Following up on a report posted here last night concerning the activist Judge in Delaware County, OH who has issued a "temporary restraining order" against the Green/Libertarian Party's lawfully sought recount in Ohio, the BRAD BLOG has learned a few more EXCLUSIVE troubling details about the Republican operatives seeking to subvert the democratic process in the Buckeye State.
The restraining order was issued quietly on Nov. 23rd "without contacting or seeking any input from the candidates or their attorneys." according to a statement issued yesterday on Green Party presidential candidate David Cobb's website.
A continuing BRAD BLOG investigation has learned --- thanks to this posting at the extremist rightwing website FreeRepublic.com --- that the activist judge who issued this questionable order is Delaware County Court of Common Pleas Judge, W. Duncan Whitney (pictured at right). Judge Whitney is an elected Republican whose term will not expire until 2009.
As previously reported, the lawful request by a presidential candidate (two in this case) for a recount in Ohio has been agreed to by Ohio Secretary of State and Co-Chair of Ohio's Bush/Cheney Re-Elect Committee, J. Kenneth Blackwell. Furthermore, as confirmed today by The Washington Post, the Kerry/Edwards campaign has joined "The Glibs" in filing court papers asking for "a full, fair and accurate recount" and for the restraining order to be immediately lifted.
Judge Whitney, by his order, seems to be overriding the intentions of election laws as duly created by the Ohio State Legislature, prompting this blog to wonder what constitutional legal grounds Judge Whitney has used to declare his apparent "legislation from the bench".
As this information has come in after the Delaware County Courthouse has closed for the evening, the BRAD BLOG has, as yet, been unable to discover that information.
However, according to the FreeRepublic.com posting (copied from a now-expired Columbus Dispatch article) appointed Republican county prosecutor David A. Yost, a legal advisor for the Delware County board of elections (pictured at left), is quoted as indicating that re-counting the votes of American citizens in his Ohio county in order to ensure accuracy is simply too expensive...
Yost couldn't immediately estimate the cost of a recount in the county, but said it would be "substantial."
However, despite Yost's apparently-unspecified "substantial" costs that lead Judge Whitney to issue a temporary restraining order without consulting the opposing attorneys, Sec. of State Blackwell seems to disagree with the ruling.
He pointed out Monday on MSNBC, that "The Glibs" have raised and paid the appropriate money for the recount as set by Ohio state law at $10 per precinct. Mr. Yost's statements then, would seem to be inappropriately directed at penalizing the heroic efforts of "The Glibs" and the citizens of Ohio who seek nothing more than an accurate accounting of the voters intentions.
Despite this call for a legal and appropriate use of tax-payer funds, BRAD BLOG has discovered some interesting uses of tax-payer money over at Judge Whitney's own webpages on the Delaware County Courthouse website.
On his own "Court Overview" page, Judge Whitney quotes biblical scripture from "an overview prepared by Judge Henry E. Shaw, Jr." as part of a history he provides for the Delaware County, Ohio Common Pleas court.
The "overview" begins with what is termed "a brief constitutional sojourn" as follows [emphasis as used on his website]:
Judge Whitney's "overview" on his tax-payer funded website goes on to tell how the court came about in Ohio, though it's direct relation to "the earth being without form, and void, and darkness upon the face of the deep" remains unclear.
In a not-wholly-unrelated issue, despite the arcane ruling issued and then retracted by Blackwell last September 28th concerning the "necessary paper weight" for voter registration forms in the state, the Delware County Elections Board --- a heavily Republican county --- still has the following text on the front of their website as of today (two months since the ruling was lifted by Blackwell):
And so it goes...You didn't really think Republicans would allow themselves to be ruled by democracy did you?! Not without putting up a good God-loving fight first, anyway!
W. Duncan Whitney
Judge, Delaware County Ohio Court of Common Pleas
Phone: (740) 833-2530 Fax: (740) 833-2529
David A. Yost
County Prosecutor, Delaware County Office of Victim Services
Phone: (740) 833-2710 Fax: (740) 833-2709