October 1, 2008 Volume 24, Number 6

This issue was originally printed on yellow paper.

Table of Contents

  1. MASSACHUSETTS COURT RULES IN FAVOR OF SUBSTITUTION
  2. OTHER BALLOT ACCESS VICTORIES
  3. DEADLINE LAWSUITS
  4. OHIO PUTS MORE PARTIES ON BALLOT
  5. McCAIN WINS BALLOT ACCESS LAWSUIT
  6. OTHER LAWSUIT NEWS
  7. REPUBLICAN CONVENTION FAILS TO PASS PRIMARY REFORM
  8. LEGISLATIVE NEWS
  9. PARTY REVENUE FROM STATE INCOME TAX "CHECK-OFF"
  10. 2008 PETITIONING FOR PRESIDENT
  11. PETER CAMEJO DIES
  12. ALASKAN INDEPENDENCE PARTY BECOMES FAMOUS
  13. RON PAUL ENDORSES CHUCK BALDWIN
  14. ONE-STATE PARTIES MAKE PRESIDENTIAL NOMINATIONS
  15. WORKING FAMILIES PARTY GETS PUBLIC FUNDING IN CONNECTICUT RACE
  16. SUBSCRIBING TO BAN WITH PAYPAL


MASSACHUSETTS COURT RULES IN FAVOR OF SUBSTITUTION

ONLY THE 2nd VICTORY FOR PRESIDENTIAL SUBSTITUTION IN HISTORY

On September 22, U.S. District Court Judge Nathaniel Gorton, a Bush Sr. appointee, issued an injunction, letting the Massachusetts Libertarian Party substitute Bob Barr for George Phillies. Barr v Galvin, 08-11340. The state did not appeal the injunction. This is only the second time in history that a court has required a state to permit presidential substitution. The first was in Florida, in 1996, when a U.S. District Court ordered that Harry Browne be substituted for Ed Clark. That case, Libertarian Party of Florida v Mortham, is not reported, which makes it more difficult to cite as a precedent.

Vice-presidential substitution has won in court three times, all in cases filed by John B. Anderson in 1980, against Florida, Pennsylvania, and Indiana. Substitution for lesser office won in court in Virginia in 1989. Those are the only precedents.

The logic for substitution, in presidential elections, is compelling. All states permitted the Democratic Party to substitute a new vice-presidential nominee in 1972, to replace the original nominee who had been chosen on July 14, 1972, and certified to all states the next day. The new Democratric nominee was chosen on August 8, 1972, after the original nominee resigned. Therefore, since all states permit qualified parties to substitute, the 14th Amendment seems to require the states to permit substitution for unqualified parties.

The Massachusetts Libertarian Party used a stand-in in 2008 because when it started circulating its petition, it didn't know whom the national convention would be choosing. In 2000, the Massachusetts Secretary of State had told the Reform Party that it could use a stand-in, but that the stand-in had to be someone who was sincerely seeking the party's national nomination.

Therefore, this year, the Massachusetts Libertarian Party chose George Phillies as its stand-in, since he was seeking the nomination. However, at the national convention in Denver on May 25, he was eliminated after the third ballot, on which he received 31 votes. Bob Barr was chosen on the sixth ballot, with 324 votes.

The Massachusetts Libertarian Party had argued that, whatever the merits of the constitutional argument, that the state was obliged to permit substitution because in 2007 the state had e-mailed the party that substitution would be permitted. But the decision says, "At worst, Attorney Green's email to Phillies, suggesting that her office would prepare a form on which the plaintiffs could request substitution, was vague. It made no promise that the request for substitution would be granted."

Judge Gorton granted the injunction because "A minor political party, desiring to substitute its presidential nominee on the ballot in Massachusetts is left to guess how, if at all, to do so in compliance with the law. Surely there can be no state interest that would justify such a burden. Therefore, Massachusetts General Laws chapter 53, sec. 14 will likely fail constitutional scrutiny, even without specifically determining whether the statute is void for vagueness or grants unfettered discretion to the Commonwealth. See also Anderson v Firestone (finding that independent candidates for president and vice president were denied equal protection of the laws by the state's failure to allow for substitution of the vice-presidential candidate listed on the petitions)."

