It looks like that may be what an endorsement from Hoystory.com can do to a candidate in a neck-and-neck race. Last month, in a fit of righteous anger at the complete and total idiocy of the Republicans in Washington, I suggested people cast their votes for Democrat Francine Busby in tomorrow's special election to serve the last six months of Randy "Dirty Duke" Cunningham's term.
Showing that no good deed goes unpunished, Hoystory-endorsed Busby opened her mouth wide last Thursday and stuck her foot in it.
If an election can turn on a sentence, this could be the one: “You don't need papers for voting.”
On Thursday night, Francine Busby, the Democratic candidate for the 50th Congressional District, was speaking before a largely Latino crowd in Escondido when she uttered those words. She said yesterday she simply misspoke.
But someone taped it and a recording began circulating yesterday. After she made that statement at the meeting, Busby immediately said: “You don't need to be a registered voter to help (the campaign).”
Her opponent, liberal Republican Brian Bilbray, was 100 percent correct in his analysis of Busby's entire statement.
Bilbray said at worst, Busby was encouraging someone to vote illegally. At best, she was encouraging someone who is illegally in the country to work on her campaign.
“She's soliciting illegal aliens to campaign for her and it's on tape – this isn't exactly what you call the pinnacle of ethical campaign strategy,” Bilbray said. “I don't know how she shows her face.”
Well, if President Bill Clinton proved one thing during his term in office, shame is in short supply on the Democrat side of the aisle.
Busby's response to this question last week isn't really indicative of a desire for non-citizens to vote in our elections. Busby's answer to that question came from a deep-seeded belief held by just about everyone in the Democrat Party that -- hearkening back to the 2000 presidential recount in Florida -- "every vote should count." Similar sentiments were on display in the 2004 Washington govenor's race as Democrat Party officials running King County kept on manufacturing "votes" until they had delivered the governorship to Democrat Christine Gregoire.
This was what was going through Busby's head as this man asked how he could help. Democrats want everyone to participate in elections. They want everyone to vote. That "citizenship-thing" is just an artificially erected barrier to oppress the poorest, most vulnerable in our society.
In the ensuing days, Busby has retreated to what the current state of the law is:
"People who are here illegally shouldn't be here. People who are here illegally have no right to vote," Busby said at the campaign event.
The real question Busby should be asked is if she would support legislation that requires voters to show some form of picture ID when voting. I suspect that her answer to that question would demostrate where her beliefs truly lie.
Other election news:
I was surprised to hear an ad on the radio by the National Right to Life PAC endorsing Brian Bilbray in the 50th District race. Bilbray does oppose partial-birth abortion and is in favor of parental notification (not permission) laws, but other than that, he's pro-choice. Bilbray won't be swing vote on any legislation on abortion restrictions in the House, so it's a wonder why the National Right to Life PAC would waste their money on this race.
I think I'm going to re-register to vote and leave my phone number blank on the form. I've been getting, on average, 3 pre-recorded phone calls a day and it's driving me batty. One of pre-recorded messages even started out with "Sorry I missed you..." and I was just blown away. They assume they're getting the answering machine. "Sorry I missed you?" I picked up the dang phone. I had to get off the couch to do it, but I picked up the dang phone!
I'm finally getting around to watching Sunday's "Meet the Press" and Gwen Ifill, host of PBS's "Washington Week" program is talking about the 50th District race. It's just amazing to me that sometimes the bias just jumps out and grabs you.
Brian Bilbray is a lobbyist. That's what he's been doing lately. And that's what Francine Busby uses in all her ads. "Lobbyist Brian Bilbray has done this for you...Lobbyist Brian ..." that's become the bad word. Especially in a district where Duke Cunningham is now serving some time for hanging out with lobbyists. So that's considered to be a bad thing. At the same time, Bilbray tries to talk about immigration. He tries to change the subject.
So, for Gwen Ifill, the entire basis of the 50th District race is supposed to be Bilbray's a lobbyist and Busby isn't. Seriously, you could just flip the presentation around and get a GOP-slanted piece: Bilbray talks about how his opponent's soft on immigration and Busby just keeps on trying to change the subject. There was also no mention of Busby's Thursday faux pas which could be the margin in what promises to be a closely-contested election.
Oh, and just for the record, if you got tossed in jail for "hanging out with lobbyists" there wouldn't be a politician left in Washington. Cunningham was convicted for taking bribes.