Thursday, December 20, 2018

Socialist Party Tells Maine Secretary of State to Tally its Registrants

Ballot Access News

The Socialist Party has filed a document with the Maine Secretary of State, saying the party intends to qualify as a party. Therefore, election officials will allow voters to register into the Socialist Party, to see if it can obtain at least 5,000 registrants by January 2020, the deadline. The Libertarian Party has also filed the notice. The Libertarian Party hopes to file a lawsuit soon to regain its 5,500 registrants that were converted to independents earlier this month. If the party had its registrants back, it would meet the threshold to be a new party again.

Petition signature gathering for Libertarian Party ballot access in State College, PA, 7/14/18

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

'Should Constitution Party National Committee Members be "Sovereign"?'

by Gary Welch

Do you know why the GOP is a corrupt party? Is it because of large donors who manipulated deals behind closed doors? Is it because of power-hungry politicians lied and cheated their pay to power? Actually, the reason why the GOP is corrupt is something more alarming:

The members allowed it to be corrupted .

The fault of the GOP turning into a party of debauchery lies in the members not doing their duty and ensuring that they maintained control of the party. They delegated their responsibilities and authority to the Republican National Committee (RNC) in the name of expediency, laziness, and naivety. They allowed the RNC  to conduct fundraising at a national level in the name of expediency. Being lazy, they did want to spend the time to carry out the day-to-day work that was required to manage such a large organization, so they said, “Let the RNC run it, they know what to do.” They naively felt that a unified national party, with no dissent nor local uniqueness, would be preferable to strong local organizations.

At that point, it was inevitable that corrupt and evil people would take over the RNC and use their power to wield control. Soon, they used the millions of dollars that they raised to bribe and force state organizations to bend to their will. As they consolidated their power, they made sure that all state party decisions would have outcomes that they wanted. Conventions and Committees were subverted and manipulated to ensure that “their” people were in charge. Now, for the regular member of the GOP, it is too late for them to get their party back. Dissenters and challengers are quickly silenced and thwarted in their efforts to reform the party. Their only choice is to submit or to leave.

Let this be a warning to the Constitution Party. We are already on our way to becoming the corrupt party like the GOP. Even now, the membership of the party is allowing others to make decisions without any accountability to the party membership. Even now, resolutions and decisions are being made and the vast majority of our party members are not even aware of them. Currently, National Committee Members go into the National Committee Meetings with only their own agendas and desires to guide them. While most of these members go in with the best intentions of the party, there are a few that are only desiring to consolidate their own power and are willing to sacrifice party growth and success to ensure they remain in charge. Even those with good intentions may still be making decisions that are contrary to what the membership wants because they have no guidance or direction.

This is not what our party founders wanted. Our party was designed to prevent this kind of corruption. Based on the same organizational structure that our Founding Fathers created, ours is an organization that puts all the power with the individual member and their state organizations. Because of that fundamental structure of our party, we can prevent our party from going down the path of the GOP. That requires, however, that we take the necessary steps to ensure that our leaders are always held accountable and that they know their job is to carry out the will of the members, not their own agenda.

Because of our structure, it is very easy for the members to ensure control of the party and keep the power diversified among the state organizations. All it takes is a simple process that is currently not being practiced by any state that I know of. What is that process?
We need to treat National Committee Members like State Representatives. They are there to carry out the will of the members, are accountable to the members, and must subjugate their own desires and agenda to that of the members of their state party.

Right now, I do not know of any state that has any process to provide members’ direction to their National Committee Members nor provide for any accountability for when they come back from a National Committee Meeting. When I spoke to several state leaders about this issue, they actually stated that they had a policy of the "Sovereign Committee Member" – that the Committee Member was selected only on their personal traits and that they had full power and ability to vote strictly on their conscience and good judgement. I find this thinking to be very dangerous. Even if the Committee Member is of impeccable character, giving anyone that kind of decision-making power is dangerous and foolhardy. Like I said, even people with good intentions can make wrong decisions.

Other states simply allow anyone that volunteers, and has the funds to make the trip, to be their National Committee Member and provide no instructions or guidance at all. When the members leave for the National Committee Meeting, they have no instructions, no guidance, and no direction from the state membership on how to vote on the resolutions and decisions that are being made. To me, this is just asking for bad results and for a party that will reflect the will of a small minority, rather than the majority.

