Perry sues Virginia elections board to gain ballot access

posted at 9:00 pm on December 27, 2011 by Allahpundit

Taegan Goddard provides the obligatory zinger about a noted fan of states rights and the Tenth Amendment asking a federal judge to overrule Virginia’s preferences on ballot access. The statement from Team Perry:

“Gov. Perry greatly respects the citizens and history of the Commonwealth of Virginia and believes Virginia Republicans should have greater access to vote for one of the several candidates for President of the United States,” said Perry campaign communications director Ray Sullivan.

“Virginia ballot access rules are among the most onerous and are particularly problematic in a multi-candidate election. We believe that the Virginia provisions unconstitutionally restrict the rights of candidates and voters by severely restricting access to the ballot, and we hope to have those provisions overturned or modified to provide greater ballot access to Virginia voters and the candidates seeking to earn their support.”

Here’s the complaint, which is mercifully short. One interesting bit comes in paragraph 18, which says Perry submitted “over 6,000 petition signatures from qualified Virginia voters.” According to the Virginia GOP, he submitted more than 11,900 signatures total, which I guess means … only slightly more than half were from qualified voters? Good lord. The other important part, which you should take two minutes to read, is Count 1 spanning paragraphs 24 through 28. He’s arguing that Virginia’s requirement that petition circulators all be residents of the state who are either registered to vote or eligible to be registered imposes a too-heavy burden on his right to engage in political speech and therefore violates the First Amendment. Is he right? Well, here’s the leading Supreme Court precedent that he cites, which is also mercifully short. Skip down to section III and take two more minutes to read that. The question for the Court in that case was ever so slightly different: Colorado law allowed only currently registered voters to be petition circulators, not people who were eligible but who hadn’t registered yet. It was slightly more restrictive than Virginia’s system, in other words — and the Court found that it did in fact violate the First Amendment. Key quote:

Colorado seeks to ensure that circulators will be amenable to the Secretary of State’s subpoena power, which in these matters does not extend beyond the State’s borders… The interest in reaching law violators, however, is served by the requirement, upheld below, that each circulator submit an affidavit setting out, among several particulars, the “address at which he or she resides, including the street name and number, the city or town, [and] the county.”… This address attestation, we note, has an immediacy, and corresponding reliability, that a voter’s registration may lack. The attestation is made at the time a petition section is submitted; a voter’s registration may lack that currency.

ACLF did not challenge Colorado’s right to require that all circulators be residents, a requirement that, the Tenth Circuit said, “more precisely achieved” the State’s subpoena service objective… Nor was any eligible-to-vote qualification in contest in this lawsuit. Colorado maintains that it is more difficult to determine who is a state resident than it is to determine who is a registered voter… The force of that argument is diminished, however, by the affidavit attesting to residence that each circulator must submit with each petition section.

In sum, assuming that a residence requirement would be upheld as a needful integrity-policing measure — a question we, like the Tenth Circuit … have no occasion to decide because the parties have not placed the matter of residence at issue — the added registration requirement is not warranted.

In other words, the Supremes specifically refused to say how demanding the state could be in setting qualifications for petition circulators. The only rule they laid down was that you can’t limit the group to registered voters; at the very least, both registered voters and people eligible to register must be permitted, which is what Virginia does. The next step beyond that is to ask whether the state can constitutionally limit circulators to just those two groups or whether they have to let any U.S. resident be a circulator so long as they’re willing to provide an address at which the secretary of state can reach them. That’s what Perry’s arguing here; obviously, he would have loved to be able to ship volunteers from Texas into Virginia and have them circulate petitions instead of wasting time recruiting local supporters to do it for him. So I ask again: Is he right? A law professor interviewed by NBC says the lawsuit “now faces long odds, both legally and politically” (partly because they should have challenged Virginia’s requirements earlier), but some federal appellate courts have sided with Perry on this. Here’s one case, from the Tenth Circuit, finding state residency requirements for petition circulators unconstitutional; two other federal appellate courts have ruled similarly. The question is whether the Fourth Circuit, which covers Virginia, will rule the same way. How lucky do you feel?


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And the “big announcement” is that Gary Johnson is returning to the mother ship.

Steve Eggleston on December 27, 2011 at 10:34 PM

Who? Oh, right….

who cares.

luckedout26 on December 27, 2011 at 10:44 PM

Is Newt going to do anything?

gophergirl on December 27, 2011 at 9:20 PM

I would feel better with Team Newt on board..Without Team Newt not so much..This is going nowhere..:):)

Dire Straits on December 27, 2011 at 10:45 PM

I once thought many HotAir conservatives, and conservatives in general, were the voice of individual responsibility.

Oh how the mighty have fallen.

Notorious GOP on December 27, 2011 at 10:45 PM

Rumors are that Perry is about to mobilize the Texas National Guard and invade Virginia and do some nation building there.

VorDaj on December 27, 2011 at 10:45 PM

canopfor has posted the links and the relevant info in page one. Also, many others in this thread have posted the links showing the rule change just last month right here on page two. Places like Red State, Ballot Access News, and Big Government are ALL OVER this.

Read the links, but it was all based on rumor. No actually sites or reporting. I don’t think I can take a site like Red State at its word as they are Perry shills.

Moreover, I read over Perry’s petition and it didn’t mention it. If there were substantial facts to back it up, it absolutely would have been in the petition.

I’m not saying that it couldn’t be true, but I need more substance before I can believe it. Also, I think that drawing a conclusion, based on this rumor, that Romney was somehow behind it is silly. Enough with the bogus conspiracy theories.

cd98 on December 27, 2011 at 10:45 PM

Perry could have had people circulating nomination papers in August, September and October like Romney and Paul. Instead, he chose to wait until October 31 to declare he wsa running in Virginia’s primary.

Steve Eggleston on December 27, 2011 at 9:46 PM

That could all be true, and it wouldn’t change the fact that he would’ve qualified under the criteria used in past elections. His lawsuit is justified, and I hope he wins.

NbyNW on December 27, 2011 at 10:46 PM

Know what we call Texas Toast here in Texas?

Toast.

Ladysmith CulchaVulcha on December 27, 2011 at 9:38 PM

And this is what Clevelanders now call ‘Texas Toast.’

Myron Falwell on December 27, 2011 at 10:47 PM

It must be amazing, the BS detector that does not go off when a state excludes all but two candidates from the primary ballot—but what do you care, as long as your wuvvy is one of them?
Sekhmet on December 27, 2011 at 10:34 PM

Please. Gingrich has had trouble getting on many ballots and bragged about his “unconventional” campaign. Perry doesn’t really have an excuse other than his room temperature IQ and isn’t a serious contender anyways.

