November 1, 2003 Ė Volume 19, Number 7

This issue was originally printed on white paper.

Table of Contents

  1. NEW YORK EASES PRESIDENTIAL PRIMARY BALLOT ACCESS
  2. PUERTO RICO VICTORY
  3. ALASKA COURT RULES FOR POLITICAL PARTIES
  4. PENNSYLVANIA CASES
  5. OTHER LAWSUIT NEWS
  6. MORE LAWSUIT NEWS
  7. COFOE PRESS RELEASE ON CALIF. THREAT
  8. WASHINGTON THREAT
  9. LEGISLATIVE NEWS
  10. RECALL RESULTS
  11. INITIATIVE AND REFERNDUM ALMANAC
  12. MINOR PARTIES NAMED TO N.M. COMMISSION
  13. GOOD NEVADA RULING
  14. DEMOCRATS ASK FOR VOTE AUDIT TRAIL
  15. DEBATES WEBSITE
  16. KUCINICH ANSWERS CUIP QUESTIONAIRE
  17. NATIVE-BORN LAW
  18. 2004 PETITIONING FOR PRESIDENT
  19. SOCIALIST PARTY NOMINATES
  20. FREE STATE PROJECT PICKS N.H.
  21. REFORM PARTY CONVENTION
  22. NATURAL LAW CONVENTION
  23. FEW ARE ACTIVELY SEEKING MINOR PARTY PRESIDENTIAL NOMINATIONS

NEW YORK EASES PRESIDENTIAL PRIMARY BALLOT ACCESS

On October 1, New York Governor George Pataki signed S5698, the bill to ease presidential primary ballot access for the Republican Party and for any other party that wants to use the Republican Partyís plan. The bill had passed the legislature on June 20, but the legislature had not sent the bill to Pataki until September 25.

For the first time ever, it will be possible for presidential candidates to appear in a New York presidential primary without having to submit a petition (however, the Democratic Party will continue using a harsher alternate method in the law, so that Democrats will still need 5,000 signatures). The new Republican plan requires that the presidential candidate qualify for primary season matching funds, or that he or she be discussed in news media, or that he or she submit 5,000 signatures.

New York has been holding presidential primaries since 1980, but no primary is held if only one presidential candidate gets on the ballot. New Yorkís petitioning rules had been so burdensome for the Republican primary, that only one candidate (the one backed by the state party organization) was ever able to qualify, for all years 1980-1992.

The Republican rules in effect 1980-1992 required presidential candidates to submit a separate petition in each congressional district. Candidates could qualify in some districts, but not other districts. Each district petition needed 1,250 signatures of registered Republicans, or 5% of the number of registered Republicans in the district, whichever was less. These requirements were held unconstitutional by the 2nd circuit in 1996 in Rockefeller v Powers.

The requirement was then lowered to one-half of 1% of the number of registered Republicans in each district, plus a separate statewide petition of 5,000 signatures.

That amounted to 15,500 signatures on district petitions, and another 5,000 signatures on a statewide petition. Under this standard, in 1996, Bob Dole and Steve Forbes qualified in all districts, and Pat Buchanan qualified in some districts.

In 2000, under the same plan, George W. Bush, Steve Forbes and John McCain were able to qualify. However, Forbes and McCain were only able to qualify after winning a lawsuit against another law, making it illegal for circulators to work outside their home district. Alan Keyes was also put on the ballot as a result of this decision, even though he hadnít even done the statewide petition. That case was called Molinari v Powers.

As a result of the change, it will be possible for someone who qualifies for federal matching funds to appear on the ballot in all Republican presidential primaries in the nation, with only 23,500 valid signatures. By contrast, an independent or new party presidential nominee needs about 625,000 valid signatures (using the easier method in each state) to get on the November ballot in all states.

The Independence Party will probably use the new rules for its presidential primary. The Working Family and Conservative Parties wonít hold a presidential primary.

