Ballot Access News -- May 1, 2000

Volume 16, Number 2

This issue was originally printed on white paper.

Table of Contents
  1. U.S. SUPREME COURT TO HEAR BALLOT LABELS CASE
  2. ALASKA INSTANT-RUNOFF-VOTING VOTE
  3. UTAH CLOSES PRIMARIES
  4. PUERTO RICO STRUGGLE
  5. CALIFORNIA HEARING
  6. TENNESSEE BILL GAINS
  7. NEBRASKA BILL LOSES
  8. MORE LEGISLATIVE NEWS
  9. THREE LAWSUIT LOSSES
  10. OTHER LAWSUIT NEWS
  11. FUTURE LAWSUITS
  12. MEXICO DEBATE
  13. U.S.A. DEBATES
  14. TEXAS OPPORTUNITY
  15. APRIL PRIMARIES
  16. MASSACHUSETTS LIMITS SUBSTITUTION
  17. ARIZONA DEADLINE
  18. 2000 PETITIONING FOR PRESIDENT (table)
  19. HAGELIN GETS MATCHING FUNDS
  20. REFORM PARTY
  21. POLLS
  22. AMERICAN PARTY NOMINATES
  23. CONSTITUTION PARTY LOSES SOBRAN
  24. ARIZONA LIBERTARIANS
  25. Subscription Information

U.S. SUPREME COURT TO HEAR BALLOT LABELS CASE

TERM LIMITS CASE WILL AFFECT BALLOT ACCESS

On April 17, the U.S. Supreme Court said it will hear Cook v Gralike, 99-929, over a Missouri state law (passed by the voters in 1996) which requires "Disregarded voters' instruction on term limits" to be on the ballot next to the names of congressional and legislative incumbents who failed to support a Constitutional Amendment to the U.S. Constitution for congressional term limits. The law also requires that "Declined to pledge to support term limits" be on the ballot for non-incumbents who won't sign a pledge to work for the proposed amendment.

This is only the second time in U.S. history that the Supreme Court has heard a lawsuit about ballot labels. In 1964 the Court had struck down a Louisiana law, requiring that every candidate's race be printed on the ballot (Anderson v Martin, 375 US 399).

The hearing will probably be in November 2000, with a decision in early 2001.

The lower courts had ruled the Missouri law unconstitutional. The 8th circuit had said the law was void for several reasons. One reason was that the 8th circuit felt the law discriminates against candidates who oppose congressional term limits. It quoted the U.S. Supreme Court, which said in U.S. Term Limits v Thornton, "A law is unconstitutional when it has the likely effect of handicapping a class of (congressional) candidates".

The U.S. Supreme Court will probably elaborate on what this means; therefore, ballot access will probably be affected by whatever the Court says. The Georgia ballot access laws are so severe, that in their entire 57-year history, no minor party candidate for the U.S. House has ever appeared on the ballot. A reasonable person would conclude that Georgia's law "handicaps a class of candidates", the class of candidates who are not Republicans or Democrats.

In 1996 or 1998, the voters passed congressional-term-limit label laws, not only in Missouri, but in Alaska, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Idaho, Maine, Nevada, and South Dakota. The laws are still on the books in all of these nine states except South Dakota (the South Dakota legislature repealed it).

Lower courts struck down the label laws in Arkansas, California, Colorado, Idaho, and Maine. In Alaska and Nevada, the Attorney General said the laws were void. If the U.S. Supreme Court upholds the Missouri law, these laws can be revived in those seven states. Also, if the Court upholds these laws, activists will have a new tool to work for amendments to the Constitution.


ALASKA INSTANT-RUNOFF-VOTING VOTE

The Alaska initiative petition to provide for "Instant Run-Off Voting" is finished. The initiative will appear on the November 2002 ballot. This will be the first time in U.S. history that the voters have had a chance to implement an alternate voting system for state and federal elections.


