Candidate Gets Legal Fight Over ‘Astronaut’ Title
Read the whole article here.
San Joaquin Valley congressional candidate Jose Hernandez flew in space, but his astronaut identity is now under political fire.
In a pointed new challenge, a Sacramento law firm is asking a judge to block Hernandez from describing himself as an “astronaut/scientist/engineer” on the June ballot. The lawsuit notes Hernandez has left NASA.
“Hernandez’s attempted use of ‘astronaut’ violates the Election Code’s unambiguous requirement that a candidate’s ballot designation reflect one’s current profession, vocation, or one held during the previous calendar year,” the lawsuit states.
The lawsuit quietly filed Wednesday in Sacramento County Superior Court by the firm Bell, McAndrews & Hiltachk strikes right at the heart of Hernandez’s biography. It’s a life story he’s making considerable use of as he seeks to challenge freshman Rep. Jeff Denham, R-Turlock.
“I went from plowshares to the stars,” Hernandez told supporters when he announced his candidacy in Modesto in October.
Attorney Charles Bell Jr., one of two lawyers named on the lawsuit, is general counsel to the California Republican Party. The other attorney listed on the lawsuit, Brian Hildreth, has worked for former Republican Gov. Pete Wilson. The attorneys could not be reached for comment late Friday.
Here’s Jose Hernandez talking about how he became an astronaut and why he’s running for Congress.
Snarky sub-headline taken from Lalo Alcaraz’s tweet:
Once a Mexican goes into earth orbit, the GOP no longer considers him an Astronaut, but a “Space Alien.”t.co/hHBXgUjY— Lalo Alcaraz (@laloalcaraz) March 26, 2012