Ballot Access News -- February 1, 2000

Volume 15, Number 11

This issue was originally printed on cream paper.

Table of Contents
  1. U.S. SUPREME COURT TO HEAR CALIFORNIA PRIMARY CASE
  2. SOUTH DAKOTA BILL PASSES
  3. BIG WEST VIRGINIA LOSS
  4. INTERNET PETITIONING
  5. DEBATES COMMISSION SETS OBJECTIVE CRITERIA
  6. GEORGIA BILL GAINS!
  7. LIBERTARIANS SUE NEW MEXICO
  8. NEW ACCESS BILLS
  9. INTERNET VOTING HIT
  10. HIGH COURT UPHOLDS CONTRIBUTION LIMITS
  11. BOOK REVIEW: THE ENCYCLOPEDIA OF THIRD PARTIES IN AMERICA
  12. 2000 PETITIONING FOR PRESIDENT (table)
  13. REFORM PARTY NATIONAL CONVENTION
  14. OTHER REFORM PARTY NEWS
  15. NADER TO ANNOUNCE ON FEBRUARY 7
  16. EBELING DECLINES LIBERTARIAN BID
  17. CONGRESSMAN GOES INDEPENDENT
  18. VERMONT PROGRESSIVE COALITION
  19. Subscription Information

U.S. SUPREME COURT TO HEAR CALIFORNIA PRIMARY CASE

IF PARTIES WIN, BALLOT ACCESS COULD IMPROVE IN 7 STATES

On January 21, the U.S. Supreme Court said it will hear California Democratic Party v Jones, 99-401. This is the case in which the Democratic, Republican, Libertarian and Peace & Freedom Parties all sued to overturn the new California "blanket primary" initiative passed by the voters in 1996. The case will be argued in April and an opinion will be issued no later than July 2000. The Court asked for expedited briefing.

The parties argue that the First Amendment provision on freedom of association gives them the right to decide for themselves who will vote in their primaries. All of the parties have bylaws which say that only party members may choose party nominees. State law disregards these party rules and requires the parties to admit all voters into their primaries.

A group of political scientists who specialize in the study of political parties are expected to file an amicus curiae with the Court, arguing that the political system works better if parties are allowed to decide for themselves whether to let non-members vote in their primaries.

In 1986, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that parties should be allowed to decide for themselves which voters may choose party nominees. However, that case, Tashjian v Republican Party of Connecticut, involved an opposite set of facts. In the Connecticut case, the Republican Party wanted to permit independents to vote in its primaries (although state law forbade it). By contrast, in the California case, the political parties don't want members of other parties voting in their primaries.

The lower federal courts in the California case refused to follow the Tashjian precedent, arguing that whereas the Constitution might give parties a right to expand the types of voters eligible to vote in their primaries, it doesn't work in reverse.

Of course, the four California political parties argue that the U.S. Constitution is neutral on the question of what kind of primary is preferred. The parties say that the guiding principle must be either that the parties may decide this matter for themselves, or that they may not; but it's logically faulty to apply the principle in one situation, and not in the opposite situation.

Ballot Access Implications

If the political parties win the case, and the Court rules that parties do have a right to decide for themselves that only members may choose party candidates, it is likely that ballot access restrictions in 7 states could be overturned in court:

1. Alaska: if a blanket primary may not be forced on political parties without their consent, Alaska will abandon its blanket primary, since three qualified parties (Republican, Alaskan Independence and Libertarian) are already opposed to it. Without a blanket primary, Alaska won't be able to force independent candidates, and candidates of non-qualified parties, to participate in the blanket primary, since there won't be one.

And if independents and unqualified party candidates need not participate in a primary, the early petition deadlines for such candidates cannot be enforced. Alaska once had a June 1 petition deadline for independent and nonqualified party candidates, but it was struck down in a 1988 lawsuit brought by a Libertarian. The legislature then changed the petition deadline to August 1. That deadline was held unconstitutional in a 1990 lawsuit brought by a Green Party candidate (neither party was a qualified party at the time). The legislature then changed the deadline to late August, but later it moved it back to June 1 on the excuse that these candidates should run in the blanket primary held in August.

