Dead Men Left

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

On picking the right targets

Fresh evidence that the Democrats really are more concerned about smashing Ralph Nader than about beating George Bush arrives from the St Petersburg Times:

The latest effort to disqualify Ralph Nader as a presidential candidate in Florida has led to renewed scrutiny of papers filed by other candidates - including President Bush.

State law sets a Sept. 1 deadline for the governor to certify a list of presidential electors for each party's candidates.

But Sept. 1 was also the day President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney were being nominated at their party' convention in New York. Consequently, some of their paperwork did not arrive at state elections headquarters until Sept. 2, a day after Gov. Jeb Bush certified the candidates for president.

At the same time as the Florida Democratic Party has bent over backwards to keep Ralph Nader off the state's ballot, they are refusing to challenge George Bush's late nomination:

Florida Democratic Party chairman Scott Maddox said he knew the president's certificate of nomination did not reach the state until Sept. 2, but he said he decided not to make an issue of it.

"To keep an incumbent president off the ballot in a swing state the size of Florida because of a technicality, I just don't think would be right," Maddox said.

Such support for fair elections is heartening, naturally. It's a pity, then, that whilst the same Republican Party that adopted such a flexible approach to electoral law in 2000 is once more indulged by the Democrats, a minor party candidate is harried through the courts. In Illinois, Nader's campaign have alleged that the Democrats have broken electoral law by using state employees on party political work to challenge Nader's nomination:

"We've already identified no less than 10 Democrat state employees working on this challenge, most coming directly from Speaker Michael Madigan's staff," states Christina Tobin, a local coordinator for the Nader for President campaign. "I've requested the relevant payroll records to verify these state employees are not on the clock, but Madigan's staff is acting like they've got something to hide. If that isn't enough, Madigan is sending over his 16 year old interns that have no business being put into the middle of this legal process."