presents The Angry Liberal
August 5, 2002
The Angry Liberal's Interview with Katherine Harris
by The Angry Liberal
(Katherine Harris, the Florida Secretary of State and head of Florida's state elections, including the notorious 2000 presidential election, just resigned from her post in order to run for Congress. The Angry Liberal ran into the congressional candidate outside of her former office, carrying a box stuffed with office supplies and a very dead houseplant. The plant had an index card with the writing "Water once a week" on the side of the pot, along with Harris' signature.)
TAL: Ms. Harris, do you have a minute to answer some questions?
Harris: (handing me the box): Sure. Hold this.
TAL: Can you tell me about the circumstances surrounding your resignation?
Harris: It was those damned election laws again! Geez, you think the Florida legislature would have better things to do than sit around writing page after page of election laws! I mean, there are speeches to give, hands to shake, lobbyists to entertain, Swiss bank accounts to manage. . .
TAL: You were confused by the state's election laws? But you were the Secretary of State at the time. Wasn't the Division of Elections one of the departments you oversaw at the Florida Department of State?
Harris: Who can remember? There's lots of departments I oversaw. There's departments of different affairs, like for international affairs and state affairs, stuff like that. I mean, how many affairs does the Secretary of State have to juggle? I don't want to have to sleep with just anybody, even if it's part of the job. I have standards, you know. I draw the line at the governor.
TAL: Oh. Um . . . wow. What were we talking about? Oh, you were supposed to be in charge of the state's elections, yet you resigned because of the election laws?
Harris: Yeah, that's right. There was some sort of crap in the there about incumbents running for another office had to file a letter of resignation by July 15. I didn't understand that "incumbents running for another office" meant me. Including a couple of examples in the text would have been nice. You know, "Jane is the current state treasurer. She decides to run for governor while she is still in office." Something like that. Anyway, I had to resign immediately. Good riddance, I say. Secretary of State was too much work. I'm looking forward to a much easier job. That's why I'm running for Congress. Now that I've elevated the state of Florida into the national spotlight, my work here is done. I'm here to tell voters in the . . . (looks at the palm of her hand) Thirteenth District that I can do for America what I did for Florida!
TAL: But Florida is a laughingstock in the eyes of America. You ran the most blatantly partisan election in the history of our nation. You refused to obey state law by ignoring the Gore Campaign's requests for recounts, and you actually sued to stop the recounts from going forward. You did everything possible to see that Bush won and Gore lost even if it meant violating your own oath of office.
Harris: That's exactly my point! Elections are so messy. That's why my old post will be filled by appointment from now on. I mean, do you know how much work it is to be sure that the right candidate wins when you let people vote? I had to work my backside off in that election! There were court hearings, public announcements, voter rolls to purge, voting machines to sabotage, roadblocks to set up. It's too much work to get the right guy elected when a majority of voters opposes him. I say we can do better! Let's dispense with these expensive and frustrating elections and just appoint Jebbie's . . . er, the governor's relatives to offices across America! My slogan will be "Let's Return the First Tuesday in November to the People!" No more standing in line at crowded polling stations. Shouldn't hard-working Americans be able to stay home and watch "Mole 2: The Next Betrayal" instead of being needlessly saddled with civic responsibilities? Not everyone can afford a VCR, you know.
TAL: Are you worried that voters in your district might find the fact that you failed to follow election law from the moment you officially entered the GOP primary a bit troubling? Some people might say that breaking the very law you are supposed to oversee makes you either a criminal or the most incompetent public servant in the history of the world.
Harris: Come on! These are Republicans we are talking about. With the legacy of Nixon, Reagan, and the Bush pair, that stuff is pretty much an unwritten part of the job description. The Republican voters in my district know that. Now, if you will excuse me. . .
TAL: One final question. Why are you taking that dead plant with you?
Harris: It's not dead. It's perfectly healthy. Didn't you see my signature affixed to it? Man, you didn't learn a thing from our little election in 2000, did you?
collected her box from me and walked away, whistling "Hail to the
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© 2002, The Angry Liberal
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