Brother's Keeper

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"No, this really is Teresa LePore. I want to help you."

"Oh my God, you're serious."

"Of course I am."

"Oh Teresa... I'm a... huge fan of your ballot," Oliphant stuttered, apparently trying to figure out how the hell to get LePore off the phone. "But I've got a bit of an image problem, as you know, and, um, I'm not so sure that bringing in the symbol of America's wrecked democracy to 'help' would really be beneficial at this point... from a public relations standpoint."

"Have it your way," LePore concluded, suddenly sounding dark and morose. "See you in the elections supervisors' section of hell. You know that's where we're all going, don't you?"

"Uh, sure, Teresa. OK, honey, buh-bye."

And with that, Oliphant had done the unthinkable: She rejected the famous Teresa LePore's expert assistance. Ka-ching, say the taxpayers. We're gonna get some of that sweet Miriam Oliphant money.

But I hear you. "Why stop there?" you ask, as you pop your third "blue benny" and prepare for another blurry night down at the docks. As long as we're dredging up the ghosts of voting past, you continue, we ought to go all the way. I agree and think it's appropriate that we begin with Oliphant's predecessor, Jane Carroll. She was the master and commander of the 2000 election and may as well have personally hung and impregnated all those poor, innocent chads herself. Charge her with thousands of counts of raping and murdering chads, not to mention fleeing the scene of the crime. Remember? Even before citizens bolted from the state to avoid a potential confrontation with a clearly unhinged Jimmy Baker, Carroll fled to the mountains of North Carolina. She stalled for time by claiming she was exploring deepest Appalachia for what she called a "tonic to make the vote better." Mountain Jane hasn't been heard from since.

It's time to find Carroll and bring her before Kafka.

There's also the current Broward supervisor, Brenda Snipes. She's the one responsible for all those lost absentee ballots that have yet to be found. It's hard to blame her, though, since she was a retired school official who knew nothing about elections when the governor chose her to replace Miriam O. Bush based the decision on sound logic -- the less Snipes knew, the less likely it would be that he would have to have the CIA "disappear" her in the future. Still, the commission should charge Snipes with impersonating a Democrat and, for that, have her incarcerated in a mental hospital for observation.

And we can't forget state elections officials like Katherine Harris, the former secretary of state, current congresswoman, and all-around babe. She did everything she could to keep the state from getting a proper vote count. It's time we added her name to her own faulty felons' list and bring her before Kafka. Then again, she's really already paying the price. A sizable percentage of the Florida populace is still so outraged that they are compelled to try to run her down in their cars upon sight. One man has been arrested for aggravated assault and countless others with the lesser charge of "trying to off the bitch that stole the election," a misdemeanor.

We also can't overlook the new secretary of state, Glenda Hood. The aptly named Hood not only tried to revive the infamous felon list but illegally banned recounts in the state and fought in court to make sure paper ballots weren't allowed to verify the vote. She staunchly defended her seemingly antidemocratic stance on environmental grounds. "In the Tallahassee bureaucracy, I see how much paper is already used in government," she explained at the time. "I think it's time we saved some trees. I'm not mean -- I've just gone green." Well, bless her, who can argue with that? But Hood should at least be fined for fighting to keep Ralph Nader on the Florida ballot. The commission should charge her with 9 million counts of "inflicting Nader." (Check the code book; it's in there).

"But won't ol' Jeb balk at Joe Taxpayer hitting up his secretary of state like that?" you ask, as you stand in line for your weekly methadone shot and try to think up a plausible alibi. In a word, I don't think so. He's clearly a born-again democrat (with a small d, of course) who has decided that you, the common voter, are finally to be treated with respect. And he's surely come to realize that he too has transgressed. It is true that he authorized Harris and Hood to commit their antivoter acts and that, indeed, he could easily be considered the most relentless enemy of electis moronis in American history. But we also can't forget that he has acted this way for a selfless reason: to help his brother become president of the United States.

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Journalist Bob Norman has been raking the muck of South Florida for the past 25 years. His work has led to criminal cases against corrupt politicians, the ouster of bad judges from the bench, and has garnered dozens of state, regional, and national awards.
Contact: Bob Norman