All Postings from October 2004

More on Vote Fraud

Newsmax has more on the vote fraud debate.

The left-wing Media Matters gets it wrong as usual: USCCR report found no evidence that even one voter was prevented from voting due to intimidation

When I was on CNN, I responded to the first part of Lou Dobbs question that dealt with voter intimidation by noting that:

Even the Democrats on the Civil Rights Commission were not able to point to a single case of voter intimidation in Florida. They had possibilities that might have existed. But the only cases that people could even point to that were even remotely were similar would be like a police officer's car who was a mile from the polling place. Nothing that the police officer intimidated people or talked to people or threatened them and he was a mile from the polling place. And no evidence, not one case where they could point to somebody who, because of intimidation, didn't vote.

Media matters makes it look like I was talking about "voter disenfranchisement" (which I assume includes the non-voted ballot issue) by adding into what I said the broader statement "[on voter disenfranchisement]," and misconstrued what I was saying. I have written extensively on the myths regarding the Florida vote here, and would have been happy to get into the issue of non-voted ballots, but the amount of time available was just so limited we barely got to talk about the intimidation part of Dobb's question. Second, even if the point I was making wasn't clear at first because I was cut off, when I was allowed to continue I clearly stated what I was talking about involved voter intimidation.

From the US Commission on Civil Rights report on Voting Irregularities in Florida During the 2000 Presidential Election, chapter 2 entitled "First-Hand Accounts of Voter Disenfranchisement":

As a result of its investigation, the FHP found that some policy violations had occurred, but concluded that no citizen was unreasonably delayed or prohibited from voting as a result of the Oak Ridge Road checkpoint.

Neither of these witnessesí testimony indicates how their or othersí ability to vote was impaired by these events. . . . Despite this one, highly publicized incident, there has been no evidence whatsoever of police intimidation of voters. . . . Colonel Hallís testimony conclusively demonstrates that there was no intent by members of the Florida Highway Patrol to delay or prohibit any citizen from voting on Election Day. All pertinent evidence shows that in fact no one was delayed or prohibited from voting by virtue of the equipment checkpoint operation.

My piece on Kerry's Hunting Trip

I have a piece in today's Washington Times that looks at Kerry's contradictory views on hunting and guns.

Will there be a backlash to Kerry's Hunting Trip?

While I almost never understand her humor, I think that Maureen Dowd is making fun of Kerry for going hunting, though she seems to find it necessary to balance it with attacks on Bush. Another piece making similar points can be found here.

"For President Kerry, Election Night Is Just a Formality"

John Fund has an interesting piece on Opinion Journal's Political Diary:

"John Kerry has told friends that Al Gore's biggest mistake in the 2000 election was his decision to not publicly position himself as the winner of the disputed Florida vote. Mr. Kerry believes that move allowed the public and media to paint Mr. Gore as a sore loser during much of the recount rather than the prospective president. The Kerry campaign isn't going to make that mistake again. They have assembled recount teams in every swing state, complete with dozens of lawyers on call. And while recounts and court challenges to disputed vote totals are played out, the Kerry camp plans to quickly name a national security team and other transition officials if the election is at all in doubt. . . . "While possession of the presidency is important, we plan to take lots of steps to show we are ready to take office on Day One if the election goes into overtime and a final winner is delayed," a Kerry foreign policy adviser told me. "

Ohio GOP Responding to Fraudulent Voter Registrations: This election could be pretty amazing

"The Ohio Republican Party officially filed challenges Friday to approximately 35,000 registrants in 65 counties where voter fraud is believed to have taken place. , ,, Bennett [ chairman of the Ohio Republican Party] cited that the normal rate of return on new registrations in less than 1 percent. However, this year the rate of return has ranged from 2 percent to 11 percent in Ohio counties.

Appearance on CNN's Lou Dobbs to debate voting fraud

John Lott of the American Enterprise Institute and Edward Hailes Jr. of The Advancement Project, debate whether the election will be any more secure than in 2000.
Replays at 11:30 PM and 4:30 AM EDT.

A conservative movie from Pixar and Disney?

