|This issue was originally printed on white paper.|
On February 1, Arizona Superior Court Judge Christopher Skelly ordered the Secretary of State not to hold a presidential primary for the Democratic and Libertarian Parties, since both parties had decided they didn't wish such a primary held. Arizona State Democratic Committee v Hull, no. cv96-909, Maricopa Co.
Never before had any court ruled that a party may insist that a primary, authorized by state law, must be canceled. The U.S. Supreme Court had ruled in 1981 in Democratic Party of U.S. v LaFollette that the national convention of a political party is free to ignore the results of any presidential primary, but no party had ever actually sued to cancel a presidential primary.
The Arizona Democratic Party opposed the primary because the national party has a Bylaw in opposition to presidential primaries earlier than March 1 (New Hampshire excepted). However, Delaware and North Dakota are holding February presidential primaries for the Democratic Party, and no Democratic Party lawsuits were filed in those states. The Libertarian Party of Arizona opposed the primary because the party did not wish to force taxpayers to pay for it.
Technically, Judge Skelly did not hold the law authorizing the primary unconstitutional. Rather, he construed it to be voluntary, since the law says a party is "eligible" to participate in the primary if it is qualified, and "eligible" suggests that a party is free to participate or not. However, his decision leaves little doubt that he would have held the law unconstitutional if it had clearly been mandatory.
On February 5, federal judge William Orrick, a Nixon appointee, ruled Proposition 49 unconstitutional. Proposition 49, passed by the voters in 1986, makes it illegal for a qualified political party to endorse, support or oppose candidates for non-partisan office. Democratic Party v Lungren, C94-1703, northern dist.
The struggle against the ban on party endorsements has been carried on for a decade. In 1989, another U.S. District Court had issued a similar ruling (Geary v Renne), and in 1990 the 9th circuit had agreed that the ban violates the First Amendment. However, in 1991, the U.S. Supreme Court had ruled that the plaintiffs lacked standing, and the lawsuit had to begin all over again, this time with a political party-plaintiff.
California hasn't decided whether to appeal again to the 9th circuit. Judge Orrick's order is only two pages; it says that an explanation for the decision will be released shortly.
On January 26, a 3-judge U.S. District Court ruled that a political party is free to change the date of its presidential delegate caucuses, without getting permission from the U.S. Justice Department, even if the state in which this occurs is covered by section 5 of the Voting Rights Act. Taylor v Republican State Committee of Louisiana, cv 96-6-B.
Section 5 requires Louisiana and certain other states to pre-clear election law changes with the Justice Department. The U.S. Supreme Court is also considering the question of whether political parties in such states must pre-clear election procedure changes, in Morse v Virginia Republican Party, and a decision is likely any day now. The Louisiana decision was by Judges W. Eugene Davis, a Reagan appointee, and Carter appointees John V. Parker and Frank J. Polozola.
On January 25, the Reform Party filed a lawsuit in federal court, challenging Maine procedures for creating a new, full-fledged political party. A new party must carry out a registration drive, obtaining a number of members equal to 5% of the last vote cast; and in addition, have all those members sign a petition, at least six months before a primary election. Citizens to Establish a Maine Reform Party v Diamond, no. 96-24-BC.
The case was assigned to Judge Gene Carter, a Reagan appointee who, in 1984, held unconstitutional the old April independent candidate petition deadline (for office other than president).
On January 8, the Alabama Attorney General wrote a letter to the U.S. Justice Department, stating that answers to the questions asked by the Justice Department, concerning why the state tripled the number of signatures for new parties and non-presidential independent candidates, "will take extensive time to be assembled and will be submitted later". This means that the old 1% petition requirement, rather than the new 3% requirement, will be in effect for 1996. However, the state is asking the Justice Department to let it move the petition deadline from September to early July, in time for this year's election. The Justice Department has not yet responded.
