November 1, 2007 Ė Volume 23, Number 7

This issue was originally printed on white paper.

Table of Contents

  1. POLITICAL PARTIES WIN THREE LAWSUITS TO CONTROL THEIR OWN NOMINATIONS PROCESS
  2. NEW JERSEY VICTORY
  3. LOPEZ TORRES CASE
  4. WASHINGTON "TOP-TWO" PRIMARY CASE
  5. NEW JERSEY MINOR PARTIES WIN LAWSUIT
  6. OKLAHOMA INITIATIVE
  7. SETBACKS FOR ALTERNATIVE VOTING
  8. NATIONAL POPULAR VOTE PLAN ADVANCES
  9. OTHER BILLS
  10. MORE LAWSUIT NEWS
  11. 2008 PETITIONING FOR PRESIDENT
  12. SOCIALIST PARTY CONVENTION
  13. ROCK THE DEBATES SEEKS VOLUNTEERS
  14. LOUISIANA ELECTION RESULTS
  15. N.Y. INDEPENDENCE PARTY WILL ATTEMPT TO ORGANIZE NATION-WIDE
  16. VETERAN BALLOT ACCESS HERO RUNS FOR WEST VIRGINIA HIGH COURT
  17. SUBSCRIBING TO BAN WITH PAYPAL


POLITICAL PARTIES WIN THREE LAWSUITS TO CONTROL THEIR OWN NOMINATIONS PROCESS

In the last 30 days, political parties have won three lawsuits to give themselves more control over their own nominations process.

On September 25, the Arizona Libertarian Party won its lawsuit in U.S. District Court to keep independent voters from voting in its primary. Arizona Libertarian Party v Brewer, no. 02-144. On October 1, the Virginia Republican Party won its lawsuit in the 4th circuit to keep non-members from voting in some of its primaries. Miller v Brown, 06-2334. And on October 5, the national Democratic Party won a federal lawsuit brought against it by a Florida voter on whether the national party can refuse to seat delegates from states that elect their delegates too early. DiMaio v Democratic National Committee, 8:07-cv-1552, Mid. Dist.

Arizona Libertarian Case

In 1998 the Arizona legislature placed a constitutional amendment on the ballot, requiring political parties to let independents vote in their primaries. Arizona voters passed it. Arizona thus became the only party-registration state to force parties to let independent voters vote in their primaries. Since Arizona is the only state to have had such a law, no court had ever decided the issue of whether such a law is constitutional, until this case was filed.

The Libertarian Party sued on March 20, 2002, in U.S. District Court. It won the case on August 6, 2002. But on August 7, the 9th circuit had stayed the decision, so the party was forced to let independent voters vote in its primary in September 2002. At that Libertarian primary, a candidate for U.S. House who supports nationalized health care was narrowly defeated by a bona fide Libertarian. The vote was 286-243. That incident was to have important consequences for this lawsuit.

Arizona had appealed the 2002 U.S. District Court decision to the 9th circuit. The 9th circuit had ruled on December 8, 2003, that the U.S. District Court should hear the case again. It said that there are really two issues: whether the state could force a party to let independents vote for party officers, and whether the state could force a party to let independents vote for public office. The 9th circuit said it was obvious that a party had a right to keep independents from voting on its party officers, but that it wasnít obvious for public office.

On remand, the state argued that the burden of letting independents partly determine Libertarian nominees for public office is "slight". The state argued that no one had ever won an Arizona Libertarian Party primary who was not a bona fide Libertarian. But, the party still won the case on September 25, 2007. The Court noted that the 2002 Congresional primary was close, and might easily have gone the other way. The Court also noted that Libertarians in Arizona are vastly outnumbered by independents, by a ratio of 40:1.

The state has not yet said whether it will appeal. No one knows if the Republican Party of Arizona will try to gain the same judicial relief.

Virginia Republican Case

On October 1, the 4th circuit said if the Virginia Republican Party wishes to keep non-members from voting in its mandatory primaries, it may.

The party had also won in U.S. District Court last year. The relief only applies when the party is forced to use a primary. Virginia law lets incumbents who are running for re-election dictate whether that party should use a primary or a convention. The ruling does not apply to situations in which a party is free to choose a convention.

