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Sunday, February 10, 2008

Huckabee Lawyers Up Over Washington Caucus Results

posted by on February 10 at 14:35 PM

Via Postman, Mike Huckabee’s campaign manager is blasting Luke Esser, chair of the Washington State Republican Party, over the way the Republican caucus vote count was conducted here.

In particular, the Huckabee camp is furious that Esser’s people apparently stopped counting votes and declared victory for McCain with only 87-percent of precincts reporting, 242 votes separating McCain and Huckabee, and 1,500 votes still uncounted.

After all the very loud complaining the state Republicans have done over the way votes were counted during the 2004 governor’s race, and after all the charges of incompetence and liberal bias they have leveled against vote-counters in King County, it must be a bitter irony for Esser that he is now being called on the carpet by fellow Republican (and current Huckabee campaign chair) Ed Rollins.

Rollins, for his part, does not miss the irony. Here’s his statement:

The Huckabee campaign is deeply disturbed by the obvious irregularities in the Washington State Republican precinct caucuses. It is very unfortunate that the Washington State Party Chairman, Luke Esser, chose to call the race for John McCain after only 87 percent of the vote was counted. According to CNN, the difference between Senator McCain and Governor Huckabee is a mere 242 votes, out of more than 12,000 votes counted—with another 1500 or so votes, apparently, not counted. That is an outrage.

In other words, more than one in eight Evergreen State Republicans have been disenfranchised by the actions of their own party. This was an error in judgment by Mr. Esser. It was Mr. Esser’s duty to oversee a fair vote-count process. Washington Republicans know, from bitter experience in the 2004 gubernatorial election, the terrible results that can come from bad ballot-counting.

Frankly, I am disappointed in the way that Mr. Esser has handled this urgent matter. So I call upon Mr. Esser and his colleagues to cooperate fully with the Huckabee campaign—and all Republicans, everywhere, who care about honest and transparent vote-counting—to make sure that every vote is counted and that all Republicans in Washington have the chance to make their votes count. Attempts by our campaign to contact Mr. Esser have been unsuccessful. Our lawyers will be on the ground in Washington State soon, and we look forward to sitting down with Mr. Esser to evaluate this process, to see why the count took so long, and why the vote-counting was stopped prematurely.

It would be a disservice to every voter in Washington State to not pursue a full accounting of all votes cast.

This is not about Mike Huckabee. This is not about Senator John McCain. This is about the failings of the Washington State Republican Party. All Republicans should unite to demand an honest accounting of the votes, so that Republicans can have full confidence in the results, and full confidence in the eventual Republican nominee. As I said, we are prepared to go to court, and we are also prepared to take our case all the way to the Republican National Convention in September.

Our cause is just. We must reemphasize the sacred American principle that all ballots be counted in a free, fair, and transparent manner.

RSS icon Comments


This funny, funny guy is going to be McCain's VP. McCain is 70 years old.

Posted by elenchos | February 10, 2008 3:05 PM

glad the republican party is self-immolating despite elenchos' observation

Posted by vooodooo84 | February 10, 2008 3:17 PM

I loves me some Republican on Republican violence!

Posted by NapoleonXIV | February 10, 2008 3:19 PM

If Ron Paul and McCain were running-mates, the average age would be 70.5 meaning according to the average life-expectancy we should have pres. Pelosi before the end of their first term

Posted by vooodooo84 | February 10, 2008 3:22 PM

Feel free to e-mail Luke Esser and express your disappointment.

C'mon...everyone at once now!

Posted by Brendan | February 10, 2008 3:22 PM

I like voodoo's thinking.

Posted by Mike of Renton | February 10, 2008 3:26 PM

All the mentions of "votes" here are actually "state delegates", no?

Posted by stinkbug | February 10, 2008 3:35 PM

@4 - Yeah, I thought of this too but unfortunately they have to die around the same time. Otherwise they just appoint someone even worse to be the VP after the first one dies. Who knows who they could slip in there. (Gingrich?)

Posted by LeviEli=EvilLie | February 10, 2008 3:41 PM

Counting 87% of the vote is equivalent to something you would find in Pakistan, not the USA.

It’s especially shady because Huckabee was leading early, and then they decided to stop at 87%, once McCain had pulled ahead (by a mere 200 votes!)

