Press release sent to IPR:
LIBERTARIANS OPPOSE “POLL TAX” ON CANDIDATES
HB 418 imposes new fees on third parties and independents
Last Monday, the Libertarian Party of Texas testified before the Texas legislature’s elections committee against HB 418. This bill would impose prohibitive filing fees on competitors to the Republicans and Democrats (such as Libertarians, other third parties, and independents). Authored by State Representative Leo Berman (R – Dist. 6), HB 418 would require candidates who are not Republicans or Democrats to pay as much as $5,000 into a new “ballot security” fund, while exempting the two major parties from such a requirement.
Libertarian Party state chair Pat Dixon says “This bill is effectively a “poll tax” on candidates of competing parties and should be completely rejected, either in the legislature or the court.”
The bill would make Libertarians and others pay the same amount for “ballot security” as Republicans and Democrats for their primary election filing fees. The primary filing fees contribute only a portion of their expensive primaries, with the Texas taxpayers subsidizing the considerable balance. Libertarians select their nominees in a convention process, which costs the taxpayers nothing, rather than through primaries. Although the primary filing fees paid by Republicans and Democrats are used to fund their nomination process, the Berman bill would have the Libertarians’ ballot filing fees go to a mysterious new “ballot security” fund under the control of the Secretary of State.
Dixon asks “What is this dubious “ballot security” fund? Why do Libertarians have to pay for “ballot security” and nobody else does? HB 418 is clearly punitive, unfair, and will not stand the scrutiny of the courtroom.”
Dixon added, “Libertarians would prefer to save the state money and not require filing fees for any candidates – Republican, Democrat or any other – and for political parties to fully fund their nomination processes and impose no burden on taxpayers. The elections committee should reject HB 418 and save the attorney general the burden of defending a losing case.”
Libertarians urge Texans to contact their representatives to stop this bill.
Libertarian Party of Texas l P. O. Box 41059 l Austin, TX 78704-0018
(512) 291-6671 l (800) 422-1776 l www. lptexas.org