Published January 25, 2017
Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:
This Magic Moment
Chicago has a rich history of election-day shenanigans — but what happened Tuesday may be near the top of the list. Twenty voters in Chicago's 49th ward were told that the pens they were given — the kind used for touch-screen voting — were filled with magic invisible ink to mark their paper ballots.
City election board spokesman James Allen tells FOX News — poll workers may have actually believed that the styluses they somehow ended up handing out were really inkless pens that would mark paper ballots that could be seen by scanning machines.
When the scanners rejected the ballots, the judges overrode them and processed the ballots with no votes. One voter said the poll workers insisted they had been trained in the use of the magic pens. Eventually election officials tried to contact the 20 voters to get them to come back and fill out real ballots.
Allen says "Your first reaction is ... is this a joke? Some odd things are going to happen ... We always are surprised... This is one that no one could have predicted."
Timing Is Everything
Turnout was a big factor on Super Tuesday. Voters in Virginia deluged the Board of Elections with phone calls — and turned up at several polling places — even though their primary does not take place until next week.
In Wisconsin — a woman told a local radio station that she and six-to-10 other people were standing outside a polling place about 6:30 in the morning waiting to vote. Wisconsin's primary takes place in two weeks.
And in Florida — state officials fielded hundreds of phone calls from voters wanting to know where they could vote. Florida's primary was last week.
Among the numerous records that have fallen this presidential campaign season was the late John Connally's mark of having spent $11 million for just one delegate in 1980.
Rudy Giuliani spent $49 million for one — before quitting last week.
The Washington Post reports Mitt Romney is spending about $1.16 million/delegate so far — a pace that would cost him $1,330,000,000 to win the nomination.
On the other side of the scale, Mike Huckabee has been very efficient — getting 20 delegates for each $1 million spent. That's fifty grand a delegate, a bargain in this day and age.
Not So Fast
City council members in Berkeley, California are having second thoughts about last week's resolutions condemning recruiters for the Marine Corps as "unwanted intruders." Two members have proposed the council rescind its letter condemning the recruiters — and publicly declare that Berkeley is against the war but supports the troops.
Berkeley has been besieged by criticism since last week's vote. Congressional Republicans have introduced legislation that would rescind more than $2 million in earmarks for Berkeley— and transfer it to the Marine Corps.
Says one council member who opposed the action against the Marines — "People are used to Berkeley taking a stand for peace, but you have to do it intelligently... I think we have an obligation to be thoughtful and sensitive and not be counterproductive to the cause of peace."
— FOX News Channel's Martin Hill contributed to this report.