Wednesday, November 30, 2005

I Owe, I owe...

Lest anyone think we’ve been picking on Rep. Calvin Giles, know that there are several sitting legislators and potential candidates who owe fines to the State Board of Elections and who might face ballot forfeiture if they don’t pay those fines by January 19th, when the State Board of Elections is due to certify the ballot for the primary election. It's not that Giles is alone, it's just that Giles owes more than all others combined.

Rep. Giles owes $144,000 in outstanding fines. But others are on the list, or could be by certification. Rep. Patricia Bailey owes $6,200 in fines. Rep. Mary Flowers owes $100 in fines. Three others -- Rep. Jack Franks, Rep. Robin Kelly, and Sen. Don Harmon -- have matters before the Board and may owe fines come January, but they still have pending appeals that might get them out of trouble. (Rep. Deborah Graham, who was on the list as of the last meeting of the Board, paid her fines the day of the meeting). (Rep. Bailey may have other problems)

One assumes that incumbents who face re-election next year will file to run, but the law applies to all candidates, incumbents and challengers alike. Nobody knows who will file next month, but two candidates who lost in 2004 are on the list: Derrick Prince, who took 25% of the Primary vote against Rep. Marlow Colvin, owes $3,250, and Thomas Morris, who garnered 23% in the General against Rep. Lou Lang, owes $1,800.

State law forbids the Board to certify to the ballot the name of any candidate who owes fines. Time will tell who files and is left on the list in January.

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