February 14, 2007
Time for new leadership in the Secretary of State's Office
A recap of yesterday's public hearing on HB 1742, which would re-exempt voter birthdates from public disclosure, and forbid the copying and publication of absentee ballot signatures -- only making it easier for election officials to sweep problems under the rug. Audio is on TVW here. The hearing on this bill starts at 1:23:22. My testimony starts at 1:36:27. My prepared remarks here. Also testifying against the bill were Bill Will and Rowland Thompson representing state newspapers; and Toby Nixon. Testifying for the bill were county Auditors and Sam Reed's lobbyist Katie Blinn.
I showed the committee photos of mishandled ballot envelopes, which ordinary citizens were able to expose only by having access to birthdates and the ability to photograph ballot envelope signatures, both of which the bill would prohibit. (Examples: 11 pairs of absentee ballot and provisional ballot cast by the same voter where both were counted, 4 examples of pairs of absentee ballots cast by the same voter where both were counted (here and here), 2 examples of obviously mis-signed absentee ballots that passed signature verification, and 1 example of a voter who was disenfranchised because her signature was wrongly rejected).
It's bad enough that the county Auditors are less interested in election integrity than in sweeping their own mistakes under the rug. But the Secretary of State especially should be an advocate for election integrity and not for covering up evidence of bogus election adminstration. This is what I find particularly disturbing. Two years ago when citizens were concerned that (primarily) King County managed to come up with more votes than voters, what was the Secretary of State's office saying? Here's a quote from a pre-trial public statement by Elections Director Nixon Handy:
"I am completely convinced that the reconciliation [sic, should be crediting] issue being raised by the Republicans in the litigation is completely unfounded...If we can successfully demonstrate that this is an unfounded claim, I would hope that this would severely undermine the confidence of the court in the other R claims"
Wow. So only after the trial was I able to obtain incontrovertible evidence of double votes and illegal votes from unregistered voters
that proved that the concern about the excess of votes over voters was completely well-founded and that the Elections Director was either incompetent or a liar. Now the Secretary of State wants to prevent the public from having access to the very information that exposed that his office was (either incompetently or deliberately) falsely reassuring the public during the biggest elections screw-up of our lifetime. Sheesh.
Sam and Nick: it's time for you to go.
Posted by Stefan Sharkansky at February 14, 2007
01:02 PM | Email This
1. Since you're not challenging Sam in the primary, Stefan, I wonder if anyone else will. Any thoughts? As our Giuliani discussion below shows, it's never too early to talk about 2008.
2. "Republicans eating their own."
3. Sam Reed is a Republican? Who knew?
You have a scoop there, Jim.
But Jim, SOS really should be nonpartisan, don't you think? What does party affiliation have anything to do with this job? Don't both parties want clear and honest elections?
At least they should.
5. Reed's incompetence and duplicity in the 2004 theft should be enough to disqualify him from holding that office. Then to compound matters he proposes and brags about those limp-noodle post-election "reforms". Then he turns around and adds insult to injury by telling Dino Rossi he should run for a third-rate consolation prize of an office like County Executive. That someone like Sam Reed should give political advice to Dino Rossi, after what he did to Rossi in the 2004 election, is like having Dr. Kevorkian giving you advice on how to live a healthy lifestyle. Maybe Reed should just go away and take a healthy dose of STFU in the meantime.
I like that: "Go away and take a health does of STFU in the meantime." I think I'll start to use that myself, IO.
When did Reed tell Dino he sould run for County Commissioner? That's pretty galling.
Call it eating our own? Not all conservatives are aligned with Republicans. I call it responsible, limited government. It does matter what party a candidate belongs to, the goal should be reasonable government accountable to the citizens.
The writers of HB1742 know that the public will only be able to respond to known mistakes. If it's impossible to find out whether an election was properly and accurately conducted, then there won't ever be any unrest or questioning from concerned citizens. And that's what they want.
Trust them to do the counting and make no mistakes, nevermind auditing and citizen oversight. Stalin would be proud.
Sam Reed's chances were gone long ago.
8. I'm hearing lots of tough talk from Stefan and Jeff B. No ideas, though, for who to run against Sam in '08.
9. How about you, DJ?
10. I can't, Stefan. I've got a job. Plus, I know nearly nothing about how to administer state elections. Can you think of anybody who knows about that kind of stuff?
11. It might even be a Democrat who wins against Sam Reed. It's just not going to be Sam Reed. We'll fight the good fight, but with a Democrat controlled legislature passing bills to cover auditor's mistakes, it's not really gonna matter who is Secretary of State unless it's someone who takes the job very seriously and does more than simply rubber stamp. Sam Reed has demonstrated he does not.