Romney has proven to be organized, thorough, and motivated. All qualities we’re going to NEED in order to defeat Obama. We can’t be putting up candidates for whom it’s “too hard” to even get on the ballot.

1punchWill on December 27, 2011 at 10:47 PM

This bozo should have stayed in Texas! The GOP nomination becomes more and more ridiculous by the day. GOP is not a serious party.

promachus on December 27, 2011 at 9:08 PM

Nice post Gutter snipe..:)

Dire Straits on December 27, 2011 at 10:47 PM

I’m actually OK with Gary Johnson running on the Libertarian ticket—especially if it rooster-blocks Ron Paul from going third party. Libertarians will have a good choice to vote for, and Ron Paul would have to know his vote would be whittled down to just the cult members.

Sekhmet on December 27, 2011 at 10:47 PM

Is Newt going to do anything?

gophergirl on December 27, 2011 at 9:20 PM

He has already challenged the Virginia Board of Elections to a series of 24 Lincoln/Douglas style debates, to be followed by a pie throwing contest to the finish at 20 paces.

VorDaj on December 27, 2011 at 10:47 PM

Rumors are that Perry is about to mobilize the Texas National Guard and invade Virginia and do some nation building there.

VorDaj on December 27, 2011 at 10:45 PM

Is this before or after the Virginia/Gingrich Lincoln Douglass debates?

1punchWill on December 27, 2011 at 10:48 PM

Rumors are that Perry is about to mobilize the Texas National Guard and invade Virginia and do some nation building there.

VorDaj on December 27, 2011 at 10:45 PM

LoL..Boots on the ground..:)

Dire Straits on December 27, 2011 at 10:48 PM

Does it strike anyone as odd (or do I have the incorrect information?) that Newt Gingrich’s former campaign staff failed
to do the prep work for his campaign in Virginia and then turned around, left Gingrich’s campaign, and started working for Perry’s campaign whereby they failed to do the prep work also?

Amjean on December 27, 2011 at 10:48 PM

He has already challenged the Virginia Board of Elections to a series of 24 Lincoln/Douglas style debates, to be followed by a pie throwing contest to the finish at 20 paces.

VorDaj on December 27, 2011 at 10:47 PM

LoL..That is hilarious..:)

Dire Straits on December 27, 2011 at 10:49 PM

Perry only submitted 6000 signatures

gerrym51 on December 27, 2011 at 10:49 PM

He has already challenged the Virginia Board of Elections to a series of 24 Lincoln/Douglas style debates, to be followed by a pie throwing contest to the finish at 20 paces.

VorDaj on December 27, 2011 at 10:47 PM

lol

After which he’ll take off for a quick vacation in Europe right before the Virginian primary election.

luckedout26 on December 27, 2011 at 10:50 PM

That still doesn’t change the fact that both Newt and Perry had almost 6 months to get the proper signatures.

JPeterman on December 27, 2011 at 9:48 PM

Perry entered the campaign in mid-August, so he had just over 4 months. He would’ve had longer if Virginia hadn’t moved its primary up.

NbyNW on December 27, 2011 at 10:50 PM

It has become so clear that neither whiny Perry nor whiny Gingrich believe in personal responsibility. Would Ronald Reagan have carried on like this? Of course not.

VorDaj on December 27, 2011 at 10:51 PM

Perry only submitted 6000 signatures

gerrym51 on December 27, 2011 at 10:49 PM

OK, I think I know what happened. Each signature was in both English and Spanish, so he counted each of them twice and got 12,000. Easy mistake to make.

VorDaj on December 27, 2011 at 10:53 PM

Romney has proven to be organized, thorough, and motivated. All qualities we’re going to NEED in order to defeat Obama. We can’t be putting up candidates for whom it’s “too hard” to even get on the ballot.

1punchWill on December 27, 2011 at 10:47 PM

Oh, so our new criteria for electing a candidate for president
is that they be organized, thorough and motivated? Romney had
better be for he has spent millions of his own money running for
how many years now?

Amjean on December 27, 2011 at 10:53 PM

And people trying to pin thier candidates’ incompetence on Romney are an embarrassment. Like he passed the election law. Romney doesn’t have the time or money to influence election law. He’s being badmouthed for being competent and responsible.
cd98 on December 27, 2011 at 9:44 PM

Romney did have an unfair advantage that none of the other candidates had. Bill Bolling is the lieutenant governor of Virginia, and his campaign chair.
NbyNW on December 27, 2011 at 10:43 PM

If you have evidence of wrongdoing, call the police and the Gingrich/Perry camps, stat. Otherwise this is just more conspiracy nut nonsense being offered up as an excuse for the Perry/Gingrich campaigns being unorganized and unprepared for prime time.

whatcat on December 27, 2011 at 10:53 PM

Perry only submitted 6000 signatures

gerrym51 on December 27, 2011 at 10:49 PM

No, he submitted more than 6000 signatures, but all but 6000 were excluded by the VA GOP. If in the filing, the Perry campaign had stated the actual gross number of signatures, there would be a whole sidetracking argument over whether all 11,000 were submitted if 5000 were apparently excludable from that total.

Sekhmet on December 27, 2011 at 10:54 PM

Sekhmet on December 27, 2011 at 10:47 PM

Once again, Ron Paul isn’t running 3rd party no matter if there’s someone else running or not.

Notorious GOP on December 27, 2011 at 10:54 PM

That could be possible. But even if the RPV did, the real question is, would Rick and/or Newt even be able to recover from such an inconceivable Oops?

Myron Falwell on December 27, 2011 at 10:39 PM

What is Perry and Gingrich supposed to recover from?

- Romney and the VA GOP Establishment, under Bolling, conspired to create this clusterfark. They initiated a rule change in November and gamed it to favor Romney, while placing undue burdens on other campaigns.

Similar to the primary dates that were moved up.

- Within hours of the deadline and on a Friday that will be followed by holidays, the VA GOP did a news dump – circulated to the MSM for optimum effect – that Perry and Gingrich failed to make the ballot.

The meme was that they were incompetent while Romney was the all-competent and best organized candidate.

For all we know, Romney simply submitted his 2008 list.

- The reaction was devastating to the VA GOP. Conservatives didn’t take kindly the news that they would be forced to choose between a liberal RINO and a libertarian ‘foreign-policy nutjob’.

Now they are out to save face and I predict they will back down and let those two back on the ballot.

It doesn’t impact Perry and Gingrich in any negative way.

