Something's rotten in the state of Denmark

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Senator DeWine: "End Frivolous Efforts at Costly Recount"

I can't help but note the irony that all the Republicans who are complaining about the costs of a recount were the same Republicans who didn't think twice about millions of dollars of citizen's money being used for something as constructive for the American future as, y'know, the Starr Report.

Case in point: GOP Senator Mike Dewine, who has issued this press release on the Ohio GOP website.

(Columbus) – U.S. Sen. Mike DeWine issued the following statement today regarding the results of Ohio’s presidential election and efforts to pursue a recount:

"Most Ohio counties have now certified their elections results, and it's mathematically impossible for John Kerry to win Ohio

That's probably true, if there were no other irregularities or glitches in the counting process. Unfortunately, the fact that there were some creates a question if there were others.

That`s why Im now urging all parties to end their frivolous efforts to force a costly and divisive recount. Such a recount could never change the election outcome but it could stretch the budgets of many Ohio counties that are already financially hurtingIt's been estimated that this unnecessary recount will cost 1.5 million dollars or more.  Those funds could go to many more important uses, such as improving local schools, funding vital human services or rebuilding our state economy.

The absurd attempts by a few groups who are desperately trying to cast doubt on the outcome and the legitimacy of Ohio`s election results damage the very foundation of our democracy.

The day after the election, my colleague Senator Kerry nobly recognized the reality in Ohio and conceded.  His actions proved that he wants to see America move forward to address the many challenges we face. 

In the spirit of Senator Kerry`s eloquent concession speech, I call on all Americans to accept Ohio's election results and begin working together for our future."

Cute tactic, using Kerry's concession speech against his own best interests. Except Kerry also was speaking a) before the evidence of irregularities and glitches and questions had emerged and b) Kerry has been consistently 100% on message that every vote should and must be counted.

It also bears pointing out that the entire reason that a recount would be costly is because the Ohio State Legislature had never adjusted the law from 1956 that made recounts cost $10 per precinct to adjust for today's costs. That's their fault, their mistake. (And a GOP-dominated state legislature at that.) Again, we live in a culture where sports teams don't think twice of cities paying many more millions of dollars for sports stadiums. 1.5 million in the grand scheme of a state budget is not an enormous amount of money. And certainly not when it ensures the sanctity, trust, and confidence of the American people in the vote.

It also bears pointing out that according to this search, Mike DeWine received $1000 in 1999 from Diebold Chair Emeritus Bob Mahoney and $500 in 2000 from Bob Mahoney. In fairness to Senator DeWine, Ohio's other GOP Senator, George Voinovich, who was up for re-election this past year, received even more Diebold-related donations to his campaign efforts.