Thursday, June 09, 2005

Adding Insult to Injury

I've been wavering between depressed and pissed all week over the state election contest and challenge decision. (See previous post here)

But now I am definitely in the Pissed column. It's not bad enough that the Democrats are leaping for joy at stealing the election (or at least allowing bumbling incompetence to award it to them). Now they want the state to pay back the money required to force the second (hand) recount ... With Interest ... to the tune of 12%!!!

I am forced to acknowledge the audacity of requiring the State to pony up 12% interest on top of the $730,000 which is to be returned to the Democratic party. It's not often that thieves are so open in their demands.

Democrats To State: Where's Our Money?
June 9, 2005
By KOMO Staff & News Services

OLYMPIA - After a court vindicated the Democrats this week by upholding the 2004 victory of Gov. Christine Gregoire, the state party now wants back the money it spent on a recount - with interest.

After Republican opponent Dino Rossi won the first two tallies, Democrats were required to pony up $730,000 in December to pay for a third and final count - an unprecedented statewide hand count. Since that count ultimately changed the outcome later that month, the Democrats were entitled to get their money back.

The argument stems over how early they should have gotten it back, and how much interest they should collect.

The Democrats, who asked for the money in late December, said they should get 12 percent interest - more than $30,000 more than the state wants to give them - because the money was wrongfully held by the secretary of state's office for six months.

"We've been penalized by them having this money all of this time," state Democratic Party Chairman Paul Berendt said Wednesday. "There was no reason why that shouldn't have been refunded as soon as the third count was certified. The state seizure of that money is tantamount to them seizing money from any private party."

Berendt said the money could have been used toward the nearly $3.5 million in legal costs for the election challenge.

But Secretary of State Sam Reed said his office had to wait for the completion of the election challenge, which came Monday with a judge ruling in Gregoire's favor and Rossi announcing he wouldn't appeal. Reed said the state only owes the 2 percent interest the money has earned. He said the party would get its money back by the end of the week.

"I think that for them to think that the taxpayers of Washington ought to be giving them more money at this point is very inappropriate," Reed said. "I think they deserve to get their money back; they deserve to get any interest earned on that."

He said the assertion the Democrats deserve 12 percent is "not particularly reasonable."
(emphasis mine)

I'll say it's "not particularly reasonable" ... it's freaking bizarre!!

While I am stunned speechless at this point, fellow Seattle blogger Rednex of Rednex Rants is not. He is on a roll with How to steal an election and get paid for it.

Also, go check out Stefan Sharkansky's entry at Sound Politics