Three removed from ballot.

You know about Keith Gross but two others were removed from tomorrow’s ballot:

Handel also tossed Eric Underwood from the Atlanta Democratic primary race he was running against state Sen. Nan Orrock (D-Atlanta). Handel said Underwood didn’t own property or pay rent in the district. Notices at polling places in state Senate 36, which includes the Grant Park and Ormewood Park areas, will note his disqualification and say that votes for Underwood won’t count.

Orrock still faces opposition from tax advisor and financial planner Andre Jamal Jerry. Handel also disqualified James Powell in one of the Public Service Commission races, saying at the time he signed up for the contest, he was receiving a homestead exemption for a house he lived in outside of the district.

19 comments

  1. Taft Republican says:

    I would say she was targeting Democrats, but Erik Underwood is a Republican. I mean, back in his home district.

  2. Bill Simon says:

    “I would say she was targeting Democrats”

    I nominate the above statement for the DUMBEST statement of the week. To imply that the Secretary of State is “targeting” one political party over another is to demonstrate how completely idiotic you must be, Daft. (yeah, “daft” is your new name)

  3. Will Hinton says:

    Targeting Democrats??? I can only speak about the Gross situation, but this was entirely self-inflicted. Not only was there not really any doubt about Gross being unqualified to be on the ballot, but his testimony before the judge was an embarrassment. Almost as big of an embarrassment has been various Democrat officials claiming that the disqualifications are politically motivated. How dumb do you people think we are?

  4. The Powell one, where she ignored the ruling of the ALJ and cherrypicked some of his findings of fact does strike me as politically motivated. He seems to be the strongest Democrat to compete for a PSC seat in some time, and especially in a year like 2008 when utility prices and energy in general are skyrocketing, it could be the right year for the right Democrat.

  5. ChuckEaton says:

    Chris-

    Even if you look at the SOS’s decision through the strongest partisan glasses possible, I think it’s a real stretch to claim the Powell ruling was politically motivated.

  6. griftdrift says:

    Chuck, even though I don’t like some of the rhetoric being tossed around (some straight in my face), based on the research I have to agree with Chris that one was likely partisan. Of course she did it with the full backing of the law which is awfully clever.

  7. Icarus says:

    I understand the word motivation. To demonstrate, I’ll use it in a sentence:

    “I am not motivated by your argument to get up and find a dictionary, especially when I could sit here and go to dictionary.com”

    If she’s following the law, then why would motivation be relevant? If she were a Democrat, or if the candidate were Republican, would you expect her to ignore the law?

  8. ChuckEaton says:

    You’re free to disagree with the decision, but I think you’re wrong in questioning the motive. It’s a real stretch to imply the SOS has been scheming to get the weaker of two Democrats nominated for the PSC.

    If this is her M.O. then I’m surprised she hasn’t removed Huttman from the ballot yet.

    I wasn’t even aware of who the strongest PSC Democrat was until Chris named him.

  9. griftdrift says:

    Well I seem to be pissing everyone off so I must be doing something right.

    She’s not ignoring the law, she’s using the power the law gives her to make the decision. And with the SOS that power is surprisingly vast.

    The law states homestead establishes residency but the ALJ and the SOS can consider other evidence.

    The ALJ chose to do so. Handel chose not to.

    Handel also has the power to completely reject the ALJ’s finding.

    It’s rare that any Constitutional officer overrules an ALJ. It’s rare rstill that the SOS does it over residency in a partisan race.

    Based on what I know so far Handel bucked precedent pretty hard. Now that could be because she has a different interpretation of the law or it could be politically motivated. But motivation definitely requires a look.

    So in the Powell case its all perfectly legal. But the flexability given by the code certainly allows someone to have a partisan motivation but still follow the letter of the law.

    You can’t ignore that.

  10. drjay says:

    of course if i were a candidate for an office w/ a residency requiremnt i would probably try to have all questions (like my homestead exemption) squared away ahead of time…and this did not happen out of the blue did it–i assume someone had to challenge the residency for it to even come up right???

  11. griftdrift says:

    Agreed drjay. If the homestead had been changed this never would have been an issue.

    And it was challenged by another candidate. A democrat.

    Look I am not arguing conspiracy. I’m just arguing possible convenience.

  12. Icarus says:

    First, I’m not pissed.

    Second, It’s a big jump from “possible convenience” to “likely partisan”.

    What other evidence do you have that Handel’s decision was partisan, especially since you indicate that the complaint/challenge was registered by a Democrat?

  13. griftdrift says:

    I know you’re not pissed. It’s just I’ve got everybody disagreeing with me. I’m just reveling a bit.

    I don’t have any other evidence. Its speculation. But pretty good speculation. The question you have to ask is why did Handel break the unwritten agreement that you don’t play hard ass with residency?

    Also, you’re not seriously going to tell me you believe Republicans never use the law for political advantage?

    I always thought Democrats were stubbornly pollyannish. Maybe I’m wrong. 😉

  14. Icarus says:

    Wasn’t Mike Crotts, a Republican, kicked off the ballot a cycle or two ago because of residency? He’s only on the ballot right now because he meets the letter of the law, even if there is no real evidence that he actually lives in his $150K “home”, which is near his $800K investment property that is for sale without a for sale sign or MLS listing.

  15. griftdrift says:

    Well if I’m wrong about it being rare, I’m sure you guys will correct me. Saves time on research.

    And don’t get things confused. I’m not one of the people saying there was a systematic effort to “get Democrats”. I’m just saying Powell fell into her lap.

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