Wednesday, August 08, 2007

51st District Committee Rejects Lucas Appeal

Opened my e-mail this morning, and found that the 51st House of Delegates District Committee --- a committee of one, PWC GOP Chairman Tom Kopko --- has rejected Julie Lucas' efforts to overturn the results of the Convention nominating Faisal Gill. The decision was issued early this morning, according to the time stamp on my e-mail.

Kopko's ten-page opinion is virtually unassailable. It initially rejects the Lucas appeal as entirely out of order, in defiance of Roberts' Rules of Order, but goes on to note that it lacks merits on the facts, as well.

To my mind, the heart of the decision is here:
It is noted that throwing out entire precincts because of an over-vote [the remedy sought by Lucas] would encourage the practice of voting sabotage. If throwing out entire precincts were the proper remedy, an unscrupulous candidate would simply ensure his opponent's best precincts were over-voted and thereby invalidate a large portion of the opposition votes. This is yet another reason why wholesal jettison of legal votes is not a proper solution.

More immediately, the Lucas Appeal requesting that entire precincts be thrown out is a request to disenfranchise the voters of these precincts. While, again, it is a misapplication, at least RONR says that, "the entire ballot is null and void and a new ballot must be taken." (emphasis added) The Lucas Appeal did not request a new ballot. The Lucas Appeal's remedy to throw out entire precincts' votes is rejected in every case.

It must be further noted that the convention minutes show that the Lucas camp sought to invalidate just the Lake Ridge precinct which favored her opponent so heavily that, when eliminated, would have changed the outcome in Lucas' favor. The Committee further notes that the suggestion during the convention of applying the same rule to all over-voted precincts was rejected by the Lucas camp; doing so would not have changed the outcome in her favor. In the Appeal, Lucas seeks to also invalidate a second precinct that was won by her opponent. The Committee deplores the very idea of disenfranchisement but looks especially dimly at the suggestion when it changes the election outcome in the complainant's favor.
Appeal Ruling, pages 8-9. While Kopko didn't say so in so many words, it is utterly clear that the Lucas camp attempted to play the rules for its own advantage, rather than seeking strict adherence to the rules no matter the outcome.

Al Gore, call your office.

I used to think better of Julie Lucas than to believe she would allow such activity to go on in her name, though many --- not all, by any means --- of those who number themselves as her most vehement supporters has always given me pause.

Now that the Committee has ruled, Julie has the option of appealing, and cementing her "Sore-Loserman" credentials, or uniting the Party, endorsing GOP nominee Faisal Gill, and steeling herself to a race against a radical to retain her School Board seat against a challenge from a man who is clearly a radical.

One hopes that discretion is the better part of valor in this case. However, it remains to be seen whether her supporters are motivated more by what is best for the GOP, or by their hatred of Faisal Gill and those who work most earnestly for the Conservative agenda of the GOP.

However, that is not the case in one more-read corner of the blogosphere: Greg Letiecq is already spreading falsehoods about the ruling:
Kopko’s decision here essentially argues that it is inconsistent with Robert’s Rules and the Republican Party Plan for anyone to challenge a convention result after the convention ends. In effect, if you can rig the result of a convention and manage to hide the details of the subterfuge long enough to have a convention gavel a convention to a close, there’s no recourse. That’s quite a concept.
Of course, that's not what Kopko said at all. To the contrary, as to one part of the appeal, he noted that "the time to challenge the credentials report is during the convention, not afterwards," and that "no challenge to the credentials report was made at any time." Appeal Ruling, page 3. Therefore, "Applying RONR page 247, ... the appeal is not in order." Similarly, as to Lucas' efforts to disenfranchise entire precincts, Kopko notes that "RONR page 247 requires that a question be appealed at the time, i.e. during the convention, for a ruling to be later criticized," and that "The Lucas Appeal must follow on from a challenge to the chairman at the convention." He also accurately notes that the challenge that was contemplated at the convention was withdrawn. Appeal Ruling, page 3.

So Greg is wrong in his premise and in his conclusion. He asserts that the ruling means, in effect, that "if you can rig the result of a convention and manage to hide the details of the subterfuge long enough to have a convention gavel a convention to a close, there’s no recourse." But of course, as the Convention minutes make clear, the "subterfuge," if any, was known to the Lucas camp, and it failed to preserve its rights by appealing to the Convention.

One might conclude that the "brain trust" --- charitably described --- of the Lucas camp was too ignorant to know this. One might also conclude that the Lucas camp was well aware of the fact that --- as the election results demonstrate --- it lacked the votes to prevail, and simply didn't bother, preferring instead to slime the winner with specious allegations of wrongdoing.

And we all know that Greg wouldn't have anything to do with a venture such as that, don't we? We also know that sliming the winner and challenging his legitimacy is something that's just not done (see far Left commentaries on GWB's "selection"), don't we?

Sad to say, Greg has quite a few nihilistic --- but largely anonymous, and therefore cowardly --- readers and commenters who will believe every word he spews, and the facts be damned.

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