On February 1, the Virginia Board of Elections acknowledged that the Virginia Independent Party is a qualified party, since it polled 10% of the vote in November 1994 for U.S. Senate. The party is composed of United We Stand America activists, and it is expected to formally affiliate with the Reform Party.
The Federal Election Commission has tentatively revised guidelines for debates for federal office. The old guidelines explicitly permitted a debate sponsor to invite only major party nominees.
The new guidelines read: "Staging organizations must use pre-established objective criteria to determine which candidates may participate in a debate. For general election debates, staging organizations shall not use nomination by a particular political party as the sole objective criterion to determine whether to include a candidate in a debate" (emphasis added). The FEC comments, "staging organizations must be able to show that the criteria were not designed to pick the participants."
The proposed new regulations have been published in the Federal Register and are expected to be final by the end of February.
On January 31, U.S. Senator Bill Bradley (D-N.J.) introduced S1528, to revise campaign financing for U.S. Senate elections. The intent of the bill is to eliminate all sources of funding for U.S. Senate general election campaigns, except for a federal fund. Nominees of any political party which polled 10% of the vote in the last two U.S. Senate elections in that state would automatically receive funding from the federal government. Third party and independent candidates could also receive this funding, but only if they submitted a petition signed by at least 5% of the registered voters of their state.
However, third party and independent candidates who did not qualify for the federal money, would still be barred from spending any other money, whether it be the candidate's own money, money from the party, or money raised privately for the campaign.
Candidates eligible for the federal funding, would also receive free television and radio time.
Funding for the federal fund would be by a check-off box on the income tax form, but would add to the taxpayer's tax liability. Unlike most tax form check-offs involving the taxpayer's own money, the taxpayer would have no choice of party or candidate. If the taxpayer made the contribution, it would go into a pool for use by all the eligible candidates.
No state's ballot access procedures for statewide office are as draconian as the Bradley standard of 5% of the number of registered voters. Furthermore, no third party or independent candidate for statewide office has complied with a petition of such severity, since 1968.
Even more maddening is Bradley's decision to require a party to have polled 10% in both of the last two U.S. Senate elections in a particular state, to be eligible for the federal fund. If a new major party did arise, in some states, six years would elapse before it could attain the same favored status that the Democrats and Republicans would enjoy.
The Green Party of Hawaii did poll over 10% for U.S. Senate in 1992, and the Virginia Independent Party did the same in 1994. But under the Bradley bill, they still wouldn't be eligible for automatic inclusion, since they haven't done this twice in a row; they would still need signatures of 5% of the registered voters, whereas Democrats and Republicans wouldn't.
Due to a drafting error, the 10% vote and 5% petition requirements were omitted from S1528, but Bradley plans to amend the bill quickly to correct this technical glitch.
Since the U.S. Supreme Court said in 1976 that the Constitution protects a candidate's right to freely spend his or her own money on a campaign, Bradley also introduced SJ 47 to amend the Constitution. But Bradley hopes to pass S1528 anyway, even if SJ 47 doesn't pass, to force the U.S. Supreme Court to reconsider its 1976 decision.
This is Bradley's last year in the U.S. Senate; he is not running for re-election. Ironically, there has been speculation that he may run for president as an independent.
By a vote of 2-1, the 11th circuit upheld a Georgia law which denies ballot status to any candidate for state office who fails to pass a test for illegal drug usage. Chandler v Miller, 95-8230, issued January 22, 1996. The decision was written by James Edmondson, a Reagan appointee, and co-signed by Joel Dubina, a Bush appointee. Rosemary Barkett, a Clinton appointee, dissented.
The majority said "Those vested with the highest executive authority to make public policy in general and frequently to supervise Georgia's drug interdiction efforts in particular must be persons appreciative of the perils of drug use... Appellants have not suggested a less restrictive way for Georgia to accomplish its stated objective of keeping drug users out of office."
The dissent said "Establishing a certain ideology as a 'qualification' for holding public office appears to be a content-based restriction on free expression... This statute attempts to ensure that only candidates with a certain point of view qualify for public office."
