TOPEKAIn an absolute gift to Democrats around the state, Kris Kobach has decided to do something none of us thought he was foolish enough to do - he has decided to ignore Chad Taylor's request for removal from the ballot.
Chad Taylor filed paperwork Wednesday to pull his name off Kansas ballots for U.S. Senate. On Thursday, Republican Secretary of State Kris Kobach said the Democrat’s name must remain.
Kansas law means “we now have no choice” but to put Taylor’s name on the ballot, he told reporters at an afternoon news conference. “The law is the law.”
Kobach cited a Kansas statute which requires a withdrawing candidate to declare he or she is “incapable” of serving if elected. Taylor’s letter, he said, did not contain that language. Rather, Taylor simply referenced the state law in his letter.
This request, as filed, fits the similar request as listed by Kansas House candidates in 2012 and again this year in 2014, races that were certified and allowed to change.
In this case, however, Kris Kobach says his hands were tied (why they were not in those other cases is unknown) and as a result, a legal battle brews in Kansas..
The decision could invite a legal challenge from Taylor, from the Kansas Democratic Party or others angling for a way to increase the odds of defeating Roberts.Jean Schodorf, Candidate for Secretary of State has argued that Republicans have used the law in order to fight against the right of the vote. Today, Kris Kobach decided to meddle in party politics in a way that stands out - and should this matter go to court, it extends the battle lines too far, the state democratic party would be prevented from meeting, prevented from naming a nominee.
“This could well end up in court, and I don’t have a good sense for how the courts would rule on this question,” said Rick Hasen, an election law expert at the University of California-Irvine.
In a statement Thursday, Taylor defended the language in his withdrawal letter. He said he specifically asked the secretary of state’s office about the proper wording and certification and drafted his message accordingly.
“Upon confirming that my letter would remove my name from the ballot, I presented identification, signed the notary ledger, and signed the letter before a secretary of state employee notarized it,” Taylor’s statement said. “My candidacy in this race was terminated yesterday.”
There have to be democrats around the state - especially Jean Schodorf who have to be absolutely smiling ear to ear with a Republican party that decides how and when it will enforce the law to impact other parties and to make sure they hold a seat.
1:29 PM PT: Official Statement by Jean Schodorf
Jean Schodorf for Kansas
JEAN SCHODORF POINTS TO DISCREPENCY IN US SENATE RULING
Candidate Questions Competence of Secretary of States Office
Today, Secretary of State Kris Kobach held a press conference to announce his ruling of the withdrawal attempt made by Chad Taylor from the U.S. Senate race yesterday. Secretary Kobach announced that Mr. Taylor must stay on the ballot this November.
This ruling was made despite the fact that Mr. Taylor had received conformation from Asst. Secretary of State Brad Bryant that ruled the submission for withdrawal met the standards needed by the office.
Secretary of state candidate Jean Schodorf made the following statement:
“The Office of Secretary of State is in shambles, led by the agenda of one man: Kris Kobach. While there are several in his office that are attempting to follow the rule of the law and are devoted to fair and impartial elections, Kris Kobach has made it his priority to ignore the law and force his whim onto Chad Taylor.
“The decision made by Kris Kobach shows us two things. The first is his partisan nature. Mr. Kobach does not act with the best intentions of Kansans in mind. He only considers what is best for his personal agenda. This stands directly against what is best for the people of Kansas.
“The second is the lack of leadership in the office. Mr. Kobach has decided to ignore the work done by those within his office in favor of implementing his own whims. This is not leadership, this is a lack of organization. This recent display shows how the office is not given the attention that it needs to function properly. Where is the leadership? The extremist right hand of the office does not seem to know what the other hand is doing.”
Jean Schodorf is running on the commitment to provide an unbiased Secretary of State’s office for Kansas, to operate an office that is free from outside activities that distract from the full-time duties of the position, encourages business productivity, and improves the voting process. The shadowy current Secretary of State is running the office with misdirected intentions and an aggressive personal agenda that harms the well-being of Kansans, causes undue hardship for Kansas businesses, and does not meet the need of providing truly safe and secure elections.
2:19 PM PT: Response from Progressive Democrats
Had time to speak with several of the caucuses, and one of the best responses was this:
"Kris Kobach has just prevented Kansas Democrats from having chance to chose a replacement nominee. He has tampered with our right to the electoral process." (Jason Bowers-Chaika, County Chair)
Update: Chad Taylor Response
Chad Taylor statement: KS SoS office okayed language in my withdrawal letter before submission.— Dave Helling (@dhellingkc) September 4, 2014
Chad Taylor is issuing a statement contending that the Assistant Secretary of State was present, provided the OK and certified the letter as attached, in compliance with other candidates who have similarly removed themselves from races in Kansas.
UPDATE 7:35PM CST - Chad Taylor has announced that he will file a legal challenge to this ruling.
This ruling, which strips the rights of democrats to select their own standard bearer will be protested by Taylor in Shawnee Courts.
Update Could Kansas Democrats be considering a Hispanic Woman to fill the spot on the ballot should Chad Taylor leave? While the thought is this would just merge in with Orman, giving us the best shot to win, what a shame it would be if, in denying Democrats the chance to meet and chose an option, Democrats were denied from selecting a true first - a Hispanic Woman eager to run in the state for Senate... Several reports are should their be a nominating meeting, several parties may be interested, and to this point ALL interested parties are minorities. It's a funny factor when Kris Kobach may find himself shutting out minority members from potentially getting out the vote.
Update 9:30PM CST - State party is now weighing options of whether or not, even without Kobach they might arrange a meeting to consider alternatives.
To do this, a 14 day notice would need to be given. But without Taylor released by Kobach, after Friday it will be basically too late to hold a meeting.. and Democrats will be denied the chance to chose a potential standard bearer.