Nick Schulz, my old editor at Tech Central Station, coined the term “Laphams” or “Laphamisms”, when Lewis Lapham, then the editor of far left Harper’s magazine, described the scene at the 2004 Republican convention before it took place.
Is the Coakley campaign Laphamizing itself? Note yesterday’s date on this press release:
For Immediate Release: January 18, 2010
Contact: Alex Zaroulis (617) 549-0358
Campaign Manager Kevin Conroy:
We’ve received several independent and disturbing reports of voters across the state being handed ballots that are already marked in favor of Scott Brown. This is obviously a serious violation, and our legal team is taking immediate steps to protect the integrity of this election.
We do not yet know why this is happening, but you and everyone you know needs to be aware of the situation so that you can carefully inspect your ballot. If a vote has already been marked, you must return the ballot to the elections official, demand a clean ballot, and call our Voter Protection Hotline at 617-351-6866.
Screen capture here, since they’ve “fixed” this latest gaffe even before I hit publish on this post. (Their press release was the talk of Twitter for several minutes, which may have alerted the Coakley staff.) Click on image below for full size version:
It’s certainly a brave new world when liberals are claiming — ahead of time! — of Republican voter fraud in Massachusetts. Or as Jon of the Exurban League jokes, “Coakley’s hinting at voter fraud? Yeah, the big Massachusetts Republican Machine has the whole state wired.”
Of course, considering Coakley has hired Marc Elias, who previously served as lead attorney for Al Franken’s legal team, this is could very well be the start of a delaying tactic. As Jim Geraghty has noted, “Norm Coleman can explain how winning a race on election night doesn’t always mean you get to take the oath of office.”
Update: “Coakley’s last gasp?”
And as Jim Geraghty notes, “Hey, if somebody gets a ballot marked, it ought to be reported to the proper authorities and the circumstances reviewed, to determine whether it’s a human error or something nefarious. But if this was a widespread issue, you would have had it complaints everywhere — it’s not like there are other races on the ballot to distract voters.”
Geraghty adds that not even Salon is buying Coakley’s spin: “The Democrat’s campaign readies a possible claim of voter fraud based on thin evidence.”
Update: And neither is the Massachusetts Secretary of State. “Mass. secretary of state dismissed vote problems”, AP reports:
The Massachusetts secretary of state is discounting reports of voter irregularities in the state’s Senate special election.
A spokesman for Secretary of State William Galvin said Tuesday two reports of spoiled ballots could not be verified or found to be widespread.
In one case, someone voting in Cambridge claimed a ballot had already been marked for Republican Scott Brown. There was no way to verify the claim, but the ballot was destroyed.
In another case, a person in Boston reported finding a ballot inside a privacy folder also marked for Brown. Officials say it may have been left inadvertently by an earlier voter.
Aides to Democrat Martha Coakley called a news conference to raise voter awareness of the concerns.
And while AP can’t be bothered to let you know, like Coakley, Galvin is also a Democrat.