Thursday, November 16, 2006

Update and Correction on Sore Loser Law

A couple of weeks ago I posted about a proposed 'Sore Loser Law' based on an article from the Danbury News Times. The idea of such a law made for quite a bit of discussion and debate in the comments section.

Connecticut Blog however has dug into the report and found it to be incorrect.

Emphasis is CTBlogger's:

This year, the state changed the primary date from September to August BUT forgot to change the filing deadline for petitioning candidates from August to July. Normally, the filing deadline would be about a month before the primary but because of an over sight, a loophole was created which Lieberman used by avoiding to publicly announce his plans to run as a petitioning until the late July.

The Secretary of the State Susan Bysiewicz wants to fix the loophole, not adpot a sore loser law and although I believe the sore loser law should be at least debated, without question this silly loophole needs to be fixed. Unfortunately, Lucas took Bysiewicz's proposal completely out of context and made it seem like she was proposing a sore loser law when she clearly stated to him (and the public) that she was only wanted to fix the loophole.

He also has a video of the press conference that the article was based on.

I apologize for the mistake. Thanks to CTBlogger for clearing this up.


Anonymous said...

Call it what you will, the current situation is favored by the majority of voters, as evidenced by the results of the election.

Shadow said...

Looks like it's time to go back to the plan I had before I heard the Danbury Times story: everyone who believes in a CT sore loser law, write your state legislator. Otherwise, incumbents will feel free to honor primary results when they win, and ignore them when they lose. That's not democracy.

I plan to write my State Representative and my State Senator, and I already know I'm not the only one who will be doing so. If enough of us do this, the legislature WILL take notice. This isn't about the Senate race; it's about the future of our democracy. What makes a legitimate democracy is legitimate elections; legitimate elections only exist where the results count. If the results are meaningless, that means by definition the election is a fraud and should not go forward to begin with.

ctblogger said...

It's not about any situation or sore loser law. The problem is that Lucas gave the impression that the SoS is proposing this and it's NOT TRUE.

Simply put, the primary was moved from September to August this year BUT when they did that, they forgot to move the filing deadline for petitioning candidates which is ususally about a month before the primary. As you see in the video, the SoS wants to fix the loophole they created when they forgot to move the filing deadline back.

THIS IS NOT A SORE LOSER LAW. No one is being denied access on the ballot. The SoS is just trying to fix an error that everyone noticed after they moved the primary date. This has nothing to do with the loser of a primary being banned from an just puts the filing dealine back in it's correct place which is before the primary and NOT after the primary.

Shadow said...

ctblogger - I understand that. It's exactly because there is no sore loser law being proposed that I am suggesting everyone write their state legislator in order to initate such a law. I intended to pursue this before I heard about the misleading Bysiewicz story, and I still intend to now.

ctblogger said...

Sorry Shadow,

I was referring to Anon 2:10. My bad.

Shadow said...

No problem.

Anonymous said...

I doubt very much Speaker Amann will allow this bill to ever see the light of day

Anonymous said...

Shadow, I will write my state legislators to oppose a sore loser law and I will contact all my lawyer friends to stop any such efforts. I am a politician who feels strongly about defending the Constitution of this State and the Constitution of the United States.

What may be popular is not always right and what is right is not always popular.

I am tired of what I perceive as our liberties constantly being chipped away. For example, the Supreme Court ruled that Emminent Domain laws should be left to the states. Well I am glad they met us half way but the Supreme Court should have ruled directly in favor of the Kelso case I believe it was called in New London and against the Developers.

Shadow I do not question your patriotism but I question your judgement and the judgement of others on the sore loser debate.

Truly Yours,

The Phantom

Shadow said...

I'm with you on eminent domain, strongly behind you in fact, but I've articulated quite clearly why the lack of a sore loser law after this year's election is a threat to our democracy. You can't fairly question my judgement when I answered every single one of your points in our debate, while you failed to address the key point in mine: once you have an election where the results mean nothing, that compromises democracy; only faux democracies have elections where results don't count. Just because you ignore this basic tenant of democracy does not mean the Supreme Court will.

I'm an unaffiliated voter. I don't care whether you party politicos decide to abolish primaries or to pass a sore loser law, but doing neither one in the face of the first ever RNC/DLC collaboration to keep a Senate seat for an incumbent is completely unacceptable, particularly when you suggest that you're doing in on behalf of unaffiliated voters like me.

