Local party committees have a great deal of power. Most of the people
we vote for have been selected and, where allowed by law, endorsed by
local party committees. Most of the people who are appointed to boards
and commmissions have also been approved by local party committees. In
most places, they determine who runs our communities.
One of the principal roles a political party has, at least in theory, is
assuring the public that its candidates have been screened in some
valuable way. Anyone can put her name on a ballot, but what do we know
about her? Can we know if she is competent, decent, sane? If she has
been approved by a party, people have met her, worked with her, asked
her questions. The question is, Does a political party have a
responsibility to choose candidates who are ethical? Or, to put it the
other way, what is the responsibility of a political party when someone
it chooses acts unethically, not in a minor way, but in a serious way?