Third Party & Independents Archives

Is This Even Legal?

I’m told this is politics as usual, but I’m wondering if this is blatant discrimination!

I was at my optometrist the other day, waiting for an answer to an inquiry, when the mayor of my city came in to talk to the doctor. They were both standing right next to me so I couldn't help but overhear the conversation. They were discussing the appointment to a position on a local board that was open. The mayor was in a quandary. His chosen appointee, after an examination of his voting registration records, was found to be in another party. He was not a Democratic. The mayor is quoted to say "..but when we went through his voting record we found out he didn't vote Democrat, so we have to look for another person to fill this position. Do you have any suggestions?"

I didn't say anything, but I couldn't help but think, "What if he had said he wasn't a Catholic, or he is Gay, or he's a woman" That would be discrimination, wouldn't it? Is other than being a Democratic grounds for rejection? Is not being a Democratic a legitimate reason to not even be considered?

I have to wonder how many competent, qualified people have been replaced by incompetent and unqualified people simply because they weren't Democratics! Now that I do think about it, my father was one. He was actually asked, he accepted, only to be told he was not a Democratic and couldn't have the job.

Another involved the election of our County Surveyor. An unqualified Democratic was running against an Independent, an educated engineer qualified to be a surveyor. The Democratic, a previous Mayor of the County Seat, was elected. The newly elected, unqualified surveyor, by law, was a figurehead, a place holder, being paid the salary of a County Surveyor. Subsequently, the County Board of Commissioners, by law, hired a qualified engineer at three times the surveyor's salary per contract to do the work the unqualified, ex-mayor, surveyor couldn't do. All this waste just to make sure a Democratic held the office.

Isn't this discrimination? Shouldn't it be frowned upon the same as saying a guy can't get the job because he's a homosexual?

Posted by Weary_Willie at May 12, 2013 6:32 PM
Comment #365749

Weary, shame on you for trying to apply logic to the Democratic party.

Posted by: DSP2195 at May 12, 2013 8:34 PM
Comment #365752

Really! I could also equate slavery to the Democratic Party.

Many people who work for the government say they have to vote for the Democratics because if they don’t they would loose their job. That, to me, sounds like slavery.

Posted by: Weary Willie at May 12, 2013 10:45 PM
Comment #365788

Um, there is a difference in discriminating against someone for something that they can control/choose and something they cannot change(sex, race, sexual orientation, etc).

Posted by: Rhinehold at May 13, 2013 8:29 AM
Comment #365791

That pretty much sums it up, Rhinehold. I agree, people do choose to register into a party. What is your opinion on the practice of excluding possible talent because of this choice?

Posted by: Weary Willie at May 13, 2013 9:20 AM
Comment #365797

In the realm of government, it is fine. In the realm of private industry, it is fine as well, although mostly stupid. It depends. If the person you are paying is embarrassing your company because of political ideas that they are professing, you should have every right to terminate their employment. In government, if you are going to advance a platform, having those of like mind is essential.

Posted by: Rhinehold at May 13, 2013 12:55 PM
Comment #365816

I think it’s counter productive. Having like minds for decades after decades leads to the same problems breeding siblings leads to. Having diverse opinion also provides the checks and balances our form of government relies on to function at it’s expected efficiency.

My county government has been run by the Democratic party for the last 50 years that I can remember. My county is ranked at the bottom of the state. Our ranking, low wages, high unemployment, lack of respect, and psychological problems are considered normal. My county is the butt of many jokes yet it keeps supporting the same career politicians that think alike. I’ll venture to say this problem extends all the way up to the federal government. Maybe this type of behavior should be illegal.

Posted by: Weary Willie at May 13, 2013 4:58 PM
Comment #365818

Weary Willie,

Two thoughts:
How did the mayor discover HOW the man voted. Last I heard, voting was confidential between voter and machine.

I’d be more concerned about that infringement than who votes for which party.

Secondly, How would you enforce this ‘law’ if it were made illegal?

Posted by: Highlandangel1 at May 13, 2013 5:18 PM
Comment #365839

The two major parties are responsible for turning our Republic into rule by Corpocracy. 1100 people dead in Bangladesh for cheap tee shirts, etc.

I recall that one couldn’t get a job in Chicago unless you belonged to the Daly regime. I suspect little has changed in that regard.

Otherwise - - -

Posted by: Roy Ellis at May 13, 2013 7:44 PM
Comment #365840

Highlandangel1, Indiana voters must declare a party affiliation before voting in a primary. Both parties have this information. Also, if it were illegal to discriminate based on party affiliation it would be enforced when the person discriminated against reported the crime.

Roy Ellis, I heard you could get a government job in Chicago if you were dead!

5000 plumbers hired to maintain the fountain featured in the beginning of the sitcom “Married With Children”.

Posted by: Weary Willie at May 13, 2013 8:04 PM
Comment #365943

The laws regarding holding office and political party acknowledgement varies from state to state.

In some states, such as my home state of Washington, such a thing would be illegal, but it may very well be legitimate where you are located.

As for it being discrimination, it is not, discrimination only exists if the victim has no control over that for which they are being discriminated. It is a bit scandalous though.

Posted by: B. A. James Kennedy at May 15, 2013 12:57 PM
Comment #365953

Thanks, B. A. James Kennedy.

Would you have any pointers on how I would know if it is illegal where I am here. I am in a county where if I go to a lawyer in another county they always say “You should get a lawyer from your own county. They do things a little different there.” Here I don’t know if I’m being told the truth because the truth here is what the gov. makes it.

Is there an obscure database of information only a few people know about that I could access to to find out specifically whether it’s illegal in my county or not?

Posted by: Weary Willie at May 15, 2013 5:09 PM
Comment #365978

Political patronage today is usually limited to a select number of appointed positions within an administration. The majority of government positions at the federal, state and local levels are under a civil service commission which is designed to fill manage positions by merit rather than party affiliation. However, it would not be uncommon for a newly elected Democratic mayor to appoint Democrats as department heads. That shouldn’t be very surprising. The Democrat won. He deserves to be able to appoint those with similar philosophies.

Your issue about the surveyor is different though. He was elected, not appointed. You can only replace him with a new election. In the interim, the county needs its lands surveyed so they hire an engineer to do the job on a contract basis. In the future, it might be wise to abolish the elected surveyor office and replace it with a civil service engineering position or at the very least get it changed to an appointed position. Perhaps there is a Democratic surveyor or engineer in need of a job.

Posted by: Rich at May 15, 2013 10:38 PM
Comment #365979

Thanks, Rich. If I ran a business the way our government is run I wouldn’t be in business for long. I guess that’s the perk for being able to spend someone else’s money.

Posted by: Weary Willie at May 15, 2013 10:45 PM
Comment #365980


Go to your county library or law library and ask to see the county ordinances. They will provide you with a pretty good understanding as to how the county operates.

You should also investigate the state code sections which govern elections, personnel requirements, civil service, etc. as they relate to your county and political discrimination.

Posted by: Rich at May 15, 2013 10:55 PM
Comment #365994

I guess it would be called bias, not discrimination.

An ordinance was passed curtailing nepotism when hiring people in my county. That was a pretty big issue. No link to the actual ordinance, though.

Rich, it seems that the requirements for appointees are spelled out in each individual position. It’s all pretty complicated. Impossible for an average person to make sense of. Most would say, “Hire a lawyer!” I think we should simplify government and get rid of all these boards by repealing the 16th amendment!

Ha! Just had to get that in there!

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Comment #367513

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