After controversial outcomes in 2000 and 2004, the machinery of elections has become big news. We hear from California's Republican Secretary of State Bruce McPherson and the Democrat who wants his job, State Senator Debra Bowen. Also, John Kerry creates a political firestorm campaigning for Phil Angelides.
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Phil Angelides was upstaged yesterday in a way that Democrats may come to regret. Senator John Kerry (D-MA) was in Pasadena for Angelides, and urged college students to "study and make an effort to be smart" to avoid getting stuck in Iraq." Republicans pounced on the comment as an insult to US troops, but an unapologetic Kerry called them "assorted right-wing nut jobs" who twisted a "botched joke." Today, President Bush called the insinuation that soldiers were uneducated "insulting" and "shameful."
Florida and Ohio aren't the only states where the conduct of elections has been controversial. Democrat Kevin Shelly resigned as California's Secretary of State last year amid investigations into his own campaign fundraising and the way he was using federal money. Governor Schwarzenegger appointed Republican State Senator Bruce McPherson to take his place. Now McPherson's running for re-election and he's being challenged by Democratic State Senator Debra Bowen. They're both so well regarded that editorial writers say it's too bad one of them has to lose. It may all come down to confidence in electronic voting machines.