Oh, Let’s Just Hold Another Election So They Can Gripe Some More (Breathless Update!)

Now Democrats want federal election officials to stop the Electoral College from certifying the 2004 presidential election until hand recounts are completed in all 50 states, according to this report from the Arizona Republic. CQ commenter Spectregunner directs our attention to a protest at the Arizona state capitol by 200 people, including a Democratic state representative, who insist that the election results have no credibility:

About 200 protesters from around Arizona gathered at the state Capitol on Sunday urging electors to delay the Electoral College vote until each state performs a hand recount of the popular vote.
The event was timed to pressure the electors, who are meeting in each state today, to cast electoral votes for president and vice president. President Bush won Arizona’s 10 electoral votes with 55 percent of the vote, besting Sen. John Kerry.
On Sunday, the protesters’ primary aim, as described by one hand-lettered sign, was to “rage against the voting machines.”
Protesters said that discrepancies between pre-election polls and the final results were evidence of fraud and should be investigated.

I keep shaking my head, wondering when the nuttiness of Democratic self-delusion will reach its limits. In every pre-election poll conducted in Arizona, George Bush handily led John Kerry. In fact, the final national results tally closely with most predictive outcomes from the various national pollsters. Even John Kerry’s own pollster predicted a 3-point win in the popular vote for George Bush the day of the election, although he also wrote that he hoped to be proven wrong.
Now the Democrats — including an elected official — consider sample polling more reliable than actual voting in determining voter intent, a concept that stands 200 years of elections on its head. Moreover, their argument is internally inconsistent. They decry the lack of paper trails with electronic voting, but insist on hand recounts of ballots that don’t, therefore, exist:

State Rep. Ben Miranda, D-Phoenix, said he would push for legislation that would mandate printed records of individual votes. He also called for more accountability for poll workers who handle voting machines.
“We want to make sure that whoever touches that machine, it’s documented,” he told the crowd, which responded with cheers, applause and occasional tabla drumming.

Well, the occasional tabla drumming certainly convinces me! However, I think that Democrats need sense drummed into their heads instead of continuing the monotonous beat of we-was-robbed, we-was-robbed that has formed the core belief of the Leftist religion the last three election cycles.
BREATHLESS, SIREN-SIGNIFIED UPDATE: The grown-ups thankfully remain in charge:

The Ohio delegation to the Electoral College cast its votes for President Bush on Monday, hours after dissident groups asked the state Supreme Court to review the outcome of the state’s presidential race. …
“The vast majority of people understand this election is over,” said Gov. Bob Taft, who was at the electors’ voting session in the state Senate chamber.

While I believe the governor overestimated the extent of the GOP majority status in America, I commend him for his optimism. One or two more cycles of delusional Democratic tantrums and he may just be proven prescient.

Sharpton: Shakedown Or Sellout?

One of the more odd aspects of this presidential campaign was the emergence of Rev. Al Sharpton as a mainstream political candidate. Sharpton first rose to national prominence as an advocate of Tawana Brawley, who hoaxed people into believing that she was raped and mutilated by a gang of white yuppies in New York. Sharpton at one point accused a prominent lawyer of being one member of the gang before a court ruled that Brawley had concocted the whole incident. While such an embarrassment would ruin others, Sharpton instead continued to grow in stature as a representative of the African-American community, albeit from the fringe — at least until 2003.
Thanks to an extremely sympathetic media, Sharpton’s candidacy for the presidency received little critical commentary; in fact, his bid was given more credibility than that of Carol Mosely-Braun and Dennis Kucinich, who at least had run and won elections in the past. The media sought out Sharpton to weigh in on issues, keeping his visibility and credibility high. Eventually Sharpton started the Howard Dean collapse by slamming him for minority representation in his Vermont administration, a charge which left the former governor dumbfounded and unable to respond. (Vermont’s African-American community amounts to less than 1% of the overall population, making the charge something of a cheap shot.)
After losing the primary race, Sharpton campaigned instead for John Kerry, making numerous appearances on Kerry’s behalf. In fact, Sharpton gave one of the most impassioned speeches at the Democratic Convention, running over his time in order to break Kerry’s rules and personally attack George Bush. Voters defiinitely received the message that Al Sharpton represented the black community, and that Sharpton believed in John Kerry.
Unfortunately, that message was bought and paid for by the DNC. According to the Village Voice and AP’s Nedra Pickler, the Democrats paid over $86,000 in fees and expenses to Sharpton to flack for the eventual loser, an unprecedented act:

