Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Footnote to the preceding

Updated Okay, I just had to laugh at the timing. I was at iCount, "a compendium of political blogs" of the left (including Lotus) and the right, to see if that last post had showed up. (It had.)

While there, I noticed a right-wing blog lead with this:
Do it enough times, and you will eventually get caught. And that’s what happened to the case of the Working Families Party registration drive: they got caught red handed rigging an election. In case you were not privy to the facts, the WFP is nothing but some shell organization of our favorite leftist crime syndicate: ACORN. You have to read this stuff.
(No, I won't link to it. If you really want to see the whole post, go to iCount and find it yourself.)

"You have to read this," huh? So I did. The link was to a Faux News item about misuse of absentee ballots to cast fraudulent votes in Troy, NY. To understand the whole story, first you need to know that New York state has several recognized third parties with ballot lines. The generally left Working Families Party is one of them. Candidates can be nominated by more than one party and so run on more than one line; this is an advantage because it can get that candidate extra votes. (It's called "fusion voting." It used to be common but now is illegal in most states as Dims and GOPpers cooperated in undermining the power of third parties that fusion voting advanced.)

Okay. The story was poorly written and poorly edited, but if you plow through to the end, this is what you learn:

1. Some 38 absentee ballots filed in Troy, NY, for the WFP primary held on September 15 have been thrown out on the grounds that they were fraudulent.

2. The connection to ACORN consists in the group's CEO having helped organize the party.

3. Most importantly, it appears the actual charge being made by local GOPpers is that some Democrats pulled off this scheme with the goal of getting the WFP line for the Democratic Party candidate - while local Democrats are suggesting there's something fishy about the GOPpers who are, they claim, creating a "diversion."

So - not only is the issue not one of a registration drive and not only is the connection to ACORN both weak and irrelevant, the WFP is not being accused of perpetrating a fraud; if the charges are true, it was the target of a fraud. In other words, the winger got it totally - and I do mean totally - wrong.

Finding that just a few hours after posting about how right-wing flakes are impervious to fact and logic was just too sweet to let pass unrecorded.

Footnote: The article was so busy trying to link WFP to ACORN that it couldn't find space to mention that ACORN did not create the WFP; rather, it was one member of a coalition of labor and community groups that did so and that was 10 years ago. It also managed to avoid commenting on the rather curious fact that all this brouhaha broke out just after that party had what the NY Times called its "best electoral showing yet."

There was also this odd bit:
Hillary Clinton garnered 2.7 percent of her total votes from the WFP line when she first ran for Senate in 2000, which increased to 5 percent of her total vote in 2006. In September, Clinton's former campaign manager for her 2000 Senate run, New York City Councilman Bill DeBlasio, who has been endorsed by the WFP, beat two long-established politicians in the Democratic primary. Critics also accuse the Working Families Party of having a long association with the troubled activist group, ACORN.
"Also?" What the hell does that mean? Is there something to be criticized, an accusation to be made, about Clinton's vote or DeBlasio's victory? What is being suggested here?

In fairness, this may be a case of sloppiness - I did say that the article was poorly written and poorly edited. But it really doesn't say much for you when your defense against innuendo is incompetence.

Updated with a late but relevant Footnote: Raw Story for Friday had an item about a bit of a brouhaha that erupted in Dallas, Texas:
Police officers in Dallas, TX have issued at least 39 citations to drivers in the last three years for the non-existent infraction of not speaking English.
The chief of police has apologized publicly and said he was " stunned that this would happen," adding "In my world, you would never tell someone not to speak Spanish."
All pending citations will be dismissed, fines will be returned, and the offices involved will be investigated for dereliction of duty.
Yet in comments, despite all that, you still found people defending the cops who did it! The disconnect with reality is just amazing.

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