In future presidential elections, this precedent will be useful to give all minor parties the freedom to schedule a late national convention, without injuring ballot access petitioning.

Other states that have refused, so far, to permit presidential substitution are Alabama, Maine, New Hampshire, and South Dakota. Libertarian petitioning efforts in 2008 were greatly impaired by the restrictive policies of all four of those states. The party's Maine petition could not start circulating until after the May convention, because no one knew which nominee to list. As a result, that petition failed to meet one of the petition deadlines. The South Dakota petition succeeded, but just barely.


OTHER BALLOT ACCESS VICTORIES

Delaware: on September 5, a lower state court ruled that the Independent Party nomination process this year was legal. The party chose its nominees by committee, instead of convention. Allen v Independent Party, 3951-cc. If this case had turned out differently, Ralph Nader would have been off the ballot.

Kentucky: on September 16, a lower state court ruled that the Libertarian Party may nominate Edward Martin for U.S. House, even though he is a registered Republican. Cummings v Martin, 08-CI-08751. The law says an independent candidate must not be a member of a qualified party. But the decision says that Martin is not an independent candidate; he is the nominee of an unqualified party. The decision is being appealed.

Pennsylvania: on September 15, the Commonwealth Court ruled that the Libertarian Party's presidential substitution is valid. Pennsylvania permits substitution, but a Republican Party official had challenged on the grounds that the substitution should have been made in May (when the party knew who it was really running) instead of at the end of the petition drive. In re Substitute Nomination of Barr, 414 M.D. 2008.


DEADLINE LAWSUITS

During September, federal courts applied widely differing standards on whether to enforce election law deadlines strictly. When the Democratic and Republican Parties sought relief, they won. When minor party and independent candidates sought such relief, they lost.

Louisiana: on September 26, the 5th Circuit removed Bob Barr, Libertarian nominee, from the presidential ballot. A U.S. District Court had put him on three days earlier. The State had kept him off because his electors had not submitted their paperwork by the legal deadline. Libertarian Party v Dardenne, 08-30922.

However, the legal deadline was September 2, and the Democratic and Republican Parties didn't submit their electors and their certification of their national nominees until September 5. The Libertarian Party actually told the state who it was running for president and vice-president before the major parties did, but the Libertarian elector forms weren't turned in until September 11. State law gives qualified parties a three-day grace period for such paperwork. The Libertarian Party is a qualified party. Since hurricanes had caused the state to move the deadline from September 2 to September 8, the U.S. District Judge had felt the Libertarians qualified, using the 3-day grace period. The Socialist Party was a co-plaintiff, but since it isn't a qualified party, it didn't get any relief from either court.

On September 27, Barr asked the U.S. Supreme Court for relief. 08A269. On September 29, the Court asked Louisiana to respond.

Maine: on September 17, U.S. District Court Judge John A. Woodcock, a Bush Jr. appointee, refused to grant an injunction putting Laurie Dobson on the ballot as an independent candidate for U.S. Senate. Dobson turned in her signatures to the town clerks on time. The deadline was May 27, and she met that deadline. But the town clerks couldn't get the signatures checked by the June 2 deadline to submit the signatures to the Secretary of State.

Woodcock's opinion starts, "There is no Constitutional right to procrastinate... A reasonably prudent candidate should anticipate the short turnaround time for the registrars and avoid procrastination by filing well in advance of the deadline." In effect, he is saying the true deadline is in April. In 1984, a U.S. District Court had invalidated Maine's April 1 deadline (Stoddard v Quinn).

Mississippi: on September 25, a U.S. District Court ruled that Brian Moore should not be on the ballot because his paperwork was 10 minutes too late. The Natural Law Party had nominated him, but the nomination documents were delivered to the Secretary of State's office just as the door was closing. Moore v Hosemann, 3:08cv-573-TSL.