TheRightMan on December 27, 2011 at 10:55 PM

Rumors are that Perry is about to mobilize the Texas National Guard and invade Virginia and do some nation building there.
VorDaj on December 27, 2011 at 10:45 PM

Is this before or after the Virginia/Gingrich Lincoln Douglass debates?
1punchWill on December 27, 2011 at 10:48 PM


During
.

whatcat on December 27, 2011 at 10:56 PM

If you have evidence of wrongdoing, call the police and the Gingrich/Perry camps, stat. Otherwise this is just more conspiracy nut nonsense being offered up as an excuse for the Perry/Gingrich campaigns being unorganized and unprepared for prime time.

whatcat on December 27, 2011 at 10:53 PM

U mad?

Can we snark on and on about the Womney campaign’s incompetence if some BS rule change excludes him from a ballot somewhere? And if you are so big on a pluperfect, competently run campaign as evidence your wuv will be such a good leader, I have two words to say to you:

Barack Obama

Sekhmet on December 27, 2011 at 10:58 PM

Romney and the VA GOP Establishment, under Bolling, conspired
TheRightMan on December 27, 2011 at 10:55 PM

Perry: “Fire doesn’t melt steel.”
Welcome to Paul-land, Rick.

whatcat on December 27, 2011 at 10:58 PM

No, he submitted more than 6000 signatures, but all but 6000 were excluded by the VA GOP. If in the filing, the Perry campaign had stated the actual gross number of signatures, there would be a whole sidetracking argument over whether all 11,000 were submitted if 5000 were apparently excludable from that total.

Sekhmet on December 27, 2011 at 10:54 PM

No your wrong. only the perry campaign said they submitted 11,900 signatures. No othe r official agency has agreed with that figure.

the perry petition says 6000.

get a link to an official body that can verify 11,900. i think perry was trying to fool the virginia republicans to just certify yes

gerrym51 on December 27, 2011 at 10:58 PM

OK, I think I know what happened. Each signature was in both English and Spanish, so he counted each of them twice and got 12,000. Easy mistake to make.

VorDaj on December 27, 2011 at 10:53 PM

Did you bother to read the story at all? Close to 12,000 signatures were submitted but the VA GOP managed to disqalify over half.

I wonder how many of Romney’s signatures would meet that high bar. You think Romney will submit to having his signatures checked?

TheRightMan on December 27, 2011 at 10:59 PM

Under the rules VA had prior to November, the petitions both Gingrich and Perry submitted would have been adequate. All of a sudden, 5000 plus signatures from each campaign were excluded, likely due to a rule change that dated from Novemebr—but as long as Womney-boo-boo is not affected, who cares, right?

Sekhmet on December 27, 2011 at 10:41 PM

Actually, it was under the previous interpretation of the rules by the RPV (non-enforcement of the law that Virginia gave the RPV enforcement power over). Said non-enforcement would have been grounds for (assuming a pre-election challenge is not possible) a post-election contest by Romney and/or Paul to get Perry and Gingrich declared ineligible for the ballot and thus not give them any delegates. Given the RPV found enough invalid signatures to toss Perry and Gingrich, that contest would likely have been successful.

Steve Eggleston on December 27, 2011 at 11:00 PM

That could all be true, and it wouldn’t change the fact that he would’ve qualified under the criteria used in past elections. His lawsuit is justified, and I hope he wins.

NbyNW on December 27, 2011 at 10:46 PM

The Wisconsin unionistas thank you for your support to defaud those of us who voted for Scott Walker for governor last year.

Steve Eggleston on December 27, 2011 at 11:02 PM

Romney did have an unfair advantage that none of the other candidates had. Bill Bolling is the lieutenant governor of Virginia, and his campaign chair.
NbyNW on December 27, 2011 at 10:43 PM

If you have evidence of wrongdoing, call the police and the Gingrich/Perry camps, stat. Otherwise this is just more conspiracy nut nonsense being offered up as an excuse for the Perry/Gingrich campaigns being unorganized and unprepared for prime time.
whatcat on December 27, 2011 at 10:53 PM

U mad?
Sekhmet on December 27, 2011 at 10:58 PM

Nope. Just pointing out that if you have secret evidence of some vast conspiracy, you should come forward. But if all you got is conspiracy theories, then welcome to Paul-land.

whatcat on December 27, 2011 at 11:02 PM

Exactly! This isn’t incompetance of Perry’s or Gingrich’s part, this is incompetance by VA GOP (and I’d call it foul-play, too).

Aslans Girl on December 27, 2011 at 9:49 PM

You’re pathetic.

Newt was out on a luxury cruise (likely with his campaign money) while he could have been doing this.

Grow up, stop acting like Obama trying to blame your candidates failure on everybody else.

If you can’t figure out how to get on a ballot, you’re not presidential material. Period.

1punchWill on December 27, 2011 at 10:08 PM

Sounds like Virginia GOP is not confident that their candidate
they are trying to shove down everyone’s throat, Romney, can win
without resorting to Obama-like tactics.

Amjean on December 27, 2011 at 11:03 PM

I really don’t like the idea of having out of staters invade a state to collect signatures, generally, but I do think that an exception to that should exist for the Presidential ballot.

I agree. I do have a problem with out of state people trying to influence elections that are for the state only. It is different with the presidential election since what happens in one state affects us all.

I am very happy that Perry is suing to be on the ballot. Whether he wins the case or not, it is good to see that he is taking action.

cheetah2 on December 27, 2011 at 11:03 PM

Given the RPV found enough invalid signatures to toss Perry and Gingrich, that contest would likely have been successful.

Steve Eggleston on December 27, 2011 at 11:00 PM

Nope, you are making a big assumption that Romney and Paul had valid signatures.

How can we tell since by a quirk of the rule, their signatures were not validated?

TheRightMan on December 27, 2011 at 11:03 PM

He has already challenged the Virginia Board of Elections to a series of 24 Lincoln/Douglas style debates, to be followed by a pie throwing contest to the finish at 20 paces.

In two weeks it goes down to 12 Lincoln/Doublas style debates…

cd98 on December 27, 2011 at 11:04 PM

Did you bother to read the story at all? Close to 12,000 signatures were submitted but the VA GOP managed to disqalify over half.

no one but Rick Perrys campaign said they had 11,900 signatures.

this has not been verified by anyone else.

I sqay they made up a number they thought would get them by and the VRP caught on

gerrym51 on December 27, 2011 at 11:04 PM

Sounds like Virginia GOP is not confident that their candidate
they are trying to shove down everyone’s throat, Romney, can win
without resorting to Obama-like tactics.
Amjean on December 27, 2011 at 11:03 PM

Oy. More conspiracy nonsense.

whatcat on December 27, 2011 at 11:05 PM

Eh, when your campaign is reduced to a dependence on attacking States via the Federal court system to force yourself on voters, that’s never a good sign.

whatcat on December 27, 2011 at 10:39 PM

Since he’s just suing to get on the ballot, I don’t see how he’s forcing anyone. They can choose not to vote for him if he’s on it, but they can’t choose to vote for him if he isn’t. If he’s successful, he will have increased people’s options, and that’s a good thing.

