|This issue was originally printed on pink paper.|
On April 24, federal judge James Nowlin of Austin, Texas, refused to enjoin a Texas law which is being interpreted to prohibit a qualified party from choosing a presidential candidate who had run in the presidential primary of another party. National Committee of U.S. Taxpayers Party v Garza, civA-96-CA-209JN.
The U.S. Taxpayers Party would like to nominate Pat Buchanan for president, and filed the lawsuit, although Buchanan hasn't said he would accept the nomination. Initially, Nowlin had warned that he would dismiss the case unless he received a letter from Buchanan, stating that Buchanan wants the nomination. In response, the party submitted a letter from Buchanan's campaign manager, saying that Buchanan hasn't made a decision yet. This seemed to satisfy the judge that the case is ripe, and he then ruled that the Texas law is valid. The written opinion was released on April 30 and is ten pages long.
No court had ever before upheld any state law, which tells a qualified party that it may not nominate someone for president who ran in the presidential primary of another qualified party. In fact, Texas and Ohio are the only states which have a "sore loser" law relating explicitly to presidential candidates (also, North Carolina law bars such presidential candidates if they actively campaign in another party's primary).
Nowlin didn't discuss the point that no state may tell presidential electors whom to vote for. If the U.S. Taxpayers Party won the presidential election in Texas, its candidates for presidential elector would be free to vote for Pat Buchanan in December if they wished, even if the party had someone else listed as its presidential candidate on the Texas ballot. Nowlin's failure to address this point was especially telling, since the point had been argued at the hearing, as well as in the briefs.
The party also argued that under the Supreme Court decision U.S. Term Limits v Thornton, states have no power to bar anyone from being a candidate for federal office, if that person meets the qualifications listed in the U.S. Constitution.
Nowlin stated that the "sore loser" law is a "legitimate" law (implying that congressional term limits laws are "illegitimate") and that, therefore, states may have such a law.
Nowlin is a Reagan appointee and has a reputation for letting partisanship influence his decisions.
U.S. History Ignored
The decision makes no reference to U.S. history, although the briefs discussed such history. At seven presidential elections in this century, individuals who ran in the presidential primary of one party, ran in the November election under another banner (including Theodore Roosevelt, Robert La Follette, and John B. Anderson). No state in the past ever barred such candidates from the ballot under a "sore loser" law (except that Lyndon LaRouche was barred in 1992 in Mississippi and South Dakota, although no court reviewed his exclusion).
History is important, because it shows that presidential primaries have existed since 1912, and for the following 80 years, it was customary for presidential candidates to run in such primaries and still run in the general election under other party labels, and no obvious harm was done.
Most historians tend to feel that the 1912 split in the Republican Party (after Theodore Roosevelt was denied the Republican nomination, he formed the Progressive Party and ran as its nominee), was good for the nation's political health, because it enabled the Democrats to win the presidency for the first time in 20 years, thus breaking a Republican monopoly on the White House.
Judge Nowlin also failed to acknowledge that the U.S. Supreme Court said in Anderson v Celebrezze that each state has a diminished interest in ballot access restrictions for president, since a presidential election involves the entire nation. He also failed to acknowledge that, technically, the true candidates in a presidential primary are candidates for delegate to the national convention, not the presidential candidate.
Nowlin wrote that the sore loser law is needed to protect political parties, ignoring the evidence that was presented to him, that the original Texas sore loser law (which applied to all office other than president) was passed in the early 1960's to stifle the development of Texas' Republican Party and to maintain a one-party system. At that time, the Republican Party nominated by convention, after the Democratic Party primary, and the Republicans had started the practice of nominating candidates who had tried and failed to get the Democratic nomination.
It is not obvious that the Republican and Democratic Parties are better off, when dissident factions are prevented from bolting. Some observers of politics believe that the Republican Party would be better off it Buchanan did bolt. Pollster and political scientist Samuel Lubell documented that Harry Truman was helped, in 1948, when the Henry Wallace Progressive Party bolted from the Democratic Party. The Future of American Politics, by Lubell, presents evidence that two million voters who had voted Republican in 1944, returned to the Democratic fold in 1948, because they were fervently anti-Communist, and the Progressive Party's campaign against Truman, gained more votes for Truman than were lost.
The U.S. Taxpayers Party has filed an appeal with the 5th circuit. The party is also preparing to sue Texas over its early petition deadline.
