August 1, 2003 Ė Volume 19, Number 4

This issue was originally printed on pink paper.

Table of Contents

  1. JIMMY CARTER SUPPORTS BALLOT ACCESS REFORM
  2. HIGH COURT TO HEAR GERRYMANDER CASE
  3. MAINE COURT UPHOLDS ANTI-GREEN DISTRICTS
  4. GOOD CALIF. RULING
  5. CANADA HIGH COURT HELPS MINOR PARTIES
  6. P.R. IN QUEBEC
  7. GOV. DEAN & DEBATES
  8. BILLS SIGNED
  9. CALIFORNIA RECALL
  10. N.Y. REGISTRATION
  11. EX-FELON VOTING
  12. CAL. PRIMARY DATE
  13. VOTE BOOKS
  14. CONGRESS
  15. WILL MINOR PARTIES GET EXEMPTED FROM McCAIN-FEINGOLD?
  16. MORE LAWSUIT NEWS
  17. LEGISLATIVE NEWS
  18. VOTING WITH DOLLARS
  19. PARTY REVENUE FROM STATE INCOME TAX
  20. 2004 PETITIONING FOR PRESIDENT
  21. SOCIALIST WORKERS PARTY
  22. AMERICAN PARTY
  23. GREEN PARTY
  24. TWO FORMER CANDIDATES DIE
  25. GREEN ELECTED IN MICHIGAN
  26. CONSTITUTION PARTY CONVENTION
  27. LIBERTARIANS RECRUIT WELL-KNOWN CANDIDATE FOR UTAH GOVERNOR

JIMMY CARTER SUPPORTS BALLOT ACCESS REFORM

On June 27, the Coalition for Free & Open Elections (COFOE) received a hand-written note from former President Jimmy Carter. The note says "I agree with you, but see no practical avenue for change, except through the courts. Best wishes, Jimmy Carter."

The letter from COFOE to Carter had criticized Georgiaís ballot access law for minor party and independent candidates, and had asked Carter to express his opinion that the law should be changed. Georgiaís law is so severe, no minor party has been able to use it in the 60 years it has existed, and no independent candidate has been able to comply with it since 1964. It is the only mandatory ballot access law for minor parties, in any state, that has never been used.

Carterís letter is important, because around the world, he is considered the leading voice in the United States for fair and free elections. It is believed that this is the first time Carter has said anything on the subject of ballot access for minor parties and independent candidates.

Carter continues to be active in the field of election reform, both in the U.S. and around the world. During 2001 he served as co-chair of the National Commission on Federal Election Reform. That commission issued a well-publicized report about many other election problems, but did not mention ballot access.

Carter is active in many other areas of social policy as well, both internationally and nationally. See www.cartercenter.org for more information about his current activities. The Carter Center adjoins the Carter Library in Atlanta. It is a nonpartisan organization with 150 employees.

COFOE is attempting to let each member of the Georgia legislature know about Carterís response. The legislature has adjourned for the year. No special session is likely this year.


HIGH COURT TO HEAR GERRYMANDER CASE

On June 27, the U.S. Supreme Court said that it will hear Vieth v Jubelirer, 02-1580, later this year. The issue is whether extreme partisan gerrymandering violates the U.S. Constitution. Pennsylvania Democrats, who won 10 U.S. House seats in the 2000 election, but only 7 in the 2002 election, brought the case. During 2001, a Republican-controlled legislature had redrawn the districts.

The Court had said in 1986 that truly extreme partisan gerrymandering violates the 14th amendment. However, the standards of proof the court laid down to prove such a claim are so difficult to meet, no plan has ever been invalidated.


MAINE COURT UPHOLDS ANTI-GREEN DISTRICTS

On July 2, the Maine Supreme Court approved the state House redistricting plan. That plan eliminates the district won by the Green Party last year. In re 2003 Legislative Apportionment of the House, 03-238.

The Court said, "Apportionment legislation does not become invalid because it is politically motivated." The decision is short and doesnít mention that the U.S. Supreme Court had agreed to hear the Pennsylvania case described above. The Maine Greens may appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.


