These are my remarks which appeared in the Saturday, July 14th edition of the Sioux Falls Argus-Leader: |
I don't see any valid basis for the complaints against Secretary of State Jason Gant. It is possible he made some bad calls with respect to Democrats who were seeking ballot access, but its also possible he didn't. I really think that's a matter for the courts to hash out. If its determined that he has repeatedly made bad calls that invariably harm the interests of the other major political party (Gant's a Republican), that might well suggest he's unfit for office. But that hasn't been determined yet, and I think its a little irresponsible of some public figures to just assume that because they didn't agree with the calls that he made, that those calls were necessarily the product of a corrupt partisan bias. That's a very serious implication, and I'm not seeing the evidence that justifies alluding to it.
I am also extremely unimpressed by the claim that it was inappropriate for Mr. Gant to work as Rick Santorum's state campaign chairman. Just off the top of my head, I recall that then-Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell served as chairman of the Bush/Cheney re-election campaign in 2004, and I know if I researched it on the Internet, I could easily find 50 or more examples of the same thing.
I agree its a trifle unseemly, but its also the way things are done in this country, somewhat unfortunately, and Mr. Gant doesn't deserve to be singled out for behaving in a manner that is entirely ordinary.
I probably should have specified that Blackwell was the Ohio state chairman of the 2004 Bush/Cheney re-election campaign, but I think most people will realize that's what I meant.