If you're not following what's happening in Iowa's Second Congressional District, perhaps you should be. In short, Republican candidate Mariannette Miller-Meeks has won this election -- representing a GOP pickup -- but Democrats are seeking to steal it from her via an outrageous partisan power play. The most important and relevant facts are that (a) after the votes were counted, Miller-Meeks was ahead by an extremely thin margin, (b) after a recount, Miller-Meeks was still ahead by six votes, (c) due to these facts, Iowa officially certified Miller-Meeks the winner of the race, and (d) Democrat Rita Hart has decided not to pursue any further legal challenges in court. Case closed, election over, right? Wrong. Hart and Democrat leaders may be attempting an election steal that Democrats have employed once before:
The Iowa Democrat and former state senator, who lost her bid to win the 2nd by six votes to Republican rival Mariannette Miller-Meeks, announced late Wednesday she will forgo going through the state legal process and appeal her case directly to the U.S. House for further review. A House where the Democrats hold a slim majority and Nancy Pelosi is the speaker. The last time a race was sent to the House for appeal to have the lower chamber decide who would hold a contested seat was in 1984 when Republican Rick McIntyre and Democratic Rep. Frank McCloskey of Indiana ended up in a [near] tie. The Indiana secretary of state, a Republican, declared McIntyre the winner. Washington Democrats, who held the majority, scoffed and refused to seat him.
Initially, both McCloskey and McIntyre drew a congressional pay. Eventually, the Tip O’Neill-controlled House voted to declare McCloskey the winner. For years, the drawn-out drama was known as the "Battle of the Bloody Eighth" and is still considered political legend. Had Hart gone through the normal state process, a five-judge panel would have had to rule by Dec. 8 on the race. Instead, she circumvented the process and decided to take her chances on a proceeding in front of the House Committee on Administration with the hope it would rule in her favor under the Federal Contested Elections Act.
The Republican won that 1984 race on election night, and again after two state recounts (by at least 34 votes), but House Democrats alleged irregularities, and their partisan "recount" resulted in a four-vote "win" for the Democrat. The Tip O'Neill-run House voted that McIntyre was the real victor and seated him. Irate Republicans walked out in protest. And then there's this maddening coda: "Eight Democratic operatives were indicted the next year in 1986 under charges they conspired to pay voters between $15 and $35 apiece to vote a straight Democratic ticket in 1982 and 1984, including the contested McIntyre race." And now Democrats are running the same playbook in IA-02 -- with a review led by a Democratic congressman, hand-selected by Democratic leadership, who spoke publicly about impeaching Donald Trump before he was even inaugurated. Flashback:
Two days before President Trump was even sworn in, Democrats were calling for his impeachment.— Kevin McCarthy (@GOPLeader) December 17, 2019
This was their plan all along. pic.twitter.com/Skx2ql7nIt
Maryland Democratic Rep. Jamie Raskin is expected to head up the panel that will review a petition filed by an Iowa Democratic House candidate who lost a race to her Republican opponent by six votes...In a joint statement, Republican Sens. Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst supported Miller-Meeks's six-vote certified win, calling Hart's decision to take her grievance to Congress "an insult to Iowa voters and our nonpartisan election process." "Both the original vote count and recount confirmed Mariannette Miller-Meeks won her election. There are legal avenues through which candidates can litigate election disputes if they believe there are specific election irregularities," the Iowa Republicans said. "Rita Hart declined to take legitimate legal action in Iowa courts and instead chose to appeal to Washington partisans who should have no say in who represents Iowans."
Even some lefties agree that this is "an awful look:"
Did valid ballots potentially go uncounted because IA's counties didn't have uniform recount rules? If so, why isn't Hart sending @marceelias to court to argue her concerns before a judge?— Dave Wasserman (@Redistrict) December 3, 2020
It's pretty obvious what Dems would be calling this if the shoe were on the other foot.
Yeah if there are court remedies to pursue, they should pursue them there! Asking the house to step in is bad. https://t.co/41amfcLR6F— Chris Hayes (@chrislhayes) December 3, 2020
The GOP needs to raise hell over this and remain vigilant. Meanwhile, in the only other unresolved House race left on the board, New York just keeps "finding" uncounted votes, weeks after the election. We don't know who any of these alleged discovered votes were cast for, but it's extremely sketchy, and the GOP must be on high alert:
WOW: Justice DelConte casually mentions an additional 12 ballots were found in Chenango County in a drawer last week.— Josh Rosenblatt (@JRosenblattTV) December 7, 2020
This is on top of the 55 ballots I reported were found last week, now making it 67 found ballots.
Already a contentious proceeding less than 30 min in #NY22
Claudia Tenney, the Republican in the race, leads by 12 votes. This would also be a GOP gain.