I first learned of this from a Green Party press release. While I disagree with most of the Greens’ issues, or at least don’t agree with them to the extent that they push them, I have to say this is an issue that I support. Not because I am Republican, I have flirted with Conservative third parties, but because of the 2 power hungry sides in my party that don’t care who they step on and hurt. It sometimes is so bad, that someone like me who wants to bring the sides together is likely to get hurt, because neither side claims you and both sides call you a member of the other camp. But, that’s not what this article is about.
This article is about the Democrats trying to pass a bill (HR 4694) that effectively seeks to ban any and all third parties, basically making it so only the Republicans and Democrats will have access to power. It’s already difficult for an independent or third party candidate to gain ballot access, but this new bill would make it almost impossible.
HR 4694 (“Let the People Decide Clean Campaign Act”) would mean that the official nominees of parties (i.e., Democrats and Republicans) that had averaged 25% of the vote for House races in a given district in the last two elections would get full public funding.
All others (i.e., third party and independent candidates) would be required to submit petitions signed by 10% of the number of people who voted in the last election to get partial funding, and 20% petitions to get full funding.
The press release gives an example of the 2nd district in Missouri, where 10% of that district would be some 35,000 signatures, just to spend anything at all, including your/his/her own money.
This is a bill that people of all parties should be concerned about. It prohibits the exercise of free speech, which is guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution. Sure the Green Party may have siphoned off votes from the Democrats, but lest we forget Perot did the same to Republicans a few years before. If anything we as voters should vote third party more often so that we can get give a chance to some other ideas that the big two ignore.
So no matter what party you belong to, I encourage you to write your Congressman and tell him or her to vote against HR 4694. It doesn’t matter if you belong to the Green, Libertarian, Constitution, Democratic, Republican or any of the other parties out there or no party at all, this is an issue that we must put down. If you believe in free speech then this is something you have to fight.