Ballot Access News -- August 3, 1999

Volume 15, Number 5

This issue was originally printed on pink paper.

Table of Contents
  1. ALASKA GOP SPONSORS PREFERENCE VOTING INITIATIVE
  2. HEARING ON DEBATE BILL
  3. FEC ON DEBATES
  4. ILLINOIS VICTORY
  5. MIXED MISSISSIPPI INITIATIVE DECISION
  6. "NOTA" IN CALIFORNIA
  7. MASSACHUSETTS LOSS
  8. SAME DAY REGISTRATION BILL DELAYED
  9. PROPORTIONAL REPRESENTATION BILL GAINS A REPUBLICAN
  10. TEXAS HEARING
  11. OTHER LAWSUIT NEWS
  12. FREE ELECTION RETURNS
  13. PRESIDENTIAL PRIMARIES
  14. VIRGINIA 1999 ELECTION
  15. Book Review: AMERICA AT THE POLLS 1998
  16. 2000 PETITIONING FOR PRESIDENT (table)
  17. REFORM PARTY CONVENTION
  18. McREYNOLDS MAY RUN FOR PRESIDENT
  19. SENATOR SMITH QUITS REPUBLICANS
  20. GREEN PRESIDENTIAL CONVENTION
  21. PROHIBITION PARTY NOMINATES
  22. Subscription Information

ALASKA GOP SPONSORS PREFERENCE VOTING INITIATIVE

PROPOSAL EXPECTED TO BE ON NOVEMBER 2000 BALLOT

On July 5, leaders of the Alaska Republican Party submitted a proposed initiative to the Alaska Attorney General, which would provide for "instant run-off voting" (also called preference voting) in all Alaska federal and state elections (except Governor). As soon as the Attorney General finishes reviewing the proposal (probably in early August), the party will begin collecting signatures. Assuming the drive succeeds, the initiative will appear on the November 2000 ballot.

The initiative provides that municipal governments could decide for themselves whether to use instant run-off voting, in local elections.

The Republican Party of Alaska is motivated to back "instant run-off" voting because there is a qualified party in Alaska called the Republican Moderate Party. The Republican Party is concerned that, without some alternative system of voting, the Republican Moderate Party candidates will injure the chances of Republican nominees. In many states, the law does not permit a new party to use any portion of the name of a previously-existing party. But in Alaska, the law merely says that a new party's name can't be so similar to the name of an old party "as to confuse or mislead the voters", so both parties are on the ballot.

Instant run-off has never been used in state general elections in the U.S., but it was used in several southern states for primaries in the 1910 decade. It allows voters to place a number next to the name of several candidates for a single office, e.g., "1" for the voter's favorite candidate, "2" for the next-favored candidate. If the voter's first choice is eliminated in the first count, the voter's second choice is then counted. Instant run-off voting would be a great asset for minor parties, since it would eliminate the voter's fear of "wasting" a vote.


HEARING ON DEBATE BILL

On July 13, the House Administration Committee held a hearing on HR 2027, by Congressman Ron Paul, 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.

Although the committee has not taken any action to advance the bill, it is a good sign that a hearing was held, only a month after the bill was introduced. In the past, it was impossible to get any hearing on any of the congressional bills which had been introduced to help minor party and independent candidates. At the hearing, Congressman John A. Boehner (R-Ohio), who was presiding, and Congressman Steny Hoyer (D-Md), both said that they tended to agree with Paul's general observations about public dissatisfaction with the current election system, although neither of them expressed support for the debates bill.

Congressman James Traficant (D-Oh) introduced HR 2461 on July 1. It is similar to HR 2027, except that it is more lenient (instead of 40 states, the candidate must be on in states with a majority of the electoral college).


FEC ON DEBATES

Almost 1,000 people commented on the proposal that the FEC set objective criteria as to whom should be invited into general election presidential debates. The FEC will soon decide whether to act on the idea. The Commission on Presidential Debates asked the FEC not to act. When the FEC makes the public comments available, B.A.N. will report on the Commission's argument. Attempts to get a copy of the Commission's statement from the Commission itself were unsuccessful.


