Something's rotten in the state of Denmark

Monday, November 29, 2004

You think it's easy to keep coming up with Ohio headlines?

Activists continue to challenge Ohio ballots, says this AP story being run -- and given a link on the splash page -- of (The link on the splash page says that challenges are "mounting." Now there's an encouraging gerund!) The lede graph:

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- Nearly a month after John Kerry conceded Ohio to President Bush, complaints and challenges about the balloting are mounting as activists including the Rev. Jesse Jackson demand closer scrutiny to ensure the votes are being counted on the up-and-up.

Jackson has been holding rallies in Ohio in recent days to draw attention to the vote, and another critic plans to ask the state Supreme Court this week to decide the validity of the election.

It gets better.

Jackson said too many questions have been raised to let the vote stand without closer examination.

"We can live with winning and losing. We cannot live with fraud and stealing," Jackson said Sunday at Mount Hermon Baptist Church.

I know that our friend Dirty Harry says that Jesse just wants to be in the headlines, but c'mon, Harry, Jesse hasn't been in headlines for a couple of years. It's nice to have him back, especially given that, unlike Reverend Al, Jesse has actually a record of standing up for some good things when some Democrats have been shy to do so. (Please, let this not be an invitation for a discussion of the heinous Hymietown incident.)

What's the big news here? Apparently, a group called Alliance for Democracy plans to file a "contest of election." The request requires a single Supreme Court justice to either let the election stand, declare another winner or throw the whole thing out. The loser can appeal to the full seven-member court, which is dominated by Republicans 5-2.

That's the Ohio Supreme Court, mind you. Yes, I know, when I first read it, I was getting pumped for J. P. Stevens or David Souter to throw Ohio out, too.

There's a Blackwell spokesperson saying there were irregularities, but not more so than usual. (Great! That's an encouraging statement!) There's mention of the Franklin County/Gahanna machine glitch. Then there's mention of the undercount. Then there's Jesse's admittedly terrific metaphor for Blackwell's Katharine Harris like position of co-chair of the Bush in Ohio efforts, calling for Blackwell to recuse himself from recount matters. "You can't be chairman of the Bush campaign and then be the chief umpire in the seventh game of the World Series," Jackson said.