Can you say sore loser?
Sure you can.
The municipal election recount is complete in Enfield, after being delayed until the very last minute by local Democrats. The result is the same as it was on Election Day, including the two Democrats who fought over a Board of Education seat.
But now there are whispers that the Dems may sue to overturn the will of the voters.
The process was flawed, they say.
Really? Well, pardon my uncertainties but just who has been in charge of the process in Enfield for more than a decade? Oh, right, the Democrats! Well if the process is flawed, it is just one more piece of evidence that it was way past time for a change of parties in that community.
This smells very much like the Florida recount of 2000 on which the Democrats have based nearly 8 years of whining that George Bush 'stole' the election from Al Gore.
I was living in Florida in 2000, voted there, and I can tell you a few things about that little dust up that you never see in the Main Stream Media, more appropriately and collectively known as the Democrats' PR firm.
First was the infamous Butterfly Ballot that was the subject of the recount process. Supposedly it was a Republican sneak attack to confuse elderly voters in Palm Beach, Boca Raton and Miami. The truth is, various versions of the Butterfly Ballot were widely used in Cook County, Illinois and elsewhere for decades, although apparently not in the 2000 election, with nary a complaint that ever got serious media attention.
Cook County Illinois by the way is the home of Chicago which is home to the Daley Dynasty of Democratic Demagogues. Chicago is no stranger to election controversies, nor apparently election enthusiasm considering that long-dead voters are said to have given John F. Kennedy the edge there, and the election, over Richard Nixon in 1960.
Beyond the fact that Florida and national Democrats were intimately knowledgeable about the Butterfly ballot, the head honcho in Palm Beach County where the recount debacle drew the most attention was Theresa LePore, supervisor of Elections - a Democrat!
LePore is mistakenly identified in the left-leaning Wikipedia Internet encyclopedia as "the person who designed the infamous "butterfly ballot" used in the 2000 presidential election. Not so. The Butterfly ballot was around long before LePore but she made changes in the Palm Beach County version - are you ready for this - to help the elderly, a significant demographic in her county, understand it better.
You don't hear about this in the media, but it was covered pretty well by the Florida media at the time. But you ask any national Democrat and they'll blame it on George Bush, and the Right-Wing Machine. It seems convenient to ignore the fact that if Al Gore had won his own home state, or Bill Clinton's home state for that matter, the Florida tally would not have mattered.
Another little tidbit from the Florida elections is that after all the legal wrangling a team representing the biggest noises in the Main Stream Media, or Democratic PR Firm, went to Florida to conduct its own 'unbiased' recount. When all was said and done, and after every possible break could be given to Al Gore, Bush still won.
That story made the rounds for about 24 hours on page 99.9 in the Used Manure For Sale section of the classifieds.
So, if Enfield's Democrats really have a problem with the recount, that they oversaw, and they ran, then they unfortunately are following a model built by the national Democratic Party that is flawed from top to bottom. It seems that Enfield's Democrats have more of a problem with each other than the results.
In fact, if it hadn't been for Republican Town Chairwoman Mary Ann Turner, the process would have been far less open, and far less controlled. Turner raised a ruckus when the Dems tried to use an antiquated section of the recount laws to restrict the number of witnesses to the recount.
Under the old law, only one observer for party was allowed, which made sense since only one machine at a time was checked. But under the new electronic system, six separate teams were working simultaneously.
Turner said she wanted a Republican observer for each team, but the Dems said no. So Turner took it to the Secretary of State and got support from the head of Elections Enforcement.
The Dems acquiesced and the recount went forward with a team of observers for each recount team.
If there had been a drastic change in the outcome it might be easier to understand a threat to sue the town and drag out the process for however much longer it would take. But the voters spoke on Election Night and the results were confirmed by a recount process that officials from both parties endorsed.
Enough is enough. You can't always get what you want. There comes a time when it is time to swallow your disappointment and start figuring out what you are going to do next time.
If Enfield's Democrats want an explanation for their loss they should start by looking in the mirror. Their lack of concern for the message the voters have been sending them goes beyond the borders of arrogance.
When the tax increase resulting from revaluation averaged 14 percent, the Dems put out campaign statements claiming they lowered the tax rate. Well yeah, that happens each time revaluation goes through, but the dollars paid out went up by 14 percent. Did they think the voters didn't notice? Apparently.
Then they rammed the new teachers' contract through, a full six months before it will even go into effect, containing a 16 percent wage increase, and $5 million in new spending with no idea whatsoever where to get that money other than another tax increase. Republicans who voted against the increase made every effort to let the public know what was going on and apparently got the message out.
Foot dragging on the recount process and threats of litigation are just more of the same arrogance and disrespect for the voters that got the Dems thrown out. It won't work and will just put a permanent stamp on their town-wide defeat.
As for the Republicans, they have a big job ahead of them. The election is over and its time to make sure the campaign team stays united and working as one. Voters aren't fickle, they just know when they are getting their money's worth or are being taken for a ride.
If the GOP doesn't deliver as promised, it will be a short and probably unpleasant two years.
As we used to say in the Marines, "You got it. Don't screw it up!"
Friday, November 16, 2007