February 1, 2003 Volume 18, Number 10

This issue was originally printed on brown paper.

Table of Contents

  1. "AMERICAN CANDIDATE" TV SHOW MAY PROVE BOON TO MINOR PARTY & INDEPENDENT PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES
  2. CONGRESS
  3. GEORGIA BALLOT ACCESS LAWSUIT
  4. GREENS GAIN A NEW JERSEY LEGISLATOR
  5. SAN FRANCISCO
  6. CRISIS AVERTED IN MINNESOTA
  7. HIGH COURT TO HEAR DISTRICTING CASE
  8. PARTY RIGHTS LOSS
  9. MORE LAWSUIT NEWS
  10. BALLOT ACCESS BILLS
  11. RESTRICTIVE BALLOT ACCESS BILLS
  12. BOOK REVIEW: Nader: Crusader, Spoiler, Icon
  13. 2002 MINOR PARTY VOTE FOR STATE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
  14. 2002 MINOR PARTY VOTE FOR STATE SENATE
  15. TWO MORE MINOR PARTY VICTORIES
  16. C.U.I.P. MEETING
  17. FOUR SEEK LIBERTARIAN NOMINATION
  18. HAWAII SPECIAL ELECTION
  19. NEW TV SERIES OF INTEREST
  20. ERRATA

"AMERICAN CANDIDATE" TV SHOW MAY PROVE BOON TO MINOR PARTY & INDEPENDENT PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES

In September 2002, FOX media corporation announced plans for a new television show. The show will showcase potential presidential candidates who are not front-runners, but who seemed to have talents and characteristics that would qualify them for serious consideration. Since then, the network has continued to plan the show, and more is now known about how the show will operate.

The name of the show will be "American Candidate." The application process will open in late March, 2003, and close six months later. The show's producer is recruiting a panel of academics and reporters who will screen the presidential candidates who apply. The panel is supposed to evaluate the candidates on their ability to communicate ideas, not on whether the panel agrees with those ideas. Eventually, 18 candidates will be chosen for the show, which will air between January and April, 2004.

The 18 candidates will be presented to the audience, singly and in small groups. Debates will be held. At the end of the show, the audience is invited to choose its preferred candidate. The show will not further assist the "winner," or any of the other candidates. However, if the show commands a sizable audience, it will also attract media attention, and candidates who do well will reap a publicity bonanza.

The show is not intended for candidates who are considered front-runners for the major party nominations. It is intended for candidates who are running outside the major parties. FOX originally expected to end the show on July 4, 2004, when the audience would choose its favorite candidate. But since then, FOX has become aware of state laws in 5 states that require independent candidates to have petitioned before July 4, so the network revised the show's timing. FOX says it has no interest in joining with activists who are trying to make these deadlines later.

Producer for the show is R. J. Cutler, age 43, an experienced producer who has already done a great deal of film work involving campaigns and elections. He produced "A Perfect Candidate" about the 1994 U.S. Senate race in Virginia between Oliver North and Chuck Robb. He also produced "The War Room," about the Clinton 1992 campaign. His address is c/o FOX, 3524 Hayden Ave., Culver City, Ca 90232-2413. The website is http://www.fxnetwork.com/shows/originals/american_candidate/.

The network expects 10,000 persons to apply for the show, and says it has already received 5,000 e-mails.

FOX is legally free to publicize the candidacies of some presidential candidates, and not others. Courts have long interpreted the "equal time" law of 1934 not to apply to shows that feature some candidates, but not all of them.


CONGRESS

On January 8, Congressman John Conyers (D-Mi.) re-introduced his bill to allow ex-felons to vote in federal elections. It is HR 259. So far, it has 25 co-sponsors. For more information on various attempts to regain voting rights for ex-felons, see www.demos-usa.org/votingrights.

U.S. Senator John McCain will re-introduce his bill for free TV time for congressional candidates in mid-February.


GEORGIA BALLOT ACCESS LAWSUIT

On January 16, the Georgia Libertarian Party asked the U.S. Supreme Court to hear its ballot access lawsuit. The lawsuit, Cartwright v Barnes, was filed to overturn a state law that has kept all minor party candidates for U.S. House of Representatives off the ballot, ever since the law was passed in 1943. Portions of the petition asking the Court to hear the case will be in the next B.A.N. COFOE (the Coalition for Free & Open Elections) paid half the costs.


