Independent congressional candidate crosses ballot access threshold

From John Murphy for Congress:

John Murphy, the Independent congressional candidate in [Pennsylvania’s] 16th District, announced to his supporters yesterday that the campaign had collected over 2,400 signatures at voting precincts throughout the 16th District on April 22.

John Murphy said “even though we have collected close to a hundred more signatures than required, the Democrat Party vowed in 2004 that they would destroy any candidate that opposed the two-party system”. Murphy reminded his volunteers that the Democrat Party pulled Ralph Nader off the ballot in 2004 even though he had almost twice the signatures required. They struck off names because people printed in the first column instead of signing in the first column; they struck off the names of the elderly; they struck off names because of bad handwriting; they even struck off over 6,000 names because people had moved from the time they signed the petition in April and when the petitions were challenged in August.

Murphy continued by saying “as if that weren’t bad enough, judges then made Nader pay $90,000 in legal fees to the Democrat Party’s law firm law firm Reed-Smith but nobody ever mentioned in the press that the partners at Reed-Smith had contributed $37,000 to the election campaigns of the very judges who ruled against Nader and in favor of Reed-Smith”.

Murphy reminded his volunteers that the Democrat Party did even worse in 2006 when it removed the Green Party senatorial candidate Carl Romanelli who collected over 100,000 signatures. Murphy said “this is a man who lives in an apartment in Wilkes-Barre; he will spend the rest of his life paying the $90,000 the Democrat Party spent in legal fees to remove him”. Murphy continued: “there are two ways to destroy democracy; one way is by preventing people from voting, the other is by preventing worthy candidates from ever appearing on the ballot. In 2004 and again in 2006 the Democrat Party has chosen the latter method”. Murphy explained that “if you want to run for election in Pennsylvania and you are an independent or a member of one of the newer parties, you have to be willing to bet your house”.

Murphy further explained to his volunteers that it would be necessary for them to continue collecting signatures for the next several months even though they had passed the number of signatures required by law. He explained that the Democrat Party wants to make sure that his time and resources and that of his volunteers would be consumed by the minutia embedded these egregious ballot access laws and thereby prevent him from spending time raising money and campaigning against the two corporate owned candidates.

29 Responses to “Independent congressional candidate crosses ballot access threshold”

  1. Paulie Says:

    We should see about getting John Murphy to blog here.

  2. disinter Says:

    Murphy rocks. I don’t agree with everything he says, but has balls. I respect that tremendously.

  3. Paulie Says:

    Same here.

  4. Joseph Marzullo Says:

    Wow. That’s not very democratic!

  5. Stefan Says:

    Yes, absolutely scandalous. All third parties should unite and work together with regard to ballot access.

  6. Richard Winger Says:

    I am very glad that John Murphy accurately described what happened to Ralph Nader in Pennsylvania in 2004 (and to Carl Romanelli in 2006). Those candidates were not “Fined”. They were not accused, much less convicted, of doing anything wrong. Instead, the massive amounts of money they are supposed to be are the costs of figuring out that they didn’t have enough valid signatures.

    In other words, Pennsylvania is charging candidates for the costs of checking their signatures, when the result is that the candidate doesn’t have enough. That’s like charging someone who runs in a primary and loses with the costs of administering the primary. Some third party activists in Pennsylvania have called the $80,000 or $90,000 charged to Nader and Romanelli as “fines” but that just confuses the issue. So hooray to John Murphy. There is about to be filed a federal lawsuit against Pennsyvlania, saying it violates the US Constitution for governments to pass on election-administration costs to candidates. In the past, federal courts in North Carolina and Florida struck down laws that required minor parties to pay for the costs of checking their signatures. Those are relevant precedents.

  7. Stefan Says:

    His website:

  8. Joseph Marzullo Says:

    Why doesn’t Nader just join the DP? He pretty much stands for everything they believe in anyway. Socialism.

  9. John Lowell Says:

    Anyone still convinced we’re not in a dictatorship needs an effective emetic. I’m so up to here with the lying-us-into-war, torturing-detainees, spying-on-us, can’t-do-anything-about-it-because-of-the-Republicans, $4/gallon-gas system we’re in that I could spit. If they keep this kind of thing up, at one point or other there will be people in the streets with iron pipes and brass knuckles the way things were in Weimar Germany in the early 1930s. The truckers strikes are just the very first whiff.

  10. Reform Party Member Says:

    More proof of the back room duopoly.

    John Murphy, multi year straight shooter!

    He and Sacramento’s Philip Sawyer would make excellent non LP, non CP, non uber conservative bloggers!

    ——-Donald R. Lake, Citizens For A Better Veterans Home

  11. Jenny C. Says:

    Ralph Nader’s father said:
    “Capitalism will never fail because Socialism will always bail it out.”

    Nader is an anti-corporatist, not a socialist. Since he is anti-corporate, he has very little commonality with the Democrats or Rebublicans. Nader is running as an independent and has never been a member of any party (although he’s run under party lines, such as the Green party).
    Of course Nader want to regulate corporations and stregthen shareholders’ rights, and why not? I don’t want children chewing on leaded toys, consuming pesticides in their food, drinking contaminated toxic water, breathing filthy air or riding in cars without seatbelts? Who does? Shouldn’t corporations have to abide by laws?
    Nader would like to end corporate personhood, for instance, and end the corporate stranglehold in Washington. I wouldn’t consider those socialist or even radical. Just commonsense.

