Monday, September 25, 2006

Likely Full Recount in 2nd Suffolk

Pounding the streets and pushing door bells seems to have worked for Sonia Chang-Diaz' crew. The Second Suffolk Senate candidate says she turned more than the minimum 500 signatures -- 50 from each of 10 county wards to trigger a full recount of the write-in/sticker ballots.

After a Keystone Kops-style mishandling, she is supposedly 692 votes short of victory behind incumbent Dianne Wilkerson. Secretary of State Bill Galvin and Boston Mayor Tom Menino required a count of 8 precincts that went totally uncounted. However, they stuck to the rules of triggering a full recount by requiring her to scramble over the weekend to come up with the sigs.

Our position is that the incompetence and miscounting should have been its own trigger. This was a chance for Galvin to show some leadership. Why should he start now, though?

After a handful of her supporters helped her scour supermarkets and streets, she turned in the results at 4:47 p.m., 13 minutes ahead of go-home-and-sulk time. Elections folk are supposed to certify the request to get it on.

There were four write-in/sticker candidates. Republican S. Diaz and Dem. J. Kelleher got single percentages, enough to queer Chang-Diaz' chances. In theory, any of the four could come out of a recount with the victory. The likelihood is strong that Wilkerson will keep the spot for the November election against the Republican spoiler.

Chang-Diaz is sanguine, acknowledging that she has a slim chance of winning. However, her campaign called for dumping Wilkerson on ethical grounds. All of us lefties know and say that Wilkerson has a strong record in the Senate and has sponsored or co-sponsored a lot of good laws. However, her inability to control her personal life distracts and brings her judgment into serious doubt.

Thus, Chang-Diaz said in effect, I can match Dianne's lawmaking, and I'll do it responsibility. Don't you want a legit senator? So, her recount effort sticks with the responsibility theme.

The apparent affection of nearly half of the Second Suffolk's voters for rascal Wilkerson defies reason but has a strong emotional basis. Boston has a history of winking at scofflaws in office. Go figure.

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