An email from veteran professional petition circulator Andy Jacobs which was sent to members of the LNC, IPR and others earlier today contains a first-hand report and videos of harassment of petitioners in Oklahoma.
The first video is of Andy “getting illegally kicked out of a public arts festival at a community college in Oklahoma City for asking people to sign a petition to place the Libertarian Party on the ballot.”
The following is a video of Andy “getting illegally kicked out of a public food festival at a public park in Oklahoma City for asking people to sign a state mandated ballot access petition to place the Libertarian Party on the ballot.”
Mr. Jacobs further reports that:
“Prior to when I started recording on the park video, the security guards had already been harassing Paul (IPR’s own Paulie Frankel). Paulie showed them papers that contained relevant legal information about gathering petition signatures at parks and public festivals and the security guards refused to read any of it.
“I was actually taking a risk by video recording this with my phone, as the police have been known to rip video recorders away from people and erase recording, or destroy the recording equipment, and then lie about what happened afterwards.
“This is why all petition circulators ought to be equipped with body cameras that automatically upload footage to the cloud. Any rights violations should be met with Section 1983 law suits.
“If we can start getting some victories over the people who prevent us from gathering petition signatures (police, security guards, etc…), this would probably get the thugs to leave us alone in the future.
“One of the biggest reasons for petition drives failing is petition circulators being run out of venues with public foot traffic.
“. . . it should be pointed out that all over this country, petition circulators are routinely harassed, and illegally prevented from gathering petition signatures. Here are videos of the 2014 Libertarian Party candidate for Governor of Minnesota, Chris Holbrook, being illegally harassed and prevented from gathering ballot access petition signatures at a public park.
“Watch as Libertarian Party candidate for Governor of Minnesota, Chris Holbrook, is placed in handcuffs, and put in the back of a police vehicle, for the “crime” of asking people to sign a state mandated ballot access petition.
Andy concludes by asking:
“So are we going to keep getting kicked around election cycle after election cycle, or are we going to do something about this?”
IPR intends to cover whatever legal actions are taken to bring accountability to these apparent illegal acts by law enforcement.
Others with similar experiences to the videos above are especially encouraged to post same in the comments section below.
I also saw a vdeo recently where students were either arrested or threatened with arrest for passing out the US Constitution at their own college…and that’s was not even the first college that happened at.
Here’s another example of how easy it is to get arrested for exercising 1st amendment rights in the present day USA. A group that wants more gun control laws was recently holding a demonstration on the campus of the University of Texas in Austin, so a few people who were on the pro-gun rights side showed up to peacefully protest against those calling for more gun control laws. Two of the peaceful pro-gun rights protestors were merely holding up pro-2nd amendment signs, which led to them being accosted by the campus police. They ended up being arrested for daring to question the police about why they were being asked to leave.
I worked on the petition drive to get the Libertarian Party back on the ballot in Texas back in 2004. I worked in the Austin area, and while I was there, I did try to get signatures at the University of Texas, but myself and other petition circulators were run off the campus by the police. So it looks like the University of Texas is still maintaining their anti-free speech policies.
Pro-Gun Activists Arrested For Holding Signs in Public
I think she said this month or next month.
September 30, 2015 at 10:30 pm
‘I have not heard anything about a government school funding tax hike petition even being filed here. This would not be a good thing at all to mix with a Libertarian Party ballot access petition. I hope that it does note even happen.’
I heard about it from Tina (Kelly, LP vice chair). She said David Boren, U of Ok president and former Senator is behind it.”
If it happens, it could start after the Libertarian Party petition is over.
I’d hate to see a situation where non-libertarian mercenary petitioners are getting paid on a tax increase for more government school funding petition at the same time as they are getting paid for signatures for the Libertarian Party.
Tina is convinced they will get tons of signatures for the LP and is working with them herself. We shall see.
I heard about it from Tina (Kelly, LP vice chair). She said David Boren, U of Ok president and former Senator is behind it.
About 7 or 8 k at last report
so where are you at in signatures?
Paul said: “There’s also talk of initiatives paying. The only one I have heard of is a government school funding tax hike, which is not something that I as a libertarian would help push. Some of our petitioners may depending on who will be working here but not Andy or me.”
