Steve G.

Posts Tagged ‘ballot access’

The Libertarian Party’s Quest for Ballot Access and The Sin of Onan

In Activism, Candidate Endorsement, Corruption, Democracy, Democrats, Libertarian, Libertarian Party-US, Libertarian Politics, Libertarian Politics 2008, Local Politics, Politics, Republican on February 3, 2010 at 8:54 pm

Onan… spilled his seed on the earth, lest that he should give seed to his brother.

Ballot access is a major goal of the Libertarian Party, so much so that we seem to be more concerned with keeping or gaining ballot access for whatever election is next rather than with any Libertarian actually winning in whatever election is before us today. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ballot_access) Ballot access seems to have become that tail that wags the dog in third-party politics. Yes, it is important to have our candidates on ballots, but doing that should not come at the cost of using our resources, time and efforts to actually get Libertarians elected to higher offices than city councils, county commissioners and Justices of the Peace.

Without actually quoting any specific messages or e-mails to me by others, I will say that when I have asked my state Party Leadership for Party help with my own election, I have been told that, rather than focusing resources on any specific race, they don’t want to show “preference” for any candidates or any particular races because “it wouldn’t be fair”. I was told that “with 193 races, we can’t play favorites”. I say that it is because of attitudes like that which have resulted in NO major or significant election wins in almost 40 years. When election results are tallied, we crow about how significant we are because Libertarian candidates got 5% of the vote here and 7% of the vote there. Getting 5% of the votes in an election is still losing that election.

The reason I used the infamous line about Onan is that what we are doing as a Party is “spilling our seed on the earth” instead of creating any actual elected officials. I have a feeling, in fact, that Libertarians have been telling each other for so long that is it so important to view the percentages of our loses as victories that I think that there will be a lot of anger, resentment and even hatred showered on the first Libertarian to actually win a notable office. In Irving Janis’ ground breaking book on ‘Groupthink’, he tells us this story:

Twelve middle-class American men and women wanted to stop smoking, and attended weekly meetings at a clinic to discuss the problem. Early in the sessions, two people stood up and declared that cigarette smoking was an almost incurable addiction. The group agreed. The, one man stood up and said “I have stopped smoking and, with a little willpower, so can the rest of you.” Immediately, the other group members began to abuse him verbally, and the meeting ended in chaos. The following week, the dissident stood up again and said that he could not both attend all of the required meetings and stop smoking; so he had returned to smoking two packs of cigarettes as day. The other members welcomed him back into the fold with enthusiasm but no one mentioned that the original purpose of the group was to help each other stop [emphasis in original] smoking. Their new aim was maintaining the status quo at any cost.

I think that, deep down in their subconscious minds, the leadership and long term activists in the Party have become so inured to losing elections that they have accepted a cognitive dissonance in which they delude themselves that they are accomplishing great things by simply showing up to the ball, as it were. Ballot access in NOT what we need to be working for; getting Libertarians elected to significant offices IS what we need to be working on. We HAVE to “fertilize some eggs” and then nurture them maturity, so to speak. If we do not and cannot accomplish that, then what the Hell good are we to America, our states and our communities?

Maybe the Libertarian Party’s candidates NEED to be spending time standing in front of the local Wal-Mart and grocery stores collecting signature to get ourselves on ballots. Maybe we need to be holding open meetings to let people who aren’t Libertarians talk to us instead of holding rallies that are only open those who already think like the rally organizers do. Maybe we need to create “Election Coordinators” to be officers on, if not paid staff of, both our state and our national executive committees? Maybe we need to start from the ground up, do the necessary work, and use the necessary resources to get electable candidates INTO office. Maybe we need some humility instead of fancy offices in Washington. We do not need to attract the rich and powerful even though doing so makes us proud of ourselves; we need to make it where everyday people can walk in off of the street and ask us who we are and what we stand for.

Onan spilled his seed on the earth because he did not WANT to make his brother’s widow pregnant with his child because it would then be his brother’s child instead of his own. The Libertarian Party is spilling its seed on the earth and, whether or not we admit that don’t really want “progeny”, that is the reality that comes with distributing our resources far and wide without there being any chance of those resources paying off for us in the end. We throw our seeds on “rocky barren places where they can find no purchase”.

The current Libertarian Party Bylaws state that:

The Party is organized to implement and give voice to the principles embodied in the Statement of Principles by:

(F)unctioning as a libertarian political entity separate and distinct from all other political parties or movements;

(M)oving public policy in a libertarian direction by building a political party that elects Libertarians to public office;

(C)hartering affiliate parties throughout the United States and promoting their growth and activities;

(N)ominating candidates for President and Vice-President of the United States, and supporting Party and affiliate party candidates for political office; and,

(E)ntering into public information activities.