The Republican Party Bylaw says that voters may vote in its primary unless the voter has voted in another partyís primary in the last 5 years. Voters who have voted in another partyís primary in the last 5 years may also vote in the Republican primary if they sign a pledge of loyalty to the party. Technically, the state Republican Party doesnít have this Bylaw in place for the entire state; the state party merely lets local units of the party pass such a Bylaw. Technically, it wasnít the state party that won this lawsuit; it was the partyís 11th Senatorial District Committee that filed and won the lawsuit.

Democratic National Committee

On October 5, a U.S. District Court in Tampa, Florida ruled that if the Democratic National Committee doesnít wish to seat Delegates to the 2008 national convention from Florida, it may make that decision. The national party has told the Florida Democratic Party that no Florida delegates will be seated if the Florida Democratic Party uses the January 29, 2008 presidential primary to elect delegates. The National Democratic Committee lets New Hampshire, South Carolina, Nevada and Iowa choose delegates before February 5, but no other states may do so. The plaintiff is appealing. Meanwhile, a similar lawsuit is pending in the Northern District of Florida. It was filed by U.S. Senator Bill Nelson and Congressman Alcee Hastings on October 4. Nelson v Dean, 4:07-cv-427. That case is not moving very fast, and no hearing date has been set.


NEW JERSEY VICTORY

On October 19, the New Jersey Conservative, Green and Libertarian Parties won the lawsuit they had filed a year ago. See page four for the details.


LOPEZ TORRES CASE

On October 3, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in New York State Bd of Elections v Lopez Torres, the first ballot access case for party primaries ever heard in that Court (except for filing fee cases).

The justices who should have been most in favor of the Lopez Torres side seemed unpersuaded that the Constitution protects ballot access in primary elections, since the state is not required to hold partisan primaries for political parties. Justice John Paul Stevens asked the attorney for Lopez Torres "Supposing that the statute said Delegates shall be selected by the county chairmen. Would that be constitutional?" Frederick Schwarz, attorney for Lopez Torres, said, "Iím not sure about that." Stevens then said, "Iím just saying just eliminate this whole folderol about picking delegates and say the county chairman shall pick the delegates, period. I donít see why that would be unconstitutional."

Justice Breyer seemed disturbed by Schwarzí uncertainty about the Stevens hypothetical. He said, "I donít see how you avoid answering Justice Stevenís hypothetical. The reason I think you have to answer it is because the New York system is what he described in the hypothetical, with a safety valve." When Schwarz asked what was meant by "safety valve", Breyer said, "The safety valve is that the party leaders cannot just choose anybody. If it looks theyíre going to choose someone nutty, then there will be opposition to these delegates and something will happen."

Schwarz said, "The record, your Honor, and this is an extensive record, shows that the party leaders do choose people who are, to use you word, who areÖ". Then Breyer cut him off and said, "You donít like that. Thatís why you have to answer it. If you feel that thatís so terrible, then you say no, the Constitution forbids that, though youíd have to explain why, with all its faults, that is not better in the judgment of New York than a system where people raise $4 million from the lawyers in order to run for office?"

The argument for Lopez Torres is coherent. The argument for Lopez Torres, and against the New York system for electing Delegates, is that the ballot access rules for that office are so strict, no Delegate slates ever get on the ballot except for the slates backed by the patronage machines. The principle supporting Lopez Torres is that whenever a government holds an election, the ballot access rules must not be so strict that candidates with support are barred from the election.

This principle holds, whether the election is for public office, or for a party nomination for public office, or for an initiative, or for party office. For example, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled unanimously in 1988 that when states choose to have an initiative process, the ballot access laws for initiatives must comply with the Constitution. Therefore, a law making it illegal to pay circulators was void. Meyer v Grant, 486 U.S. 414. It is irrelevant that states are not required to have procedures for the initiative.

Also, in Moore v Ogilvie, 394 U.S. 814 (1969), the Court said, "All procedures used by a State as an integral part of the election process must pass muster against the charges of abridgement of the right to vote."

