Deja Vu in East TenneseeTennessee's First District Congressman David Davis continues to play the sore loser today after his Primary loss to Phil Roe here this past Thursday:
Defeated Republican incumbent U.S. Rep. David Davis moved toward challenging his narrow GOP primary loss to Johnson City Mayor Phil Roe on Monday by suggesting that “some outside groups” may have tried to “improperly influence” the primary.
As distasteful as it might be in many cases, it isn't against the law for outside groups to "influence" an election so long as they don't attempt to do so less than 100 feet from a polling place. Do I think it is good that there may have been some "outside influence?" No, but I have my doubts as to whether Davis will be able to prove that such influence existed in large enough quantities to question Roe's victory in any sense, let alone a legal one. David Davis' notion of how Tennessee election law actually works is a blatantly false one:
“There were a lot of Democrats voting in the primary. Tennessee law prohibits crossover vote unless you intend to have loyalty to that party.”
The only way to enforce this notion is to close the Primary (something that has been advocated in this space on numerous occasions), because there is no way to determine voter intent where party loyalty is concerned without party registration and closed primaries. We do not have that in Tennessee at present, and Davis' argument is more of an argument to change the law and change Republican Party rules than it is a credible one to overturn his defeat on Thursday last.
The situation gets more dicey, however, when we learn that David Davis has hired the same law firm that represented the Bush campaign in Florida in 2000:
Davis said his lead attorney will be Jill Holtzman Vogel, whom he said "has a background in Republican politics and in contested races."
According to her Internet site, Vogel is managing partner of Holtzman Vogel PLLC, with offices in Washington, D.C., New York, and Warrenton, Va. She is a member of the Virginia Senate, elected in 2007.
Vogel is former counsel to the U.S. Department of Energy, and served as counsel in the 2000 Florida presidential recount.
Her Internet site says she "specializes in ethics, campaign finance and tax exempt organizations."
The irony here is that David Davis will ask Senator Vogel to make the opposite argument that she made in 2000 for Bush. It seems as though Davis will ask Vogel to argue that votes submitted in an illegal fashion should be counted rather than thrown out.
Will Vogel's services be needed by a presidential campaign in November?