New Hampshire Governor Stephen Merrill signed HB 1161 on April 24. It creates a new procedure, by which a group can petition to become a qualified party. The petition itself doesn't name any candidates. It is due in early August, and if the signatures are valid, the group can then nominate for all partisan office in the state by convention. It takes effect next year. The Reform Party did the work of getting this bill passed.
On April 26, Nebraska's Director of Elections ruled that nationally-organized political parties which hold a national convention, do not need to submit a 2,500-signature petition for the party's presidential candidate, if the party is qualified.
The law itself is internally contradictory, but in the past had been interpreted to mean that a party which submitted a petition to qualify itself by the August 1 deadline, also had to submit a separate petition to put its presidential candidate on the November ballot.
On April 30, a 3-judge federal panel approved new districts for Georgia's legislature. The legislature last month had redrawn the districts, reducing the role of race, and those districts were approved. Johnson v Miller III, cv1:96-040, Sou. Dist.
Jeff Lanier, Georgia Elections Director, has ruled that third party and independent candidates for the legislature this year, can collect signatures from anywhere in the state, regardless of the district boundaries, and no signature will be disqualified because the signer doesn't live in the district.
HB 845, which would have made several substantial improvements in Florida ballot access for third parties, probably will not pass. The legislature adjourns the night of May 3 or very early on the morning of May 4, and the bill has not advanced in the Senate. A companion bill in the Senate, SB 2284, also seems stalled.
On April 17, a 3-judge federal court in Tallahassee overturned Florida's congressional district lines. Johnson v Smith, 94-40025. The basis for the decision is that race was used when the original boundaries were drawn. Judges Roger Vinson and Maurice Paul, Reagan appointees, signed the opinion; Joseph Hatchett, a Carter appointee, dissented.
As a result, a special section of the Florida law, making it easier for third party and independent candidates to get on the ballot for district office in reapportionment years, ought to apply to U.S. House candidates. Sec. 99.09651 says "In a year of apportionment", third party candidates for district office can obtain signatures from anywhere in the state, and need 5,625 signatures each (the formula is 1% of the population of the average district). This is far easier than the normal Florida figure, which would have averaged 8,500 this year. The basis for this provision is that since the district boundaries weren't known for part of the petitioning period, it wouldn't be fair to apply the normal requirements.
But this year, the Secretary of State says that 99.09651 doesn't apply, because, even though the districts are being redrawn, this is not a year of "apportionment". The Secretary of State says "apportionment" means the process by which Congress re-allocates the number of House seats to which each state is entitled, and that isn't happening this year.
This interpretation is absurd, since 99.09651 says "In a year of apportionment, any candidate for Congress, state Senate, or state House of Representatives...". Clearly, since the statute refers to state legislative seats as well as Congress, it doesn't mean "allocation". Also, the law exists to solve a problem in years in which normal petitioning cannot be carried on, so why make an artificial distinction which has no bearing on the law's purpose?
The Natural Law Party, which has a strong candidate for the U.S. House in Florida, will attempt to persuade the Secretary of State to change her mind, and may sue if necessary.
Early this year, Reform Party petitions were rejected in Ohio, Maine and Arkansas. Since then, Ohio and Maine have recognized that the party had enough signatures, and the party is on the ballot. The party is now fighting in Arkansas. It has turned in additional signatures (past the legal deadline) and has amended its lawsuit to argue that the January petition deadline is unconstitutional. Citizens to Establish A Reform Party in Arkansas v Priest, 96-cv-185. The party also filed a lawsuit in state court over whether its original petition had enough valid names.
Judge William Wilson, who had the case, has disqualified himself because his law clerk signed the party's petition. Judge George Howard, a Carter appointee, now has the case.
1. Minnesota: Both sides are asking the U.S. Supreme Court to hear McKenna v Twin Cities New Party, the 8th circuit lawsuit which was won earlier by the New Party.
On April 2, Minnesota Governor Arne Carlson signed SB 2720, which legalizes fusion. However, the law states that if the U.S. Supreme Court reverses the 8th circuit decision, the law is automatically repealed.
2. New Mexico: On April 2, the Green Party filed a lawsuit in federal court to legalize fusion. Green Party of NM v Gonzales, 96-cv-439. The case was assigned to Judge Bruce Black, a Clinton appointee who, on April 15, refused to issue a preliminary injunction against the law which bars fusion.
3. Pennsylvania: On March 28 there was a hearing in the 3rd circuit in Patriot Party v Allegheny County, 95-3385, over whether the state can constitutionally let major parties cross-endorse, but deny the same treatment to qualified minor parties. Judges were Max Rosenn, a Nixon appointee who seemed predisposed in favor of the Patriot Party; Morton Greenberg, a Reagan appointee who seemed predisposed to uphold the law; and Jane Roth, a Bush appointee who seemed unreadable.
