Idaho’s largest newspaper, the Idaho Statesman (published in Boise), has a long-standing policy of refusing to mention minor party and independent candidates running for Idaho office during the primary season. Idaho’s primary is May 23 this year.
The United Party has a very active campaign for U.S. House. Its nominee, Andy Hedden-Nicely, a former newspaper publisher himself, has organized a boycott of the Statesman until it revises its policy. The Idaho United Party, a new party, has ballot status in Idaho because it merged with the ballot-qualified but otherwise defunct Natural Law Party of Idaho. The original officers of the Natural Law Party support Hedden-Nicely and have asked the Idaho Secretary of State to let the party change its name to the United Party; that decision is pending.
On April 25, a nationwide poll by Princeton Survey/Pew Research Center was released. The question was, “Some people say we should have a third major political party. Do you agree or disagree?”. 53% said “yes”.
On April 25, the California Assembly Elections Committee passed AB 2948 (the anti-electoral college bill), and AB 2949 (to hold an all-mail presidential primary on the first Tuesday of January, or whenever the New Hampshire primary is). Democrats have a majority on the committee. Republican members opposed AB 2948, but in part supported AB 2949.
On June 9, the 7th circuit will hear Lee v Keith, the case challenging Illinois requirements for independent candidates for legislature. Illinois requires petitions signed by 10% of the last vote cast, to be submitted in December of the year before the election. The lower court had upheld these requirements.
Although the Labor Party was formed in 1990, it had never run any candidates in a partisan race, nor tried to qualify for the ballot. However, it has been attempting to qualify in South Carolina this year. It wanted to run Leonard Riley of the International Longshoremen Union for the state legislature in the 119th House district, against an incumbent who is perceived as an enemy of labor.
However, that incumbent is not running for re-election, so Riley lost interest in running. The Labor Party has over 10,000 signatures on its petition (10,000 valid are required) and is still not sure if it will turn them in by this year’s May 7 deadline, to participate in the 2006 election. If it turns them in later than May 7, and more than 10,000 are valid, it will be ballot-qualified for 2008, but not 2006.
The Constitution Party national committee met in Tampa, Florida, April 20-21. Attempts by some to expel the Nevada state affiliate were defeated.