March 1, 2007 Ė Volume 22, Number 11

This issue was originally printed on blue paper.

Table of Contents

  1. HIGH COURT TAKES FIRST BALLOT ACCESS CASE SINCE 1992
  2. HIGH COURT REJECTS
  3. OTHER LAWSUIT NEWS
  4. PRESIDENTIAL PRIMARY DATE MANIA
  5. NEW ACCESS BILLS
  6. DEFEATED BILLS
  7. NATIONAL POPULAR VOTE BILLS
  8. NEW IRV BILLS
  9. FUSION BILLS
  10. 2008 PETITIONING FOR PRESIDENT
  11. GEORGIA SPECIAL US HOUSE ELECTION
  12. UNITY08 RULES COMMITTEE
  13. GREEN PARTY PRESIDENTIAL RACE
  14. FEC APPROVES GREEN COMMITTEE
  15. GREEN PARTY SETS 2007 MEETING
  16. NEW YORK SPECIAL ELECTION RESULTS
  17. ERRATA
  18. SUBSCRIBING TO BAN WITH PAYPAL


HIGH COURT TAKES FIRST BALLOT ACCESS CASE SINCE 1992

On February 20, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear New York stateís appeal in New York State Board. of Elections v Lopez Torres, 06-766. This will be the first ballot access case the Court has heard since 1992, and it will be the first time the Court has heard a case involving the number of signatures needed for primary ballot access. In this case, the ballot access laws at stake are for Delegate to a party Judicial Nominating convention. Delegates are elected from each Assembly district in the state. A candidate for delegate needs 500 signatures, to be obtained within 37 days from registered members of the party that is holding the primary.

This is the first the time that Court has ever heard a ballot access case involving a candidate who is so popular that she could be elected in a fair election. The lead plaintiff is Margarita Lopez Torres, who seeks to be elected to the State Supreme Court from Brooklyn. She is already an elected Civil Court Judge in Brooklyn. She was elected in 1992 in a partisan election as the Democratic nominee, after first having won the Democratic primary. She was re-elected in 2002, again as the Democratic nominee, after winning a contested primary. In the general election in 2002, she received 200,710 votes, more than any Democratic nominee in Brooklyn for Supreme Court Justice. Yet, she is unable to run for Supreme Court Justice as the nominee of her party, for reasons explained below.

The case includes eight co-plaintiffs in addition to Lopez Torres. They are three other individuals who wish to compete for a Democratic Party nomination (one of them, Philip Segal, is a past judge), one who wishes to compete for a Republican nomination, and voters who want to support them. Also Common Cause of New York is a plaintiff.

New York Supreme Court Elections

New York is the only state in which "Supreme Court Justice" doesnít mean a member of the highest court. Instead, the Supreme Court consists of 324 justices, elected on a partisan basis from twelve judicial districts. New York Supreme Court Justices are the trial judges of general jurisdiction. A case starts in the Supreme Court, then goes to the Appellate Division, and then is appealed again to the stateís highest court, the Court of Appeals.

New York has lesser courts than the Supreme Court. They include the Civil Courts and the Family Courts. Judges for Supreme Court, Civil Court, and Family Court, are all elected on a partisan basis, in both odd years and even years. But whereas Civil Court and Family Court judges file to run in party primaries, Supreme Court Justices have no direct primary. Instead, each party chooses its nominees for Supreme Court Justice at party nominating conventions, held in late September. Delegates to these conventions are elected in early September.

Why Lopez Torres Sued

Lopez Torres does not complain that it is unconstitutional for New York to use party conventions to nominate partisan candidates for Supreme Court Justice. There would be no basis for such a claim. To this day, political parties nominate presidential and vice-presidential candidates in national party conventions. All parties, in all states, used conventions to choose their nominees for all offices during the 19th century and the early part of the 20th century.

Lopez Torres sued because the details of the Judicial Conventions make it impossible for anyone to win a party nomination without the support of the county and assembly district leaders of the parties.

