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Innocent Republicans v Crazed Democrats

Reported by Melanie - October 26, 2004 -

Mindy Tucker Fletcher, the "Senior Adviser to the Bush Cheney Campaign for Florida," was a guest today (October 26, 2004) on Dayside w/Linda Vester.

Vester introduced Fletcher in this segment about "harassment of early voters in Florida," saying "many of them, most apparently Republicans, say they're being harassed by campaign-types."

Fletcher said that her office has received so many complaints that they are formally recording the information and may take affidavits to local or state officials. She said some voters have said they're so intimidated that they've had to leave polling places. She said voters have been heckled and Bush supporters are being singled out and booed.

Vester read a newspaper article outlining some of the allegations, including that Kerry supporters are accused of blocking doors to polling places. Fletcher said they have video of a huge yelling match outside a polling place. Vester said there have been similar complaints on the other side and asked what the Bush/Cheney camp was going about "respecting the 50 foot zone?"

Fletcher said they're "obviously respecting the zone." That they didn't plan on any demonstrations, that they were "surprised" because this is "just not typical." She said voting authorities need to maintain decorum outside the polling places so "people can get in and out peacefully."

Vester said "we have what seems to be a majority, so far, of Republican complaints, at least as far as we can tell" and asked if Fletcher was "specifically" telling her people that they must not block an area or harass anyone? Fletcher said "absolutely," no matter whether people are Republican or Democrat "it shouldn't happen," it's "wrong on both sides," and that voters should come first.

COMMENT: This would be the first of two segments devoted to Florida voting issues during this Dayside hour. The second segment, at the end of the show, was on allegations against the progressive group ACORN, the second negative ACORN segment in as many days. All three segments highlighted allegations made against groups associated with Kerry or thought of as leaning toward Democrats. There was no balancing guest. Through Fletcher, the Bush/Cheney campaign came off as innocent and bewildered and caught off guard by marauding Democrats. Fox is painting a picture of Democrats doing things TO Republicans, with precious little coverage of the flip side.