And no, we’re not just saying this because we’d like to see a return of acquisitions and I-Been-Witch-Hunt. We won’t deny those are a consideration, but at the end of the day there’s a real argument behind not banning someone from running to retake a political office lost through a recall.
The Times-Picayune can explain what’s going on here…
Legislation aimed at preventing a situation like the one Port Allen voters found themselves in recently when former mayor Deedy Slaughter ran for the spot from which she was recalled is headed to Gov. Bobby Jindal’s desk to become law.
The legislation, sponsored by Port Allen resident and Republican state Sen. Rick Ward, prohibits recalled elected officials from running in the special election to replace them during the same term.
The Senate gave final passage to the bill Tuesday (May 27) by a vote of 28-5 to agree to changes made to it in the House. The House approved it by a vote of 80-11, and the Senate initially approved it by a vote of 32-5.
Yes, political hygiene is served by such a ban. No, we’re not crazy about the idea of Deedy Slaughter’s political resuscitation.
But this is a good example of legislative indiscipline, the “there-ought-to-be-a-law” syndrome which has infected the political process.
You shouldn’t need a law to stop Deedy Slaughter from getting re-elected in the special election that comes about after she’s recalled. You should have an electorate which can take care of that problem.
And legislative measures to keep people off the ballot ought to be viewed with about the same appreciation afforded to MERS or explosive diarrhea. Nobody should want to keep people off ballots.
If you want to make sure a Deedy Slaughter doesn’t get elected, perhaps the best way to do it is to get rid of the incumbent-protection racket that is our jungle primary system – because if you have party primaries then you’re going to see a lot of incentive for party officials to get rid of the Deedy Slaughters in their ranks when they become toxic to the brand, and what often happens is for the party officials to recruit candidates who can take a Deedy Slaughter out in a primary, regardless of whether it’s a special election or otherwise.
With party primaries there is very little danger of a Deedy Slaughter sticking around after getting recalled. Somebody runs against her in the Democrat primary and gets lots of votes, but if that’s not enough to beat her then somebody runs against her in the general election – either as an R or an I – and she almost certainly gets beat then.
Or if she doesn’t, then the voters have spoken. They obviously like a mayor who gets hit with acquisitions about her interigrity.
And if that’s the electorate you have, the law should not protect them from the consequences.
Sen. Ward means well, but the voters in Port Allen already solved the problem he’s trying to solve. They rejected Deedy’s bid to stick around in office.
And as Thomas Jefferson said, “He who governs best, governs least.” We already have too many laws on the books.