Michigan Third Parties Coalition

I don’t think this has been written about here and I think that this is an issue that readers here would be highly interested in. In Michigan, various third parties (Green Party, Libertarian Party, Reform Party, Socialist Party, US Taxpayers Party) came together to form the Michigan Third Party Coalition. Despite obvious differences in ideology (i.e. the Socialist Party and US Taxpayers Party are diametrically opposed on almost every issue), these parties have come together to try to reform Michigan electoral law, with its excessively restrictive guidelines. I spent most of my day working on the site (www.mithirdparties.org) and thought I might as well end it by posting about the group here. I encourage third parties in other states with restrictive ballot access laws to form similar groups. Forgive my post for being short, but I’m tired and about to fall asleep.

16 Responses to “Michigan Third Parties Coalition”

  1. Steven R Linnabary Says:

    I started a listserv for Ohio activists several years ago (Ohio Coalition for Open Free and Fair Elections, or OH-COFFE). So far, mostly legal updates have gone out over it. I do encourage other things that may be of broad interest (party building, newsletters, meeting notices, etc.).

    The list started with mostly Greens, and Libertarians, Socialists, and Reform Party activists followed. There are currently approx 45 people signed on.

    The list usually loses a few people when people post things that aren’t relevant, such as CFR conspiracy crap.

    I have tried to get Constitution activists to sign on, but have had no luck.

    The list is not heavily used, but goes through periods of inactivity. The list was most heavily used during the LPO lawsuit, but never amounted to more than two or three messages a week.

    If you are in Ohio, you can sign on at [email protected]

    Someday, I’ll get around to doing a website.


  2. Phil Says:

    This is a really great idea. I hope other states’ third parties can overcome their differences and work for one thing that they all agree on: democracy.

  3. Sean Scallon Says:

    Yes, good work one and all. Such coaltions on ballot access can be successful.

  4. Ronald Monroe Says:

    Stephen, I am a member of the U.S. Taxpayers Party of Mi. and I have been kept informed of the Third Party Coalition by Jerry VanSickle our Party Chairman. I like to express my gratitude for the setting up of the Third Party Coalition web-site and encourage all member of third parties to go into your site at (www.mithirdparties.org)

    We can work together on issues,agree on and try to encourage third parties through out the country to fight the restrictive ballot access set up by the two large parties to keep competition out of the election and then pressure the News Media to be truly fair and unbiase in there reporting.

  5. David Aitken Says:

    A coalition like this was how Colorado got its very easy ballot access law. Good Luck!

  6. Stephen Tash Says:

    For the record, I didn’t set up the site, I just completely redid its look and added a couple sections. But we can certainly get things changed if we work on it.

  7. Richard Winger Says:

    Michigan has difficult ballot access requirements for new parties and independent parties, but that it somewhat offset by having very easy rules for an old party to remain on the ballot.

    One of the worst aspects of Michigan election law is that the state won’t let parties change their names, even though the law explicitly gives them permission to change their ballot logos. COFOE has repeatedly tried to persuade the Michigan state affiliate of the Constitution Party to sue to change its name. Michigan is the only state that wouldn’t let the old U.S. Taxpayers Party change to its new name, Constitution Party (the name change was made in 1999 at the national convention in St. Louis). COFOE even funded the lawsuit and found an attorney. But at the last minute, the Michigan Constitution Party always chickens out. No court has ever considered a lawsuit on whether the First Amendment protects a political party’s desire to change its name. I believe the Michigan case would set a valuable precedent. But, last year, the Michigan unit of the Constitution Party again said it doesn’t want to change its name, because they are afraid they would lose the case and be forced to pay attorneys’ fees (this is not a realistic fear).

  8. Cody Quirk Says:

    They ought to have these coalitions in other states, including Oklahoma, Arizona, or North Carolina.

  9. Susan Hogarth Says:


    There is a de facto coalition of LP and GP here in NC. We have worked together on the lawsuit now in process against the state.

    There is a more formal coalition, too, organized principally around the last legislative session lobbying effort, but right now it is fairly dormant:


  10. Cody Quirk Says:


  11. Susan Hogarth Says:

    Oh, and there’s one for OK as well:


    I guess someone should collect them together. That might be a good starting point for my (quixotic, and at this stage still imaginary) campaign to end state-regulated (and funded) primaries altogether.


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