Monday, April 16, 2012


Chapter 17: Did you just hang up on me?
[Go to beginning]

Tom Synhorst no sooner ended his call with Tony Feather than the damned thing buzzed at him again. He checked the screen. It said, “Karl Rove.” He clicked the Answer button and then immediately clicked the End button. He wasn’t in the mood.
Synhorst had been talking with Feather about electronic voting machines that were being upgraded and installed in Florida. He wanted to make sure that distribution of the machines favored more affluent, Republican precincts. The distribution of voting machines, and the tabulation and real-time presentation on results by allies in the media could build momentum and help swing a swing state.
Synhorst’s cell buzzed at him again. He picked it up and punched the answer key. “Synhorst.”
“Tom, it’s Karl. Did you just hang up on me?”
“Sorry about that, Karl,” Synhorst said. He heard traffic noise in the background. “Where are you?”
There was a pause, and then Rove said, “I’m at 6th and, uh..., I’m heading over to Fox News. Anyway, how are you?”
“Fine, thank you, Karl.” Synhorst wasn’t fine. He was about to go in the hospital for a neurological procedure, but he didn’t feel like sharing that with Rove.
“Good, good. Listen, I need some help generating grassroots support for something, or I should say, the look of grassroots support.”
“I’m listening,” Synhorst said.
“We want to promote initiatives in the swing states that will be on the ballot in November and help motivate our constituencies to get out and vote.”
“What states are you looking at?” Synhorst said.
Rove scrolled to his map display. “Indiana, Missouri, Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, North Carolina, and Florida,” he said in rapid succession. He dodged a young woman gang walking a menagerie of mismatched dogs and headed into the Fox building.
“Well, you know of course, that we’ve been attempting to change the electoral college vote distribution in Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, and Pennsylvania,” Synhorst said.
“Yeah, I know. How’s that going?” Rove said, with a soft burp.
Synhorst sighed. “Nowhere, really. But we haven’t given up.”
Rove knew that the attempt to change the electoral college vote system to split delegates and favor Republicans went exactly nowhere.
“Well listen, Tom, could you come up with some ideas for ballot initiatives in swing states and email them to me? I’ll generate some of my own and we’ll come up with a list. That sound doable?”
“You bet, Karl. I’ll have someone get back to you ASAP.”
“How about end of business, Tom?”
“I’ll have someone shoot you an email ASAP, Karl.”
“Tom, we need to --”
“Gotta go, Karl,” Synhorst cut Rove off in mid-sentence.
“Shit,” Rove said.

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are the product of the author’s imagination, or are used fictitiously, and any similarity to actual persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.

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