News and Document archive source
copyrighted material disclaimer at bottom of page

NewsMinecabal-elitew-administration — Viewing Item

Florida count jobs

Original Source Link: (May no longer be active)

Bush's Florida strategists land plum jobs in D.C.

By Carol Rosenberg, Knight Ridder, 7/15/2002

MIAMI - John Bolton, undersecretary of state for arms control, caused a stir in May by accusing the Cuban government of transferring bioweapons technology to rogue nations. Nineteen months ago, he caused a different stir - bursting into a Tallahassee library on behalf of the Bush-Cheney campaign to stop a recount of Miami-Dade County ballots.

''I'm with the Bush-Cheney team, and I'm here to stop the count,'' he was quoted as saying in news reports at the time.

Matt Schlapp, a former congressional aide, is White House special assistant to the president and deputy director of political affairs. In November 2000, he was part of the supposedly spontaneous window-pounding protest at Miami-Dade County Hall that brought to an end the first recount of Miami-Dade ballots.

Sue Cobb, a Coral Gables developer, today is the US ambassador to Jamaica. Twenty months ago, the generous Republican donor volunteered her legal skills to the Bush-Cheney campaign - working as part of the legal team that contested recounts in Miami-Dade.

Although they now serve President Bush in sharply different roles, they are among more than 50 political appointees found by the Miami Herald to have served as troops in the frantic Florida recount battle that followed the Nov. 7, 2000, election.

Political patronage has long been a reward for campaign loyalty. But the distribution of plum jobs to those who worked in Florida after the 2000 election suggests that that service became a kind of political merit badge that carried a special benefit.

''Work on the recount is the indispensable connection for work at the Bush administration,'' said Jeffrey Toobin, author of ''Too Close to Call: The 36-Day Battle to Decide the 2000 Election.''

Just how many Bush appointees actually served the Bush-Cheney campaign in Florida is unclear. The White House declined to provide a list of administration officials who worked for the Florida campaign.

Florida lawyer Barry Richard, a Democrat who was hired by the Bush campaign to fight its legal battle over the recount, said there were 192 lawyers of record on various court cases around the state.

To identify the appointees, the Miami Herald conducted dozens of interviews and studied White House nominations and government staff directories - then matched names to news accounts, photo captions, and several books about the episode. In addition, some appointees included their recount roles in news releases, or accounts in university and law journals.

Most were lawyers who worked all-nighters in Tallahassee and across South Florida as ballot observers and political operatives as well as litigators and behind-the-scenes writers of legal briefs.

White House officials defended the appointments, noting that many appointees take big pay cuts when they move into government jobs. Appointees with Florida service to the Bush-Cheney recount effort make from $52,300 a year to $166,700 for Attorney General John Ashcroft, who also passed through Tallahassee during the recount.

Several of the people who served as political operatives and lawyers say there was no explicit quid pro quo in their decision to come to Florida to do battle with the forces of Democratic candidates Al Gore and Joseph I. Lieberman. But they acknowledged that the service helped them draw the attention of the Bush team.

The Florida team included major figures in the Bush administration, notably Theodore Olson, the current solicitor general, who worked on the case in both Tallahassee and Miami, then argued candidate Bush's case before the US Supreme Court, and Robert Zoellick, now the US trade representative, who served as a virtual chief of staff to James Baker, Bush's main Florida strategist.

There are many whose roles in Florida went largely unremarked at the time:

Five lawyers who did research and wrote briefs to fight Florida court challenges are now deputies in the White House counsel's office.

Three senior strategists in Tallahassee now hold $130,000-a-year jobs as general counsels to Cabinet departments.

Three members of the window-pounding crowd that on Thanksgiving Eve helped persuade the Miami-Dade County canvassing board to abandon the recount are now members of the White House staff.

Former Texas Transportation System chairman David Laney left his Austin law firm to serve as a ballot recount observer in Volusia County. Bush appointed him recently to the seven-member Amtrak Board of Directors, a federal post touted by Laney's firm as a ''leadership role in the transportation arena.'' It has no salary but pays a per diem and travel expenses.

Kevin Martin, now a $130,000-a-year commissioner at the Federal Communications Commission, was one of the first Bush-Cheney people to arrive in Miami from Washington, on Nov. 8.

New York lawyer Brad Blakeman, who helped organize protests in South Florida and appeared in one Associated Press dispatch at the time as a ''Broward County GOP volunteer,'' today is director of White House scheduling.

Stuart A. Levey, associate deputy attorney general, represented Bush-Cheney in Martin County.

Boca Raton developer Ned L. Siegel, long a generous GOP donor, has been nominated by Bush to serve as a director of the Overseas Private Investment Corp. During the recount crisis, he sued Theresa LePore, Palm Beach County supervisor of elections, in a bid to stop the manual recount of the troubled butterfly ballots on constitutional grounds.

This story ran on page A2 of the Boston Globe on 7/15/2002.
Copyright 2002 Globe Newspaper Company.

Administration admits increase of terror
Administration made fake news segments praising new medicare law { March 15 2004 }
Apa supresses story of mental screening
Britney supports bush
Bush concentrates power veteran advisors { May 29 2003 }
Bush corporation contracts non profit { May 10 2003 }
Bush defends selling ports to arabs { February 16 2006 }
Bush ends transatlantic dispute farce
Bush loves his european friends in war on terror
Bush meetings with top aids scripted { August 11 2003 }
Bush moves ahead with world war plans { March 19 2003 }
Bush proposes cutting social security benefits { January 4 2005 }
Bush smears french relations with iraq and hides US relations
Bush urges americans want tax cuts { May 12 2003 }
Cheney supreme court justice scalia hunting trip
Confederates support bush by marching as yankee soldiers
Conservatives no longer support republicans { April 2006 }
Democrats score in 2005 governor elections { November 8 2005 }
Estrada takes name out of ring { September 4 2003 }
Florida count jobs
Giuliani to launch anti terror fund
GOP differences over illegal immigration
GOP stance on trial lawyers { May 2 2004 }
Grand jury investigation if cheney gunshot victim dies { February 14 2006 }
Homeland security issues white house approved terror warnings { May 28 2004 }
Iraq contracts close to bush { May 24 2003 }
Kennedy calls ehrlich a nazi { September 21 2002 }
Lieberman interest { August 23 2002 }
Lieberman thinks hes kennedy { June 15 2003 }
Mccain says bush spending like drunkin sailor
Newt fires state dept { April 22 2003 }
No expense spared at 2004 inauguration
Panel choice aids gay plague { January 23 2003 }
Pentagon easter graham islam wicked { April 12 2003 }
Potholes in road finally fixed for reagan funeral { June 15 2004 }
President bush pushes do not call list
Republican connecticut charged with bribing bid rigging
Republicans played down brit downing street memo { July 23 2002 }
Republicans warned not air democrat ad { July 20 2003 }
Rights group assails US over abuse of suspects { January 19 2006 }
Senator warner says base closures rigged { August 24 2005 }
Thousands of documents secretly reclassified
Thousands of government documents shredded
US markets to shut down friday for reagan funeral { April 13 2004 }
Whiney insecure kids grow up to be conservatives
White house alters transcripts of press briefing { November 9 2005 }
Wisconsin stations air democrat ad on bush
World frightened for bush second term

Files Listed: 48


CIA FOIA Archive

National Security
Support one-state solution for Israel and Palestine Tea Party bumper stickers JFK for Dummies, The Assassination made simple