OpenCDA

September 9, 2012

“I’d Follow the Law”

Filed under: Probable Cause — Tags: , — Bill @ 7:59 am

On September 19 when the Idaho Supreme Court convenes in Coeur d’Alene to hear  oral arguments in the election contest lawsuit Brannon v. City of Coeur d’Alene et al, it will have been exactly 1024 days (2 years, 9 months, 20 days) since the lawsuit was filed to try and restore integrity to the Kootenai County and State of Idaho election processes.

Due in large part to an undisguised effort by our local and regional news media to avoid reporting just how badly the November 2009 Coeur d’Alene City election was administered by the City of Coeur d’Alene and its contractor Kootenai County, most people still have only a vague idea why the election contest was filed.  Many voters  accepted the propaganda line spewed by the City and County:  “Sour grapes by the loser.”    That’s a convenient and easy excuse for lazy minds to accept and even lazier election officials and “journalists” to promote, but it is wrong. 

The election contest lawsuit was filed because it quickly became very clear to several electors that Idaho’s municipal election laws had not been followed by either the City or County acting under contract to the City.  As a result of not just one but several failures of duty by City and County officials, illegally cast absentee ballots were counted.

In yet another effort to try and explain why the election contest was filed by Jim Brannon, OpenCdA is linking to pages 1 through 5 of the Reply Brief of Appellant Brannon to the Idaho Supreme Court.   We encourage readers to take the time to read and understand the portion appropriately titled Why the Election Contest Was Filed.

Justices to the Idaho Supreme Court are elected in statewide elections.  After the election contest lawsuit had been filed, Idaho Supreme Court Chief Justice Roger S. Burdick spoke at a public event in Coeur d’Alene.   During the question-and-answer session, a member of the public not connected with the Brannon lawsuit posed this hypothetical question to Chief Justice Burdick:

Suppose in the next election in which you are a candidate, you lose by one vote.  Suppose further that you develop evidence that illegal ballots had been cast and counted in your election.  What would you do?

Chief Justice Burdick’s answer was succinct and correct:  “I’d follow the law.”

Idaho’s election laws arguably need revisions, but those revisions must come as a result of legislative action, not de facto amendment by  Executive Branch officials such as the Secretary of State and Idaho’s county clerks.  The laws exist to protect the integrity of Idaho’s election processes, not for the convenience of lazy executive branch bureaucrats and “journalists”.

OpenCdA trusts that Chief Justice Burdick and  Justices Daniel Eismann, Jim Jones, Warren Jones, and Joel Horton of the Idaho Supreme Court will “Follow the Law” in arriving at whatever their decision will be in Brannon v. City of Coeur d’Alene et al.

 

 

6 Comments

  1. Hopefully this will also raise the question as to WHY Deedie’s computer was wiped clean. What did they have to hide.

    Comment by concerned citizen — September 9, 2012 @ 8:28 am

  2. Those that claimed on the stand that they (conveniently) did not remember who they voted for should never be allowed to vote on anything ever again just on the fact of pure stupid.

    You could bring up any election or issue and I could tell you which way and/or for whom I voted since I’ve began voting at the age of 18.

    Comment by concerned citizen — September 9, 2012 @ 8:37 am

  3. concerned citizen,

    I’m going to use your comment #1 as the predicate for an upcoming post. Brannon’s attorney Starr Kelso had requested Deedie Beard’s computer documents and emails. In his letter of May 6, 2010, to Starr Kelso, Deputy Prosecutor John A. Cafferty stated, “As Ms. Beard is no longer employed with Kootenai County, the computer utilized by Ms. Beard had been cleaned and her emails were therefore not available.” Well, no. Some were, and I did a public records request in May 2012 and saw them. Cafferty misstated the facts. I have a copy of a very relevant email sent from the tabulation equipment manufacturer, ES&S, to Deedie Beard just a couple months before the election. That was one of the documents Cafferty represented in his letter was “not available.”

    But the larger issue for me is, when Kootenai County Prosecutor Barry McHugh knew or could reasonably assume an election contest lawsuit might be filed, why didn’t he specifically instruct Kootenai County Clerk Dan English and Elections Manager Deedie Beard and all the other elections office employees that there was to be no shredding, erasing, altering, or hiding of any documents and material relating to the 2009 election? Everything relating to that election needed to be preserved in pristine condition; it was potentially evidence. After all, assuming McHugh didn’t already know that the former County Clerk and staff had FUBAR’d the 2009 City election, every document could as easily support the County’s conduct. He would need to produce it in court.

    Comment by Bill — September 9, 2012 @ 8:49 am

  4. Well, any word yet?

    Comment by concerned citizen — September 19, 2012 @ 7:39 pm

  5. concerned citizen,

    The oral arguments lasted for slightly over one hour. The four justices present took it under advisement and will deliver a written decision. There’s really no telling when the decision will be announced by the Court.

    I hope to have a post up this weekend talking about some of the issues raised in the oral arguments.

    Comment by Bill — September 20, 2012 @ 7:37 am

  6. I was just reading how some emails were not available and then they were ect.ect. re: Ms. Beard’s computer

    It really irritates me (to mildly put it) when our governments decide to take it upon themselves to withhold important and critical pieces of information, then make up some ‘chalk and bull’ story about why it is missing or not available. Those pieces of information could be ‘game changers’ – thus, deny the citizen or party the information. Hurry and COVER IT ALL UP!

    Common sense tells you that her computer should require/maintain a backup for public business – which obviously was not a concern.

    Nothing but a local glaring example of obstruction of justice –

    I hope the Supreme Court does not take forever on this – it deserves consideration but not MONTHS of consideration.

    Comment by Stebbijo — September 20, 2012 @ 3:04 pm

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