May 1, 2004 Ė Volume 20, Number 1

This issue was originally printed on white paper.

Table of Contents

  1. 10th CIRCUIT EXPANDS POLITICAL PARTY RIGHTS
  2. NEW WASHINGTON PRIMARY LAW
  3. NEW BALLOT ACCESS RULES IN WASHINGTON
  4. HOUSE PASSES HR 2844
  5. IRV NEWS
  6. CAL. PUBLIC FUNDING PASSES 1st HURDLE
  7. LEGISLATIVE NEWS
  8. BAD ALABAMA RULING
  9. CALIF. "TOP TWO"
  10. LAWSUIT NEWS
  11. 2004 PETITIONING FOR PRESIDENT
  12. NADER FOUNDS A NEW POPULIST PARTY
  13. NADER NAMES STAND-IN V-P
  14. MINOR PARTY VICTORIES
  15. NEW COMPETITION FOR BALTIMORE
  16. VETERANS PARTY
  17. MOUNTAIN PARTY
  18. SUBSCRIBING TO BAN WITH PAYPAL


10th CIRCUIT EXPANDS POLITICAL PARTY RIGHTS

SAYS PARTIES MAY INSIST ON AN OPEN PRIMARY FOR THEMSELVES

On April 6, the U.S. Court of Appeals, 10th circuit, ruled that political parties have a right to decide for themselves who should vote in their primary. In this case, the Libertarian Party wanted all voters to be able to choose a Libertarian primary ballot, even though Oklahoma has partisan registration. Beaver v Clingman, 03-6058. The decision is by Judge Carlos Lucero, a Clinton appointee; and is co-signed by Judges Paul Kelly, a Bush Sr. appointee, and Terrence OíBrien, a Bush Jr. appointee.

The U.S. Supreme Court had ruled in 1986 that parties have a right to invite registered independents into its primary. But only one other court, the First Circuit, had ever ruled that parties may invite all registered voters. The First Circuit decision, Cool Moose Party v State of Rhode Island, was issued in 1999. Ironically, the Cool Moose Party no longer exists.

The 10th circuit decision is much stronger for party rights than a 9th circuit decision issued last December, Arizona Libertarian Party v Bayless. The Arizona decision said a state may force a party to let independent voters vote in its primary (for public office), unless the party can show that it is harmed. Therefore, it sent the case back to the lower court for a trial. The trial in that case will commence in a few months.

Oklahoma had argued that if voters who are registered "Democratic" or "Republican" may choose a Libertarian primary ballot, the major parties would suffer. But the 10th circuit said, "Any concern that the Republican and Democratic Parties might have for losing voters to the Libertarian primary elections overlooks the countervailing consideration that allowing Oklahomaís voters additional choices in primary voting promotes the associational rights of the individual voters within those parties.

"In this regard, to allow the Libertarian Party to invite registered voters of other parties to participate in their primaries not only advances the associational interests of the Libertarian Party, but it also allows voters the benefit of choosing a primary."

The 10th circuit also said, "A state generally may not restrict the ability of a political party to define the group of citizens that will choose its standard-bearer."

When courts rule that political parties have the right to decide for themselves how to nominate candidates, ballot access rights also gain. Even independent candidates gain. For example, when Alaska and Washington were told to stop using a blanket primary (because the qualified political parties objected), both states eased ballot access for independent candidates. Formerly both states required independents to run in the blanket primaries. But now that there is no generic blanket primary in either state, independent candidates qualify directly for the general election ballot, and as a result they enjoy a later filing deadline.

Another advantage of decisions that let parties decide for themselves how to nominate candidates is that parties know their own needs better than the government does. Minor parties sometimes suffer, when they are forced to nominate by primary, because for a majority of partisan offices, no one from that party runs for the nomination. In that environment, a candidate who is hostile to the partyís ideas can easily capture its nomination. So far, the courts have not yet recognized the right of a minor party to insist that it nominate by convention instead of by primary. However, the logic of the recent 10th circuit opinion leads in this direction.

Oklahoma says it may seek U.S. Supreme Court review.


NEW WASHINGTON PRIMARY LAW

On April 1, Washington Governor Gary Locke signed the bottom half of SB 6453 into law. As a result, effective June 10, 2004, Washington will have an open primary instead of the old blanket primary.

