HorsesAss becomes an official instrument for joining the Washington State Republican Party!

Over the approximately three years I have participated in the comment threads at Horses Ass, I’ve frequently been called a Democrat. And my typical response has been something like, “Actually I am not a Democrat. When I have lived in states that require registration by party, I have always refused—even to extent of being excluded from voting in primaries.” It’s true. I’ve never joined the Democrats—even though it is obvious that my political sensibilities and sympathies are closely allied with the Democrats.

This explains, in part, why I didn’t participate in the Democratic caucus. I didn’t participate in the Republican “caucus” either. In order to participate, the Democrats wanted me to “consider myself a Democrat” and the Republicans wanted me to be “a member of the Republican Party.”

But there was more to my non-participation. The fact is, I’d be equally happy with either Clinton or Obama as the Democratic nominee, so I had little reason to attend the Democratic caucus. I considered caucusing for Mitt Romney, but the bastard surrendered to terrorism while terrorizing his own supporters earlier that week. So I sat out that one, too.

Over the last week I’ve had a change of heart. I am ready to sign up for a party, for the first time in my life. And given how the Washington state Republicans are in shambles…I think they need me. Really. Yeah…maybe I’ll change my mind in a few days, but right now, I think the Republicans really need me, if only to boost their numbers. So I’m joining the Republicans and I’ll at least contribute half a vote to their primary on Tuesday.

I’m supporting Mike Huckabee. Given that McCain’s “victory” last Saturday was little more than a decree from Boss Esser, I think Mike Huckabee is entitled to a decree on Tuesday that arises from some sort of numerical system that proportionately reflects the make-up of the party faithful (like, um…me!).

I strongly encourage you to do the same thing. Sure…there will be the shame and humiliation of signing an oath that you are a Republican. And you might even feel like you’re lying a little bit. But, these days, the very act of lying pretty much fully qualifies you to be a card carrying Republican! Imagine the great opportunities in being a Republican…like, serving as a Research Assistant on Lori Sotelo’s Voter Suppression Squad™.

Think of your new membership as a trial subscription…. If you find it causes odd changes in your behavior, attitudes, or physiology like, say, a new-found desire to have sex in public toilets, or an unexplainable urge to knock your mother to the floor, or perhaps being turned on by falafel as a shower sex toy, then all you need to do is renounce your membership. Experiment over.

Hell…the trauma and uncontrolled trembling associated with casting your first ballot as a member of the Republican Party may be enough to cause an instant renunciation. If it induces vomiting, renounce immediately and completely; see a doctor.

How do you join the Republicans? Well…don’t go to the Washington State Republican Party web site. You won’t find any instructions on how to join there. That pretty much means you can join any way you want. The usual methods should work—kill a member of an endangered species, test drive a Hummer, drag a disadvantaged member of society down the road behind your pick-up truck, join the Ted Nugent fan club, shoot your neighbor’s dog…. If those methods are too much work, there is an easier way: leave a comment below stating that you are a member. Or, use an even easier method: simply do nothing except sign that poll-book or absentee ballot envelop declaration for Tuesday’s primary election. The WSRP explains (my emphasis):

You are eligible to participate in your local Republican precinct caucus if you are a registered voter in that precinct, show up at the caucus location at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 9th, and sign a declaration indicating that you are a member of the Republican Party and have not and will not participate in the 2008 precinct caucus or convention system of any other party. It is not necessary for you to have previously declared that you are a member of the Republican Party.

If it works for the caucus, it works for the primary.

But what if you already participated in the Democratic caucus? Can you then vote in the Republican primary? The real answer is YES, although it is sure hard to tell from this piece in yesterday’s Olympian:

“What we’re telling people is just be honest,” said Pat McCarthy, Pierce County auditor. “You need to know that when you sign that oath you’re adhering to the statement of the oath.”

Or else … what?

“I’m not quite sure,” she said.

In fact, no one is, but everyone seems to have an answer that sounds plausible.

“It’s against the law,” said Joanie Deutsch, a spokeswoman for the Secretary of State’s office. Deutsch dialed up RCW 29.19, relating to primaries, before determining that such acts constitute voter fraud.

But ask Nick Handy in the elections division of the Secretary of State’s office and you get another perspective: It’s a violation of the law for which the law provides no sanction.

Translation: Yes, it’s illegal. But since there’s no punishment assigned to it, you conceivably could break that law with abandon and not get any flak.