Notice that the bylaws say that the method authorized by the Party to move public policy is BY getting Libertarians elected to public office. Without getting Libertarians elected we, by our own words, cannot try to move public policy simply by existing as a Party. In addition, the burden of “chartering affiliate parties” falls on the organization itself, NOT upon the people. It is a requirement of our bylaws that the Party itself create (a pre-requisite for chartering, I assume) the affiliate parties. Simply hoping that people will come to US and want to form local Party affiliates is neither effective nor in line with what our bylaws say. As with an elected candidate, the burden is on us, as a Party, to earn the votes / support of the people. It is not THEIR responsibility make things easy for us. By the way, note that maintaining ballot access is NOT one of our stated purposes.

In Texas, the charter for our state Party says that the State Executive Committee will be composed of the elected state Party officers and two representatives from each of our state’s 31 Senatorial districts. That means that there should be 62 district representative members sitting on our state Executive Committee. Instead of 62, there are (according to the available information on the LP of Texas website, http://lptexas.org/content/state-leadership) only 19, with only 6 of the 32 districts being fully represented by two members. This means that only 13 out of 31 districts have ANY representation on the Executive committee at this time and that ALL of the current representatives on the LPTEC are from high population areas of the state. Not a single representative member of the LPTEC speaks for rural area or even moderate population centers.

Like the government of the State of Texas, it seems as if both the National and, at least, the Texas Parties exist simply because they have existed and they function on nothing more than their own small inertia. As one of my political heroes, Pat Paulsen, said;

Vote or get off of the pot.

I have said before that, until we get serious about ACTUALLY being a contributing part of the American political scene, until we actually manage to win some real elections we have become and will remain nothing more than a lunatic fringe wandering in the wilderness telling ourselves that we matter. So, I ask every Libertarian and libertarian who reads this to ask themselves one simple question… “Will I be content to just “spill my seed on the earth” again this year?

Rhys M. Blavier
Romayor, Texas

“Truth, Justice and Honor… but, above all, Honor”

© Copyright 2010 by Rhys M. Blavier

Thank you for reading this article. Please read my other articles and let me know what you think. I am writing them not to preach or to hear myself think but to try to create dialogs, debates and discussions on the nature of our government and how we can build upon and improve it based on what we have seen and learned over the course of the 225+ years of The American Experiment.

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US Supreme Court agrees that incompetence, not hurricane, caused Barr’s late Louisiana filing

In Courts and Justice System, Law, Libertarian Party-US, Libertarian Politics, Politics, Presidential Candidates, Wayne Allen Root on October 9, 2008 at 11:37 pm

From TheTownTalk.com:

BATON ROUGE — The U.S. Supreme Court has upheld Secretary of State Jay Dardenne’s decision to not allow the Libertarian Party candidate on the presidential ballot in Louisiana because the party failed to meet the required deadline.

The court denied a request for a stay filed by the Libertarian Party, thereby upholding Dardenne’s decision that the party had not filed its qualifying papers in a timely manner.

Under Supreme Court rules, the case was presented to Justice Antonin Scalia who referred the case to the entire court. The Court denied the application in a one-sentence decision.

“Obviously we’re pleased that we will not have to reprint the presidential ballots, which already have been mailed to military and overseas voters.” Dardenne said. “Reprinting would have resulted in confusion, increased expense to the taxpayers, a setback in the absentee-by-mail voting process and, potentially delayed election results.”

Testimony at the hearing before U.S. District Judge James Brady in Baton Rouge established that a party representative forgot to submit an affidavit before the deadline for getting names on the ballot..

“This omission, not Hurricane Gustav, was the reason that the papers were not filed by the deadline,” Dardenne said.

A sample ballot for the Nov. 4 presidential election can be found on the secretary of state’s Elections Division Web site at http://www.GeauxVote.com.

LPNH lawsuit finally served

In George Phillies, Libertarian Party-US, Libertarian Politics, Politics, Presidential Candidates on October 6, 2008 at 1:14 pm

You can download the lawsuit for your own records here in PDF format: lpnh-lawsuit

Note that it was dated September 4th, over a month ago.  It is unknown why service of process was delayed for so long.

Libertarians file Connecticut ballot access lawsuit

In Libertarian, Libertarian Party-US, Libertarian Politics, Politics on October 3, 2008 at 8:01 pm

Posted at Ballot Access News

On October 1, the Connecticut Libertarian Party filed a federal lawsuit to get Bob Barr on the ballot. Libertarian Party of Connecticut v Bysiewicz, 3:08cv-1513. The case is assigned to Judge Janet Hall, a Clinton appointee.

