Friday, October 22, 2004

Those commie Liberals who talk about Police State tactics are Nuts!

1st Amendment Threats

Oregon Police Fire On Bystanders Watching Presidential Motorcade
Author: Admin Date: 10-19-04 11:47Guest Op-Ed: Silenced by the PresidentOregon Police Fire On Bystanders Watching Presidential Motorcade JACKSONVILLE, Ore. — Crawford, Texas is no stranger to protests and public gatherings, having provided a backdrop for such events for nearly four years now. Local and area law enforcement agencies have gained experience in protecting the Western White House and its famous inhabitants, and have devised a methodology for arranging for peaceful protests out of the sight and hearing of the president.But things got out of hand last week in Jacksonville, Ore., leaving some local residents there expressing fear of freely voicing their opinions.Some residents of Jacksonville feel that their First Amendment rights were taken away as they witnessed an encounter that resulted in pepper balls fired into crowds of men, women, and children as an abrupt “sweep” of a sidewalk erupted into chaos as the presidential motorcade drove by last Thursday.According to a news story in the Medford Mail Tribune, one man said he was shot in the back seven times with pepper balls (plastic paint balls filled with capsaicin). He said he saw a man get hit with a baton and fall to the ground. “With my back to the police — as I was picking him up — that’s when I was shot.” Trish Bowcock, a resident of Jacksonville and a retired attorney who is formerly of Austin, Texas, was an eyewitness to the disturbance and penned her impressions of the scene from a personal standpoint. She has agreed to allow The Iconoclast to reprint her thoughts.Mail Tribune staff members confirmed her contention that law enforcement concentrated on anti-Bush protestors, rather than pro-Bush demonstrators, and that the order to stop the protests came from the U.S. Secret Service. Mail Tribune coverage of the protest is available at

Silenced by the President
By Trish BowcockOct. 16, 2004
A few weeks before my father died, he woke me in the wee hours of the morning. He needed to talk. He was worried about Attorney General John Ashcroft and the destruction of American civil liberties. I comforted my father, believing he was delusional from medications. I was wrong.I write this from my home in Jacksonville Oregon (population 2,226). President George W. Bush came here this week. The purpose of his visit was political. Southern Oregon has been deemed a “battle ground” area in the presidential race. John Kerry has made incredible inroads in this traditionally Republican stronghold. President Bush’s campaign stop was an attempt to staunch the slide. Jacksonville is an old gold mining town. Our main street is only five blocks long, lined with restored storefronts. The sidewalks are narrow. We are a peaceful community. The prospect of an overnight presidential visit was exciting, even to me, a lifelong Democrat. My excitement turned to horror as I watched events unfold during President Bush’s visit.In the mid 1800s, when Indians invaded Jacksonville, citizens clambered upon the roof of the old library. It was the one building that would not catch fire when flaming arrows were shot. This week it was a different scene. Police armed with high powered rifles perched upon our rooftops as the presidential motorcade approached. Helicopters flew low, overhead. A cadre of motorcycle police zoomed into town. Black SUVs followed, sandwiching several black limousines carrying the president, his wife and their entourage as they sped to the local inn where they would eat and sleep.The main street was lined with people gathered to witness the event. Many supported the president. Many did not. Some came because they were simply curious. There were men, women, young and old. The mood was somewhat festive. Supporters of John Kerry sported signs, as did supporters of George Bush. Individuals, exercising their rights of free speech began chanting. On one side of the street, shouts of “four more years” echoed in the night air. On the other side of the street, chants of “three more weeks” responded. The chants were loud and apparently could be heard by President Bush. An order was issued that the anti-Bush rhetoric be quieted. The local SWAT team leapt to action.It happened fast. Clad in full riot gear, at least 50 officers moved in. Shouting indecipherable commands from a bullhorn, they formed a chain and bore down upon the people, only working to clear the side of the street appearing to be occupied by Kerry supporters. People tried to get out of their way. It was very crowded. There was nowhere to move. People were being crushed. They started flowing into the streets. Pleas to the officers, asking, “where to go” fell upon deaf ears. Instead, riot police fired pellets of cayenne pepper spray into the crowd. An old man fell and couldn’t get up. When a young man stopped to help, he was shot in the back with hard pepper spray balls. Children were hit with pepper spray. Deemed “Protesters” people were shoved and herded down the street by the menacing line of armed riot police, until out of the President’s ear-shot.There the “Protesters” were held at bay. Anyone vocalizing anti-Bush or pro-Kerry sentiments were prohibited from venturing forward. Loud anti-Bush chants were responded to by the commanding officer stating: “FORWARD,” to which the entire line of armed police would move, lock-step, toward the “Protesters,” forcing backward movement. Police officers circulated filming the crowd of “Protesters.” Some were people like me, quiet middle-aged women. Some sported anti-Bush signs, peace signs, or Kerry signs. A small group of youth, clad in black with kerchiefs wrapping their heads chanted slogans. A young woman in her underwear, sporting a peace sign sang a lyrical Kumbaya. Mixed among the “Protesters” were supporters of the President. One 19 year- old man shouted obscenities at anyone expressing dissatisfaction with the president, encouraging the police to “tazar” the “Stinking Protesters.” Neither the “Protestors,” nor the police harassed this vocal young man. Across the street, individuals shouting support for the president were allowed to continue. Officers monitored this group but allowed them to shout words of support or hurl derisions toward Kerry supporters, undisturbed. Honking cars filled with Bush supporters were left alone. A honking car full of Kerry supporters was stopped by police on its way out of town.The standoff with “Protesters” continued until the President finished his dinner and was secured in his hotel cottage for the night. Only then were the riot police ordered to “mount-up,” leaping upon the sideboard of a huge SUV, pulling out of town, and allowing “free speech” to resume.In small town American I witnessed true repression and intimidation by law enforcement. I saw small children suffering from the effects of being fired upon by pepper bullets. I felt legitimate fear of expressing my political opinions: a brand new feeling. Newspaper accounts state the chaos started when a violent “Protester” shoved a police officer. No one I talked to witnessed this account.It is reputed that President Bush and his staff will not allow any opposition activity to occur within his ear or eye sight. I can confirm, that in tiny Jacksonville, Oregon, this was true. Physically violent means were taken to protect the president from verbal insults. Freedom of speech was stolen.My father was not paranoid as he lay dying. He was expressing great insight into the dangers of our current presidential administration and its willingness to repress personal freedoms. If I could talk to my father today, I would say, “I am sorry Daddy for doubting you.” And, no matter what, I will continue to exercise my individual right to freely express my opinions. Americans cannot take four more years.

Rovian Propaganda 101 - Channeling thru Cheney

Comment: Listen to the audio that puts this Press Release in perspective This audio is streamed from

