The words of Richard Nixon and the deeds of the late Richard Daley are now an official part of the growing court record in the disputed recount of Washington's gubernatorial election...

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OLYMPIA — The words of Richard Nixon and the deeds of the late Richard Daley are now an official part of the growing court record in the disputed recount of Washington’s gubernatorial election.

In a friend-of-the-court brief filed yesterday in the state Supreme Court, former Republican Attorney General Ken Eikenberry and the influential Building Industry Association of Washington (BIAW) compared King County’s ballot-counting problems to Daley’s alleged manipulation of the Chicago vote when he was mayor during the 1960 presidential election.

As evidence, they quote Nixon’s memoir, “RN,” which says, “the Daley Machine was holding back the Chicago results until the downstate Republican counties had reported and it was known how many votes the Democrats would need to carry the state.”

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Eikenberry and the homebuilders lobby, big supporters of Republican Dino Rossi, say the court should not allow King County to count disputed ballots, which could tip the election to Democrat Christine Gregoire.

“If allowed to do so,” they wrote, “the 2004 Washington gubernatorial election will be as ignoble as the 1960 Illinois Presidential election results.”

The Republican Party’s court filings have stopped short of alleging partisan corruption in the Democratic stronghold of King County. But the BIAW and Eikenberry said if King County gets to count some 700 disputed ballots, “it will further the perception of corruption and/or fraud that already exists in King County’s ballot-counting procedures.”

The state Democratic Party appealed a lower court’s decision that the ballots shouldn’t be counted, a case that will be heard this morning.

The Democrats responded to the BIAW and Eikenberry in a filing yesterday. The party called it “an apparent attempt to insinuate indirectly what plaintiffs … could not prove, that there is even the slightest indication of fraud in the manual recount of the Washington Governor’s race in King County [or anywhere else for that matter.]”

Democrats were unimpressed by evidence presented in the friend-of-the-court brief, saying it “relies upon letters to the editor, a Wall Street Journal editorial and newspaper articles quoting the Washington State Republican Party Chairman Chris Vance’s unfortunate hyperbole.”

And Richard Nixon’s memoir.

David Postman: 360-943-9882 or dpostman@seattletimes.com