August 1, 2015 |
The "two-party tyranny" Ralph Nader once decried in a speech in Philadelphia remains a reality in Pennsylvania - and a fantasy in the city where he spoke, whose creaky Democratic machine rules unchallenged. The Founding Fathers, who often fretted about political factions, would rue what the major parties have wrought in the birthplace of America's democracy. Fortunately, the federal courts have finally taken aim at one egregious aspect of the two-party stranglehold in Pennsylvania: the absurd procedural and monetary barriers preventing third-party candidates from even appearing on the ballot.
July 26, 2015 |
A federal judge has ruled that Pennsylvania unfairly treats its third-party political candidates, likely clearing the way for their return to the ballot after nearly disappearing during recent election cycles. In an opinion released Friday, U.S. District Judge Lawrence Stengel wrote that the ability of minor parties to organize and speak out "has been decimated" by portions of the state's election code. Specifically, Stengel took issue with a rule that has forced third-party candidates to gather many times the number of signatures required of Republicans or Democrats - and then pay as much as $100,000 in legal fees when their petitions are challenged.
September 25, 2012
WITH SUMMER in the rearview mirror, conventional wisdom predicts that you are now paying attention to politics until we have the "most important" presidential election ever. I know it is the "most important" because both sides tell me that. Four years ago was just a game of jacks, with Barack Obama and John McCain both standing on the deck of a torpedoed economy. Since this is the Philadelphia Daily News , most readers are Democrats. (With the aid of the Internet, we reach some people who still cling to their guns and their religion, but we're not sure "those" people even know how to read.)
September 5, 2012 |
Former Rep. Virgil Goode has qualified for the presidential ballot in Virginia, the State Board of Elections ruled Tuesday, adding a potential obstacle to Republican Mitt Romney's hopes of winning the pivotal state. The state Republican Party has challenged the eligibility of Goode, who is the Constitution Party's nominee, and could still get him knocked off the ballot. Goode served in Congress as a Democrat, an independent, and then a Republican before losing his southwest Virginia seat in 2008.
August 28, 2012
IT'S A SAFE bet we'll be hearing a lot of talk about freedom from the podium at the Republican National Convention in Tampa this week, assuming that Tropical Storm Isaac doesn't linger over the Tampa Bay Times Center and wash the GOP delegates out into Hillsborough Bay. But you probably won't hear as much about what the GOP is up to right now in Philadelphia, where angry activists accuse the party of squelching the freedom to vote in Pennsylvania for...
August 19, 2012 |
HARRISBURG - The state Republican Party is challenging candidate petitions by members of the Constitution and Libertarian Parties, seeking to bounce from the state ballot candidates for president, vice president, and several other offices. Line-by-line reviews of the candidates' petition signatures ordered by a state Commonwealth Court judge will begin Monday at the Philadelphia Board of Elections. Analysts say Republicans are probably worried that conservatives dissatisfied with their presidential candidate, Mitt Romney, will defect to Constitution or Libertarian candidates.
August 9, 2012 |
Bomboy is editor-in-chief of the National Constitution Center A virtually unknown presidential candidate from Virginia could derail Mitt Romney's bid for president. But how rare is it for a third-party candidate to influence a race for president? Currently, Virgil Goode, the Constitution Party's nominee, has about 9 percent of Virginia's projected vote in the upcoming November election, according to polling data. With Mitt Romney needing Virginia - especially if President Barack Obama can take Ohio or Florida - Goode could become the little-known spoiler in the national election.
August 4, 2010 |
An independent candidate with a tea-party streak jumped into the Seventh District congressional race this week, adding a twist to a hotly contested open race that has remained bitter even during the summer doldrums. And the newest candidate, Jim Schneller, a conservative who could siphon votes away from Republican Patrick Meehan this fall, has Democrats to thank for almost half his nearly 8,000 signatures, according to Meehan's campaign. Democratic volunteers, including campaign workers for the Democratic candidate, Bryan Lentz, collected 3,800 signatures for Schneller.
October 28, 2004 |
Republican Sen. Arlen Specter is seeking a fifth term based on what he says is his considerable congressional clout. His Democratic challenger, U.S. Rep. Joseph M. Hoeffel, is campaigning as an advocate for what he calls the state's forgotten working people. Specter, 74, a career moderate, stresses his Senate seniority. As chairman of the appropriations subcommittee on health and education, he helped bring a record $400 million in federal funding to Pennsylvania last year for hospitals, schools and transportation projects.
August 23, 2004
If Ralph Nader makes it onto the ballot in Pennsylvania as an independent candidate for president, he ought to get there fair and square. The Democratic Party is playing hardball by taking the Nader campaign to court. If Nader has played by the rules, his candidacy will withstand the challenge to his nominating petitions. Confession time: We wish Nader would quit the race. He was a spoiler in the 2000 campaign, and he can't possibly win this election, either. Most polls show him with 2 or 3 percent support.