Wednesday, August 15, 2018

A vote for Trump nominee Brett Kavanaugh on the U.S. Supreme Court could cost U.S. Sen. Doug Jones (D-AL) a chance to be re-elected as a Democrat

Doug Jones
U.S. Sen. Doug Jones (D-AL) could find himself blocked from running as a Democrat for re-election in 2020 if he votes to confirm Donald Trump's nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court (SCOTUS), an Alabama political insider says. The state Democratic Party blocked former Congressman Artur Davis from running as a Democrat for the Montgomery County Commission in 2015, and Jill Simpson says a similar fate could await Jones if he votes to place Brett Kavanaugh on the nation's highest court.

Alabama Democratic Party leaders have an obscure administrative tool they can use against candidates who stray too far outside party boundaries. It was used against Artur Davis, and Doug Jones could find it staring him in the face, blocking his path to re-election as a Democrat.

Jones was met with heckling over the Kavanaugh issue when he conducted a town hall on Monday night at Birmingham's Parker High School. A woman tossed a pair of stuffed lips toward Jones and said he could "kiss my ass" if he votes to confirm Kavanaugh. Jones has said he is undecided on the Kavanaugh vote.

Simpson -- an opposition researcher, whistle blower, and retired attorney -- said heckling might be the least of Jones' worries if he votes for Kavanaugh. Jones rode into office last December largely on the votes of progressive Democrats -- especially minorities and women -- and he courted them by touting his role as a prosecutor in the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing case. The anger and feeling of betrayal among those voters will be palpable, Simpson says, if Jones votes for Kavanaugh -- a strong right-winger, former George W. Bush administration official, and longtime friend to GOP henchman Karl Rove.

In fact, Simpson says Jones' failed attempt to overthrow the Nancy Worley and Joe Reed leadership team on the Alabama Democratic Party was designed to have Jones-friendly leaders who would not fight back if he sides with Republicans on key national issues. Simpson wrote the following on a recent Facebook post:

I have a feeling Alabama Democrats are starting to wake up to the fact Doug Jones isn't one bit loyal to the large number of Democratic folks who sent him to D.C., who worked so many hours under the leadership of Nancy Worley and Joe Reed to get him elected. That is apparent because of Jones' recent actions to overthrow their leadership, showing he is not the least bit grateful for their help; otherwise he would say he'd never consider voting for Brett Kavanaugh. 
Jones knows the Democratic Party, as it currently is organized, will seek to remove his behind from running in the future in the party, just like they did to Artur Davis when he betrayed the party. If Jones votes against our interest in D.C. and votes for Kavanaugh,  Joe Reed and Nancy Worley have the skill to take him off the ballot next election; they have pretty much done that with Artur Davis in the past, keeping him off a ballot after his Republican flip flop in the Siegelman case years back. 
Doug's big plan is to circumvent rules that the candidates must be real Democrats, who don't support far-right extremists for the Supreme Court, and I am hearing people in state leadership believe he is trying to install people at the leadership level who would accept his betrayal of Democrats by voting for Trump's nominee.  If Jones does that, he deserves being forever removed from running again as a Democrat, and we are going to need Nancy Worley and Joe Reed, as they had to do this same kind of deal with Artur Davis -- and they did it successfully.

The tool that could block Jones' re-election is called the Radney Rule. Artur Davis learned a painful lesson about the Radney Rule in 2015:

Former Alabama Congressman Artur Davis is taking the state Democratic party to court. The party has rejected Davis’ bid to run as a Democrat again.

The Alabama Democratic Party has the Radney Rule, which prevents a candidate from switching parties if that candidate has supported another party over the last four years.

In 2012 Davis ran as a Democrat for governor and lost in the primary. Davis then campaigned for Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney.

The state chairwoman of the Democratic party says that is enough to bar Davis from running as a Democrat.

"He has definitely supported Republicans and he has definitely worked on the behalf of Republicans within the last four years. So the Radney Rule applied," Alabama Democratic Party Chairwoman Nancy Worley said.

A judge dismissed Davis' lawsuit in November 2015, and Davis has been pretty much a political non-entity ever since. (The court opinion is embedded at the end of this post.) Could such a fate await Doug Jones? Well, Jones never has switched parties and openly supported Republicans, as Davis did.
But Jones has longstanding alliances when some of the state's scummiest Republicans -- including Rob Riley, Jeff Sessions, Bill Canary, Bill Pryor, and Karl Rove. The language of the Radney Rule -- and the court opinion interpreting it -- is broad. That means Doug Jones could be playing with fire.