12. Here's an idea: Toby Nixon.
13. There's an idea, ram. And a good one too. I'm not sure if Toby wants to pick an intraparty fight right now. It might be smarter for him to bide his time and wait for Sen. Impeachment Oemig to run for reelection. But if anyone can articulate why Sam Reed needs to retire, it's Toby.
14. DJ, I think it was the last election cycle. Irons got the nomination and Rossi stood by him, but Reed suggested that Rossi run for it. Aside from being galling (Reed had just stabbed the guy in the back and he was just finishing up his court battle over the stolen election), it was just an asinine suggestion. Why waste a candidate with proven statewide appeal on a local race? That's just a stupid consolation prize anyway. Consolation prizes are for losers, and Rossi is no loser. In fact, of the two, I'd say Reed s a better fit for a dead-end consolation prize. Let him run for it. Maybe he can do less damage there.
15. I agree that Reed has to go. There has been too many things screwed up on his watch (whether it was his direct fault or not he is the head guy so the buck stops there). I wish I could offer up a great name for you, but the only person I can think of many of you may not know and I am not certain that she would give up her lucrative business to take on this mess. She does quite a few of the PDC reports and accounting for the R's in this state, she truly does have a record that a bank would envy and last but not least she is considered to be one of the subject experts on PDC. I would have to think she at least understands the nature of accounting and at least on one front what is and is not legal in an election.
16. Why waste a candidate with proven statewide appeal on a local race?
Because Democrats, like Sam Reed, would rather not see him run for governor in 2008.
17. Why not run Diane Tebelius. She's an expert in election law. Or, rather, she was paid $100,000 for posing as an election law expert.
I've been very disappointed in Mr Reed's lack of leadership since he took office in 2000
The testimony of his lobbyist Katie Blinn on TVW clearly indicates that Mr Reed does not want honest elections
The title of this blog posting is correct
Mr Reed needs to be replaced w/ a competent person
''Sam and Nick: it's time for you to go.''
ram sez: ''Toby Nixon''
I remember that some time ago Stefan made a not-quite iron-clad ''Shermanesque'' statement about NOT running for public office....
But then I also recall subsequent musing about how if things got bad enough that initial decision might be subject to revision. Sooo....:
My question 2 Stefan 4 tonight is:
How bad does the leftie assault against the integrity of the voting process have to get, before it gets bad enough that you might allow yourself to be drafted to run for SOS ??... :-]
Hope it doesn't have to get much worse, because the way the bills are flying through the House and Senate committees I shudder to think what REALLY bad would be... If you can be drafted, tell me where to send a campaign contribution (seriously).
SIDEBAR: Great written testimony, by the way.
If Stefan stays with the ''full Sherman'' thing:
Yeah: Toby Nixon would be high on my list.
Don't get me wrong: Were Stefan to run, I would totally campaign for him. But the SoS has to deal with so much administrivia and governmental BS that I'm not convinced it would be a good trade-off for the loss of a damned effective blogger who exposes corruption and incompetence in more than just the limited area of elections. Ridiculous though it may sound before careful reflection, I would actually be delighted to vote for someone whose statement in the voter pamphlet read simply, "I promise to be a sock puppet for Stefan Sharkansky on all issues concerning election integrity, and just generally keep things running otherwise." Not recommended by any campaign handbooks, I'm sure, but you have to admit, government in this state is bad enough that we really need to start thinking outside the box.
Not that Toby doesn't also have lots of other things to do, but I'd love to see him run for SoS. Sam would get the crossover votes in the primary, but that would only help Toby in the general.
Thank gawd for Sam Reed, Bush, McCain and Meleng....thank gawd. You cowards...what kind of man sends a minnion to take the rights of the power givers. At least the other cowards spit in our faces. (If Haq had killed Dean Logan's pet would he have been executed yet?)
Not one thin dime not one for any R!!! I'll give to any American running but not a PR hack in a suit thinking he can appease my enemies with my liberty!
22. LOLOLOLOLOLOLOL...You guys really think Toby Nixon could win a statewide office?!?!?!? If he can't even beat a Nazi sympathizer in a district he represented for 4 years what makes him a credible statewide candidate?
23. But Jim, SOS really should be nonpartisan, don't you think?
God no. I don't mind getting f*%ked, but I'd like to know who's f*%king me.
Anyhow, Nixon should challenge him in the primary.