This is because of these characteristics of the process: (1) delegates can only get on the primary ballot with petitions that are so difficult, only the party organization can collect them; (2) the number of delegates and alternatives is huge (305 in Brooklyn for the 2002 Democratic convention), so just recruiting that many delegates is a problem; (3) even if Lopez Torres could recruit that many delegates and get them onto the primary ballot, that ballot contains no labels for a voter to know which delegates are pledged to which candidate for Justice.

One may wonder, if the petitions are so difficult, how do the party organizations cope with them? They can cope because each major party in New York has more than 10,000 experienced individuals who willingly do such petitioning work (their jobs may depend on their close association with a political party). Also, the petitions for Delegate to Judicial Nominating Conventions often include candidates for other partisan office as well, and the party organization coordinates these drives. And, party leaders have easy access to lists of registered voters, and other official records that make petitioning easier; and they have election law attorneys on their payroll.

The trial in the U.S. District Court, held in 2004, lasted for 13 days. More than 10,000 pages of Documentary exhibits were received as evidence. The trial showed that, 90% of the time, the party-backed candidates for Delegate are the only ones who qualify for the primary ballot. When that happens, that office is simply removed from the primary ballot. Furthermore, the conventions themselves are hopeless for anyone who seeks the nomination without the blessing of the party assembly and county leaders, for the following reasons: (conít on page 2)

Candidates for Justice are not permitted to address the convention. Most elected delegates and alternates do not show up at the convention, but those who do are permitted to fill vacancies. The record showed that some county conventions last as little as 20 minutes, since the only nominees for Justice that are made are for the party-backed candidates, and a simple voice vote nominates the entire slate. Lopez Torres tried to get a nomination in 1997, 1998, 2002, 2003 and 2004. But because she had offended party leaders by refusing to make a patronage appointment of a law secretary, she was told that she "did not understand the way it works."

The Lower Court Decisions

Lopez Torres won injunctive relief in U.S. District Court on January 27, 2006, and she won again in the 3rd circuit on August 30, 2006. The lower courts ruled that the system as a whole was likely unconstitutional. The injunction said that, until New York changes the system, direct primary elections should be held for Supreme Court Justices, similar to the primary New York already holds for lesser judges.

Often, in ballot access cases, a court finds that a combination of restrictions, taken together, is unconstitutional. Even when courts get to the point of declaratory relief (i.e., declaring that a law, or set of laws, is unconstitutional), it is not always obvious exactly which laws are constitutional and which are not. For example, in 1968, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that all of Ohioís election laws relating to new parties and independent candidates, taken together, were unconstitutional. The case, Williams v Rhodes, put George Wallaceís American Independent Party on the Ohio ballot. The Court did not say exactly which laws were unconstitutional.

The Lopez Torres decisions in the lower courts are similar, particularly since the case has not even reached the point of declaratory relief. Unfortunately, this enables opponents of the decision to misrepresent the lower court decisions.

The best way to understand the U.S. District Court decision is to quote from it. It says, "The plaintiffsí theory of the case is as follows: for any Supreme Court candidate who is not supported by party leadership, the burdens of getting her own delegates and alternate delegates on the ballot in enough assembly districts to command a majority at the convention are insurmountable." 411 F.Supp.2d 212, at page 243. Also, "The process of placing delegates at the convention is so difficult, except in isolated instances in a single Assembly District, that only the party organization can accomplish it." Page 249.

The U.S. District Court depended on two precedents, Rockefeller v Powers (1996) and Molanari v Powers (2000), both of which struck down certain ballot access requirements for the New York Republican presidential primary. The U.S. District Court said on page 251, "Plaintiffs do not argue that party leadership can be prohibited from publicly endorsing and working to support its chosen candidates." Although the entire system was held to be likely unconstitutional, it is plain that the key aspect of the unconstitutionality is the draconian requirements for ballot access for candidates for Delegate. Therefore, this is properly a ballot access case, not a case about whether the U.S. Constitution permits a state to use nominating conventions, and not a case that alleges everyone has a constitutional right to win a party nomination.