Pennsylvania: on September 12, U.S. District Court Judge Yvette Kane refused to place Chuck Baldwin on the ballot. The party had turned in most of its signatures on the August 1 deadline, but had not turned in the remainder until the end of August. When the state refused to accept the last batch of signatures, the party had sued, arguing that the August 1 deadline is invalid, since the state legislature never passed it. The deadline only exists because the State Elections Department agreed in an out-of-court settlement in 1984 that it would accept petitions up until August 1.

On September 11, Judge Kane had held a second hearing in this case, by telephone. A that time, she said she was persuaded that the U.S. Constitution does require that all state election laws for presidential elections must be passed by a legislature. But she was bothered by her belief that if she invalidated the August 1 deadline, then the deadline would revert to the old May deadline that had been successfully challenged in court in 1984. The next day she put out a ruling that contradicted what she had said on September 11. The ruling said that perhaps the legislature had granted permission to the State Elections Office to set deadlines. There is no evidence for this, however. The case is still alive and the final ruling on declaratory relief may be better.

Texas: on September 23, the State Supreme Court ruled that Barack Obama and John McCain should remain on the ballot, even though their names were not certified by the August 26 deadline. Neither had been nominated by that deadline. Obama had been nominated on August 28; McCain on September 3. The challenge to Obama and McCain had been filed by Bob Barr and the Libertarian Party of Texas. In re Bob Barr, 08-0761. The Court did not release any opinion, but it probably will do so in the future.

West Virginia: on September 5, U.S. District Court Judge John Copenhaver, a Ford appointee, upheld the August 1 petition deadline. Barr v Ireland, 2:08-cv-0990. The ruling says the state needs all of August and most of September to check the signatures. Of course, if West Virginia didn't require so many signatures, it wouldn't need so much time. West Virginia requires more signatures (as a percentage of the voters) than any state, except that Oklahoma is more severe and North Carolina is equally severe. The ruling acknowledges that West Virginia's petition is tied for second-most restrictive, but does not discuss why the state needs so many signatures.


OHIO PUTS MORE PARTIES ON BALLOT

U.S. District Court Judge Edmund Sargus earlier this year had put the Libertarian Party, and the Socialist Party, on the Ohio ballot. Then, in August, the Green Party, and the Constitution Party, had filed lawsuits seeking the same relief.

On September 2, the Ohio Secretary of State said she would put the Green Party and the Constitution Party on the ballot, so Judge Sargus didn't need to make additional rulings. The basis for all of this is that in 2006 the existing law on how a new party gets on the ballot had been struck down, and the legislature did not pass a new law.

Ohio has six political parties on the ballot, the most it has had (with party labels) since 1932.


McCAIN WINS BALLOT ACCESS LAWSUIT

On September 16, U.S. District Court Judge William Alsup ruled that John McCain should be on the California ballot. Robinson v Bowen, C08-3836, n.d. The plaintiff, a presidential elector candidate for Alan Keyes, had argued that McCain is not "natural-born". Judge Alsup said that McCain is "natural-born." He also said that even if a candidate does not meet the constitutional qualifications to be president, he or she should still be on the ballot.

Every time a minor party presidential candidate who does not meet the constitutional qualifications to be president tries to get on the ballot, and the matter goes to court, courts rule that the candidate should not be on the ballot. The two leading cases are Cleaver v Jordan, in which the California Supreme Court said that Eldridge Cleaver should not be on the 1968 California ballot, and Jenness v Brown, in which a U.S. District Court in Ohio said that Linda Jenness (Socialist Workers Party presidential candidate in 1972) should not be on the ballot. Both Cleaver and Jenness were under age 35. Unfortunately, neither decision is reported, although the briefs in Robinson v Bowen cited the Cleaver case.

Judge Alsup wrote, "Mechanisms exist under the Twelfth Amendment and 3 U.S.C. 15 for any challenge to any candidate to be ventilated when electoral votes are counted, and the Twentieth Amendment provides guidance regarding how to proceed if a president elect shall have failed to qualify. Issues regarding qualifications or lack thereof can be laid before the voting public before the election and, once the election is over, can be raised as objections as the electoral votes are counted in Congress. Therefore, this order holds that the challenge presented by plaintiff is committed under the Constitution to the electors and the legislative branch, at least in the first instance. Judicial review if any should occur only after the electoral and Congressional processes have run their course."