Here’s another interesting part, Handy said. Since caucuses are party-run affairs, only the parties knows who went last Saturday.

Aside from the parties, that is. And they’re not sharing.

For the final word, Handy suggested asking Jeff Even, deputy solicitor general in the Attorney General’s office and an expert on the matter.

His take: It’s hypothetically legally binding.

It would be almost impossible to prosecute someone for voter fraud, perjury, or the gross misdemeanor of false swearing for pulling a switcheroo, Even said.

And so the question becomes, if the oath creates a crime that’s impossible to prove, prosecute or punish: Why write one in the first place?

“Most people would take an oath seriously,” Even said.

Hypothetically legally binding, my ass. In fact, there is nothing in the RCW or the WAC that prevents you from participating in a Democratic caucus and a Republican primary. It’s true that you would be lying to both Parties in doing so, but lying to both the Democrats and Republicans seems like the perfect rite of passage for becoming a Republican.

I’m not a lawyer…so consider my reasoning but come to your own conclusions. The relevant law is found in RCW 29A.56 (not RCW 29.19 as the spokeswoman for the Secretary of State supposedly “dialed up”). Also check out the appropriate portion of the WAC.

You will not find anything dealing with an unfaithful oath to a party in the primary. The core issue is whether a violated oath could result in second degree perjury (RCW 9A.72.030) or false swearing (RCW 9A.72.040a) charges. But the language (found in WAC 434-219-140) states

(3) Each registered voter desiring to participate in the presidential primary of a major party that requires a declaration shall subscribe to the declaration.

As Sam Reed was so kindly pointed out during the SignatureGathererGate in May of 2006:

Both perjury in the second degree and false swearing require the statement be made under an oath “required or authorized by law”. This is a term defined in the statute:

“An oath is “required or authorized by law” when the use of the oath is specifically provided for by statute or regulatory provision or when the oath is administered by a person authorized by state or federal law to administer oaths[.]”

Apparently, by WAC 434-219-140, even the desire to participate in a party’s primary requires one to make an oath to the party! More importantly, the word “subscribe” in legalese simply means to sign one’s name. In other words, the oath is to a party, but the legal requirement is simply a signature on the oath provided by the party. The oath itself is meaningless (except as a way to join the Republican Party) for another important reason: because it doesn’t conform to the legal requirements for an unsworn oath. RCW 9A.72.085:

Unsworn statements, certification.
Whenever, under any law of this state or under any rule, order, or requirement made under the law of this state, any matter in an official proceeding is required or permitted to be supported, evidenced, established, or proved by a person’s sworn written statement, declaration, verification, certificate, oath, or affidavit, the matter may with like force and effect be supported, evidenced, established, or proved in the official proceeding by an unsworn written statement, declaration, verification, or certificate, which:

(1) Recites that it is certified or declared by the person to be true under penalty of perjury;

(2) Is subscribed by the person;

(3) States the date and place of its execution; and

(4) States that it is so certified or declared under the laws of the state of Washington.

The certification or declaration may be in substantially the following form:

“I certify (or declare) under penalty of perjury under the laws of the State of Washington that the foregoing is true and correct”:
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
(Date and Place) (Signature)

This section does not apply to writings requiring an acknowledgement, depositions, oaths of office, or oaths required to be taken before a special official other than a notary public.

Finally, as Nick Handy points out, there are no provisions written into law to punish people who sign the oath but violate it.

All this is simply academic for me, since I didn’t participate in the Democratic caucus, and the very act of writing this post is my way of joining the Washington state Republican Party. I can sign in good conscience.

You can become an Insta-Republican too. It’s easy. Simply say so in the comment thread. Or sign that declaration on your ballot and mail it in.

And vote for Mike Huckabee—because real change comes out of joking about razor blades in each hand in a nice warm tub!


  1. 1

    I-Burn spews:

    What about integrity? Even if you don’t believe the Republican Party to have any, what about your own? Does your word mean so little? Are you really so threatened by anything the Republican Party does that you feel the need to “game the system”?

  2. 2

    proud leftist spews:

    I have just had an epiphany, one of those Road to Damascus experiences. I have just realized that all of my concerns about civil liberties, equal opportunity, clean water, clean air, people getting along together, etc. were the product of youthful delusions that had lasted too long. All my votes for Democrats were mistaken, foolish byproducts of giving a damn. Now, I am a Republican. Really, I am. Now, I can vote for Huckabee. I love you, you little Huckster.

