Some food for thought on independent campaigns, write-ins, and forming new parties

gadsdenflag_2There is still a lot of grumbling out there among conservatives in the wake of the recently completed primaries.  An effort is alive to stage a conservative write-in effort for US Senate.

Before people get too wound up, they ought to be aware of some requirements in state law:

[…] Definition. – A political party within the meaning of the election laws of this State shall be either:

(1)        Any group of voters which, at the last preceding general State election, polled for its candidate for Governor, or for presidential electors, at least two percent (2%) of the entire vote cast in the State for Governor or for presidential electors; or

(2)        Any group of voters which shall have filed with the State Board of Elections petitions for the formulation of a new political party which are signed by registered and qualified voters in this State equal in number to two percent (2%) of the total number of voters who voted in the most recent general election for Governor. Also the petition must be signed by at least 200 registered voters from each of four congressional districts in North Carolina. To be effective, the petitioners must file their petitions with the State Board of Elections before 12:00 noon on the first day of June preceding the day on which is to be held the first general State election in which the new political party desires to participate. The State Board of Elections shall forthwith determine the sufficiency of petitions filed with it and shall immediately communicate its determination to the State chairman of the proposed new political party.[…]

  Procedure for Having Name Printed on Ballot as Unaffiliated Candidate. – Any qualified voter who seeks to have his name printed on the general election ballot as an unaffiliated candidate shall:

[…] (1)        If the office is a statewide office, file written petitions with the State Board of Elections supporting his candidacy for a specified office. These petitions must be filed with the State Board of Elections on or before 12:00 noon on the last Friday in June preceding the general election and must be signed by qualified voters of the State equal in number to two percent (2%) of the total number of voters who voted in the most recent general election for Governor. Also, the petition must be signed by at least 200 registered voters from each of four congressional districts in North Carolina. No later than 5:00 p.m. on the fifteenth day preceding the date the petitions are due to be filed with the State Board of Elections, each petition shall be presented to the chairman of the board of elections of the county in which the signatures were obtained. Provided the petitions are timely submitted, the chairman shall examine the names on the petition and place a check mark on the petition by the name of each signer who is qualified and registered to vote in his county and shall attach to the petition his signed certificate. Said certificates shall state that the signatures on the petition have been checked against the registration records and shall indicate the number of signers to be qualified and registered to vote in his county. The chairman shall return each petition, together with the certificate required in this section, to the person who presented it to him for checking. Verification by the chairman of the county board of elections shall be completed within two weeks from the date such petitions are presented. […]

The magic number for either of these options 2014 and 2016 appears to be 89,366 signatures. 

18 thoughts on “Some food for thought on independent campaigns, write-ins, and forming new parties

  1. A third party would have the drawback of splitting the center-right vote and letting Democrats win. For all the success of UKIP in the UK, polls are now showing that in an election for the national parliament, with its single member constituencies, the effect would likely be splitting the vote and allowing Labour to win. Yes, in an election or two in the US with a conservative third party active, the GOP might well go the way of the Whigs, but by then, the Democrats may have finished destroying the country.

    The New York Conservative Party would be a good model if our election laws were like that state and allowed cross endorsements. In NY, a candidate may run on the ballot line of as many parties as will nominate them and the votes from all parties they are running on are added together to determine who wins. That allows the NY Conservative Party to back the Republican when he is solid on the issues, or run another candidate if he is not. Such a law would actually be in the GOP’s best interest, as it could minimize the instances of splitting the vote and letting the Democrats in.

    The other way to deal with the vote splitting problem is what many in the UK Conservative Party are now suggesting, but the Prime Minister is resisting. That is a party pact to divide the spoils in some way. One under discussion is a stand down agreement, where in what would be close races with the left, the parties would agree that only one of them would run a candidate, with some such seats assigned to each party based on who could best win it. Stand down agreements were used by the CDU in Germany in the first decade of the Bunderepublik.

    For 2014, getting candidates on by petition would be difficult given the time constraint. It might be more practical for Congress, where Pittenger has no Democrat opponent filed and running an independent conservative would not risk the seat. Also, in the 2nd where both candidates are horrible on amnesty for illegals, an anti-amnesty independent might actually have a chance.

    1. ” Yes, in an election or two in the US with a conservative third party active, the GOP might well go the way of the Whigs, but by then, the Democrats may have finished destroying the country.”

      Which is exactly why I have resisted the siren call of a new conservative party….our only shot at survival is to continue the struggle for the stewardship of the Republican Party.

    2. Good summary, R.
      What are your thoughts on targeting the 2nd District Republican (Renee Ellmers) for defeat by launching a deliberate “Conservatives for Clay” (with a circle/slash over a Rhino) yard sign campaign? Hurting Tillis will hurt the nation, but stopping Renee from getting her pension would not to the balance of the Congress and it would send a message. (I’m told that congress members are not fully vested until they win three times.) In the words of (comic strip star) Hagar the Horrible, “if you can’t win the game, at least spoil the board.”

      1. “Conservatives for Clay” are you kidding me? I’d rather push for a write in candidate, if you want to play spoiler, write in someone v. voting for Clay. Have you seen Clay’s deleted tweets?

      2. I do not think we need to vote for pro-amnesty candidates under any circumstances. A write-in is a better bet.

        As to the Senate race, we are going to hurt the nation whichever jerk we send up there, so I do not know that it matters. If we had a real Senate GOP leader instead of that pathetic Mitch McClownel, maybe it would be different and having a majority even with twits like Tillis might make a difference..

    1. . . . and a way to counteract the Big Government Republicans like Rove and his ilk, and the US Chamber of Corruption, from meddling in our primaries with big bucks and buying nominations for their poodles.

      I think a 3rd party would be counterproductive unless we had election laws like New York, but running independent conservatives in selective races, like against Ellmers (so awful she needs to go, even if it needs a Democrat gets in) and Pittenger (with no Democrat on the ballot, there is no danger of losing the seat), would show the establishment we are not just going to roll over if they impose a crap candidate on the GOP. They are not going to pay attention unless we take a few scalps. Nationally, amnesty cheerleader Paul Ryan should be a target.

  2. At the national level, the GOP is clearly going the way of the Whigs. It stands for nothing and will eventually die out. In most of the Southern states and some western states, the GOP is truly the conservative party and is worth supporting. It will be problematic as to how we relate to a decaying national GOP, but this is where our thinking should be headed.

  3. Not another “political” party, with it’s corruption but an ongoing and growing movement “outside” of the political framework will get’er done. As independents (unaffiliated in NC), we would be free to pick and choose and have all parties competing for our votes. Lets get those unaffiliated voters up to about 40% of the total before 2016 and we could end up with a conservative governor, US Senator and, who knows?

    1. Then all the conservative independent voters would have the choice of which establishment party candidates to vote for, which would be no choice, sort of like we have now for US Senate in NC. It is much better to get enough control in one of the major parties to be able to nominate candidates.

      Where I think the independent route could be useful is in getting conservative independents on the ballot in selective cases – 1) where there is no Democrat filed and the Republican is less than stellar, like this year’s 9th CD, 2) where both candidates are so awful that there needs to be a choice for voters, like this year’s 2nd CD, or 3) where a scalp badly needs to be taken as a symbol to stop a really stupid policy, like with Paul Ryan and amnesty for illegals.

      Don’t expect parties to always let you vote in their primaries. If Republicans were smart, they would end that tomorrow, and the courts have said it is up to the parties.

      1. My last paragraph was in reference to non-Republicans voting in Republican primaries. That is a very foolish policy which needs to be changed.

        1. Yes. Won’t happen on Claude Pope’s watch, though. Still, it needs to change nonetheless.

  4. A third party would only create a group of malcontents who wanted to form a fourth party.

    It seems that this is like those groups who leave the church to go and form their own new church. And then some years later a group breaks away from the new church and starts another new church.

    Whatever works.

    1. That is not what is happening in the UK. A poll released a day or so ago, shows that the voters who put UKIP in first place and pushed the Conservative Party down into third for the first time in its history in a national election, will overwhelmingly stick with UKIP in the next election.

      Voters tend to stick with parties as long as parties stick with their principles. What is threatening the future of the Republican Party is leaders who abandon principle. The one sell out that can totally blow up the Republican Party before November is if Boehner sells out on immigration. At that point, the party is over. Personally, I hope that cooler heads prevail, and Boehner does not make such an idiotic move, as I think the clearest path to save the country is to salvage the GOP, and that won’t be possible if Boehner blows it up.

    2. Here is that poll on UKIP voters in the UK:

      According to exit polls, the three issues that led British voters away from the Conservative Party and to UKIP were, in order: 1) the Conservative Party had gone soft on immigration, 2) the Conservative Party was not doing enough to get free of EU control, and 3) the Conservative Party leadership was supporting gay marriage. Two of those three issues, including the most important one, immigration, are directly applicable to the GOP.

  5. I wish more would have been said in the article about the anti-democratic nature of North Carolina’s ballot access laws. These laws keep legitimate alternative choices off of the ballot through overly restrictive signatures burdens unmatched across most of the nation. NC has some of the most restrictive laws in the nation only behind California, and in some areas more difficult that California. Regardless of whether you would support or participate in an alternative political party or unaffiliated/independent candidate is not the issue at hand.

    The issue is fundamental freedom. Thomas Paine said very astutely that “[t]he right of voting for representatives is the primary right by which other rights are protected. To take away this right is to reduce a man to slavery.” Thomas Jefferson said it should be guarded as the “ark of our safety.” Republican US Supreme Court Justice Paul Newby even stated in his dissenting opinion that kept NC’s ballot laws where they are today, that “..ballot access is a fundamental right.”

    North Carolina abridges that right and by unduly denying free choice on the ballot. Most states require a mere fraction of the proportion of signatures that NC requires with none of the alleged problems that NC uses to prop up this anti-democratic and anti-liberty system. Regardless of your view on these alternatives, it is our duty, in order to protect our own liberty, to ensure the liberty of others that we may even disagree with. This issue needs to be addressed.

    “It behooves every man who values liberty of conscience for himself, to resist invasions of it in the case of others.” -Thomas Jefferson

    1. I would like to see our election laws like New York, where one candidate could be nominated by more than one party, and the votes on all parties that nominate them combined on election day. This is called ”cross endorsement” and helps conservatives influence the GOP nomination process by deciding whether the GOP nominee will also have the Conservative Party ballot line or not.

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