The state believes that the Libertarian presidential petition was 280 signatures short, but Libertarian volunteers have found 209 signatures that were erroneously invalidated. The volunteers haven’t finished re-checking all of the rejected signatures. The lawsuit evidence will include evidence of the revalidation work performed so far. The party also believes that while the petition sheets were in the custody of elections officials, 116 petition sheets were lost.

A discussion of some of the factors leading to the LP falling short in Connecticut follows in the comments at Ballot Access News.

Libertarian Party of Louisiana chair explains factors that led to missing the deadline to put Bob Barr on the ballot

In Libertarian, Libertarian Party-US, Politics on September 29, 2008 at 11:39 am

In a comment at Ballot Access News, the chair of the Libertarian Party of Louisiana explains why they missed the deadline to put Bob Barr on the ballot. Louisiana has one of the easiest ballot access requirements among all states, with no need to get signatures from voters – just a slate of electors to put the Presidential candidate on the ballot. There is an organized and active Libertarian Party in Louisiana, which is officially recognized as a political party by the state (unlike in some other states).

The Barr campaign’s attempt to complete the required paperwork got caught up in the confusion in the final week for regular filing, with both the electors needed to sign off on the papers as well as the Secretary of State’s office subject to evacuation due to Hurricane Gustav. Several smaller parties (including the Socialist and Reform Parties) also had the same problem. Several other parties and candidates avoided the problem by filing well ahead of the deadline.

The Libertarian and Socialist parties submitted their paperwork and sued the state, and the Libertarians (but not the Socialists) were initially granted injunctive relief by the court and placed on the ballot. However, an appeals court later reversed that ruling. The case is currently being appealed to the US Supreme Court.

Adrien Monteleone’s explanation of why the Libertarian Party was not among those that filed well ahead of the deadline:

We wanted to file these papers on the first day. However, the Barr campaign took it upon itself, without contacting the state party or the La SoS, to file and pay themselves. They did so incorrectly. The process of receiving the incorrect paperwork back from the SoS, forwarding to the Barr campaign for proper form of payment, and then getting it back in return took till the Wednesday before the Storm hit. It was on Thursday we were informed by the SoS that we in fact, as a recognized party, DID NOT need the payment. Had the SoS office been knowledgeable about the fact that we are to file in the same manner as the Dems and Reps from day one, we would have filed our paperwork on the first day.

Combine the Barr campaign’s lack of communication with the state party, the ignorance of the Secretary of State’s office of their own laws, and the hurricane closing the offices on the last day of filing (not to mention scattering some electors) and you see why we missed the Sept 2nd deadline.

Had we had even just the correct info from the SoS, the rest would have been irrelevant. The case required us to prove there was an action by the SoS which prevented us from filing – the combination of improper information of the requirements, as well as closing the offices on the last day (and lack of communication from them on re-opening) is what prevented the LPL from filing timely. Hence why we were granted the injunction.

In another comment on the same post, Richard Winger points out that

The Fifth Circuit opinion itself says the Dems & Reps didn’t file til Sep. 5. And, indeed, the Reps couldn’t have filed on Sep. 2, since they didn’t nominate for either pres or v-p until Sep. 3.

Louisiana Libertarian Party appeals ruling that keeps Bob Barr off the ballot to U.S. Supreme Court

In Libertarian, Libertarian Party-US, Politics on September 27, 2008 at 3:10 pm

Ballot Access News reports that on September 27, the Louisiana Libertarian Party filed a brief with the U.S. Supreme Court, asking that Bob Barr be put back on the ballot. Previously, the United States District Court for the Middle District of Louisiana ruled that Barr’s filing fell within a three day grace period when the Secretary of State extended the deadline. The Secretary of State’s office was closed the week of the deadline, and some of the electors whose signature was needed for the paperwork were evacuated, due to Hurricane Gustav. Yesterday, the US Fifth District Appeals Court reversed that ruling.

Bob Barr removed from Louisiana ballot

In Libertarian, Libertarian Party-US, Politics on September 26, 2008 at 9:13 pm


Posted
at Ballot Access News

On September 26, the 5th Circuit removed Bob Barr from the Louisiana ballot. The three judges were Carolyn King (a Carter appointee from Texas), James Dennis (a Clinton appointee from Louisiana), and Priscilla Owen (a Bush Jr. appointee from Texas). The action was taken without any hearing. The case is Libertarian Party et al v Dardenne, 08-30922. Technically, the ruling only stays the decision of the U.S. District Court, and a ruling on declaratory relief will be held after the election.

The five-page order says that the state will suffer irreparable injury if the stay is not granted. That irreparable injury is that “absentee voters in the military and overseas will receive two ballots with different candidates, with a resulting likelihood of confusion and duplicate voting.” The ruling also says, “We recognize that the stay will inflict harm on the Libertarian Party, but we believe that the harm may well be of their own making.” The party has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to reverse the stay.