I have not heard anything about a government school funding tax hike petition even being filed here. This would not be a good thing at all to mix with a Libertarian Party ballot access petition. I hope that it does note even happen.
There is a Medical Marijuana petition that just came out, or is coming out tomorrow, and this would be a great fit to go along with a Libertarian Party ballot access petition, but unfortunately I do not think that the group that is behind it has any money, and I am skeptical that they will make the ballot (they need something like 120,000 valid signatures in 90 days).
There are supposed to be Medical Marijuana volunteer (as in unpaid) petition circulators who are going to also carry the Libertarian Party petition for pay, but it remains to be seen how many signatures they are actually going to produce.
September 30, 2015 at 10:08 pm
You need to try this.
Have someone on your team go to a public area to try to get people to sign up for a liberal cause, for example like gay rights (of course for this purpose, it’s fake). Then when you’re approached by security/police, compare it with a different person on your team going to the same public area, on a different day, to try to get people to sign up for a conservative cause, like prayer in our schools for example (also of course fake). The point is to compare how the two parties in power influence the system for their parties benefits.”
It generally does not matter what the cause is, as in you are just as likely to get harassed regardless of what you are asking people to sign.
I have worked on numerous ballot initiative and referendum petitions over the years, some that would appeal more to people on the right than on the left, and some that would appeal more to people on the left than on the right, and I have been hassled while working on pretty much all of them.
Yes, there could be certain situations where certain people one encounters in the field may be more likely to hassle a petition circulator depending on what the issue is, but there is more of an overall attack against free speech in this country than anything else.
Thanks for the suggestion.
I think we would have problems here regardless of the cause, but that’s just a hunch.
We have our hands full with the LP petition and trying to get signatures on it. Although we may experiment with a marijuana initiative that is not paying and probably won’t get enough signatures to make the ballot if they come through on getting us locations with permission. That has been talked about but the actual locations we have yet to get. We have left them messages.
At least some of us have also considered carrying the Green Party petition if
1) They pay or
2) They get the LP a non-trivial number of volunteer signatures in exchange or
3) If it looks like they are likely to make it with a little push over the top from us,
Or especially some combination thereof….but right now it looks like
4) None of the above
So so far we haven’t (or maybe some of the volunteers have, I don’t know).
There’s also talk of initiatives paying. The only one I have heard of is a government school funding tax hike, which is not something that I as a libertarian would help push. Some of our petitioners may depending on who will be working here but not Andy or me.
You need to try this.
Have someone on your team go to a public area to try to get people to sign up for a liberal cause, for example like gay rights (of course for this purpose, it’s fake). Then when you’re approached by security/police, compare it with a different person on your team going to the same public area, on a different day, to try to get people to sign up for a conservative cause, like prayer in our schools for example (also of course fake). The point is to compare how the two parties in power influence the system for their parties benefits.
This has long since been a nation of the people, for the people, and by the people. And I fear we haven’t seen the worst yet.
But if they are hopefully more and better…
Hopefully the videos will no longer be necessary
However, that is good advice and I will try to remind Andy about that if and when he will be taking more videos, as I am sure he will be.
I’m guessing that in the heat of the moment Andy was not thinking about holding the phone sideways as he had cops in his face.
Why on earth do you hold your phone camera vertical?
Can you not see that it will never fill up the frames?
It’s interesting how different the comments on facebook are from the ones here.
I could use some knowledgeable people to comment on the youtube and especially facebook pages linked above. Please stop by and help out when you get a chance. Many of the folks there don’t know what those of us who regularly read IPR do.
@1:51 pm the space is right after the s in https.
I put in the space so it doesn’t post the video instead of the link; copy and paste and take the space out before hitting enter.
I’m also starting to get a comment or two on the youtube page as well….
https://www.facebook.com/libertarians/posts/10153642583572726 if anyone wants to comment on this on the LP national FB page.
Great job with the Red Dirt Report, Andy.
September 30, 2015 at 12:46 pm
That’s a good article in Red Dirt report. People should read the whole thing!”
Note that that article only came about because I encountered somebody from that website while gathering LP ballot access petition signatures at a farmers market in OKC, and I spoke to them for a few minutes about the petition drive and the party.
