Pat Sajak debuted on the National Review’s Corner blog, with a short post that poses a provocative idea from the conservative side of the spectrum: There are instances when government employees shouldn’t be allowed to vote.
He writes, “None of my family and friends is allowed to appear on “Wheel of Fortune.” Same goes for my kids’ teachers or the guys who rotate my tires. If there’s not a real conflict of interest, there is, at least, the appearance of one. On another level, Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan has recused herself from nearly half the cases this session due to her time as solicitor general. In nearly all private and public endeavors, there are occasions in which it’s only fair and correct that a person or group be barred from participating because that party could directly and unevenly benefit from decisions made and policies adopted. So should state workers be able to vote in state elections on matters that would benefit them directly? The same question goes for federal workers in federal elections.””
It was aimed at the prospect of initiatives on state ballots that would cap benefits of state workers, who make up a significant voting bloc.
He doesn’t address the most blatant conflict of interest, however: Candidates voting for themselves, along with their families, friends, campaign staffs and other connected interests.
But he writes, “I realize this opens a Pandora’s box in terms of figuring out what constitutes a true conflict of interest, but, after all, isn’t opening those boxes Ricochet’s raison d’être?”