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'Second American Revolution' Says Activist Bob Kunst

Vote Fraud is Exposed: 'Electile Dysfunction' in Florida

George W. Bush is Reminded: 'Trust the People—Voters'

By Jack Nichols
GayToday Senior Editor

kunstwhitehouse.jpg - 9.71 K Activist Bob Kunst Cocoa Beach, Florida—"My country, my soap-opera,” laughed Steve Yates, a resident of Florida's Space Coast, reflecting on Election 2000.

“Florida has Electile Dysfunction,” said Jay Leno Thursday.

“So, it's a cliffhanger, and you little dickenses in Florida have the country in your hands! Wow. Whoda-thunkit!” chided Perry Brass, New York City-based author, e-mailing Florida-based GayToday.

“The issue is this,” said South Florida's Bob Kunst, “that the public here has been deprived of its right to vote. The voters here have been wronged.”

In fact, independent veteran gay activists like Miami Beach's Bob Kunst are at the center of Florida's electoral fray, organizing in Palm Beach County, leafleting, and chatting—as Kunst often does—with the international media. “I must have done 50 media today,” he told GayToday at 6 p.m Thursday.

Kunst, a one-man Florida road-show marked with an indefatigable maverick's stamp, forever crosses his native peninsula on quixotic political missions in a state, he has always boasted, that “holds the keys to America itself.”

Suddenly this native's boast seems less pompous than it once did.

Since the right-wing Republican Congress launched in 1998 the impeachment of President Clinton, Bob Kunst has traveled in perpetuity from one end of sunny Florida to another carrying his political message: “Impeach the GOP!”

He's no stranger to Florida politics. During a bold 1986 Senate primary run, Kunst succeeded in getting 150,000 Florida Democrats to vote for him on a single 'Cure AIDS Now' platform. In earlier years, he debated Anita Bryant on national TV, severely embarrassing her by making note of her apparent foolishness.

Now, in the midst of what constitutional scholars are calling 'a true crisis,' Kunst is proclaiming 'The Second American Revolution,' and he calls on George W. Bush to allow a Florida Re-Vote effort to go forward without 'arrogant' complaining.

Kunst also challenges Bush to do what the Republican candidate himself repeatedly boasted he could do: 'Trust the People—the Voters.'

Related Stories from the GayToday Archive:

Major Gay Organizations React to Initial Vote Count

PFAW President: Progressives Can't Afford a Bush Victory

Falwell Calls Activist Bob Kunst 'Sinful & Dangerous'

Related Sites:
Miami Herald

Fort Lauderdale Sun Sentinel

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Kenneth Gross, an election law expert who spoke on CNN said that 're-voting' may be the nation's only remedy.

GayToday queried pioneering gay civil rights leader Dr. Franklin Kameny about the Florida electoral fracas and asked him about its long range implications.

Kameny spoke on how “the 12th, 20th, 22nd and 25th Constitutional amendments are devoted—in some way—to presidential elections and presidential successions.”

Looking toward an eventual outcome, Kameny said philosophically: “We'll likely have a 28th amendment before we're done.”

If this solution bespeaks a calm political future, there are, on the other hand, many voter-malcontents in Florida who, like Bob Kunst, believe that Florida's vote has been hijacked by Bush's silent far-right fundamentalist cohorts and by the conniving brother of the GOP Presidential candidate, Florida Governor Jeb Bush.

A major West Palm Beach thoroughfare was closed to traffic yesterday as a rally which Kunst had helped organize and energize took place. Earlier, Jesse Jackson had thrice made announcements about this rally while proclaiming that in Palm Beach County “the ballot is fuzzy.”

“I've just sold the last of the first batch 10,000 No More Bushit bumper stickers,” Kunst told GayToday in triumphant, breathless tones. He noted proudly that in eight of the nine Florida counties where his No More Bushit stickers had been sold to citizens, Gore had been certified the winner.

In Palm Beach County,” Kunst noted, over 3,000 Re-Vote protestors had showed up Thursday. They came from everywhere—from every part of the political and ethnic Spectrum.