Artur Davis
Jill Simpson writes at Facebook that Doug Jones and Rob Riley essentially have been trying to take over both of the state's political parties. She says the Kavanaugh vote, and its repercussions, could sink those efforts:

As of now, this helps folks see that Doug Jones was never what he pretended to be in the first place -- and it explains Doug's actions, and his indecision, on the Kavanaugh matter. The lust for power of Doug Jones and Rob Riley, and their desire to control both parties of elites, is what messed up Alabama politics for nearly the past 20 years; it is an ongoing saga of deceit and corruption that is unfolding now before the public, on this Kavanaugh matter, and it's going to come to an end, one way or the other, on this vote.  
The time has arrived where both political parties want to end these two-faced political games played by Rob and Doug, who seek to confuse voters on where they stand. Both sides now agree the public deserves to know where politicians stand. Jones is going to be forced with the Kavanaugh decision to pick one side or the other. But either way, citizens will figure out that Doug is a two-faced jerk, as they watch him act like a snake in the grass, squirming around trying to figure out what the f___ to do from being exposed as a liar to both Republican or Democrats. Seeing Doug Jones exposed as a two faced jerk is a win for all in this state if it causes his political career to end pretty quickly.
Doug Jones and Rob Riley have wreaked havoc in our state for far too long, playing both sides -- and that is over with. This one choice of who goes on the Supreme Court ends any control they ever had, as folks see them clearly now. 
You will see me on the Progressive Democrat side demanding daily that Doug vote against Kavanaugh, and you will see state Republican chair Terry Lathan demanding he vote for Kavanaugh. Either way Doug votes, he has to choose which group of voters he serves. There will be consequences for however he votes. We have cornered this two-faced jerk, trying to play both sides. In the end, what matters is that we stop Doug Jones and Rob Riley from ever trying to control both of our state parties.


Anonymous said...

Had no idea ADP could block Jones' re-election as a Democrat in 2020. Not sure how I feel about that, but appreciate your reporting on this.

Anonymous said...

I smell a fight a brewin'.

Anonymous said...

Jones' position on Kavanaugh bothers me. It's not just supporting a GOP nominee. That kind of thing happens a lot. But to support the nominee of a president who is under criminal investigation . . . well, I don't think that makes sense.

Anonymous said...

@9:02 . . .

I smell a fight brewing, too, but I hope it doesn't come to that.

Anonymous said...

Artur Davis sure knows how to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

Anonymous said...

When Jones says he hasn't made up his mind on Kavanaugh, that means Rob Riley hasn't told him what to do yet.

Anonymous said...

Joe Reed and Nancy Worley have taken some heat in the press the past few days. Interesting to see Jill Simpson stand up for them.

legalschnauzer said...

@9:35 --

Yes, Kyle Whitmire, of, probably wrote the most scathing piece:

Of course, Whitmire is the guy who repeatedly has said the Don Siegelman case was correctly decided, so I'm not sure how much credibility should be affixed to anything he writes.

Anonymous said...

So, the Alabama Democratic Party expects its candidates to act sort of like . . . Democrats.

I'll be darned.

Anonymous said...

Doug Jones probably doesn't wipe his behind without checking with Rob Riley first.

Anonymous said...

Jones will vote for Kavanaugh, no doubt.

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't want Doug Jones and Rob Riley to be in charge of a corner lemonade stand. I sure don't want them in charge of both political parties in Alabama.

Anonymous said...

Democratic voters put Jones in office, but his GOP handlers made him a viable candidate. Hence, the indecision re Kavanaugh.

Anonymous said...

I don't think it's fair to blame Nancy Worley and Joe Reed for Alabama having a lot of prejudiced, ill-informed voters.

Democrats are dealing with that problem in a lot of states, and it's a hard nut to crack.

Anonymous said...

The Radney Rule might have properly applied to Artur Davis and his party switch, but I don't see how it would apply to Doug Jones. Senators reach across the aisle all the time to vote for nominees of a president from the other party. Don't see how Jones can be punished for that.

Anonymous said...

Dems are scrwed n 2020 either way. They won’t vote for Jones because he is not liberal enough. Any other candidate will viewed as too liberal and the GOP will vote him or her down. There will not be another Roy Moore fiasco next time around. The Worley thing is perfect evidence of what is wrong with the party. Say what you will about Whitmire, but he is spot on. Worley has no organizational skills, no vision for the orgainization and no fund raising skills. His metaphorical reference to her getting her massive ass stuck in a toilet is equivalent to her shitting the bed as chair is accurate, and hilarious. And crack on Whitmire all you like. The bottom line is that he is just as liberal are you LS - he hates what is happening to the dems. He is just calling things as he sees them, and knows that Joe Reed is the cancer bringing the Dem party down.

Anonymous said...

The only way Jones might get re-elected is if Bentley really does try to run for office again.