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Many candidates want Texans’ signatures
Many candidates want Texans’ signaturesDozens of candidates ? from the proposed Green Party slate to first-time  politicians ? are fanning out across the state with petitions,  seeking signatures from Texans who didn’t vote in the recent Republican or Democratic primaries.
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Many candidates want Texans’ signatures

By ANNA M. TINSLEY
STAR-TELEGRAM STAFF WRITER

Kinky Friedman and Carole Keeton Strayhorn aren’t the only ones looking for independent-thinking Texans.

Dozens of candidates ? from the proposed Green Party slate to first-time politicians ? are fanning out across the state with petitions, seeking signatures from Texans who didn’t vote in the recent Republican or Democratic primaries.

The unusually large split from the two-party system in Texas could cause a logjam this summer at the Texas secretary of state’s office, which must validate each signature by September and let candidates know whether they qualify for the November ballot.

“There are more high-profile petitions going around this year,” said Scott Haywood, a spokesman for the secretary of state’s office. “This is a new situation for all of us out there. It’s unique.”

Gubernatorial candidates Friedman and Strayhorn are among 28 independents who filed paperwork this year with the secretary of state to make them eligible to run for office. To get their names on the November ballot, the statewide candidates have until May 11 to gather at least 45,540 signatures from registered Texas voters who didn’t vote in the recent Democratic or Republican primaries.

The Constitution Party, the Green Party and other parties have until May 30 to gather the same number of signatures to put their slates of candidates on the ballot. Libertarian candidates are already qualified under state law, because at least one Libertarian candidate accrued at least 5 percent of the vote in a statewide race in 2004.

“We want the opportunity to participate in the political process,” said Bryan Malatesta, state chairman of the Constitution Party of Texas. “We just want the right to be in the game.”

Getting on the ballot

That’s not an easy feat for candidates not affiliated with the Democratic or Republican parties, which pick their candidates during the primary elections.

Minor-party and independent candidates generally must gather signatures on petitions showing they have enough support to get on the ballot, but they cannot begin collecting those signatures until after the primaries.

Independent candidates began their work March 8, the day after the primary.

Those seeking statewide office have the biggest hurdle, but those seeking offices such as state or U.S. representative must get 5 percent of the votes cast in that district for all gubernatorial candidates in the 2002 general election or 500 signatures, whichever is less, according to state records.

“It’s tough to get access,” said Linda Curtis, chairwoman of Independent Texans, a group of independent and split-ticket voters.

But Curtis said it helps that Friedman and Strayhorn are shining a light on the difficult process for independent candidates.

“Most people who declare independent don’t have the resources like Kinky and Carole do to get attention and media coverage,” Curtis said. “It’s a good situation for independent voters.”

Under state law, however, minor parties could not start collecting signatures until Wednesday. Their petitions are due in late May.

Last week, officials with the Green and Constitution parties sent a news release complaining that their candidates aren’t posted on the secretary of state’s Web site, which can make it more difficult to collect signatures.

“This is absolutely hard to do,” said Ramsey Sprague, the ballot access coordinator for the Green Party of Texas, which promotes grassroots democracy, social justice, nonviolence and environmentalism. “This is one of the hardest states to get on the ballot because when you average it out, you have to get several thousand signatures each day.

“Other states have more time,” he said. “But we are confident that, one way or the other, we will get on the ballot. We’re really excited because we have some great candidates.”

The Green Party must collect signatures on a petition to put 22 candidates on the ballot.

Members will hold “Free the Vote” events to gather signatures around Texas, including one from noon to 6 p.m. Saturday in Fort Worth at the Trinity Park shelter at the corner of Stayton and Seventh streets. While Greens are required to have more than 45,000 signatures, they are trying to get more than 70,000 to ensure that they qualify for the ballot, party officials said.

The slate of candidates came from nominations this year and will be whittled down through various conventions, ending with a statewide convention June 10-11 in Austin.

“Our message is, ‘Don’t forget about us with everything else going on out there,’ ” said Sprague, of Fort Worth.

The Constitution Party of Texas, which wants the U.S. to be governed under biblical law, has one petition for its six candidates.

