IndyTruth Blog
A duopoly on politics keeps candidates off your ballot 
Tuesday, July 29, 2008, 03:51 AM - Elections, News, Opinion, Policy
Posted by Administrator
America's first President George Washington said that political parties "serve to organize faction, to give it an artificial and extraordinary force; to put, in the place of the delegated will of the nation, the will of a party, often a small but artful and enterprising minority of the community; and, according to the alternate triumphs of different parties, to make the public administration the mirror of the ill-concerted and incongruous projects of faction, rather than the organ of consistent and wholesome plans digested by common counsels, and modified by mutual interests."

President Washington would be disappointed to see the state of American politics today. Two huge political parties hold a near unanimous majority of political offices in America. Only one of our one hundred Senators is an independent (Joe Lieberman), and he is only identified that way because he lost a Democratic primary and ran as an independent (although a Democratic incumbent) against the nominee who beat him. The Democratic and Republican parties control the choice of Americans by offering only one or two choices on an issue, while there are really many more options that must be considered. Often, neither party considers whether or not a decision is constitutional, but the two simply debate about specific aspects of the decision. What is most devastating of all, these two parties have held their duopoly on American politics for so long that they have arranged a system where no citizens from outside their clubs may contest them.

Ballot Access News reported Monday that "Alabama is almost certain to be the only state with no independent or minor party candidates on the ballot this year, for any federal or state office other than president." Darryl W. Perry, who is running as a write-in candidate for U.S. Senate in Alabama, explained in an interview with me on the IndyTruth Show that the state required him to obtain 37,513 verified signatures of registered voters by June 3, 2008 to get himself on the ballot for Senate. The mp3 of the show including that interview is available here.

What is unusual about the ballot access laws in Alabama is that it only takes 5,000 signatures to get on the ballot for President, even though it takes a much larger number for other statewide elections. Andy Shugart, who is running for U.S. House as an independent in Alabama's 6th congressional district, discovered that 6,155 signatures are required in his district. The U.S. Supreme Court actually ruled in the 1979 case of Illinois State Board of Elections v Socialist Workers Party that "it is unconstitutional for a state to require more signatures for a candidate running for an office that covers just part of the state, than that same state requires for an independent candidate running for statewide office." Therefore, Alabama's ballot access requirements are unconstitutional and illegal.

We face a similar situation here in Indiana. Over the past 75 years, the Democratic and Republican parties that have dominated the state government have increased the signature requirements for state-wide ballot access 64-fold, from 500 signatures in 1933 to 32,741 in 2008. The signature requirement is currently calculated as two percent of the total votes cast in the most recent election for Secretary of State, currently 32,741 signatures.

If a "minor party" candidate can collect enough signatures to get on the ballot for Secretary of State, he can earn statewide ballot access for his party by receiving at least two percent of the vote in the election. The Libertarian Party accomplished this in 1996 and has held on to it since then. They and the two other "major parties" only need to turn in a form to get their candidates on the ballot.

If an independent or minor party candidate is running for another office, such as state representative, he must gather a number of signatures equal to two percent of the vote for Secretary of State in the most recent election in the district in which he is running. These requirements are often also unmanageable for minor parties. The Constitution Party and Green Party rarely run candidates for public office in the state of Indiana because they do not have statewide ballot access and it is expensive and time-consuming to petition for a candidate to get on the ballot. This year, Taxpayer's Party candidate John Waterman and independent Steve Bonney attempted to get on the ballot for governor, and both failed to get the 32,741 signature requirement by the June 30th deadline.

Independent candidate Ralph Nader and Constitution Party nominee Chuck Baldwin did not attempt Indiana ballot access for their 2008 presidential campaigns. The signature requirements were simply unrealistic for them to attain. The Green Party did not nominate its presidential ticket until July, after the June 30th deadline for ballot access petitions in Indiana, so Cynthia McKinney was unable to attempt ballot access here. These three candidates will be on the ballot in most states, enough to win the election. However, none could dream of a spot on the ballot in Indiana this year.