New York Stateís Arguments

New York Stateís petition asking the U.S. Supreme Court to hear its appeal first pointed out that the U.S. Supreme Court has never struck down a ballot access requirement onto a primary ballot, except for the two filing fee cases in 1972 and 1974. This is true. Most ballot access litigation concerns laws that regulate how new and minor parties, and independent candidates, may appear on the general election ballot. But that is only because it is fairly rare for states to pass restrictive ballot access laws onto primary ballots.

But then New York tries to argue that the U.S. Constitution doesnít protect voters and candidates from severe ballot access laws for primaries. This is a weak argument. The state completely ignores lower court decisions that have struck down primary ballot access laws. These include a 2nd circuit decision striking down severe ballot access laws for the New York Republican presidential primary, a 7th circuit decision striking down Illinois petition requirements for party office in a primary, and U.S. District Court decisions from Rhode Island and Kentucky striking down presidential primary ballot access laws.

New Yorkís brief also argues that the lower courts ruled that states cannot use conventions to nominate party candidates for Supreme Court Justice. This is a "straw man" argument. It is true that the lower courts ordered interim relief in the form of direct primaries, but nothing in the lower court decisions told the state that it could not save the convention system if it just repaired the faults that make the system unfair to candidates not supported by party leaders. For example, the state legislature is free to ease the ballot access requirements for Delegate, to limit the number of Delegates to be elected, and to provide that such slates be labeled on the primary ballot.

New York also argues that the lower court decisions trample on the rights of political parties to run their primaries as they wish. If the state won its appeal on this basis, that would mean that political parties, rather than state legislatures, are free to decide for themselves what the primary ballot access requirements should be. That would be a large gain for political party autonomy.

But there is no precedent, from any court, that political parties rules may supercede state election laws, on the issue of how many signatures are needed for primary ballot access. It would be surprising indeed if the U.S. Supreme Court found that the Constitution protects political partiesí ability to run their own primaries to that extent.

The Prospects

In the past, Supreme Court ballot access decisions have been more favorable if the decisions received publicity, than if they didnít. George Wallace, Eugene McCarthy, and John Anderson won the great ballot access victories in the Supreme Court. Their cases received front-page coverage, since they concerned candidates who were newsworthy.

The worst ballot access decisions have come from cases that received little publicity. The most hurtful decision from the Supreme Court was Jenness v Fortson (a 1971 decision in a case brought by the Socialist Workers Party). That case received no publicity. The New York Times did not mention the case when it was argued. And when the decision came down, on June 21, 1971, the Times only mentioned it in one sentence (that one sentence was tucked into the article about that dayís other, entirely unrelated, Supreme Court decision). Even The Militant, newspaper of the Socialist Workers Party, didnít mention the decision on its front page. Jenness upheld a petition requirement of 5% of the number of registered voters. It is replete with factual errors, as shown in an article in the Election Law Journal (Vol. One, #2).

Other ballot access decisions that got almost no publicity were also faulty: (1) Burdick v Takushi, issued in 1992, said that if states print write-in space on ballots, stability would be threatened. This was an absurd conclusion, supported by no evidence. The fact that 45 states (then and now) print write-in space on their ballots disproves that conclusion. (2) Munro v Socialist Workers Party, issued in 1986, said that evidence is not important in ballot access cases (this directly contradicted Storer v Brown and Anderson v Celebrezze, and is so bizarre, it is rarely cited). (3) Storer v Brown said that a reasonably diligent independent candidate ought to be able to get 330,000 signatures in 24 days, ignoring the fact, at the time, no independent candidate in history had ever met a requirement greater than 72,514 signatures.