1. Alaska: (See also this update.) the Republican Party will file its appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court by May 10, in O'Callaghan v Ulmer, over the Alaska law which force parties to let members of other parties vote in their primaries.
2. Colorado: On April 15, the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments in FEC v Colorado Republican Federal Campaign Committee, 95-489, over a federal campaign law which limits the amount of money a party can give to its own candidates.
3. District of Columbia: On April 19, federal judge Thomas F. Hogan, a Reagan appointee, struck down $100 contribution limits, which had been passed by the voters in 1994. National Black Police Association v Board of Elections, cv 94-1476-TFH.
4. Georgia: on April 10, the 11th circuit heard arguments in Duke v Cleland, 95-8452, over ballot access to Georgia's presidential primary. The panel included judges Joseph Hatchett and Albert Henderson (Carter appointees), and Richard Mills (Reagan). They seemed somewhat inclined to rule against the state.
5. Hawaii: on April 17, the State Supreme Court ruled that the Libertarian Party 1994 gubernatorial candidate was properly kept off the ballot. In Hawaii, candidates for Governor and Lieutenant Governor are nominated separately at primaries, but run as a joint ticket in November. No one ran for Lieutenant Governor in the Libertarian Party primary and the state refused to let the party nominate one by party convention, so the gubernatorial candidate was also barred. Hirono v Peabody, 94-0592.
6. Louisiana: on April 12, federal judge Frank Polozola ruled that Louisiana may hold congressional elections in October, even though federal law says they must be in November. Love v Edwards, 96-30429. Plaintiffs will appeal.
7. Maine: On April 8, federal judge Morton Brody refused to issue an injunction against term limits for state legislators. League of Women Voters v Diamond, 96-0052-B.
8. Missouri: the U.S. Supreme Court is considering hearing Nixon v Carver, 95-1258, a case involving $100 contribution limits. The 8th circuit had struck down the limits. The case was on the Supreme Court conference on March 29, but the Court was unable to decide on that day whether to hear the case; the matter is still pending.
9. New York: on March 12, the 2nd circuit ruled that plaintiffs (including a Democratic Congressional nominee) lack standing to challenge the current system of campaign finance. Albanese v FEC, 95-6099. An appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court is planned. The decision was signed by Judges Amalya Kearse (Carter appointee), J. Daniel Mahoney (Reagan), and Fred Parker (Clinton).
New York (2): the Republican Party has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to reverse the decision of the 2nd circuit, which struck down Republican Party ballot access rules for the presidential primary. New York Republican Party v Rockefeller, 95-1468.
10. Virginia: on April 16, federal judge Richard Williams dismissed a case filed by the chair of the Republican Party, which sought to bar the state's open Republican primary for U.S. Senate this year. Marshall & McSweeney v Meadows, 3:96-cv-208. The judge stated that the party should have been a co-plaintiff. He also noted that the party itself had chosen to hold a 1996 primary (it could have chosen to use a convention).
1. Alabama: Four bills were introduced this year, to repeal last year's tripling of the number of signatures needed for new parties to get on the ballot. However, the legislature adjourned without even giving the bills a committee hearing.
2. Iowa: HF 2387 would have let minor parties use stand-in candidates on their petitions, for any office. Although the bill passed both houses, the Senate attached a campaign finance provision to the bill, which the House refused to accept; so the bill died on May 1.
The Iowa Director of Elections had already said that presidential stand-ins were permitted, but she had sought to bolster this opinion by placing it in the law.
3. Maryland: SB 330, which would have drastically improved Maryland ballot access for third party and independent candidates, was defeated in the House on April 3, 62-74. The bill will be re-introduced next year.
House Republicans supported it 29-12, whereas Democrats opposed it 62-33, with 5 Democrats not voting.
4. West Virginia: HB 4759, by Representative Mary Compton, and HB 4772, by Representative Peggy Miller, would have eased ballot access procedures for new party and independent candidates, but they never received a hearing and the legislature has adjourned.
SB 1887 passed the Illinois Senate on March 28 and is now in the House Rules Committee. It would close a loophole which has helped third party and independent candidates in the past. Under current law, any petition is deemed to be valid, unless it is challenged. Therefore, it has been possible for petitions with far fewer signatures than are legally required, to be acceptable, if no one bothered to challenge them. But the bill would automatically invalidate petitions which do not have enough signatures. The Illinois Libertarian Party is fighting the bill in the House.
