The Radio Equalizer: Brian Maloney

19 November 2004

Brace Yourself for More Funny Stuff in Washington State

Now that the votes are finally counted in Washington State's crazy governor's race, Republican Dino Rossi has taken a 261 vote lead over Democrat Christine Gregoire. Does that mean it's over? Not hardly. It looks so much like Bush v. Gore it's ridiculous.

After convincing a King County judge to let them cheat by counting provisional ballots where signatures didn't match those on file, Democrats now say that one mere recount may not be enough. They want to keep recounting until they get a result they like.

From the Seattle P-I (link to full story above):

State Democratic Party Chairman Paul Berendt is already talking about ordering a second, hand recount of the votes. "We see this as a two-recount process," he said.

"We will keep our eyes out for any irregularities and do our best to make sure every vote gets counted," said Gregoire campaign spokesman Morton Brilliant. "However long this process takes, it will be worth it."

Gregoire declared the race a "virtual tie" on Wednesday and spent Thursday working with her campaign staff and transition team. Rossi flew to New Orleans early Thursday to spend a day meeting his possible future colleagues at the Republican Governors Association meeting.

This gives you a sense of how ugly this is going to get. Gregoire's trial lawyer buddies fighting to the death for the result they want, her meeting with a transition team even though she lost the first count, and a lot of rhetoric about counting every vote. Worse still is the fact that I wouldn't trust Grays Harbor or King Counties as far as I can throw them after what they pulled in the last week.

If she had finished 261 votes ahead, do you think she would call it a "virtual tie"? No, she'd be calling for Rossi to concede so she could get on with the business of the state. Nobody's saying there shouldn't be a recount, but Gregoire should recognize that she did come in second when all the votes were counted. Now they want multiple recounts, even by hand which has never been done statewide.

Watch for nuclear war over this race, the ugliest politics ever seen in Washington State are ahead.


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