Friday, December 30, 2011

A pox on loyalty oaths ...

... and political parties should pay for primaries.

Why not? How the hell did it get this way?

Although it’s taken the current Republican primary mess to shine a light on the intrinsic problem with holding statewide primaries and signing loyalty pledges in Virginia, solving the problem for the long run shouldn’t be a partisan political football. It's actually rather simple to fix this:

Political parties, major or minor, should have to rent the commonwealth's election facilities, at a fair price, or set up their own primary voting apparatus. It could be done online. Or, the party could just opt for the old smoke-filled-room style -- hold a convention.

The public has every reason to pay for and oversee general elections. But there's no good reason for the taxpayers to foot the bill for a political party's primary, or for that matter -- its convention. 

Political parties are private organizations the taxpayers have no say-so over. Such groups should pay their own bills for their own activities. That way, when members of a private group want to cheat their own candidates, except for its gossip value, it's none of my business.

In the short run, if disgruntled Republicans and other mischief-makers keep provoking judges to act in this affair, it won’t surprise me if some judge says, “Sorry Virginia Republicans, you can’t have a primary on March 6th.”

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