Sunday, September 12, 2010

Why bother with Primaries?

While most American states are frantically seeking ways to reduce spending and our massive debt, some states are throwing good money away after bad by running costly primary elections, ostensibly for determining a political party's candidate in a general election. In the past I had questioned the wisdom of running elections when there is only one, unopposed candidate...that is until I realized that there could always be "write-in candidates". Therefore, if a state allows a write-in candidate, then the general election must be held, but there is no reason for running primaries to accommodate write-in candidates  since these can be offered in the General election. If your state allows a write-in candidate in a primary election you should demand election law changes in that state to prohibit this waste of time and matter whose money it is. You should also make sure that if a candidate is running without opposition in a primary, there is no need to hold the primary unless additional issues need to be resolved.

I have issues with ever growing problems with primary elections. We witnessed my first concern when
in 2009, after Arlen Specter (R-NJ) voted for the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 in the Senate on February 10, 2009 enraging Republicans and Conservatives by being only one of three members of the GOP to break ranks and vote for this massive spending bill, it became apparent to him his future in the GOP was over. So after serving 44 years as a Republican Senator  he switched parties becoming a Democrat to increase his chances of being re-elected. However, he lost to Joe Sestak in New Jersey's Democratic Primary May 18, 2010.

Next we heard that in May of 2009, Florida Governor Charles Joseph "Charlie" Crist Jr (I-FL) declared he would run for the vacated senate seat of Mel Martinez. He campaigned as a Republican until it became obvious (after falling 20 points behind in the polls) that he could not beat his GOP opponent, Marco Rubio, so he announced his intent to run as a non-affiliated candidate but retain his membership in the Republican party.


 However, he formally switched to the Independent party on May 13, 2010. His election campaign announced they would not refund donations that were made to his election fund while Crist was running as a Republican.

Now we hear that Senator Lisa Ann Murkowski (R-AK) lost  the Alaskan Republican Primary and is seeking to either affiliate with any party that will have her or run as a write-in candidate. Since she has campaign funds left over she figures she might as well spend them to continue to represent Alaska in any way she can. If you do not believe this story, you can check it yourself in that venerable, conservative rag, the New York Times.

What is wrong with politicians today? Do they not know the meaning of "Defeat"? I know that they are very handsomely paid, a lot more than their private business counter parts in this day and age, but are they so inept that the very thought of having to obtain a real job drives them to such desperate measures to retain their cushy government jobs as these three fine examples? What is wrong with the three states these people represent? Granted governor Crist 's situation is a little different but I feel that once a candidate files his/her/its required election papers, that should be it. They should not be able to change the party they indicated on those filed papers as all of these Cretans (two Cretans and one Cretaness?) have done.

Why is it not "False Advertising" to obtain money by misrepresenting yourself? No one should be able to keep running and running as these might do? If Specter ever decided to follow Ms. Murkowski's  example, he could run in the General election as a write-in candidate. When will it end?  Only two items are required to squash insidious activities such as these. Install term limits and alter the election process to only allow a candidate to campaign as they represented themselves when they filled their election papers. Both can be accomplished without requiring amendments to the US Constitution...they would only require changes to the state's election laws. This may require amendments to the state's constitution but that is a lot easier than attempting to amend the US Constitution. The best part about this kind of problem solving is that most states would probably have these changes made, because it would be the will of the majority of their citizens and there is nothing that the current, Constitutional hating administration can do about it.

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