Presidential candidate Rick Perry of Texas, who continually touts his record in Texas for taking away his citizens' rights to sue for harms done to them ("tort reform" measures like capping awards for medical malpractice and other personal injuries), seems to think it is OK to sue the Commonwealth of Virginia . Mr. Perry found Virginia's requirement that a Presidential candidate obtain 10,000 signatures before being placed on a primary ballot to be too "onerous" and "problematic" (Query: if this requirement was too onerous, how is he going to manage being President of the United States?). This wannabe President has trumpeted to anyone who will listen to him about his legacy of taking away Texas citizens' rights to sue, their rights to challenge big business, or big insurance companies, all of whom seem to be prospering in Texas and across the country. Apparently, when he wants to sue for a perceived wrong, he can justify a lawsuit. And the fact that the Virginia requirement was well-known and clear to Mr. Perry – and all of the candidates – when he entered the race, seems to be of little importance. His lawsuit does not qualify as "frivolous", even though the Virginia requirement is clear as the print on this page.
It seems as if most of Mr. Perry's competitors in Virginia, like Mitt Romney and Ron Paul, did not have the same problem as Mr. Perry. This is despite Mr. Perry having a sizeable advantage over Mr. Paul in campaign money. Despite the money in his coffers, Mr. Perry claims that Virginia's "ballot access rules are among the most onerous and are particularly problematic in a multi-candidate election." Interesting theory, considering most of the other candidates (excluding Newt Gingrich) seemed to find the rules quite negotiable.
The hypocrisy of some politicians is rather perplexing, especially those self-righteous politicians who have little problem denouncing all of those so-called "ne'er-do-wells" who have the temerity to bring a lawsuit for an injury, like that caused by a defective product that kills or maims a family member, or like a health care provider who negligently injures or kills, or like a large corporation that willfully and knowingly releases or dumps toxic substances into the air or groundwater (or ocean – e.g., BP). Those latter suits are "frivolous" according to Mr. Perry and his cronies in the Texas legislature, but his lawsuit against Virginia, upon being denied access (Virginia sure has a lot of gall, does it not?) because of his inability to qualify under a well-known state requirement, becomes fodder for a lawsuit. Perhaps Mr. Perry should have been a little better organized, or used some of the many millions his campaign has banked (where did that money come from?) to work a little harder in Virginia. But, in light of, and despite of, his campaign's failure to follow the rules Virginia clearly established, he now seeks redress through the courts, claiming his constitutional rights have been violated. What an amazing turn of events.
Is not Mr. Perry a strong proponent of "states' rights"? What happened to Virginia's rules? These are rhetorical questions, because the answers are clear – Virginia's rights and rules do not matter when they do not comport with Mr. Perry's presidential aspirations. Oops.
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