Lopez Torres has already had far more publicity than any of those cases. Another indication of the attention being paid to the case is the extensive list of organizations that filed an amicus brief in the 2nd circuit. On Lopez Torresí side were the ACLU of New York state, the New York City Bar Association, the Citizens Union of New York city, former Mayor Ed Koch, the Fund for Modern Courts, the New York County Lawyersí Association, the District Attorney of Brooklyn, a group of former New York state Judges, and a joint brief from the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund, the Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund, the Puerto Rican Bar Association, Latino Lawyers Association of Queens, The Center for Law and Justice, the Amistad Black Bar Association of Long Island, and the Rochester Black Bar Association.

On New Yorkís side, in the 2nd circuit, were these intervenors: the New York Republican State Committee, the Manhatten Democratic Committee, Associations of New York Supreme Court Justices. Amici on New Yorkís side were filed by the state legislature, the Womenís Bar Association of New York, the Richmond County Bar Association, and the Asian American Bar Association of New York.

All these organizations, and probably others, are likely to file an amicus in the U.S. Supreme Court during the summer of 2007. The hearing will probably be in October or November 2007.


HIGH COURT REJECTS

On the same day that the U.S. Supreme Court accepted Lopez Torres, it refused to hear these cases: (1) Initiative & Referendum Institute v Herbert, over whether a state can require that initiatives on one particular subject need a two-thirds vote to pass; (2) Protect Marriage v Orr, over Illinoisí requirement that signatures be segregated by county (and, in some cases, by city); (3) Romanelli v Election Board, over Pennsylvania petition-checking procedures.


OTHER LAWSUIT NEWS

federal law: the U.S. Supreme Court will hear Federal Election Commission v Wisconsin Right to Life, 06-970, on April 25.

Alabama: the 11th circuit will hear oral arguments in the ballot access case on March 20. Swanson v Secretary of State, 06-13643. The hearing will be in Atlanta.

New Jersey: on February 13, the state finally filed an answer to the lawsuit filed by several minor parties on October 13, 2006. Green Party of N.J. v State, Mercer Co. C-125-06. The lawsuit challenges numerous laws that discriminate against parties other than the Democratic and Republican Parties.

New Mexico: on February 12, a U.S. District Court struck down an Albuquerque ordinance that requires voters to show a photo-ID, to vote at the polls. The decision is 83 pages long. ACLU of N.M. v Santillanes, cv05-1136.

North Carolina: the complaint in the Libertarian Partyís ballot access lawsuit is being amended to take into account the fact that the Green Party has intervened in the case, and also to respond to the changes made by the legislature last year. The case was filed September 21, 2005, and has survived attempts by the State Board of Elections to dismiss it without a full display of evidence. Libertarian Party of N.C. v State Bd. of Elections, Wake Co., 05-cvs-13073.

Ohio: as expected, the Secretary of State did not ask the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn the Libertarian Partyís victory in the 6th circuit ballot access case. Now the state legislature must improve the ballot access law for new parties. If no action is taken before the next election, any party will be able to get on the ballot simply by demand, under prior 6th circuit precedents from Michigan.

Oklahoma: a decision on the Libertarian Partyís ballot access case could come from the State Court of Appeals, Tulsa Division, at any time. Libertarian Political Organization v Clingman.

South Dakota: on February 9, a U.S. District Court ruled that the city of Martin should use cumulative voting in its city council elections, as the best solution for enforcing the Voting Rights Act. The city had already been found to be in violation of the Voting Rights Act, because its old election system worked to prevent American Indians from ever electing one of their own, even though they are 38% of the population. Cottier v City of Martin, 02-5021.

Texas: on February 13, the Democratic Party filed a federal lawsuit against the Secretary of State, to force him not to use eSlate vote-counting machines any longer. The party says the machines miscount votes when a voter uses the straight-ticket device and then also votes separately for a particular candidate from that same party. Texas Democratic Party v Williams, 07-cv-115, w.d.

