Friday, April 25, 2008

How Many Times Can You Discriminate Against One Guy?

That's a question former Chief Deputy Coroner John Linehan may be asking of his fellow Marion County Democrats at this point. After completing nearly 20 years of service in the Marion Co. Coroner's office, Linehan sought his party's slating for county coroner in 2004. At the last minute, then-county chairman Ed Treacy urged the party to slate chiropractor Kenneth Ackles over Linehan to assuage demands from African-American leaders like Julia Carson that he include another black on the county-wide ticket. Despite a questionable slating vote after which Treacy declared Ackles the winner over Linehan by 11 votes, Linehan graciously accepted defeat and supported Ackles in the November election. Riding a Democratic wave in the county in 2004, Ackles managed to defeat a much more qualified Republican opponent, who was a physician.

Upon taking office in 2005, Ackles appointed Linehan as his chief deputy coroner, a position to which Dr. John McGoff, a Republican, had named Linehan on an interim basis during his last year as county coroner. After a rocky year in their relationship during which Ackles falsely accused Linehan of ghost employment at one point, Ackles demoted and then fired Linehan as his chief deputy, whereupon he appointed a less qualified, African-American female to the chief deputy's position. Linehan filed a charge of race discrimination against the Marion Co. Coroner's Office, and an administrative law judge found in his favor last year, awarding him $360,000 plus his attorneys' fees.

Amid rumors that Ackles would not seek re-election this year, Linehan once again contacted Marion Co. Democratic leaders and expressed his interest in seeking the party's slating for county coroner. Under party rules, candidates for slating are required to pay the party a slating fee based upon 10% of the office's annual pay. Ackles is paid $38,000 as county coroner; however, his pay by state law is 50% higher than the regular pay for this part-time job because he is considered a physician. Yes, according to an old Attorney General's opinion, a dentist, a veterinarian and a chiropractor are considered a physician for purposes of qualifying for the extra pay. Because Linehan is not a physician, he would only be paid approximately $25,000 if he is elected county coroner. Accordingly, Linehan tendered a $2,500 slating fee to Marion Co. Democratic Chairman Mike O'Connor. Linehan learned about 45 minutes prior to the deadline for submitting the slating fee that he would have to pay the same amount as Ackles was required to pay despite the pay differential. Linehan would have gladly paid the higher slating fee, but he was out of town when he learned that he would have to cough up more money and could not deliver the additional money prior to the deadline. O'Connor disqualified Linehan from being a candidate at slating on this basis. Ackles was re-slated, as a consequence, without opposition.

By the time the deadline rolled around in February for filing as a candidate in the May primary, Ackles withdrew as a candidate for re-election after it became public knowledge that he had failed an examination he is required to pass under a new state law. The City-County Council subsequently voted to withhold Ackles' pay until he passes the examination. Linehan filed to run in the May primary, along with Dr. Frank Lloyd, Jr. Lloyd, who is African-American, reportedly expressed interest in running against Andre Carson in the 7th District race for Congress. Party leaders encouraged Lloyd to run for coroner instead of the congressional race to avoid further division in that race. Later, the Marion County Democratic Party's executive committee met and decided to slate Lloyd over Linehan. The committee refused to even consider hearing Linehan's appeal to be the party's slated candidate.

So I now count four times in the past four years that Marion County Democrats have discriminated against Linehan because of his race. How many times can you discriminate against one guy before folks say enough of this already?


artfuggins said...

Since you are a prominent republican, I would interested in hearing what you are doing to reid your party of the embarrassment of Danny Burton.

artfuggins said...

rid nor reid.....slow fingers today.

jabberdoodle said...

This is a clear example of the County Party Chairmen having way to much power - so much that the party voters get little or no say come primary election time. I would add that O'Connor was even more blatant in his design of the slating ballot for Superior Court Judge. Each incumbent was unopposed in their own judge 'slot' and all of the other folks running were assigned to run against each other in one of three 'slots'. It was an outrage.

Both parties need to clean up their acts during slating - or better yet - get rid of slating entirely and let the voters decide who will carry their banner. If its good enough to pick our Presidential candidates through an honest and fair primary ballot, is should be good enough to elect our party's candidate for dog catcher.

MissouriDemocrat said...

In 22 years of being in Marion County I have found very little to be proud of the Marion County Democratic Committee about. I come from a state that has no slating and think slating is nothing more than more backroom politics. It is absolutely no wonder people do not want to get involved in the political organizations. Here we have Obama pulling in young people right and left and none of them will stay active because all of them are smart enough to see that party officals such as have run the party in this county are in their own little click and determined to make the party their own little fiefdom. For that reason I vote for the man based on his positions and not my own party. My own party has no positions. They stand for nothing. Nor by the way does the other party. All of them are a bunch of power hungry cockroaches.

John M said...

Let me get this straight: you make fun of Ackles for being a chiropractor, but note that Linehan doesn't have a degree that qualifies him as a "physician," such as it is. Yet now, the Democrats have slated Frank Llyod, Jr., who is a bona fide medical doctor, instead of Linehan. I know nothing about Linehan's background, but Indiana law seems to value the services of a "physician" over a non-physican. And Lloyd isn't a "physician," he's a real physician, an MD. While the first three incidents sound unfortunate, why do you conclude that Dr. Lloyd is less qualified than Mr. Linehan, such that bigotry is the only explanation for his slating?

artfuggins said...

