Monday, February 11, 2008

Washington GOP Supresses Its Own Vote

This has to be a first. During yesterday's Republican caucus in Washington the state party chair decided to forgo counting all the votes and simply declared John McCain the winner. At the time, John McCain led by 1.3% and there was 13% of the vote remaining. Without even looking at the remaining precincts the party chair did some sort of half-ass statistical analysis and decided Mike Huckabee had no chance to win.

Of course the Huckabee campaign wants all the votes to be counted and when they requested that one of their lawyers be present for the recount the state party chair hung up on them. Now I realize that the Republican party is supportive of voter suppression tactics but I never thought they would disenfranchise their own primary voters...

From CBS (H/T - TPM):
Huckabee campaign lawyer Lauren Huckabee (daughter-in-law of the candidate), who is skeptical of the fairness, asked for a lawyer to monitor the results.

The state GOP denied the request and hung up on Lauren Huckabee, according to the campaign. Campaign adviser Ed Rollins will be sending lawyers to Olympia, scheduled to land this evening, to investigate the matter.

At a hastily arranged press conference in a hotel room, Rollins was steamed.

“You don’t get to announce the votes until they are all counted. And obviously, by his attempts to project without any statistical data or even if he had statistical data, it’s irrelevant: we’re entitled to a fair, full count," Rollins said.

"Our lawyers attempted to contact him today, finally did so about ten minutes ago. He said, ‘Well I don’t know where the precincts, are, I just sort of did it. How dare Mike Huckabee challenge – he has to trust us. We’re going to count the rest of the votes today in the office.’"

"We asked to have someone go in to the office with them and count the votes and he refused us."


Phil Marx said...

Let's be honest Jeff, neither party has a democratic primary system. The super-delegates system disenfranchises the less powerful in the party, and the staggered primary dates usually disenfranchises entire states.

Make the primaries one person - one vote, and hold all states on the same day, and it would be democratic.

Jeff Pruitt said...


We're talking about a party actively not counting its own votes. That's a far cry from setting up a poor system...

Phil Marx said...

Let me clarify. The current primary system is, in my oipinion, very flawed. But it is the law, and if people don't like it they should act to change it instead of just complaining about it. The truth is, most people only complain when this system works against their candidate.

If they really were against the system as a whole, then the Ron Paul supporter would be upset that John Edwards was ignored by the media, and Edwards supporters would be upset about Paul's treatment. That is not the case. Currently most people seem to support the current system over any alternatives.

Regarding the specific event you mentioned, I don't know the legalities. Could it be that in Washington State, the law is written so that the party chair has the final word? I have no idea if this is the case, but look at our current system. Some individuals have more control over the electoral system than others. But it's legal.

I guess I'd say that if Huckabee supporters can make a good legal case that the law was violated, then they should take it to court. Of course, if they win the case then the party chair should be fired for either misreading or deliberately abusing the law in such a serious manner.

But if it is legal, then I find Huckaby's cries to be very similar to a drug dealer calling the police to complain that he was robbed while standing on the corner.