Washington: the U.S. Supreme Court will probably say on February 26 whether it will hear the stateís appeal in the "top-two" primary case. State v Republican Party, 06-730.

West Virginia: on February 12, the State Supreme Court refused to hear the Libertarian Partyís lawsuit against the May petition deadline for non-presidential candidates. The case had been filed in 2004 to get the partyís nominee for Governor on the ballot. McClure v Manchin.


PRESIDENTIAL PRIMARY DATE MANIA

At least fifteen states are now considering bills to move their presidential primary to an earlier date. Almost all of the bills set up a February 5 primary, or a February 2 primary. The states are California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, New Jersey, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Texas. Also, bills will probably be introduced soon in Alabama and New York. The California, Kansas, and New Jersey bills have already passed one House.


NEW ACCESS BILLS

Colorado: SB 83 would not only remove restrictions on who can circulate a petition, it would also permit qualified minor parties to nominate someone even if he or she had not been a member of that party for a full year before the nomination.

Missouri: SB 409 would require independent candidates to file a declaration of candidacy in March. This bill will probably not make any headway, since it is clearly unconstitutional for president (due to the Supreme Court decision Anderson v Celebrezze), and also because in 1976 a U.S. District Court invalidated the stateís old April petition deadline for independent candidates.

Oregon: SB 468 would repeal the 2005 law that made it illegal for primary voters to sign an independent candidateís petition.

Pennsylvania: HB 48 says that write-in votes cast for a candidate who tried and failed to get on the ballot are void.

Tennessee: SB 288 and HB 626 would set up a two-tier system of qualified parties. Qualified minor parties would be those that submitted 2,500 signatures; they would then be allowed to nominate by convention.

West Virginia: HB 3144 would move the petition deadline for non-presidential minor party and independent candidates from May to August.


DEFEATED BILLS

New Mexico: HB 331, which would have eliminated the need for qualified minor parties to submit a petition for each of their nominees, was tabled in Committee on February 15.

South Dakota: SB 122, which would have made it much easier for a party to remain on the ballot, was tabled on January 29. However, it could still be amended and brought up again.

Virginia: HB 3157, which would have imposed filing fees on candidates who get on the November ballot by petition, was withdrawn on February 13.


NATIONAL POPULAR VOTE BILLS

Bills to establish an Interstate Compact, under which participating states would choose presidential electors pledged to the person who won the most popular votes in the nation, are pending in at least 22 states. The Colorado and Hawaii bills have already passed the Senate. The bills in Mississippi, Montana, and North Dakota have already been defeated.


NEW IRV BILLS

Arkansas: HB 1509 passed the House on February 21. Arkansas already lets overseas military voters use Instant-Runoff Voting in primaries (because there isnít enough time for the mail to arrive between the primary and run-off primary). The bill expands this to civilians overseas voters as well.

California: AB 1294 let any city or county choose to use Instant-Runoff Voting for its own county or city elections. Under current law, only charter cities and charter counties have this freedom.

Maine: LB 585 would authorize IRV for gubernatorial elections.

New York: A3616 would set up a pilot program to let 10 towns or cities use IRV.

Oregon: HB 2761 would let any city or county use IRV.

Vermont: H196, which has 49 co-sponsors, would provide that all federal and state elections use IRV. It will probably be amended to cover only a few offices.


FUSION BILLS

Connecticut: SB 556, which would have ended fusion, is dead. H7260 would expand fusion so that unqualified parties can use it (now, only qualified parties can use it).

Maryland: SB 545 would legalize fusion.

Montana: SB 280, which would have legalized fusion, was tabled.

South Carolina: H3230 would eliminate fusion.


2008 PETITIONING FOR PRESIDENT

STATE
REQUIREMENTS
PARTIES
Deadline
FULL PARTY
CAND
LIB'T
GREEN
CONSTI
WK FAM
REFORM

Alabama

37,513

5,000

0

0

0

0

0

Sep. 8

Alaska

(reg) 7,124

#3,128

already on

3,559

0

0

0

Aug. 6

Ariz.

