Rev. Jesse Jackson with Greg Palast at National Press Club Today to Demand Criminal Investigation of New Florida Vote Fix

Greg Palast

Noon, Friday, National Press Club, 14 Street and Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington DC

The New York Times has reported that the State of Florida has stopped purging voters from registries. This is plain false, a canard traceable to the partisan office of the Florida Secretary of State.

In May, Governor Jeb Bush’s appointed Secretary of State ordered local officials to begin removing 47,000 voters from registries, supposedly illegal “felon” voters. As in a similar list used in 2000, the new “purge” list turns out to contain few felons but many Democrats – four to one over targeted Republicans.

Excluding such innocent voters — about half of them African American — won Florida and the White House for the Bush family in 2000.

It’s 2004 and here they go again.

Palast, whose investigative reports for BBC television on the fix of the election formed the basis of that section in Michael Moore’s film Fahrenheit 9/11, was asked to testify yesterday in Washington before the US Civil Rights Commission on the 2000 and now 2004 voter purge in Florida.

Following Palast’s testimony, Civil Rights Commissioner Christopher Edley, Dean of the Law School at the University of California at Berkeley, said that on the basis of evidence from Palast and state officials and contractors, “There appears to be a criminal violation of the Civil Rights Act.” In response, the Chairwoman of the Commission, Mary Frances Berry, at the request of the Commissioners, is sending a letter to the Justice Department to demand investigation of the criminal or civil violations which appear to have occurred.

Today, Reverend Jackson, Chairman of PUSH/Rainbow Coalition, will call on both the government and national press to take up the investigation, virtually blacked-out in US media. Palast will note that the only major networks covering the civil rights commission hearings were from Germany and Britain.

Palast’s investigative reports are included in The Best Democracy Money Can Buy, nearly one year on the New York Times bestseller list.

For more information on the purges, www.GregPalast.com