The buzz out of early screenings is that "The Incredibles," set to be released Nov. 5, carries a considerably more middle-American sensibility than the usual fare from Hollywood, where liberal shibboleths often become the stuff of mainstream movies. The new movie's hero, Bob Parr, a k a Mr. Incredible, after all, has been driven into middle-aged retirement and the Superhero Relocation Program by a flood of lawsuits brought by personal-injury lawyers representing people Mr. Incredible has saved but who later complain of things like neck problems. Mr. Incredible's 10-year-old son, Dash, is blessed with super speed but is forced to conceal it from his unknowing peers at school - until, that is, he complains that he is being held back by the "everyone is special" ethic, which holds that kids should receive a trophy just for showing up on the playing field.

An interesting article on voter fraud

ACORN's western regional director acknowledged in an interview with this newspaper that several hundred of those new registrants in Colorado were fraudulent, but sought to downplay the problem . . .: "Just because you register someone 35 times doesn't mean they get to vote 35 times." Not everyone finds this reassuring.

Is Soros (or someone connected to him) manipulating the Presidential futures contracts ?

Donald Luskin has a post where he claims that Soros is trading in futures contracts to try convincing people that Bush won't win. Well, I guess if the Democratic Party is willing to openly try manipulating the online polls right after the debates, this is not much different. Hopefully, Soros will lose a few more dollars betting the wrong way. It makes me want to get into the betting.

The futility of campaign finance regulation and why the "War on Terror Requires a Resolute Leader"

My son, Maxim, has two very good pieces that came out this week. One in the Philadelphia Daily News looks at the futility of campaign finance regulation. The second one in his school newspaper discusses the presidential race.

Kerry's English Skills

"Can I get me a hunting license here?" Kerry asked store owners Paul and Debra McKnight.

The hope for Kyoto is that it quickly falls from its own weight before it makes the world too much poorer

Russia is on the verge of putting the Kyoto treaty on global warming into force, but with a wink and a nod that reflects Moscow's belief, that the toothless pact is destined to sink from its own weight. . . . The punishing effect the treaty will have on growth and living standards ó even in countries that most support it ó is the reason it eventually will be discarded or ignored as unenforceable by all involved, the Russian officials said.

The coming "provisional ballot" disaster?

Democrats are preparing to make aggressive media and legal arguments that almost all provisional votes must be counted, a reprise of their 2000 Florida rallying cry of "Count every vote." . . . lawsuits [from provisional ballots] could delay for weeks the final decision in almost any photo-finish race.

Does this mean that Kerry didn't already have a hunting license?

With all the claims of being a big hunter, I found this surprising: Bush and Kerry tailored their appeals. The Democrat, a Catholic, went to Mass and picked up a hunting license - a pitch to Ohio's socially conservative Democrats motivated by values and gun rights.

Democrats making up voter intimidation claims?

The Democrats have accidentally thrown away what would have been a big issue for them in the election aftermath. Possible the press won't give this the attention it deserves , but "Democrats got caught with their election playbook open Thursday when a leaked page was published urging operatives to lodge a "pre-emptive strike" of claiming voter intimidation, whether it's true or not."

Talks today

Federalist Society at the University of Texas Law School at noon
and to the
Faculty at the University of Texas Economics Department on my media bias research at 3:30.

Yesterday I gave talks at the Southern Methodist and Baylor University Law Schools. Tomorrow I will be at Texas Tech University Law School from 12:30 to 1:30.

New York Post on Media Bias

Mainstream media bias against Republican presidental candi dates is a fact of American po litical life. Rarely, though, has this been so evident as this year; the establishment media seems to have become a wing of John Kerry's campaign. One unusually candid member of the liberal media mafia admitted as much during the Democratic convention. Evan Thomas, assistant managing editor of Newsweek, offered this confession on media bias on the PBS program "Inside Washington."

This is one important difference between Kerry and Bush

Billionaire John Kerry supporter George Soros is working through the U.N. to negotiate a treaty that will ban private ownership of firearms on a worldwide basis, says National Rifle Association spokesman Wayne LaPierre. Addressing the annual SAFE: Right to Carry Conference last Sunday on New York, LaPierre warned, "The U.N. is, I believe, the major threat that we're going to be dealing with."

