UPDATE: This is turning into possibly the biggest story of the primary so far. First there was the Ohio press release; then the Texas press release you're reading about now; then, later tonight right just in time to make the newspaper deadlines, a telephonic press conference that accused the Obama campaign of widespread fraud in the caucus process (without any evidence, like witnesses, made available at the conference) and held open the possibility of Clinton bringing lawsuits challenging the election results and artificially stringing out the primary until the Democratic National Convention in August. So please read all three posts to get the full story, and I'll work on something more comprehensive pulling it all together. Thanks.
REQUEST: If you participated in a caucus -- in Texas or anywhere else -- would you please email me at vichy at safe-mail.net? Please do so whoever you supported, and whether your experience was good or bad; I just want to learn more about what's been happening on the ground. Thanks! TDS.
So a couple of hours ago, the Clinton campaign was whining about supposed Obama campaign violations in Ohio, when actually the only people trying to game the system were the Clinton folks themselves.
I write a post about it. Then I go out. A nice judge dismisses a ticket I got for expired registration on our van, because we'd moved and didn't get the DMV paperwork. I pick up my daughter from school. I get back home. I see another press release from Clinton in my email. I think, "I'll bet this is them whining about something in Texas now."
I thought that for two reasons:
(1) Clinton's just been whining a lot lately, so I'm coming to expect it. As the scorpion said to the frog, it's simply her nature.
(2) The Clinton camp seems intent on building a "record" of supposed campaign violations in Texas, which is critical to them and which they're very afraid they'll lose, so that they can file a lawsuit challenging the results and then use that as an excuse to stay in the race even though it hurts the party ("we can't drop out now, we don't even know how the courts will rule in Texas").
Why do I think they're intentionally manufacturing a lawsuit? Easy: they've pretty much said so. They had their surrogate -- a teacher's union strongly backing Clinton -- file a frivolous lawsuit, quickly dismissed, in Nevada. They've threatened to file suit to seat the Florida delegation that Hillary herself previously said shouldn't be seated. (The Wall Street Journal foresees that one going to the Supreme Court -- an even more conservative Supreme Court than the one that selected Bush President in 2000.) And they "lawyered up" long ago in Texas, though they tried to deny it once word got out.
Was I right about my inbox containing a fine Texas white whine? Let's read it together, shall we?
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 4, 2008
Contact: Press Office, ###-###-####
Statement from Clinton Campaign Texas State Director Ace Smith
Across Texas today, we are seeing record voter turnout. We are pleased to see that voting in today’s primary is running smoothly and that Texas Democrats are energized and participating in the process.
In preparation for tonight’s precinct conventions, the Clinton campaign has worked with the Obama campaign and the Texas Democratic Party over the past few weeks to ensure that there was clarity of the rules and that every voter has a chance to participate in the process on an even playing field.
Unfortunately, we have received numerous reports that the Obama campaign is violating Texas Democratic Party rules by circulating precinct convention sign in sheets in advance and are having them filled in now. These underhanded tactics undermine the process that all parties agreed to.
The Texas Democratic Party has issued a memo this afternoon once again clarifying that these sign-in sheets are invalid and that this tactic is a violation of the rules.
We want every Texas voter to know that sign in sheets distributed before the primary polls close, will not count. We encourage them to participate in their precinct convention by showing up at their polling location at 6:30pm.
We call on the Obama campaign to join us in repudiating these tactics, and to work with us and the state party to ensure that the integrity of the process is maintained.
We look forward to a tremendous turnout in both the primary and tonight’s precinct conventions.
See? So, next, if Hillary doesn't do well in the primaries and caucuses today, keep your eyes peeled for lawyers.
Hillary Clinton: W.A.T.B. This is not a person with the cojones and character to stand up to John McCain.
P.S.: Overview of how Texas primacaucus works here. I'll be blogging on that later, too.
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