Remarks of Vice President Cheney and Mrs. Cheney Followed by Question and Answer at a Town Hall MeetingThursday October 14, 12:34 am ET
WASHINGTON, Oct. 14 /PRNewswire/ -- The following are remarks made by Vice President Cheney and Mrs. Cheney at a Town Hall Meeting: Allegheny College
Meadville, Pennsylvania
11:36 A.M. EDT
MRS. CHENEY: Thank you so much. (Applause.) Please -- thank you so much. We love being here, and would you all sit down? We would love it if you would do that.
I just want to introduce Elizabeth and Grace. And Elizabeth is a first grader, and she really is a good reader. So Mrs. Bush is very proud of her. And this is Grace. She has on a new pair of shoes that have made her fall down many times, but they're quite beautiful and pink. (Applause.) So they're very glad to be here with you.
Now, Elizabeth and Grace, would you go back and see your mom? That would be really good. Thank you. (Applause.)
Well, it's just a beautiful day to be here at Allegheny College, and we're so pleased that you would all come out. And the trees could not be more beautiful. The sky is blue. What a glorious day. And we have felt so privileged as we've traveled all across this country and seen the many beautiful places in America -- we've felt so proud to be Americans, as I know all of you do, too. (Applause.)
When I make a list of all the reasons I am proud to be an American, I'll tell you right at the top, I put our President, George W. Bush. (Applause.)
He has done a magnificent job these last four years, and if you'll permit me to say so, the Vice President is no slouch either. (Applause.) I get to introduce Dick because I've known him for so long. (Laughter.) I have known him since he was 14 years old. This is true. And his job that summer I first knew him was sweeping out the Ben Franklin store in Casper, Wyoming. (Laughter.) And I've known him through a number of jobs since. I've known him since he was digging ditches at the Central Wyoming Fair and Rodeo Grounds, which is just outside our hometown in Casper. And I've known him since he was loading bentonite -- hundred-pound sacks of bentonite onto railroad cars. And I've known him since he was building power line across the West to help pay for his education. And I like to tell about all those jobs because I think when you grow up working hard, you learn some really important lessons. And one of them is that the hard working people of this country ought to get to keep as much of their paychecks as possible. (Applause.)
They like that. I like that. Well, thank you so much. I've felt so privileged these last four years to really have had a front row seat on history. And I've felt so proud to watch our great nation rise up after the awful attacks of September 11th, and our great nation rose up and we comforted those whose lives had been changed forever by that day. And under the leadership of our President, we went after the terrorists who had attacked us, and we went after states that sponsored terror. To keep our country safe, our President has led an effort to defend us over there, so we don't have to defend ourselves here in the streets of our own cities. (Applause.)
When I think about this election, I'm sure I'm like you, there are a lot of issues that are important to me, but there's one that is really in the forefront of my mind at all times, and that's because I am a mother, and I'm a grandma. And I think about the safety and security of my children and grandchildren. And one thing you know we can count on is that the terrorists are going to try to come after us again. And when I say to myself, who do I want standing in the door, it is not John Kerry, and it is not John Edwards. (Applause.)
The people I want in charge of our security and the safety of my children and grandchildren are George Bush and Dick Cheney. (Applause.) And so let me introduce to you my husband, Dick Cheney, the Vice President of the United States. (Applause.)
THE VICE PRESIDENT: Thank you. (Applause.) Thank you. (Applause.) Thank you all very much. (Applause.) Thank you. (Applause.)
Well, thank you very much. She wouldn't go out with me until I was 17. (Laughter.) It's a true story. But I tell people often that we got married because Dwight Eisenhower got elected President of the United States. In 1952, I was a youngster living in Lincoln, Nebraska with my folks. Dad worked for the Soil Conservation Service. Eisenhower got elected. They reorganized the government. Dad got transferred to Casper, Wyoming, and that's where I met Lynne, and we grew up together, went to high school together, and recently celebrated our 40th wedding anniversary. (Applause.) I explained to a group the other night that if it hadn't been for Eisenhower's great election victory in 1952, Lynne would have married somebody else. (Laughter.) And she said, right, and now he'd be Vice President of the United States. (Laughter and applause.) They always laugh at that, but they know it's true. (Laughter.) It's true.
We're delighted to be here today in western Pennsylvania. It is a beautiful part of the country. I've got a few streams in Pennsylvania I visited on more than one occasion with my fly rod. And it's great country, and we've got some great friends here. And you've got some great members of Congress that represent you and serve you so ably in Washington -- John Peterson, this morning; and Phil English; Rick Santorum; Arlen Specter. It's a very talented group. (Applause.)
What we ordinarily do with these town hall meetings is it's an opportunity for me to share some thoughts with you on an important issue or two, and then we stop and open it up to questions and comments. And you'll have an opportunity to offer up your thoughts and ideas, or to pursue other issues. I don't mean to restrict the subject matter at all this morning, but what I would like to talk about at the outset is what I think goes to the heart of this election and why it's so important. Now, there's going to be a debate tonight in Arizona. The President is ready. He's loaded for bear. I'm sure he'll do a great job, just like he did last Friday night -- (applause) -- on domestic issues. But what I wanted to do today was to focus on the national security question, on the question of how we guarantee the safety and security of our nation in the years ahead. And I say, I don't mean to restrict the conversation just to that subject, but I think it goes to the heart of the decision that we're going to make as a nation on the 2nd of November. And it's a very, very important piece of business for us.
The reason I want to talk about is I think you can look back through American history and find periods when we've come to sort of watershed events, when we've arrived at a point where we had to fundamentally change the way we thought about security because we faced a new threat, because we had to reorganize our military, or take steps to put in place a set of policies that then were crucial to securing the country for many years ahead.
I think of the period immediately after World War II as one of those eras, when we came back after we'd won the war in the Pacific and in Europe, then all of a sudden, we found ourselves faced with the Cold War, with the Soviet Union that had developed nuclear weapons, occupied half of Europe, and was a major threat to the United States. And we developed the policy of deterrence, a strategy of holding at risk the Soviet Union so they'd never be tempted to launch against the United States. We created the Department of Defense in 1947, the Central Intelligence Agency; created the North Atlantic Treaty Organization -- a series of steps -- got a funny buzz in the sound system -- but took a series of steps that were essential and that were then supported by Republican and Democrat administrations alike going forward for the next 40 years, until we prevailed in the Cold War, and the Soviet Union imploded, the Berlin Wall came down.
I sense we're at another one of those turning points in our history that dates specifically to 9/11. And the events of that date when all of a sudden we were struck by the al Qaeda terrorists in not only New York and Washington, but of course Shanksville, in Pennsylvania -- where we lost nearly 3,000 people, more people than we lost at Pearl Harbor. And we also were made aware in relatively short order that that terrorist network was out there, and that they were doing everything they could to try to acquire deadlier weapons to use against us. We know from materials we found in Afghanistan and from interrogating some of the people we've captured that they would love to get their hands on a chemical or biological weapon, or even a nuclear weapon. And the biggest threat we face today as a nation is the possibility of a group of terrorists in the midst of one of our own cities with that kind of deadly capability that would put at risk in relatively short order the lives of hundreds of thousands of Americans.
And we have to keep that risk and that threat in mind when we think about what kind of strategy do we want to put in place, and how do we conduct ourselves in the years ahead to minimize the possibility that that will ever happen -- what strategy do we need to pursue in the war on terror. And I think the decision we're going to make on November 2nd goes right smack at that issue, and that there is a fairly clear choice in terms of the way we will pursue that objective and the way President Bush will continue to pursue that objective, and I think the way John Kerry and John Edwards would go about it. And that's what I want to focus on this morning.
If you think back to what happened on 9/11, we did a number of things in the immediate aftermath of that -- some of the stuff had been working before. But we focused especially on strengthening our defenses here at home. We created the Department of Homeland Security -- got a great Pennsylvanian in Tom Ridge, used to be the congressman from here, running it. (Applause.)
It's the most sweeping reorganization of the federal government since we created the Department of Defense in 1947. We passed the Patriot Act to give law enforcement the same tools that we use against drug traffickers and organized crime so that they can use those tools against terrorist organizations. We recently passed Project BioShield, which gives the Food and Drug Administration and the National Institutes of Health money and authority to work to develop countermeasures against the possible attack with biological weapons -- a series of steps to make our defenses much tougher here at home than they've ever been before.
But the President also made another crucial decision, and that was that there's no such thing as a perfect defense. You can get it right 99 percent of the time, and given the nature of the threat, if they get through one time out of a hundred, or one time out of a thousand, the consequences are enormous. So the President made the decision that not only do we have to have a good defense, we also have to go on offense. And that's absolutely crucial to the strategy. (Applause.)
And that means using our intelligence capabilities, but also our military force capabilities to aggressively go after the terrorists wherever we find them, wherever they're organizing and training and planning to launch attacks against the United States. But we also -- and this is a departure from the past, we also have to go after those who sponsor terror because there are states out there that have for years provided sanctuary and safe harbor for terrorists, in some cases provided funding for them, or provided them with weapons, have basically been state sponsors of terror. And that decision to go after the terrorists, as well as those who sponsor terrorists has been vital in terms of the strategy that we've pursued. And you've seen it, of course, in Afghanistan where we went in and took down the Taliban. We closed the training camps where an estimated 20,000 terrorists were trained in the late '90s, including some of those who struck us on 9/11. We captured and killed hundreds of al Qaeda. We put Osama bin Laden on the run. We'll get him eventually. We've been in the hunt ever since. And the final step in the process, once you've taken down the old regime, the Taliban regime that sponsored and provided a sanctuary for the al Qaeda, you have to put something in its place. You can't just walk away from a situation like that because you'll have a failed state, and they'll revert back to what they used to be -- a breeding ground for terror, or a nation that is involved as a dictatorship, and is involved, for example, in trying to acquire weapons of mass destruction. So you have to worry about what we put in place before we depart. Of course, the key there is to establish a democratically elected government in Afghanistan and also in Iraq.
Now, the amazing thing is after a lot of hand-wringing -- it has now been about three years since we launched into Afghanistan, six months after we took Afghanistan, John Edwards was out saying, oh, it's not going to work. Everything is turning to chaos, the Taliban are going to take control again. Wrong. He was dead wrong. He's dead wrong now when he wrings his hands and says, this is an impossible task. Hard task, absolutely -- very hard thing to go. They've never had free elections in Afghanistan in the 5,000-year history of the country. Last Saturday they had one, first one ever. (Applause.)
Out of 10 million registered voters in Afghanistan, nearly half of them are women. This is a society that until we went in and liberated 25 million people in Afghanistan, a society where women had absolutely no role whatsoever, were severely punished for minor transgressions. Today they can vote and participate in the political process in Afghanistan. (Applause.)
Now, Iraq -- a somewhat different proposition in Iraq. Of course, we had Saddam Hussein in power, a man who had started two wars, who for 12 years had defied the international community and violated U.N. sanctions and refused to live up to the conditions he accepted at the end of the Gulf War; a man who had previously produced and used weapons of mass destruction, specifically chemical weapons against his own people and against the Iranians; and a man who had a long history of supporting terror. He has been carried by our State Department as a state sponsor of terror for at least 15 years. He has in the past been actively involved in making $25,000 payments to the families of suicide bombers who would kill Israelis, for example. He has provided a sanctuary for Abu Nidal, for Palestinian Islamic Jihad. And he had a relationship with al Qaeda. You hear debates on the other side, was there or was there not a relationship, George Tenet, director of the CIA, testified two years ago in open session before the Senate foreign relations committee and laid out the record of the 10-year relationship between al Qaeda and Iraq. Those are the facts. And the fact is that we went in and took down Saddam Hussein's regime. We did it because -- again, remembering what the biggest threat we're faced with is, the idea of terrorists in our cities with a weapons of mass destruction, a biological agent, chemical weapon, or a nuclear weapon. Iraq represented the place where the nexus between WMD and the terrorists, we felt was most likely to occur and transpire. Today, Saddam Hussein is in jail, and the world is a whale of a lot better off for it. (Applause.)
Now, when you have a President who speaks clearly who says what he means and means what he says, and then follows it up with action as we did in Afghanistan and Iraq, other positive things happen. And five days after we found Saddam Hussein and dug him out of his hole in Northern Iraq last December, Moammar Ghadafi, the leader of Libya, went public and announced he was giving up all of his aspirations to acquire weapons of mass destruction. (Applause.)
