In the movie An Innocent Man, actor Tom Selleck's character, in prison after being framed, is told by a fellow inmate, "In here you don't have to stand tall, but you do have to stand up."
I've been thinking about that quote a lot since Election Day, probably because, like Selleck's movie character, Republican gubernatorial candidate Tom Foley is facing a test of strength and character under nightmarish conditions.
Foley told a news conference Friday that even though Connecticut's Secretary of State Susan Bysiewicz finally "officially" designated Democrat Dan Malloy as the winner of Tuesday's election, he (Foley) doesn't trust her numbers and will take this weekend to decide whether to contest the flawed election in court.
I don't trust Bysiewicz's numbers either, and I doubt there are more than a handful of people with IQs over the triple digit mark in the entire state who could pass a lie detector test if they said they did trust her.
There were so many "irregularities" in the just passed election, many in Bridgeport but presumably elsewhere as well, that with the very small margin Bysiewicz has handed Malloy there should at least be a recount, and at best a runoff election.
Friday night, three days after the election was over, after Bridgeport missed legal reporting deadlines by days, and after it was revealed that Bridgeport election officials "found" bags of previously "undiscovered" ballots, Bysiewicz released a statement showing 566,498 votes for Malloy and 560,861 for Foley — a difference of 5,637 votes out of 1,127,359 cast.
That comes out to just over one-half of one percent separating the two, which would be a major point in any other major race in the state - in which an automatic recount is triggered if the margin is one-half of one percent or less. Except that this is the race for Governor, which requires that a recount is automatic only if the margin is under 2,000 votes, regardless of the percentage. Why is that? Did our Republican senators and representatives go along with that criteria?
Regardless, the margin is razor thin, there were so many documented violations of election law in Bridgeport alone that there should not only be a recount, but a new election and a federal investigation. This election is a travesty, and the entire state should be ashamed of the mockery that the Connecticut Democratic party has made of our system.
Most of all, Dan Malloy should be hanging his head in shame, although, having watched his electioneering over the past several months, I doubt he has the acumen to understand why people might think that way.
Faced with what is such an obvious effort to steal this election - reminiscent of the similar theft that continued the political career of "Landslide Lyndon" Johnson in Texas, and look how that turned out - Foley is honor bound to stand tall in this case and push as far as he has to, all the way to the US Supreme Court if necessary. I realize that the cost of this effort could be dumped right on him, but Foley was willing to spend millions of his own dollars to run for election, and he shouldn't get skimpy when it comes to ensuring that the election was fair.
Foley won't get much sympathy from some media people, that was obvious from the tone and flat out stupidity of some of the questions he fielded at his Friday press conference. One media genius asked if he Foley was showing disrespect for the Republican registrar of voters in Bridgeport - the second loneliest job in the world after Maytag repairmen considering that Bridgeport is overwhelmingly Democratic - and another asked if Foley honestly thought he could find more than 5,000 extra votes.
What a mental giant. Hey Media - Foley may need to find only 2,819 votes to turn this election around. Why? Because assuming that the total stays put, for every vote that goes to Foley, one gets taken away from Malloy. See how that works? And Foley's total already was adjusted upward in Torrington, a small city on the west side of the state, by 2,000 votes. So what makes our ever so upright and capable media think that he wouldn't find similar mistakes elsewhere in the state?
Oh, I get it! The media doesn't want him to find miscounts in any other communities. I see. Just like the media is walking away from the highly questionable vote tallies received by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid out in Las Vegas. Reid won by nearly 6 percentage points after every major polling organization in the country had his opponent ahead by anywhere from 1 to 4 points. Yet, even as the GOP was claiming voter fraud in the days when early voting was allowed, no one seems too interested in finding how Reid came up with a totally unexpected 60,000 votes!
Rasmussen says it was a higher-than-expected turnout among people who were essentially disinterested in the race, but when pressed favored Reid!
But back in Connecticut, we know where the problems are and we don't have to do an in-depth analysis of the electorate to see what went wrong. The entire system went wrong especially in the state's largest city, but elsewhere too, and there is no way we should allow this to stand without the fullest and most complete challenge possible.
I know this has been a difficult time for Tom Foley and his family. They have been campaigning for months, and they have been going non-stop. But the race isn't over, and if Foley lets it go at this point, he not only has let the voters down, he has let his family down, and is setting the stage for the disenfranchisement of future generations as well. This election has been nothing short of a debacle for Republicans in Connecticut and Foley is the one person in the right position to at least insure that the vote for the state's highest office was legal.
Money may be an issue, but I strongly suspect that if there is a legal way to set up a fund to pursue this to the Supreme Court, the Tea Parties, locally, throughout Connecticut, and nationally as well, will be more than willing to contribute and help defray the costs.
Anything less is simply unacceptable.
Sunday, November 07, 2010