The Knucklehead of the Day award
Today's winner is Leon County Circuit Court Judge Janet Ferris. She gets the award for the following.
Elections supervisors in Mark Foley's old district may not display notices informing voters the disgraced Republican U.S. House member has been replaced by another candidate, a Tallahassee judge ruled Wednesday.
Leon County Circuit Judge Janet Ferris said information sheets stating a vote for Foley would go to Republican state Rep. Joe Negron would violate Florida laws limiting what information can be provided at polling places.
"The issues here involve elections, the ballot and the sanctity of the voting booth," Ferris stated. "There can be little debate that interference with that process, especially in a manner not contemplated by the Legislature, would cause irreparable harm."
"We disagree with the court's order and we will appeal," said Jenny Nash, a spokeswoman for the Florida Department of State, which oversees elections.
Negron also intends to appeal the ruling, a campaign spokesman said.
Elections supervisors in most of the affected counties had planned to display notices in their precincts stating: "A vote for Mark Foley [Rep.] will be counted for Joe Negron [Rep.], the Republican candidate."
The sheets would also say a vote for Democratic candidate Tim Mahoney counts for Mahoney and a vote for unaffiliated candidate Emmie Ross counts for Ross.
The Florida Democratic Party filed suit Friday claiming the proposed notice violated state law by referencing specific candidates and constituted favoritism toward the Republican Party.
"We thank the Circuit Court for clarifying this issue for the people of Florida," said party chair Karen Thurman. "We hope this brings an end to the Republicans' campaign to illegally influence voters at the polls."
Under Florida law, Foley's name remains on the ballot.
Ferris said she did not think county elections supervisors were seeking to aid Republicans by displaying the notices.
However, she said state lawmakers could have provided for the posting of informational notices in such scenarios but chose not to.
Judge Ferris is playing politics. Read this from yesterday's Palm Beach Post.
Democrats did not sue in 2004 when their candidate quit a congressional campaign after ballots were printed and the Broward County supervisor posted notices at polling places. In a race against U.S. Rep. Clay Shaw, R-Fort Lauderdale, notices in Broward explained that a vote for Democrat Jim Stork would count for his party-appointed replacement, Robin Rorapaugh.That's from a Post editorial. Anyone who reads TFM regularly knows how liberal the Post is. Mahoney gets a plug from the signs also. How unfair is that?
The difference, says Florida Democratic Party spokesman Mark Bubriski, is that the state didn’t order all precincts to post notices, and not all did. While the state Division of Elections, under Republican Secretary of State Sue Cobb, recommended that notices be posted this year, supervisors refused to act on the recommendation. Instead, they deferred to their own statewide association, which suggested a slightly different approach.
To assure that all candidates are treated equally, the supervisors have agreed on a single notice stating that a vote for Foley is a vote for Rep. Negron, a vote for Mr. Mahoney is a vote for Mr. Mahoney and a vote for unaffiliated candidate Emmie Ross is a vote for Ms. Ross. As Rep. Negron told The Post, Mr. Mahoney gets his name listed twice — on the notice and on the ballot.
The judge's decision is all about politics. That's why politics doesn't belong in the courtroom, judges have political biases just like everyone else. I'm a registered democrat and think what was done here is a shameful episode in the history of the Florida democratic party. What party was it again that ruled Florida during the days of segregation and poll taxes?
For allowing politics and misinformation to rule over precedence, Leon County Circuit Court Judge Janet Ferris is today's Knucklehead of the day.
Also blogging on the decision by Judge Ferris- Captain's Quarters, James Joyner at OTB
Linked to- Clash of Civilizations, Third World County, Blue Star, Stuck on Stupid, TMH's Bacon Bits, Cao's Blog, Basil's Blog, Bright & Early, Right Wing Nation, Jo's Cafe, Random Yak,