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NEWS
August 12, 2016
Both Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders tapped a strong current of dissatisfaction with the two-party system that has long dominated American politics. While making surprisingly strong showings in primaries and caucuses, they made legitimate complaints about the convoluted process used to pick presidential nominees. The process is mystifying thanks to arcane rules that favor more traditional party candidates. In many states, primaries give voters some degree of say in the process. But many primaries, including Pennsylvania's, are closed to independents, even though their tax dollars help subsidize the two major parties' way of choosing candidates.
NEWS
August 24, 2006 | By Joseph A. Slobodzian INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
The Green Party's effort to get on Pennsylvania's Nov. 7 election ballot was dealt another setback yesterday by a federal appeals court. While urging the state legislature to enact a "less ponderous means of ballot access for minor political parties," the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit in Philadelphia upheld a state election code provision requiring Green Party and other minor-party candidates to obtain 67,070 valid voter signatures to...
NEWS
October 18, 2010
By Oliver Hall Pennsylvanians may notice something unusual when they go to the polls in November: Their choices for governor, lieutenant governor, and U.S. Senate will be limited exclusively to Republican and Democratic candidates. Only four other states' 2010 general-election ballots are so restrictive. What makes Pennsylvania unique, however - and suggests that something has gone seriously wrong here in the birthplace of America - is that the shortage of choices has been effectively imposed by the courts.
NEWS
July 1, 1993 | By Susan Caba, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Chester County lawyer Robert B. Surrick will have an easier time getting on November's ballot as a candidate for the state Supreme Court after a federal court ruling yesterday. How much easier won't be clear until at least Tuesday, after a hearing to determine how many signatures Surrick - the candidate of the H. Ross Perot- inspired Patriot Party - will need to get on the ballot. U.S. District Judge Edward N. Cahn ruled that a portion of Pennsylvania's ballot access law is unconstitutional.
NEWS
November 29, 1988 | By Christopher Hepp, Inquirer Staff Writer
The official vote tally certified by the City Commissioners yesterday showed that Democrat Michael S. Dukakis carried Philadelphia by 230,513 votes Nov. 8, a margin close to that run up by fellow Democrat Walter Mondale in 1984. That year, Mondale polled about 234,000 more votes than President Reagan. The difference between the two elections, however, was that turnout this year was more than three percentage points lower than in 1984, according to the vote count certified yesterday.
NEWS
April 6, 2016
Independents deserve a voice Independent voters are banned from voting in the primaries in many states, including Pennsylvania. We pay taxes like everyone else but can only participate in primaries when we switch our registration, as many are doing this primary season. It is maddening when political pundits refer to independent voters as swing voters and describe us as "disinterested in primary elections. " It is often said that independents are not really independent - that we end up voting Democratic or Republican.
NEWS
March 26, 1986 | By Thomas Ferrick Jr., Inquirer Staff Writer
Three statewide candidates for the Consumer Party will appear on the May 20 primary ballot because of an order yesterday by a federal judge, who told the state Elections Bureau to accept their nominating petitions. The order by U.S. District Judge Norma Shapiro was a victory for the minor party and its founder, Max Weiner, who has been fighting provisions of a new state law that make it virtually impossible for the party's candidates to appear on the ballot. Under Shapiro's order, the party will be permitted to field its three candidates under the Consumer Party column: Bill W. Thorn Sr. for governor; Lance S. Haver for lieutenant governor, and Thelma R. Hambright for the U.S. Senate.
NEWS
January 28, 2009 | By Ralph Nader
If you want to run for public office in Pennsylvania, and you're neither a Republican nor a Democrat, you'd better be prepared to bet the farm. Carl Romanelli learned that lesson the hard way after campaigning for U.S. Senate on the Green Party ticket in 2006. After a successful challenge to his nomination petitions by Democrats, represented by Thorp, Reed & Armstrong, the Commonwealth Court in Harrisburg charged Romanelli with more than $80,000 in litigation costs. Romanelli, a retired family court officer, says that would "destroy" him financially.
NEWS
October 24, 2001 | By Thomas Fitzgerald INQUIRER HARRISBURG BUREAU
At first, Lisa Williams thought her husband was joking. Saying he's quite serious, consumer activist Michael Morrill of West Reading announced yesterday that he would run for governor in 2002 under the Green Party banner. He pledged himself to a platform of reform, including an $11-an-hour minimum wage for Pennsylvania workers, universal health care, complete state funding of education, and an immediate end to "corporate welfare. " "Both of the old parties consider themselves pragmatists, which is another way of saying they are too dependent on polling, focus groups, and the opinions of wealthy benefactors," Morrill, 46, said.
NEWS
June 18, 1997 | by John M. Baer, Daily News Staff Writer
Without public hearings in the waning hours of its session, the state Legislature passed and sent to Gov. Ridge a measure making it tougher for third-party and independent candidates to challenge the supremacy of the two dominant parties. By overwhelming bipartisan margins, lawmakers enacted a bill to greatly increase - in some cases nearly quadruple - the number of citizen signatures that minor-party candidates need to get on election ballots. Republican leaders say the intent is to end "frivolous" candidacies and make the election law fairer.
