Strayhorn Pushing for Faster Certification

Independent gubernatorial candidate Carole Keeton Strayhorn is making a push to “fast track” certification of her petition signatures. One of the main issues seems to be the credibility gained by being able to assure that she will appear on the ballot to her donors, volunteers, and media outlets.

From the Star-Telegram...

Lawyers for Comptroller Carole Keeton Strayhorn urged a federal judge on Monday to force the Texas secretary of state to fast-track the certification of the petition signatures being gathered to place her name on the November ballot as an independent candidate for governor.

The request, which was heard by U.S. District Judge Lee Yaekel, was scorned by a lawyer for the state as a frivolous lawsuit designed to gain special treatment for the two-term comptroller. Yaekel said he will expedite a ruling, perhaps releasing it within days.

At issue during the two-hour courtroom dust-up was whether Secretary of State Roger Williams should be compelled to take a statistical sample of the tens of thousands of petition signatures that Strayhorn plans to file this month. If the sample showed a 95 percent likelihood that Strayhorn had secured at least the required 45,540 signatures, it would signal potential supporters and media outlets that the independent candidacy was for real, said Buck Wood, the comptroller’s lawyer.

“We send men to the moon based on statistical sampling,” Wood told Yaekel, adding that the state has used the method to certify ballot qualifications since the early 1970s. “This is not something that is imprecise.”

But Deputy Attorney General Ed Burbach, representing Williams, said state law allows the secretary of state to determine whether to use sampling or go through the signatures one-by-one to determine whether they are valid. He dismissed any suggestion that such a process would violate Strayhorn’s rights under the U.S. Constitution as alleged by Wood.

Further, Burbach said, Williams’ office must make certain that none of Strayhorn’s signers also signed petitions by fellow independent candidate Kinky Friedman, the country singer turn novelist. Wood disputed any contention of widespread duplication between Strayhorn’s camp and that of Friedman.

“My client is not soliciting signatures in bars and dance halls,” he said.

During a news conference at a downtown Austin watering hole later in the day, Friedman bristled at the notion that he is relying on barflies to keep his candidacy going.

“We are dismayed at their arrogance,” Friedman said. “Every Texan who has been to a bar or dance hall should be outraged. The message Strayhorn has sent them is that they are second-class citizens whose signatures and votes are less significant.”

Strayhorn has suggested that Williams was deliberately dragging his feet on the certification process because he is an appointee and supporter of Republican Gov. Rick Perry, who is seeking re-election. Strayhorn was twice elected comptroller as a Republican but left the GOP in January to pursue her independent bid.

Burbach rejected the foot-dragging allegation, saying that Williams’ office has state-of-the art computer software that would be able to tabulate the petitions by the end of June, which would be nearly as swift as sampling.

Wood said that contributors, supporters and those who sell commercial time for TV stations need assurance that Strayhorn will be on the ballot. Any delay, he said, harms her effort.

Burbach said the evidence shows the contrary. For instance, in January Strayhorn reported having $8 million in her campaign war chest, 62 times that of Democratic nominee Chris Bell, he said.

3 Responses to “Strayhorn Pushing for Faster Certification”

  1. Dennis Says:

    This is the same problem the state-wide Green Party candidates are having in Ohio. The Secretary of State’s office said it will not be able to verify and certify the signatures until late June or early July….

    significantly hurting fund raising efforts between now and then…..

    The big two will do everything to stop third parties from frowing in America.

    When will we ever have a level playing field???

  2. H.A. Page Says:

    When everyone decides that the candidates and citizens are more relevant than the parties and citizens get involved. Kinky might be the one to do it.
    Cheers.

  3. wyclyf Says:

    I’m love this great website. Many thanks guy

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