I really like Fired Up Missouri, a local political weblog, but I’m not sure I agree with this one.
Judy Haggard was recently appointed to fill a Democratic position on the Board of Curators at the University of Missouri. Her husband is a prominent Republican supporter. Among the concerns raised is fund raising parties thrown for Republican candidates at the Haggard house, while none have been thrown for Democratic candidates. Another is the fact that she donated to Talent’s candidacy, but there’s no evidence that she’s donated to a Democratic candidate.
Of herself, Ms. Haggard states:
I am a Democrat. I was raised a Democrat, and I happen to be married to a Republican. We have spirited discussions at our family meals. I vote for who I believe is the right candidate.
Of course, being a Democrat means voting Democrat. Same with voting primarily for Republicans. If you don’t vote based on a party, then you’re an independent. At the same time, a woman is capable of having independent decisions and thoughts from her husband. If he wanted to throw a fundraiser, and she’s not that interested in politics enough to do the same for Democrats, doesn’t mean that she isn’t a Democrat.
In the end, what matters is that Ms. Haggard has to be accountable for herself and her actions, not for her husband, or what he does. If she is comfortable saying she’s a Democrat, that she votes primarily Democrat, unless we have direct proof otherwise–and voting is a private act–we have to trust that she wouldn’t dishonor herself by being dishonest or deceptive about such a declaration.