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ARTICLES BY DATE
NEWS
August 12, 2016
Both Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders tapped a strong current of dissatisfaction with the two-party system that has long dominated American politics. While making surprisingly strong showings in primaries and caucuses, they made legitimate complaints about the convoluted process used to pick presidential nominees. The process is mystifying thanks to arcane rules that favor more traditional party candidates. In many states, primaries give voters some degree of say in the process. But many primaries, including Pennsylvania's, are closed to independents, even though their tax dollars help subsidize the two major parties' way of choosing candidates.
NEWS
April 6, 2016
Independents deserve a voice Independent voters are banned from voting in the primaries in many states, including Pennsylvania. We pay taxes like everyone else but can only participate in primaries when we switch our registration, as many are doing this primary season. It is maddening when political pundits refer to independent voters as swing voters and describe us as "disinterested in primary elections. " It is often said that independents are not really independent - that we end up voting Democratic or Republican.
NEWS
October 20, 2015 | By Tricia L. Nadolny, Inquirer Staff Writer
As most political races in Philadelphia (the mayor's fray, for one) slide toward sleepy Nov. 3 conclusions, voters may want to remember that not all is said and done. The competition is still thriving for two City Council seats, spots reserved by law for the minority party. Traditionally they are held by Republicans, and incumbent Councilmen David Oh and Dennis O'Brien are hoping that holds true. But a contingent of outsider candidates is working against the tide, trying to capture the same wave that in the May 19 primary led to the ouster of two Democratic councilmen who had party backing.
NEWS
October 18, 2010
By Oliver Hall Pennsylvanians may notice something unusual when they go to the polls in November: Their choices for governor, lieutenant governor, and U.S. Senate will be limited exclusively to Republican and Democratic candidates. Only four other states' 2010 general-election ballots are so restrictive. What makes Pennsylvania unique, however - and suggests that something has gone seriously wrong here in the birthplace of America - is that the shortage of choices has been effectively imposed by the courts.
NEWS
January 28, 2009 | By Ralph Nader
If you want to run for public office in Pennsylvania, and you're neither a Republican nor a Democrat, you'd better be prepared to bet the farm. Carl Romanelli learned that lesson the hard way after campaigning for U.S. Senate on the Green Party ticket in 2006. After a successful challenge to his nomination petitions by Democrats, represented by Thorp, Reed & Armstrong, the Commonwealth Court in Harrisburg charged Romanelli with more than $80,000 in litigation costs. Romanelli, a retired family court officer, says that would "destroy" him financially.
NEWS
September 5, 2008 | By Jeff Shields INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
While the GOP was anointing its presidential ticket in Minnesota this week, a Philadelphia Democrat was scheming to all but eliminate Republicans on City Council. City Councilman W. Wilson Goode Jr. said yesterday he would introduce a bill this fall to shrink Council from 17 to 15 members by reducing the number of at-large seats from seven to five. If the legislation passed and voters approved a change to the 1951 City Charter, a provision guaranteeing two at-large seats for minority parties would also vanish.
NEWS
October 10, 2007 | By Thomas Fitzgerald and Kathleen Brady Shea INQUIRER STAFF WRITERS
In the last four presidential elections, the Republican redoubts of Montgomery, Delaware and Bucks Counties fell to the Democrats as suburban voters continued to rebel against the national GOP's rightward shift. Only Chester County stayed loyal. Now, a distinctly local issue threatens allegiance to the GOP: sprawl. Republicans who have held onto the county courthouse for 148 years are in a brawl this year as Democratic challengers for county commissioner in the Nov. 6 election say that the Republicans have done too little to stop Chester County from being chewed up by development.
NEWS
August 24, 2006 | By Joseph A. Slobodzian INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
The Green Party's effort to get on Pennsylvania's Nov. 7 election ballot was dealt another setback yesterday by a federal appeals court. While urging the state legislature to enact a "less ponderous means of ballot access for minor political parties," the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit in Philadelphia upheld a state election code provision requiring Green Party and other minor-party candidates to obtain 67,070 valid voter signatures to...
NEWS
December 15, 2005 | By James Kuhnhenn INQUIRER WASHINGTON BUREAU
With time running out for Congress this year, Democrats are displaying rare unity and influencing the legislative agenda in ways that were unimaginable during President Bush's first term. Their cohesion, together with rebellion from some moderate and maverick Republicans, was evident yesterday as lawmakers continued to frustrate Bush's agenda on antiterrorism legislation, foreign-detainee policies, and oil drilling in Alaska's wildlife refuge. Republican leaders also are on the verge of delaying until next year nearly $100 billion in tax-cut legislation, depriving the party of a signature issue as it heads into the 2006 elections.
NEWS
October 28, 2004 | By Dwayne Campbell INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
It was expected that the race for the Eighth Congressional District would have been an easy one - that Republican U.S. Rep. James C. Greenwood, a popular, moderate six-term incumbent, would handily defeat Virginia "Ginny" Schrader, the Democratic candidate, and two minor-party candidates, Libertarian Arthur L. Farnsworth and Erich Lukas of the Constitution Party. But when Greenwood dropped out of the race last July, Republicans chose Bucks County Commissioner Michael G. Fitzpatrick to replace him, saying Fitzpatrick, a lifelong county resident, was the best candidate to enter the race midstream - and win. The district, which covers all of Bucks County and portions of Montgomery County and Philadelphia, is an important one for Republicans who want to continue to control Congress, and for Democrats who hope to wrest away that power.
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