NbyNW on December 27, 2011 at 11:05 PM

Actually, it was under the previous interpretation of the rules by the RPV (non-enforcement of the law that Virginia gave the RPV enforcement power over). Said non-enforcement would have been grounds for (assuming a pre-election challenge is not possible) a post-election contest by Romney and/or Paul to get Perry and Gingrich declared ineligible for the ballot and thus not give them any delegates. Given the RPV found enough invalid signatures to toss Perry and Gingrich, that contest would likely have been successful.

Steve Eggleston on December 27, 2011 at 11:00 PM

5000 signatures excluded.

5000.

How are 5000 signatures on a petition that needs 10000-15000 signatures so bad that they are excluded? Did that many people sign up as Doodad Pro and Mickey Mouse?

My BS detector is still ringing

Sekhmet on December 27, 2011 at 11:06 PM

Eric Holder reported to be ready to sue Virginia, if he can find time between suing all the other states he is suing, on behalf of Gingrich and Perry if either can document even 1/32 African American heritage. Eric Holder may consider Newt Gingrich’s past praise for Al Sharpton to be a substitute, but that would still leave Rick Perry with no non-military option.

VorDaj on December 27, 2011 at 11:06 PM

Both Romney and Paul submitted 15k+ signatures, knowing that a huge chunk of the signatures would get tossed. Perry and Gingrich submitted around 12k. Very little margin of error and it came around to bite them.

luckedout26 on December 27, 2011 at 11:07 PM

no one but Rick Perrys campaign said they had 11,900 signatures.
this has not been verified by anyone else.
I sqay they made up a number they thought would get them by and the VRP caught on
gerrym51 on December 27, 2011 at 11:04 PM

If you ask for a link to the official VA State site or the official VRP site which show those figures, they will clam up – but quick. After that all that’s offered are conspiracy theories.

whatcat on December 27, 2011 at 11:08 PM

How are 5000 signatures on a petition that needs 10000-15000 signatures so bad that they are excluded? Did that many people sign up as Doodad Pro and Mickey Mouse?

My BS detector is still ringing

Sekhmet on December 27, 2011 at 11:06 PM

There were only 3 occurrences of Doodad Pro and only 27 Mickey Mouse, but there were 1,442 Hugo Chavez and 4,889 Vincente Fox.

VorDaj on December 27, 2011 at 11:10 PM

5000 signatures excluded.

5000.

How are 5000 signatures on a petition that needs 10000-15000 signatures so bad that they are excluded? Did that many people sign up as Doodad Pro and Mickey Mouse?

My BS detector is still ringing

I guess it depends on how you look at it. Some would not be surprised that Perry would submit 10,000 and screw up and have 5,000 that were not valid.

Besides, if you know you need 10,000 signatures, you should go way over that to cover yourself. With six months, put your supporters in Virginia to work. Again, I’d like to have all the candidates on the ballot in Virginia. That said, I don’t like excuses for candidates failing to use due diligence to get on the ballot of every state.

BTW, if Romney failed to get on a ballot, that would be a big screw up in my mind. Close to a disqualifying screw up given that competence is one of his best arguments.

cd98 on December 27, 2011 at 11:11 PM

Oh, and several thousand of both the Perry and Gingrich signatures had an address in Chicago listed that was the same street and apartment number as some guy named David Axelrod.

VorDaj on December 27, 2011 at 11:12 PM

“Allahpundit – ALWAYS has time to INCITE for The Enemy!”

williamg on December 27, 2011 at 11:12 PM

No your wrong. only the perry campaign said they submitted 11,900 signatures. No othe r official agency has agreed with that figure.

the perry petition says 6000.

get a link to an official body that can verify 11,900. i think perry was trying to fool the virginia republicans to just certify yes

gerrym51 on December 27, 2011 at 10:58 PM

Actually, the statement of 11,911 gross signatures on Perry’s petitions was announced by the Virginia State Board of Elections per the Washington Times.

The Perry campaign has stipulated to “over 6,000″ valid signatures. Given that neither charge in the suit claims that the invalidated signatures were “improperly” invalidated, they’re ultimately hanging their hat on “the rules don’t apply to me” “defense”.

Steve Eggleston on December 27, 2011 at 11:13 PM

Both Romney and Paul submitted 15k+ signatures, knowing that a huge chunk of the signatures would get tossed. Perry and Gingrich submitted around 12k. Very little margin of error and it came around to bite them.

luckedout26 on December 27, 2011 at 11:07 PM

Romney and Paul had recourse to the names and info from their 2008 VA petitions to make up a lot of that difference. Gingrich and Perry didn’t run in 2008. So, because the Gingrich and Perry campaigns haven’t been in operation since 2008, they don’t deserve a place in the Virginia primary?

Sekhmet on December 27, 2011 at 11:13 PM

They initiated a rule change in November and gamed it to favor Romney, while placing undue burdens on other campaigns.

Then why weren’t they whining about it in November?

By the way, have you heard about WTC 7?

xblade on December 27, 2011 at 11:13 PM

Romney – Perry 2012.

East- West.

North-South.

And Rick could handle Biden.

profitsbeard on December 27, 2011 at 11:14 PM

Eh, when your campaign is reduced to a dependence on attacking States via the Federal court system to force yourself on voters, that’s never a good sign.
whatcat on December 27, 2011 at 10:39 PM

Since he’s just suing to get on the ballot, I don’t see how he’s forcing anyone. They can choose not to vote for him if he’s on it, but they can’t choose to vote for him if he isn’t. If he’s successful, he will have increased people’s options, and that’s a good thing.
NbyNW on December 27, 2011 at 11:05 PM

Makes as much sense as having Federal Officers kicking down your neighbor’s door solely because you want to visit them, whether they want you to visit or not. And, in this case, the neighboors have already said, “not much interest, thanks anyway. Now go away.”.

whatcat on December 27, 2011 at 11:14 PM

If you have evidence of wrongdoing, call the police and the Gingrich/Perry camps, stat. Otherwise this is just more conspiracy nut nonsense being offered up as an excuse for the Perry/Gingrich campaigns being unorganized and unprepared for prime time.

whatcat on December 27, 2011 at 10:53 PM

Pardon me? I’m not suggesting criminal behavior. But I am pointing out, according to the Washington Examiner, that Romney had an advantage when getting signatures that the others didn’t. He didn’t have to develop his own campaign structure – he used Bolling’s. It wasn’t a level playing field. Romney has been running for president and buying support for years, and now he’s reaping some benefits from it. That’s politics and not criminal, but doesn’t mean the other campaigns that started this year are incompetent.

