Saturday, May 11, 2019

Texas Greens get a shot at 2020 ballot access

A most surprising and welcome development.  Via Ballot Access News:

On May 10, the Texas House passed HB 2504.  It requires candidates nominated in convention to pay filing fees.  Currently only primary candidates pay filing fees, because Texas filing fees were always intended to help pay for the election administration costs of primaries.  The Libertarian Party is the only party on the ballot now that nominates by convention.  In the recent past, the Green Party did also.  The bill passed 77-57, with all Republicans who voted voting 'yes', and all Democrats who voted, voting 'no'.

The bill also says (see amendment) that if a party polled at least 2% for any statewide race in any of the last five elections, it is ballot-qualified.  If this provision becomes law, the Green Party will be on the ballot in 2020, because in 2016 it polled over 2% for Railroad Commissioner and two statewide judicial races.

Two aspects here as I see them:

-- The TXGOP wants to reduce its competition with the Texas Libertarian Party by squeezing some money out of their candidates, who fill the state's ballots top to bottom every two years.  (There remains the petition/signature gathering option, of course.)

Update: David Collins expands, linking to the schedule of filing fees associated with various state offices, and recalling the history of past Green petition drives that received RPT assistance.

-- Texas Republicans also want Texas Democrats to get some competition back, thus the party line vote you see in the excerpt.  With a similar majority in the state Senate, this bill would seemingly have a good chance of becoming law.  We'll be watching.

Should Democrats nominate another appalling conservative for president next year, las fortunas de Partido Verde get strengthened in the Lone Star State.  (Recall in a previous 2020 Update that US Greens appear to be coming together around Howie Hawkins.)  If Bernie Sanders -- or another D progressive -- gets tapped, the dynamic changes; Los Burros de la Izquierda get to quarrel with the GPTX while the jackass centrists sulk -- or more likely, piss and bitch louder than ever about "spoiler".  This fight could get hostile if, for example, "capitalist to her bones"/"Israel has a right to defend itself" practice genocide on the Palestinians' Elizabeth Warren winds up as the nominee.

Good times!

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