ELECTION PREVIEWTHREE TO WATCH IN '06
by Alex Miller-Mignone
[In this three-part Election 2006 preview, Alex looks at a trio of important races involving top GOP operatives, and re-examines the evidence for e-vote fraud in our disintegrating democracy.]
Katherine Harris, currently a US Representative for Florida and a challenger for one of the Sunshine States Senate seats, is best remembered for her pivotal role in the contested 2000 election, when she was simultaneously Floridas Secretary of State and co-chair of the Bush/Cheney Campaign. Her preliminary spadework in disenfranchising tens of thousands of likely Democratic voters, her subsequent partisan rulings against Gore, and her rush to certify a Republican slate of electors for the state were pivotal in establishing the Bush coup.
Born 5 April 1957, Harris comes from wealthy Republican political stock: her grandfather Ben Hill Griffin was an influential state legislator, with a stadium named for him at the University of Florida, and Harris has a personal fortune in excess of $10 million. Harris political career began in 1994, when she followed her grandfather into the Florida State Senate after one of the most expensive elections in state history. $20,000 of her winning war chest came illegally from Sarasota-based Riscorp, Inc., for whom she later pushed favorable legislation; Harris involvement with political corruption is virtually indistinguishable from her involvement with politics.
In 1998 she left the state legislature for a stint as Secretary of State, becoming part of the political machine of incoming Governor Jeb Bush (at the time, the office was an elected one; it has since become a position appointed by the governor). The timing is significant; in January 1999, as Jeb was inaugurated for his first term as Florida Governor, brother George was inaugurated for his second term as Texas Governor. That same afternoon George Bush called a meeting of intimates and religious leaders to state, God wants me to be president. Harris spent much of the next two years preparing to deliver Floridas electoral votes to the elder Bush, acting as his state campaign co-chair from her first year in office.
Her first step was to contract with Database Technologies Inc. (DBT), to scan the Florida voter lists and scrub them of felons, who are ineligible to vote under Florida state law. DBT compared the states voter records with national databases of felons, and the resultant list of almost 58,000 names contained many inaccuracies, from persons with the same name or address, to those with similar names or social security numbers (for example, if a James Brown was convicted of a felony in Missouri, the DBT list scrubbed all James, Jim, or J. Browns from the Florida voter rolls, without confirming their identities). By some accounts, the list had as many as 55,000 incorrect entries, resulting in the improper disenfranchisement of a subset of Florida citizens, mostly poor, mostly minority, largely Democratic-leaning. In a sharply divided swing state, the deletion of 58,000 Democratic votes in advance of the election gave George W. Bush a decided advantage.
After the election, which was marred by such additional problems as the infamous Butterfly Ballot in Palm Beach County (the design of which caused many to spoil their ballots with over-votes) and notable technical glitches in electronic tallying processes (including one in a Volusia County precinct, which subtracted 16,000 votes from Gores column and added nearly 3000 to Bushs, despite the fact that the precinct in question had less than 600 registered voters), Harris bolstered Bushs FOX News-generated victory (first called by Bushs first cousin John Ellis) by fighting Gores legitimate recount requests and refusing to extend the certification deadline. Against the direct opposition of the Florida Supreme Court, which overruled her but was later itself overruled by the US Supreme Court, Harris certified the states electors for Bush, giving Floridas votes and the presidency to the cabal.
Harris reward was not long in coming. At the mid-term elections of 2002, the GOP backed her bid for US Representative for Floridas 13th District, which Harris won by a 10-point margin in a traditionally Republican district. Not content with House life, Harris mooted a run for the Senate in 2004, but her plans were vetoed by the White House, whose candidate for the position was HUD Secretary Mel Martinez, and Harris contented herself with re-election to the House.
But lets linger with the 2004 vote in Florida for awhile, as it may cast light on Harris current political dilemma, and her determination to ride this election out, seemingly against impossible odds. Martinez was the White Houses choice, but he may not have been the electorates. Challenging Martinez for the GOP nomination was Bill McCollum, former US Representative, a popular and well-known congressman with a high profile in Florida politics. After the supposed debacle of punch card voting in 2000, Florida had converted entirely to electronic voting systems, most of them without any paper trail or auditability (and which Harris, while still Secretary of State, had purchased for the state). McCollum consistently outpolled Martinez throughout the primary season, although the former HUD Secretary had begun closing the gap. The final poll on August 27 showed McCollum still in the lead by 35%-31%, a statistical dead heat. But just four days later on the August 31 primary, Martinez blew McCollum out of the water, at 48% to 33%, a completely unexpected 15-point margin of victory. A little over two months later, Florida was one of 23 states in the Union which gave George W. Bush victory margins in excess of the margin of error in the exit polling, which had favored John Kerry.
