42 thoughts on “Only Romney and Paul Make Primary Ballot in Virginia

  1. matt cholko

    I suggest that all VA third-party and independent types use this opportunity to remind their state representatives of how obsurd the ballot access requirements for statewide offices are in our state. I certainly will be contacting mine next week.

  2. paulie

    @1 Thanks!

    I would have petitioned for Ron Paul. Might still do that in some other states. In 2008 I helped in TN on that.

    @2 I would just hire someone to hang out with me while I petition and sign off. Campaigns factor that in the pay.

    @Article first link goes to post new IPR article, I don’t think that was what you meant.

  3. paulie

    http://www.ballot-access.org/2011/12/24/newt-gingrich-quite-properly-criticizes-virginia-ballot-access-laws/

    “Gingrich could plausibly sue Virginia over its requirement that circulators cannot work in Virginia unless they live in Virginia. Lawsuits against residency requirements for circulators have won in Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Idaho, Illinois, Kansas, Michigan, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. Some of these victories were against bans on out-of-state circulators, and some of them were against bans on out-of-district circulators.”

  4. paulie

    http://www.ballot-access.org/2011/12/23/rick-perry-virginia-petition-doesnt-have-enough-valid-signatures/

    Governor Perry is one of only two Governors, in the last 60 years, who vetoed a bill to improve ballot access. On May 20, 2003, he had vetoed HB 1274, which deleted a Texas requirement that petition circulators must read a 93-word statement to every voter they approach. The bill had passed both houses of the legislature unanimously. The statement, which is still in the Texas law, thanks to Perry’s veto, said, “I know that the purpose of this petition is to entitle the (whichever) Party to have its nominees placed on the ballot in the general election for state and county officers. I have not voted in a primary election or participated in a convention of another party during this voting year, and I understand that I become ineligible to do so by signing this petition. I understand that signing more than one petition to entitle a party to have its nominees placed on the general election ballot in the same election is prohibited.”

    Forcing a circulator to read this lengthy statement slows down the progress of any circulator, and shows that, at least in 2003, Governor Perry had no interest in fair ballot access. But, maybe the recent Virginia experience will affect his attitude about ballot access barriers.

  5. Tom Blanton

    A little man in a suit was out in front of the Chesterfield Co. courthouse collecting signatures for Perry and not many people were bothering to stop.

    Chesterfield is probably about 90% Republican, too.

    I told the guy I didn’t like Perry and wouldn’t sign. He got indignant and said it was about giving voters a choice. I laughed in his face. As if Perry would give me a choice on anything.

  6. Marc Montoni

    Tom, I normally sign the petition of any candidate who asks me. If I’m in a hurry somewhere, if it’s a popular candidate I know will make it, I don’t sign. If it’s a non-establishment, unknown candidate, I make a special point of taking a few minutes to sign.

    I do it because I have collected thousands of petition signatures myself, and I know how it feels to be constantly rejected; and because I approve of having more choices on the ballot.

    I realize many of those asking me to sign their primary petition wouldn’t give me the time of day a few months later when I’m circulating my Libertarian petition, but some of them will, and those people I want to encourage.

  7. Andy

    “Tom Blanton // Dec 24, 2011 at 9:05 pm

    A little man in a suit was out in front of the Chesterfield Co. courthouse collecting signatures for Perry and not many people were bothering to stop.

    Chesterfield is probably about 90% Republican, too.

    I told the guy I didn’t like Perry and wouldn’t sign. He got indignant and said it was about giving voters a choice. I laughed in his face. As if Perry would give me a choice on anything.”

    I wonder if this petitioner was Eric Dondero.

  8. Tom Blanton

    This petitioner was not definitely not Santa or Dondero . This guy was a local, judging by his Chesterfield County demeanor. I’m pretty sure he was a sub-human Rick Perry supporter and I don’t think he knew what he was doing. His emotional response to my refusal to sign leads me to believe he was a true believer, although he may have been an alcoholic getting paid per signature and he needed cash for a pint of liquor.

