Monday, September 10, 2012

Jewish Federation of Delaware joins the University of Delaware and Delaware First Media in discriminating against third-party candidates

It remains the same sad story, except now it is the Jewish Federation of Delaware which has taken upon itself to hold "non-partisan" debates that are specifically designed to exclude anyone who is not a Democrat or Republican.

Here are the formal requirements for being on stage this Thursday set by the Wilmington Chapter of Hadassah and the Jewish Community Relations Committee of the Jewish Federation of Delaware:
Only viable candidates for the included offices will be invited to participate in the Forum.   To be viable, a candidate must meet the following criteria:a.     Candidates must meet all requirements of the state election laws to be on the Delaware ballot, including having won the primary of their party, if applicable
b.     Candidates must have made a public announcement of candidacy
c.     Candidates must be able to show evidence that a formal campaign is being waged.
d.     Candidates must demonstrate voter interest and support.  In particular, one of the following is required:
               i.         The candidate’s party received at least 10% of the popular vote in either of the last two general elections, or
              ii.         By the filing deadline, the candidate’s party has registered voters totaling at least 5% of the total number of registered voters in Delaware, or
            iii.         A candidate must poll at least 10% of the vote as shown in an independent poll.
e.     In determining eligibility for inclusion, the burden of proof is on the candidate.  Hadassah and the JCRC may require the candidate to provide information to show that s/he meets the criteria at least 2 weeks before the scheduled forum.

I used to believe that Delaware was a politically inclusive state, because ballot access here is so much easier to obtain than it is in neighboring states like Pennsylvania or New Jersey.

But the reality is that Delaware politicians--both Democrat and Republican--have consciously created a "separate but equal" mentality for cordoning off all other parties from any meaningful political participation.  According to the Jewish Federation of Delaware's rules, for example, if they were doing a debate in the 7th State Senate District, where there is only a Libertarian challenging the sitting Democrat, they would automatically exclude James Christina and announce that since there was only one viable candidate, there would be no debate.

Our local "progressives" have, sadly, decided to prefer the safety of their own hold on power to the principles of free speech and free political access.

It is particularly unfortunate to see the Jewish Federation of Delaware deciding that minority political views should never be given a public forum.


tom said...

LPD & IPOD qualify. If they exclude us, both parties should sue them.

"d. Candidates must demonstrate voter interest and support. In particular, one of the following is required:
i. The candidate’s party received at least 10% of the popular vote in either of the last two general elections, or"

General Election (Official Results) Election Date: 11/02/10





there is no mention of a specific office or a statewide race.

Dana Garrett said...

Now don't lump all progressives together. This progressive believes that it should be a law that any party that qualifies for general election ballot access should participate in scheduled debates hosted by any organization.

Steven H. Newton said...

Dana, with a wry smile my first comment is, "Why not lump all progressives together? They generally insist on lumping all libertarians together?"

But that comment would not be apropos for you, and is more the product of a bad day. :)

However, aside from you and only two others I can think of, I have to say the virtually every self-styled "progressive" I have interacted with on this issue believes more fervently in protecting the Democratic chances within the two-party system than in the principles of free speech and free association.

Even several advocates of "publicly financed campaigns" have told me they would not extend such public financing to third parties. So while I will carve out an exception for you, it's not a large enough exception to keep me from using the generalization.

(After all, you have previously categorized Libertarians as "economic monsters," even though I'm pretty sure you don't think I personally am a monster. So I'll call it "the Garrett standard" for acceptable generalization.)

tom said...

Dana, I disagree: such a law would not be appropriate for a voluntary organization like the JFD.

They should be free to discriminate in any fashion they see fit. (though I would object to them claiming to be "non partisan" while choosing to exclude any ballot qualified candidate. and i would object very strongly if they pulled a "Bait & Switch" where they decided to arbitrarily change their published criteria at the last moment)

An appropriate subject for your legislation would be coercively funded public institutions, especially those, like the University of Delaware, that are explicitly prohibited from discrimination.
(Par. 5103. Nonsectarian, nonpartisan institution

The University shall never be managed or conducted in the interest of any party, sect or denomination.