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glitch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-29-08 08:39 AM
Original message
Michael Collins: Cliffhanger in a Sea of Blue
http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/print.html?path=HL0811/S...
Cliffhanger in a Sea of Blue


California's 4th Congressional District, Republican since 1992, combines vast regions, sparsely populated, and growing suburbs and exurbs.

Charlie Brown (D) Refuses to Give up in California's 4th Congressional District

Michael Collins
"Scoop" Independent News

California turned blue with a vengeance in the 2008 presidential election. President-elect Obama's 61% majority plus a 78% turnout rate statewide was enough to strip the Republicans of all but one county with a significant population.

The "blue tsunami" started in San Diego County at the southern tip of the state and flowed up the Pacific coastal counties through Mendocino. The only county with a major population that remained loyal to the Republicans was Orange County, the former center of right wing politics in the Golden State, and that was by a mere 2.6% McCain margin.

Yet, the 4th Congressional District is still counting votes with a too-close-to-call election. John T. Doolittle (R) retired this year after holding the seat since 1992. Democrat Charlie Brown took a second run for the seat, having lost to Doolittle in 2006 by just 3 points. In 2008, Brown received nationwide support from high profile veterans and veteran's groups and was well funded from a variety of sources.

His Republican opponent, Republican Tom McClintock, hoped to maintain Republican dominance. McClintock was considered one of the most conservative members of the California legislature. His main issue in the campaign was fencing the border to keep out illegal workers.

http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/print.html?path=HL0811/S...

Really well done, please K & R(ead) this one!
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msedano Donating Member (682 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-29-08 09:57 AM
Response to Original message
1. collins on the mark as usual
how refreshing to read a matter-of-fact report on the last stolen election in california. doubly refreshing is the silver lining that, should mcclintock's lead hold and it really was the will of voters, the brown campaign's near success signals an awakening of voters in california's backwater counties. mcclintock is a carpetbagger of the first order, by the way. he represented the southern coastal area of ventura for a quarter-century before he spied the luscious seat up north ripe for the picking.

recommended.
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glitch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-29-08 12:53 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. Thanks for the rec, now we just need one more! k nt
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autorank Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-30-08 12:37 PM
Response to Reply #1
6. Ventura was always trouble;)
Thanks for the rec! At a time when Modoc County may have a Democratic representative in Congress, you know things are changing.

And what's with Arnold appointing a commission to study the impact of climate change. Your Republicans are more liberal than the rest of the countries liberal Democrats.

I want a passport when California declares independence. Lets make sure that there's a clause in there for "native born sons and daughters" ;)
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bleever Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-29-08 02:03 PM
Response to Original message
3. Good report on an important story.
Thanks to both Michael Collins and you, glitch.
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truedelphi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-29-08 02:53 PM
Response to Original message
4. Gerrymandering at its worst. Hard for anyone to know what results to
Expect - California newspapers tend to be conservative, and the TV stations are even worse.

I feel that it should be mandatory that a district be logical - pertaining to one geographic area and not spread out across a narrow swath of a very long state.
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Wilms Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-29-08 11:39 PM
Response to Original message
5. .
~snip~

Arguing that somehow the use of optical scan machines represents the use of real paper ballots is simply wrong.

~snip~


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Bill Bored Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-30-08 06:14 PM
Response to Original message
7. Actually ,19 out of 53 US House races in Cal. went Republican.
Edited on Sun Nov-30-08 06:48 PM by Bill Bored
Here's a map of California's 2008 US House results:
http://www.cnn.com/ELECTION/2008/results/main.results/#...

And here are the full results:
http://www.cnn.com/ELECTION/2008/results/full/#val=Hp2

CD-4 certainly appears to be a close one though!
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Bill Bored Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-20-08 05:37 PM
Response to Original message
8. .
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Wilms Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-20-08 05:49 PM
Response to Reply #8
9. Close, electronically counted, unaudited (despite regulation calling for it), is a NON-Story.
Edited on Sat Dec-20-08 05:56 PM by Wilms
If McPherson was still SOS, there would be heads exploding. :D

But Debra Bowen is SOS. And if she wants to ignore, or even mis-percentify, the margin in CD-4 avoiding a regulation-required audit, it's OK.

The most important thing you can do is get the word out that the 2008 presidential election has already been st....

Oh. Never mind.

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Bill Bored Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-20-08 07:40 PM
Response to Reply #9
10. Nevertheless, Collins was right to try to call attention to this race.
Edited on Sat Dec-20-08 07:46 PM by Bill Bored
What he didn't mention was that the margin, linked to in his article and reported by Bowen on her website was 0.6%, yet the vote count reported by the same source showed it was only 0.4%.

Why is this important?

Because, for those unfamiliar with California election stuff, when a contest has a margin of < 0.5%, there is supposed to be a 10% mandatory hand count, by emergency decree from Bowen no less, which could easily lead to a full hand count if discrepancies are found. But if the margin is reported as 0.6%, well sorry, there's only a 1% hand count then.

I don't know what happened with this race, but I agree that if the previous SoS had misreported a margin of 0.4% as 0.6%, and this could have reduced the size of a hand count from 10% to 1%, and that could have prevented a full hand count from happening, which Collins favors (and justifiably so), the torches and pitchforks would have been lit and sharpened respectively a long time ago!

