July 1, 2008 Ė Volume 24, Number 3

This issue was originally printed on white paper.

Table of Contents

  1. HIGH COURT MANDATES EQUAL CONTRIBUTION LIMITS
  2. OHIO VICTORY
  3. NATIONAL POPULAR VOTE PLAN BILLS
  4. LAWSUIT NEWS
  5. LEGISLATIVE NEWS
  6. BOSTON TEA PARTY
  7. NADER PRIMARY SEASON MATCHING $$
  8. McCAIN ON INCLUSIVE PRESIDENTIAL DEBATE
  9. WHICH MINOR PARTY RAN THE MOST STATE HOUSE CANDIDATES?
  10. 2008 PETITIONING FOR PRESIDENT
  11. PARTIES NOT ON PETITIONING CHART
  12. MARYLAND SPECIAL ELECTION
  13. REFORM PARTY NATIONAL CONVENTION
  14. KANSAS REFORM NOMINATES BALDWIN
  15. VERMONT PROGRESSIVE REMAINS IN GUBERNATORIAL RACE
  16. SUBSCRIBING TO BAN WITH PAYPAL


HIGH COURT MANDATES EQUAL CONTRIBUTION LIMITS

RARE VICTORY FOR EQUAL TREATMENT FOR ALL CANDIDATES

On June 26, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Davis v Federal Election Commission that the Constitution does not permit the government to set different contribution limits for candidates for the same office. Specifically, it is unconstitutional to mandate that candidates who spend $350,000 of their own funds on their own campaign face a contribution limit of $2,300, while their opponents face a contribution limit of $6,900.

This is the third time that the Supreme Court has ruled that the Constitution forbids the government from treating candidates unequally. The first such decision was Anderson v Celebrezze, which said that the government cannot force groups outside the major parties to select their presidential candidates before the major parties select their candidates.

The second such decision was Cook v Gralike. It said the government cannot put disparaging labels on the ballot for some candidates, while omitting such labels for other candidates. It says that the government may not "favor or disfavor a class of candidates".

The third such decision, Davis v FEC, was triggered by the McCain-Feingold Campaign Finance Law, passed in 2002. Included in that law was a provision called the "Millionaireís Amendment." Normally, an individual can only contribute $2,300 to a candidate for federal office. The Amendment said that if a candidate either gives himself or herself $350,000 in personal funds, then all the opponents of that candidate can receive $6,900, triple the normal amount. The Amendment also said that the favored candidates could receive unlimited donations from that candidateís own political party. Normally, a political party can only give $42,000 to its own U.S. House candidates.

Davis v FEC says, "The Constitution confers upon voters, not Congress, the power to choose the Members of the House of Representatives, Art. I, sec. 2, and it is a dangerous business for Congress to use the election laws to influence the votersí choices." The decision was written by Justice Samuel Alito, and was co-signed by Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Anthony Kennedy, Antonin Scalia, and Clarence Thomas. The other four Justices voted to uphold the "Millionaireís Amendment."

The Supreme Court has failed to mandate equal treatment for candidates on several occasions in the past. In Arkansas Educational Television Commission v Forbes, 523 U.S. 666 (1998), it said that government TV stations may host candidate debates and pick and choose which ballot-listed candidates to invite. In Jenness v Fortson, it said that government may require some candidates to obtain very difficult petitions while permitting others to run for office with no petition whatsoever. In Buckley v Valeo, it said the government may give general election public funding (in advance of any particular presidential election) to old parties, but not to new parties.

Davis v FEC was filed by Jack Davis, the Democratic Party nominee in 2004 and 2006 from New Yorkís 26th district. The district is reliably Republican, taking in rural and suburban voters who live between Buffalo and Rochester. The incumbent, since 1998, has been Tom Reynolds. He has been chair of the National Republican Campaign Committee. Reynolds spent approximately $5,000,000 in his 2006 re-election campaign; Davis spent $2,000,000. Yet the FEC fined Davis $251,000 for spending more than $350,000 of his own money and failing to reveal this in a timely manner.

Now that Davis has won the case, he is not obliged to pay the fine. The FEC had agreed to postpone collection of the fine until after the Court case was settled.

Davisís brief makes the point that some candidates for Congress have neither personal wealth, nor the support of large political parties, nor a network of donors who are capable of making thousand-dollar donations. If Congress had really been interested in seeing to it that all candidates for Congress have equal or substantial financial resources, Congress could have passed public funding for Congressional candidates. But it has not done so.