Virginia is now Hardest

Virginia now has the most severe ballot access in presidential primaries, for candidates who qualify for primary matching funds. Virginia requires 10,000 signatures. This year, the Democratic Party of Virginia is collecting 5,000 signatures for each of nine favored candidates seeking a spot on that stateís ballot, so that each of those nine candidates will only need to get 5,000 signatures on their own. The Virginia Democratic Party tried and failed to get the legislature to ease the law, earlier this year.


PUERTO RICO VICTORY

On October 9, the First Circuit agreed with the U.S. District Court, that Puerto Rico cannot require that someone who circulates a petition to get a new party on the ballot must be both an attorney and a notary. Perez-Guzman v Gracia, 03-1621.

Puerto Rico only has 7,000 individuals who are both notaries and attorneys. The law is so restrictive, since it has existed, only one new party has ever qualified for the ballot, and that was back in 1984. New parties need petitions signed by 5% of the last gubernatorial vote, approximately 100,000 signatures. Puerto Rico has three qualified parties.

There is great resistance against new parties in Puerto Rico, since all qualified parties receive public funding of $600,000 in election years, and $300,000 in non-election years.

The decision is the first instance at which the First Circuit had ever ruled in favor of a minor party, on any issue. The First Circuit had been the only circuit where a minor political party had never won a lawsuit. The First Circuit covers most of New England, and Puerto Rico.

The decision was written by Judge Bruce Selya, a Reagan appointee, and co-signed by Judge Walter Stapleton, another Reagan appointee, and Judge Jeffrey Howard, a Bush Jr. appointee.

The government of Puerto Rico had tried hard to win this case. Since the Puerto Rico Supreme Court had upheld the same law in 2000, in a lawsuit brought by the Civic Action Party, attorneys for Puerto Rico had insisted that the federal court has no right to hear this case. The 1st circuit opinion is quite lengthy, in order to deal with these procedural issues. This case was brought by a member of the Civic Action Party, but he wasnít a member when the 2000 case had been filed.


ALASKA COURT RULES FOR POLITICAL PARTIES

On October 2, an Alaska Superior Court ruled that political parties have a right to demand a blanket primary if they want one. In this case, the Green and Republican Moderate Parties wanted the state to print a blanket primary ballot, on which members of those parties who are running for office would appear. Then, any voter would be free to choose this primary ballot. The top vote-getter from each party would advance to the November election.

Currently, Alaska has a semi-closed primary, in which every party has its own primary ballot. Independents can choose to vote in any partyís primary.

The court said, "Political parties have the right to open or close their primaries to any class of voters." Green Party of Alaska v State, 3AN-02-10451. No one knows yet if the state will appeal. The Green and Republican Moderate Parties are hoping that the state wonít appeal. If there is no appeal, they believe that the Democratic Party will decide to use that same blanket primary ballot in 2004. A blanket primary ballot containing all the Democratic candidates would have more voter appeal than a ballot just containing Greens and Republican Moderates.

This is probably the most radical victory that political parties have ever won, on the question of controlling their own primaries. The U.S. Supreme Court has already ruled that parties can avoid a blanket primary if they wish. The Supreme Court has also ruled that parties may invite independents into their primaries if they wish. Lower courts, of course, follow these Supreme Court rulings, but they have been timid about letting parties try other variations. For example, last year a U.S. District Court in Oklahoma refused to let the Libertarian Party invite all registered voters into its primary (that case is being appealed). We are still awaiting a decision from the 9th circuit on whether the Arizona Libertarian Party can exclude independents from its primary.


PENNSYLVANIA CASES

Reform Party lawsuit: as of the moment that this issue went to print, there is no decision from the Pennsylvania Supreme Court in Nomination Paper of Zulick, 238-map2003.

This is the case covered on page one of the Oct. 1, 2003 B.A.N. The issue is whether Pennsylvania can discriminate against qualified parties that nominate by convention, compared to qualified parties that nominate by primary. Specifically, can the state impose a "sore loser" law on convention parties, but not primary parties? The answer will determine whether the Reform Partyís candidate for Superior Judge of Monroe County, Arthur Zulick, will appear on the November 4, 2003 ballot.

Monroe County uses mechanical voting machines. A candidate can be added to the ballot as late as two days before the election.