GREENS GAIN A NEW JERSEY LEGISLATOR

On January 24, New Jersey Assemblyman Matt Ahearn switched his party registration from "Democrat" to "Green." He is the first minor party state legislator in New Jersey since the 1910's decade (although there was an independent in the New Jersey legislature 30 years ago). He represents Bergen County.

Ironically, the Green Party isn't a qualified party in New Jersey. New Jersey is the only state in which the definition of "party" is so strict, no party other than the Democratic and Republican Parties has complied with it during the last 80 years. A group must poll 10% of all the votes cast for Assembly, to become a "party."

Until two years ago, New Jersey required all voters to register "Democratic," "Republican," or "independent." Fortunately, a state court ruled this policy unconstitutional. Without that lawsuit victory, Ahearn would not have been able to register "Green."

Ahearn made his decision after meeting with Green Party leaders and activists in the state. He said he first thought about switching after Democratic legislative leaders criticized his voting record. He notified Democratic leaders of his decision before he actually changed his registration, but they were unable to persuade him to reconsider. He has not decided if he will run for re-election. New Jersey legislative elections are in odd years, so he must decide by April 2003.


SAN FRANCISCO

On January 8, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors (city council) chose a Green Party member, Matt Gonzalez, as President of the Board. He is now the 2nd most powerful office-holder in the city. Besides Gonzalez, the Board consists of 9 Democrats and an independent.


CRISIS AVERTED IN MINNESOTA

On December 31, the Minnesota Attorney General ruled that a beneficial law passed in 2001 really does exist and that the Secretary of State should obey it. Consequently, the Green Party remains a ballot-qualified party.

The 2001 law said that a party need not meet the vote test every two years (the vote test is 5% for any statewide race). Instead, the 2001 law said that a party must pass the vote test in either of the two preceding elections. Although the Green Party failed to poll 5% for any statewide race in 2002, it did poll over 5% for president in 2000. So, under the law passed in 2001, the party is still qualified for the 2004 election.

The Secretary of State had been inclined to ignore the 2001 law, on the grounds that it was too difficult to understand. The Attorney General acknowledged that the law is rather poorly written, but analyzed legislative intent to ascertain its meaning.

The bill had been instigated by the Independence Party of Minnesota, which had been worried that it would lose its status in 2004, since there will be no statewide race in 2004 except president. The Minnesota Independence Party doesn't plan to have a presidential candidate, so it got the bill passed to protect itself. It is ironic that the first beneficiary of the bill is the Green Party.


HIGH COURT TO HEAR DISTRICTING CASE

On January 17, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear Georgia v Ashcroft, 02-182. The issue is whether the Voting Rights Act permits a state to decrease the share of Black voters in a district from 60%, to 49%. A lower court had invalidated some State Senate districts, ruling that the change amounts to "retrogression," which the Act forbids.

Republicans tend to like districting plans with Black "super-majorities," because the effect is to make neighboring districts more Republican. The press has speculated that the new Republican Governor of Georgia will withdraw the state's appeal.


PARTY RIGHTS LOSS

On January 24, U.S. District Court Judge Stephen Friot, a Bush Jr. appointee, upheld Oklahoma law that does not permit a party to invite all registered voters to vote in its primary. Beaver v Ward, cv00-1071-F.

The Libertarian Party had brought the case. It had passed a Bylaw, providing that all registered voters are permitted to vote in the party's primary. It had done so to stimulate more interest in the party among the public.

It is already clear that any party is free to invite registered independents to vote in its primary, but this is only the second case on whether a party is free to invite all registered voters into its primary. The other case, from the 1st circuit, upheld the right of a party to do this.

But in this case, the judge in Oklahoma disagreed with the Rhode Island precedent. He felt if one party could invite members of other parties into its primary, this would injure the other parties. Plaintiffs will probably appeal.

The Libertarian Party is not currently qualified in Oklahoma, but it was when the case was brought in 2000, so the case isn't moot.


