Politics & Prejudices
The secret primary
What the state democratic party doesn't want you to know
Published: January 11, 2012
Democrats are incensed that Secretary of State Ruth Johnson, a Republican, insisted on putting Obama's name on the ballot. But it is hard to see how she could have done otherwise. The law establishing the primary slyly contained the provision that she had to include on the ballot any candidates being mentioned in the media.
The only way someone in that category could keep their name off was by swearing that they were not a candidate for president.
President Obama is not about to do that. Plus, since taxpayer money is being used to pay for a primary, I don't see any way the Legislature could fund a primary for one party and not another.
Once I learned about all this, I wondered: Is there any way the Democrats could actually prevent someone who voted in the Democratic primary from showing up and voting at the caucuses?
Almost certainly, no. The caucuses are going to be on a Saturday, and it isn't going to be practical (or even possible) for one of Brewer's operatives to call over to Alpena City Hall to see if Joe Blow showed up and asked for a Democratic primary ballot.
So voters who bother to show up Feb. 28 will in fact have three choices: They can ask for a Republican ballot, they can ask for a Democratic ballot — or they can ask for a non-partisan one in cases where other elections — school board contests, say — are being held.
Here's what I suggest. Ignore what the party apparatchiks want. If you support President Obama, go to the polls Feb. 28, get a primary ballot and vote for him. Then go to the caucuses in May and do it again. If anyone tries to stop you, ask: "Let me get this straight: You want to keep me from voting for the president we both support because I already voted for him in a legal election?"
If nobody votes for the prez in the primary, there's always a chance that some crackpots will write in Lyndon LaRouche. So listen to Uncle Jack, save the Democratic establishment from itself — and go vote. Twice.
> Email Jack Lessenberry