The 7th circuit struck down an Illinois election law, requiring a candidate for Party Ward Committeeman to submit a petition signed by 10% of that partyís last vote, in Gjertsen v Board of Election Commissioners, 791 F.2d 472 (1986). The 2nd circuit struck down New Yorkís old Republican presidential primary ballot access laws in Rockefeller v Powers, 78 F.3d 44 (1996). Unfortunately, none of these four cases was mentioned during oral argument.

When Schwarz was asked which U.S. Supreme Court precedents support Lopez Torres, he mentioned Storer v Brown, in which the Court said that when a ballot access law is seldom used, it is probably too stringent. That was a good response on Schwarzí part. However, he got instantaneous reaction from 3 justices, who all spoke simultaneously and all said the same thing.

Justice Ruth Ginsburg is recorded in the transcript as speaking first, but she only managed to say, "But StorerÖ". Chief Justice John Roberts said, "Isnít that a general election case?" Justice Antonin Scalia said, simultaneously, "Thatís a general election case, isnít it?" Schwarz responded that it is, but that it shouldnít make any difference. Roberts then took over the conversation for a while, asking if there is a means for New York state to have a system which combines the advantages of a convention system, with input by the primary voters.

Schwarz tried to explain that the answer is "yes", that if the state would simply make the ballot access rules more tolerant, so that the voters would have an actual choice of competing slates of delegates, that would make everyone reasonably happy. But Roberts seemed not to grasp the point.

The idea that the precedents against severe ballot access laws donít apply to primaries did not get developed at the oral argument at this point, because Roberts diverted the conversation away from that topic. But it did hover in the background during the part of the oral argument when the attorney for the State Board of Elections was speaking. Theodore Olson, former U.S. Solicitor General, representing the State Board of Elections, said that it doesnít matter how repressive the ballot access laws are in primary elections, if the political parties want them that way.

No court has ever held that in a government-administered primary, the parties can dictate what the primary ballot access laws (for their own party) should be. Olsonís position is radical. If the Court adopts it, it should make it possible for ballot-qualified parties to file new lawsuits, arguing that some state primary ballot access laws are too strict. States that make it difficult for members of small qualified parties to get on primary ballots are Maine and Massachusetts (and New York, for district office). California severely restricts who can get on a party primary ballot. Florida has huge filing fees.

Lopez Torres, who wanted to be a Democratic nominee for Supreme Court Justice for the Brooklyn district, would have needed 10,500 valid signatures to qualify slates of delegates. She would have needed to collect all those signatures in only 37 days, from registered Democrats. She would have had to worry about 21 separate petition drives, each needing 500 valid signatures. She would also have needed to recruit over 300 delegate candidates and list them all on the various petitions. This may sound easy, but the record shows that no one who wanted a judicial nomination had ever managed to qualify a full slate of delegate candidates. Only the party machines can do this work, and they have thousands of patronage workers to circulate these petitions.

Unfortunately, no Justice asked about those specific details. Only Justice David Souter even referred to the mechanical problem of qualifying slates, but he said, "I donít see that as a direct ballot access claim."

Justice Anthony Kennedy seemed persuaded that ballot access rules in primaries must not be oppressive. He said, "I thought itís basic law that the State may not place unduly restrictive barriers to participation in that primary. I think thatís a given."

A decision could come down anytime between now and June, 2008. Read the 55-page transcript here.


WASHINGTON "TOP-TWO" PRIMARY CASE

On October 1, the Supreme Court heard arguments in Washington State v Washington Republican Party, 06-713 and 06-730. This is the case over whether states can print party labels on ballots, when they use a "top-two" primary. A "top-two" primary furnishes every primary voter a ballot that contains the names of all candidates (from all parties). Then, in the November election, only the two candidates who placed first and second may appear.

Observers of the oral argument generally perceived that the Supreme Court will agree with the lower courts, that the system violates the First Amendment Freedom of Association rights of political parties. The Washington law was passed by the voters in November 2004, but it has never been used, since it was declared unconstitutional by the U.S. District Court in July 2005. The Democratic, Republican and Libertarian Parties of Washington state had brought the case.

