.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

Free Citizen

This writer espouses individual liberty, free markets, and limited government.

Location: Jackson, Mississippi, United States

Monday, March 28, 2011

Mississippi-Style Primary System Struck Down

UPDATE - 4/5/2011: The Idaho Senate has passed the bill for voter registration by party. If the new law is enacted, the case against the state-mandated open primary will be moot. Even if a new law is not enacted, intervenors do not automatically have standing to appeal in defense of a state law, when the state itself is not appealing. So it seems likely that Judge Winmill's ruling will stand.

UPDATE - 3/28/2011 - 10:22 PM: I have just learned that an appeal has been filed with the 9th U. S. Circuit Court of Appeals. This appeal is from the groups that the district court had permitted to intervene in the case: (1) a group of Idaho independent voters, (2) the American Independent Movement of Idaho, and (3) the Committee for a Unified Independent Party.

A shorter rendition of this piece appeared as a letter to the editor in the March 28 Clarion-Ledger.


A March 2 court decision in Idaho could have future consequences for 20 states, including Mississippi. Idaho's Republicans have been challenging the state law that prohibits them from enforcing their party rule that says that only Republicans may vote in GOP primaries. This is the first such case in which a party has presented empirical evidence that people not in sympathy with the party have been voting in its primaries. U. S. district judge B. Lynn Winmill, declaring the law unconstitutional, said that it violates the party's First Amendment freedom of association (Idaho Republican Party v. Ysursa, 08-cv-165).

The state of Idaho is evidently not going to file an appeal with the 9th U. S. Circuit Court of Appeals, as negotiations are underway in the heavily-Republican legislature[1] as to how best to comply with Judge Winmill's ruling. A bill for voter registration by party was introduced in the state Senate on March 28.

A federal judge has ordered that the South Carolina Republicans' similar lawsuit be expedited (Greenville County Republican Party v. State of South Carolina, 6:10-cv-1407-HFF). Also, Tennessee's Republicans are considering taking action to gain the ability to stop non-Republicans from voting in GOP primaries.

These cases are like the lawsuit brought in 2006 by the Mississippi Democratic Party, in which U. S. district judge Allen Pepper held our state primary election law to be unconstitutional. In 2008, however, the 5th U. S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans dismissed that suit on a legal technicality[2] (Mississippi Democratic Party v. Barbour, 07-60667).

If such a case should reach the U. S. Supreme Court, it could trigger a landmark ruling.


[1] Idaho is the most decidedly one-party state in the nation. The entire congressional delegation and all state officials are Republicans, and the GOP has controlled both houses of the legislature continuously since 1960. Currently, the Republicans have a 28-7 edge in the Senate and a 57-13 majority in the House. The joke is that the Democrats hold their caucuses in a broom closet.

[2] The Mississippi Democrats had not adopted a party rule for a closed primary.

Monday, February 28, 2011

This Kid Gets An A-plus

Since the Pledge of Allegiance and the Lord's Prayer are not allowed in most public schools anymore, because the word 'God' is mentioned, a kid in Arizona wrote the following:

Now I sit me down in school,
Where praying is against the rule,
For this great nation under God
Finds mention of Him very odd.

If scripture now the class recites,
It violates the Bill of Rights.
And anytime my head I bow
Becomes a federal matter now.

Our hair can be purple, orange or green,
That's no offense; it's a freedom scene.
The law is specific, the law is precise.
Prayers spoken aloud are a serious vice.

For praying in a public hall
Might offend someone with no faith at all.
In silence alone we must meditate,
God's name is prohibited by the state.

We're allowed to cuss and dress like freaks,
And pierce our noses, tongues and cheeks.
They've outlawed guns, but FIRST the Bible.
To quote the Good Book makes me liable.

We can elect a pregnant Senior Queen,
And the 'unwed daddy,' our Senior King.
It's 'inappropriate' to teach right from wrong,
We're taught that such 'judgments' do not belong.

