- The Washington Times - Tuesday, May 3, 2005

Numbers game

The Republicans won an important victory yesterday in their legal challenge to the election of Washington Gov. Christine Gregoire, when a judge allowed them to use a type of statistical analysis to try to prove illegal votes swayed the race.

Republican Dino Rossi is trying to have the election results from November declared invalid. Mr. Rossi won the first count and a machine recount, but his Democratic opponent won by 129 votes in a hand recount of 2.9 million ballots.

The trial is set for May 23.

State law includes provisions for challenging and nullifying an election, but they have never been used to try to remove a governor.

Republicans claim they have identified more than 1,000 illegal votes — mostly ballots cast by felons, but also unverified provisional ballots and votes cast in the names of dead people.

Superior Court Judge John Bridges gave Republicans the go-ahead to apply “proportional analysis” to the illegal votes.

Using proportional analysis, they want the court to subtract illegal votes from both candidates’ totals according to precinct voting patterns. For example, if 10 illegal votes came from a precinct that voted 60 percent for Mrs. Gregoire and 40 percent for Mr. Rossi, six votes would be deducted from Mrs. Gregoire’s total and four from Mr. Rossi’s.

Democrats said the method amounts to statistical guessing. At the same time, they have been collecting evidence of illegal votes in Republican-leaning counties, and plan to use the same proportional analysis in court, the Associated Press reports.

Numbers game II

A conservative group accuses Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid and the liberal group People for the American Way of distorting a Congressional Research Service report to leave the impression that judicial filibusters have been common over the years.

The Committee for Justice, which defends and promotes what it calls constitutionalist judicial nominees, said yesterday that Mr. Reid, Nevada Democrat, falsely suggested that there have been 35 filibusters of executive branch nominees between 1949 and 2002, including 17 for judgeships. PFAW says there were 30, including 13 judicial nominations.

In fact, there was only one case of a filibuster — President Lyndon Johnson’s nomination of Abe Fortas to be chief justice — the conservative group said.

Mr. Reid and the liberal group came up with their numbers by including cases where opponents of a nominee were unable to mount a filibuster — the Senate voted to end debate.

The Committee for Justice cited language from the Congressional Research Service report that it would be “incorrect,” “erroneous” and a “misuse” of CRS data to equate cloture attempts with actual filibusters.

Editorial writer

Stephen Moore, president of the Free Enterprise Fund and author of a flat-tax proposal now before Congress, has signed on to write editorials for the Wall Street Journal, The Washington Times has learned.

It will be the third move for Mr. Moore this year. He joins the newspaper on May 31.

“I’m delighted to have Steve join us,” Journal Editorial Page Editor Paul Gigot told reporterRalph Z. Hallow of The Washington Times. “He brings a wealth of knowledge and contacts in the world of economic policy.”

Mr. Moore will give up his association with the fund, which he helped establish after leaving the Club for Growth at the beginning of this year. He will also relinquish his post as chief economics writer for Human Events, a weekly conservative newspaper.

Under his leadership, the Club for Growth, which he also helped establish, raised money to run ad campaigns on behalf of conservative Republican candidates, some of whom challenged liberal Republican members of Congress in party primaries.

Former Rep.Patrick J. Toomey, Pennsylvania Republican, replaced Mr. Moore as Club for Growth president in January.

The Free Enterprise Fund, under Mr. Moore and chief economist Larry Hunter, has lobbied for gradually remaking Social Security into a program for voluntary worker investment in — and ownership of — personal retirement accounts. The fund also lobbied for permanent repeal of the estate tax and for tort reform.

Mr. Moore was associated previously with the Cato Institute and the Heritage Foundation.

Huckabee’s book

The once-hefty Gov. Mike Huckabee of Arkansas, who lost more than 100 pounds and made the fight against obesity a personal crusade, has written a book to help others step back from the buffet, the Associated Press reports.

“Quit Digging Your Grave With a Knife and Fork” offers a 12-step program to end bad habits and start a healthy lifestyle. Key points include getting off the couch, knowing what’s in your food, and ignoring destructive criticism. “You can do it, and for your life to be fun again, you must do it,” writes Mr. Huckabee, who once weighed more than 280 pounds. At 5 feet 11, that would put him on the cusp of being morbidly obese.

His book goes on sale May 10, according to publishing house Center Street, a division of Time Warner.

A long journey

Condoleezza Rice and Ward Connerly once epitomized black Republicans in California. But their ilk now also includes Ted Hayes, a social activist and inner-city coach whose billowing robes and dreadlocks don’t exactly conjure up an image of the GOP,” Jill Stewart writes in the Wall Street Journal.

“More blacks than ever support vouchers and faith-based initiatives, and side with President Bush on gay marriage. Mr. Hayes recently made the transition himself, ending a long journey for this former leftist who founded Dome Village, an outcropping of pod-like homeless shelters along the freeway in downtown Los Angeles,” Miss Stewart writes.

“There are other prominent black Republicans in California, of course, such as syndicated radio host Larry Elder and community relations expert Joe Hicks. But even among these unusual thinkers, Mr. Hayes stands out. He’s an intense critic of L.A.’s powerful ‘black old guard’ — Democratic politicians, charity bosses and inner-city preachers who, for a generation, have responded to poverty and illiteracy by demanding government programs and blaming white racism.

“Not surprisingly, plenty of people wish pesky black Republicans like Mr. Hayes would just slink away. He has skewered L.A.’s entrenched black leaders as ‘Negro officials,’ and he has the street cred to get away with it. As L.A. endured another crisis between black leaders and cops recently, he refused to denounce police for shooting dead a 13-year-old, Devin Brown, after a car chase. Instead, Mr. Hayes’ press release faulted black church leaders who, despite their great power, rarely point to the lack of parental responsibility.”

Greg Pierce can be reached at 202/636-3285 or gpierce@washingtontimes.com.

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