The national Libertarian Party’s ballot access fund has been in debt since 2004, but thanks to a recent fund appeal to the party’s national membership, the fund is now only $2,000 in debt, and donations are still coming in. The New Mexico Libertarian Party is the only state Libertarian party that has done any substantial petitioning on its own in the last six months.
On December 9, the Socialist Equality candidate for U.S. House (from last year’s election) asked for a rehearing in the 6th circuit. Last week the 6th circuit upheld Ohio’s petition deadline of March 1 for non-presidential independent candidates. The rehearing brief stresses that it is unprecedented for a court to approve of a system in which all routes to the November ballot are closed off as early as March 1. Lawrence v Blackwell, 04-4022.
The Coalition for Free & Open Elections (COFOE) has written a letter to each Senator on the Judiciary Committee, about Judge Alito. See the letter at www.cofoe.org.
On December 9, Muskogee, Oklahoma’s daily newspaper, the Phoenix, editorialized in favor of easing ballot access restrictions. Also, the New York Times carried a letter to the editor from former Congressman John B. Anderson, criticizing the new Connecticut public funding law.
The Iowa Secretary of State has finally responded to the lawsuit filed in mid-September by the Libertarian and Green Parties, over whether voters should be able to register into parties other than the Democratic and Republican Parties. However, it’s still too early to tell if the state will fight the lawsuit or talk about a settlement. The state’s only response so far is to answer the allegations in the complaint. They acknowledge there are no factual disputes.
COFOE (the Coalition for Free & Open Elections) has just mailed a letter to each of the 18 senators on the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee. The letter asks each senator to consider questioning Judge Alito about his stand on equal treatment for minor party and independent candidates and voters. The letter points out Judge Alito’s apparent belief that government should discourage minor party and independent candidate activity. It counterpoises what he said in 1999, with what Justice Sandra Day O’Connor said that was supportive, in May 2005 (in her concurrence in Clingman v Beaver). Alito’s hearing is in January 2006.
The U.S. Senators on the Judiciary Committee are Arlen Specter, Orrin Hatch, Charles Grassley, Jon Kyl, Mike DeWine, Jeff Sessions, Lindsey Graham, John Cornyn, Tom Coburn, Sam Brownback, Patrick J. Leahy, Edward M. Kennedy, Joseph R. Biden, Herbert Kohl, Dianne Feinstein, Russell D. Feingold, Charles Schumer, and Richard J. Durbin. If you live in a state represented by one of these Senators, please consider writing a letter to that Senator, asking him or her to ask Judge Alito about his ideas on the subject of fairness for minor parties and independent candidates.
Anyone who is not already a subscriber to the paper edition of Ballot Access News, who send a copy of such a letter, may receive a free 3-month subscription. Send the copy of your letter to Richard Winger, Bx 470296, San Francisco Ca 94147.