20,449

est. #21,500

already on

1,650

0

0

0

June 11

Arkansas

10,000

#1,000

0

0

0

0

0

Aug. 4

Calif.

(reg) 88,991

158,372

already on

already on

already on

0

31,897

Aug. 8

Colorado

(reg) 1,000

#1,000

already on

already on

already on

0

273

June 17

Conn.

no procedure

#7,500

canít start

canít start

canít start

canít start

canít start

Aug. 6

Delaware

est. (reg) 290

est. 5,800

already on

already on

already on

already on

182

July 15

D.C.

no procedure

est. #3,900

canít start

already on

canít start

canít start

canít start

Aug. 19

Florida

be organized

104,334

already on

already on

already on

0

already on

Sep. 2

Georgia

44,089

#42,489

already on

canít start

canít start

canít start

canít start

July 8

Hawaii

663

4,291

already on

already on

50

0

0

Sep. 5

Idaho

11,968

5,984

already on

canít start

already on

canít start

canít start

Aug. 29

Illinois

no procedure

#25,000

canít start

already on

canít start

canít start

canít start

June 26

Indiana

no procedure

#32,742

already on

0

0

0

0

June 23

Iowa

no procedure

#1,500

0

0

0

0

0

Aug. 15

Kansas

16,994

5,000

already on

0

0

0

already on

Aug. 4

Kentucky

no procedure

#5,000

canít start

canít start

canít start

canít start

canít start

Sep. 2

La.

(reg) 1,000

pay fee

already on

already on

47

0

already on

Sep. 2

Maine

27,544

#4,000

0

already on

0

0

0

Ag 15

Maryland

10,000

est. 32,500

already on

already on

0

0

0

Aug. 4

Mass.

est. (reg) 40,500

#10,000

19,253

already on

65

already on

745

July 29

Michigan

38,024

38,024

already on

already on

already on

0

0

July 17

Minnesota

110,150

#2,000

0

0

0

0

0

Sep. 9

Mississippi

be organized

1,000

already on

already on

already on

0

already on

Sep. 5

Missouri

10,000

10,000

already on

0

1,000

0

0

July 29

Montana

5,000

#5,000

already on

0

already on

0

0

July 30

Nebraska

5,921

2,500

6,700

already on

already on

0

0

Aug. 26

Nevada

5,746

5,746

already on

already on

already on

0

0

July 3

N. Hamp.

12,106

#3,000

0

0

0

0

0

Aug. 6

New Jersey

no procedure

#800

0

0

0

0

0

July 28

New Mex.

2,794

16,764

already on

already on

unclear

0

0

June 4

New York

no procedure

#15,000

can't start

can't start

can't start

already on

can't start

Aug. 19

No. Car.

69,734

69,734

44,500

0

0

0

0

June 12

No. Dakota

7,000

#4,000

already on

0

already on

0

0

Sep. 5

Ohio

law is void

5,000

0

0

0

0

0

Aug. 21

Oklahoma

46,324

43,913

in court

0

0

0

0

July 15

Oregon

20,640

18,356

already on

already on

already on

already on

0

Aug. 26

Penn.

no procedure

est. #27,000

in court

in court

in court

canít start

canít start

Aug. 1

Rhode Isl.

18,557

#1,000

canít start

canít start

canít start

canít start

canít start

Sep. 5

So. Caro.