Ballot Access News reports that ten more parties will hold nominating conventions in August and September. Eight of them will not have the opportunity to attempt ballot access for their candidates in Indiana and many other states. The other two are the Democratic and Republican parties, which have very late conventions but are not subject to the same requirements as minor parties.

It is clear that the system for getting candidates on the ballot for elections is unconstitutional and discriminatory. The Republican and Democratic parties, who happen to have crafted the requirements, are not subject to the same rules as most other parties. Minor parties spend resources on petitioning which major parties are not required to do. If a party wants to gain statewide ballot access, it must "put all its eggs into one basket." A minor party could otherwise devote the resources used to attempt two percent of the vote for Secretary of State to candidates that have a better chance of winning in races for smaller offices. These factors put minor parties at a significant disadvantage against major parties in the state of Indiana. We must change these unconstitutional requirements so that Indiana voters have the choices they deserve when they go the polls.
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Barr is no enemy of racists, but perhaps of libertarians 
Tuesday, July 8, 2008, 11:43 PM - Elections, Opinion
Posted by Administrator
The Libertarian Party's presidential nominee Bob Barr issued a press release on July 4 saying,

"Today, as we celebrate our freedom and independence, we should stop and give thanks to God for the life and work of Jesse Helms. As a nation we are stronger and the world is freer for his commitment to liberty."


It is understandable to express condolences when a notable person dies. For example, when President Ronald Reagan died, many wonderful things were said about him by people all over the country. However, the situation for Jesse Helms is very different. In the case of Reagan, there were many positive things to focus on. Reagan ran a campaign focused on restoring personal and economic freedom. (I attribute the failures of his administration to the neoconservative take-over of his staff.) In the case of Mr. Helms, one has to dig pretty deep to find positives. Here is the first one Barr brought up:

"As President’s Reagan’s right hand and ally, he helped bring down Communism so that nations might grow and flourish in freedom."


Only Republicans try to argue that Reagan brought down Communisim. Communism defeated itself. No Senator or even President can be given credit for that.

Barr goes on,

"He was a stalwart ally of freedom fighters around the globe, knowing that we are all diminished if we allow fascism to flourish."


G.E. wrote in the libertarian blog Last Free Voice that Helms was "a hardcore interventionist. He had ties to Salvadorian death squads and was an outspoken supporter of fascist dictator Pinochet of Chile."

Finally, Helms was an outspoken racist. In 1950, he said in opposition to a Democratic primary candidate, "White people, wake up before it is too late. Do you want Negroes working beside you, your wife and your daughters, in your mills and factories? Frank Graham favors mingling of the races."

Thirteen years later, he said of civil rights protestors, "The Negro cannot count forever on the kind of restraint that’s thus far left him free to clog the streets, disrupt traffic, and interfere with other men’s rights."

In 1983, he opposed making Martin Luther King a national holiday on the grounds that King has "communist ties."

I find it puzzling and disturbing that Barr has called on his Libertarian supporters to "stop and give thanks to God for [Helms'] life and work." I understand Barr's desire to pay his respects to a lost friend, but the way he went about it is unusual. Were these two false claims the best thing he could come up with shed a positive light on the life of Jesse Helms?

This is also not the first time that Barr has associated himself with racists. In 1998, Barr spoke at an event for the Council of Conservative Citizens. A group of about 15,000 members which the Anti-Defamation League describes as "essentially a descendant of the white Citizens’ Councils that formerly opposed integration in the South."