This brings Barr back down to 45 state ballot access, one state short of Ron Paul in 1988 and Ralph Nader this year. However, he still has court cases in Maine and Oklahoma, and a recount challenging the Connecticut Secretary of State’s determination that the Libertarian Party petition did not have enough valid signatures is underway.

Bob Barr loses Texas lawsuit to knock McCain, Obama off the ballot

In Barack Obama, Courts and Justice System, Democrats, John McCain, Law, Libertarian, Libertarian Party-US, Libertarian Politics, Politics, Presidential Candidates, Republican on September 23, 2008 at 1:02 pm

Posted at Bob Barr blog

The Texas Supreme Court has ruled against us:

The Texas Supreme Court, without comment, just denied Libertarian presidential candidate’s Bob Barr attempt to keep the names John McCain and Barack Obama off the state’s November ballot.

Mr. Barr, a former GOP congressman from Georgia, had argued in legal briefs that both major parties had busted the state’s Aug. 26 deadline for certifying their presidential candidates as they would appear on the Texas ballot. Neither McCain nor Obama had been officially nominated by their party conventions by the deadline. And Sarah Palin hadn’t even been added to the GOP ticket.
But the Democratic and Republican state parties had filed official documents with the Secretary of State stating their presumed presidential candidates. The Democrats threw in Joe Biden’s name and the Republicans said they would report back with the name of their vice presidential contender, which they did.

Apparently, the Supreme Court felt that was sufficient, especially in light of the catastrophic alientation of voters if neither of the major party candidates could appear on the November ballot.

No one cares about alienation of voters when it is a Libertarian Party candidate who is kept off the ballot due to restrictive ballot access laws authored by Republicans and Democrats.

I will have a copy of the decision shortly.

New Hampshire lawsuit filed, seeks to remove Phillies from ballot

In Libertarian on September 12, 2008 at 8:42 pm

A reporter for the Nashua Telegraph has been calling libertarians today about a lawsuit filed in US District Court.

Bob Barr and the Libertarian Party of New Hampshire Executive Committee are named as plaintiffs in the lawsuit.  However, this is not a typical ballot substitution action; instead, it is an action to remove George Phillies from the New Hampshire ballot.  This therefore appears to be the expected lawsuit previously discussed on Last Free Voice.

Bob Barr is the Libertarian Party’s presidential nominee.  George Phillies was nominated as presidential nominee at the Libertarian Party of New Hampshire state convention.  Currently, both Barr and Phillies are ballot-qualified in New Hampshire as Libertarian presidential candidates.  The state does not allow substitution of candidates, and the New Hampshire Libertarian Party began collecting signatures for Phillies before Barr announced his candidacy.  Phillies has declined to remove himself from the New Hampshire ballot, citing his belief that he has an ethical obligation to those who signed the petitions to place him on the ballot.

As of this afternoon, New Hampshire Secretary of State William Garner had not yet been served with said lawsuit.

Barr loses West Virginia ballot access lawsuit

In Activism, Courts and Justice System, Law, Libertarian Party-US, Libertarian Politics, Libertarian Politics 2008, Politics, Presidential Candidates, Wayne Allen Root on September 6, 2008 at 2:22 pm

The Honorable John T. Copenhaver Jr., judge in the United States District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia (Charleston) has ruled against LP presidential nominee Bob Barr with regard to the ballot access lawsuit.  Barr needed to collect and submit 15,118 signatures by August 1, 2008, but only submitted 13,171 signatures by that date.  The signature requirement is based upon 2% of votes cast in the 2004 general election.

Barr’s claim is that the petition requirements are unduly burdensome, and thus violated the First and Fourteenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution.  The campaign submitted 1,097 signatures on July 24th, and 1,866 signatures on July 31st (72.09% validity).  The campaign additionally submitted 10,208 signatures on August 1st, and 10,652 signatures on August 20th; however, since it was clear that the campaign had not met the requirement by August 1st, the August signatures were not submitted to county clerks for validation.

In its decision, the court ruled that the signature and date requirements are not unduly burdensome upon candidates, as multiple candidates have met the requirements, including the LP.  In 2008, it has been met by one third party for its presidential candidate (Constitution Party), and one independent presidential candidate (Ralph Nader).  Further, the court ruled that it would be unduly burdensome upon the elections office to expand the date by which signatures must be permitted, due to restrictions upon their time in light of their other duties, including the requirement that absentee ballots be mailed not less than 42 days prior to the general election, or in this case, by September 23rd.  Once the signatures are submitted, they must be validated by county clerks by comparing signatures on the petitions to signatures in their voter database, which is in itself a time-consuming process.

