Tag Archives: Libertarian

No Libertarian label for party’s candidate this year

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The Libertarian Party of Tennessee’s candidate for governor has lost a bid to have his party affiliation appear next to his name on the ballot, according to court records. Instead, those wishing to vote for Daniel Lewis will see him listed as an independent.

That’s because the party has not collected the more-than-40,000 signatures needed to qualify for the ballot. Under Tennessee law, individual candidates need collect only 25 signatures to appear on the ballot, but they appear as independents if their parties have not also qualified.

The party is suing over the signature requirement, claiming it is onerous. While the lawsuit works its way through the courts, Lewis had asked for a temporary order allowing him to be listed as a Libertarian on the ballot this election. U.S. District Judge William Haynes denied the request last week.

Heather Scott, an attorney for the Libertarian Party, said she was not discouraged.

“This isn’t the only election,” she said. “The important thing is the long haul.”

State Elections Administrator Mark Goins had no comment.

As the basis for his denial, Haynes cited a recent opinion by the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in a similar ballot access challenge brought by the Green Party of Tennessee and the Constitution Party of Tennessee.

In that case, the 6th Circuit left open the idea that the signature requirement could be an unconstitutional burden on party members’ first amendment rights. However, the panel sent the case back to Haynes because they said there was not enough evidence in the record to make that determination yet.

Despite the setback at the 6th Circuit, an order by Haynes requiring that both the Green and Constitution parties appear on the ballot through at least 2015 still stands, and the party affiliations of their candidates do appear next to their names this year.

The parties also are challenging a Tennessee law that requires candidates from smaller parties and independent candidates to appear after the Republican and Democratic candidates.

Early voting starts Wednesday. Election Day is Nov. 4.

Judge orders Libertarian candidate labeled as such in state House District 91 special election

From Jackson Baker:
Federal Judge William J. Haynes, Jr., chief judge of the Middle Tennessee district, ruled Thursday that the Shelby County Election Commission must list Jim Tomasik as a Libertarian Party candidate on the special election ballots for state House District 91 — not, as had previously been the case in preliminary listings, as an independent.

The special election, which is scheduled for November 21, with early voting in effect from Friday, November 1, though Saturday, November 16, will pit Tomasik against Ramesh Akbari, who won the Democratic nomination for the seat in a special primary election on November 8. The election is to determine a successor to the late Lois DeBerry.

In view of the closeness of the general election date, lawyers for Tomasik had sought an emergency injunction from Judge Haynes, who, after hearing arguments at a hearing Thursday, issued it from the bench.

In making his ruling, Judge Haynes noted that in February 2012 he had already ruled unconstitutional provisions of Tennessee’s pre-existing ballot access law, which had allowed automatic ballot access only for Democratic and Republican candidates, requiring “minor” parties to meet standards for ballot access which he considered prohibitively difficult.

…Meanwhile, efforts have been underway in the General Assembly to reform the state’s ballot access law. State Senator Jim Kyle (D-Memphis) filed SB 1091 in the 2013 legislative session, which would require milder requirements for minor parties to gain ballot access — 250 petitioners in the case of state Senate or state House elections.

The bill was bottled up in the state and local committees of both legislative chambers, but a 9-member study commission on ballot access was created, with Kyle as the sole Democrat among six legislative members. One member each from the Green, Libertarian, and Constitutional parties filled out the commission’s membership.
Kyle said that Senator Ken Yager (R, Harriman, chairman of the House state and local committee and ad hoc chair of the commission, had canceled a meeting of the commission that had been scheduled for mid-October. That was about the time that Tomasik filed his suit.

Prior to Thursday’s hearing and Judge Haynes’ ruling, Kyle had welcomed the hearing as a test case for ballot-access reform. The Memphis Democrat, chairman of the Senate Democratic caucus, said Jason Huff of his staff had done a study indicating that both the state and the nation were subject to cycles of party realignment which recurred roughly every 70 years and that the political ferment for such a moment was at hand.

Kyle also suggested that sates with elected secretaries of state had proved most amenable to ballot-access reform and that perhaps Tennessee should transition to a method of popular election for its secretary of state

New round of litigation over 3rd party ballot access in TN

Tennessee places “an unconstitutional burden” on minor political parties seeking places on the ballot, the Green and Constitution Parties of Tennessee claim in Federal Court, reports Courthouse News.

Tennessee’s Libertarian Party filed a similar lawsuit last week, claiming that Tennessee’s deadlines for petition signature collection for special general elections are unconstitutional.

In the law complaint, the Green and Constitution Parties claim the state’s requirements for petition signatures and number of votes for minor parties are unconstitutional. They also claim that the requirement to file an affidavit promising not to support the overthrow of the government is unconstitutional.

The parties sued Secretary of State Tre Hargett and Elections Coordinator Mark Goins.
Tennessee Code Annotated 2-1-104 requires minor parties to obtain the signatures of 2.5 percent of the total number of votes cast for gubernatorial candidates in the most recent election of governor, to be recognized and appear on the ballot.

But a federal judge ruled in Green Party of Tenn. et al. vs. Hargett et al. that Section 2-1-104 was “unconstitutional and granted plaintiffs status as ‘recognized minor parties’ for the purposes of the 2012 general election,” according to the complaint.

Now the parties ask that the court affirm its “prior determination” that 2-1-104 is unconstitutional.