The Reform Party of Monroe County filed a parallel case in federal court last month, but that court refused to rule, since the issue is still in state court. Reform Party v Dept. of State, 3:03cv-1799, decided October 16.

Partisan Gerrymandering: the U.S. Supreme Court will hear Vieth v Jubelirer, 02-1580, on December 10. www.jenner.com/news/news.asp#772 has the briefs from both sides.


OTHER LAWSUIT NEWS

Alaska: on September 23, a Superior Court ruled that an initiative involving marijuana laws cannot be barred from the ballot, just because the some of the circulators didnít file an affidavit of residency at some point in the past. Hinterberger v State, 3AN-03-4092.

California: the case which makes it impossible for a political party to nominate someone who has been a member of another party in the preceding year is being appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court. Van Susteren v Shelley, case number hasnít been assigned yet. The Coalition for Free & Open Elections (COFOE) made this appeal possible by paying for the printing of the initial brief.

California (2): on October 6, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear Rubin v Santa Monica, 03-50. California prints occupations of candidates on ballots, and Jerry Rubin, running for city council, wanted "peace activist" as his occupation. Rubin now says he will change his name, so that "Peace Activist" will be his middle name.

Delaware: on October 28 (after this newsletter went to print), the 3rd circuit held a hearing in Biener v Calio, 03-1607, over the stateís high filing fees. Paupers are exempt, but the fees are otherwise mandatory. The hearing was before Judges Anthony Scirica and Richard Nygaard, Reagan appointees, and Thomas Ambro, a Clinton appointee.

Indiana: on October 8, a Superior Court Judge in Indianapolis ruled that the Republican Party cannot use a logo on the November ballot that contains the slogan "The A Team" next to the partyís traditional eagle. Judge James Harris said this is "electioneering", which is banned at the polls. He said the intent of printing a party logo on the ballot is to help the voters find their candidates, not to persuade them to vote a certain way. Sanders v Sadler, 49DO7-0309-PL-1709. The Republican Party will appeal after the election is over.

New York: on October 7, the New York city Board of Elections settled a federal lawsuit and promised to restore a gadget to the mechanical voting machines, that makes it easier for the voters to cast a valid vote. Working Families Party v New York City Bd. of Elections, Brooklyn, cv03-3701.

New York (2): on September 30, a U.S. District Court Judge in Syracuse refused to order the state to stop printing this language on voter registration forms: "In order to vote in a primary election, you must be enrolled in a party." Fitzgerald v N.Y. State Bd. of Election, 02-cv-926. It was shortsighted of the judge to issue his ruling when he did; he should have waited until we know if the Independence Party will be permitted to invite independents to vote in its primary (see next paragraph). Plaintiffs are appealing.


MORE LAWSUIT NEWS

New York (3): on December 3, oral argument will take place in federal court in State Committee, Independence Party v Berman, 03-cv-4123. This is the case on whether the Independence Party may invite independents to vote in its statewide primary. A state court already ruled that it may (see Oct. 1 B.A.N.), but the state is appealing that decision to a higher state court.

New York (4): on October 20, a State Supreme Court Appellate panel upheld a city law, excluding city initiatives from the ballot in years when the city government itself has put questions on that same ballot. The ruling means that an initiative on school size, which had obtained 115,000 signatures, cannot appear on this yearís ballot. And if the proponents want it to appear on a future city ballot, they must do the petition all over again. Weingarten v Robles.

Oklahoma: the Libertarian Party is about to file a new lawsuit against the stateís restrictive ballot access laws for new and minor parties. A registered Libertarian tried to qualify as an independent candidate in an upcoming special legislative election, but he was refused.

Any registered voter in the district is able to qualify for the ballot in such an election just by paying a filing fee, with the sole exception of voters who are registered "Libertarian". They are expected to get 51,781 valid signatures, in order to qualify. This situation is so outlandish, it is difficult to imagine how a court will uphold the law. A decision will be made soon as to whether the case will be filed in federal or state court.

