As I stated yesterday, I think that indicted Secretary of State Charlie White should resign his office immediately, and it's not just because he's lost all credibility as the state's top election official. I think he should do it for the sake of his own defense.
Being Secretary of State is not an easy job. The office encompasses quite a wide range of responsibilities. It seems to me that White would want to put as much time as possible into his defense.
White should, at the very least, step aside until the case is done. I know that Governor Daniels has advocated this course of action, and I agree with that. Todd Rokita, the man who essentially refused to give this case the time of day when he was Secretary of State and a member of the Indiana Recount Commission, now says that he believes, like Daniels, that White should move aside temporarily until the case is decided.
We all know that Charlie White won't resign or step aside. He's going to drag the entire office into this with him. As I understand it, this is what happens now.
White's in real trouble here if he's convicted. One of the charges he was indicted on was a Class C Felony. If he is found guilty of that charge, then he has a felony conviction, and he will be forced from office and will not be able to ever run for another state office again. Governor Daniels will then appoint his replacement.
If it is successfully proven that White was not a legally registered voter when he filed his paperwork to run, then he would not have been eligible to run for the office and would have been in violation of Indiana Code there. WIBC reported that Vop Osili COULD then be installed as Secretary of State as the second-leading vote getter in the race. The Indiana Democratic Party responded in this way:
The only requirement for White to be a candidate for Secretary of State was his status as a registered voter in Indiana. Due to his fraudulent voter registration, which he included on his candidate filing form, (Indiana Democratic Party Chair Dan) Parker said White was ineligible to appear on the ballot.
Accordingly, Parker said, the Indiana Recount Commission erred in dismissing a challenge to White’s certification as the elected Secretary of State. That case is still pending in Marion County Circuit Court.
Parker said that whether White resigns or is removed from office following a conviction, under Indiana law a court should decide his replacement. Parker said Indiana law is clear that the candidate who earned the second-highest number of votes should be appointed.
I don't know what's going to happen, but it's clear that Charlie White cares nothing for Indiana or Hoosiers. If he had any class or dignity, he would have resigned after he was indicted.
Yesterday, though, we learned a lot about Charlie White, and it had nothing to do with the charges that he was indicted on. Clinging to power by your fingernails is just not very becoming.