The Democrats are abuzz in the blogosphere over the recent revelation that Republican Secretary of State candidate Charlie White did not reside in his Fishers Town Council District and had to resign the post. The information is politically embarrassing to White who is not only a candidate for the top election officer in the state, but also chairman of the Hamilton County Republican Party.
I can’t blame the Democrats for getting excited, if I was getting ready to take a serious beating on November 2, I’d be happy with whatever victory I could get. I did speak to White for about half an hour about the incident this week and he admitted to making a “really stupid mistake” and not changing his registration. He attributes the mistake to a combination of factors, a divorce, problems closing on a new home, dealing with custody issues and running for a statewide office.
I’ve known Charlie for several years, both personally and professionally and I have a hard time believing he would intentionally commit voter fraud, especially when the odds of getting caught are relatively easy. Now I also don’t think it helps if you’re running for the chief election officer of the state and you make an amateur mistake like this one. And the voters are going to have to make the call as to whether this is a big enough deal to deny him his front-runner status.
On on the other hand, if I were the Democrats I wouldn’t get too excited about White’s misfortune. First of all, unless you’re going to spend an ungodly amount of money to make this a campaign issue, this story will probably fade into the background noise after this weekend. Secondly, Democrat Vop Osili, who I think is a good guy, has also made a couple doozies, that if someone wanted to really be a jerk and make a big deal out of they could. I don’t think Osili intentionally broke any laws, but his campaign has made some slips ups which when I got word of them, attributed it to people not paying attention and leaving it at that.
And before I forget, if my Democratic friends are going to make an issue out of the validity of White’s votes while he was on the Fisher’s Town Council but did not live in his district, then I’m sure they won’t have a problem revisiting all the votes cast by former City-County Councilor Patrice Abdullah who did not live in his district when he cast the vote that helped pass the 65-percent county income tax increase.
Did Charlie act stupidly by not paying attention and dotting his “i’s” and crossing his “t’s”? Yup. Do I think this is fundamentally going to change the dynamics of our political universe, probably not.