In the future, with no primary involvement for independent and unqualified party candidates, the excuse for the early deadline (for this kind of candidate) won't exist any longer.

2. Washington: another blanket primary state, in which minor party and independent candidates must run in that blanket primary and may not advance to the general election unless they poll 1% of the primary vote. Under this rule, in place since 1977, no minor party candidate for Governor or U.S. Senator has ever qualified for the general election. If a qualified party in Washington says that it doesn't wish to participate in a blanket primary any longer, the state can't hold one, and then there can't be a primary vote test for minor parties and independents.

The only qualified parties in Washington are Democratic and Republican. The Democratic Party filed a lawsuit in 1979 to escape the blanket primary (it lost). It is not known if either the Democratic or Republican Parties of Washington state are still opposed to a blanket primary.

3. Maine: although this state improved ballot access in 1999, there is still a big problem for qualified minor parties (Reform and Green). The problem is that they can only nominate by primary, and their statewide candidates need 2,000 signatures to get on their own party's primary ballots. Neither party has many more members than that, so it's almost impossible for their members to get on their own primary ballots. But if the Supreme Court says that all parties may decide for themselves who may vote in their primaries, then these parties can pass bylaws that any registered voter may vote in their primaries; and then, logically, any registered voter could sign a petition to get members of these parties on their own party's primary ballot.

If any registered voter could sign the primary petitions, it wouldn't be difficult to get 2,000 signatures.

4. Massachusetts: is similar to Maine, except that the primary petitions for some statewide office require 10,000 signatures of party members or independent voters. If any registered voter could sign (under the scenario in the Maine paragraph above), it would be much easier for small qualified parties to get those signatures (currently, the only qualified parties in Massachusetts are Democratic, Republican and Libertarian).

5. Pennsylvania: provides that a party is "qualified" if it polled slightly more than 1% of the vote in the last election for any of its statewide candidates. Under this lenient standard, the Libertarian and Constitution Parties are currently "qualified". But there is a catch: a qualified party with registration membership less than 15% of the statewide total may not place candidates on the general election ballot unless they submit the same large number of signatures that unqualified parties need.

If the Supreme Court holds that parties may restrict the party nomination procedure so that only party members may choose the nominees, it should be possible to argue that the Pennsylvania scheme for small qualified parties is unconstitutional, since it forces the qualified parties to ask tens of thousands of non-members to participate in nominating the party's nominees.

In 1984 and 1985, Pennsylvania state and federal courts both ruled that it would be unconstitutional for the state to require a party to have any specified minimum number of registrants in order to be considered "qualified". Therefore, the state cannot escape its dilemma by simply revising its laws to require qualified parties to have a large number of registered members. Pennsylvania will probably eventually revert to the system in place before 1986, when all qualified parties were treated equally and were able to nominate by primary.

6. Maryland: is similar to Pennsylvania. Even after a party is "qualified" (by means of submitting a petition signed by 10,000 voters), if it has registration below 1% of the total, it cannot nominate any candidates (except for president) unless it gets tens of thousands of non-members to sign for them. Even though Maryland improved its ballot access laws in 1998, they are still among the most restrictive in the nation.

7. New Mexico: is similar to Pennsylvania and Maryland. Even after a party is "qualified" (by means of submitting a petition signed by one-half of 1% of the last vote cast), if it is a minor party, it must get thousands of non-members to sign for its nominees, in order to nominate them. As in Pennsylvania, a federal court (in 1988) already ruled that it would be unconstitutional to force a minor party to have any specified minimum number of registrants in order to be qualified. So the state cannot escape its dilemma by simply requiring qualified minor parties to have a large number of registered members.

