Tuesday, November 22, 2011

SC Primaries - split decision for the Republicans

The S.C. Supreme Court has turned aside the challenge by several counties that said they should not be responsible for paying for the Jan. 21 presidential primary. The primary must be held and the counties and State Election Commission will do so, no questions asked, the court ruled today.

But there was also a slapshot at the GOP, which had intended to put these four "advisory" questions on the ballot:

1. In order to stop the uncontrolled growth of our national debt and prevent excessive borrowing by the Federal Government, which threatens our economy and national security, should the United States Constitution be amended to require a balanced federal budget without raising taxes?
2. In order to promote economic growth and to decrease America’s dependence on foreign energy sources that threaten our national security, should the United States energy policy include increased domestic energy production through access to more on-shore and off-shore oil and natural gas?
3. In order to protect South Carolina jobs and defend against federal government intrusions, should the United States Congress pass the Protecting Jobs from Government Interference Act, which would prohibit the National Labor Relations Board from ordering any company to close, relocate, or transfer employees?
4. In order to address the matter of Corporate Personhood, the enfranchised People of the Sovereign State of South Carolina shall decree that:
Corporations are people
Only people are people

Not so fast, the justices said in their 3-2 decision:

Nothing in the statutes upon which this declaratory judgment is rendered and no provision of South Carolina law would allow the ballot for a publically funded Presidential Preference Primary to include anything other than the names of candidates for a qualifying political party's nominee for President of the United States. Accordingly, the State Election Commission and the County Election Commissions are hereby directed that they may not print such ballots or conduct such primaries for any matter other than the nomination of party candidates for President of the United States. No advisory questions may be included on any such primary ballots. Additionally, no other advisory elections, straw polls, or the like on any question may be conducted at the various Presidential Preference Primary polling places or within 200 feet of the entrance to such polling places.
 So score one for a bit of sanity.

These questions were not much more than a publicity grab. Any results would have little validity as a barometer of anything.

Maybe the strong language will keep this silliness under control in the future. But I wouldn't bet on it.

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