Ballot Access News -- July 3, 1999

Volume 15, Number 4

This issue was originally printed on white paper.

Table of Contents
  1. MINOR PARTIES TACKLE PRESIDENTIAL DEBATES
  2. FLORIDA BILL SIGNED!
  3. MAINE IMPROVES PARTY BALLOT ACCESS
  4. PAUL BALLOT ACCESS BILL RE-INTRODUCED
  5. OTHER CONGRESS BILLS
  6. HAWAII BILL SIGNED
  7. BAD CALIFORNIA BILL STALLS
  8. NEW JERSEY DEADLINE LOSS
  9. OTHER LAWSUIT NEWS
  10. PRESIDENTIAL PAY
  11. DEMOCRATIC PARTY ALTERS LaROUCHE RULE
  12. LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS STUDIES PROPORTIONAL REPRESENTATION
  13. REPUBLICAN CHOICE FOR FEC IS PRO-MINOR-PARTY
  14. MORE LEGISLATIVE NEWS
  15. PRESIDENTIAL PRIMARIES
  16. AMARILLO TO USE CUMULATIVE VOTING
  17. 2000 PETITIONING FOR PRESIDENT (table)
  18. VENTURA ENDORSES GARGAN
  19. HORNBERGER DROPS OUT
  20. SOCIALIST PARTY CONVENTION
  21. RECOUNT OVERTURNS COMMUNIST WIN
  22. NEW JERSEY LEGISLATIVE ELECTION
  23. DC STATEHOOD MAY JOIN GREEN PARTY
  24. Subscription Information

MINOR PARTIES TACKLE PRESIDENTIAL DEBATES

INITIATIVES PENDING IN ALL 3 BRANCHES OF FEDERAL GOVERNMENT

Activists have recently launched campaigns in Congress and in the Federal Election Commission to open up general election presidential debates; furthermore, an old lawsuit on the subject is ready to proceed.

Congress

On June 8, Congressman Ron Paul (R-Texas) introduced HR 2027, which would require all general election presidential candidates who are receiving public funding to debate not only each other, but to invite into such debate any presidential candidate who is on the ballot in at least 40 states. If the bill had been in effect in 1996, there would have been 5-person general election presidential debates (Clinton, Dole, Perot, Browne and Hagelin).

An identical bill received a vote in the House of Representatives on July 30, 1998. The vote was 88-337. Anyone who wishes to know how any particular member of Congress voted, may see the August 3, 1998 B.A.N. on the web at www.ballot-access.org If your member of the U.S. House voted against the bill last year, ask him or her why, and ask for a change of mind. Also ask your member to co-sponsor HR 2027.

Federal Election Commission

The Federal Election Commission already has a regulation which says that any group sponsoring a general election presidential debate must use "objective" criteria, to determine whom should be invited.

On May 25, a group of Reform Party activists filed a Petition for Rulemaking with the FEC, asking the FEC to write its own "objective criteria" for debate invitations. Under FEC rules, the request has already been published in the Federal Register, and the public has until July 12 to comment on the proposed amendment to FEC regulations.

Statements in support should be addressed to Rosemary C. Smith, Senior Attorney, FEC, 999 F St., NW, Washington DC 20463. Faxes may be sent to (202)-219-3923. E-mail comments may be sent to debates@fec.gov, and should include the full name, e-mail address and postal service address of the commenter. For further information on the process, telephone (800)-424-9530 and ask to speak to Paul Sanford, Staff Attorney.

Mary Clare Wohlford of Pulaski, Virginia, the Reform Party activist who originated the plan, can be reached at (540)-980-6478, or mcgoats1@usit.net

Federal Court

In 1996, the Perot campaign, and the Natural Law Party, both filed lawsuits against the Federal Election Commission over debates. The suits argued that the FEC was ignoring its own regulations by letting the Commission on Presidential Debates proceed with several Clinton-Dole debates, without ever having established objective criteria for whom was to be invited.

Even though the FEC staff had determined that the Commission on Presidential Debates (which is headed by the past national chairmen of the Democratic and Republican Parties) had acted illegally, the FEC itself took no action.