  12. Pete Kelly Says:

    The Green Party’s John Murphy Bravo! relentless!!
    Now if the Green Party just had 434 more congressional candidates just like Murphy!!

    And 33 U.S. Senate candidates!

    All you Indpendents and Greens…get off your bottom and on the ballot

    For office!! ON the ballot where you can really make a difference in the debate….and worry the incumbent..

  13. Sivarticus Says:

    I like this guy, even though I don’t agree with him on everything. Anyone who can speak forcefully about the ballot access problems in this country wins my respect. Murphy also proves his intelligence by looking toward multiple third parties to line up behind his independent campaigns.

  14. Joseph Marzullo Says:

    If you don’t want your kids “chewing on leaded toys,” then don’t buy from the company suspected of such. lol

  15. Joseph Marzullo Says:

    anti-corporation? Government created the concept of corporations, so how can he be against that? hm. Just stop recognizing corporations.

  16. Zeleni Says:

    I served on the Green National Committee along with John Murphy and found him to be extremely vile and disruptive. I would stop reading ThirdPartyWatch if he started contributing.

  17. Catholic Trotskyist Says:

    Stefan and others, I am glad that you are moving towards the Fringe Alliance strategy, but ballot access is not important because it will never win elections anyway. Only bold and disruptive protests in order to amend the constitution to abolish the electoral college, institute majority runoff systems for executive elections and proportional representation for legislative elections, only that will institute the Fringe Alliance strategy. All third parties, as well as independents, centrists, Kucinich/Gravel Democrats and Ron Paul Republicans, must participate. However, the fascist/stalinist criminal Ralph Nader will never participate, as he is in league with teh Hillary Clinton anti-socialist wing of the Democratic Party, which is in league with Bush against the Glorious Obama Christian socialist wing of the Democratic Party. I applaud all measures that need to be taken to get the fascist/stalinist Naderite minnions off tthe ballot. What we really need here is a Cindy Sheehan supporter. She is smart and worthy of support because she is running in such a Democratic district that a Republican can’t win, so votes for her won’t be spoilers. I hope that Sheehan does defeat Pelosi, because Pelosi has not endorsed the Christian socialist program of Revolutionary General Barack H. Obama.

  18. Ross Says:

    I’m in Pennsylvania and I am going to do everything I can to help John Murphy. Once I check his policies out. And the competing Democrat. And Republican.

    But I’m in PA near John Murphy, so it looks good.

  19. Ross Says:

    Okay, I’m supporting this guy all the way. I’ve seen enough in that short of a time to know I like him.

  20. Peter M. Says:

    I have to sympathise with Zeleni on John Murphy’s behaviour. The Socialist Party of Pennsylvania was considering endorsing him (and did work with him a little bit despite not endorsing), and if his mannerisms over e-mail translate at all to his mannerisms in real life, he wouldn’t be a particularly pleasant person. Personally, I see him similarly to how I see Ralph Nader, brings up some good points, especially when it comes to ballot access, but seems to be mainly in this for himself, and not to build any sort of significant third party effort.

  21. Reform Party Member Says:

    Don Lake, California: He has always been decent to me [us: Citizens For A Better Veterans Home]! This has been over a period of years! Oh well!

  22. Ross Says:

    To all of you who called this man “socialist” in some condescending way, or did anything like that or thought anything like that about him -
    Please, grow up. First of all, this man is not a socialist. Like Jenny C. said, he is an anti-corporatist, which is a pretty libertarian view in and of itself. Of course, he’s not a strict libertarian as the word is thought of today, but maybe more of a Jefforsonian libertarian, who thinks that the government should provide some basic things to its citizens, then butt out. Maybe I’m wrong, but that’s just the impression that I get.

    Either way, in a big way it doesn’t matter. This guy is an independent with a good chance of winning a significant seat. Shouldn’t we be helping him to fight the duopoly? And wouldn’t that just be helping ourselves?

    All of us in third parties and independents cannot afford to participate in this divisive, destructive bickering. It only works to tear us apart and it works against build a strong third party/independent coalition that is needed to challenge the corporate parties.

  23. Libertarian Joseph Says:

    If you’re anti-corporatist, then wouldn’t you just merely favor getting rid of the government created concept of corporations? Look up the word that you don’t know anything about. Government CREATED corporations. Corporations are works of government regulation.

  24. Libertarian Joseph Says:

    let me rephrase: corporate status is of government’s doing. companies had no rights before government gave it to them.

  25. Ross Says:

    I understand that, and that’s why I’m in favor of smart regulation that protects people and smart government programs that protect citizens, and that is how Johyn Murphy appears. That’s what I was saying.

  26. Libertarian Joseph Says:

    What we need is protection from the government!

  27. Ross Says:

    What I mean is protection from things like what Jenny C. was saying - toxic toys, for example.

  28. Libertarian Joseph Says:

    Then buy products from suppliers that you trust.

  29. Ross Says:

    How do you know who to trust? If there are no requirements on information (at least), how do you know who’s trustworthy or what the products are made of?

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