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New York Libertarian/Anti-Prohibition Election Lawsuit Gets Hearing Date (June 22, 2012, 12:14 PM)
In 2010, both the Libertarian Party, and the Anti-Prohibition Party, qualified for the general election ballot in New York. New York generally permits candidates to be the nominee of multiple political parties. However, New York will not print the name of a candidate nominated for the same office by two different unqualified parties on the ballot twice. By contrast, if two or even three qualified parties nominate the same candidate for the same office, that candidate is listed on the ballot multiple times.
In 2010, both the Libertarian Party and the Anti-Prohibition Party nominated Randy Credico for U.S. Senate. When the State Board of Elections told him that he could not be listed on the ballot twice, he sued. Almost two years later, the case has an oral argument date. It will be argued in U.S. District Court in Brooklyn on September 19, 2012. The case is Credico v New York State Board of Elections, 1:10cv-4555.
Vermont June 14 Petition Deadline Proves Deadly for Green, Constitution, Justice Parties (June 22, 2012, 11:46 AM)
The 2009 session of the Vermont legislature moved the independent candidate petition deadline from September to June. This move has reduced choices on this year’s November general election. The Justice Party, the Constitution Party, and the Green Party, all made serious attempts to obtain the needed 1,000 signatures in time for the June 14 deadline, but all three failed. The only presidential petition that succeeded was the petition of the Party for Socialism and Liberation. The problem is not entirely collecting 1,000 valid signatures; it is turning them in to the town clerks and having the town clerks verify the signatures in time for the Secretary of State’s deadline.
The Libertarian Party, Liberty Union, and the Progressive Party were already ballot-qualified and did not need to petition. The Progressive Party generally stays out of the presidential election, so, without legal action, the only choices on the Vermont November ballot for President will be: President Obama, Mitt Romney, Gary Johnson, Peta Lindsay, and whomever Liberty Union nominates. Generally, Liberty Union nominates whomever the Socialist Party nominates. If that pattern occurs this year, then Stewart Alexander will be on the ballot.
Five choices on the presidential ballot is unusually low for Vermont. That is the smallest number of choices for President in Vermont since 1972. A lawsuit is currently pending in the Vermont Supreme Court against the June 14 petition deadline, but it is not clear that that court will rule in time for anyone to get relief. The plaintiff, Jerry Trudell, had tried to be an independent candidate for Congress in 2010. Because that election is in the past, there had been no request for an expedited hearing in the Vermont Supreme Court.
In Eighteen Texas Counties, Zero Votes Cast in One or Other Major Party Primary (June 22, 2012, 10:59 AM)
The Democratic and Republican Parties of Texas held their primaries on May 29. In thirteen counties, no one voted in the Democratic primary; and in five counties, no one voted in the Republican primary. The primary was for president and all other partisan office. See this story. Thanks to Jerry Kunz for the link.
U.S. Supreme Court Refuses to Hear American Independent Party Lawsuit over Presidential Qualifications (June 22, 2012, 10:44 AM)
On June 11, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear Keyes v Obama, 11-1225, a case filed on January 20, 2009, over whether President Obama meets the constitutional qualifications to be President. The plaintiffs included the American Independent Party’s candidates for President and Vice-President in 2008. The Ninth Circuit had ruled that none of the plaintiffs have standing. The Ninth Circuit said that if the lawsuit had been filed during the election campaign, the candidate plaintiffs would have had standing.
The lawsuit, and the appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court, had been filed by Gary Kreep, the San Diego attorney who was apparently elected to a Superior Court Judgeship on June 5, 2012.
National Public Radio Interviews Gary Johnson in Twelve-Minute Segment (June 22, 2012, 09:13 AM)
On June 21, National Public Radio aired a twelve-minute interview with Gary Johnson. Read the transcript at this link.
Idaho County Elections Officials Ask Republican Party to Abandon Closed Primaries in Future (June 22, 2012, 09:05 AM)
The Idaho Republican Party state convention is meeting June 21-23. This article says that Idaho county election officials have requested the Republican Party to abandon a closed primary for itself. One of the county elections officials also advocated that county office be made non-partisan.
The story does not mention that this year, there was no presidential primary in Idaho for any party. Caucuses were used instead. 2012 is the first year since 1972 in which Idaho didn’t hold presidential primaries.
New York Legislature Adjourns Without Passing National Popular Vote Plan Bill (June 21, 2012, 08:45 PM)
The New York legislature adjourned for the year on June 21. It did not pass the National Popular Vote Plan bill. Oddly enough, the bill did pass the Senate, which has a Republican majority. But the bill did not pass the Assembly, which has a strong Democratic majority. Generally, in other states, it is Democratic chambers that are likely to pass the idea, and Republican-majority chambers tend not to pass the idea.
Final Brief Filed in Alabama Ballot Access Case (June 21, 2012, 08:26 PM)
On June 21, the Alabama Constitution, Green, and Libertarian Parties filed their reply brief in Stein v Chapman, which challenges Alabama ballot access procedures for putting the presidential nominee of an unqualified party on the November ballot. The case is Stein v Chapman, 2:12-cv-42.
Former Republican Secretary of State of California Becomes an Independent (June 21, 2012, 04:12 PM)
Bruce McPherson, a former Republican Secretary of State of California, recently changed his registration from “Republican” to “independent.” See this story. He is running this year for Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors, a non-partisan post. He will be in a run-off in November against a registered Democrat, but party registration has no official bearing in California elections for county and city office, and no party labels appear on the ballot.
McPherson was appointed Secretary of State by former Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. In January 2006, while he was Secretary of State, he ruled that the Peace & Freedom Party was not entitled to be on the ballot in 2006. However, after he learned that his opinion violated precedent, he was good enough to acknowledge that he had made a mistake, and he then ruled that the Peace & Freedom Party did belong on the ballot.
The Santa Cruz News Sentinel suggests that McPherson is the highest ranking ex-state officer ever to be a registered independent, but that part of the story is incorrect. Jerry Brown was a registered independent at one point, after he had served as Governor during the period 1974-1982. After a few years, Brown returned to being a registered Democrat, and of course is again Governor of California.
U.S. Senate Passes Amendment to Delete Taxpayer Money for Political Party National Conventions (June 21, 2012, 03:40 PM)
On June 21, the U.S. Senate overwhelmingly voted to add an amendment to the farm bill. The amendment would eliminate taxpayer funds to subsidize the expenses of holding political party national conventions (except that funding would still be provided for law enforcement and security), starting in 2016. See this story. It will be interesting to see if the U.S. House concurs. Thanks to Rick Hasen for the link.
The program for public money for national presidential nominating conventions has been in place starting in 1976. The only political party other than the Democratic and Republican Parties that ever received federal funding for its presidential convention was the Reform Party, in 2000.
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