My Candidate Has a Last Name, it's S-E-K-U-L-A-DASH-G-I-B-B-S

Paul Kiel at TPM Muckraker (for my money, the crown jewel in the Josh Marshall empire) examines how the GOP plans to retain Tom DeLay's seat in Congress. Because DeLay lost a gambit to remove himself from the ballot, the party's candidate is a write-in. Because the local party consists of idiots and/or masochists, they passed over Sugar Land Mayor David Wallace and threw their weight behind Shelley Sekula-Gibbs. That would be a hard enough name for voters to remember if they were able to write it down. But they can't. They have to use a clickwheel and select letters on a screen to spell it out. The odds of tens of thousands doing this successfully and beating Democrat Nick Lampson and Libertarian Bob Smither? S-L-I-M.

When Tom DeLay and Cynthia McKinney go on tour together to campaign against electronic voting machines, I want to sell the tickets.

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  • T||

    Local politics at it's finest. David Wallace only had support from Sugarland, while the other three counties in the district loathed him. The only reason Wallace was ever considered as a "front runner" is because he told everybody he was. The party wanted a state rep as a candidate, but he won't give up his seat to run as a write-in.

    Sekula-Gibbbs was the best possible candidate available to the party, but that's not saying much. She's a nanny-state proponent responsible for Houston's smoking ban and devoutly thinks her experience as a dermatologist makes her smarter than the rest of us. Nice lady in person, but has some horrible public policy ideas.

    Full disclosure: my wife is the efenant precinct chair, so she went to all the meetings and watched the whole disaster unfold.

  • ||

    Won't the GOP look foolish if they lose the House by one seat...because they failed to back Smithers who promised to vote with the GOP caucus?
    Serves the SOBs right.

  • ||

    As we all know from Palm Beach County, any claims of difficulties endured by voters must be met with mocking derision. Wait, this is going to affect a Republican? Uh, never mind.

  • ||

    In Florida in 2000, the phrase "mocking derision" sounds like the right state of mind for what was going on in Democratic circles. I'd find a new meme. Of course, now that attacking the electoral process as hopelessly corrupt is in vogue, GOP losses will also involve attempts to rewrite the results in close elections. Oh, joy.

  • Larry A||

    We had this new "computer" voting system in our last election. I'm a computer professional, and had to have it explained. It took me twice as long as a touch-screen system, even the cantankerous bridal registry at our local Penney's. I recorded votes for only four races with a maximum of two candidates each, and I made a mistake I had to back out of. The lady helping me thought only one error was exceptional.

    It's the only "computer" system I've ever seen that was more difficult than programming Fortran on punchcards.

  • ||

    They will just rig the machines to vote for her.

  • David Rollins||

    I love that the clickwheel won't allow you to use a hyphen.

  • ||

    I'd just like to see them explain it when just enough votes mysteriously materialize WITH the impossible hyphen carelessly hacked in.

    That would be a hoot.

  • ||

    Won't it be funny if the GOP retains the seat after all the lawsuits, injunctions and other dirty tricks the Demon-crats used to try to steal it?

  • ||

    > That would be a hard enough name for
    > voters to remember

    It wasn't hard to remember. And I had no problem using the spin wheel to enter it. I was a little perplexed at the "The Republican party thanks you for your vote" message at the end. ;)

    Of course she's still probably going to lose. But hey, we tried.

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