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Hanging Chads: The Inside Story of the 2000 Presidential Recount in Floridaby Julian Pleasants
Synopses & Reviews
What's the real story behind the 2000 presidential election fiasco? Until now, there have only been biased accounts from both sides. Hanging Chads presents candid and insightful interviews with eleven of the key figures in the post-election recount in Florida, which decided whether Al Gore or George W. Bush would win the closest presidential contest ever. The book features an introduction that clearly explains the often complex and convoluted legal maneuvering that occurred during those tense thirty-six days of the recount, a timeline laying out the sequence of events, a cast of characters that identifies the key players on both sides, and a glossary of the court cases and legal terminology that came into play. Pleasants interviews the two main Florida lawyers, Dexter Douglass for Gore and Barry Richard for Bush, and discusses the decision-making process with three judges involved in key cases. The book includes the viewpoint of the press and key political players like Tom Feeney, the Florida legislature's Speaker of the House, and Mac Stipanovich, a key political advisor to Katherine Harris. In addition, Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections Theresa LePore explains why she chose the infamous butterfly ballot that sent the whole process into motion.
"If you want a straight story, says popular wisdom, the best place to get it is from the horse's mouth. This hoary dictum has been heartily embraced by Pleasants (Orange Journalism: Voices from Florida Newspapers), a history professor at the University of Florida who offers a new take on the infamous presidential election of 2000. The majority of chapters consist of question-and-answer interviews-all but one conducted by the author-with key figures in the Sunshine State's election debacle. They include Supervisor of Elections Theresa 'Madame Butterfly Ballot' LePore; St. Petersburg Times Tallahassee Bureau Chief Lucy Morgan; Speaker of the Florida House of Representatives Tom Feeney; Florida Supreme Court Justice Major Harding; Judges Terry Lewis and Nikki Clark, who handed down critical decisions during the 36-day battle for votes; and Mac Stipanovich, a powerful Republican lobbyist and advisor to Secretary of State Katherine Harris. In addition to these Q&As, there's a concise introduction chronicling the events that ended with the federal Supreme Court's landmark decision, a helpful 'cast of characters' section and a compendium of court cases and legal terms that comes in handy when navigating the judicial jungle surrounding the election. Pleasants is an able and astute interviewer, but the book contains a considerable amount of padding. Still, the volume is intriguing as a collection of primary observations, unvarnished and unfiltered by a secondary voice. Although the election results may forever remain in doubt, this is a worthwhile addition to the growing body of literature on the 2000 election." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Julian Pleasants has given us the definitive book on the disputed presidential election of 2000. Hanging Chads reveals how a badly flawed Florida ballot and the denial of a recount awarded the presidency to a candidate who lost by half a million votes in the popular count."--George McGovern, former U.S. Senator and 1972 Democratic Presidential Candidate
A candid and insightful collection of interviews with eleven of the key figures in the Florida post-election recount debacle.
About the Author
Julian M. Pleasants has been teaching history at the University of Florida since 1969. His field of interest is southern politics. His books include Buncombe Bob: The Life and Times of Robert Rice Reynolds and Orange Journalism: Voices from Florida Newspapers.
Table of Contents
Introduction * Acknowledgments * Cast of Characters * Court Cases and Legal Terms * County by County Votes in Florida * List of Interviews * Part One: Palm Beach County Canvassing Board * Judge Charles Burton * Theresa LePore * Part Two: Media and Public Information * Lucy Morgan * Craig Waters * Part Three: Politicians * Tom Feeney * Mac Stipanovich * Part Four: Judiciary * Judge Nikki Clark * Justice Major Harding * Part Five: Attorneys * Dexter Douglass * Barry Richard * Index
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