In that County, authorities announced, 19,000 citizens had seen their votes-ballots thrown away reputedly because of “double voting”. Also, an unlikely number, over 3400 hundred Jews and African-American voters, were reported to have voted for Reform Party candidate, Pat Buchanan.

Buchanan himself, in what may have proved his most honorable minute, admitted publicly in the morning that he felt that Palm Beach had not, in fact, voted for him in such unlikely numbers and that the votes were likely Gore's. Palm Beach County is traditionally a place where Democratic candidates run strong. By evening, however, Buchanan had changed his view and, says Kunst, “was goose-stepping in the Bushit. “ Buchanan at Night said: “Those are my votes.”

CNN's William Schneider, surprisingly, took a verbal swing at what he called the Bush camp's “presumptuous and arrogant” behavior, announcing from the Governor's mansion in Austin, Texas the formation of an operative White House transition team and, without Bush's having been certified as the winner, already floating the names of his imaginary Administration's possible cabinet members.

“There has been a dangerous escalation of rhetoric today,” said Schneider, commenting at first on the Bush camp's arrogance and the Democratic response.

gwbushsmile2.jpg - 6.38 K Legitimate president? Or just lucky AP announced early Thursday evening that Bush was leading Al Gore in Florida by 229 votes. Most of those ballots mailed from out of state had already been figured, CNN explained, into this statistically uninspiring total. Still, those few ballots that remain as yet absent have eight more days before the state's deadline for their acceptance. And, of course, there's the matter of those irregular Palm Beach voting patterns.

Kunst, who says he truly trusts Florida's people to vote for Al Gore, wants the 'Re-Vote' to take place on a state-wide basis. He says he thinks as many as a million voters have been disenfranchised in Florida. He is already musing about a future he foresees in which Governor Jeb Bush will be forced out of office.

He points, as an example, to Volusia County's un-explained 9,000-odd votes for a socialist candidate, a zany phenomenon that defies all logic.

“There aren't 9,000 Socialist Party members in the whole state much less in a central state county alone,” laughs Kunst, insisting that the inquiry into all four suspicious counties be expanded. Kunst blames Florida Governor Jeb Bush as somehow behind the voting irregularities. “It wouldn't look good for him if his brother lost here,” he taunts.

“Jeb Bush sent out a plea to vote for his brother using the state seal,” charges Kunst, “and that's illegal.”

Kunst wants Janet Reno, he says, to send Federal election guards to preside over the 'Re-Vote', replacing possibly untrustworthy local election supervisors. The U.S. Attorney General is not eager, she says, to politicize the legal process.

Bush Advisor Bill Paxton gave away the Bush camp's spin strategy by early criticizing the entry of Palm Beach County Gore voters into courts as “legalistic”, as if to denigrate the judicial system. In his next breath, however, he said his Republican party would surely make challenges to a series of electoral defeats across the length and breadth of America.

Polarization between Bush and Gore voters appears to be growing at a phenomenal speed with tempers high. Kunst says he's never seen Floridians energized as they are now, but he emphasized that it was not only Democrats. “We had Republicans speaking at the rally too. They were wondering where Bush was, why he wasn't here with the rest of us protecting our own voting system.”

“West Palm Beach is usually laid back,” he told GayToday, “and now even 200 rallied for the Re-Vote in Boca Raton and that's unheard of.”

Will the U.S. system of checks and balances be sufficient to satisfy doubts? It is unlikely, say some news pundits, because this glitch in the U.S. electoral process is what one journalist-activist is calling “the political equivalent of discovering that not every word in the Bible is true.” The framers of the Constitution, he notes, “weren't able to account for every possibility like we thought they had. Don't quote me by name, but it really looks like a bitter struggle between the two sides is on its way. Nobody can stop it. Voters don't like to feel cheated by tin-horn crooks.”

Will it be a civil Civil War II, or will it become instead, hopefully, a non-violent Second American Revolution, one such as Bob Kunst envisions: in which informed people will show themselves smarter than George W. Bush's Florida state spinners, such as his brother Jeb, realize.

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