Statehouse Beat, May 27, 2011: Judd claims he won
CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Not to belabor the point, since the man obviously has some psychological issues, but the most controversial presidential candidate in recent state history wants to have the final word on the May 8 primary.
Keith Judd is trying to contest the election, according to documents sent to the Gazette-Mail.
In a typewriter-typed pro se court petition mailed from his federal prison cell in Texarkana, Texas, Judd contends that he actually won the Democratic primary: "Election workers were so shocked by the results that Keith Judd won over Barack Obama, that it was decided to report only 41 percent for Judd, hoping that Judd would be pleased and not challenge the false count."
(Some politicos have speculated whether that might actually have been the case, had Obama endorsed same-sex marriage prior to the election, instead of the day after the primary.)
Judd also drags out the old birther argument against Obama, and claims that Obama did not pay the $2,500 filing fee to be a candidate for president in the West Virginia primary.
The filing fee is apparently a sore spot for Judd, who states, "The National Media have smashed and grilled Keith Judd over his payment of the $2,500 filing fee, and whether he met qualifications to be on the ballot."
(The media was naturally curious about how someone who has been in federal prison since 1996 was able to pay the filing fee -- an issue that was resolved in last week's column.)
Judd is requesting a complete investigation into the "ballot fraud," as well as an election recount in which all ballots are to be "authenticated and checked by the Federal Bureau of Investigation for latent fingerprints ..."
Judd also alleges that Obama did not personally sign his certificate of candidacy, as required under state law.
Which reminded me that when Betty Ireland was secretary of state, she put up framed copies of certificates of candidacy for famous presidents from Ulysses Grant through Ronald Reagan in the secretary of state's conference room.
Which prompted me to ask her, "Are these the originals? Is this room left unlocked at night? Answer the second question first."
Meanwhile, not sure why there's so much talk about whether Obama will be a drag on the rest of Democratic ticket this fall.
Fact is, West Virginians haven't elected a president and governor from the same party in 20 years, and that trend isn't going to change this year.
In 1996, President Bill Clinton carried West Virginia with 327,812 votes over Republican Bob Dole's 233,946. Yet, the state elected Cecil Underwood as governor, with 324,518 votes to Charlotte Pritt's 287,870.
(A Republican can win the governor's race only if the Democratic nominee is regarded as seriously flawed in the eyes of the voters. In 1996, Pritt was seen as too liberal, too unpredictable and, perhaps, too female ... a woman had yet to be elected to statewide office at that point. Many mainstream [read: conservative] Democrats actively campaigned against her, in part because Pritt had effectively told them to go fish.)
In 2000, the state went with George W. Bush
over Al Gore
by nearly 41,000 votes, while Bob Wise
was able to unseat Underwood by a nearly 20,000-vote margin.
In 2004, the state went with Bush again, who crushed John Kerry by more than 97,000 votes. However, in the governor's race, Joe Manchin had an even more impressive margin of victory over Monty Warner by nearly 220,000 votes.
In 2008, West Virginia cast only 303,857 votes for Obama (second-lowest vote total for a Democrat during the time-span to Gore's 295,497). Manchin, meanwhile, gained nearly 20,000 votes over his 2004 vote total, besting little-known Russ Weeks by a 492,697 to 181,612 margin.
In the 2012 gubernatorial race, challenger Bill Maloney's platform appears to consist of two issues: 1. Promoting small business, and 2. ObamaObamaObama.
Even Holly would have known, that dog won't hunt.
Finally, in reading Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin's eloquent tribute to Coach Bill Stewart, in which he said Stewart left no doubt that he was a "gentleman of uncommon decency and honor and warmth," I recalled a conversation with a friend from New Jersey early in Stewart's tenure.
The friend didn't care for Stewart's aw-shucks demeanor or sideline persona, or the cornpone colloquialisms that he worked into interviews. In fact, my friend was early on the bandwagon calling for a new coach.
My response: The thing is, Coach Stew epitomizes all the best qualities of West Virginians. He's loyal, honest, generous, friendly, polite, and he truly loves his state and the university. I said I'd rather have an eight- or nine-win season with Stewart than go to the national championship under Rich Rodriguez.
While I think WVU ultimately made the right decisions, it's unfortunate that Stewart was denied a second act, or the opportunity to see how much Mountaineer nation cared for him, and appreciated all that he had done.
Reach Phil Kabler at firstname.lastname@example.org or 304-348-1220.