Racist Newsletters, Recounts, and the New York Primary

New Hampshire: Machine vs. Paper or Urban vs. Rural?

A recount of the ballots cast in New Hampshire has been granted to Democratic candidate Dennis Kucinich and Republican candidate Albert Howard. They are raising concerns over differences in vote totals between hand counted ballots and other voting systems like electronic machines or optical scanners. Candidates like John McCain and Barack Obama received more votes in districts with paper ballots. But some have countered that this is due to voters’ differing preferences between urban and rural areas. Ron Paul subscribed to that idea in his decision not to support a recount, stating that, “Hand counted votes were more likely to be cast in rural areas. Results almost always vary between urban and rural areas.” New Hampshire faced a similar recount after the general election in 2004, although it ended without revealing anything out of the ordinary.

New York May Actually Matter This Year

The New York Times’ Sam Roberts new podcast discusses how New York will actually matter in this year’s Democratic primary, in contrast to many years past. In the podcast, he discusses how black voters will play a prominent role in the state. Click here for a transcript.

Ron Paul’s Racist Newsletters

New York State Attorney General Anderew Cuomo’s “shuck and jive” comment pales in comparison to what one magazine connected to Ron Paul last week. The New Republic has dug up a series of newsletters published by Ron Paul that reveal a “deeply held bigotry against blacks, Jews, and gays.” Although the newsletters bear no byline, the article says they “seem designed to create the impression that they were written by him—and reflected his views.” They all bear his name on the masthead. One newsletter on racial disturbances in Washington, DC was titled, “Animals Take Over the D.C. Zoo.” Another one discussing the Los Angeles riots wrote, “Order was only restored in L.A. when it came time for the blacks to pick up their welfare checks.” The newsletters bash Martin Luther King and praise a Klu Klux Klan leader.

Paul has denounced the “small-minded thoughts” espoused in the newsletters and denied writing them. “For over a decade,” he said through a statement, “I have publicly taken moral responsibility for not paying closer attention to what went out under my name.” The Manhattan Libertarian Party takes his word for it, too. “I don’t for a second believe Ron Paul has a racist bone in his body,” a Paul supporter wrote on their blog. But it added that “the scandal shows stupendously poor judgment on Dr. Paul’s part.” The article touched on this too, claiming: “Whether or not Paul personally wrote the most offensive passages is almost beside the point. If he disagreed with what was being written under his name, you would think that at some point – over the course of decades – he would have done something about it.”



The cover of one of Ron Paul’s newsletters. From The New Republic.

Tags: mike muller, election 2008, ron paul, new hampshire