Davis was assisted by a very effective amicus curiae brief filed by two other Congressional candidates who had been fined for violating the "Millionaireís Amendment", even though neither was a millionaire. One of them, Oscar DeRossett, lost the Republican primary in Michiganís 7th district in 2004, even though he had mortgaged his home and raided his retirement savings. Since he had spent $530,000 of his own money, and had not informed his opponents of this fact within 24 hours, the FEC fined him $59,000. Since the law went into effect in 2004, six additional congressional candidates had also been fined for spending over $350,000 of their own money and not reporting it quickly.

The "Millionaireís Amendment" does not apply to presidential candidates. If it had, all the Democrats running for the Democratic presidential nomination this year would have been able to receive campaign contributions of $6,900 from individuals, except that Hillary Clinton would have been limited to $2,300 contributions. This is because Clinton spent more than $350,000 of her own funds on her own campaign.


OHIO VICTORY

On June 2, U.S. District Court Judge Gregory L. Frost issued an injunction against an Ohio election law that restricts who can circulate independent candidate petitions. The injunction says the law, barring out-of-staters from circulating an independent candidate petition, is probably unconstitutional. While the case is pending, the law cannot be enforced. Moore v Brunner, 2:08cv-224. On June 6, Ohio officials said they would not appeal the injunction.

Ohio does not actually have a law that bars out-of-state circulators for independent candidates. Instead, it has an even more restrictive law that says circulators for an independent candidate must be registered voters. That is obviously unconstitutional, because in 1999 the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Buckley v American Constitutional Law Foundation that states cannot require circulators to be registered voters. Ohio tried to persuade Judge Frost to interpret the Ohio law so that Ohio residents could circulate for an independent but that out-of-staters couldnít. But the Judge didnít do that, which would have required him to, in a sense, re-write the law.

The case had been brought by Brian Moore, presidential nominee of the Socialist Party. This is the first constitutional election lawsuit that the Socialist Party has filed in over ten years. The Ohio restriction on who can circulate for an independent candidate is particularly silly, since Ohio lets any adult (regardless of residence) circulate a petition for a new or previously unqualified political party.


NATIONAL POPULAR VOTE PLAN BILLS

On June 19, the Rhode Island legislature passed S 2112, the National Popular Vote Plan. If the Governor signs it, that will make five states that have passed the plan. The Governor has ten days to decide whether to sign or veto it, but the ten days donít start until he receives the bill, and the legislature still hasnít sent it over.


LAWSUIT NEWS

Florida: on June 11, proponents of an initiative filed a lawsuit against the deadline for initiative petitions. In 2007 the legislature moved the deadline for an initiative petition from July of the election year, to December of the year before the election. The lawsuit challenges the deadline, and also complains that each county has its own standards for rejecting signatures. Fla. Hometown Democracy v Browning, 08-80636, Miami. The initiative has gathered hundreds of thousands of signatures, and would require votes when a local government adopts a new land use plan.

Florida (2): on June 16, a state court ruled against ballot access for two major party members, who were seeking to get on the primary ballot for U.S. House. The candidates filed the wrong declaration of candidacy forms. The law says the Secretary of State shall furnish the proper forms. But the Court ruled that since the Secretary of State has all the forms on the Internet, that satisfies the stateís duty. The candidates were not incumbents. They were Larry Byrnes in the 14th district, a Democrat, and Bob Hering in the 8th district, a Republican.

Georgia: Faye Coffield has been trying to get on the ballot as an independent candidate for U.S. House, 4th district. She needs either 15,061 valid signatures, or 14,887 (the state has contradicted itself; the formula is 5% of the number of registered voters as of October 2006). The deadline is July 8. She has collected 2,200 and has no chance of meeting the requirement, but she expects to file a lawsuit against the petition requirement. Because no independent has met the 5% petition requirement for U.S. House in Georgia since 1964, and because the U.S. Supreme Court has said that ballot access laws should be judged by how often they are used, her lawsuit could be potent. Although the Libertarian Party in the past has also sued to overturn the 5% requirement for U.S. House candidates, its plaintiff-candidates had not actually tried to qualify, so the Coffield lawsuit will be stronger.

Georgia (2): on May 23, the Georgia Democratic Party filed a lawsuit against the law that requires voters at the polls to show government-photo ID. The lawsuit charges the law violates the State Constitution. Democratic Party of Georgia v Perdue, Fulton Co., 2008-cv-151081.

