Friday, October 3, 2014

Weekly Roundup -- the News Highlights

In no particular order, from Reuters:

Court says Kansas Democrats don't have to run Senate candidate

(Reuters) - A court ruled on Wednesday that Kansas Democrats do not have to put a candidate on the ballot for the U.S Senate, a decision that is expected to boost chances of an independent beating the Republican incumbent in an election that may swing control of the chamber.
A three-judge panel of the Shawnee County District Court ruled that no one has to replace Democrat Chad Taylor, who dropped out last month.
Having no Democrat on the ballot will likely bring more votes to independent Greg Orman in his race against Senator Pat Roberts.
Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, a Republican, said Taylor did not properly withdraw. Kobach filed a lawsuit, but the Kansas Supreme Court on September 18 ordered Taylor's name kept off the ballot.
David Orel, a Kansas Democrat, immediately filed a lawsuit with the Kansas Supreme Court contending that state law compels the party to replace Taylor. Orel said Democrats are entitled to have someone on the ballot.
But lawyers for the party argued that it has the option of replacing Taylor but is not required to do so, even though the statute says the party "shall" fill a vacancy on the ballot.
The court panel determined that the word "shall" was not a mandatory directive but instead is meant to say who is responsible for filling a vacancy if there is interest in doing so.
Orel did not appear on Monday at a hearing of the judicial panel, which took the case at the direction of the Kansas Supreme Court.
Orel is truly a democrat in name only; his son is the campaign manager for GOP Governor Sam Brownback's re-election committee. Orel appeared to cut and run before the legal challenge even got started.

Kobach is the right wing extremist who drafted the failed 'papers please' anti-immigrant legislation for Arizona that was copied by other states -- where it was equally a failure. Earlier, when the Kansas Supreme Court determined that the Democratic candidate could withdraw, Kobach made a lot of noise about not sending out ballots without a Democratic candidate, or sending out two and three versions of the ballots, and trying to include disclaimers on the ballot, and also at one point wanted to hold the elections in November a week or more late, which is contrary to federal law. He also claimed he had a federal waiver, which was false, and in fact never sought one.

The above massive, epic right wing failure at election tampering has resulted in Kobach as well as Brownback being behind in the polls, as well as headlines like this in the Kansas City Star:

Kris Kobach should stop trying to influence U.S. Senate race

While a three-judge panel in Shawnee County District Court made no final decision, it ruled Kobach had no grounds to intervene. Kobach has been working overtime to get a Democrat on the ballot to potentially dilute the voting strength of independent candidate Greg Orman, who is challenging incumbent GOP Sen. Pat Roberts.
Kobach, a lawyer, has a habit of intervening in controversial matters — like other states’ immigration laws. He also has a record of losing.
The citizens of Kansas would be better served if their secretary of state worked on ensuring a smooth-running election instead of trying to interfere in one of its races.

Read more here:

Tea bagger policies have been disastrous for Kansas.  Republicans have been extremely 'intrusive' when they get control of government, and not in any kind of good or honest way.

And in other news, from the Chicago Sun Times:

State rep candidate voted in Illinois and Wisconsin

Republican Kathy Myalls is urging voters to elect her to a seat in the Illinois State Legislature.
But will she vote for herself?
It’s a fair question, since records show Myalls has voted in both Illinois and Wisconsin in recent years.
In one case, she cast a vote in a primary election in Illinois. Then just three months later, records show she voted in Wisconsin to cast a ballot in the state’s recall election. The effort was aimed largely at recalling Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker — someone with whom Myalls is pictured on her Facebook page. Myalls then voted in Wisconsin’s presidential general election in 2012 before returning to Illinois to vote the following spring. 

Myalls appears to have kept voter registrations in two states, and to have failed to designate one home as her primary residence for voting purposes -- aka voter fraud.  You know -- the KIND VOTER ID IS SUPPOSED TO PREVENT, BUT DOESN'T.  It also appears that with all the commuting back and forth between her TWO primary residences, that Myalls should be disqualified for failing to meet the residency requirements for candidates. 


