Wednesday, February 15, 2012
Maine Republicans: Where's Waldo?!
Last week, the Maine Republican Party reported that Mitt Romney had defeated Ron Paul in the state’s caucuses by a scant 194 votes. The mainstream media dutifully reported this ‘fact,’ and went on to other issues. Political Bloggers, however, would not let the issue rest, as the announcement was made before 17% of the precincts in Maine had voted. The state party openly admitted that the votes from Washington County had not been included in the final count, as the precincts in that county had not yet cast votes: they were postponed until this weekend due to the forecast of a major snowstorm. The decision to exclude Washington County raised eyebrows, as that county is home to the University of Maine at Machias, and is expected to return a strong vote for Ron Paul.
But now it appears that other precincts throughout the state – including those that actually voted on the February 11 Caucus date – were also not included. In particular, Waldo County – the mid-coast county where this blogger’s family owned a camp for four generations – was almost entirely left out from the total vote counts.
The city of Belfast, a working-class city of 6,600 people at the head of the Penobscot Bay, and next-door Searsport, a similar port of 2,600, turned in “0 votes” according to the final tabulation just released by the state Republican Party, even though both places held caucuses on the 11th. In all, 20 of the 26 Towns in Waldo County were omitted from the announced vote totals. Suspicion of a stolen election is growing, as some of the Waldo County towns with known returns delivered significant margins to Ron Paul: Paul defeated Romney by 16-3 in Montville, and 9-1 in Palermo.
And the “clerical oversight” wasn’t limited to Waldo County: in neighboring Kennebec County, the city of Waterville – a city of 15,000 residents with a poverty rate twice that of the state and not likely fertile ground for Mitt Romney – were not included in the state party’s official returns.
The Bangor Daily News, one of Maine's two statewide newspapers, reported yesterday that “Pressure is mounting on the Maine Republican Party to reconsider its weekend declaration that Mitt Romney won the state’s caucuses…”
In the meantime, in spite of all of their fancy screens and bells and whistles and election analysts - - -where have the major networks been on this story?
UPDATE:The Mainstream media continue to ignore it, but the Blogosphere has apparently forced Maine GOP Chairman Charlie's Webster's hand: GOP HQs emailed all party leaders today (Thursday, Feb 16) with this message: “County Chairman & Town Chairman [sic], We are reconfirming the totals from the Presidential Preference Straw poll. Can you please EMAIL ME the totals from your towns. For County Chairman [sic] if you are emailing the total for your entire county can you please list the towns that are included.” Read more at Politico
In addition, the Waldo County Republican Committee took a vote of no confidence and called for the censure of party chairman Charlie Webster.