Wednesday, November 08, 2006

GOP Continues Tradition of Corrupt Election Tactics

The GOP brands itself as the Party of tradition. It lived up to that description yesterday when it continued one tradition that has dominated Maryland politics for centuries: corrupt election tactics.

Free State politicians have always engaged in shady schemes to get out the votes. Candidates rounded up destitute men and drove them to the polls in exchange for cash and booze in the 1800's. Many literary historians suspect famous Baltimore poet Edgar Allen Poe died after he was drugged and forced to vote in eleven different wards in the 1849 election. Parties also enlisted the help of street gangs like the Rip Raps and Plug Uglies to intimidate voters. The tactic resulted in the deadly Know-Nothing election riot of 1856 after a campaign season of violent clashes on Federal Hill, around Lexington Market and throughout the Limerick area. And Democratic political bosses wielded cash and threats throughout most of the twentieth century.

One would hope that by 2006 these practices would have been abandoned in favor of free and transparent elections without the obstacle of deceptive tactics.

Assuming they're not a Republican.

Yesterday, Michael Steele's campaign for US Senate reverted to a scheme right out of the 1800's playbooks. The Republican transported homeless men from Philadelphia to Prince George's County to hand out misleading flyers, The Gazette reported. The desperate men were offered a hundred bucks, some coffee and a few donuts in exchange for distributing leaflets that incorrectly implied that leading black leaders endorsed Steele and Republican gubernatorial incumbent Robert Ehrlich.

There were also reports of flyers in Baltimore's black suburbs that placed Ehrlich and Steele's names over the headline "Vote Democratic."

On their way to losing the elections, these two men stooped to lying to Marylanders and exploiting the homeless. We may have a history of these shady tactics, but they should be history and only that. There is no place for this bullshit in 2006. The election results show that Ehrlich and Steele got what they deserve.

from The League: Reassembled

3 Comments:

Blogger Stephanie Dray said...

They deserve worse.

The first thing Doug Gansler should do is prosecute for this. They need to be hung on their own petard for this, so they have no political future here.

11/08/2006 01:45:00 PM  
Blogger andy k in MD said...

The actual flyer in Baltimore City said "Ehrlich/Steele Democratic Voters Guide" and it had Ehrlich and Steele on the cover next to a kicking donkey.

Inside, a ballot was set up with Steele, Ehrlich and whoever was running against Franchot, checked. The rest we checked Democratic, even Gansler (i love how they threw Rolle under the bus).

Another flyer was distributed claiming Kweisi Mfume was supporting Steele. Thankfully, Ben made a great election day flyer featuring Mfume and him together with Kweisi's endorsement spelled out.

Republicans, they have to lie to win, and even then, they still lose. Good riddance to these crooks.

11/08/2006 01:59:00 PM  
Blogger Rfustero said...

as for exploiting the homeless, in 2002 either the Dems or the Townsend people hired out of town and local homeless to hand out flyers , and during the Sauerbrey and Glendenning 2nd campaign, the dems handed out flyers that depicted blacks being lynched, and beatened and said this would happen if Sauerbrey were to be elected- so lets don't call the kettle black(or is it macaca) lets just call it for what Maryland politics is famouse for- dirty politics and corruption.

For those who think I am a pseudo dem-I vote for Cardin, I vote for Erhlich and for the rest of the ticket i vote with the Dems

11/08/2006 07:39:00 PM  

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