MORE LAWSUIT NEWS

1. California: on January 15, the State Supreme Court denied a rehearing in Edelstein v San Francisco. As a result, the California Constitution no longer provides protection for write-in voting.

2. Georgia: on January 14, a U.S. District Court upheld this state's 5% petition requirement, for minor party and independent candidates for district and county office. Lyde v Cox, cv202-181, s.d. The plaintiff, a Green Party legislative candidate, had argued that the law violates the Voting Rights Act, but the judge ruled that the Voting Rights Act does not provide any protection that the U.S. Constitution itself does not provide.

3. Illinois: a new lawsuit against the 25,000 signature requirement for Chicago citywide office is pending in state court. McInerney v Chicago, on behalf of a City Clerk candidate.

Illinois (2): the Dec. 1, 2002 B.A.N. said that a State Appellate Court had ruled that a party can keep its qualified status within a district, after the boundaries change due to redistricting. However, a few days later, another Appellate Court in a different district came to the opposite conclusion. Vestrup v DuPage Co., 779 NE 2d 376. So now the issue is unsettled; the law in one part of Illinois is different than in another part of the state. Only the State Supreme Court can settle the matter, but that can only happen in 2011, since neither of these cases was appealed.

4. Indiana: on January 23, the 7th circuit revived a lawsuit against the state's ban on anonymous campaign literature (the U.S. District Court had dismissed it), and sent it to the State Supreme Court to see if the law applies just to candidates, or to all individuals. Majors v Abell, 02-2204. If the State Court says it applies to everyone, it will probably then be held unconstitutional.

5. Missouri: on November 1, 2002, the State Supreme Court upheld a law limiting the amount of money a party can contribute to its own candidates. Missouri Libertarian Party v Conger, 88 SW 3d 446.

6. Montana: on January 9, the 9th circuit withdrew its decision in Montana Right to Life v Eddleman, no. 00-35924. The old decision, issued September 24, had upheld a state law imposing a cap on the aggregate amount of PAC contributions a candidate may accept. It is very unusual for a court to withdraw an opinion.

7. New Hampshire: on January 29, the State Supreme Court heard Appeal of McDonough, 02-814. The issue is whether straight-ticket devices belong on state ballots.

8. Texas: on October 24, 2002, a state Court of Appeals upheld the practice of letting "snowbirders" register to vote in Polk County, even if they have never lived there. "Snowbirders" are retired mobile home owners who have no fixed residence. Many of them belong to an organization which provides them with a postal mailing address in Polk County.


BALLOT ACCESS BILLS

1. Connecticut: SB 91, endorsed by the Secretary of State, relaxes the law on who can circulate petitions. Existing law requires circulators of statewide petitions to be registered voters in the state, and circulators of district petitions must live in that district. SB 91 lets anyone who lives in Connecticut circulate any type of petition, anywhere in the state. The only restriction is that person be an adult resident in the state and not on parole.

2. Hawaii: HB 1519, by Rep. Cynthia Thielen, would add write-in space to general election ballots. Hawaii is one of 5 states without write-in space on general election ballots.

3. Indiana: HB 1165 would lower the petition from 2% of the last vote, to one-half of 1% of the last vote; reduce the vote test; and ease the petition deadline from June 30 to July 15. It is by Rep. John Frenz, a Democrat.

4. Iowa: SF 42 would change the vote test for a party from 2% for Governor/President, to 2% for any statewide race. Also, if a party had registration of at least one-half of 1%, it could remain on the ballot even without meeting the vote test. It is by Senators Joe Bolkcom, a Democrat, and Mary Lundby, a Republican. Currently, only the Democratic and Republican Parties are qualified; but if the bill passed, the Green and Libertarian Parties would also be qualified.

5. Nebraska: LB 352, by Senator Floyd Vrtiska, would ease the vote test, so that a party would remain on the ballot if it had polled 5% at either of the last two elections. However, it would also eliminate provision for a party to be qualified in just a single district or just a single county.

6. New Hampshire: HB 297 appears to permit a party to qualify if it has registration membership of 2% of the state total, although it is not worded very clearly. Currently a party can only be qualified if it polls 4% of the vote for Governor or Senator. The bill is intended to make it easier for a party to remain on the ballot, and it will be amended.