Open primaries are common in the U.S. They exist for all political parties, and for all voters, in Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, North Dakota, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, and Wisconsin. In Alaska, Utah and Oklahoma, primaries are open for some parties but not other parties. "Open primary," as defined in political science books and court decisions, means a primary that gives all voters a free choice of which partyís primary to vote in, on primary day.

Generally, but not always, states that donít ask voters to choose a party on voter registration forms are "open primary" states. But there are exceptions. Iowa does ask voters to choose a party on voter registration forms, yet Iowa nevertheless lets a primary voter ask for any partyís primary ballot. On the other hand, Illinois and Ohio donít ask for a party choice on voter registration forms. But since Illinois and Ohio keep a record of which partyís primary a voter chooses, voters must stay with that choice for the next primary as well, unless they abstain from voting in the next primary, or unless they fill out a special form between primaries.

Governor Locke could have chosen to implement the "top two" system instead of an open primary (see Ballot Access News of April 1, 2004). The legislature sent him both, knowing that he would use his "line item veto" to choose one or the other.


NEW BALLOT ACCESS RULES IN WASHINGTON

The law establishing an open primary in Washington also revises ballot access. The new procedures are easier for the statewide nominees of unqualified parties and statewide independent candidates. But they are more difficult for district and county nominees.

Under the old system, all candidates had to poll at least 1% in the stateís blanket primary, in order to advance to the general election. Under the new system, the nominees of unqualified parties, and independent candidates, go directly to the November ballot. Therefore, they now have a later filing deadline.

Under the old system, minor party nominees for Governor and U.S. Senator always failed the 1% primary vote test (except that the Libertarian Party met it for both offices in 2000). So, since the nominees of unqualified parties, and independent candidates, no longer need to compete in the primary, ballot access for statewide candidates is now easier.

The chief victim of the old 1% primary vote test for Governor and U.S. Senator had been the Socialist Workers Party. That party tried and failed to pass the vote test, for those offices, in every election in which the old system existed (starting in 1977), except that by 2000 the party had given up and didnít even try. Trying and failing meant that the party paid a large filing fee, obtained 200 signatures, got on the primary ballot, but not the November ballot. That meant no appearance in the state voter handbook, since there is such a handbook only for the November election, not the September primary.

Other parties that failed the old 1% primary vote test for Governor and U.S. Senator were the Libertarian, U.S. Taxpayers, Populist, Patriot, and Reform Parties. The Green and Natural Law Parties never even tried.

The new law requires 1,000 signatures for statewide office. Although that is higher than the old 200 signatures, getting rid of the 1% vote test makes the change well worth it.

However, the old 1% primary vote test, in practice, didnít bar minor party and independent candidates for district office, so getting rid of it for those offices is no improvement. Oddly enough, voter behavior differs for statewide office versus other office. Minor party nominees for legislature never failed the 1% primary vote test, and seldom failed it for US House. One can be puzzled by this, yet accept that it is true.

The new law, unfortunately, sets new petition requirements for district office that are much higher than the old ones. US House goes from 25 signatures to 1,000; state legislature from 25 signatures to 100.

Another disadvantage of the new law is that qualified parties (those that polled over 5% of the vote for any statewide office in the last election) still must pass the 1% primary vote test. The qualified parties are the Democratic, Republican and Libertarian Parties. However, the law says any qualified party that polled less than 10% is free to be treated as though it were unqualified.

The Libertarians must decide by June 25 whether to be treated as a qualified or an unqualified party. If they choose "qualified," they will need to get perhaps 12,000 voters to choose their primary ballot in September.

But if the party chooses "unqualified," then it must obtain 1,000 signatures for each of its statewide and U.S. House nominees, and 100 signatures for each of its legislative nominees. All the petitions must be completed in a single day.

It isnít obvious what the Washington Libertarian Party will decide. The Wisconsin Libertarian Party attracted more than 2% of the primary voters in 2002; but generally, in open primary states, less than 1% of the voters choose a Libertarian primary ballot. The only other state that has a minimum vote test in the primary (for all a partyís nominees, not just write-in nominees) is North Dakota, which requires 300 votes for statewide office. 300 votes in a typical North Dakota primary is .3%, and the Libertarians have always met this test.


HOUSE PASSES HR 2844

On April 22, the U.S. House of Representatives passed HR 2844, which tells the states to hold special U.S. House elections within 45 days of the death of a member. However, the law would only apply when at least 101 seats are vacant. The intent of the bill is to handle catastrophic events, such as an explosion in the Capitol Building. The vote was 306-97.

