Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Something stinks in Texas: and it smells like Democrats and Republicans

The filing deadline to certify a Presidential candidate on the November ballot in Texas was August 25, 2008.

The Democratic Party, according to the copies obtained under a FOIA request by the Bob Barr campaign, sent in its filing materials on August 27, following an email on August 26.

The Republican Party sent in a letter dated August 26, and a second letter on August 29 claiming in essence that their original letter had been sent in before the August 25 deadline:

This filing is meant to amend our previous filing under this section which was timely filed on August 25, 2008. In the event you or a court of competent jurisdiction deem this amendment to be untimely, I intend that the previous filing be effective.

The problem, of course, is that there was no August 25 filing. Or was there?

There are two copies of the same August 26 filing referenced above in the Texas Secretary of State's files. Both bear handwritten annotations.

On August 26 filing (1), the note says:

Received 8/25/08
Replacement from original filed

On August 26 filing (2), the note says:

8/[the date here is a 26 with a 5 written in over the 6]/08
replaced today

You really should go examine the PDF images of these documents.

The upshot is that there is no question that the Democratic Party missed the filing date, and no document for the GOP in the files with any date older than August 26, despite later protestations and hand-written annotations that their letter was actually received the day before it was written.

The GOP is obviously quite aware, given the snippet posted above, that their filing could be contested in court; I suspect the DNC doesn't care that much, as Barack Obama is not likely to win Texas anyway. If both parties got thrown off the ballot, as Pandora noted here about a week ago, it would dramatically advantage Obama (because John McCain could not even run as a write-in candidate; that deadline is also August 25.)

Will Obama and McCain appear on the ballot in Texas in November?

You can bet the mortgage payment on it, the law and their failure to follow it notwithstanding.

But it sure makes the point about the double standard of ballot access in this country: two parties get on the ballot regardless of the law, and then use every technicality of law to keep anybody else off.


Duffy said...

So on November 7th, when the retread of the 2000 election begins I'm going to blame you when they start filing motions in Texas.

How on Earth either party couldn't manage to file on time in the state with the second largest number of electoral votes is beyond me.

The Editor said...

Pretty sad that they can't manage to file on time, but one of them will run the country...