Wednesday, October 08, 2003

Recalling the Details: Some Notes on the Morning After

Chads are Hanging on Bated Breath

Who is George B. Schwartzman? Who is the man who finished just behind Gary Coleman but just ahead of Mary Carey in the recall election?

Here's what George says on his website about his high vote total (a whopping 10,880):

    The 9th place success realized by my candidacy demonstrates that a little known, but determined issue based candidate, can be successful when you are innovative, common sense oriented, hardworking, and well organized.
Um, I hate to break it to George's dozens of actual supporters, but he appeared on the ballot right between Mike Schmier and one Arnold Schwarzenneger (blissfully two spots away from Richard Simmons -- no, not that Richard Simmons -- and three away from ultracon and defeated official Republican nominee in 2002, Bill Simon). So even with the celebrated "scrambled" ballots set by using a randomized alphabet drawing, everywhere Arnold was, George Schwartzman was just one chad above him.

Having helped a few voters who were confused about the specific line on which to vote, I'm completely positive the difference between George and, say, Mike Schmier and Richard Simmons' vote totals is purely voting error.

So before California pats itself on the back for avoiding the Palm Beach - Florida meltdown, take a look at the vote totals and the margins. If the recall election hung on the 0.1% margin the 2000 Florida vote did, we'd be in the same fix.

Yes, the voting system has systematic error built into it.

He Had Only Been Married for Three Years and Was a Youthful 41 at the Time

More in the serial-monogamy/youthful indiscretion department, yesterday I heard second-hand about one of the accusers of Arnold. Well, not technically an accuser, because this person had not gone to the media. The lady I talked with volunteered that her daughter had been a bit player in a promotional piece for the Arnold film Twins and had been accidentally kicked in the head by the Incumbinator during a stunt. After checking to see she was OK (a decent thing to do, albeit one virtually anyone ought to do), there was a pause while her wardrobe was fixed; and thereupon Arnold proceeded to make comments on her chest and then 'worked the room' hitting on every lady present in the more figurative sense. In some quarters this might pass as movie star charm, of course.

At Least He and Uncle Teddie Have Common Interests

I'm left groping for the right image of the Governor of California calling the most hated man on the left this side of Hilary Clinton -- er, sorry, Hilary, I didn't mean that the way it sounded -- "Uncle Ted" at family reunions.

Don't Worry about Maria

If she ever decides to divorce the cad, she's got her important work as a journalist and author to fall back on. Lord knows the media was critical in educating the population during the recall election.

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