This is mostly meant to be a quick epilogue to my story from the other day regarding the Virgin Islands and its seriously tainted March 10 caucus. The reason it was tainted was because John Yob and several associates from Michigan ran for election as unbound delegates to the Republican convention, despite not being eligible:
On March 4, Caroline Fawkes, the supervisor of elections for the U.S. Virgin Islands ruled Yob, his wife Erica L. Yob, and Ethan Eilon and Lindsey Eilon ineligible to vote. All four of them were on the ballot to be delegates, but delegates must be registered Republican voters. Fawkes’ ruling compromised their eligibility to serve as delegates.
According to court documents, Yob was initially ruled ineligible to vote, according to Fawkes, after he tried to register to vote before he had lived in the U.S. Virgin Islands for the required 90 days. According to an email that Fawkes sent to state chairman for the Virgin Islands Republican Party, John Canegata, Yob is alleged to have purposely falsified information to gain access to the polls.
“Mr. Yob appeared at the St. John Elections Office in order to register to vote in early January. He was informed by the Elections Assistant, he has to reside in the Virgin Islands for ninety days before he can register. He informed the Elections Assistant, he arrived on the island a week before, which made him ineligible. He then took the information gained and travelled to the St. Thomas Elections offices and provided a falsified date within the parameters to meet the requirement,” Fawkes wrote in an email to the party chairman.
Fawkes also said in the email that her office had attained “a copy of Mr. Yob’s Facebook page, which states they moved to St. John USVI on December 28, 2015.”
In my post, I expressed considerable anger that the electoral process had been corrupted so blatantly. I expected Yob and his associates to go to the Republican convention and receive all sorts of outrageous bribes for their votes. What I didn’t expect was for someone in the Republican Party to actually stand up for clean elections, but that is exactly what John Canegata, chairman of the Virgin Islands GOP, did:
In an unusual move, the chairman of the Virgin Islands GOP disqualified all six delegates elected on March 10 to represent the territory in Cleveland. He cited a party rule that requires elected delegates to accept their position in writing.
All six of those delegates had been elected by local Republicans but had not pledged support to a primary candidate.
Now, they’re being replaced by six alternates. Of the alternates, one supports Ted Cruz, one supports Donald Trump and two support Marco Rubio. The last two are uncommitted.
According to a Republican familiar with Virgin Islands politics, the effort to invalidate all six delegates is rooted in a dispute between Yob and Virgin Islands Republican party members over his efforts to inject himself into local politics. Yob recently moved to the Islands from Michigan.
I’m a bit torn. The election results were clearly fraudulent, because Yob and the people he’d brought with him from Michigan were not eligible to run as delegates. In addition to a violation of the letter of the law, it also violated the spirit of the process as Yob did not live in the islands, may not have even had a permanent residence there, and could not provide the territory with any kind of honest representation. I dislike the precedent set by overturning election results through any other vehicle besides a court of law. On the other hand, the process was so corrupted that I cannot help but feel the chairman, Canegata, made the right call here, though it would have been better to have them disqualified before they ran for election.
It’s nice to have my cynicism proven wrong once in awhile. Feels good for some integrity to show itself in what has otherwise been an ugly primary.
hat tip to CoffeeLover, who kindly alerted me to this story yesterday