Think about it for a second: you, as a Democratic politician, are trying to tell me what's good for me as an unaffiliated voter.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Shadow. It does not say anywhere that the Republican and the Dems deserve to have a monopoly on our political system. If I want to buy coffee the market is saturated with Starbucks and Dunkin Doughnuts but I do not have to go buy coffee from them, buy their products, pay their prices. I can go to where I want. So why should the political parties rig the rules of the political game? You have to suspend for a moment that the parties control elections in this country and remember that the driving force is the individual who wants to run as a R, D, I, or even this CT for Lieberman banner. The outcome of a primary is still legitimate because it decides what Democratic Candidate and what Republican Candidate should be the nominee. One of the main purposes of political parties is to supply their candidates.

The primary decides who the political party nominee is. It is the Party Business only. That is why I am for closed primaries or primaries where you have to change your affiliation.

Party "members" should decide who their nominee should be.

I am happy to have you be able to temporarilly change from U to D to participate in a primary.I just do not like U's to stay U's and vote in a primary. I am setting the rules here because it is in relation to the party. I certainly would not want R's to vote in a Democratic Primary I hope
you would agree?

If you choose to run again as an independent, I as party person cannot in good conscience try to stop you because is is not "fair"or"legitimate"

Individuals who want to run should be able to do their thing with no party or if it is the case within 3rd party rules.

Why would someone want to run as a Democrat lose the primary and then create his or her own party is beyond me because how can you be a Democrat one day then CT for Lieberman another?

Crazy but I still defend it. I am a Democrat but I do not want the parties to dictate to anyone for their independent bid.

Now their is this question of legitimacy you mention. Well what is legitimate? I mean if you take your logic to the extreme no election is legitimate because in every election
all the eligible voters do not vote.

How about this one: CT is the only state or one of the few states that count absentee ballots. Yes that is right. When the final tally is done in most states the absentees are put on the official final vote only if the election is so close that is is deemed necessary. CT counts all votes for the
final offical tally.

I will fight this.

Anonymous said...

I want to clarify "I will fight this" and "The Phantom" are one and the same person.

Shadow your central point is legitimacy. My central point is liberty. What happens in the confines of a politcal party primary and its outcome are legitimate.

A primary would only be illegitimate if somehow the loser can have another go at a Democratic
or Republican primary. No way. Run as an independent if you would like. It is all about liberty to me.

The Phantom.

Anonymous said...

I have a hard time with this notion that somehow Lieberman ignored the results of the primary or flouted the voter's will. Last I checked, Lieberman's name did not appear under the Democratic line, which is precisely what the primary decides.
The primary wasn't meaningless. The winner of the primary ran under the Democratic line.
I'm an unaffiliated voter and I have no desire to join a political party. I also believe in the closed primary system. I accept the fact that I don't have the right to choose who a party nominates. But if a candidate loses a primary and feels they can lodge a viable campaign as an independent, I say go for it. I see absolutely no harm in a primary loser trying their hand as an independent in November.

Anonymous said...

6:29 this is the Phantom. I agree with you of course. You see Mr. Shadow assumes Lieberman was a sore
loser. He most likely was. But let's assume for a moment Lieberman was not a sore loser and actually had a change of heart and actually believes he suddenly became independent or an independent Democrat. Should he be prevented from getting another go at it as an independent? Of course not.

You see Mr. Shadow does not understand that Liberty is dispassionate of ones views. Liberty sees you have the right to do certain things.

Mr. Shadow also does not see that Lieberman is not a Democrat. As much as Lieberman says he is an independent Democrat he is not even really that. Lieberman is a CT for Lieberman. That is his party
he was elected to.

It is legitimate.

Also, there are more Republicans in the US Senate than Democrats. Dems only have the majority because Lieberman and the other Independent Senator caucus with Dems. Technically though we are not the majority in the US Senate.

As a private Lieberman is still a registered Democrat. As a US Senator he is a CT for Lieberman.

The process that lead to his election was legitimate.

The Phantom...

Shadow said...

> It does not say anywhere that the Republican and the Dems deserve to have a
> monopoly on our political system

That's my whole point. This was the first time in American history the two major parties all but worked together to protect the same incumbent in the same election cycle. That's a blueprint for the kind of Republican and Democrat monopoly of our political system the likes of which we have never seen, where the two major parties can conspire to protect the same long time incumbent from new grassroots candidates by using the law of averages; if there are two elections that an incumbent takes part in during the same year, and he only has to win one of them to keep his seat, his odds of keeping his seat are statistically twice as good than if he had to win TWO races to stay in office (like incumbents in parties always had to until now, and challengers in parties STILL have to).