ILLINOIS VICTORY

On July 7, U.S. District Court Judge Elaine Bucklo, a Clinton appointee, ruled that Illinois must let people circulate petitions for candidates, even if the circulators are not registered. Krislov v Rednour, 96-cv-674 (n.d.).

The state is appealing. In the meantime, since Illinois has no separate law mandating that petition circulators must be residents of the state, any adult may circulate a petition for a candidate, whether it be a candidate running in a primary, or a petition to qualify a slate of new party candidates.

The decision was based on the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling earlier this year in Buckley v American Constitutional Law Foundation, invalidating a Colorado law which required initiative petitioners to be registered voters. Judge Bucklo pointed out that Chief Justice William Rehnquist, who dissented, had said that there would now be no basis for states to prevent unregistered voters from circulating petitions for candidates.

Besides Illinois, other places which have laws requiring that petitions for new parties and candidates may only be circulated by registered voters are California, Colorado, Connecticut, the District of Columbia, Kansas, Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming. States which repealed their requirements since the U.S. Supreme Court decision are Arizona and Idaho.

(See this errata regarding the above list of states.)

Related Case

In New York, Schuloff v State Board of Elections, cv99-3387, federal court, Brooklyn, challenges a law that only members of a party can circulate primary petitions. A decision from Judge Jack Weinstein is likely in August.


MIXED MISSISSIPPI INITIATIVE DECISION

On July 9, U.S. District Court Judge William Barbour, a Reagan appointee, upheld Mississippi's law that initiative petitioners must be residents of the state. However, he ruled that the law, which passed in 1998, can't be enforced against an initiative which was already in circulation. Kean v Clark, 3:98-cv-516.

The initiative in question is for term limits on state legislators. The Mississippi legislature was so eager to stop the initiative, they wrote the restriction on who can petition, and added into the law this sentence, "The provisions of this subsection shall be applicable to all initiative measures that have not been placed on the ballot at the time this proposed amendment is ratified." If this language had been upheld, the precedent would have been set that the legislature can change the petitioning rules in the middle of a petition drive, thus invalidating signatures collected before the law had existed!

The portion of the decision upholding the requirement that petitioners must be state residents is disappointing. Even though the decision is 41 pages long, the judge upheld the restriction without explaining why. He merely said, "The Court finds that the State demonstrated that the circulator residency requirement does not unnecessarily burden free speech and that it is narrowly tailored to achieve the compelling interest of the State in policing the ballot initiative process more precisely than a voter registration requirement."

Presumably, the requirement is needed to make it easier to locate any petitioner who commits fraud. Of course, even someone who was a resident while petitioning is free to leave the state after he or she has finished. However, the plaintiffs don't plan to appeal, since their initiative will appear on the ballot.


"NOTA" IN CALIFORNIA

The voters of California will vote on an initiative in March 2000, which would add "none of the above" to all primary and general election ballots.


MASSACHUSETTS LOSS

On July 16, the Massachusetts Supreme Court issued an opinion that petition sheets with any extraneous markings, doodles, or margin notes, are automatically invalid. Walsh v Secretary of the Commonwealth, SJC-07986. The immediate result of the decision is to disqualify an initiative petition on funding for religious schools.

Even the defendant Secretary of State had urged the court to permit some types of markings. The Secretary furnishes blank petition forms to candidates and initiative groups, but the law permits groups to photocopy blank forms as well. Due to imperfect copying procedures, sometimes some of the copied sheets have a small amount of material at the top or the bottom "chopped off", resulting in irregular margins, or perhaps one less signature line than on the original form. These are called "copying errors", and the Secretary argued that these are fatal defects.

The Secretary also argued that any "graffiti" or highlighting of certain words in the text of an initiative (done to encourage voters to sign, by making certain points more obvious), should also invalidate that sheet.

But the Secretary argued that miscellaneous entries written on the margins of petition sheets, such as telephone numbers, dates, initials, check marks, etc., should not disqualify petition sheets. However, the Court said even these minor entries do invalidate an entire petition sheet.

To the objection that individuals hostile to a petition drive might have access to some sheets, and deliberately make miscellaneous marks in the margin in order to sabotage them, the Court added a footnote that "criminal penalties for such actions are a sufficient deterrent".