The party that most often nominates a presidential candidate, or a vice-presidential candidate, who does not meet the Constitutional qualifications, is the Socialist Workers Party, which has done this in 1972, 1980, 2004, and 2008. Each time the party used a stand-in who did meet the Constitutional qualifications (but only in those states which refuse to print an unqualified presidential candidate on the ballot). Each time except 1972, the party did not fight in court to place its actual nominee on the ballot. Perhaps, if the SWP or any other party nominates someone in 2012 who doesn't meet the Constitutional qualifications, the party can raise the issue in court again, this time depending on the Robinson v McCain precedent.


OTHER LAWSUIT NEWS

Arizona: the State Supreme Court recently issued two election law decisions that will help petitioning candidates and parties. In Jenkins v Hale, issued on August 19, the Court said that just because a petition signer puts a Post Office Box address instead of a residence address, does not necessarily mean that the signature is invalid. In Bee v Day, it said that just because the candidate forgot to specify the term of the office he or she is seeking on the petition, does not invalidate the petition.

Maine: on September 4, Bob Barr filed a lawsuit to get on the ballot. He had enough valid signatures, and they were delivered to the Secretary of State by the deadline for the Secretary of State to receive them. However, some of his signatures had not been delivered to the town clerks on time. This case is the mirror image of the Dobson case described above, and it has the same judge. So far no hearing has been set. Barr v Dunlap, 1:08cv-288.

Minnesota: on October 8, a lower state court will hear oral arguments in a case to determine whether Instant-Runoff Voting is compatible with the State Constitution and state election laws. Minnesota Voters Alliance v City of Minneapolis, 27-cv08-15.

Mississippi: on September 18, the State Supreme Court ruled that the special U.S. Senate election should be near the top of the ballot (just under the presidential race and the other U.S. Senate race), not at the very bottom of the ballot. The Governor and Secretary of State had been planning to put the special U.S. Senate election on the bottom of the ballot, beneath the local elections and local ballot measures. Barbour v Berger, 2008-M-01534.

New Hampshire: on September 12, the Libertarian Party filed a federal lawsuit, alleging that the state is constitutionally required to permit stand-ins. Libertarian Party of N.H. v Gardner, 08-cv-367-JM.

Puerto Rico: on August 27, a U.S. District Court ruled that Puerto Rico must print its ballots in English as well as Spanish. Puerto Rican ballots in the past have been printed only in Spanish. The court said the Voting Rights Act applies to Puerto Rico. That act requires ballots for any language minority that comprises at least 5% of the population. In Puerto Rico, 14% of the population is primarily English-speaking rather than Spanish-speaking, although Puerto Ricans are generally bilingual.

South Carolina: on September 17, a lower state court ruled that Eugene Platt, Green Party candidate for state house, should not be on the ballot. Tempel v Platt, Charleston Co., 08-CP-10-4978. On September 18, a federal court agreed. South Carolina Green Party v Election Commission, 3:08-cv-02790. The federal case is not over but the candidate won't be on the ballot. There is no written opinion yet from the federal court.

Tennessee: on September 24, State Senator Rosalind Kurita sued the Secretary of State and the Democratic Party, in order to get on the ballot. She won the August primary, but the party wouldn't certify the results because it said she only won because some Republicans voted for her. Tennessee does not have registration by party. Kurita v The State Primary Board of the Tennessee Democratic Party, 3:08-cv-948, m.d.

Washington: on September 26, the King County Superior Court ruled that Dino Rossi may have the ballot label "Prefers GOP Party." The Democratic Party had sued the Secretary of State to force him to print "Prefers the Republican Party" next to Rossi's name. Informally, Rossi is the Republican candidate for Governor. The new "top-two" law says a candidate may say he or she prefers any party. There really is no "GOP Party"; "GOP" is an old nickname for the Republican Party. But, the law says a candidate may express preference for any party, major or minor. The law defines a minor party as anything that is not a major party. Thus it is impossible to prove that the GOP Party does not exist.

