November 17, 2004
Still waiting

Still no new news in the Heflin-Vo saga. While we're waiting, the Star-Telegram weighs in with another don't-challenge editorial.

Heflin could justifiably request a recount and hope that Vo's scant margin of victory will disappear. If it doesn't, he then could walk away and be justly proud of his long service to the state.

But Heflin is not just a powerful Republican player in Austin. With long experience on the Appropriations Committee, he carries facts and figures in his head to an extent that is unmatched in the House. Going into a session that could include a thorough overhaul of state taxes and of the way that Texas pays for public schools, that knowledge is extremely valuable to the House leadership.

Heflin will feel some pressure to consider a tougher fight to overturn the tenuous election results. That's where things could get ugly.

Heflin could contest the election. Most likely, his argument would be that illegal votes were counted and that, thus, the election should be thrown out.

But Texas political insiders say that Heflin's district is increasingly one populated by ethnic-minority Democrats. To protest the election probably would mean pointing to some of these minority voters, saying that they were not properly registered or that for some other reason their votes should not have been counted.

Tossing out minority votes is troubling business. And where would the arguments on this election contest be heard? State law gives exclusive jurisdiction to the House itself.

Heflin and other House leaders have to decide whether they want to crawl through that mud. Surely not.

We won't know if they do until later. And don't call me Shirley. The AusChron also has a recap to help tide you over. Thanks to KF for the FWST link.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on November 17, 2004 to Election 2004 | TrackBack

Could. Probably. Might. Should not. Not much to build an editorial on.

It seems to me the state's newspapers ought to find some news to report!

That offer of beer for anyone who emails me still stands if I'm wrong on my prediction. I see no reason to speculate any further until there is some NEWS on the matter.

But what do I know? I'm just one of those pajama-clad bloggers, and not a big media type who decides when old pointless speculation is news instead of... olds.

Posted by: kevin whited on November 17, 2004 3:57 PM

kevin, you blog in your pajamas? That should... oh, never mind; I don't want to go there.

"I see no reason to speculate any further until there is some NEWS on the matter." - kevin

Consider George W. Bush. Yeah, I know, most of us here would rather not, but there's a good analogy here. Back in his pre-gubernatorial days, Bush frequently pursued the tactic... one might almost call it Rovian... of simply not giving out any information on his intentions until the last minute, depriving his opponents of adequate time to respond. Over time, this tactic... keep quiet, do the deed and watch the Dems scream in outrage about it... has become such a signature that we would have to be damned fools not to speculate on Heflin's next action. We may be weak at the moment, but we're not damned fools.

By all means, let newspapers keep track of Heflin's possible moves, and his actual actions, moment to moment until this matter is finally resolved.

Posted by: Steve Bates on November 17, 2004 10:53 PM

Both my wife and I voted for Heflin (based on Heflin's role in balancing the budget with no tax increase) and I would support Heflin's right to a legitimate recount.

However, overturning the result in the Texas House without any evidence of fraud is patently unfair. Not sure what i can do about it but we certainly would vote for Vo over Heflin if Heflin tried this stunt and the Texas House called a new election.

Posted by: Indy on November 17, 2004 11:08 PM