Exclusive: Allison Tant was lobbyist for firm that purged African-Americans from voter rolls before, during and after 2000 recount.

Allison Tant registered as a lobbyist for DBT Online, Inc. in 1999.

Allison Tant registered as a lobbyist for DBT Online, Inc. in 1999.

Allison Tant, current candidate for Florida Democratic Party Chair, was one of only three lobbyist for a company called DBT Online in 1999 and 2000. DBT Online was hired by Katherine Harris and was responsible for purging the voter rolls in the 2000 election, in which Al Gore narrowly lost to George W. Bush. Many feel that Vice-President Gore lost the election because over 57,000 African-Americans were purged from the voter list due to DBT Online.

After DBT Online was purchased by a company called ChoicePoint, Inc., Tant continued to be a lobbyist for the company in Tallahassee until September 5th, 2001, apparently leaving earlier in January of 2001. By this time, it had already been public for months that both DBT Online and ChoicePoint were involved with the voter purge in Florida. Still, Tant remained a lobbyist for ChoicePoint even though the company had been outed as a Republican purge machine.

Another interesting fact is that a fellow lobbyist who has strong connections to Tant, James R. Daughton, Jr, a Republican who is currently on the Advisory Board of the Florida Chamber of Commerce Political Institute and chairs the Florida Chamber’s Free Enterprise PAC, withdrew from ChoicePoint as a lobbyist two weeks before Tant left as a lobbyist. Therefore, the so-called “Democrat” actually stayed on as a lobbyist to a Republican voting purge firm longer than the actual Republican.

Tant as a ChoicePoint lobbyist in 2001.

Tant as a ChoicePoint lobbyist in 2001.

Because of the time period that we are looking at, it is absolutely unmistakable that Allison Tant deliberately stayed on as a lobbyist for ChoicePoint even after it was publicly known, and debated, that they were highly instrumental in giving Florida’s 25 electoral votes to George W. Bush.

In 1998, DBT Online was hired by the Secretary of State’s office, headed by Katherine Harris, to “clean” the voter list by taking off people who had names similar to those who were convicted felons, who are not allowed to vote. Because many African-Americans had similar names, others that were not convicted of even a misdemeanor  were scrubbed from the list and were not able to vote in the 2000 election. It is highly likely that these voters would have voted for Al Gore.

For more information regard the actual process of purging the voter role, please read this excellent article, written only one month after the 2000 election, by Salon.com.

Because of the link of Tant to both DBT Online and ChoicePoint, one must ask about her other link to the 2000 election, her husband Barry Richard. As has been mentioned previously on this website, Richard was an attorney for George W. Bush in the 2000 Florida recount. At the time of the court cases, we now know that his wife was actively lobbying for the firms that were part of the controversy. Would something like this be considered a conflict of interest?

Because of the Allison Tant-ChoicePoint-DBT-Barry Richard connection, there must be a serious questions asked…”What did Allison Tant know and when did she know it?” As someone that was possibly privy to DBT’s “central voter file” possible legal issues due to her marriage, could Allison Tant have been instrumental in the case for George W. Bush? It is highly unlikely that someone would lobby for a firm in which they knew nothing about. Therefore, Tant herself could possibly not only be aware of the creation of the 1998 “central voter file”, but beneficial to the legal council of George W. Bush as well.

In addition to the actual case itself, one must also ask if Mrs. Tant was instrumental in selling DBT Online’s services to the Secretary of State? Currently, we only have lists of registered lobbyists for 1999. The Political Hurricane is working to acquire past registered lobbyist lists to determine if Mrs. Tant was a lobbyist for DBT Online in 1998, when the Secretary of State rendered their services. If this is the case, one must ask, yet again, if she was privy to information regarding what DBT Online can do, including purging voters. And, since the Secretary of State at the time was Sandra Mortham, any lobbyist for DBT Online wouldn’t be advocating  a voter purge that could help Democratic candidates. That is just common sense.

What Does This All Mean?

When selecting the next chair of the Florida Democratic Party, Democrats need to consider a number of things. The website has already endorsed Alan Clendenin because we feel that he is the only person running for the position with a plan that will help bring the Florida Democratic Party back from the dismal abyss that it currently finds itself in.

