August 11, 2004
Always nice to know that there are other states with whacked out politics

So there's been a lawsuit filed in the Rodney Alexander race, claiming that the last-minute party-switcher violated Louisiana state law by essentially filing for the race twice, once as a Democrat then again later as a Republican. I don't know the merits of this suit, but there sure would be some poetic justice in Alexander getting booted. He's already seen his entire staff quit, plus his consultants as well, according to that Stakeholder post.

If Alexander loses the court fight, there will still be a Republican (a gentleman named Jock Scott who is currently being pressured by the NRCC to drop out) and a Democrat (a woman named Tisa Blakes) in the race, so at least that result won't utterly deprive the voters of a choice. You never know what may happen in a case like this, but at least that argument won't hold water.

MyDD has a bunch of info. For the record, I don't object to party-switchers. It happens all the time, and Lord know we Democrats have been parading a few former Republicans in various Congressional races (Ginny Schrader and Steve Brozak, to name two). Last minute shenanigans to thwart competition are another matter. If Alexander had switched when he was first rumored to be contemplating it, I wouldn't have liked it, but that'd be life in the big city. This was a sleazy trick, and it'd serve him right if he got nailed for it.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on August 11, 2004 to Election 2004 | TrackBack

Dead on, and you'll certainly remember when we lost Hall we didn't react like this. This was deceit.

Posted by: jesselee on August 11, 2004 9:25 PM

Yup, it'd be so much more honorable if he switched right after the election, like Jim Jeffords.

Posted by: Another Rice Grad on August 11, 2004 9:26 PM

Actually, he did flirt with switching immediately after being elected. Someone with a more conspiratorial bent than I could cook up some interesting scenarios flowing from that. And please, get over it with Jeffords already.

Posted by: Charles Kuffner on August 11, 2004 9:38 PM

Right, because I'm sure you wouldn't still be harping about it if it'd happened to your side.

Party switchers happen, and almost inevitably there're people upset. It sucks, but that's politics. Trying to act like it's different on either side is mere shortsightedness.

Posted by: ARG on August 12, 2004 2:00 AM

We never really had Congressman Hall, so you can't really be mad he "switched" parties. He was voting with the Republicans something like 85% of the time. The district that Alexander represents is going to be hard for any real democrat to be elected in. Alexander is a conservative Democrat, and he barely won. I think the Dems should just cut their losses and move on.

Posted by: Brent on August 12, 2004 3:59 AM

It did happen to our side, ARG, and more than once. Richard Shelby, Ben Nighthorse Campbell, and Billy Tauzin come to mind, in addition to the aforementioned Hall. I don't see anyone "harping about" any of them on the Dem-leaning blogs.

Oh, and Jeffords didn't switch "right after the election." The election was in November; you'd have a point if Jeffords had switched then, but he didn't until the next spring, after Bush and the Rethugs had kicked him around for several months.

Posted by: Mathwiz on August 12, 2004 9:42 AM

_and_ Rove let it be known that with control of both houses of Congress they planned to screw Jeffords' state to punish him for not playing ball.

If his responsibility is with his constituents, he could not in good conscience allow that to happen.

His constituents seem overwhelmingly to agree.

Posted by: julia on August 12, 2004 11:55 AM

"Last minute shenanigans to thwart competition are another matter."

Thwart competition? How so? He's not the one trying to keep someone else off the ballot.

That minor quibble aside, I actually agree with you, assuming that it does indeed run contrary to existing statutes. In fact, I recall making the exact same argument regarding a New Jersey senate election in which existing statutes were tossed aside for partisan maneuvering. Interestingly, I did not find much in the way of liberal support at the time.

Posted by: R. Alex on August 15, 2004 7:03 PM