Submitted by Gus Tatlas
I have been a constitutionalism for a long time. It started when I took my first oath to “Support and Defend the Constitution of the United States...” I have argued for and against every issue you can think of as it pertains to the literal interpretation of our constitution. Now that I have been a resident of Pennsylvania for a few years it is evident to me that I must become more familiar with the “Constitution of The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania”. It was pointed out to me that Pennsylvania may be in violation our constitution.
One thing that unites taxpayers is seeing our hard earned income misappropriated. Our taxes spent to benefit private political organizations without a thought. Well it has been happening and when we ask “why?” the answer is “It’s always been that way.” I’ve held a certain level of contempt for that answer since my Navy days. We found that, that answer is lazy and dangerous.
“Elections Section 5.
Elections shall be free and equal; and no power, civil or military, shall at any time interfere to prevent the free exercise of the right of suffrage.”
This is about how elections are run in Pennsylvania, specifically primary elections. The first point everyone should know is that the US Constitution does not mention primary elections. The reason for that is that political parties are private organizations, not government organizations. Don’t take for granted that everyone knows this after all, it’s always been that way.
So here is our problem. Taxpayers pay in millions for private organizations to elect their nominee. Not all taxpayers that are registered to vote are registered with a party. They are either unaffiliated or independent voters depend on the term you like the best. Some choose not to vote at all and are still paying. So how do we make it right? In my mind we have a few choices;
Parties run and foot the bill for their primary elections.
Completely open primaries funded by taxes. One ballot and everyone can vote for their choice for each party on the ballot.
Semi-open primaries funded by taxes. Only Independents can vote for all/one parties/party
Caucus system; only those registered for a party can caucus for that party and no tax dollars are spent on the caucus. It must be fully funded by the party.
I make these suggestions because it is the only way I can see that we would not be violating the Commonwealth’s Constitution. In any of these situations either everyone has the opportunity to vote on the tax payer’s dollar or they don’t and tax money is withdrawn. It just seems fair to me.
There are arguments for and against these choices. As you run them over in your mind just remember one thing. This isn’t about political strategy. This is about stealing state taxes and funding a private organizations’ election that not everyone is permitted to vote in. Then they tell everyone that it is ok because that is the way it has always been.
Submitted by Gus Tatlas