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Reply #65: actually, since you mention it [View All]

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OnTheOtherHand Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-16-07 06:38 AM
Response to Reply #50
65. actually, since you mention it
I appreciate your post. Yet I'm afraid that someone will be put off by "OTOH and his pack," although I'm sure you meant it tongue-in-cheek. Actually, the posts under discussion aren't coordinated at all, unless it counts that I e-mailed Febble last night to say 'I wish you had made such-and-such point,' to which the response came back, 'Huh?' (And we've traded other e-mails, trying to figure out just what is being argued here.) althecat has complained about four people in this thread. Let me review what I know about who those people are.

Febble is a charter member of U.S. Count Votes whose work on machine allocation in Franklin County is mentioned in Greg Palast's latest book (she's in the index -- with two page numbers, even!), along with the estimable Joe Knapp's. Febble also did some of the best early work on undervotes in New Mexico. Lots of other people deserve credit for that work, but surely she does. She has done more to legitimize forensic inquiry into the 2004 election than, I have to think, all her detractors combined. Febble and I do exchange e-mails frequently; we're both always looking for a new angle on what really happened in 2004.

Awsi Dooger is, among other things, a Democratic activist, a professional gambler (so his skills for sensible inferences from incomplete data are finely honed by necessity), and a very knowledgeable political observer. I give him credit for prodding me to look more closely at the narrowing of the gender gap in 2004, and he knows things about state polls that I wouldn't even try to learn. I haven't corresponded with him since sometime last year.

L Coyote appears to be the author of arguably the most extensive analysis of "caterpillar crawl" in Cuyahoga County (again, Joe Knapp did some excellent work, as of course did Richard Hayes Phillips). L Coyote is althecat's natural ally, since as far as I can tell, he is convinced that Kerry did win the election, whereas the rest of us are not. Given the time that he has spent poring meticulously over precinct-level election returns, his impatience with endless analysis of an exit poll subsample is easy enough to understand. We've had limited correspondence (none about this subject).

I'm a political scientist who keyed into some of the early quantitative controversies about the 2004 election, and keeps hoping that if we can stop making some of the same analytical mistakes over and over and over again, we will make more sense and form better judgments. I've pitched in on forensic work in Ohio and New Mexico, and I've worked with Howard Stanisevic and others to try to promote more effective audit protocols. I'm not exactly an activist, but I don't feel that I'm a free rider or a ghoul, either.

As far as I can tell, we all wish that Kerry had won in 2004, we vary in our views about whether he did win in 2004, and we're all trying to sort out what did and didn't happen. Anyone who actually reads our posts will notice that we don't always agree. So, when some people (not you!) insinuate or state outright that our posts represent a coordinated effort to impede inquiry into the 2004 election, I think it's defamatory and ridiculous, and I'm sure my tone reflects that -- sometimes more than it should. I also think that the habit of imputing nefarious motives to people who disagree -- about anything -- tends to make the election integrity movement insular and sectarian, which seems objectively dangerous.

End of meta.
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