Barr fails to submit enough raw signatures in West Virginia, as IPR predicted

Ballot Access New reports that

According to the West Virginia Secretary of State, petitions for Libertarian Party candidate Bob Barr fell short. He turned in 13,036 of the 15,118 required by state law.

IPR first reported about this on August 1, when I wrote

According to a field report by one of the Libertarian petitioners on the ground in West Virginia, as of tonight’s final turn-in of signatures by petitioners to the campaign, the LP gathered only around 12,000 raw signatures, falling short of the 15,118 required by state law. While additional signatures would be required to survive a challenge, the bare minimum required by law would have been enough if there was no challenge.

On the same day, Third Party Watch published an article headlined Barr campaign claims success in West Virginia, and some of the comments it received included:

Jonathan Says:
August 1st, 2008 at 9:46 am

From this web site that trashes Barr, the owner is a purist reports:

West Virginia Libertarian petition reportedly fails
August 1st, 2008 · 4 Comments
According to a field report by one of the Libertarian petitioners on the ground in West Virginia, as of tonight’s final turn-in of signatures by petitioners to the campaign, the LP gathered only around 12,000 raw signatures, falling short of the 15,118 required by state law. While additional signatures would be required to survive a challenge, the bare minimum required by law would have been enough if there was no challenge.

and

Joey Dauben Says:
August 1st, 2008 at 10:39 am

And those guys had the nerve to attack me for supporting Wayne Allyn Root (because they always linked me to Dondero lol) and posting other news items on this site …Independent Political Report is a sham if they keep this “reporting” up.

and

Jonathan Says:
August 1st, 2008 at 3:48 pm

ofcourse the IPR is wrong they always leave a little room for error but they try their best to give a negative spin every chance he gets

Gene Trosper Says:
August 1st, 2008 at 4:26 pm

I check IPR each day, as I like to gain my information for a wide variety of sources to suss out the facts. When I do though, I take their posts with a huge grain of salt because of their obvious bias and constant negative spin on anything or anyone they disagree with.

Anyone who uses that site (or any other, including this one) as their sole source of information is asking to be led around by the nose.

Turns out that TPW was wrong, and IPR was mostly right.

Minor corrections in our previous story: 1) West Virginia is not a challenge state, so 15,118 signatures would not have qualified them for the ballot unless they had 100% validity. The first batch of signatures the LP turned in were certified at 38%, and no quality control measures were introduced afterward.

2) The turn-in on the evening of July 31 was not the final turn in. A small number of signatures continued to be collected for part of the day on Aug. 1. That, and a fedex package the Barr campaign received from the pandhandle, accounted for the discrepancy between 12,000 and 13,000.

The Barr campaign is continuing to gather signatures in West Virginia after the deadline, and BAN reports (link above) that

The Barr campaign website says a lawsuit will be filed on Tuesday and they will continue to collect signatures to exceed 20,000. The basis of the lawsuit will in Anderson v. Celebrezze. The LP objects to the “arbitrary date” established by state law for having petition drives completed. Republicans don’t have to officially file until their convention ends in September, so there’s no compelling reason to have independents submit signatures sooner. The Secretary of State’s spokesperson said it was unclear if county clerks will continue to verify signatures on Barr petitions.

Independent Ralph Nader has been certified for the ballot in West Virginia, and Constitution Party nominee Chuck Baldwin submitted 21,704 signatures, which should be sufficient. Cynthia McKinney is on the ballot under the Mountain Party, which has affiliated with the Green Party nationally.

33 thoughts on “Barr fails to submit enough raw signatures in West Virginia, as IPR predicted

  1. mattc

    Why are comments left on TPW by people who (as far as I know) are not affiliated with the site newsworthy?

  2. paulie cannoli Post author

    Because they were hailing how TPW got it right and I was engaging in irresponsible “reporting” (in quotes, mind you), a “sham” and “negative spin,” “trashing Barr,” “obvious bias,” etc.

  3. mattc

    But they’re just a bunch of nobodies posting comments on a blog. If you’re going to try to respond to all the ridiculous comments left on sites like TPW or IPR then you’re going to be pretty busy.

  4. paulie cannoli Post author

    But they’re just a bunch of nobodies posting comments on a blog.