On April 4, Virginia Governor George Allen signed SB 637 into law. Virginia requires parties to certify the names of their presidential and v-p candidates no later than 74 days before the general election (Aug. 23). However, the Democratic convention is August 26-29.
SB 637 provides for a 68 day deadline, but only for 1996, and only for qualified parties which had already announced their national convention date before March 1, 1996. The Reform Party gets no benefit from the bill, since it hadn't set its convention date by March 1.
See this note about tables.
|FULL PARTY||CAND.||LIBT||REFORM||NATL LAW||TAXPAYR||PARTY||CAND.|
|Alabama||36,060||5,000||already on||6,000||*short 2,400||*fin. (indp)||Jul 1||Aug 30|
|Alaska||2,586||2,586||already on||maybe on||*finished||*already on||in doubt||in doubt|
|Arizona||15,062||(es) 8,000||already on||*20,000||*5,500||*4,400||May 21||Jun 30|
|Arkansas||21,506||0||0||in court||*already on||*already on||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||*already on||0||--||Jul 16|
|Connecticut||no procedure||7,500||*120||*2,000||0||*2,200||--||Aug 7|
|Delaware||(reg.) 191||3,828||already on||(reg) 30||(reg) *150||(reg) 180||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||*66,000||*35,000||*1,500||0||Jul 16||Jul 15|
|Georgia||30,036||30,036||already on||*2,000||*50||0||Jul 9||Jul 9|
|Hawaii||4,889||3,829||already on||maybe on||*already on||0||Apr 24||Sep 6|
|Idaho||9,644||4,822||already on||*500||*1,900||600||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||*1,000||0||0||--||Jul 15|
|Iowa||no procedure||1,500||0||0||*1,400||*1,800||--||Aug 16|
|Kansas||16,418||5,000||already on||*9,000||*100||*7,000||Jun 1||Aug 6|
|Kentucky||no procedure||5,000||*3,600||*600||*2,300||*2,500||--||Aug 29|
|Louisiana||0||0||0||*0||0||0||Jun 30||Aug 29|
|Maine||(reg) 25,565||4,000||*finished||*already on||*100||*finished||De 14 95||May 24|
|Maryland||10,000||72,785||already on||*8,000||8,000||16,000||Aug 5||Aug 5|
|Massachsts.||(reg) 34,000||10,000||already on||*800||*2,800||*1,800||Feb 14||Jul 30|
|Michigan||30,891||30,891||already on||*20,000||0||0||Jul 18||Jul 18|
|Minnesota||89,731||2,000||can't start||already on||can't start||can't start||May 1||Sep 10|
|Mississippi||just be org.||1,000||already on||maybe on||already on||already on||Apr 1||Sep 6|
|Missouri||10,000||10,000||already on||*1,500||*1,300||*1,200||Aug 5||Aug 5|
|Montana||10,471||10,471||already on||already on||already on||*50||Mar 14||Jul 31|
|Nebraska||5,773||2,500||already on||*5,000||*finished||0||Aug 1||Aug 27|
|Nevada||3,761||3,761||already on||*3,500||already on||already on||Jul 11||Jul 11|
|New Hampshire||*9,584||3,000||already on||0||0||*1,000||*Aug 10||Aug 7|
|New Jersey||no procedure||800||0||*finished||*finished||*finished||--||Jul 29|
|New Mexico||2,339||14,029||already on||*already on||*already on||*already on||Apr 2||Sep 10|
|New York||no procedure||15,000||can't start||probably on||can't start||can't start||--||Aug 20|
|North Carolina||51,904||*80,684||*79,000||*40,000||*65,000||1,700||May 16||Jun 28|
|North Dakota||7,000||4,000||already on||already on||already on||*finished||De 29 95||Sep 6|
|Ohio||33,463||5,000||400||*already on||already on||*finished||Aug 22||Aug 22|
|Oklahoma||49,751||41,711||*70,000||*36,000||0||*14,000||May 31||Jul 15|
|Oregon||18,316||14,601||already on||maybe on||*750||0||Aug 27||Aug 27|
|Pennsylvania||no procedure||24,425||*4,000||*2,000||*500||*300||--||Aug 1|
|Rhode Island||18,069||1,000||can't start||*0||can't start||can't start||Aug 1||Sep 6|
|South Carolina||10,000||10,000||already on||already on||finished||already on||May 5||Aug 1|
|South Dakota||7,792||3,117||already on||*fin. (indp)||200||*4,500||Apr 2||Aug 6|
|Tennessee||37,179||25||0||*fin. (indp)||*150||0||Apr 3||Aug 20|
|Texas||43,963||61,541||already on||*50,000||*42,000||*19,000||May 27||May 13|
|Utah||500||300||already on||already on||already on||already on||Mar 1||Sep 1|
|Vermont||just be org.||1,000||already on||0||already on||*600||Sep 19||Sep 19|
|Virginia||no procedure||15,168||*1,500||already on||*850||450||--||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||*14,000||*2,000||0||0||--||Aug 1|
|Wisconsin||10,000||2,000||already on||*3,000||0||already on||Jun 1||Sep 3|
|Wyoming||8,000||9,810||already on||3,500||*finished||0||May 1||Aug 25|
|TOTAL STATES ON FOR PRESIDENT||30||10||12||9|
"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" for Reform means there is a qualified party which may affiliate itself with the Reform Party. * -- entry changed since last issue.
