Friday, April 22, 2005

Local Republicans Just Like Their National Masters

It's been over a week since I last discussed the small-town election in Irvington, NY, in which Democrat Erin Malloy defeated Republican Dennis Flood by one vote. Though she has already been through weeks of legal challenges – centered on alleged "irregularities" and overt attempts to disenfranchise some Irvington voters – Ms. Malloy has continued to hold "office hours" on the town's main street each weekend in an effort to reach out to her new constituents.

By way of an update, the case again returns to court on April 27. This time, Flood's complaints will be heard in the State Supreme Court's Appellate Division and, as I'm sure the majority of Irvington residents hope, this spectacle may finally be called to a close.

But I've just been made aware of another piece of information about the experience of the voter whose absentee ballot broke the deadlock and what she has been put through by Flood and his Republican attack dogs out of Albany.

In addition to being dragged into court every time the election has been litigated, Susan Brenner Morton has had her honesty questioned and been told she needs to fully document her whereabouts during the election. The latter tactic is an effort to question why she needed to vote via absentee ballot – even though there is no prevailing standard for what justification, if any, is required to vote absentee.

She was ordered to provide receipts and hotel bills showing her attendance at a professional conference and, incredibly, was even questioned by a private detective hired by Flood's lawyers. All of this has occurred because her vote happened to be the last one counted and because she did not vote for the Republican.

As if we needed more proof, this is yet another example of how, whether a Republican is running for dogcatcher or president, the wise Democrat never turns their back on them or underestimates how low they are willing to stoop to hold power.