When in Doubt, Cheat

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If you can count on anything, it's Republicans and Democrats protecting the integrity of our electoral system. First, you've got the Republicans in Connecticut. They never stood a chance of winning the state's U.S. Senate seat this year with candidate Alan Schlesinger, who polled far behind both Sen. Joe Lieberman and liberal Ned Lamont. The solution: Scare him off the ballot and replace him with a Republican who could steal a three-way race if Lieberman runs as an independent.*

A persistent government critic and former state police casino licensing commander Bradley Beecher sent emails early this week raising questions about Schlesinger. The ones that have Republicans talking are that their Senate candidate is, in casino parlance, a card counter and has used a "Wampum Card" (the Foxwood casino loyalty card that gets gamblers points for spending money) under the assumed name of "Alan Gold." Schlesinger said today that he does have a card under that name but has not used it "in this decade." The candidate, sounding agitated in a phone conversation, says he does recall being told by a casino official that he should not be playing blackjack at their facility.

This isn't a crime or a scandal by most definitions of the word. But it's giving the Republican leadership an opening to demand Schlesinger quit to be replaced by a "mogul."

In Vermont, the Democrats are trying something even stranger— spoiling their own place on the ballot to make room for an independent to win. Independent socialist Rep. Bernie Sanders is the heavy favorite to win the state's U.S. Senate seat, but an oddball assemblage of senior citizens are vying for the Democratic nomination anyway. Since Sanders has pledged to caucus with Democrats if he wins, Democrats are trying to nominate Sanders for their Senate nod… a nomination he'd turn down, leaving that spot on the ballot blank.

Both parties are gaming the system, although the Vermont Democrats' ploy is at least a little sympathetic—one of the would-be Dem candidates is the founder of the state Green party and running on an "expose the government's 9/11 conspiracy" platform. Oh, and if you're fed up with this crap, sorry: there's no Libertarian candidate in either race.

*Connecticut could have a four-way race, if eccentric anti-Bush Republican Diana Urban makes the ballot.

NEXT: The "Culture War" At National Review

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  1. Anyone who gets kicked out of a casino for successfully counting cards has my vote. It takes brains, and it takes balls.

  2. Wait, why would it be a bad thing for Schlesinger to be a card counter (I mean from the perspective of anyone other than a casino owner)? I mean, really, is there anybody who doesn’t count cards when playing a competitive card game?

  3. I mean, really, is there anybody who doesn’t count cards when playing a competitive card game?

    Quite a few … I think they are called “Suckers”. Rumor has it there’s one born every minute.

    I agree with mac though, if you can count cards so well as to get booted from a casino — you have my vote

  4. This is why there should be no restrictions, at all, on who can place his or her name on the general elections ballot. Well, okay, check to make sure the person qualifies for the office in question, but beyond that nothing.

  5. I know, I know, Earmarks are only a small portion of our national budget, but…Ned Lamont has advocated getting rid of them. It’s probably jus’ campaign trail bullshit, but…it’s better than most. Especially when Glaven-, I mean, Lieber-man responded with “the earmarks are good for Connecticut!”.

  6. Any rumors as to who the “mogul” is?

  7. Folks, whatever we have to do to keep Sanders out of the Senate, let’s do. If it means voting for the Republican, do it. If it means contributing to the Republican’s campaign, let’s please do it.

    Sanders is as foul a figure as exists in American politics today — think Hugo Chavez, with a Brooklyn accent. Why the good people of Vermont haven’t given him the cement overshoe treatment in a manure pond, I cannot fathom.

  8. I’m with mac. Any candidate who succuessfully counts cards at a casino goes way up in my estimation. It shows intelligence, courage, self-confidence, and a healthy disrespect for authority.

    Bernie Sanders = Hugo Chavez? That’s just looney.

  9. Sanders and Chavez share an utter contempt for the notion of private property – why am I not surprised that you’d be tone-deaf there, joe? – as well as a thuggish and beligerent personal nature.

    Both appeal to populist themes, while acting primarily for their own self-aggrandizement. Both surround themselves with syncophants and toadies who do their dirty work, allowing them to give a wink-wink, nudge-nudge when they make pronouncements and threats.

  10. crackpot time again, it seems. Im hiding under my bed because of Sandinista tanks being three days from Brownsville, or is it Libyan bombers refueling in Grenada…..jees I loose count.
    I know Bernie. Cant stand him, Having said that, why dont you look into why he gets invited to speak at American Legion & VFW posts all the time. Hint: its because he solidly stands behind NOT CUTTIN vets benefits. (some deluded folk see contracted benifits as property)
    Chavez dosnt respect “private property” hmmmm…unlike the kleptocrats that rule most of Latin America.
    Hide under the bed!!! Chavez is building more schools! Oh, the humanity……………..

  11. Suckers … there’s one born every minute

    OK, we know the sucker birth rate, but what about the sucker death rate? Aren’t we seeing a net increase in suckers as time goes on? So a sucker dies, what, every 66 seconds?

    Let’s strive for equilibrium or better. Off a sucker for science. Well, maybe trick him into it.

  12. This is exactly what the Democrats did in NJ a couple of years ago, resulting in another Senate term for Frank Lautenberg. Their previous candidate didn’t withdraw from the race because of illness or some other true burden, he withdrew because he was about to have his ass handed to him in the election. Lautenberg came in at the last second and was allowed to start the spending clock at zero, while his republican opponent had to operate within the limits of all the money he had spent during the entire campaign.
    Same thing with Governor McGreevey. He announced that he was stepping down, but made sure not to actually step down until after the period in which the legislature would have appointed a republican.
    Are you serious about the “expose 9/11 conspiracy” platform being sympathetic, or did i miss the sarcasm?

  13. I think the server squirrels are finally back on the wheels instead of eating comments, so for the 3rd time:

    VT’s election law is way fucked to allow someone who’s not a member of a party (OK, they don’t have party enrollment in VT) to accept the designation for a spot on their primary ballot, then after winning that primary, decline the resulting nomination for the gen’l election.

    NY allows such a declination (and substitution) if the candidate accepts instead a nomination for judge by delegates who were elected at the same primary.

    With NJ’s allowance of late declinations & substitutions and a primary that takes place in JUNE (inviting a change of mind later), they might as well not have primaries.

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