We can get our condoms and birth controls,
Study witchcraft, vampires and totem poles.
But the Ten Commandments are not allowed,
No word of God must reach this crowd.

It's scary here I must confess,
When chaos reigns the school's a mess.
So, Lord, this silent plea I make:
Should I be shot; My soul please take!


Saturday, February 26, 2011

"Open Primaries" for Local Elections

Nebraska has nonpartisan elections-- popularly called "open primaries"[1] in many places-- for its one-house legislature. The state lets municipalities decide whether to have party primaries or nonpartisan elections for their own city officials. Currently, the largest city that has party primaries is Fremont, but the city council there is considering changing to nonpartisan elections.

Ballot Access News reports that LB 214 has been introduced in the Nebraska legislature. It would mandate nonpartisan elections for all municipal and county offices.

Mississippi, of course, still has party primaries for municipal[2] and county elections. Since most of our counties decide their elections for county officials in one party's primary, many voters this August will have to choose between voting for state officials or county officials.

This situation could be remedied by the Magnolia State eliminating party primaries for county offices and having all county candidates run in the same election. In each county, all the candidates for county offices would be listed on both the Republican and the Democratic primary ballots. Then, regardless of which party's primary ballot the voter picked for state offices, he would also be able to choose among all the candidates for county offices.

Since the Mississippi legislature is very unlikely to make this change, we citizens will have to do it through a ballot initiative. Hopefully, we will get it accomplished in time for the 2015 state and county elections.


[1] All candidates, including independents, run in the same election. The top two vote-getters, regardless of party, advance to the runoff.

[2] Some of Mississippi's smaller municipalities do not hold party primaries in electing their own officials. Rather, all candidates run in the general election, which is a one-round, first-past-the-post election. Thus some officials are elected with less than 50 percent of the vote.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Will McMillin Run as an Independent?

UPDATE - 2/26/2011 - WLBT-Channel 3 reports that both Malcolm McMillin and Tyrone Lewis qualified for sheriff as Democrats on Friday, February 25. This sets up a rematch of their 2007 primary battle.


Mississippi will elect its state and county officials this year, and March 1 is the qualifying deadline for all offices except the legislature. The Democrats thus far are fielding candidates for just two of the eight statewide offices-- governor and attorney general. Moreover, the governorship looks to be the only contested statewide race in the August Democratic primary, as attorney general Jim Hood has no primary opposition. If this holds up, of course, the elections for the other six statewide offices will be determined in the Republican primary.[1]

Here in Hinds County, the most populous county and seat of the state capital, elections for county officials have for years been decided in the Democratic primary. Veteran sheriff Malcolm McMillin, one of only a few white county officeholders here, has announced that he will seek a sixth term; however-- interestingly-- he has not yet filed qualifying papers. In fact, just one candidate, a Democrat, has so far filed for sheriff. While I certainly am not privy to McMillin's thinking, I suspect that he may be contemplating running as an independent instead of as a Democrat. Here are some reasons why the sheriff, a very shrewd politician, may consider this to be his best route to victory this year:

~~ If the races for the six statewide offices are indeed decided in the August Republican primary, many whites will vote GOP and will thus be unable to vote for McMillin if he runs in the Democratic primary. Republican primary voters will be eligible to vote for him, however, if he runs as an independent, since the November general election is the only election in which independents are on the ballot.

~~ Johnny Dupree, the black mayor of Hattiesburg, promises to run a vigorous campaign for governor in the Democratic primary. This will presumably increase the black turnout in that primary. While Sheriff McMillin has a large following among blacks, a huge black turnout in the primary would seem to work against him overall (remember that Tyrone Lewis, who is black, gave the sheriff a tough contest in the 2007 Democratic primary).

~~ 50-plus percent is required to win a party primary, but a candidate can win the November general election with less than 50 percent.[2] With McMillin running as an independent, the winner of the Democratic primary would certainly be black. And if one or more black independents also run, that would split the anti-McMillin vote.