Then we have the hankety pankety in Arkansas with Republicans and the voter fraud problem with their candidate for Attorney General.
from the Washington Examiner: 
Arkansas Republican AG candidate's voter registration canceled
Leslie Rutledge, the GOP candidate for attorney general of Arkansas, is no longer registered to vote in the state, even though she’s had a state-issued voter registration card since 2013.
Pulaski County Clerk Larry Crane canceled Rutledge’s voter registration this week after he discovered she was also registered to vote in Washington, D.C., and possibly even Virginia. Rutledge had registered in Pulaski County in 2006 but canceled before registering in Washington in 2008.
Rutledge is listed as an “inactive” voter in D.C.. She complains that it was Crane’s responsibility to notify other jurisdictions of her registration so that they would be canceled.

Except it turns out that is not true.  Rutledge was registered in BOTH D.C. AND in Virginia, at the same time, and her voter registration was never canceled in Arkansas during that time either, because she did not notify the Sec State or her local office.  It appears that neither DC nor Virginia notified any other state either, although they should, and in most jurisdictions it is required they do so.  So responsibility for the multiple registrations seems to rest with Rugledge, but is also shared with the voter registration offices in both D.C. and Virginia.  The only bureaucrats who did NOT drop the ball with the information available was Arkansas.

However, when Rutledge returned to Arkansas, she did not RE-register, she did not notify or acknowledge to any voter registration official that she had moved anywhere.  She simply requested a change of address form for her old Arkansas registration, effectively affirming her vote registration in Arkansas for the entire time.

Remember, ignorance is not a defense in violating the law, and this is the last person, one running for the office of state Attorney General, who should be claiming they didn't know.

But it gets worse for Rutlege.  Because her voter registration has been found to be invalid, and canceled, her status as a candidate is in invalid as well, because a candidate must be, under the AR constitution and other legislation, a valid voter in that state.  Now she's not, and there has been a complaint filed to have her name removed from the November ballot.  She can re-register to vote, if she does so quickly; Arkansas requires voter registration 30 days before an election in order to vote.  (Minnesota of course only requires 21 days, and allows same day voter registration, something Republicans seem to be opposing these days.)

Of course, the Republicans are screaming 'foul!', calling it partisan, but the reality is that in the AG GOP primary, the whole issue of residency and voting elsewhere was raised by the other GOP candidate.  It was of course, as so often happens with tea baggers, part of a purity test of sorts:

The two Republicans have taken potshots at each other for weeks questioning each others’ conservative credentials and political experience. In addition, third party groups have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars in the race.

Rutledge led the ticket in the May 20 Republican primary with 47% of the vote, while Sterling finished the night with 39% support heading into a June 10 statewide run-off.

On Sunday (June 1), Sterling rolled out new charges that Rutledge had voted in Democratic primaries from 1998 through 2008, had not voted in any state elections in 2010 and 2012, and had donated to the Democratic Party of Arkansas at one time in the past.

Rutledge fired back saying Sterling represented in his legal practice a company peddling pornography, an act she says contradicts his Christian and family values platform as well as should be troubling for someone seeking office to oversee a division dedicated to Internet predators.

Rutledge says she did vote in those Democratic primaries on her record — some in Independence County, some in Pulaski County. In the earlier years, she voted for Democratic friends and colleagues running for prosecutor positions and judgeships when Arkansas had partisan elections in those offices and Republican primaries were largely limited to Northwest Arkansas. Judicial elections became non-partisan in 2002, while prosecutors just moved to non-partisan status in the 2014 cycle.

Rutledge’s voting history, obtained through public records from the Pulaski County Clerk’s office, shows she did vote in the 2008 GOP Presidential primary (she says she cast a vote for Mike Huckabee) as well as this year’s 2014 primary. She consistently voted in general elections from 1996 through 2008.

Sterling has also pointed out that Rutledge made a contribution to the Democratic Party of Arkansas in 2007. Records show that Rutledge did contribute $104.50 to the DPA early that year, which she says was her payment for a ticket to Gov. Mike Beebe’s inaugural ball.
And as noted in the most excellent Brad Blog:
Leslie Rutledge, the Republican candidate for Attorney General in Arkansas, has been discovered to have been registered to vote in multiple states in addition to Arkansas, and even voted by absentee ballot in Arkansas' general election in November of 2008 --- after she had registered to vote in Washington D.C. [PDF] in July of the same year.
I'm smelling an unusually strong stink of conservative hypocrisy along with some potential voter fraud charges, and removal from ballots this election cycle - involuntarily.  Even for Republicans, how much ignorance can you plead?

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