Don Blankenship, the coal executive and one-time would-be GOP Senate nominee for West Virginia is running for the Senate anyway–well, he’s trying to, at least. And, in typical fashion, Blankenship is out of the gate with a very large rhetorical bomb blast (or coal mine explosion if you will).
In a press release announcing his Constitution Party candidacy late Monday afternoon, Blankenship’s campaign acknowledged that the coal magnate’s petition would likely not be certified by the West Virginia Secretary of State’s Office. This likely denial is akin to what the “Nazi party would do,” Blankenship’s press release asserts.
Blankenship previously shocked the nation during West Virginia’s GOP Senate primary earlier this year when he ran a series of low-budget campaign advertisements referring to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell as “Cocaine Mitch.”
Blankenship’s current paperwork is probably going to be turned down because of what’s known in politics as a “sore loser law.”
Codified under that phrase–as well as being referred to in official state documents as the “sour grapes law”–at W. Va. Code §§ 3-5-7(d)(6) and 3-5-23, the law in question essentially forbids losing Democratic and Republican primary candidates from later running on a different party’s ballot lines. Such laws have been heavily criticized for their anti-democratic (small d) nature.
According to the West Virginia Secretary of State:
[C]andidates affiliated with a recognized political party who run for election in a primary election and who lose the nomination cannot change her or his voter registration to a minor party organization/unaffiliated candidate to take advantage of the later filing deadlines and have their name on the subsequent general election ballot.
Blankenship’s press release confirms that the controversial candidate “will vigorously challenge the denial through all legal means necessary” while noting that “Mr. Blankenship fully expects to be on the ballot this November.”
But let’s get back to that explosive rhetoric. Blankenship’s press release continues:
The political establishment cannot retroactively enact laws that prohibit individuals who become members of some political parties from being on the ballot while allowing individuals who become members of other political parties to be on the ballot. This is what the Communist or Nazi party would do and is a perfect example of political party behavior that violates an American’s guaranteed right to equal opportunity. It is a clearly discriminatory law and exactly what George Washington warned of in his farewell address.
[image via Spencer Platt/Getty Images]
Have a tip we should know? [email protected]