There are also potential downsides to an independent candidacy for McMillin:

~~ His longtime ally, Congressman Bennie Thompson of Bolton, is a diehard Democrat and would likely be reluctant to back a white independent against the winner of the Democratic primary, who would be black.

~~ Most black voters are accustomed to voting a straight Democratic ticket in November. Despite McMillin's support among blacks, many of them may find it difficult to choose a white independent over a Democratic nominee who is black. And many may think that it's high time that black-majority Hinds County elected a black sheriff.

We'll have some answers by next Tuesday.


[1] It's always possible, to be sure, that there will be independent and/or minor party candidates.

[2] This is true of all partisan offices except for statewide state offices.

Friday, February 11, 2011

5th Circuit Did Not Reject Voter ID

The Clarion-Ledger ran an edited version of this letter to the editor on January 18, 2011.


In her column on voter ID ("Referendum vote could end lengthy voter ID debate," Jan. 11), Associated Press writer Shelia Byrd mentioned the lawsuit brought in 2006 by the Mississippi Democratic Party, the purpose of which was for the party to gain the ability to block non-Democrats from voting in Democratic primaries. Byrd made it sound as though that suit's dismissal by the 5th U. S. Circuit Court of Appeals in 2008 was a rejection of voter ID. That's absolutely false.

U. S. district Judge Allen Pepper, ruling in favor of the Democrats, had declared our state primary election law unconstitutional. He also went further and injected voter ID and voter registration by party into the case-- erroneously, in my view. The 5th Circuit threw out the suit on procedural grounds[1], which had nothing at all to do with the issues in the case (Mississippi Democratic Party v. Barbour, 07-60667).

At the time of Pepper's ruling in 2007, twenty-four states already had some type of voter ID.

This has nothing to do with voter ID, but Idaho's Republicans and South Carolina's Republicans subsequently filed federal lawsuits similar to the Mississippi Democrats' suit. A decision is expected any time now in the Idaho case (Idaho Republican Party v. Ysursa, 08-cv-165).


[1] The Democrats had not adopted a party rule for a closed primary.

Early Deadlines Unfair to Independents

This appeared as a letter to the editor of The Clarion-Ledger on January 16, 2011.


Both Clarion-Ledger Editorial Director David Hampton and the Enterprise-Journal of McComb wrote about this year's ludicrous March 1 qualifying deadline for candidates for all offices except the legislature ("Time is now to consider running," Hampton, Jan.2; "Qualifying deadline should be moved to June 1," Enterprise-Journal, Jan. 1). This premature date is definitely a prophylactic for incumbents. Even more outrageous is the January deadline in presidential election years. That's some ten months before the general election, the only election in which independents run.

For years, Mississippi had a September qualifying deadline for independents. If anyone was dissatisfied with the choices produced by the August party primaries, one or more independent candidates could still get on the November ballot. But this was a big inconvenience for party candidates-- especially incumbents-- so in the 1980s, the Legislature made the deadline for independents the same as that for party candidates.

I wish that someone would file suit against the early deadlines, as numerous courts in other states have ruled that January, March, and even some later dates are unconstitutional for independent candidates.

Connecticut Senator Joe Lieberman was reelected in 2006 as an independent after losing the Democratic primary. In 2010, Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski was reelected as a write-in candidate after losing the Republican primary. While I do not advocate letting candidates who lose party primaries keep on running, I would like to see Mississippi make ballot access easier for independents and write-in candidates.

Elections should be about more choices for the voters, not about less competition for incumbents.

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Open Primaries and the "Top Two"

Below is one of my comments from another website. It's a response to Jim Riley of Texas.


My state has state-mandated open primaries, in which each voter picks a party on primary day. The only change I personally favor here is the elimination of party primaries for county and municipal offices. Nevertheless, the federal courts for some 35 years have been ruling for greater autonomy for political parties. Just look at the reasoning, e. g., in the California Democratic Party v. Jones blanket primary[1] case, and it’s not hard to predict what the U. S. Supreme Court will say about the state-mandated open primary.

