Thursday, January 03, 2008

Texas Dems Force Kucinich Off Primary Ballot

Texas Democratic Party officials have cut Congressman Dennis Kucinich from the state's March 3 Presidential Primary ballot, citing a "defective" application. Kucinich responded by filing a lawsuit in federal court and seeking a judicial injunction to prevent his name from being dropped. An initial hearing was held in an Austin courthouse this morning.

The legal rangling appears to be over a section of the Texas Democratic Party candidate application that requires candidates to sign what Kucinich calls a "blind loyalty oath," a promise to "fully support" the eventual Democratic Party nominee. The six-term Ohio Congressman apparently crossed out that section of his application (.pdf) when filing the required paperwork. He has since said he would sign the oath, provided he is allowed to write in a statement that his support would be conditional on the eventual nominee's refusal to use war as an instrument of foreign policy. The party will not allow such an edit.

Aside from the loyalty oath, Kucinich's application is in compliance with Democratic party rules.

My take? I'd refuse to sign the statement as well! What Dem officials say is necessary to unite the party, is instead a heavy-handed tactic to censor individual candidate's opinions and to maintain control of an outdated party apparatus that stifles debate and attempts to stomp out unpopular views. The Texas Republican Party requires no such oath. Why do the Dems insist on it?

Hat Tip: MSNBC; Texas Politics
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