Easy Way to Run for Office: Just Disqualify the Competition

Jesse calls it the strangest story about local politics that he’s read in a long time, but there are many parallels to the rest of the electoral system. Here’s a glimpse:

In most cities, elections happen at least every four years. In Vernon, officeholders haven’t faced opposition in a generation.

Twenty-five years after its elected officials last had a contested ballot, eight strangers took up residence in the tiny city four miles south of downtown Los Angeles. Last month, after just a few days in town, three of the newcomers filed petitions to run for City Council in the April 11 election.

Within days, city utility trucks had turned off their power. The building they shared was slapped with red tags by inspectors who said the property was “unsafe and dangerous” as a residence. Strobe lights flashed through their windows. They and some of their relatives were placed under surveillance. Shortly, city police and other officials drilled holes in the locks and evicted the would-be office-seekers.

Having deprived the interlopers of city residence, Vernon officials on Jan. 27 disqualified them from the ballot.

Read the whole story here.

Stephen Gordon

I like tasteful cigars, private property, American whiskey, fast cars, hot women, pre-bailout Jeeps, fine dining, worthwhile literature, low taxes, original music, personal privacy and self-defense rights -- but not necessarily in this order.

  1. It sounds like an extreme, but undoubtedly similar things (probably usually on a smaller scale) happens across the country every election cycle.

    The people that have power like to keep that power and will do almost anything to do so.

  2. Power corrupts. My City officials use all the same techniques on a more subtle scale. The only reason they’re more subtle, is they don’t have absolute power.

    The sad thing is that the state’s Fair Political Practices Commission did not stick up for us the way the County did for these voters.

    Even sadder, these guys could all have gotten on the ballot, and the incumbents not spent a dime or given a single speech, and they would not have won. City employees run my city, too, and they still manage to control the other 40,000 residents by using taxpayer money to print campaign materials and giving aid to the candidates they support.

  3. This is like those turn-of-the-century company towns where anyone that dared to fight the status quo got armed goons sicced on them.

    I hope these three manage to evict the sitting council… that’s just not right. A guy sitting there for fifty years as mayor? Are you fucking kidding me?