Why the Ballot Access Laws of More States Aren't Implicated

Even if the U.S. Supreme Court rules that parties may control who participates in their candidate selection, and the ballot access laws described above are invalidated, states could still have numerical requirements for ballot access for parties, of course. States could still require an unqualified party to submit a petition signed by non-members, saying that they desire that party to be recognized. This is what most states currently require, and nothing would change for that method.

What would change is that, once a party became "qualified" in a state, the state could no longer place discriminatory ballot access roadblocks in its path.


SOUTH DAKOTA BILL PASSES

On January 25, HB 1011 passed the South Dakota legislature. It repeals the requirement that petitioners (for all types of petitions) must be registered voters. Now any adult may circulate petitions.


BIG WEST VIRGINIA LOSS

On December 30, 1999, a West Virginia state court said that voters cannot sign a petition for a minor party or independent candidate, and then vote in a primary. Giardina v Hechler, 99-c-2058, Kanawha County.

Judge Herman Canady said nothing about the constitutionality of the law; he merely interpreted it. The law doesn't say that voters cannot both sign a petition, and vote in the primary. It only says that petitioners must tell voters that they can't do both; and it also says that there is no penalty for voters who do both.

The case had been brought by the Mountain Party, which is trying to get on the ballot for Governor. The Mountain Party is somewhat similar to the Green Party.

Both the Mountain Party and the defendant Secretary of State had argued that voters can sign a petition and vote in the primary. But the Democratic Party intervened and argued that they can't, and the Democratic Party won the case.

The Mountain Party is appealing to the State Supreme Court. It is also about to file a lawsuit in federal court, alleging that the primary screen-out, combined with the high number of signatures and the May deadline (for office other than president) in combination, is unconstitutional. The 1999 legislature doubled the number of signatures from 1% of the last vote cast, to 2%. The only minor parties already on the West Virginia ballot are the Libertarian Party, which met the vote test in 1996, and the Natural Law Party, which cleverly petitioned before the new law (doubling the number of signatures) went into effect last year.

The Mountain Party federal case will also argue that since the Natural Law Party got on the 2000 ballot with a 1% petition, the state must let other petitioning parties on in 2000 with a 1% petition.


INTERNET PETITIONING

A new company named "Ballot Direct, LLC" has been formed to promote online petitioning. Visit it at http://www.ballotdirect.com/


DEBATES COMMISSION SETS OBJECTIVE CRITERIA

On January 6, the Commission on Presidential Debates finally bowed to the lawsuits, congressional bills, and petitions to the FEC. For the first time, it set objective criteria on whom should be invited into general election presidential debates.

The criteria are so severe, the only minor party or independent presidential candidate who would have met them in the last 60 years would have been George Wallace in 1968. The Commission said candidates must be at 15% in the polls in late September. The Commission didn't name the five polls, but they will be the joint polls sponsored by the major TV networks in partnership with the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal or USA Today.

In 1968, George Wallace was at 21% in the Gallup Poll released September 29, so he would have qualified. In the election, he polled 13.5%.

In 1980 John Anderson was at 13% in a Washington Post poll announced on September 15, and at 14% in a New York Times/CBS poll announced on September 17, so he would not have qualified. In 1980, the League of Women Voters was running the general election presidential debates, and it invited Anderson into the debates. He debated once with Ronald Reagan, but Carter refused to participate. Anderson polled 6.6% in the election.

In 1992, Ross Perot was at 14% in the Washington Post/ABC Poll released on September 29, and at 7% in a CNN/USA Today poll announced on October 2, so he would not have qualified. However, the Commission on Presidential Debates did include him in the debates, and he polled 18.9% in the election.

In 1996, Perot was at 5% in a New York Times/CBS poll announced on October 16. He was not in the debates, and polled 8.4% in the election.

