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Generic Confusion

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Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Our divisive political situation

Are you sick of how the Republican vs. Democrat struggle seems to have worsened since the close 2000 elections?

You can pin it all on one person: Scott Falmlen.

Who?

Remember that the 1994 Florida governor's race was very close. Incumbent governor Lawton Chiles was reelected, in a Republican landslide year, despite being behind the Republican governor candidate late in the campaign.

Late in the campaign, the Democrats used phone banks to call elderly voters and say the Republican governor candidate would cut their Medicare and Social Security benefits. In a perfect world, these phone calls would have given the elderly a hearty laugh, as the governor of a state can't touch a federal program like these two. Alas, these phony calls had an impact, and may have turned the race. Scott Falmlen, a top Democratic party representative, repeatedly lied to reporters about these deceptive calls. (It's a reasonable assumption that Mr. Falmlen knew about this tactic, and could have prevented its use.)

The Republican candidate for the Florida governorship in 1994 was Jeb Bush. Had Mr. Falmlen not approved of these tactics, and Jeb Bush won, he would have been the front-runner for the 2000 Republican presidential nominee, instead of another Republican governor of a large Southern state. And Jeb Bush would have won Florida handily.

So, there you go.

Note also that lawsuits alleging voters were confused didn't happen with the 1994 governor's race.

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