Let’s say the Supreme Court hears the Idaho case and strikes down its state-imposed open primary (Idaho Republican Party v. Ysursa). The Idaho Democrats have indicated that they will keep their primaries open to ALL voters. And any party in any other open primary state that did not want an open primary for itself would have to file suit. It would be an easy case, but it would take time.

The Mississippi Democrats brought suit against the open primary in 2006 (Mississippi Democratic Party v. Barbour). They said if they won, they would invite independents but block Republicans from Democratic primaries. The Mississippi Republicans, for their part, indicated that they would keep their primaries open to ALL voters (that case was dismissed on a legal technicality).

So even if the high court strikes down the state-imposed open primary, there will continue to be open primaries. The difference will be that the parties– not the state– will decide who is eligible to vote in party primaries (the state does have the power to prohibit parties from inviting members of opposing parties to vote in their primaries). Even if a state can no longer force open primaries on parties, the parties will still be concerned with staying in the voters' good graces.

I think you’re engaging in wishful thinking in your prediction of a massive proliferation of the Louisiana-style “top two” system.[2] State legislatures are very unlikely to mandate the “top two” for state or congressional offices, and many states don’t have the initiative process.

No states now leave it to parties to maintain their own records for the purpose of excluding some voters from their primaries. In every state where at least one party wants to exclude some voters, the state registers voters by party (29 states and the District of Columbia now have party registration).


[1] In a blanket primary, all the candidates of multiple parties are listed on the same ballot. The top vote-getter from each party moves on to the general election, where any independent candidates are also on the ballot.

[2] All candidates, including independents, are listed on a single ballot. The top two vote-getters, regardless of party, advance to the runoff.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Earmarks and Term Limits

Sidney Salter wrote about U. S. senator Roger Wicker's support of a two-year moratorium on congressional earmarks. Sidney compared this support to Wicker's endorsement of the House Republican candidates' 1994 Contract with America.

"... Republicans who are truly concerned about angering the Tea Party crowd might do well to review the last time they made promises to the voters and failed to keep them. Back in 1994, Wicker the candidate signed the ten-point 'Contract With America' — which promised to bring term limits to Congress. ... .
Yet Wicker the congressman never voted in favor of term limits.

"... Wicker got away with his rather blatant 1994 'Contract With America' flip-flop on term limits..."

The big majority of the Republican House candidates, including Wicker, signed the Contract with America in the fall of 1994. In doing so, they promised to bring each of the ten pieces of the Contract to a vote-- but not necessarily to passage-- on the House floor during the first 100 days of the new Congress. The first GOP House majority in 40 years, the Republicans kept this promise. While they had not pledged passage of the ten parts of the Contract, they did indeed pass nine of the ten parts-- all but term limits. Despite getting a simple majority (227 to 204), the term limits proposal did not receive the two-thirds vote necessary for a constitutional amendment.

Thus, since Congressman Wicker never pledged to vote for term limits, he did not "flip-flop" on that issue (the House Republicans voted for term limits, 189 to 40, whereas the Democrats voted against the measure, 163 to 38).[1]

If the term limits amendment had indeed gotten the required two-thirds vote in the House, it would then have also had to get a two-thirds majority in the Senate before being sent to the states for ratification.

In the end, President Bill Clinton signed seven of the ten pieces of the Contract with America into law.


[1] The independent Bernie Sanders, then Vermont's lone congressman, also voted against term limits. Sanders, an avowed socialist, is, of course, now a U. S. senator. He caucuses with the Democrats, where I'm sure he feels right at home.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Open Primary Trial in Idaho

The three-day federal trial in the Idaho Republican Party's lawsuit against the state-mandated open primary[1] concluded on October 15. The Republican Party wants to be able to enforce its rule that says that only Republicans may vote in GOP primaries. According to Ballot Access News:

"A last round of briefs will be filed in the next few weeks. The decision, when it comes down, will be a landmark. This is the first case in which either major party has submitted empirical evidence that it needs to close its primary because persons not in sympathy with the party have been voting in its primaries."