GOOD CALIF. RULING

On July 24, the California Secretary of State ruled that all candidates for Governor need 65 signatures, in the gubernatorial election set for October 7, 2003 (they also need a $3,500 filing fee or signatures in lieu of a fee). The ruling is good news for independent candidates and the candidates of non-qualified parties. For more on the recall, see page two.


CANADA HIGH COURT HELPS MINOR PARTIES

On June 27, the Canadian Supreme Court struck down three Canadian election laws that discriminated against minor parties. The vote was 9-0. Figueroa v Attorney General of Canada, 2003 SCC 37.

The three laws discriminated against parties that had not run as many as 50 candidates for the House of Commons in the last election: (1) such parties could not have their party label printed on the ballot next to the names of their candidates; (2) donations made to these small parties, outside of the campaign season, were not tax-deductible; (3) their candidates could not transfer unspent campaign donations to the party after the election was over.

By contrast, parties that had run at least 50 candidates were treated better on all three points.

Canadaís Attorney General had argued that it is legitimate to discriminate against small parties, because large parties are more valuable to society. The Court took great pains to answer this argument. Seven justices signed one opinion; the other two signed a concurring opinion. Each opinion is lengthy and thoughtful. The judges acknowledged that the governmentís argument had some merit. Nevertheless, they found the governmentís argument wasnít persuasive enough to justify the discriminatory treatment.

You can see the decision here.


P.R. IN QUEBEC

On July 9, a Quebec minister said that the government will propose a bill to use proportional representation in future provincial elections. The three largest parties all support the idea, so it seems very likely to pass.


GOV. DEAN & DEBATES

In May, the Committee for a Unified Independent Party (CUIP) sent questionnaires to various Democrats running for president. One of the questions asks about the Commission on Presidential Debates. The Commission sponsors general election debates and wonít invite anyone who is not at 15% in polls.

Recently, CUIP received a response from former Vermont Governor Howard Dean. He said, "I do think that when third-party candidates demonstrate real support, as Ross Perot did in 1992, they should be included."

When Ross Perot was invited into the 1992 debates, he was only at 7% in the polls. He was only invited in because both President Bush Sr. and Bill Clinton wanted him invited. Thus, one may infer that Governor Dean feels 7%, rather than 15%, is a fair standard for debate inclusion.

Dean also commented on C.U.I.P.ís idea that the Federal Election Commission (which always has 3 Democrats and 3 Republicans) should have an independent. He said, "I have real concerns about trusting this Administration to thoughtfully select Ďindependentsí. Any president could find an independent who would reflect on his or her point of view. It would likely tip the ideological balance to favor whatever president was in power."

On ballot access, Dean said, "Third-party candidates who can demonstrate a significant level of support should be able to get on the ballot without extensive assistance from a team of lawyers or hired guns." For more answers, see www.cuip.org.


BILLS SIGNED

1. Connecticut: on July 9, bill 6372 was signed. It sets up procedures for someone to run in a partisan primary, even if he or she has little or no support at a party caucus.

2. Illinois: on July 23, HB 138 was signed, letting counties choose to use cumulative voting to elect County Boards.


CALIFORNIA RECALL

The California petition to recall Governor Gray Davis successfully met the requirement of 897,158 valid signatures. The recall was certified on July 23, and the recall will be held on October 7. Candidates to succeed him (should he actually be recalled) must file by August 9, a Saturday. It is likely that there will be at least 25 candidates on the ballot.

Californiaís recall petition requirements are the easiest in the nation. California requires statewide recall petitions to contain 12% of the last gubernatorial vote. In this instance, because the voter turnout was so low in 2002, that amounted to only 5.9% of the registered voters. There is a slight distribution requirement: the petition must contain signatures of at least 1% of the past gubernatorial vote in at least five counties.

