Shaky Results: Fans Say Bobblehead Vote Rigged

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Getty Images/David Paul Morris
    Some shaky results in the bobblehead election.

    It seemed like a minor league win for California gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman.

    The Oakland Atheletics' minor league affiliate Sacramento River Cats held a Meg Whitman vs. Jerry Brown bobblehead promotion this past Friday in which fans got to take home the bobblehead likeness of their preferred candidate. After River Cats fans chose their bobbleheads, GOP candidate Meg Whitman was declared the winner.

    But now fans are crying foul. Celebrity bobblehead culture has been rocked with allegations that the contest was rigged for the Whitman bobblehead all along.

    The Sacramento Bee's Ailene Voisin wrote a nice humorous piece the day after the bobblehead contest. But soon the comments section for her article quickly turned into a bench-clearing brawl, with accusations of dishonesty and a rigged election.

    "My friend requested a Jerry Brown, but was given a Meg," claimed one commenter. The bobbleheads were distributed in such a way that fans would not know for sure which bobblehead they'd been given until opening the packaging.

    Others claim the Whitman bobblehead lines were designed to run more smoothly. "Fans wanting Brown bobbleheads were directed to a single line that was backed up, while Whitman backers had multiple entry lines that were flowing smoothly," said another commenter.

    "After getting through the line," the same fan continues, "It's a good thing we opened the boxes to check out what we'd been handed, since my wife and I discovered we were both given Whitman bobbleheads despite having stood in the Brown line."

    Of course, any old River Cat with a dial-up modem can post a comment on a web page without offering any proof. And there is no real evidence of any chicanery on either side.

    But even the Sacramento Bee's own reporting suggests some political dirty tricks.

    A team spokesperson told the AP that Whitman's bobbleheads were gobbled up first, making Whitman the winner. But Ms. Voisin's eyewitness account in the Bee insists, "The last of the Brown likenesses was given away at the main gate at 6:15 – approximately four minutes before the Whitman boxes emptied."

    If any improprieties are proven, Meg Whitman has a good excuse. She can always use her old line that you can't blame her because she didn't vote in this one.

    Joe Kukura is a freelance writer who wishes they did this back in 2003 when we had porn stars and Gary Coleman running for governor of California.