He'd spent millions over the years acquiring uranium, acquiring centrifuges to enrich uranium, and acquiring a weapons design, a design for a nuclear weapon, and building the capacity in Libya to produce nuclear weapons, and then he saw George Bush's determination and the capability of the United States military, and he looked at all of that, and he decided that it was time to change course. And so he called -- he did not call the United Nations -- he contacted George Bush and Tony Blair when it was time to surrender material. (Applause.)
And the other positive thing that happened was the network that had provided him with that material headed by a man named A.Q. Khan, a Pakistan citizen. He'd helped develop Pakistan's program. But then he went off on his own and was selling this technology -- not only to Libya, but also to Iran and North Korea. That network has now been shut down. Mr. Khan is under house arrest in Pakistan; his network is out of business. (Applause.)
So we're actively and aggressively addressing both the question of the terror, of sponsors of terror, as well as, obviously the problem of the proliferation of these deadly technologies. That's what George Bush has done and has accomplished in three years. Now, we're going to make a decision on November 2nd about the way forward, and whether or not we're going to continue to pursue and active aggress program and strategy, such as the President has designed and put in place, or whether we're going to shift and change course. And the reason that I think that is the choice is because I look at John Kerry, and I look at his record, with respect to how he's come down on national security over -- about the last 30 years, and how he's talked about the war on terror. And frankly, I don't see anything in his record that leads me to believe that he would be an aggressive implementer, if you will, of the kind of strategy I think we need in order to make certain we win the war on terror, that we destroy the terrorists, that we take down those regimes that make the mistake of sponsoring or supporting terror, and that we adequately safeguard the security of the United States. I don't see it in John Kerry's record.
Now, let me be precise if I can. I want to emphasize here, I by no means challenge his patriotism. I praised his military service in Vietnam in my speech at the Republican Convention in New York City and got applause for it from the Republicans gathered there. We've never, never challenged his patriotism. I do challenge his judgment. I think it's flawed. And I think going back to -- (Applause.) You can go back to the early '70s when he ran for Congress the first time on a platform that we shouldn't deploy U.S. forces without United Nations approval. I think that was a mistake. 1984, when he ran for the Senate the first time on a platform of cutting or eliminating most of the major weapons systems that Ronald Reagan ordered up in order to equip the United States military that led and contributed to our victory in the Cold War. He was wrong on those issues, consistently. Or 1991, when Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait and was poised to dominate the Persian Gulf, of course, we mounted an effort -- this was when I was Secretary of Defense -- we mounted Operation Desert Storm, went in and kicked him out of Kuwait, put together an international coalition, and so forth, John Kerry voted against Operation Desert Storm. He wouldn't even support military action then when it was a very clear-cut case. The nation was behind it, et cetera. If we come on forward to 1993, the first attack on the World Trade Center, John Kerry was a member of the Senate intelligence committee. And as best I can tell, didn't attend a single member -- a single meeting of the Senate intelligence committee in the year after that attack. He did manage to offer up an amendment to cut several billion dollars out of our intelligence budget, a move that was so radical even Ted Kennedy wouldn't support it. (Laughter.) That's the record. (Applause.)
Now, during the course of this campaign, he's tried very hard not to talk about that record. You didn't see him in Boston at the Democratic Convention talking about his service in the United States Senate. He harked back to his service in Vietnam, which again, we honor him for, as we do all our veterans. But the fact of the matter is, he's tried very hard during the course of the campaign to talk tough, during the course of the debates, for example, that he'll actively and aggressively pursue the war on terror. But it's awfully hard to take a little tough talk during the course of a 90-minute debate and allow that to obscure a record of 30 years of coming down on virtually the wrong side of every major national security issue.
Most recently, just last Sunday, he -- there was an article about the Senator in The New York Times magazine. I'm sure nobody here reads The New York Times. (Laughter.) But sometimes it's worth looking at. But in this article, he talked about -- he was interviewed at length by the journalist who wrote the article, and he talked about sort of what his expectations were, or his aspirations with respect to pursuing the war on terror. And what he said was he wanted to get terror back to the point where it was viewed as a nuisance and, in effect, manageable, controlled under manageable proportions and drew an analogy to local law enforcement dealing with problems of illegal gambling and prostitution. That's what he said. It's in the Sunday New York Times, that concept that we could get terrorism back to a point where it was just a nuisance, not a major problem for us.
Then I asked myself the question, I said, well, when was that? When was terrorism just a nuisance? Obviously, I assume that that means at some period prior to 9/11 there was a period of time there where we didn't have to be quite so concerned about terrorism. And I asked myself, well, what was that four years ago yesterday, when they attacked the USS Cole off Yemen and killed 17 of our sailors and nearly sunk the ship? Or was it back in 1998, a little over six years ago when they attacked simultaneously two of our embassies in East Africa, killed hundreds of people, including a number of Americans? Or maybe it was 1993, the first attack on the World Trade Center, when they tried to bring down the tower then -- it didn't work; they came back eight years later to do the job -- when they took a truck load of explosives and drove it underneath one of the World Trade Center buildings and touched it off. Or maybe it was 1988, December, when they took Pan Am 103 and knocked it out of the skies over Lockerbie, Scotland. Or possibly 1983, when in Beirut in the spring, they first attacked our embassy and killed a number of our people, and then that fall, a suicide bomber, a truckload of explosives pulled into a building housing our Marines and we lost 241 Marines that morning. It doesn't strike me that you can ever think of terror and what it represents as a nuisance. And if you've got a mind set that thinks that way, that believes that there's a point at which you can take this problem that we're now faced with in a global war on terror, and pigeonhole it like that, and treat it like that, and categorize it like that, that says to me that the individual who entertains those thoughts isn't as serious as I want my Commander-in-Chief to be in pursuing the war on terror. (Applause.)
Now, this is a global conflict. Nobody should underestimate that at all. They've come not only, obviously, after the United States. But we've seen attacks since 9/11 in Madrid, Casablanca, Mombassa in East Africa, Istanbul, Baghdad, Riyadh, Jakarta, Bali, most recently in Beslan in Southern Russia, and of course then, just within the last week or so, the attack in Egypt, down near the Israeli border, which is still being looked at in terms of who is responsible, although there's -- I think -- substantial evidence that suggests that that, too, was an al Qaeda operation.
The decision you're going to make on November 2nd is to pick that individual who is going to be our Commander-in-Chief, and who, in fact, is going to be charged with the responsibilities of defending the nation and pursuing our adversaries and doing whatever is necessary to make certain that they never get off the kind of attack that would be devastating for our communities here in the United States were they able to do that. It's about as serious a decision as anybody is ever asked to make. And we're all going to make it as Americans two weeks from next Tuesday. And so I'd ask you just to think about when you contemplate the choice that we're going to make because I do think it is about the most important election I've ever participated in, and I say that not just because my name is on the ballot, but I can't remember a time during all the years I've been in public service when we had what I think is such a clear-cut choice.
Finally, let me close today and then open it up to questions. (Applause.) Open it up to questions, and simply say that in addition, obviously, to the President who I think has done a superb job as our Commander-in-Chief these last three-and-a-half years, it is absolutely essential, as well, that we thank the men and women in uniform and their families who have sacrificed so much on behalf of all of us. (Applause.) So with that, I'll stop. And we're supposed to have some proctors in the audience, people with microphones in these attractive orange jerseys -- (laughter) -- with the numbers on them. If you've got something you'd like to say, just grab the attention of one of the proctors. They'll bring a mike over to you. And we'll start back here with number three.
Q Hello, Mr. Vice President. Welcome to Pennsylvania. You were my boss when I fought in Desert Storm with the 24th Infantry Division, and one of the lasting feelings that I had throughout that experience was that our soldiers felt that we were probably the most well-taken-care-of soldiers perhaps in the history of our country, in that the decisions that were made were made with the greatest thought towards the well being of the soldier. As a prior military person, I can't even imagine not casting my vote for anyone other than yourself and President Bush. (Applause.)
And my question is -- well, I'm a little surprised that more of an issue hasn't been made with what the actual military people think of who would be the best Commander-in-Chief, rather than other people who weren't in there, who didn't experience and see what happened. Do you have any comments on that?
THE VICE PRESIDENT: Well, we're -- obviously, we steer clear of seeking any kind of an endorsement from active duty military. That wouldn't be appropriate -- improper to ask them that, and I have a hunch how I think most of them feel. But we'd never ask, if I could put it in those terms.
I look for -- well, I look to men like Tommy Franks, for example, who was our commander in both Afghanistan and Iraq, who oversaw that operation, career military officer, now retired, out of the military, spoke at our convention in New York City, and I think has subsequent to that been a very effective spokesman on behalf of the ticket. And we're proud to have their support.
But also I want to emphasize where the military is concerned, the men and women in uniform, if anybody, have earned the right to participate in this process, and to make their views and choices known. And I wouldn't criticize any of them, whatever political faith they may espouse, or whoever they may want to vote for. That's certainly their prerogative. And we welcome their support to the extent they want to support our ticket, as well as we do for everybody else, too.
MRS. CHENEY: Dick, can I ask a question? I keep hearing John Kerry and John Edwards talk about Tora Bora and Osama bin Laden, and what is the story? They keep making it look as though somehow Iraq distracted us from capturing Osama bin Laden. They keep saying that. What's the story?
THE VICE PRESIDENT: Well, it's not true. And if you look carefully, Tommy Franks has addressed it. He was the man in charge of both operations. And the fact of the matter is that we clearly have the capacity to deal with both Afghanistan and Iraq because we've done it. And the charge they make that somehow this is a distraction, I can remember John Edwards in the period -- I guess, this was fall of '02, came about the time that they voted for the authorization to use force against Saddam Hussein in response to this very question, can we do both, saying, absolutely we can do both. We need to do both. They were for it before they were against. (Laughter and applause.) And I just think that's a fallacious charge. It doesn't stand up. Somebody back here, number four?
Q Mr. Vice President, my question is a little bit different. Do you foresee any funding that will be made available to the prison systems, whether it be at the federal level, or right down at the county level for different federal mandates that the prison systems have to meet?
THE VICE PRESIDENT: I'm not familiar with any specific proposal that's pending. I'm trying to think back. I talked with Governor Schwarzenegger about this in California, because they've had a problem there -- you may be referring to a similar problem here where you have illegal immigrants who come in and commit a crime and end up being imprisoned for their crime here in the United States. And the question is whether or not the federal government has an obligation, and I think some of us believe it does, to contribute to cost of prosecuting and the sentencing and holding that individual, because the federal government, after all, was supposedly responsible for controlling our borders in the first place, and keeping illegal aliens from immigrating into the United States. So there's been a battle here, a discussion or debate. And I know in the past, I believe there has been some funding provided. I'm unaware right now of any proposal right now to increase that level of funding. But we'll take a look at it.
We got somebody over here? Yes.
Q Mr. Vice President, first I'd like to thank you for your many years of service to our country, and you and the President do, indeed, make us very proud to be Americans. (Applause.)
I was wondering if you could comment on the -- what I feel are the original "death to America" crowds, the Iranians. And what is going to happen there?
THE VICE PRESIDENT: What's going to happen in Iran? Well, the situation in Iran is worrisome because of their apparent determination to try to develop their own nuclear weapons capability. They deny it. They claim they're simply developing nuclear power, and that they're not going to enrich uranium to weapons grade. It's a little hard to understand why they need nuclear power since they're sitting on top of so much oil and gas. But they are pursuing, and it is troublesome for us, in part, because we think Iran equipped with nuclear weapons significantly increases the threat level in that part of the world. We've worked on it diplomatically with the British, the French, and the Germans whose foreign ministers have been negotiated with the Iranians. We've recently had the matter before the Board of Governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency, and making clear to the Iranians that there's no percentage in their trying to develop nuclear weapons, that if they want to have normal discourse with the rest of the world, if they want to have normal kinds of relationships, then they need to change their course of action. And of course, there are sanctions currently imposed on Iran by the United States.
