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Gore aide's traffic jam story draws criticism
The Union Leader, Manchester NH ^ | 2/7/03 | BENJAMIN KEPPLE

Posted on 02/07/2003 4:35:24 AM PST by RJCogburn

Former Vice President Al Gore’s Presidential campaign created a traffic jam to discourage supporters of former U.S. Sen. Bill Bradley, D-N.J., from voting in New Hampshire’s 2000 primary election, a Boston-area newsweekly said.

But state Democrats last night expressed disbelief at the report, originally published in the Boston Phoenix. The Phoenix, citing past comments from a high-level Gore operative who has ties to the Presidential campaign of U.S. Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., said the campaign put together a convoy to snarl traffic on Interstate 93 on primary day.

The move was supposedly an attempt to discourage Bradley voters, in areas such as Bedford, from getting to the polls.

Some Democrats didn’t find the situation amusing.

“All I can say is, if this is true, it’s outrageous. It should never have happened,” said Kathy Sullivan, the Democratic Party’s state chairman. “No one should try to make it difficult for anyone to vote. That’s just plain wrong, and there’s no place for that in either party.”

“I don’t get it. I just don’t get it,” Sullivan said. “I read the story and I just sat here shaking my head.”

Other Democrats largely dismissed the story.

“When I read the story, it was the first I had ever heard of it. I certainly was not aware of such a thing,” said state Rep. Raymond Buckley, D-Manchester, who worked for the Gore campaign on that day.

Buckley said that while there was a traffic jam on the highway, it was because Gore was going over to the polls in Bedford to greet voters. Furthermore, he said, the jam only lasted for about 10 to 20 minutes. And officials with the Kerry campaign also dismissed the story.

“My assumption is that it’s an urban myth, and that’s about it,” said Ken Robinson, the manager of Kerry’s New Hampshire campaign.

In its article, the Phoenix cited an account of election-day tactics reportedly given by Michael Whouley, a Gore campaign official, at a Harvard University symposium. It also said Whouley’s comments were included in a volume published by the college’s Institute of Politics, at the John F. Kennedy School of Government.

According to the Phoenix, the Gore camp’s afternoon exit polls showed their man was losing to Bradley. Knowing that suburban independents were most attracted to Bradley, the paper said Gore’s team organized a caravan to slow traffic along the highway near Bedford and other Manchester suburbs. Meanwhile, the paper said, the Gore campaign ratcheted up its own get-out-the-vote efforts in Manchester and Nashua. Gore won the primary.

Whouley, whom Robinson described as an informal adviser to the Kerry campaign, could not be reached for comment last night.

But former Bradley supporters didn’t think much of the supposed tactic.

“I just can’t believe it. It’s kind of a silly thing to do,” said Dan Callaghan, a then-Bradley supporter from Manchester.

“I can’t imagine that a traffic jam made enough of a difference for anyone,” said former Democratic state Sen. Mark Fernald, who unsuccessfully ran for governor last year.


TOPICS: Miscellaneous; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS:
The local take on a story posted earlier.
1 posted on 02/07/2003 4:35:24 AM PST by RJCogburn
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To: RJCogburn
We had a situation in No VA where people thought a traffic jam made the difference in an election. Heavy rains, many accidents, beltway ties up for miles and miles in all directions during rush hour, while the polls closed at 6:00 or 7:00, which is early when thousands of cars are at a standstill on several 12-lane highways.

But those determined to vote knew rush hour gridlock was always a possibility, so they voted in the morning or took a few hours off to get to the polls in the afternoon. That would be Republicans.
2 posted on 02/07/2003 4:42:40 AM PST by fightinJAG (We will not tire. We will not falter. We will prevail.)
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To: RJCogburn
The networks' reporting on Election Night 2000 was an attempt to repeat this on a national scale.
3 posted on 02/07/2003 5:04:07 AM PST by aristeides
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To: All
I tried to find that story at their site but couldn't. One thing I did notice, however, was that it sure looked like a hangout for the 'Craps.
4 posted on 02/07/2003 5:55:23 AM PST by JoJo Gunn
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To: RJCogburn
"No one should try to make it difficult for anyone to vote. That’s just plain wrong, and there’s no place for that in either party"

Hmmmm? But ... when Gore's men sent out the memo telling their people how to disqualify military votes ... THAT WAS OKAY ??
5 posted on 02/07/2003 12:18:27 PM PST by The Final Harvest ( Yo! Syracuse)
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To: RJCogburn
“All I can say is, if this is true, it’s outrageous. It should never have happened,” said Kathy Sullivan, the Democratic Party’s state chairman. “No one should try to make it difficult for anyone to vote. That’s just plain wrong, and there’s no place for that in either party.”

Where I come from, that is an admission that it happened.

6 posted on 02/07/2003 2:07:23 PM PST by steveegg (The Surgeon General has determined that siding with Al-Qaeda is hazardous to your continued rule.)
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To: JoJo Gunn
I tried to find that story at their site but couldn't.

It's the middle of the first page of Primary School by Seth Gitell. The original thread is here.

7 posted on 02/07/2003 2:11:35 PM PST by steveegg (The Surgeon General has determined that siding with Al-Qaeda is hazardous to your continued rule.)
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To: fightinJAG
Traffic jams were reported by Dem activist as having been created by Republicans in Florida during the Chad Elections to keep Black voters from reaching the polls. So....this is a Democrat tactic, huh? Who's surprised?
8 posted on 02/08/2003 6:50:02 AM PST by FryingPan101 (I love Rummy!!)
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To: FryingPan101
Bump

I hadn't heard this story until Fox reported it tonight--I think on Brit's show. Then I finally had a chance to look for the thread...
9 posted on 02/10/2003 5:58:22 PM PST by cyncooper (God be with President Bush)
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