In ruling against Barr the court noted that, had the campaign started collecting signatures only two to three weeks earlier, the criteria would have been met, and also noted that the LP could have started collecting signatures at any time, since there are no time restrictions for ballot access petitions in that state.  Bill Redpath (LNC Chair) testified that it was a strategic decision to put off collecting signatures in West Virginia.  The court however noted that the Libertarian Party was well aware of the requirements, since the date requirement has been in existence since 1986, and the signature requirement has been existence since 1999; and that the LP simply chose not to collect signatures during a time frame which would result in a successful ballot petition process.  The court also noted that the LP started collecting signatures in a nearby state (North Carolina) in 2004, but didn’t start collecting signatures in West Virginia until 17 to 19 days prior to the deadline for petition submission.

Redpath also testified that the rural nature of the state impedes petition efforts, but the court disagreed, noting that there is no reason why petitioners cannot simply gather signatures in the 11 most populous counties, each of which has a major city, and which together comprise 50% of the state’s total population of 1.8 million.

The Court additionally noted that the pool of potential petition signers is unlimited in West Virginia, as anyone registered to vote can sign a petition, petitions can be circulated at any time, voters can sign as many petitions as they wish, and voters are not bound to the candidate whose petition they have signed.  Also, the court noted that the petition process itself is not unduly complicated, in that petitioners need not be West Virginia residents, and there is no notarization requirement.  Multiple third-party and independent candidates have met the requirements in 2000, 2004, and 2008; and the LP met the requirement in the last general election in 2004.

The court ruled that the failure of Barr/Root to be placed on the ballot for November was caused by their own lack of reasonable diligence, and not by the West Virginia state petition requirements.

The LP paid nothing for WV ballot access, as the entire cost was borne by the Barr campaign according to the Court’s decision.  It is unknown whether the LP paid for the failed lawsuit.

The 34-page decision has been uploaded to LFV, and readers are encouraged to read the decision for themselves as it sets forth quite clearly what went wrong in West Virginia.  The decision, in PDF format, can be seen and downloaded here: decision-in-barr-v-ireland-wv-ballot-access

Video: Libertarians on New York ballot

In Libertarian, Libertarian Party-US, Politics on August 28, 2008 at 10:21 am

David Nolan: The Barr Campaign at three months

In Libertarian, Libertarian Party-US, Libertarian Politics, Politics, Presidential Candidates on August 28, 2008 at 10:08 am

From Nolan Chart:

Since I wrote my column entitled “The Barr Campaign at Halftime” on August 14, I have received a number of e-mails and phone calls from people offering comments and additional information on what is happening with that campaign. Based on what I’ve learned since writing that column, I am providing this update. Along the way, I will try to address points that were raised in the 30-plus comments generated by that column.

First, the good news. Polls by the Zogby organization show Bob Barr pulling as much as 5% of the popular vote nationwide, and double that in some states. If this materializes we should all be excited, but early polls usually show third-party candidates getting two to four times the vote they actually receive in November. I still hope and expect Barr to receive the highest vote total of any Presidential candidate to date (i.e. more than 921,000) and think he is likely to exceed our best percentage showing (1.06% in 1980). This will require about 1.3 million votes, but I think it could happen.

Unfortunately, the good news pretty much ends there. As of August 25 — three full months since Bob Barr became the nominee — the campaign still has not done a single direct-mail fundraising letter to the LP membership. The figure for “funds raised to date” on the Barr 2008 website as I write this is at $727,000 — which seems odd, given that it was at $685,000 on July 31, and the “big push” to raise money during the Olympics raised $140,000. If both of those figures were accurate, the total should be well past $800,000 — but still short of $1,000,000, a pathetic amount for this point in time.

Click here to read the entire article by David Nolan

Latest Boston Tea Party endorsements, organizational news

In Chris Bennett, Libertarian, Libertarian Party-US, Local Politics, Politics on August 13, 2008 at 11:43 am

Latest affiliates and endorsements from the Boston Tea Party

New news at the top 12 August 2008 The Boston Tea Party’s national committee has voted to endorse Tom Knapp for Congress in Missouri. Tom represents the Libertarian Party in that race. Our Indiana affiliate has voted to endorse Rex Bell in Indiana.

10 August 2008 Our ranks continue to swell. We now have 222 members on this site, 276 on our main Facebook group. We added a Kansas group to our set of affiliate groups on Facebook. http://www.new.facebook.com/group.php?gid=27131827190

Invite your friends to join the party today!

8 August 2007 The Boston Tea Party national committee has unanimously endorsed George Phillies for president of the United States and Chris Bennett for vice president in the states of New Hampshire and Massachusetts, where the two are on the ballot representing the Libertarian Party. The vote was six in favor with one not voting (Chris Bennett is an at-large member of the Boston Tea Party’s national committee and chose not to vote given his conflict of interest in the result).

