Super Tuesday, March 7,2000

Eleven Primaries: California, Connecticut, Georgia, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Missouri, New York, Ohio Rhode Island and Vermont

Frontrunners Gore and Bush Win Big While Campaign Finance Reform Goes Down

Al Gore, Jr. - 4,923,504 (34.1%)

George W. Bush - 3,944,280 (27.3%)

John McCain - 3,099,889 (21.5%)

Bill Bradley - 1,743,946 (12.1%)

Alan Keyes - 313,085 (2.1%)

Forbes, Bauer, Hatch, Uncommitted and Others 375,116 (2.6%)

Total Vote - 14,399,820 (28.5%)

Note: The turnout and Republican vote is understated by about 500,000 because of New York's anomalous delegate selection process. Republican delegates run in slates by congressional district without the candidate's to whom they are pledged appearing on the ballot. Bush won 67 and McCain won 23, but the Republican vote totals were not available.


Vice-President Al Gore's almost 3 to 1 drubbing of former New Jersey Senator Bill Bradley was enough to give him a clean sweep of the 11 primaries and 2 caucus states. It was enough to eliminate Bradley from the race.

California's "winner-take-all" primary system, open only to Republicans, was enough to skew the delegate count result in Bush's favor. McCain won Vermont, Rhode Island, Connecticut, and Massachusetts. Bush won all the others. So, although Bush won 51.5% of the vote to McCain's 40.4%, Bush won almost all the delegates.

But the big news on Super Tuesday the major media managed to miss (big surprise.) And that was the obvious, that both McCain and Bradley, who were fierce advocates of campaign finance reform, (and therefore the darlings of the media), lost.

Campaign finance reform is, in fact, a phoney issue. It is designed to do two things. First, it provides a discount to the rich who finance campaigns by providing public subsidies of campaign expenses. At the same time, it provides public money only for candidates who have access to large amounts of money from private sources. So, it gives public money to the candidates supported by the people who contribute money, but no public funds go to candidates who can't raise large amounts of private money.

Also, by limiting contributions and expenditures, it basically turns control of the political process over to the newspapers and broadcasters, who have no limits placed on how much they can cover, or not cover, a certain candidate; or how much they can say, or not say about that candidate.

The effect of campaign finance reform is to increase the power of the press and broadcasters at the expense of elected officials, voters and political activists. It ties the hands of politicians and their supporters without placing any restraints on the press.

Not only did McCain and Bradley, who tied their campaigns to this issue, lose; but voters in California voted 4,036,240 (64.6%) to 2,221,328 (35.4%) against imposing campaign finance reform on state political campaigns. By a similar margin, 59.3% to 40.7%, voters in California defeated congressional term limits.

This shows that voters a sophisticated enough to understand that there is no systemic solution to political corruption, especially when those solutions threaten basic constitutional rights. There are only political solutions to the problem of political corruption.

The media gave big play to all the fascist questions which passed in California, like banning gay marriage and a draconian juvenile crime bill that would make us all criminals if the two parties ever decide to label a political association a "gang."

And Al Gore's immediate embracing of campaign finance reform on the night of such a tremendous defeat for the issue reminds me of the Michigan Primary 20 years ago when George Bush dropped out of the race on the heels of having won the Michigan primary. It shows that the fix is in for campaign finance reform.

Let's face it. Al Gore's father and George W. Bush's grandfather served together in the United States Senate for the ten years from January 3, 1953 to January 2, 1963. Prescott Bush, George's grandfather was a pioneer in family planning and birth control. The 2000 race between Bush and Gore is an exercise in oligarchy, not democracy.

The November turnout will be low, the race will be close and all the third parties will do well. By 2004, maybe we'll get a grand coalition to throw the bums out and take back the government for the people.

For the actual vote totals from each state, go to the Secretary of State's website of the relevant state.

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Contact: Joshua Leinsdorf