Having apparently realized that felons don't always vote Democratic, and if they did you couldn't prove it, Republicans are now crying fraud in Borders et al. v. King County et al. On Monday, May 23, the opening day of Republican Dino Rossi's litigation of the election of Democratic Gov. Christine Gregoire, legal arguments took a turn for the hyperbolic. In Chelan County Superior Court in Wenatchee, GOP attorney Dale Foreman said, "This is a case of election fraud by the upper management of King County." Democrats countered that management of the election was certainly sloppy, but it wasn't fraud. Judge John Bridges said the GOP had not laid the proper legal framework for fraud but he would allow them to present their evidence. The Republicans' fraud charge did not come as a surprise. On Saturday, May 21, The Seattle Times reported on depositions of employees of the King County Department of Records and Elections, two of whom said that they and their supervisor, King County Elections Superintendent Bill Huennekens, knowingly submitted an inaccurate accounting of absentee ballots. Republicans aren't arguing that King County officials orchestrated a fraud. They think merely the knowing failure to properly reconcile ballots with votes constitutes fraud. It isn't a slam-dunk, but it might strengthen the GOP's weak legal case. GEORGE HOWLAND JR.
They're watching this trial like hawks so you don't have to—when they aren't trying to be talk-radio stars, at least. They are the few, the proud, the bloggers. Right: www.soundpolitics.org (everything is really quite simple—we in the established media are just too stupid to understand it). Center: alsoalso.typepad.com (the most intelligent of the lot). Left: www.horsesass.org (a little too wiseass to be taken seriously, but damned entertaining). The best straight, cogent blogging of the election trial, though, is by Seattle Times chief political reporter David Postman (www.seattletimes.com). CHUCK TAYLOR
In keeping with Mayor Greg Nickels' tall-and-skinny vision for Seattle's skyline, by Aug. 1 The Seattle Times will become a narrower paper—by an inch. The move, explains Times spokesperson Kerry Coughlin, will cut paper costs. They'll be printing the paper on 50-inch-wide rolls instead of the current 54-inch rolls. The finished product will be an inch narrower and bring Seattle's metro dailies into line with others around the country. Yes, the Times' Victorian-marriage partner, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, is also going to get skinnier, because the P-I is printed at the Times' plant in Bothell. Meanwhile, discussions are ongoing at the Hearst-owned P-I about redesigning it to be more attractive to younger readers (tabloid size has been mentioned) and, possibly, making the P-I's content more Seattle-centric. PHILIP DAWDY
University of Washington
The Society of Neurological Surgeons this week announced that former University of Washington professor H. Richard Winn is the winner of its Distinguished Service Award. Winn, now a researcher at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York, was cited for leadership in research, teaching, and patient care and for outstanding contributions to neurosurgery. On the other hand, Winn, who as a UW doctor pleaded guilty in 2002 to obstructing justice in a Medicare fraud case, last week failed in a bid to end his probation. The U.S. attorney's office said sustaining the sentence was necessary to protect from retaliation his former associates and underlings—some of whom he instructed to help him cover up criminal acts. Remaining on probation for a felony conviction triggers a moral-character requirement that could crimp Winn's chances of obtaining a medical license in New York. RICK ANDERSON