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The Millbrook Independent

May 27th
If you don’t like it, then pay for it PDF Print E-mail
Written by News Desk   
Friday, 27 June 2014 08:14

artparkerBy Art Parker, Editor

It wasn't a big surprise to me when I read that the Chairman of the Alabama Republican Party, Bill Armistead, was bellyaching about our state not having closed primaries. In a press release sent from the party headquarters late last week Armistead is quoted as saying, "When I ran for Chairman of the Alabama Republican Party I vowed to seek ways to ensure that Republicans voted to select their candidates in the Republican primary and Democrats voted to select theirs in the Democrat primary. I appointed a committee in 2011 to look into how other states have successfully handled party primaries, in order to guide Alabama down the same path. The committee recommended that the Party support what is known as "closed primaries", meaning that only Republicans vote in a Republican primary and only Democrats vote in a Democrat primary. At the 2013 Summer Meeting of the Alabama Republican Party State Executive Committee a resolution was passed endorsing closed primaries in Alabama and urging the legislature to take steps towards party registration."

As the Republican Party stated in its release, "Alabama currently is one of 11 states with open primaries where voters do not have to declare affiliation to any party and can request whichever ballot they choose at the polls."

An independent can legally vote in either major party primary on Election Day. That's right. That's the deal. That's the way it works. And that's the way it needs to be as long as the taxpayers are footing the bill for elections.

I find it insulting that the chairman of any political party would be so arrogant as to expect taxpayers to foot the bill for something like an election and then, by design, deny them the privilege of exercising their greatest right of all, which is the right to vote. That is the way of the Alabama GOP, after all, it has to make sure that the "comrades ordained by the party" are the ones to stay in office. It's already bad enough when the real leaders of the Alabama GOP, Speaker of the House Mike Hubbard and former Governor Bob Riley, do everything possible to wreck the idea of a republic by making sure the same people are re-elected. Of course that is necessary to maintain power and maintain the flow of money for the "regime."

What the Republicans want to do is close the primaries and force people to declare themselves either a Republican or Democrat. The problem is that people should not be required to do that to exercise their right to vote, but that is what the Alabama Republicans want. They expect the taxpayers to pay for this selfish, controlling idea that does nothing more than destroy the very premise of democracy-the right to vote. The Republicans want closed primaries so they can say, if you are not one of us then you are not invited...even though you are paying for it. What is this party afraid of? Losing control. The leaders of the GOP are afraid they will lose control and that their power may trickle down to the voters (taxpayers) – the people who are supposed to have all of the power anyway.

This latest spewing of garbage by Armistead confirms in my mind the pressing need for the parties to pay for their own primary elections. Why should the taxpayer foot the bill to decide who the party will run in a general election? Why should the various governments get involved in the process of determining who a party nominee is? I think the parties should do their own thing, and pay for their own thing, and when they decide upon a nominee then send that name to the Secretary of State and it will be placed on the General Election ballot.

In the General Election the party nominees will face all of the independents that wish to run. I can tell you right now neither party will like the idea of growth among independents. The last thing the parties want are people who are independent and can think for themselves. And the last thing the parties want to change is the free primary elections they receive from the taxpayers.

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