The courts had postponed any action in the lawsuit until after the FEC had made up its own mind about whether to act. Since the FEC tabled the matter last year, the courts are now ready to proceed. Although Ross Perot dismissed his case voluntarily earlier this year, the other case, Natural Law Party v FEC, 98-1025 (U.S. District Court, Washington, D.C.) is proceeding. It is in front of Judge Royce Lamberth, a Reagan appointee. The first round of briefs has already been filed.

There is little danger that the lawsuit is moot, since the Natural Law Party's 1996 candidate, John Hagelin, is running again in 2000.

Why Change is Needed

The 1992 general election presidential debates included three candidates, Bush, Clinton and Perot. Those debates had the highest viewership in the history of U.S. election debates, and were pivotal in determining the vote share (Perot had 7% support in the polls before the debates, but he ended up with 19.5% in the election). By contrast, in 1996, when the general election debates only included Clinton and Dole, viewership was at its lowest in history.

In almost half the states, during the 1990's, minor party candidates for Governor or U.S. Senator participated in televised debates with their major party opponents. There is no logical reason why the best-supported minor party candidates for president should be locked out of debates, when minor party candidates for other high office are often included. If the major party nominees are confident of their ability to express their own ideas, they should not oppose facing some of their minor party opponents.

Furthermore, the novelty of a 5-way general election presidential debate, in which issues not usually brought up in debates are discussed, would vastly increase public interest in the debates and the entire campaign.


FLORIDA BILL SIGNED!

On June 11, Florida Governor Jeb Bush signed SB 754, the ballot access bill. The most dramatic impact will be in the presidential election: any party which holds a national convention, and which has registered itself with the Secretary of State, may place its presidential candidate on the Florida ballot with no petition and no fee.


MAINE IMPROVES PARTY BALLOT ACCESS

On June 9, Maine Governor signed LD 639 into law. The bill had passed on the last day of the legislative session. The Green Party had been working for the reforms in this bill since 1995. It makes these improvements:

1. From now on, after a party polls 5% for either President or Governor, it will enjoy "qualified" status for 4 years, not 2 years.

2. When a party polls 5% for President or Governor, it will be considered "qualified" immediately (assuming it held organizational meetings earlier that election year). In the past, Maine had refused to recognize a new party, even after it met the 5% vote test, until 17 months had passed. As a result, when the Green Party polled 5% for Governor in November 1994, it still wasn't permitted to participate in the March 1996 presidential primary, since it wasn't considered "qualified" until April 1996, too late for that primary.

3. The petition to create a new party may now be signed by independent voters. In the past, the petition to create a new party could only be signed by registered members of that party, which forced groups seeking to qualify to do a registration drive in combination with the petition drive.

The bill goes into effect on September 18, 1999, and on that day, the Green Party will be qualified and the Reform Party probably will be as well.

Qualified status is especially valuable in Maine, since the state income tax lists the qualified parties and lets voters choose to send $1 to the political party chosen by the taxpayer.

Other changes mandated by the bill: (1) "Independent" may no longer be the name of a qualified party; (2) the petition deadline for new parties becomes ten days earlier; (3) independent voters may become polling place officials, but only if there aren't enough volunteers for this job from the ranks of the qualified parties.

There are still flaws in Maine ballot access procedures: it is far too difficult for small qualified parties to place candidates on their own primary ballots (statewide candidates, for office other than president, need 2,000 signatures and only party members may sign). Also the petition to create a new party, at 5% of the last vote cast, with the restriction that members of qualified parties cannot sign, is far too harsh; and the deadline for this petition, December of the year before the election, is far too early.


PAUL BALLOT ACCESS BILL RE-INTRODUCED

On June 8, Congressman Ron Paul re-introduced the same ballot access bill that he introduced last year. The same bill was introduced in 1993 by Congressman Tim Penny (D-Minn.) and by Congressman John Conyers (D-Mich.) in 1985, 1987 and 1989. It outlaws restrictive ballot access laws for federal office, and is authorized by Article I of the U.S. Constitution, which gives congress the authority to write election laws in congressional elections.

