South Caroina republicans in the County of Laurens are apparently forcing Republicans that run for public office sign a pledge before being allowed to run for public office as their standard bearer.
Ed Schultz took on the topic, and in today's political climate predictably focused on the provisions requiring sexual purity:
I encourage you to watch Ed Schultz's for details mentioned below, but also for the entertainment value. My point of departure here, is something Schultz did not mention. They're not just ASKING candidates to sign.
We all know organisations like the National Organization for Marriage who ask candidates to sign a pledge to defend marriage, or like Grover Norquist to sign a pledge not to raising taxes. These pledges are intended to be a statement of purpose and endears the candidate to certain wing-nut constituencies. You can choose not sign those pledges and still run for office though. You may not win, but it's not a REQUIREMENT to participate in the party primary.
According to one candidate for public office, who asked not to be identified, he was told that filing out the necessary paperwork is not sufficient anymore. In order to run for office as as a Republican in Laurens county, the candidate MUST sign the pledge and MUST submit themselves to a 3 person subcommittee for approval. Their recommendation will determine whether your in or out.
If you don't sign the pledge, if you aren't approved by the sub-committee, you cannot run on the ballot as a Republican. Period.
So apparently, it is not the people of South Carolina, who get to decide whether you are a good enough Republican, its the party leadership. I can think of some governments that also require such qualifications to run for office.
Iranian candidates must sign a pledge affirming their commitment to Islam, and a particular interpretation of Islamic law in order to run for office. In fact, candidates must be pre-approved by the Guardian Council. If they are not approved, they are not allowed to run for office. They are disqualified as a political candidate.
In Stalinist Russia:
Party members were required to sign a pledge affirming their commitment to the central governing party.
Here's the link to the story: