Oliver sues to stay on ballot

We’ll find out who’s right soon enough.

On Friday, Houston attorney Lloyd Oliver filed a lawsuit seeking to prevent the Harris County Democratic Party’s attempts to oust him from the ticket.

“They’re not going to put any candidate on the ballot. They just shut the whole thing down,” Oliver said.

The lawyer called the move an attempt by party officials to disenfranchise voters.


Earlier this week, a spokeswoman for the Texas secretary of state said there was no provision in state law for removing a political candidate accused of violating party rules.

Harris County Democratic Party officials say they have federal law on their side.

“Political parties get to determine who their nominees are going to be,” said Chad Dunn, the party’s attorney.

He said the Constitution prevents government officials from compelling a political party – a private association – to select a particular candidate.

Dunn said Oliver could run as an independent or a write-in candidate.

“But, if you want to run as a Democrat, then the Democratic Party gets to decide if you are its nominee,” Dunn said.

The irony of all this is that filing the lawsuit is the first proactive step Lloyd Oliver has ever taken to be elected to something. I wasn’t sure he’d even bother, given that his goal was never to actually get elected, but merely to get publicity. Well, now he gets to keep his name in the papers for a few more days.

I’ll say again what I said originally. I don’t see what leg the HCDP has to stand on. I hope I’m wrong and that they really do have chapter and verse of federal law on their side, because they’re going to look like a bunch of idiots if they lose. I just have a bad feeling about this.

As for Dunn’s statement about who gets to decide who the nominees are, well, not to belabor the obvious, but that’s what primary elections are for. The fact that the voters made a poor choice this time is certainly unfortunate and a failure of the process that I believe the party needs to address for the future, but that’s a separate issue. It’s true that Oliver could have run as an independent or as a write-in, but to do so would have required filing paperwork that was due at the same time as the paperwork to be on the primary ballot. Unlike, say, Connecticut, where you can form your own party to run in after losing in the primary of another party, you only get one shot at this in Texas. Oliver chose to file as a Democrat for his own inscrutable reasons. He won the primary, and that means he’s earned the right to run in November, much as I dislike the idea of him winning. I’ll wait to see what the judge has to say, but I really don’t understand this. Tactically speaking, it’s hard to see how Oliver was going to be more trouble on the ballot than he is now trying to get him off of it.

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3 Responses to Oliver sues to stay on ballot

  1. joshua bullard says:

    now were talking charles kuffner—-its ok to just let lane lewis have it-can you believe that the local democrats are trying to invalidate the vote of its own party.the sad part about it all is there sooooooo lost in left field they cant understand the long term damage there doing to deomcrat voters in the future..

    lane lewis your acting like an idiot..

    here is some free advice-withdraw withdraw withdraw the action and let the vote of the democrats stand,then go jump in a lake, yelling on the way down”i need to stop acting like an idiot.”…………..

    i wrote every word of it

    joshua ben bullard

  2. Mainstream says:

    The Supreme Court decision allowing parties to determine standards for their candidates is one thing. But once you allow Oliver to file as a Democrat in the primary, I think the party gives up the claim that he is insufficiently a Democrat to be permitted to seek office as a Democrat. This is heavy-handed and is likely to backfire. It does not pass the basic fairness test. It is transparent to me that the Democrats got rid of Judge Fine before the election and are seeking to remove Oliver in order to avoid the embarrassing publicity of their nominees.

    I wish I could trim about a half-dozen indefensible extremist Republicans from my ticket (and maybe in nearby Missouri) , but the system does not work that way.

  3. Pingback: Who gets to rule on Oliver’s eligibility for the ballot? – Off the Kuff

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