Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Elections Officials Reject Candidate's "NOT The Whiteman's Bitch" Slogan on Ballot

Ieshuh Griffin assures people her attempted slogan "NOT The Whiteman's Bitch" is "not making a derogatory statement toward an ethnic group. I'm stating what I'm not". I would imagine if prompted she would say it is not meant to be derogatory to a sex either...

"State elections officials narrowly rejected a Milwaukee Assembly candidate's attempt to run with the slogan "NOT the 'whiteman's bitch' " under her name on the ballot.

Ieshuh Griffin, a Milwaukee independent running to replace retiring Rep. Annette "Polly" Williams (D-Milwaukee), said in response she would sue the Government Accountability Board for infringing on her freedom of speech.

"I'm not making a derogatory statement toward an ethnic group. I'm stating what I'm not," Griffin told board members. "It's my constitutional right to freedom of speech."

In other action, the state elections agency Wednesday knocked three state Assembly candidates and one congressional candidate off this fall's ballot but kept U.S. Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D-Madison) on it.

Unlike candidates from the established Democratic and Republican parties, independents are allowed a five-word statement of purpose on the ballot to explain to voters what their candidacy is about.

Shane Falk, a staff attorney for the Accountability Board, said that the board had the ability to restrict obscene or derogatory candidate statements from the ballot.

The board staff ruled that the statement should not be allowed. With one member absent, the board voted 3-2 in favor of reversing that ruling and allowing the wording. Under board rules, however, four votes are needed to overturn a staff decision.

As a result, Griffin will be on the ballot with "independent" by her name and nothing else.

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