Tom Sowell's advice on where to go to college

Tom Sowell offers for free on the web his book on what college to go to. For those sending their kids to college, this book is definitely worth a look.

Vice President Cheney and Guns

Tech Central Station has my op-ed responding to one of Senator Edwards' attacks on Vice President Cheney.

More on media bias

The Philadelphia Inquirer has my latest op-ed and it looks at the recent research that I have done regarding media bias.

What was this parent thinking of calling the police

"First-Grader Arrested, Handcuffed After Fight". Why would the parent of a ten year old call the police because an eight year old got into a fight with their child? This is pretty strange.

More Registered Voters in Franklin County, Ohio than eligible people

The Columbus Dispatch reports that in Ohio's largest county:

After nine months of intense voter-registration efforts focused on Franklin County, the number of people signed up to cast ballots in the Nov. 2 election has surpassed U.S. Census estimates of those eligible. There are about 815,000 Franklin County residents older than 18, according to the most recent census estimates, for 2003. As of yesterday, Franklin County Board of Elections officials counted more than 817,000 registered voters, and forms are still coming in at the rate of 8,000 per day as Monday's registration deadline approaches. Although voter-registration numbers in some Ohio counties have reached 90 percent or more of population estimates, surpassing the number is highly unusual. One county official in Ohio called the Franklin County figures "bizarre." One state official called them troubling.

Useful article on the Assault Weapons Ban

Larry Elder has a nice piece on the assault weapons ban expiring. It does a useful job of going through how badly the media covered the issue.

A Lively Debate Over Voting Machines

The ACLU and myself tangled Thursday and Friday in Ohio in court over what voting machines should be used. My research was the central focus of the discussion, but even their own expert witness had to admit that she confirmed my results when she re-examined the data. The only response that the ACLU and their experts were able to mount was that it was only relevant to examine the statewide races, particularly just the presidential race. Of course, the problem for the other side is that all the races showed that punch card machines actually did very well relative to the other machines. Given that this is the first court decision of its type, it would be nice if we can win this before the November election because it will be at least a little harder for Democrats to claim that punch card machines are faulty.

Who will win the Nobel Prize in Economics

A market for who will win the Nobel Prize in Economics is up here. It is good to see Gordon Tullock on the list and Robert Barro, but there are other strong choices that aren't listed: Armen Alchian, Harold Demsetz, Bill Landes, and Sam Peltzman seem like some obvious choices.

Legislation to overturn the DC Gun Ban passed the U.S. House on Wednesday

My article on the impact of the DC gun ban appeared in National Review Online this week. DC crime data is available here for those who are interested in tracing the changes in murder rates and other crime rates overtime.

Home (description of book, downloadable data sets, and discussions of previous controversies)

Academic papers:

Social Science Research Network

Book Reviews:

For a list of book reviews on The Bias Against Guns, click here.

List of my Op-eds

Posts by topic

Appalachian law school attack

Baghdad murder rate

Arming Pilots

Fraudulent website pretending to be run by me

The Merced Pitchfork Killings and Vin Suprynowicz's quote

Ayres and Donohue

Stanford Law Review

Mother Jones article


Craig Newmark

Eric Rasmusen

William Sjostrom

Dr. T's

Interview with National Review Online

Lyonette Louis-Jacques's page on Firearms Regulation Worldwide

The End of Myth: An Interview with Dr. John Lott

Cold Comfort, Economist John Lott discusses the benefits of guns--and the hazards of pointing them out.

An interview with John R. Lott, Jr. author of More Guns, Less Crime: Understanding Crime and Gun Control Laws

Some data not found at

Updated Media Analysis of Appalachian Law School Attack

Since the first news search was done additional news stories have been added to Nexis:

There are thus now 218 unique stories, and a total of 294 stories counting duplicates (the stories in yellow were duplicates): Excel file for general overview and specific stories. Explicit mentions of defensive gun use increase from 2 to 3 now.

Journal of Legal Studies paper on spoiled ballots during the 2000 Presidential Election

Data set from USA Today, STATA 7.0 data set

"Do" File for some of the basic regressions from the paper