  3. 3

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    I can’t get away with it. I used to be a Republican (can’t you tell?), but it would be hard to pass myself off as a Republican today.

  4. 4

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    “Translation: Yes, it’s illegal. But since there’s no punishment assigned to it, you conceivably could break that law with abandon and not get any flak.”

    But don’t try this if you’re a lawyer, because the bar association can discipline you for acts of dishonesty.

  5. 5

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Another problem is that if you send in an absentee ballot swearing you’re a Republican, the GOP probably will send out two missionaries in white shirts and black ties with name badges who will try to hit you up for campaign donations.

  6. 6

    Spencer spews:

    An oath with no teeth. Hmmm. Somehow I just can’t bring myself to sign that “I consider myself to be a democrat.”

    Btw, we were told in the Bill Clinton era that character didn’t matter for a president. Is this still the democrat mantra?

  7. 7

    ratcityreprobate spews:

    Surely someone can have a change of mind, perhaps several of them without breaking the law. It is not a lifetime choice, in this state party declaration is not even a condition to register to vote.

  8. 8

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    I sure hope Hickabee is the GOP nominee, though! I can see the 527 group ads already, featuring low angle screen shots of a dog swinging on a cord from a tree limb. I hope they use Jane Balogh’s stupid mutt to shoot the ad — then they won’t need a stunt dog, and they won’t need to fake it.

  9. 10

    ratcityreprobate spews:

    @5 Roger

    You are correct. That is the biggest problem. There would be endless phone and mail solicitations.

  10. 11

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    While we Democrats won’t allow any Republicans in our party because they can’t pass the character test, the GOP should welcome ex-Democrats with open arms because they need all the character in their party they can get, as they have none now.

  11. 12


    I-Burn @ 1

    “What about integrity? Even if you don’t believe the Republican Party to have any, what about your own? Does your word mean so little?”

    But I am a member now, and I didn’t participate in the Caucus. And this is the first time I’ve EVER joined a party, so it’s not like I’m sleeping around. (I mean, abstinence is a Republican value, isn’t it?)

    So where is the integrity issue?

  12. 13

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    “You can become an Insta-Republican too. It’s easy. Simply say so in the comment thread. Or sign that declaration on your ballot and mail it in.”

    Darryl, as much as I would like to be an Insta-Republican for a few days (it sounds like fun — does this mean you get to break stuff without paying for it?), I can’t lower myself to it. And I have a family to think of. My 8,439 (give or take a few) children wouldn’t understand. Neither would my 1,276,849,655 (give or take a few) cousins.

  13. 15

    FricknFrack spews:

    Go Huckabee!

    Huckable, Huck-a-me, Huckabee!

    “Huckabee Girl”
    This President of Heaven youtube is a screamer.

    Nice work Darryl! Proud of you. Just be SURE to not list your phone # or email address or it will kill off a sizable chuck of cyberspace hammering for solicitations. Repubs seem to be hurting somewhat for bucks these days it looks like.

  14. 16

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @12 I think you’ve got him, Darryl. You’re still a political virgin, so he can’t get you for adultery. And, as a first-timer, you’re allowed a mistake. In a day or two, after you’ve become disillusioned, you’ll divorce yourself from the GOP and become a recycled partisan like me. But don’t worry, we Democrats aren’t stuffy about things like that. We accept reformed sinners. All you have to do is renounce Republicanism, attend RR meetings 3 times a week (yes, we make you stand up and say, “my name is Darryl, and I was a Republican”) and take the 12-step recovery course, and take the pledge: “I declare that I am a Democrat and I will not attend any other party’s caucus or vote in any other party’s primary in this election cycle.” And you’ll be in like Flynn. In the Democratic Party, that is. We won’t mind at all that you tried the Republicans and found them wanting.

  15. 17

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @16 Just don’t overdo it. Two days in the GOP is plenty. If you stay longer, we’ll have to do a background check on you.

  16. 18


    Welcome to the Repared Repubbicans

    Darryl, I can to9p that. For years I have been a member of both parties, voting in my interests in both.

    I even received a formal invite to donner at the WH a couple of years ago and every year get a personally signed picture from my good friends George and Laura.