On the other hand, we did not support Allison Tant for a number of reasons. First, we felt that her connections to Tallahassee would not benefit the grassroots organization that we feel needs to be put in place to help the FDP thrive. Also, the fact that she lacked a plan didn’t provide us with much confidence regarding her true commitment to the party.

Now with the release of this information, character must be a key issue regarding the race for FDP Chair. While there are many things that Democrats can be forgiving on, the robbing of the 2000 Presidential Election isn’t one of those things. And as the lobbyist for the company that purged the the voter roll, Allison Tant was an instrumental part of George W. Bush getting Florida’s 25 electoral votes, thus the presidential election and eight years of one of the worst presidencies ever.

As true Democrats, one must ask if Allison Tant should run our Florida Democratic Party. After it was known that ChoicePoint was involved with the voter purge, Tant stayed on record as a lobbyist for another ten months, even is she resigned a few months prior. Will Tant sell out the Florida Democratic Party in 2013 as much as she sold it out in 2000? History shows that is the case.

And finally, to those progressives and Democratic Party loyalists that support Allison Tant in the upcoming election, I truly must ask how you could continue to support someone that sold out the party in such a divisive way? If you truly support Mrs. Tant after her involvement in DBT Online and ChoicePoint, you must ask yourself if you are truly a Democrat.

We understand why some people might have supported Mrs. Tant previously. But with this latest information, supporting Mrs. Tant is inexcusable. We have licked our wounds from the 2000 election. We continue to say Al Gore won. We continue to keep the hate of that election in our hearts after all other states have forgotten about it.

Now the Florida Democratic Party is on the brink of electing someone as its chair that could be one of the main reasons we had President George W. Bush.

That is inexcusable.

Below is a YouTube clip regarding the role of ChoicePoint, the company Allison Tant lobbied for during and after the Florida 2000 Presidential Election recount:


24 thoughts on “Exclusive: Allison Tant was lobbyist for firm that purged African-Americans from voter rolls before, during and after 2000 recount.

  1. C’mon Marvin! DWS has covertly supported Republicans for years down here in Dade and Broward. Come down here and you may learn that. The Diaz-Balart brothers are proof.

  2. On this issue anyone who is surprised is not paying attention. The Tallahassee crowd is full of people who double dip. Registered Ds working for Rs and registered Rs working for Ds. They are not turncoats as much as products of a corrupt, incestuous town.

  3. It is time for the national party to insist DWS back off. She is causing some groups to give up on the party and drift away. We need strong leadership and Alan Clendenin can be that leader.

  4. This is crazy.

    So what? A lobbyist isn’t privy to the innerworkings of the companies they represent. Their job is to help connect that company to the state- that doesn’t make her corrupt or show any secret support of the Republican Party.

    Anyone can ask baseless questions- facts are worth reporting, asking questions and implying guilt is the lowest form of hate mongering propaganda.

    Allison has proven her loyalty to the Democratic Party. She has raised millions for the President over the last five years- she can raise millions more for the FDP. What we need in a chair is a fundraiser.

  5. Yes, we need a good fundraiser. But we need an organizer more. We need to bring in more members and more votes. This election proved that money doesn’t necessarily buy votes. People on the ground help more by getting out the vote. All you have to do is ask the President how he won. Why is it so hard for DWS to see she is loosing this fight and back off. We would have more respect for her if she did.

  6. As Nelson, DWS, Deutch and gang got Crist to testify in front the Senate today, they also push Tant to push to be State Party chair. And we all thought Wexler was the only asshole.

  7. You have no clue. A lobbyist “lobbies” to get their clients agenda done. To say she didn’t know what they were doing is just ridiculous. Even more so is that if that were true she would be completely unethical for helping a company that she didn’t know anything about.

    She is done. She needs to drop out of this race ASAP. Raising money is only one part of the chair’s job. But no part of the job description can be done without integrity. She has shown she has none.

    I implore DWS and Nelson to pull their support immediately. Maybe Al Gore should call them and personally thank them for trying to shove the woman partially responsible for the theft of an election he won down our throats.

  8. Not only do we need to change the Republican party we have to change the Democratic Party. Wexler, Deutch, Abruzzo, Klein and Aaronson are all pushing Tant. Randolphs too! This is bullshit. GO Independents get rid of all of these clowns!!!!!!!!!