The recall petition, on a percentage basis, was not the most difficult petition ever completed in California, even though it was the first successful statewide recall petition in California. In 1948 the Independent Progressive Party was faced with the choice of either collecting 275,970 signatures, or getting 27,597 registered members. It chose to collect the 275,970 signatures. There were only 3,787,104 registered voters at the time, so the Progressives needed the signatures of 7.3% of the registered voters, which they obtained.

Nevertheless, the recallís success is impressive. The campaign used 1,200 paid petitioners, who collected 80% of the signatures. Volunteers collected the other 20%. 1,651,191 signatures were submitted, and the state said 1,356,408 were valid. The signatures were validated using a 3% random sample.

The other recall states, and their requirements for statewide recalls, are:

1.
Alaska 40% of past turnout
2.
Arizona 25% of past turnout
3.
Colorado 25% of past turnout
4.
Georgia 15% of registration
5.
Idaho 20% of registration
6.
Kansas 40% of past turnout
7.
Louisiana 33% of registration
8.
Michigan 25% of past turnout
9.
Minnesota 25% of past turnout
10.
Montana 10% of registration
11.
Nevada 25% of past turnout
12.
New Jersey 25% of registration
13.
North Dakota 25% of past turnout
14.
Oregon 15% of past turnout
15.
Rhode Island 15% of past turnout
16.
Washington 25% of past turnout
17.
Wisconsin 25% of past turnout

B.A.N. converted these legal requirements to actual numbers, for a hypothetical gubernatorial recall this year, and determined that requirement as a percentage of registered voters in each state. The median requirement of the 17 states is 13.75%; the average is 14.40%. This shows that the ordinary recall state has a requirement more than twice as difficult as Californiaís requirement.

Recall Lawsuits

Californiaís recall law says only registered voters may circulate a recall petition. Opponents of the recall filed a state court lawsuit, charging that out-of-state residents collected some of the signatures. Robins v Shelley, Los Angeles Co., BC299066. A hearing is set for August 8. The plaintiffs tried to have the case expedited, but the State Court of Appeals refused on July 22, and the State Supreme Court refused on July 25. This probably indicates that these courts donít think the lawsuit will prevail. The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that states canít require circulators to be registered.

On July 23, a federal lawsuit was filed against a California law that wonít let voters vote for a replacement candidate, if that voter didnít vote "Yes" or "No" on the recall itself. Partnoy v Shelley, 03-1460, s.d. It is being decided on July 29.


N.Y. REGISTRATION

On July 18, the New York federal judge who is handling the case on whether voters can register into unqualified parties, permitted four more parties to intervene in the lawsuit. They are the Liberal, Right to Life, Libertarian, and Marijuana Reform Parties. Judge John Gleeson had already ordered elections officials to tally Greens, and on July 28 he heard evidence about those other parties.


EX-FELON VOTING

Florida: on July 24, a State Court of Appeals ruled that ex-felons who were released between 1992 and 2001 should have been informed as to how to apply for a Clemency hearing from the Governor. Although 95% of ex-felons who ask the Governor to restore their voting rights are usually turned down, the Court said they have a right to apply. The state now must process 94,000 applications for clemency. Florida Conference of Black State Legislators v Crosby, 01-659, 2nd dist.

Washington: on July 25, the 9th circuit told the lower court to hold a trial on whether the stateís ban on felons voting is racially discriminatory. Plaintiffs had presented evidence showing that the criminal justice system has historically treated racial minorities more harshly than whites. The lower court had ruled that this evidence is irrelevant, but now it must weigh that evidence. Farrakhan v State, 01-35032.


CAL. PRIMARY DATE

On July 21, SB 430 passed the Assembly Appropriations Committee. It affects 2004 only. It would provide for a presidential primary in March and a primary for all other office in June. Since the bill has already overwhelmingly passed the State Senate, and since it passed the Appropriations Committee by a vote of 16-2, it is almost certain to pass the Assembly.

If the bill becomes law, it would automatically ease the deadline for a new party to qualify for the California ballot. The deadline would move from October of this year, to January of next year. However, it is extremely unlikely that any new party will qualify in California for 2004.