Commenting on the news, Boston Tea Party chair Jim Davidson said, “We nominated Charles Jay and Tom Knapp for the offices of president and vice president of the United States because we did not find the nominees of the Libertarian Party to be suitable. We did not do so because we have any essential objection to the Libertarian Party, nor to many of the fine people working within it. We did so because we wanted a libertarian candidate to be on the ballot. Obviously, we don’t have time to get our candidates on the ballot in every state. So, we were especially gratified to learn that actual libertarians who favor smaller government on all issues and at all levels are on the ballot in New Hampshire and in Massachusetts.”

Charles Jay may qualify as a write-in candidate in either state for those Boston Tea Party enthusiasts for whom there are no substitutes. New Hampshire has officially declared that George Phillies will be on its ballot, and unless a lawsuit brought by the ACLU changes things in Massachusetts, George and Chris are also on the ballot there. While it is clear that neither Charles nor George is going to be president at the beginning of next year, it is essential that there be presidential candidates to carry the message of libertarian values to the American people in this election year. The national committee of the Boston Tea Party regards it as excellent news that there happen to be two presidential candidates qualified to carry that message this year.

7 August 2008 BTP at-large representative Chris Bennett has accepted the request of George Phillies to be his running mate in New Hampshire. The national committee is considering an endorsement for the two in NH and Massachusetts, where they’ll be on the ballot.

29 July 2008 Good news everybody! We’re officially a party in Florida, so members there can register to vote as Boston Tea Party-goers. We have a team in Florida putting together electors for the ballot application there. The same is true in Tennessee and in Louisiana. The Jay campaign is raising funds for ballot access work in other states – visit CJ08.com for details.

We have affiliates forming in several states. If your state isn’t listed on our contact page, please contact the chairman for help in forming one! We now have over 200 members on this site and nearly 250 members on our Facebook group.

Deadline for Barr extended in Maine

In Libertarian, Libertarian Party-US, Libertarian Politics, Local Politics, Politics, Presidential Candidates on August 13, 2008 at 2:20 am

Earlier, we reported that Bob Barr had missed the deadline to be on the Maine ballot. The signatures were due in to town clerks by August 8, and the LP had failed to submit enough signatures on time. However, Ballot Access News has updated its entry.

UPDATE: It appears that the Maine town and county clerks are using their discretionary powers and are accepting the slightly late filing by the LP. The actual state deadline is August 15, so the petitions will still meet that more important deadline.

The Barr campaign petitions now have 5,520 signatures, which should be enough to make the 4,000 valid requirement.

Thanks to Eric Garris for this news.

Barr misses Maine deadline

In Libertarian, Libertarian Party-US, Libertarian Politics, Politics on August 12, 2008 at 11:17 am

Also posted at Independent Political Report

Hot on the heels of the failure in West Virginia (additional discussion at Ballot Access News and Last Free Voice), Ballot Access News reports:

On the deadline date of August 8, Bob Barr submitted a total of 3,200 signatures to various town and city clerks in Maine. State law requires 4,000 valid signatures to get on the ballot.

Over the weekend, petitioners obtained another 2,000 signatures, which they had hoped to turn in to the clerks on Monday. The signatures are not due at the Secretary of State’s office until Aug. 15. If the local clerks choose to take the late signatures, Barr could still qualify, since the additional signatures would potentially give him 5,200 total.

If the officials fail to accept and certify the late signatures, LP officials plan to go to court.

Maine joins Oklahoma, Massachusetts and West Virginia among states which the Barr campaign is suing to be on the ballot. The Barr campaign also raced to the deadline in Connecticut, as well as in New Hampshire, where the LP failed to qualify in 2004 and 2006 and where George Phillies will be on the ballot either alongside or instead of Bob Barr as a Libertarian Presidential candidate. The results of the last-minute pushes in Connecticut and New Hampshire are forthcoming.

Another possible concern for the campaign is the District of Columbia, which pre-nomination LP ballot access plans had written off (along with West Virginia and Oklahoma). According to the chart at Ballot Access News, with a week left to go, DC reports only 300 signatures gathered for Barr. Although the District requires only 3,883 valid signatures, petitioning in the district is made more difficult than in other places because non-DC residents make up a substantial portion of the DC workforce and nightlife, and because of the high prevalence of tourists, people who are disqualified (or believe they are disqualified) from voting by reason of a criminal record, and those who are not (or believe they are not) allowed to sign petitions because of their government job.

The LP has been on the ballot in 48 states or more plus DC in every election since 1992.

