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Challenge should negate ex-con, felon candidacy

Maybe starting tomorrow we’ll finally get a clarification about Article 1, Section 10 of the Louisiana Constitution to see just how airtight it is in preventing felons unpardoned for their crimes from running for elective office in the state before 15 years have passed (assuming their sentence has been completed).

Prisoner #08515-035, Joe Shyne, was convicted in 1994 of soliciting a bribe while performing duties as a Shreveport city councilman office, a federal crime. He served his time in prison, a year, but then came back to win back the seat in 1998. State Sen. Max Malone (now running for mayor) didn’t think this was right, as did a large majority of Louisiana citizens, when he introduced a constitutional amendment that they approved that theoretically should keep Shyne from running for that office again until 2010.

But Shyne claims a governor’s pardon, which he got in 2003 from former Gov. Mike Foster, will suffice, even though the state’s Pardon Board a year later concluded the governor had no power to affect a federal conviction (this done to determine whether election rights could be restored to Prisoner #03312-095; no doubt he sees that decision as part of the massive conspiracy of the federal government and its judicial system against him, despite any real evidence). Malone and Shyne’s opponent current councilman James Green, disagree and challenged his candidacy.

Besides the 2004 opinion, in addition Malone says he has an attorney general’s opinion backing him up. Shyne himself doesn’t even seem to understand the issue, because he argues that it was a state law that took away his right to run – not seeming to know the Louisiana Constitution that he swore to uphold on several occasions (and didn’t) excludes him (at least until the next election cycle). But he admits he’s got a weak case by asserting Green’s bringing the challenge is “a chicken way out” to prevent Shyne from winning the election.

Of course, Shyne took the real “chicken way out” by breaking his bond of trust with his constituents in the past and now by wasting taxpayers’ money in an attempt to regain an office for which the people have said he cannot deserve. Still, with a judiciary nationwide that has steadily moved in the direction of making rather than interpreting the various constitutions, anything could happen in a court case, but Shyne will be off the ballot if common sense holds.

1 comment:

tin194 said...

I thought we are not suppose to discrimnate someone. Why the fuss over this ex con candidate! If he could serve the country better, then why not!