Fair, if not balanced

As promised, I have posted the Republican response to the Democrat’s lawsuit. All the documents I have managed to obtain thus far are available for download in an easy to manage .ZIP file. Or you can separately retrieve PDFs of both the Secretary of State’s Response, and the Rossi Brief.

For good measure, I have also thrown in a copy of the 1996 memo the Rossi campaign has been touting, in which the SOS says that they were advised by the Attorney General’s office (that would have been Gregoire at the time), that the “decision of the canvassing board with respect to the inclusion or exclusion of a particular ballot during the canvass is not open to question during the recount.” It’s an effective PR maneuver, but even an official AGO wouldn’t have any legal standing.

[UPDATE: The AP reports that Democratic Spokeswoman Kristen Brost claims the memo is not what it seems: “Brost said that memo referred to legal advice from previous state attorneys general, not from Gregoire.”]

My impression of the SOS brief is that Sam Reed has hired very good lawyers. Their brief is well argued, and at least as compelling as the Dems. They argue that this is a “recount”, not a “re-canvass”, and that’s the way recounts have always been conducted. (Except, of course, for the first recount.) But then, I’m not an attorney, so what the hell do I know.

However, Rossi’s brief reads like it was written by PR hacks, not lawyers. By it’s whiny, condescending tone, it is clearly intended more for the court of public opinion than the Supremes.


There, I’ve given you both sides of the dispute, a gesture of fairness I suppose the neo-cons will inevitably view as a sign of weakness. I just hope you all appreciate the irony that it is the “outrageous” HorsesAss.Org that is truly promoting informed debate, rather than the obversely named Sound Politics.


  1. 1

    zip spews:

    There you go with your “even an official AGO wouldn’t have any legal standing.” Face it: the 1996 memo is the worst thing that could have happened to Gregoire (after losing the election twice). Legal standing has nothing to do with it. SHE’S THE ATTORNEY GENERAL THAT DISAGREED 100% WITH THE LAWSUIT SHE TODAY SUPPORTS, get it? Your kind of governor? Not mine and if this keeps up even the legislature won’t be able to force her in.

  2. 2

    Jenny spews:

    Hey, ZIP, take a look at this from the Associated Press:

    Republicans also gleefully pointed out old cases in which Gregoire, as attorney general, advised against considering invalidated ballots in a recount. A November 1996 memo from the secretary of state’s office regarding a close legislative race says: “We are advised by the attorney general that state law makes no provision for the challenge of ballots or voters (as provided in RCW 29.10.125) during the recount.”

    Brost said that memo referred to legal advice from previous state attorneys general, not from Gregoire.

    So, no, zip, I don’t get your point. Gregoire didn’t issue that memo.

  3. 3

    zip spews:

    I’m still gleeful.

    The position taken with the lawsuit is still indefensible. Does state law make provision for the challenge of votes during a recount? I doubt it. This whole episode is moving her squarely into the sore loser club with Al Gore. How does that help her govern the atate?

  4. 4


    I gotta say that I really enjoy reading here (and sometimes at SP) to get some clue (however warped and twisted) about what’s going on back home while I’m active duty in CA. You can read seattletimes.com or whatever, but it’s the personal take I really enjoy.

  5. 5

    Mr. Cynical-dy spews:

    Let’s see now-
    Ms Gregoire ought to be evaluated on her actions:
    1) She cost Washington taxpayers $18 million by blowing an appeal date.
    2) She falsely blamed one of her employees for the mistake. The employee successfully sued costing taxpayers another $800,000. When Gregoire settled with our money, she declared VICTORY!!
    3) She repeatedly held back public records that should have been available, the worst case being the Boeing debacle. The State Newspaper Assoc. group is disgusted by her actions. She must be mighty bad if that Lefty Group is pissed at her!
    4) She is soliciting Union workers to help in the recount.
    5) And now she commits the ultimate in hipocrosy by suing over something that is 180 degrees opposed to prior AG opinions.

