Monday, September 22, 2014

Republicans do not want and do not support FAIR elections

Last Thursday, Kris Kobach, the radical right wing extremists Secretary of State for Kansas, lost a state Supreme Court battle regarding the 2014 ballot in that state.  Kobach tried to keep the Democratic candidate from withdrawing from the election.  The state Supreme Court voted unanimously,regardless of political preference or affiliation,  that Kobach did NOT have that ‘discretion’ to treat the Democratic candidate differently from other candidates.
from the Powerline blog:
The cited statute provides:
Any person who has been nominated by any means for any national, state, county or township office who declares that they [sic] are incapable of fulfilling the duties of office if elected may cause such person’s name to be withdrawn from nomination by a request in writing, signed by the person and acknowledged before an officer qualified to take acknowledgments of deeds.
Taylor having made no acknowledgment of incapability to serve, Kobach ruled that Taylor would stay on the ballot as the Democratic nominee this November. This point of the whole Democratic charade being to get Taylor off the ballot and get Democrats behind Orman, Taylor followed up with an appeal to the Kansas Supreme Court. Having made his withdrawal “pursuant to” the statute, Taylor argued that he incorporated the statutory requirement of incapability by reference. This week the Kansas Supreme Court unanimously agreed:
We conclude the plain meaning of “pursuant to K.S.A. 25-306b(b)” contained in Taylor’s letter effectively declares he is incapable of fulfilling the duties of office if elected. Simply put, the phrase operates as an incorporation by reference of this particular requirement.

Powerline blog, a conservative site, doesn’t like the court decision, never mind that it treats all candidates alike rather than different, rather than giving preference to one political party over another.

What has been largely absent from the media coverage is that Kobach quietly skulked away with his tail between his legs on Saturday, and complied with federal and state law:
From Politico:

TOPEKA, Kan. — Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach has directed county election officials to start mailing ballots to voters overseas Saturday without having a Democratic nominee listed for the U.S. Senate.
The Democrat dropped out of the race against three-term Republican Sen. Pat Roberts, pushed out by some party leaders who wanted to improve the chances that independent candidate Greg Orman would defeat Roberts.
Kobach spokeswoman Samantha Poetter confirmed Friday that the secretary of state had decided against delaying the mailing of ballots to military personnel and other U.S. citizens overseas. He had said Thursday that the deadline for starting the mailings would be pushed back to Sept. 27.

Why was that an attempt to cheat by Kobach and the Republicans?

That would be because the incumbent Republican is losing, but is losing by LESS if the vote is split three ways rather than two.

In response to losing the court battle to try to treat the Democratic candidate differently,  and contrary to the precedent of what was acceptable withdrawal, Kobach then tried to insist he would mess with the federally mandated requirements for mailing out ballots to those who serve in the military.  Kobach came up with all kinds of crack pot ideas.  He ORDERED the Democratic party to come up with a replacement candidate.  The Secretary of State has no legal authority to do that.  Kobach then claimed he would delay mailing ballots, mandated by federal law, and that he would include a disclaimer, followed by a subsequent ballot.  Kobach also claimed he had a waiver from the DOJ to exempt him from following the law — but the DOJ was clear he did not have any such waiver, and had never requested one either.  Then Kobach claimed he was going to move back the election in Kansas to the Tuesday FOLLOWING the Tuesday in November on which the REST of the country holds our elections.  Yeah……..Kobach doesn’t have the authority as SOS to do that either.

Kobach, also the author of the infamous ‘papers please’ Arizona legislation, likes to make up sh*t, and to try at least, to give himself powers that the government does not legitimately have — all to try to cheat in holding the Kansas state and federal election this November so as to favor Republicans.  The fact that incumbent Senator Roberts is doing so poorly is part of the shift among pundits and political predictors and pollsters that give a slight to hefty majority chance for the Democrats to hold the Senate in this off-year /  not-presidential election.

Had ANY Democrat ANYWHERE EVER made statements, claims, or attempts like Kris Kobach, SOS of Kansas, Conservative heads would be exploding, and the screams from Conservatives, especially from the tea bagger (Kobash is a tea partier) and smaller-government crowd would be so loud, it could be heard on the moon.

So far as I can find — NOT A PEEP out of Conservatives about how TERRIBLE, how blatantly ILLEGAL, the efforts have been by Kris Kobach.  Apparently the ‘values party’ crowd has very hypocritical partisan-selective values.  In other words, they don’t give a DAMN about free and fair elections, they don’t give a damn about cheating.  They only care about winning, no matter how dirty, no matter how much they abuse government authority to do so, no matter how unethical.

In fact, Kobach remains popular, and as of a few weeks ago was tied, with the Democratic candidate for Secretary of State, a former Republican, Jean Schodorf.
…the latest poll data released September 8, shows that if the election were held today, Schodorf has a 3 percent advantage: 46 percent to Kobach’s 43 percent. Eleven percent of likely voters polled remain undecided. The margin of error is +/- 4.2 percent.
Secretary of State Kris Kobach holds 70 percent of the Republican vote, while Jean Schodorf holds 86 percent of the Democratic vote.

Rachel Maddow summed up the Kobach conduct last week, accurately and consientiously:

Politico makes no reference to any disclaimer, any mailing of additional ballots, etc. Further just under 100 inaccurate ballots were mailed out on last Thursday, however, WITH the name of the Democratic candidate printed on them. Those incorrect ballots WILL need to be replaced.

The capacity for Kris Kobach, Kansas Secretary of State to screw up an election, to act in a manner which is apparently illegal and unethical, and which is likely to run afoul of the DOJ, is nothing less than spectacular.

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