November 7, 2016 – If you weren’t already aware of it, our elections are rigged. I don’t say that casually because I would hate to have anyone think that I’m in general agreement with Donald Trump. I’m not. However, on the issue of whether our elections are rigged, we may have found common ground.
Yesterday, it was reported that Virginia’s Democratic Governor, Terry McAuliffe, used an auto-pen to sign pardons for 60,000 convicted felons before the voter registration deadline had passed. I happen to support the concept of allowing felons, who have served their time, to return to society and recapture their right to vote. However, the operative phrase is “who have served their time.” Gov. McAuliffe had a more accelerated concept in mind.
Let’s examine a few facts about Governor McAuliffe:
- He is one of Bill Clinton’s closest friends (if not his closest friend);
- He was one of Hillary Clinton’s campaign managers during her failed 2008 run for the Democratic presidential nomination;
- His political action committee donated approximately $500,000 to the failed State Senate campaign of Jill McCabe, who had never run for office before and whose husband Andrew, as Deputy Director of the FBI, would help oversee the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s private email server;
- He tried to do a carte blanche pardon of 200,000 convicted felons earlier this year but was prevented from doing so by a state court, which said that each felon’s circumstances needed to be considered individually;
- He supposedly considered the individual circumstances for each of the 60,000 felons whom he has since pardoned (do the math on how much time that would take); and
- Each pardoned felon received an auto-signed letter from the Governor along with a voter registration form with prepaid return postage (which no other voter received).
It’s also important to know that Virginia has had some incredibly close elections in recent years that were decided by as little as a few hundred votes. It’s most recent U.S. Senate race was decided by 17,000 votes.
I’m of the opinion that our elected officials should not tip the scales in favor of a particular candidate even if he or she is a lifelong friend. In fact, they should avoid even the appearance of doing so. I’ll leave it to you to determine whether Governor McAuliffe was trying to influence the election.
Meanwhile, Virginia disputed the validity of the signature petitions my campaign submitted to secure ballot access. As a result, I will not be appearing on that state’s presidential ballot and will be reduced to write-in status.
Speaking of write-in status, I will be in court in my former home state of California today (Monday, November 7th). My team submitted a slate of electors (with two alternates) 15 days in advance of the October 25th deadline. The state waited until the deadline had passed before posting the certified elector slates. Mine was not among them.
After we left a number of messages for the Secretary of State’s office that went unanswered, I received a letter suggesting that seven of our electors failed to qualify; six because “No registration record found with address provided on declaration” and one because “No registration record found.” That would be great except for two things: (1) California’s election law doesn’t require voter registration; and (2) the Secretary of State’s office did not apply the same rule to certain party slates. As a result, as of the morning before the actual election, we do not know whether votes cast for me will be counted in California.
We hope to receive a favorable ruling this afternoon. Otherwise, the state with our Nation’s the largest Hispanic American population will have chosen not to count any vote cast for the only Hispanic American candidate in the presidential election. Somehow, that doesn’t seem very American to me.
Those are my thoughts. What are yours?
(Please feel free to express you opinion below. My only request is that you do so rationally rather than emotionally and in a civil manner that respects the rights of others to disagree.)