Political Party Free Speech Victory

On July 20, a mid-level New York state court ruled unconstitutional a law that makes it illegal for one political party to spend any money in support of a candidate who is running in another party’s primary. In this case, the Working Families Party spent $126,000 to assist one of the candidates for Albany County District Attorney while that candidate was running in the Democratic primary of 2004. Avella v Batt, Supreme Court, Appellate Div., 3rd, no. 98847. The decision was based largely on the 1989 U.S. Supreme Court decision Eu v San Francisco County Central Committee, which struck down California laws that made it illegal for parties to endorse or oppose candidates in their own primaries.

Minnesota

Minnesota has three qualified parties, Democrat-Farmer-Labor, Republican, and Independence. In addition, these unqualified parties have petitioned to place statewide nominees on this year’s ballot: Green, Libertarian and Constitution.

There is also an independent candidate for Governor, Leslie Davis, who chose the ballot label “American Party”. However, he regards himself as an independent candidate, and he is not running as the nominee of any organized political party. He has no connection with the American Party organized by George Wallace supporters in 1969.

Florida Reform Party Puts Gubernatorial Candidate on Ballot

Max Linn, Reform Party candidate for Governor of Florida, filed on July 20. He is the first political party nominee for Governor of Florida (other than Democrats and Republicans) on the ballot since 1920. In 1920, the gubernatorial race included a Democrat, a Republican, and a Socialist. Never since then has any minor party nominee appeared on the Florida ballot for Governor (although an independent qualified in 2002).