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  1. #1
    Hang 'Em High
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    Default Justice concludes black voters need Democratic Party

    U.S. blocks N.C. city's nonpartisan vote

    http://washingtontimes.com/news/2009...partisan-vote/

    KINSTON, N.C. | Voters in this small city decided overwhelmingly last year to do away with the party affiliation of candidates in local elections, but the Obama administration recently overruled the electorate and decided that equal rights for black voters cannot be achieved without the Democratic Party.

    The Justice Department's ruling, which affects races for City Council and mayor, went so far as to say partisan elections are needed so that black voters can elect their "candidates of choice" - identified by the department as those who are Democrats and almost exclusively black.

    The department ruled that white voters in Kinston will vote for blacks only if they are Democrats and that therefore the city cannot get rid of party affiliations for local elections because that would violate black voters' right to elect the candidates they want.

    Several federal and local politicians would like the city to challenge the decision in court. They say voter apathy is the largest barrier to black voters' election of candidates they prefer and that the Justice Department has gone too far in trying to influence election results here.

    Stephen LaRoque, a former Republican state lawmaker who led the drive to end partisan local elections, called the Justice Department's decision "racial as well as partisan."

    "On top of that, you have an unelected bureaucrat in Washington, D.C., overturning a valid election," he said. "That is un-American."

    The decision, made by the same Justice official who ordered the dismissal of a voting rights case against members of the New Black Panther Party in Philadelphia, has irritated other locals as well. They bristle at federal interference in this city of nearly 23,000 people, two-thirds of whom are black.

    In interviews in sleepy downtown Kinston - a place best known as a road sign on the way to the Carolina beaches - residents said partisan voting is largely unimportant because people are personally acquainted with their elected officials and are familiar with their views.

    "To begin with, 'nonpartisan elections' is a misconceived and deceiving statement because even though no party affiliation shows up on a ballot form, candidates still adhere to certain ideologies and people understand that, and are going to identify with who they feel has their best interest at heart," said William Cooke, president of the Kinston/Lenoir County branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

    Mr. Cooke said his group does not take a position on this issue and would not disclose his personal stance, but expressed skepticism about the Justice Department's involvement.

    Others noted the absurdity of partisan elections since Kinston is essentially a one-party city anyway; no one among more than a half-dozen city officials and local residents was able to recall a Republican winning office here.

    Justice Department spokesman Alejandro Miyar denied that the decision was intended to help the Democratic Party. He said the ruling was based on "what the facts are in a particular jurisdiction" and how it affects blacks' ability to elect the candidates they favor.

    "The determination of who is a 'candidate of choice' for any group of voters in a given jurisdiction is based on an analysis of the electoral behavior of those voters within a particular jurisdiction," he said.

    Critics on the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights are not so sure. "The Voting Rights Act is supposed to protect against situations when black voters are locked out because of racism," said Abigail Thernstrom, a Republican appointee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. "There is no entitlement to elect a candidate they prefer on the assumption that all black voters prefer Democratic candidates."

    Mrs. Thernstrom of the civil rights commission blasted the department's interpretation of the law.

    "The Voting Rights Act is not supposed to be compensating for failure of voters to show up on Election Day," she said. "The Voting Rights Act doesn't guarantee an opportunity to elect a 'candidate of choice.' ... My 'candidate of choice' loses all the time in an election."

  2. #2
    Hang 'Em High Wray's Avatar
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    I can understand the sentiment behind the decision, but the decision itself is ridiculous.

    I am most definitely of the opinion that our current political atmosphere would render a non-partisan election meaningless, but this is a perfect example of the government sticking it's hand into the cookie jar.

  3. #3
    Hang 'Em High sickman's Avatar
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    So it boils down to the administration saying that the American people, blacks in particular are too stupid to understand who they are voting for without a D or an R next to their name. Nice going oh holly divider.
    I used to jog but the ice cubes kept falling out of my glass.

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    Hang 'Em High Wray's Avatar
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    LOL. Nice twisting of words, sickman. Wow.

    No, that's not what they're saying. They're saying that black candidates need the Democratic party to get any kind of serious political support and funding. Basically, that without any party affiliation, black candidates have no shot at getting elected.

  5. #5
    Hang 'Em High sickman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wray View Post
    LOL. Nice twisting of words, sickman. Wow.

    No, that's not what they're saying. They're saying that black candidates need the Democratic party to get any kind of serious political support and funding. Basically, that without any party affiliation, black candidates have no shot at getting elected.
    Amazing seeing how only 1/3 of the voters are white. You'd think the black candidates would have it wrapped up. It must make a difference though and the administration must know that racism is still alive and well in the USA, other wise why step in. It couldn't be because they are more concerned that democrats may lose elections.
    I used to jog but the ice cubes kept falling out of my glass.

  6. #6
    Hang 'Em High Wray's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sickman View Post
    Amazing seeing how only 1/3 of the voters are white. You'd think the black candidates would have it wrapped up. It must make a difference though and the administration must know that racism is still alive and well in the USA, other wise why step in. It couldn't be because they are more concerned that democrats may lose elections.
    That wouldn't be of any relevance if they got their way, because there wouldn't be a democratic party in the town.

    Keep grasping at straws and trying to make this more than it is, sickman. This decision is stupid, but not for the reasons that you want it to be.
    Last edited by Wray; 10.20.09 at 06:27 PM.

  7. #7
    Baluchitherium Duke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sickman View Post
    Amazing seeing how only 1/3 of the voters are white. You'd think the black candidates would have it wrapped up. It must make a difference though and the administration must know that racism is still alive and well in the USA.


    Indeed it is.
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