The Republican Party presented evidence that 41 percent of the voters in the 2008 GOP primary were non-Republicans.

"The Mississippi Democratic Party case [against the state-mandated open primary] had lost on a legal technicality..."

The technicality was that the Democrats had not adopted a party rule for a closed primary. The U. S. district court declared the open primary law unconstitutional, but in May 2008, the 5th U. S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans reversed the district court (Mississippi Democratic Party v. Barbour, 07-60667).

Dennis Mansfield attended the Idaho trial and produced several blog posts on it, starting on October 13. Another interesting post is here (Dennis's other posts on the trial are commingled with posts on different topics).

If the state-mandated open primary is ultimately struck down, each party will have the option of inviting independents to vote in its primaries (Tashjian v. Republican Party of Connecticut, 1986).

Unless the state prohibits it, each party will also have the option of inviting members of opposing parties to vote in its primaries-- which the Idaho Republicans obviously won't do (Clingman v. Beaver, 2005).


[1] Each voter chooses a party on primary day.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Joe Sobran, Culture War Soldier and Statesman, RIP

by Peter Gemma

Pundit Joe Sobran [SO-brun] honed the definition of pithy— and used it tactically— better than anyone I’ve read: “The U.S. Constitution poses no serious threat to our form of government.” That’s my favorite, but there are so many more. There’s his definition of a bigot as “one who practices sociology without a license,” and his observation that in America “freedom is coming to mean little more than the right to ask permission.”

Joseph Sobran, author, commentator, and a former editor with William F. Buckley’s National Review magazine, passed away last month. He was only 64 but, like his culture war colleague Sam Francis [1947-2005], his prodigious production of books, essays, and syndicated columns— Joe’s writing style was often compared to P. G. Wodehouse and G. K. Chesterton— ensures his legacy will be a long one. Joe will be remembered for several flash points in his career, one being his relationship with Bill Buckley who, for 21 years, featured and promoted Joe in National Review. WFB once observed that “Joe Sobran is unquestionably the wittiest, most trenchant— and yet, lyrical— moralist to have appeared in my lifetime.” In 1993 however, Buckley fired Joe, charging him with the politically pungent label of being an “anti-Semite,” a deadly misnomer. Joe summed up the contention this way:

“I couldn’t understand what the fuss was about. I’d merely applied conservative principles— the things National Review stood for— to Israel: it was a socialist country with no conception of limited, constitutional government, which discriminated against Christians, while betraying its benefactor, the United States, and turning the Muslim world against us. It seemed pretty clear-cut to me, and none of the reasons conservatives gave for supporting Israel made much sense.”

Controversial or not, he had admirers like Pat Buchanan (who called Joe “perhaps the finest columnist of our generation”) and Ann Coulter (“Every once in a while I think I’m a reasonably competent writer. And then I read a Sobran column. He is the master.”) Even the New York Times conceded in its obituary that Joe Sobran “made his mark with witty, thoughtful essays on moral and social questions. He was an unapologetic paleoconservative, opposed to military intervention abroad, big government at home and moral permissiveness everywhere.”

One sign of a brilliant mind is that its owner can be an expert on more than one issue— perhaps several disparate subjects. Joe’s book, Alias Shakespeare: Solving the Greatest Literary Mystery of All Time (Simon & Schuster, 1997) proved him to be one of the best known scholars on Shakespeare’s writings: he asserted that the Bard of Avon was actually poet and writer Edward de Vere, the 17th Earl of Oxford. The topic is a matter of fierce debate which Joe authoritatively addressed in speeches, columns, and as a featured participant in a forum sponsored by Harper’s magazine.