NbyNW on December 27, 2011 at 11:15 PM

Newt was out on a luxury cruise (likely with his campaign money) while he could have been doing this.

Grow up, stop acting like Obama trying to blame your candidates failure on everybody else.

If you can’t figure out how to get on a ballot, you’re not presidential material. Period.

1punchWill on December 27, 2011 at 10:08 PM

Actually, the Gingrich cruise was back in June, before anybody could start circulating nomination papers in Virginia. Still, he’s been on an extended book-and-debate tour.

Steve Eggleston on December 27, 2011 at 11:15 PM

Romney and Paul had recourse to the names and info from their 2008 VA petitions to make up a lot of that difference. Gingrich and Perry didn’t run in 2008. So, because the Gingrich and Perry campaigns haven’t been in operation since 2008, they don’t deserve a place in the Virginia primary?

Sekhmet on December 27, 2011 at 11:13 PM

I never said that. I said that they should have provided a better margin of error. It would have been really simple to look at 2008 and see how many signatures other campaigns submitted and try to get around that number.

I wish they were on the ballot, but this shows incompetence. We already know what incompetence looks like in the White House and we’re trying to fix that current problem.

luckedout26 on December 27, 2011 at 11:17 PM

Oooohhhh….I’m sure this will please all the Hot Gas readers.

rubberneck on December 27, 2011 at 11:17 PM

There was no November change. The rules were published in March with signature gathering authorized to begin on July 1.

There’s no conspiracy. Just a bunch of dumbass campaigns unorganized enough to not meet the requirements stated in March 2011.

Every candidate had 5 months to gather signatures. Only 2 did.

Oh, for the whiners who say Perry didn’t get in the race until August, tough shit. That was his decision nd they should have had a plan to get on the ballot in every state, including Virginia.

BacaDog on December 27, 2011 at 11:17 PM

So, because the Gingrich and Perry campaigns haven’t been in operation since 2008, they don’t deserve a place in the Virginia primary?

Sekhmet on December 27, 2011 at 11:13 PM

Barack Obama didn’t run in 2004 and he didn’t seem to have these kind of problems in 2008. Are Perry and Gingrich way less competent than Obama? That seems to be what you are saying.

VorDaj on December 27, 2011 at 11:18 PM

The Wisconsin unionistas thank you for your support to defaud those of us who voted for Scott Walker for governor last year.

Steve Eggleston on December 27, 2011 at 11:02 PM

As one born in Milwaukee, raised in the infamous Waukesha county, and graduated from UW-Madison, I take offense at your remark. Plus, I have no idea what you are talking about.

NbyNW on December 27, 2011 at 11:20 PM

Perry and Gingrich are close to being laughing stocks, if not there already. Americans will never elect a known laughing stock.

VorDaj on December 27, 2011 at 11:20 PM

I would say that a standard that could exclude about 50 percent of the signatures submitted has a good chance of being ruled unduly burdensome. Again—5,000 of an 11,000 name petition thrown out? Are you really trying to tell me they were all invalid names, illegible, or what have you?

BULLSHIRT

These exclusions are because someone forgot to cross a T, dot an I, or write the size of their tallywhacker on line 1418/r. All this to say that one was a VA resident who would like to see Newt Gingrich or Rick Perry on the ballot. Perry’s got a case that this is unduly burdensome.

Sekhmet on December 27, 2011 at 11:23 PM

Besides, if you know you need 10,000 signatures, you should go way over that to cover yourself.
cd98 on December 27, 2011 at 11:11 PM

Which precisely the way it was in 2008, even according to Redstate:
“Romney, Fred, Rudy, McCain, Huckabee, and Paul all filed over 15,000 signatures each – well above the recommended minimums“.

This was due to the same “stringent” rules being in place even then:
“From: Matt Wells
Sent: Fri Dec 14 17:59:22 2007
Subject: Petition Verification

All,
This email is to notify you that the Party has collected your petitions from the State Board of Elections.
First off, congratulations on making it through a grueling process! Now that you’ve done the hard part, we just need to verify the petitions.
We will be conducting verification at RPV HQ (115 E. Grace St, Richmond) beginning at 9:45am on Monday, December 17th. We will be doing a hard count for number of signatures based on correctness of form (see attached documents for details).
I hope you’ll take the time to review the attached documents, so that we can get through this as rapidly and smoothly as possible. It is the goal of the Party to qualify your candidates for the ballot, but we do have an obligation to make sure that the legal requirements have been met.”

whatcat on December 27, 2011 at 11:23 PM

What is Perry and Gingrich supposed to recover from?

- Romney and the VA GOP Establishment, under Bolling, conspired to create this clusterfark. They initiated a rule change in November and gamed it to favor Romney, while placing undue burdens on other campaigns.

Similar to the primary dates that were moved up.

- Within hours of the deadline and on a Friday that will be followed by holidays, the VA GOP did a news dump – circulated to the MSM for optimum effect – that Perry and Gingrich failed to make the ballot.

The meme was that they were incompetent while Romney was the all-competent and best organized candidate.

For all we know, Romney simply submitted his 2008 list.

- The reaction was devastating to the VA GOP. Conservatives didn’t take kindly the news that they would be forced to choose between a liberal RINO and a libertarian ‘foreign-policy nutjob’.

Now they are out to save face and I predict they will back down and let those two back on the ballot.

It doesn’t impact Perry and Gingrich in any negative way.

TheRightMan on December 27, 2011 at 10:55 PM

To be fair, I’m in Ohio. I don’t know the intricacies of state politics in Virginia, so let’s assume that the above citations are true.

Is it really “devastating” for the VA GOP when they accomplished all that they set out to do – all but endorsing Mitt through those aforementioned actions? And getting Mitt cast as “most competent, more organized” while dutifully feeding off those talking points to the MSM?

To consider it devastating would be to assume that the VA GOP has a conscience. Or a soul. Not sure of either one in the least.

More likely IMO that the VA GOP could just simply double down and do all but endorse Mitt. Which is what the establishment is all doing now… uniting behind Mitt as the Kool-Aid of “most electable” is being passed around, and otherwise smart people are falling for it. Perry’s legal fight will last some time and get even more ugly… and costly for him.

Me? At least Perry qualified in Ohio, so I’ll likely vote for him out of mercy. If Mitt gets the nomination, I’ll stay home. Never have voted for a liberal Democrat in my life; won’t do so now.