The bill says, "If a special election is held under this subsection, not later than 10 days after the Speaker announces that the vacancy exists, the political parties of the State that are authorized to nominate candidates by State law may each nominate one candidate to run in the election."

The bill makes no provision for independent candidates, and is therefore flawed.

Every time Congress passes a bill, exercising its Article One authority to supercede state elections laws in federal elections, the case in favor of a federal law governing ballot access in congressional elections becomes stronger.


IRV NEWS

California: on April 8, the California Secretary of State certified a plan to let San Francisco use Instant-Runoff Voting for its county supervisoral elections this November.

Utah: all parties hold nominating conventions in this state, and primaries are held only when at least two candidates get substantial support at the party convention. The Republican Party has been using IRV since 2002 for its conventions, but there were no statewide races in Utah in 2002, so IRV didnít get that much publicity. However, this year there are 8 candidates for Governor at the Republican meeting on May 8, and IRV is getting much more notice.

Washington: an initiative to create IRV for state and federal elections has just been launched. The initiative would abolish party primaries. If the measure gets enough signatures, it will be on the ballot in 2005.


CAL. PUBLIC FUNDING PASSES 1st HURDLE

On April 21, AB 2949 passed the California Assembly Elections Committee. It creates public funding for state office candidates who receive a certain number of $5 contributions.

Unlike the other states with such "Clean Elections" public financing, the California bill abandons the principle of neutrality. Candidates who are members of parties that polled at least 10% of the vote for any statewide office at the last election would automatically get twice as much public funding. In the other "Clean Elections" states (Maine, Arizona and Vermont), the law does not discriminate by the candidateís party.

Independent candidates who receive the required number of $5 contributions would not receive any funding until the general election is over; and they would receive the money only if they had polled 5% of the vote.

Members of parties that had polled 10% of the vote in the last election for any statewide office would need $5 from at least 500 persons who live in the candidateís district, if they were running for Assembly. For State Senate, they would need such contributions from 1,000 residents; for Governor, 15,000 contributions; for other statewide office, 7,500.

Members of parties that had polled 3% but less than 10% for any statewide office in the last election would need half as many contributors, and would receive one-half as much public funding for the general election, and one-fifth as much for the primary. Independents would be treated like members of these parties.

Recipients of public funding would be required to participate in two debates in the general election, and would receive a free statement in the Voters Handbook. Other candidates would not necessarily be invited into these debates, and would be required to pay for a statement in the Votersí Handbook.

Write-in candidates at primaries could qualify; but write-in candidates at the general election could not.

Absurd Results

AB 2949, if it had been in existence in the past, would have lead to these absurd results:

1914: the Progressive nominee for Governor of California, Hiram Johnson, defeated his Republican, Democratic, Socialist and Prohibition Party opponents, and won the election. But under AB 2949, Johnson could not have received any public funding, whereas his Republican, Democratic and Socialist opponent would each have received $10,000,000 for the general election (assuming each of those candidates had been able to get $5 contributions from 15,000 individuals). The Prohibition Party nominee would have received $5,000,000 (again assuming that he could have raised $5 from each of 15,000 people).

The reason Hiram Johnson would not have been able to qualify for public funding in 1914 is that the Progressive Party had not existed in California in 1912. By contrast, the Democratic, Republican and Socialist Parties had, and all of them had polled over 10% for president in 1912; also the Prohibition Party had polled over 3% for president in California in 1912.

Thus, the person who actually won the general election in 1914 would have been excluded from all public funding, and been excluded from debates, and would not have been given a free statement in the Votersí HandbookÖyet four of his opponents would have had those advantages.

1986: Quentin Kopp was elected to the State Senate as an independent candidate. The results were Kopp 46.9%; the Democratic nominee 45.5%; the Republican nominee 7.6%. If AB 2949 had been in effect, no matter how many $5 contributions Kopp had received during the campaign, he would have received no public funding, until after the election was over. Yet, his two major party general election opponents would have each received $300,000 for the general election (assuming they had each received $5 from 1,000 residents).

1990, 1994: repeats of 1986. Kopp was re-elected, but under AB2949, he could not have received any funding until after the election, no matter how many contributors he had. But his Republican opponents, who received 9.3% of the vote in 1990, and 14.4% in 1994, would have received $300,000 if they had the donations.

1992: Lucy Killea was elected as an independent to the State Senate with 60.4%. She could not have received any public funding until after the election, whereas her Republican opponent, an incumbent legislator, would have received $300,000. Her Libertarian and Peace & Freedom opponents would each have received $150,000 each (since both those parties had polled over 3% in 1990 for a statewide office), presuming that each of them could have received $5 from each of 500 residents.