The next step will be probably in November when I would expect another meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency Board of Governors. And if the Iranians haven't lived up to some of the commitments and obligations they've made by then, then the next step would be to refer the whole matter to the U.N. Security Council where they would consider the application of international economic sanctions on Iran. And we would like to be able to resolve the matter diplomatically. That's the effort that is now underway, and I think nearly everybody in the region out there, as well as increasingly the Europeans understand that a nuclear-armed Iran isn't anything that anybody should welcome. And we need to do whatever we have to do, basically. As I say, we're working it diplomatically to try other resolve that matter.
Number two, somebody.
Q Thank you. And I wanted to congratulate your beautiful grandchildren, and I appreciated that you shared them with us today. Thank you.
As a school board member of 12 years, I can say that No Child Left Behind has greatly empowered public education to make sure that our teachers are trained in effective teaching methods, that our curriculums are aligned to the standards, and that our test scores are raised. And I want to thank you for that piece of legislation.
We've been given the challenge to have all children proficient by 2014. My question is: how can you help us with those children who will never be proficient by 2014? How can we, on the local level, get the funding we need to educate those special needs students so that even though they're not reaching what the federal government has declared as proficient, they're reaching their own goals and achieving those? How can you help us with that?
MRS. CHENEY: I followed education -- Dick asked me if I'd like to talk here. I followed education since we were in Texas. And I watched Governor Bush in Texas really bring, for the first time, high standards and accountability to that system with good results. And I know he's very interested in special needs children and has increased funding for special needs children even above and beyond the funding that's gone into elementary and secondary education. So his heart is with those kids, and with the teachers and teachers' aides who are working with them.
One of the things I point to with great pride, one of the groups -- or some of the groups that were leaving behind, before the President came forward with standards and accountability -- Hispanic kids and African American kids. As an educator, you know about the achievement gap, which is something that we all know has to be closed. All kids can achieve mightily. We have to encourage them to. And what I've been especially heartened as is the early results coming from a study by the great city schools, for example, that shows that all kids are doing better with No Child Left Behind, and that African American kids and Latino children are beginning to catch up. And that is a wonderful thing for our whole society. I will forever proud of George Bush has done in our elementary schools, and I am looking forward to what he plans to do in the next four years, which is bring the same ideas, standards and accountabilities to our secondary schools, so our high schools will also be the best in the world. (Applause.)
Q Hello, Mr. Vice President. I'd like to welcome you to Meadville. I've lived here my whole life, and I'm proud of it. My question for you today is more of a domestic issue. As our population ages and Americans continue to live longer and longer, we'll obviously see the cost of Medicare, Social Security, and now our prescription drug benefits increase dramatically. So my question is, how do you reconcile this with younger voters like myself who ultimately will bear a tax burden for this?
THE VICE PRESIDENT: Well, we think obviously we've got an area -- when you look at Social Security and Medicare, I think for the current generation receiving those benefits, they can have a high degree of confidence that they're secure. The funds are there. And I think one of the landmark achievements of the President's first term has been the prescription drug benefit under Medicare that will kick in now in '06. We've already got the prescription -- Medicare prescription drug cards available, and some 40 million Americans will be eligible for prescription drugs benefits under Medicare in the future. And that's important because Medicare used to fund things like heart bypass surgery, but it didn't fund the statins, the drugs that might make it possible for you to avoid it altogether. And we've addressed that problem there, and it's an important one.
But you're right, as you look down the road, both with respect to Social Security and Medicare, and focus on the generation your age, or people in their 20s and 30s, we're going to run into trouble because, in fact, the level of benefits that have been promised exceeds the expected revenue that's currently there -- that will be expected to be there to meet it.
What the President wants to do, and what we talked about in the last campaign, and we'll talk about and work on again in a second term is we think it's important to provide an opportunity for that younger generation to be able to invest in what we call personal retirement accounts. That is to take a portion of the payroll tax at their discretion. That wouldn't be -- they wouldn't have to do it, but if they wanted to, they could, and invest it in approved plans. And you ought to be able to earn a much higher return that you'll get by simply putting into Social Security. This is a long-term proposition. As I say, it's the kind of thing that would apply to somebody in your age group, or my own kids. But we think it offers the opportunity both to give you something that you've got a personal stake in, and that would provide a higher rate of return and help close some of that revenue gap, if you will, that's going to be down the road there 30 or 40 years in the future. We do need to address it. But I think we can.
I've been through the exercise in the past. When I was a congressman back in the '80s, we hit a rough patch there. And at one point, there was a serious question about whether or not we could actually get the Social Security checks out, and we needed to reform the system. And we did. And so -- and it has worked, I think, very well ever since. I think a great many Americans, including my parents, used to depend upon -- rely upon Social Security. And it's absolutely vital for our population. It's a promise and a commitment that was made some time ago, and it will be kept. (Applause.)
MODERATOR: Mr. Vice President, to keep you on schedule. We have time for one more question.
THE VICE PRESIDENT: All right, thank you, John. Somebody back here.
Q Mr. Vice President, and Mrs. Cheney, welcome to Pennsylvania. I am also from Warren, Pennsylvania. And I had the great honor to serve with the 101st Airborne Division during Desert Storm. And I want to thank you -- (Applause.) And I want to thank you for your leadership then, and I want to thank you and the President for the leadership that you are demonstrating in this global war on terror. My question is, we hear a lot on the day-to-day happening in the war. But can you explain to us the strategic level importance of a free Iraq and a free Afghanistan in the pursuit of the global war on terror, and how that might differ from your competitors, Kerry and Edwards?
THE VICE PRESIDENT: Certainly. First of all, let me thank you and also member of the 24th Division over here. Both organizations did great work in Desert Storm and we appreciate very much your service. (Applause.)
The basic strategic objective, obviously, in addition to going after the terrorists, and going after those that sponsor terror and discouraging that kind of behavior clearly by taking care of those who have, in fact, participated in, or supported those kinds of activities, the essential element is to establish democratically elected governments in Iraq and Afghanistan.
And that's because we believe -- and it's an article of faith with the President and I think he's absolutely right -- that the best antidote to terror is freedom, that free societies don't breed terror, that the kind of dictatorship that we saw both in Afghanistan, under the Taliban, motivated primarily by a very extreme view of the Islamic faith; or the kind of dictatorship Saddam Hussein ran in Iraq, where he also provide a safe harbor for terrorists, and obviously produced and used WMD, that those kinds of developments won't occur if the Iraqi people and the Afghan people have the opportunity to elect their own governments, and to establish regimes that have control over their sovereign territory, that aren't a threat to their neighbors, and don't become the breeding grounds, if you will, for the kinds of folks who attacked us on 9/11. And that's why it's so important -- that last step, and why we're so bullish on what happened in Afghanistan this weekend.
In Iraq, we're pursuing the same general strategy, that is to say we've got a Prime Minister in place now, an interim government. Mr. Allawi was here recently to address a joint session of Congress. They've been in business, the interim government, a little over 90 days. They were -- turned over power to them at the end of June. Now, all the Iraqi ministers -- all of the ministries in the government are run by Iraqis. They've started the process of planning to put together an election. There should be elections in Iraq in January that will elect a constitutional assembly. They'll write a constitution, and then have elections at the end of next year for your first democratically elected government under that new constitution in Iraq. That's the plan and the rough timetable we're on.
It will be difficult from time to time. It's going to be three yards and a cloud of dust. There are no touchdown passes in this business, partly because our adversaries, the remnants of the old regime both in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as the jihadists, the terrorists who've been operating alongside them, will do everything they can to disrupt that process. They know that if we're successful in establishing a democratically elected government in a place like Afghanistan, they're going to be out of business. And we intercepted a message earlier this year, for example. It came from Mr. Zarqawi -- Zarqawi is somebody you've heard about. He was running -- he's called an al Qaeda associate. He was running one of the training camps in Afghanistan before 9/11. After we went into Afghanistan, he fled to Baghdad. He operated out of Baghdad then pretty much ever since, oversaw a poisons factory that was operating in Northeastern Iraq producing ricin and such. And he's now the man probably responsible more than just about anybody else for most of the car bombings in Iraq, and he's the man that you will occasionally see on the evening news beheading hostages. He's the worst of the bad actors, I think, in Iraq. He sent a message last -- earlier this year that we intercepted. The message was on its way to senior officials of al Qaeda, bin Laden, and it basically said that if we were able to establish a government that could exercise control over Iraq, that he was out of business. He was going to have to pack his bags and leave the country. And we hope we get him before he has a chance to leave. (Applause.)
But it's so important for people to understand that we know it's hard. What we can't tolerate, what we can't accept as a nation, though, is the naysayers who want to wring their hands and say, well, it will never work. You'll never hold a free election in Afghanistan. Well, we just did. And 10 million Afghans participated in that process. And now you'll hear the same thing about Iraq -- never going to work, can't possibly do it. I think they're wrong. And the President believes deeply in this process. I do, too. I have the privilege 20 years ago of going to El Salvador when we first -- we had the all trouble in Central America back in the early '80s. We had guerrilla insurgencies, we had -- in El Salvador, you had 75,000 people killed. Insurgents controlled about a third of the country, and then we held free elections. I went down as a member of Congress, and an observer of those elections. And it was something to behold the tremendous drive people had to get to the polls and vote, to exercise that right they'd never before had. And it didn't matter -- the guerrillas would come in and shoot up the polling place, and people would flee. And as soon as the guerrillas left, boy, they were back in line again, waiting for a chance to vote. Twenty years ago in El Salvador, it worked. And it's going to work in Afghanistan, and we're going to make it work in Iraq. And there's no better antidote to the problem we're faced with long-term than being able to establish there, in the heart of the Middle East democratically elected governments that will serve as a model for other regimes in the area and offer people for the first time ever an opportunity to the kinds of problems that have been developed over there in years past. And it's that -- it's the President's vision. It's his strategic objective. It's the plan he's put in place. It's the strategy that we're pursuing.
John Kerry says he's got a plan. Has anybody yet heard what John Kerry's plan is? I haven't. (Laughter and applause.)
Final point, and then I'll stop, you asked specifically about the contrast or the comparison with Senator Kerry, George Bush is a man who makes decisions and sticks with them, and carries through on them -- no matter what the pressures of the moment might be, no matter how much criticism or flak he takes, some of us think it's his mother coming through in him. (Laughter.) Barbara is pretty tough, those of you -- and but it's an extraordinarily valuable trait to have in a President of the United States. It's essential. All our great Presidents have had it. I look at John Kerry and I see a man who voted to send the troops into combat, and then when the question came on the money to support the troops, the $87 billion for the equipment and the resources and ammunition and so forth they needed to prosecute the war, he voted no. And I couldn't figure out for the life of me why he would do that. There were only four senators who did that, voted for committing the troops, and then voted against providing them with the equipment and ammunition and spare parts, body armor, they needed once they got there.
And then it dawned on me what was happening was in the Democratic primaries, Howard Dean, the anti-war candidate was running away with the vote. And he was stealing the march on Senator Kerry, and Senator Edwards -- and they're two of the four who voted yes to commit the troops, and then against funding. And it strikes me that he has over the years made decisions oftentimes as a result or a response to the kind of political pressure that he did then. And of course, the conclusion that leads to is if he can't stand up to the pressure of Howard Dean in the Democratic primaries, how can be possibly be expected to stand up to the likes of al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden? It doesn't -- (Applause.)
So I think we've got exactly what we need in a Commander-in-Chief. I am convinced that the nation will be better off and safer and more secure for our kids and grandkids if we stay the course we're on, and that we will honor the sacrifice that so many have been asked to make by completing the mission.
Thank you very much. (Applause.)
END 12:3O P.M. EDT