The plaintiff, who was the Libertarian Party candidate for Lieutenant Governor in 1994, plans to ask for U.S. Supreme Court review.
The last B.A.N. carried a story that the 8th circuit had ruled that states may not make it illegal for two political parties to jointly run the same candidate. Since then, Minnesota's Attorney General let the deadline pass for requesting a rehearing. There is still time for him to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court, however; that deadline is April 4. The Attorney General says that he will appeal if the legislature wishes him to.
B.A.N. said that none of the states in the 8th circuit now permit fusion. That was incorrect; South Dakota and Arkansas have no law against it. It is barred in North Dakota, Iowa, Missouri and Nebraska.
On January 18, the 2nd Circuit released its opinion in Rockefeller v Powers, 95-9189. The decision reinstates the number of signatures needed to get Republican presidential candidates in the New York primary.
The district court had ruled that the formula discriminates against Republicans in congressional districts which contain few registered Republicans. But the 2nd circuit said it is rational to do this, since each Republican in such a district enjoys a more powerful vote (each district gets the same number of delegates, regardless of how many or how few Republicans there are in that district).
1. California: on January 12, Judge James Ford, Superior Court, Sacramento, ruled that if a party has fewer than 150 registered voters in a district, a candidate for that party's nomination needs 10 signatures to get on the primary ballot, not 40. Bialosky v Jones, 96-cs118. This is what the election code seems to say, but the Secretary of State was interpreting it to mean that the lower number of signatures only applies if there are fewer than 150 registered voters of all parties in the district.
2. Colorado: the 10th circuit held a hearing on November 13, 1995, in American Constitutional Law Foundation v Buckley, no. 94-1581. The issues are whether the state can force petitioners to wear a button identifying them, and whether it can force initiative proponents to submit detailed monthly reports on how much money was paid to circulators.
3. Florida: a hearing in the congressional reapportionment case will be on February 19. Johnson v Smith, 94-40025. If the districts are changed this year, ballot access requirements for third party and independent candidates will become substantially easier, under a state law mandating easier requirements in such years.
4. Illinois: (See also this update.) federal judge Charles Kocoras has promised to issue his opinion in Libertarian Party of Illinois v Rednour, no. 95-cv-6456, on February 7.
This is the first lawsuit to use the U.S. Supreme Court's 1995 U.S. Term Limits case in a third party ballot access case. Unfortunately, this issue of B.A.N. had to be printed before the decision was known. Anyone may telephone Illinois Libertarian Party state chairman Mike Ginsburg to learn the outcome: (708)-776-8747.
5. Michigan: On February 1, Judge Carolyn Stell ruled that Lyndon LaRouche is not mentioned in news media, and therefore he cannot run in the Democratic presidential primary. LaRouche v Miller, 96-82169, Ingham Co. Pat Paulsen had filed a similar lawsuit, but withdrew it. Since President Clinton decided not to run in the Michigan primary, the state will print a Democratic ballot with no candidates on it, although write-ins will be tallied.
6. Missouri: on September 20, 1995, federal judge Brook Bartlett, a Reagan appointee, struck down regulations which forbade city employees from parking in city lots if the cars had bumper stickers relating to city elections, and which forbade them to have yard signs relating to city elections. Goodman v City of Kansas City, Mo, 906 F Supp 537.
7. North Carolina: On January 22, the Libertarian Party filed its ballot access case with the U.S. Supreme Court. McLaughlin v N.C. Election Board, no. 95-1196. At issue is a law that a party must poll 10% for president or governor to stay on the ballot, and a law which makes it impossible for a voter to register as a member of a non-qualified party.