1992: no Green candidate could have received any public funding, since the Green Party hadnít been on the ballot in 1990. By contrast, Libertarian and Peace & Freedom members would have been eligible for some public funding (if their nominees had enough contributors). Yet the most successful minor party nominee for state office in 1992 was a Green (the Green in the 63rd Assembly district polled 12.7% in a race against a Democrat and a Republican).

1994: again, no Green candidate could have received any public funding, since the Green Party hadnít run any statewide candidates in 1992. But the American Independent and Peace & Freedom Parties each would have been eligible, if their nominees received enough contributions.

1996: Dominic Cortese, a sitting legislator who was the Reform Party nominee for State Senate, could not have received any public funding since the Reform Party was new, but his Libertarian opponent might have.

1999: a Green was actually elected to the legislature, but if AB 2949 had been in effect, her only opponent in the run-off would have had $300,000; she would have had $150,000.

If the bill is signed into law, the voters will vote on it in November 2004.


LEGISLATIVE NEWS

Connecticut: Bill 127 was signed into law on April 16. It tpreserves a minor partyís "qualified status" in congressional and legislative districts, even after that district changes its boundaries due to redistricting.

Kentucky: HB 428, sponsored by the Secretary of State, failed to pass the legislature before adjournment. As a result, the state is stuck with an April 1 declaration of candidacy requirement for independent and minor party presidential candidates that is believed to be unconstitutional. Most minor parties havenít even chosen their presidential candidates yet. Ralph Nader, three Libertarians (Nolan, Badnarik and Diket), and one Constitution Party presidential candidate complied with the law, but no one seeking the nomination of any other minor party did so. It is possible that the Secretary of State will obtain a legal opinion that the requirement is unconstitutional.

Louisiana: on April 20, Rep. William Daniel, a Baton Rouge Democrat, introduced HB 1605. It would ease the definition of "political party." Current law requires a party to have 5% of all the registered voters, or to have polled 5% for president. The bill would change this to registration of 1,000 plus a fee of $1,000.

Louisiana (2): SB 203, by Senator Cleo Fields, would restore closed primaries. It would also require candidates of unqualified parties, and independent candidates, to submit 10,000 signatures for statewide office, and 2,000 for U.S. House. Registered members of qualified parties could not sign these petitions. A similar restriction was held unconstitutional in Arizona in federal court in 1999.

Tennessee: on April 8, HB3043 was signed into law. It requires independent presidential candidates to submit a full slate of elector candidates. As a result, 275 signatures are now required for an independent presidential candidate, instead of 25 signatures. The law went into effect immediately.


BAD ALABAMA RULING

On March 30, the Alabama Attorney General ruled that stand-ins for president are not permitted on independent presidential petitions.

In 1984 and again in 1996, the Attorney General had ruled that stand-ins are legal for vice-president, so the new opinion isnít consistent. The new ruling means that minor parties canít start petitioning to get their presidential candidates on the ballot until after they have chosen their presidential candidates. Luckily the independent presidential petitions arenít due until September 6.


CALIF. "TOP TWO"

At least two op-ed pieces ran in daily California newspapers recently, in opposition to the "top two" initiative that will be voted on in November (see April 1 B.A.N.). Steve Hill of the Center for Voting and Democracy and Roy Ulrich of Common Cause authored one, and the other one appeared in the San Diego Daily Transcript.


LAWSUIT NEWS

Alabama: a decision is due momentarily in McGinley v Republican Party of Alabama, cv2004-1017, circuit court, 15th dist. The issue is whether the Republican Party can exclude a candidate from its primary because her web site had advocated support for the Constitution Party.

California: on April 19, Green congressional nominee Terry Baum filed a lawsuit in state court, to win a place on the November ballot. Baum v Arntz, San Fran., 504120. The issue is whether primary write-ins should be counted when the voter who cast the write-in vote didnít check the box next to the write-in space.

Georgia: on April 16 federal court lowered the number of signatures for minor party and independent legislative candidates (for 2004 only) from 5% of the number of registered voters, to 3.33% (see B.A.N. of March 1). Larios v Cox, 1:03-cv-663, n.d.

Georgia (2): on April 15, the 11th circuit ruled that local government cannot require a permit for a group of more than 5 people to carry on political activity on sidewalks and in parks. Burk v Augusta, 03-11756.

