Russel Mokhiber of Singler Payer Action on establishment liberals’ failure to stand up for third parties and ‘the American people’

From Counterpunch, and also posted at Single Payer Action:

But under the Connecticut law, minor party candidates and independents have to show public support by raising the small contributions.

But then they must do more.

They have to gather a certain number of signatures – or show a certain level of voter support from past elections to qualify for the public funding.

These additional requirements did not please minor party and independent candidates in Connecticut.

So, they sued arguing that the law was unconstitutional in that it denied them their fundamental rights. (Green Party of Connecticut v. Garfield.)

In August, 2009, a federal court in Connecticut agreed.

In a 93-page decision, Judge Stefan Underhill ruled that by enhancing “the relative strength of major party candidates to the detriment of the political opportunity of minor party candidates,” the Connecticut law “imposes a discriminatory burden on minor party candidates’ fundamental rights.”

But in July 2010, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, while admitting that the law’s burdens on independent and minor party candidates “come close to the outer edge of the constitutionally permitted range,” it nevertheless overturned Judge Underhill’s decision.

The plaintiffs are appealing that decision to the U.S. Supreme Court.

And guess who, lo and behold, has weighed in against the plaintiffs in this case?

Guess who doesn’t want the U.S. Supreme Court to hear the case?

Common Cause.

Public Citizen.

Democracy 21.

Three of the most in influential inside the Beltway public interest groups.

Their brief was filed by WilmerHale’s Seth Waxman – Bill Clinton’s former Solicitor General.

Regrettably, these groups have once again weighed in on the side of the two-party dictatorship.

9 thoughts on “Russel Mokhiber of Singler Payer Action on establishment liberals’ failure to stand up for third parties and ‘the American people’

  1. Tiradefaction

    Huh, Public Citizen as well? That’s surprising, and pretty damning as well.

  2. Ross Levin Post author

    I was kind of surprised as well, only because I associate Public Citizen with Nader, but apparently (and correct me if I’m wrong) he hasn’t been directly involved with the group for a long time.

  3. paulie

    Their whole thing is public financing of elections. I don’t think they care about alternatives having access too much.

  4. pete healey

    Public Citizen showed their “true colors” in 2000 when they refused to accept that Nader had a right to run for President. They’ve been in disgrace ever since. There really are lots of places and situations where it’s the “progressive community” that is holding up progress, on a whole range of issues but especially this one.

  5. paulie

    Too true…I got that same sense in ’92 when they lined up behind Clinton as the Democratic nominee….a DLC corporate shill, pro-drug war hypocrite and chickenhawk supporter of the military-industrial complex. It was then that I realized that the change I was hoping for from the baby boomer generation “counterculture” once they completed their “infiltration” of the establishment and got to its top was not coming.

    So much for the Democrats.

    Perot was, if anything, worse.

    The Greens weren’t on the ballot yet then.

    So, I voted Libertarian, and over the next couple of years they convinced me on some issues I didn’t use to agree on (mostly economic).

    Now, the progressives that line up behind the Democrats are not on my side at all anymore. Even the things they sound marginally good on, peace and civil liberties issues mostly, they consistently sell out for the benefit of the Democratic Party corporatist leadership.

  6. Dave Schwab

    Very surprising and disheartening – Common Cause and Public Citizen are groups that I have respected and supported. I suspect that Greens and other progressive independents make up a large part of their donor base. I would be willing to boycott any group that sides with an anti-democracy agenda, and I suspect many others would feel the same way, and let these groups know why they have lost our support. And less money for them means more left over for Fairvote, right?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *