Seng Nomination Scandal – Iowa’s Version Of Florida 2000?

Isn’t there a law against bribing people with booze to get them to sign a candidate’s ballot petition?  Which raises the question of, why did people need to be drunk in order to go along with it?  What kind of congressman would a person who runs a campaign like this be?

The Iowa Secretary of State is apparently going to allow unverifiable/fraudulent/paid-for-in-liquor signatures to stand on a nomination petition for federal office. (But this same Republican SOS would support a law requiring an 80-year old Iowan living at the same address for 60 years to show an ID in order to vote).

The panel that decided on Joe Seng’s nomination petition challenging 2nd District Congressman Dave Loebsack made their decision based on counties that weren’t even being challenged because the SOS office had already thrown them out. Does this remind you of anything?  Florida 2000 is what it reminds me of.

Maybe there are no hanging chads, but it just feels all too familiar.

“The complaint, filed by Iowa City attorney Paul McAndrew, revolved around dozens of questionable signatures from three counties within the 2nd Congressional district, which covers southeast Iowa. The panel’s ultimate decision mooted those concerns, however, and focused instead on the form of petitions submitted from two other counties.”

“… the panel did not make their decision based on McAndrew’s allegations in Wayne, Scott and Wapello. Rather, they focused on petitions from two other counties – Davis and Van Buren – that the Secretary of State’s threw out prior to McAndrew’s complaint.

They basically put back the two counties that the SOS office had already thrown out, then said Seng no longer needed the 3 counties being challenged to qualify.

So Seng will be on the ballot in spite of this:

“One affidavit came from an Ottumwa veterinarian who described how he collected signatures for Seng at the Fibbin’ Fisherman Lounge in the town Corydon in Wayne County. In the affidavit, Dr. David North attested that he “collected signatures personally” at the bar on behalf of Seng, and that the effort “cost me many rounds of drinks.”

Seng’s Not Mad

Afterward, Seng said he was “pleased” with the result.

“I’m not mad or anything like that….” Seng said….  “There was no politics or anything on that. ”

Whew. Good to know no politics were involved.

According to the Des Moines Register:

McAndrew’s complaint alleged dozens of errors in Seng’s petitions from Wayne, Scott and Wapello counties. Those errors, he argued, brought Seng’s total signatures below the minimum required in each county and should have disqualified him from inclusion on the ballot.

“Seng has … failed to show sufficient support among the District’s electorate to justify placing his name on the ballot and thus putting the public to the expense of, among other things, administering a very expensive primary election,” McAndrew wrote in the complaint.

John Deeth has this:

Despite strong evidence of invalid signatures, the statutory panel — including, disappointingly, AG Tom Miller — left improbably primary challenger Joe Seng on the ballot yesterday, buying his All Participants Get A Ribbon argument that he should get credit for trying: “It really sounded bad that I have a felon and people from Illinois and stuff like that, but that happens in every one.”

Seriously, it happens in every one?   It seems doubtful that it happens to this extent, resulting in this close of a margin, where the candidate wouldn’t have had enough signatures without the bad ones, and the candidate is still given the benefit of the doubt  even while they openly brag to the media about how many rounds of drinks  it cost them.   This is why campaigns routinely try to get many more signatures than the minimum required, so that when the bad ones are rightfully struck, they still have enough.  We all remember when Rep. Loebsack fell short in his initial campaign against Leach.  There was no benefit of the doubt given and he was forced to be nominated at the convention.

Seng is an anti-choice Democrat who has apparently already received some help from the Koch Brothers.

Guess you have to be a conservative to get “benefits.”

http://www.desmoinesregister.com/article/20120328/NEWS09/120328036/1007/NEWS05

http://blogs.desmoinesregister.com/dmr/index.php/author/jason-noble/

http://www.dailyiowan.com/2012/03/05/Metro/27335.html

http://jdeeth.blogspot.com/2012/03/professor-and-fibbin-fisherman.html

Audio of Review Panel’s proceedings:
http://www.radioiowa.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/Sengdecision.mp3

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