Karl Rove in a Corner

The Atlantic Monthly November 2004
Karl Rove in a Corner Karl Rove is at his most formidable when running close races, and his skills would be notable even if he used no extreme methods. But he does use them. His campaign history shows his willingness, when challenged, to employ savage tactics
by Joshua Green
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t is the close races that establish the reputations of great political strategists, and few have ever been closer than the 2000 presidential election. From the tumult of the lengthy recount, the absentee-ballot dispute, the charges of voter fraud, and, ultimately, the Supreme Court decision, George W. Bush emerged victorious by a margin of 537 votes in Florida—enough to elevate him to the presidency, and his chief strategist, Karl Rove, to the status of legend.
But the 2000 election was not Rove's closest race. That had come earlier, and serves as a greater testament to his skill. In 1994 a group called the Business Council of Alabama appealed to Rove to help run a slate of Republican candidates for the state supreme court. This would not have seemed a plum assignment to most consultants. No Republican had been elected to that court in more than a century. But the council was hopeful, in large part because Rove had faced precisely this scenario in Texas several years before, and had managed to get elected, in rapid succession, a Republican chief justice and a number of associate justices, and was well on his way to turning an all-Democratic court all Republican. Rove took the job.
The most important candidate among the four he would run that year was a retired judge and Alabama institution by the name of Perry O. Hooper, of whom it is still fondly remarked that in the lean years before Rove arrived he practically constituted the state's Republican Party by himself. A courtly man with an ornery streak and a stately head of white hair, Hooper seemed typecast for the role of southern chief justice, a role he hoped to wrest from the popular Democratic incumbent, Ernest "Sonny" Hornsby.
At the time, judicial races in Alabama were customarily low-key affairs. "Campaigning" tended to entail little more than presenting one's qualifications at a meeting of the bar association, and because the state was so staunchly Democratic, sometimes not even that much was required. It was not uncommon for a judge to step down before the end of his term and handpick a successor, who then ran unopposed.
All that changed in 1994. Rove brought to Alabama a formula, honed in Texas, for winning judicial races. It involved demonizing Democrats as pawns of the plaintiffs' bar and stoking populist resentment with tales of outrageous verdicts. At Rove's behest, Hooper and his fellow Republican candidates focused relentlessly on a single case involving an Alabama doctor from the richest part of the state who had sued BMW after discovering that, prior to delivery, his new car had been damaged by acid rain and repainted, diminishing its value. After a trial revealed this practice to be widespread, a jury slapped the automaker with $4 million in punitive damages. "It was the poster-child case of outrageous verdicts," says Bill Smith, a political consultant who got his start working for Rove on these and other Alabama races. "Karl figured out the vocabulary on the BMW case and others like it that point out not just liberal behavior but outrageous decisions that make you mad as hell."
Throughout the summer the Republican candidates barnstormed the state, invoking the decision at every stop as an example of "jackpot justice" perpetuated by "wealthy personal-injury trial lawyers"—phrases developed by Rove that have since been widely adopted. To channel anger over such verdicts toward the incumbent Democratic justices, Rove highlighted their long-standing practice of soliciting campaign donations from trial lawyers—just as Republicans (which Rove did not say) solicit them from business interests. One particularly damaging ad run by the Hooper campaign was a fictionalized scene featuring a lawyer receiving an unwanted telephone solicitation from an unseen Chief Justice Hornsby, before whom, viewers were given to understand, the lawyer had a case pending. The ad, and the unseemly practices on which it was based, drew national attention from Tom Brokaw and NBC's Nightly News.
The attacks began to have the desired effect. Judicial races that no one had expected to be competitive suddenly narrowed, and media attention—especially to Hooper's race after the "dialing for dollars" ad—became widespread. Then Rove turned up the heat. "There was a whole barrage of negative attacks that came in the last two weeks of our campaign," says Joe Perkins, who managed Hornsby's campaign along with those of the other Democrats Rove was working against. "In our polling I sensed a movement and warned our clients."
Newspaper coverage on November 9, the morning after the election, focused on the Republican Fob James's upset of the Democratic Governor Jim Folsom. But another drama was rapidly unfolding. In the race for chief justice, which had been neck and neck the evening before, Hooper awoke to discover himself trailing by 698 votes. Throughout the day ballots trickled in from remote corners of the state, until at last an unofficial tally showed that Rove's client had lost—by 304 votes. Hornsby's campaign declared victory.
Rove had other plans, and immediately moved for a recount. "Karl called the next morning," says a former Rove staffer. "He said, 'We came real close. You guys did a great job. But now we really need to rally around Perry Hooper. We've got a real good shot at this, but we need to win over the people of Alabama.'" Rove explained how this was to be done. "Our role was to try to keep people motivated about Perry Hooper's election," the staffer continued, "and then to undermine the other side's support by casting them as liars, cheaters, stealers, immoral—all of that." (Rove did not respond to requests for an interview for this article.)
The campaign quickly obtained a restraining order to preserve the ballots. Then the tactical battle began. Rather than focus on a handful of Republican counties that might yield extra votes, Rove dispatched campaign staffers and hired investigators to every county to observe the counting and turn up evidence of fraud. In one county a probate judge was discovered to have erroneously excluded 100 votes for Hooper. Voting machines in two others had failed to count all the returns. Mindful of public opinion, according to staffers, the campaign spread tales of poll watchers threatened with arrest; probate judges locking themselves in their offices and refusing to admit campaign workers; votes being cast in absentia for comatose nursing-home patients; and Democrats caught in a cemetery writing down the names of the dead in order to put them on absentee ballots.
As the recount progressed, the margin continued to narrow. Three days after the election Hooper held a press conference to drive home the idea that the election was being stolen. He declared, "We have endured lies in this campaign, but I'll be damned if I will accept outright thievery." The recount stretched on, and Hooper's campaign continued to chip away at Hornsby's lead. By November 21 one tally had it at nine votes.
The race came down to a dispute over absentee ballots. Hornsby's campaign fought to include approximately 2,000 late-arriving ballots that had been excluded because they weren't notarized or witnessed, as required by law. Also mindful of public relations, the Hornsby campaign brought forward a man who claimed that the absentee ballot of his son, overseas in the military, was in danger of being disallowed. The matter wound up in court. "The last marching order we had from Karl," says a former employee, "was 'Make sure you continue to talk this up. The only way we're going to be successful is if the Alabama public continues to care about it.'"
Initially, things looked grim for Hooper. A circuit-court judge ruled that the absentee ballots should be counted, reasoning that voters' intent was the issue, and that by merely signing them, those who had cast them had "substantially complied" with the law. Hooper's lawyers appealed to a federal court. By Thanksgiving his campaign believed he was ahead—but also believed that the disputed absentee ballots, from heavily Democratic counties, would cost him the election. The campaign went so far as to sue every probate judge, circuit clerk, and sheriff in the state, alleging discrimination. Hooper continued to hold rallies throughout it all. On his behalf the business community bought ads in newspapers across the state that said, "They steal elections they don't like." Public opinion began tilting toward him.
The recount stretched into the following year. On Inauguration Day both candidates appeared for the ceremonies. By March the all-Democratic Alabama Supreme Court had ordered that the absentee ballots be counted. By April the matter was before the Eleventh Federal Circuit Court. The byzantine legal maneuvering continued for months. In mid-October a federal appeals-court judge finally ruled that the ballots could not be counted, and ordered the secretary of state to certify Hooper as the winner—only to have Hornsby's legal team appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court, which temporarily stayed the case. By now the recount had dragged on for almost a year.
When I went to visit Hooper, not long ago, we sat in the parlor of his Montgomery home as he described the denouement of Karl Rove's closest race. "On the afternoon of October the nineteenth," Hooper recalled, "I was in the back yard planting five hundred pink sweet Williams in my wife's garden, and she hollered out the back door, 'Your secretary just called—the Supreme Court just made a ruling that you're the chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court!'" In the final tally he had prevailed by just 262 votes. Hooper smiled broadly and handed me a large photo of his swearing-in ceremony the next day. "That Karl Rove was a very impressive fellow," he said.
In the decade since, the recount and the court battle have faded into obscurity, save for one brief period, late in 2000, when they suddenly became relevant again. Almost as if to remind Al Gore's campaign of Rove's skill when faced with a recount, the case was revived in a flurry of legal briefs in the Supreme Court case of Bush v. Gore—including one filed by the State of Alabama on behalf of George W. Bush.
his summer, with the presidential race looking as if it would be every bit as close as the one in 2000, I spent several months examining the narrowest races in Karl Rove's career to better understand the tendencies and tactics of the man who will arguably have more influence than anyone else over how this election unfolds. Rove has already generated a remarkable body of literature, including several notable books and numerous magazine and newspaper articles. I spoke to many of Rove's former candidates and their opponents; to his past and present colleagues and the people who faced off against them; and to political insiders and journalists—primarily in Texas and Alabama, where Rove has done the majority of his campaign work. I learned much about Rove that hasn't made it into the public sphere.
One of the striking things about his record is how few close races Rove has been involved with—primarily because he usually wins in a walk. In the relatively rare instances when he is in a tight race, he tends to win that, too. Although Rove first rose to political prominence as a specialist in direct-mail fundraising (and worked on hundreds of races in that capacity), mail is only one facet of a campaign, and rarely the deciding factor. So I focused on races in which Rove was the primary strategist, and therefore in a position at least roughly analogous to the one he holds in this presidential race. The last strategist before Rove to win a Republican presidential election was his former colleague Lee Atwater, who by the time of the 1988 campaign had a career record of 28—4. To my knowledge, no one has calculated such a figure for Rove. As far as I can determine, in races he has run for statewide or national office or Congress, starting in 1986, Rove's career record is a truly impressive 34—7.
