November 5, 2010

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Today’s fiction story focuses on, of course, politics 🙂  This will likely be the last political thing I write for a while.  This isn’t intended to be anti-GOP propaganda, it’s just that the inspiration was Lisa Murkowski’s Senate bid in Alaska.

On the day after her loss in the primary, the incumbent Senator announced that she would be remaining in the race as a write-in candidate. Josephine Havlicek was a moderate Republican who had come up short in the primary against a candidate with more conservative views.

“She is defying the will of the people,” declared F. George Rinaldi as he met for coffee with a colleague later in the day.

“Indeed, she must be stopped,” agreed Chad Gronstal, another heavy hitter in the party. “The Havlicek era has come to an end, and she must move aside to make way for the ascent of Bradley Jericho. She’s simply too liberal for our party.”

“Can she pull it off?” Rinaldi wondered aloud. “Can she buck the odds and win a Senate seat as a write-in candidate?”

“Write-in campaigns are a bit tricky. A lot of people just have the tendency to fill an oval and move on – they aren’t willing to take an extra minute to write in a name.”

“But she’s the incumbent,” countered Rinaldi. “She has some momentum on her side.”

“Indeed she does,” agreed Gronstal. “But we have a few tricks up our sleeves as well.”

Throughout October, polls showed Josephine Havlicek running solidly ahead of the official Republican candidate Jericho, with Democrat Sarah Brown trailing far behind. It seemed that the incumbent’s popularity was going to allow her to cruise to an easy victory.

On the last day to register as a write-in candidate, just a week before the election, Senator Josephine Havlicek was joined on the ballot by Josephine Havlichek, a retired schoolteacher. She had registered at the request of a certain Mr. Rinaldi, who offered her a small sum of money in exchange for this patriotic act.

In the last week before the election, ads supporting Josephine Havlichek – the schoolteacher – were all over the television, and yard signs were popping up on every street corner.

“What do you think,” asked Gronstal, as he and Rinadli grabbed a beer the night before the election.

“I think we may have stolen the ball from Havlicek. Our gal should be able to siphon off enough votes to allow Jericho to surpass the Senator’s vote total.”

A funny thing happened to Bradley Jericho on the way to his coronation. He lost. The last ditch effort to cause confusion about the correct spelling of the incumbent’s name caused a surge in the number of write-in votes. When all precincts had reported in, Jericho had just 25% of the vote, the Democrat Brown a pathetic 13%, and other minor candidates 2%. 60% of the electorate had chosen to write in a candidate. Schoolteacher Havlichek would not be able to help their cause by siphoning a few votes away from the Senator – it was a lost cause. Josephine Havlicek would be returning to Washington.

A funny thing happened to Josephine Havlicek on her way back to Washington. She lost. The last minute strategy of the Republicans to thwart her bid for another term had indeed worked. She was listed on just under half the write-in ballots. Listed on more than half the ballots was Josephine Havlicheck, a little known retired schoolteacher.

A funny thing happened to F. George Rinaldi and Chad Gronstal in the aftermath of the election. Their joke candidate went a little rogue in her first press conference.

“The first thing I will do as a Senator is to work toward overturning Roe vs. Wade,” thundered the diminutive woman, to roaring applause.

“The second thing I will do as a Senator is work to repeal Brown vs. Board of Education. It is time to once again ensure that every student is educated amongst his or her peers and not intermixed into some melting pot.”

The crowd fell silent, and Chad Gronstal suddenly felt sick to his stomach. Perhaps this hadn’t been the best plan, after all.

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Evan @40Tech
    Nov 05, 2010 @ 15:40:06

    I’d never thought of that possibility, but I could see a name issue becoming a real problem. Maybe politics needs what Hollywood has – actors have to register their name with the screen guild, and many of them use different names if their real names are taken.


  2. kosmo
    Nov 05, 2010 @ 21:14:06

    Although, in this case, there was a subtle difference in the names 🙂

    In the Alaska race, the secretary of state had originally said that votes for “Lisa M.” would be counted for Murkowski. Then, one of the dozens of people registered as a write-in was a Lisa M. Lackey – making “Lisa M.” ambiguous. The Miller camp will make every effort to declare vote to NOT be for Murkowski, while Murkowski’s camp will be pointing to the intent of the voter. Should be fun to watch – the ballots will be investigated beginning Nov 18.


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