UTAH CLOSES PRIMARIES

On March 17, Utah Governor Mike Leavitt signed HB 44, which changes Utah primaries from "open" to "closed", effective July 1, 2000. Voter registration forms will now ask for the voter's party, and only members of that party will be allowed to vote in that party's primary (except that each party will decide for itself whether to let independents vote).

This year's primary (for office other than president) is June 27. At that primary, elections officials will note which party's ballot each voter chooses, and that choice will result in automatic enrollment of the voter in that party. Qualified parties in Utah are Democratic, Republican, Reform, Libertarian, Constitution, Natural Law, and Independent American.


PUERTO RICO STRUGGLE

Puerto Rico has one of the most restrictive petition procedures of any place under the U.S. Constitution. New parties need a petition signed by 5% of the last gubernatorial vote (currently 97,784 signatures), due by June 1 of an election year. All petitions must be notarized in a 7-day period; only attorneys can carry out the notarization process; and they cannot charge more than $1 for each sheet they notarize. Most attorneys refuse to work for so little money. The notarization requirement has existed since 1978, and in the twenty-two years since, only once has a new party qualified.

The Partido Accion Civil (Civic Action Party) filed a lawsuit in 1998 in Commonwealth Court, alleging the restrictions violate the U.S. Constitution. The local court upheld the law; the party appealed to the Puerto Rico Supreme Court. Meanwhile, the party also filed a lawsuit in federal court. On July 7, 1999, the U.S. District Court upheld the law.

On February 17, 2000, the U.S. Court of Appeals, First Circuit, ruled that the lower court should not have ruled on the case, until the Puerto Rico Supreme Court makes a ruling. Cruz v Melecio, 204 F 3d 14. On February 25, the Puerto Rico Supreme Court upheld the law 6-1. Partido Accion Civil v Estado Libre Asociado de Puerto Rico, AC-1999-20. However, the party asked for a re-hearing, which was granted. On March 31, the new hearing, lasting two and one-half hours, was held. A new decision is expected soon.

In the meantime, H. 2438 is pending in the Puerto Rico legislature, to lower the number of signatures to 4%; extend the notarization period from 7 to 15 days; and let employees of the State Electorate Commission carry out the notary work. The legislature sits until May 30.


CALIFORNIA HEARING

On April 24, the U.S. Supreme Court heard Calif. Democratic Party v Jones, 99-401. The issue is whether the Constitution's freedom of association clause protects political parties from being forced to let outsiders help choose their nominees. Major newspapers gave prominent coverage to the case, and reported that the parties seem likely to win the case. A decision is due by July.

Several justices who have been unfriendly to minor parties in the past, showed sympathy for them at this hearing. Generally, these statements were in response to arguments of the state's attorney, Thomas Gede, who said, "Ballots aren't for expression. They're to get people elected to office."

Past decisions of the U.S. Supreme Court, and writings of political scientists, do not agree. Elections have several key functions, and one of them is the dissemination of new ideas, with an opportunity for "feedback" to those ideas, from the voters. If Gede were correct, of course, it would be legitimate to exclude all parties without a serious chance to win an election. But in response to his statement, Justice Antonin Scalia said, sarcastically, "We should just drive out all those parties that don't stand much of a chance. I mean, I don't know why you even let the 2% parties in. They're just there to try to disseminate their ideas."

Chief Justice William Rehnquist chimed in, "But suppose the voters, or the legislature, say, there are some parties that are so far out we're just going to outlaw them? I mean, surely they couldn't do that."

Justice Stephen Breyer also showed an interest, and was the first justice to ask Gede about the state's response to minor party concerns. He asked, "I'd like to hear what you have to say about what I think of as the Libertarian Party problem... What they're saying is that they might find themselves with a candidate for Governor who may just reflect random factors, nothing to do with the Libertarian philosophy. What are we suppose to do about that"?

Gede responded, "The burden is no different for them than it is for a major party. If their interest is in getting somebody elected to office, this is an opportunity for them. They get more support. They have a platform for greater visibility. They have the opportunity to appeal to a broader constituency."