I voted for third party candidates in both of the last Presidential two elections, and I've been an unaffiliated voter for nearly the entire nine years I've been eligible to vote; I don't need a Democrat to lecture me about how we shouldn't have a two party monopoly.

> I certainly would not want R's to vote in a Democratic Primary I hope you would agree?

I would, in fact, I was arguing that very point to The Phantom in the last thread about the sore loser law.

> Why would someone want to run as a Democrat lose the primary and then create his or her
> own party is beyond me because how can you be a Democrat one day then CT for Lieberman
> another?

Because that's how an incumbent can stay in office when they're in what used to be considered mortal political danger. The template Joe Lieberman has provided is clear: if you lose your party's primary, run as an independent to split the vote three ways, and use your name recognition and both parties' influence on the mass media to beat your challengers. After all, if you win, you can still caucus with your party and keep your seniority; you may even get a standing ovation from your party.

After seeing Lieberman's performance, why would any incumbent give up after a primary loss? Lack of ambition? Overabundance of class? Those are two descriptions that don't fit most politicians.

If more and more politicians start doing it, primaries become meaningless, and the major parties are empowered at the expense of the citizenry.

> Crazy but I still defend it.

Well, I can't add anything to that.

> I am a Democrat but I do not want the parties to dictate to anyone for their independent bid.

But the Democratic party is not spearheading the movement to enact the sore loser law; unaffiliated voters are. The majority of people who I know are writing in are unaffiliateds like me. The majority of people who I have been debating on this thing are party affiliated members like you.

You, as a Democrat, are telling me, as an independant, that I shouldn't let the Democratic party dictate to independents?

Please tell me you're not oblivious to the dizzying levels of irony in that.

Anonymous said...

Shadow there is no irony in what I say. I can be a Democrat who just happens to want to defend the Constitution of the United States.

I am an American first. Does not mean I am no longer a Democrat as long as I am nominated and elected
under my party banner I am a Democrat.

I hope this is not Democrat/Republican vs independent

You say independent voters are pushing this law. Can you document that? See when I debate someone I am not going to sit back and accept that as fact. If it is true it makes no difference to me. Just
please give me the source again of
this fact. If it is true then the independnts are doing this to their and everyone's detriment.

Again let us assume Lieberman had a vison and a true transformation and he is really now independent. He should have been stopped at another go? No way man!

I am not forwarding my point of view to defend only incumbents. I
am against a proposed sore loser law period. I am against it if you
are a member of any party,no party incumbent or not.

You are being a bit tricky by claiming to be anti party but now you are anti protecting incumbents
from having a second chance.

Which is it?

Truly Yours

The Phantom

Shadow said...

> The Phantom: But let's assume for a moment Lieberman was not a sore loser
> and actually had a change of heart and actually believes he suddenly became
> independent or an independent Democrat

On the night of losing the primary, in the moments before his primary concession speech, and in a genuine move having nothing at all to do with losing the primary moments before?

If you're going to provide a hypothetical, at least provide a plausible one. The laws defending our freedom are designed to protect us from the improbable hypotheticals, but they are NOT required to protect us from the implausible ones. I'll explain: what if someone argued that a piece of porno considered too obscene for TV would have caused world peace if it had been shown on broadcast television? Do you think that their argument would result in television broadcast standards being scrapped because they violate the first amendment? No, because that is attempting to compensate for an IMPLAUSIBLE hypothetical, and if you try to account for those in our freedoms, you can argue away the justification for any government restrictions, and will be left with nothing but anarchy.

> anonymous said: I see absolutely no harm in a primary loser trying their
> hand as an independent in November

Because fairness in competition is a basic tenant of democracy. When two people or teams commit themselves to a contest in a sport, they agree to except the result of the contest. It is as important to the audience as it is to the competitors, because victories that don't stand would bring the credibility of the contest into question. This tenant of fairness is part of any honorable contest in any civilized society, and you see it in everything from boxing to archery to chess to hot dog eating contests, and it's always been a part of races for office in our democracy. It's just implied. And in an age where incumbents and the two parties are already too overprotected, when the Democrats AND Republican establishments in Washington both put their weight behind the same incumbent in the same election year and got away with it, how can you not see the harm?

Anonymous said...

