Independence Party Expulsion Bid Fails Again

On August 14, a Manhatten State Supreme Court defeated the attempt of the state leaders of the New York Independence Party to expel over 100 members who are associated with Lenora Fulani. A similar decision from Brooklyn was made last week.

The New York case did not depend on procedures, as the Brooklyn case had. Instead, the New York decision goes to the issue itself. The state party leaders had tried to expel Lenora Fulani and her allies because of statements she had made in 1989 about Israel. The Manhatten court ruling says, “No evidence has been submitted that Respondents did, in fact, violate the principles of the Independence Party…While the Court is not going to speculate on the motive for bringing this Petition now, it appears to be more political than philsophical.” The decision also says the 1989 statements were not made in connection with political party activity (the party didn’t even exist until 1994).

Nebraska Secretary of State Accepts Green Party Statewide Status

On August 14, the Nebraska Secretary of State accepted the Green Party as a ballot-qualified party for the entire state. The party will have two statewide nominees on the ballot this year, and since one of them has no Democrat in the race, it is extremely likely the Greens will poll over 5% and also be ballot-qualified in 2008. The other ballot-qualified minor party this year in Nebraska is the Constitution Party.

Florida Open Primary Proponents File Lawsuit, then Drop It

Florida has closed primaries in general. But Florida has a blanket primary, for races in which only members of one party are running for that particular office. In other words, if a state legislative race has three Republicans in the primary, and there are no other candidates for that seat in any other party’s primary nor in the general election, then all voters (not just registered Republicans) get to vote in the primary for that one office.

Florida has many such races. Over half of this year’s legislative elections fit this pattern.

On August 9, a group of five Sarasota Democratic voters filed a lawsuit to expand the use of Florida’s blanket primary. They want to vote in the Republican primary for a particular County Commission race, because no Democrats are running, and no minor party or independent candidates are running, so the race will effectively be settled in the Republican primary. The reason this particular race is not open to all voters, however, is because someone filed to be a write-in candidate in the general election. The voters who filed the lawsuit say the race should be open because the write-in candidate has no hope of being elected.

However, two days after filing the lawsuit, all the plaintiffs dropped the case.