Barr disqualified for West Virginia ballot

In Courts and Justice System, Law, Libertarian, Libertarian Party-US, Libertarian Politics, People in the news, Politics, Presidential Candidates on August 9, 2008 at 2:15 pm

From the Charleston Gazette:

Libertarian Party nominee Bob Barr, a former Georgia congressman, failed to submit enough signatures to be considered for a ballot spot, said Sarah Bailey, spokeswoman for Secretary of State Betty Ireland.

Under West Virginia law, third-party candidates for president must submit by Aug. 1 the valid signatures of 15,118 registered state voters who have signed a petition requesting the candidate be placed on the ballot. Barr’s campaign submitted only 13,036 signatures, Bailey said.

“I understand they are still collecting signatures,” Bailey said.

Barr’s campaign is continuing, said Mike Ferguson, a campaign coordinator. He hopes to have more than the 15,118 by next week.

“We’re continuing to collect signatures and next week we’re going to be filing [in court] for an injunction,” Ferguson said.

The party objects to the “arbitrary date” established by state law for having petition drives completed, he said. He said Republicans don’t have to officially file until their convention ends in September, “so there’s no compelling reason” to have independents submit signatures sooner.

Ferguson said he will meet with a lawyer Monday and expects to file a legal suit challenging state law shortly thereafter.

Read the entire article by clicking here.

West Virginia Libertarian petition reportedly fails

In Green Party, Libertarian, Libertarian Party-US, Libertarian Politics, Politics on August 1, 2008 at 2:28 am

According to a field report by one of the Libertarian petitioners on the ground in West Virginia, as of tonight’s final turn-in of signatures by petitioners to the campaign, the LP gathered only around 12,000 raw signatures, falling short of the 15,118 required by state law. While additional signatures would be required to survive a challenge, the bare minimum required by law would have been enough if there was no challenge.

Richard Winger reports in Ballot Access News, “No other state is like Illinois, where even a petition with a number of signatures below the legal minimum is sufficient if no one challenges”.

If this field report is accurate, it would mean that Bob Barr can be on the ballot in at most 48 states, unless he wins his lawsuit in Oklahoma.

The Nader and Constitution Party petitions appear to have enough signatures, and the Green Party is on the ballot through its affiliate, the Mountain Party.

In another post at BAN, Richard Winger writes:

West Virginia and North Carolina are tied for having the nation’s second-highest presidential petition requirements (each requires a petition of 2% of the last vote in a presidential election year). Only Oklahoma is worse, at 3% of the last presidential vote.

Both the Libertarian and Constitution Parties are making a massive effort to finish their West Virginia petitions, which are due August 1. This newspaper story about the Libertarian petition says 40 to 50 circulators are working in the state. The story doesn’t feature the Constitution Party, but it also has many circulators in the state this week.

West Virginia was one of 4 states in which Ron Paul didn’t get on the ballot in 1988, when he was the Libertarian nominee. The Constitution Party has never been on the West Virginia ballot for president, but the party has more organizational strength now than it has ever had. In 2000, its presidential nominee, Howard Phillips, was only credited with 23 write-ins in West Virginia, but its 2004 presidential candidate, Michael Peroutka, was credited with 82 write-ins in West Virginia.

Nader did his West Virginia 2008 petition earlier in the year, collecting 30,000 signatures, double the requirement. The Green Party’s affiliate in West Virginia, the Mountain Party, has been ballot-qualified starting in 2000.

I’m a whore and a glory hole slut

In Civil Liberties, Constitutional Rights, Corruption, Crazy Claims, Crime, Economics, Entertainment, First Amendment, Green Party, Humor, Law, Libertarian, Libertarian Convention, Libertarian Party-US, Libertarian Politics, Libertarian Politics 2008, Politics, US Government on August 1, 2008 at 12:24 am

— In lpradicals@yahoogroups.com, “Rachel Hawkridge” wrote:

Last nite, I was reading one of the blogs, and someone called paulie a whore for helping to get Barr on the ballot, when he’s not a supporter of the nominee.

I roared with laughter . . . paulie gets paid. I did it for free.

Guess that makes me . . . a slut? ;o)

BTW, paulie said “Thank you.”

p] Actually, I’m both a slut and a whore. For instance, I got Barr on the ballot in Arkansas for free. To make matters even worse, I didn’t even know it was for Barr at the time, since he wasn’t nominated yet and hadn’t even announced, so I guess that makes me a glory hole slut to boot, in addition to being a whore.

Also, I’m a pimp, in addition to being a slut and a whore, because I make part of my living collecting overrides for managing crews of petition gatherers sometimes. And I am in no ways faithful to the Libertarians. Right now I’m doing a three-way, and negotiating to add one or two more clients at the same time. And I’m not using a condom with any of them! I guess that makes me a dirty whore.

