Story Archive

No, Anything But That One!

In Wisconsin, candidates for public office who are not members of established parties — independents — are allowed to specify a 5-word “statement of purpose” under their names on the ballot. Ieshuh Griffin, who is running for state representative, specified: “NOT the ‘white man’s bitch’.” Apoplectic state election officials refused to allow the slogan, calling it “derogatory.” Griffin has taken the dispute to court, claiming free speech violation. “I’m not making a derogatory statement toward an ethnic group,” she told the Government Accountability Board, which made the ruling. “I’m stating what I’m not.” Board member Thomas Barland, who voted to allow the ballot statement, told reporters, “She says a lot in five words.” (RC/Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel) ...We could use more succinct politicians.
Story Update: Not surprisingly, Griffin lost. Also not surprisingly, she ran for office again the next year ...and lost. And again the next year, and lost.
Original Publication Date: 22 August 2010
This story is in True’s book collections, in Volume 17.

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