Hawaii: on May 30, Ralph Nader filed a notice of appeal to the 9th circuit in his 2004 ballot access case. The issues are whether a state can require six times as many signatures for an independent presidential candidate as for a new party, and also whether the stateís petition-checking procedures violate due process.

Idaho: the state Republican Party is going ahead with its lawsuit for a closed primary for itself, even though the recent state convention added an anti-closed primary plank to the state platform (the plank passed by only four votes). The plank is not in effect until the state committee of the party considers it, in the fall.

Indiana: on June 20, the League of Women Voters filed a lawsuit in state court against the law requiring voters to show government photo-ID in order to vote at the polls. League of Women Voters v Rokita. The lawsuit depends on the State Constitution.

Massachusetts: the Libertarian Party is about to sue, over the stateís refusal to let the party substitute its actual presidential candidate, Bob Barr, for the stand-in, George Phillies. The Massachusetts ACLU has agreed to represent the party. Massachusetts permitted vice-presidential substitution in 1980 for John Anderson, and ruled in 1995 that substitution is also permitted for president. In 2000, though, the state ruled that the stand-in must be a bona fide candidate who is sincerely seeking the nomination. Because of the 2000 ruling, the Massachusetts Libertarian petition listed George Phillies, who met that description. Now the state has said it wonít permit substitution, even though as recently as 2004 it told Ralph Nader that it would permit him to substitute his actual vice-presidential candidate for his stand-in.

Mississippi: the Democratic Party wonít file a new lawsuit to obtain a closed primary for itself. It had earlier lost its first lawsuit, on procedural grounds.

New Hampshire: the Libertarian Party will probably soon file a lawsuit over presidential substitution, similar to the Massachusetts lawsuit. New Hampshire has never permitted presidential substitution; and vice-presidential substitution has never been an issue in New Hampshire, because the petition does not list the vice-presidential nominee. The Libertarian Party avoided substitution problems in New Hampshire in 1996 because it was a qualified party at the time, and it avoided the problem in 2000 because it did the full party petition. In 2004 it failed to get on the ballot for president. As a backup strategy, the party is also circulating a new petition listing Bob Barr. If the proposed lawsuit fails, and the Barr petition succeeds, the state will list two Libertarians on the ballot for president, both with the same label.

New York: on June 10, the highest state court ruled that state parties may take control away from local units of the party and centralize it in the hands of the state party officers. Specifically, state parties may control which non-members of the party are permitted to run in the partyís primaries. There were two lawsuits, one involving the Working Families Party (Master v Pohanka), and one for the Independence Party (Conroy v State Committee of Independence Party).

North Carolina: on June 10, the Green and Libertarian Parties filed a notice of appeal to the State Court of Appeals, in the ballot access case.

Ohio: on June 6, the Libertarian Party sued the Secretary of State, arguing that it is a qualified party. The case has a hearing in federal court on July 14. Libertarian Party of Ohio v Brunner, 08-391, s.d.

Pennsylvania: on June 2, an independent candidate for State Senate filed a federal lawsuit against petition rules which require rural voters to list their township as part of their mailing address on petitions. Baylor v Cortes, m.d., cv-08-1060.

National: on June 24, the Democratic National Committee sued the Federal Election Commission for failing to adjudicate its complaint against Senator John McCain. The Democratsí complaint against McCain is that he qualified for primary season matching funds (although he never took the money), and then he broke the law that limits expenditures for candidates who accept public funding. Democratic National Committee v FEC, 1:08-cv-1083, federal court, D.C.


LEGISLATIVE NEWS

California: on June 18, the State Senate Elections Committee passed AB 583, which establishes a pilot program for public funding. It only applies to the Secretary of Stateís race in 2014. Independent candidates need $5 contributions from 15,000 donors, whereas Democrats and Republicans need contributions from 7,500 donors. Those who qualify receive $1,500,000 in public funding.

Colorado: on May 30, Governor Bill Ritter, a Democrat, vetoed HB 1406, which would have made it illegal for out-of-staters to circulate an initiative petition.

Illinois: on June 26, the legislature sent SB 439 to the Governor. It lets municipalities use Instant-Runoff Voting for foreign absentee voters.

Illinois (2): HB 2673, which would have restored the staright-party device, failed to pass.

Congress: Senator Bill Nelson introduced SJR 39 on June 6. It would amend the Constitution to elect the president directly.