    The way this started was that some years ago, in a campaign I donated 20 cents a month to Bush. Every month. Somehow this got me elevated to a high level and since then I get regular letters askng my positions of issues .. in addition to xmas cards, invites to WH dinners, and a few rather personal offers I can not disclose. I have also had really nice, lengthy conversations with nice people who call me and ask is there anything they can do to help me vote this year.

    All for $.25 a month!

    Join the Re-Repubs, you can not find a better deal!

  17. 19


    Seriously ..

    I maintain that as long as our government makes the 2 parties de facto agencies of the state, then the parties can not prevent me from being a member of both!

    I have a constitutional right of association. The government has no more right to tell me I can not be ambipartisan than it does to tell me I can not carry a VISA and an AMEX card!

    Nor, I maintain, can the parties decide who and who can not be a member. Can the Republicans prevent me from joining because I am an atheist? or because I am not gay? Why not? Well under freedom of association they should be able to decide who can be a Republican BUT as an agent of the state they do not have that right.


  18. 20

    Mike in Seattle spews:

    well, ya talked me into it too. i think that in the interests of democracy the views of huck’s wing of the grand oil party need to be declared LOUD and PROUD here in washington state. im voting in the republican primary!
    won’t actually be the first time, as in michigan i declared ‘R’ as well — i still think Quayle should’ve got the nomination in 2000…

  19. 21

    ByeByeGOP spews:

    It should be a felony to mention the word “integrity” and the word “Republican” in the same paragraph.

  20. 24

    michael spews:

    I’ve been toying with the idea with becoming a Republican. Not just for the primary, really becoming one. I’m a moderate when it comes to what I want my government to do and not do and I can find plenty of historical and philosophical presidents for what I’d like to see happen on either side of the political fence. The Republicans are so beat up and broken that right now (or maybe after the election) would be a good time to join up and get them moving in the right (or is that left) direction.

  21. 26

    Eddiem spews:

    We have a secret ballot in Washington, and I’m guessing in all other states in the US. Therefore, you can say or sign anything you want in the poll book and then, when you vote, vote for whomever you wish in which ever party without fear of sanction.

    I am an election inspector for the upcoming primary. If an eligible voter designates himself or herself as a Democrat or a Republican or refuses to chose, we will give that voter a ballot and then he or she can vote in either party’s primary and we have been instructed not to interfere. In fact, we can’t look at that person’s ballot once he or she has filled it out.

  22. 27

    Mike in Seattle spews:

    voting in their, oops, “OUR” (heh) primary then voting Dem in the election is not a violation of the Grand Oaf Party oath. youre well within your rights to vote in their (oops did it again) primary and then, after coming to your senses, decide to vote your conscience instead come november.
    come to think of it…
    we should print up a whole bunch of “Huckabee/Obama’08” shirts — just to wear to the primary! yippee!

  23. 28


    No can do. Even if I hadn’t already mailed in my ballot.

    I couldn’t live with myself if anyone, anywhere were to have the slightest belief that I might be a Republican. In addition, it would be rather unseemly for a Democratic PCO and LD Democratic organization executive board member to have public documentation of such ignominy.

    You do what you want, Mr. Republican. I’ll stay with my own kind.

  24. 29

    Richard Pope spews:

    Darryl should become a Republican Party PCO if he really wants to cause mischief. The GOP only has 785 PCO’s for King County’s 2,554 precincts. Darryl’s own precinct doesn’t even have a Republican PCO. It simply takes $1.00 filing fee and the filing of a candidacy form (with a much less onerous declaration than the presidential primary oath) during the first week of June. The overwhelming majority of Seattle precincts lack Republican PCO’s, and even on the Eastside, about half of the precincts are vacant. If Darryl encouraged enough HA readers to file as Republican PCO’s, the King County GOP organization could easily be taken over. Keep in mind, at the last leadership election, less than half of the 785 Republican PCO’s even bothered to show up to elect the Chair and other officers.

  25. 30

    Mike in Seattle spews:

    i could care less about your democrap whining. i’m a republican now dammit! respect mah authoritah!!!

  26. 31

    Mike in Seattle spews:

    @28 re:30
    sorry about that. i accidentally took my “loyalty oath” too seriously.

  27. 32

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @18 “and a few rather personal offers I can not disclose”

    Did Laura offer to sleep with you if you upped your donation to 50 cents a month?

  28. 34

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Number of people killed by Ted Kennedy, whom wingnuts despise: 1

    Number of people killed by Laura Bush, whom wingnuts defend: 1

    Go figure. There’s an irreconcilable inconsistency there.

