Correction To Slap-Down
Al C. writes in to slap down a falsehood in my last post. Al is something of an LBJ career buff, and he pointed out that Lyndon Johnson was never Governor of Texas, as I asserted in the context of voting fraud. Rather it was Johnson's successful run for the 1948 Senate run which was plagued by flagrant vote fraud of the old-fashioned sort. Here's the Wikipedia entry on it:
1948 contested electionThanks, Al! Especially for the picture above, a Google Image returned from the search terms "eating crow."
In 1948, Johnson again ran for the Senate and won. This election was highly controversial: a three-way Democratic Party primary saw Johnson facing a well-known former governor, Coke Stevenson, and a third candidate. Johnson drew crowds to fairgrounds with his rented helicopter dubbed "The Flying Windmill". He raised money to flood the state with campaign circulars, and won over conservatives by voting for the Taft-Hartley act curbing unions and by criticizing unions on the stump. Stevenson came in first, but lacked a majority, so a runoff was held. Johnson campaigned even harder, while Stevenson's efforts were poor. The runoff count took a week as the two candidates see-sawed for the lead. The state Democratic committee handled the count (not the state, because it was a party primary), and it finally announced Johnson won by 87 votes. There were many allegations of fraud on both sides. Thus one writer alleges that Johnson's campaign manager, John Connally, was connected with 202 ballots in Duval County that had curiously been cast in alphabetical order. Robert Caro argued in his 1989 book that Johnson had rigged the election in Duval County as well as rigging 10,000 ballots in Bexar County alone.
However, the state Democratic convention upheld Johnson. Stevenson went to court, but—with timely help from his friend Abe Fortas—Johnson prevailed. Johnson was elected Senator in November, and went to Washington tagged with the sobriquet "Landslide Lyndon".