The new bill is HR 2026. It was referred to the House Administration Committee, which is chaired by Congressman Bill Thomas (R-Cal.). It sets a ceiling of one-tenth of 1% of the last vote cast, on petitions for president and U.S. Senate; and one-half of 1% for U.S. House.


OTHER CONGRESS BILLS

1. Congressman Bill Luther (D-Minn.) will introduce a bill in mid-July, mandating election-day registration (for federal office).

2. HR 906, by Congressman John Conyers, which would let felons and ex-felons vote in federal elections unless they are in prison serving time for a felony conviction, now has 37 co-sponsors. It is pending in the Judiciary Committee.

3. HR 1957, by Congressman Danny K. Davis (D-Il.), is similar to HR 906, except that it applies to all elections, not just federal elections. Since Article I only gives Congress the power to alter federal elections, the bill faces an uphill fight.


HAWAII BILL SIGNED

On June 24, Hawaii Governor Ben Cayetano said that he will sign SB 631. This is the bill which reduces the number of signatures on a new party petition from 1% of the number of registered voters, to just one-tenth of that number; and makes it easier for a party to remain on the ballot.


BAD CALIFORNIA BILL STALLS

SB 365, which requires candidates seeking a place on the primary ballot to circulate two separate petitions (if they wish to avoid paying the filing fee), failed to pass the Assembly Elections Committee on June 22. Under current law, one petition servers both purposes. However, the bill's author, Senator John Lewis, has requested a rehearing at the committee's next hearing in July.


NEW JERSEY DEADLINE LOSS

On June 1, the 3rd circuit upheld the new New Jersey petition deadline for minor party and independent candidates (for office other than president). The new deadline, passed last year, is primary day, which is in early June. Council of Alternative Political Parties v Hooks, 98-5256. The decision is by Judge Samuel Alito, a Bush appointee, and was co-signed by Judge Clifford Green, a Nixon appointee, and Judge Anthony Scirica, a Reagan appointee.

The opinion acknowledges that there is no administrative need for a deadline in June, but says the law is needed to stop "sore losers". Of course, there are less restrictive means to outlaw candidacies who lose major party primaries from running in the general election.

The history of this case is odd. When the lawsuit was first filed in 1997, the petition deadline was in April. The U.S. District Court declared that deadline to be too early, and the state appealed. While the appeal was pending, the state legislature moved the deadline to June. At that point, the lawsuit should have been dismissed, but instead the Appeals Judges asked for supplemental briefs on the constitutionality of the new deadline, and then proceeded to uphold it.


OTHER LAWSUIT NEWS

1. Arizona: the June 1 B.A.N. article about the lawsuit between two factions of the Libertarian Party said that the party bylaws require motions to receive a majority from all delegates in attendance. Actually, the bylaws aren't clear on whether a majority of all delegates, or just a majority in attendance, is required; this is one of the issues in the lawsuit.

2. Arkansas: on April 16, the 8th circuit upheld state law which requires twice as many signatures on an initiative petition to convert a county from "wet" to "dry" (or vice versa), as are required for all other initiatives ("wet" and "dry" refers to whether beverage alcohol may be sold). Wellwood v Johnson, 172 F 3d 1007.

3. California: on June 4, the 9th circuit refused to rehear California Democratic Party v Jones, the lawsuit in which four political parties attacked the blanket primary initiative.

California (2): on June 7, the California Supreme Court heard Bramberg v Jones, S76784, over an initiative which requires that candidates for Congress and state legislature who didn't support congressional term limits, must have a label next to their names on the ballot saying they disregarded voter instructions on that issue. The argument was somewhat one-sided, since neither the state, nor any other group, argued in favor of the law. U.S. Term Limits, which sponsored the initiative which created the law, no longer supports this type of ballot labeling.

4. Illinois: there is still no decision in Krislov v Rednour, 96-C-674, the federal case on whether petitioners for candidates need to be registered voters. A decision could come at any time.

5. Kansas: on Feb. 24, U.S. District Court Judge Richard Rogers ruled that an ad run by Kansans for Life in 1998, charging the Republican nominee for Governor with hypocrisy for pretending to be "pro-life" when he really isn't, is protected by the First Amendment and cannot be regulated as a campaign expenditure. Kansans for Life v Gaede, 38 F Supp 2d 928.