The mythologizing portrayals of a "boy genius" that characterized so much media coverage of Rove after 2000, and especially after the Republicans' triumphant sweep in the midterm elections, struck me as sorely out of date when I began this project. The Bush Administration was suffering through the worst of the fallout from the Abu Ghraib scandal, and the President's approval ratings were plummeting. Clearly, there are many differences between the circumstances in which Rove has been victorious in the past and those he faces now. But that is no reason to discount his record. By any standard he is an extremely talented political strategist whose skill at understanding how to run campaigns and motivate voters would be impressive even if he used no extreme tactics. But he does use them. Anyone who takes an honest look at his history will come away awed by Rove's power, when challenged, to draw on an animal ferocity that far exceeds the chest-thumping bravado common to professional political operatives. Having studied what happens when Karl Rove is cornered, I came away with two overriding impressions. One was a new appreciation for his mastery of campaigning. The other was astonishment at the degree to which, despite all that's been written about him, Rove's fiercest tendencies have been elided in national media coverage.
emocrats who want to feel sanguine about the coming election might well find comfort in the particulars of Rove's career. Several of his usual advantages are lacking this time around, conspicuously in geography. As a direct-mail consultant, Rove worked for races across the country, in blue states as well as red. The nature of that work mostly entailed identifying conservatives and motivating them to donate money—a fine skill for one in his current position as Bush's chief strategist, but not the equivalent of running a campaign. Rove compiled his stellar record in Texas and Alabama—and, of course, in the 2000 presidential election, even if his candidate lost the popular vote. During the period in which he rose to power, both states, deeply conservative, were transitioning from a firmly Democratic electorate to a firmly Republican one. A charge frequently levied against Rove by beleaguered Democratic consultants in Texas and Alabama is that he merely "surfed the wave" of the demographic change. This ignores his political talent. It's true, though, that for most of his career Rove has enjoyed a kind of home-field advantage, and in this election he does not.
A surprising number of Rove's former colleagues believe that his unprecedented success in Texas, where for years his candidates rarely faced serious challenges, has fostered what in the boxing world would be known as a "tomato-can" syndrome. Like a heavyweight champion who lets down his guard after beating up a series of hapless "tomato-can" opponents, Rove, they fear, may have been blinded to current national realities by hubris. "I think Karl's success in Texas is almost a hindrance," a veteran strategist who worked with him in that state told me. "The rest of the country doesn't emulate Texas in terms of voting behavior. But sometimes you see his southern roots in Texas and his experience in Alabama kind of overtake him, and he seems to think the United States is one big-ass Texas."
Several consultants pointed to the issue of gay marriage, which one described as a perfect Texas wedge issue because it would attract culturally conservative Democrats in the eastern part of the state—"the rednecks," as he put it—who are normally the key to winning statewide office. But he doubted that the issue would have the same effect in the less conservative battleground states that are expected to decide this election.
Rove is also riding on less of a decisive financial advantage than the one he normally enjoys. In their book Bush's Brain, James Moore and Wayne Slater explain how Rove's success as a fundraiser provided the impetus for his move into political consulting, and how, once established in that capacity, he consolidated his power by controlling candidates' access to major donors, usually ensuring that his clients were better funded than their opponents. This enabled him to engage in what amounted to asymmetric warfare against anyone who challenged his candidates. The authors recount an anecdote in which Priscilla Owen—then a Houston judge, later a controversial Bush appointee to the federal bench—approached a rich Republican donor whose job it was to vet candidates, and explained that she was thinking about running for the Texas Supreme Court. "Have you talked to Karl Rove?" he inquired. Taking the hint, she replied, "No, but I plan to." After Rove agreed to support her, she won handily, outspending her opponent. A similar imbalance applied in 2000, when Bush outspent Gore by a wide margin. But this year John Kerry's extraordinary and unexpected ability to raise money has largely closed the gap.
It will come as no surprise to anyone who has paid attention to the current campaign that Rove's most notable tendency in close races has been to go negative against his opponent, early and often. One of the first highlights of his career was the famously tight 1986 Texas governor's race, in which his candidate and mentor, the Republican oilman Bill Clements, sought to oust the Democratic incumbent Mark White. The race is legendary in Texas political lore for Rove's discovery that his office was bugged—news of which, coincidentally or not, distracted attention from an evening debate in which his candidate was expected to fare poorly. More pertinent to the current campaign is a strategy memo Rove wrote for his client prior to the race, which is now filed among Clements's papers in the Texas A&M University library. Quoting Napoleon, the memo says, "The whole art of war consists in a well-reasoned and extremely circumspect defensive, followed by rapid and audacious attack."
Though it is forever fashionable to denounce negative campaigning, every political expert understands that it can be extremely effective. Rove's career has borne this out perhaps better than any other modern political consultant's. But his very success leaves him precariously positioned if Bush stalls or founders. Once a negative course is set, it is nearly impossible to change; the perpetrator is usually stained for good. Furthermore, Rove's method is to plot out elaborate strategies well in advance of the campaign, and stick to them vigilantly. John Deardourff, Rove's media consultant for races in Texas and Alabama, says, "This rap Bush has of never changing his mind and never admitting a mistake—that's Karl! That's where it comes from." It is a tribute to Rove's strategic skill that he is so often right.
Throughout his career Rove has been able to stage-manage races to an extraordinary degree. This is possibly his least appreciated skill. The most revealing time in his career was 1994, when Rove fought more close races than in any other year, and managed to dictate the dynamic in every one of them. He pulled off highly unlikely upsets for Perry Hooper in Alabama (a race overwhelmingly about trial lawyer excesses) and George W. Bush in Texas (a race dominated by Bush's platform of welfare, juvenile-justice, tort, and public-school reform). However impressive, all but one of his races have been conducted at the state level, and thus have been comparatively insular affairs, unimpeded by the glare of the national media or a troublesome global issue like violence in Iraq—both of which could threaten Rove's ability to control this race.
In the rare instances when he has failed to set the terms of debate, Rove hasn't fared nearly so well. Four years ago, in a race to succeed Hooper, who was retiring as Alabama's chief justice, Rove lined up support from a majority of the state's important Republicans behind his candidate, an associate justice named Harold See. Like most of Rove's clients, See had an enormous financial advantage and ran a brutally negative campaign—but he was nonetheless trounced by Roy Moore, the "Ten Commandments" judge, who succeeded in making the race about religion. This loss may have helped Rove to recognize the power of religion as a political motivator: from the question of gay marriage to organizing churches for Bush, it features prominently in his playbook for the current election.
If there is any compelling reason to think that Rove may be out of his depth in this election, it is an odd lacuna in his storied career: no one I spoke with could recall his ever having to run an incumbent in a tough re-election race. This is partly a by-product of his dominance. Rove's power in Texas was such that he could essentially handpick his candidates, and once elected, they rarely lost. And he spent most of his career in the favorable terrain of the Deep South. One reason Rove was spared re-election fights is that as demographic changes swept across the South, and Republicans in Texas and Alabama began displacing Democrats, the likelihood that a Democrat could depose a sitting Republican became remote. Rove has long excelled at knocking off incumbents in tight races. Now, at last, he must defend one.
espite all this, there are significant reasons to believe that Rove can pull it off this time. One is his prior experience in close races. Another is his preparedness and attention to detail, to which any discussion with a longtime Rove colleague invariably turns. "The thing that was most important to him was the mechanics: making certain that the campaign could block and tackle," recalls a staffer who worked for Rove's direct-mail firm in the 1980s and 1990s. Rove would typically begin a race by constructing seven-layer spreadsheets of the electoral history of a particular office, charting where votes for each candidate had originated and which groups had supplied them. In the 1980s these data led Rove to conclude that his candidates ought to target "ticket-splitters"—Texans who supported Ronald Reagan for President but voted Democratic in downballot races.
Rove's direct-mail experience had provided him with a nuanced understanding of precisely what motivates ticket-splitters. According to Karl Rove & Co. data on the 1994 Texas governor's race, Rove was aware, for instance, that households that received a single piece of mail turned out for Bush at a rate of 15.45 percent, and those that received three pieces at a rate of 50.83 percent. Turnout peaked at seven pieces (57.88 percent), after which enthusiasm for Bush presumably gave way to feelings of inundation, and support began to drop.
Rove's thirst for efficient advantage extended even to marketing. According to a former employee, rather than use costly dinners and Dallas Cowboys tickets to draw clients' attention, as other consultants did, Rove affixed antique stamps (though not valuable ones) to the weekly financial summaries he mailed to clients; he would send workers to estate sales to hunt out supplies.
When Rove arrived in Alabama, in 1994, his clients were initially puzzled as to why he was having them campaign in rural and less populated parts of the state rather than the urban areas they were accustomed to. It turned out that he had run an electoral regression analysis on each of the state's sixty-seven counties, and for efficiency's sake he put his four judicial candidates together on a bus trip to the counties with the highest percentage of ticket-splitters. "Karl got us focused on the fact that it was a matter of convincing Democratic voters who were already conservative to vote for Republican candidates," Mark Montiel, a candidate on the trip, explains, "because that was who best expressed their views."
Among Rove's other innovations was a savvy use of language, developed for speaking to the conservative base about judicial races. Candidates were to attack "liberal activist judges" and to present themselves as "people who will strictly interpret the law and not rewrite it from the bench." A former Rove staffer explained to me that the term "activist judges" motivates all sorts of people for very different reasons. If you're a religious conservative, he said, it means judges who established abortion rights or who interpret Massachusetts's equal-protection clause as applying to gays. If you're a business conservative, it means those who allow exorbitant jury awards. And in Alabama especially, the term conjures up those who forced integration. "The attraction of calling yourself a 'strict constructionist,'" as Rove's candidates did, this staffer explained, "is that you can attract business conservatives, social conservatives, and moderates who simply want a reasonable standard of justice."
As with direct mail, Rove was skilled at reaching specific voter segments with television commercials, buying air time only during programs that he believed would attract the audience he was trying to reach. In his Alabama races he was known particularly to withhold advertising from The Oprah Winfrey Show and similar afternoon programming—"trimming a media buy," as it is known in the trade. Bill Smith, who worked on a series of close races with Rove in Alabama, says, "There's a real overlap in what he specialized in professionally and what you need to do in a tight race." Whether he is seeking donors in a direct-mail fundraising campaign or manipulating a particular demographic sliver to win a close race, Rove's professional goal has been strikingly consistent: to reach the right people.