7. North Dakota: SB 2288 would let presidential candidates who qualify for the general election ballot by petition choose any short partisan label. Current law only permits the label "independent." Also, the bill makes it legal to circulate a petition to qualify a new party at any time. Current law requires that such petitions only be circulated during the three month period before the April deadline. The bill is endorsed by the Secretary of State and has 3 Democratic sponsors and 3 Republican sponsors.

8. Oklahoma: HB 1412, by Rep. Wayne Pettigrew, lowers the vote test for a party to remain on the ballot from 10%, to 8%.

9. Utah: HB 61 lowers the number of signatures for independent candidates in very small jurisdictions, from 300 signatures, to 5% of the registered voters (in the state's smallest county, Daggett County, this cuts the requirement to 29 signatures). It has already passed the House.

Utah (2): HB 99 moves the deadline for candidates seeking a place on the primary ballot from March to May. The author, Rep. Michael Noel, will probably amend the bill to make the same change for non-presidential independent candidates. It would be odd indeed if the bill in its original form passed, and candidates seeking a place on the primary ballot had a later deadline than independents seeking a place on the November ballot!

10. Virginia: HB 1508, by Delegate Vince Callahan, would repeal a silly 1982 law that forbids petition circulators from circulating a statewide petition outside of their home congressional district or a neighboring district. If it passes, circulators of a statewide petition can work anywhere in the state.

11. West Virginia: HB 2039 removes the law that tells circulators that they must say to everyone they approach, "If you sign my petition, you can't vote in the primary."

The bills above are all beneficial. In a few weeks, there will probably be more such bills in these places: Alaska, Connecticut, D.C., Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Maine, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas.


RESTRICTIVE BALLOT ACCESS BILLS

1. Colorado: HB 1142 would require qualified minor parties to nominate by the same elaborate caucus/primary system that the major parties use. Such parties would be required to hold precinct caucuses in order to nominate for any office. It is sponsored by 16 House Republicans and two Senate Republicans.

2. Washington: SB 5220 would move the primary (for office other than president) from September to the 2nd Tuesday of June. Because independent candidates, and the candidates of unqualified parties, must run in the primary, this would force them to complete their petitions by April 1 (under current law, the petitions aren't due until early July). Activists hope to persuade the legislature to end the useless practice of having independents run in the primary. No other state except Hawaii forces independents to run in the primary.


BOOK REVIEW

Nader: Crusader, Spoiler, Icon, by Justin Martin. Hardcover. Published Sep. 2002 by Perseus Press, Cambridge, Ma.

This is the first full-length balanced biography of Ralph Nader. Martin had Nader's cooperation, and the result is a fascinating book. Nader, at a young age, with little wealth or connections, become a household name. He did this by seizing on an idea: cars should be designed so that when an accident occurs, the passengers inside will be protected. As mundane as this sounds today, it was a novel idea in the early 1960's.

In the aftermath of the car safety battle, Nader went on to other consumer issues. He seemed poised to exert great influence at the start of the Carter presidency, but the book tells the story of how the relationship between the two men deteriorated.

Although the book has an account of Nader's run for the presidency in 2000, the author made some factual errors. He said Nader failed to get on the ballot in 5 states, and he named them, but his list is wrong. Actually Nader failed to get on in 7 states.


2002 MINOR PARTY VOTE FOR STATE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

Libertarian

Independence

Green

Constit'n.

Reform

oth pty 1

oth pty 2

oth pty 3

oth pty 4

Alabama

13,856

- -

- -

- -

- -

- -

- -

- -

- -

Alaska

316

- -

124

- -

- -

3,708

2,798

- -

- -

Arizona

12,829

- -

2,945

- -

- -

- -

- -

- -

- -

Arkansas

- -

- -

- -

- -

- -

- --

- -

- -

- -

Calif.

167,130

- -

34,917

- -

3,827

- -

- -

- -

- -

Colorado

46,708

- -

3,624

266

713

1,601

- -

- -

- -

Conn.

283

- -

3,217

- -

415

3,875

931

- -

- -

Del.

