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DECISION 2000

TRAIL MIX / Occasional morsels from Campaign 2000

November 08, 2000

It's a tie!

It was about dawn when Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman put on his lucky election day tie and vowed not to take it off--even in the shower.

The Democratic vice presidential candidate has had the maroon-and-white polka-dot cravat since 1970, and every time he's worn it, he's won the election. He didn't put it on in 1980, he said, and lost his congressional bid.

So, at his superstitious brother-in-law's insistence, the tie stayed on as Lieberman freshened up Tuesday with an early morning shower in Tampa, Fla., before he headed to New Haven, Conn., to vote.

Lieberman also carried an Irish coin given to him on Labor Day at a Toledo Mud Hens minor league baseball game, a lucky quarter the school mascot at Logan High in La Crosse, Wis., gave him Monday and some prayers supporters wrote for him.

"This goes beyond the rational," Lieberman said with a smile.

A real trail mix

There's nothing like 2.5 ounces of peanuts, almonds, pecans and cashews in a bag labeled "Nuts About George" to start off an election night. The bags--and the caricature of Texas Gov. George W. Bush on its label--were waiting for Republican vice presidential candidate Dick Cheney's small band of trail reporters in their Austin, Texas, hotel rooms Tuesday afternoon.

The mix, which contains two servings at 207 calories each (165 from fat), is best if used by June 2001. And the small print notes that "profits on this item will be contributed to Republican causes."

In name only

Al Gore voted for George W. Bush on Tuesday.

Not that Al Gore, of course. Al Gore the 72-year-old shoe salesman at the Nordstrom department store in Yakima, Wash. "I've been a conservative Republican all my life," said Yakima's Gore, although he also said he did break ranks with the GOP for Democrat Harry S. Truman.

"He was a rebel. I voted for him."

This Gore's full name is Elbert Allan Gore, but he's always gone by Al.

Hours before the election results were known, he was asked how he would feel sharing his name with the leader of the free world if Gore should win?

"I had it before he did," he said. "He would have to be sharing it with me, and I hope he doesn't dishonor it."

Out of site

An Internet site run by the Republican National Committee was temporarily taken down after it was defaced in the final hours of the presidential campaign.

By Tuesday afternoon, the Web site--http://www.GOP.org--was up and running again. The RNC had taken down the Web page late Monday after discovering it had been replaced with a text message urging visitors to vote for Vice President Al Gore.

It also contained a link to Gore's campaign Web site.

The Democratic National Committee denied any connection to the incident and reported its own computer problems. The committee said hackers tried to gain access to its systems Monday night, forcing the DNC's external e-mail system to shut down. The server was running again Tuesday, a spokesman said.

Going out of bidness

A Web site that purported to buy and sell votes in the presidential election came clean Tuesday and said it was all a piece of political satire.

The admission came after an Illinois judge ordered the site to shut down. A Massachusetts judge had also ordered that it stop offering to sell votes in that state. In addition, the site, http://www.voteauction.de, prompted investigations by California and Nebraska officials.

State and federal laws prohibit buying and selling votes.

The site's owner, Hans Bernhard of Vienna, Austria, and fellow operators issued a statement on election day: "It will be obvious, even to the legal folk, that there are people out there buying and selling votes, but that it is not us. We just gave you the showcase. The real dealers do their businesses quite openly in Washington. Vive la difference!"

The site has complained of special interest groups that donate money to candidates who then spend it on advertising to win votes. The site claimed to be cutting out the middleman and getting money directly to voters. It said votes were selling for as much as $157 each.

By the numbers

$3 billion--Estimated total amount spent on this year's federal, state and local elections.

$400 million--Amount spent on TV ads by interest groups.

187,933--Number of voting precincts nationwide in Tuesday's election.

Quote file

"I voted for my husband. I'm so thrilled."

--Tipper Gore, as she left the voting booth at Forks

River Elementary School in Elmwood, Tenn.

"Don't take any of the silverware and don't knock over the chandelier."

--Texas Gov. George W. Bush, to reporters as they left the Governor's Mansion

Compiled by Massie Ritsch from Times staff and wire reports

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