See this note about tables.
|FULL PARTY||CAND.||GREEN||WKR WRLD||SOCIALIST||SOC WRKR||PARTY||CAND.|
|Alabama||36,060||5,000||0||0||0||0||Jul 1||Aug 30|
|Alaska||2,586||2,586||already on||0||0||0||in doubt||in doubt|
|Ariz.||15,062||(es) 8,000||*100||0||0||0||May 21||Jun 30|
|Arkansas||21,506||0||0||0||0||0||Jan 2||Sep 15|
|California||(reg) 89,007||147,238||already on||maybe on||0||0||Oct 24 95||Aug 9|
|Colorado||no procedure||0||0||0||0||0||--||Jul 16|
|Connecticut||no procedure||7,500||*100||0||0||0||--||Aug 7|
|Delaware||(reg.) 191||3,828||(reg) 7||0||0||(reg) 3||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||*1,500||0||0||0||Jul 16||Jul 15|
|Georgia||30,036||30,036||0||0||0||0||Jul 9||Jul 9|
|Hawaii||4,889||3,829||*already on||0||0||0||Apr 24||Sep 6|
|Idaho||9,644||4,822||0||0||0||0||Aug 31||Aug 26|
|Illinois||no procedure||25,000||can't start||can't start||can't start||can't start||--||Aug 5|
|Indiana||no procedure||29,822||0||0||0||0||--||Jul 15|
|Iowa||no procedure||1,500||0||0||0||0||--||Aug 16|
|Kansas||16,418||5,000||0||0||0||0||Jun 1||Aug 6|
|Kentucky||no procedure||5,000||0||0||0||0||--||Aug 29|
|Louisiana||0||0||0||0||0||0||Jun 30||Aug 29|
|Maine||(reg) 25,565||4,000||already on||0||0||0||De 14 95||May 24|
|Maryland||10,000||72,785||0||*2,000||0||0||Aug 5||Aug 5|
|Massachsts.||(reg) 34,000||10,000||0||*13,000||0||0||Feb 14||Jul 30|
|Michigan||30,891||30,891||*300||already on||0||0||Jul 18||Jul 18|
|Minnesota||89,731||2,000||can't start||can't start||can't start||can't start||May 1||Sep 10|
|Mississippi||just be org.||1,000||0||0||0||0||Apr 1||Sep 6|
|Missouri||10,000||10,000||0||0||0||0||Aug 5||Aug 5|
|Montana||10,471||10,471||0||0||0||0||Mar 14||Jul 31|
|Nebraska||5,773||2,500||0||0||0||0||Aug 1||Aug 27|
|Nevada||3,761||3,761||500||0||0||0||Jul 11||Jul 11|
|New Hampshire||*9,584||3,000||0||0||0||0||*Aug 10||Aug 7|
|New Jersey||no procedure||800||100||0||*200||*400||--||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||can't start||can't start||can't start||--||Aug 20|
|North Carolina||51,904||*80,684||*200||0||0||0||May 15||Jun 28|
|North Dakota||7,000||4,000||*50||0||0||0||De 29 95||Sep 6|
|Ohio||33,463||5,000||0||*3,000||0||0||Aug 22||Aug 22|
|Oklahoma||49,751||41,711||0||0||0||0||May 31||Jul 15|
|Oregon||18,316||14,601||already on||0||already on||0||Aug 27||Aug 27|
|Pennsylvania||no procedure||24,425||300||0||0||0||--||Aug 1|
|Rhode Island||18,069||1,000||can't start||can't start||can't start||can't start||Aug 1||Sep 6|
|South Carolina||10,000||10,000||0||0||0||0||May 5||Aug 1|
|South Dakota||7,792||3,117||0||0||0||0||Apr 2||Aug 6|
|Tennessee||37,179||25||*30||0||0||0||Apr 3||Aug 20|
|Texas||43,963||61,541||0||0||0||0||May 27||May 13|
|Utah||500||300||*150||0||0||*200||Mar 1||Sep 1|
|Vermont||just be org.||1,000||0||0||already on||0||Sep 19||Sep 19|
|Virginia||no procedure||15,168||*800||0||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||0||0||0||0||--||Aug 1|
|Wisconsin||10,000||2,000||0||0||0||0||Jun 1||Sep 3|
|Wyoming||8,000||9,810||*800||0||0||0||May 1||Aug 25|
|TOTAL STATES ON FOR PRESIDENT||6||1||2||0|
Socialist Equality has 14,000 in Michigan. American is on in Utah. Prohibition is on in Tennessee and has 100 in Utah. Charles Collins (indp.) has 100 in California. * -- entry changed since last issue. Green column includes all parties which support Ralph Nader, including Pacific Party in Oregon and Labor Party in Wyoming.
