Since 2004, we've been hearing complaints from Republicans about the way elections are run in Washington. Now they're at it again with accusations of votes not properly counted and alleged misconduct. Only this time, the bad guys in the stolen election aren't Seattle liberals but the Republicans themselves. Presidential candidate Mike Huckabee is furious about the way state GOP party chair Luke Esser initially stopped counting ballots in last weekend's precinct caucuses and announced, prematurely, that John McCain was the winner. And subsequently, more accusations of misconduct at the caucuses have surfaced. As lawyers begin to circle, wafting through the air are comparisons of Washington to the old Soviet Union. You might remember that it was a Democratic party boss – James Farley – who in the 1930s is said to have referred to "the 47 states and the Soviet of Washington," alluding to our state's radical past (the IWW, the General Strike). Farley likely mentioned it with some affection – after all, he was an FDR guy – but it became a term of derision which occasionally crops up when people discuss the overly P.C. style of Seattle politics. But Huckabee means we're being totalitarian when he compared Washington's Republican caucus processes to the USSR in an interview on CNN. I imagine it's the first time anyone fitted conservative, onetime Republican legislator Luke Esser out for the fur hat of a commissar. Of course, Esser and his party have previously claimed the moral high ground in election fraud, using the mess-up in the last gubernatorial election to remind people that Gov. Chris Gregoire is not legit. That serves the purpose of fanning the flames for Dino Rossi, who believes he was rightfully elected in 2004 and the election stolen by King County ballot counters. That high ground will be severely eroded if the GOP is shown to have bungled – or stolen – an election it had complete control over. No Dems to blame this time. It will also be interesting to see if the controversy has any impact on Washington's Round Two of voting in the upcoming Republican primary, which will determine the allocation of some delegates (unlike the Democratic primary, which is a pure beauty contest this year). Will aggrieved Huckabee and Ron Paul voters redouble their efforts, energized by possible GOP caucus fraud? It could keep alive some conservatives' anger over pressure to accept the idea that McCain is the presumptive nominee before all the delegates have been chosen and all the votes properly counted. If Huckabee has been the victim of fraud, it might just be the "miracle" he's been praying for. If so, he can thank the comrades running the state GOP.