"Can you go to jail if you break your word on honoring an endorsement? Of course not. But you will lose your honor."
For those who live in Minnesota, and are familiar with our grass roots politics, please be patient for a minute. This is for those who live out of state where they do not have the BPOU system. Our BPOU (Basic Political Operating Unit) is made up of friends and neighbors in your area. Out of that BPOU, candidates are selected to represent the BPOU (or House or Senate District). Once people are selected, they are endorsed. Sometimes, more than one person is interested in a position. In that case, an election is held within the BPOU for endorsement.
What normally happens (or should happen) is prior to the vote, all people running for a position agree to ABIDE BY THE ENDORSEMENT. In other words, the losers in the vote would coalesce around the winner to help that person be victorious in the general election. Sounds pretty simple, right?
There are times, albeit rare, that someone would give their word to ABIDE BY THE ENDORSEMENT and then do just the opposite. Go to the primary. Cause the person who won the endorsement to waste time and money on something which is totally unnecessary.
Here is the real problem(s) when someone refuses to ABIDE BY THE ENDORSEMENT. First, that person is turning his or her back on the BPOU. Those are the folks who elected that person in the first place. It is as looked upon as an total act of betrayal. Second, and this is even a bigger one for me. That person lied. Showed everyone that his or her word is NOT his or her bond. And that is nothing less than shameful.
Why do I bring this up? Because I want us to get better. Can you go to jail if you break your word on honoring an endorsement? Of course not. But you will lose your honor. If it is BPOU endorsement, a district endorsement, a state or national endorsement, to renege on it hurts everyone on our side. And it can lose elections.
The only time I could ever see someone not honoring an endorsement and being right, is this situation. The sponsoring organization (like the BPOU) would find out through polling or whatever, the endorsed candidate did not have a chance of winning. And the non-endorsed candidate did. Then with everyone's permission and knowledge, and in the light of day, the non-endorsed candidate would be given permission by the sponsoring organization to run. Other than that, I come up empty.
I think we have a good system right now. Not perfect, but good. Let's stick with the principles of it until we come up with something better.