(HT: Post Politics)

UPDATE Note: The Libertarian Party’s press release on its lawsuit if below.
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Rep. Hurley Pulls Up Libertarian Signs (at landowner request)

State Rep. Julia Hurley was seen pulling up and tossing down a campaign sign at a major Loudon County intersection, reports the News Sentinel. Apparently someone complained, but the lawmaker says the signs were on private property and she was following the landowner’s request.
Hurley, who lost her re-election bid for the 32nd Legislative District seat in the GOP primary, said Jennifer Wampler owns the property at the intersection of Highway 321 and Highway 11 in Lenoir City.
“They didn’t ask permission to place their signs there,” Hurley said.
Hurley said she “gently” placed the sign of Dr. Shaun Crowell on the ground. Crowell is an independent candidate seeking to unseat incumbent U.S. Senator Bob Corker, a Republican.
Also on the ground: A sign touting independent presidential candidate Gary Johnson.
(Note: Gary Johnson is the Libertarian Party nominee for president; Crowell has been endorsed by the Libertarian Party. Both are listed on Tennessee’s ballot as independent candidates.)
“His (Crowell’s) sign was literally right next to the sidewalk,” said businessman Brad Boring, who said he watched Hurley pull it up Sunday morning.
“That close to the road is private property?” he asked. “I don’t believe so.” Boring questioned whether the sign was within state right-of-way.
Guidelines for campaign sign locations vary by jurisdiction.
In Lenoir City, signs on land beyond sidewalks are deemed as being on private property, and the landowners have the final say-so on allowing them, city Codes Enforcement Officer Leslie Johnson said.
Political signs between sidewalks and road curbs are on either state or city rights of way, she said.

Poskevich Endorses Crowell for U.S. Senate

News release from Shaun Crowell campaign:
Paris, Tennessee – September 13, 2012. At the Henry County Tea Party meeting on Thursday, former Republican candidate for U.S. Senate Zach Poskevich endorsed Dr. Shaun Crowell’s bid for the U.S. Senate. Dr. Crowell is running against incumbent Senator Bob Corker as an independent endorsed by the Libertarian Party of Tennessee.
“I am deeply humbled and grateful to Mr. Poskevich for his endorsement,” stated Crowell. “Zach fought the good fight in his race, and his fight will continue on in my race. Our mutual principles of fiscal responsibility, downsizing the federal government, a return to limited government under the U.S. Constitution, and respect for human life are critical to the future of our country and I look forward to working with Zach Poskevich as we continue to fight for these principles.”
Dr. Crowell continued, “Senator Bob Corker has driven this country further down the path to fiscal insolvency and big government. With Zach’s help, we can defeat Senator Corker and begin moving both our country and the Great State of Tennessee into a new era of prosperity and governmental restraint.”
Dr. Shaun Crowell was born in Union City, TN and has lived all over the state in the last 38 years. He is a proud Christian husband and father of three. Dr. Crowell is the founder and owner of Agape Pet Hospital, LLC in Spring Hill, Tennessee. To learn more about Dr. Shaun Crowell and his campaign for the U.S. Senate, visit www.ShaunCrowell.com.

Note: Poskevich was second in the Aug. 2 Republican primary with 28,311 votes. Bob Corker won it with 389,613.

Libertarian Presidential Candidate Visits TN for Paperwork

Libertarian Party presidential candidate Gary Johnson came to Nashville to ensure he made the state’s ballot as an independent presidential candidate in November, including meeting one requirement that candidates sign every nominating petition his campaign submitted.
More from the Tennessean report:
Later in the day, his campaign was also getting additional petitioners to nominate him after more than half of the people who tried to nominate the former New Mexico governor were considered invalid by state election officials.
Jim Tomasik, the state director for Johnson’s campaign, said he picked up Johnson himself from the airport Wednesday morning so he could meet an obscure part of state code and sign each petition to qualify for the November election.
The afternoon before, he was told the petitions the campaign had filed were 74 signatures short of qualifying.
According to state election rules, independent Presidential candidates must have 275 signatures from registered Tennessee voters to be named on the ballot. More than half of the 415 signatures the Johnson campaign turned in earlier this month were apparently not from eligible voters.
“Over 50 percent to be rejected, that’s an awfully high margin,” Tomasik said. He quickly said it was the campaign’s responsibility to step up and get Johnson, a fiscal conservative and social liberal, on the state’s ballot.

Republicans Balk At Letting Third Parties On Ballot With 10,000 Signatures

By Erik Schelzig
NASHVILLE — Republicans are balking at a Democratic senator’s proposal to make it easier for minor parties to be listed on the Tennessee ballot.
Democratic Senate Minority Leader Jim Kyle of Memphis wants to set a threshold of 10,000 signatures from eligible voters for a third party to be recognized in the state, down from a GOP proposal of about 40,000 signatures from registered voters.
“My goal is to allow people who believe they’re in the Tea Party or the Green Party or the Liberation Party to get on the ballot,” Kyle said. “Any organization that can get 10,000 signatures is as legitimate a political entity as any other.
“People should be able to stand up there and say I believe in these principles,” he said. “I just think democracy works better when the rules are fair.”
Republican House Majority Leader Gerald McCormick of Chattanooga said he’s concerned about fracturing Tennessee’s political landscape.
“I don’t want to see us become like Italy and have a dozen different parties and all these splinter groups, and have to make coalitions with them,” said the Chattanooga Republican. “So I think the standard ought to be high.”

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