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The 37th senatorial district in Jefferson County has been without representation for some time now. The problem is complicated. Virginia Woodward, the Democrat and Dana Seum Stephenson, the Republican ran for the 37th district back in 2004. There were problems. Stephenson, daughter of long time Louisville politican Dan Seum, got the most votes in the election, however, she wasn't eligible to run because she didn't meet residency requirements. Woodward filed with the state board of elections two days before the election. The race went on though with Stephenson's name on the ballot.
The state constitution sets the residency requirements in the document itself however it also says the houses of the legislature can determine eligibility requirements so there's a bit of a conundrum. The board of elections held that Stephenson couldn't take the seat. The senate however convened a special committee and then determined she could. So they swore her in and she has a seat with her name on it in the state senate. The judge in the case put granted an injunction for Woodward saying Stephenson couldn't take the seat. Then he also said the senate couldn't be forced to let Woodward to take the seat. This brings us to the current situation. The case should be finished soon, particularly since the legislature convenes at the beginning of 2006.
This is certainly a constitutional issue. But, in a recent WAVE-3 story, many people in the 37th district don't really know the situation.
At Jimbo's Barbecue, the food is hot and conversations about anything are easy -- except when it comes to the ongoing battle in the area's senate district.
This really shows a lot of things. The average person doesn't have the time deal with all the garbage that goes on. They don't have time for the political antics and raving by various politicians. IF the Republicans had actually paid attention to the eligibility requirements or not just outright cheated in the whole thing, this wouldn't be a problem. IF the Democrats had raised this issue before, when the first found out about it, then it wouldn't be a problem. Both parties are to blame in this issue. It's ridiculous that the good people of the district, who pay taxes, who had their taxes altered without any kind of representation AT ALL haven't revolted yet. They, at the very least, should send the state senate a redress of grievances.
posted by Stithmeister @ 11:06 PM
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Look, more to the point, they have been a year without the seat filled, and what has the effect been on their lives? NOTHING.
Or, take for example the little-known fact that, on the average, 75% of the Federal Government is on vacation the ENTIRE MONTH OF DECEMBER. Have you noticed a 3/4ths drop in Fed activity at Christmastime? Found any sort of shortfall then?
During the later 1960's, Czechoslovakia forced the US Embassy there to send home almost all of it's staff (flap over 1968). All that was left were a couple of senior ambassadors and some of the bottom rank flunkies - no "middle management". It was known as the most efficient and effective embassy in the State Dept - until the Czechs got over their snit, let everyone back in, and normal bureaucratic incompetence returned.
So far as i can see, the 37th has utterly no problem until the next legislative session. In fact, they may have it better than the rest of us, since their representative (whichever/whoever that turns out to be) has no official position and a full-time distraction. The "lucky 37th" doesn't have to worry what their rep is cooking up in the backrooms to spring on them.
Maybe we should all try to challenge the legitimacy of our state reps.
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I'm currently working in the telecomm industry but one of my passions is still politics.
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