Ed Martin, in his letter whining about the election results, said the following:
People also question the motive behind a newly appointed St. Louis City Board of Elections Democratic Chairwoman, Eileen McCann, hiring a security company with close ties to Congressman Carnahan. Special Services was called on by Congressman Carnahan to do security for him as recently as August 26th. Carnahan paid the company $1400 at that time which can be seen in a quick review of his FEC filing.First question in the above video: Are there specific allegations that this company did wrong?
Short answer: No.
Martin's answer: Well, I was actually chairman of the board of elections in the city and when you're in that position you're charged with not just being above board by the law, but you're charged with giving people confidence in the voting process. So the idea that in August, Special Services was paid by Congressman Carnahan, his campaign, and then a month and a half later, two months later...so we don't know, but that's one of the things we expect to find out. I mean, it doesn't pass the sort of...good practices test for sure, but it also leads to other questions.
Question: Are you simply alleging that because they both hired the same security firm that that somehow impropriety of some kind?
Short Answer: Yes
Martin's answer: No, I'm simply alleging that when a campaign pays someone to work for them that they have a relationship and a fiduciary duty and other things....they just work together. And then for the election board, again, four days before the election, to go out and hire this same firm doesn't make sense. Again, the election authorities are required to both have integrity as well as the appearance of integrity and we need to know why.
Question: When Congressmn Carnahan was asked that question earlier today, he said that you had hired that same firm when you were in the Human Rights Office in the Archdiocese.
Short answer: Yes, that's right
Martin's answer: The Congressman has a real longstanding in my time with the Archdiocese, but I have no idea what that would refer to. When I was at the Board of Elections...I'm not impugning the integrity of any one person or other, I'm saying when the integrity of the election was at stake, and when we see problems, your job as the election authority is to make sure that there's not the appearance or actual...now remember this is a payment to a federal campaign in August, and then later by the same authority that's counting the votes...doesn't matter who he works for. I know the guy who runs Special Services is a guy around town who I know very well and he's a nice enough fellow but that doesn't mean that it's an appropriate relationship for our election authority.
Question: Are you saying you did not hire them?
Martin: I don't recall that. With the Archdiocese, I don't know what we would have hired them for. I don't recall that...
Questioner: The Archdiocese said that the Human Rights Office did in October.
Martin: October...October in what year?
Questioner: '99. (when Ed Martin worked there)
Martin: When the Pope came to St. Louis we hired just about everybody in town, the Archdiocese did, but I don't know that the Human Rights office contracted with him, that would be a surprise to me...
Jake Wagman: And you never hired Special Services when you were at the board?
Martin: I don't think so. At the Board of Election, no. Again, Special Services, as everybody in the room probably knows, is all over town...they do a lot of things. But the point is when you're contracted by a federal campaign and then you're running the election, this is the conflict that matters, and you're securing ballots this is...guys, it doesn't even pass the basic smell test.
It continues, but I think that's enough to set up the ridiculous punch-line. Ed Martin did his little song and dance routine for the press corps alleging some mysterious problem for a firm that he knows is fine and that he himself has hired before, yet he couldn't even point to any specific allegation. And recall that this is just a half hour after basically all of the supporters standing behind Martin were screaming "Voter Fraud" outside of the Board of Elections.
So what exactly did the security firm, Special Services, do? We got our answer today, and it could not possibly make Martin look any more ridiculous. After all of that obnoxiousness and vague insinuations, after having his supporters scream at the board of elections and outright claim that Russ and Robin Carnahan stole the election, here's what KWMU found out:
The same security firm also worked for Carnahan's campaign. But Republican election commissioner Carol Wilson said only two security guards worked at the Board of Elections headquarters, where they guarded the front door.Two guards standing outside the headquarters, guarding the door. That's it. That's what this whole fake controversy was about. Or I guess you could bring up his other allegation that it was "strange" that Carnahan gained 4,000 votes from St. Louis City late in the evening. But Jo Mannies of the St. Louis Beacon puts that nonsense to rest, getting a quote from St. Louis Republican elections director Scott Leiendecker:
"I feel completely confident in the results. I feel completely confident in the Election Board," Leiendecker said, noting that he and other members of the bipartisan staff were closely monitoring the voting, the ballot collection and counting.There is absolutely no substance to Martin's complaint, and as someone who directed the board of elections, Ed Martin had to have known this. Could he possibly be more of an embarrassment?
While emphasizing his personal fondness for Martin, Leiendecker said he was concerned that the city board's employees were being unfairly maligned.
"This city Election Board, over the past four years, has indicted and convicted at least 13 individuals for vote fraud and fraudulent voter registrations,'' Leiendecker said. "We take it extremely seriously."