761

- -

- -

- -

- -

681

- -

- -

- -

Florida

413,590

- -

22,000

- -

- -

- -

- -

- -

- -

Georgia

5,931

- -

5

- -

- -

- -

- -

- -

- -

Hawaii

654

- -

3,025

- -

- -

- --

- -

- -

- -

Idaho

13,781

- -

666

3,851

2,459

703

- -

- -

- -

Illinois

23,733

- -

6,697

- -

- -

- -

- -

- -

- -

Indiana

32,408

- -

- -

- -

- -

- -

- -

- -

- -

Iowa

2,647

- -

238

- -

- -

179

- -

- -

- -

Kansas

9,251

- -

- -

- -

774

- -

- -

- -

- -

Kentucky

- -

- -

- -

- -

- -

- -

- -

- -

- -

Maine

457

- -

4,722

- -

- -

- -

- -

- -

- -

Maryland

2,817

- -

18,101

- -

- -

- -

- -

- -

- -

Mass.

20,451

- -

13,289

- -

- -

3,021

- -

- -

- -

Michigan

13,341

- -

4,157

- -

2,804

- -

- -

- -

- -

Minn.

- -

43,530

13,164

1,324

- -

- -

- -

- -

- -

Missouri

12,576

- -

276

- -

- -

726

- -

- -

- -

Montana

544

- -

1,277

2,876

- -

- -

- -

- -

- -

Nevada

4,187

- -

- -

17,814

- -

- -

- -

- -

- -

N. Hamp.

12,996

- -

- -

340

- -

- -

- -

- -

- -

N. Mex.

827

- -

4,337

- -

- -

- -

- -

- -

- -

N. York

1,378

192,163

24,611

- -

80

161,478

73,414

42,720

15,556

No. Car.

95,103

- -

- -

- -

- -

- -

- -

- -

- -

No. Dak.

- -

- -

- -

861

- -

- -

- -

- -

- -

Ohio

- -

- -

1,124

- -

- -

4,550

- -

- -

- -

Okla.

4,988

- -

- -

1,824

- -

- -

- -

- -

- -

Oregon

24,513

- -

5,894

11,018

- -

4,378

- -

- -

- -

Penn.

4,278

- -

15,789

1,913

125

- -

- -

- -

- -

R.I.

876

- -

- -

- -

- -

- -

- -

- -

- -

S.Car.

304

- -

- -

1,113

- -

1,792

- -

- -

- -

S.Dak.

826

- -

- -

- -

- -

- -

- -

- -

- -

Tenn.

7,363

- -

- -

- -

- -

2,539

- -

- -

- -

Texas

58,791

- -

11,079

- -

- -

- -

- -

- -

- -

Utah

3,415

- -

3,526

- -

- -

- -

- -

- -

- -

Vermont

2,209

- -

- -

- -

- -

4,287

116

- -

- -

Wash.

21,728

- -

- -

- -

- -

- -

- -

- -

- -

W.Va.

- -

- -

- -

433

1,506

3,541

- -

- -

- -

Wisc.

14,468

- -

697

- -

1,405

- -

- -

- -

- -

Wyoming

1,175

- -

- -

- -

- -

- -

- -

- -

- -

TOTAL

1,053,489

235,693

199,501

43,633

14,108

States not named above didn't have state legislative elections in 2002.

The national vote for the Libertarian candidates for the lower house of state legislatures is the highest such total for any party other than the Democrats and Republicans, in the nation, since 1914. Also, the party's vote in Florida is the first instance that a party, other than the major parties, has polled more than 10% of all the votes cast in a state for the lower house of the legislature since 1944. The Florida Libertarians ran candidates in 73 of the 120 seats. Most races only had one major party opponent.

KEY TO THE "OTHER PARTY" COLUMNS for charts above and below: "Other Party 1" column is Republican Moderate in Alaska, Natural Law in Colorado, Idaho, and Ohio, Working Familes in Connecticut, Independent Party in Delaware, America First in Iowa, Grassroots in Massachusetts, Progressive in Missouri, Conservative in N.Y., Socialist in Oregon, United Citizens in South Carolina, America First in Tennessee, Progressive in Vermont, and Mountain in West Virginia.