West Virginia: the Libertarian Party hopes for a hearing on injunctive relief in a few weeks, in McClure v Manchin, 1:3cv205. This case attacks two laws. One requires circulators to tell voters that if they sign the petition, they canít vote in the primary (even though voters can do both). The other law makes it illegal to circulate a petition, unless one has obtained a government license in advance.


COFOE PRESS RELEASE ON CALIF. THREAT

An initiative is circulating in California that, if passed, would end minor party fall campaigns for congressional and state offices. The "Voter Choice Open Primary" would provide for a ballot in March that would include all candidates for all congressional and state office. All voters would receive this ballot. Then, only the top two vote-getters would be permitted onto the November ballot.

Steve Westly, Californiaís Democratic State Controller, is sponsoring the initiative. The initiative is also supported by some former liberal Republican lawmakers, including Richard Riordan (former Mayor of Los Angeles), former State Senator Becky Morgan, and former Assemblyman William Bagley. These individuals believe that liberal Republicans and conservative Democrats lose primaries too frequently, and thus never get a fair chance to appear on the general election ballot.

They feel that if elections were conducted so that every voter has the same ballot in March (a ballot containing the names of all candidates), and only the top two vote-getters went on the November ballot, that such liberal Republicans and conservative Democrats would win more often.

Westly and the other proponents know that their idea would remove minor party members from the November ballot. They have been told that research on past "blanket primaries" in California (conducted in 1998 and 2000, and in all special elections back to 1967) shows that only Democrats and Republicans ever place first or second in such primaries. They have also been told that federal law mandates that congressional elections be held in November (federal law also lets states hold a December run-off, if they wish).

Consequently, the March vote that they propose, cannot legally be a true "election". Instead, it will function as a screening device for the November election.

However, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled many times that a hurdle that keeps all minor party and independent candidates off the November ballot, violates Freedom of Association, which is part of the First Amendment.

Sponsors of the initiative have brushed these objections away. COFOE (the Coalition for Free and Open Elections) recently posted a press release to US News Wire, and paid to have this release sent to all California media outlets. The press release announces that the COFOE Board has unanimously voted to oppose the Westly initiative, and explains COFOEís objections.

For a limited time, the press release can be seen by anyone with web access.


WASHINGTON THREAT

An initiative similar to the California one described above may soon circulate in Washington State. The Grange, a pressure group representing farmers, says it will circulate a similar initiative if the state legislature doesnít enact the plan into law. However, the legislature wonít be in session for general purposes until next year, so nothing will happen for at least four months.


LEGISLATIVE NEWS

California: SB 1024 was signed on October 10. It lets the Peace & Freedom Party, the Libertarian Party, the Green Party, and the Natural Law Party, choose to dispense with county central committee elections on their primary ballots, if they wish to. The County Clerks Association hopes to save money by omitting this office from the primary ballots of some parties. It is somewhat likely that the Libertarian and Natural Law Parties will dispense with such elections.

Texas: HB 1, special session, was signed into law on October 17. It moves the 2004 primary from the first Tuesday in March, to the second Tuesday in March.


RECALL RESULTS

The October 7 California gubernatorial official totals still arenít known, and wonít be until the second week in November. Unofficial totals for the various minor party members who ran are:

  1. Camejo, Green, 232,821
  2. Burton, Soc. Equality, 6,508
  3. Hall, Green, 2,233
  4. Roscoe, Libertarian, 2,143
  5. Watts, Green, 1,923
  6. Hamidi, Libertarian, 1,883
  7. Hickey, Libertarian, 1,628
  8. Weber, Peace & Fr, 1,575
  9. Adam, Natural Law, 1,233
  10. Walker, Green, 1,176
  11. Price, Natural Law, 1,090
  12. Templin, American Ind., 1,021
  13. Pineda, American Ind., 984
  14. Britton, Soc. Wkr., 719
  15. Rainforth, Reform, 719

Governor Gray Davis wasnít listed as a candidate, but the top portion of the ballot asked if the voters wanted to recall him. Ironically, he received more support in this election than he had in November 2002. 3,868,238 voters said "no recall", yet Davis had polled only 3,533,490 votes a year ago. 4,783,180 people voted "yes" on the recall. Arnold Schwarzenegger received 4,056,028 votes. For more returns, see the Secretary of State's Website.

