Prophylactics For Incumbents

Posted November 18, 2008 by freecitizenblog
Categories: Uncategorized

I have had numerous exchanges on websites with Jim Riley, who is a strong advocate of a Louisiana-style “top two” system, popularly called the “open primary.”  On this post at <a href=”http://www.ballot-access.org/2008/11/15/texas-activism-for-a-better-ballot-access-law/#comment-574591″>Ballot Access News</a>, Jim comments on a pre-filed bill in the Texas legislature that would make the candidate filing deadlines earlier.  He also criticizes political parties for wanting to officially nominate candidates, which his beloved “top two” prevents.  Here is my response to his comment (the 5th U. S. Circuit Court of Appeals, to be sure, covers Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas):

There are lots of precedents for the unconstitutionality of an early April filing deadline for independent candidates. Mississippi has a January filing deadline for independents for Congress– the same as for party candidates.

A lawsuit against such early deadlines for independents in Texas and Mississippi would have a good chance of winning in the 5th Circuit, although it would likely first lose in district court. The problem is locating a plaintiff– or a financial backer– who is willing to cover the expenses of getting to the 5th Circuit (I have found a qualified plaintiff and an election law attorney who would take the case, but the potential plaintiff doesn’t have the necessary bucks).

I oppose early filing deadlines, which are little more than prophylactics for incumbents.

It’s interesting that you want to hamper political parties in performing their basic function of nominating candidates. A party, of course, has a First Amendment right to nominate/endorse candidates, but the state is not required to recognize those nominations/endorsements.

That’s one of the problems with your cherished “top two”/”open primary”: the state does not recognize party nominations in that system. In Louisiana, for example, this has led– more than once– to the national Republican Party and the state Republicans  backing opposing candidates in the same election.

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State-By-State Presidential Vote

Posted November 14, 2008 by freecitizenblog
Categories: Uncategorized

The Denver Post has the presidential vote for all the states listed on <a href=”http://data.denverpost.com/election/results/president/national/2008/”>one page.</a>  With a few exceptions– which are listed as “None”– the independents and minor party candidates are also included.

The recipient of Missouri’s 11 electoral votes has not yet been determined.  The unofficial final tally has McCain leading Obama by less than 5,000 votes.  Notably, Missouri is a bellwether state, having voted for the winner in every presidential election since 1904, except for 1956, when it supported the Democrat Adlai Stevenson over President Dwight Eisenhower, a Republican.

You’ll see that the independent Ralph Nader finished third in Mississippi.  Chuck Baldwin of the Constitution Party ran fourth, edging the Libertarian Bob Barr by just 22 votes.

You’ll also note that “None” is listed as running third in Louisiana.  That refers to Congressman Ron Paul of Texas, whose running mate was Barry Goldwater Jr., a former California congressman.  The Paul-Goldwater ticket was labeled as the Taxpayers Party on the Bayou State’s ballot.

“None” is also third in Montana, far ahead of Nader.  That’s also Ron Paul, who was on that state’s ballot as the nominee of the Constitution Party, which has disaffiliated from the national Constitution Party.  Paul’s running mate there was Michael Peroutka of Maryland, the national CP’s 2004 presidential nominee.

Thanks to <a href=”http://www.ballot-access.org/”>Ballot Access News</a> for the link.

Is Louisiana’s “Open Primary” A French Idea?

Posted November 14, 2008 by freecitizenblog
Categories: Uncategorized

<em>A commenter at</em> <a href=”http://www.ballot-access.org/2008/11/12/california-governor-still-favors-top-two/#comments”>Ballot Access News</a> <em>named “Deemer from California” strongly implied that Louisiana adopted its “open primary” system as a result of the state’s French heritage.  Here is my response to him:</em>

Louisiana’s adoption of its “top two” (popularly called the “open primary”)[1] had nothing to do with its French background. Louisiana’s “open primary” is an extension of the old one-party (truly NO-PARTY) system, in which elections were decided in the Democratic primary, with a Democratic runoff if necessary.

When Southern Republicans began running a few candidates in the 1960s, they almost never had primary opposition, so they only had to run in the general election– whereas a Democrat had the aggravation and expense of both a primary and a runoff primary campaign prior to the general election. The Democrats naturally resented the fact that the Republican only had to campaign in the fall, and the Democrats wanted to force the Republican to run in the same election with the Democrats– hence, the push for the “open primary” (apparently, the “open primary” proponents assumed that there would never be more than one Republican running for the same office).

Between 1966 and 1979, the Mississippi legislature enacted the “top two” (aka “open primary”) five different times, but its implementation was blocked each time– thank God.

Meanwhile, Louisiana began using the “open primary” for its state and local elections in 1975; it also used it for its congressional elections from 1978 through 2006.

The “top two”/”open primary” is certainly not a new idea. California voters rejected it for state offices in 1915 and for state AND congressional offices in November 2004. North Dakota voters rejected it in the early 1920s, while Oregon voters last week defeated a similar proposal for their congressional, state, and local elections.

<a href=”http://southerncrown.blogspot.com/2005/09/should-mississippi-change-its-primary.html”>Click here</a> for a post that includes Louisiana’s and Mississippi’s history with the “open primary.”

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[1]  All candidates, including independents, are listed on a single ballot, and the top two vote-getters, regardless of party, progress to the runoff.

