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DeForest Soaries

DeForest SoariesAKA DeForest Blake Soaries, Jr.

Born: 20-Aug-1951
Birthplace: Brooklyn, NY

Gender: Male
Religion: Baptist
Race or Ethnicity: Black
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Government, Religion
Party Affiliation: Republican

Nationality: United States
Executive summary: US Election Assistance Commission

In 2002 DeForest "Buster" Soaries unsuccessfully ran for the US House of Representatives from the New Jersey 12th, losing to Rush Holt. Soaries was subsequently appointed to chair the U.S. Election Assistance Commission. Got into trouble in July 2004 after he wrote a letter to Department of Homeland Security head Tom Ridge concerning the lack of a mechanism to reschedule a federal election. In the letter, Soaries reportedly recommended that Secretary Ridge ask Congress for the power to postpone.

Only one sentence from Soaries' letter has been quoted verbatim by the press: "Unlike New York, the federal government has no agency that has the statutory authority to cancel and reschedule a federal election."

Soaries was apparently misrepresented in the press -- beginning with Michael Isikoff's Newsweek article -- as requesting said power for himself, even though the EAC exists in a strictly advisory capacity. Days later, Isikoff went on The Daily Show to discuss the story with Jon Stewart. The Newsweek reporter and presumptive author of the article consistently mispronounced the man's name ("Suarez" instead of "Sore-Ease") and claimed that Soaries was attempting to gain for himself the power to postpone a federal election.

Nevertheless, the U.S. Constitution specifically gives Congress the power to postpone an election. Article II, Section 1 states: "The Times, Places and Manner of holding Elections for Senators and Representatives, shall be prescribed in each State by the Legislature thereof; but the Congress may at any time by Law make or alter such Regulations."

Wife: Margaret Donna Pleasant
Son: Malcolm (twin)
Son: Martin (twin)

    University: BA, Fordham University
    Theological: MA Divinity, Princeton Theological Seminary
    Theological: PhD Divinity, United Theological Seminary

    New Jersey Secretary of State (1999-2002)
    It's My Party Too National Advisory Board
    Republican Leadership Council

Official Website:
http://www.eac.gov/soaries.asp?format=none


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