Debates Commission Refuses to Respond to Criticism

The Commission's 15% rule was immediately criticized, on these and other grounds:

1. During primary season 2000, there have been seven Republican presidential primary debates which included all six candidates who are on the ballot in almost all Republican primaries. The press has reported that these debates have been successful. Columnist E. J. Dionne said on January 17, about the primary season debates, "Every one of these candidates -- Bauer, Bradley, Bush, Forbes, Gore, Hatch, Keyes and McCain -- deserves a measure of public gratitude for going through this debate marathon. That much-cited Harvard study, a weekly survey of voter interest in the campaign, suggests citizens may feel this way themselves. The proportion of Americans who said they had thought about the campaign more than tripled -- to 34 percent during this month's debate-heavy week, up from 11 percent the week before... The lesson is that multiple debates work and we should have them this fall."

The obvious success of the 2000 Republican debates has proved that 6-candidate debates can work well. The Commission could have agreed to invite any candidate for who is on the ballot in states containing a majority of electoral votes. Under that criteria, in all United States history, there would only twice have been a debate with more than six candidates (in 1976 and 1980, there would have been seven).

2. As noted above, the Commission itself invited Perot into the 1992 debates, and the League of Women Voters invited Anderson in 1980. Neither would have qualified under the new rules. So, the new rules are actually more restrictive than policy which was in force in the past.

3. Polls in Minnesota's gubernatorial race in September 1998 generally showed Jesse Ventura polling below 15% of the vote. Ventura was invited into the debates anyway, but under the Commission's rules, he would have been barred.

4. The criteria are not specific enough. If five different debates must be averaged to see if a candidate has 15% support, what will happen if an average works out to 14.8%? Would the Commission round up?

Sometimes polls provide data for all voters and "likely voters". Which results count? What happens if the polling companies refuse even to list potential candidates?

The Commission has not responded to any of these criticisms. Instead, it put out its usual boilerplate that there are over 100 candidates for president in 2000. It arrives at this figure by counting every individual who tells the FEC that he or she is running for president. The vast majority of these people do not get on the general election ballot in any state. The Commission's argument is irrelevant.

Various ideas have been proposed to alter the Commission's criteria, such as boycotting Anheuser-Busch, the leading corporate donor to the Commission on Presidential Debates; or encouraging talk-radio call-ins; or construction of a website to make it easy for the public to send messages of support for inclusive debates. At events where major presidential candidates have spoken, members of the Libertarian, Natural Law and Reform Parties have been asking them to agree to inclusive general election debates, should they be the nominee. Alan Keyes has agreed.


GEORGIA BILL GAINS!

HB 672, introduced last year, passed the House Government Affairs on January 25 unanimously. It greatly improves ballot access. Senator Donzella James just introduced the same bill in the Senate, SB 358.


LIBERTARIANS SUE NEW MEXICO

On January 25, the New Mexico Libertarian Party filed a lawsuit in State District Court in Santa Fe, to force elections officials to process registration cards for people who recently registered "Libertarian". The party needs to increase its registration to .3%, in order to maintain its status as a major party. The Secretary of State says some paid workers for the party tricked people into registering with the party, and therefore won't process any new Libertarian registrations. The party had filed in the State Supreme Court earlier, but on January 24 that Court refused to hear the case, Libt Pty v Vigil-Giron, 26156.


NEW ACCESS BILLS

1. Arizona: SB 1372 would let any registered voter sign a petition to place an independent candidate on the ballot, and also let any registered voter (regardless of party) sign to place a candidate on a partisan primary ballot.

2. Mississippi: HB 242 would raise filing fees for state office. Statewide fees would go from $200 to $1,000; legislature from $15 to $350.

3. Nebraska: LB 935 would permit write-ins for president.

4. New Jersey: A110 would require petitions to show the date and place of birth of the candidate. If the candidate were foreign-born, the petition would show the naturalization date.

5. New York: S6350 would place anyone on the presidential primary ballot who qualified for primary season matching funds, with no need for a petition.

6. South Dakota: HB 1231 would move the independent presidential petition deadline from June to August.

7. Tennessee: SB 2149 would let candidates who use the independent petition procedure choose a partisan label, which would be printed on the candidate's petition and on the November ballot.

