Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Did Kinder Have to Put Ed Martin In His Place?

Several media outlets reported that State Republicans were not enthusiastic about Ed Martin's desperate, far-fetched suggestions of voter fraud following his loss to Congressman Russ Carnahan. Jo Mannies in the Beacon reported:
Republican consultant John Hancock has talked to Martin. While not divulging their conversation, Hancock said that "any time there's a possibility of election tampering, fraud or deficiencies, they ought to be thoroughly investigated."

Hancock added that he was proud of Martin's enthusiastic effort. "Sometimes there's a political victory in defeat," Hancock said. "He can claim that now."

Hancock's comments indicated he wasn't challenging the outcome of the Carnahan-Martin contest, a view that appears to be held by some other prominent Republicans. Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder noted Wednesday that Carnahan's victory was large enough to prevent an automatic recount.
And David Weigal at Slate:
What's the evidence for this? There isn't any. There is nothing that suggests that the late counts from St. Louis weren't in line with every other late count from St. Louis. There are no local Republicans backing him up; they won a lot of races in the state while he was losing, and the vote patterns don't point to anything unusual in a district that's voted Democratic since the 1940s.
But aside from the behind the scenes discussions, the especially interesting thing was that Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder, fairly early on, spoke out publicly against the suggestions of voter fraud. As first reported on FiredUp Missouri, Kinder said the following on Dana Loesch's radio program:
When you're 4,400 votes down it's pretty hard, okay, to mount a legal challenge. And I don't expect that one will get very far. I understand the frustration. I understand the suspicions. But we have a Republican Director of Elections in St. Louis City named Scott Leiendecker. Ed Martin and I both talked to Scott today, and he says there -- while he understands the reasons for some suspicion, he personally had his hands on the whole thing and there's no reason for us to disbelieve the numbers.
Kinder had even harsher words for Martin in the Beacon:
Kinder, reflecting his role as party powerbroker, isn't going along with Martin's call. While praising Martin's performance, Kinder said, "Ed Martin clearly did not get it done in St. Louis County, and we're clearly taking note of that."
So why would Kinder feel a need to so publicly squelch Ed Martin's conspiracy theories? One interesting thing first noted by Jo Mannies, is that on the exact same day that Ed Martin purchased his "edmartinforcongress.com" domain, "edmartinforgovernor.com" was also purchased.

This seems to indicate that Martin has higher aspirations than just hanging out with the St. Louis Tea Party. In fact, it sure looks like he might be stepping on some toes, considering that Kinder had been the presumptive GOP candidate for Governor for quite some time. Did Kinder feel a need to put Ed Martin in his place?

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