"Other Party 2" is Alaska Independence Party in Alaska, Independent Party in Ct., Interdependent in Mass., Working Families in N.Y., Grassroots in Vt. "Other Party 3" is Right to Life in N.Y. and Liberty Union in Vermont. "Other Party 4" is Liberal in New York. Three states had lower legislative races, but no State Senate races: Ks., N.M. and S.C.


2002 MINOR PARTY VOTE FOR STATE SENATE

Libertarian

Independence

Green

Constit'n

Reform

oth pty 1

oth pty 2

oth pty 3

oth pty 4

Alabama

33,442

- -

- -

- -

- -

- -

- -

- -

- -

Alaska

- -

- -

501

- -

- -

5,638

1,906

- -

- -

Arizona

23,909

- -

- -

- -

- -

- -

- -

- -

- -

Arkansas

- -

- -

- -

- -

- -

- -

- -

- -

- -

Calif.

121,215

- -

- -

- -

- -

- -

- -

- -

- -

Colorado

30,038

- -

- -

- -

- -

- -

- -

- -

- -

Conn.

- -

- -

3,745

- -

- -

4,823

- -

- -

- -

Del.

170

- -

146

- -

- -

207

- -

- -

- -

Florida

- -

- -

- -

- -

- -

- -

- -

- -

- -

Georgia

5,200

- -

- -

- -

- -

- -

- -

- -

- -

Hawaii

322

- -

1,666

- -

- -

- -

- -

- -

- -

Idaho

6,012

- -

6,721

778

- -

469

- -

- -

- -

Illinois

- -

- -

- -

- -

- -

22,434

- -

- -

- -

Indiana

16,684

- -

- -

- -

- -

- -

- -

- -

- -

Iowa

4,242

- -

- -

- -

- -

- -

- -

- -

- -

Kentucky

- -

- -

- -

- -

- -

- -

- -

- -

- -

Maine

1,438

- -

6,186

- -

- -

- -

- -

- -

- -

Maryland

- -

- -

- -

- -

- -

- -

- -

- -

- -

Mass.

8,457

- -

- -

- -

- -

- -

8,003

- -

- -

Michigan

14,153

- -

2,635

2,340

1,882

- -

- -

- -

- -

Minn.

- -

73,439

19,315

1,006

- -

- -

- -

- -

- -

Missouri

2,309

- -

- -

- -

- -

- -

- -

- -

- -

Montana

- -

- -

- -

- -

- -

- -

- -

- -

- -

Nevada

- -

- -

- -

17,796

- -

- -

- -

- -

- -

N. Hamp.

- -

- -

- -

- -

- -

- -

- -

- -

- -

N. York

3,717

198,116

14,243

- -

- -

195,713

54,611

33,620

16,950

No. Car.

54,025

- -

- -

- -

- -

- -

- -

- -

- -

No. Dak.

- -

- -

- -

- -

- -

- -

- -

- -

- -

Ohio

- -

- -

- -

- -

- -

- -

- -

- -

- -

Okla.

- -

- -

- -

- -

- -

- -

- -

- -

- -

Oregon

3,661

- -

- -

983

- -

- -

- -

- -

- -

Penn.

4,620

- -

532

2,994

- -

- -

- -

- -

- -

R.I.

- -

- -

841

- -

- -

- -

- -

- -

- -

S.Dak.

2,009

- -

- -

- -

- -

- -

- -

- -

- -

Tenn.

4,999

- -

- -

- -

- -

- -

- -

- -

- -

Texas

170,289

- -

- -

- -

- -

- -

- -

- -

- -

Utah

6,345

- -

3,111

- -

- -

- -

- -

- -

- -

Vermont

3,763

- -

- -

- -

- -

4,328

- -

577

- -

Wash.

7,976

- -

17,000

- -

- -

- -

- -

- -

- -

W.Va.

- -

- -

- -

- -

- -

1,173

- -

- -

- -

Wisc.

- -

- -

8,790

- -

- -

- -

- -

- -

- -

Wyoming

- -

- -

- -

- -

- -

- -

- -

- -

TOTAL

529,195

271,555

85,432

25,897

1,882

KEY TO THE "OTHER PARTY" COLUMNS for both above charts: "Other Party 1" column is Republican Moderate in Alaska, Natural Law in Colorado and Idaho, Working Familes in Connecticut, Independent Party in Delaware, America First in Iowa, Grassroots in Massachusetts, Progressive in Missouri, Conservative in N.Y., Socialist in Oregon, United Citizens in South Carolina, America First in Tennessee, Progressive in Vermont, and Mountain in West Virginia.