8. Texas: On February 5, the 5th circuit heard Texas Independent Party v Hannah, 95-50172, over a law that independent candidate petitions must include the voter registration number of all signers, and another law that non-presidential independent and new party candidates must file a declaration of candidacy in January. The judges were Edith Jones and Grady Jolly, Reagan appointees, and Fortunado Benavides, a Clinton appointee. The first-named law seems likely to be thrown out; it is difficult to predict the result for the second.
1. Maryland: Senator Paul Pinsky, has introduced his bill to improve ballot access laws for third parties and independent candidates. It is SB 330.
2. Michigan: A coalition has been formed to lobby for HB 4762, which would let the vote for any statewide candidate determine whether a party remains on the ballot. Contact Key Halverson at (810) 476-3403.
The final, unofficial totals for U.S. Senator in Oregon's January 30 special election were: Democratic 568,335 (48.34%); Republican 551,100 (46.88%); American 25,511 (2.17%); Libertarian 15,628 (1.33%); Socialist 7,826 (.67%); Pacific 7,187 (.61%).
1. New Mexico: the Green Party of New Mexico is trying to arrange a presidential primary contest between President Clinton and Ralph Nader, although neither has committed to running in that primary. Mary Cal Hollis, Socialist Party presidential candidate, also plans to enter.
2. Vermont: Hollis is the only candidate in the Liberty Union primary, which means (according to party bylaws) that she will receive the party's nomination in November.
Anyone may buy History of the American Independent Party 1967-1995, (approximately 400 pages) for $35. Order from The California Statesman, 8158 Palm St., Lemon Grove Ca 91945.
|FULL PARTY||CAND.||LIBT||REFORM||NATL LAW||TAXPAYR||PARTY||CAND.|
|Alabama||11,991||5,000||already on||0||*finished||0||Sep 2||Sep 2|
|Alaska||2,586||2,586||already on||maybe on||2,100||*finished||in doubt||in doubt|
|Arizona||15,062||(es) 8,000||already on||0||*100||0||May 21||Jun 30|
|Arkansas||21,506||0||0||finished||0||0||Jan 2||Sep 15|
|California||(reg) 89,007||147,238||already on||already on||already on||already on||Oct 24 95||Aug 9|
|Colorado||no procedure||0||0||0||0||0||--||Jul 16|
|Connecticut||no procedure||7,500||*200||maybe on||*0||*150||--||Aug 7|
|Delaware||(reg.) 191||3,828||already on||maybe on||(reg) *85||(reg) *167||Aug 17||Jul 15|
|D.C.||no procedure||(es) 3,500||can't start||can't start||can't start||can't start||--||Aug 20|
|Florida||196,788||65,596||*3,000||0||0||0||Jul 16||Jul 15|
|Georgia||30,036||30,036||already on||0||0||0||Jul 9||Jul 9|
|Hawaii||4,889||3,829||already on||maybe on||*3,800||0||Apr 24||Sep 6|
|Idaho||9,644||4,822||already on||0||0||0||Aug 31||Aug 26|
|Illinois||no procedure||25,000||already on||can't start||can't start||can't start||--||Aug 5|
|Indiana||no procedure||29,822||already on||0||0||0||--||Jul 15|
|Iowa||no procedure||1,500||0||0||0||0||--||Aug 16|
|Kansas||16,418||5,000||already on||*250||0||*2,000||Jun 1||Aug 6|
|Kentucky||no procedure||5,000||*1,300||0||*100||*500||--||Aug 29|
|Louisiana||0||0||0||maybe on||0||0||Jun 30||Aug 29|
|Maine||(reg) 25,565||4,000||*200||in dispute||0||0||De 14 95||*May 24|
|Maryland||10,000||(es) 75,000||already on||0||*800||*7,000||Aug 5||Aug 5|
|Massachsts.||(reg) 34,000||10,000||already on||0||0||0||Jul 1||Jul 30|
|Michigan||30,891||30,891||already on||*2,000||0||0||Jul 18||Jul 18|
|Minnesota||89,731||2,000||can't start||maybe on||can't start||can't start||May 1||Sep 10|