Since the decision affects candidate petitions, and since all major party as well as minor party candidates must petition in order to get on ballots, activists hope that the legislature will undo the mischief, and pass a bill to reverse the court's interpretation of existing law. To help, contact David Hudson at tdh@world.std.com


SAME DAY REGISTRATION BILL DELAYED

Congressman Bill Luther (D-Minn) will not introduce his bill to mandate same-day voter registration (for federal elections) until September, since he wants Governor Jesse Ventura to appear at the press conference announcing the bill, and scheduling conflicts prohibit this until September.


PROPORTIONAL REPRESENTATION BILL GAINS A REPUBLICAN

HR 1173, the bill by Congressman Mel Watt (D-N.C.) to let states use alternate voting systems to elect members of the U.S. House, has gained its first Republican co-sponsor, Tom Campbell of California. The bill now has 14 co-sponsors. It lost a co-sponsor when George Brown of California died last month.


TEXAS HEARING

On July 16, a hearing was held in federal court in Austin, over whether Texas must permit a party (which is too weak to qualify for the statewide ballot) to qualify in a single U.S. House or state legislative district. Holmes v Gonzales, A-98-ca-600SS. The lawsuit had been brought by the U.S. Taxpayers Party last year, and injunctive relief was denied, but only now is the court pondering the merits of the case. The case is before Judge Sam Sparks, a Bush appointee.

Texas already permits a party (which is not qualified statewide) to qualify in a single county. But such a party can't qualify in a single congressional or legislative district. After state elections officials had been on the stand for an hour, explaining why such access should be denied, Judge Sparks said, "I don't want to seem rude or disrespectful, but all the concerns you've presented are silly."

Texas had argued that, since state legislators act for the entire state, no party should be permitted to run candidates for the legislature unless it is a statewide party. However, the state had no rationale as to why a party should be kept off the ballot in just a single U.S. House seat. A decision is expected during August.


OTHER LAWSUIT NEWS

1. Arizona: on June 29, initiative proponents asked the U.S. Supreme Court to hear Stone-Finch v Prescott, Arizona, no. 99-46, over whether a government can thwart a chance to circulate a referendum petition by declaring that an emergency exists (when the evidence shows that there is no emergency). The 9th circuit had ruled against the referendum.

2. California: on July 8, the State Supreme Court invalidated Proposition 225, which had mandated the label "Disregarded Voters' Instruction on Term Limits" on ballots for candidates who had not supported congressional term limits. Bramberg v Jones, S076784.

California (2): on July 8, a State Appeals Court ruled that petitioners can be banned from parking lots of large stores. Trader Joe's Company v Progressive Campaigns, A083723. Previous court decisions had interpreted the state Constitution to require shopping centers to permit petitioning, on the theory that shopping centers are the modern-day equivalent of public spaces; but the court in this case differentiated between shopping centers and stand-alone stores.

3. District of Columbia: there is still no decision in Turner v D.C. Board of Elections, 98-2634, the case over whether Congress may forbid the District from counting the votes for or against the initiative to legalize medical marijuana. However, one of the appropriations bills in the current congress repeals the ban, so the case is likely to become moot. The initiative was on the ballot last year and the votes still haven't been counted.

4. Maryland: the Libertarian Party is about to file a lawsuit to stop the State Election Board from changing all the registered Libertarians to independents. The Board perversely doesn't take such action when a qualified party loses its spot on the ballot; instead, it waits until the party has re-qualified. The party re-qualified a few months ago and is eager to retain all its registrants, since if it can increase its registration to 1% of the total, it will remain on the ballot permanently.

5. Michigan: on July 23, the Green and Labor Parties filed a lawsuit in federal court in Detroit against state law which makes it impossible for a party to qualify in a single county or city. Green Party of Michigan v Miller, 99-73669.

6. New York: there will be a hearing on September 3 in the State Supreme Court, Appellate Division, in Essenberg v Kresky, 3299/99, an intra-party dispute in the Independence Party (the New York unit of the Reform Party). A large majority of the party's State Committee wishes to alter the nomination rules of the party, but the State Chairman, Jack Essenberg, refuses to place that item on the agenda. Under the existing rules, Essenberg has great leeway to give the party's endorsement to various Republican and Democratic candidates, even against the wishes of most party officers and members.