Posted by Deezer | February 10, 2008 3:42 PM

@9 - it's not necessarily likely that Huckabee will pull it out, as he'd have to beat McCain by 13% in the remaining vote. Since the R's aren't saying where the uncounted votes are from, it's hard to know if that's likely or not. Perhaps next time the Republicans should contract their vote tabulating out to the county auditors.

Posted by Ebenezer | February 10, 2008 3:48 PM

@8 What ever replacement was picked would have to be confirmed by the Senate. but they probably wouldn't pick Pelosi

Posted by vooodooo84 | February 10, 2008 4:00 PM

Could someone forward the "Republicans get to change the rules whne they don't like the outcome" memo to the Huckabee Campaign.

Posted by jamesb | February 10, 2008 4:06 PM

Pass the popcorn, please!

Posted by Rujax! | February 10, 2008 4:10 PM

Sue, Mike, sue!

Posted by Fnarf | February 10, 2008 4:14 PM

"Our lawyers will be on the ground in Washington" - I imagine them circling Boeing Field in sleek jet helicopters, drumming their body armor, awaiting Rollins' order to land. Whee!

Posted by tomasyalba | February 10, 2008 4:29 PM

--The State GOP apparently did not even release the county by county results as they do not show up on the NY county level map. Releasing this info would've allowed anyone to verify the conclusion that McCain "won." And it takes about 4 minutes to post those tally sheets on a website.

Posted by Cleve | February 10, 2008 5:12 PM

NY county level map = NYT county level map online

Posted by Cleve | February 10, 2008 5:13 PM

The Seattle Times quotes Esser:
Esser said their last county report on Saturday came shortly before 10:15 p.m., at which point they had 87.2 percent of precincts reporting. That's when they did an analysis, saying: "Let's take every county where Huckabee is beating McCain, and double the margin of victory," Esser said. "And then take every county where McCain is winning and cut in half that margin of victory. Even if you assume that, Sen. McCain still holds on."
WTF does that mean?

Posted by w | February 10, 2008 5:36 PM

Date: Feb 10, 2008 5:35 PM
Subject: RE: Delegate Count
To: wtfpatty

All we're reporting is the preference of those delegates. That gives us a rough idea how the electorate feels. It's not science. My PERSONAL opinion was that we should not have released any numbers at all, because they are meaningless. But the media was just DYING to have some sort of result.

The only numbers that matter are who our 18 delegates elected at the state convention are supporting."

Posted by wtfpatty | February 10, 2008 5:52 PM

Fighting over food scraps under the bountiful Dem caucus table, that's what McCain and Huckabee are doing.

Just ask Maine - or Washington - or Lousiana - or any other state.

GOP - the party of incompetence and under-achievers. The place to be if you hate America and our core values of Truth, Justice, and the American Middle Class way of life.

Posted by Will in Seattle | February 10, 2008 6:02 PM

oh, and McCain will be more than 71 if elected. Just saying.

Posted by Will in Seattle | February 10, 2008 6:05 PM

All Democrats should vote for Huckabee at the upcoming primary. The D party isn't counting any of the results of the primary, but the Rs are. Therefore a vote for any D is a wasted vote, but a vote for Huckabee is an opportunity to really fuck with the R party.

Posted by I Got Nuthin' | February 10, 2008 6:23 PM

Republicans had half the turnout of Dems at caucuses. Republicans assigned half the value towards the nomination to caucuses. Some might call the resulting difference in turnout meaningless.
Also, @22, let's cut the age discrimination in the bud.

Posted by wtfpatty | February 10, 2008 6:24 PM

Actuarial tables don't discriminate.

Posted by elenchos | February 10, 2008 6:37 PM

White U.S. male life expectancy at age 70 (close enough for these purposes) = 15.1 years. Irrelevant.

Posted by wtfpatty | February 10, 2008 6:40 PM

@9 Exactly.

This is more than a Republican issue and bigger than WA state. If this is going on now what about November?

Paper ballots, national holiday, clean election.

Posted by Bald Face Lie | February 10, 2008 6:50 PM

Life expectancy is an average. There is a close even chance that he will die before his second term is up, and at best 80% chance he will make it through one term. The odds that McCain's Vice President will be sworn in make it very much worth thinking about.

Now there will be discrimination of many kinds in America under McCain, but that will be nothing to the kind of discrimination Hucakbee would carry out. Age discrimination... sex, race, orientation, religion, you name it, if the Bible mentions it, Huckabee will try to get a law to enforce unequal treatment of some kind.