To correct this situation, I would like to suggest that all state affiliates of the Constitution Party adopt the following process when it comes to selecting and holding accountable our National Committee Members:

  1. All National Committee Members should swear an oath or make a promise that they will faithfully carry out the will and desires of the members of the state party as directed to them.
  2. Resolutions for the National Committee are posted 30 days prior to the National Committee Meeting. These resolutions should be distributed to all State Executive/Central Committee members and to every County Chairperson.
  3. Prior to the National Committee Members departure to the meeting, the State Chairperson should then either (a) call a State Executive Committee meeting, (b) hold a conference call, or (c) send an email request to all state leaders. The purpose of this meeting (or email) will be to get a consensus from the majority of the leaders of the party on the resolutions and to provide instructions and clear guidance to the National Committee Members on the will of the majority of the membership.
  4. The National Committee Members do have the authority to modify their votes or change decisions based on modifications and amendments that are made on the floor of the meeting. They also can use their best judgement for any resolution that is called from the floor. However, they should still use the directions from their state organizations to guide them in their decisions.
  5. After each National Committee Meeting, the National Committee Members shall provide a report to the membership about their votes. This can be done at the next State Executive/Central Committee meeting or via email. They shall report how they voted for each resolution and provide justification for any vote that went contrary to their instructions.
  6. State Parties should be very diligent in sending National Committee Members. It is actually better not to send any National Committee Members rather than send members who will not faithfully represent their state. Should a National Committee Member fail to demonstrate that they acted on behalf of the state membership, they should be excluded from being selected for future National Committee Meetings, even if they are the only one that can attend. Having them not vote is better than having them vote for a resolution that the state members oppose.

By implementing these processes, I feel that we will be able to ensure that our party will be constantly holding our leadership accountable to the members and will ensure that the power, and ultimate authority of the party, remains in the hands of the members, not a small minority.
I would also like to promote that state organizations that are not currently participating with the National Committee Meeting, should be making a very strong and concerted effort to do so. Instead of depending on individuals funding their own travel expenses, the state organization should be working on fundraising efforts to ensure that at least one representative be there to vote. At the last National Committee Meeting, only 32 individuals decided the fate of a resolution that had a major impact on the party. Those 32 individuals represented only about 13 states. Hardly are representation of the entire membership of the party. If all the affiliated state parties were represented by at least one person, the outcome may have been different. It would have at least been a decision that would be more acceptable of being the will the members of the party rather than just a very small minority of the party.

The direction of the party is now up to our members and our states. Do we have party representatives, or do we have party leaders? The former will ensure the will of the members is enacted. The latter will ensure that we end up like the GOP. 

* * * 

Link to original article here.

Jeff Hewitt shows libertarians how to win

Jeff Hewitt (right)
by Steven Greenhut,

SACRAMENTO – Many of my Republican friends chide me for being a “Losertarian,” a member of a party, the Libertarian Party, that is far better known for its sometimes-bizarre candidates, bitter internal disputes and unrealistic policy positions then it is for winning elections.
Never mind that the GOP has its share of strange candidates (including one who managed to win a presidential election), but the criticism always has had an uncomfortable ring of truth to it.
So it was with much enjoyment that I watched Libertarian candidate Jeff Hewitt certified as the winner of a seat on the Riverside County Board of Supervisors.
In an election that saw Republican candidates obliterated for statewide and legislative seats, it was unusual seeing a Libertarian win a powerful office in one of the nation’s most-populous counties. These races are “nonpartisan,” but Calimesa Mayor Hewitt never hid his party affiliation. He beat a well-known Republican former assemblyman.
His victory offers some national political lessons, although Hewitt seems far more interested in rolling up his sleeves and addressing the county’s public-policy problems than he is in becoming the poster child for any party or movement...
To read article in full, click here.

November 2018 U.S. House Totals by Party

Ballot Access News

All states have finished their official vote tallies except for West Virginia.  The national totals for U.S. House by party (using the unofficial West Virginia returns, which will probably be almost exactly like the official ones) are:
Democratic  60,447,537; Republican 50,751,049; Libertarian 768,015; Green 224,919; Working Families 217,172; Conservative 207,094; Independent Parties (of Connecticut, Louisiana and Oregon) 74,672; Reform 66,579; Constitution 59,972; Independence Parties (of Minnesota and New York) 57,463; Working Class 53,102; Women’s Equality 41,317; United Utah 36,177; Legal Marijuana Now 15,791; American 15,011; Progressive 10,758; Independent American of Utah 6,686; Liberty Union 3,924; and Socialist Equality 2,213.
The Republican share of the vote, 44.67%, is its lowest share for US House since 2008, when it was 42.94%.
For accuracy, all data was checked against data in the Cook Political Report.  The national totals don’t agree because the Cook Political Report, and also Ballotpedia, assign to the major parties the vote cast for minor parties that participated in fusion.  BAN disagrees with this approach because if the voter chooses to vote for a minor party, it seems that voter’s vote should be recorded for the party that the voter actually chose.