BOSTON TEA PARTY

On June 12, the Boston Tea Party was approved to send a representative to the national board of the Coalition for Free & Open Elections (COFOE). The Boston Tea Party was formed in 2006 by Libertarians who were unhappy with the Libertarian platform. This year, it is running Charles Jay for president and Tom Knapp for vice-president. It has placed its ticket on the Colorado ballot, but nowhere else so far.


NADER PRIMARY SEASON MATCHING $$

On June 24, the U.S. Senate confirmed five new Federal Election Commissioners, giving the FEC a quorum. The FEC will now be free to certify primary season matching funds to all those who have qualified. The only presidential candidate who is not a Democrat or a Republican, who has qualified for primary season matching funds, is Ralph Nader. He will probably receive approximately $900,000.

Sometimes there isnít enough money in the Federal Campaign public fund to pay primary season matching funds. However, that is not a problem this year, because the Democratic Party has announced it will not be using general election public funding this year. This is the first time in the history of the public funding program that a major party has declined general election funding. The motivation is that now the Democratic Party can spend as much money on its general election campaign as it wishes.

The FEC is also now free to consider a complaint filed by Nader on May 30, alleging that the Democratic National Committee failed to report several million dollars in expenditures in 2004 for the purpose of trying to keep Nader off ballots. Under a 1980 FEC ruling, expenditures by a party or a political committee to keep someone off the ballot are considered campaign expenditures.


McCAIN ON INCLUSIVE PRESIDENTIAL DEBATE

On June 12, Senator John McCain spoke at a town meeting hall in New York city. He took questions from the audience. Frank Morano asked him whether he would participate in at least one debate that includes all presidential candidates who could theoretically win the election (which would mean six people on stage). McCain said, "Maybe we should have one that includes everybody." The event was broadcast on Fox News, but the station was taking a commercial break just then.


WHICH MINOR PARTY RAN THE MOST STATE HOUSE CANDIDATES?

This chart covers 1945 through 2007. "State House" means the lower house of the state legislature. When the list of candidates is finalized for 2008, the record in a few states will be broken.

The chart only includes candidates who were on the ballot, not write-in candidates. If a party was the type of party that mostly cross-endorses major party nominees, and mostly doesnít run its own members, then it is excluded. Specifically, any party for which over half its nominees were also major party nominees (in any given year) is excluded. Otherwise, the Connecticut record would be held by A Connecticut Party in 1992, and the New York record would be held by the Liberal Party in the 1950ís or 1960ís.

The minor party that came closest to running a full slate for lower house of the state legislature was the Colorado Libertarian Party in 2000. The Libertarian Party dominates the chart, holding the record in 23 of the 50 states.

The Alabama record was set by the National Democratic Party of Alabama, a party founded by African-Americans. It was separate from the Democratic Party.

STATE

YEAR

PARTY

NUMBER

VOTE

PERCENTAGE

Alabama

1970

Nat. Dem of Alabama

42 of 106

78,761

21.68

Alaska

1992

Alaskan Independence

17 of 40

11,905

12.14

Arizona

1978

Libertarian

21 of 60

17,016

7.75

Arkansas

1970

American

4 of 100

8,978

11.91

California

1970

American Independent

57 of 80

88,287

1.94

Colorado

2000

Libertarian

57 of 65

119,006

8.35

Connecticut

2004

Working Families

50 of 151

13,830

3.46

Delaware

1970

American

12 of 39

909

1.84

Florida

2002

Libertarian

73 of 120

413,590

13.34

Georgia

2004

Libertarian

4 of 180

3,481

5.11

Hawaii

1976

Indps for Godly Govít.

7 of 51

6,618

9.79

Idaho

2002

Libertarian

19 of 70

13,781

9.26

Illinois

2002

Libertarian

10 of 118

23,733

8.13

Indiana

1946

Prohibition

54 of 100

14,509

1.97

Iowa

1966

Conservative

20 of 124

2,538

1.16

Kansas

2006

Libertarian

25 of 125

15,140

8.31

Kentucky

1971

American

6 of 100

1,441

4.58

Louisiana

1972

American

5 of 105

2,998

5.81

Maine

2004

Green

18 of 151

15,831

18.43

Maryland

1970

American

14 of 142

7,783

4.81

Mass.

