Some Arizona Republican Legislators Admit They Passed Election Restriction to Keep Libertarians Off Ballot

From Ballot Access News, June 19th:

The East Valley Tribune, which covers the eastern Phoenix suburbs, has this article about HB 2305, an election law bill sitting on the Governor’s desk which makes it very difficult for members of small qualified parties to get on their own party primary ballots. The reporter quotes several Republican legislators as saying that they wrote the bill that way because they are upset that Libertarian candidates last year were on the general election ballot in certain races. Such quotations are likely to be relevant to any lawsuit against the measure, if the Governor signs it into law.

Similar remarks were made earlier this year by Montana legislators, when they passed a top-two measure and arranged for the voters to vote on it in 2014. Montana Republican legislators openly said they are tired of having Libertarians on the ballot.

An excerpt from the linked article, by Howard Fischer and published on eastvalleytribune.com:

Contending one and maybe two congressional races were stolen from them, Republican legislators have approved a measure to finesse election laws to keep out the Libertarians who they say are taking votes from their candidates.

The change, tucked into a much larger set of revisions to election laws, would sharply increase the number of signatures that Libertarian and Green Party candidates need just to get on the ballot for their own legislative and congressional primaries.

Barry Hess, the Libertarian Party’s former candidate for governor, said in most cases the number of signatures required is far more than the number of people actually registered in most districts. He said unless these minor parties could find independents willing to help them get on the ballot, it would create an “insurmountable obstacle” to any minor party candidate getting nominated, much less being on the general election ballot.

But Rep. J.D. Mesnard, R-Chandler, admitted publicly that’s precisely the purpose of the change. And the real goal is creating an easier path for GOP candidates to win.

Mesnard, in a late-night bid on the House floor last week on to corral necessary votes for the change, argued that people try to “manipulate the outcome of elections by putting third-party candidates on the ballot.”

“All they have to do right now is get a dozen or 15 signatures and on the ballot they go,” Mesnard said, saying he was aiming his comments at the Republicans who control the Legislature. And he claimed that at least one congressional race and maybe two did not go “in the direction I would have liked to have seen them go” — and would have gone, Mesnard contends, had this law been in place last year.

In CD 1, Republican Jonathan Paton fell short in his bid to oust incumbent Democrat Ann Kirkpatrick. Paton garnered 113,594 votes against 122,774 for Kirkpatrick.

But Libertarian Kim Allen picked up 15,227 votes — votes that Mesnard contended likely would have gone to Paton to help him win.

Similarly, in the newly created CD 9, Democrat Kyrsten Sinema bested Republican Vernon Parker by 10,251 votes, with Libertarian Powell Gammill tallying 16,620.

Mesnard said upping the signature requirements for minor parties makes these races “much less vulnerable to sham candidates and manipulation.”

To read the full article, please go to the following link: 

http://www.eastvalleytribune.com/arizona/politics/article_19f25110-d862-11e2-b47a-001a4bcf887a.html

18 thoughts on “Some Arizona Republican Legislators Admit They Passed Election Restriction to Keep Libertarians Off Ballot

  1. Oranje Mike

    It’s pretty crazy here. The GOP is like the Democrats in Illinois or Massachusetts. Dirty scoundrels, nearly all of them.

    Funny how the GOP rallied against Top Two. Looking back it was probably because it wasn’t Top One.

  2. Kevin Knedler

    To think I voted straight ticket GOP from 1972 to 1992, then started my “journey”. I am so disgusted with the GOP it makes my stomach churn. So much for either major party wanting “freedom”.

  3. Jill Pyeatt

    KK @ 3: I was a lifelong Republican until 2002, when I fled the party because of Dubya. I doubt if I’ll ever vote for a Republican again, even in elections where there aren’t Libertarian candidates.

    Their blatant cheating and rule-changing to minimize Ron Paul during the last Presidetial campaing showed me the party has no more ethics. The GOP deserves to die out.