Rossi chose "GOP" because polls show that he does better with that label than with "Republican." Smith v Reed, 08-2-33009-5.


REPUBLICAN CONVENTION FAILS TO PASS PRIMARY REFORM

The Republican Party cannot change its national rules except at a national convention. The 2008 Republican national convention failed to pass any changes that would significantly alter the party's plan for the timing of presidential primaries and caucuses. The convention considered, but did not pass, a plan to let the smallest states go first, and then to provide a lottery for the primary dates for groups of larger states. Because this plan failed to pass, hopes that state legislatures might make big changes before the 2012 primary season are dim.

In contrast to the Republicans, the Democratic Party is able to alter such rules, by action of the National Committee. But it takes both major parties, working together, to bring about legislative changes.


LEGISLATIVE NEWS

North Carolina: State Senator Jim Jacumin (R-Connellys Springs) will introduce a bill next year to ease the number of signatures for an independent candidate for district office. The existing law is so harsh, no independent candidate for U.S. House has ever qualified for a government-printed ballot, and North Carolina has been using government-printed ballots since 1901. Existing law requires about 18,000 signatures.

Pennsylvania: on September 17, State Senator Mike Folmer introduced SB 1578. It makes huge improvements to ballot access, both for minor parties and independent candidates. For minor parties, the bill borrows Delaware's law, which defines "minor party" to be a group with registration of one-twentieth of 1%. Independent canddiates for statewide office would need 2,000 signatures.


PARTY REVENUE FROM STATE INCOME TAX "CHECK-OFF"

`

Democratic

Republican

Green

Libertarian

Independence

Constitution

Personal Choice

Alabama

6,737

7,542

- -

2

- -

- -

- -

Arizona

28,514

16,222

- -

2,108

- -

- -

- -

Idaho

35,540

30,891

- -

2,854

- -

2 ,144

- -

Iowa

35,382

21,057

- -

- -

- -

- -

- -

Kentucky

121,548

88,464

- -

- -

- -

- -

- -

Maine

11,003

4,406

3,685

- -

- -

- -

- -

Minn.

48,572

28,204

4,321

- -

4,959

- -

- -

N. Mex.

6,574

3,310

- -

- -

- -

- -

- -

No. Car.

921,096

630,234

- -

- -

- -

- -

- -

Ohio.

173,372

173,372

- -

- -

- -

- -

- -

Rhode I.

55,322

39,409

278

- -

- -

- -

- -

Utah

45,776

66,848

40

70

- -

3,794

260

Virginia

31,310

17,519

- -

- -

- -

- -

- -

TOTAL

1520,746

1127,478

8,324

5,034

4,959

5,938

260

The states above give state income-tax payers a chance to direct a contribution to the political party of the taxpayer's choice. The chart above lists the amounts received by each party. Ohio does not let taxpayers decide which party to help, and only lets taxpayers help parties that polled 20%. All the other states except North Carolina include all qualified parties. The New Mexico Secretary of State erroneously told the New Mexico tax office that only the Democratic and Republican Parties were qualified. This was a mistake, as the Green and Libertarian Parties were also qualified minor parties on Jan. 1, 2007.


2008 PETITIONING FOR PRESIDENT

(to see the latest ballot status information, click here for the online chart)

