Op-Ed Suggests Political Parties Should Pay for their Own Presidential Primaries

As courts continue to support the idea that political parties may run their nominations process as they see fit (even when that conflicts with state law), more observers are starting to question why taxpayers pay for party primaries, especially presidential primaries. Here is another such commentary from Laurence Reisman. He writes for a series of newspapers in Florida’s Treasure Coast (the area north of Palm Beach).


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Op-Ed Suggests Political Parties Should Pay for their Own Presidential Primaries — No Comments

  1. Good question. In Louisiana there are 5 recognized parties (Green, Libertarian, Reform, Dem., Rep), however the presidential preference primaries require a party to have 40,000 registered members to hold the primary. With our newly closed primaries, only the Democratic and Republican parties will be able to participate. However, independents will be able to vote in the Dem. primary.

    For smaller parties that do not meet this criteria, it seems like states should provide a means to process mail-in ballots or some alternative.

  2. I’ve been advocating this in Virginia since I moved here. I can’t for the life of me understand why taxpayers have to pay for the processes by which political parties choose their own candidates, especially regarding closed primaries (Virginia’s are open).

  3. One reason that state’s should pay for primaries is so
    you don’t have situation’s like 2004 with the Democrat
    Party NOT COUNTING the votes for President for Lyndon
    LaRouche. The National Committee was quite angry with
    some of the issues he tried bringing up in his campaign
    & so to silence him they refused to publish a total of
    his vote in several states where they could get away
    with doing so that year. By having the states pay for
    AND RUN party primaries they create an independent way
    for challenging the accuracy of candidates vote total.
    I’m sure that there are other instances of this prac-
    tice occuring in previous years. If a Party wants to
    totally control which candidates are considered by the
    party “regulars” they should only hold caucuses that
    are limited to registered party members at the precinct
    level. That way they can justifiably restrict just who
    can be a candidate. That way they can make it quite
    difficult for small ‘independent’ candidates to cover
    all the voting locations.

  4. This must be more of the New Age growing brain dead INSANITY and IGNORANCE.

    Nominations for PUBLIC offices are done by PUBLIC Electors — subgroups of ALL PUBLIC Electors.

    See what will happen if a subgroup of Electors tries to EXCLUDE blacks, women, etc. in their *party* nomination process.

    What will happen — massive indictments for violating the 15th Amdt, 19th Amdt, etc.

    i.e. party hack groups have TWO parts — the PUBLIC nomination part and the private clubby party hack part.

    General remedy – ABOLISH caucuses, primaries and conventions — to STOP having endless campaign machinations.

    DIRECT general election nominations by nominating petitions (to get rid of MORON candidates).

    Proportional Representation (P.R.) for legislative body elections.

    Approval Voting (A.V.) for executive and judicial offices — vote for 1 or more, highest win.

    This stuff AIN’T atomic physics.

  5. When Louisiana’s parties have used presidential primaries, they have always been closed. The state, of course, is restoring party primaries this year for congressional elections.

    In 1995, a federal appeals court said that when a state requires parties to nominate by primary, the state must pay the costs of those primaries. It’s my understanding that the state of Virginia has always paid the costs of primaries, despite the fact that the parties have other nominating options. (The 4th Circuit recently said that Virginia’s Republicans may close their primaries when they are forced to nominate by primary. It remains to be seen whether this ruling will be appealed to the Supreme Court.)

    Demo Rep wrote: “See what will happen if a subgroup of Electors tries to EXCLUDE blacks, women, etc. in their *party* nomination process.”

    A party that tried that would be breaking the law as well as committing political suicide.

    “ABOLISH caucuses, primaries and conventions — to STOP having endless campaign machinations.”

    The state has the power to require parties to nominate candidates and to limit the general election ballot to one candidate per party. If the state does so, it must then specify the nominating method(s). If the parties were left to their own devices, they would be very unlikely to hold primaries, due to the expense. The voters would then raise hell, since in most states, they are accustomed to primaries. Thus, the states will continue to require and pay for primaries.

    “DIRECT general election nominations by nominating petitions…”

    That’s what Louisiana does in all of its state and local elections– despite the first round commonly being called a “primary.” The candidates may qualify either by petition OR by paying a fee.

    That’s also what the voters of Washington state have approved– abolishing party primaries for offices other than president– and we should be hearing from the U. S. Supreme Court on the Washington “top two” any time now.

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