Facing criticism for this speech later, Barr claimed that he did not know the CCC was a racist organization until he witnessed a discussion while he was at the event. However, Barr admitted that he was given some information from them beforehand. I find it hard to believe that introductory materials to the CCC would leave out the organization's Statement of Principles, which includes the following:

(2) We believe the United States is a European country and that Americans are part of the European people. We believe that the United States derives from and is an integral part of European civilization and the European people and that the American people and government should remain European in their composition and character. We therefore oppose the massive immigration of non-European and non-Western peoples into the United States that threatens to transform our nation into a non-European majority in our lifetime. ... We also oppose all efforts to mix the races of mankind, to promote non-white races over the European-American people through so-called “affirmative action” and similar measures, to destroy or denigrate the European-American heritage, including the heritage of the Southern people, and to force the integration of the races.


In a previous article, I complimented Barr on his frequent, provocative press releases. I felt that he was doing a good job of getting attention, discussing strong issue points, and criticizing his opponents through these. The Helms release has reversed what little effort Barr has given to maintaining libertarian support.

Many libertarians are outraged at Barr's statement about Helms. It is the icing on top a cake of disappointment felt by many libertarians. Respected LP members such as Chris Bennett have left the party, and LNC delegates such as Doug Craig have expressed regret for having voted for his nomination. Many libertarians, including myself, consider Constitution Party nominee Chuck Baldwin and Boston Tea Party nominee Charles Jay to be more libertarian choices than Bob Barr.

The members of the "Party of Principle" will not abandon principle in the name of the party. I offered Barr a clean slate when he was nominated, expecting him to run a libertarian campaign, and the most successful campaign that the LP has ever seen. Barr is instead running a conservative campaign. Barr loses a libertarian vote with every conservative vote he gains from anti-libertarian statements like the one he made this Independence Day.
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IndyTruth Show to host three libertarian candidates 
Saturday, June 28, 2008, 08:31 PM - Elections, News
Posted by Administrator
I am proud to announce that I have three exciting guests joining me this July on the IndyTruth Show. The show airs ever Saturday morning from 10:00 AM to Noon EST on Revolution Broadcasting.

Today's guest was New York Times best-selling author John Perkins, who wrote Confessions of an Economic Hit Man and The Secret History of the American Empire. Perkins talked about foreign policy, current events, the economy and his career as an economic hit man. He advocated free market solutions for many of the biggest problems our world faces today. Listen to the mp3.

For the next show on July 5th, two candidates for the Boston Tea Party will join us. First, I will talk to Darryl W. Perry, candidate for U.S. Senate in Alabama. Perry is heading an effort to collect 5,000 signatures to get Charles Jay and Tom Knapp on the presidential ballot in Alabama.

In the second hour, I will talk to Tom Knapp, Libertarian candidate for U.S. Congress in Missouri and Boston Tea Party nominee for Vice President. Knapp is the founder of the Boston Tea Party. He has made news this month by supporting the impeachment articles of Congressman Dennis Kucinich. He has also recently been critical of Libertarian presidential nominee Bob Barr.

On July 19, I will interview Kevin Barrett, Libertarian candidate for U.S. Congress in Wisconsin. Barrett is a professor at UW-Whitewater, a host on the GCN Radio Network, and a member of Scholars for 9/11 Truth.

Visit the IndyTruth Show site to get details, access to the radio stream and chat room, and mp3s of previous shows.
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Bob Barr blows his clean slate 
Thursday, June 26, 2008, 09:13 PM - Elections, Opinion
Posted by Administrator
Libertarian candidate for Congress Tom Knapp wrote after the Libertarian National Convention this year,

I'll support [the Barr/Root campaign] until and unless I am presented with convincing evidence amassed after the fact that it was in fact a defective judgment.


He followed up yesterday,

I'm sorry to have to report that that "until and unless" has come to pass:

- Last Thursday, Barr came out in favor of nationalized/socialized oil exploration (the kind inevitably followed by corporate welfare-gifting of discovered resources).

- Yesterday, Barr made an appeal on behalf of using state tax policy for social engineering purposes.

- And today, in a truly bizarre fundraising letter, Barr played the Know-Nothing card, effectively screaming from the rooftop: "Support me -- I'm not as LIBERTARIAN as John McCain and Barack Obama on immigration."