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

Ala. 9

37,513

5,000

already on

too late

already on

already on

June 3

Sep. 8

Alaska 3

(reg) 7,124

#3,128

already on

too late

already on

already on

Aug. 6

Aug. 6

Ariz. 10

20,449

#21,759

already on

already on

too late

already on

Mar. 6

unsettled

Ark. 6

10,000

#1,000

already on

already on

already on

already on

June 30

Aug. 4

Calif. 55

(reg) 88,991

158,372

already on

already on

too late

already on

Dec. 31, 07

Aug. 8

Colo. 9

(reg) 1,000

Pay $500

already on

already on

already on

already on

June 1

June 17

Conn. 7

no procedure

#7,500

disputed

too late

too late

already on

- - -

Aug. 6

Del. 3

(reg) 284

5,674

already on

already on

already on

already on

Aug. 12

July 15

D.C. 3

no procedure

est. #3,900

too late

already on

can't start

already on

- - -

Aug. 19

Florida 27

be organized

104,334

already on

already on

already on

already on

Sep. 2

July 15

Georgia 15

44,089

#42,489

already on

too late

too late

too late

July 8

July 8

Hawaii 4

663

4,291

already on

already on

already on

already on

Apr. 3

Sep. 5

Idaho 4

11,968

5,984

already on

too late

already on

already on

Aug. 29

Aug. 25

Illinois 21

no procedure

#25,000

already on

already on

already on

already on

- - -

June 23

Indiana 11

no procedure

#32,742

already on

too late

8too late

too late

- - -

June 30

Iowa 7

no procedure

#1,500

already on

already on

already on

already on

- - -

Aug. 15

Kansas 6

16,994

5,000

already on

too late

already on

already on

June 2

Aug. 4

Ky. 8

no procedure

#5,000

already on

too late

already on

already on

- - -

Sep. 2

La. 9

(reg) 1,000

pay $500

in court

already on

already on

already on

May 22

Sep. 2

Maine 4

27,544

#4,000

in court

already on

too late

already on

Dec 14, 07

Aug. 8

Md. 10

10,000

31,102

already on

already on

already on

already on

Aug. 4

Aug. 4

Mass. 12

(reg) 40,116

#10,000

already on

already on

already on

already on

Feb. 1

July 29

Mich. 17

38,024

38,024

already on

already on

already on

already on

July 17

July 17

Minn. 10

110,150

#2,000

already on

already on

already on

already on

July 15

Sep. 9

Miss. 6

be organized

1,000

already on

already on

already on

already on

Jan. 10

Sep. 5

Mo. 11

10,000

10,000

already on

too late

already on

already on

July 28

July 28

Mont. 3

5,000

#5,000

already on

too late

too late

already on

Mar. 13

Aug. 13

Nebr. 5

5,921

2,500

already on

already on

already on

already on

Aug. 1

Aug. 26

Nev. 5

5,746

5,746

already on

already on

already on

already on

July 3

July 3

N. Hamp. 5

12,524

#3,000

already on

too late

too late

already on

Aug. 6

Aug. 6

N.J. 15

no procedure

#800

already on

already on

already on

already on

- - -

July 28

N. M. 5

2,794

16,764

already on

already on

already on

already on

Apr. 1

June 4

N.Y. 31

no procedure

#15,000

can't start

already on

too late

already on

- - -

Aug. 19

No. Car. 15

69,734

69,734

already on

too late

too late

too late

May 16

June 12

No. Dak. 3

7,000

#4,000

already on

too late

already on

already on

Apr. 11

Sep. 5

Ohio 20

20,114

5,000

already on

already on

already on

already on

Aug. 21

Aug. 21

Okla. 7

46,324

43,913

in court

too late

too late

too late

May 1

July 15

Oregon 7

20,640

18,356

already on

already on

already on

already on

Aug. 26

Aug. 26

Penn. 21

no procedure

#24,666

already on

too late

too late

already on

- - -

Aug. 1

R.I. 4

18,557

#1,000

already on

already on

already on

already on

May 30

Sep. 5

So. Car. 8

10,000

10,000

already on

already on

already on

already on

May 4

July 15

So. Dak. 3

8,389

3,356

already on

too late

already on

already on

Mar. 25

Aug. 5

Tenn. 11

45,254

25

already on

already on

already on

already on

unsettled

Aug. 21

Texas 34

43,991

74,108

already on

too late

too late

too late

May 26

May 12

Utah 5

2,000

#1,000

already on

already on

already on

already on

Feb. 15

Sep. 2

Vermont 3

be organized

#1,000

already on

too late

already on

already on

Jan. 1

Sep. 12

Virginia 13

no procedure

#10,000

already on

already on

already on

already on

- - -

Aug. 22

Wash. 11

no procedure

#1,000

already on

already on