2000

Libertarian

14 of 160

29,368

12.78

Michigan

1948

Prohibition

49 of 100

8,516

.77

Minnesota

2000

Independence

27 of 134

41,051

9.62

Mississippi

2007

Constitution

3 of 122

2,484

12.77

Missouri

2002

Libertarian

26 of 163

12,576

4.63

Montana

1982

Libertarian

20 of 100

3,920

5.93

Nevada

1980

Libertarian

20 of 40

7,797

6.60

New Hamp

1994

Libertarian

93 of 400

24,370

21.05

New Jersey

1997

Conservative

47 of 80

42,639

2.97

New Mexico

1990

Libertarian

6 of 70

3,806

14.28

New York

1948

American Labor

115 of 150

463,558

8.44

No. Carolina

2002

Libertarian

60 of 120

95,103

8.29

No. Dakota

1976

American

7 of 100

1,988

9.52

Ohio

2000

Libertarian

30 of 99

65,088

4.94

Oklahoma

1984

Libertarian

8 of 101

1,957

2.78

Oregon

2004

Libertarian

18 of 60

25,085

4.80

Pennsylvania

1968

Constitutional

70 of 203

36,141

2.40

Rhode Island

1996

Cool Moose

13 of 100

7,262

15.64

So. Carolina

1970

Independent Party

13 of 124

6,144

4.72

So. Dakota

2006

Libertarian

3 of 70

1,189

4.62

Tennessee

1972

American

8 of 99

8,799

8.85

Texas

2006

Libertarian

88 of 150

231,098

9.05

Utah

1986

Libertarian

35 of 75

6,924

3.58

Vermont

2006

Progressive

17 of 150

14,135

48.65

Virginia

1993

Libertarian

7 of 100

12,443

8.99

Washington

1948

Progressive

48 of 99

14,523

2.93

West Virginia

1998

Libertarian

10 of 100

11,522

11.72

Wisconsin

1972

American

35 of 99

15,131

2.48

Wyoming

1992

Libertarian

6 of 60

1,283

6.51



2008 PETITIONING FOR PRESIDENT

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

Alabama

37,513

5,000

0

0

0

*5,500

June 3

Sep. 8

Alaska

(reg) 7,124

#3,128

already on

*0

already on

2,000

Aug. 6

Aug. 6

Ariz.

20,449

#21,759

already on

already on

*too late

*already on

Mar. 6

June 4

Arkansas

10,000

#1,000

already on

already on

already on

*200

June 30

Aug. 4

Calif.

(reg) 88,991

158,372

already on

already on

already on

seek nom

Dec. 31, 07

Aug. 8

Colorado

(reg) 1,000

pay $500

already on

already on

already on

*already on

June 1

June 17

Conn.

no procedure

#7,500

*200

*3,000

*250

*1,250

- - -

Aug. 6

Delaware

(reg) *284

*5,674

already on

already on

already on

seek nom

Aug. 12

July 15

D.C.

no procedure

est. #3,900

*0

already on

*0

*0

- - -

Aug. 19

Florida

be organized

104,334

already on

already on

already on

seek nom

Sep. 2

July 15

Georgia

44,089

#42,489

already on

3,000

0

0

July 8

July 8

Hawaii

663

4,291

already on

already on

already on

already on

Apr. 3

Sep. 5

Idaho

11,968

5,984

already on

0

already on

*200

Aug. 29

Aug. 25

Illinois

no procedure

#25,000

*finished

already on

*finished

*finished

- - -

June 23

Indiana

no procedure

#32,742

already on

*too late

*too late

*too late

- - -

June 30

Iowa

no procedure

#1,500

*100

*150

*200

0

- - -

Aug. 15

Kansas

16,994

5,000

already on

0

*disputed

0

June 2

Aug. 4

Kentucky

no procedure

#5,000

0

0

*1,000

*1,200

- - -

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

*50

*550

Dec 14, 07

Ag 15

Maryland

10,000

est. 32,500

already on

already on

0

*300

Aug. 4

Aug. 4

Mass.

est. (reg) 40,500

#10,000

*14,000

already on

*4,500

*6,000

Feb. 1

July 29

Michigan

38,024

38,024

already on

already on

already on

seek nom

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

0

Jan. 10

Sep. 5

Missouri

10,000

10,000

already on

0

finished

*10,000

July 28

July 28

Montana

5,000

#5,000

already on

0

already on

0

Mar. 13

July 30

Nebraska

5,921

2,500

*already on

already on

already on

0

Aug. 1

Aug. 26

Nevada

5,746

5,746

already on

already on

already on

*finished

July 3

July 3

N. Hamp.

12,524

#3,000

*already on

0

0

*150

Aug. 6

Aug. 6

New Jersey

no procedure

#800

0

0

*650

*500

- - -

July 28

New Mex.

