Saturday, December 03, 2005


The story I just saw that The FBI ran a fake candidate in a West Virginia election is disturbing, on so many levels.

They apparently got a real former mayor who they had some goods on, and had him run for the state assembly, so they could investigate charges of vote buying. Not even an unknown agent assuming some other identity, but someone who at least some people presumably worked hard for, donated money to, and (as the article says) put signs up in front of their house for. I am sure that they feel betrayed, robbed and made fools of now. And all for doing their American duty.

Another way this is disturbing is this could potentially affect who is elected. After all, this person still got some votes, candidates in races often adjust their strategy based on each other (and he didn't drop out until a month ahead of the election), and he sucked up donations that might otherwise have gone to somebody else. So the people in this district may, or may not, have the same representation in the legislature as if this guy hadn't run.

It is disturbing that the FBI would take it upon themselves to interfere with the electoral process.

Also, West Virginia, after being one of the most Democratic states in the nation for decades, suddenly went for George W. Bush twice (and in 2000, when it's five electoral votes would have made a difference, it was the shock of the evening). IF vote-buying is such a huge problem there that the FBI felt compelled to go to this length to investigate it, then one has to immediately suspect the results of all elections, including the Presidential elections. Especially the Presidential elections.

It really bothers me to know that the next time I pass around petitions in my precinct, collect donations from people who trust me to give it to the candidate I am collecting for, donate money myself, go door to door, put up signs, or vote, it could be for a fink.

Like I said at the outset, this story is disturbing on a lot of levels.

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