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By Jan C. Ting

Mitt Romney and Hurricane Sandy

Although my neighborhood in northern Delaware was right in the projected bull's eye for Hurricane Sandy, we came out of it with just two power outages, each of less than one day, and a few wet basements. Coastal residents of Delaware, New Jersey, New York, and other states were not so fortunate, victims of historic and unprecedented storm surges of sea water.

The nation has been shocked by the death and devastation wrought by Hurricane Sandy, and inspired by the heroism of the nation's first responders. President Obama has directed the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to insure that those first responders have the resources they need to bring relief to suffering Americans, for which he has been praised by both Republican and Democratic governors, including Republican Convention keynoter Chris Christie of New Jersey.

Mitt Romney told us what he thinks of FEMA back on June 13, 2011, when in response to a direct question about FEMA from CNN's John King who was moderating a Republican presidential primary debate, Romney said that FEMA's responsibilities should be removed from the federal government and transferred to the states, and that if they could be transferred "back to the private sector, that's even better."

When John King incredulously asked, "Including disaster relief?", Romney replied that, "We cannot afford to do those things without jeopardizing the future for our kids."

After Romney's improvised "storm relief" political event in Ohio on Tuesday, October 30, 2012, the press pool report for the event states, and video tape confirms, that Romney was asked at least five times if he would eliminate FEMA, but in each case refused to answer the question. At that event, Romney demonstrated his empathy by collecting canned goods for storm victims, and comparing disaster relief to volunteers picking up the litter from a football field.

Romney running mate Paul Ryan's budget proposal, which actually passed the Republican controlled House of Representatives, would only have cut 41% from the government function that includes FEMA and disaster relief. Would Ryan's political inspiration Ayn Rand, or Mitt Romney, have thought that cut sufficient?

Finally, Romney expressed his contempt for any concern over climate change in his acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention in Tampa on August 30, 2012. In that speech, Romney mocked President Obama's stated concern over climate change and specifically rising sea levels.

Romney smiled as he said, "President Obama promised to begin to slow the rise of the oceans..." At this point Romney paused for jeers and laughter from the partisan audience before continuing, "... and heal the planet." Even louder jeers and laughter. Romney smiled some more.

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What if Hurricane Sandy causes power outages lasting through Election Day?

As I write this, residents of the Mid-Atlantic states are being warned to prepare themselves for a long-lasting power outage because of Hurricane Sandy, billed as "the perfect storm" and the storm of the century. When Hurricane Irene roared through New England last year, many residents were still without power after a week. And Hurricane Irene had already weakened to a tropical storm when it hit land.

The Philadelphia Inquirer is describing Hurricane Sandy as a historic and catastrophic storm. The Wilmington News Journal's banner headline reads, "Monster threatening to slam state head-on".

So what happens if the resulting power outages last beyond Election Day, November 6? Delaware has electronic voting. All voting machines are electronic. Even in states with mechanical voting machines, power outages and the other effects of the storm may impede voting.

Can states extend voting for a few more days, or designate a different day as Election Day? That might seem reasonable, but what if lawsuits are filed alleging that a particular extension is illegal and intended to favor one party?

What if some voters are able to vote on November 6, but others are not? Will lawsuits be filed attempting to end voting as originally scheduled to preserve a temporary lead for one party or candidate?

If some states are unable to conduct or complete elections on November 6, and become enmeshed in lawsuits, how will that affect the outcome of local elections and the contest for the presidency? The Mid-Atlantic states of New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, and the District of Columbia, are all predicted to be Obama states.

Even without Hurricane Sandy, the potential for lawsuit Armageddon was already high because of the closeness of the race electorally and in multiple swing states. I've been warning that because the presidential race seems so close, we may end up experiencing a re-play of the 2000 Florida recount battle, but on a larger scale, in multiple states, that could last as long, or even longer than the 2000 litigation.

Both the Romney and Obama campaigns have studied and learned from what happened in 2000. Both campaigns have lawyers ready in every state to file lawsuits demanding recounts and citing voting irregularities if a close vote turns against them.