6. Maine: on June 14, the Initiative & Referendum Institute asked U.S. District Court Judge Gene Carter to overrule the magistrate, in the lawsuit over whether petition circulators must be registered voters (Init. & Ref. Institute v Secretary of State, cv98-104). The magistrate had upheld the state law, despite a U.S. Supreme Court decision which said that such laws are void.

7. Michigan: the Labor Party will probably be a co-plaintiff with the Green Party, in a lawsuit to be filed soon against a law which makes it impossible to qualify a party in just a single county.

8. New Jersey: on June 15, a state court judge issued a preliminary injunction, ordering the faction of the Reform Party which is not supportive of the national party office, not to use its "Reform Party of New Jersey" name. Reform Party of U.S. v State, Mercer Co., C-000042-99.

9. New Mexico: on Feb. 26, the State Supreme Court ruled that an ex-felon who was elected to the County Commission in Sierra County may take office, even though the state prohibits ex-felons from registering to vote. The candidate had been pardoned on December 17, 1998, after she won the election. The problem was that she had no right to be a registered voter before that date (although she had been registered to vote for many years). The Court ruled that the state constitution only requires office-holders to be registered when they are sworn in, not before. Lopez v Kase, 975 P 2d 346.

10. New York: on June 16, a lawsuit was filed in federal court against state law which makes it illegal for anyone to petition for a candidate in a primary election, except a registered member of that party. Schuloff v State of New York, cv99-3387, e.d. There will be a hearing on July 6 before Judge Jack Weinstein.

11. Oregon: on May 28, a U.S. District Court issued an injunction against state law which requires initiative petitioners to be registered voters. American Constitutional Law Foundation v Keisling, 99-6087.


PRESIDENTIAL PAY

The appropriations bill now pending in the U.S. House of Representatives for the Treasury Department contains a provision doubling the pay of U.S. presidents, from $200,000 to $400,000. Observers expect it to become law, unless there is a large public protest against it.

West Virginia law provides that new and previously unqualified parties must pay a filing fee for their presidential candidate of 1% of the president's annual salary. If the salary is doubled, the fee will also double, from $2,000 to $4,000.

Also, if the president's salary is doubled, it is likely that congressional pay would soon be increased (currently it is approximately $133,000), and that would have an impact on filing fees in many states.

The Congressional Accountability Project is opposed to the pay raises and is organizing a campaign against them. Contact gary@essential.org or (202)-296-2787.


DEMOCRATIC PARTY ALTERS LaROUCHE RULE

In 1996, the Democratic National Committee had a rule specifically naming Lyndon LaRouche and saying that votes cast for him in Democratic presidential primaries should not count toward electing delegates. Without this rule, LaRouche supporters would have been elected in Louisiana and Virginia.

The party has expunged this rule, but has a new rule which says that votes cast for people who are not registered to vote, do not count toward electing delegates. The effect of the new rule is to bar LaRouche again, since he is an ex-felon and Virginia, where he lives, does not permit ex-felons to register. LaRouche is running for the 2000 Democratic nomination.


LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS STUDIES PROPORTIONAL REPRESENTATION

The California and Illinois Leagues of Women Voters recently voted to study various forms of proportional representation. League rules forbid any unit of the League from taking a position on an issue, until the League has studied that issue.


REPUBLICAN CHOICE FOR FEC IS PRO-MINOR-PARTY

Early this year, Republicans in the U.S. Senate asked President Clinton to fill a vacancy on the Federal Election Commission by choosing Law Professor Bradley A. Smith, of Columbus, Ohio.

There are six commissioners on the FEC. No more than three commissioners may be members of one party. Since there are already three Democrats on the FEC, the vacancy must be filled by someone who is not a Democrat. By custom, presidents of one party usually defer to the wishes of Senators of the other major party, when choosing commissioners from the other party. However, in this case, Clinton has so far refused to nominate Smith.

