Saturday, December 04, 2004

Washington Democrats Rule!

They pulled it off.

The Washington State Democrats delivered a $730,000 check to Washington Secretary of State Sam Reed's office on Friday as payment for the hand recount, the first in the state's history.
It seems a bit weird that the State requires cash to do its job, but I suppose that they are a bit strapped for cash in this economy these days. Also, I am guessing that there is some logic in forcing the party to pay for it just in case they are being a sore loser. That is not the case when the certified results show a 42 vote difference between the two candidates.

Remember, this 42 vote difference was the result of the machine recount. It came down to 42 votes from 261 votes.

Anyway, it appears that the idea in Washington is a bit like the Replay Rule in the NFL. If you request a review of the call and it goes your way, it costs you nothing. However, if you stall the game and the refs got it right the first time, that’s going to cost you a time out. In this case “According to state election rules, a hand recount must be financed by the party requesting it, although the state will reimburse the money if the recount reverses the tally.”

Some thanks on this one also should go to the Kerry Campaign.

Democrats scrambled to raise the money for the recount, which was supported by a $200,000 contribution from Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry's unused campaign funds.
42 votes out of 2.8 million cast in the election. What do the Republicans have to say about this? "The Democrats are trying to steal the election," said Chis Vance, the Washington State Republican party chair.

Republicans wouldn’t know anything about that, now, would they? Sorry, cheap shot.

The argument they should be using is the one from 2000 in Florida. It went something along the lines of, “Well, you can’t just count over and over and over again until you get a result you are happy with. At some point you just have to say it’s enough and just stop and move on.”

However, to quote Dan Rather from the 2000 election, "This race is tight like a too-small bathing suit on a too-long ride home from the beach."

It seems like the most troubling aspect of this whole ordeal, just like the one in Florida, is that the tallies do change with every recount. Is every vote being counted each and every time? Is there an election official out there who is forgetting to carry a one every time? Or, everyone’s biggest fear, “Yes Mr. Rossi, no one will find that bag o’ ballots from Seattle. I got them stashed under my desk in my office… Hey, Paul, get out of my office, will ya’? I got stuff in there you don’t want to see.”

Supposedly, these were the sorts of issues that electronic voting machines was supposed to resolve. Unfortunately, those come with their own, new issues. In Washington, King County took a look at these machines and essentially laughed at them and moved on. Probably a good call.

Now they actually have ballots that they can recount.

It is unknown if this will actually put the Democrat, State Attorney General Christine Gregoire, into office, but it is good to see that the party isn't just rolling over and conceeding another loss in 2004. These battles must be joined. City by county by state by the nation... No more rolling over and conceeding one seat after another to the Republicans.

One final note: I pulled the Dan Rather quote from here. A page full of his election comments. Funny. I am going to miss Dan.


A. F. Litt said...

Okay, I am commenting on my own post, but what the hell...

And I do mean what the hell! As I was reading over this post, I was left wondering why a canidate that narrowly lost the presidancy had almost a quarter of a million dollars left over in the war chest?

Now, I am the first one to go off about money being the Great Satan of American politics, and I really do not believe that one more ad buy in Ohio or Florida would have changed anything...

I suppose short of giving a buck to 200,000 people in Ohio to vote Kerry, it probably wouldn't have changed the election, but it still makes me wonder if everything was done that could have been done.

A. F. Litt said...

16 million is a lot more than a quarter of a million.

He's getting some heat from other Democrats for this...

Quote:Kerry aides said the money was set aside to cover late-arriving bills and any legal challenges to the presidential outcome. But other Democrats said the money, which was raised during Kerry's primary-election campaign and could not be spent on his own general-election campaign due to federal limits, should have been given to other candidates to spend.

Quote:One top Kerry aide said that after all bills are paid, the primary account is likely to be down to about $14 million. Approximately $4 million will be used to defend against allegations that the Kerry campaign illegally coordinated with independent groups.

Quote:Donna Brazile, a Democratic strategist who managed Gore's 2000 presidential campaign, said she was ''totally shocked" to learn that so much money was left over. Aside from Kerry's defeat, Democrats lost two seats in the House and four in the Senate this year.

''I've never heard of having that amount of money left over," she said. ''This is not about John Kerry. This is about how do you deploy resources. We kept saying, 'This is the greatest, most important election in our lifetime.' Yet we have money left over? I don't know what else to say."

Okay, there are some quotes. The link to the article is below. I don't know what I feel about this in the long run, especially when it is Donna Brazille complaining. I still haven't worked out my feelings about her management of the Gore campaign (even though she did get the win, I suppose, on that one), but I am pretty sure they are all negative.