People always say Tom Davis is one of the smartest political minds out there. I used to think this was true- mostly based on his legend. But in recent years it has become apparent that the Davis machine that once existed has become something that today exists in reputation only.
One place the Davis family is supposed to own politically is Fairfax County. Tom Davis served Fairfax as an elected official for 30 years, while his wife Jeannemarie Davis was in elected office for 10 years.
This year when it came time for candidates to get their supporters filed for the state GOP convention, the campaign for Jeannemarie Davis came to Fairfax HQ with hundreds of more forms than any other candidate. The Davis machine appeared to be back and still stronger than ever.
But on closer examination... not in reality.
I had heard a few weeks ago about how Jeannemarie was signing up Delegates and I've been waiting for today to discuss it. The Davis machine now has so little support left among grassroots activists, that they were spending lots of time at the Eden Center in Falls Church. The Eden Center is a Vietnamese cultural center. The problem with going there to sign up Delegates to a political convention is many recent immigrants are not registered to vote! In many cases they are not yet citizens.
So what does the vaunted Davis machine do at the Eden Center? They have staff there screaming at people to sign up- and making them feel threatened if they don't. Hundreds of people with no intention of showing up to this convention fill out the form to stop the harassment. Then Jeannemarie's campaign takes all the forms to the county office and presents them and declares their "momentum".
So why did I wait until today to write this? Today was the Fairfax GOP credentials meeting where all the forms submitted were checked for voter registration and other issues.
170 of Jeannemarie's forms were thrown out for not being registered to vote. Many of the others when being checked showed voters that have never participated in any election before- showing there are hundreds more that will never go to Richmond for an all day convention. There was even signs of total fraud- with one household registering 25 Delegates that had been signed up to support Davis.
What makes this extra interesting is Jeannemarie's campaign must have a voter file. So they could have easily checked to see if they were turning in fraudulent forms. But instead they chose to turn in 170 forms for people not registered- with strong evidence that many of them were made up people that don't even exist.
The Davis machine is dead. The only people who can't figure this out are Tom Davis and Jeannemarie Devolites Davis.
One other interesting note. Most of state election law (with only a couple of exceptions) does not apply to party run caucuses and conventions. So there is nothing illegal about trying to get on the ballot with voter fraud- as long as it is done in conjunction with a political convention instead of a primary. How sad.