“It’s a tough hurdle, placed there by the two major parties, because they don’t want the competition,” Malatesta said. “But we’ll make lemonade where we have to. If we succeed, the state will have also forced us to build our party to a greater strength than ever before.

“So that may turn out to be a blessing in disguise.”

Constitution Party chapters will hold events and rallies to gather signatures. The party’s candidate slate will be formalized during a convention June 10 at Washington on the Brazos State Park, Malatesta said.

As for the Libertarians, they must winnow down a list of 214 candidates during various conventions, culminating with a statewide convention June 10-11 in Houston. The only people who can vote for candidates at the conventions are those who did not vote in the primary elections.

“We have more candidates than ever ? a record number ? because we focused on candidate recruitment,” said Wes Benedict, executive director of the Libertarian Party of Texas, which advocates limited government and economic and individual freedom. “But there’s not as much news getting out about Libertarians.

“The secretary of state is advertising that people go to the primaries and vote,” he said. “That’s advertising two parties and not providing information about Libertarians. ... We’ll be the only fiscal conservatives on the ballot this November.”

Watch what you sign

State officials caution voters to remember what they sign.

Anyone who signs a petition for an independent candidate may also sign a ballot access petition for a minor party. And voters may sign petitions for more than one independent candidate, as long as they are not running for the same office, Haywood said.

Duplicate signatures mean that the second one will be invalid. Anyone who voted in a Republican or Democratic primary election ? or a runoff election ? is not eligible to sign any petition.

Haywood, of the secretary of state’s office, said that although the department has until September to let candidates and parties know if they’ll be on the ballot, they hope to have the results earlier, possibly by mid-July.

Minor parties and independents are now focused on energizing voters and gathering signatures.

“There are plenty of options for people who sign Kinky’s or Strayhorn’s petitions,” said Sprague, of the Green Party. “They can sign ours as well.

“People need to get registered to vote and get ready.”


IN THE KNOW Seeking office

There is no central clearinghouse that lists all the parties and candidates trying to get on the November ballot. In addition to Republicans and Democrats, however, those known to be seeking ballot access include:

Nearly 30 independent candidates, each of whom must gather enough signatures to qualify for ballot status. Among those are independent gubernatorial candidates Kinky Friedman ( www.kinkyfriedman.com ) and Carole Keeton Strayhorn ( www.carolestrayhorn.com ).Candidates seeking statewide office must gather at least 45,540 valid signatures; those seeking offices such as state or U.S. representative have to get 5 percent of the votes cast in that district for all gubernatorial candidates in the 2002 general election or 500 signatures, whichever is less. A list of independent candidates is at www.sos.state.tx.us/elections/voter/2006_primary.shtml . For information on Independent Texans, go to www.indytexans.org .

More than 200 Libertarian Party of Texas candidates. The party is on the ballot this year, because of votes accrued in past elections, but needs attendees at its convention who did not vote in the primaries to whittle down the number of candidates. A list of these candidates is available at www.sos.state.tx.us/elections/voter/2006_primary.shtml . For information on the party, go to www.lptexas.org .

More than 20 Green Party of Texas candidates. The party must gather at least 45,540 valid signatures from Texans who did not vote in the Republican or Democratic primaries. For information on the party, go to www.txgreens.org .

Six Constitution Party of Texas candidates. The party must gather at least 45,540 valid signatures from Texans who did not vote in the Republican or Democratic primaries. For information on the party, go to www.cptexas.org .

Source: Star Telegram research

Posted by Bryan Malatesta on Monday, March 20, 2006 at 01:32 Comments(4922)

Fairness From Texas SoS

Media Advisory



      


Green & Constitution Parties Call For Non-partisan Fairness From


Texas Secretary of State's Office


 


 


Tuesday, March 14th, 2006

Contacts:
Kat Swift, Co-Chair, Green Party of Texas, 210.471.1791, kat@txgreens.org


Alfred Molison, co-Chair, Green Party of Texas, 713-661-9529,  713-726-9009, alfredm123@hotmail.com
Bryan Malatesta, Chairman, Constitution Party of Texas, 817.558.9652, chairman@cptexas.org  



Everyone knows Kinky and Strayhorn have filed for office and are seeking ballot access, even Roger William's office tells you so on the website for his office of Secretary of State (SoS): http://www.sos.state.tx.us/elections/voter/2006_primary.shtml


But did you know that there are candidates seeking the Green and Constitution parties' nomination?  The SoS isn't saying.