    Considering how many times I’ve been turned down for signatures by Republicans and Democrats, I’d never sign a petition for one of their candidates. Republicrats might be more interested in easier ballot access if they have a hard time doing it. Maybe third parties in Virginia should make a pact to not sign petitions for the GOP and the Dems.

    Or, in light of this, maybe libertarians should lobby to make ballot access harder in Virginia, as long as it applies to all political parties. Possibly reduce the number of signatures required but make the process and forms more complicated so that half-wit political hacks have trouble complying.

    I’m tempted now to go out and vote for Ron Paul to rankle the GOP.

  9. matt cholko

    Marc and Tom, the first volunteer task I ever performed for the LP was petitioning to get the 2008 presidential ticket on the ballot in VA. Since that time, I sign EVERY petition I see, and always make sure to tell the circulator that I am a Libertarian, I know what it is like to stand there, and that it shouldn’t matter whether someone agrees with the candidate’s petitions or not, signing the petition is more of a statement in favor of having choices on the ballot, not in favor of the candidate in particular.

  10. Tom Blanton

    As for having more choices on the ballot, I’d really like to see the choice of None Of The Above, but that’s one choice the ruling establishment will never consent to.

  11. Tom Blanton

    Matt, I view Republicrat petitioners as errand boys for sociopathic liars, thieves, murderers and thugs. I couldn’t care less about giving voters a choice to select these pigs or about the petitioner’s feelings.

    I’m pretty sure these Republicrats will go out of their way to keep third parties off ballots, out of debates, and away from their turf.

  12. Andy

    I heard that the Newt Gingrich petition in Virginia went up to a really high pay rate per signature. It looks like it was too little to late. This couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy (sarcasm).

    Rick Perry vetoed a bill that would have eased ballot access in Texas for minor parties and independent candidates, so it is poetic justice that he failed to meet Virginia’s ballot access requirement.

    Whoever was put in charge of ballot access for Rick Perry and Newt Gingrich screwed up big time here. The requirement isn’t THAT difficult to the point where campaigns that have got the money that they have can’t make it on the ballot. This was a case of epic incompetence.

  13. Andy

    “The requirement isn’t THAT difficult to the point where campaigns that have got the money that they have can’t make it on the ballot.”

    I feel that I should elaborate further. Ballot access in Virginia is not easy, however, we are talking about two nationally known establishment candidates here, both of whom have access to lots of money. They both could have made the ballot with proper planning. Somebody on both campaigns screwed up big time.

  14. Andy

    “Thomas L. Knapp // Dec 25, 2011 at 12:10 am

    @12,

    Dondero’s working ballot access for a GOP candidate, but not in Virginia — Vermont.”

    I didn’t know that you kept up with the whereabouts of Eric Dondero.

  15. paulie

    I wonder if this petitioner was Eric Dondero.

    He’s been working for Perry and Romney in Indiana and Vermont, maybe some other states as well. I don’t believe Virginia was one of them unless I missed something.

    I have also been told that he said he would be happy to support any of the Republican candidates except Ron Paul. Presumably this means he would be happy to be covered in santorum.

  16. Thomas L. Knapp

    Andy@21,

    “I didn’t know that you kept up with the whereabouts of Eric Dondero.”

    I normally don’t, but he mentioned in an email that he was “up north on a secret mission,” so I checked his IP and saw he was in Vermont. Then someone else, on another blog, mentioned he was working for Perry up there.

    I don’t keep up with the whereabouts of Obama, either, but I happened to notice from Google News headlines that he’s in Hawaii.

  17. paulie

    Ballot access in Virginia is not easy, however, we are talking about two nationally known establishment candidates here, both of whom have access to lots of money. They both could have made the ballot with proper planning. Somebody on both campaigns screwed up big time.

