The Obama campaign has been astroturfing the “Pilate was a Governor, Jesus was a community organizer” line for a couple weeks now. I’m not a Biblical scholar, but 12 years in a Christan school left me with enough residual knowledge to know that it was historically nonsensical, as well as just plain dumb. Here’s a great article that explains why: Pajamas Media » Pontius Palin and Messiah Obama
I want to emphasize that Jesus was in no way a “community organizer”. There were many people at the time of Jesus who expected a Messiah to establish an earthly kingdom which would overthrow the might of the Roman Empire. Jesus frustrated these ambitions by refusing to do this, and by insisting that his kingdom was not of this world. When He was brought before Pilate to be sentenced to death Pilate was indifferent because he quickly realized Jesus was no threat to Roman authority. When the angry mob demanded the death of Jesus, this was Pilate’s reaction :
When Pilate saw that he could prevail nothing, but that rather a tumult was made, he took water, and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, I am innocent of the blood of this just person: see ye to it.
Pilate was not actually innocent, of course, but at that point he just wanted the whole situation to go away. He avoided making a decision that would further anger the crowd because he just didn’t care all that much. In essence, yes, Pilate is the guy who voted “Present”.