Democracy took it on the chin last week in Frankfort.
The Senate got a bill to change the deadline when candidates file for office, moving it up even more. The rationale for this is the belief that little gets done in the Capitol until the members know if they will face opposition back home. Years ago the deadline used to be in late March but was moved to late January, so members could, perhaps, take unpopular stands but it would be too late for someone back home to file against them.
It didn’t work, pension and budget bills were delayed excessively this year—for many reasons, but the work of both chambers suffered.
Now the new bill would move the filing deadline to the first Friday (of a full week) in January—almost a month earlier.
Lawmakers argued this “would end the potential for us to play games in Frankfort” and “taxpayers deserve it."
This is pure, unadulterated crap.
And the events of this session prove it.
Two of the issues caused major protests in Frankfort; the pension bill, strongly opposed by school teachers and state workers, and gun control efforts---which only came to the fore after the Parkland, Florida shooting. Yes, pension bill opposition has been there from the start, but only hit its stride after details leaked out, and that was well after the current January filing deadline. So was the Florida shooting, and the nationwide efforts by students for action.
Candidates “back home” could not have filed because they disagreed with their current representatives’ stand on either issue as the law now stands, and they would have even lesser chance to do so if the new bill passes. Generally important and controversial bills come up for a vote late in the session. The old deadline—in March-- was much more “democratic” because it allowed local voters a chance to look at their representatives' full voting record, before deciding it they wished to run in opposition. The new bill does not allow them that option.
It is, in fact (surprise!) nothing but a disguised “Incumbents protection plan” and needs to be rejected.
(But I’m not holding my breath.)
I'm just sayin'...