Justice Kennedy asked the most significant question, at almost the very end of the hearing. He asked the attorney for Washington state, "Does the State have a legitimate interest in weakening the influence of political parties?" The attorney for Washington state said "No, your honor, it does not." Kennedy then asked, "If we found that that was the necessary effect of this ballot measure, then would it be invalid?" The attorney responded that the law would only be invalid if it imposed a severe burden on political parties. Chief Justice Roberts then said, "If the state has no legitimate interest itís going to fail any level of scrutiny."

When this case had been argued in the lower courts, the state always insisted that the law is constitutional because the U.S. Supreme Court had said it would be constitutional, in its 2000 decision that invalidated Californiaís blanket primary.

Justice Scalia wrote that opinion, which was called California Democratic Party v Jones. In that decision, Scalia wrote, "The state could protect its interests by resorting to a nonpartisan blanket primary. Generally speaking, under such a system, the State determines what qualifications it requires for a candidate to have a place on the primary ballot Ė which may include nomination by established parties and voter-petition requirements for independent candidates. Each voter, regardless of party affiliation, may then vote for any candidate, and the top two vote getters (or however many the State prescribes) then move on to the general election."

Washington argued that it followed Scaliaís formula. However, it seems that when Scalia wrote that sentence in 2000, he was describing a system with no party labels on ballots.

At the October 2007 argument, Scalia described the Washington system this way: "We do know that a candidate may associate himself with a party, but a party is not allowed to disassociate itself from the candidateÖThis creates a ballot in which an individual can associate himself with the Republican Party, but on the ballot the Party is unable to dissociate itself from that candidateÖIf he associates himself with the party it seems to me the party should be able to disassociate itself from him. And I think it harms the party not to permit that."

No one brought up Scaliaís 2000 quote until the attorney for the Republican Party was arguing. Justice Ruth Ginsburg asked, "I thought in Jones, the Court had said if you had just a blanket primary, with no indication of party affiliation, that would be constitutional." This was a significant statement. It shows that Ginsburg reads the Scalia quote from 2000 to mean a system with no party labels. The Republican Party attorney said that if the law omitted party labels from the ballot, that system would be constitutional.

Scalia also asked the attorney for the state how the state knows which parties are qualified. The definition of "party" is a group that polled 5% for a statewide race at the last election. Scalia asked, if the Washington system means that parties donít have nominees, how does the state know which are the qualified parties? The answer was that the state would know which candidate had been endorsed at any party endorsing convention, and if the endorsed candidate got 5%, the party that had endorsed him or her would be qualified.

That solution would seem to open up a big loophole for minor parties. It seems to indicate that if a minor party endorsed a candidate who had a major party label on the ballot, and that person got more than 5%, the minor party that made the endorsement would become ballot-qualified.


NEW JERSEY MINOR PARTIES WIN LAWSUIT

On October 19, 2007, the New Jersey Conservative, Green and Libertarian Parties won the lawsuit that they had filed on October 13, 2006. State officials decided that the case is so strong that they wouldnít contest the lawsuit. The judge didnít need to make a decision; the state simply promised to change its policies. Green Party of N.J. v State, Mercer Superior Court, c-125-06.

The results are: (1) the state will let voters register as members of the Conservative Party (Greens and Libertarians already had that ability); (2) the state will let voters give as much money to any of the three unqualified parties as it lets people give to the Democratic and Republican Parties; (3) the state will let the three parties give as much money to their nominees as the Democratic and Republican Parties may now give; (4) the three unqualified parties will be exempt from lobbying fees, just as the Democratic and Republican Parties are exempt; (5) petitions to get the nominees of unqualified parties, and independent candidates, on the November ballot will no longer say that the signer intends to vote for the candidates named on the petition; (6) all petitions for district and local office can now be circulated by any adult resident of New Jersey.

Since points one to four (above) only pertain to the three parties that filed the lawsuit, the state will have a legal mess on its hands if it doesnít quickly amend its laws, or at least issue regulations, setting forth objective criteria for other unqualified parties to receive the same treatment.