VOTE BOOKS

Two branches of the federal government have each issued free publications, showing the official vote for Congress in November 2002. The FEC put out Federal Elections 2002 and the Clerk of the U.S. House put out Statistics of the Congressional Election of Nov. 5, 2002.


CONGRESS

Congressman Thomas M. Davis, a Virginia Republican, said on June 26 that he will introduce a bill to expand the size of the U.S. House of Representatives, by two seats. One would go to Utah, and one to the District of Columbia.

D.C. has never had a voting representative in either house of Congress. Davis said, "Itís hard to make a straight-faced argument that the capital of the free world shouldnít have a vote in Congress." Some feel that the U.S. Constitution needs to be amended to give D.C. a seat, but others disagree.

The rationale of adding two seats, and giving the other seat to Utah, is that when the seats were divided up after the 2000 census, Utah is the state that most closely missed getting an additional seat. A few hundred more residents and Utah would have had a 4th seat. The state that most narrowly won a seat was North Carolina.

Since Utah is a Republican state, it is virtually certain that a 4th Utah seat would send a Republican to the House. D.C. is overwhelmingly Democratic, so Davisí idea is that, with each of the two major parties gaining a seat, neither major party will be motivated to block his idea. For more information about Davisí idea, contact the House Government Committee at 202-225-1492.


WILL MINOR PARTIES GET EXEMPTED FROM McCAIN-FEINGOLD?

Among the briefs filed in the U.S. Supreme Court in McConnell v FEC is the brief of the political party-plaintiffs, which are the Republican Party, the Democratic Party of California, and the Libertarian Party. This brief discusses the Libertarian Party on pages 20-23, and then in more detail on pages 64-69. The brief (and all the other briefs) can be seen on the U.S. Supreme Courtís website, www.supremecourtus.gov. Click on the link labeled "Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act" to see the briefs.

Pages 20-23 of the brief first provide basic facts about the party. Then the brief argues, "The Act will wreak havoc on the structure and nonfederal political activity of the Libertarian National Committee and its affiliated state parties. The Act prohibits the current LNC dues and newspaper subscription structure. Further, it requires the LNC to fund all activities with 100% federal dollars (note: federal dollars are more restricted, and therefore harder to raise).

"At present, the LNC has three principle sources of nonfederal money: 1) list rental fees; 2) dues paid through state affiliates and forwarded from the state affiliates to the LNC; 3) advertising in the Libertarian Party News and elsewhere. In 2002, only one individual contribution to the LNC exceeded the $20,000 legal limit; during the past six years, no more than four donors to the LNC have exceeded this limit in any one year.

"The LNC is subject to all the same burdens imposed by the Act as major parties. But the restraints that the Act imposes on the far smaller LNC weigh even more heavily on its freedom to advocate issues and to associate with others toward a common purpose. The primary effect of the Act on the LNC is thus to impede LNC issue advocacy and freedom of association with little or no potential to serve any interest in preventing actual or apparent corruption."

Page 67 says, "The alleged corruption or appearance of corruption of federal officeholders that purportedly justifies new sec. 323(a) does not apply to the Libertarian Party. No Libertarian candidate has ever won a race for federal office. Thus, no Libertarian candidate has ever been exposed to the occasion for actual or apparent corruption that new Sec. 323(a) allegedly protects against."

The governmentís brief, defending the Act, is due August 8. It will be interesting to see what the government says about the problems of minor parties. It will also be interesting to see if any U.S. Supreme Court Justice asks about minor parties at the oral argument on September 8.


MORE LAWSUIT NEWS

Alaska: a state court will hear Green Party v State, 3AN-02-10451, on August 28. The Green and Republican Moderate Parties are demanding that the state print a blanket primary ballot for candidates seeking the nominations of each of these two parties. State law says each party must have its own primary ballot.

California: on July 23, the 9th circuit denied a rehearing in Van Susteren v Jones, the case over a state law that makes it impossible for a party to nominate someone who has been a member of another party in the two years before the election. The plaintiff plans to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Illinois: an interesting ballot access lawsuit was dismissed on procedural grounds on April 25, 2003. Hough v Will County Bd. of Elections, 789 NE 2d 797, should have decided whether an unqualified party can jointly nominate two legislative candidates with a single petition, if the two districts (one Senate, one House) cover the same territory in which the petition was circulated. But the case was dismissed for procedural errors.