Maryland: on April 21, a Green Party activist sued to require audit trails for vote-counting machines. Schade v Maryland Bd. of Elections, Anne Arundel Circuit Court.

New Mexico: on April 13, a court removed two Green candidates from the partyís primary ballot, because the party didnít file a timely notice that they had received significant support at its convention. Brown v Vigil-Giron, cv-2004-2249, Albuq.

New York: on April 23, the 2nd circuit ruled that the Voting Rights Act canít be used to protect voting rights for felons. Muntaqim v Coombe, 01-7260.

North Carolina: the hearing in DeLaney v Bartlett on March 31 went well. The issue is why the state requires more signatures for a statewide independent than for a new party. The only reason the state gave was that "minor parties have distinct ideologies, whereas independent candidates donít." The judge seemed skeptical of the stateís logic.

Oklahoma: on April 8, the Libertarian Party filed a lawsuit in state court, alleging that the ballot access law for new parties violates the State Constitutionís guarantee of "free and equal elections." Libt. Political Org. v Clingman, Okla. Co., 2004-2949.

Pennsylvania: on March 26, the State Supreme Court said that a law invalidating write-in votes cast for candidates whose names are on the ballot is not mandatory. It ruled that such votes should be counted. Shambach v Bickhart, 951MAL2003.

Washington: dueling lawsuits have been filed around the stateís new primary system (see p. 2). Washington State Grange v Locke, 75384-9, in the State Supreme Court, claims the new law is void because of the bill title. Locke v Reed, no. 75392-0, says that any attempt to stop the new law with a referendum petition is invalid.


2004 PETITIONING FOR PRESIDENT

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

Alabama

41,012

5,000

300

0

0

*2,500

0

Sep 6

Alaska

(reg) 6,937

#2,845

already on

already on

0

*already on

0

Aug 4

Arizona

16,348

*14,694

already on

0

*400

0

0

Jun 9

Arkansas

10,000

1,000

*900

*660

0

*200

0

Aug 2

California

(reg) 77,389

153,035

already on

already on

*0

already on

*0

Aug 6

Colorado

(reg) 1,000

#pay fee

already on

already on

0

already on

already on

July 5

Connecticut

no procedure

#7,500

*100

already on

*250

*1,000

0

Aug 7

Delaware

(reg) *259

5,184

already on

already on

0

already on

227

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

0

already on

already on

Sep 1

Georgia

37,153

#37,153

already on

*5,000

*800

0

0

July 13

Hawaii

677

3,711

already on

already on

0

*0

0

Sep 3

Idaho

10,033

5,017

already on

*4,200

0

already on

0

Aug 31

Illinois

no procedure

#25,000

*7,500

*1,500

*4,000

0

0

Jun 21

Indiana

no procedure

#29,553

already on

*500

*1,500

0

0

Jul 1

Iowa

no procedure

#1,500

*600

*100

0

25

0

Aug 13

Kansas

16,714

5,000

already on

0

0

*6,500

already on

Aug 2

Kentucky

no procedure

#5,000

*150

0

0

*400

0

Aug 26

Louisiana

est. (reg) 140,000

#pay fee

1,369

855

0

39

2,900

Sep 7

Maine

25,260

#4,000

0

already on

0

0

0

Aug 9

Maryland

10,000

27,899

*finished

already on

*1,000

*already on

0

Aug 2

Mass.

est. (reg) 38,000

#10,000

already on

already on

0

33

1,469

July 27

Michigan

31,776

31,776

already on

already on

0

already on

already on

July 15

Minnesota

112,557

#2,000

0

already on

canít start

0

0

Sep 14

Mississippi

be organized

#1,000

already on

already on

0

already on

already on

Sep 3

Missouri

*undetermined

10,000

already on

0

0

*50

0

July 26

Montana

5,000

#5,000

already on

already on

0

already on

already on

July 28

Nebraska

4,810

2,500

already on

4,550

0

0

0

Aug 24

Nevada

4,805

4,805

already on

already on

0

already on

0

July 9

New Hamp.