Maine Secretary of State Converts all Registered Libertarians to Independents

Ballot Access News

On December 14, the Maine Secretary of State converted all 5,500 registered Libertarians to registered independents. The Maine Secretary of State had been told that the party intends to file a lawsuit soon, arguing that it is unconstitutional for states to automatically change voter registration just because the party goes off the ballot. Only a handful of states have that policy. In five states, courts have ruled that voters have a right to be registered into unqualified parties: Colorado, Iowa, New Jersey, New York, and Oklahoma.
If the Maine Libertarians could keep their registrations, then the party would be back on the ballot. It lost its qualified status recently because it didn’t have at least 10,000 registrants who actually cast a ballot in November 2018. But the law says a new party can become qualified if it has 5,000 registrants. So if the party still had its registrants, it could re-qualify as a “new” party.

Gary Johnson Had Coattails for Other New Mexico Libertarian Candidates in 2018

Ballot Access News

Gary Johnson was the Libertarian nominee for U.S. Senate from New Mexico this year, and he polled 15.38%.  It is clear that the Johnson Senate campaign also boosted the vote totals for other New Mexico Libertarian candidates in 2018.  The party polled 4.98% for U.S. House in the New Mexico districts that it contested.  That was the best showing in the nation for Libertarians for U.S. House, except that in Utah, the lone Libertarian for U.S. House polled 5.00%.
New Mexico Libertarians had not even run for U.S. House since 1996, when the single nominee polled 2.21%, so 2018 was quite a change for New Mexico Libertarian involvement in U.S. House elections.
Also, the New Mexico Libertarian Party had three nominees for statewide state executive positions.  It polled 5.00% for Secretary of State, 4.76% for Attorney General, an 5.77% for Land Commissioner.  Again, these were the best showings for Libertarians for statewide state offices anywhere in the nation in 2018, except that in Montana the Libertarian nominee for Clerk of the State Supreme Court received 5.99%.  Also, for purposes of this blog post, all Libertarians running in races with only one major party opponent are excluded.  Without that exclusion, the best Libertarian state for U.S. House would have been Washington, where a Libertarian running against a Democrat, and no other opponents, received 28.71%.

Kansas Green Party Will Petition for Party Status

Ballot Access News

The Kansas Green Party’s Facebook page says the party will attempt to collect 21,112 valid signatures to become a qualified party. This represents 2% of the last gubernatorial vote. The law requires that the petition be completed within six months. The party is planning the drive to start April 6, 2019. The Green Party has tried this petition twice before, but always runs out of time. No party has successfully petitioned in Kansas (except Americans Elect) since 1998, when the U.S. Taxpayers Party (later known as the Constitution Party) did this petition.

Serve America Movement (SAM) Platform No Longer Endorses Top-Two

Ballot Access News

SAM (Serve America Movement) is a new political party that recently won qualified status for itself in New York.  Its platform no longer includes any endorsement of a top-two system.  Here is the new platform language concerning ballot access.
Previously, the party’s platform on ballot access endorsed top-two systems.  The old platform said, “We believe that states themselves should sponsor non-partisan primary elections, in which all candidates, regardless of party, appear on the same primary ballot.  This could either be a top-two primary system, as in California and Washington state, or a top-four primary, as suggested by Katherine Gehl and Michael Porter in their review of the American political system earlier this year.”

Monday, December 10, 2018

A 20-Year-Old Is Helping John McAfee's 2020 Campaign Team By Teaching Him How To Shitpost About Anime

"It's a changing world. Anything goes. This absurd future may not be the one you want, but nothing is out of the question anymore," said Zoe Nawar.

by Ryan Broderick, Buzz Feed News 

John McAfee, a one-time antivirus entrepreneur who has become a cult figure for internet libertarians and cryptocurrency enthusiasts, is gearing up for a 2020 presidential run.
The British American computer programmer announced over the summer that he was going to run in 2020. McAfee lost the Libertarian Party nomination to former New Mexico governor Gary Johnson in 2016.
McAfee is best-known for creating and selling McAfee antivirus software. He was then accused of murder — which he denies. He then rebranded himself as the CEO of a cryptocurrency firm, which he severed ties with.
On Thursday, McAfee tweeted the words "McAfee 2020" written over a picture of Spike Spiegel, the main character from the anime Cowboy Bebop.

