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'No More Bushit' Bob Kunst
Threatened by Angry GOP Crowd

Republican Zealots Intimidate Miami-Dade Canvassing Board

Vote Count Turns into a Casualty of Violence in Crucial County

By Jack Nichols

kunstwhitehouse.jpg - 9.71 K Activist Bob Kunst Miami, Florida—Complaining that too few protesting Democrats had been on the scene last Wednesday--compared to the hundreds of Republican zealots present— veteran gay activist Bob Kunst told GayToday how vicious threats to his physical safety had led him to a radical reassessment of Republican behaviors. The Miami-Dade canvassing board, he explained Thursday, had decided to quit counting disputed ballots because they could see truly frightening fanaticism in the GOP's crowd of faces.

“This is unlike anything I've ever seen before in the country,” Kunst said, newly fearful of pro-Bush outbursts by teams of gun-loving right-wing militia men, of Christian fundamentalists, Elian Gonzales Republicans and of countless other GOP “gang members” hurrying to the Miami-Dade Stephen C. Clark Government Center from unspecified locales. The Republican crowds demanded that an immediate stop be put to the hand-counting of votes that had earlier been given a green light by Florida's Supreme Court.

Kunst was not alone in his wonder and concern. “It is absolutely breathtaking,” noted CNN's Jeff Greenfield, “how confusing and uncertain this election will be.” Democratic Vice-presidential candidate Senator Joseph Lieberman held a weekend afternoon press conference to denounce the Republicans' Wednesday intimidation that, he said, had led in great part to the canvassing board's decision to quit the counting of the disputed ballots.

Republican telephone banks had urged Miami's GOP zealots to descend on the locale where the board was counting and to demand that it stop. The city's foremost Cuban-American radio station urged its listeners to do likewise. According to the New York Times, a Republican lawyer stirred the crowd's ethnic passions by telling Hispanics that the canvassing board was was conspiring against them to deny their votes.

According to both Kunst and the Times, the Republican protest turned violent when the canvassing board decided it could not accommodate the GOP's noisy anger and closed its doors. Joe Geller, Miami-Dade's chair for the Democratic Party, among others, found himself being led by police to safety.

Related Stories from the GayToday Archive:

'Second American Revolution' Says Activist Bob Kunst

GOP Tricks & 13 Media Myths about the Election

America or Amerika? What If the Republicans Win?

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The Miami-Dade Canvassing Board voted to stop counting the vote in the immediate wake of the frightening Republican protest. "When the ruckus was over," wrote the New York Times reporters, "the protestors got what they wanted: The Miami-Dade Canvassing Board voted unanimously to call off the massive effort of hand counting ballots that they had endorsed by a similar vote that morning."

One of the canvassing board members, David Leahy, who had also needed a police escort, admitted that the threatening protesters had led him to change his mind about the count.

“If the Republicans get their way,” Bob Kunst confided to GayToday, “they'll fix things so that their fascist dictatorship can't ever be undone. They'll be as ruthless as fascists can be and anyone who gets in their way has plenty to fear. They are so angry that they're ready to kill to hold on to power. I'm sure of that. I've been threatened by them. It was a sobering experience.”

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