Myron Falwell on December 27, 2011 at 11:23 PM

It’s come to this.

Allendundit on December 27, 2011 at 11:24 PM

Barack Obama didn’t run in 2004 and he didn’t seem to have these kind of problems in 2008. Are Perry and Gingrich way less competent than Obama? That seems to be what you are saying.

VorDaj on December 27, 2011 at 11:18 PM

0bama could submit his petition under much looser standards in 2008.

Sekhmet on December 27, 2011 at 11:24 PM

Oh, so our new criteria for electing a candidate for president is that they be organized, thorough and motivated?

Amjean

No, of course not. We should strive to find candidates who are disorganized, incompetent, and unmotivated.

xblade on December 27, 2011 at 11:24 PM

These exclusions are because someone forgot to cross a T, dot an I, or write the size of their tallywhacker on line 1418/r. All this to say that one was a VA resident who would like to see Newt Gingrich or Rick Perry on the ballot. Perry’s got a case that this is unduly burdensome.

Sekhmet on December 27, 2011 at 11:23 PM

If Perry wins this case, expect Al Gore to file suit to get to be President for 4 years or maybe 8.

VorDaj on December 27, 2011 at 11:24 PM

Here’s the timeline.

2008 Primary: The VA GOP (rpv.org) instructs all candidates to get 10000 sigs, with 15000 as a safety margin. This repeats the recommendations of the State Board of Elections. All candidates do submit 10000+ sigs. The VA GOP waives the requirement to verify the signatures and submits them without checking.

May 2011: The VA GOP instructs all candidates to get 10000+ sigs, with 15000 as a safety margin (same as in 2008).

July 2011: Candidates are allowed to begin collecting signatures.

October 2011: Some guy named Osborne, who is running in a state election, files a lawsuit protesting that the no-check rule is unfair.

November 2011: In reaction to the lawsuit, the VA GOP decides to change the no-check rule for presidential primaries. They increase it from 10000 sigs to 15000 sigs. They send an electric notice (e-mail or fax) to all candidates advising of the rule change.

For whatever reason Newt’s campaign didn’t get the notice. The e-mail/fax was never received or misrouted, unclear.

December 2011: The Gingrich campaign announces they have over 10000 sigs (the requirement) and are pushing for 15000 to meet the recommended number (see May above). At this point they believe they have breathing room. Getting 15000 is not essential just a good cushion so they aren’t too worried.

December 21, 2011: The VA GOP publishes an undated letter announcing the rule change.
http://tinyurl.com/8yxgw69

The PDF contains a hidden Microsoft Word creation date of 12/21/2011. This is the first public announcement of the rule change AFAIK.

Newt’s campaign freaks out at the surprise rule change (claims ‘Pearl Harbor’). Now getting 15,000 sigs isn’t nice-to-have but absolutely essential. Newt flies to VA to scramble to get 15,000 sigs.

Newt’s campaign turns in 11,000 sigs, short of the new rule’s 15,000 no-check requirement.

December 23: Because Newt/Perry are below 15,000 sigs the VA GOP runs the sigs through a computer-based address checking system. This has never been done before, not in 2008 nor prior primaries, for any candidate. Enough sigs are rejected to toss Newt and Perry off the ballot. The VA GOP announces this on Twitter.

December 27: The VA GOP turns in the final slate to the State Board of Elections.

It is unclear at this point if the VA GOP even bothered to turn in Newt’s or Perry’s petitions.

Gideon7 on December 27, 2011 at 11:25 PM

Romney and Paul had recourse to the names and info from their 2008 VA petitions to make up a lot of that difference. Gingrich and Perry didn’t run in 2008. So, because the Gingrich and Perry campaigns haven’t been in operation since 2008, they don’t deserve a place in the Virginia primary?

Sekhmet on December 27, 2011 at 11:13 PM

So explain to me how Romney and Paul got on the ballot in 2008 when they didn’t have the benefit of using names from 2004 when they didn’t run.

BacaDog on December 27, 2011 at 11:26 PM

The Perry campaign has stipulated to “over 6,000″ valid signatures. Given that neither charge in the suit claims that the invalidated signatures were “improperly” invalidated, they’re ultimately hanging their hat on “the rules don’t apply to me” “defense”.

Steve Eggleston on December 27, 2011 at 11:13 PM

Aren’t the rules in Wisconsin, any name is good as long as they address is good.

RickB on December 27, 2011 at 11:27 PM

As one born in Milwaukee, raised in the infamous Waukesha county, and graduated from UW-Madison, I take offense at your remark. Plus, I have no idea what you are talking about.

NbyNW on December 27, 2011 at 11:20 PM

The unionista/Democrat Party of Wisconsin/Government Accountability Board stance on recall petitions is “as long as it appears there’s 540,000-some signatures, we’ll certify the recall petition as sufficient regardless of whether 540,000-some legitimate signatures were collected.” The Parryista/Newtite line is “WAH! Let us on the ballot even though we didn’t get 10,000 signatures because in every previous election, you didn’t check to make sure 10,000 legitimate signatures were collected.”

I have no sympathy for that.

Steve Eggleston on December 27, 2011 at 11:28 PM

There was no November change. The rules were published in March
BacaDog on December 27, 2011 at 11:17 PM

It’s indeed hard for the conspiracy nuts to let go of their fantasies. As you noted the rules were in place by March, if not 2007 (see my above comment).

“Because many people who are not registered to vote will sign
a petition, it is recommended that 15,000 – 20,000 signatures
be obtained with at least 700 signatures from each
congressional district.” – March 25th pdf file from the Virginia State gov here:
http://www.sbe.virginia.gov/cms/documents/Cidates/Bulletins/20120306PrimaryBulletin.pdf

whatcat on December 27, 2011 at 11:28 PM

Makes as much sense as having Federal Officers kicking down your neighbor’s door solely because you want to visit them, whether they want you to visit or not. And, in this case, the neighboors have already said, “not much interest, thanks anyway. Now go away.”.

whatcat on December 27, 2011 at 11:14 PM

Your analogy is not convincing. The present situation is like having China controlling the internet, so its people can’t benefit from the free market choices that we can. They are only allowed access to certain establishment approved options, and maybe a random unacceptable option just to make them think they have a choice.

NbyNW on December 27, 2011 at 11:29 PM

Aren’t the rules in Wisconsin, any name is good as long as they address is good.

RickB on December 27, 2011 at 11:27 PM

Actually, it’s “As long as the state box says WI (or a variant thereof), it’s ‘good’.” They’re not going to cross-check addresses either.

