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Election briefs

Compiled from Times wires

© St. Petersburg Times, published November 3, 2000


NAACP says voters receiving fraudulent calls

WASHINGTON -- The NAACP said Thursday that black voters have received fraudulent phone calls invoking the name of the civil rights organization and urging them to vote for Republican George W. Bush.

The NAACP reported the calls to the attorneys general in Michigan and Virginia, where the recipients live, and to the Justice Department, asking for investigations.

The non-partisan National Association for the Advancement of Colored People does not endorse candidates, though its political arm has run commercials critical of Bush.

Democratic ad attacks Bush on gulf oil drilling

WASHINGTON -- The national Democratic Party is airing an ad that claims the GOP ticket would "make Florida's coast vulnerable to big oil and oil spills."

GOP officials quickly denounced the new commercial, which began airing in the Tampa-St. Petersburg market Thursday, and said it represented an escalation by Vice President Al Gore's use of "scare tactics" to try to win the state's prized 25 electoral votes.

"It's totally hypocritical," said Republican spokesman Tucker Eskew, who said Gore himself could have blocked a Chevron USA proposal to begin natural gas production off Pensacola. Gov. George W. Bush of Texas, he said, has promised to work closely on the drilling issue with his brother, Gov. Jeb Bush of Florida, an opponent of new drilling.

The new commercial, part of an effort by Democrats to add offshore drilling to the driving Florida issues of Social Security and Medicare, asserts that the GOP contenders "refuse to rule out oil drilling off Florida's coast."

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