Texas Democrats sue the state’s Green Party to find out who gave them 92,000 signatures

From the Dallas Morning News:

AUSTIN – The Texas Democratic Party went to court Thursday to find out who funded a petition drive for the Green Party that could help Gov. Rick Perry and other Republicans win close races this fall.

“Texans need to know the truth about Rick Perry’s involvement in the Republican/Green Party petition scam,” said state Democratic Party Chairman Boyd Richie.

Richie says the effort by out-of-state Republican interests to collect 92,000 signatures to put the Green Party on the November ballot was a disguised attempt to help Perry. The Republican governor could be the main beneficiary if the liberal Green Party candidate for governor draws votes from Democrat Bill White. The governor’s campaign has said it has no involvement in the petition drive, which was arranged by an out-of-state Republican consultant and funded by an undisclosed benefactor.

Green Party state coordinator Kat Swift could not immediately be reached for comment Thursday. She has said the party believes the petition drive was legal but is awaiting written assurance before moving forward to field candidates.

12 thoughts on “Texas Democrats sue the state’s Green Party to find out who gave them 92,000 signatures

  1. Trent Hill

    Her name is kat swift. Not Kat Swift. =P

    Rumor has it that Paul Singer, a Rudy Giuliani supporter in ’08, gave the effort $175,000.

  2. Ross Levin Post author

    Wait, what about her name?

    And TPR, it actually was Republicans that funded the drive and got the signatures, although obviously 92,000 Texans had to sign the petitions.

  3. NewFederalist

    Does a Rudy Giuliani Republican really qualify as a Republican in Texas?

  4. Joey G. Dauben | The Palmer Post

    That’s not a rumor, Trent. It’s in the Dallas Morning News article I sent to IPR on Sunday. It’s stated in that article…the link was e-mailed, and even posted, on this very Web site.

    Just an FYI.

    The GOP money-men “donated” the signatures to the Greens.

  5. Vaughn

    So what? 27 signatures I gathered for last petition I had 2 or 3 Republicans sign, so what? What about freedom of association?

  6. Trent Hill

    “Wait, what about her name?”

    Apparently she hates capitalization or something, I dunno. I remember back when she ran for President (08, I think), she insisted on spelling her name “kat swift”. You’d have to ask her why.

    I don’t think it should matter who funded it.

  7. Matt Cholko

    Who cares who funded it? Why does it matter who held the petitions while 92,000 Texans were signing?

    I’ve never seen a TX petition, but ours in VA clearly state that the signer wishes for the candidate named at the top to appear on the ballot. They also state the party name. Now, I know this is a bit different from the party petitions done in TX, but I’m sure they make it clear that the signer is asking for the GP to be put on the ballot. So, the Dems can be pissed at the 92,000 signers if they want, they can be pissed at the Republicans who helped the Greens with their petitioning, they can even be pissed at the Greens for wanting to be on the ballot. However, their claims that something unsavory was done look somewhat ironic, as it seems to me like the Dems are using some unsavory tactics to circumvent the will of 92,000 Texans.

  8. Richard Winger

    Texas law is very strong in insisting that a petition signer is the same thing as a primary vote. That is how Texas always justifies its law that prevents primary voters from signing a petition for a new party or an independent candidate.

    So, the people who signed the petition, by Texas law, “voted”. The idea that the signers’ “votes” should be canceled, after the “primary”, just because someone donated money to the “candidate” unlawfully, would be like overturning an election because the winning candidate broke a campaign finance law.

    In other words, voters in our system are not really important, and their votes can be thrown out if the person they voted for did something wrong concerning campaign finance.

    And I am not saying that any donation to the Green Party was illegal; I am just doing a “what if” analysis here.

    It’s also interesting that the Texas press doesn’t grapple with the point that Texas ballot access law is so bad, only a party with a wealthy benefactor can get on the ballot. Before 1967, parties didn’t need any signatures to get on the ballot; they just had to hold a state convention and county conventions in any 20 counties. There was no ballot-crowding problem. Texas never had more than 6 parties on a ballot, ever.

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