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Thursday, August 26, 2004

International Election Monitoring Group Headed By Impeached U.S. Judge;

This is just great. We are going to have a impeached judge be a poll watcher. Isn't that just wonderful. Maybe we should also have Jimmy Carter watch the eletions, since he did such a good job in Venezuela.

International Election Monitoring Group Headed By Impeached U.S. Judge;

By Tom DeWeese, American Policy Center

August 26, 2004

Washington, D.C.– The American Policy Center charged on Wednesday that the U.S. State Department has invited scandal, fraud, and corruption to the American electoral process with its decision to bring in foreign election observers from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) to monitor the November presidential election.

APC, a grassroots activist organization located in suburban Washington, D.C., is alerting Americans to the dangers of inviting an international body to monitor the upcoming presidential election.

APC has discovered that the president of the OSCE election monitoring arm is none other than Florida Representative and disgraced federal judge, Alcee Hastings. He was elected President of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly on July 9 of this year. According to its website: "The OSCE Parliamentary Assembly's role [in the election monitoring process] is to deploy parliamentarians, primarily as short-term observers, and to provide political leadership to the OSCE monitoring operation." In other words, Alcee Hastings is at the top of the OSCE’s election monitoring operation.

In 1988, The U.S. House of Representatives voted almost unanimously (413-3) to approve 17 articles of impeachment amounting to "high crimes and misdemeanors" against Hastings, who at the time was a federal judge. While sitting on the federal bench, an FBI bribery sting caught Hastings conspiring to obtain a $150,000 bribe in exchange for granting leniency to a pair of convicted racketeers. The Senate convicted Hastings of perjury and conspiracy to take a bribe. He is one of only a handful of judges ever to be impeached in the history of the U.S.

"The outrage just got more outrageous," said American Policy Center president Tom DeWeese. "Not only has the State Department invited a team of unaccountable, foreign bureaucrats to meddle in our free elections, but these meddlers are headed by one of the most corrupt individuals in the U.S. Congress."

"While they’re at it," said DeWeese, "why doesn’t the State Department invite O.J. Simpson to head up the FBI crime lab?"

Hastings is by no means an innocent bystander in the upcoming presidential election.Hastings is a House Democrat who represents Broward County, Florida–ground zero of the Election 2000 re-count fiasco. On June 14 of this year, the disgraced former judge declared to the Associated Press: "Any way we cut it, these people [the Bush Administration] are going to try and steal this election." Now Hastings, as president of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly, is in position to seriously affect the outcome of the 2004 vote.

"By caving to the demands of 13 leftist Congressmen that international election observers monitor the November 2 presidential election, the Bush Administration is not only shooting U.S. sovereignty, but shooting itself in the foot," said DeWeese. "There is a political agenda at work here. The OSCE is not an unbiased team of observers. If the vote in Florida or many other states is as close as predicted, you can bet that Alcee Hastings and his army of foreign monitors will do everything in their power to affect the outcome to their liking."

Congressman Ron Paul (R-TX) warned: "We should be wary about organizations like the OSCE that seek to involve themselves in our electoral process. The OSCE in particular has a terrible record in the newly-democratic countries of central Europe, where it normally operates. According to groups that follow the conduct of the OSCE, this organization does much more to undermine free elections than to promote them.

"In Bosnia in 1996, for example," said Rep. Paul, "the OSCE gave its seal of approval to parliamentary elections despite the fact that an impossible 107 percent of the possible voting-age population had voted. In 1998, the OSCE observer team that was to monitor the cease-fire between the Serbs and Albanians was caught sending targeting information back to the US and European Union in advance of the U.S.-led attack on Serbia. This year, the OSCE approved the election of Mikheil Saakashvili in the former Soviet Republic of Georgia with a Saddam Hussein-like 97 percent of the vote! There are dozens more similar examples."

"Clearly the OSCE has shown by its conduct and by its questionable choice of leadership that it is not an organization worthy of U.S. participation," DeWeese charged.

"Not only must the Bush Administration immediately rescind its invitation to the OSCE to monitor this year’s election, but the White House must also withdraw our membership from this suspect group. Alcee Hastings is a blatant symbol of political corruption. Why on Earth would the U.S. government continue to support an organization lead by him, let alone pay 10 percent of its operating budget?"

Contact: Tom DeWeese @ (540) 341-8911

Tom DeWeese is the publisher/editor of The DeWeese Report and president of the American Policy Center, a grassroots, activist think tank headquartered in Warrenton, Virginia. Its Internet site is www.americanpolicy.org.

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