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Sausage Links, top-two primary Cuban cigar edition

Today is "Top-Two" Primary's Eve, and as usual, the pundits have circled and speculated about tomorrow's big turnout. But we'll get to that in a second. First, Oregon congressional candidate Mike Erickson has a lesson for us titled What not to do when going on a "humanitarian trip" to Cuba. In 2004, Erickson said he visited a Cuban "medical center, met with doctors, and attended a presentation on the plight of the disabled." But according to a recent story in The Oregonian, the medical center Erickson said he visited does not exist. Erickson and some friends spent nearly $1,698 each for the weeklong Cuban vacation, which conveniently coincided with the Habanos Festival, an annual celebration of Cuban cigars.

Erickson insists the trip was meant for humanitarian purposes, saying "are you kidding? To make the trip and pay for my own air fare and for everything ... and donate more than $5,000 in medical supplies. If that's not a humanitarian trip, I don't know what is." But according to another person on the trip, "everyone knew it was a pleasure trip," and application papers filed for the visit were identified as "Comandante Fidel Castro's Annual Gala Cuban Cigars Dinner and Auction." Erickson is currently in his second run for Congress after being defeated in 2006. Anyone want to make a prediction for this year? ...

Cubanesque campaign gaffes aside, Washington state will hold its primary elections tomorrow, and the pundits are already saying it's not going to live up to the hype. David Goldstein at Horse's Ass says the biggest loser in the new "top-two" primary system will be the new "top-two" cigars. Both political parties continue to downplay the primary's forecasted results, while others say the new top-two format "restores broad choice" in the primary election, but comes "at the expense of the main event in November."

Monday, August 18, 2008

Source: Crosscut

Sausage Links, top-two primary Cuban cigar edition