Friday, June 18, 2010

Ain't no party like an election protest party...

cuz an election protest party don't stop.

Photo by Tracy Glantz/

Last evening, the SC Democratic Party Executive Committee voted to deny Judge Vic Rawl's protest of the primary election between Rawl and Kaiser Soze impersonator Alvin Greene. Are we surprised?

Yesterday afternoon, we predicted via Twitter: "Absent convincing proof of fraud in candidacy, not in votes, elections upheld." So as soon as we heard Rawl's team start talking about votes and the polling machines, it was all over but the shouting. Basically, Rawls team put forward evidence they felt showed errors in the vote tallies, which were eventually referred to as "statistical anomalies." At least one way they tried to prove those anomalies was to compare the voter preference difference between the paper absentee ballots versus the electronic votes. That dog just doesn't hunt. Newsflash, people who go to the trouble of getting paper absentee ballots are generally speaking, going to be a little more informed as voters. They are obviously interested enough to go through the added steps of voting absentee, so they are more likely to know all the candidates than other folks. Obviously, we still don't know much about Alvin Greene, so that proclivity for more knowledge would make them more likely to recognize Judge Rawl's name and select it on the ballot.

The problem with their argument, was that Rawl's camp could not tell you what had occurred or how many votes had been affected. More to the point, when specifically asked the simple foreseeable question of: If these machines had all these problems, how will it be any different if you have a runoff next week with these same machines. Their answer? Well...we think and hope such statistical anomaly does not happen again. Sorry, but there is no way that argument is strong enough to discount the thousands of votes that were cast and have another election. That argument is basically asking for "do-over." And no matter how much we are all embarrassed by the Greene primary victory, we don't throw out elections over embarrassment. We learn from embarrassment and try to not get embarrassed again.

So what can we learn from the Alvin Greene candidacy?

1) the SC State Democratic party has problems. First, the party does not do a good job recruiting or vetting candidates. Second, the party does a horrendous job of introducing the electorate to our candidates. All candidates should have to take part in at least one debate and the Party must push to make those debates available to voters (tv, online video, newsletters, emails with transcripts, candidate brochures citing answers and issue stances, etc).

2) Candidates cannot take things for granted. Yesterday we heard Rawl's campaign manager, Walter Ludwig, argue they did not overlook Alvin Greene. That he was ready to come out and track everything Greene did and counter it, but Greene didn't do anything. Well...maybe Ludwig is right. Maybe they didn't take Greene for granted. But they damn sure took the primary for granted. Perhaps, if we don't look through hindsight, a lot of us would have made that same mistake. But it's one that no Democratic candidate should ever make again.

3) Drop the conspiracy theories on HOW Greene won. Listen...we think there will very likely be information that comes out after the inevitable investigations into Greene's candidacy that may very well show there was some chicanery behind Greene running. But the grand conspiracy theories floating around about placing him on the ballot than hacking the machines to get him elected? It's about as realistic as the Kenyan Manchurian Candidate that the tin-foil wearing tea partiers swallow.

Let's take a look at what such a conspiracy would entail. Say we are a crazy, right-wing cabal bent on world domination. We'll just call ourselves "Focus on the Family." Kidding! Not. Maybe. Anyway, we've managed to hack the Diebold machines and think we can rig an election. We want to do it. We think we can do it. So why on earth would we tip our hand by picking a guy who seems semi-retarded, who's win would draw national attention and who would be winning in a Democratic primary where the chances of knocking off "one of our own" are minuscule? We wouldn't. We'd test it out in small election where the result wouldn't be as noticeable then we'd roll it out big-time in 2012 to take out our mortal enemy, Obama.

None of that makes sense. So why we think someone likely put Greene up as a Republican place marker-type play, that's about it.

4) Democrats should drop the "I refuse to support sexual predator Alvin Greene and call on good humans to do likewise" crap. Take a moment to think about the guy you're hitting with this. First, no one other than the alleged victim in the incident has the right to call Greene that at this point. She knows firsthand what happened and if she wants to call him that, ok. But the man is innocent until proven guilty. More specifically, watch him on those videos. Does that look like a man who is "all there" mentally? Dude seems to have some kind of mental problems. If that's the case, you are in essence, picking on the kid from the short bus. Give it a rest.

5) We all, Republican and Democrat alike, have been blessed with a new term: pulling an Alvin Greene. It means not really trying, or inexplicable fortune (usually good, but can be used for bad). Examples:

-"Hey'd you score those sweet luxury box seats for the game?"
"Don't know, man...I Alvin Greene'd 'em."

-" better get to work on your TPS reports. Lumberg is gonna be pissed."
"No problemo...I'm just Alvin Greening 'em"

-"How did Hannerhan get that promotion?"
"I have no idea...all his ass does is Alvin Greene it all the time."

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