|Mississippi||just be org.||1,000||already on||0||*already on||already on||Apr 1||Sep 6|
|Missouri||10,000||10,000||already on||0||*400||0||Aug 5||Aug 5|
|Montana||10,471||10,471||already on||*4,000||*10,000||0||Mar 14||Jul 31|
|Nebraska||5,773||2,500||*finished||0||*3,000||0||Aug 1||Aug 27|
|Nevada||3,761||3,761||already on||0||already on||already on||Jul 11||Jul 11|
|New Hampshire||no procedure||3,000||already on||0||0||0||--||Aug 7|
|New Jersey||no procedure||800||0||0||0||*500||--||Jul 29|
|New Mexico||2,339||14,029||already on||0||0||0||Apr 2||Sep 10|
|New York||no procedure||15,000||can't start||maybe on||can't start||can't start||--||Aug 20|
|North Carolina||51,904||(es) 80,000||*11,500||*500||*15,000||1,700||May 15||Jun 28|
|North Dakota||7,000||4,000||already on||already on||already on||0||De 29 95||Sep 6|
|Ohio||33,463||5,000||*200||needs 2,438||already on||*500||Aug 22||Aug 22|
|Oklahoma||49,751||41,711||*36,000||*0||*100||*7,600||May 31||Jul 15|
|Oregon||18,316||14,601||already on||maybe on||50||0||Aug 27||Aug 27|
|Pennsylvania||no procedure||24,425||*0||*0||*0||*0||--||Aug 1|
|Rhode Island||18,069||1,000||can't start||maybe on||can't start||can't start||Aug 1||Sep 6|
|South Carolina||10,000||10,000||already on||finished||*finished||already on||May 5||Aug 1|
|South Dakota||7,792||3,117||already on||*1,000||0||0||Apr 2||Aug 6|
|Tennessee||37,179||25||0||*3,000||0||0||Apr 3||Aug 20|
|Texas||43,963||61,541||already on||can't start||can't start||can't start||May 27||May 13|
|Utah||500||300||already on||*already on||finished||*already on||Mar 1||Sep 1|
|Vermont||just be org.||1,000||*already on||0||already on||0||Sep 19||Sep 19|
|Virginia||no procedure||*15,168||*150||*already on||0||0||--||Aug 23|
|Washington||no procedure||200||can't start||can't start||can't start||can't start||--||Jul 6|
|West Virginia||no procedure||6,837||5,400||0||0||0||--||Aug 1|
|Wisconsin||10,000||2,000||already on||0||0||already on||Jun 1||Sep 3|
|Wyoming||8,000||9,810||already on||0||*300||0||May 1||Aug 25|
Green on in Ak, Ca, Me, NM, Or, and has *4,500 in Hi. Prohibition: 100 in Ut. Other nationally-organized parties on: Grassrts in Vt.; New Pty in Wis.; Soc. in Ore & *Vt; Wrkrs Wrld in Mi; Prohi. in Tn. "FULL PARTY REQ." is a procedure by which a new party can qualify before it chooses candidates; not every state has such a procedure. "Maybe On" in Reform Party column means there is a qualified party which may join. In some states it is possible to start the full party procedure now, but not the candidate procedure; for these states, the entry refers to the more commonly-used method. * -- entry changed since last issue.
|Dem.||Rep.||Indp. & Misc.||US Tax||Reform||Libt.||Nat Law||Green||other|
|N. Mex.||425,999||258,786||74,514||?||?||?||?||3,631||- -|
|No. Car.||2,197,133||1,291,753||381,083||0||0||1,938||0||0||- -|
The parties in the "Other" column: Alaska Independence in Alaska, Peace & Freedom in California, Populist in Colorado, A Connecticut Party (1,612), Concerned Citizens (81), Independence (19) in Connecticut; A Delaware Party in Delaware; Statehood (4,043) and Umoja (225) in D.C.; Indp. Party in Maine; Populist in Nev.; Conservative (142,528), Liberal (76,411), Right to Life (37,138) and Freedom (1,993) in New York; and New Alliance in Oregon. For dates of these registration tallies, and other notes, see page six. For purposes of comparison, below are shown registration totals for the same parties in the same states, as of October 1994.
