Clinton camp may legally challenge Texas results

The Texas Democratic Party has warned her not to do so, here’s the story on it all from MyWay:

LAREDO, Texas (AP) – Hillary Rodham Clinton’s campaign has raised the possibility of a challenge to Texas’ primary and caucus rules just days before the contest, drawing a warning against legal action from the state’s Democratic Party.

Top strategists for Democratic rival Barack Obama said Friday they supported the party’s action, suggesting the Clinton campaign was trying to block the reporting of caucus results.

Aides to Clinton said earlier this week they were alarmed at the lack of clarity about many of the caucus rules and expressed their concerns on a conference call with Obama’s staff and state party officials. Texas has a two-step voting process, with a primary and then caucuses shortly after the polls close.

Specifically, Clinton aides questioned a provision allowing caucus attendees to vote to move the location if they choose to do so, and whether people who had cast so-called “provisional ballots” in the primary would have their votes counted in the caucus.

They also expressed concern about the automated phone system precinct chairs would use to call in the results of each caucus, saying the party hadn’t yet trained anyone to use the system properly.

While it is true, Texas has some convoluted rules which basically allow voters to vote twice, once in a caucus, and once in a primary. In fact, I saw video of Bill Clinton urging Hillary supporters to do just that. However, now that the shoe may be on the other foot in Texas with Obama taking the lead, the Clinton campaign doesn’t seem to like those rules anymore.

The Texas Democratic Party believes legal action could be disastrous:

Texas party officials said they believed Cecil was threatening legal action and wrote a letter to him and to Obama senior strategist Steve Hildebrand reflecting that concern.

“If it is true that litigation is imminent between one or both of your campaigns and the Texas Democratic Party, such action could prove to be a tragedy for a reinvigorated democratic process that is involving a record number of participants here in Texas and across the nation,” party attorney Chad Dunn wrote. “Litigation regarding the TDP could cripple the momentum of a resurging Texas Democratic Party and ultimately the November 2008 election.”

The question here is, how far does the Clinton campaign want to go in risking the alienation of voters who feel she is trying to invalidate their votes? It’s a touchy issue and while I agree that Texas has some clarification to do, is it worth challenging it to the point that she takes Texas in the courtroom but voters are turned off by it?