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13 January 2012

FollowUp 1: Ken Cuccinelli to Change Primary Rules

It seems that Mr. Cuccinelli has failed to convince the courts to change the rules and allow his preferred candidates to be on the Republican Primary ballot in Virginia.  CNN reports
A federal judge on Friday ruled against four Republican presidential candidates seeking a spot on Virginia's March 6 primary ballot, saying they waited too long to file their claims.
Left off the ballot are Texas Gov. Rick Perry, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, former U.S Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania and former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman.
The four candidates challenged the state's residency requirements for those seeking to circulate ballot petitions, but Judge John Gibney ruled against the challenge.
The four candidates "knew the rules in Virginia many months ago," the judge wrote in his ruling. "In essence, they played the game, lost, and then complained that the rules were unfair."
This leaves only Mr. Romney and Dr. Paul on Virginia's ballot.  But, it may not be the end of the story in Virginia.  The CNN article notes that Mr. Cuccinelli has not given up.
Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli said he didn't expect the ruling to be the last word in the ongoing case, which is expected to be appealed to a federal appeals court in Richmond.
"I am pleased that the district court is allowing Virginia's orderly election process to move forward," Cuccinelli said in a statement. "The ruling today dealt only with the request for a preliminary injunction. The litigation is ongoing."
So, kudos to Judge Gibney for following the rules.  Mr. Cuccinelli sounds like a sourpuss.

Thanks to Joe My God for the heads up.

1 January 2012, Original Pedantic Political Ponderings post.


  1. I'm angry with Virginia for putting me on the same side as the Ricks and Newt Gingrich, since I think that it's un-little-d-democratic to make ballot access so onerous that it's nigh impossible without huge gobs of money or giant cultish followings to achieve the necessary leaping of obstacles.

    In MA there are a couple of fairly large, but not overly difficult hurdles to overcome to get on our primary ballot (at least on the Dem side). First you gather sigs (10,000? or thereabouts?) and then you need to get 15% support in two, or maybe three, rounds of voting at the state Dem convention.

    In 2006, when Gov Patrick ran for the first time, an outsider with large grassroots support and very LITTLE establishment Dem support, the two people who garnered their 15% on the first ballot was Patrick (overwhelmingly) and a boring Attorney General named Tom Reilly. The establishment having panicked at putting Reilly against Patrick's charisma, intelligence, savvy campaign and obvious growing popularity, at the last minute they'd thrown together enough signatures to get another "establishment" candidate (Chris Gabrieli) at the convention. He however had not been campaigning when delegates had been selected for the convention in Feb of that year. There were some very weird shenanigans holding the vote open and strongarming Reilly people to change their vote on the second ballot (since their guy was already in) to give the third candidate a place on the ballot. (In the end, Reilly came in very much third. Poor Tom!)

    In (VA) they bend over backwards to prevent ballot access...on the other side, MA Dems twisted arms to sort of bend the rules for someone who came in so late to the process, that he had basically not much ground game and very few of the delegates he needed. Boggles the mind.

    1. Perhaps Virginia should change its rules. I think you have made a fair argument for doing so. But, and here I side with Judge Gibney, the argument should have been made quite a while ago ... not this late in the process. At best, Mr. Gingrich, Mr. Huntsman, Mr. Perry, and Mr. Santorum come off as whining poor losers. Sorry, but their state campaigns knew what they were up against for a long time. But, let me be up front here, I also have a grudge against Mr. Cuccinelli who is doing all he can to turn back the clock on equality in his state.

      I would never expect Virginia to follow the lead of Massachusetts. Virginia is so far North in the South that they often endeavor to out-South the rest of the South in order to fit in completely. Get outside the cities and you will hear accents far thicker than those in South Carolina or Georgia. Strange place.

    2. Oh, yeah, definitely, you don't change the rules midstream just because some people failed to abide by them (as draconian as they might be). This lawsuit would be WAY more appropriate in challenging this and asking for change after the election.

      Strangely enough, even our worst foibles in MA have been set aside this year. We usually have a lot of complaints of gerrymandering in MA most decades (the Dems like to keep their safe seats, and not only that, safe seats for *incumbent* Dems), and this year, we even managed to make all the various civic groups that represent various voters and demographics pretty happy with how we redrew electoral lines. I have to say, it's a good time to live up here. Things are finally going pretty right!

      (That said, I keep one eye on NH, which is where I am from, and shake my head in disgust about every other day.)

      My husband once lived in VA...he tells me stories. Like how in school he learned about the "Treaty" of Appomattox... ;)

    3. Ah yes, the good olde days. * shudder *

      Once upon a time, many public schools in the South taught of the South winning the "War of the Northern Aggression". By that theory, which has a small bit of history on its side, the reparations and aid provided to the South are viewed as spoils to the victor. General Robert E. Lee exchanged his gun for the economic recovery needed by the South. Lee left the Courthouse in Appomattox with his horse and his head held high. He is honored throughout the South to this day.

      I think it was the first war in history where the losers received aid from the winners. The South had the "excuse" they needed to move beyond a slavery based economy which was beginning to drag them down. The history is a bit more complicated than I am relating and the telling of this history in the South is a far richer tale. I was raised in the Deep South and learned all this before I moved North decades ago. Sorry for a bit of an amble down memory lane.

      My impression is that Attorney General Cuccinelli would like to turn back the clock in Virginia. He longs for a time pre-Roe v Wade, pre-Lawrence v Texas, and post-1954 (when "under God" was added to the Pledge of Allegiance). The twenty-first century must be quite the challenge for him.


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