Breyer persisted, "But as they see it, they say, here we have a party that's committed to an ideal, and if we can stay committed to it, we will, in fact, eventually persuade people. But we cannot stay committed to that ideal when, because of random considerations, basically, we find ourselves saddled with a gubernatorial candidate who may not even share that ideal, and all of the compelling reasons you've given really have nothing to do with us, say the small parties."

Gede's response showed no appreciation for Breyer's point. He said, "If they're solely there for an expressive purpose, then why are they doing that at public expense on a public ballot? The elections are not solely for expression."

Justices Scalia, Rehnquist, and Breyer, in the past, have generally been unfavorable to minor parties. All three voted against minor parties in the debates case in 1998, and the fusion case in 1997. Scalia was the only justice who voted against minor party ballot access in a 1992 Illinois case brought by the Harold Washington Party. And both Scalia and Rehnquist voted against write-in space on ballots, in another 1992 case (Breyer wasn't on the court in 1992). So, their positive comments in this case are encouraging, not just for the outcome in this case, but for any future cases which might involve minor parties.

Justice John Paul Stevens asked George Waters, the attorney for the parties, whether the record shows that a large number of non-members choose to cast a primary vote in primary contests of minor parties. Waters (who spoke first, before Gede) responded that minor party members are outnumbered in their own party's primaries. This point was, of course, helpful to the discussion which followed. Stevens has always been pro-minor party.


TENNESSEE BILL GAINS

SB 2149 and HB 2594, identical bills to let candidates who use the independent candidate procedure, choose a partisan label (to be printed on petitions and on the November ballot), have passed out of committees and may receive a floor vote during early May.

Tennessee has extremely easy procedures for independent candidates (only 25 signatures, no matter what office is being sought), but very difficult procedures for new parties. Consequently, minor party candidates always use the independent procedure, but then the name of their party never appears on the ballot next to their names. The bills would correct that problem.

On March 16 the Senate approved an amendment which bars labels for independents, unless the label is the name of a party which placed in the top five, at the last presidential election. Consequently, as the bill is now written, it will be of help in 2000 only to candidates of the Reform, Green and Libertarian Parties.

An even more restrictive amendment, to only permit labels which match the name of a party which polled 5% for president at the last election, has been abandoned. That amendment would only have helped Reform candidates.


NEBRASKA BILL LOSES

LB 935, which would have legalized write-ins for president, failed to pass before the legislature adjourned. It had passed committee and had so little opposition, it had been placed on the consent calendar. However, one Senator, who was angry that the Governor had vetoed his bill to make the office of Attorney General non-partisan, then objected to consideration of other "consent" election law bills, so none of them passed.

Another Nebraska bill which failed to pass, LB 1179, would have restored winner-take-all elections for presidential electors. Currently, each Nebraska congressional district elects its own elector, which means that it's possible for the state's electoral vote to be split. Maine has a similar law.


MORE LEGISLATIVE NEWS

1. Arizona: on April 13, Governor Jane Hull signed SB 1372, which lets any voter sign independent candidate petitions. Previously, members of qualified parties couldn't sign.

2. Idaho: H476, which would have let a qualified party cancel its own presidential primary, failed to pass. It had been initiated by the Reform Party.

3. Kentucky: on March 8 the Senate passed HB 350, moving the primary from May to August. However, the House refused to concur, so it died.

4. New York: S7418, which would put Republican presidential candidates on the primary ballot automatically if they receive primary matching funds, and require only 5,000 signatures of other Republican presidential candidates, passed the State Senate on April 19.

5. Vermont: H199, to provide for instant run-off voting, failed to pass.

6. Virginia: Governor James Gilmore signed HB 4 on April 6. Effective in 2001, it allows party labels on general election ballots for candidates for all office, but only for the qualified parties (all others will be labeled "independent"). On April 2 he signed HB 693, which removes the requirement that candidate petition circulators be registered voters (however, they must be eligible to register).