The stakes are as high as can be for both campaigns. Neither has fought as long and as hard as they have, just to raise the white flag of surrender when confronted with close electoral results that hinge on contestable vote counts or procedures.

And that was true before Hurricane Sandy. So brace yourselves. It's going to be a bumpy ride! And maybe in more ways than one!

Via Brandywine to Broad

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Posted Under :

What if Hurricane Sandy causes power outages lasting through Election Day?

As I write this, residents of the Mid-Atlantic states are being warned to prepare themselves for a long-lasting power outage because of Hurricane Sandy, billed as "the perfect storm" and the storm of the century. When Hurricane Irene roared through New England last year, many residents were still without power after a week. And Hurricane Irene was a relatively weak Category 1 hurricane.

The Philadelphia Inquirer is describing Hurricane Sandy as a historic and catastrophic storm. The Wilmington News Journal's banner headline reads, "Monster threatening to slam state head-on".

So what happens if the resulting power outages last beyond Election Day, November 6? Delaware has electronic voting. All voting machines are electronic. Even in states with mechanical voting machines, power outages and the other effects of the storm may impede voting.

Can states extend voting for a few more days, or designate a different day as Election Day? That might seem reasonable, but what if lawsuits are filed alleging that a particular extension is illegal and intended to favor one party?

What if some voters are able to vote on November 6, but others are not? Will lawsuits be filed attempting to end voting as originally scheduled to preserve a temporary lead for one party or candidate?

If some states are unable to conduct or complete elections on November 6, and become enmeshed in lawsuits, how will that affect the outcome of local elections and the contest for the presidency? The Mid-Atlantic states of New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, and the District of Columbia, are all predicted to be Obama states.

Even without Hurricane Sandy, the potential for lawsuit Armageddon was already high because of the closeness of the race electorally and in multiple swing states. I've been warning that because the presidential race seems so close, we may end up experiencing a re-play of the 2000 Florida recount battle, but on a larger scale, in multiple states, that could last as long, or even longer than the 2000 litigation.

Both the Romney and Obama campaigns have studied and learned from what happened in 2000. Both campaigns have lawyers ready in every state to file lawsuits demanding recounts and citing voting irregularities if a close vote turns against them.

The stakes are as high as can be for both campaigns. Neither has fought as long and as hard as they have, just to raise the white flag of surrender when confronted with close electoral results that hinge on contestable vote counts or procedures.

And that was true before Hurricane Sandy. So brace yourselves. It's going to be a bumpy ride! And maybe in more ways than one!

Via Brandywine to Broad

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In the crosshairs of a hurricane

Usually those of us in the temperate Mid-Atlantic states think of ourselves as climatically fortunate and ideally situated for year round living. Summers are not too hot. Winters are not too cold. Extreme weather events are rare. And we thank our lucky stars when reading the news from other parts of the country beset by tornadoes or hurricanes or flooding or drought or forest fires or earthquakes.

But now we find ourselves in the crosshairs of Hurricane Sandy which threatens to converge, right on top of us, with other weather systems into what some are predicting may be "the perfect storm". And we are reminded of the stark reality that our comfortable, modern lives are always, always at the mercy of Mother Nature.

Via Brandywine to Broad

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Posted Under :

In the crosshairs of a hurricane

Usually those of us in the temperate Mid-Atlantic states think of ourselves as climatically fortunate and ideally situated for year round living. Summers are not too hot. Winters are not too cold. Extreme weather events are rare. And we thank our lucky stars when reading the news from other parts of the country beset by tornadoes or hurricanes or flooding or drought or forest fires or earthquakes.

But now we find ourselves in the crosshairs of Hurricane Sandy which threatens to converge, right on top of us, with other weather systems into what some are predicting may be "the perfect storm". And we are reminded of the stark reality that our comfortable, modern lives are always, always at the mercy of Mother Nature.

Via Brandywine to Broad

View Story

Posted Under :