In Clowns to the Left of Me; Jokers to the Right (1 of 2), we examined TDP v. RPT, learning that under Texas law, if the ineligibility of a candidate for public office is “conclusively established” then, the state Chair of that party is authorized to declare the candidate is ineligible. Further, if the candidate’s name was previously submitted to the SoS to be placed on the ballot, the state Chair can now compel the SoS to remove that ineligible name. (And if the Chair of another state party has a problem with this, s/he can sue to enjoin both the opposing Chair and the SoS from effecting this ‘disqualification.’)
The section of the law referenced in TDP v. RPT – Texas Election Code §145.003(f) – allows a party chair to declare a candidate ineligible. But it does something else. Here is the text of that provision and provision (g):
(f) A candidate may be declared ineligible only if:
(1) the information on the candidate’s application for a place on the ballot indicates that the candidate is ineligible for the office; or
(2) facts indicating that the candidate is ineligible are conclusively established by another public record.
(g) When presented with an application for a place on the ballot or another public record containing information pertinent to a candidate’s eligibility, the appropriate authority shall promptly review the record. If the authority determines that the record establishes ineligibility as provided by Subsection (f), the authority shall declare the candidate ineligible. (Emphasis added.)
Did you catch that? If the authority – that would be, the party Chair – determines the candidate’s ineligibility is conclusively established by another public record, s/he shall declare the candidate ineligible. Not may declare; or has discretion to declare; but has no other choice but to declare, the candidate is ineligible for the job.
Presumably, Chairwoman Benkiser determined the public record conclusively established Mr. DeLay was ineligible, based on those documents he submitted to her evidencing his current legal residency in Virginia. So, as required by this law, she declared him, ineligible.
Does this provision mean, if Chairman Richie never “determines that the record establishes ineligibility,” he will never be obliged to declare, Barack Obama is ineligible? Absolutely not.
Recall from the first installment of “Clowns…,” who was responsible for petitioning the court to order the RPT (and the Texas SoS) to leave the name of Tom DeLay on the 2006 Congressional (mid-term) ballot in the first place. That’s right; Attorney Boyd Richie, Chair of the TDP.* I have no idea what prompted his involvement in this fight. Surely, Mr. Richie knew Mr. DeLay had won the R primary; he could assume the RPT had submitted Mr. DeLay’s name to the SoS for placement on the ballot. Presumably, he had heard Mr. DeLay announce soon after winning the primary, he had decided not to run for re-election. Mr. Richie could anticipate the RPT would try to remove his name from the ballot and replace it with a more suitable candidate. But RPT Chair Benkiser did not declare Mr. DeLay ineligible and seek to have the SoS remove his name from the ballot until receiving his VA documents, in May. And that’s when Mr. Richie made his move. How do you suppose he knew what Ms. Benkiser was up to? Did she notify the TDP of her intentions? Did the SoS receive the RPT de-certification and contact the TDP? (If you Texans are curious, you can use the open records law to ask the SoS to produce any and all correspondence in whatever form, to and from both the RPT and the TDP between March 1, 2006 and June 30, 2006 inclusive, related to the eligibility of Tom DeLay to appear on the ballot. (For template, see the link to the records request previously submitted to Mr. Richie for any and all documents that were the basis of his Certification of Barack Obama’s eligibility. http://jbjd.wordpress.com/2010/02/25/roadmap-tx-election-fraud-2008/ , under 6.))
Regardless how the TDP found out the RPT wanted to change the ballot; the point is this. The TDP anticipated or knew the RPT intended to find Mr. DeLay ‘prospectively ineligible,’ and affirmatively set out to prevent both the RPT and the state from taking his name off the ballot. And why wouldn’t they? Obviously, running an ineligible candidate for the R team, means an almost certain win for the D’s! Which leads to this question.
If someone wanted to prevent the TDP from putting the name Barack Obama on the ballot in the 2012 Texas primary or general election, why not take a lesson from them? (Note, in Texas, the party is responsible for submitting the names of candidates qualified to enter the primary. (http://www.sos.state.tx.us/elections/candidates/guide/demorrep.shtml))
I have spelled out in the citizen complaints of election fraud to AG Abbott the overwhelming circumstantial evidence that supports the charge, Boyd Richie swore to state election officials Presidential wannabe Barack Obama was eligible for the job without ascertaining beforehand he is a Natural Born Citizen. Using much of that same evidence, I can argue persuasively to the court that official public documents conclusively establish Barack Obama is ineligible to hold the office of President. (In a later post, I will present the formalized legal argument in support of the claim, under Texas law, the record conclusively establishes Mr. Obama’s ineligibility.)