That’s a good article in Red Dirt report. People should read the whole thing!
U of Oklahoma told petitioner Kaye Matthews she or any of the rest of us can not be anywhere on university property and will be arrested with no further warning if we show up again. She was also ordered by Norman PD to leave Campus Corner under threat of arrest, an area of public sidewalks just outside the university running past bars, restaurants etc.
Posted on prior thread – for the new readers from the national LP FB link:
* Metropolitan Library System in OKCity and suburbs has a written and posted policy that specifically prohibits petitioning. I talked to an assistant branch manager at the Ralph Ellison branch where petitioner Jeff Carter was removed and threatened with arrest today and showed her rights paperwork detailing federal court rulings and she referred me to their downtown system office (Tim Rogers, director; Kay Bauman, deputy director 405-606-3819)
* Myriad Botanical Gardens, a public park downtown OKC which had a free food festival that was open to the public with no admission charge (and regularly hosts other such events), said that the entire park is private property which is leased by a private trust that owns the botanical garden from the city. The OCPD backed this up and told Andy he had to cross the street, implying that the public sidewalks surrounding this public park which has events that are free and open to the public, are also “private property.” The security and police both refused to even look at rights paperwork.
* Oklahoma Arts Festival which was a 3-day event, no admission charged, held at a public community college parking lot, kicked us out after half a day. Again, security and police refused to even look at rights paperwork. Andy has video of this incident and I believe also the one at Myriad Botanical Gardens.
* A security guard and two police officers with OCPD told Andy that he had to leave downtown city sidewalks during the H & 8th night market, a monthly event which is free and open to the public. Fortunately, a third police officer admitted he had the right to be there, but that does not guarantee we will not run into the same problem this month or next month nor that we will end up prevailing the next time we get hassled.
Since this got shared on the LP national facebook ..
Mark Axinn said: “Good news. Show them the videos. Make it easy for them to have something concrete to work with.”
This is yet another reason why all petition circulators ought to wear body cameras that automatically upload footage to the cloud while gathering signatures.
>Bill Redpath put us in touch with the Oklahoma ACLU today, and unlike when Andy called them earlier they seem somewhat interested. We shall see if anything results.
Good news. Show them the videos. Make it easy for them to have something concrete to work with.
Misunderstood that then. I thought someone told you this on the phone.
September 28, 2015 at 11:46 pm
Bill Redpath put us in touch with the Oklahoma ACLU today, and unlike when Andy called them earlier they seem somewhat interested. We shall see if anything results.”
I never got to talk to anybody when I called the ACLU of Oklahoma. Their voice mail would not accept any messages. They said to mail them a letter or send them an email. I was intending to email them, but I had not gotten around to it.
Bill Redpath put us in touch with the Oklahoma ACLU today, and unlike when Andy called them earlier they seem somewhat interested. We shall see if anything results.
Wow, I’m shocked. Shocked, I tell you!
September 28, 2015 at 9:07 pm
‘When I brought up the fact that we are gathering signatures on a state mandated ballot access petition, and that we have a deadline that we have to meet, his response was that we don’t have to be on the ballot.’
No doubt, he’s a regular contributor to the OK Republican Party and gets invited to all their big shindigs. It would be nice to know why they’re so afraid of competition, but of course they won’t answer that.”
I am not sure how tied in with the Republican Party this guy is, but I did find something online that said that he contributed to a Republican candidate for US Congress (I am pretty sure that it is the same guy).
I asked him who pays for the police to be at the State Fair and he would not answer this question.
September 28, 2015 at 9:02 pm
Okay, perhaps I was being overly-sensitive; my apologies”
Same here. I was not trying to be rude or pick a fight, but rather to point out that I’ve worked on a heck of a lot of ballot drives over the last 15 years in a heck of a lot of places (32 states plus DC), and there have been very few occasions when any paid petitioners have donated anything. Most of them won’t even hand out any campaign literature, even if the campaign gives it to them.
“As far as paid petitioners contributing sigs., since Marc, Darryl and others of my paid petitioners have done so one more than one occasion ”
I commend them all for doing that. I have worked with both Marc and Darryl in other states, and I know that they generally do not do this. That’s great that they did it in New York. I know that Marc started out as a volunteer petitioner back in like 2001 I believe. I think that he said that he worked his first petition drive as an unpaid volunteer.
