Skip to comments.Judge says DeLay 'withdrew': Statement may spell trouble for GOP
Posted on 06/28/2006 3:49:28 PM PDT by AntiGuv
AUSTIN - A federal judge hearing a ballot dispute Monday involving former U.S. Rep. Tom DeLay said he thinks that DeLay withdrew from the November election, indicating potential trouble for Republicans who want to name a replacement candidate.
"He is not going to participate in the election and he withdrew," said U.S. District Judge Sam Sparks, who did not issue an official ruling after a daylong trial regarding DeLay's status as the GOP nominee for the 22nd Congressional District.
Jim Bopp, a lawyer for the Republican Party of Texas, disagreed, telling Sparks "there's been no withdrawal." Bopp said that instead, DeLay moved to Virginia, making him ineligible and triggering a state law that allows the party to select a new nominee.
Sparks also said that if political parties are allowed to replace primary election winners with more popular candidates, "the abuse would be incredible."
"It can happen in every race in this state for every office," Sparks said. The Republican judge said a ruling could come as early as next week.
Bopp said the law allowing a party to replace an ineligible candidate has been used only once before, in a 2004 Democratic race for the Texas House. He said the Legislature could change the law if it finds it is being abused.
At issue is whether DeLay withdrew from the race after he won the primary or is ineligible to be on the ballot. If he is ruled ineligible, a committee of four Republican precinct chairs representing each of the counties in the 22nd District Brazoria, Fort Bend, Galveston and Harris would be able to select a nominee to replace him.
Democrats argued that DeLay has merely withdrawn from the race, and therefore his name should remain on the ballot a move they believe would benefit Democratic nominee Nick Lampson because of DeLay's ongoing legal troubles.
DeLay announced in April he was leaving Congress and moving to Virginia. Tina Benkiser, chairwoman of the state GOP, later declared that such a move would make DeLay ineligible to be the nominee for the district.
On Monday, DeLay testified he has moved to an Alexandria, Va., condominium he owns and has opened an office in Washington. He also said he is registered to vote in Virginia, already voting in that state's recent primary and has a Virginia driver's license.
"I know if you become ineligible, you can't be on the ballot," DeLay said.
DeLay, who also owns a house in Sugar Land where his wife continues to live, officially resigned from Congress on June 9. Republicans are trying to replace DeLay as quickly as possible so the new candidate has enough time to campaign and raise money.
Under cross-examination by attorney Cris Feldman, representing the Democratic Party, DeLay said he doesn't know where he will be in November.
Feldman said it supports the Democrats' contention that DeLay could be back living in Texas when voters go to the polls in November. The U.S. Constitution only requires a candidate to be a resident of the state by Election Day.
Feldman also introduced a document that DeLay filed last November in connection with his indictment on money-laundering charges, which stem from fundraising activities in the 2002 state legislative election.
DeLay asked for the case, which is pending in Travis County, to be moved to his home county of Fort Bend.
Bopp contended Monday that circumstances have changed for DeLay.
After the hearing, Bopp told reporters that Democrats are attempting to "throw the dice in running unopposed."
Kenneth Bailey, party affairs director for the Democrats, said that if DeLay is not on the ballot, the Democrats won't be able to raise as much money and create voter interest statewide.
"He's kind of a lightning rod we use to drum up support," said Bailey.
If a Democrat did this we'd be calling it BS, which it is.
We denounced it when Toricelli and the Dems pulled something like this, so I hope we're going to live by our principles and not dance around and make excuses just because someone we like is doing it now.
Just ask Senator Lautenberg.
"He's kind of a lightning rod we use to drum up support," said Bailey."
IOW, "It takes a lot of time and effort to weave a web of lies a distortions about someone as intricately has we've done with Tom DeLay. We can't accompish that on another candidate overnight, ya know. The judge needs to take that into account!"
The Houston Chronicle is a useless rag.
Like most moron reporters they print half a story.
Place this next to Gina Holland's "Court Nixes Part of Texas Redistricting Map"
Torricelli didn't move out of state or anything of the kind; he is still a NJ resident. He simply withdrew. DeLay went to great lengths to make himself ineligible. There is a difference.
If I lived in Virginia, I couldn't run for office in Texas.
§ 145.001. METHOD FOR WITHDRAWAL AS CANDIDATE.
(a) To withdraw from an election, a candidate whose name is to appear on the ballot must request that the candidate's name be omitted from the ballot.
(b) To be effective, a withdrawal request must:
(1) be in writing and be signed and acknowledged by the candidate; and
(2) be timely filed with the appropriate authority as provided by this code.
(c) A withdrawal request filed by mail is considered to be filed at the time of its receipt by the appropriate authority.
(d) The time of a withdrawal is the time that an effective withdrawal request is filed.
(e) This section does not apply to a candidate for president or vice-president of the United States
How could DeLay have withdrawn if he didn't do it by writing? It doesn't appear a judge may administratively withdraw a candidate.
Indeed. This type of election abuse would only be tolerated in New Jersey where Toricelli was replaced by Lautenberg because the Judge said the people had the right to a competetive race. But like I said, it is only allowed in New Jersey.
I wouldn't have said a word had Torricelli dropped out during the time period in which NJ law allowed candidates to be replaced on the ballot. What made the Torricelli-Lautenberg switch illegal was that it took place quite close to Election Day, after the deadline for replacing a candidate.
There's nothing prohibiting you from doing that. You just have to be an inhabitant of Texas on election day.
If he's moved, he's moved and thus ineligible. Delay should have pulled out before the primary of course. But I doubt he'd go to the trouble and expense of moving to Virginia if this were just a stunt.
I thought it was terrible at the time that DeLay went through the primary and then withdrew. If we lose that seat because of DeLay withdrawing, I don't want to ever see him praised on this site again. He has left Texas Republicans at the mercy of a judge. The Democrat could win by default. What happens if the House comes down to a one seat margin? Are people still going to praise DeLay?
Be careful what you wish for Mr. Blivit!
Ask yourself what happens if DeLay is left on the ballot and he wins!!!!
Tom Delay will take his seat in Congress.
Of course there's a difference between the circumstances, but would DeLay be saying he "moved to Virginia" if it wasn't a stunt?
He's a Texan, and he represented a district in Texas. Playing with technicalities is beneath him, or should be. He should face up to reality and be honest. I thought Republicans were about honesty and integrity, but playing with the rules like this sure doesn't make him seem abny different from Toricelli, and I think you know what I mean, technical details aside.
Two lessons from this possible disaster. One, never rely on a presumption of a judge's good sense. Two, De Lay should have lied his ass off about where he expects to move, etc.
I'd give the headline writer an "A" for provocativity.
The Dems should file suit to have judges declare all the Republican candidates involuntarily "withdrawn" LOL!
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