July 22, 2004
Badnarik in, Nader suing

Libertarian Party candidate for President Michael Badnarik will be on the Texas ballot in November.

Election officials announced Tuesday that the Libertarian Party has met the requirements to get its candidates on the November second ballot in Texas.

As a third party, the Libertarians were required to submit a petition with 45,540 signatures of registered Texans who did not vote in the GOP or Democratic primaries.

Secretary of State Geoff Connor said Libertarians produced more than 82,000 valid signatures.

Austin computer programmer Michael Badnarik is the Libertarian nominee for president.

Meanwhile, Ralph Nader gets his day in court today as he sues to get on the ballot as an independent.

Today (Thursday) at 9am, the Ralph Nader campaign is scheduled to appear in federal court (200 W. Eighth) in a lawsuit (Nader et al. v. Connor) charging that the Texas ballot access law is unconstitutional on three grounds:

The May 10 deadline for signatures, earlier than any other state, is unnecessary and discriminatory;

The requirement that independent candidates collect more than 64,000 signatures nearly 20,000 more than the requirement for third party candidates is also discriminatory; and

The accelerated schedule for independent candidates (60 days to collect signatures vs. 75 days for third parties) has the same effect.

In the AP wire story, Secretary of State Geoff Connor notes that other candidates have cleared this hurdle before:

The Texas ballot requirements for independent candidates have been in place for 20 years. Secretary of State Geoff Connor has noted that Reform Party candidates Ross Perot in 1992 and 1996 and Pat Buchanan in 2000 managed to get on the Texas ballot as independents.

I suppose I don't care if Nader makes it on to the Texas ballot or not. For all his windbaggery, he got 138,000 votes in 2000. That was 2.15% of the total, and to give a little perspective his statewide total would have sufficed to win all of 16 of the 30 Congressional races that year, with three of those wins having a margin of 8000 votes or fewer. He's a nonentity, and I'd be willing to bet he won't match that total this year. Let him waste time and energy pursuing ballot access here; it's time and energy he's not spending in states where it might matter.

UPDATE: Forgot to link to this profile of Michael Badnarik and how he got the LP nod. He certainly is, um, unconventional.

Badnarik believes that the federal income tax has no legal authority and that people are justified in refusing to file a tax return until such time as the IRS provides them with an explanation of its authority to collect the tax. He hadn't filed income tax returns for several years. He moved from California to Texas because of Texas' more liberal gun laws, but he refused to obtain a Texas driver's license because the state requires drivers to provide their fingerprints and Social Security numbers. He has been ticketed several times for driving without a license; sometimes he has gotten off for various technical legal reasons, but on three occasions he has been convicted and paid a fine. He also refused to use postal ZIP codes, seeing them as "federal territories."

Via Political Wire.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on July 22, 2004 to The making of the President | TrackBack

Well, now that Badnarik's officially in, I know where my vote is going.

Posted by: Tim on July 22, 2004 9:45 AM

Ah, yes... Nader, at last, doing what he's always done best.

Posted by: Steve Bates on July 22, 2004 10:58 AM

Well, Charles, I just formally endorsed Badnarik over at my place. Get on the bandwagon while it's still moving slowly.

Posted by: norbizness on July 22, 2004 2:09 PM