Tuesday, January 15, 2008

presidential elections

mr. betmo talked last year about running for president and conducting an online grassroots campaign. trouble is- he has to wait until at least 2012 due to the constitutional age requirement. never one to sit around and wait until the last minute (ha) he said i would have to be his campaign manager. sigh. so- i figured that this would be a monumental task of epic proportions (i ran out of metaphors) and i had better get started. and boy- let me tell ya. every state has different ballot requirements. let me repeat that- in addition to the ridiculous delegate and electoral college crap- every state has different eligibility requirements to even be put on the ballot. yup. the politicians have passed laws over the years to make it next to impossible for a joe schmo to even be considered to be on the ballot. now, you add in the prohibitive costs of a traditional campaign- and well, you have yourself a recipe for an oligarchy.

what are some of these barriers? the reform institute has done a good job of putting together a score card for each state. it not only gives the ranking- but the requirements for entry. what a freakin' eye opener it was for me- who thought any american should be eligible. let's take my home state of new york:

an independent candidate has to have 1% if the total votes cast at the last general election for governor or president of the united states (which amounts to about 46, 979 signatures on the petition in 2008).

a major party affiliate needs to have Received 5% of the vote in that state for president or
gubernatorial candidate and has at least .333% of the registered voters in the state registered with the party.

new york receive an F rating for access to the ballot. for the overview on the rating system and the scorecards- visit the reform institute. the score cards are in pdf format. i also compiled bookmarks of all 50 states' secretary of state offices. that is where you file your petitions and pay your fees. oh yes- most states require you pay a fee to get on the ballot. another barrier to entry. so- if you can make it to getting on the ballot- without signing loyalty oaths- chances are- being unaffiliated- you will have a tough time getting air time (see kucinich and paul- although both are affiliated). each state has different ways of campaign financing too. you can check those out on the secretary of state's website or the board of elections. i will link to new york to carry the theme.

i doubt that the founding fathers would have approved the layers and layers of bureaucracy that the state governments- with the blessings of our 'elected' federal representatives- have made to keep the common folks away from self governance. or maybe they would. but i don't.


C-dell said...

A friend & I were talking yesterday, and this came up, elections have become only for the whos who, campaign finance adds to this.

Dizzy Dezzi said...

Welcome to the world I have been swimming in for the past 9 years. This is a huge bone of contention with Libertarians. We have pressed many ballot initiatives in many states trying to get just local candidates on the ballot, never mind the presidential candidates, which is nearly impossible in the states with arbitrary rules similar to New York. In my home state of Colorado, Libertarians were able to turn the tide in our favor when our presidential candidate actually made something like 3% of the national vote but, ever since, the local legislature have passed and continue to pass laws meant to curb and keep third party candidates off of the ballot, including trying to pass laws that would force the party to disregard their own NATIONAL by-laws. It took years for the big "L" to even be put on a voter registration card! I could go on and I have been an active voice and pavement pounder on this issue in the past. I feel it is a slap in the face to our forefathers and our progeny that the "average joe" has no hope of ever running for president in the current climate due to arbitrary laws put in place at the state level and then the radio-silence implemented by the media, even when our candidates show that they have what it takes to lead this country. Trust me, it's not just national either, third party candidates are ignored by the media locally, as well...unless they do something totally outrageous and then they are just cast as the "fringe" candidate, kind of like what happened to Dennis Kucinich and the full-tilt boogie the press went on over the UFO thing. Never mind that he has a plan..."he claims to have seen UFOs" and that's the last thing the general public will ever hear.

Speaking of third parties...I have a special announcement that I will be making very soon...so stay tuned.

Larry said...

There is no Democracy in America, only chosen people handpicked by the most elite in the world.

Brother Tim said...

Our Founding Fathers are a-spinnin' in the grave right now. Look at the snare we've allowed ourselves to enter into. *sigh*

Georg said...

Bonjour Betmo,

As far as I could find out till now, the only country worldwide that practices real democracy is Switzerland.

There, the people vote not only the laws but even the details of these laws. They vote continuously but are totally in charge.

As a result, they are one of the richest countries in the world, very few poor people, they don't have to worry about globalisation, and they feature one of the best military of the world.

Switzerland should be an example to everyone.


Spadoman said...

Thanks for doing all that research Batmo. Hubby made the wise choice to have you as campaign manager. Now hire a staff to do all that you are doing so you can direct the campaign.

I am a Joe. I see your references to Joe Schmo and the Average Joe. Lately, I am thinking of how I can denounce the privledge I have been able to have because I am considered a white male. Makes a thinking person ashamed to see how minorities are treated and have been treated in this country. Now, add to the list of oppressed people the third, fourth and other politcal party choices like the Libertarians, Greens, Progressives, Socialists and Communists.

But even though I am an American citizen and I do have a four year college degree, I can't run for public office. I inhaled, deeply, and on numerous occasions.

Peace to All