New York (2): On July 2, the 2nd circuit upheld state law which makes it impossible for independent voters to vote in a partisan primary. Shea v Berman, 98-9337. None of the eight qualified parties in the state desire that independent voters vote in their primaries.


FREE ELECTION RETURNS

Two federal agencies recently published free booklets containing election returns for 1998. The Federal Election Commission issued Federal Elections 98, which is available by calling the FEC at 800-424-9530. It is 130 pages, and has returns for both houses of congress, primaries and general elections alike. It has national totals for all Democratic and Republican candidates, but no such totals for other parties.

Web note: The FEC document is available on the net at http://www.fec.gov/pubrec/fe98/cover.htm (this is the cover page; click on it to get the table of contents).

The Clerk of the U.S. House of Representatives has issued Statistics of the Congressional Election of Nov. 3, 1998. It is 51 pages long and has the general election returns only. At the back, it has charts which show the total vote cast in the nation for every party's nominees, for each House of Congress. The Clerk can be reached at 202-225-7000; or ask your member of Congress to obtain a copy for you.

Web note: The Clerk's document is available on the net at http://clerkweb.house.gov/histrecs/history/elections/elections.htm (select the year and document format you prefer from the table).


PRESIDENTIAL PRIMARIES

Provisions concerning 2000 presidential primaries continue to change:

1. Michigan: SB 51, moving the primary to February, was signed June 28.

2. New Hampshire: HB 399 was signed June 29. The Secretary of State already had authority to set the date of the primary, but previously it had to be in the calendar year of the presidential election. Now, even that restriction is eliminated. The Secretary of State is so secretive about his plans, he not only hasn't announced the date, he won't even hint as to when he will announce it.

3. New York: A8870 was signed June 29. It alters the number of signatures needed for Republican presidential candidates. Formerly they needed 1,250 signatures from each congressional district (or 5% of the registered Republicans, if that is a smaller number). Now they need 5,000 signatures on a statewide petition and .5% on separate district petitions (but never more than 1,000). Since there are about 3,000,000 enrolled Republicans in the state, about 15,000 signatures will be needed on district petitions, compared to 35,000 previously.

4. Oregon: SB 369, moving the primary from March to May, passed the legislature on July 21. The Governor has said he will sign it.

4. Virginia: SB 1287, signed April 13, restores the state's voluntary presidential primary. It requires 10,000 signatures from candidates (with 200 from each congressional district). New York and Virginia are the only two states with rigorous petition requirements for presidential primary candidates; most states place them on the ballot automatically if they are discussed in the media, or if they pay a filing fee.


VIRGINIA 1999 ELECTION

Virginia elects its state legislature this year. There are four Libertarians, two Greens, at least one Reform Party candidate, one U.S. Taxpayers Party candidate, and one American Party candidate, among the 140 races.


Book Review: AMERICA AT THE POLLS 1998

Editor: Everett Ladd

America at the Polls 1998, published 1999 by the Roper Center for Public Opinion Research, University of Connecticut. 167 pages, paperback. $34.95, plus $4.95 shipping. Send orders to The Roper Center, 341 Mansfield Rd., U-164, Storrs CT 06269-1164, or telephone 860-486-4440.

This book, third in a series (the others are 1996 and 1994), is both a databook about all aspects of the 1998 elections, and a series of essays by pollsters and political scientists about that election. The book has 7 chapters. The first chapter is an essay, "The 1998 Vote: Gauging Mid-Term Political Performances".

Chapter 2, "The '98 Election Story in the Numbers", is composed entirely of charts, on these subjects: "Election Box Score" (numbers of Democratic and Republican victors for each house of congress and governorships, for each of the last three election), "Summary Results 1992-1998" (listing members of congress who retired, were defeated, or ran for other office); "State legislative results" (telling the total number of Republican and Democratic state legislators in each of the previous 4 elections); "Popular Vote for US House, 1932-1998" (no totals, just a graph and a percentage table); "Party Shares of Seats in the US House, 1932-1998" (giving the number of seats won by Democrats and Republicans); several charts breaking down the information by region; similar charts for governorships; 1998 election totals for each candidate for US Senate and governor; tables showing which party controls each legislative chamber; a chart on the number of close elections to the US House; charts on US House races with only a single major party candidate; charts on the number of women in state legislatures and in Congress, 1976-1998; a chart on African Americans in Congress, 1976-1998.

