9 thoughts on “Consolidated Elections and Political Parties”

  1. Attending church, no, but now that you brought up that topic I am bothered when I hear there are ministers advocating for certain candidates as part of the church service (or talking smack about another candidate). Father Pfleger certainly crossed that line with his rant against Hillary Clinton, which certainly got him attention, and calls for his excommunication.

    Candidates also should not be campaigning as part of the service.

  2. Now that I think about it, I have not seen Father Pfleger on the television news much at all since the Hillary Clinton rant.

    Churches should not be collecting campaign donations as part of the service either. If they want to do that, fine, they can lose their tax-exempt status and start filing as a PAC.

  3. I agree on your last point. If you are aware of any churches passing the hat for a candidate, please alert the IRS. Political organizations need to file for Section 527 status.

    To your other point, I don’t believe that persons who hold an independent office are required to divest themselves of all political affiliations. Just like free speech, there are first amendment rights of free association.

  4. To me, the goals matter. While campaigning, it’s customary to accept invitations to all kinds of meetings and events in order to get a sense of the groups’ interests and expectations and to lay out the platform. That’s OK. It’s quite another matter to present as an independent but then avail oneself of the resources of one political party instead of building one’s own organization.

    I am aware that it happens all the time and folks justify it by pointing out that avoiding primaries saves the taxpayers money. This is true. It’s probably also true, at least sometimes, that not holding primaries ends up giving us more ballot choices.

    But, being a party animal and acting like a party animal while pretending to be independent is not honest.

  5. I followed the John Anderson for President campaign in 1980 when the Rockford Republican ran against Ronald Reagan. At no point did Mr. Anderson, running as an independent, divest himself of affiliation with the Republican Party. In fact, he continued to vote as a moderate Republican in Congress. Running as an independent means nothing other than they have no blessing of their candidacy from any formal party.

    If you think someone who runs as an independent is entirely independent on all fronts, you live in nirvana.

  6. “Running as an independent means nothing other than they have no blessing of their candidacy from any formal party.”

    What say you when a formal party is giving independents their blessings?

  7. Running as an independent in a partisan election is not the same as non-partisan. Blending the two can easily result in abuse by machine politics to prevent new challenges to old regimes. Abuse would include use of partisan campaign funds, including use of staff/committee time or resources in support of a candidate and/or secret (from the respective party members) caucuses to select the party’s choice denying voters of their primary vote. My 2 cents.

  8. And a solid 2 cents it is. Time to think about how undercover party “annointings” might bring with them the promise of help from the bulk of the membership, and how this — along with other forms of peer pressure — might discourage additional worthy candidates from running.

    FYI the nirvana comment runs right up to the edge of what is acceptable here.

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