Now Playing: Just Ask Ralph Nader!
This article illustrates, how rigged the duopoly and control of getting on the ballot really is. It mentions what I have and as well as many others have said and or have been screaming about. That the running for office of President, is so hard to do unless you are a part of the Two Party System. It is rigged to prevent and it continues to "skewer to protect" the mighty two party choice. If you call that being a choice!
With interest, I think to my self “duhhhhhh” when I was reading the first part of this article. Hell as an avid Ralph Nader supporter, I know this debacle all so very well. In addition, I lived through Oregon’s messy stinking red-tape bullshit as signatures were tossed out or analyzed to the point of no return, and insinuating accusations and comments were tossed around like as if the devil himself was trying to get on the ballot. Well actually truthfully, the Devil was on the Ballot and even “cheated his way to be the current president we have now”.
As I digress, these recounts of mine, of the Oregon election petition problems, and paying signature gatherers is an interesting topic, and rife with abuse and 'neglect of not allowing a true democratic process to exists" and affording the potential to allow abuse with out ethics and honor.
Actually this whole topic has been neglected and swept under the shadow of the “vote for the two party” spin... and has been keeping the “good men (and ladies) down” for so long that not many will understand, that this is a very controlled crooked system.
There needs to be a better answer on this because, what we are doing is not good enough, it needs to have some consistent order on a federal level. It should be not used as a tool to keep opponents of the duopoly from getting on the ballot. But as a tool to regulate and yet allow the freedom to run for president and the choices in multiple opponents. For we the voters should not be "out of reach" to the point we have “no choice”
Believe you me the difference between The Republican and The Democrat party …..is sadly enough not much difference and this article will shed a little light on this process to keep the mighty as always, ruling with laws that keep power in their hands as they steal and manipulate the way to challenge or contest any possible challenger.
Interesting too is that these little tweaks of the constitution that has been adjusted for their benefit and security, are like a sore or wound that will never heal. The first step to get the process rectified I think is “get the masses to realize we need a better (honest) way to get a third party on the ballot. We need to allow more choices. We need real Democracy not Duopoly”We need to do that in a real bad way! In all fairness it needs to be looked into now! Is the fact that people were paid to get a 3rd party on the ballot not right? Is it not right that a 3rd party can hardly even get on the ballot period, unless they are stinking rich or "a part of the good-olé boy plutocracy SYSTEM"
Smaller parties turn to paid signature gatherers to make ballot
RON TODT Associated Press PHILADELPHIA - http://www.timesleader.com/mld/timesleader/15190101.htm
The Green Party's apparently successful campaign to put candidates on the Pennsylvania ballot is the latest involving the use of paid signature gatherers, who have been the focus of regulation efforts in other states.Small parties like the Greens say Pennsylvania's onerous ballot requirements leave them no choice but to hire people to supplement their volunteer forces. Even if they get on the ballot, it leaves them little money to wage a general election campaign, they said."Unfortunately it's becoming more and more common," said Thom Marti, an Adams County farmer who is the party's petition coordinator. "Some of the states have such restrictive ballot access, it's really beyond the capability of a small party."In an average year, Marti said, the state party can get the 25,000 or so signatures it needs with volunteers alone. To get the 67,070 required this year, paid circulators for U.S. Senate candidate Carl Romanelli's campaign got $2 per valid signature. The party also recruited members and others to canvass "for more or less pocket money" to add to volunteer efforts, Marti said.States have tried to regulate the activity with varying degrees of success, but a total ban on paying petition circulators was struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1988.
In 2004, the Libertarian Party in Pennsylvania got almost half its signatures for statewide office from a paid campaign, but decided against it this year, in part because of the high signature requirement, said Chuck Moulton, the state party's vice chairman. The party will run statewide candidates only if a court overturns the high signature requirement, he said."There are a lot of states it's impossible to get on the ballot without the use of paid signature gatherers," Moulton said.
The Pennsylvania signature threshold is especially high this year because it is calculated based on the number of votes cast for the largest vote-getter in the last statewide election. This year's requirement is based on the record 3.4 million votes by which Bob Casey was elected state treasurer in 2004.Romanelli has acknowledged that probably more than half the roughly $100,000 spent to collect his signatures came from Republican donors, including some who also gave money to Sen. Rick Santorum.Casey, Santorum's Democratic opponent, could lose votes to the Green Party due to Romanelli's support for abortion rights. Casey's campaign accused Republicans of trying to steal the election."Ideally, signature gatherers should be volunteers," said state Democratic Party spokesman Abe Amoros. He cited Ralph Nader's 2004 presidential bid as an example of the problems that can come with paid signature-gatherers.Nader was thrown off the ballot in several states, including Pennsylvania, where a contractor promised $100 to $200 a day to petition circulators. Many homeless people took the jobs in Philadelphia, where dozens of duplicate signatures were found. A state judge called the petitions "rife with forgeries."JSM Inc., which was hired for Romanelli's effort, also worked on Nader's efforts in a number of states; a listed phone number for the firm could not be found.Many states that allow citizen initiatives, which Pennsylvania does not, have tried to regulate the practice of paying petition circulators.
Jennie Drage Bowser, of the National Conference of State Legislatures, said the concern is that, "if signature gatherers are motivated to gather more signatures because they'll earn more money, they might also be motivated to use dishonest tactics."One Arkansas initiative was tossed off the ballot because someone had gone though the phone book and signed names "in alphabetical order, right down the page," Bowser said.
In Oregon, evidence was submitted that circulators of various initiatives got together and had "signing parties," where they signed each other's petitions, she said.Michael Arno, the owner of a consulting firm that says it has collected signatures to qualify nearly 500 ballot initiatives in 20 states, said the Nader campaign managed its own drive and was unaware of the pitfalls. He said experienced firms can sniff out problems."We do find people that forge. We hand them over to the authorities to be prosecuted, and I wish they'd prosecute them more vigorously," Arno said. "Probably 99 percent of petition gatherers out there are decent, honorable people."State governments have tried to step in.Oregon bans paying initiative circulators by the signature, but courts have rejected similar regulations in other states.
Several states require circulators to disclose whether they are paid or volunteers.Arno called regulation efforts ineffective. Banning per-signature payments, for example, breeds sloppiness and padding of hours without reducing the number of problem signatures, he said."When I pay people by the signature, if they do something wrong I can unpay them by the signature," he said.