Voters in this small city decided overwhelmingly last year to do away with the party affiliation of candidates in local elections, but the Obama administration recently overruled the electorate and decided that equal rights for black voters cannot be achieved without the Democratic Party.
The Justice Department’s ruling, which affects races for City Council and mayor, went so far as to say partisan elections are needed so that black voters can elect their “candidates of choice” – identified by the department as those who are Democrats and almost exclusively black.
The department ruled that white voters in Kinston will vote for blacks only if they are Democrats and that therefore the city cannot get rid of party affiliations for local elections because that would violate black voters’ right to elect the candidates they want.
Several federal and local politicians would like the city to challenge the decision in court. They say voter apathy is the largest barrier to black voters’ election of candidates they prefer and that the Justice Department has gone too far in trying to influence election results here.
Stephen LaRoque, a former Republican state lawmaker who led the drive to end partisan local elections, called the Justice Department’s decision “racial as well as partisan.”
“On top of that, you have an unelected bureaucrat in Washington, D.C., overturning a valid election,” he said. “That is un-American.”
Andy McCarthy’s bottom line: “A 65 percent African-American district, which voted overwhelmingly in favor of Barack Obama, passed a non-partisanship provision by a two-to-one margin, yet the Civil Rights Division decided it knew better and, using an unconstitutional law, dictated its terms. Like our moralizing Attorney General likes to say, “In things racial, we always have been and continue to be, in too many ways, essentialy a nation of cowards.” If that’s true, then Eric Holder’s own Civil Rights Division is Cowardice Central. It shouldn’t have taken much courage to let Kinston be Kinston.”
Meantime, KFYI’s JD Hayworth reports that DOJ officials posed “undercover” as reporters to get into a press conference held by targeted Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio.
Attorney General Eric Holder, Team Obama’s Dirty Dozen (get your trading cards here)