    And the list goes on & on……..
    And this is who you want as our Governor??? Oh yeah..I forgot Rossi is a bad guy because did you know he is FOR breast cancer??? What a beast!
    The Dems were victims of rope-a-dope in the election. They were cocky, believed the polls and stopped working. Rossi sat back and finish with a furious last week attack.
    Then the Dems get all high and mighty with legal mumbo-jumbo….jive talkin’!!!! Then BAM Rope-a-dope 2!
    Now be patient Boys & Girls. Rope-a-dope 3 is just around the corner. Remember when you see these cocky Gregoirians strutting around walking directly toward a big pile of POOP, you don’t stop them from stepping in. Nope, you let them strut in nice and deep and then BAM…you scoop up a big bucket and dump it on their heads!!!
    Stay tuned for Rope-a-Dope 3!

  6. 8

    Bob from Boeing spews:

    Cross thread post –zip- Thought you said you did not like stupid stuff. Why would you say something so strange – wonder who are all the illegally registered, and who college kids voted for- purely stupid stuff, partisan, stereotypes, and semi witless.

    First- exit poling shows an interesting reality check about college kids….. Reagan era moms and dads raised their fair share of- what, Republicans. Duh….

    With the efforts to register everywhere, on the streeet, in the QFC, the Ferry ride, etc -simple, accesible, who are the illegals? And why would any of them bother? For what? The unwashed hordes of
    people trying to vote, so very determined and they keep trying, now Democrat, then Lib, maybe Green…..oh never R’s….. Geez, wish we had that much enthusiasm for balloting from Bellevue and Kirkland and Wallingford and Broadmoor.

    YES, Sam Reed failed in his job, totally. After the first vote when we knew there was going to be a recount, by automatic kick in from election laws, Reed did not size up the situation with any wisdom. Stong, precise, detailed information on how to proceed with total uniformity in all cased, in all matters, for all counties, THAT was the call of the day- stictly enforced by the august Sec. of State. Imposed, enforced, totally uniform standards, on all counties- and he has that power.

    Sam wimped out- too bad. There was a lot at stake for voters, for him, and the body politic, Sam has a lot of experience in elections, decades, all the resouces and experts in the world at his call, he wimped out in his moment of fame. Second class stuff in my opinion. Not leadership.

  7. 9

    Goldy spews:

    You know, I read most of these comments and I wonder why I even bother trying to foster a real debate… and then I read Sig’s comment and I remember.

  8. 10

    David spews:

    Sheesh, I’m not sure I want to add to this comment thread; it’s sunk from reasoned political debate to useless ad hominem insults. I think I’ll go back and append my comment to the previous post.

  9. 11

    Jim King spews:

    Bob from Boeing- Sam Reed does NOT have the authority you keep suggesting, so why don’t you cut him some slack! If he had tried to exercise the kind of control you keep suggesting, the counies would have told him to go take a hike.

    As for the AGO- go take a`look at Gregoire’s backpeddle on indoo smoking to see how quick she can backpeddle from HER own advice- I am sure she has no problem backing off from previous AG’s opinions.

    What is telling about that AGO is that there was settled practice eight years ago…

  10. 12

    Bob from Boeing spews:

    Jim – all of life and esp. leadership is not legal fiat. The old phrase which I am sure you understand is jawboning.

    You may exceed the legal boundries, but you make it clear what the srong solutions are, and get them lined up.

    Because Asotin has no crooks, Sam could have not bothered with them……but surely better leadrship for the 90 per cent of the sate was possible.

    Sam is infected with Olympia malaise. Good pay, fawning staff, very nice car, fawning folks at your door, the BIG TIME CRISES shows its historic face, total state recounts, and no kick. Sam is no Ralph Munro…..and lost his chance. And voters in King are suffering from too strict standards, promulgated by his former employee, Dean Logan.

    In a twist, I care less now about who wins, Gregoire or Rossi, as about the disenfranchisement of thousnd of very well intednded, innocent voters by stupid and silly bean counter bureaucrats. In King and else where.

    In the past decade I have spent hundreds of hours in registration drive. Frosts my butt that King county is reducing that consierable civic activist to naught in the too strict enforcement of signature matches.

    I m going to press for the massive civil suit on behalf of some of those voters. In the context of a civil suit, broad discovery rules would give you the means for getting to the who and what and why. Not so much for money damage but to force policy change.