Steve Eggleston on December 27, 2011 at 11:30 PM

So explain to me how Romney and Paul got on the ballot in 2008 when they didn’t have the benefit of using names from 2004 when they didn’t run.

BacaDog on December 27, 2011 at 11:26 PM

Read Gideon’s timeline above. In 2008, a candidate was OK with a 1000-signature cushion.

Sekhmet on December 27, 2011 at 11:30 PM

Rick Perry has been in the race for almost 6 months, has the largest war chest next to Romney, spends millions on ads in Iowa and touts a campaign team of lawyers, political science wiz kids and his own personal posse of Texas insider cronies with a history of fixing things for Rick as he stumbles along, yet he can’t seem to do something as simple as round up enough legit signatures to get on a key state ballot, then whines about it with a lawsuit. Is this the kind of clown you want in the White House to replace the one we already have?

I suppose Anita will be hitting the airwaves next week making more excuses for him again too.

Fletch54 on December 27, 2011 at 11:31 PM

December 21, 2011: The VA GOP publishes an undated letter announcing the rule change.
http://tinyurl.com/8yxgw69

The PDF contains a hidden Microsoft Word creation date of 12/21/2011. This is the first public announcement of the rule change AFAIK.

Gideon7 on December 27, 2011 at 11:25 PM

Didn’t Romney turn in his signature list on December 20th which would mean the public announcement of the rule change came the day after that?

sharrukin on December 27, 2011 at 11:31 PM

We should strive to find candidates who are disorganized, incompetent, and unmotivated.

xblade on December 27, 2011 at 11:24 PM

Reminiscent of 1912, when the Republican Party was trying to unite behind William Howard Taft for re-election after the Bathtub Incident.

Myron Falwell on December 27, 2011 at 11:32 PM

I once thought it was only the democrats who wanted to count signatures and votes without any consideration as to whether they were valid or not. Thanks to hotgas, I now know better. Scratch some “conservatives” and you find a Chicago democrat inside.

VorDaj on December 27, 2011 at 11:33 PM

15000 is the longstanding SBE recommendation. The 15000 no-check rule was issued by the VA GOP.

Gideon7 on December 27, 2011 at 11:34 PM

Didn’t Romney turn in his signature list on December 20th which would mean the public announcement of the rule change came the day after that?
sharrukin on December 27, 2011 at 11:31 PM

If you subscribe to conspiracy theories, Mitt is the Master Of The Universe and controls everything, including dates!111!1!!!

whatcat on December 27, 2011 at 11:39 PM

5000 signatures excluded.

5000.

How are 5000 signatures on a petition that needs 10000-15000 signatures so bad that they are excluded? Did that many people sign up as Doodad Pro and Mickey Mouse?

My BS detector is still ringing

Sekhmet on December 27, 2011 at 11:06 PM

Ask the Perry campaign because they’re not challenging that.

Steve Eggleston on December 27, 2011 at 11:42 PM

Like Rush said: 5 letters – P A L I N

ChuckTX on December 27, 2011 at 11:44 PM

Read Gideon’s timeline above. In 2008, a candidate was OK with a 1000-signature cushion.

Sekhmet on December 27, 2011 at 11:30 PM

I’m well aware of the rules. They require 10,000 valid signatures now just like they did in March and in 2008 as well.

Neither Perry or Newt had 10,000 valid signatures. Thats not the fault of anyone but themselves.

BTW, it pisses me off too that we’ve only 2 candidates on our ballot.

BacaDog on December 27, 2011 at 11:44 PM

Romney and Paul had recourse to the names and info from their 2008 VA petitions to make up a lot of that difference. Gingrich and Perry didn’t run in 2008. So, because the Gingrich and Perry campaigns haven’t been in operation since 2008, they don’t deserve a place in the Virginia primary?

But then isn’t the argument that Romney is more prepared because of his 2008 experience? Doesn’t this show that Perry needs more seasoning?

cd98 on December 27, 2011 at 11:44 PM

In 2008, the VA GOP was not going to audit the petitions submitted as long as they were more than 10,000 signatures. In November of 2011, that was changed to 15,000 signatures. The candidates who had collected these signatures in 2008 needed only to look at their old 2008 petitions for 5000 more good names and addresses to put onto their 2012 submissions to avoid the audit. Ctrl-c, ctrl-v, save, print, Bob’s your uncle. Wooo, the competence is amazing /

The new candidates were actually going to have to go out and get people to sign the petitions. Yes, 50 percent more people to sign the petition in a matter of days, just to avoid an audit. But it couldn’t ever be Virginia’s fault as long as Womney wasn’t excluded, right?

Sekhmet on December 27, 2011 at 11:45 PM

The unionista/Democrat Party of Wisconsin/Government Accountability Board stance on recall petitions is “as long as it appears there’s 540,000-some signatures, we’ll certify the recall petition as sufficient regardless of whether 540,000-some legitimate signatures were collected.” The Parryista/Newtite line is “WAH! Let us on the ballot even though we didn’t get 10,000 signatures because in every previous election, you didn’t check to make sure 10,000 legitimate signatures were collected.”

I have no sympathy for that.

Steve Eggleston on December 27, 2011 at 11:28 PM

So that’s what your issue is. I don’t think this is the same thing at all. If the GAB doesn’t do its job verifying these signatures, than an election will take place that shouldn’t. That’s a huge waste of time and resources, and unfair to Walker – and the people that supported him. What does Wisconsin law actually state on verifying of signatures for recalls?

In Virginia, if the reports are correct, the precedence has been set that a certain level of signatures was deemed adequate, if only by tradition, if not the letter of the law. To change this mid-campaign is wrong, in my view. Changes should be made before the next election, not during this one. Note that the voter ID law in Wisconsin was not immediately enforced, to give voters a chance to adapt. But regardless, a primary is going to take place, and it will not cost extra to have more names on the ballot, plus it will increase the choices that Virginians have.

NbyNW on December 27, 2011 at 11:45 PM

5000 signatures excluded.
5000.
How are 5000 signatures on a petition that needs 10000-15000 signatures so bad that they are excluded? Did that many people sign up as Doodad Pro and Mickey Mouse?
My BS detector is still ringing
Sekhmet on December 27, 2011 at 11:06 PM

Ask the Perry campaign because they’re not challenging that.
Steve Eggleston on December 27, 2011 at 11:42 PM

I suspect it might be too embarrassing to bring up. Instead, his only claim in this is that the state is being “unfair” to him.

whatcat on December 27, 2011 at 11:45 PM

But then isn’t the argument that Romney0bama is more prepared because of his 2008 experience? Doesn’t this show that Perry needs more seasoning?

cd98 on December 27, 2011 at 11:44 PM

FIFY

Sekhmet on December 27, 2011 at 11:48 PM

Like Rush said: 5 letters – P A L I N

ChuckTX on December 27, 2011 at 11:44 PM

I am Barack Obama and I approve this message..:)

Dire Straits on December 27, 2011 at 11:49 PM

As someone who has dealt with petition signatures in CT,
I am continually disgusted by how party leaders in many
states make it difficult for candidates to get on ballots.