ow Rove has conducted himself while winning campaigns is a subject of no small controversy in political circles. It is frequently said of him, in hushed tones when political folks are doing the talking, that he leaves a trail of damage in his wake—a reference to the substantial number of people who have been hurt, politically and personally, through their encounters with him. Rove's reputation for winning is eclipsed only by his reputation for ruthlessness, and examples abound of his apparent willingness to cross moral and ethical lines.
In the opening pages of Bush's Brain, Wayne Slater describes an encounter with Rove while covering the 2000 campaign for the Dallas Morning News. Slater had written an article for that day's paper detailing Rove's history of dirty tricks, including a 1973 conference he had organized for young Republicans on how to orchestrate them. Rove was furious. "You're trying to ruin me!" Slater recalls him shouting. The anecdote points up one of the paradoxes of Rove's career. Articles like Slater's are surprisingly few, yet as I interviewed people who knew Rove, they brought up examples of unscrupulous tactics—some of them breathtaking—as a matter of course.
A typical instance occurred in the hard-fought 1996 race for a seat on the Alabama Supreme Court between Rove's client, Harold See, then a University of Alabama law professor, and the Democratic incumbent, Kenneth Ingram. According to someone who worked for him, Rove, dissatisfied with the campaign's progress, had flyers printed up—absent any trace of who was behind them—viciously attacking See and his family. "We were trying to craft a message to reach some of the blue-collar, lower-middle-class people," the staffer says. "You'd roll it up, put a rubber band around it, and paperboy it at houses late at night. I was told, 'Do not hand it to anybody, do not tell anybody who you're with, and if you can, borrow a car that doesn't have your tags.' So I borrowed a buddy's car [and drove] down the middle of the street … I had Hefty bags stuffed full of these rolled-up pamphlets, and I'd cruise the designated neighborhoods, throwing these things out with both hands and literally driving with my knees." The ploy left Rove's opponent at a loss. Ingram's staff realized that it would be fruitless to try to persuade the public that the See campaign was attacking its own candidate in order "to create a backlash against the Democrat," as Joe Perkins, who worked for Ingram, put it to me. Presumably the public would believe that Democrats were spreading terrible rumors about See and his family. "They just beat you down to your knees," Ingram said of being on the receiving end of Rove's attacks. See won the race.
Some of Rove's darker tactics cut even closer to the bone. One constant throughout his career is the prevalence of whisper campaigns against opponents. The 2000 primary campaign, for example, featured a widely disseminated rumor that John McCain, tortured as a prisoner of war in Vietnam, had betrayed his country under interrogation and been rendered mentally unfit for office. More often a Rove campaign questions an opponent's sexual orientation. Bush's 1994 race against Ann Richards featured a rumor that she was a lesbian, along with a rare instance of such a tactic's making it into the public record—when a regional chairman of the Bush campaign allowed himself, perhaps inadvertently, to be quoted criticizing Richards for "appointing avowed homosexual activists" to state jobs.
Another example of Rove's methods involves a former ally of Rove's from Texas, John Weaver, who, coincidentally, managed McCain's bid in 2000. Many Republican operatives in Texas tell the story of another close race of sorts: a competition in the 1980s to become the dominant Republican consultant in Texas. In 1986 Weaver and Rove both worked on Bill Clements's successful campaign for governor, after which Weaver was named executive director of the state Republican Party. Both were emerging as leading consultants, but Weaver's star seemed to be rising faster. The details vary slightly according to which insider tells the story, but the main point is always the same: after Weaver went into business for himself and lured away one of Rove's top employees, Rove spread a rumor that Weaver had made a pass at a young man at a state Republican function. Weaver won't reply to the smear, but those close to him told me of their outrage at the nearly two-decades-old lie. Weaver was first made unwelcome in some Texas Republican circles, and eventually, following McCain's 2000 campaign, he left the Republican Party altogether. He has continued an active and successful career as a political consultant—in Texas and Alabama, among other states—and is currently working for McCain as a Democrat.
But no other example of Rove's extreme tactics that I encountered quite compares to what occurred during another 1994 judicial campaign in Alabama. In that year Harold See first ran for the supreme court, becoming the rare Rove client to lose a close race. His opponent, Mark Kennedy, an incumbent Democratic justice and, as George Wallace's son-in-law, a member in good standing of Alabama's first family of politics, was no stranger to hardball politics. "The Wallace family history and what they all went through, that's pretty rough politics," says Joe Perkins, who managed Kennedy's campaign. "But it was a whole new dimension with Rove."
This August, I had lunch with Kennedy near his office in Montgomery. I had hoped to discuss how it was that he had beaten one of the savviest political strategists in modern history, and I expected to hear more of the raucous campaign tales that are a staple of Alabama politics. Neither Kennedy nor our meeting was anything like what I had anticipated. A small man, impeccably dressed and well-mannered, Kennedy appeared to derive little satisfaction from having beaten Rove. In fact, he seemed shaken, even ten years later. He quietly explained how Rove's arrival had poisoned the judicial climate by putting politics above matters of law and justice—"collateral damage," he called it, from the win-at-all-costs attitude that now prevails in judicial races.
He talked about the viciousness of the "slash-and-burn" campaign, and how Rove appealed to the worst elements of human nature. "People vote in Alabama for two reasons," Kennedy told me. "Anger and fear. It's a state that votes against somebody rather than for them. Rove understood how to put his finger right on the trigger point." Kennedy seemed most bothered by the personal nature of the attacks, which, in addition to the usual anti-trial-lawyer litany, had included charges that he was mingling campaign funds with those of a nonprofit children's foundation he was involved with. In the end he eked out a victory by less than one percentage point.
Kennedy leaned forward and said, "After the race my wife, Peggy, was at the supermarket checkout line. She picked up a copy of Reader's Digest and nearly collapsed on her watermelon. She called me and said, 'Sit down. You're not going to believe this.'" Her husband was featured in an article on "America's worst judges." Kennedy attributed this to Rove's attacks.
When his term on the court ended, he chose not to run for re-election. I later learned another reason why. Kennedy had spent years on the bench as a juvenile and family-court judge, during which time he had developed a strong interest in aiding abused children. In the early 1980s he had helped to start the Children's Trust Fund of Alabama, and he later established the Corporate Foundation for Children, a private, nonprofit organization. At the time of the race he had just served a term as president of the National Committee to Prevent Child Abuse and Neglect. One of Rove's signature tactics is to attack an opponent on the very front that seems unassailable. Kennedy was no exception.
Some of Kennedy's campaign commercials touted his volunteer work, including one that showed him holding hands with children. "We were trying to counter the positives from that ad," a former Rove staffer told me, explaining that some within the See camp initiated a whisper campaign that Kennedy was a pedophile. "It was our standard practice to use the University of Alabama Law School to disseminate whisper-campaign information," the staffer went on. "That was a major device we used for the transmission of this stuff. The students at the law school are from all over the state, and that's one of the ways that Karl got the information out—he knew the law students would take it back to their home towns and it would get out." This would create the impression that the lie was in fact common knowledge across the state. "What Rove does," says Joe Perkins, "is try to make something so bad for a family that the candidate will not subject the family to the hardship. Mark is not your typical Alabama macho, beer-drinkin', tobacco-chewin', pickup-drivin' kind of guy. He is a small, well-groomed, well-educated family man, and what they tried to do was make him look like a homosexual pedophile. That was really, really hard to take."
Earlier this year the lone Democrat on the Alabama Supreme Court announced his retirement. There's an excellent chance that on Election Day the court will at last become entirely Republican.
lmost from the beginning Karl Rove has signaled that he expects a close 2004 election, and he has run George W. Bush's re-election effort accordingly. While John Kerry's campaign has made an extraordinary effort to gather moderate voters to his liberal base by stressing its candidate's decorated war record and centrist views, Rove—in contrast to 2000's invitingly gauzy message of "compassionate conservatism"—has returned to his traditional strength: motivating the base of conservative voters.
Bush's campaign has naturally focused on the battleground states, but Rove's strategy can be decoded by looking at the targets of emphasis within those states. They are predominantly solid Republican areas such as Pensacola, Florida, and Cincinnati, Ohio. Rove's gambit is to improve Bush's margins in places where the President fared well in the 2000 election, just enough—a few points higher among Catholics, evangelicals, Hispanics—to prevail once more. To achieve this he is following the lessons of tight races past, buying television time in solidly red Fargo, North Dakota, because the airwaves also reach the neighboring swing state of Minnesota, and in solidly blue Burlington, Vermont, so as to draw a few more voters to Bush in the battle for New Hampshire, next door.
Rather than soften Bush's appeal to reach moderates, Rove, as he has done throughout his career, is attempting to control the debate by expertly spotlighting issues sure to inspire his core constituency: the drive for a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage, the pronouncements about love of country, the unremitting attack against anything in an opponent that seems impregnable. All these tactics stand out in Rove's most memorable past victories.
Privately, Rove has been challenged and even denounced for his approach. A common refrain I heard from Republican consultants a few months ago was that his approach is foolish, because for the sake of an ideologically intense campaign, Rove is ceding to the Democrats the moderates Kerry is pursuing. And, these consultants fear, it puts Bush in jeopardy of seeing outside events decide the race.
But an interesting thing happened as I worked on this piece. Early in the summer, as Bush was struggling, even Rove's allies professed to doubt his ability to control the dynamics of the race in view of an unrelenting stream of bad news from Iraq. Several insisted that he was in over his head—with an emphasis that seemed to go deeper than mere professional envy. Yet by August, when attacks by the anti-Kerry group Swift Boat Veterans for Truth were dominating the front pages, such comments had become rarer. Then they died away entirely.
If this year stays true to past form, the campaign will get nastier in the closing weeks, and without anyone's quite registering it, Rove will be right back in his element. He seems to understand—indeed, to count on—the media's unwillingness or inability, whether from squeamishness, laziness, or professional caution, ever to give a full estimate of him or his work. It is ultimately not just Rove's skill but his character that allows him to perform on an entirely different plane. Along with remarkable strategic skills, he has both an understanding of the media's unstated self-limitations and a willingness to fight in territory where conscience forbids most others.
Rove isn't bracing for a close race. He's depending on it. The URL for this page is