Indiana: on July 23, the State Supreme Court ruled that a law outlawing anonymous pamphlets about candidates applies to everyone, not just candidates and their committees. Majors v Abell, 94S00-0303. Now the case goes back to the 7th circuit, for a decision as to the lawís constitutionality.

Nevada: on July 2, the 9th circuit ruled that Las Vegas must permit petitioning and distribution of handbills in its downtown mall. One of the cityís downtown streets, Fremont Street, had been turned into a pedestrian walkway, and ownership of the street is technically private. ACLU v City of Las Vegas, 01-15958.

Puerto Rico: on July 28, the 1st circuit heard Perez Guzman v Gracia, over a law that makes it illegal for anyone except an attorney-notary to circulate a petition to qualify a new party. The hearing went well for the Civil Action Party, which had won the case in the court below.

national: a lawsuit over whether the U.S. Postal Service must let people petition on post office sidewalks was filed in 2000, and U.S. District Court Judge Richard Roberts still hasnít ruled. However, he recently issued an opinion in a very complex and important case on an unrelated subject. Court-watchers feel that Judge Roberts will now have the time to turn his attention to some of his other old cases, including this one.


LEGISLATIVE NEWS

Connecticut: on July 9, Connecticut Governor John Rowland, a Republican, vetoed HB6370, which would have provided for same-day registration. Connecticut was the only state where this idea had passed the legislature this year.

New York: the last B.A.N. said that the legislature had passed S5698, easing ballot access in the Republican presidential primary. The legislature still has not sent this bill to the Governor, and might not send it to him until December. It may be five months before the Governor must decide whether to sign the bill.

Tennessee: the last B.A.N. said that the legislature had adjourned, and that HB 2092 had not passed. HB 2092 moved the presidential primary from March to February. Although it is true that HB 2092 failed to pass, another bill (HB 432) making this change did pass. States with February presidential primaries in 2004 now include Arizona, Delaware, Missouri, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and Wisconsin. January primaries will be held in the District of Columbia and New Hampshire.

Texas: the last B.A.N. said that since Texas had moved its presidential primary from the 2nd week in March to the 1st week, that the petition deadline for new parties automatically became a week earlier. This is incorrect; the deadline remains May 24. Technically, petitioning for a new party starts the day after precinct conventions, not the day after the primary. This yearís change only moved the primary date, not the precinct caucus date.


VOTING WITH DOLLARS

Voting With Dollars, by Bruce Ackerman and Ian Ayres. Hardcover, 303 pages. Yale U. Press, $20.97.

This book is intended to explain and publicize a new approach to campaign finance: the secret donation booth. Both authors are law professors at Yale. They had the help of six research assistants, and received advice from many experts on campaign finance. In order for their idea to seem plausible, the book has to show in detail how the "secret donation booth" would work. The book does, explain the details, with great care and imagination.

The "secret donation booth" idea makes it possible for people to give donations to candidates for office, and yet makes it impossible for those candidates to know who has contributed to their campaign, much less how much.

Oneís first reaction to this idea is that it canít be done that there will always be ways for candidates to learn who has contributed. The authors were aware that the ordinary reader would have this reaction, and worked very hard to show that, yes, it is possible.

The obvious advantages of the idea (if it works) is that the campaign financing problem could be solved. Individuals would be free to contribute generously to candidates. Even disclosure of donations would no longer be required. This would maximize freedom and end concerns about corruption of elected officials through campaign donations. Voting with Dollars, which was published late last year, ought to be read by talk-show hosts, reporters and others who has the ability to spread ideas. The book also advocates a new method of public funding of campaigns.


PARTY REVENUE FROM STATE INCOME TAX

Twelve states let state income taxpayers contribute to political parties. The September 1 B.A.N. will carry a chart, showing how much money each party received in each of those twelve states.


