Thursday, September 11, 2014

Convenient ballot rulings in Nebraska and Kansas by GOP Secretaries of State

From left: Kansas and Nebraska GOP Secy's of State
Kris Kobach and John Gale
In Kansas, homophobic Secretary of State Kris Kobach has refused to remove from the statewide ballot Democrat Chad Taylor, who withdrew in favor of a better-polling independent challenger to incumbent GOP U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts, 78.
     Kobach said Taylor's name must retain on the ballot (which would split the progressive vote, favoring the GOP) because Kansas state law limits when party nominees are allowed to withdraw.
TD Ameritrade scion Pete Ricketts, now running
for Nebraska Governor after a failed U.S. Senate
campaign. His firm made hundreds of millions
of dollars routing customer trades to an
outfit now accused of cheating investors
via computer-abetted "front-running"
     So does a statute in Nebraska, but Secretary of State John Gale has imperiously told media that the law "wasn't the last word" on the situation, which is as follows:
     On September 9th, after his sister took out a protection order against him over his behavior over his still-living mother's estate, Lt. Gov. Lavon Heidemann withdrew from office and as the running mate of Ameritrade scion and GOP gubernatorial candidate Pete Ricketts; within hours Pete Ricketts named State Auditor Mike Foley as his running mate. Nebraska statutes forbid such ballot changes after September first.
     From KOLN-KGIN:
     Gale noted that there is judicial case law in Nebraska which allowed for a substitution of a candidate after a withdrawal deadline, which was September 1 in this case, and indicated that the constitutional argument presented by the Ricketts’ campaign was persuasive. Neb. Const. art. IV §1 vests exclusive authority in the candidate for governor to select a person to be the candidate for lieutenant governor on the general election ballot.
     AKSARBENT isn't a lawyer, but this seems weak. Ricketts already made his choice; Nebraska statutes don't appear to grant him the prerogative for a redo after the state-mandated deadline.
     Michael Fenner, a constitutional law professor at Creighton University School of Law, said the Nebraska Constitution does give Ricketts the right to name his running mate, but he also said the Legislature clearly has the authority to set election deadlines.
     He also questioned how Gale could issue an opinion after hearing from only from one side of the argument — Ricketts’.
     Heidemann is the second consecutive choice of GOP Gov Dave Heineman for Lt. Governor to have resigned in disgrace in as many years. In 2013, after news reports revealed that he made thousands of late night calls to women other than his wife on a state-issued cellphone, former Lt. Gov. Rick Sheehy abruptly and tersely resigned.
Homophobic GOP Nebraska Gov. Heineman, pictured with a weasel (on left)
     Dave Heineman, after screwing up child welfare in Nebraska, lobbying while in office for a cushy NU job after he is term-limited out of office and failing to comply with a DOJ prison rape elimination deadline, is now busy ducking the fallout for a huge prison sentencing miscalculation scandal in his administration, exposed by the World-Herald.

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