By Brad Friedman on 9/12/2004, 12:55pm PT  

Yes, it's rare, but BRAD BLOG readers know that from time to time we find Republicans with some measure of intellectual honesty and recognize them for their courage in doing the right thing against all odds. Given all the other Republicans, with something less than either intellectualism or honesty that we highlight here regularly (and those who highlight themselves in our Comments sections with a similar lack of distinction), it seems only fair to point out when a Republican outs himself as having intellectual honesty even at the risk of incurring the wrath of the usually lockstepping GOP.

The latest winner of this coveted honor is Richie Robb, Republican from West Virginia who ran in the May Gubernatorial Primary there and who has been appointed by his party as an official Elector for George W. Bush. Only problem? According to Politics1.com, Robb has no intention, and neither is he legally bound, to actually cast his electoral vote in favor of Bush...


WILL THE ENTIRE PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION COME DOWN TO THIS ONE GUY'S VOTE?
An act of party unity and magnanimity is coming back to haunt the West Virginia Republican Party. In the immediate aftermath of the crowded 10-person GOP primary for Governor back in May, the party selected the five top runner-ups from the gubernatorial contest to be the official slate of GOP Electors for the upcoming Presidential race. Those names were subsequently filed by the state's deadline and are now locked into place. That's where the problem begins. South Charleston Mayor Richie Robb (R) --- who placed fourth in the primary with 10% --- was thus awarded one of the coveted Presidential Elector slots. This week Robb told the AP that he does not think he will cast his electoral vote for President Bush. Under WV state law, apparently, there is nothing that forces him to do so. Robb said he will not cast his ballot for Kerry, but would most likely cast his electoral vote --- if Bush wins the state --- for "No Candidate."...Robb, a Vietnam War veteran who was awarded the Bronze Star for heroism in combat, said he opposed the Iraq War and was also upset with the Swift Boat Vets ads that attacked Kerry's record in Vietnam. "When their candidate [Bush] dodged Vietnam, to me that type of conduct is going over the line," said Robb to the AP. "I think President Bush needs to get the message from people across this country, including Republicans, that his strategy in national security and his economic policies needs to be revisited ... I see an erosion of the middle class in this country and a disparity in income levels I think is unhealthy for this country and its future," he added....Robb notes that he was not present when they selected the electors and did not seek the honor. "My job is to exercise my best judgment. That's how I've always done it. That's how I intend to do it," countered Robb.

If the election is another close one, Robb's one electoral vote could make the difference this year! So congratulations Mr. Robb! You've earned the coveted and rare BRAD BLOG "Intellectual Honest Conservative" Award! I'm sure you'll not let us down this November!