    I don’t agree with that description. Readers are what make a blog. Otherwise, why bother posting anything? And are you including yourself in the category of “nobodies”?


    If you’re going to try to respond to all the ridiculous comments left on sites like TPW or IPR then you’re going to be pretty busy.

    I’m not trying to do that. I’m giving a sampling of the type of reaction their article got, which accused us/me of irresponsible reporting. Quoting their article alone would not do that.

    Many of the same people read IPR and TPW. On this story, we went head to head with different accounts of a developing story. We got it right, and were slammed for engaging in negative spin. They got it wrong (well, kind of wrong – the Barr campaign did in fact claim success, but it was not a claim backed up by actual signatures in hand).

  5. Austin Cassidy

    That’s a pretty bad miss for the Barr campaign if Chuck Baldwin was able to pull it off.

    What in the world are they doing wrong?

    Signature collecting is a big pain. But I once collected about 100 in an afternoon while standing outside a couple of different stores. Supposedly they had brought people in from other states who were doing this full time. Those folks ought to have been able to do 200 a day, times 10 days. Using a dozen volunteers and paid stuff… you should be there!

  6. Lance Brown

    paulie,

    TPW did not “get it wrong”, even a little. It’s fine to take credit for being right when many folks said you weren’t, but there’s no need to make it about TPW vs. IPR. They were two different stories, for one thing. And you were both right.

  7. Lance Brown

    As far as the actual news goes, it seems like Barr’s court case is going to be pretty easy to shoot down, given that most or all of the other candidates managed to reach the threshold.

  8. paulie cannoli Post author

    TPW did not “get it wrong”, even a little. It’s fine to take credit for being right when many folks said you weren’t, but there’s no need to make it about TPW vs. IPR. They were two different stories, for one thing. And you were both right.

    Yes, as I mentioned, they were technically correct that the Barr campaign merely claimed they had enough signatures, which is one reason I included multiple reader reactions which show that is not what people understood when they read it.

  9. paulie cannoli Post author

    As far as the actual news goes, it seems like Barr’s court case is going to be pretty easy to shoot down, given that most or all of the other candidates managed to reach the threshold.

    I hope that’s not true, but expect you are probably correct.

  10. paulie cannoli Post author

    If I recall correctly from my time at LPHQ, there was a problem with some state — Illinois, I think — in 2000 because they required all parties to submit their tickets (and signatures) in full by August 31, and the GOP was not formally nominating its candidate until September 2. They of course made an immediate exception for the GOP but not for any party that actually had to work to get on the ballot.

    IL deadline is in June.

  11. Dylan Waco

    I can’t believe anyone really finds this piece of news shocking.

    Baldwin is a Baptist minister. West Virginia is a State with an awfully large number of evangelical Christians, a large number of whom have populist streaks politically. Churches can’t officially endorse candidates of course, but as someone who grew up in a Church much like those that dot the WV landscape, I can say with certainty that they are filled with activists that know how to push their message. Getting petitions signed is a cakewalk for them.

    I know IPR is a website with something of a Libertarian slant, and it is one of my favorite blogs on the net, but the fact that a Christian pastor, running on a protectionist platform was able to gather more signatures in West Virginia than a Washington politician running on the benevolence of the free market really shouldn’t be shocking.

  12. Trent Hill

    Dylan,

    Yes, it should be shocking. The CP has NEVER made the WV ballot before. In fact–it has never even tried. Furthermore, it doesnt have even half of the resources to expend on such an effort, nor a big name former-congressman who is getting national press.

  13. donald raymond lake

    Matthew, Matthew, Matthew,

    Who died and made you the queen of the Gay Pride Parade? Third Party Watch [unfortunately HEAVILY scewed to the Lib/ Neo Con/ Religious Right] should be open to all non Dems and all non GOP.

    “….as far as I know, are not affiliated with the site ” says whom, Mister Know It All Prick? All these $@&#$@ Libs whom act like the site is Libertarian Party Watch? Is that you, dickie cyber cop?

    ANY ONE with a gripe toward the two party duopoly establishment which is ruining our national community should be welcomed with open arms. I would assume that that would NOT include an unsympathic kkkreep like you!

