Some News — and a New Presidential Candidate — Coming Out of Texas

I just received the following update from Joey Dauben, who has been a good friend to this site for some time. Interestingly he also mentions Bryan Malatesta, the chair of the Constitution Party of Texas, as a likely Presidential candidate.

Texas House Elections Committee halts independent, third-party open access…

Pat Dixon of the Libertarian Party of Texas, Bryan Malatesta of the Constitution Party of Texas, and Kat Swift/Doug Rebar of the Texas Green Party testified before the House Elections Committee in an attempt to sway two Republicans and two Democrats that voting in a primary and signing an independent candidate’s petition was not voting twice.

It was a rare sight on this committee: polar opposites, liberal Lon Burnam, D-Fort Worth, and ultra-conservative Chairman Leo Berman, R-Tyler, agreed that people voting in primaries would be “like voting twice” if they were legally allowed to sign an independent candidate’s petition. Kat Swift, who is seeking the Green presidential nomination, spoke very well of how those two matters were not what the Elections Committee made them out to be.

Burnam did say, however, that he would be open to making the 45,000-signature requirement a lot lower. “That bar [to obtain ballot access] is too high, unfairly high,” Burnam told the estimated 50 people in the audience, supporters of the parties’ efforts, as well as staff members of legislators.

Malatesta, who is set to throw his hat into the CP presidential nomination ring soon, asked the committee who owns Texans’ votes. “You have to ask yourself, do you own our votes, or do Texans own their [voting rights]?”

Democratic legislator Mark Strama, D-Austin, is the author of HB 2280 that would seek to allow voters to both vote in a primary and sign an independent candidate’s petition to gain ballot access.

Currently, the only third party to have ballot access in Texas is the Libertarian Party. Green and Constitution (or any independent/third party) can only obtain a ballot line in a special election. Next year, for example, the county directly south of Dallas County—Ellis—will hold a special election. The parties present at the committee hearing have all indicated that they will recruit a candidate for that race (Ellis County treasurer).

Meanwhile, activists with all three parties said they are committed to keeping the fight going.

“I cannot wait to build this party up and [show the major parties that we’re serious],” said Constitution Party of Texas member Steve King, who, on a volunteer basis for the past month, has lobbied dozens of legislators. King drives four hours from east Texas to help the open access effort.

-Joey Dauben

13 Responses to “Some News — and a New Presidential Candidate — Coming Out of Texas”

  1. ElfNinosMom Says:

    Another very interesting blog entry.

    I agree that 45,000 signatures is ridiculously high. Third parties should be able to get access with far less than that. Or perhaps, they shouldn’t have to get signatures for ballot access at all if they are representing a party duly registered with the FEC.

    I’d be interested to hear much more discussion and debate on the subject of third party ballot access.

  2. Joe Says:

    Bryan has been helpful to me in the past, so this is no criticism of him. But it is my recollection that he has run for state office in the past and was unable to get on the ballot? If I am correct about that, given the ballot constraints in Texas, it seems to me that direction to go would be to run for lesser office, not President of the United States. It makes more sense to me for someone like Rick Jore, who has proven he can already get elected at some level, to next run for a higher office like congress or governor, and if he wins those, perhaps move on to a presidential campaign. Has Bryan ever served in any local public office?

  3. Joey Dauben Says:

    Joe, Bryan indicated to me that he has not run for any office, but he was active in obtaining signatures last summer to get the CP ballot-access in Texas.

  4. Trent Hill Says:

    Yes, but the CP CANT get ballot access in Texas. Until we can, don’t expect to see a presidential nomination come out of there. I’d like to see Jim Clymer personally, that could garner as much as 200,000 out of Pennslyvania alone (look at his last Senate race).
    Chuck Baldwin could do well too.
    I think probably Alan Keyes will get the nod though.

  5. Cody Quirk Says:

    I think Chuck Baldwin has a better chance to be nominated as our Prez. candidate then Bryan.

    Bryan hasn’t run for any office and isn’t well known in the party. Even if the CP can’t get media attention, we still nominate someone that basically the whole Party and it’s leadership knows, or can be easily recognized by people.

  6. Trent Hill Says:

    I’d never heard of Bryan Malatesta before visiting Gary Odom last week.
    I’m sure he’s a great guy though.
    And to be fair, it isn’t easy to run for office in texas, ballot access is tough.

  7. Joey Dauben Says:

    City council and school board races are non-partisan. My campaign is about to rake in $5,000 in fundraising and expenditures. That’s with CP and LP, as well as GOP help.

    (not as a whole organization, but individually)

  8. Trent Hill Says:

    Joey, so what party ARE you in? LP I assume?

  9. SovereignMN Says:

    Trent Hill said “I think probably Alan Keyes will get the nod though.”

    Oh please no. Very lukewarm on him. Do you really think he’s leave the Republican party?

  10. Trent Hill Says:

    Im not crazy bout him either.

  11. Joey Dauben Says:

    I’m both a LP and CP member, plus a member of the Republican Party.

  12. Trent Hill Says:

    ...ummm,what are you registered as?

  13. Joey Dauben Says:

    In Texas, we don’t have party registration, but we do have GOP or Democrat primary voters.

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