Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

'Ziegler Doctrine' Logically Backfires'

Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

'Ziegler Doctrine' Logically Backfires'

Article excerpt

Christian Ziegler seems oddly surprised by some vociferously negative responses to his proposal.

All he wants to do is ostracize all candidates and elected officials in his party who in any way support a candidate not from that party.

And I do mean ostracize.

What Ziegler is apparently missing is that even if such an internal party crackdown on potential independent thinking were a good idea, he is the wrong Republican to propose it.

As a Republican Party of Sarasota official, Ziegler does have some say in the matter, locally. His resolution -- so far not approved by other party officials -- "condemns any registered Republican candidate or elected official" who supports any non- Republican candidate in any race, financially or otherwise. That includes non-partisan races, which have no party primary and where candidates are not identified on the ballot as having any party affiliation.

The condemnation Ziegler wants wouldn't just be rhetorical, by the way. The condemned would be barred from all party events and meetings, and cut off from the usual forms of organized party assistance. That would be so no matter how much the party's members still like them, agree with them or want them in office.

So Ziegler may not get his way on this. Some local Republican officials are objecting to it as totalitarian overkill. Among them are the Republican office holders who inspired Ziegler's resolution. That is, those who dared support a Sarasota County School Board candidate who ran against Ziegler's wife.

That was the unforgivable sin, you see.

Bridget Ziegler defeated Ken Marsh anyway, but her husband was irked by her being insulted, as he saw it, by some fellow Republicans who said she was far less qualified than the Democrat.

The Republicans who measured Marsh and Ziegler that way included two current school board members, Caroline Zucker and Jane Goodwin.

School board elections are non-partisan, by state law. But not totally. Nothing prevents political parties from supporting or opposing candidates anyway. Sometimes the parties are low-key about doing so, especially when they think advertising a party connection might cost more votes than it gains. …

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