If he can't pass a law, he'll do it anyway and let Jesus sort it out.

Posted by elenchos | February 10, 2008 7:15 PM

Yet another reason winner takes all creates more problems than it solves.

Posted by Jeff | February 10, 2008 7:15 PM

Cite your sources. And I'm dismayed you're giving him a second term here in 2008. You have no idea what you're talking about WRT life expectancy. Second paragraph, right on.

Posted by wtfpatty | February 10, 2008 7:17 PM

You might as well know now that I don't Google things for people. On the Slog, it's hardly worth it: the spam filter stops you if you put even two links in one post anyways, so if want data, go look it up yourself.

If you just imagine the bell curve of how long our 71 year olds have left versus our 50-60 year olds (like Hillary and Obama), you can see that age matters. For them, the ones who don't make it the next 8-1/2 years are a thin sliver on the end of the curve. For McCain's age group, a sizable slice will not be with us in 2012 or 2016. Not all, and not quite most, but enough that you need to think about contingencies.

Posted by elenchos | February 10, 2008 7:37 PM

Umm... I'm not asking you to Google anything. You made the statements, hopefully you had sources before you posted. Put one link in, I'd love to see it.

Posted by wtfpatty | February 10, 2008 7:40 PM

Not that it matters, but my dad, who is older than McCain, claims that McCain is "too old" to be president. Maybe that's still age discrimination, but I think there are lots of other geezers out there who don't want to see a fellow geezer in the white house.

Posted by stinkbug | February 10, 2008 7:55 PM


WTF, wtfpatty?

1. 15 years life expectancy is not 15 years of un-senile, un-demented life expectancy, nor is it "life at full energy and the height of your powers without being consumed by medical procedures taking up all your energy, your stress limit and 40% of your time."
For those folks who are 70 who live to 85? Guess what. For most of them the last years aren't so hot and they're not working 12 hours a day.


2. Ask for links for proposition that are novel or surprisiing. Not for that are widely understood. Like: bell curves that surround "average" or "mean" life expectancy.

OF what about this: The sky is blue in most places. wtfpatty: "where's your link for that, buster?"

You're tendentious.

3. Invoking "age discrimination" -- what a load of crap. You're not fooling us with your fake claim that people concerned about McCain's age are making McCain a "victim."

Poor, itty bitty John McCain. Guess he can't take the heat without you claiming he is a victim, eh?

Posted by unPC | February 10, 2008 8:11 PM

My fave line ever from case law - since you cite no sources, we assume none exists to support your proposition. People dying within 4 years of age 70 is not the same as "sky is blue." Nice try.

No poor JM. But I find it sad that we're (I'm including myself here) age-baiting, despite being progressives.

Posted by wtfpatty | February 10, 2008 8:36 PM

Regardless of what the averages are, I'm sure they're a bit different for those with a spry 96 year old mother.

Posted by Mike of Renton | February 10, 2008 8:44 PM

I think I'm not being clear. My main point is that age is the lamest reason to be against McCain as president. I know my candidate has more than that on his side. I hope yours does, too. Let's talk about something other than poorly supported pseudo-scientific issues.

Posted by wtfpatty | February 10, 2008 8:49 PM

It may be worth mentioning that Reagan was a few weeks short of his 70th birthday when he was inaugurated as president in 1981. How demented he was with Alzheimer's by the time he left office eight years later is a matter of debate, but he nonetheless had advisors and his VP George the Elder to carry out the policies that we are, unfortunately, still living with.

"Our cause is just. We must reemphasize the sacred American principle that all ballots be counted in a free, fair, and transparent manner."
I nearly fell off my chair when I read this coming from a member of the same party as Karl Rove.

Posted by RainMan | February 10, 2008 9:04 PM

@25, 26 - yes, but if you are already 70, as McCain is, you should live until about 85, unless you were tortured for years and your arms broken ...

Posted by Will in Seattle | February 10, 2008 9:06 PM

And it's not like there's a 50 percent chance someone aging from 71 to 79 during two terms in office would develop dementia, hallucinations, and/or Alzheimer's .... remember Reagan?