Even though 135 candidates appeared on the ballot, newspapers reported that voters did not have trouble finding the candidate they wished to vote for. The New York Times of October 8 captioned a story, "Was Long Ballot Unwieldy? Mostly, Voters Say No Way." The text said, "From the southern tip of California to its major cities to Elk Valley in the north, elections officials reported only a smattering of problems." The San Francisco Chronicle of October 8 ran, "Chaos didnít arrive, but voters sure did". Another Chronicle article that same day said, "Most voters reported little trouble in casting their ballots."

This evidence undercuts a U.S. Supreme Court assertion that "laundry list ballots discourage voter participation and confuse and frustrate those who do participate."


INITIATIVE AND REFERNDUM ALMANAC

Earlier this year, the Initiative and Referendum Institute published a 659-page reference book, called Initiative and Referendum Almanac. $65. It is published by Carolina Academic Press of Durham, N.C.

Many books have been published on the subject of the initiative process, even weighty reference books. But no other book can match the I & R Almanac for breadth of information. Chapter 4, "State-by-State History" not only has the history of attempts to obtain the initiative process in each state, it lists all the initiatives that have ever appeared on that stateís ballot (if that state has the initiative) and whether each passed or failed.

Chapter 2 provides a step-by-step guide, for each state, to everything anyone who need to know in order to launch an initiative. Chapter 9 summarizes fourteen major issues that have been the subject of initiatives throughout the nation, such as animal protection, drug policy, education, abortion, term limits, and campaign finance.

Other chapters cover the initiative in cities, a general history of the initiative in the U.S., how courts have ruled on the initiative process, how legislatures have attempted to weaken the initiative, poll data about the initiative process, and the issue of a national initiative process.

An appendix lists all initiatives that have been on the ballot of all states, in chronological order. If the initiative process is important or interesting to you, this is a must-own book.


MINOR PARTIES NAMED TO N.M. COMMISSION

On October 22, New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson appointed one Green, one Libertarian, and one independent, to a state Task Force on election law reform. The group will probably have 25 or so members. The other members, of course, are all Democrats and Republicans.


GOOD NEVADA RULING

On September 18, the Nevada Secretary of State ruled that the Department of Motor Vehicles cannot always prohibit petitioning insides its offices. He also said that the DMV cannot require circulators to give advance notice of petitioning.


DEMOCRATS ASK FOR VOTE AUDIT TRAIL

On October 4, the Democratic National Committee passed a resolution "demanding that all electronic voting equipment used in public elections incorporate an accessible voter-verified paper audit trail no case later than the November 2004 election."


DEBATES WEBSITE

Open Debates is a new organization working for more inclusive general election presidential debates. It now has a website, www.opendebates.org. The same people who created the organization filed a complaint against the Commission on Presidential Debates with the FEC, back in June 2003. That complaint is still pending. But Open Debates has other ideas. It may try to persuade the colleges that are chosen to host the debates, to insist that the debates be more inclusive.


KUCINICH ANSWERS CUIP QUESTIONAIRE

Congressman Dennis Kucinich is the latest Democratic presidential candidate to answer a questionnaire on minor party issues. The questionnaire was prepared by the Committee for a United Independent Party (CUIP). Kucinich supports more inclusive debates and easier ballot access. See www.cuip.org for the full response.


NATIVE-BORN LAW

Proposed constitutional amendments have been introduced in both houses of Congress to delete the prohibition on foreign-born citizens being president. They are SJR 15, by Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Ut.), and HJR 59, by Congressman Vic Snyder (D-Ark.).


