Daily Archives: January 11, 2009

Ballot Access News state legislative roundup

Original posts at Ballot Access News by Richard Winger.

Texas Bill Would Create Even Earlier Petition Deadlines

Texas Representative Robert Alonzo (D-Dallas) has introduced HB 246. It would move primary elections from early March to early February, in all election years. Because the date of the Texas primary is tied to the deadline for petitions for both new political parties and for independent candidates (for office other than president) to submit petitions, those deadlines would become even earlier.

Existing law puts the new party deadline in late May, and the non-presidential independent candidate deadline in early May. If the bill is passed, those deadlines would be in April. That would give Texas the 2nd earliest petition deadline for new parties (except for states in which new parties must nominate by primary) in the nation. Only New Mexico, which has an early April deadline for new parties, would be earlier (again, except for states in which new parties nominate by primary).

The bill would also move the date on which independent candidates (other than president) must file a declaration of candidacy from January of the election year, to December of the year before the election. In some years, depending on the calendar, that deadline would even be in late November.

Oklahoma Ballot Access Bill Introduced

Oklahoma State Senator Randy Brogdon has introduced SB 359, to improve ballot access. For independent presidential candidates, who now need a petition signed by 3% of the last presidential vote (the worst in the nation), the bill permits a filing fee option. The fee would be $5,000.

For a new or previously unqualified party, the bill reduces the number of signatures from 5% of the last vote cast to exactly 5,000 signatures. Oklahoma required exactly 5,000 signatures for new parties from 1924 to 1974, and no election ever saw more than two minor parties on the Oklahoma ballot during those years.

Also, the bill lowers the vote test for a party to remain on the ballot from 10% to 1%. The national median vote test for a party to remain on the ballot is 2%.

Oklahoma was the only state in 2008 in which voters could not vote for president unless they voted for the Republican nominee or the Democratic nominee. The same situation was true in 2004 in Oklahoma as well. Thanks to Tom Holmes for this news.

State Fiscal Problems Give Opportunity for Ballot Access Improvement

Virtually all states are having budget problems. This situation may provide an opening for activists to suggest that state legislatures replace ballot access petitions with filing fees. Canada and Great Britain depend on filing fees, rather than difficult petition requirements, to regulate access to the ballot. And in the U.S., almost two-thirds of the states already depend mostly on filing fees, not mandatory petitions, to regulate access to primary ballots.

Fiscal considerations ought to support this idea. Election administrators must expend resources to handle petitions, especially if state law requires that all petitions be checked. On the other hand, filing fees not only cost nothing to administer, they add to government revenue.

Of course, past U.S. Supreme Court precedents require states to leave petition alternatives in the law. Also, of course, it is bad policy for the filing fees to be exorbitant.

States that already use filing fees to regulate independent candidate access to the general election ballot are Louisiana, Florida (but not for president), Oklahoma (but not for president), and Colorado (president only).

Maine Senator Interested in Improving Ballot Access

State Senator Justin Alfond, elected to the Maine Senate in 2008, is interested in improving his state’s ballot access laws for minor parties. He is a Democrat representing part of Portland.

Posted to IPR by Paulie

[read more]

Cynthia McKinney: let Gaza live

Posted at On The Wilder Side

By Cynthia McKinney:

Today I participated in ANSWER’s march and rally, “Let Gaza Live” in Washington, D.C. Attendance was excellent despite the weather. Among the many friends in attendance, I met a young man and his daughter who had come all the way from Greensboro, North Carolina to participate. The crowd was one of the most diverse that I have ever seen. I think our message is reaching deep into our country’s heartland. Here are my remarks:

Cynthia McKinney
“Let Gaza Live”
Washington, D.C.
January 10, 2009

We don’t see the images. They are neatly censored from our view in this country. But everywhere else around the world the carnage that is Gaza is being seen and the people are revolted by what they see.

They see dead babies, decapitated bodies, defenseless relief workers killed. Maimed men, makeshift morgues, mortified mothers.

They see exploding white phosphorus shells, cluster bombs, depleted uranium munitions.

They see what is reportedly the world’s fourth most powerful military using all of its power against a defenseless people.

In fact, they are witnesses to 15 days of war crimes, crimes against humanity, ethnic cleansing, and genocide.

They see Hugo Chavez expel Venezuela’s Israeli Ambassador and they see lawmakers in Ecuador condemn Israel’s actions, calling for an investigation into Israel’s crimes against humanity.

And despite the obvious facts of an Israeli-sponsored terror campaign against Palestinians in Gaza, a piece of territory roughly twice the size of the District of Columbia, they see the U.S. Congress support a resolution totally supporting Israel, even though Israel is in violation of U.S. and international law.

They see Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, swaggering in insult to black America by initially refusing to seat Roland Burris from Illinois in the Senate, yet that same Reid cowers before the pro-Israel lobby, and they wonder why.

And sadly, they see the U.S. President-elect, who roared onto the scene like a lion, remain as quiet as a lamb in the face of the utter inhumanity of Israel’s actions, and they wonder why.

And then, they see us. Gathered here in front of the White House, reaffirming our own humanity, and that of millions of people around the world, including in Israel, who disagree with this death and destruction. The tears of the Palestinians roll down our cheeks, even as we bury our own victims of police murder.

A new day is coming in U.S. politics. We will use the power of our vote to change U.S. policy. We will no longer check our values at the door and support politicians and political parties that fail to deliver.

Not one more bomb to Israel.

In defense of humanity, we will not give up and we will win.

Posted to IPR by [read more]

Greens participate in Gaza protests in Detroit, Los Angeles

Posted at Detroit Greens:

The Detroit News has an article and photos.

The Free Press has a photo gallery here.

Channel 7 also covered the demo and includes a quote from Detroit activist and 2006 GPMI US Senate candidate David Sole.

I’m surprised at the amount of coverage given to the very small in comparison pro-Israeli demonstration.

Posted at On The Wilder Side:

Co-Founders Greta Berlin and Dr. Paul Larudee will tell how the Free Gaza Movement sailed the first boats to Gaza in 41 years and how they did so another four times since the first historic voyage on August 23, 2008. They will also tell how an Israeli gunboat rammed their vessel three times on the sixth voyage with Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney aboard. They will also tell how they plan to return with a NEW BOAT, possibly even as the talk is taking place! Congresswoman Mckinney will attend and answer questions.

WHEN: 11:00 a.m., Sunday, Jan. 11
WHERE: Radisson Hotel, Los Angeles Airport, 6225 West Century Blvd, LA 90045, Suite California A.

Posted to IPR by [read more]

Constitution Party: Obama’s ICE candidate pleads for agents’ pardon


by Chelsea Schilling

Former federal investigator demands President Bush release Ramos, Compean

Upon hearing that he was one of Barack Obama’s candidates to head Immigration and Customs Enforcement, one federal [read more]

Constitution Party: We need Constitutional, not just economic, recovery


by Paul Craig Roberts

In 1992 when Roe v. Wade again came before the Supreme Court, 19 years after the Court had found abortion rights in the Constitution, the Justices cast aspersions upon the original decision. Nevertheless, the Court upheld the poor [read more]

Bob Barr slams Illinois House impeachment resolution; calls Blagojevich impeachment premature and irresponsible

Former Congressman Bob Barr issued a statement today criticizing the Illinois House of Representatives for its resolution impeaching Governor Rod Blagojevich, calling such a move “premature” and “irresponsible.”

“To impeach a duly-elected [read more]