The most desirable outcome will be for New Jersey to modify its definition of "political party", which is a group that polled 10% for all votes cast in all districts for Assembly. That definition is so restrictive, only the Democrats and Republicans have met it, in all the years since it was passed in 1920. New Jersey is the only state in the nation that has not had any qualified parties (other than the Democratic and Republican Parties) since before 1964.


OKLAHOMA INITIATIVE

The initiative to ask the voters of Oklahoma if they wish to ease the ballot access laws started over on October 15. Initiatives need 74,117 valid signatures and they must be collected within any 90-day period that the proponents choose. The first attempt, which began September 13, was dependent mostly on volunteers, and only 2,700 signatures were collected. Starting over resets the due date, and the current drive is using paid circulators.

Also, the wording of the initiative has been improved somewhat. Voter reaction to the first petition suggested that some people felt that a 1% vote test for a party to remain qualified seemed too easy. The new initiative sets it at 2% (for any statewide office, at either of the last two elections).

Funds for the drive are still needed, and may be sent to OBAR (Oklahoma Ballot Access Reform), PO Box 14042, Tulsa Ok 74159.


SETBACKS FOR ALTERNATIVE VOTING

October was not good for alternative voting systems. California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoed AB 1294, which would have let any city or county use alternative vote systems to elect its own officers. Also, the voters of Ontario Province in Canada voted against proportional representation. It only received 37% support. However, the voters of Cary, North Carolina, had a successful experience with Instant-Runoff voting on October 9, for city council.


NATIONAL POPULAR VOTE PLAN ADVANCES

Bills to implement the National Popular Vote Plan for presidential elections made some headway in October. In Pennsylvania and Massachusetts, legislative hearings were held on the bill. In those two states, most bills never receive a hearing, so bills that do receive a hearing usually pass. The Pennsylvania bill has 21 co-sponsors from both major parties, including legislative leaders.


OTHER BILLS

California: on October 11, the Governor vetoed SB 439, to count write-in votes when the voter forgets to "X" the box. He also vetoed SB 408, which banned initiative circulators from working if they had not been eligible to vote in the last election.

New Hampshire: HB 48, to improve ballot access, has had extensive revisions and is likely to pass the full House Elections Law Committee during November.


MORE LAWSUIT NEWS

Maryland: on September 28, the 4th circuit upheld a state law, putting candidates on primary ballots in alphabetical order. Schaefer v Lamone, 07-1003. The 4th circuit did not write its own opinion, but merely said it agrees with the U.S. District Court. The District Court had said voters would be confused if Maryland put candidates on the ballot in random order, or if Maryland rotated names, as many other states do.

Montana: on October 9, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear the gubernatorial debates case filed by the 2004 Green and Libertarian gubernatorial candidates. Jones v Montana University System, 07-223.

Pennsylvania: on October 1, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear Rogers v Cortes, the ballot access case filed in 2006 by the stateís three formerly ballot-qualified parties, the Constitution, Green and Libertarian Parties. However, those parties are planning a new lawsuit that will be easier to win. The original lawsuit argued that since the parties had met enough votes to meet the stateís definition of "political party", that there was no state interest in requiring them to submit 67,070 signatures in 2006. Pennsylvania law is so peculiar on this point, there are virtually no precedents from other states, so the original case was difficult. The new lawsuit will challenge aspects of Pennsylvania law that have been held unconstitutional in many other states. It will also challenge the illegal practice of failing to count any write-ins in 22 of the 67 counties.


2008 PETITIONING FOR PRESIDENT

STATE
REQUIREMENTS
SIGNATURES COLLECTED
DEADLINES
FULL PARTY
CAND
LIB'T
GREEN
CONSTI
Unity08
Party
Indp.

Alabama

37,513

5,000

0

0

0

0

June 3

Sep. 8

Alaska

(reg) 7,124

#3,128

already on

*3,478

0

0

Aug. 6

Aug. 6

Ariz.

20,449

est. #21,500

already on

*7,100

0

0

Mar. 6

June 4

Arkansas

10,000

#1,000

*already on

*already on

finished

0

June 30

Aug. 4

Calif.