  14. WVGhostDog

    Times are really changing here in WV. There is something going on here beyond a bad economy … many people are just culturally and socially incapable of adapting to 2008 society even if they had the education. Thus higher education among many WV lower middle class residents becomes not cherished but reviled. The kind of fundamentalism Baldwin stands for ends up being spoken of even in many mainstream Protestant WV congregations. Many adult Methodist Sunday School congregations have discussions about the Left Behind series.

  15. Steven R Linnabary

    Petitioning isn’t usually like that, with people understanding, let alone knowing the subtle differences between opposition parties.

    In my experience, a petitioner can ask somebody to sign, a person doesn’t know or care if it is the Vegetarian Party or the Theocracy Party or the Chicken in Every Pot Party. People are in a hurry, and either say no, or say “sure, the more the merrier”. Petitioners don’t have time to explain “Pastor So and So’s” or “former Congresscritter’s” platform.

    It all comes down to the organization on the ground. Regrettably, the WVLP isn’t as active as it could be. WV was a throwaway state, entered into by the national organization only at a late date.

    Obviously, either the Constitution Party has some local organization, or the national campaign made it a priority earlier than the Libertarian Party did.

    PEACE
    Steve

  16. Trent Hill

    Steven,

    The CP has a small organization in WV, I’d say roughly 20 people.
    My understanding is that the LP basically has NO party their.

  17. Trent Hill

    GE,

    If you want the scoop on the WV petition failure, go look at the article on the frontpage of Ballot Access news and read the comments. Jake Witmer left a veritable novel about the situation and why its Sean Haugh’s fault.

  18. G.E.

    Witmer also send numerous messages to IPR. I was too busy to cover the story and had hoped someone else would.

    In reality, though, what does it matter: Anyone who has any integrity knows the LP is run by a criminal cabal. It has already been thoroughly demonstrated beyond a shadow of a doubt. If we had covered the Wtimer story, whose mind would this have changed? Some people have a religious devotion to the criminal Redpath gaggle and nothing is going to sway them.

  19. Steve LaBianca

    Interesting how Gene Trosper took to my claims of him being less than a principled, consistent libertarian. Yet here is his comment (reprinted from the article above) about “prncipled” sites and posters to such sites:

    Gene Trosper Says:
    August 1st, 2008 at 4:26 pm

    I check IPR each day, as I like to gain my information for a wide variety of sources to suss out the facts. When I do though, I take their posts with a huge grain of salt because of their obvious bias and constant negative spin on anything or anyone they disagree with.

    All of us, myself included, have said some things incorrectly on specific topics. Trosper however, after much general experience with IPR makes this completely biased, and WRONG post about supposedly “biased” people, including myself.

  20. rob in cal

    Concerning Baldwin, shouldn’t alot of people be excited that an anti-war pastor is developing such a big profile, and achieving ballot status in alot of states? Seems to me the more publicity given to conservative anti-war Christians the better, in that more and more Christian conservatives might start looking for Baldwin as an example of leadership instead of Bush. I say, more power to the anti-war Christians, we need more of them, not more knee-jerk Bush is always right lets blow up the world automatons.

    Concerning the Libertarian suit I hope it works, the later in the year that states have ballot deadlines the better. Seems like a cause we should all agree on.

  21. Trent Hill

    rob in cal,

    I am certainly excited. And I think at least 2% of West Virginians will opt for Chuck Baldwin.

  22. Mike Gillis

    I was thinking about Barr’s fundraising bar on his site and how he could get it to move faster.

    Something the Nader campaign has done to great success is to offer temporary promotions, offering free autographed books to people who give over $100 or 200.

    I know that Barr has written a couple books. Or offer free yard signs or other merchandise to people who give more than 25 bucks.

    Or find a book about libertarianism written by a supporter or a bundle of libertarian books and offer them as a pack to people who give more than $100.

    Every time we’ve offered these sorts of things, the donations have skyrocketed immediately.

  23. Fred Church Ortiz

    I talk plenty of smack in the comments section, but I’ve tried to hold myself to keeping it there. If I’ve failed in that, let me know.

    I’ll forgo demanding satisfaction for the slight.

  24. G.E.

    It’s very cute that you think you talk “smack” in the comments, Fred. It makes me say “awwwe” like when my daughter does something adorable.

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