"There is danger from all men. The only maxim of a free government ought to be to trust no man living with
power to endanger the public liberty." - - - - John Adams

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Texas GOP attacks free elections and drives small parties off the ballot

Corruptus in Extremis

  • The Texas GOP is trying to rig elections in their favor by keeping smaller opposition political parties off the ballot.  Welcome to American "elections" that look increasingly like those held in China, Cuba and Iran.

(From LP.org)  -  Republican state representative Drew Springer of Muenster, Texas has filed HB 464, a bill to require minor party nominees to pay filing fees.

Libertarian National Committee executive director Wes Benedict commented, "Republican Drew Springer's bill is a poll tax on minor parties, including the Libertarian Party. It's an injustice, and it's unconstitutional."

The bill would require all minor party nominees to pay fees to be allowed to appear on the November election ballot. The fees range as high as $5,000, depending on the office.

Kurt Hildebrand, chair of the Libertarian Party of Texas, said, "This law would effectively shut down third parties in Texas, and I believe that is the intent behind it."

According to ballot access expert Richard Winger, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled twice that this sort of filing fee is unconstitutional.
On April 6, the Texas House Elections Committee voted 5-1 in favor of the bill. (Five Republicans voted yes, one Democrat voted no.)

Similar bills have been filed by Texas Republicans in past legislative sessions.

Benedict explained, "Republicans have claimed in the past that their bills make things 'fair' because Republicans and Democrats have to pay filing fees for their primaries. Nothing could be further from the truth.

"Republicans and Democrats have to pay primary fees because their primary elections are financed by taxpayers. Political parties are private organizations, even though they are regulated by the state. Nevertheless, taxpayers are forced to hand over a lot of money to help the Republicans and Democrats pick their nominees. The filing fees pay for a tiny fraction of these costs.

"Libertarians and Greens, on the other hand, don't use primaries. We don't force the taxpayers to pay for our nomination process. So there's no reason our candidates should be forced to pay any fees.

"If Republicans and Democrats are upset about their primary filing fees, they should just get rid of them. They control 100% of the seats in the legislature, so it should be pretty easy for them.

"The purpose of Drew Springer's bill is simple: it has nothing to do with fairness, it's just an attempt to shut all minor parties out of the election process. If this bill gets passed, there will be many more unopposed Republicans and unopposed Democrats in the 2016 elections.

"Representative Drew Springer has also filed a bill to prohibit school districts from offering same-sex couples the same benefits as opposite-sex couples. That gives us an idea of what 'fair' means to him.

"I urge legislators who support democracy to oppose this poll tax, which is designed to silence minority opinions.

"This is America. The people should decide who gets to run for office, not the incumbents. Libertarians stand for freedom on every issue, and we oppose bullies who would try to stop us from participating in the election process."

Benedict added, "Texas isn't the only place that Republicans are trying to step on voting rights. In New Hampshire, the Republican National Committee is trying to get involved in a lawsuit over the state's petitioning law. The law was changed in 2013 to make it harder for small parties to get petition signatures to appear on the ballot. The Libertarian Party filed a lawsuit against the change, but the Republican National Committee is trying to intervene in support of the change."

Wes Benedict is the executive director of the Libertarian National Committee, and he served as executive director of the Libertarian Party of Texas from 2004 to 2008.

(Libertarian Party of the United States)

California GOP Abolished Free Elections
Republicans have been action in state legislatures around the county to "reform" the election process by effectively abolishing small opposition parties and rigged free elections.
In California GOP Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and his mini-me puppet Lt. Governor Abel Maldonado (backed by GOP legislators) cut a corrupt midnight deal without any public hearings to abolish primaries where party members select their candidates for November.  This was a deliberate act to weaken the no new taxes Conservative wing of the GOP.
As a side "benefit" of this corrupt top two primary system all smaller opposition political parties and independent candidates would effectively be banned from all future general election ballots.  The GOP and Democrats even made write-in votes illegal and they will not be counted.  The two big parties have now made sure that you will only be able to vote for them in November.  The voters will be allowed no other choices.
Welcome to the GOP created People's Republic of California where our "elections" look more like the controlled elections of Communist China and Cuba.  

The Congress of Mexico
Hell, even Mexico has free elections
The two corrupt special interest funded American political parties do everything in the power to restrict voter choices and keep independents and small opposition parties out of debates.
Meanwhile every other democratic nation on earth has free multi-party elections and multi-party legislatures.
South of Texas we see the Congress of Mexico with seven different political parties elected by the people.  Maybe we should try election freedom in the United States.

(Mexican Chamber of Deputies)

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