Not only that, but I kiss and tell: I offered to write either pro- or anti- Barr polemics to the highest bidder. I’m thinking of selling my vote, too, although I guess the buyer would just have to trust me that I stayed bought.

If this sort of thing turns you on, read all about it at

https://lastfreevoice.wordpress.com/2008/07/30/bob-barr-recants-position-on-wiccans-in-the-military/

Landham: back on the LP ballot line?

In Celebrities, Crazy Claims, First Amendment, Immigration, Iran, Iraq War, Libertarian, Libertarian Party-US, Middle East, Military, Minorities, People in the news, Politics, Second Amendment, Terrorism, War on July 30, 2008 at 5:48 pm


PolitickerKY
reports

The Libertarian Party of Kentucky will reconsider its endorsement of Senate candidate Sonny Landham Wednesday evening, just days after initially disassociating their party from his bid. This news comes after the office of Kentucky’s secretary of state announced yesterday that Landham would need 5,000 new petition signatures to secure ballot access to run as an independent.

“We’re really stuck,” said Libertarian Party chair Ken Moellman. “We don’t necessarily want to kick him off the ballot.”

The requisite signatures for Landham’s ballot access were already reportedly obtained by Libertarian canvassers, but – without the Libertarian endorsement – Landham would need original signatures for an independent candidacy.

With an August 12 deadline for petition submissions, Moellman has said obtaining 5,000 new signatures in that window would be “impossible.”

Landham was initially stripped of the Libertarian Party’s endorsement in a unanimous 9-0 vote of their executive committee on Monday night. That vote came after Landham made a series of anti-Arab comments that culminated in his advocacy for a potential Arab genocide.

“When you are in a war, you kill every thing that moves,” responded Landham, when asked if he supported such a dramatic position.

Libertarian Party leaders initially sought to distance themselves from Landham’s comments, with Moellman noting they were not in line with the Party’s philosophy.

With his candidacy in the balance now, Moellman says Kentucky’s difficult ballot access process has the Party reevaluating its decision.

“Now, he will have one of two options,” said Moellman. “A – he runs as a Libertarian or, B he doesn’t run.”

“Our goal was not to kick him out,” added Moellman. “We are in a tough spot.”

Moellman said the ten-person state Libertarian Party Executive Committee will use an “online” voting system tonight to determine whether to reinstate Landham’s endorsement.

“We’re trying to work it out,” added Moellman.

Moellman said their dilemma would not exist if Kentucky’s ballot access procedures did not require 5,000 signatures for “third-party” candidates.

“I wish ballot access was a heck of a lot easier,” said Moellman, who said the number of signatures required for Democratic and Republican candidates was two – a far easier number for Landham to obtain as an independent candidate.

At
Delaware Libertarian
, Steve Newton explains why this is of national significance:

A Secondhand Conjecture is not a Libertarian blog, although it certainly displays some pretty consistent libertarian leanings.

As I read this post analyzing the Sonny Landham flap and the Libertarian Party of Kentucky, I think Lee hits it right on the money:

Looks like the Libertarian Party of Kentucky has dumped Sonny Landham, previously their clinically insane pick for US Senate. Good for them. Even if given the psychopathic nature of Landham’s views, I feel a little like I’m congratulating them for breathing.

While the Obama campaign might like to think that the LP could pose a serious threat to John McCain in Georgia, the Landham misadventure only reminds me yet again of the extraordinary amateurishness that seems to characterize almost all Libertarian Party political campaigns. There’s simply no excuse for failing to properly vet a candidate you intend to challenge for the seat held by the Senate Minority Leader.

As a former Hollywood actor and convicted criminal, it wouldn’t have been particularly difficult to uncover Landham’s violent imagination or deplorable associations with rightwing hate groups. A simple YouTube and Google search might have sufficed in fact.

I recently quoted a representative of the Libertarian Party of Texas noting that we need fewer paper candidates, and more people out there actually campaigning. True. But we also have to stop feeling so needy that we open our arms to accept people who are not only not Libertarians, but whose calls for bombing other countries over trade issues make us look like total losers.

Reminder: there’s still a
petition
for the LPKY to not give its ballot line to Sonny Landham.

Ohio Libertarian Party is Safely on the Ballot

In Democrats, Libertarian, Libertarian Party-US, Libertarian Politics, Politics, Republican on July 24, 2008 at 10:34 pm

posted at Ballot Access News

The Ohio Secretary of State, Jennifer Brunner, has decided not to appeal last week’s U.S. District Court order putting the Libertarian Party on the ballot. This will be the first time any party, other than the Democratic and Republican Parties, has appeared on the ballot in Ohio since 2000.