Posted by WLS:
Tuesday was the final day for prospective candidates to file their nomination papers for local and state elections. If only it was so simple.
From page 26 of the Candidate’s Manual issued by the State Of Hawaii, Dept. of Elections:
Candidates must file nomination papers at the office of issuance. The filing deadline is:
TUESDAY, JULY 22, 2008, 4:30 p.m.
We recommend that all candidates file their nomination papers early.
State law prohibits exceptions or extensions to the filing deadlines.
for regular federal, state, and county elections, and Special Primary or Special Elections held in conjunction with the Primary Election.
From page 25:
Prior to being filed, nomination papers must be signed by a specific number of properly registered voters who are qualified to vote for the candidate. The candidate is responsible for ensuring that there are sufficient signatures of qualified voters on his/her nomination papers.
Candidates are advised to file their nomination papers early and too btain more signatures than is required in anticipation of invalid or unqualified signatories.
Once nomination papers are filed and the filing fee is accepted, candidates will not be allowed to add more signatures to their nomination papers.
From page 77:
File nomination papers containing not less than 15 signatures of registered voters of State Representative District by 4:30 p.m. on July 22, 2008
So, what happened on Tuesday? A couple things.
First, in a surprise 11th hour move, a sitting member of the City Council filed papers at 2:00 pm to take on the sitting Mayor — both of whom are prominent members of the state’s Democrat power establishment — but whom oppose each other on the controversial rail transit project.
Coincidentally (not), the mayor’s opponent from his election race in 2004 — another prominent Democrat (mayor is a non-partisan office), walked in right behind the City Council women who filed to run for mayor, and filed papers to run for her Council Seat. Turns out he made a hefty donation to her mayoral campaign, and pledged to raise more money for her to take on the sitting Mayor. The losing mayoral candidate from 4 years ago is quite wealthy, and has never quite gotten over his loss in the mayoral race.
The Mayor’s political machine, scrambling to respond to his new mayoral election challenger, and not wanting his campaign nemesis from 4 years ago to waltz into her City Council seat from which he can make mischief for the Mayor, arranges for the Majority Leader of the lower State House to file papers to run for the City Council seat in order to try and keep the Mayor’s ex-rival off the Council.
Keep in mind these are ALL Democrats.
That left the Majority Leader’s seat in the State House undefended, and a GOP candidate who would have had little chance of winning, was suddenly unopposed for that seat.
Keep in mind all this was happening after 2:00 pm on the day of the 4:30 pm deadline.
So, the Mayor has one of his top aides, who happens to live in the district of the now undefended Majority Leader’s seat, literally RUN the several blocks from City Hall to the State Elections Office to file papers to run for that Legis. seat. She says she arrived at 3:50, but there was a line at the counter.
She finally obtains the papers she needs to file just before 4:30 and begins filling them out — but she needs 15 signatures from registered voters in that district. Phone calls have successfully summoned about 5 such voters to the election office to sign for her, but they are locked out by the Election’s Office staff at 4:30 when the office closes for the day. Sometime after 4:30, enough such voters make their way to the Elections Office, but they too are locked outside in the hallway.
But who happens to be on the scene at the Elections Office to solve all her problems?? Baracky Obama’s State Campaign Chairman, who also happens to be the State Democrat Party Chairman. He begins working the Election Office staff to allow the prospective candidate to exit the Elections Office — the doors of which were locked at 4:30 — so she can gather the 15 signatures she needs for her nomination papers. And you know what happens? The staff decides to let her do just that — well after 4:30 — and she collected the necessary signatures, which the Elections staff then accepted with her papers to run for the undefended House seat.
Here are a couple press reports of the scene:
Several of Hannemann’s appointees and office staff literally ran to meet Eades at the state Office of Elections satellite office … they arrived in small groups, some at exactly 4:30 p.m. and others a few minutes afterward. Regardless the Office of Elections staff had already locked the door preventing anyone from leaving or entering and Eades could not file her nomination papers. Partly thanks to Hawaii Democratic Party Chair Brian Schatz’s coaxing, Eades was eventually allowed outside into the hallway by election officers to collect signatures from her supporters who were still waiting, even though it was considerably after the 4:30 p.m. deadline.
On the state side, Eads said she was standing in line to get her filing papers at 3:50 p.m. but didn’t get them until 4:25. Her friends, waiting to sign her nomination papers, were crowded outside when election officials closed the door at 4:30 p.m. At first, election officials said Eads could not file, but Hawaii Democratic Party Chairman Brian Schatz told an election official they should “err on the side of allowing people to be candidates.” “The line was backed up and it was not the candidate’s fault,” Schatz said. The election official relented and allowed Eads to go outside and collect the needed signatures and file.
Ignore that part about the 4:30 FILING deadline — a FILING which can only take place if you first have 15 signatures. Just have enough people waiting nearby when you stroll on in at the 11th hour and 59th minute to stand in line behind the people WHO DID ACT EARLY as suggested.
To add a strong odor of hypocrisy to the stench of this episode, Schatz (a 28 year old weasal who has never held a job outside being a political staffer or low level elected official himself) is quoted today in the press saying about a likely GOP challenge to the Eades’ filing papers:
“It’s sad that instead of focusing on recruiting strong candidates or generating ideas for Hawai’i voters, the GOP is trying to knock people off the ballot,” Schatz said yesterday. “We were hoping for a spirited and respectful start to an exciting campaign cycle, but the Hawai’i Republicans have already dragged these elections into the mud.”
This is rich coming from a guy who is the State Chairman for a Presidential Candidate who won his first elected office by knocking all his opponents off the ballot by challeging the validity of their nomination papers.
In his first race for office, seeking a state Senate seat on Chicago’s gritty South Side in 1996, Obama effectively used election rules to eliminate his Democratic competition. As a community organizer, he had helped register thousands of voters. But when it came time to run for office, he employed Chicago rules to invalidate the voting petition signatures of three of his challengers. The move denied each of them, including incumbent Alice Palmer, a longtime Chicago activist, a place on the ballot. It cleared the way for Obama to run unopposed on the Democratic ticket in a heavily Democrat district.
But that’s not the only flagrant violation of the filing rules. The Majority Leader’s papers to run for the City Council seat were submitted at 4:29 with 18 signatures. But at 5:20, he was informed by election office officials that only 14 of the signatures were of registered voters in the Council District in which he was running.
Problem? Nah — an Elections Dept. worker who lived in the Council District stepped up and signed for him at 5:30, giving him enough signatures.
The 4:30 deadline?? Only for Republicans apparently.