The response on Twitter was pretty immediate. One user replied, "ANIME IS BAD."McAfee's Twitter activity is pretty erratic. Earlier this week, he tweeted about having sex with whales, writing, "Some call me 'Whale Fucker'. Alright. There's a private club of a few dozen Maori men and one butch woman - that meet in Molokai each year to fuck a whale. True. Men on paddle boards herd the whale while one tries to fuck it. Wouldn't let me in the club. Tried it alone. Epic fail."McAfee's Twitter shitposting is currently being guided by his campaign team's new "millennial outreach coordinator," a 20-year-old named Zoe Nawar in Atlanta.

The response on Twitter was pretty immediate. One user replied, "ANIME IS BAD."
McAfee's Twitter activity is pretty erratic. Earlier this week, he tweeted about having sex with whales, writing, "Some call me 'Whale Fucker'. Alright. There's a private club of a few dozen Maori men and one butch woman - that meet in Molokai each year to fuck a whale. True. Men on paddle boards herd the whale while one tries to fuck it. Wouldn't let me in the club. Tried it alone. Epic fail."..
To read article in full, click here.

Working Families Party Had Lowest Gubernatorial Showings in Twenty Years

Ballot Access News

The Working Families Party received its lowest share of the vote in gubernatorial elections last month since 1998. In Connecticut, where it has only been participating in gubernatorial elections starting in 2010, it was outpolled by the Independent Party,and so drops to fourth line on the ballot.  Its three showings in Connecticut for Governor have been: 2010 2.30%; 2014 2.27%; 2018 1.27%. All three times it nominated the candidate who was also the Democratic nominee.
In New York, its gubernatorial percentages have been: 1998 1.08%; 2002 1.98%; 2006 3.50%; 2010 3.33%; 2014 3.31%; 2018 1.83%. All six times, it nominated the candidate who was also the Democratic nominee. The 2018 percentage is still unofficial; New York hasn’t posted its official returns yet.
In 2018, the only other Working Families gubernatorial nominee was in Oregon, where the party also nominated the Democratic nominee. In Oregon, the ballot does not let voters choose which party to support in fusion races; there is only a single square on the ballot so the Democratic vote can’t be separated out from the Working Families vote.

Ohio Election Commission Denies Debates Relief to Libertarian and Green Parties

Ballot Access News

On December 6, the Ohio Election Commission dismissed complaints from the Libertarian and Green Party candidates for Governor, over their exclusion from debates this year. See this story.

Libertarian Jeff Hewitt Wins Seat on Riverside County Board of Supervisors

||| Jeff Hewitt

by Matt Welch,

The L.P.’s biggest 2018 winner wants to tackle California’s public sector pension crisis head-on

Jeff Hewitt, the Libertarian mayor of tiny Calimesa, California, has narrowly won a seat on the Riverside County Board of Supervisors, the Riverside County Registrar of Voters announced early this morning.
The 65-year-old supervisor-elect, best known for booting out the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire) from Calimesa and replacing it with a cheaper, city-owned department, squeaked past former GOP assemblyman Russ Bogh, 51.9 percent to 48.1 percent. Hewitt won despite being heavily outfundraised, with Bogh's chief sources of money coming from public sector unions, and Hewitt pulling cash from state and national libertarians, including California tomato-industry giant (and Reason Foundation Board of Trustees memberChris Rufer.
"I raised $550,000 total, and he raised $1.1 million total, so he out-raised me two to one," an exultant Hewitt told me yesterday. "However, he outspent me nearly three to one between the primary and the general election, so that in itself is amazing. There is no one in this area that thought I was going to be the winner."
The seat, like Hewitt's mayoral post, is nonpartisan, though his party affiliation is nobody's secret, sitting as he does on the Libertarian National Committee. In a fundraising email sent Wednesday, L.P. National Chair Nicholas Sarwark characterized the prospect of a Hewitt victory as a "mega-win."..
To read full article, click here.

