[NWPT48]It’s week-two of Dino Rossi’s quixotic election contest trial, and I’m much more looking forward to this week’s proceedings than last week’s proceedings… mostly because this week is only four days long. That said, I’m guessing the Democrats’ testimony will be even more boring than the Republicans’, since at least the latter offered the tiniest prospect of dramatically producing a smoking gun.
Anyway, I’ll be following the proceedings live, and updating this post with tidbits and observations as they happen; if you are a connoisseur of tedium you can follow along on TVW. And as always I recommend you occasionally check out David Postman’s trial updates in The Seattle Times.
If wishes were horses, then Stefan would ride
On Saturday, our good friend Stefan over at (u)SP predicted that Dino Rossi would prevail, and the election would be set aside. So here’s my prediction: Stefan is delusional. (Some might argue that’s not so much a prediction, as a statement of fact.)
Okay… maybe Stefan’s not delusional. Perhaps he fully understands Rossi has lost, and his bold prediction is part of some propagandistic strategy that I’m just not clever enough to fathom. Or perhaps Stefan isn’t nearly as smart as I’ve given him credit for. He could just be wrong. Hey… people make mistakes… there’s no shame in that.
But I think it is just wishful thinking.
Nixon goes to Chelan (10:40 am)
State Elections Director Nixon “Nick” Handy is on the stand, talking about the challenges all the counties faced in conducting November’s election. Under questioning from Democrat attorney Jenny Durkan, Handy is outlining errors throughout the state, and after each example, he agrees that there is no evidence of fraud. The goal apparently is to show that there was nothing unusual or nefarious about the problems in King County.
At this moment, Handy is explaining that voter crediting is “administrative housekeeping,” and not generally a record of the number of people who cast votes:
“Many if not most auditors opted to go back and credit voters after the election was certified.”
He emphatically insists that comparing the number of people credited with voting and the number of ballots counted is not a measure of the authenticity of the election.
Handy not “appalled” (10:53 am)
Sec. of State Sam Reed had been quoted in the press as saying he found some of the mistakes in King County Elections to be “appalling.” Durkan asked Handy if he agreed with his boss’s assessment, and he bluntly said “No.” He described the problems as “inadvertent mistakes and errors of human beings who are working their hearts out,” and insisted there was no evidence of an attempt to sway the election or affect votes in one way or another.
On the topic of felon votes, Handy stated that voter registration is based on “the honor system” and that it simply would not be possible to do background checks on all registrants.
Durkan has finished her questioning, and the Republicans will cross after a 15 minute recess.
Rah rah sis koom bah (11:32 am)
Republican attorney Dale Forman called Handy a “cheerleader.”
Liberal blogger David Goldstein called Forman an “asshole.”
Rossi PR “unfair and inaccurate” (12:06 pm)
Forman doesn’t like Handy’s answers. So now he’s getting mad at him, accusing him of deliberately trying to undermine Rossi’s case. (Um… Dale… you are suing the SoS… you expect them to make your case for you?) In response, Handy made clear his own opinion about the GOP’s dishonest misrepresentation of this election, stating that their “public affairs campaign” was:
“…undermining the trust and confidence of the average voter in the election system, in a way that is unfair and inaccurate. I believe that.”
Court is in recess until 1:15 pm.
TVW fraudulently goes down (1:58 pm)
The court is back in session, but apparently TVW is not. About 10 minutes in, the stream went down, and I now I can’t even get to their website. So since I have no idea what is happening, I’ll just pretend I’m one Rossi’s attorneys, and make stuff up.
Attorney Dale Foreman shifted tact after lunch by telling state Elections Director Nick Handy that he had “pretty eyes.” When Handy responded that Foreman had liquor on his breath, Foreman angrily attacked Handy for being non-responsive, and insisted that he answer the question. Democrat Attorney Jenny Durkan objected on the point that Foreman had not actually asked a question. After some discussion, Foreman rephrased his question: “Nick… do I have pretty eyes?” Handy said that he didn’t really know, prompting Foreman to tearfully object to his own question. At this point, counsel approached the bench, and the Judge ruled that Foreman did have pretty eyes, but that the evidence was not admissible.
Oh… the TVW feed is back on. Damn it.
John Carlson (3:00 pm)
Ooops… almost forgot… Stefan and I will be on the John Carlson Show again today at 3:15 pm, KVI-570. And again, the rest of the week.
Perjury (3:58 pm)
Nothing breaks the tedium of following this godawful boring trial, quite like arguing with John and Stefan on KVI. It’s especially fun when Stefan shows his true neo-McCarthyite self, like this afternoon when he essentially accused Dean Logan of perjury. Well… he insisted that was my word, not his… but that’s the legal definition of lying on the witness stand.
Ah well, nothing riles up the right like veiled threats of imprisoning public officials.
Oh boy… recess! (4:39 pm)
Court has recessed for the day. We’ll come back bright and early with Dean Logan, who Stefan has accused of perjury, which is a convenient way of saying that anything he says that might hurt Rossi’s case is a lie, whereas anything he says that might help him is a grudging admission.