‘Pro-Life’ Not Allowed on Idaho Ballot

It appears that the State of Idaho will not let Constitution Party gubernatorial candidate Marvin Pro-Life Richardson (that’s his real name) use his legal middle name on the ballot this fall. He will appear simply as Marvin Richardson.

The Idaho Press-Tribune has the story…

Gem County gubernatorial candidate Marvin Pro-Life Richardson will be just plain Marvin Richardson on the election ballot in November. And the organic strawberry grower and Constitution Party member is not happy about it.

The Idaho Secretary of State Office says a ballot is for identifying candidates and not for political slogans. So Richardson, who legally changed his middle name to Pro-Life two years ago, will not be able to use his full name. Richardson, 64, said he’s thinking about taking the state of Idaho to court over the matter. And he said he may even legally drop the Marvin and Richardson from his name just to see what the Secretary of State’s Office, which is responsible for creating voting ballots, would do.

“I don’t know why they’re being so ridiculous,” Richardson said. “Maybe they think I’ll get a certain amount of votes and it would cause the election to go some way or another. But I don’t think that’s going to happen.”

The decision not to allow Richardson’s middle name on the ballot is based on an Idaho Supreme Court ruling in 2000, Secretary of State Chief Deputy Tim Hurst said. That ruling struck down a law calling for ballots to include whether or not candidates supported term limits.

“Our stand is that the names on the ballot are to identify the candidates, not to give them the opportunity to put a policy message on the ballot,” Hurst said. “And that basically was the (Supreme Court) decision.”

Richardson said the two issues are not the same.

“This is a whole different thing,” Richardson said. “This is a person’s name.”

Richardson, who ran for the state Legislature and lost in 2004, said his Pro-Life middle name may actually cause him to lose votes because even some of the members of his own party think the name change is too extreme.

“They look at me as being ridiculous for doing that,” Richardson said.

Richardson admitted he knew he would probably have his new name on a ballot when he changed it. But he says that’s not the point.

“If I never run for office again, if I move to another country, I’m still going to continue to use my name of Pro-Life,” Richardson said.

Richardson and Constitution Party Lieutenant Governor candidate William Charles Wellisch of Dingle will conduct a press conference at noon today on the second floor rotunda of the Statehouse. The two candidates will address Richardson’s ballot question and other issues.

15 Responses to “‘Pro-Life’ Not Allowed on Idaho Ballot”

  1. Daniel Ong Says:

    Nicknames are allowed as part of candidate names on ballots in Colorado. In his recent campaigns, a prominent Constitution Party leader, Doug Campbell, has used the nickname “Dayhorse” to distinguish himself from our (former) Senator Ben Nighthorse Campbell. He said many people have told him they voted for him simply because of his nickname.

    It seems the political party name itself is used as somewhat of a policy message and political slogan to identify (and label) the candidate, and is generally placed on the ballot in addition to candidates’ names for partisan races. Party is probably second only to incumbency in influencing voter’s candidate selections, and name recognition is closely related to incumbency due to media coverage.

    Thank you for bringing this situation to readers’ attention. We look forward to updates as they are available.

  2. Jim 101 Says:

    It’s things like this that make third party candidates and their supporters look like “wacko’s” and extremists. It’s fine that he’s pro-life, but I see no need to advertise that in his name. Thats just to much, and it seems like an extreme way to gain some attention.

    I can’t help but feel that the Constitution Party would put up a stink if an opposing candidate changed his middle name to “Queer”, or “Poligamy” or some other nonsense….

  3. Joe Says:

    Jim, how much more “stink” can somebody put up than running against them? Sure, I would expect Richardson’s opponents to dislike his middle name, but they will dislike his position on abortion anyway, so who cares?

  4. Jim 101 Says:

    Joe, IMO it’s simply unprofessional, and unbecoming for a candidate seeking office, not to mention just plain stupid. Not only will his opponents not like his name, but also many possible supporters will not either. I, and I’m sure many other’s, will not take this guy seriously. This will not only lose him votes, but once again make third parties look like fringe wackos.

    It also labels him as a one issue candidate, and any other issues will certainly be taking a back seat to abortion.

  5. Travis J Hedrick Says:

    Thank you to Third Party Watch for posting this article.

    I am the US Rep Idaho Dist 2 Candidate for the CP and I find this issue merely unconstitutional censorship.

    I do know Marvin Prolife Richardson, and yes, I find the name extreme, however, that is he legal name and to censor his name on a ballot is wrong. His wife is running for State Representative A - Dist 11 and her name was allowed… Kirsten Faith Richardson… How much more offensive is Faith over Prolife?

    Additionally, I am running with my middle initial “J,” yet it was not deleted.

    Anyway, this is what 3rd parties are fighting to overcome… lost freedoms! I hope this clarifies, on some scale, what is happening with this issue!

  6. Megan Says:

    All I know is this guy seems like a wacko, I sure as heck don’t want him as my governor

  7. Ray Says:

    Prolife Richardson is a great friend of mine.He is not a wacko or extreme.My family and his protest on saturdays at planned parenthood on state st and sunday by the mall.They are some of the best people i’ve seen in Idaho.Richardson took a stand on abortiom by changing his midde name that does not make someone a wacko.If you want to see a wacko go to a manson concert.God Bless

  8. Travis Hedrick Says:

    Marvin Pro-life Richardson failed to receive certification of his candidacy from the Constitution Party of Idaho. During the state convention, Marvin was the only candidate not certified by the convention.