Smith has been a strong proponent of the legal rights of minor parties. In 1991 he wrote an excellent article, "Judicial Protection of Ballot-Access Rights: Third Parties Need Not Apply", for the Harvard Journal on Legislation. The article criticizes the U.S. Supreme Court for providing so little protection to new and minor parties' rights to obtain ballot access. In 1995 Smith wrote an amicus brief to the U.S. Supreme Court in a Libertarian Party case challenging North Carolina ballot access restrictions. The brief was on behalf of the Committee for Party Renewal, a group of political scientists who believe that strong political parties are beneficial to society. Smith's work on the case was pro bono.

Smith is critical of campaign spending limits. Therefore, proponents of tougher campaign spending restrictions are opposed to Smith, and they are waging a public relations campaign to defeat him.

Activists are trying to persuade the FEC to write objective criteria for inclusion in general election presidential debates (see lead story). If Smith were already on the FEC, the chances of success in this effort would be greater.

Anyone who wishes a free, bound copy of Smith's Harvard article may request one from B.A.N., as long as the supply of 15 copies lasts.


MORE LEGISLATIVE NEWS

1. Alabama: HB 269, by Rep. Bob McKee, which would have lowered the vote test for a party to remain on the ballot from 20% to 10%, failed to pass before the legislature adjourned.

2. California (1): SB 1220, which deletes the requirement that petition circulators be registered voters, passed the Senate on June 1.

California (2): AB 547, which deletes the requirement that candidates must file a form naming their petition circulators, passed the Senate Elections Committee on June 24.

California (3): AB 1094, which establishes election-day registration, passed the Assembly on June 2. However, Governor Gray Davis has hinted that he may veto it.

3. Louisiana: on June 23, the House killed SB 994, which would have established closed primaries for congressional elections. Currently, the state has a non-partisan primary for all office except president (party labels are on the ballot, but they are only descriptive, and have no practical impact). The vote was 75-22.

4. Missouri: SB 676, which repeals the requirement that petitioners must be registered voters, but requires that they be residents, was signed on June 16.

5. North Carolina: HB 1072 repeals the 5 checking fee for each signature on a petition for a new party, and the requirement that such petitions be notarized. It is in the Senate Judiciary Committee. Unfortunately, the bill does not improve the petition deadline for new parties, nor does it let voters remain registered as members of parties which become disqualified, as was reported in the June 1 B.A.N.

6. Oregon: SB 806 was signed on June 16. It repeals the requirement that initiative petition circulators be registered voters.

7. Pennsylvania: On June 9, Rep. Todd Platts introduced HR 1634. If it were enacted, groups which poll 1% of the highest vote-getting winner (for statewide office) would be qualified for their own primary for statewide and U.S. House elections.

8. West Virginia: University of W. Va. Law Professor Bob Bastress has written several key legislators, asking them to sponsor a bill next year to reduce the requirements for minor party and independent candidates.


PRESIDENTIAL PRIMARIES

Bills on presidential primaries which either advanced, or were defeated, during June:

1. Alabama: SB 397, which would have moved the presidential primary from June to the first Tuesday in March, failed to pass the House.

2. California: SB 380, which changes the Republican presidential primary from winner-take-all to a system in which each congressional district elects its own delegates, passed the Assembly Elections Committee on June 24. However, since it didn't become law before July 1, under Republican Party national rules, it can't take effect until 2004.

3. Colorado: SB 1 was signed on May 28. It moves the presidential primary from March 2 to March 10.

4. Louisiana: HB 453, which would have moved the presidential primary to February, failed to pass before the legislature adjourned in June.

5. Michigan: SB 51, which moves the presidential primary to February, passed the legislature on June 16.

6. New Jersey: A184, which moves the primary from June to March, passed the Assembly in late 1998 but has made no headway in the Senate, and is considered dead.

7. Ohio: HB 157, which moves the primary to March 7, was signed June 17.


AMARILLO TO USE CUMULATIVE VOTING

On May 7, the city of Amarillo, Texas, announced that it will use cumulative voting for school board elections, to settle a voting rights lawsuit brought by a group of Hispanic voters. Amarillo becomes the largest city in the U.S. to use cumulative voting, which lets the voters cast several votes for the same candidate.