already on

already on

- - -

July 26

West Va. 5

no procedure

#15,118

too late

already on

already on

already on

- - -

Aug. 1

Wisc. 10

10,000

#2,000

already on

already on

already on

already on

June 2

Sep. 2

Wyo. 3

3,868

3,868

already on

too late

already on

already on

June 2

Aug. 25

TOTAL STATES ON
*45
*32
*37
*46
~ ~

#partisan label is permitted on the ballot (other than "independent").


PETER CAMEJO DIES

On September 13, Peter Camejo died. He was 68 and had been living with cancer for several years. He had been the Socialist Workers Party presidential candidate in 1976, and had polled 91,314 votes. Later he had rejected doctrinaire Marxism, and had become a leader of the Green Party. He was that party's nominee for Governor of California in 2002, 2003, and 2006. He was also Ralph Nader's running mate in 2004. Although he was born in New York, he was Venezuelan and he grew up in that country. He and his father were on the 1960 Venezuelan Olympics sailing team. When he took the SAT, he got a perfect score in the mathematics part of the test. He got a job as a financial analyst for Merrill Lynch, but he was fired when the company learned about his political views. He then established his own investments company, which helped investors to invest only in companies that followed socially responsible policies. His last political appearance of note was on August 2, 2008, at the Peace and Freedom Party state convention in Sacramento, California, where he spoke in favor of Ralph Nader's nomination.


ALASKAN INDEPENDENCE PARTY BECOMES FAMOUS

On August 29, John McCain announced that Sarah Palin is his choice for vice-president. She was formally nominated on September 3. One of the first revelations about Sarah Palin was that she had attended one state convention of the Alaskan Independence Party, and as Governor had taped a greeting to the party's 2008 state convention. A leader of the party told the press that Palin had once been a registered member of the party. The McCain campaign quickly proved that this was not true, although it turned out that her husband, Todd Palin, had been registered in the party between 1995 and 2002. Publicity focused on the fact that the party's founder, Joe Vogler, really did passionately desire that Alaska secede from the union, and that most of the party's activists currently also favor that idea.

This year, the Alaskan Independence Party has nominated Chuck Baldwin for president.


RON PAUL ENDORSES CHUCK BALDWIN

On September 22, Ron Paul endorsed Chuck Baldwin (the Constitution Party presidential nominee), via his own blog. He appears to have made this decision because he was irked at Bob Barr for not appearing at the September 10 press conference. That press conference, at the National Press Club, had featured Paul exhorting voters to vote for either Baldwin, Barr, Cynthia McKinney, or Ralph Nader, since they all agreed on the desirability of ending U.S. military involvement in Iraq. All of those candidates except Barr attended the press conference.


ONE-STATE PARTIES MAKE PRESIDENTIAL NOMINATIONS

The nation's last remaining presidential conventions have now been held. On September 21, the New York Independence Party chose John McCain for president. On September 8, the Independent Green Party of Virginia chose Chuck Baldwin for president. On August 21, the Mississippi Natural Law Party chose Brian Moore (the Socialist Party presidential candidate) for president. On September 22, the New York Conservative Party chose John McCain for president. On September 15, the New York Working Familes nominated Barack Obama for president.

The Working Families Parties would like to have nominated Barack Obama for president beyond just New York, but he was not willing to accept that party's nomination in South Carolina, Massachusetts, or Connecticut.


WORKING FAMILIES PARTY GETS PUBLIC FUNDING IN CONNECTICUT RACE

Cicero Booker, Working Families Party nominee for State Senate from Connecticut's 15th district (Waterbury) has qualified for full public funding. In order to accomplish that, he had to obtain signatures from 20% of the last vote cast in his district, and to raise $15,000 in small donations, mostly from people in his district. Booker is the only opponent of the incumbent Democrat, Joan Hartley.


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