Here we are, two months after the filing deadline, the day of non-primary party precinct conventions, and four days before the first of three nominating conventions, and 28 candidates who filed on time to seek nomination from their respective parties are missing from the public record with no explanation.

After repeated inquiries by both parties during the last two months, the Secretary of State's office is still unable to answer the question:  'Why are our candidates and parties not posted on the SoS's website as duly filed and seeking nomination and ballot access?

What will it take for this public servant in the Secretary of State's office to let the state's voters know everyone who has filed for office so that they can make informed decisions and participate in the democratic process?

List them all or none at all - play fair, we followed the law!



Posted by Bryan Malatesta on Friday, March 17, 2006 at 12:01 Comments(4278)

PRESS RELEASE: CP of Texas has 6 candidates runnin
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact:     Bryan Malatesta, State Chairman
                  phone  817-558-9652,  e-mail: chairman@cptexas.org 

Constitution Party runs Martinez for Governor

The Constitution Party of Texas has fielded three candidates for statewide offices, one for the Texas House and two for Congress for the first time ever.  David Martinez has filed to run for Governor, along with Chuck Burnett for Lieutenant Governor.  Both men are from Corpus Christi. CPA James Pennington, of Kerrville, has filed for State Comptroller.  Paul Amos of Ennis is running for State Rep. District 10. Alfred Adask of Dallas has filed for U.S. Senate and Melvin Hassell also of Dallas has filed for Congress, 32nd District.

The party will still have to overcome a tremendous hurdle in order to be on the ballot in November, with over 45,000 valid signatures on petitions to be gathered in six weeks following the primary election.  According to State Chairman Bryan Malatesta, "It's a tough hurdle, placed there by the two major parties, because they don't want the competition.  But we'll make lemonade where we have to -- if we succeed, the State will have also forced us to build our party to a greater strength than ever before.  So that may turn out to be a blessing in disguise."

The party also has one candidate running for the State legislature, Paul Amos running for District 10.  Amos is a resident of Ennis. 

In 2004 the Constitution Party did not have ballot access, as a result, presidential candidate Michael Peroutka ran as a write-in candidate in Texas. 

www.CPTexas.org/
Posted by Bryan Malatesta on Friday, January 20, 2006 at 10:06 Comments(5241)

Orange County Race a Border Skirmish

O.C. Race a Border Skirmish

Thanks to activist Jim Gilchrist, immigration is the hot issue in a House election, dividing the right and maybe setting the tone for other states.

By Jean O. Pasco and Dan Weikel
Times Staff Writers

December 4, 2005

Tuesday's special election to fill Rep. Christopher Cox's seat might have been a bland affair with the Republican primary winner preordained — year after year, congressional elections in coastal Orange County usually are.

This year, the politics of immigration have changed that.

Jim Gilchrist, cofounder of the border security group called the Minuteman Project and candidate of the American Independent Party, has run an energetic and increasingly wellfunded campaign against state Sen. John Campbell (R-Irvine). He has forced the lawmaker to renounce votes allowing illegal immigrants to pay in-state tuition at state universities and to use Mexican identification cards for official purposes. And he has turned the race into a virtual referendum on immigration policy.

Even if Campbell wins the 48th Congressional District seat Tuesday — and most political insiders think he will — the race underscores the wedge that immigration has driven into conservative ranks across the country.

"Ross Perot did not become president" in 1992, said John J. Pitney Jr., a government professor at Claremont McKenna College and former Republican Party strategist, "but he put the [federal budget] deficit at the top of the national agenda." In much the same way, advocates of tougher controls on illegal immigration hope Gilchrist's challenge to Campbell will propel their cause.

Gilchrist supporters are hoping a strong showing will inspire congressional candidates in half a dozen border states who are weighing the campaign potency of illegal immigration.

Gilchrist's campaign has been helped by some Republican Party activists and fueled by a backlash against President Bush's guest-worker proposal. Many opponents, including Gilchrist, characterize the plan as a backdoor amnesty for illegal immigrants.