2004 PETITIONING FOR PRESIDENT

STATE
REQUIREMENTS
SIGNATURES COLLECTED
DEADLINE
later method
FULL PARTY
CAND.
LIB'T
GREEN
NAT LAW
CONSTI.
REFORM

Alabama

41,012

5,000

300

0

0

0

0

Aug 31

Alaska

(reg) 6,937

#2,845

*6,793

*reg 4,681

0

0

0

Aug 4

Arizona

16,348

est #10,000

already on

*2,300

0

0

0

Jun 9

Arkansas

10,000

1,000

0

0

0

0

0

Aug 2

California

(reg) 77,389

153,035

already on

already on

already on

already on

est 40,000

Aug 6

Colorado

(reg) 1,000

pay fee

already on

already on

already on

already on

already on

July 5

Connecticut

no procedure

#7,500

can't start

already on

can't start

can't start

can't start

Aug 7

Delaware

est. (reg) 270

est. 5,400

already on

already on

already on

240

253

Aug 21

D.C.

no procedure

est. #3,600

can't start

already on

can't start

can't start

can't start

Aug 17

Florida

be organized

93,024

already on

already on

already on

already on

already on

Sep 1

Georgia

37,153

#37,153

already on

*1,000

0

0

0

July 13

Hawaii

677

3,711

already on

already on

already on

0

0

Sep 3

Idaho

10,033

5,017

already on

0

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

Jun 21

Indiana

no procedure

#29,553

already on

0

0

0

0

Jul 1

Iowa

no procedure

#1,500

0

0

0

0

0

Aug 13

Kansas

16,714

5,000

already on

*3,700

0

0

already on

Aug 2

Kentucky

no procedure

#5,000

can't start

can't start

can't start

can't start

can't start

Aug 26

Louisiana

est. (reg) 140,000

pay fee

1,170

667

22

37

2,806

Sep 7

Maine

25,260

#4,000

0

already on

0

0

0

Aug 9

Maryland

10,000

est. 28,000

*7,300

already on

0

*4,000

0

Aug 2

Mass.

est. (reg) 38,000

#10,000

already on

already on

0

0

0

July 27

Michigan

31,776

31,776

already on

already on

already on

already on

already on

July 15

Minnesota

112,557

#2,000

0

already on

0

0

0

Sep 14

Mississippi

be organized

#1,000

already on

already on

already on

already on

already on

Sep 3

Missouri

10,000

10,000

already on

0

0

0

0

July 26

Montana

5,000

#5,000

already on

already on

already on

*500

already on

July 28

Nebraska

4,810

2,500

already on

4,100

0

0

0

Aug 24

Nevada

4,805

4,805

already on

already on

already on

already on

0

July 9

New Hamp.

13,260

#3,000

0

0

0

0

0

Aug 11

New Jersey

no procedure

#800

0

0

0

0

0

July 26

New Mexico

2,422

14,527

already on

already on

0

0

0

Sep 7

New York

no procedure

#15,000

can't start

can't start

can't start

can't start

can't start

Aug 17

No. Carolina

58,842

est 100,000

already on

*9,000

0

*150

0

Jun 25

North Dakota

7,000

#4,000

0

0

0

0

0

Sep 3

Ohio

32,290

5,000

*36,000

*5,000

0

0

0

Aug 19

Oklahoma

51,781

37,027

*2,700

0

0

0

0

Jul 15

Oregon

18,864

15,306

already on

already on

0

already on

0

Aug 24

Penn.

no procedure

est. 23,000

can't start

can't start

can't start

can't start

can't start

Aug 2

Rhode Island

16,592

#1,000

can't start

already on

can't start

can't start

can't start

Sep 3

So. Carolina

10,000

10,000

already on

*1,000

already on

already on

already on

Jul 15

South Dakota

8,364

#3,346

2,850

0

0

3,300

0

Aug 3

Tennessee

41,322

25

0

0

0

2,200

0

Aug 19

Texas

45,540

64,077

can't start

can't start

can't start

can't start

can't start

*May 24

Utah

2,000

#1,000

already on

already on

already on

*600

0

Sep 3

Vermont

be organized

#1,000

already on

0

0

0

0

Sep 16

Virginia

no procedure

#10,000

can't start

can't start

can't start

can't start

can't start

Aug 20

Washington

no procedure

#200

already on

can't start

can't start

can't start

can't start

Aug 25

West Va.

