Croker Sack

"Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard." — Henry Louis Mencken (1880-1956)

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Governor-elect Gregoire for now

One ought to be able to accept Governor-elect Gregoire as an “accidental governor” if the Republicans don’t uncover sufficient evidence to persuade a court to invalidate the election.

One ought to, except that Gregoire is showing a disturbing propensity to avoid speaking the truth while she awaits a contest of the election.

As reported by The Olympian, Gregoire asserted that the reason for the Republicans’ actions and statements was simply that the second recount showed her to be the winner:

And Gov.-elect Christine Gregoire, the Democrat who pulled 129 more votes than Republican Dino Rossi, sharply criticized efforts by the GOP to stir up public sentiment and doubt about the legitimacy of her victory.

"The vote changed, I won, and now suddenly there is something wrong," Gregoire said.
That’s a disingenuous description of the circumstances. Prior to the second recount, Senator Rossi was the governor-elect, so the Republicans had no reason to talk about a possible election contest. Not until the recounts allowed by law were complete was the topic of an election contest relevant.

Now, the recounts are over, and Gregoire has been designated as the governor-elect; so now the candidate who is on the losing side must consider whether to seek invalidation of the election.

Going even further, Gregoire denied that there was any basis for considering an election contest:

Gregoire called the idea of a new vote "absolutely ludicrous," saying insinuations of voter fraud are irresponsible.

"This rhetoric that I hear every day on talk show radio is serving to further divide this state of Washington," she said. "There is something more important than partisanship in the state of Washington.''

So far, King County elections officials have admitted that at least a thousand more votes than voters were counted in their county. They have also admitted that provisional ballots, which cannot lawfully be counted as votes until validated during the canvassing process, were commingled with the valid ballots by the hundreds and perhaps by the thousands.

Even ignoring the statements from the Republicans about the evidence they are uncovering that shows illegal votes were cast by convicted felons who have no right to vote, and that may show votes were illegally cast on behalf of the dead, and that there may be significant numbers of people who voted more than once – all of which would support an election contest – there is more than enough evidence from the mouths of King County elections officials to make talk of an election contest perfectly reasonable.

Yet, according to the Seattle Times Gregoire said there is no evidence that the elections officials didn’t do their job:

"The idea of a redo I find to be absolutely ludicrous," Gregoire said. "It's particularly unfortunate we're somehow suggesting these county election officials haven't done their job, when there is absolutely no evidence to support that."

She apparently hopes to make the Republicans look like bad guys who are unfairly criticizing poor little old civil servants, but the evidence so far indicates that the people responsible for administering our election laws didn’t do the job they were expected to do.

An accidental governor is one thing, but a governor who cannot bring herself to speak the truth to the people is unacceptable.

Gregoire surely cannot have believed that what she was saying was true.

What’s next? Gregoire hissing “my precious” at her next press conference?


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