Building on her status as a two-term Representative, Harris determined that 2006 would be her year to trade up to the Senate, White House opinions notwithstanding. On 7 June 2005, Harris announced her candidacy for the GOP nomination to challenge Democratic incumbent Senator Bill Nelson. Early competition for the nomination was quickly edged out by Harris high profile and fundraising capacity, leaving her a clean field. But allegations of improper fundraising activity began to derail the Harris juggernaut in late 2005.
Harris had accepted contributions from Mitchell Wade, founder of defense contractor MZM, Inc., and noted for his involvement with the bribery scandal which brought down Republican congressman Randy Duke Cunningham. Wade had brokered $32,000 in contributions which were ostensibly from his employees, but whom he later reimbursed, in violation of campaign finance laws. He also treated Harris to a meal costing $2800, where they discussed a pending $10 million defense contract which Wade sought for MZM, and where he offered to host a fundraiser for Harris Senate election campaign. Harris rather weak defense in the case, which mirrored her first fundraising scandal when she entered Florida politics, was that she had not know the contributions were illegal, and that she had only partaken of a beverage and an appetizer at the infamous meal, worth less than $100 (though House rules exclude gifts of value in excess of $50).
The scandal received wide publicity, and Harris standing in the polls suffered. Her campaign underwent some major adjustments, when in late February 2006 both her finance director and campaign treasurer resigned. Speculation was rife about her withdrawal, especially after it was learned that she had been booked on FOX News Hannity & Colmes show, where she was planning to make a major announcement. When the show aired on March 15, 2006, however, the announcement was one of defiance: Harris pledged to continue the fight, investing her own $10 million inheritance if necessary, as her campaign contributions had all but dried up. Immediately after this appearance, Harris veered to the hard right, as a headline speaker at the Coral Ridge Presbyterian Churchs Reclaiming America for Christ conference in Ft. Lauderdale. She also appeared at several gun shows, and staged a photo op at a shooting range, learning to fire a handgun she had acquired for protection.
On April 1, 2006 Harris campaign underwent another massive spate of defections, losing top campaign advisor Ed Rollins, her pollster, campaign manager, and over a half dozen other staffers, including the intern who handed out campaign buttons at rallies. Florida Governor Jeb Bush and White House chief political adviser Karl Rove have all but given up her candidacy for lost, citing fears that her place on the ticket could drag down GOP margins statewide. Jeb Bush even applied considerable pressure to Florida House Speaker Allan Bense to enter the primary race in opposition to Harris, but the May 12 filing deadline came and went with no viable challengers (the primary will be held September 5). Still Harris fights on, ignoring the latest Quinnipiac and Rasmussen polls, which as of late April 2006 showed her with a thirty point deficit in her contest with incumbent Senator Nelson, down 57%-27%.
Harris determination to remain in the race, despite apparently insurmountable odds, may be more than mere stubbornness. Her experience of and intimacy with Florida voting systems and their ease of corruptibility, as Bush/Cheney 2000 campaign co-chair and purchaser of the new electronic voting systems, as well as the complacency of Floridas electorate to accept surprise upsets as in the Martinez/McCollum primary match of 2004, likely tells her that if she can only remain on the ballot in November, all will be well.
Born 5 April 1957, Harris chart is one of mixed blessings. Her natal Sun at 15 Aries exactly opposes a Quasar at 15 Libra, which often indicates considerable success, achievement and visibility in public life, and has doubtless contributed mightily to her advancement so far. But that Sun, and the accompanying Venus at 13 Aries, also opposes a Black Hole at 13 Libra, the source of much instability and dramatic volte face, as well as indicating both considerable financial assets (her $10 million inheritance) and the potential for severe financial loss (the pouring of those funds down the rat hole of her 2006 Senate campaign). The fundraising improprieties she has been plagued with since her entry into politics perfectly mirror Venus entanglement with Black Hole energies, which can make or mar with equal intensity.
Mercury at 1 Taurus opposes both natal Neptune at 1 Scorpio and a Black Hole at 28 Libra, and squares natal Uranus conjunct a Black Hole at 2 Leo. It is natural for Harris to embellish the truth, skirt the edges of honest communication, and react with subterfuge, manipulation and misdirection when cornered or thwarted in the attainment of her ambition. Her disingenuous responses that she was unaware of the illegality of the campaign contributions, that she did not trade policy decisions for monetary support when she so manifestly did so, and her attempt to dial back the impropriety of accepting expensive dinners by her assertion that she barely ate, are all evidence of a lively Mercury/Neptune pairing with Black Hole influence. Mercury/Uranus/Black Hole also speaks to her role in installing the new, inauditable (thus, invisible or opaque, two Black Hole keywords) electronic (Uranus) voting systems (Mercury) in the state.
