Thursday, January 13, 2005

Rank Hypocrisy

Yesterday, Democrat Chris Gregoire was legally sworn in as the 22nd Governor of Washington State in a maelstrom of Republican anger.

Nobody outdoes the Republican rank and file when it comes to hypocrisy. The gubernatorial race in Washington State proves this point. Here are the facts:

1) When the Republican candidate, Dino Rossi, was ahead during the initial count and the machine recount, Rossi and his supporters had no problem with the election results, and Rossi demanded that Gregoire concede. Unfortunately for him, there is a provision in Washington State law for up to three counts: the original, the machine recount, and the manual recount.

2) After the manual recount (the third and final count by law), Rossi found himself on the losing end. Suddenly the election was unfair, and he demanded a revote. Gregoire refused, citing the adherence to state law and the accuracy of the manual count.

3) Rossi and his sycophants have since been whining nonstop, stating if Rossi had won the manual recount, he would ask for a revote so that the new governor would not enter office under a cloud of illegitimacy. If you believe this, I have a bridge to sell you. I promise you if Rossi had won the final count, he would be saying, “We won three times, now concede you sore losing wench.”

The Republicans are now saying that there was massive election fraud in the state, and have petitioned the court to throw out the result and decide the winner in a statewide revote. They have even adopted the orange ribbon in their fight for fair elections. Now I am all for election reform and I welcome the support of my Republican friends in this effort, but how come the same group that calls foul in Washington State believes the Ohio election was fair and just?

If there was fraud in Washington State, it is miniscule in comparison to the massive irregularities that occurred in Ohio. The Democratic House Judiciary Committee, led by Rep. John Conyers Jr., has compiled 102 pages of irregularities in its report: Preserving Democracy: What Went Wrong In Ohio.

Where is the outcry from the Republican, Washingtonian Protectors of Democracy on this one? Could it be that they are simply election reformers of convenience? That this is just partisan politics, as usual? That it is only about getting Rossi into the governor’s mansion and they only care about fair elections when their candidate is the loser?

To my Republican friends, I say that you now have proof that election reform is a non-partisan issue. Taste the bitterness. You should be outraged that Republican Senators and Representatives ridiculed the thirty-two patriots who bravely stood up in the House and the Senate on January 6, on all our behalf’s, to contest the results of Ohio with its overwhelming and irrefutable evidence of wrongdoing. I am certain you believe now that election irregularities can work as easily against you as for you.

The election in Washington State is over. You will not prevail in a state with a Democratic Senate, Democratic Legislature, Democratic Supreme Court, and a Republican Secretary of State who stands by the legality of the election and its result. Consider this election a wakeup call and an olive branch to work together with Democrats, and election reformers of all political persuasions, towards what is best for American democracy: elections in all fifty states that have paper trails and are fair, auditable, transparent, nonpartisan, nonproprietary, and with redundant checks and balances at all stages of the voting and counting process. Demand election reform from your representatives, be they Democrat, Republican, or Independent.

When it comes to fair elections, all Americans, regardless of party affiliation, truly have a common cause.

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