8. Vermont: H 675 would specify more detailed organizational requirements for minor parties, and would force them to begin their caucus meetings no later than mid-October of the year before the election.

9. Virginia: HB 807 would provide that the state print party labels on the ballot (currently, the state doesn't print any party labels for anyone, except for presidential candidates).


INTERNET VOTING HIT

On January 21, the Voting Integrity Project filed a lawsuit in federal court against the Arizona Democratic Party's presidential primary, on the grounds that it violates the Voting Rights Act. The party plans to try internet voting, but it didn't ask the U.S. Justice Department for permission. Voting Integrity Project v Fleisher, cv 109-PHX-PGR.


HIGH COURT UPHOLDS CONTRIBUTION LIMITS

On January 24, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld Missouri's $1,075 contribution limits to candidates for statewide office, and $275 for legislative candidates. Nixon v Shrink Missouri Government PAC, no. 98-963. The vote was 6-3. The dissenters were Justices Anthony Kennedy, Antonin Scalia, and Clarence Thomas.

Back in 1976, the same Court had upheld $1,000 contribution limits for federal office, but had ruled that expenditures could not be limited unless public financing was in place. Therefore, it wasn't too surprising that the Court again upheld contribution limits. The more significant part of the ruling was that the $275 limit was approved for legislative candidates.

Although the case was not about expenditure limits, advocates of expenditure limits were very pleased that Justice John Paul Stevens wrote separately to say, "The right to use one's own money to fund 'speech by proxy' certainly merits significant constitutional protection; this property right, however, is not entitled to the same protection as the right to say what one pleases." Also, Justice Stephen Breyer wrote, "It might prove possible to reinterpret aspects of Buckley, making less absolute the contribution/expenditure line, particularly in respect to independently wealthy candidates."


BOOK REVIEW: THE ENCYCLOPEDIA OF THIRD PARTIES IN AMERICA

This three-volume set, comprising 816 pages (on paper sized 11" x 8.5") costs $275. It was published last month by M. E. Sharpe of Armonk, NY, (800)-541-6563. Editors are Immanuel Ness and James Ciment.

Sharpe Reference published The Encyclopedia of the Democratic Party and The Encyclopedia of the Republican Party in 1997. The new Encyclopedia completes the set.

Part One contains a historical summary of each of eight eras in U.S. history, an essay on the future of minor parties, and a 24-page history of U.S. ballot access laws.

Part Two contains forty 4-color maps of the United States. Each map shows all 3,000+ counties and is meant to illustrate (for a given minor party or independent presidential candidate) where that candidate polled relatively high and low percentages of the vote. There is a map for every minor party or independent presidential candidate who polled at least 1% of the vote, for all years 1880 through the present. There are also a few maps for significant candidates who didn't poll as much as 1%.

Part Three contains articles about 92 political parties. The bulk of the Encyclopedia, containing 440 pages, is found here. 73 different authors, most of them Political Science or History Professors, contributed to this section. Each entry contains a Bibliography.

Part Four contains short biographies of 175 persons associated with the political parties covered in the book. Finally, there is a Glossary, a Bibliography, and 3 indexes.

Unfortunately, some important minor parties were omitted, such as the National Democratic Party of 1896, William Randolph Hearst's Independence Party of 1906-1908; the Single Tax Party; the Farmer-Labor Party of 1918-1932; the U.S. Labor Party of 1973-1979 (although there is a biographical entry for the party's leader, Lyndon LaRouche); and the Populist Party of 1984-1995.

The biographies in Part Four were modeled on a similar section in the Republican and Democratic Encyclopedias. However, the standards for whom to include in the major party Encyclopedias were objective: Presidents, Vice-presidents, losing presidential nominees, Speakers of the House, Members of Congress, and Governors. By contrast, there is no objective standard for the Biographies in the Third Party Encyclopedia, and the section is badly unbalanced.

However, the imperfections of the work are minor, compared to its overall usefulness. If you want to use the Encyclopedia and you can't afford it, encourage your local public or college library to buy it. Librarians know that M. E. Sharpe is a leading publisher of reference books.


