May 9, 2012
Could I be (and should I want to be) federal prisoner Keith Judd's DNC delegate from West Virginia?
The question in the title of this post is meant — sort of, maybe — as a joke in light of the notable primary voting news out of West Virginia reported in this AP article, headlined "Against Obama, even a jailbird gets some votes." Here are the basics:
Just how unpopular is President Barack Obama in some parts of the country? Enough that a man in prison in Texas got 4 out of 10 votes in West Virginia's Democratic presidential primary.
The inmate, Keith Judd, is serving time at the Federal Correctional Institution in Texarkana, Texas, for making threats at the University of New Mexico in 1999. Obama received 59 percent of the vote to Judd's 41 percent.
For some West Virginia Democrats, simply running against Obama is enough to get Judd votes. "I voted against Obama," said Ronnie Brown, a 43-year-old electrician from Cross Lanes who called himself a conservative Democrat. "I don't like him. He didn't carry the state before and I'm not going to let him carry it again." When asked which presidential candidate he voted for, Brown said, "That guy out of Texas."
Judd got on the state ballot by paying a $2,500 fee and filing a form known as a notarized certification of announcement, said Jake Glance, a spokesman for the Secretary of State's office.
Attracting at least 15 percent of the vote would normally qualify a candidate for a delegate to the Democratic National Convention. But state Democratic Party Executive Director Derek Scarbro said no one has filed to be a delegate for Judd. The state party also believes that Judd has failed to file paperwork required of presidential candidates, but officials continue to research the matter, Scarbro said.
It would be silly (and surely inaccurate) to claim that democratic primary voters in West Virginia voted for Keith Judd over Barack Obama because they were hopeful that a federal felon would push Democrats to make sentencing and prison reform a higher priority within the party. But it would not be silly (nor inaccurate) to claim that all the people of West Virginia who voted in the primary for Judd ought to have their votes represented at the Democratic National Convention by a delegate (like me) who is not going to to just fall in line with all the Obama supporters and who will go to the DNC with some of Judd's interests and concerns in mind.
Of course, I neither live or work in West Virginia, but the same is true for Keith Judd. (This Politico piece about Judd explains that he "currently resides in a low-security prison in Texas — Federal Correctional Institution Texarkana — where he’s serving a 210-month sentence for extortion connected to making threats at the University of New Mexico in 1999. His projected release date is June. 24, 2013.") For that reason, and so many others, I really think I could be the perfect person to head down to Charlotte in late summer and represent the tens of thousands of West Virginia democrats who indicated last night that they are eager for some new voices to be heard at the DNC.
May 9, 2012 at 03:00 PM | Permalink
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So, voting while in prison, problematic, but being on the ballot while in prison, not so much?
Posted by: Joe | May 9, 2012 5:26:42 PM
so in west virginia anyone can get on the presidential primary ballot, but in virginia no one can? that makes sense.
of course, this news is not going to help end people making west virginia jokes.
Posted by: Erika | May 10, 2012 10:10:36 AM
I served with a mullet.
I knew a mullet.
A mullet was a friend of mine.
Judd, you're no mullet.
Posted by: Adamakis | May 10, 2012 2:05:07 PM