    For six and eight bucks a signature on the streets, plus who knows how much to the contracting companies….uh, no comment.

  18. Bill Wood

    Also in Virginia the winning Candidate must submit a letter to the Party Chairman accepting the Party nomination. This letter is then forwarded to the State Board of Elections, along with other paper work. It probably would be a good idea that all LP Candidates for President write a letter in advance ?

  19. Robert Capozzi

    While it’s delicious that Rs failed their own ballot access, I’m not sure Newt nor Perry are personally responsible for VA’s rules. I suspect they ain’t, actually…

  20. paulie

    http://www.ballot-access.org/2011/12/25/virginia-2011-independent-candidate-for-legislature-has-big-impact-on-2012-presidential-primary/

    There are currently many news stories and blog discussions about the Virginia presidential primary ballot access law. Some large blogs, such as Red State, have over 300 comments about the story. Some defend the current Virginia ballot access laws on the grounds that in past presidential elections, a fairly large number of Republican presidential primary candidates managed to qualify.

    But what has not been reported is that in the only other presidential primaries in which Virginia required 10,000 signatures (2000, 2004, and 2008) the signatures were not checked. Any candidate who submitted at least 10,000 raw signatures was put on the ballot. In 2000, five Republicans qualified: George Bush, John McCain, Alan Keyes, Gary Bauer, and Steve Forbes. In 2004 there was no Republican primary in Virginia. In 2008, seven Republicans qualified: John McCain, Mike Huckabee, Mitt Romney, Ron Paul, Rudy Giuliani, Fred Thompson, and Alan Keyes.

    The only reason the Virginia Republican Party checked the signatures for validity for the current primary is that in October 2011, an independent candidate for the legislature, Michael Osborne, sued the Virginia Republican Party because it did not check petitions for its own members, when they submitted primary petitions. Osborne had no trouble getting the needed 125 valid signatures for his own independent candidacy, but he charged that his Republican opponent’s primary petition had never been checked, and that if it had been, that opponent would not have qualified. The lawsuit, Osborne v Boyles, cl 11-520-00, was filed in Bristol County Circuit Court. It was filed too late to be heard before the election, but is still pending. The effect of the lawsuit was to persuade the Republican Party to start checking petitions. If the Republican Party had not changed that policy, Newt Gingrich and Rick Perry would be on the 2012 ballot.

    The Democratic Party of Virginia has been opposed to the strict law on primary ballot access, and has been in the habit of collecting signatures for all Democratic presidential candidates recognized by the party. In 2008, the state party collected 7,300 signatures for all its candidates, thus easing the burden on them and requiring them to collect only 4,000 to 5,000 on their own.

  21. paulie

    While it’s delicious that Rs failed their own ballot access, I’m not sure Newt nor Perry are personally responsible for VA’s rules. I suspect they ain’t, actually…

    True. However, Perry vetoed a bill that would have gotten rid of one of the craziest requirements of Texas ballot access, while Gingrich has for his part said he would not debate alt party or independent candidates because they “only help Obama.”

  22. Tom Blanton

    While it’s delicious that Rs failed their own ballot access, I’m not sure Newt nor Perry are personally responsible for VA’s rules. I suspect they ain’t, actually…

    Actually, the cult that Newt and Perry belong to is at least 50% responsible for Virginia’s rules. They can only blame their own cult for the grave injustice done to their loyal and dedicated followers who have been denied choices.

    It is a sad day in Virginia when statist warmongers and brain damaged Christofascists are deprived of the opportunity to select their favorite cult leader.

    I feel so sorry for the many Gingrich supporters who strongly felt that he was less evil than Romney since Newt was polling at 30% here a few days ago.

    The horror. The humanity.

    Let’s have a moment of silence for these suffering Republicans.

