Saturday, June 23, 2007

A Contrast in Styles for the 51st appeal

Here is how Becky Stoeckel, chair of the 11th district committeee which will next hear the 51st convention appeal, has spoken about the appeal, before she has even seen it, from the article Lucas appeals nomination decision:

Stoeckel attended the June 2 convention and criticized the procedures used to disseminate and count ballots.

"Believe me, if I had anything to do with that convention directly I would have made sure it was run squeaky clean," she said. "I wouldn't want an appeal in my lap."
She said she supports Lucas' appeal and thinks that the two precincts with inexplicable overvotes should be disqualified.

"If someone can put three extra ballots in, they could easily put in 10," she said.

There would be no way of knowing if that happened, she said, since the ballots are anonymous.

"In a lot of ways I feel sorry for Faisal because his victory is tainted because the process was flawed," Stoeckel said. "It could be overzealous newcomers, it could be very innocent or it could be very sinister."

As I said in the post "Becky Stoeckel has disqualified herself from the 51st district appeal", her obvious prejudging of the case before seeing the evidence, and her prejudicial comments, should disqualify her from a position of authority in judging the case.

Meanwhile, a release from the PWC Republican Committee shows how an appeal SHOULD be approached. From Tom Kopko, who is the chair of the 51st district committee which has to hear the initial appeal:

Update on the 51st House of Delegates Convention Appeal

As most know, an appeal regarding the 51st House convention was submitted by Julie Lucas on June 11 to the 51st Legislative District Committee. The appeal seeks correction of a mathematical error in the credentials report regarding the Civic Center precinct and for all votes in two precincts, Lake Ridge and Penn, to be completely thrown out because of apparent over-votes.

As the Chairman of the 51st Legislative District Committee, and its sole member, the appeal currently rests with me. I would like to update everyone on my progress.

General. Given that the nature of the appeal is to overturn the nomination, it requires the utmost in care, thoroughness, and consideration. Frankly, that will, and should, take some time but I am working as quickly as possible. Until I complete the plan of action below I will not have made a decision on the appeal.

Plan of Action. My plan is to review all of the surrounding evidence in the hope of identifying reasons why over-votes may have been recorded. Then I will work with the Credentials and Elections Chairmen to narrow or even pinpoint the source of the over-votes. As I stated in the Potomac News recently, there are many, many human errors that are possible as well as possible intentional errors. This is done with respect to Robert’s Rules (RONR 10th Ed.) regarding how to count ballots.

Status. I have asked for and received signed copies of the convention minutes and rules. I have reviewed copies of the credentials materials and ballots. But, while I have received favorable responses from both I am still awaiting reports from the RPV observer and the 11th Congressional District Chairman who acted as an observer.

Thank you for patience in this weighty matter.

Tom Kopko

No prejudging the case, only a detailed plan to investigate completely to do what is best. Some naive people were upset that the appeal wasn't handled within "48 hours", as if the important thing is to rule rather than actually investigate (that seems to be the Becky Stockel approach, as she already knows what to do without looking at ANY evidence).

But to those who are upset about the pace of the deliberations, note who is responsible at this point. As Becky said in her quotes in the newspaper, she was at the convention as an observer (although she never officially announced herself as such). So to collect ALL the information, Tom Kopko has asked her for a report. But, as he notes, "I am still awaiting reports from the RPV observer and the 11th Congressional District Chairman who acted as an observer."

If Becky saw things to criticize, now is the time for her to provide to the 51st district committee her sworn testimony so it can be evaluated.

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