HD 54: Dems Cut Off Nose To Spite Face

Back in the day, white cops used to arrest civil rights demonstrators for things like “disturbing the peace” while ignoring the scum that was throwing rocks and other projectiles at the demonstrators. That was called a pretext. Everyone knew the demonstrators were being arrested for what they were saying, not for committing any real crime.

It must be something in the water down there, because the same principle was at work in Montgomery yesterday.

In a nutshell, Gaynell Hendricks, realizing her argument that Patricia Todd should be disqualified for filing her disclosure forms with the Secretary of State late but prior to the election was meritless, instead argued that Todd ought to be disqualified for failing to file her financial forms with the Democratic party. The committee agreed, and gave Todd the boot.

There are three major problems here.

According to the reports, not even one single Democrat filed their reports with the party. That means every Democratic nominee should be disqualified from the fall elections. In fact, the last time any candidate filed a report with the party was 19 freakin’ 88!!

Why the rampant lawlessness? That leads us to the second problem. 1988 is when the current law – the one requiring disclosure to the Secretary of State – passed. In other words, until yesterday, everyone was working on the assumption that the State law had superceded the party rule.

So the rule is totally bogus as a reason for the dismissal.

The third problem is that even if the rule is valid, the penalty they imposed would never survive a legal challenge. The state disclosure law was created so that voters would be properly informed. Yet, if the candidate files late, but before the election, the Alabama Supreme Court has held that they do not thereby forfeit the election. In other words, failing to properly inform the most important people in the entire process – the voters – does not justify disqualification. So how much less does failing to inform some party administrator justify disqualification?

To be fair, the committee also booted Hendricks, because she did not file with the party either. But this is still a complete sham. The rule they enforced was superceded by state law, and the penalty they imposed is outrageous. Todd lost because she is a white person and the people pulling the strings in the party are racists.    

What a sick joke.

Kathy continues her reporting on the race here, herehere, and here. Jeff’s coverage is here. Dan calls this “The stupidest thing I’ve ever heard.” Alabamian asks “What in the Hell is this?” The MSNBC story is entitled: “Dems use ignored rule to oust gay candidate.” The New York Times says “Issues of Race and Sex Stir Up Alabama Election.” The new Politics in Alabama says “Joe GReed has disgracefully engaged in racial politics and has created a huge fiasco that is embarrassing to the entire state and especially to the Democratic Party. . . Joe must go! Joe must go! Joe must go!”

Explore posts in the same categories: Alabama Legislature, Corrupt Politicians, Elections

9 Comments on “HD 54: Dems Cut Off Nose To Spite Face”

  1. Kathy Says:

    Wheeler, I wish you had been there. I have pages and pages of notes. Patricia’s lawyers were just outstanding, and any reasonable committee would have rejected the contest for lack of merit. I hope the state executive committee shows better judgment tomorrow.

  2. wheeler Says:

    she has excellent attorneys. as a fellow lawyer, i can not imagine how they must have felt after that hearing. what a complete shafting that was.

    these guys have spent large parts of their lives fighting for equality and civil rights, and now they get ripped by the very people who their work has benefited.

    just disgusting.

  3. Kathy Says:

    Wheeler, Bobby Segall as much as said that in the hearing. Afterward, he said it was a setup. He looked pretty disgusted.

    If anyone wants to make calls, send emails, or give money to help right this injustice, click here for more information.

  4. Dan Says:

    I actually called it, “The Stupidest Stupid Thing I’ve Ever Heard.” And I meant it. I’ve seen a lot of stupid things in Alabama politics, but this takes the cake on stupid, on stupidity if not scale.

    Although I am usually disappointed when this state gets bad national press, I am glad that people are noticing. I hope this becomes huge. I want to see it followed on CNN.

  5. will Says:

    Lord this makes me glad I left Alabama 15 years ago. What a disgrace. Of course, people in New York, when they hear of this scandal, simply laugh and say, “What do you expect? it’s ALABAMA.” A sad day in Alabama politics. New York politics is hardly the gold standard of fairness, but aren’t we all tired of Alabama being the state that makes the rest of the country feel better about themselves? So what’s the plan? I assume Todd will keep pursuing her cause?

  6. wheeler Says:

    yes. this was sort of a preliminary hearing. it is only a recomendation. the executive committee of the party will make the final call saturday.

    if they also kowtow to racial prejudice, the result will be a court battle and the end of the democratic party in alabama. at least as it now exists. which might be a good thing.

  7. […] The Alablawg Commentary On Alabama Law And Society « HD 54: Dems Cut Off Nose To Spite Face […]

  8. […] Alablawg looks at the actual law and then comments on the results of the hearing. Filed under: Alabama Politics, Elections: 2006 | |Send TrackBack […]

  9. Roundup on House District 54 (Updated)

    As we all know by now, both Patricia Todd and Gaynell Hendricks have been disqualified on a 1974 Alabama Democratic Rule that states candidates must file their Financial Disclosure’s with the State Party. This rule has been ignored since 1988 whe…

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