Natal Mars at 11 Gemini opposes both a Black Hole at 10 Sagittarius and natal Saturn at 14 Sagittarius; Harris has quite a temper, which she usually manages to control fairly well, but her timing lacks finesse and she can be brittle or caustic to those closest to her. Natal Jupiter at 24 Virgo was exactly hit by the Lunar Eclipse of 14 March, 2006, the day before her FOX News appearance where she determined to fight on with her own inheritance if necessary. The influx of millions of dollars, Jupiter-ruled, is quite appropriate to that eclipse energy. Natal Pluto at 28 Leo is a member of the largest pattern of Deep Space points of which we are aware, with no less than 8 anomalies in various signs; Harris has a strong thirst for power, and can be ruthless in obtaining her desires, trampling the competition with steamroller-like thoroughness.
In recent memory, late date elections have been disastrous for the American people, predominantly because of the status-quo reversal qualities of having the Sun opposed a Black Hole, which occurs annually between the 6th or 7th and 9th or 10th of November. The election of 8 November 1994 which saw the first Republican takeover of Congress in 40 years, setting the stage for the policy debacles of the early years of the new century, occurred with the Sun at 15 Scorpio opposed the Black Hole at 16 Taurus. The 7 November 2000 election saw the Sun again at 15 Scorpio and opposed the Black Hole, and witnessed the installation of the Bush regime by the Supreme Court, in violation of the wishes of half a million more Americans who voted for Gore, and in a clearly partisan decision. This election foreshadowed the change from record budgetary surplus to record budgetary deficit within two years, surely a Black Hole reversal if ever there was one. The upcoming election of 7 November 2006 shows the Sun once again in that range, at 14 Scorpio, and may presage a reversal of Republican power in the Congress, with possible Democratic take-over of one or both Houses, and the effective neutering of the Bush administration for the final two years of its tenure.
For the 2000 election, Harris was uniquely poised to make a mockery of democracy. Transit Neptune at 3 Aquarius was in square to both her natal Neptune and natal Mercury, and opposing natal Uranus, thus transforming the natal T-Square into a Fixed Grand Cross. The increased opportunity for obfuscation, confusion, deception and manipulation (Neptune) of the voting process (Mercury) via high-tech, computerized means (Uranus) was greatly enhanced with this placement. Transit Mercury that day had come to station direct on the Black Hole at 29 Libra, and its position here perfectly mirrors the spate of alternate realities as Florida and the presidency flipped from Gores column to Bushs and back again to undecided. This celestial event fell within orb of Harris natal Neptune at 1 Scorpio, infusing the process with secrecy and behind-the-scenes motivations and actions.
Harris connects to the USA and George W. Bush charts primarily via the square of her mid-Aries Venus/Sun to the 13 Cancer Suns which those charts share. Additionally, Harriss natal Jupiter at 24 Virgo conjoins the nations Neptune at 22 Virgo, inflating and enhancing the credulity factor of the American public and making her vote tampering less obvious that it should have been, while her 14 Sagittarius Saturn is in exact sextile to the USAs own Saturn at 14 Libra, affording Harris the opportunity to use her official position (her natal Saturn) as Floridas Secretary of State to unduly influence the choice for the occupant of the presidency (USA Saturn).
With Harris election to the House on 5 November 2002, the Sun at 12 Scorpio had slipped into the apex of a Yod, or Finger of Destiny, with the anchoring inconjuncts being to her natal Venus/Sun at 13 and 15 Aries and natal Mars at 11 Gemini. Transit Pluto at 16 Sagittarius was just finishing its passage of her natal Saturn at 14 Sagittarius, transforming career matters and taking her to a national level.
The contest this November falls on the 7th, another late date election, which as noted above may see a change in congressional majorities and leadership. For Harris the 14 Scorpio Election Day Sun once again activates the Yod created from Venus/Sun and Mars, as with her election to the House, but with a firmer accent on the solar leg of the configuration. It is Harris essential nature which voters will be debating, not her campaign tactics. Transit Pluto trines natal Pluto, a marker of support, but transit Neptune conjoins natal Chiron, possible sign of a deep wounding. Transit Uranus at 10 Pisces retrograde is in square to her natal Mars, and also to the Black Hole at 10 Sagittarius, while opposing the Black Hole at 9 Virgo, thus creating a Galactic Grand Cross; Harris is in the political fight of her life, a make-or-break scenario whose outcome is uncertain due to the Black Holes ability to warp reality.
Harris has bent the law before, and gotten away with it; she has been instrumental in assuring that it is now easier, rather than harder, to manipulate the vote in Florida. She has a proven record of voter suppression and fraud, and has the contacts necessary to influence the vote counters. She is 30 points behind her incumbent opponent, with an imploding campaign that has replaced virtually all of its staff; contributions have run dry and she has invested her own money; the Party leadership has actively campaigned against her candidacy, and yet she remains in the race.
One has to ask oneself what Harris knows that we do not.
Alex Miller-Mignone is a professional writer and astrologer, author of The Black Hole Book and The Urban Wicca, former editor of "The Galactic Calendar," and past president of The Philadelphia Astrological Society.
His pioneering work with Black Holes in astrological interpretation began in 1991, when his progressed Sun unwittingly fell into one. Alex can be reached for comment or services at Alixilamirorim@aol.com.