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Woman who died after Red Sox Win was shot in eye by police

Comment: FoxNews below using AP Report
ABC News reported today that woman was shot in the eye with a projectile (maybe tear gas?) by Police

Update from CNN 10/22/2004
Boston police accept 'full responsibility' in death of Red Sox fan
Woman killed by projectile fired to disperse crowds
Friday, October 22, 2004 Posted: 3:54 AM EDT (0754 GMT)

(CNN) -- The Boston Police Department "accepts full responsibility" for the death of a 21-year-old college student killed by a police projectile fired to disperse crowds celebrating the Boston Red Sox victory over the New York Yankees.
Preliminary findings indicate that Victoria Snelgrove, a journalism student at Emerson College, was hit in the eye by a projectile that disperses pepper spray on impact, Boston Police Commissioner Kathleen O'Toole said Thursday.
Snelgrove died at 12:50 p.m. at Brigham and Women's Hospital, hours after the overnight melee.
"The Boston Police Department is devastated by this tragedy. This terrible event should never have happened," O'Toole told reporters. "The Boston Police Department accepts full responsibility for the death of Victoria Snelgrove."
Outside the family home in East Bridgewater, Rick Snelgrove clutched a photograph of his daughter and said, "Awful things happen to good people, and my daughter was an exceptional person."
"What happened to her should not happen to any American citizen," he told reporters, fighting back tears. "She loved the Red Sox. She went in to celebrate with friends, she was a bystander. She was out of the way, but she still got shot."
Police have said some 60,000 to 80,000 people took to the streets in the area around Fenway Park late Wednesday. Although most were simply celebrating the 10-3 victory that thrust the Red Sox into the World Series for the first time since 1986, some in the crowd vandalized property, set fires and tried to overturn cars. At least eight people were arrested.
However, video from the scene where Snelgrove was struck showed the crowd in a joyous mood, slapping high fives and chanting celebratory Red Sox slogans. There were no signs of near-riotous conditions in that immediate vicinity although the area was crowded, and dozens of people near her stopped celebrating when they realized the severity of her injury and they tried to get help.
Snelgrove was sprawled out on the ground, with blood running down her face.
"This day, which should have been one of celebration, is heartbreakingly tragic," O'Toole said. "I can't imagine the grief that her family is suffering and express my deepest sympathy to them."
She said the officers involved were "devastated" and have been placed on leave pursuant to department policy. Their names will not be not disclosed until they are interviewed by investigators, she said.
O'Toole said she "firmly and emphatically" accepted responsibility for any errors officers may have made. But she condemned the "punks" she said turned a celebration of the pennant victory into a near-riot.
"The dreadful irony is that the use of less-lethal weapons is designed to reduce the risk of fatal injury," O'Toole said.
Snelgrove was a junior majoring in journalism at Emerson College, a small, four-year communications and performing arts college in Boston, said school spokesman David Rosen. She had transferred to the school last spring and was to turn 22 next week.
Rosen said Snelgrove's family was at her side when she died.
Woman Dies From Bosox Melee Wounds
Thursday, October 21, 2004

Historic Win for Bosox

Yankees Spank Red Sox in Game 3

Cardinals Top Astros 6-4 in Championship

Cardinals Beat Astros in Series Opener
BOSTON — A 21-year-old college student died Thursday of a head injury after a clash between police and a crowd of Red Sox (search) fans who poured into the streets outside Fenway Park (search) to celebrate their team's victory over the New York Yankees (search).
Victoria Snelgrove, a journalism major at Emerson College in Boston, was shot in the eye by a projectile fired by an officer on crowd-control duty. The nature of the projectile was not immediately identified but the weapons are meant to be non-lethal.
During a news conference carried live on local television stations, Boston Police Commissioner Kathleen O'Toole expressed the department's sympathies to Snelgrove's family and said the agency "accepts full responsibility for the death of Victoria Snelgrove.
"The Boston Police Department is devastated by this tragedy. This terrible event should never have happened," O'Toole said.
Snelgrove, of East Bridgewater, was among 16 people hurt in Boston's Kenmore Square neighborhood early Thursday morning, after thousands of fans spilled out onto the streets to celebrate the Red Sox winning the American League pennant. She died at Brigham and Women's Hospital later in the day.
"It appears from evidence we have reviewed thus far that Tori was killed when she was hit in the eye by a projectile fired as officers tried to control mobs outside the ballpark," O'Toole said. "Designated officers were equiped with less-lethal systems that use projectiles designed to break upon impact, dousing the target with [pepper-like] spray."
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O'Toole and Mayor Thomas Menino pledged to fully investigate the incident.
Snelgrove's father, Rick Snelgrove, expressed outrage and said his daughter did nothing wrong. Standing outside the family home, he held up a photograph of his smiling daughter.
"What happened to her should not happen to any American citizen going to any type of game, no matter what," he said. "She loved the Red Sox. She went in to celebrate with friends. She was a bystander. She was out of the way, but she still got shot. Awful things happen to good people. My daughter was an exceptional person."
A police officer was among the others injured in the melee, but none of the other injuries were severe.
City officials announced there would be a heavy police presence in Kenmore Square after they were caught understaffed when riots broke out when the New England Patriots won the Super Bowl on Feb. 1.
In the Super Bowl aftermath, a 21-year-old man visiting his brother at Northeastern University was killed and a Northeastern student was critically injured when a vehicle plowed into a crowd of revelers.
The new Boston Police Command Center has been in use as the Red Sox advanced through the playoffs. Inside, police watch views from 50 cameras around the city as they coordinate with several agencies, including State Police, the Boston Fire Department and even some college police forces. It was first used during the Democratic National Convention in July. The cameras were installed on top of the ballpark and other locations.
Early Thursday morning, several small fires were set, fireworks shot into the sky, a trash can was thrown at a fast-food restaurant sign and numerous fights broke out. Boston police reported eight arrests, mostly for disorderly conduct, though one arrest was for assault and battery on a police officer.
Menino said the city will prosecute others if possible.
"We will take responsibility for what happened," the mayor said. "We also will move on the hoodlums who were out in the streets of our city."
Emerson College spokesman David Rosen said the school is devastated.
"I'm sure the police and the city will conduct a full investigation, but at the end of the day, it doesn't matter how it happened," he said. "It's a great personal tragedy for this individual, her family and her many friends here at the college. We'll mourn her death no matter how it happened."
Snelgrove transferred to Emerson from Fitchburg State College a year ago and was a junior majoring in broadcast journalism, said her academic adviser, Janet Kolodzy.
A memorial service was being planned and grief counselors would be on hand to help students deal with Snelgrove's death, Rosen said.