“B. McBama” Was The Better Choice

Posted November 12, 2008 by freecitizenblog
Categories: Uncategorized

<a href=”http://www.RobertRinger.com/”>Robert Ringer</a> is a libertarian author and speaker who is famous for such best-sellers as <i>Looking Out For #1</i>.  He calls the two 2008 major-party presidential nominees “B. McBama” and “J. McBama.”  While not endorsing either one, he contended that, given all the financial upheaval that he expects in the next few years, we would be better off if “B. McBama” were elected.  Following is Ringer’s response from last August 5 to a reader who opined that we should elect “J. McBama” because of the coming vacancies which the next president will fill on the Supreme Court.  ~~ SteveR

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There is no question that the appointing of Supreme Court Justices is a dangerous issue if B. McBama gets in.  But, judges aside, there is no turning back now for the U.S. – even if Ronald Reagan were to be reincarnated.  Forget all the insanity about no offshore drilling, no drilling in ANWR, the Iraq War, “global warming,” and all of the other daily political debates on TV. 

The issue that trumps all else is the accelerating death of our currency – and that cannot be reversed, no matter who is president.  But when it all shakes out, and people can’t go on the vacations they have come to believe they are entitled to, can’t go out to eat several times a week as they have come to believe they are entitled to, when the government has no more resources to bail them out of their defaulted mortgages as they have come to believe they are entitled to … etc. … it will make a great deal of difference who is in power. 

As I’ve said many times in the past, if J. McBama is president, the masses, pitchforks in hand, will demand that capitalist heads roll.  But if B. McBama is in power, and you and I work tirelessly to spread the truth throughout the land, a majority of folks might just come out of their slumber and demand a return to a small, impotent government. 

The government must be stripped of all of its powers, other than its contract to protect the lives and property of the citizens of this country; i.e., the people pay the government (and thereby grant it the right) to protect them.  Beyond that, the government has no other rights.

No matter which way the shoe drops, there are, of course, no guarantees.  But I am all but certain that a (perceived) conservative in the White House would bring about a horrific collectivist backlash from the uniformed populace.  Which is why a John McBama victory could be a devastating blow to the Education Revolution.

An Unusual Sample Ballot

Posted November 2, 2008 by freecitizenblog
Categories: Uncategorized

Last Friday, a black woman was handing out fliers at the stoplight at the intersection of Robinson Road Extension and McDowell Road in southwest Jackson.  The heading on the flier is “Sample Ballot General Election November 4, 2008… HINDS COUNTY STATE OF MISSISSIPPI.”  The name of the person or group behind the flier is not given, but there are two phone numbers for rides to the polls:  601-362-0851 (Jackson) and 866-423-6643 (Hinds).

It’s far from being a complete Hinds County ballot.  For the partisan offices listed, starting with president/vice president, the names of the Democratic nominees are printed in big bold letters, with a check mark in the brackets next to their names.  The names of the non-endorsed candidates are printed in letters so tiny that one almost needs a magnifying glass to see them.

Besides the Obama-Biden ticket, the endorsees include Erik Fleming for U. S. senator and Bennie Thompson for the Second District in the U. S. House.

Strangely, the special U. S. Senate election between the Republican Roger Wicker and the Democrat Ronnie Musgrove is left off.

In the nonpartisan races for county election commissioner, the candidates for Districts 1 and 2 are included.  One of the two Democrats running in District 1, W. Jean Lavine, is endorsed (there is one Republican candidate, Marilyn Avery, in that district).  In District 2, both candidates are Democrats, and Bobbie Graves is the endorsee.

In the Central District for Supreme Court justice, Jim Kitchens is endorsed over Ceola James and the incumbent Jim Smith.

The only other race shown on the flier is the seven-candidate special election for District 3 constable.  Canera Jelks gets the endorsement there.

I’ve seen lots of sample ballots in my lifetime, but this is the first one I’ve ever seen that (1) lists a selective number of offices, and (2) does not say who produced it.

Footage Of Baldwin-Barr-Nader Debate

Posted November 2, 2008 by freecitizenblog
Categories: Uncategorized

On Thursday, October 30, at the Cleveland City Club, three presidential candidates debated:  Chuck Baldwin (Constitution Party), the Libertarian Bob Barr, and the independent Ralph Nader.

Here’s a little over five minutes of <a href=http://www.independentpoliticalreport/2008/10/baldwin-barr-nader-debate-footage/>video of the debate</a>.

Thanks to the Independent Political Report for the link.

Multi-Party Vice-Presidential Debate

Posted October 28, 2008 by freecitizenblog
Categories: Uncategorized

According to <a href=”http://www.ballot-access.org/2008/10/28/gonzalez-root-castle-debate-announced/”>Ballot Access News,</a> there will be a vice-presidential debate in Las Vegas on Sunday, November 2.  Wayne Allyn Root, Darrell Castle, and Matt Gonzalez have thus far agreed to participate.  Rosa Clemente, the Green Party nominee, has also been invited.

Root, the Libertarian nominee, is a Las Vegas businessman who home schools his children.  He ran for the LP’s presidential nomination before dropping out and throwing his support to Bob Barr, the eventual winner.

Darrell Castle, the Constitution Party nominee, is an attorney in Memphis.  He is Chuck Baldwin’s running mate.

I don’t know anything about Matt Gonzalez except that he is the running mate of the independent Ralph Nader.

Clemente is from Brooklyn, New York, and is No. 2 on the ticket headed by Cynthia McKinney, the former Georgia congresswoman who now resides in Oakland, California.

Further details on the debate will be announced on Thursday, October 30.