Mike O'Connor and the incumbent judges are responsible for the travesty in the way the slating was done for the judges. The committeepersons have no ownership of the rigged judges' slate so one of the incumbents will lose......probably McCarty or Zore but it could be others.....when committeepersons who do the work are left voiceless, then problems happen.

Gary R. Welsh said...

If you want to get real particular, John M, a forensic pathologist is the only truly qualified physician for this job. The coroner employs FPs to do the autopsies, which is why the coroner doesn't have to be a physician. Linehan is a certified EMT with more 20 years of experience investigating deaths in the coroner's office. Dr. Lloyd's experience as a surgeon actually makes him less qualified than Linehan, although I suspect you won't believe that.

LACKEY said...

AI: Linehan is a certified PARAMEDIC, which in the medical field, is significantly different than an EMT. I'm sure you're aware of this, however, many civilians do not know the difference.

Paramedics have to engage in more education and training, and, therefore, have a wider range of practices they are allowed to perform. Understanding the physiology behind how people live is paramount to understanding how they die. So, based on his education, he is as equally qualified as Dr. Lloyd. Its his EXPERIENCE that gives him the edge over Lloyd. Given past issues, shouldn't we go with the guy who actually knows what he's doing?

elme said...

WHO is behind the Barack Obama for President

........ GE ....and a gaggle of other corporate elitists.

Are a lot of working class Americans Bitter?

Well, they SHOULD be: Another GE candidate for President (SOLD to the public by the Corporate-Controlled "Mainstream MEDIA)...Ronald Reagan...began the MASSIVE Robbery of the American people that has continued to this day.

About every day the TV Talking heads say: "The Rich are getting richer and everybody else is getting poorer"

...& You'd Think...after nearly 30 years they would FINALLY ASK: (& Answer) WHY?

The answer is simple: Reagan cut the top tax rate down from the 70%'s to the low 30%'s.

(If you made $100 million & your tax rate was 70% you would pay $70 million to Uncle Sam & keep $30 million...earning interest, or dividends THE NEXT YEAR on that $30 million. If, instead, you paid $30 million in taxes and KEPT $70 million-You'd make a lot MORE money the next year on that $70 million)

Simple: tax the rich a lot less AND they damn sure WILL get a whole lot richer a whole lot faster. There was 2 PARTS to Reaganomics tho. The second part was: "The Two-Tier Wage Structure"

i.e. Pay the Top level "executives" a Whole LOT MORE; Pay everybody else a Whole LOT LESS. (Newspapers & TV in the early 80's had articles & coverage of the "Two-Tier Wage Structure" that CORPORATE America trotted out IN CONCERT with Reagan's election & tax cuts.)

WHEN its CORPORATE POLICY to PAY Everybody else a WHOLE LOT LESS-everybody else is going to get-a whole lot poorer...huh?

a. It was deliberate. b. Its been going on for nearly 30 years.

Next Question: Is Obama likely to fix it?
Answer: Hell No. Because THE SAME PEOPLE are running him for President - The SAME WAY they got Reagan/ Bush1 / Bush2 elected: MEDIA PROPAGANDA.

GE owns MSNBC & NBC. AOL Time Warner owns CNN. Westinghouse owns CBS. (GE is the 2nd largest corporation on the planet). They have interlocking directorships. THEY ARE the Corporate-Controllers of the Corporate-Controlled Media.

MSNBC/NBC have become the CHIEF propaganda mouthpieces of the Obama Pushers (BOPN-Barack Obama Propaganda Networks)-just like FOX has been the the Bush Propaganda Network all these years.

There are no more Journalists, no more NEWS People. They have all become court jesters & clowns doing their bit to please their corporate masters..Top Level..PAID A WHOLE LOT MORE---Media whores.

Here's a glimpse of ONE of the $Billions of Dollar TAXPAYER-RIPOFF-Reasons GE wants to "elect" Obama President: GE & Westinghouse are in the business of building nuclear power plants. They are planning to reap $Billions in RISK-FREE Profits by building the lion's share of those 29 new nukes.

The Cheney Energy Bill passed in 2005 - made it possible for the nuclear industry to begin planning to build 29 new nuclear power plants (licensing hearings are already scheduled for the first few of them).

No new nuke plants were built for 30 years because the banks wouldn't loan the money - too risky. The Cheney Energy Bill solved that problem by Guaranteeing TAXPAYER PAYBACK of any of the nuke loans that default (The Congressional Budget Office rated the risk of default at 50% or greater)

Obama voted FOR the Cheney Energy Bill. Clinton voted against. Clinton says her Energy plan does not include nuclear & if they want to be considered they will have to FIRST Make it Cheaper and find a safe way to dispose of the nuke waste.

McCain, this week on the Campaign trail said...we just have to face it we need to start building new, "CLEAN", nuclear power plants. i.e. The Corporate Elitists are running OBAMA AND McCain for President.

("Getting off coal to go to nuclear is like giving up cigarettes to take up smoking crack".)

MissouriDemocrat said...

I was reared in a small Southeast Missouri town. My Dad was in the Funeral business and his business partner was the County Coroner. Even today the County Coroner in that county of SE Missouri is a Funeral Director and not a forensic pathologist, or a medical doctor. I used to see weekly why every coroner should be a trained professional. The incidents over the years are countless where bad calls were made. A County Coroner need not be an MD, but he should at least be a trained Forensic Pathologist.

Concerned Taxpayer said...

It's OK folks, don't worry...he's white.