Mr. Shadow you think that because I am a Democrat I somehow cannot say what I am saying. Well in the final analysis I am saying what I am saying. This is not a partisan issue by the way. If I were a Democrat claiming the minimum wage should not be raised, well that would not make too much sense for a Democrat to say and you would be able to call me on something like that.

For me being against the sore loser law and being a Democrat are not inconsistent. And anyway this is about incumbency not party according to you correct??

I do believe though Susan B. sees this as partisan so she can get the liberal vote to nominate her. It is the anti-Lieberman people she is seeking approval of to get the nomination for governor next time. I believe this is true because she was conspicously silent
and did not endorse Malloy who was viewed as the more moderate Dem.

This is how she things in her prism. It is far from how I view this issue.

I can only speak for myself. It does not mean I am an Independent Democrat like Lieberman claims to be. Don't make me laugh.

Of course Susan B. is not proposing an actual sore loser law just wants to change the filing date and all. Well I understand that. But she still wants to appear to be anti-Lieberman.

Incidentally I do agree with moving up the filing date for petition candidates. I want to be clear on that.

Yours Truly,

The Phantom...

Anonymous said...

Shadow the Constitution defends our right to free speech. I may not like what someone says but I defend their right to say it. I do not like that Lieberman ran as an independent but I defend his right to do it. Anyway did not many, many unaffilaited voters support Lieberman possibly more than Dems? So where is the consistency in that. They voted for this guy and now they are for a sore loser law. Hello?

The Phanotom...

Shadow said...

> You say independent voters are pushing this law. Can you document that?

I was referring to people I have spoken to personally. What kind of documentation do you want?

Your most recent post at 10:13 pm suggests that you misunderstood my remark to mean that I was suggesting that a majority of independents support a sore loser law; I said no such thing, and would be privy to no such information as no surveys have been conducted on the subject. I said the majority of the people that I know are writing in are unaffiliated voters. But as you said, this is not a party member vs. unaffiliated issue, but an American issue. (The only reason I even began underscoring my unaffiliated staus in this debate was because YOU were lecturing ME that "it does not say anywhere that the Republican and the Dems deserve to have a monopoly on our political system" and that the "parties (shouldn't) dictate to anyone for their independent bid".)

> You are being a bit tricky by claiming to be anti party but now you are anti
> protecting incumbents
from having a second chance.
> Which is it?

There's nothing tricky about that; almost all incumbents at the federal leval belong to one of the two major parties. You see a conflict where there is nothing but confluence - just like you do with the sore loser law.

Anonymous said...

Shadow as you can see this debate can go on and on with no resolution. However, I truly believe I supplied the sufficiently superior arguments for our viewing audience. Now I must watch Star Trek II the Wrath of Khan, the best movie ever made.

I bid you good evening.

The Phantom.

Shadow said...

> I truly believe I supplied the sufficiently superior arguments for our viewing audience

I think in an assessment of who backed up their arguments with the most logic and articulated their points with the most eloquence, readers here will have no problem deciding for themselves.

Anonymous said...

Back in the day Mr. Shadow you would have been a stuffy Hamiltonian Federalist. You believe that because you use fancier words and phrases than I that it can somehow win you the argument. But you see your argument is flawed. I am just humble patriot. Like a farmer if you will. I believe in freedom and liberty. My argument is not elaborate but it is profound and I hope and believe it rings true to the reading audience.

To recap for our audience: A Political Primary loser should have the right to move on and have
his/her shot at a petition bid for the same office. No harm done. The primary outcome is still legitimate Lamont was the legitimate Democratic candidate. Lieberman was not. Done.

Mr. Shadow if anything it hurts the parties right? I mean I am a Dem but I am not pleased with Lieberman. The Republicans voted for him but he is not causcusing with them now. Now Lieberman is not making any party happy. So what are you as an independent so upset about. I am pissed but I still defend Lieberman the right to do what he did. Dems and Republicans worked together for Lieberman to keep his seat? I do not think so.

I have an egalitarian viewpoint. You do not. I want to include many possibilities for individuals to partake in the American experience. I do not want to limit ones choices or put up barriers to run for office. That was done back in the day. I hope we have come far from the mentality that only a certain segment of the population may vote or run for office.

Back in the day it was only propertied white males who could run for office or vote. Now in 2006 watch out! We are going to stop you from running as a petition candidate because we don't like it. Wowsers. Stop the madness.

By the way Mr. Shadow; you are putting up great arguments that are forcing me to improve my game each time. I think this was my best yet however. I still have the sufficiently superior argument.


The Phantom....

Shadow said...

