Orly Taitz seems to have a thing for raising questions about black politicians' eligibility for office. You've heard all about her discredited accusations against Obama, but you might be tickled to find that she has also been claiming that Irvine's Damon Dunn, a Republican candidate for California Secretary of State, isn't qualified to run as a Republican.
And Taitz's insinuations, as they sometimes do, sound plausible on their face. As always, though, they turn out to be based on huge inaccuracies.
Taitz wants to be the Republican nominee for Secretary of State. At this past weekend's California Republican Assembly conference in Buena Park, she repeatedly leveled accusations against Dunn from the podium, according to the Weekly's R. Scott Moxley.
They go like this...
State law requires Secretary of State candidates in a primary election to have been a registered member of their party for at least three months prior to running. Also, in the year before filing a declaration of candidacy, they can't have been registered with any other party.
Dunn freely admits to being a "recovering non-voter" who made his voice heard at the polls for the first time in last May's special election on ballot measures. He has said that he registered shortly prior to that election--as a Republican.
That checks out. OC voter registration records show Dunn registered as a Republican on March 17, 2009. He then voted absentee in the May 19 election.
But a Sacramento Bee article from November of last year says that Dunn previously registered as a Democrat. Taitz has seized upon that information, claiming that Dunn was technically a Democrat until he registered as a Republican last year, and thus fails the test of not being affiliated with another party within a year of filing to run.
Taitz, though, hasn't checked her facts. According to database records, Dunn registered as a Democrat in Jacksonville, Florida on May 12, 1999. Dunn spokesman Hector Barajas says this happened while he was playing football for the Jacksonville Jaguars and was snagged by a DMV "motor voter" registration drive.
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Dunn's Florida registration is now expired, according to Angelia Wiggins of the Duval County Registrar of Voters. According to Florida law, she says, if the registrar's mail to your registered address begins bouncing back, as it did for Dunn, your registration becomes inactive. If you then fail to vote in two consecutive federal elections, your registration expires. That's what happened to Dunn, leading his Democratic registration in Florida to become void on June 16, 2005.
Unless Dunn was registered elsewhere between then and now--and Taitz has presented no evidence that he was--Dunn should be fine, legally. Update 3:07 p.m.: We just checked whether Dunn was registered in Colusa County, where he used to live, in the town of Willows. He wasn't.
While we were down at the OC Registrar's office ealier today, we met someone from the OC GOP central committee who was there to look into Taitz's allegations. Once again, it seems, Taitz has managed to pull off the feat of seeming absolutely crazy while also making people wonder if somehow, someway, she's actually right.
And once again, she's wrong.