Leader of Foreign Election Monitors Under Federal Investigation

August 30, 2004

Washington, D.C.—The U.S. State Department must immediately rescind its invitation to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) to monitor the U.S. election in November, the American Policy Center (APC) declared on Monday.

APC, a grassroots activist organization located in suburban Washington, D.C., is warning Americans that the corruption and scandal surrounding OSCE Parliamentary Assembly President Alcee Hastings could spell disaster for this year’s presidential election. Hastings will be in charge of the OSCE’s foreign observation team, which is set to descend on polling stations this November.

Hastings is one of the few federal judges ever to be impeached in the history of the U.S. Congress. After he was kicked off the federal bench, Hastings was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives as a Democrat from Florida, but his impeachment apparently taught him no lesson.

The South Florida Sun-Sentinel had this to say about Alcee:  “Personal and political paybacks are the first order of business for Hastings.” That’s because Hastings put his girlfriend, a disgraced former lawyer who was disbarred by the Florida Supreme Court for “multiple offenses,” on the public payroll as his “office liaison and staff assistant.” According to the Sentinel, Hastings owed her “more than $500,000 in legal fees for representing him during his 1983 bribery trial and his 1989 impeachment hearings before Congress.” Hastings continues to employ her to this day.

Alcee Hastings’ career seems to be filled with political corruption and scandal. The House Committee on Standards of Official Conduct is currently investigating Hastings for ethics violations. As if that weren’t bad enough, the disgraced former judge is also being investigated by the Florida Elections Commission and the Federal Election Commission for various charges of impropriety.

Now, as president of the OSCE Parliamentary Association, Hastings is the man in charge of selecting foreign delegates to monitor the U.S. Presidential Election. Through his spokesman, Hastings declared that Florida will be one of the states targeted by his team of monitors.

“There is no way the OSCE can be unbiased observers,” charged American Policy Center President Tom DeWeese. Still petulant and resentful over the 2000 recount in Florida, Hastings recently vowed: “Broward, Palm Beach, and Miami-Dade counties will again be ground zero this November.”

“The State Department has a lot of explaining to do,” said DeWeese. “Framing the United States as a third-world delinquent that can’t conduct a fair election is bad enough, but inviting the likes of Alcee Hastings and his comrades at the OSCE to hover over Americans at the polls this November is unconscionable.”

DeWeese warns that all states—Florida in particular—are in danger of having their electoral proceedings corrupted by Hastings and the OSCE. “Look out America,” warns DeWeese, “Given his history of personal and political paybacks, not to mention the fact that he’s currently under investigation for electoral shenanigans, Alcee Hastings and the OSCE are poised to smear Florida’s vote tally if it’s not to their liking.”

“If the State Department wants to ensure a fair election, it should keep Alcee Hastings and the OSCE as far away from the polls as possible.

Tom DeWeese
[email protected]

Tom DeWeese is President of the American Policy Center and National Grassroots Coordinator for CFACT (Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow) working to help local activists organize into Freedom Pods (www.CFACT.org). He is also the author of three books, including Now Tell Me I Was Wrong, ERASE, and Sustainable: the WAR on Free Enterprise, Private Property, and Individuals.