July 11, 2006
One litigious Grandma
The Great Ballot Name Battle is not yet over, as Carole Keeton Strayhorn threatens to sue to overturn SOS Roger Williams' decision to disallow calling her "Grandma".
At a news conference on the front lawn of a campaign headquarters she calls Grandma's House, Strayhorn said she intends to file suit sometime this week in state District Court to have Williams' ruling struck down. When asked if she might be wasting the court's time, Strayhorn said it was Williams who is cluttering the docket.
"I'm not tying up the court. It's the secretary of state who incorrectly interpreted the law," Strayhorn said. "Grandma is a not a slogan. Grandma is who I am."
Strayhorn - who last appeared on the ballot in 2002 with the name Rylander, before she married Ed Strayhorn - took issue with a TV reporter who did an informal poll before the news conference and found that many people on the street did not know Strayhorn as Grandma. It would be unfair, Strayhorn said, if the multitudes on the campaign stump who do refer to her by the endearment were unable to look for that name on the ballot.
She insisted, however, that she could still win election without it.
I'm not going to waste too much time on what an embarrassing spectacle this has become. Vince
has done most of the heavy lifting, while South Texas Chisme
chimes in as well. From a practical perspective, I have to wonder if the litigation process could even be resolved in time for the various county clerks to start printing ballots, assuming that Strayhorn could find a judge to grant her a TRO against Williams in the first place. Of course, from a "there's no such thing as bad publicity" perspective, which I daresay has been the driver of this silliness all along, it would be just fine with Strayhorn if she gets one more chance to play the victim card. It's so much easier than actually campaigning
, after all.
Posted by Charles Kuffner on July 11, 2006 to Election 2006
What I don't get is why she thinks being on the ballot as Grandma will help so much. Do that many voters really only know her as Grandma? Do any?
With Kinky Friedman, it's obvious that a large number of his potential voters know him only as Kinky Friedman. So I understand why he would fight for this--but Strayhorn's request (and now lawsuit) never made that much sense in the first place.
(Frankly, I wish neither were on the ballot, but I guess they represent the dissatisfaction so many feel with the current leadership...)
One reason I love your blog, Charles, is that you always manage to think of the things none of the rest of us do:
From a practical perspective, I have to wonder if the litigation process could even be resolved in time for the various county clerks to start printing ballots, assuming that Strayhorn could find a judge to grant her a TRO against Williams in the first place.
As I recall, the Counties have to have the certifications on local candidates by the end of August or early part of September. I think that's also around the time of the deadline for the SOS to certify all the candidates for the counties to have their ballots printed (counties have the options to use different vendors).
I just flat out don't think CkMRS can actually make this fly, though. I mean, it's utterly nutz-o.
You also noted something else I liked very much:
Of course, from a "there's no such thing as bad publicity" perspective, which I daresay has been the driver of this silliness all along, it would be just fine with Strayhorn if she gets one more chance to play the victim card. It's so much easier than actually campaigning, after all.
I've always been leery of the phrase "there is no such thing as bad publicity." I think this is bad publicity. I'm waiting until the folks at Colbert Report and Daily Show get a hold of this, or Letterman or Leno. It's just designed to be made fun of. There are probably a hundred jokes a good comedy writer could make up to fit this.
RWB - Strayhorn apparently did a poll that claims her support jumped by 10 points when she was identified as "Grandma". As far as I can tell, that's why she's fought so hard for this.
I hope stopping frivolous lawsuits isn't part of her campaign platform.