Confounding the experts, the retired accountant from Aliso Viejo has attracted national media attention and almost $500,000 in contributions — about half the amount Campbell has raised.

"The issue of illegal immigration is below the surface just about everywhere in California," Pitney said. "It snakes through the political landscape like the San Andreas fault, and you never know when you are going to get a little tremor or a calamitous quake."

Gilchrist's persistent anti-illegal immigrant theme forced Campbell in September to apologize for his votes in the Legislature on tuition and ID cards.

A month later Gilchrist upstaged Campbell while both were guests on a drive-time KFI-AM radio broadcast of "The John and Ken Show." The issue: illegal immigration, which Gilchrist blames for a host of social ills from traffic congestion to overcrowded emergency rooms.

During the last month, Gilchrist, 56, became an instant spokesman against Bush's guest-worker plan on Fox News and won an endorsement from immigration activist Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-Colo.).

Since the KFI broadcast, Gilchrist has become the bane of the local GOP, openly criticizing Campbell for being soft on the issue. One group from Texas that supports Gilchrist sent mailers to voters sporting a photo of Osama bin Laden, contending that Campbell's position on border security would encourage terrorist infiltration into the country.

Gilchrist emerged on the national scene in April when the Minuteman Project deployed volunteer patrols along a 23-mile stretch of Arizona's southwest border with Mexico. To the dismay of U.S. and Mexican officials, they arrived with private planes and night-vision goggles.

The group's message — that accommodating undocumented residents is costly and a porous border poses security risks — soon tapped into rising concerns around the nation. The issue has particular resonance in border states, where most of the country's estimated 10 million illegal immigrants live.

Orange County is the perfect petri dish for Gilchrist's campaign. The conservative county was home to Proposition 187, a statewide ballot measure in 1994 that banned public services for illegal immigrants until it was overturned in court.

Still, many political experts believe money from activist donors across the country won't be a deciding factor in Gilchrist's bid to succeed Cox, who became chairman of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in July.

"Illegal immigration is just not that big a motivator" for district voters, said Harvey Englander, consultant for former Assemblywoman Marilyn C. Brewer (R-Newport Beach). Brewer came in second behind Campbell in the Oct. 4 primary.

"People who care about this issue, and it's No. 1 in their lives, they may vote for Gilchrist, but most people have more than one issue they care about," Englander said.

Besides Gilchrist and Campbell, 50, three other candidates are vying for Cox's seat — Democrat Steve Young, 51, a Newport Beach attorney; Libertarian Bruce Cohen, 44, a real estate broker from Irvine; and Santa Ana high school teacher Bea Tiritilli, 42, the Green Party nominee.

The district stretches from Newport Beach to Dana Point and as far inland as Tustin. Among its 406,000 registered voters are 203,000 Republicans, 110,000 Democrats, and less than 8,000 American Independents. The district's voters are generally conservative, wealthy and well-educated.

Gilchrist defied conventional wisdom by placing third in the primary, with 15% or 13,423 votes. Since then, his fundraising has allowed him to launch mail and radio advertising campaigns against Campbell. He has planted a thicket of signs along freeway entrances featuring a drawing of a Revolutionary War minuteman clutching a rifle.

Campbell, a former car dealer elected to the state Assembly in 2000, already has a Wednesday morning airline ticket to Washington. He has the blessing of the powerful Orange County GOP, which has been stockpiling absentee ballots and mobilizing voters.

Campbell has openly courted the Republican establishment in Washington and held a fundraiser in the capital featuring Vice President Dick Cheney.

Despite the odds in Campbell's favor, continued interest in Gilchrist irks Campbell, who has struck back with a mailer saying that Gilchrist supports higher taxes on the wealthy and that he has called President Bush clueless. Although illegal immigration is definitely a concern, he said, voters are more motivated by lax security along the border than worries about costs and assimilation.

"People of this district are sophisticated, and they look at your whole record, not just one vote," Campbell said.


Posted by LA Times.com on Monday, December 12, 2005 at 12:04 Comments(3188)

Respect the decision of the Supreme Court?
Monday, June 27, 2005
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Respect the decision of the Supreme Court?
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
By Tom Ambrose
C 2005 WorldNetDaily.com

On Friday, WND asked presidential press secretary Scott McClellan about the frightening Supreme Court decision on Thursday allowing local governments to seize homes or businesses against their owners' will for the purpose of private development.
 
