Lights Out in Florida


Before she addressed a town meeting in Bradenton, Florida, last week, Republican congresswoman Katherine Harris, the Bushes’ hatchet woman in the Florida presidential recount, made sure her staff confiscated pamphlets tracking her voting record from every person entering the hall. The pamphlets had been distributed in the parking lot outside by a group of geezers begging Harris to vote for real reform on Medicare drugs, not the mind-boggling bills before the House and Senate. “We are not taking anything away,” Connie McKee, a Harris aide, told a questioner, according to the Bradenton Herald. “All of the material is still here, and they can pick it up when they leave. They just can’t take it into the hall. The ethics laws do not allow us to let them take it in. We have to be very, very careful that there are no laws broken with our member [of Congress].”

“What kind of ‘ethics laws’ prevent people from having information in front of them so they can ask reasonable questions?” asked Larry Winawer of the Alliance for Retired Americans. “I have never heard of such a thing.”

Whatever. Ethics laws didn’t stop Harris from passing around her own flyers telling how the economy was blossoming under Bush.

When the meeting was cut short, the standing-room-only crowd broke into boos. “We want our answers now,” yelled a man in the rear.

Were the geezers getting it together? Probably not, but this is one group that could screw Bush big-time if they stopped acting like they were dead already.

Additional reporting: Phoebe St John