Little Rock, Ark. (AP) – A Democratic state legislator from east Arkansas, his father and two campaign workers pleaded guilty Wednesday to conspiracy to commit election fraud after federal prosecutors said the lawmaker’s campaign bribed absentee voters and destroyed ballots in a special election last year.
Prosecutors said Democratic Rep. Hudson Hallum of Marion, Kent Hallum, Phillip Wayne Carter and Sam Malone acknowledged that they participated in a conspiracy to bribe voters to influence absentee votes in the Arkansas District 54 primary, runoff and general elections in 2011. The four were released pending a sentencing hearing.
“In a nation in which every person’s vote matters, protecting the integrity of the electoral process from those who seek to win office by cheating the system is critical,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Jane Duke said in a statement released by her office. “Voter fraud schemes such as that carried out in the 2011 District 54 race have the devastating effect of eroding public confidence in elected officials and disenfranchising voters.” Read more
Today, as Republican primary winner Joe Miller and primary loser Lisa Murkowski assemble legal teams to determine the validity of thousands of write-in votes, the “news” blathers on and on about the historic significance of a “write in” candidate winning an election, an occurrence which hadn’t happened since Strom Thurmon won a Senatorial seat as a write in in 1954. But while much of the media pats her on the back and rehashes details of the animosity between Murkowski and a plethora of GOP stars, including Palin and DeMint, they miss the real significance of the Murkowski win.
Murkowski isn’t a fringe candidate who struggled against the power of the mainstream parties for attention and finance. She isn’t an unknown who won by convincing the public to support her new, ambitious plans and ideas. She isn’t the representative of a group of independent voters dedicated to promoting a particular issue like McMillan’s “The Rent Is Too Damn High” party. No, Murkowski is no “write in” candidate and her win isn’t historic. It may however prove to be a turning point in American politics and in the future of representative government.
On the surface, Lisa Murkowski is just another career politician Read more