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McKinney Scares Denise Majette Out of House Seat Taken in 2002

Answers Questions About Her Campaign
-- in which 9/11 Will Not be Forgotten


Wayne Madsen

© Copyright 2004, From The Wilderness Publications, All Rights Reserved. May be reprinted, distributed or posted on an Internet web site for non-profit purposes only.

April 5, 2004, 1800 PDT (FTW) -- Cynthia McKinney, the lightning rod former five-term representative from Georgia's 4th District, is making a political comeback after being defeated by Republican-turned-Democrat Denise Majette in the 2002 Democratic primary. Majette's win, as documented by records filed by McKinney in an ongoing Georgia court case was secured as an estimated 43,000 Republican voters crossed over to vote (illegally – as alleged by McKinney) as Democrats. As documented by the Washington Post and the Atlanta Journal Constitution, much of the funding for the effort was provided by the American Israeli Public Affairs Committee or AIPAC, which had long opposed McKinney for her criticism of Israeli policy regarding Palestinians in the occupied territories.

On March 29, McKinney announced that she would run for her old seat. The following day Majette, a one-term congresswoman with no legislative record, announced that she would run for the US Senate seat being vacated by Georgia's Zell Miller who is retiring. The local papers and experienced politicians quickly realized that Majette, who must vacate her House seat to do this, had a “zero” probability of winning. It appeared to all that Majette was running from a newly energized McKinney and a 4th District constituency who had some “bones to pick”. In fact, local TV accounts of Majette's press conference showed Majette “losing it” when asked if she was running away from McKinney.

A well-known champion of human and civil rights in the United States  and abroad, McKinney shook political Washington in April 2002 when she suggested that the Bush administration knew much more about pre-911 intelligence than it was letting on. She was immediately pounced upon by Republicans and Democrats alike, with many calling her "loony" and "unpatriotic." By the time of the August 2002 primary, Denise Majette – Republican loyalist, supporter of Alan Keyes, and Georgia state judge – had switched parties. She successfully took on McKinney in the Democratic primary with the help of the GOP cross-over votes and large amounts of out-of-state money. Majette eventually won the general election in a district which has never sent a Republican to the House.

Fourth District voters cried foul and challenged the election in court.


That sent a number of political contributors in anti-McKinney circles around Georgia and the country scrambling to find another candidate to replace Majette as the challenger to McKinney.  After opinions by a number of members of the 911 Commission, former Bush counter-terrorism coordinator Richard Clarke, most of the Democratic candidates for president, and former Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill that Bush and his aides may, in fact, have had some advance knowledge of intelligence about 911, McKinney has become a heroine to many around the world who have challenged the Bush administration's account of the events leading up to Black Tuesday. As the first major politician to question Bush's handling of America's national security – something that was considered off limits in the months immediately after 911 – the honorable Cynthia McKinney  stands a good chance of being Georgia's political "comeback girl."

McKinney was interviewed about her campaign plans.

Q: You were the first with lots of 9/11 questions - will you make that clear and stress that in the campaign?

A: It was the Republicans who made 9/11 an issue in the last primary election. In fact, the macro issue was that the Republicans wanted to take over and make Georgia a “red state” for George W. Bush and even beyond him. But people can't help thinking about me when they hear about Richard Clarke.

Q: Sharon and Likud have lost support in Israel, the United States, and around the world. Considering that it was the influential conservative and pro-Likud lobby in the United States that largely funded Majette's last campaign against you, will you try and outflank them by appealing to the Jewish left for support?

A: I've already sent out appeals to a few folks. They include the members of the “Junity Coalition,” which consists of about 15 to 20 various organizations, including “Not in My Name,” Jewish Voices for Peace, and Jews for Peace in Palestine and Israel.

Q: What do you think is behind Majette running for the U.S. Senate seat?

A: I don't know. [Laughing]

Q: Do you think she knew her chances of beating you in the primary were far from certain?

A: Again, I just don't know.

Q: Many Democrats failed to come to your defense and some even attacked you in April 2002 when you were the first to question Bush about 911. Since that time, many of them, including former Senator Max Cleland, who was savaged by the neo-conservatives and was also beaten for re-election, have echoed your original observations about Bush and 911. Have these Democrats offered you their support?

A: Not Cleland! But I've had some calls from some Democrats who expressed their support.

Q: At this point, who else is planning to run in the primary?

A: There is Cathy Woolard, the Atlanta City Council President and State Senator Nadine Thomas, whose seat I actually helped create in redistricting.

Q: How will your decision affect the court case against the results of the 2002 primary in which there were GOP cross-over votes that affected the outcome?

A: There were oral arguments on March 10. The state concluded that evidence was submitted that was germane to the claims put forward by the plaintiffs and that the state failed to respond to that evidence. If this matter is decided on the law, the plaintiffs will win. If it is decided on politics, the state will win. There are two remedies that may be imposed. One would close the July 2004 primary to only Democrats or there could be a rerun of the 2002 election to deal with the last election's faults and might decide that Majette won the primary illegally, in effect overturning the 2002 primary. That special election, which would be held before the 2004 primary, might also be closed to only Democrats. In either case, if the plaintiffs win there won't be a Republican crossover vote.

Q: What are the top issues as you see them in the campaign?

A: There is economic development and jobs. Foreclosures are a big problem in the 4th District. People have to keep their homes, and jobs and economic development are critical. Education and health care are huge issues along with infrastructure and transportation. Juvenile justice is also a big problem with police now stationed inside schools in the blacker south side of the district. Normal teenage discipline problems, even verbal altercations, now result in criminal charges being brought. That is tough for 15 or 16 year olds who have criminal records before they even enter the work force. That causes problems later on. Environmental injustice is also a problem in the south side of the district with landfills present in a number of residential areas. The war in Iraq hits home also. The first Georgia soldier killed in Iraq was from the 4th District.


In announcing her candidacy McKinney did not shy away from 9/11. She said:

Two years ago I asked,'What did the Bush Administration know, and when did it know it, about the events of September 11th?'  Today, the Bush Administration continues its refusal to tell the American people how it was that all fail-safe mechanisms and standard operating procedures failed to operate for the four separate hijackings that took place on that single day.  Furthermore, the American people only have assurances from the Bush Administration that the measures put in place since September 11th will actually protect us from another such tragedy.

But now, we are painfully aware that we cannot trust the assurances coming from the Bush

Deputy Secretary of State Richard
Armitage, appearing before the 9-11 Commission, in trying to explain how September 11th happened stated, 'I just don't think we had the imagination required to consider a tragedy of this magnitude.'

If we accept this as an official explanation from the Bush
Administration on how September 11th happened, then it is painfully clear that it is time for the George W. Bush presidency to end.

Strategists close to the McKinney campaign have told FTW that between now and the primary McKinney, while not shying away from the 9/11 issue will focus primarily on local issues important in the district which are of great concern to her and to the voters there. But they were emphatic that, after winning the primary, McKinney had no intention of remaining silent about 9/11 and all of its implications for the future. It is an issue which she can rightfully claim as hers to spearhead throughout the contentious national campaign that is sure to follow.

If re-elected, McKinney will retain her previous five-term seniority which will influence her committee assignments in the next congress. If she wins her court case and the 2002 primary results are overturned, she would return with an additional two years of seniority as though she had never lost her seat.

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Truth And Lies About 9-11