Also, there were a lot more DREs in the Golden State then. Now that they're gone, the air is so thick with election integrity you can cut it with a knife! Or is that the smog? :)
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autorank Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-20-08 08:10 PM
Response to Reply #10
11. Thanks for the heads up Bill
Edited on Sat Dec-20-08 08:11 PM by autorank

Here's what Brown's web site said.

Thank You
December 3rd, 2008
https://www.charliebrownforcongress.org/index.php

Today, our campaign for the 4th District officially came to a close. In conceding an election decided by a razor thin 1800 vote margin, Charlie penned the following letter of thanks to our supporters, and the people of California's 4th District.

Dear Friends:

As you know, on November 4 th a record number of votes were cast nationwide and in the race to become the 4th District's next Representative in Congress...and the 4 th District race was way too close to call.

In the weeks since, our staff, volunteers, and legal team have worked overtime to ensure that every voice was heard in a fair, accurate, and transparent manner---from the canvassing of provisional and vote by mail ballots, to 1% machine recounts and 10% hand recounts by 9 different County Registrars district-wide.

Thanks to the extraordinary work of our local elections officials, I am pleased to report that the high standards of fairness, accuracy, and transparency have been met. And with the counts and recounts across district four complete, and more than 370,000 votes tallied, the outcome of this election is no longer in question. Unfortunately, we've come up less than one half of one percent---just under 1,800 votes---short of victory.

So a short time ago, I called Senator Tom McClintock to congratulate him on a hard fought victory, and to wish him well in Congress.

To you, I can only offer my deepest gratitude-for your generosity of time and resources, and your unwavering energy and encouragement. Together, we have transformed the 4 th District, and lifted this campaign higher and farther than anyone thought possible.

I am proud of the campaign we ran...

CLICK HERE TO READ THE REST OF CHARLIE'S LETTER

=====================================

51.3% McClintock - 49.7% Brown 0.6% difference by these numbers

1,571/367,510 = 0.004 by these numbers. Yikes!

Thanks Bill. You're correct, of course. I think I'll email them and find out what the deal is.

I think that the Franken case, all Smiley jokes aside, is a good lesson.
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Wilms Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-20-08 08:34 PM
Response to Reply #11
12. "...10% hand recounts by 9 different County Registrars district-wide". I stand corrected
I understood that the 10% count had not been done. The anomaly on the SoS site added to my dismay.

It would then seem that the 10% recount was done as a result of the margin of the reported vote totals, regardless of the incorrect percentage being posted.

Phew! And apologies to all.

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Bill Bored Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-20-08 10:08 PM
Response to Reply #12
13. Not so fast...
...the question is:

What were the RESULTS of the 10% hand count, and should it have been expanded to something larger? The number of miscounted votes to make this happen would be extremely small.

I'm glad they did the 10%, but without knowing the results, it doesn't mean much.
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Wilms Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-20-08 10:27 PM
Response to Reply #13
14. I agree. But I ain't losin' anymore sleep.
The original tally had a 1,576 vote margin as reported here:
http://vote.ss.ca.gov/Returns/usrep/0459.htm


Brown's website says that after the 10% audit, the margin was just under 1,800 votes.
http://www.charliebrownforcongress.org/article.php?uid=...


If those @200 votes were the result of machine miscounts, do you think there wouldn't have been an escalation, AND that Charlie would write a letter like that?? We don't know, but...


I'm guessing stuff that wasn't counted at first, like provisionals. Perhaps there were votes the scanner balked on counting, that were resolved by hand/eye.

You're right. There oughtta be a public accounting of this, but I'll save my torches and pitchforks for a Republican SoS. :rofl:

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Bill Bored Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-20-08 11:12 PM
Response to Reply #14
15. Here are the emergency regulations that should have been followed:
Edited on Sat Dec-20-08 11:17 PM by Bill Bored
http://www.sos.ca.gov/elections/ccrov/pdf/2008/october/...

Also, the CNN link I posted up thread shows a much narrower margin as of Dec. 4. And they showed fewer votes too. :shrug:
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Wilms Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-21-08 12:41 AM
Response to Reply #15
16. "An elections official must document and disclose to the public any variances..."
I didn't have luck trying to find information on a few county web sites. Maybe the regs don't include the web.

20123. Determination, counting and disclosure of variances.

(b) An elections official must document and disclose to the public any variances between
the semifinal official canvass results and the manual tally results.

Note: Authority cited: Section 121 72.5, Government Code; Sections 10, 19100, 19205, 19222, Elections Code.

Reference: Sections 19100, 19205, I9222, Elections Code.


and...

20125. Records To Be Maintained During And After The Manual Tally Process.

(a) The elections official shall keep a log to record the manual tally process, including the
results of each round of manual tallying for each precinct included in the sample, how
variances were resolved, and details of any actions taken that are contrary to this chapter.
The elections official shall make the log available to the public.

(b) The elections official shall track, record in the log and report to the public by precinct
the number of undervotes and overvotes discovered in the manual tally of a contest.

Note: Authority cited: Section 12172.5, Government Code; Sections 10, 19100, 19205,
19222, Elections Code.

Reference: Sections 19100, 19205, 19222, Elections Code.


http://www.sos.ca.gov/elections/ccrov/pdf/2008/october/...


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Bill Bored Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-21-08 01:52 PM
Response to Reply #16
17. Section 20124 is the key, and this is the information we don't have.
Edited on Sun Dec-21-08 01:53 PM by Bill Bored
I think it would be worthwhile for anyone who's interested to read that.
http://www.sos.ca.gov/elections/ccrov/pdf/2008/october/...
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