THREE LAWSUIT LOSSES

1. Michigan: on March 14, U.S. District Court Judge George Woods, a Nixon appointee, upheld state law which makes it impossible for a party to qualify in just part of the state. It must either qualify statewide, or cannot appear anywhere in the state. Green Party v Miller, 99-cv-73669. The Green Party. which had hoped to run in Ann Arbor elections last year, is appealing. Ann Arbor has partisan city elections.

2. Virginia: on March 29, the 4th circuit upheld a June deadline for minor party and independent candidates (for office other than president; the presidential deadline is late August). Wood v Meadows, 99-1069.

The Court said that since major parties choose their nominees in June, it is only fair that other groups also make a final choice by that month. The Court acknowledged that there is no election administration-related reason for the deadline to be that early.

3. West Virginia: on March 28, the State Supreme Court voted 3-2 not to hear Giardina v Hechler, 000516, over whether petitioners must tell everyone they approach that they may not vote in the primary if they sign a petition for minor party or independent candidates. The Mountain Party will now file a new lawsuit in federal court, arguing that the new law, as construed, is unconstitutional. The Reform Party will probably be a co-plaintiff. The new lawsuit will also argue that even if the 2% petition law, combined with the primary screen-out, is valid generally, it cannot be applied in 2000 since the state already let the Natural Law Party on for 2000 with a 1% petition.


OTHER LAWSUIT NEWS

1. Arkansas: the last B.A.N. said that the Libertarian Party would sue, to force the state to obey a 1996 federal court decision, which said that the state cannot require more than 10,000 signatures for new parties. Unfortunately, the party's attempt to obtain that many valid signatures by the May 1 deadline failed, so there will be no lawsuit. The petition failure has no effect on the party's ballot status for president.

2. Florida: on April 24, the U.S. Supreme Court summarily affirmed Fouts v Harris, 99-1396. The issue was whether the state's congressional districts comprised a "racial gerrymander"; the lower court had ruled that the districts are valid.

3. Idaho: on March 30, a state court issued an injunction against the term limits law for county office. Rudeen v Cenarrusa, cv-12, Power County.

4. Maine: on February 7, a U.S. District Court Judge invalidated a state law which required radio and TV ads to carry the name and address of political action committees which paid for the ad. Yes for Life PAC v Webster, 84 F Supp 2d 150.

5. Nebraska: on February 4, the State Supreme Court struck down state law which required people who make independent expenditures in excess of $2,000, to file a statement of intent to do so, at least 45 days before any election. State ex rel Stenberg v Moore, 605 NW 2d 440.

6. New Mexico: the State Supreme Court has accepted the Libertarian Party lawsuit, over whether it is a qualified major party or not. Libertarian Party v Vigil-Giron, 26156. Briefs are due this month; there will be a hearing in June.

7. Oregon: on March 10, the Freedom Socialist Party filed a lawsuit against state law which makes it impossible for it to use its name on the ballot, as long as the Socialist Party also has candidates on the ballot. Oregon is one of the few remaining states which still bars a party from using any word in its name, if another party is using that same word. Long ago, most states altered such laws, since both the Socialist Labor Party, and the Socialist Party, were active from 1900 through 1952 in many states, and a consensus developed that there was nothing wrong with letting both parties use their own names on ballots. Freedom Socialist Party v Bradbury, 3-02456, Multnomah Co. The Socialist Party has no objection to this lawsuit.

8. Vermont: there will be a trial May 8 thru May 17 in federal court in Landell v Sorrell, 2:99-cv146, over the constitutionality of the state's public financing "Clean Elections" Act.

9. federal law: a fascinating case, still ongoing, tests the federal ban on corporate donations to candidates for federal office. The plaintiff argues that since corporate money is sometimes used for independent expenditures in support or opposition to candidates, there can't be a government interest in banning it from going directly to candidates. Mariani v US, 3:cv-98-1701, middle district of Pennsylvania. Judge Thomas Vanaskie has already ruled that the case has enough strength to merit a trial.