"Other Party 2" is Alaska Independence Party in Alaska, Independent Party in Ct., Interdependent in Mass., Working Families in N.Y., Grassroots in Vt. "Other Party 3" is Right to Life in N.Y. and Liberty Union in Vermont. "Other Party 4" is Liberal in New York. Three states had lower legislative races, but no State Senate races: Ks., N.M. and S.C.


TWO MORE MINOR PARTY VICTORIES

1. Illinois: on November 5, 2002, the "Honesty and Integrity Party" elected a State Senator in Chicago's 15th district. The vote was: Rev. James T. Meeks, H & I, 22,434 (40.05%); incumbent William Shaw, Dem., 20,176 (36.02%); Phillip Arnold, Rep., 13,398 (23.92%).

This was the first time since the 1910's decade that any minor party had elected an Illinois state legislator. However, there is no actual "Honesty & Integrity Party" organization. That was just the name that Meeks used as a ballot label, and he has joined the Democratic caucus in the legislature. Illinois does not have registration by party, so a public proclamation is the way an individual self-identifies with any party. Nevertheless, under state law, the "Honesty and Integrity Party" is now a qualified party in the 15th district, and it will have its own primary in 2004.

If Illinois had normal election laws, Meeks would have run as an independent. However, Illinois requires non-presidential independent candidates to file by December of the year before the election. Therefore, most Illinois independent candidates typically form pseudo-parties, since the minor party petition is due seven months later.

2. Nevada: on November 5, the Natural Law Party won its first partisan election in the U.S. Lon Itson, the party's nominee for Constable of Goodsprings Township, Clark County, was elected with 449 votes. He was the only nominee on the ballot, and the party label "Natural Law" was next to his name on that ballot.


C.U.I.P. MEETING

The Committee for a United Independent Party held a conference on January 19 in New York, on the theme, "Electing an Independent President." Former Georgia Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney spoke, although she didn't give any clues as to her plans (she may seek the Green presidential nomination). C.U.I.P. is a national organization, but most of its activists are in New York, where they are active in that state's Independence Party.


FOUR SEEK LIBERTARIAN NOMINATION

The Libertarian Party national presidential convention is set for Memorial Day weekend, 2004. At least four individuals have said they are seeking that nomination: Michael Badnarik of Texas, Dave Hollist of California, Ken Krawchuk of Pennsylvania, and Gary Nolan of Ohio. See www.dehnbase.org/lpus/library/pres-cand-2004.html for links to the web page of each candidate. As far as is known, no other minor party has yet set the city nor dates for its 2004 presidential nominating convention.


HAWAII SPECIAL ELECTION

On January 4, voters in Hawaii's 2nd congressional district elected a new member of Congress to replace Patsy Mink, who died last year. Anyone who collected 25 signatures was put on the ballot. 44 candidates ran: 15 Republicans, 12 Democrats, 14 independents, two Greens and one Libertarian. The race was perceived to be very close between two popular Democrats, Ed Case and Matt Matsunaga, so those two between them received 74% of the total vote. All the Democratic candidates together received 82.5%; Republicans 16.3%; independents 1.0%; Greens .1%; and the lone Libertarian .1%.


NEW TV SERIES OF INTEREST

On January 17, NBC launched a new series at 8 p.m., Friday nights. "Mister Sterling" relates the story of a young man appointed to the U.S. Senate to fill a vacancy from California. Although he was appointed because his father had been a Democratic governor, he himself happens to be a registered Independent (the sitting Governor who appointed Stirling hadn't known that). The unfolding drama deals with whether an independent has any chance to win the upcoming election in two years, and whether he can accomplish anything in the Senate.


ERRATA

The Jan. 1 B.A.N. chart, "2002 Vote for U.S. Senate" erroneously put the Alaska Green vote in the Reform Party column. Also, that chart erroneously omitted the Constitution Party vote in Colorado, of 21,547. The corrections have been made to the online editions.


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