The Big Picture

Patrick Goldstein and James Rainey
on entertainment and media

« Previous Post | The Big Picture Home | Next Post »

Tim Robbins: NOT a victim of vast right-wing conspiracy

November 11, 2008 | 12:31 pm

RobbinsThe Bush administration wasn't actually secretly trying to prevent liberal activist Tim Robbins from voting for president last Tuesday. If you missed it, Robbins got into a noisy argument with a polling worker after no one could find his name on the rolls of registered voters at his local polling place in New York, even though the actor said he'd been voting at the same location for years. But according to a report from Access Hollywood picked up by MSNBC, Robbins, ahem, went to the wrong polling place.

The New York City Board of Elections wrote the actor a letter saying he should have voted at a library on West 20th Street, not the YMCA on West 14th Street where he and Susan Sarandon turned up to vote. It's pretty evident from the sly tone of the letter that the election board was getting its revenge for being portrayed by Robbins in various news reports as a cloddish bureaucratic sinkhole. "It would appear, based on a review of your voter registration history, that your voting experience was less than positive because you simply went to the wrong poll site," an election board member wrote, coolly sticking the knife in by adding that if there was confusion over the appropriate voting location, it might be because "you have not voted in an recent election, including the presidential primary in February 2008 and the party primary in September 2008."

Ouch! Is it really possible that Robbins, who seems to speak out more on American foreign policy than, well, most U.S. senators, didn't actually vote in the pivotal New York presidential primary? OMG! Wait till Dirty Harry, my favorite right-wing, Robbins-loathing blogger, hears about this--it'll make his day!

But wait--Robbins isn't taking this lying down. He disputes the election board's claims, saying it's a PR stunt "to try to cover their butts over their ineptitude." He says he voted as his regular polling place in both 2004 and 2006--and has a copy of his voter registration clearly showing his home address. "Something doesn't [jibe] with the actions of the Board of Elections," he told Access Hollywood. "For no good reason, they chose to take this active voter off the voting rolls." Robbins says he is examining legal options, saying the board's release of his personal information is "an invasion of privacy and further insult."

Stay tuned. Somehow I think this election dispute may last longer than Gore vs. Bush 2000.


Robbins Argues with Polling Workers on Election Day

Photo of Tim Robbins by Los Angeles Times