  23. Marc Montoni

    The Democratic Party of Virginia has been opposed to the strict law on primary ballot access, …

    I think we need to be careful about making any suggestion that the Demoncrats are the good guys for ballot access. It was largely Democratic state legislatures between 1880-1980 that introduced and incrementally tightened these restrictions, was it not? In some cases they tightened the screws **so much** that they actually forced the Republicans off the ballot, no? Not to mention all of the third parties that have been forced out of existence because of a century of Demoncrat ballot purging?

    If the Demoncrats now oppose the strict laws on primary ballot access, it is difficult to believe they are doing so for any reason other than their own selfish interests.

  24. matt cholko

    I’ll repeat what I said above, with a slightly different twist….

    If there is any person/group in Virginia who has a bill ready that would improve ballot access, now would be the time to find a member of the General Assembly to introduce such legislation. The session starts soon, and the issue is in the news.

  25. Marc Montoni

    I will note that Richard Winger corrected me about Republicans being forced off the ballot in the past. I quote him here:

    No southern state except Louisiana ever had a law to deprive the Republican Party of its status as a qualified party. In Louisiana in 1914, the legislature changed the definition of “political party” from a group that had polled 5%, to a group that had polled 10%, in the last presidential election. William Howard Taft had only polled 4.83% in 1912, so the Republican Party was off the ballot under both the old law and the new law. However, the 1914 change hurt the Socialist Party, which had polled 6.61% in 1912 for President.

    The Socialist Party just went out and petitioned in 1916, but the Republican Party got a court order in 1916 putting Charles Evans Hughes electors on the ballot. In 1918 the legislature lowered the vote test down to 5% again and Republicans were then OK.

    Georgia injured the Republican Party more substantially, in 1943. The law didn’t deprive the Republican Party of qualified status, but said no party could be on the ballot in November automatically (even if it was a qualified party) unless it had either polled 5% of the vote for that office in the last election, or unless it held a primary. Georgia required parties to administer and pay for their own primaries back then, and the Republicans didn’t have the resources to hold a primary. And since the Republicans hadn’t had any gubernatorial candidates anyway since 1876, in Georgia, they hadn’t polled 5% of the vote for Governor or any of the other statewide constitutional offices, nor US Senator either, without either the 5% petition or holding their own primary.

    All of that stipulated, what is important for all of us in the third party world to remember is that the Democrats, with the full collusion of the Republicans, have created a toxic ballot-access stew.

    Poetic justice, perhaps, that sometimes their own house collapses on them.

  26. Robert Capozzi

    mm, not sure it’s actually a “collapse.” The VA situation is probably exactly what establishment Rs want, since they probably prefer Romney and would love to see Gingrich go away.

  27. Darryl W. Perry

    @37 – Democrats, with the full collusion of the Republicans, have created a toxic ballot-access stew. Exposing this “toxic stew” is why I wrote Duopoly: How the Republicrats Control the Electoral Process
    http://www.amazon.com/Duopoly-Republicrats-Control-Electoral-Process/dp/098420377X

    Ron Paul says Duopoly is “[a] comprehensive examination of the ways in which… participation in the electoral process [is limited]. I recommend this to anyone interested in learning how the political monopoly arose and what we might do to open the process to new candidates promoting the old idea of liberty both inside and outside the major parties.”

  28. Tom Blanton

    The establishment elite (Democrats and Republicans) aren’t about to make it easier to get ballot access. Gingrich and Perry could have easily gotten on the ballot if they had started earlier and spent the bucks.

    Dropping $200,000 for ballot access for each state is only $10 million, a drop in the bucket when a big party campaign is spending over $700 million.

    Pay or don’t play. If they can’t come up with chump change for ballot access, they’ve got no business running with the big dogs. It’s not in the interest of Big Politics to make it easy.

  29. Bill Wood

    Virginia’s AG is pushing to allow Republicans on the primary ballot. This would be a total flip flop on his part. He has defended this ballot access law in court against the LPVA and others who have tried to get on the ballot.

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