Assuming the court can be persuaded the record conclusively establishes Mr. Obama’s ineligibility, Texas election law leaves Chairman Richie with no other choice but to declare him ineligible. But what if after all this, Mr. Richie still refuses to declare him ineligible?
Well, remember, there’s always §161.009, which subjects the party chair to the legal cause of action called mandamus. http://law.onecle.com/texas/election/161.009.00.htmls (I mentioned this on drkate’s Revolution Radio, Part III.) Mandamus allows the court – the judicial branch of government – to order members of the executive branch of government – and, in Texas, political party Chairs – to perform their ministerial functions, as spelled out in law – legislative branch – which law, in this case, says Mr. Richie must declare Mr. Obama ineligible.
I cannot be the only person who has figured this out.
Indeed, given the facts that copies of the citizen complaints of election fraud to AG Abbott have been mailed to the RPT (and the RNC); that the laws in TX require a party Chair to declare a candidate ineligible when such ineligibility is conclusively established in the record, and subject party Chairs to Mandamus; and that the TDP has already successfully petitioned the court to keep the RPT and the SoS from taking the name of Congressional candidate Tom DeLay off the ballot; why hasn’t the RPT expended similar efforts to prevent the TDP and SoS from putting the name of Presidential candidate Barack Obama, on?
I don’t know; do you?
And, to use a colloquialism, why hasn’t the RNC or any aspiring R Presidential candidates put their dog in the hunt? After all, if Barack Obama is ineligible to get his name printed on the ballot in one applicable state, then…
Perhaps because both the RPT and the RNC are embroiled in more pressing matters than fighting to preserve and protect the integrity of election ballots in Texas.
Ms. Benkiser stepped down as Chair of the RPT in September 2009 to work as a Senior Adviser on Governor Perry’s re-election campaign, and was replaced by Cathie Adams. http://www.dallasobserver.com/2009-10-29/news/texas-gop-shifts-even-further-right-with-new-chair-cathie-adams/ Before this, Ms. Adams successfully campaigned to become an RNC Committeewoman. She was endorsed by conservative stalwart, Phyllis Schlafly, Eagle Forum National President. “Cathie Adams is a leader in the battle for God, Family and Country. She is extremely capable and I am confident that she would excel as Republican National Committeewoman.” http://www.cathieadams4rnc.com/
One of Ms. Adams’ first priorities was to spearhead a campaign on behalf of conservative members of the party, to get the RNC to pass a resolution renaming the DNC, the Democratic Socialist Party. In the spring of 2009, nearly 3 (three) years since TDP v. RPT was decided; several months after President Obama took the oath of office; Ms. Adams and RNC Chairman Michael Steele were interviewed by Neil Cavuto from FOX. Obviously straining to keep a straight face, Mr. Cavuto asked whether the Committeewoman’s crusade to rename the DNC detracted from real efforts at problem solving.
* Here are the attorneys representing the parties, and the interested parties (other candidates, for example, not directly involved in the case but whose interests the court wanted to hear by granting their requests to introduce briefs in amici curiae, or friends of the court.) Chad Wilson Dunn (argued), Brazil & Dunn, Martin Jonathan Siegel (argued), Watts Law Firm, Houston, TX, Mikal C. Watts, Watts Law Firm, Corpus Christi, TX, Richard A. Grigg, Law Offices of Dicky Grigg, Cristen D. Feldman, Crews & Elliott, Austin, TX, for Plaintiffs-Appellees. (That’s Boyd Richie as Chair of the TDP.)
James Bopp, Jr. (argued), Raeanna Sue Moore, Bopp, Coleson & Bostrom, Terre Haute, IN, for Benkiser. (Defendants-Appellants.)
R. Ted Cruz, Office of Sol. Gen., TX, Austin, TX, Amici Curiae for Williams.
Andrius R. Kontrimas, Jenkins & Gilchrist, Houston, TX, Amicus Curiae for Wallace for Congress.
Susan L. Hays, Curran Tomko Tarski, Dallas, TX, Amicus Curiae for 68th Texas Legislature.