Stefan Sharkansky writes:
You’ve been writing about the fired U.S. Attorneys, so I thought you might be interested in another side of the story on John McKay. The national media have transmitted without challenge McKay’s story that he investigated allegations of vote fraud in Washington’s 2004 gubernatorial race but saw “zero evidence” of fraud. Now he’s being portrayed (see Friday’s NYT editorial) as the victim/hero of partisan Republicans who are punishing him for refusing to launch a groundless, politically-motivated investigation.
There’s much more to this than has been widely reported. A lot more credible evidence of election violations from the 2004 governor’s race has been shown to McKay than he’s been willing to acknowledge, let alone investigate.
It’s taken me two years and some litigation to get the King County Elections office to release enough of the appropriate records, but I’ve compiled evidence of hundreds of illegal votes (nearly 4 times the official 129-vote “margin of victory”). These are not just random errors, but incidents of systemic mishandling of ballots by the elections office, most of which occurred just before the election was certified when the Democrat appeared to be trailing. At the very least it’s official negligence that may well have changed the outcome of the governor’s race. Was it all run-of-the-mill “good enough for government work” negligence? Or was it willful? Does it meet the legal standard of “fraud”? We don’t know, as there’s never been an investigation into any of this.
McKay has cited the election contest trial where the judge ruled: “No testimony has been placed before the Court to suggest fraud or intentional misconduct.” But all of the hundreds of illegal votes that I’m referring to were not known during the trial — largely because King County evaded their discovery obligations and because the timeline was so compressed the litigants didn’t have time to pursue every lead. This stuff was uncovered only months after the trial and long after the local mainstream press moved on to other things.
A summary of the findings is here. Some of this was presented to the local FBI in December 2005 and copied to McKay. See this letter (redacted to remove personal contact information). There’s no indication that the DoJ or FBI ever followed up on this report or on other similar reports.
Why would McKay ignore the legitimate suggestions of election violations and fight back so aggressively now? Western Washington is overwhelmingly Democrat, especially Seattle. The dominant voices in the political establishment and the mainstream media were only too happy to put the embarrassing, if not incriminating, 2004 election behind them. It would be politically (and socially) risky for McKay (as a Republican appointee, no less) to be the first official to start turning over the rocks in county government. Much safer to stick with the in-crowd, call it a close but clean election and keep looking the other way. And now that McKay’s in a public pissing match with Bush, who is extremely unpopular in Seattle? He’s the darling of the local establishment. If he aspires to a career in state politics, this is his ticket.
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