no procedure

#12,963

*250

0

0

0

0

Aug 2

Wisconsin

10,000

#2,000

already on

already on

0

already on

can't start

Sep 14

Wyoming

3,644

3,644

already on

0

0

0

0

Aug 17

TOTAL STATES ON
*26
20
12
10
7

* changed from previous issue.
# allows partisan label.
Other nationally-organized parties on statewide are Socialist, Soc. Workers, America First, & Workers World, in Fla.
"(reg.)" means a party must have a certain number of registered voters.
All dates in "deadline" column are 2004.


SOCIALIST WORKERS PARTY

On July 12, the Socialist Workers Party held a national meeting in Oberlin, Ohio. The party nominated Martin Koppel of New York for president, and Aarin Hawkins of New York for vice-president. Coppel is a naturalized U.S. citizen, born in Argentina. Hawkins, a woman, is 22 years old. Therefore, neither one of them meets the qualifications in the U.S. Constitution to hold the offices they are seeking. The party nominations are tentative, and not considered final until October of this year.


AMERICAN PARTY

On July 11-12, the American Party held its presidential convention in Newark, Delaware. It chose Robert N. Boyd of Fortville, Indiana, for president, and Walter C. Thompson of Culpeper, Virginia, for vice-president. However, on July 24, Boyd withdrew, and the party has not yet decided whether to replace him. The American Party is not currently ballot-qualified in any state. It traces its lineage to the party formed in 1968 by Governor George C. Wallace of Alabama.


GREEN PARTY

The Green Party held a national conference in Washington, D.C. July 18-20. The approximately 200 attendees took a straw poll on whether the party should nominate a presidential candidate next year. The idea was overwhelmingly approved. The partyís presidential nominating convention dates were set: June 24-27, 2004. The party had already chosen the location: Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

David Cobb of California, Carol Miller of New Mexico, and Lorna Salzman of New York have all announced their intention to seek the partyís presidential nomination, and they all attended. Ralph Nader, former Georgia congresswoman Cynthia McKinney, and Paul Glover of New York have all said they might seek the nomination. They didnít attend, although they sent spokespersons.


TWO FORMER CANDIDATES DIE

By an odd coincidence, two former Governors, who had also been minor party presidential nominees, died recently within a day of each other.

Lester Maddox, elected Governor of Georgia in 1966, died on June 25, 2003. He had been the American Independent Party presidential candidate in 1976.

Strom Thurmond, elected Governor of South Carolina in 1946, died on June 26, 2003. He had been the States Rights Democratic Party presidential candidate in 1948.


GREEN ELECTED IN MICHIGAN

On June 9, the Green Party won an election in Michigan. In a non-partisan race for Ferndale School Board, Green Party member Melissa Hohauser-Thatcher was elected with 54%. Ferndale is near Detroit.


CONSTITUTION PARTY CONVENTION

The Constitution Party presidential convention will be June 22-27, 2004, in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania.


LIBERTARIANS RECRUIT WELL-KNOWN CANDIDATE FOR UTAH GOVERNOR

In June, Richard Mack joined the Utah Libertarian Party and announced that he will probably seek its gubernatorial nomination in 2004. Mack was the Democratic sheriff of Graham County, Arizona, in 1994, when he filed a federal lawsuit against the federal Brady gun law. The case won in the U.S. Supreme Court, to the extent that the federal government was told it has no right to order local law enforcement officers to do background checks on gun purchasers.

Mack is a graduate of the FBI National Academy, and was chosen "Elected Official of the Year" in 1994 by the New Mexico/Arizona Coalition of Counties. He is the Public Affairs Director for Gun Owners of America.


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