2000 PETITIONING FOR PRESIDENT (table)

STATE REQUIREMENTS SIGNATURES COLLECTED DEADLINE
FULL PARTY CAND. LIB'T REFORM NAT LAW TAXPAYR GREEN
Alabama 39,536 5,000 *45,000 0 0 0 0 July 3
Alaska (reg) 6,606 #2,410 already on already on *300 0 already on June 1
Arizona 13,565 *es. #9,500 already on 0 *5,000 0 0 May 20
Arkansas 21,181 #1,000 0 0 *already on 0 0 May 1
California (reg) 86,177 149,692 already on already on already on already on already on Oct 4, '99
Colorado (reg) 1,000 #pay fee already on already on already on *already on already on July 11
Connecticut no procedure #7,500 0 already on 0 0 already on Aug 11
Delaware es. (reg.) 235 es. 4,700 already on already on already on already on *19 Aug 19
D.C. no procedure es. #3,500 can't start can't start can't start can't start can't start Aug 15
Florida *be organized 82,203 *already on *already on *already on *already on *already on *Sep 1
Georgia 39,094 #39,094 already on 0 0 0 0 Jul 11
Hawaii *602 #3,703 *already on 0 0 0 already on Apr 26
Idaho 9,835 4,918 already on already on already on already on 0 Aug 31
Illinois no procedure #25,000 can't start can't start can't start can't start can't start Aug 6
Indiana no procedure #30,717 already on 0 0 0 0 Jul 15
Iowa no procedure #1,500 0 0 0 0 0 Aug 17
Kansas 14,854 5,000 already on already on 0 already on 0 June 1
Kentucky no procedure #5,000 already on already on 0 0 0 Aug 30
Louisiana est. (reg) 135,000 #pay fee 691 already on 14 40 89 July 1
Maine 21,051 #4,000 0 *already on 0 0 already on *Dec 6, '99
Maryland 10,000 es. 26,000 already on *5,000 0 0 0 Aug 7
Massachusetts est. (reg) 37,500 #10,000 already on 2,289 59 0 311 Feb 15
Michigan 30,272 30,272 already on already on already on *1,200 0 July 19
Minnesota 104,550 #2,000 0 already on 0 already on 0 June 1
Mississippi be organized #1,000 already on already on already on already on 0 Jan. 14
Missouri 10,000 10,000 already on already on *finished already on 0 July 31
Montana 5,000 *#5,000 already on already on already on 0 0 Mar 14
Nebraska 5,453 2,500 already on 200 0 0 0 Aug 1
Nevada 4,099 4,099 already on 0 already on already on 0 July 2
New Hampshire 9,569 #3,000 *350 400 0 0 0 Aug 7
New Jersey no procedure #800 0 0 0 0 0 July 30
New Mexico 2,494 14,964 already on already on 0 0 already on Apr 4
New York no procedure #15,000 can't start already on can't start can't start already on Aug 21
North Carolina 51,324 es. 90,000 already on *2,000 0 0 0 May 18
North Dakota 7,000 1,000 0 already on 0 0 0 Apr 4
Ohio 33,543 #5,000 *54,500 *2,000 *30,000 0 0 *Nov 7,'99
Oklahoma 43,680 36,202 *200 0 0 0 0 June 1
Oregon 16,663 13,755 already on 200 0 0 already on Aug 28
Pennsylvania no procedure es. #25,000 can't start can't start can't start can't start can't start Aug 1
Rhode Island 15,323 #1,000 can't start already on can't start can't start can't start Aug 1
South Carolina 10,000 10,000 already on already on already on already on 0 May 7
South Dakota 6,505 #2,602 *300 0 0 *200 0 Apr 4
Tennessee 24,406 25 0 6,000 0 0 0 Apr 7
Texas 37,381 56,117 already on can't start can't start can't start can't start May 28
Utah 2,000 #300 already on 0 *400 0 0 Feb 15
Vermont be organized #1,000 already on 0 0 0 0 Jan 1
Virginia no procedure #10,000 can't start can't start can't start can't start can't start Aug 24
Washington no procedure #200 can't start can't start can't start can't start can't start Jul 1
West Virginia no procedure #12,730 already on 0 *finished 0 0 Aug 1
Wisconsin 10,000 #2,000 already on can't start can't start already on already on June 1
Wyoming 3,485 3,485 already on 0 0 0 0 June 1
TOTAL STATES ON *30 *21 *11 *12 *11

"Deadline" refers to procedure with the earliest deadline. Other multi-state parties on the ballot: New Party in New York; in Florida, the Southern, Socialist Workers & Socialist Parties. * -- means entry has changed since last issue. # means that candidate procedure allows a partisan label. The Mountain Party in West Virginia has 1,000 signatures. Peace & Freedom in California has 74,000 registrants.