And then there’s Joe’s take, based on extensive research, on Abraham Lincoln:

“A few books have told the dark story of Lincoln’s suppression of liberty in the North, including the thousands of arbitrary arrests and hundreds of closings of newspapers; his war on the South required a war on the Bill of Rights in the North as well. All in the name of freedom, of course. Maybe it would have happened anyway, but since Lincoln the Constitution has meant not what it says, but whatever the U. S. Government decides it shall mean.”

Finally, I offer this personal observation of my friend: in a bar, with a cigar, there was no better story teller. Joe Sobran could quote Shakespeare (or perhaps it’s Edward DeVere) at length and attach it to such punch lines as “a bribe is an irregular transaction through which the citizen may get his money’s worth of service from the government,” or “when a politician wrestles with his conscience, he usually wins.” In my estimation, a good man is defined by his appreciation of comedy, his consistency in convictions, and his courage to endure. In America’s culture war, we lost a very good man.


Peter Gemma is the editor of Shots Fired: Sam Francis on America’s Culture War, which carries a foreword by Pat Buchanan and an afterword by Joe Sobran.

(Reprinted with permission from Middle American News, November, 2010 edition.)

Thursday, September 30, 2010

The Government Runs the Ultimate Racket

"[Social Security benefits] were raised 15% in 1970, 10% in 1971, and 20% in 1972 in a competition to buy the elderly vote."

This was during the presidency of Richard Nixon. The 1972 increase resulted from a "bidding war" between Nixon and Wilbur Mills (D-Arkansas), chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee. The raise took effect with the November Social Security checks, which included a letter from Nixon. In the election a few days later, Nixon carried 49 states. ~~SR


by Gary M. Galles

"Seniors hurt in Ponzi scam" headlined the story of elderly Southern Californians bilked in a pyramid scheme. While sad, the story reminded me of Social Security, since it is also a Ponzi scheme involving those older, with high payoffs to early recipients coming from pockets of later participants. With Social Security, however, it benefits those older at others' expense.

Pyramid scams collapse when they run out of enough new "investors" to pay earlier promises. Some use this fact to deny that Social Security is really a massive redistribution scheme, since it has lasted over 70 years. That assertion misses two substantial differences between Social Security and other Ponzi schemes however: Social Security involves far longer generations, with people collecting on current promises far into the future; and it has been not one, but a series of Ponzi schemes.

Since Social Security began, each of the many times it has been expanded, those in or near retirement got benefits far exceeding their costs. Those already retired paid no added taxes, and those near retirement paid more for only a few years. But both groups received increased benefits for the rest of their lives. However, such "generosity" must be paid for by someone else, forcing later generations not only to finance their own retirements, but also to cover the unfunded benefits given early retirees. Therefore, the good deal Social Security has given retirees (e.g., Ida Fuller, Social Security's first retiree, received benefits 924 times her contributions) does nothing to prove it is not a Ponzi scheme; instead, it demonstrates why it is.

Social Security has been sustained only by repeated expansion. Originally applied only to private-sector workers, it has been expanded to farmers, self-employed workers, non-profit workers, the military and government workers, with each expansion starting a new Ponzi cycle benefiting older Americans, while leaving the tab to later generations.

Disability and dependents' benefits were added by 1960. Medicare was added in 1965, and benefits have been expanded (e.g., Medicare Part B, three quarters financed by others, and the new prescription drug benefit).

Social Security benefits have been dramatically increased. They doubled between 1950 and 1952. They were raised 15% in 1970, 10% in 1971, and 20% in 1972 in a competition to buy the elderly vote. Benefits were tied to a measure that effectively double-counted inflation, and even now, benefits are indexed to the CPI, which overstates inflation, raising real benefit levels over time.

The massive expansion of Social Security is evident from the increased tax burden since its $60 per year initial maximum. Tax rates have risen and been applied to more earnings, so that Social Security and Medicare took 15.3% of earnings up to $97,500 in 2007 (Medicare taxes also apply beyond that income level), with further increases scheduled and still more proposed.