13,260

#3,000

0

0

0

finished

0

Aug 11

New Jersey

no procedure

#800

0

0

0

*25

0

July 26

New Mexico

2,422

14,527

already on

already on

0

*finished

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

100,532

already on

9,100

1,500

100

0

Jul 6

North Dakota

7,000

#4,000

*canít start

*canít start

*canít start

*canít start

*canít start

Sep 3

Ohio

32,290

5,000

in court

0

0

*7,000

0

Aug 19

Oklahoma

51,781

37,027

*25,500

0

*2,000

0

0

Jul 15

Oregon

18,864

15,306

already on

already on

0

already on

0

Aug 24

Penn.

no procedure

25,697

*400

*3,000

*500

0

0

Aug 2

Rhode Island

16,592

#1,000

0

already on

*canít start

0

0

Sep 3

So. Carolina

10,000

10,000

already on

*already on

*200

already on

already on

Jul 15

South Dakota

8,364

#3,346

*finished

0

0

*already on

0

Aug 3

Tennessee

41,322

*275

0

0

0

0

0

Aug 19

Texas

45,540

64,077

*28,000

*2,000

*20,000

*0

0

May 24

Utah

2,000

#1,000

already on

already on

0

already on

0

Sep 3

Vermont

be organized

#1,000

already on

already on

0

already on

0

Sep 16

Virginia

no procedure

#10,000

*6,000

*500

0

0

0

Aug 20

Washington

no procedure

*#1,000

already on

can't start

can't start

can't start

can't start

Aug 25

West Va.

no procedure

#12,963

*5,500

0

0

0

0

Aug 2

Wisconsin

10,000

#2,000

already on

already on

canít start

already on

can't start

Sep 14

Wyoming

3,644

3,644

already on

0

0

0

0

Aug 23

TOTAL STATES ON
27
23
0
*17
7
-

# allows partisan label.
* entry changed since last B.A.N.


NADER FOUNDS A NEW POPULIST PARTY

On April 21, Ralph Nader filed a request with the Federal Election Commission for primary season matching funds. Such funds are given to presidential candidates who are seeking the nomination of any political party, and who have raised at least $5,000 from each of 20 states.

Nader has raised this amount in 23 states, and his submission says that he is seeking the nomination of the Populist Party. Naderís new Populist Party is his own creation, and has no connection with the Populist Party founded in 1984. That older Populist Party last appeared on the ballot of any state in 1996, and no longer exists.

Another reason for Nader to create a party is that Florida requires no signatures for nominees of minor parties that hold a national convention, whereas independent presidential candidates need 93,024 signatures. Also, Maryland requires 10,000 for parties but 27,899 for independents.


NADER NAMES STAND-IN V-P

Jan Pierce will serve as Ralph Naderís stand-in candidate for vice-president. Many states require independent presidential petitions to name a vice-presidential candidate, even when the actual vice-presidential candidate hasnít yet been chosen. Thus, it has become traditional for independent presidential candidates to choose "stand-ins" for this purpose. When the true candidate is chosen, the "stand-in" resigns. Pierce, 66, is a 40-year veteran of the labor movement, and before he retired, was a National Vice-President of the Communications Workers of America. He now lives in Ohio.


MINOR PARTY VICTORIES

On April 6, twelve Green Party members, and seven Libertarians, were elected or re-elected to Wisconsin public office, including County Commissioners, Town Board, and School Boards. Also, a Libertarian was elected the same day as city marshal in Greendale, Missouri.


NEW COMPETITION FOR BALTIMORE

The Green Party has nominated eight candidates for Baltimore city council. For over fifty years, the Democrats have won every seat on this body, and no minor party has appeared on the ballot for this office. The Greens were able to nominate with no petition, thanks to their ballot access victory last year (see B.A.N. of Sep. 1, 2003). The Constitution Party enjoys the same freedom to run candidates in all Maryland partisan elections with no petition, and within a few weeks the Libertarians will also.


VETERANS PARTY

Last fall, the Veterans Party was organized, with headquarters in Pinellas Park, Florida. The party has no plans to run a presidential candidate this year, but wants to qualify a U.S. House candidate in Georgia, and a U.S. Senate candidate in Florida. However, the Georgia petition requirement for that office is so severe, no minor party has ever been able to comply with it in the 61 years it has existed. And the Florida race requires a filing fee of more than $9,000, a sum unlikely to be available.

The March B.A.N. said that Libertarians in Georgia were trying to qualify a candidate for the U.S. House, but that effort has been abandoned. Thus the Democratic-Republican monopoly for U.S. House races in Georgia continues for a seventh decade.


MOUNTAIN PARTY

The Mountain Party is a ballot-qualified party in West Virginia. Its state convention on May 1 is deciding whether to nominate Nader for president, or to have no candidate.


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