2000 PETITIONING FOR PRESIDENT

STATE REQUIREMENTS SIGNATURES COLLECTED DEADLINE
FULL PARTY CAND. LIB'T REFORM NAT LAW CONSTIT'N GREEN
Alabama 39,536 5,000 *54,000 *3,500 500 *6,500 0 Aug 31
Alaska (reg) 6,606 #2,410 already on already on *already on 1,000 already on Aug 8
Arizona 13,565 es. #9,500 already on *2,000 already on *1,200 0 June 29
Arkansas *21,181 #1,000 1,200 *500 already on *finished 0 Aug 1
California (reg) 86,177 149,692 already on already on already on already on already on Aug 10
Colorado (reg) 1,000 #pay fee already on already on already on already on already on July 10
Connecticut no procedure #7,500 0 already on 0 0 already on Aug 11
Delaware *241 *4,819 already on already on already on already on 160 Aug 19
D.C. no procedure es. #3,500 can't start can't start can't start can't start already on 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 1,000 0 0 1,000 Jul 11
Hawaii 602 #3,703 already on *100 *900 *already on already on Sep 7
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 June 26
Indiana no procedure #30,717 already on 0 0 *100 0 Jul 17
Iowa no procedure #1,500 0 *300 *200 *1,800 0 Aug 17
Kansas 14,854 5,000 already on already on *17,000 already on 0 July 31
Kentucky no procedure #5,000 already on already on 0 *300 0 Aug 30
Louisiana est. (reg) 135,000 #pay fee 691 already on 14 40 89 Sep 5
Maine 21,051 #4,000 0 already on 0 *50 already on Aug 8
Maryland 10,000 es. 26,000 already on 9,000 *need 500 *2,500 2,300 Aug 7
Massachusetts est. (reg) 37,500 #10,000 already on 2,289 59 0 311 July 31
Michigan 30,272 30,272 already on already on already on already on *100 July 19
Minnesota 104,550 #2,000 0 already on 0 already on 0 Sep 12
Mississippi be organized #1,000 already on already on already on already on 0 Sep 7
Missouri 10,000 10,000 already on already on already on already on 0 July 31
Montana 5,000 #5,000 already on already on already on *2,800 0 Aug 1
Nebraska 5,453 2,500 already on 200 already on 0 0 Aug 28
Nevada 4,099 4,099 already on 0 already on already on 0 *July 7
New Hampshire 9,827 #3,000 9,500 *3,000 0 finished 0 Aug 9
New Jersey no procedure #800 0 *500 0 *500 *500 July 31
New Mexico 2,494 14,964 already on already on *2,500 *2,200 already on Sep 11
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. 95,000 already on 3,000 *200 0 0 June 30
North Dakota 7,000 4,000 *0 already on *0 *0 *0 Sep 7
Ohio 33,543 #5,000 already on 7,500 already on 5,000 0 Aug 23
Oklahoma 43,680 36,202 *21,000 0 *17,000 0 0 July 15
Oregon 16,663 13,755 already on 900 *19,000 5,000 already on Aug 28
Penn. no procedure *21,739 can't start can't start can't start can't start can't start Aug 1
Rhode Island 15,323 #1,000 0 already on 0 0 0 Sep 7
South Carolina 10,000 10,000 already on already on already on already on 0 Aug 1
South Dakota 6,505 #2,602 2,600 0 0 1,500 0 June 20
Tennessee 24,406 25 0 6,000 0 *2,200 0 Aug 17
Texas 37,381 56,117 already on can't start can't start can't start can't start May 28
Utah 2,000 #1,000 already on *1,500 already on 0 *800 Aug 31
Vermont be organized #1,000 already on *100 *already on *already on 0 Sep 20
Virginia no procedure #10,000 *200 0 0 0 *250 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 already on *200 0 Aug 1
Wisconsin 10,000 #2,000 already on 0 0 already on already on Sep 5
Wyoming 3,485 3,485 already on 0 *300 50 0 Aug 28
TOTAL STATES ON 31 21 *19 *15 12

"Deadline" refers to procedure with the LATEST deadline. * means entry has changed since last issue. # means that candidate procedure allows a partisan label. Other multi-state parties on the ballot: in Florida, the American Reform, Southern, Socialist Workers and Socialist Parties. The Socialist Party has *100 signatures in New Jersey. The Mountain Party has *6,500 in West Virginia.