The current system, in CT at least, seems designed to keep
anyone without the proper wealth or pedigree to participate.

Just to let you know how bad it is:
In 2008, the Republican Party in North Haven, CT nominated a
candidate for the General Assembly, then campaigned AGAINST
her in order to secure favors from the Incumbent Democrat.

… and you think YOUR state has it bad …

TimLenox on December 27, 2011 at 11:49 PM

In 2008, the VA GOP was not going to audit the petitions submitted as long as they were more than 10,000 signatures.
Sekhmet on December 27, 2011 at 11:45 PM

Untrue, as even Redstate admitted to in 2008, check my earlier link to it.
“Romney, Fred, Rudy, McCain, Huckabee, and Paul all filed over 15,000 signatures each – well above the recommended minimums.”

and from the party in 2008 (from Redstate):
“From: Matt Wells
Sent: Fri Dec 14 17:59:22 2007
Subject: Petition Verification

All,

This email is to notify you that the Party has collected your petitions from the State Board of Elections.

First off, congratulations on making it through a grueling process! Now that you’ve done the hard part, we just need to verify the petitions.

We will be conducting verification at RPV HQ (115 E. Grace St, Richmond) beginning at 9:45am on Monday, December 17th. We will be doing a hard count for number of signatures based on correctness of form (see attached documents for details).

I hope you’ll take the time to review the attached documents, so that we can get through this as rapidly and smoothly as possible. It is the goal of the Party to qualify your candidates for the ballot, but we do have an obligation to make sure that the legal requirements have been met.

whatcat on December 27, 2011 at 11:51 PM

Perry Loses, the defendants will raise the defense of latches. In other words, Perry’s complaint is not timely. He should have filed his complaint subsequent to filing his declaration of candidacy with the Va. Board of Elections. Having failed to do so, he cannot do it now.

smokin hot politics on December 27, 2011 at 11:52 PM

Ask the Perry campaign because they’re not challenging that.

Steve Eggleston on December 27, 2011 at 11:42 PM

There are parts of any legal filing where you get your fight on, and there are others where you avoid any controversial statements. Because if you submit as fact something that is later ruled not to be factual, your whole petition can get tossed. An unknown number of the 11,900 signatures were objectively illegitimate. That number is doubtless much less than 5900 that the VA GOP threw out, but it is greater than 0. 6000 is not controversial. 11,900 is.

Sekhmet on December 27, 2011 at 11:54 PM

Perry Loses, the defendants will raise the defense of latches. In other words, Perry’s complaint is not timely. He should have filed his complaint subsequent to filing his declaration of candidacy with the Va. Board of Elections. Having failed to do so, he cannot do it now.
smokin hot politics on December 27, 2011 at 11:52 PM

From what I know of the law that sounds correct. I don’t believe you can wait and sue later just because something didn’t work out the way you hoped it would.

whatcat on December 27, 2011 at 11:56 PM

Is anybody seriously arguing that Rick Perry has been playing rope-a-dope up to this point, making a series of mistakes just to throw off his opponents’ defensive senses, and is really only waiting for the right moment to uncloak and display his super-awesome Presidential candidating powers?

Because ever since he came into the race as the presumptive front-runner, he’s gone from weakness to weakness. For those of us who hope for a candidate other than Mitt Romney (and who would not vote for Ron Paul under any circumstances), Perry has been a massive disappointment.

stuiec on December 27, 2011 at 11:58 PM

We will be doing a hard count for number of signatures based on correctness of form (see attached documents for details).

In other words, they were counting the signatures, not running them through the DMV database. Thanks, Whatcat

Sekhmet on December 27, 2011 at 11:58 PM

I hope you’ll take the time to review the attached documents, so that we can get through this as rapidly and smoothly as possible. It is the goal of the Party to qualify your candidates for the ballot, but we do have an obligation to make sure that the legal requirements have been met.

whatcat on December 27, 2011 at 11:51 PM

This is just a copy of the rules from 2007. It’s not a record of how closely the rules were actually followed.

NbyNW on December 27, 2011 at 11:59 PM

So that’s what your issue is. I don’t think this is the same thing at all. If the GAB doesn’t do its job verifying these signatures, than an election will take place that shouldn’t. That’s a huge waste of time and resources, and unfair to Walker – and the people that supported him. What does Wisconsin law actually state on verifying of signatures for recalls?

In Virginia, if the reports are correct, the precedence has been set that a certain level of signatures was deemed adequate, if only by tradition, if not the letter of the law. To change this mid-campaign is wrong, in my view. Changes should be made before the next election, not during this one. Note that the voter ID law in Wisconsin was not immediately enforced, to give voters a chance to adapt. But regardless, a primary is going to take place, and it will not cost extra to have more names on the ballot, plus it will increase the choices that Virginians have.

NbyNW on December 27, 2011 at 11:45 PM

Yes, that is my issue. It may suck for Gingrich and Perry, but they’re pros (or at least purport to be).

Let me tell you a little story from last year’s Wisconsin recalls. After the recall effort against Democrat Senator Dave Hansen was certified, Republican Assemblyman John Nygren announced he was going to run in that eleciton. That was widely seen as the best chance for a Republican cain; indeed, the Republican Senate campaign committee started scheduling fundraisers with Nygren and the Senate leadership.

There was one “small” hitch – Nygren had to collect at least 400 valid nomination signatures in less than 2 weeks (or twice what he had to turn in for his Assembly campaigns). While other candidates in both that recall election and others managed to, in the same time frame, turn in between 600 and 800 signatures, Nygren turned in “approximately 440″ (I want to say 443, but the only official records say “approximately 440″ gross signatures were turned in).

The Government Accountability Board, in its initial review, knocked the number down to 424. The Democrat Party of Wisconsin through a couple of their operatives, challenged 30 of those signatures. The GAB accepted the challenges on 26, leaving Nygren 2 signatures short and consequently off the ballot.

Nygren, even though he had a pretty good case for getting at least 2 of those signatures restored (at least if the case reached the Supreme Court; the initial challenge would be in liberal Dane County and the initial appeal would be to the equally-liberal 4th District Court of Appeals), decided not to challenge it.

Steve Eggleston on December 27, 2011 at 11:59 PM

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