  29. 35

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @19 Hmmm, interesting point, SJ. Yes, there’s a certain logic to your argument that if the parties truly believe in freedom of association, then they should let you associate with both parties.

  30. 36

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @23 Comment #1 simply reflects the weak reasoning capability of wingnuts. Any truly intelligent person can see that our helping the Republicans reform their party is the essence of integrity on our party. After all, they need all the help they can get, because they’re not capable of doing it on their own. What Darryl is suggesting is analogous to introducing adult supervision in an out-of-control kindergarten.

  31. 38

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @29 Who’s talking about causing mischief? Darryl’s intentions are entirely honorable. He wants to save the Republicans from themselves. It will take members like him to make the GOP a respectable organization again.

  32. 39

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Darryl wants to turn the GOP into something even I could belong to. That’s not mischief. It’s constructive and beneficial.

  33. 40

    Marvin Stamn spews:

    #34 Roger Rabbit says:

    Number of people killed by Ted Kennedy, whom wingnuts despise: 1
    Number of people killed by Laura Bush, whom wingnuts defend: 1

    I’m sorry you don’t understand this. Both were accidents, it was AFTER that defines the difference between the two. Teddy ran away leaving the victim to die, Laura didn’t.

  34. 41


    Right Stuff @ 25

    “Any ASEL license holder is welcome Darryl!!”

    Thanks! It certainly was CAVU today! I put in 1.5 hrs.

  35. 42

    Tlazolteotl spews:

    Teddy ran away leaving the victim to die, Laura didn’t.

    Well. Laura killed him just as dead, no denying that.

  36. 43

    Puddybud, The Fact Finding Prognosticator... spews:


    Death Coverups

    Ted Kennedy – 1
    Laura Welch – 0

    Deaths from accidental actions

    Ted Kennedy – 0
    Laura Welch – 0

    Death due to potential intoxication

    Ted Kennedy – 1
    Laura Welch – 0

    Nuff Said.

  37. 44


    @43 pUDDY ..

    Lets see, public figures known to have killed other people ..

    Laura Bush

    Does this sort of crap make yu feel better?

    Lets see, public figures known to have gone AWOL during time of war,

    GW Bush

    Lets see, public figures knonw to have lied to the American people while in office on a matter of state:

    GW Bush, Richard Nixon

    Lets ee, public figures known to have been mentally incompetent but kept n ffice by their party,

    Ronald Reagan.

    Happy yet?

  38. 45


    @40 .. to correct the record,

    Laura Bush killed her recent boyfriend. There was NO declaration that this was an accident s the case is no public.

    But, frankly my dear, I do not give a damn. NOTHING Teddy or Laura has done compares to the thousands of people killed because of Bush’s misactions.

  39. 48


    @32 RR

    Actually, I am serious about this. I did get contacted by the cabinet and asked to do something for them. I actually did it too!

    NOW … chew on that carrot.

  40. 49


    Darrtyl, Roger

    I have a serious question here …

    Suppose a group of say 25 Seattle DL types were to organize and all sign on as Reprican PCOs? Is there a legal way the Res could prevent this.
    What power would we then wield?


    How about running someone really radical as a Rep. for Jim McD’s seat? Of course once elected the rad rep could do a Lieberman.

  41. 50

    Richard Pope spews:

    SeattleJew @ 47

    Here is the form they used in 2006:

    I assume the 2008 form will be similar.

    These forms can be filled out at any time. Please note that you don’t even have to swear you are a Republican to be placed on the ballot as a candidate for Republican PCO. You are only swearing that you are registered to vote and that your address is correct.

    Oh, you also have to swear that you “will support the Constitution and laws of the United States and the Constitution and laws of the State of Washington”. No wonder so few people run for Republican PCO — this oath is contrary to the conscience of a real Republican!

    These forms can be mailed to King County Elections (with the one dollar filing fee) any time starting May 16, 2008, or delivered in person between June 2, 2008 and June 6, 2008. If you are the only candidate on the ballot in your precinct, then you will be elected.

  42. 51



    I went to the site but did not see any link to a form like this. Are they still using it? I note the dems have one of their own.

  43. 52


    Thanks, Richard, for posting the PCO affidavit. I don’t see anything on the form itself that would preclude a person from filing as both a Republican and a Democrat (two separate forms, two separate dollars). In other states, one often sees individuals running on both lines … for real offices.