Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Ever the tool, Earl Jaques tries to solve another problem that doesn't exist

We all know that Representative Earl Jaques (D-Rebecca Taber and Floyd McDowell) doesn't actually write any of the rather bizarre bills he introduces.

The single-payer health bill was written originally by Dr. Floyd McDowell.

The new charter school bill was most likely written for him by Rebecca Taber and/or other members of the governor's under-the-radar charter work group.

Now Earl has apparently branched out and offered his services to Democratic State Chair John Daniello, who is known for his intense hatred of third parties.  (And of second parties, for that matter.):

Legislation from Glasgow Rep. Earl Jaques would make it illegal for a candidate to run for more than one local or statewide office at the same time. 
Though not a widespread practice, some third-party candidates have filed for more than one office on the ballot in recent years. Elections Commissioner Elaine Manlove, who endorses the bill, said she knew of no Delaware election where a candidate won more than a single office and had to leave one vacant, necessitating an appointment or special election.
That's right:  only third parties do it, and nobody has ever won doing it.

So obviously that loophole has got to be fixed lest some Libertarian or Green take advantage of the fact that nobody's looking and win one of their elections.

This is the natural follow-up to outlawing fusion nominations a couple of years back.

Should Earl get this passed for Mr. Daniello, then the next step you can expect to see in 2015 is an attempt to raise the bar on ballot access for minor parties.

After all,  who actually needs democracy?

We'll just rename Mr. Daniello's party PRI.


Josh Phipps said...

So what happens when one candidate holds three positions?
Sounds like a totalitarian government we are all trying to avoid. I only want candidates to hold one position at a time.. so I really dont see much wrong with this.

Richard Hagendorf said...

The accompanying article indicates that the person, it they won would only be eligible to fill one of the elected offices, it would be helpful to have that clarified with a reliable source.

tom said...

Delaware's constitution already prohibits people from holding more than one office at a time. (There are additional prohibitions in the state law for obscure combinations not covered by Art II Sec 14, but you can track those down yourself if you care)

That is not the issue here, despite Josh's apparent misunderstanding of the difference between being a candidate for an office and being elected to that office.

The non-issue the bill addresses is whether or not we should prohibit (for example) Jeffrey Brown of the Blue Enigma Party from running for every office he is eligible for, and also the less common and somewhat frowned upon instance of incumbent politicians running simultaneously for reelection to the office they currently hold and some higher office.

Elections Commissioner Elaine Manlove said neither of these cases was a problem, and no one in recent Delaware history has ever won more than one election at a time. If you don't believe her, feel free to check for yourself: election results are public information.

In any case, Earl Jaques is once again wasting time and taxpayer dollars on yet another stupid and unnecessary bill.

Josh Phipps said...

So Tom, If I run for 10 offices and get elected for each one... what happens?

If you can not fill all the positions then you should not be able to run for them all... its just creating a clusterfuck on the ballots for no reason.. run for the office you want, not just run for the sake of doing it... we need people in office who are serious about their positions..

Steve Newton said...

Josh you overlook the fact that running for multiple offices can only actually happen if you are nominated by a political party with ballot access.

Otherwise you'd have to go out there and get multiple nominating petitions.

Josh Phipps said...

Steve, I understand that but I really dont want some republican or dem running for a shit load of offices that they are not serious about... I agree there is a problem with getting third parties on the ballot but that does not mean I agree we should allow people to run for positions they are not even really serious about.

tom said...

You have to be at least a bit serious to pay the filing fees (which the major parties set to the maximum amounts allowed by law)

You also have to be pretty serious to collect the hundreds of signatures of registered voters in the appropriate districts to get on the ballot as an unaffiliated candidate or the candidate of a non-ballot qualified minor party

and you also have to be somewhat serious to convince a minor party with ballot access to nominate you.

try it sometime.

the bar is already set high enough to prevent frivolous candidacies, Jeff Brown notwithstanding.

We don't need a law.

Josh Phipps said...

Tom.. I have gone to the libertarian convention.... It went like this

"we dont have anyone to run for this spot... who wants to run?

/random person raises hand
"I guess ill do it"
(that person was already running for a spot)

...that does not seem to hard to me. and it does not seem like you need to be too serious about it at all.

Plus it takes time, effort and money to start a political party...
/points you in the direction of the bacon party

....you were saying something about how you need to be serious about things? lol