I’m eating crow now. My prediction about what would happen next in the Lorain law director election race was dead wrong. In a blog entry asking whether Pat Riley’s name should appear on the November ballot, I wrote:
So here’s what will happen next: A meeting of the Elections Board members will vote to put Riley on the November ballot anyway. That vote will end up deadlocked at 2-2, with the 2 Democrats voting in favor, and the 2 Republicans voting against. Mike Scherach will then file a protest against Riley’s candidacy, and the deadlocked vote will forward the matter to the desk of Jennifer Brunner, Ohio’s Secretary of State.
The Lorain Morning Journal and the Elyria Chronicle-Telegram are reporting that the Elections Board voted 2-1 to place Pat Riley’s name on the November ballot, even though Riley, as indicated by lack of evidence, failed to file for election. Republican Helen Hurst was absent from the vote, as she was hospitalized.
The rhetoric from the Democrats is laced with hypocrisy. Let’s look at a couple of samples, shall we?
“I am elated to be on the ballot. I think it’s the right thing to do,” Riley said. He was embraced by numerous supporters after the vote. Riley said he hoped the board’s decision would change what he believes to be the wrong mentality among the staff at the elections board of placing partisan politics over the importance of serving the public.
Umm . . . excuse me, but it’s due to extreme partisanship (Rules? What are they? Rules only exist for suckers, like Republicans. Rules don’t apply to Democrats.) that your name even appears on the November ballot. Spare me the lecture on partisanship.
Next, a sample from the C-T:
Candelario said the investigation into what happened to the document is ongoing, and he is working to implement changes to make certain a similar problem doesn’t happen in the future. The most immediate change has been a shifting of many staff members, including Allyson Hurst, to new jobs.
“We will be reviewing policies to increase the integrity and preservation of any documents filed and certified,” he said.
Jose Candelario, Director of the Board of Elections, is the weakest link in this whole fiasco. He was the one who received whatever paperwork there was from the Riley campaign, but he never bothered to provide the Riley campaign with a receipt of any kind before handing off the paperwork to someone else. Isn’t the remedy quite obvious? The first order of business is to immediately create a paper trail by issuing receipts as soon as paperwork is received by the Board offices. Instead of applying a double-standard by imposing new conditions on everyone else at the board, he should take responsibility for his own behavior. The scapegoat-ism in this instance is highly partisan, so Riley’s platitudes about a more post-partisan Elections office are way off the mark, as Candelario is heightening the partisanship, not reconciling it.
What does this precedent portend for future election cycles? I suppose this victory for the good old boys of the Democrat machine paves the way for similar abuses in the future.