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CYNTHIA MCKINNEY WINS, RESULTS SPELL TROUBLE FOR GOP

by
Wayne Madsen

Former Georgia Democratic Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney, who was abandoned by a number of statewide Georgia Democratic Party officials in 2002 after she questioned what George W. Bush knew about the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington prior to 911, rallied her supporters to claim a decisive win in Georgia's Fourth Congressional District primary on July 20.

By winning over 50 percent of the vote in the primary, McKinney avoided an August run-off election. She will face Repubican Catherine Davis in November in a heavily Democratic district. And having won this primary, McKinney is considered a virtual winner in November.

McKinney was outspent almost 2-to-1 by her two best organized rivals, State Senator Liane Levetan, an Austrian-Jewish émigré, and openly Lesbian former Altanta City Council President, Cathy Woolard. Levetan and Woolard split the political forces and campaign dollars, mostly originating from outside DeKalb County and Georgia, put in place to prevent a McKinney comeback. Levetan was reluctant to concede the election, contending that absentee votes could still put her into a run-off with McKinney.

Unofficial returns showed McKinney with 51 percent; Liane Levetan, 20 percent; Cathy Woolard, 19 percent; and three other minor candidates with 9 percent. As of July 21, the Associated Press had not called the Democratic nomination for McKinney.

In 2002, McKinney lost to political newcomer and ex-GOP Alan Keyes supporter Denise Majette in a primary that saw a number of Republican cross-over voters supporting Majette. McKinney launched a lawsuit which contested the election results. Majette, a former state judge, confounded anti-McKinney forces by announcing her candidacy for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Democrat (and Bush supporter) Zell Miller. Majette was supported in 2002 by large campaign contributions from out-of-state Zionist organizations that wanted to punish McKinney for her strong support of Palestinian rights and her failure to vote for resolutions and legislation backing the Likud government of Ariel Sharon.

Majette bested millionaire tycoon Cliff Oxford in the Democratic Senate primary 41 to 21 percent. However, the two will face off in a primary in August. Oxford has the support of former President Jimmy Carter.

McKinney's win did not sit well with the major media outlets. Reuters referred to her links with the Nation of Islam. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, whose editorial board and columnist Cythia Tucker have been bitter opponents of McKinney, said the 5-term Congresswoman was tossed out of Congress for her "tirades" against Bush. The Los Angeles Times was kinder -- it referred to McKinney as a "liberal warhorse."

The interesting battle for McKinney will come in the 109th Congress. It is traditional for members who lose re-election for a single term to regain their seniority rights. With McKinney having a number of enemies -- Democrat and Republican -- in the House, an interesting fight can be expected.

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