More Judge Bridges Rulings (WA Election Contest)

My previous posting on the rulings from Judge Bridges need some tweaking.

From Timothy Goddard's The Flag of the World, more interpretation:

First off, Bridges made a statement that most people appear to have missed. (I’ll have to paraphrase until the transcript comes out, probably next week.) He said, essentially, if the Republicans can prove their allegations as they have stated them, then their election contest will prevail. This is, obviously, quite good news.

I admit that I had missed this point, but I'm relying on second-hand reports in the press and on the blogosphere. for example, KGW still has the erroneous headline, “Judge says he can't order recount of Wash. governor's race,” along with a shortened quote of the ruling that pretty much hands the Democrats victory if you see it and nothing else. Also, KGW has this cute bit:

At one point, Bridges talked about one of the cases cited in the lawsuit, a late-1800s election challenge in Arkansas. Both governors had their own militia, and state Supreme Court judges were kidnapped, he said.
“We think this is not what should go on in this system” Bridges quipped, “not that I don't wish I were kidnapped so I didn't have to make these decisions.”

Back to Timothy's analysis:

Second, the he ruled that he won’t be ordering a special election because he doesn’t have the authority. Some people have said this means “no revote,” which would be pretty deadly, but that’s not exactly true. Before Bridges even made his ruling, the Republican counsel said that the question before the court at that point was not “whether” to have a revote, but “when.” That is to say, would the court be able to order an election immediately, or wait until the next general election in November? The court has essentially said that the soonest there could be another Rossi-Gregoire showdown is in November, because the court’s power doesn’t extend far enough to order a new one immediately. The likely outcome of a successful contest now would be for the election to be nullified, Gregoire booted from office, leaving it vacant, meaning that the Lt. Governor Brad Owen would take over until November. While Republicans are dissappointed with this ruling, it’s hard to be too bummed about a judge admitting that his powers aren’t infinite.

Well, with the gun bills and other fluff trying to get pushed through, I'm a little nervous about waiting until November to correct this problem in the Governor's office.

Next, Timothy and Sound Politics both point out that the Seattle Times' reporter John Postman spun things in the Democrats' favor in this article:

The good news for Democrats was Bridges’ ruling in Chelan County Superior Court that Republicans must show any illegal votes were cast in favor of Gregoire, and not Republican candidate Dino Rossi. There would have to be enough illegal Gregoire votes to erase her 129-vote victory margin.

Matt Rosenberg at Sound Politics saw something different in today's Seattle Times, amounting to a correction:

Bridges…denied a Democratic motion to limit any challenge to issues of fraud and illegal votes, saying misconduct or neglect by election officials would also be sufficient grounds for setting aside the election.

Timothy sums it up, “Republicans get the present, Democrats the bow.”

Josh Poulson

Posted Sunday, Feb 6 2005 08:56 AM

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