  4. Daddyfatsax

    Here Here Jill. It is precisely because the GOP has abandoned it’s principles that many in the LP will never vote for them, regardless of who is running against them. This diatribe of “Those were our votes” sickens me…if they were your votes, they wouldn’t have gone to someone else…and limiting our choices doesn’t make us like you more. Assholes…the whole dirty lot of them. If this happens…I hope every libertarian shows up to the GOP rallies and meetings and causes unbelievable havoc…maybe if we are annoying enough, they will “let” us have our own party. hahahaha, this might actually be fun here in Clark County Nevada…considering we don’t have a state party right now while Joe is on a three month vacation to NY and the rest of the excom needs him to know what to do or say.

  5. Ad Hoc

    Libertarians should publicly commit to vote for Democrats whenever Republicans keep Libertarians off the ballot like this. It should be an organized movement with maximum publicity. You want to keep us off the ballot Republicans? Fine, then we will vote for your opposition and urge everyone else to do the same. Let them know that keeping us off the ballot will backfire on them.

  6. Kevin Knedler

    Yes to # 4, 5, 6.

    In fact I voted for 7 Democrats last Fall, here in OHio. I had only voted for 1 Democrat in my entire life and it was a primary in 1984. And I will NOT vote for anyone in the GOP most likely ever again. From a 59 year old guy.

  7. Mark Axinn

    As an example of how hard the Republicans will fight to keep us off the ballot, just look at Pennsylvania last year.

    I am proud not to be an ex-Republican. I did vote for a Democrat once (Jimmy Carter), but never voted Republican.

  8. Andy

    “Ad Hoc // Jun 20, 2013 at 3:52 pm

    Libertarians should publicly commit to vote for Democrats whenever Republicans keep Libertarians off the ballot like this.”

    The Democrats have pulled dirty tricks to keep the LP as well as other minor party and independent candidates as well, the same thing with initiatives, referendums, and recalls.

    The Democrats in California have been trying to get a bill passed for several years that would make it a crime to pay anyone to collect voter registrations. This would hurt every party in California, except for the Democratic Party which has a big lead over the Republican Party in voter registrations (I think their lead is like 3 million registered voters).

    Neither major party is our friend.

  9. paulie

    Libertarians. Trying to figure out who they are and what they want since 1971.

    True of every party except a few very tiny dogmatic cults since whatever year they started.

  10. Randy

    No matter what their strategy is, I have committed to never vote for a R or a D again – it would have to be a rare occasion for me to reconsider. I mostly voted R’s, but that all changed when I saw Dubya setting the stage for a police state. I’ve only considered myself a Libertarian for a couple years now, but there’s one thing I’ve noticed – there’s no such thing as an ignorant Libertarian. These shenanigans are foolish and only point to their ignorance.

  11. Bob P

    Republicans continue to lose ground to Libertarian. When all the Republicans need to do is dump Mccain and move right.. I was so pissed when Mccain said we may need to repeal stand your ground laws

  12. Amy W

    They’re a bunch of RINOs who are so desperate to keep what they have for themselves that they are unwilling to provide the freedom which the Constitution affords every citizen. For shame.

  13. Paul D.

    The Republicans and Democrats both sued the State of Washington after the 2004 elections because the Libertarian Party had a very strong position. Now it’s the top two just like Montana and Arizona are doing. I also got to experience the GOP treachery first-hand against Ron Paul supporters during the 2012 election caucus. They wouldn’t let any of Ron Paul’s delegates into the convention center, saying they did not realize there would be so many and they did not have room for them in the building. You hear about stuff all the time on the news, but it’s still shocking to experience it in person.

  14. gphx

    The elections were not stolen by Libertarians from Republicans. Rhinos stole conservatism away from the Republican Party. Republicans – fix your problem and you won’t have problems.

  15. Daddyfatsax

    Libertarians: Trying to figure out how to save idiots who have bought into the lies from Dems and Reps since the early 1900′s.
    Libertarians: The smart friend that Dems and REpubs refer to, but don’t have the guts to debate openly.
    Libertarians: Too ethical to rule the nation by force, and too principled to cheat to overthrow the crooks in office.

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