The Democratic National Committee paid Sharpton $86,715 in travel and consulting fees to compensate for his campaigning for Kerry and other Democratic candidates, according to reports to the Federal Election Commission. …
n an interview with The Associated Press, Sharpton said he was paid for travel and he didn’t know how much he had been reimbursed.
“They asked me to travel to 20 or 30 cities to campaign, and I did that,” Sharpton said. “What am I supposed to do, donate the cost of air fare?”
But records show that while most of the money was to reimburse travel expenses, Sharpton was paid $35,000 as a “political consulting fee” 15 days after the election. The consulting fee was first reported in this week’s edition of the Village Voice.
Democratic National Committee spokesman Jano Cabrera said the party paid Sharpton at the request of the Kerry campaign.

No other Democratic candidate received a fee for campaigning on behalf of the party’s nominees. None received reimbursements for travel expenses, either. Nor were these payments made public; as DNC spokesman Jano Cabrera put it, the payoffs were part of “private negotiations”. I’ll bet.
This sordid transaction belies any enthusiasm Sharpton expressed for Democrats or John Kerry, and instead either amounts to a shakedown by Sharpton or a payoff by Kerry. In either case, Al Sharpton sold out his community by taking the leadership role that he craved and the media gladly encouraged and cashing it in for $35,000. And why was John Kerry so eager to pay Sharpton under the table, especially when he hasn’t even paid his own campaign staff the money they’re owed, even now? Because Kerry could not afford to lose a single percentage point in the African-American community, and so he sought their votes the old-fashioned way. He bought them by paying off their supposed champion.
CBS News made a big deal about two bloggers selling out to campaigns without any disclosure. What does it say about Democrats when one of their own mainstream candidates shakes them down for cash in order to support them?
UPDATE: Here’s the Village Voice article. It’s mostly a run-down of Sharpton’s involvement with a woman who worked for him, but it does briefly mention the payments to Sharpton by the DNC. One wonders why the Voice didn’t spend more of its focus on that.

John Kerry, Deadbeat (Part Deux)

The revelation that John Kerry still had $15 million left in his campaign treasure chest stunned Democrats, who rightfully asked themselves why the money hadn’t been spent more aggressively in Ohio and other close races, or even spent on tight Senate campaigns in the final days of the election. As the Washington Post’s Al Kamen reports, a specific set of Democrats had a much more personal interest in the money:

There are rumblings that, despite a recent discovery of $15 million in leftover campaign money, some of the Kerry campaign advance team are having trouble getting paid for the last several weeks of the campaign. Worse, many of them have not seen a per diem check since the end of August, we’re told, and they do not know when they’re going to get paid.
Phone calls apparently don’t get returned and, if they do, the mantra is “next week” or “you’re on my list.”

I see now how John Kerry planned on balancing the budget: he just wouldn’t pay the bills. This is not Kerry’s first time for leaving workers in the lurch, either. Last July, Kerry left an $847 bill unpaid for a small airport used by the Kerry airplane:

When the biggest plane to ever land on the island touched down with U.S. Sen. John Kerry and his entourage, airport manager Al Peterson never imagined he would have trouble getting paid. … But a caterer who bought food on the island for Kerry’s campaign jet ducked one bill and haggled over another.
“Apparently they don’t feel like he needs to pay fees to the airport,” Peterson said. “I gather the senator objects to that because his aide quoted him as saying that he already pays taxes on the island.”
Peterson is out $847 from the two visits Kerry has paid to the island since he became the presumptive Democratic nominee.

It’s good to see the rich help out the little people, isn’t it? Where are all those class warriors on the Left now?