Posted by Eric Garris
John Haag, co-founder and long-time leader of the California Peace and Freedom Party, died March 29 after a brief illness. He was 76.
John was my mentor in my early days of politics. He taught me the basic skills of political organizing and strategy that have been essential to me over the last 35 years. John was a good friend who taught me a lot about life.
He was also a poet, proprietor of the Beat generation Venice West Cafe and a founder of the Free Venice (California) movement. He was an early state chairperson of P&F and a candidate for office, including controller and lieutenant governor, a number of times. He was the California campaign chair for Dr. Benjamin Spockâ€™s president candidacy on the Peoples Party in 1972, in which P&F participated.
Here is an article he wrote about the history of P&F.
No date has yet been set for a memorial service. Please send letters – and photos – to the Free Venice Beachhead about John for the next issue. Contact: 310-399-2215 or Beachhead@freevenice.org. Thanks to Irv Sutley for letting me know this sad news.
The April 1 Ballot Access News reported that independent Texas gubernatorial candidate Carole Strayhorn had filed a ballot access lawsuit, and that it had been assigned to federal judge Sam Sparks of Austin. On April 3, Judge Sparks recused himself, since he said he is a friend of Strayhorn’s and had signed her petition. The case is now in the hands of U.S. District Court Judge Lee Yeakel, who ruled in favor of the Texas Secretary of State in Ralph Nader’s ballot access lawsuit in 2004.
Clifton DeBerry died on March 24, 2006, at the age of 82. He was the Socialist Workers Party presidential candidate in 1964. He was the first non-caucasian presidential candidate to ever appear on a government-printed ballot anywhere in the United States. Although Clennon King, another African-American, was the presidential candidate of the Independent Afro-American Party in 1960, and although that party appeared on the ballot in one state (Alabama), King’s name did not actually appear on the ballot. At the time, Alabama did not print the names of any presidential candidates on its ballot, just the party label and the names of the candidates for presidential elector.
Bills have been introduced in Colorado, Louisiana and Missouri, similar to bills already introduced in California and Illinois, in support of the “National Popular Vote” plan. This plan calls for states to pass bills, pledging to appoint presidential electors who will vote for whichever presidential candidate polls the most votes nationwide. The Colorado bill is SB223; Louisiana’s is HR 927; Missouri’s is HB 2090.
On March 29, the Tennessee Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of term limits for county elected officials, in those counties that have such term limits. Bailey v County of Shelby, W2005-1508. The decision has caused consternation in Knox County, since filing for the primary has already closed for those offices, and some county officials running for re-election are now deemed ineligible.
On March 27, Democratis State Senate candidate Lou Correa won his ballot access lawsuit. A state court rejected attempts by Correa’s opponent, Assemblyman Tom Umberg, to remove Correa from the primary ballot. The issue was a state law that says candidates seeking a place on the primary need 40 signatures, but can’t turn in more than 60. Correa had turned in 101 signatures. The law was not clear, so the Superior Court Judge resolved the issue in favor of voting rights.