VENTURA ENDORSES GARGAN

On June 28, Governor Jesse Ventura endorsed Jack Gargan for national chair of the Reform Party. The party elects new national officers in Dearborn, Michigan, July 23-25.

Gargan founded "T.H.R.O." ("Throw the Hypocritical Rascals Out") in 1990, which publicized the extent to which incumbent members of Congress use their privileges to make it easy to get re-elected. Gargan was also one of the first to suggest that Ross Perot run for president. He invited Perot to speak at a T.H.R.O. rally in 1991, where "Run Ross Run" signs were plentiful. In 1998 Gargan became the first minor party candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives to comply with Florida's onerous 3% petition requirement. He polled 33.7% in a two-person race. If he is elected, he says he will move the national party office from Texas to Florida.

Ventura's endorsement letter says, "It's no secret that except for Minnesota and perhaps one or two other states, the national Reform Party has declined dramatically in recent years. We can turn that around. To do so, party members in all states must focus on supporting candidates and winning elections at all levels of government."


HORNBERGER DROPS OUT

Jacob Hornberger, who had been planning an aggressive campaign for the Libertarian Party presidential nomination, announced on June 12 that he will not seek that nomination. He said that he had discovered it is impossible to both campaign full-time and to also run his non-partisan organization, The Future of Freedom Foundation.

Harry Browne is also seeking the nomination, and is considered the front-runner. There are other candidates for the nomination, but only Browne and Hornberger seem to have substantial resources. Hornberger had been planning to do everything in his power to contest and win the various Libertarian Party presidential primaries. Generally, Libertarian presidential primaries are only "beauty contests" and have no bearing in selecting delegates to the national convention. However, the Arizona Libertarian Party is considering a proposal to make its presidential primary binding, for the purpose of choosing delegates.


SOCIALIST PARTY CONVENTION

The Socialist Party will hold its national convention Oct. 15-17, 1999, in Secaucus, N.J., and may nominate a presidential candidate. In 1996 the party's presidential candidate was on the ballot in five states.


RECOUNT OVERTURNS COMMUNIST WIN

New York city elects Community School Boards by proportional representation. At its May 1999 elections, John Bachtell, district organizer of the New York state Communist Party, appeared to have won a seat on the Bronx Community School Board by one vote. A recount was held, however, and it showed that he lost by twelve votes. The Board has nine members.


NEW JERSEY LEGISLATIVE ELECTION

New Jersey elects all 80 members of the lower house of its legislature on November 2, 1999. There will be at least 25 Conservative Party candidates on the ballot, two Socialist Workers Party candidates, one Natural Law, one Libertarian, and one Green. Also, there are three Reform Party candidates, but they are all affiliated with the faction which is opposed to the national party leadership. Since they did not prevail in the lawsuit between the two factions, they cannot have the label "Reform Party" on the ballot. Instead they have requested "Reform!".

The opposing faction of the Reform Party challenged their right to use "Reform!" but on June 17, an administrative law judge ruled that they could use that label (the June 1 B.A.N. was in error when it said that New Jersey law does not provide for name protection for unqualified parties).


DC STATEHOOD MAY JOIN GREEN PARTY

Both the D.C. Statehood Party and the Green Party are qualified in the District of Columbia. On June 12, the Statehood Party voted 28-0 to merge with the Green Party. The merger resolution suggests that the new party should be the "DC Statehood Green Party". The resolution says that if the Green Party does not agree to that name, then no further action will be taken on the merger, prior to the Statehood Party's next convention.


Ballot Access News. is published by and copyright by Richard Winger ban@igc.apc.org. Note: subscriptions are available!
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Compilation copyright (c) 1999 Bob Bickford