The Prudence, Action, Results Party is a fully-qualified party in Louisiana, but no one ran in its primary for party office, at the primary in March 1996. Therefore, it has no legal officers, and it cannot arrange for state meetings and it cannot nominate candidates for presidential elector.
The party became qualified in November 1992 because its presidential candidate, Ross Perot, polled over 5% of the vote. It was the only third party that ever enjoyed "qualified" status in Louisiana, since 1972.
Fourteen states print a party logo on ballots (a logo is a picture; the purpose of a logo on ballots is to help voters who can't read). The Republican Party logo in seven states is an eagle. The Democratic Party logo in New Mexico is an eagle. The Reform Party in New Mexico is also using an eagle for its logo. In the other logo states, the Reform Party hasn't decided what its logo will be, but it would like to use an eagle in every logo state.
The Reform Party didn't turn in any signatures to be a qualified party in Hawaii, South Dakota and Wyoming. Instead, the party plans to qualify its presidential candidate as an independent in those states. Also, in Hawaii, it is possible that the Best Party (which is a ballot-qualified party formed in 1994 by former Honolulu Mayor Frank Fasi) might affiliate with the Reform Party. In Tennessee, where the deadline for a new party petition has passed, the Reform Party will continue circulating the party petition and use it to qualify for the 1998 election; for 1996 it will use the independent candidate procedure.
The Reform Party's vice-presidential stand-in candidates are Carl Owenby in some states, and James Campbell in other states. The party still hasn't decided for certain when its national convention will be held. Most observers of the party assume that Perot will be the party's actual presidential candidate. Former Congressman Tim Penny of Minnesota, and former Governor Lowell Weicker of Connecticut, have indicated that will not seek the party's nomination.
The Natural Law Party turned in 17,000 signatures several months ago to gain ballot status in Alabama. At that time, the requirement was 12,020 signatures. Elections officials took so long to check the signatures, that by the time the job was done, the requirement had changed to 36,060 signatures, as a result of the Justice Department's March 22 decision to approve the signature increase.
Alabama says that the party is short 2,400 valid signatures. Although there is time to get more signatures, the state says that since the party didn't complete its petition before the requirement changed, now it is subject to the 36,060-signature requirement. The party plans to sue, citing several uncontradicted court precedents that it violates due process for a state to increase the signature requirement in the middle of the petitioning period.
An outstanding bill was introduced into Congress in 1985, 1987, 1989 and 1993, to outlaw restrictive ballot access laws in federal elections, for third party and independent candidates. Congressman John Conyers (D-Michigan) introduced it the first three times, and Congressman Tim Penny (D-Minnesota) introduced it the last time. Penny is no longer in Congress and Conyers is no longer interested in the bill. Third party activists tried and failed to find a sponsor last year.
Two 1996 Republican congressional nominees, Ron Paul of Texas and Jim Fay of California, have each indicated a willingness to sponsor the bill, if elected. Other major party candidates for Congress should also be asked if they would sponsor or co-sponsor such a bill. For a copy of the 1993 version of the bill, send a SASE to B.A.N.
Charles Collins, the Georgia conservative who ran for president in Republican presidential primaries and who then declared as an independent presidential candidate, has chosen a vice-presidential running mate. She is Rosemary Giumarra of Porterville, California.