2,794

16,764

already on

already on

already on

already on

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

already on

in court

*too late

*too late

May 16

June 12

No. Dakota

7,000

#4,000

already on

0

already on

*1,000

Apr. 11

Sep. 5

Ohio

20,114

5,000

*in court

400

finished

*1,000

Aug 21

Aug. 21

Oklahoma

46,324

43,913

*500

0

0

0

May 1

July 15

Oregon

20,640

18,356

already on

already on

already on

seek nom

Aug. 26

Aug. 26

Penn.

no procedure

#24,666

*finished

*8,000

*4,500

*5,000

- - -

Aug. 1

Rhode Isl.

18,557

#1,000

0

0

0

0

May 30

Sep. 5

So. Caro.

10,000

10,000

already on

already on

already on

*4,000

May 4

July 15

So. Dakota

8,389

3,356

*700

0

already on

*1,500

Mar. 25

Aug. 5

Tennessee

45,254

25

in court

in court

in court

*200

unsettled

Aug. 21

Texas

43,991

74,108

already on

too late

too late

too late

May 26

May 12

Utah

2,000

#1,000

already on

0

already on

*1,200

Feb. 15

Sep. 2

Vermont

be organized

#1,000

already on

0

already on

0

Jan. 1

Sep. 12

Virginia

no procedure

#10,000

*12,000

*6,500

0

*600

- - -

Aug. 22

Wash.

no procedure

#1,000

*250

*0

*0

*100

- - -

July 26

West Va.

no procedure

#15,118

0

already on

*13,000

*18,000

- - -

Aug. 1

Wisconsin

10,000

#2,000

already on

already on

0

0

June 2

Sep. 2

Wyoming

3,868

3,868

already on

0

*1,400

*4,500

June 2

Aug. 25

TOTAL STATES ON
*31
22
*20
*4
~ ~

#partisan label is OK (other than "independent").
*change since June 1 B.A.N.
"Nader" column is independent petitions, except in Hawaii and New Mexico it is the Independent Party.
"Seek nom" means he seeks the nomination of a ballot-qualified party.


PARTIES NOT ON PETITIONING CHART

The Socialist Party presidential candidate is on the ballot in Colorado and Vermont. The Party for Socialism and Libertarian candidate is on in Colorado, Utah, and Vermont. The Socialist Workers Party candidate is on in Colorado, Delaware, and New Jersey. The Prohibition Party candidate is on in Colorado and Florida.


MARYLAND SPECIAL ELECTION

On June 17, Maryland held a special election to fill the vancant U.S. House seat, 4th district. The results: Democatic 81.0%, Republican 17.9%, Libertarian 1.1%. When this district voted in November 2006, the results had been: Democratic 81.2%, Republican 18.8%.


REFORM PARTY NATIONAL CONVENTION

The Reform Party will hold a national convention in Dallas on July 18-20. The convention is under the control of a professional parliamentarian, Kay Crews, who was appointed by a state court in Texas. States that were affiliated with the Reform Party as of 2003 may send delegates. Some Reform Party activists have filed a lawsuit in New York to de-legitimize the Dallas convention. McKay v Crews, 10th district, Supreme Court, 08-20742.


KANSAS REFORM NOMINATES BALDWIN

On May 31, the Reform Party of Kansas, which is on the ballot, held a state convention. It nominated presidential electors pledged to Chuck Baldwin for president. Baldwin is also the Constitution Partyís presidential candidate. The Constitution Party is not ballot-qualified in Kansas, so this is welcome news for the Baldwin campaign.

The Secretary of State seems to believe that a Kansas political party may not make its own decision about whom to nominate for president. He seems to believe that the state party must nominate the presidential candidate chosen at a national convention, even though no Kansas law says this. The Reform Party submitted its paperwork on June 27, and will soon hear back from the Secretary of State. In 1980, the American Party of Kansas chose its own presidential candidate, Frank Shelton, even though the national convention of that party had chosen Percy Greaves.


VERMONT PROGRESSIVE REMAINS IN GUBERNATORIAL RACE

On May 29, Anthony Pollina, state chair of the Vermont Progressive Party, held a press conference to say he will remain in the gubernatorial race. Some had thought he would withdraw, because earlier in May, the Democrats had found a candidate to run for Governor. The Vermont Progressive Party is the nationís strongest minor party, with six state legislators. Pollina polled 24.8% for Lieutenant Governor in 2002, against both major parties.


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