> You believe that because you use fancier words and phrases than I that it can somehow
> win you the argument.

Not at all - note that I mentioned logic first and eloquence second. Secondly, the value of eloquence is not to try and impress people with blather or bluster, but for best using the flawed conduit of language to communicate thought, which inherantly transcends the limitations of the spoken and written word. It is important both to have logic on your side AND to have the ability to articulate your points well; in any debate, one is useless without the other.

> Dems and Republicans worked together for Lieberman to keep his seat? I do not think so.

There's certainly no evidence there was any conscious effort by the parties to collaborate, nor did I suggest that there was (notice I said "all but worked together").

However, it is simply a fact that the Washington Republicans AND Democrats worked towards re-electing the same incumbent in the same year. The national Democratic establishment backed Lieberman HARD in the primary, and did not genuinely back Lamont in the general. Some people in the DLC/DSCC crowd like Chuck Schumer even told Lamont to take it easy on Lieberman after the primary so they could get Joe to gracefully bow out - a total lie. Senator Biden refused to back Lamont despite the nomination, and Bill Clinton went on Larry King Live and said whoever wins CT, the seat will be Democratic; this was shorthand for Democrats will still have the majority because Lieberman will still CAUCUS with them, but the damage of this talking point being reinforced again and again by Washington Democrats in the mass media was the final nail that caused the Senate race being largely ignored by the natinal media in the general, and also served the secondary purpose of further confusing CT Democrats who hadn't followed the primary and had only heard Lieberman's revised "I want the war to end" stance in his new commericials.

On the Republican side, Carl Rove placed a call shortly after the primary to Joe Lieberman, and the national and state Republicans joined together quickly to dig up dirt on Schlesinger and quietly back Lieberman. Cheney and Bush went out on the trail saying positive things about Lieberman, and Republican voters were constantly whispered to by their leaders through the national media that it was important for them to vote for Joe to keep Lamont out of office; soon after, several of the biggest longtime Republican donors began contributing to Lieberman's campaign. At the end of the day, their tactics worked; 70% of Republicans in CT voted for him.

The reason the Republican leadership in Washington backed Lieberman so hard? They saw how the Lamont win in the primary was inspiring anti-Iraq war voters nationally, how it was unifying and bolstering the confidence of the Democratic party message, and most importantly, how that message was beginning to cut through in the national media. Rove understood the power of the media better than anyone, and Washington Republicans knew such a wave three months before the House and Senate elections was going to be disasterous for them, so they put a serious effort in trying to cut off the head of the wave.

What makes this especially dangerous is that many of the most powerful corporate interests in this country play both sides and donate heavily to both parties in order to have total influence; they like that's there being a pro-war voice hampering the only party that might challenge the war, and their will was carried out by both major parties in this election. It didn't matter what candidates had been chosen by actual CT voters in the conventions and primaries; the Washington establishment of both parties was beholden to corporate interests who favor military expansion and conquest. The national media figured they couldn't be considered biased by immediately counting out Lamont in the general when most commentators from BOTH parties on their networks failed to argue with them, so the media shift against Lamont was immediate, both national and local, and impossible to overcome. It's just like how the media shift against Lieberman before the primary (this one powered only by CT voter sentiment, not corporate money and establishment influence) was impossible for him to overcome in August.

Now that I have spelled out the level of two party entrenchment, incumbent entrenchment, and corporate interest entrenchment that has come at the expense of individual voters due to the lack of a sore loser law in this year's Senate election, I hope you will at least stop attacking the sore loser law on the basis of having more possibilities for individuals, because I have proved that blatantly false here.

Shadow said...

(To clarify and leave no room for misconception - in that last sentence, "having" should be "you providing")

Anonymous said...

After that diatribe Shadow I have only one question for you: Are you for the Sore Loser law only for party incumbents?

This goes to the heart of your argument
so you would do well to think through
you answer as I know you will.

The Phantom.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Shadow you also have no regard for the will of the electorate. They could have decided not to sign Lieberman's petition, or after that not vote for him in the general election.

The Phantom.

Anonymous said...

Kleeto says:

It is a Plausible Hypothetical Shadow is wrong and Phantom won this debate.

Anonymous said...

But not a probable one.

Phantom made a valiant effort, but there was no contest here against probably the best debater I have ever seen on a political blog.

Anonymous said...

There should be a poll as to whom won this debate. I encourage all to read the Shadow vs Phantom posts and give their honest opinion.

This was a great debate indeed.