(reg) 88,991

158,372

already on

already on

already on

12

Dec. 31, 07

Aug. 8

Colorado

(reg) 1,000

Pay $500

already on

already on

already on

*500

May 1

June 17

Conn.

no procedure

#7,500

canít start

canít start

canít start

canít start

- - -

Aug. 6

Delaware

est. (reg) 290

est. 5,800

already on

already on

already on

*175

Aug. 12

July 15

D.C.

no procedure

est. #3,900

canít start

already on

canít start

canít start

- - -

Aug. 19

Florida

be organized

104,334

already on

already on

already on

already on

Sep. 2

July 15

Georgia

44,089

#42,489

already on

*2,200

0

0

July 8

July 8

Hawaii

663

4,291

already on

*25

60

0

Apr. 3

Sep. 5

Idaho

11,968

5,984

already on

0

already on

0

Aug. 29

Aug. 25

Illinois

no procedure

#25,000

canít start

already on

canít start

canít start

- - -

June 26

Indiana

no procedure

#32,742

already on

0

0

0

- - -

June 23

Iowa

no procedure

#1,500

0

0

0

0

- - -

Aug. 15

Kansas

16,994

5,000

already on

0

0

0

June 2

Aug. 4

Kentucky

no procedure

#5,000

canít start

canít start

canít start

canít start

- - -

Sep. 2

La.

(reg) 1,000

pay $500

already on

already on

47

0

May 22

Sep. 2

Maine

27,544

#4,000

0

already on

0

0

Dec 14, 07

Ag 15

Maryland

10,000

est. 32,500

already on

already on

0

*1,500

Aug. 4

Aug. 4

Mass.

est. (reg) 40,500

#10,000

19,253

already on

65

0

Feb. 1

July 29

Michigan

38,024

38,024

already on

already on

already on

0

July 17

July 17

Minnesota

110,150

#2,000

0

0

0

0

July 15

Sep. 9

Mississippi

be organized

1,000

already on

already on

already on

organizing

Jan. 10

Sep. 5

Missouri

10,000

10,000

already on

0

finished

0

July 29

July 29

Montana

5,000

#5,000

already on

650

already on

0

Mar. 13

July 30

Nebraska

5,921

2,500

7,100

already on

already on

0

Aug. 1

Aug. 26

Nevada

5,746

5,746

already on

already on

already on

0

July 3

July 3

N. Hamp.

12,524

#3,000

*1,800

0

0

0

Aug. 6

Aug. 6

New Jersey

no procedure

#800

0

0

0

0

- - -

July 28

New Mex.

2,794

16,764

already on

already on

unclear

0

Apr. 1

June 4

New York

no procedure

#15,000

can't start

can't start

can't start

canít start

- - -

Aug. 19

No. Car.

69,734

69,734

*80,000

9,000

100

0

May 16

June 12

No. Dakota

7,000

#4,000

already on

0

already on

0

Apr. 11

Sep. 5

Ohio

20,114

5,000

*8,100

0

*2,200

0

Aug 21

Aug. 21

Oklahoma

46,324

43,913

400

0

0

0

May 1

July 15

Oregon

20,640

18,356

already on

already on

already on

0

Aug. 26

Aug. 26

Penn.

no procedure

est. #27,000

canít start

canít start

canít start

canít start

- - -

Aug. 1

Rhode Isl.

18,557

#1,000

canít start

canít start

canít start

canít start

May 30

Sep. 5

So. Caro.

10,000

10,000

already on

already on

already on

0

May 4

July 15

So. Dakota

8,389

3,356

*1,500

0

*7,800

0

Mar. 25

Aug. 5

Tennessee

45,254

25

0

0

0

0

unsettled

Aug. 21

Texas

43,991

74,108

already on

canít start

canít start

canít start

May 19

May 8

Utah

2,000

#1,000

*2,200

300

already on

0

Feb. 15

Sep. 2

Vermont

be organized

#1,000

already on

already on

organizing

*0

Jan. 1

Sep. 12

Virginia

no procedure

#10,000

canít start

canít start

canít start

canít start

- - -

Aug. 22

Wash.

no procedure

#1,000

canít start

canít start

canít start

canít start

- - -

July 26

West Va.

no procedure

#15,118

0

already on

*6,600

0

- - -

Aug. 1

Wisconsin

10,000

#2,000

already on

already on

canít start

canít start

June 2

Sep. 2

Wyoming

3,868

3,868

already on

0

*150

0

June 2

Aug. 25

TOTAL STATES ON
27*
21*
14
1
`

#partisan label is permitted (other than "independent").
* means entry changed since Oct. 1, 2007 B.A.N.
When "reg." appears in the "Full Party" column, it means the party must have a certain number of registered voters; it doesnít mean a petition is needed.


