Friday, December 02, 2011

Keeping a Dirty Little Secret Could Cost County Jobs

Shaking my head this evening as I read that the Texas Secretary of State, Hope Andrade, is not doing due diligence in getting the word out that if a county official files for another office in the current filing period, they will find themselves unemployed.

It’s a dirty little secret.

You see, the GOP legislature changed the filing dates for those seeking office by a month earlier. It is now December 2, and filing for candidacy for public office began this past Monday, November 28th. This ran up against a peculiar law that Texas has that says that someone currently holding a county office who files for another office must resign from their current office if they file on a date more than a year from the date they would take the new office, typically January 1st.

That means that the new filing period, between November 28th and December 15th is more than a year before January 1st 2013, and everyone currently in office, who files for another office, is automatically out of a job.

Oh, but the legislature fixed that with a constitutional amendment, and the voters approved the amendment last month. They increased the period from 12 months to 13.

Whew. All is good in the ‘hood again.

Except for the fact that Rick Perry hasn’t exactly put pen to paper to sign the bill into law. Something he could have done starting 8 days ago. And now we are 5 days into the filing period.

And Hope Andrade has been curiously silent in not warning people about the fact that should they file for another office this week (Perry promises to sign the bill on Monday), they will lose their jobs.

I wonder how many county public office holders are now ineligible to come to work as of the day they filed this week?

And while some may call this a mistake, a mistake due to miscommunication, I am a little suspicious. You see Republicans have used loads of filing date trickery in the past to rid themselves of people they don’t like. I recall the Glory Hopkins affair in Fort Bend County.

Back in 2005, Glory Hopkins, the perennial District Clerk of Fort Bend County, was given an address for her to send in her filing papers. But gosh darn it all, the address she was given had the wrong zip code on it and the mail was deemed undeliverable.

Hopkins was becoming a thorn in the side of other office holders, and this is how the Republican Party dealt with it. She was kept off the ballot, and lost her lawsuit to get back on.

So you see, when the GOP monkeys with anything in and around filing for political office, you know that they have reason to do it.

Monkey business.

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