10,000

10,000

already on

already on

already on

already on

0

July 15

So. Dakota

8,389

#3,356

0

0

0

0

0

Aug. 5

Tennessee

45,254

25

0

0

0

0

0

Aug. 21

Texas

43,991

74,108

already on

canít start

canít start

canít start

canít start

May 27

Utah

2,000

#1,000

350

0

already on

0

0

Sep. 2

Vermont

be organized

#1,000

already on

already on

0

0

0

Sep. 12

Virginia

no procedure

#10,000

canít start

canít start

canít start

canít start

canít start

Aug. 22

Wash.

no procedure

#1,000

canít start

canít start

canít start

canít start

canít start

July 26

West Va.

no procedure

#15,118

0

0

200

0

0

Aug. 1

Wisconsin

10,000

#2,000

already on

already on

canít start

canít start

canít start

Sep. 2

Wyoming

3,868

3,868

already on

canít start

canít start

canít start

canít start

Aug. 25

TOTAL STATES ON
26
20
14
5
4

#Partisan label is permitted (other than "indp.").
"Deadline" is procedure with latest deadline.
"Wk Fam" = "Working Families Party". "Consti" = Constitution Party. "Libít" = Libertarian Party.


GEORGIA SPECIAL US HOUSE ELECTION

Georgia Congressman Charlie Norwood died on February 13. He had represented the 10th district (northwestern Georgia) since 1994. A special election will be held to fill the vacancy on June 19. The Libertarian Party plans to run Dr. James Sendelbach. He will be the first minor party U.S. House candidate on the ballot in Georgia, with a party label next to his name, since 1942.

Since 1943, Georgia has required a petition signed by 5% of the registered voters for minor party and independent candidates for U.S. House in regularly-scheduled elections. No minor party has ever been able to surmount this hurdle, and no independent has done it since 1964. But in special elections, no petition is needed, just a filing fee of 3% of the annual salary of the office (for Congress, the fee is almost $5,000).

Georgia held a special congressional election in 1983, and both the Socialist Workers Party and the Prohibition Party placed a candidate on the ballot in that special election, which was in the 7th district. But back then, no party labels were permitted on the ballot in special elections. Also back then, no filing fee was required, and twenty candidates appeared on the ballot.


UNITY08 RULES COMMITTEE

Unity08 has identified the members of its Rules Committee, at www.unity08.com/rulescommittee. The ten members will develop rules to govern the convention process, including how candidates qualify for the ballot, how Vice-Presidential selections are to be made, the balloting process, and use of the website to campaign for delegate support. Co-chairs of the Rules Committee are attorneys Carolyn Tieger and Thomas Collier.

According to a February 20th article in Fortune, Unity08 also has an advisory council, which includes Jack Valenti (former Chief of Staff to President Lyndon B. Johnson) and former Massachusetts Governor William F. Weld. Weld has already endorsed Mitt Romney for president.


GREEN PARTY PRESIDENTIAL RACE

It appears that both former Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney, and former Black Panther leader Elaine Brown, are interested in seeking the Green Partyís presidential nomination. Both live in Georgia, a state in which the Green Party has never appeared on the ballot for any federal or state office.


FEC APPROVES GREEN COMMITTEE

On February 8, the Federal Election Commission voted 6-0 to recognize the Green Partyís Senate Campaign Committee. Until then, only the Democratic and Republican Parties had any FEC-approved congressional campaign committees. The advantage to a party of having such a committee is that donors can give larger amounts to a national partyís congressional committee than they can to any particular congressional candidate.


GREEN PARTY SETS 2007 MEETING

The Green Party will hold its annual meeting this year in Reading, Pennsylvania, July 12-15. The meeting is expected to choose the city and dates of the partyís national presidential convention of 2008.


NEW YORK SPECIAL ELECTION RESULTS

On February 6, New York held a special election to fill a vacancy in the State Senate, 7th district. The results: Democratic 50.45%, Republican 38.45%, Conservative 4.56%, Independence 3.42%, Working Families 3.11%.

Election returns for this same seat in 2006 had been: Republican 48.30%, Democratic 42.12%, Independence 4.83%, Conservative 4.74%.


ERRATA

The January 1, 2007 B.A.N. omitted the Arizona Libertarian vote from the U.S. House chart. That total was 90,214 votes, making the partyís national total 650,614. The correction has been made to the online edition.


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