Posted by Will in Seattle | February 10, 2008 9:08 PM

Shocking news: Roy Schieder just died! He was ONLY 75! My god, this is so tragic. Aren't you surprised? I'm really caught off guard. One day a man is walking around and you think he's going to be around for another decade and the next thing you know, pow, he all of a sudden he is gone. I tell you, it can happen to any of us. If it can happen to Roy, who's next? Tom Cruise? Scarlett Johansson? Basically anybody, regardless of how old they are right?

It's true there are a million other reasons to oppose McCain -- or more to the point -- to not take any chances in making sure we beat him. I'd advise anyone to let go of your dreamboat perfect candidate and go with the one with even a slightly better chance of stopping McCain.

Posted by elenchos | February 10, 2008 9:12 PM

I'm against McCain because he's too old!

And I'm against Huckabee because uhh--his children are too fat!

And Hillary's a woman!

Posted by NapoleonXIV | February 10, 2008 10:29 PM

You disgust me. Honestly. Pathetic.

Posted by wtfpatty | February 10, 2008 10:38 PM

Well, if Pastor Huck wants to bring the Constitution in alignment with Xtian principles... how would Jesus solve this conundrum? Or would He just kick all the moneychanger lobbyists out of the Church of Congress?

Posted by Andy Niable | February 10, 2008 10:41 PM

Huckfuck is going to play it out to tell Mc Cain he needs him. And keep the money he takes in.

Two days ago I would have said never - now I wonder.

Mc Cain wants to win - so - think JFK and LBJ. And the rich smell of American presidential politics.

Huckfuck is also very corrupt which might serve Mc Cain well in the swirling snake pit they both inhabit.

Posted by Essex | February 10, 2008 11:01 PM

@43 - that was irony ... maybe it was too subtle ...

Posted by Will in Seattle | February 10, 2008 11:01 PM

OK, first, Huckabee & Co. definitely deserve a fair count, no matter how I feel about him. If Luke Esser was my party's head, I'd be really fucking pissed. (Thank god he's not.) This is fucking shameful.

Second, McCain doesn't have a multi-decade career in Hollywood to help him like Reagan did at his old age. Celebrity was an important factor into Reagan getting into politics. Just ask 70s Californians who elected him Governor. Schwarzenegger would have been the GOP candidate had he been born on U.S. soil. McCain has nada.

Posted by mackro mackro | February 10, 2008 11:02 PM

'Xcuse me, 60s Californians.

Posted by mackro mackro | February 10, 2008 11:04 PM

So, after hearing about the debacle involving WSRP Chair Luke Esser calling the race early, I decided to do a bit more research. What I've found is stunning, and suggests that Luke Esser and the Washington State Republican Party have completely misrepresented the results from their Feb. 9th caucus. You can read the analysis here:

Posted by Timothy | February 11, 2008 3:42 AM

@46: It was horrible, even if you intended it to be humorous. Why don't you wait to make jokes about torture until after you've spent a few years in the Hanoi Hilton.

@38: "Our cause is just. We must reemphasize the sacred American principle that all ballots be counted in a free, fair, and transparent manner."

This is shocking only if you're not cynical enough. This is still the party of Karl Rove, master of mouthing the platitudes the masses want to hear while doing the dirtiest tricks he can get away with to get what he wants. If Huckabee had been ahead when they cut off the counting, his campaign would be silent and McCain's would be howling and sending out lawyers in droves. Fair play is less important than winning.

Posted by Greg | February 11, 2008 8:18 AM

Jack Bauer has ways of making you see how funny torture can be.

Posted by elenchos | February 11, 2008 8:24 AM

If the Rs were really apportioning delegates to Huckabee that rightfully belonged to McCain, as @49 alleges, then the party is dead in this state.

Posted by Fnarf | February 11, 2008 9:33 AM

Oh, and no Dem can come close to the kook Republicans when it comes to torture jokes. Look at the t-shirt up on Sullivan, spotted at CPAC: "I'd rather be waterboarded than vote for McCain".

Posted by Fnarf | February 11, 2008 9:38 AM

@49: You're forgetting that the Republicans cheating each other and fighting about it is a good thing.

Posted by J.R. | February 11, 2008 9:40 AM

@54: No, it's bad, because they're practicing and getting sharp for the general.

Posted by Greg | February 11, 2008 7:07 PM

Greg @50: No one has ever accused me of not being cynical enough. I wondered how to phrase my post and thought of "I nearly fell off my chair laughing..." except this really isn't funny.

Posted by RainMan | February 11, 2008 8:31 PM

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