Social Security's good deal for retirees has resulted from a series of Ponzi schemes to benefit those then older at the expense of later generations. That is why the system is in perpetual crisis now, always seeking new sources of money to keep the system of massive overcommitments from imploding. And with expansion tricks nearly exhausted and baby boom retirements starting, it will only get worse.

Social Security's "success" for seniors consists only in multiple expansions that have resulted in a fourteen-digit unfunded liability, imposing a very bad deal on the rest of us. And those burdens grow each year. But even worse than private Ponzi schemes, government has required each generation of "suckers" to participate.

The fact that Social Security's generational highjacking is politically well established doesn't make it ethically legitimate. We send private Ponzi scheme organizers to prison for good reason. The puzzle is why people laud government for doing the same thing on a far greater scale — why we see no headlines reading, "Seniors hurt others in Ponzi scam."


For related posts, click here, here, here, and here.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

"Fast Eddie"

Ed Mezvinsky was married to Marjorie Margolies-Mezvinsky, who, as a U. S. House member in 1993, changed her position at the last minute and cast the deciding vote in favor of President Clinton's gigantic tax increase. The voters in her Pennsylvania district booted her out in 1994. ~~ SR


Ever wondered what it is about the seedy world of politics that, like a moth to a flame, draws people of a certain ilk to it? Between Clinton's last-minute commutations and pardons along with Whitewater investments, I guess that all of the in-laws will find a lot of common ground to talk about. Welcome to the family!!!


by John Popovich

Before I came to Cincinnati, I was a news reporter at WOC in Davenport, Iowa. I covered a lot of city council activities and a lot of political stuff. One of the guys I covered was Ed Mezvinsky, who was the congressman from Iowa's first district. Seemed like a pretty nice guy, but when he ditched his wife for a New York reporter, the Iowa voters ditched him. My most vivid memory is that he sat on the House Judiciary Committee that was deciding the fate of President Nixon. Anyway, years later, "Fast Eddie" got caught with his hand in the till. He cheated investors out of more than 10 million dollars. He went to prison for several years. On a recent weekend, his son married Chelsea Clinton.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Who's the Democratic National Chairman?

Sidney Salter's September 12 column handicapped Mississippi's District 1 U. S. House race.

"... Democratic National Committee chairman Howard Dean ..."

Since January 2009, Tim Kaine has been the Democratic national chairman. Kaine served as governor of Virginia from January 2006 until January 2010. He's the son-in-law of Linwood Holton, a Republican who was governor of the Old Dominion from 1970 to 1974.

What's your question or comment?

Friday, September 03, 2010

Richard Winger Appears on C-SPAN

Shortly after midnight on Wednesday-- early Thursday morning-- I was channel surfing and happened to catch a re-run of Richard Winger's appearance on C-SPAN.

This was a pleasant surprise to me, since Richard has modestly neglected to mention this interview on his website, Ballot Access News.

I was also surprised to hear Richard say that he favors partisan elections for city offices. His state of California has had nonpartisan elections-- popularly called "open primaries"-- for municipal and county offices for almost 100 years.

In a partisan election system, of course, each party is empowered to place a candidate for every office on the general election ballot.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Looking For Work

A doctor from Israel said, "In Israel the medicine is so advanced that we can cut off part of a man's testicles, put it into another man and in six weeks he's looking for work."

A German doctor commented, "That's nothing. In Germany we can take part of the brain out of one person and put it into another person and in four weeks he's looking for work."

The Russian doctor retorted, "That's nothing either. In Russia we can take half of the heart out of a person and put it into another person and in two weeks, he's looking for work."

The U. S. doctor chimed in immediately, "Well, that's nothing, colleagues. Two years ago in the U. S. A., we grabbed an individual with no brains, no heart, and no balls, put him in as president and now the whole country is looking for work!"

~~ Author unknown