Weblog Commenting and Trackback by HaloScan.com

Thursday, August 03, 2006

This Feels Like A Bad West Wing Episode.

This story is so confusing. Let me see if I have it right.

Embattled Republican Representative Tom DeLay resigned from the House on June 9th. He won his primary battle a few months before he resigned. The Texan is currently living in Virginia waiting for his trial in Texas on money laundering and conspiracy charges. Because DeLay had moved, the Texas GOP tried to remove DeLay as the party nominee.

"Republicans want to pick another nominee to face Democrat Nick Lampson in November. Democrats sued to keep DeLay on the ballot. Keeping him on the ballot presumably gives them an easier race and bolsters their attempts to make the indicted former House majority leader their symbol for claims of Republican corruption."

The 5th Circuit of Appeals affirmed a trial court ruling that DeLay's name must stay on the ballot. Here's the reasoning: "While the U.S. Constitution requires a candidate to live in-state, the question is where he is residing on Election Day, not now, said the three-judge panel of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. "DeLay could be a current resident of Virginia ... and nonetheless move back to Texas before November," the opinion said. . . . If DeLay withdraws from the race — rather than being declared ineligible — by law Republicans could not replace him with another candidate." His wife still lives near Houston.

I'm very imaginative, but I'm also very pragmatic. The pragmatist in me is saying the underlying and penultimate issue is unresolved: where does somebody live? By the Court's reasoning DeLay could reside in Virginia from now until Election Day and never reside in Texas yet remain on the ballot. If that occurs you've just cheated the Texas voters out of having a choice on Election Day.

Perhaps the ruling is a sound application of election law, yet if that is true then the law is bad in my opinion. As a voter I like having choices. From a political perspective anyone jumping in to replace DeLay has an uphill battle due to time constraints. Fundraising and campaigning on such short notice wouldn't be easy, but that is a practical penalty for replacing a candidate. However a voter would have two choices for his vote. We're a democracy, not Cuba. Our political process idependentnt upon having the right to choose who represents us.

The Texas GOP will attempt an appeal the the Supreme Court. When do they get back in session?

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.