    I still believe him to be a passionate person and a huge advocate for the pro-life movement, but he became a liability to the Party on a whole due to his single-mindedness on only one plank of our platform.

    Anyway, according to Idaho election rules, Marvin may still run for Governor under the CP name, but he will have no backing or support from the national CP and CP of Idaho.

  9. Keith Humphrey Says:

    They confirm that he did not deviate from the platform, indeed they admit
    that he focused on one plank of the platform with single-mindedness. By this statement they implicitly admit the following:

    1. They have departed from the platform, not him.
    2. They are of a double-mind, while he is not.
    3. They are more concerned about avoiding controversy, rather than standing up for principle, and hence they eschew his purity as a “liability” rather than an asset.
    4. Pro-Life Richardson didn’t leave the Party, nor did he devitate from its
    platform or principles, but they have.

  10. Travis J Hedrick Says:

    Keith has misrepresented this issue, you can visit his website for a actual video of the debate of this issue.

    Marvin, by his own words, separated himself from the CP of Idaho. He said that he would be looking for another party that better represented the prolife issue.

    To clarify this issue that Keith has tried to “spin…” The issue at hand was not about abortion, it was whether on not disaffiliate from the national party or not. Those at the state convention, who were in favor of dissaffiliation, were very short and tempermental. Mr Humphrey was not even associated with the CP of Idaho but his partner made a rude, out of order, and inflamatory speech at the back of the room acquising the convention of wasting time and being baby killers.

    It is just this approach that misrepresents people and parties. They are seen as extremist and “hate-mongers.” There was no one at the convention that was pro-abortion, however Marvin and his cohorts saw fit to call anyone against disaffiliation pro-abortion, pro-murder, and willing to build a party on the backs of dead babies. Keith said that Marvin did not deviate from the platform… no one else did either. We just knew what the real issue was about.

    This is why I originally stated that Marvin was extreme, but unfortunately for him, he went overboard and lost the support of those who were party members and friends in the pro-life battle. Please do not misunderstand this for a lack of passion for the unborn. No one could ever make such a claim! There are just more issue that just one and all of them are equally important!

  11. Scott Says:

    Here are some comments that were sent out on e-mail from Michael Peroutka about the truthfulness of the Constitution party’s platform pro-life position.
    Go to the website of www.theamericanview.com to read the articles he has referenced below.

    Dear Friends of the Constitutional Republic:

    I hope this message finds you well.

    Ever since the 2004 Presidential Campaign concluded, folks that I meet have been asking if my life has gotten back to normal after all the excitement and activity of the campaign trail. My wife, Diane, and I usually smile and say something like “We really don’t expect to see ‘normal’ again”.

    During this time, I have been concentrating on raising my family, running my business, improving and developing products and materials for our Institute on the Constitution and writing and speaking for TheAmericanView.com. I have also been working to encourage men to step forward and run for office within the civil government, particularly in my home State of Maryland. Just to make it all more complicated, this past month our family has moved into our new home in Annapolis. All of this has kept us very busy.

    I am writing to you now to share some important information about a serious struggle in the Constitution Party over the truthfulness of our pro-life platform position. Many of us are concerned that the national party has become compromised on this point. As a result, many fine leaders have resigned from the party and some States have voted to disaffiliate from the national party until such time as the party returns to a truthful pro life position.

    These are difficult times. Just before the Party’s National Committee meeting in Tampa in April, I wrote a piece entitled “The Way I See It”.

    More recently, I updated this article calling it “The Way I See It…Still”. I feel I owe it to those of you who supported our work to restore the Republic to share with you these articles which were in the form of open letters to my colleagues on the Executive Committee, the National Committee and the members of the party at large. For more information or to comment on my position, please go to The American View Forum.

    God bless you and please pray that the Constitution Party can continue to be a viable vehicle for the restoration of the Republic.

    Deo Vindice,

    Michael Anthony Peroutka

    Publisher, TheAmericanView.com

  12. Tina Says:

    This guy just wants more votes. I’m all for third party candidates, (which is how I found this place) but this guy just wants to get more votes. Let’s see…..he knew he might not be able to have his new name on the ballot when he chose to change it. He changed it anyway, and now he has free press complaining about how unfair it is.

    People that protest at the Planned Parenthood chap my keister anyways….people are so self rightous that they think they can change people by shoving an agenda down their throat. Get real.

    In this case, the supreme court is right on this ruling. It gives Mr Pro-Life an unfair advantage at the polls. It is ridiculous. HE is ridiculous. We aren’t talking about a person that was named Pro-Life at birth. He changed his name for political gain.

    That is all.

  13. Scott Grahm Says:

    This man is plain stupid! Dipped in Stupid! Diagnosed as Stupid! How can we even allow an idiot like that screen time?

  14. Terry Says:

    Dear Travis, I’m sorry but you are so wrong about all of the issues being “EQUALLY” important. Please explain to me what other issue is more important than 3500 babies being violently ripped to pieces each day in their mother’s wombs? Are you unaware of what an abortion is? Please educate yourself on this issue.
    And to Tina, many of those people that you despise seeing at Planned Parenthood are merely trying to provide financial support information to scared and helpless girls who think that their only choice is to choose to kill their baby. They deserve to know that there are countless life centers waiting to help them in any way, including financially, to make an informed and good choice.

  15. Travis J Hedrick Says:


    I am very educated on this issue and I fully understand the ramifications of this issue, however, I also understand other issues and how they currently and will in the future affect this issue.

    As for the real issue of this topic… Marvin, though I can not currently support him, has the legal right to use his legal name!

    Nuff Said!

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