Chapter 3, "America's Views and Mood in Campaign '98" consists of essays about public opinion on various issues, followed by poll data itself.

Some of the data is by state, so that it is possible to conclude that President Clinton's performance is most admired in Rhode Island and New York, and least admired in Utah and Idaho.

Chapter 4 presents exit polling data to illustrate the 1998 vote by demographic group, including religion, age, education, union membership, ideology, partisan connection, income, region, and sex, and various combinations of those variables. It also includes this type of data about seven particular U.S. Senate races (Pa, NY, Oh, Il, Ga, Fl & Ca) and nine particular gubernatorial races (NY, Pa, Oh, Il, Mi, Ga, Fl, Tx & Ca), as well as a little bit of data on all of the other Senate and gubernatorial races. The chapter ends with several more essays.

Chapter 5 is about initiatives. It includes an essay by Dane Waters, head of the Initiative & Referendum Institute, and a list of all 1998 initiatives, by subject, and results for each one.

Chapter 6 is an analysis of campaign spending in 1998, based on data from the Center for Responsive Politics covering both state and federal elections. Among the tables is one showing the top spenders in each House of Congress in 1998, and whether each won or lost (of the top twenty spenders, eight lost). Chapter 7 is a summary essay, "The Party System".

The book is clearly useful, for anyone who wishes to have this type of detailed information on hand. However, it could have been better if the contributors had been more interested in independent candidates and minor parties.

In 1998, the Reform Party became the first nationally-organized minor party to elect a governor since 1916; and the Libertarian Party became the first minor party since 1948 to poll as much as 1% of the national vote for U.S. House. There are minor party or independent members of state legislatures in 11 states (California, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, New Hampshire, Oregon, Rhode Island Vermont and Virginia).

Polling data presented in the book itself shows that 35% of the public identifies itself as "independent" (versus 32% who self-identify as Democrats, and 30% as Republicans). Therefore, one would expect that the data would include information about support for minor parties and independent candidates.

Instead, most of the book's data ignores or mis-identifies minor party and independent candidates. A chart on page 10 says there were 230 Republican members of the US House in 1994, and 204 Democrats, but has no reference to independent Bernie Sanders. Another chart on the same page says there are two "independent" governors, when actually there is one independent governor and one minor party governor (in Maine and Minnesota). The "State Legislative Results" chart on page 11 only gives the number of Democratic and Republican state legislators, and omits the others (currently there are 20 minor party or independent state legislators). The chart on page 12, "Popular Vote for US House" only shows the total percentage of the vote cast for Republicans and Democrats, but no data for the percentage of the vote cast for other candidates.

Fortunately, the 1998 gubernatorial and US Senate election returns do include minor party and independent candidates (the book has no data for individual US House races).

The worst error in the book is a chart on page 27, which says "In 40 House Seats, Only One Major Party Nominated a Candidate". Actually there were 94 such races in 1998.

The book's disinterest in minor parties is also shown by the fact that it has essays on 9 gubernatorial 1998 contests, but not Minnesota's. When one remembers that both TIME and Newsweek planned to put Jesse Ventura on their covers for the post-election issue (Speaker Newt Gingrich's decision to quit, announced the Friday after the election, put him on the covers instead), the omission of the Minnesota race is inexplicable. Also, the concluding essay on the party system makes no reference whatever to minor party or independent candidates or voters.


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 *46,000 0 0 0 0 July 3
Alaska (reg) 6,606 #2,410 already on already on *1,300 0 already on June 1
Arizona 13,565 *es. #9,500 already on 0 *17,000 0 0 May 20
Arkansas *undetermined #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 *30 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 *finished 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 *7,000 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 *500 0 Mar 14
Nebraska 5,453 2,500 already on 200 *100 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 *4,000 *900 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 3,000 0 0 0 May 18
North Dakota 7,000 1,000 0 already on 0 0 0 Apr 4
Ohio 33,543 #5,000 *55,000 *2,500 *45,000 0 0 Nov 7,'99
Oklahoma 43,680 36,202 *3,000 0 0 0 0 June 1
Oregon 16,663 13,755 already on *400 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 *400 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. Peace & Freedom in California has 74,000 registrants. The Mountain Party in West Virginia has 1,100.


