Reply to Lindgren on "Most Corrupt Election":

This is just a quick reply to Jim Lindgren on whether the 2008 election was, as he claims, "easily . . . the most corrupt election" in his lifetime. Jim believes this is "obvious," but I am unpersuaded. Even assuming that every allegation Jim has cited is true, I still think he overstates his case.

For starters, it's a bit odd to call an election the "most corrupt" when there is no evidence that the corruption altered the outcome. Jim notes that there was fairly widespread voter registration fraud and illegal campaign contributions, but neither is anything new. I also find both to be less significant than the sorts of corruption and illegality we have seen in prior elections (ranging from the widespread disenfranchisement of African Americans to the "dirty tricks" of 1972, both of which Jim mentions). Jim also points to media bias, but I don't consider that "corruption."

We've had illegal campaign contributions before, and actual voter fraud (as may have occurred in Wisconsin in 2004). Tallying the alleged number of violations does not, in itself, settle the case. 100,000 faulty voter registrations woud be reason for concern, but still less significant than 1,000 fraudulent votes. Similarly with illegal campaign contributions, I am less concerned about frequent small contributions from foreign nationals than allegations of organized efforts by foreign governments or special interests to funnel large amounts of money, even if the dollar amount of the former is greater. Given there are credible allegations of actual vote fraud in prior elections -- and even allegations that vote fraud may have altered the outcome (as some believe occurred in 1960) -- pointing to widespread registration fraud without corresponding levels of vote fraud does not establish that the 2008 presidential election was the "most corrupt" in the past fifty-plus years.

In closing, let me note that Jim has made an extraordinary claim: that this election has been the most corrupt election in fifty years. In my book, such an extraordinary claim requires extraordinary evidence, and in this case I don't see it.