SOCIALIST PARTY CONVENTION

The Socialist Party held its national presidential convention in St. Louis, October 19-21. It nominated Brian Moore for president, and Stewart Alexander for vice-president. In the first round, the vote was: Moore 19, Chester 18, Alexander 7, with a few votes for others. The second round was Moore 21, Chester 18, Alexander 8. The final round was Moore 25, Chester 20.

Brian Moore has only been a member of the Socialist Party since August. His website is www.votebrianmoore.com. He was an independent antiwar candidate for U.S. Senate in Florida in 2006, and in that race was endorsed by the Green Party. Alexander, the vice-presidential nominee, lives in California, is African-American, and is an officer of the Peace & Freedom Party. The Socialist Party presidential nominee in past presidential elections usually seeks the Peace & Freedom nomination, but PFP has always nominated someone other than the Socialist Party nominee.


ROCK THE DEBATES SEEKS VOLUNTEERS

Rock the Debates is looking for videographers. Rock the Debates activists work in pairs. One person asks a major party presidential candidate the "Rock the Debates" question; the other videotapes. Larry Reinsch of Iowa and Seth Cohn of New Hampshire have already created 10 videos, but still lack them for Fred Thompson, John McCain, Duncan Hunter, Alan Keyes, John Edwards, Joe Biden, Dennis Kucinich, Mike Gravel, and Chris Dodd. Also, it doesnít follow that just because a candidate has been asked the question once, he or she shouldnít be asked again, especially when the candidate ducked the first time.

The "Rock the Debates" question is whether the candidate would agree to participate in at least one inclusive general election debate. "Inclusive" means including any candidate who is on the ballot in enough states to win an electoral college majority. In all U.S. history, there have never been more than 7 such candidates (including the major party nominees). See http://rockthedebates.org for more information.


LOUISIANA ELECTION RESULTS

Louisiana elected state officers on October 20. For Governor, T. Lee Horne, a Libertarian, polled .20%; Belinda Alexandrenko of the Hope for America Party polled .37%.

The Reconstruction Party ran Malcolm Suber for New Orleans city council-at-large. He polled 1.15% in a 13-candidate field. Two Greens ran for local office: Gary Wainwright polled 6.0% in a 7-candidate race for Judge of Criminal Court in New Orleans; and Autumne Bankovic polled 21.7% for Justice of the Peace in Mooringsport, in a two-person race.


N.Y. INDEPENDENCE PARTY WILL ATTEMPT TO ORGANIZE NATION-WIDE

The New York Independence Party became ballot-qualified in 1994. In 1995, when the Reform Party was created, the New York Independence Party became the Reform Party affiliate. The New York party disaffiliated from the Reform Party in 2000. Now the New York party hopes to create a national Independence Party. On October 22, the Pennsylvania Reform Party (which is not ballot-qualified) joined. The Minnesota Independence Party will decide on December 1 whether to join.


VETERAN BALLOT ACCESS HERO RUNS FOR WEST VIRGINIA HIGH COURT

University of West Virginia Law Professor Bob Bastress, who has won more ballot access cases in his state than all other attorneys put together, is seeking the Democratic nomination for State Supreme Court Justice. The primary is in May. Bastress has represented the Libertarian Party, the Constitution Party, and the Green Party, and he has never charged for his legal work. Without him, it is very likely that Harry Browne would not have been on the ballot in 1996; also it is likely that Ed Clark would not have been on the ballot in 1980. B.A.N. hopes that you will consider sending a campaign contribution to Bastress for Justice, PO Box 4, Morgantown WV 26507.


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