Flashback: Ross Perot on Iraq in 92' Presidential Debate

Sunday, December 2, 2018

In final tally, Libertarian gay couple outperforms top Republican in D.C. election

Ethan and Joseph Bishop-Henchman

by John Riley,

When all votes were tallied, a married gay couple who ran as part of the D.C. Libertarian Party’s all-gay slate outperformed the Republican Party in the District’s 2018 elections.
Joseph Bishop-Henchman, who ran for D.C. attorney general against incumbent Democrat Karl Racine, and Ethan Bishop-Henchman, who ran for Council Chairman against incumbent Democrat Phil Mendelson, received 14,941 votes and 18,708 votes, respectively. By comparison, At-Large D.C. Council candidate Ralph Chittams, Sr., the top vote-earner for Republicans, received 12,629 votes.
The two other citywide Libertarian candidates, Martin Moulton and Bruce Majors, won 7,569 votes and 4,034 votes, respectively, in their races for mayor and the District’s non-voting delegate to Congress.
“We think an all-gay slate running for office in our nation’s capital is unprecedented,” Libertarian National Committee Chair Nicholas Sarwark said in a statement. “When it comes to respecting the rights of all the people, all the time, we put our money where our mouth is.”
D.C.’s all-gay Libertarian slate was a historic first, following in the footsteps of the national party, which was the first political party to endorse marriage equality, nearly three decades before the Democratic Party did in 2012. The Libertarian Party was also the first party to run an openly gay presidential candidate, John Hospers, in 1972. Hospers’ running mate, Theodora “Tonie” Nathan, was the first female Jewish candidate for vice president, another historic first...
To read article in full, click here.

Favorable Ruling from Utah Elections Office Keeps Green Party on the Ballot

Ballot Access News

The Utah State Elections office has ruled that when a party submits a party petition, it is automatically on for the next two elections, not just one election. This means that the Green Party is still ballot-qualified in Utah.
The law is quite clear that when a party meets the vote test, it gets the next two elections. But it had not been clear as to whether a petition also yields the next two elections. The Green Party did not do the party petition in Utah in 2016, but it did it during 2017, for the 2018 election. At the 2018 election, it did not poll enough votes to meet the 2% vote test. But the new ruling allows it to also be on for 2020. It is much easier for parties to meet the vote test in presidential years, because all the statewide state offices are up in presidential years. Thanks to Charles Sherrouse for this news.

Shawn O’Hara, Leader of the Mississippi Reform Party, Dies

Ballot Access News

Shawn O’Hara, who has led the Mississippi Reform Party for over a decade, has died at the age of 60. The Mississippi Reform Party has been the only state unit of the Reform Party that has never missed running candidates in every federal and state election since the party was founded. O’Hara himself was the party’s nominee for U.S. Senate this year. He was the party’s candidate recruiter, and it always ran candidates for U.S. House in all elections. He also recruited many candidates for Mississippi state office, in the odd years when Mississippi holds those elections.
He was a witness in the Florida state court litigation in 2004, over whether Ralph Nader should remain on the Florida ballot as the Reform Party’s presidential nominee. The issue was whether the Reform Party was a bona fide political party entitled to be recognized under Florida’s ballot access laws. Nader and the Reform Party won that lawsuit. O’Hara was one of the party’s few witnesses, and he testified about its national convention, which the Democratic Party had argued was not a bona fide national convention. See this story about O’Hara. He was found dead on November 20 in his home, but the exact date of death is not known.

Jill Stein’s Pennsylvania Recount Lawsuit Results in Settlement Eliminating Vote-Counting Machines with No Paper Trail

Ballot Access News

Pennsylvania state officials have settled the lawsuit Jill Stein v Cortes, e.d., 2:16cv-6287, so that the state will give up using vote-counting machines that don’t have a paper trail. The settlement was approved on November 29 by the U.S. District Court that had been handling the case. The only two plaintiffs in this case have been Stein, Green Party presidential nominee in 2016, and a Pennsylvania voter, Randall Reitz.
This is the same lawsuit in which Stein also challenged the Pennsylvania laws that made it virtually impossible for her to obtain a recount of the Pennsylvania election results in November 2016. That part of the case was dropped earlier this year. Pennsylvania recount law requires a notarized petition of three voters inside each precinct for which a recount is sought. This is extremely difficult for a statewide recount request.
Until this settlement, 72% of Pennsylvania voters live in counties with no paper trail. Some counties did have a paper trail. Each county decides for itself which kinds of machine to use.
Here is the Complaint which Stein filed December 5, 2016, to initiate the lawsuit. The U.S. District Court will keep jurisdiction of the case to make sure the state complies with the settlement.