Sunday, May 1, 2011

Charlie White, Statehouse Republicans... all behaving badly

The Republicans at the Indiana Statehouse have been behaving badly when it comes to Charlie White.

The Democratic Party contested the candidacy of Charlie White prior to the general election when the discrepancies of illegal voting practices and acceptance of tax dollars for a job that he was ineligible for came to light.

Republican Charlie White was behaving badly.

When then Secretary of State, Todd Rokita, certified the results of the General Election, his argument was that the law said that candidates had to be “registered voters”. The law did NOT say that candidates had to be “legally registered voters”. The Democratic Party then filed a legal case against Charlie White. In the interim, Charlie White has been sworn into office. He is Indiana’s Secretary of State. Todd Rokita is now a U.S. Congressman.

Republican Todd Rokita was behaving badly.

Republican Secretary of State, Charlie White, was indicted in March on seven felony counts including voter fraud, perjury, and theft. Keep in mind that a core part of the job of the Secretary of State is “Chief Elections Officer”.

The court agrees that Republican Charlie White is behaving badly.

On April 7, Marion County Circuit Court Judge Louis Rosenberg ordered the current Recount Commission to quickly resolve the Democratic challenge to White’s eligibility. But between Recount Commission Director Bradley Skolnik and Republican State Party Chair Eric Holcomb, no one has been appointed to replace Charlie White on the Recount Commission to start proceedings. On April 25, Judge Rosenberg gave Skolnik and Holcomb two days to appoint a replacement and to appear on Thursday in court to “show good cause, if any there be, why the Commission should not be held in contempt”.

Republican State Party Chair Eric Holcomb and Recount Commission Director Bradley Skolnik have been behaving badly.

Last week, the Indiana Senate on a strong Republican majority, voted to change the rules on what happens if the Secretary of State is removed from office. Under current law and the law that was in effect when the alleged crimes were committed, the second highest vote getter becomes Secretary of State. In this case, Democrat Vop Osili becomes Indiana’s Secretary of State. Because all of the Republican votes for Secretary of State get wiped out, the Indiana Republican Party also loses major party status. The loss of major party status means that all Republican candidates in Indiana would need to collect petition signatures to get on the ballot. The Democratic candidates would appear first on all ballots across the State of Indiana. The Libertarian Party would appear second on all ballots across the State of Indiana, and the Democrats would gain all precinct inspectors at polling locations. The Senate’s amendment to HB1242 allows Mitch Daniels to appoint Charlie White’s replacement, and everything else goes away. The Republicans voted the party line to approve the amendment, except our own Sue Glick.

Indiana’s Republican Senators are behaving badly.

HB1242 is now back over in the House. Could it be that the Recount Commission and the Republican State Party Chair are waiting for a House approval and a governor’s signature prior to ruling on Charlie White? I am calling on our Republican State Representatives to follow Sue Glick’s lead. Charlie White broke the law, and there are consequences. Do the right thing. Vote down the revised version of HB1242.

Tell your Republican State Representatives not to behave badly too.

Carmen Darland
Third District Democratic Party Chair
Albion, Indiana