Oh man… if this is the sharpest arrow in David Irons’ quiver, it’s gonna be an awfully boring election season.
Now that he and King County Executive Ron Sims have both come out on the same side of the two most contentious issues of the day, the Southwest proposal and I-912 (both candidates oppose them), Irons is reduced to following the lead of his paranoid delusional webmaster, Stefan Sharkansky, and his OCD-like focus on last year’s contested election for governor. Yesterday, both appeared as part of a press conference staged by Republicans on the KC Council, in which they held true to their party’s McCarthyite tradition, by waving before reporters lists of alleged illegal voters, without actually handing over any evidence to reporters or authorities.
The Republicans claim that they have discovered duplicate registrations for over 2000 voters, the bulk of them being women who are registered under both their maiden and married names.
“It’s a sad day,” Irons said. “We’ve lost the trust of the people.”
Yes Dave, it certainly is, and you certainly have. But then, that’s the whole point isn’t it? You’re totally willing to undermine the public’s faith in government if you think that might get you into office.
Of course there are duplicate registrations. There are always going to be duplicate registrations, in every county and in every election, as Secretary of State Sam Reed pointed out in an interview on KIRO radio today:
This problem of dual registrations is one that all 39 counties have. I had when I was county auditor.
The elections office gets no automatic notice when somebody changes their name or address, and for the most part it’s up to voters to change their registration correctly. Elections departments periodically run database queries looking for such errors (KCRE corrected over 9,000 duplicate registrations earlier this year) but there will always be some duplicate registrations on the rolls. The GOP’s attempt to imply that duplicate registrations are the result of negligence on the part of Dean Logan or his staff, is dishonest, mean-spirited and manipulative. This is a well known issue, and as Reed points out, one which will be partially addressed by the statewide voter registration database that has long been scheduled to go online in January of 2006.
I think that it’s very important that we have a clean voter registration rolls and obviously if they do have information that there are dual registrations I do think that it’s important that they challenge them. That’s part of Washington State law. Now I’m not up in King County so I’m not part of the politics going on with the election right now and everything but certainly it’s a legitimate issue and one we’re working on. We’re going to have a statewide voter registration system in the Secretary of State’s Office beginning next year and we hope to be able to help the counties a lot to clean up their records and to try to void as many duplicate registrations as I say occur everywhere.
Everything about yesterday’s press conference reeked of a candidate so bereft of issues, ideas and qualifications, that his only desperate hope is to tear down the other side, at any cost. How else can you explain an effort to criminalize several thousand women who married and took their husband’s last name, or to level an accusation so paper thin that the Republican Secretary of State dismisses it with an audio shrug?
But perhaps the most embarrassing detail for Irons and his GOP comrades is that they seemed unembarrassed to stand there side by side with WA state’s most famous conspiracy theorist, our friend Stefan of (un)Sound Politics, whose tireless efforts to find patterns of fraud in KC’s voter databases borders on numerology, and whose aluminum-hat-analyses have earned him every last drop of incredulity he enjoys. Stefan actually had the temerity to stand before the assembled media throng and claim he was one of them, ignoring the fact that real journalists cover press conferences… they don’t conduct them.
This is what Irons and his fellow Republicans are reduced to… a bogus press conference on an over-blown none issue, with expert, objective analysis from the state’s best known partisan blogger… a man whose idea of reasoned debate is to compare Ron Sims to the brutal African dictator Robert Mugabe. At least I’ve always admitted I’m a propagandist, but Stefan doesn’t even have the honor to do that. And Irons clearly doesn’t have the sense to disassociate himself from a man who could be the inspiration for one of Aesop’s best known fables.
Are there thousands of duplicate registrations in KC and the state’s other 38 counties? No doubt. But after months of investigation and litigation election officials and GOP attorneys could only document a handful of double voters out of 3 million ballots cast.
“It’s a sad day that we’re here again talking about election flaws from this election and past elections,” Irons said.
It certainly is, Dave. But then again, apparently you have nothing else to talk to voters about.