REFORM PARTY NATIONAL CONVENTION

On December 30, 1999, U.S. District Court Judge Donald Alsup of St. Paul, Minnesota, ruled that he lacked jurisdiction to decide the dispute over where the national convention should be held. Reform Party of Minnesota v Reform Party of the U.S., 99-civ-2053. However, on January 1, new national chairman Jack Gargan took office, and he appointed a new parliamentarian, who ruled a few days later that the November 1999 vote of the national committee, setting the convention in St. Paul, was valid. That national committee vote had been by phone and mail, and national party rules are vague as to whether that qualifies as a "meeting".

The party's national executive committee, which has a majority opposed to holding the convention in St. Paul, then voted to call a physical meeting of the national committee to decide the issue. This meeting will be in Nashville, Tennessee, on February 12. It is the first time in Reform Party history that the national committee has met (except when it has met at national conventions).


OTHER REFORM PARTY NEWS

Pat Buchanan is the only contender for the Reform Party nomination who is actively petitioning. Under party rules, no one may be on the Reform Party mail-in primary ballot, unless he has petitioned either to get the Reform Party on the ballot, or himself on as an independent. Buchanan has just signed contracts with paid petitioning firms to start collecting in Georgia, North Carolina, and Oklahoma, three of the most difficult states.

John B. Anderson, former Congressman and independent presidential candidate in 1980, was placed on the California Reform Party presidential primary ballot on December 30, the last possible day. The Reform Party asked the Secretary of State to list him. Anderson consented, but has not said that he will seek the nomination. Anderson, 77, is Chairman of the Center for Voting and Democracy.

Two Reform Party state conventions recently held straw polls for president. On January 22, Pat Buchanan won in Florida. On January 23, at the Minnesota-Iowa meeting, John Hagelin won.


NADER TO ANNOUNCE ON FEBRUARY 7

Ralph Nader, Green presidential candidate in 1996, is expected to announce on February 7 that he will again seek the party's nomination. He also is expected to say that Winona LaDuke is his choice for vice-president, and that if nominated, he will raise substantial campaign funds.


EBELING DECLINES LIBERTARIAN BID

Last month, Professor Richard Ebeling of Michigan declined to run for vice-president as a Libertarian. The front-runner for the party's presidential nomination, Harry Browne, had tried to persuade Ebeling to run with him.


CONGRESSMAN GOES INDEPENDENT

On January 10, Congressman Virgil H. Goode of Virginia's 5th district said that he will run for re-election as an independent. The 5th district is the south central part of Virginia. In 1998, Goode was elected as a Democrat.


VERMONT PROGRESSIVE COALITION

In December 1999, the Progressive Coalition of Vermont established itself as a qualified minor party, for the first time. The Progressive Coalition has been winning elections in Vermont for a decade. It currently holds three state legislators and the Mayoralty of Burlington, the largest city in the state. However, it has never before qualified as a party. Instead, it has been placing its candidates on the ballot with the independent candidate procedure. Vermont, like most states, permits candidates who use the independent petition procedure to choose a partisan label, which is placed on the November ballot next to the candidates' names; this is how the Progressive Coalition has been operating.

Congressman Bernie Sanders, who always appears on the ballot with the label "independent", plans to continue using that label, even though he is a leader of the Progressive Coalition. However, the Progressive Coalition, which is now the "Vermont Progressive Party" does plan to run a candidate for Governor this year, and perhaps for U.S. Senate as well. It will nominate by 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) 2000 Bob Bickford