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

already on

*reg 4,880

0

0

0

Aug 4

Arizona

16,348

est #10,000

already on

*2,600

0

0

0

Jun 9

Arkansas

10,000

1,000

*250

0

0

0

0

Aug 2

California

(reg) 77,389

153,035

already on

already on

already on

already on

*50,536

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

233

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

*2,000

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

*1,000

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

*275

0

0

0

0

Aug 13

Kansas

16,714

5,000

already on

*2,000

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

*finished

already on

0

*17,000

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

*700

already on

July 28

Nebraska

4,810

2,500

already on

4,300

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

9,600

0

100

0

Jun 25

N. Dakota

7,000

#4,000

0

0

0

0

0

Sep 3

Ohio

32,290

5,000

*finished

5,000

0

0

0

Aug 19

Oklahoma

51,781

37,027

*3,400

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

S. Carolina

10,000

10,000

already on

*1,500

already on

already on

already on

Jul 15

S. Dakota

8,364

#3,346

3,500

0

0

*6,000

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

*1,900

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

*1,000

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
27
20
12
10
7
1


# allows partisan label. * means entry changed since the last issue of B.A.N. "(reg.)" means a party must have a certain number of registered voters. All dates in "deadline" column are 2004. The Independent American Party has 500 in Utah.


SOCIALIST PARTY NOMINATES

The Socialist Party held its presidential convention in Chicago, Oct. 18-19. The presidential candidate is Walter F. Brown, 78, of Lake Oswego, Oregon, an attorney. Brown was a Democratic State Senator between 1975 and 1987.

The vice-presidential candidate is Mary Alice "Mal" Herbert, 68, of Putney, Vermont, a retired teacher. She is also active in Vermontís Liberty Union Party, which has been ballot-qualified in Vermont since 1970.

The last time the Socialist Party polled as many as 10,000 votes for president was 1952.


FREE STATE PROJECT PICKS N.H.

On October 1, the "Free State Project" announced to the press that it had chosen New Hampshire. The "Free State Project" has been an ongoing branch of the libertarian movement, to choose one sparsely populated state, and then to persuade libertarians to move to that one state. The theory is that a large number of activists, in a state with a small population, can have a disparate effect on moving that stateís politics and government in a libertarian direction. More than 5,000 individuals have already said they will move to New Hampshire.

Many, if not most, adherents of the Free State Project support the Libertarian Party. The choice of New Hampshire will probably help the New Hampshire Libertarian Party regained its "party" status, which it enjoyed 1990-1996. New Hampshire defines "party" as a group that polls 4% for either Governor or U.S. Senator. The definition was formerly 3% (but only Governor counted), and the Libertarians met this in 1990, 1992, and 1994. However, in 1997 the legislature raised the percentage to 4%, putting the goal beyond the reach of the party. For example, in 2002 it polled 2.95% for Governor and 2.20% for U.S. Senate. If the party retains its 2002 support, and supplements this with another 4,500 new voters, it would regain its status.


REFORM PARTY CONVENTION

The Reform Party held a national convention in Diamondhead, Mississippi, last month, to elect new party officers. The party heard a presentation in favor of Ted Weill of Mississippi for president; no one else appeared who is seeking the nomination. The nominating convention will be August 13-15, 2004. The city still hasnít been chosen. Columbus, Ohio bid for that convention, but the delegates didnít like that bid, and will seek bids from other cities.


NATURAL LAW CONVENTION

The Natural Law Party national convention on November 1, 2003 in Columbus, Ohio, will hear from Congressman Dennis Kucinich, who is seeking the Democratic nomination. It will also hear from John Hagelin, the partyís past presidential nominee; and former U.S. Senator Mike Gravel, who has been working for decades to bring the national initiative into existence. See www.vote.org.


FEW ARE ACTIVELY SEEKING MINOR PARTY PRESIDENTIAL NOMINATIONS

Only three people seem to be running active campaigns to win the presidential nomination of a minor party. An "active" campaign means traveling to most state conventions of such parties, seeking support. Although minor parties hold presidential primaries, they arenít binding. Thus, anyone who wants a minor party presidential nomination generally appears at state conventions of such parties.

The three individuals known to B.A.N. are David Cobb, a Green; and Gary Nolan and Michael Badnarik, Libertarians. For a list of individuals who are seeking a minor party nomination, but who arenít actively campaigning for it, see politics1.com.

On October 22, Ralph Nader removed his name from the California Green presidential primary, but he could still receive the partyís nomination. A USA Today poll released on October 22 says 23% of voters want Nader to run.

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