|Dem.||Rep.||Indp. & Misc.||US Tax||Patriot||Libt.||Nat Law||Green||other|
|N. Mex.||411,431||243,210||57,404||?||0||900||?||700||- -|
|No. Car.||2,129,159||1,191,878||313,366||0||0||1,472||0||0||- -|
The preceding charts show registration data for those states which tallied such data for at least one third party, in late 1995 or early 1996. Below that, for purposes of comparison, are data for the same states from October 1994.
Specific months for the 1995-1996 tallies are: Ak. Jan. 1996; Az. Jan. 1996; Cal. Oct. 1995; Co. Dec. 1995; Ct. Nov. 1995; Del. Jan. 1996; DC Dec. 1995; Ks. Aug. 1995; La. Jan. 1996; Me. Nov. 1995; Md. Jan. 1996; Nev. Dec. 1995; NM Jan. 1996; NY Nov. 1995; NoC Oct. 1995; Ore. Nov. 1995; Pa. Nov. 1995; Wy. Jan. 1996.
In March, Massachusetts, New Hampshire & South Dakota will release tallies. Florida, Iowa, Kentucky, Nebraska, New Jersey, Oklahoma and West Virginia do not plan to release any registration data for any third parties for several months, if ever.
The Reform Party column includes parties which are allied with the Reform Party but which have not formally affiliated with it. The Maine tally was taken at the very beginning of the Reform Party registration drive there; the final figure was over 34,000, but is disputed, and there won't be a new tally until July 1996.
The US Taxpayers Party column includes the Constitutional Party in Pennsylvania, which is not affiliated with the Taxpayers Party but which is in sympathy with it.
1. ACLU, American Civil Liberties Union, has been for fair ballot access since 1940, when it resolved that petition requirements be no greater than of one-tenth of 1%. 132 W. 43rd St., New York NY 10036, (212)-944-9800.
2. CENTER FOR A NEW DEMOCRACY sponsors lawsuits to permit different parties to nominate the same candidate ("fusion"). 410 7th St. SE, Washington DC 20003, (202)-543-0773.
3. CENTER FOR VOTING & DEMOCRACY, for proportional representation. 6905 5th St., NW #200, Washington DC 20012, (202)-882-7378.
4. COFOE, Coalition for Free & Open Elections. A coalition of political parties and other organizations fighting for civil rights for people who support third parties and independent candidates. Bx 20263, London Terrace Sta., New York NY 10011. (212)-691-0776.
5. COALITION TO END THE PERMANENT CONGRESS, favors more competitive elections for Congress, including easier ballot access. PO Bx 12793, Columbus Oh 43212. (800)-737-0014.
6. COMMITTEE FOR PARTY RENEWAL, Political scientists and others who believe that strong parties are needed for popular control of government. Dr. Bill Mayer, Pol. Sci., Northeastern Univ., Boston Ma 02115, (617)-373-4410.
7. THE DEMOCRACY PROJECT, gathers evidence that the U.S. violates an agreement it signed in 1990, pledging not to discriminate for or against political parties. Bob Waldrop, 1417 NW 21st St., Oklahoma City Ok 73106, tel. (405)-521-8831.
8. FOUNDATION FOR FREE CAMPAIGNS & ELECTIONS, Funds lawsuits which attack bad ballot access laws. Donations are tax-deductible. Write Richard Winger, 3201 Baker St., San Francisco Ca 94123.
9. ROSS-GREEN ASSOCIATES, professional lobbyists who are committed to improving conditions for third parties and independent candidates. 1010 Vermont, #811, Washington, DC 20036, (202)-638-4858.