FUTURE LAWSUITS

1. Louisiana: an independent candidate for U.S. House, Martin Rosenthal, will sue over a state law which denies him the label "independent" on the ballot, whereas candidates who are members of qualified parties have their party label next to their names. Louisiana is the only state with such a discriminatory policy. Similar laws in Maine and Ohio were held unconstitutional.

2. North Carolina: the Green Party will sue to overturn the state's May petition deadline for new parties. In 1988 and 1992, the state was so convinced the May deadline was too early, it voluntarily set it aside, and accepted new party petitions until mid-July. However, since then, it has refused to do this. The Appleseed Electoral Project will do the case.

3. South Dakota: the Libertarian Party is about to sue, over a requirement that its candidate for U.S. House of Representatives obtain 250 signatures of party members, in order to obtain a place on the party's primary ballot. The party only has about 900 members. The candidate did submit 109 signatures of members. State law says that candidates of new parties "with no voting history" need 250 signatures, but candidates in all other parties only need signatures of 1% of that party's 1998 vote for Governor. If the 1% formula were applied to the Libertarian Party, the candidate would only need 44 signatures. The party was on the ballot in 1998 but didn't maintain its status, so it re-petitioned; the Secretary of State says it is a "new party" with "no prior voting history".

4. federal law: Next week the Initiative & Referendum Institute will file its long-anticipated lawsuit against postal regulations which forbid petitioning on all post office sidewalks.


MEXICO DEBATE

There are six candidates on the ballot for this year's presidential election in Mexico. On April 25, all six met for their first televised debate. All six were given equal time. There will be another debate this month which will only include the top three candidates.


U.S.A. DEBATES

Pressure on the Commission on Presidential Debates to retract its 15% poll rule, is growing:

1. On April 21, Al Gore said on CNN that he is open to including the Reform Party nominee in the debates.

2. Jack Kemp, Republican vice-presidential nominee in 1996, said in an op-ed piece in The Washington Times of April 5 that the 15% rule is "totally unreasonable and discriminatory when the threshold for receiving public funding is only 5%."

3. A lawsuit will be filed by the Committee for a Unified Independent Party next week, on behalf of independent voters, to force the FEC to enforce its rules that tax-exempt debate sponsors must be non-partisan. This lawsuit differs from past lawsuits, which were filed on behalf of excluded candidates.

4. On April 12, the Appleseed Electoral Reform Law Project released a scholarly report, "A Blueprint for Fair and Open Presidential Debates in 2000". For a copy, contact Kathy Etemad at (202)-274-4279, or see http://www.media.american.edu/

5. An on-line petition for debate reform can be signed by anyone. See http://www.i-charity.net/ptn/39/It was initiated by Brian Costin of Illinois.

6. Pat Buchanan filed a complaint with the FEC on March 20, asking it to overturn the 15% poll rule.

7. A Zogby poll released April 10 shows that 55% of the public wants Pat Buchanan included in the debates, and 51% want Ralph Nader included.

8. Anyone who wishes to complain to the chief financial backer of the Commission on Presidential Debates may write Community Relations, Anheuser-Busch, One Busch Place, St. Louis Mo 63119-1852.


TEXAS OPPORTUNITY

There are no Texas Democrats running for Railroad Commission or statewide Judge this November, so any minor party with candidates for these offices is virtually certain to poll 5% of the vote, and to retain its spot on the ballot.


APRIL PRIMARIES

Pennsylvania Democratic: Gore 515,770; Bradley 145,132; LaRouche 32,257.

Pennsylvania Republican: Bush 466,521; McCain 144,105; Forbes 16,441; Bauer 8,925.

Wisconsin Democratic: Gore 324,737; Bradley 32,106; LaRouche 3,712.

Wisconsin Republican: Bush 337,763; McCain 88,583; Keyes 48,277; Forbes 5,430; Bauer 1,796; Hatch 1,742.

Although Wisconsin recognizes the Constitution, Green and Libertarian Parties, and gives them a primary for other office, it won't hold a presidential primary for them since they didn't poll 10% for Governor in 1998.


