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Monday, October 18, 2004

Dread Scott

How lucky we are that Ward Scott will not be an Alachua County Commissioner. In Monday's edition of The Independent Florida Alligator, Scott claims that a state law allowing citizens to enter a political race as a write-in candidate is akin to racial segregation.

“Segregation was legal at one time, but it wasn’t like it was the right thing to do,” he said.

If you haven't followed this story either here on in the local press, here's the background: Scott ran as a Democrat against County Commissioner Mike Byerly and lost by more than 1,000 votes in the Aug. 31 primary. He then filed a complaint with the state ethics commission claiming that a last-minute write-in candidacy that closed the primary to only Democratic voters was "voter fraud."

The ethics commission almost immediately dismissed the complaint as invalid, and for good reason – state law permits write-in candidates and the state constitution says that if a primary election will decide the winner of the entire race, then and only then will that primary be open to all registered voters, regardless of party ID.

In this case, the winner of the Aug. 31 primary was to face write-in candidate Steve Nichtberger on Nov. 2. That means only Democrats could vote in the primary.

Scott apparently thinks that this process is the same as telling an African American to attend racially segregated high schools, which is disturbing on several levels. All registered voters will be able to participate in the election on Nov. 2, so no one is disenfranchised. And if Scott's accusations had any merit, then you would have to indict the multi-party system in general, because if there had been a Republican candidate in the race (or a candidate from any party, for that matter) then the primary would have been closed to only Democrats.

Most disturbingly, however, is that the write-in candidacy provision in state law is a way of helping candidates with few budget resources to run for office, so it is actually giving more people access to the system, not fewer. Scott hypocritically argues against that system and in favor of one that allows him to control who gets to run. His stated intent, being a self-described conservative Democrat, was to run as a Dem with no Republican opposition, enabling him to get votes from both conservative Dems and Republicans.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you have any information about petitioners, fruad and scandall involving Mark Jacoby, please Email,, Mark Jacoby threatend me to ruining my credit by mis using my social security number, I used to work for him, I tried to teach me in bait and switch tactics, on touchy issues. He has not paid myself and others thousands of dollars that we are bringing him to court about. He hires drug addicts and fellons to do political work, He used to be addicted to Meth he told me, that should be a lawsuit in it self, He's a little fat devel, the epitimy of coorporate greed, I worked for him on good enviromental issues and social justice rights in California. He has been taking advantage of homeless kids, rehab teenagers and others for years. He has exploited people so he could get rich. EXPLOITED. I'm suing for punitive damages. If you have any usefull info for my lawyers. Please let me know - sincerely - -concerned enviromentalist-

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