Wednesday, November 8, 2006

Almost a clean sweep

Well, the elections are finally over. I took a little break after the stunning victory for the forces of good.

I was out at 5 AM, putting up Mejias signs around polling areas in Suffolk. I got to my polling place at 6 AM sharp, and already several neighbors were lined up.

I volunteered to canvass at the polls, but I ran into some difficulty. The law states exactly where you can stand - 100 feet from a polling place. The first place I tried, a crusty old man started in with me about how I was breaking the law. I pointed out that I was standing on the other side of the "No polling past this point sign" but I went inside to make sure I wasn't violating any rules. The supervisor was already walking outside to yell at me, and told me that they just put up the signs at a convenient location, but the REAL line was way out in the middle of the muddy field contained on all sides by the parking circle in front of the school. That wasn't going to work.

I went over to a polling spot in Babylon and asked the supervisor where I would be allowed to stand. He seemed to be a Dem, and told me that pretty much anywhere past the signs was fine. The signs were about 10 feet from the door. He said it was fine for me to stand across the street at the entrance to a parking area.

What struck me was how many people took real offense to my presence. Another old guy, who was trying to look like ex-Army, puffed up his chest a few inches away from me and started lecturing me about how I had to stay 150 feet away. I corrected his poor grasp of New York election law and pointed to the signs across the street. He demanded my full name, and I told him he didn't need to know my name. Then he asked me who I was campaigning for. I replied that I was working for Dave Mejias. He glared at me and said "You've got just as much integrity as your candidate." I honestly still don't know what that means - was there ever some question of integrity with either of us? Was it just that the guy had a limited vocabulary from his years of listening to Hannity?

I decided that my presence was doing more harm than good, because people on both sides were having negative reactions to my presence. I waited for the grump to come back out and drive off, so that he wouldn't think that he had scared me off, and then I left.

I made it to JFK in time for my flight to Vegas. I booked JetBlue specifically so I could watch the returns and have a mini party on the plane. The results didn't disappoint. I flipped back and forth all night, from the great commentary on MSNBC to the balanced commentary on Fox (Michelle Malkin, Fred Barnes, Brit Hume). You could actually watch the faces on Fox News melt as the night went on, like they were stuck in the Devil's Rain. At 11 PM EST I switched over to WNBC, and found out that Pete King had won. Which sucked.

But it was an incredible day anyway. We made King spend all his money. He couldn't help other candidates. He had to actually campaign, and lots of people didn't like what they saw. Best of all, he lost his Homeland Security chairmanship. Which is a great thing, because he was singularly unserious about doing anything but parroting Bush's crap about Iraq and accusing anyone with brown skin of being a potential terrorist. And his reward for clownishness was a lost of 40% of our region's security funding. Full of crap AND powerless - a great one-two punch for Long Island.

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