MASSACHUSETTS LIMITS SUBSTITUTION

On March 30, the Massachusetts Secretary of State put new restrictions on "substitution", the policy which lets a group list a "stand-in" presidential or vice-presidential candidate on a petition. Previously, there were no restrictions on who could be listed. Now, only a bona fide candidate for that group's presidential nomination may be listed. If that person fails to get the nomination, substitution is permitted, as before. For vice-president, anyone may be a stand-in.


ARIZONA DEADLINE

A restrictive change was made to Arizona's independent candidate petition last year, which B.A.N. failed to report. HB 2100 moved the deadline from the end of June, to the middle of June. The old deadline had already been criticized (but neither upheld, nor struck down) in the federal court decision Campbell v Hull (this was the case which struck down restrictions on who could sign the independent petition). The legislature ignored this hint and made the deadline even more restrictive, so that Arizona now has the second earliest independent presidential petition deadline of any state. Only Texas has an earlier independent presidential deadline.


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 *already on 3,500 *4,500 already on *75 Aug 31
Alaska (reg) 6,606 #2,410 already on already on already on *2,500 already on Aug 8
Arizona 13,565 *#8,815 already on *17,000 already on 1,500 *1,500 June 14
Arkansas 21,181 #1,000 already on finished already on already on *150 Aug 1
California (reg) 86,212 149,692 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 *600 already on *800 *2,000 already on Aug 11
Delaware 241 4,819 already on already on already on already on already on 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 *10,000 1,500 0 *2,200 Jul 11
Hawaii 602 #3,703 already on *already on *already on 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 *18,000 *900 *4,000 0 *1,200 June 26
Indiana no procedure #30,717 already on *5,000 *500 400 *300 Jul 17
Iowa no procedure #1,500 *150 finished *900 finished *625 Aug 17
Kansas 14,854 5,000 already on already on finished already on *30 July 31
Kentucky no procedure #5,000 already on already on 0 *1,500 *1,300 Aug 30
Louisiana est. (reg) 135,000 #pay fee 916 already on 20 53 114 Sep 5
Maine 21,051 #4,000 0 already on 0 *300 already on Aug 8
Maryland 10,000 *25,607 already on *finished *need 1,500 *finished *3,300 Aug 7
Massachusetts est. (reg) 37,500 #10,000 already on *5,000 0 0 *800 July 31
Michigan 30,272 30,272 already on already on already on already on *4,300 July 19
Minnesota 104,550 #2,000 0 0 0 already on 0 Sep 12
Mississippi be organized #1,000 already on already on already on already on *110 Sep 7
Missouri 10,000 10,000 already on already on already on already on *2,000 July 31
Montana 5,000 #5,000 already on already on already on already on *30 Aug 1
Nebraska 5,453 2,500 already on 200 already on 0 *100 Aug 28
Nevada 4,099 4,099 already on 500 already on already on *40 July 7
New Hampshire 9,827 #3,000 *11,500 5,000 *200 finished 0 Aug 9
New Jersey no procedure #800 0 finished *300 *finished *already on July 31
New Mexico 2,494 14,964 already on already on *already on *already on 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 *98,062 already on *51,000 200 0 0 June 30
North Dakota 7,000 4,000 0 already on 0 *already on 0 Sep 7
Ohio 33,543 #5,000 already on *finished already on *finished *1,000 Aug 23
Oklahoma 43,680 36,202 *41,000 *32,000 *37,000 0 0 July 15
Oregon 16,663 13,755 already on *18,000 finished 5,500 already on Aug 28
Pennsylvania no procedure *21,739 *3,000 *6,000 *200 *1,300 *4,500 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 already on *already on *200 *400 0 June 20
Tennessee 24,406 25 0 6,000 0 0 0 Aug 17
Texas 37,381 56,117 already on *55,000 *25,000 0 *21,000 *May 30
Utah 2,000 #1,000 already on already on already on already on *1,000 Aug 31
Vermont be organized #1,000 already on 250 already on already on 0 Sep 20
Virginia no procedure #10,000 *6,500 0 *1,000 *2,500 *500 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 4,000 already on 300 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 *1,200 *finished *4,000 *150 Aug 28
TOTAL STATES ON *34 *23 *21 *21 *14

"Deadline" refers to procedure with the LATEST deadline. * means entry changed since last issue. # means that candidate procedure allows partisan label. Other multi-state parties on the ballot: in Florida, the American Reform, Southern, Soc.Workers and Socialist Parties. Socialist Party also is on in Colorado, and has 400 signatures in New Jersey, 400 in Ohio, 350 in Iowa, and 500 in Oregon.


