Greg Palast

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Greg Palast is a journalist for The Observer, a UK newspaper, and numerous other media oulets including the BBC. Palast blogs at GregPalast.com.


Background

Palast is originally from Los Angeles, the "scum-end of LA, between the power plant and the garbage dump". In his book The Best Democracy Money Can Buy Palast recounts that he attended the University of Chicago where he worked his "way into Milton Freedman's post-graduate seminar and into a strange clique, which later became known as the 'Chicago Boys'." From 1975 he worked as a researcher and negotiator for the United Electrical Workers Union.

He went on to work for the Chugach tribe in Alaska investigating the Exxon Valdez disaster before moving into journalism.

Palast has lectured at Cambridge University and the University of São Paulo. He lives in London and New York City.

ChoicePoint and the 2000 Election

More recently, Palast is best known for his investigations of Florida Governor Jeb Bush, Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris, and Florida Elections Unit Chief Clay Roberts, along with the ChoicePoint corporation, of 'scrubbing' voter lists ahead of the US Presidential Election of 2000.

Palast argues that ChoicePoint has a bias in favor of the Republican Party and knowingly used inaccurate data during the 2000 Election. Allegations include listing voters as felons for alleged crimes said to have been committed several years in the future. In addition, people who had been convicted of a felony in a different state and had their rights restored by said state, were not allowed to vote despite the restoration of their rights. Furthermore, it is argued that people were listed as felons based on a coincidence of names, despite other data (such as date of birth) which showed that the criminal record did not apply to the voter in question.

One should note Schlenther v. Florida Department of State (June 1998) which ruled that Florida could not prevent a man convicted of a felony in Connecticut, where he had not lost his voting rights, from voting. However, Florida continued to insist that felons who had been granted their full rights must first receive clemency from Governor Bush, a process which could take up to 2 years and ultimately was left to the discretion of Bush. NAACP filed suit arguing that Florida was in violation of the Voting Rights Act of 1964 and the US Constitution, while others argued that Florida was in violation of the National Voter Registration Act of 1993.

Writings by Greg Palast

Articles

Columns

  • Inside Corporate America

Books

Criticism

Related SourceWatch Resources

External links