Wednesday, August 20, 2014

About "Non-Partisan" Elections and Offices


Per the Orlando Sentinel [hat tip -- Sayfie Review]:

Orange County commissioners voted late Tuesday to ask voters to make constitutional officers such as the sheriff and tax collector term-limited, nonpartisan races.

There ain't no such thing as a "non-partisan race" -- at least not in any significant election.

Taking Orange County, population 1.2 million (and 45 million tourist visitors per year), as an example, consider the position of Sheriff.

There will almost certainly be a Republican candidate for that office -- that is, a candidate personally identifying with, and backed by, the Republican Party.

There will almost certainly be a Democratic candidate for that office -- that is, a candidate personally identifying with, and backed by, the Democratic Party.

There may also be candidates affiliated with and backed by other, "third" parties.

Amendment or no, that's how it is and that's how it's going to stay, for the simple reason that the Orange County Sheriff's Office is a large, powerful political enterprise (2,400 employees and an annual budget of $180 million).

All the commissioners are really proposing is that voters deny themselves the most convenient source of information -- a party designation and/or logo -- concerning the partisan affiliations and backing of the candidates they're considering.

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