OPPONENT CALLS FOR BUDDY JOHNSON TO RESIGN - Mitch Perry

10/22/04

Questioning whether the voters even HAVE an acceptable choice, the man seeking to replace Hillsborough County Supervisor of Elections Buddy Johnson on November 2nd, Rob McKenna, today called for Johnson’s resignation, after a published report about yet another problem at the Supervisors office.

This morning the St. Petersburg Times reported about an internal report inside the Hillsborough Supervisor’s office detailing what happened after County Staff learned that 245 votes were lost after the August 31st Primary election.

But But the new revelation in the internal memo was that NO ONE outside the Supervisor’s Office, Not the County Attorney’s Office, The Canvassing Board nor Secretary of State Glenda Hood’s office was notified for 13 days after the error was discovered…..AND the staff did NOT inform Buddy Johnson as well.

Speaking inside the County Center in downtown Tampa, Democrat Rob McKenna said this latest revelation means it’s time for Buddy Johnson to go (roll tape#1 o.q.�elsewhere�)

As to Buddy Johnson being in the dark from a problem in his own office for nearly 2 weeks, McKenna said that almost seemed incredulous (roll tape#2 o.q.�it’s wrong�)

But Buddy Johnson says the inference one would get from today’s article is wrong - He says his staff did not learn of anything egregious until September 15th (roll tape#4 o.q. “happen again�)

As previously reported, the missing 245 votes came from the Westgate Library in the Town N Country part of Hillsborough County….Those votes COULD have made the difference in the extremely close race for a Republican State House race between incumbent Bill Kevin Ambler and Bill Bunkley……Amber won by just 130 votes.

That area is part of Hillsborough County Commissioner Kathy Castor’s District….Johnson says he was willing to speak to Castor directly to address her concerns- but says she wanted him to come before the County Commission - which he did earlier this month…In a session that became contentious…Again, Buddy Johnson (roll tape#4 o.q.�that’s what I’m gonna do�)

Rob McKenna hopes to succeed Buddy Johnson on November 2nd….During his news conference, McKenna stressed that he had total confidence in the staff at the Hillsborough Supervisor’s office - a staff he hopes to be supervising in several weeks… Yet the problem here involved the Staff - and not Buddy Johnson, at least initially. WMNF asked McKenna about that (roll tape#3 o.q “problems will disappear with them�)

Needless to say, Buddy Johnson did not have anything positive to say about Rob McKenna calling for him to step down (roll tape#4 o.q.�) Johnson also says that McKenna is hurting voter confidence with his criticisms…

Activists and mainly Democrats have fought for most of this year that there should be a paper printout on the touch screen voting machines that Hillsborough and 14 other counties in Florida are using this year…….McKenna has been one such critic, ,saying that without a paper trail, votes could be lost…..McKenna was asked if he were in charge and lost votes, would he do what he is urging Buddy Johnson to do ….That is, resign (roll tape#6 o.q.�I would resign..yes�)

Early voting in Hillsborough County runs from 10 to 6 tomorrow, and all of next week.

comments powered by Disqus