The Inescapable Logic of Bill Thompson

New York Bloomberg and Thompson: The (Really) Odd Couple – Village Voice

The previous post contains a link to a 2010 Village Voice article by Wayne Barrett, in which he elucidates the connections between Bill Thompson, the Democratic nominee for mayor in 2009, and Micheal Bloomberg, his ostensible “opponent.”  (I am printing the link above for convenience’ sake.) For some of us, the Thompson campaign turned out to be a disappointment, because the candidate didn’t seem to be even half trying to win. The first debate between the two candidates ended with them declaring how much they enjoyed playing golf together [!]

It was all a bit fishy, and Barrett’s article, in which he traced a long patronage-style relationship between Bloomberg and Thompson’s wife, encouraged the logical, if disturbing, conclusion that Thompson was a deliberate fall guy.

That was then. The ugly episode seemed to be over and done with – just another game from the top, in the recognizable Bloomberg style.

But here we are in 2013, and Bill Thompson seems to be trying hard to win another one for the plutocratic Gippers he seems to have been in cahoots with 4 years ago.

How else explain his current preposterous position?

Having gotten 26% of the votes in Tuesday’s Democratic primary, to Bill de Blasio’s 40.3 %, Thompson is demanding that the votes be fully certified, a process entailing double-checking results coming from the 5,000 voting machines used, and reviewing tens of thousands of uncounted paper ballots. This could take many days, maybe weeks, before certainty is arrived at. And, if, as a result of this verification, de Blasio falls below 40%,  then a Democratic run-off must be held, in order to decide firmly on who the nominee will be. (This will give Thompson a chance to impede de Blasio by calling on him to debate and respond not only to Joe Lohta, the Republican nominee, but to Thompson as well, so that de Blasio will be running two campaigns at the same time … )

Now, consider this : what is the ultimate purpose of Thompson’s ploy here? Usually, a politician demands a certification or recount if he thinks it will prove him to be the winner of the race in question. But, surely, Thompson can’t think he’s going to beat another candidate who has already gotten 40% to his 26%.

In a statement issued Friday, Thompson claimed that, “as a democracy, our top priority must be that every vote be counted.” (New York Times, Sept. 13, 2013, “As Vote Verification Begins, Thompson Stays Hopeful.”)

Over the past few years we’ve all grown used to – if not been exhausted by – flag waving in defense of bad behavior. Now Bill Thompson seems to be implying that, if these votes are not verified properly , we will be failing the very idea of democracy itself. And, remember, the other candidate already got over 50% percent more votes than Bill got when they ran together in an election held just four days ago.

Does anyone smell a rat here?

To Be Continued …


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