Knapp is one of many libertarians who tried to give Bob Barr a chance after his contraversial nomination at the LNC. Since the convention, Barr has shown that he does not represent libertarianism. He is running a conservative Republican campaign on the Libertarian Party ticket.

If you would like to vote for a libertarian for President this November, you will have to look somewhere beside the Libertarian Party. Some have suggested that Constitution Party nominee Chuck Baldwin may be a good alternative for libertarians. I agree that his platform is more libertarian than Barr's. For example, Barr calls for a "national sales tax" to replace the income tax, while Baldwin wants to replace it with "nothing." Some are wary of Baldwin's social conservative views, but I think that his involvement in the Ron Paul campaign has lead him to at least take a state's rights approach to most of those issues.

I feel that the most libertarian choice is the Boston Tea Party's nomination, Charles Jay for President and Tom Knapp (who I discussed earlier in this post) for Vice President. This candidates intend to stick to the BTP's platform, which is as follows:

The Boston Tea Party supports reducing the size, scope and power of government at all levels and on all issues, and opposes increasing the size, scope and power of government at any level, for any purpose.


Jay and Knapp are working on ballot access in several states. Here in Indiana and in many other states with difficult ballot access, they will be a write-in option. If you are not convinced that this is a good use of your vote, consider what Knapp wrote in his "My Front Porch Campaign" blog,

My purpose as a vice-presidential candidate is to help find more shoulders for the next ticket to ride on. It's to help define the battle lines, to persuade as many of you as possible to the right side of those lines, and to arm you with a weapon: Your vote -- your check mark next to the names of candidates who stand for freedom, who stand with the productive class versus the political class, who are on your side, not just on a checklist of policy issues (although that's important, too) but on the fundamental question of who is entitled to run your life.

Voting for the Boston Tea Party's ticket this November constitutes a powerful moral statement that only you can make, and only for yourself. It is an announcement that you -- not the state, not the state's agents, not the state's cronies, not the parasitic "power elites," but you alone -- own your mind, your body and the product of your labor, and that you intend to exercise and defend that ownership.


When one votes for the "lesser of two evils," he is still voting for evil. The only way to ensure representation in government is to consider all candidates and vote for the best one. Chuck Baldwin and Charles Jay are very promising candidates. I hope that libertarians do not settle for Bob Barr (or worse, McCain or Obama). I encourage you to take the time to learn about all of this year's candidates and make an informed and principled decision this November.
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Indy activists will protest at Sen. McCain appearance 
Thursday, June 26, 2008, 03:56 AM - Activism, Elections, Media, News
Posted by Administrator
Presidential candidate Sen. John McCain will speak in Indianapolis at the National Sherrifs' Association 2008 Annual Conference & Exhibition this Tuesday, July 1st. Members of We Are Change Central Indiana will demonstrate outside the convention center from 9:00 AM to Noon.

We Are Change is an international grassroots organization originally started by family and friends of the victims of the attacks of September 11, 2001. It's members seek answers to the questions posed by the victims' families to the 9/11 Commission which remain unanswered. They seek proper care for first responders who suffer from health problems following their heroic efforts that day.

We Are Change is also committed to exposing government corruption and threats to national sovereignty. Its members seek to defend civil liberties and to hold government officials accountable. They advocate for these issues through investigative journalism and street activism.

On July 1st, the members of We Are Change Central Indiana intend to demonstrate on the streets of Indianapolis in protest of the presidential campaign of Sen. John McCain. McCain has failed to address the questions of 9/11 victims and their families. He has a track record in Congress that advocates military aggression and disregards civil liberties. He does not represent conservatives or lower and middle class Americans. He represents special interests and elitists.

We Are Change will expose these truths while John McCain is in Indianapolis. Members of the public are welcome to join our demonstration. Members of the press are also welcome to attend.
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