HAGELIN GETS MATCHING FUNDS

On March 31, the FEC certified primary season matching funds for John Hagelin, who is seeking the nomination of the Natural Law and Reform Parties. Hagelin is the second minor party presidential candidate to qualify; the first was Pat Buchanan. Ralph Nader hopes to qualify by June 1.


REFORM PARTY

The March 27 decision in federal court, Lynchburg, Virginia, naming Pat Choate chairman of the Reform Party, has been appealed by two groups. The losing faction appealed. Also, a separate appeal was filed by a third faction, associated with Lenora Fulani and the Committee for a United Independent Party ("CUIP"). The CUIP group had tried to intervene at the trial, but was not permitted to do so; it argues that the judge should have considered arbitration between the two original factions.

Legal costs for this lawsuit are already very high. The winning faction owes its attorney $130,000; the losing faction owes $60,000.

On April 4, the Executive Committee of the Reform Party again voted to hold the party's national convention in Long Beach, California. Pat Choate had tried to persuade it to move the convention to Nashville, Tennessee, but no other member of the Committee supported this idea.

Also, on April 26, a New York State Supreme Court Judge ruled that Jack Essenberg should be re-instated as party chairman of the New York branch of the party. Pecoraro v State Committee of the Independence Party, 100-61130, Albany. The decision is being appealed.


POLLS

A nationwide Zogby poll released on April 21 had these results: Bush 41%, Gore 31%, Nader 5%, Buchanan 4%, other 1%, undecided 16%, don't know/refused 3%. A Portland Oregonian poll released April 24 for Oregon found: Bush 40%, Gore 37%, Nader 7%, Buchanan 2%, Browne 2%, undecided 12%. An Illinois poll from mid-April showed Buchanan at 3%.


AMERICAN PARTY NOMINATES

On April 1, the American Party, meeting in Oklahoma City, nominated former California State Senator Don Rogers for president, and Al Moore of Virginia for vice-president. 39 delegates attended. The American Party is not currently a qualified party in any state. In 1996 its presidential candidate appeared on the ballot in two states. See http://www.theamericanparty.org/


CONSTITUTION PARTY LOSES SOBRAN

On March 31, Joseph Sobran informed the Constitution Party that he is resigning as its vice-presidential nominee. He said there is a conflict between being a columnist, and being a party nominee. He said, "As one who writes in a very personal and often controversial style, I was implicating others -- my running mate Howard Phillips and the whole Constitution Party -- in whatever I wrote. Eventually I realized I shouldn't have accepted the position in the first place." The party's national chair, Jim Clymer, appointed a search committee to find a new nominee. Sobran still supports the party's campaign.


ARIZONA LIBERTARIANS

The last B.A.N. mentioned that the Phoenix faction of the Arizona Libertarian Party had amended its bylaws to acknowledge that some party officers are to be chosen at the government-funded primary. This was done to conform to a recent judicial opinion. However, B.A.N. failed to mention that a peculiar state law interferes. Arizona is the only state in which a party which is qualified for all state and federal office, is not necessarily qualified for county office; and the Arizona Libertarian Party, though qualified for all state and federal office, is only qualified to run for county office in Pima County. Elections administrators therefore refuse to hold a primary for party office, outside of Pima County. The party may bring a new lawsuit, since it is caught in a double-bind; a judge ruled they must elect party officers at the primary, yet they have no primary in most counties for that office. A bill in this year's legislative session to correct the problem failed to pass.


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