  11. 13

    tom spews:

    Thank you. From an independent point of view, your website (though poorly named) is a good source of original sources as well as reasonsed argument. It must take a lot of work…please know that it is appreciate. You aren’t always right…and Rossi will likely be the next governor because the votes come out that way…but at least you take a logical, non-emotional approach in your arguments.

    Too many times in our country, emotions and demonizing trump reason and logic. The days of good people agreeing to disagree and move on seem a memory of pre-1994.

    Let’s hope people like you can help bring it back.

  12. 14

    Jim King spews:

    Bob from Boeing- Well, Ralph Munro is supporting Sam, so what makesyou believ Ralph would have done anything differently? Your criicisms are so off base- th SOS has no more business sticking his nose into the counties’ business in th way you suggest than the AG would have telling county prosecutors how to run their offices. It is obvious you just like to slam Sam, without regard to an standard of fairness. Which makes you just another partisan hack, despite your protestations to the contrary…

  13. 15

    Bob from Boeing spews:

    Jim King – Come on- did not suggest Reed get into the- day to day operations. How quaint. This is an event of such enormity as elections go, and so unsual, seems logical to me that the Sec would have acted more agressively to protect/promulgate both VOTERS and STANDARDIZED PROCEDURES.

    Don’t put words into my posts, at this point I think voter protection is MORE important than the outcome of this election. Bigger picture, not smaller. As anyone knows who has studied state civics, that office is almost cermonial and very routine in most instances.

    After watching the scandal of ordinary folks having their votes thrown out, the horror of the wrong envelope, and how many other bureaucratic excused for voter disenfranchisement, and Reed says nothing- send him to another ribon cutting.

    Voter Defense Project- on its way. First target- iron clad standards for ballot rejection- procedures by court order or legislation. Despite Reed’s silences. And the problem might be that too many county people have been trained there. A clone effect, bad ideas replicated in the tightly knit traing camp, no hard questions, voters somtimes too troublesome to all, with no outside review or feedback.

    Jim, appreciate your acumen, but this is not Florida or Ohio.

  14. 16

    Mr. Cynical-dy spews:

    You make excruciatingly painful pleas to count more votes…realizing that is your candidates only chance. I don’t see you having the same enthusiasm for uncovering illegitimate votes counted…which leads to disenfranchising all us legits by watering down our votes. Never lose sight of the partisan Dem “effort” to get those rejected provisional ballot affadavits. What if your boy, Mr. Berendt, turned in a few phonies? How would you feel about that?? I’m sure that would be ok with you because we need to focus on those not conted previously FOR CAUSE. Bobolo-you can continue your tear-jerking ruse…but I doubt you have convinced anyone to honor your cause….that the end justifies any means!

  15. 17

    Goldy spews:

    Cynicla-di-da… the Democrats have filed court documents citing specific examples of registered voters being disenfranchised. If you have any evidence of fraudulent voting — Democrat sanctioned or otherwise — please provide it. Otherwise, all your claims of vote fraud are just rumor and innuendo.

  16. 19

    Goldy spews:

    If you have specific, documented examples, post as many of them as you want. I’m not asking for court-quality burden of proof… but something beyond conjecture and hearsay.

  17. 20

    Bob from Boeing spews:

    Aother mystery from King County – after both parties started calling voters who had been booted out of the counting, mail in and provisionals,- pleading say 24 of the packets presented from their projects were rejected. Whew. On what basis? If any one on this list had went to a home, had a new signature card signed, and the other required paperwork, delivered to the county, all in good faith and harmony with the good Judge Lum’s blessing, well what a shock. Still not good enough for old kick the voter King County Elections. Yuk, and gues what, this sour King Co staff is all hired and appointed. Not elected.

    Can’t launch a recall.

  18. 21

    Mr. Cynical-dy spews:

    Bob–Did it ever dawn on you that perhaps 1 or more of the partisan hacks running around may have committed voter fraud???
    Are you so blind with rage that your comrades fell asleep & lost this election that you cannot fathom that some folks were less than honest when faced with the prospect of losing?? What about the disenfranchised voters who have had their votes watered down by illegitimate votes being counted???

  19. 22

    Bob from Boeing spews:

    Mr C – you know some, felonious bastards tampering with votes and ballots, expose them. You will make some headlines for sure. Will name the reform bill in the legislature after you.