Public Funding of Congressional Campaigns

Congressman David Obey’s public funding of congressional campaigns bill is HR 4694. Nominees of parties that had averaged 25% of the vote for US House in that district (over the last two elections) would get full public funding. Also, independent candidates who had averaged 25% would also get full public funding. All others would be required to submit petitions signed by 10% of the last vote cast, for partial funding; and 20% petitions for full funding. Candidates not qualifying for partial funding would be barred from spending any privately raised money. The co-sponsors are these 7 Democrats: Rosa DeLauro of Connecticut, Barney Frank and James McGovern of Massachusetts, Henry Waxman and Bob Filner of California, Steve Israel of New York, and Tim Ryan of Ohio.

Calif. Secretary of State Won't Reverse Peace & Freedom ruling

Bruce McPherson, California Secretary of State, has finally determined to remove the Peace & Freedom Party (see post below). However, he won’t release his reasoning. Presumably, he argues that the precedents that show his interpretation is wrong (those from 1998, 1970, 1950 and 1934) don’t apply, because the law changed in 2000. However, the law change in 2000 does not support the Secretary’s position. The law change was made by SB 1823, and the Legislative Counsel’s Digest says “This bill would require political parties to have their qualifications reviewed by the Secretary of State following each gubernatorial election”. McPherson is violating this law by applying the review before a gubernatorial election, not following a gubernatorial election.

Furthermore, another precedent has been discovered that contradicts the McPherson ruling, and this precedent is under the existing law. In 1998 the Reform Party failed to get 2% of the vote for any statewide race, so it went off the ballot. But at the February 1999 registration tally, it increased its registration so as to meet the requirement for new parties (just as Peace & Freedom did the same, when it re-qualified in the February 2003 tally). Reform registration declined after February 1999, below the registration standard for new parties, but it was permitted to be on the ballot in both 2000 and 2002.

Calif. Secretary of State Won’t Reverse Peace & Freedom ruling

Bruce McPherson, California Secretary of State, has finally determined to remove the Peace & Freedom Party (see post below). However, he won’t release his reasoning. Presumably, he argues that the precedents that show his interpretation is wrong (those from 1998, 1970, 1950 and 1934) don’t apply, because the law changed in 2000. However, the law change in 2000 does not support the Secretary’s position. The law change was made by SB 1823, and the Legislative Counsel’s Digest says “This bill would require political parties to have their qualifications reviewed by the Secretary of State following each gubernatorial election”. McPherson is violating this law by applying the review before a gubernatorial election, not following a gubernatorial election.

Furthermore, another precedent has been discovered that contradicts the McPherson ruling, and this precedent is under the existing law. In 1998 the Reform Party failed to get 2% of the vote for any statewide race, so it went off the ballot. But at the February 1999 registration tally, it increased its registration so as to meet the requirement for new parties (just as Peace & Freedom did the same, when it re-qualified in the February 2003 tally). Reform registration declined after February 1999, below the registration standard for new parties, but it was permitted to be on the ballot in both 2000 and 2002.