Amidst a lot of doublespeak, McClellan had a moment of clarity:
 
"I think the president has made his views clear when it comes to private property rights. In terms of Supreme Court decisions, we obviously have to respect the decisions of the Supreme Court."
 
Respect their decision? I don't like their decision, I don't accept their decision, I don't support their decision and I sure as heck don't respect their decision! Why should anyone respect them for using our Constitution as toilet paper? This is communism, folks, pure and simple. Your right to own anything - be it your money, your opinion, or your home - is gone.
 
Think I exaggerate? Consider how your rights have been systematically stolen from you by the two major political parties in Washington (who have both, by the way, voted for the judges who sit on the U.S. Supreme Court):
 
In 1913, the government falsely claimed the 16th Amendment was ratified and coerced vulnerable citizens - like you - into letting them take whatever it wants out of your wallet ... at the point of a gun if necessary.
 
In 2003, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld by a 5-4 ruling the McCain-Feingold campaign-finance bill, which effectively gives the government the right to control speech it deems undesirable.
 
A series of decisions by our government in the last decade upholding global government and ceding control of U.S. sovereignty to the corrupt, communist-controlled United Nations, including control of U.S. property.
 
In 2005, the U.S. Supreme Court continued its ongoing war on states' rights - granted by the 10th Amendment - by striking down California's right to allow its citizens to grow marijuana for medicinal purposes.
 
And now, in 2005, the U.S. Supreme Court has decided local governments can take your home away from you if they want to.
 
Where will this treason go next? Watch for an assault on your firearms like you've never seen before, possibly in the Supreme Court's next session - unarmed citizens cannot fight back against government tyranny. And watch for the Supreme Court to uphold controversial provisions of the so-called "Patriot Act," like warrantless searches and seizures - after all, your property belongs to the government now, remember? And watch for a push for a draft of both men and women to serve in the global U.S.-U.N. military forces.
 
Folks, I don't care whether you are Democrats or Republicans, liberals or conservatives. Whatever label you pin on yourself, you and your rights are now as subject to government whim as anyone else's. Patriots on all points of the political spectrum have been warning about these federal power grabs for years.
 
Here's the problem, though: Many Democrats think all Republicans want to poison the water, starve children, deny blacks the right to vote, etc. Many Republicans think all Democrats support homosexual marriage, killing babies in their mothers' wombs, and taxing America into poverty. The result? Divided citizens warring against each other instead of against the manipulative politicians pulling their strings.
 
Frankly, George W. Bush has done just as much to damage the United States as Bill Clinton did. Our borders are wide open to terrorists who want to nuke us - if that isn't criminal, what is? If that isn't at least the equivalent of Clinton giving China nuclear technology, how much more rope are you willing to give the GOP before they hang themselves and the rest of us?
 
Additionally, government spending has gone through the roof, guaranteeing you, your children and your grandchildren will be forced to pay for Uncle Sam's largesse. And now, of course, Bush supports this malignant Supreme Court.
 
It's past time for all of us to wake up. Prior to the signing of the Declaration of Independence, John Hancock said, "We must be unanimous, there must be no pulling different ways; we must all hang together." "Yes," replied Ben Franklin, "we must, indeed, all hang together, or most assuredly we shall all hang separately." Is this not so now?
 
There are two political parties in the United States that have consistently stood against the communist assault on our U.S. Constitution - the Libertarian Party and the Constitution Party. Stop being manipulated. Vote only for members of these two parties in the next election. And pass this message on to everyone you can think of.
 
I give you my word: Unless one of the two major political parties show clear, convincing evidence that its members have returned to consistently following the Constitution, I will never again vote for either a Republican or a Democrat. Even the few good ones in each of the two parties are forced to kowtow to the corrupted principles and people who dominate their parties.
 
Will you join me now so we can save America while it is still possible?
 --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Tom Ambrose is the commentary editor of WorldNetDaily.
Posted by Tom Ambrose on Wednesday, June 29, 2005 at 22:13 Comments(3015)

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