  9. Dude these are the same fucking people that are pushing Crist. These are the same people who are fucking corrupt and got Aronberg in office after Aaronson, Deutch, Wexler and Klein allowed a judge to be threatened. Time to call DOJ otherwise there will be alot of protesting against both parties. This is fucking bullshit!

    Count all our votes but vote for the people that don’t count your votes by saying they will count your votes.

    Get rid of Crist, DWS, Wexler and Bucher.

    Fuck them all!!!

  10. Let’s break this down:
    1) Democratic Party wants to have the lobbyist that screwed us in 2000 to be the state chair.
    2) Democratic Party wants Crist who screwed us for 26 years as Governor.
    3) Democratic Party are crying about Scott now allowing us to have longer time for voting.

    Democratic Party is a joke. Get rid of Andre Fladel, Burt Aaronson, Dave Aronberg, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Ted Deutch, Randolphs and CRIST….They are all dirty!!!!!!

  11. I do not think Tant is right for the party but on this she can be excused. All she did was lobby for a company to do a job that was going to be done by someone who got a contract. If it hasn’t been
    Tant and DBT it would have been someone else and some other firm.

  12. Boy, you guys are really reaching at this point. This isn’t even journalism. Your argument is like me saying ” because I work for the state, I must support Rick Scott.”

    Journalism. . . your failing at it.

  13. Pingback: TPH Exclusive Tant Revelations: Reaction & Analysis « The Political Hurricane – Florida Political Blog.

  14. The difference is the state has thousands of employees in different divisions and this company had a core business and just a handful of lobbyists whose mission is to get the company state business. Fundamentally very different.

    I understand how it works in Tallahassee and actually have some sympathy for Ms. Tant, more sympathy than the vast majority of angry activists. When you are in that “bubble,” things that are acceptable there aren’t to the grassroots activists in the rest of the state. When you are in that insider bubble you always have spin and talking points to justify your actions. Democratic legislators make these sorts of errors in judgement all the time which is precisely why we need new leadership.

  15. I agree with Kartik. This is much different. It is the environment and the structure that needs to be changed, and having party elites decide who is the FDP leader keeps that same bubble culture in our party.

    From everything that I have heard about Mrs. Tant, I hear she is a very nice lady. But that isn’t the issue. The issue is that people like Wasserman Schultz, Nelson, Arceneaux and others controlling the FDP for their own gain.

    The fact that Mrs. Tant was a lobbyist for this group for, at minimum, three straight years is quite disturbing. And unlike those that lobbyists “don’t know about the companies they lobby for”, that is just bull. In addition, this wasn’t lobbying for legislation, but for a state contract which is totally different.

    And to those of you that say “this is how things run in Tallahassee”, YES that is exactly the point!

  16. Do we really want to win the governor’s race or do we want to give someone a position to reign . We just won the I-4 corridor for President Obama with a good ground game. Lets not blow this important race just to flex political muscle for the elite. I’ve seen races with plenty of money lost because there was no ground game. Keep the lady as the financial chair and let the person with organizational experience run the party.

  17. Why should we believe you? There are so many lies, misstatements, half truths and twisted info on the web, I don’ t trust much of any of it anymore. DFA sent out a petition to support Annette Taddeo without talking to many important people in FL. Then she dropped out and supports Tant. Tant has been an important part of the Pink Slip Rick campaign. I haven’t read Mr. Clendenin’s plan yet so I will check it out. I’m more interested in now, not 2000.
    There are many more of us grassroots people out here who are not “led by the nose” and think for ourselves!

  18. You should believe us because these are actually documents from the State of Florida, not just something that we pulled out of our backside.

  19. Also, as far as Florida Watch Action and Pink Slip Rick, I am glad that Tant is involved with that. Many others around the state are involved with that as well. Why shouldn’t they then be chair of the FDP?

  20. It’s a conflict of interest when a lobbyist or campaign consultant is also a political party officer.

    Grassroots organizers are perfect as political party officers.

    Clendenin should introduce strong conflict of interest prohibitions which apply to all state and county political party organizations. No lobbyist or campaign consultant should be in any position higher than precinct captain.

  21. Pingback: When Did Our Souls Become a Commodity? « producerworld

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