch them destroy their life blindly following. My response is, "I like to put forks in an eletrical socket, just LOVE that feeling, can't ever get enough of it, so will you let me put this copper fork in that electric socket?"
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2000, catherine, fla, harris, hero, mainstream, recount, republican, vote

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