REFORM PARTY CONVENTION

The Reform Party held a national convention in Dearborn, Michigan, July 23-25. Jack Gargan of Florida was elected Chair with 213 votes, defeating Patricia Benjamin of New Jersey, the current vice-chair, with 135. For vice-chair, Gerald Moan, of Michigan, associated with the pro-Perot forces, defeated Lenora Fulani of New York 180-150. Jim Mangia, an associate of Fulani's, was re-elected Secretary.

(See this errata regarding Moan's home state.)

Pre-convention disputes between different factions of the party in New Jersey and Connecticut were settled, and the lawsuit between two New Jersey factions will be dropped.

The results of a straw poll for president were: Ross Perot 22.4%; Donald Trump (New York real estate developer) 17.5%; Pat Choate (the party's 1996 v-p candidate) 12.9%; Lowell Weicker 8.4%; David Boren 5.7%; General Colin Powell 4.6%; Jesse Ventura 3.4%; Pat Buchanan 2.7%; others 22.4%.

The convention ran out of time before deciding when and where the 2000 convention will be. The national committee will make the decision, probably this month.

Last year, the party adopted a rule that individuals who are seeking the party's nomination must qualify for the general election ballot as independent candidates, in states in which the Reform Party isn't already on the ballot. No credit is gained if a potential presidential candidate instead sponsors a petition to qualify the party itself. The rule thus has the effect of discouraging efforts to qualify the party. The rule will also result in duplicative petitioning, and candidates who seek the nomination by complying with the rule, but who aren't chosen, will have wasted the money spent in petitioning. This year's convention made a minor change in the rule, but otherwise retained it.

The party plans to choose its next presidential candidate by a nationwide, privately-financed mail ballot, just as it did in 1996. It will use preference voting.


McREYNOLDS MAY RUN FOR PRESIDENT

David McReynolds is likely to seek the Socialist Party's presidential nomination. He has been a leader of the War Resisters League, and was the party's presidential candidate in 1980. The convention is in October 1999.


SENATOR SMITH QUITS REPUBLICANS

On July 13, U.S. Senator Bob Smith announced from the floor of the Senate that he was leaving the Republican Party, but continuing to run for president. He had appeared on the Larry King Live television show the night before to discuss his decision. For now, he refers to himself as an independent. He isn't up for re-election until 2002.

He may soon announce that he is joining the U.S. Taxpayers Party. If he does so, he will be the first U.S. Senator to be a member of a nationally-organized minor party since 1913-1914, when the Progressive ("Bull Moose") Party had one U.S. Senator, Miles Poindexter of Washington state. Like Smith, Poindexter was never actually elected to the U.S. Senate as a minor party nominee. He had been elected in 1912 as a Republican, before U.S. Senators were elected by popular vote. By the time he was up for re-election again, in 1918, the Progressive Party had ceased to exist and Poindexter was again elected (this time by popular vote) as a Republican.


GREEN PRESIDENTIAL CONVENTION

The Association of State Green Parties plans to nominate a presidential candidate in Denver, Colorado, June 24-25, 2000. Ralph Nader has expressed his willingness to enter the California Green Party presidential primary, which suggests that he will accept the party's nomination, should he receive it. Some Greens are also hoping to persuade film-maker Michael Moore (star of "Roger and Me" as well as a television series) to seek the party's presidential nomination.


PROHIBITION PARTY NOMINATES

The Prohibition Party nominated Earl Dodge for president at its national convention, June 28-30, in Bird-in-Hand, Lancaster Co., Pennsylvania. The vice-presidential candidate is Willard Dean Watkins of Arizona. Dodge defeated Gary Van Horn of Utah by just one vote. The convention prompted a two-page, two-picture story in the July 12 U.S. News and World Report, the most publicity the party has enjoyed since 1967. Dodge was the party's nominee in each of the last four elections.


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