Back during the Badnarik campaign, Constitution Party candidate Michael Peroutka’s e-mail list was used to call Michael Badnarik a Sodomite because Badnarik rightfully believes that the law should apply equally to both straight and gay people. I called their campaign manager on the issue and the e-mail attack stopped.
A former client of mine, Aaron Russo, dumped the CPbecause they had been taken over by a bunch of religious zealots.
Yesterday, Tom Kovach wrote an article stating that the CP is “the true third party.” Here’s the context:
According to research that I conducted in 1998, there were more than 400 political parties in America. (That number has grown smaller in recent years, but is still over 200 “” far larger than the “mainstream” media admits.) According to research by Richard Winger, the publisher of Ballot Access News, the third-largest political party in the United States is the Constitution Party. Thus, the CP is the true third party. Statistically, the CP has more members than any political party other than the Big Two.
Considering that I’m in frequent communications with Winger and the contact has been almost daily for the last few weeks, I popped him an e-mail for clarification on the issue. My question:
Do you know what research Kovach is citing?
No, I don’t. I guess if he finds any group that calls itself a “party”, he labels it a “party”.
I think I e-mailed him about this earlier. My article in the April 2006 Election Law Journal defines “national political party” the way the Federal Election Commission does. It’s a very, very easy definition. And it shows that there has never been a time when there were more than eleven parties in the U.S. Of course I’m not counting state parties, or local parties, and I’m sure he is. In many communities in Connecticut and Illinois, muncipalities use partisan elections, but the major parties, and even the minor parties that we are familar with, do not participate. Instead there are parties, two or three, organized just in that town, and they compete. So if one counts municipal parties, one could get into hundreds very easily.
I used to cite the data the Libertarian Party published about 600 officials in public office until I learned the data was not well maintained and probably inaccurate. Fortunately, Shane Cory removed it from the LP website. I’ve criticized LP campaigns for inflating data before. With Zero Dues in effect and no third party registration in many states, there is no real way to measure which party is larger except to look at head-to-head election results — neither of which are anything to be proud of. However, Petrouka did worse than Badnarik in the 2004 elections, both in money and in votes.
As I missed the Tennessee LP convention this year, I can’t speak to Kovach’s claim about cross-party nominations. I do know that some of the most exciting LP campaigns this year have serious cross-party implications: Loretta Nall (Alabama governor race) with the USMJ party, Kevin Zeese (Maryland U.S. Senate race) with the Green and Populist parties, William Weld (New York governor race) with the Republican Party, and Sue Jeffers (Minnesota governor race) with the Republican Party. Perhaps the Tennessee LP pulled out some parlimentary procedure to ensure that the candidates they support believe in equal treatment for people of all sexual persuasions and melanin content.
If Mr. Kovach wishes to respond (I’m really curious about the source of his numbers), I’ll grant him equal time on this site.