NO HANGING CHADS THIS TIME
Complete unofficial returns show Tampa attorney Bill McBride defeated former Attorney General Janet Reno by 8,000 votes among more than 1.3 million cast in Florida's Democratic primary for governor. However, nobody is declaring victory or conceding yet.
Final totals show McBride with 600,425 votes or 44.5 percent of the vote to 592,434 or 43.9 percent for Reno. A third candidate, State Sen. Daryl Jones, got 11.6 percent of the vote.
McBride says it was unlikely he would declare victory until Reno conceded. She is considering a recount.
The implementation of statewide voting reforms in the wake of the vote-counting fiasco for the 2000 presidential election amounted to a disaster in some locations. Some counties spent more than $20 million for new equipment but failed to test it and did not train workers to operate them.
"Everything was new," says David Leahy, supervisor of elections in Miami-Dade County. "You had new laws, new precincts, new polling places and new equipment."
-- Do other states handle new equipment and new precincts without such problems?
-- Some are calling for an independent investigation. Do you think that will do any good?
NEW ENERGY POLICY ADVOCATED
The Bush administration must urgently rethink its energy policy if it is to succeed in the war on terrorism, according to former CIA director James Woolsey. The head of the CIA from 1993-1995, Woolsey wants to reduce U.S. dependence on Middle East oil by:
-- Encouraging the use of more fuel-efficient hybrid cars.
-- Generating ethanol from biomass or waste.
-- Beefing up the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to 1 billion barrels.
-- Increasing Russian oil production by 50 percent.
"I admire President Bush's effort in the fight against terror, but his energy policy goes against what he is trying to accomplish in that war," Woolsey says. "People in the Middle East think we want to use it as a gas station but we
have no interest in the people, and they perceive America is in bed with their own oppressive regimes, and believe our lack of willingness to stand up for human rights in their countries is based on our thirst and appetite for oil."
-- Do you agree with Woolsey?
-- Would a government tax incentive be enough to get you to trade in a sport-utility vehicle that gets 5 miles per gallon for a hybrid car that get 50?
EXCESSIVE EXECUTIVE PAY
Federal Reserve Bank of New York President William McDonough is invoking Christian themes to chastise American chief executives for making too much money, Newsday reports.
Speaking before a memorial service at Trinity Church just off Wall Street, McDonough urged CEOs to voluntarily lower their pay as an act of fundamental fairness and ethical behavior.
"CEOs and their boards should simply reach the conclusion that executive pay is excessive and adjust it to more reasonable and justifiable levels truly related to the benefit of shareholders," he says.
McDonough cites a survey showing a CEO of a publicly traded company made 400 times the average employee's income, compared with the multiple of 42 that CEOs earned 20 years ago.
"It's hard to find somebody more convinced than I of the superiority of the American economic system, but I can find nothing in economic theory that justifies this development," he says.
-- Will CEO's voluntarily lower their pay?
-- Do you agree that nothing in economic theory justifies excessive pay?