I do not generally turn in volunteer signatures either, although I have done it on several petition drives over the years. I’ve also worked on petition drives in places where it was permissible to register people to vote and have them sign petitions the same day, and that have partisan voter registration, and I got a bunch of people to register as Libertarians in these places, even though I was not getting paid to do this. I did not always push it, but if somebody stopped to sign a pro-liberty ballot initiative or referendum petition, and they needed to register to vote, and if the person sounded like they could be a Libertarian, and if I was not in a super busy location where it was going to take away time where I could have been talking to other people, I would try to talk people into registering Libertarian. Now I have also gotten paid to register people as Libertarians a few times as well, and the times I did this I pushed registering Libertarian more, but my point here is that over the years I registered a bunch of people as Libertarians without getting paid for doing it.
Another way that I’ve done a lot of volunteer work for the Libertarian Party and movement is by handing out pamphlets, flyers, bumper stickers, DVD’s, VHS tapes, etc… I have handed out a lot of materials that other people have provided me, but I have also done a lot of this at my own expense. I have probably spent several thousand dollars out of my own pocket over the years doing this, and I have done this while petitioning for the Libertarian Party, and also while gathering signatures for pro-liberty ballot initiatives and referendum petitions. Just today I was at a FedEx store and I spent $10 out of my own pocket photo copying Libertarian Party flyers. Now $10 may not sound like much, but I spent around something like $40 doing this at the beginning of the petition drive, and if you add up all of the times I’ve done stuff like this over the years it would add up to a few thousand dollars, I would not be surprised if I am the #1 pamphleteer in the Libertarian Party and movement.
I have also done a lot of contact gathering for the Libertarian Party, that is getting people who I encounter who are interested in the Libertarian Party to sign a contact list that says that they want to be contacted by the party. I have done this for several years, and I’ve never gotten paid for it. I have probably gathering more contacts for the Libertarian Party than anyone else (unless you count times the party has done mass mailings to lists of interested people, or contacts generated by campaigns for high level offices, or anything similar).
I have also done some volunteer fundraising for the LP (I’ve done a little paid fundraising for the LP too).
It’s the new new math.
Oklahoma Republicans get 2/3 of the vote, winning every single county, the most lopsided results in the country in 2012. They have successfully kept all alt parties, all independents, and all write-ins out of three presidential elections in a row which is the first time any state has done that since Ohio in the 1950s and 60s, and that Ohio law was found to be unconstitutional. They’ve also kept all alt parties out of every other race up and down the ballot for the last 15 years as well, although they do allow independents. 49 others states and DC had either LP candidates, or the LP’s national candidate (in a small number of states as an independent only) or both on the ballot in 2012; all but Oklahoma.
The LP got 1% of the vote for president, which is more than the typical 0.4% we get most years. Out of that half would not have voted at all if we weren’t on, and half of the remainder would have voted for the Democrats.
In 2014, only 29% of eligible Oklahomans voted, among the lowest percentages of any state in a year that saw the worst turnout nationwide since 1942. In 2015, only 52% of eligible Oklahomans are registered for voting at all.
And what all this adds up to on the bottom line is that if the LP was on the ballot here we would cause the Republicans to lose to the Democrats. Like I said, the new new math.
>When I brought up the fact that we are gathering signatures on a state mandated ballot access petition, and that we have a deadline that we have to meet, his response was that we don’t have to be on the ballot.
No doubt, he’s a regular contributor to the OK Republican Party and gets invited to all their big shindigs. It would be nice to know why they’re so afraid of competition, but of course they won’t answer that.
Okay, perhaps I was being overly-sensitive; my apologies.
As far as paid petitioners contributing sigs., since Marc, Darryl and others of my paid petitioners have done so one more than one occasion (Darryl contributed sigs in 2010, 2012 and 2014), perhaps I just had really good people working for me. Like every profession, yours has both good and bad people in it.
Good luck in Oklahoma.
September 28, 2015 at 8:27 pm
>Comparing an LP of NY petition drive to something like that is like comparing little kids playing baseball or football or basketball to big league professional athletes playing these sports.
Yes, but since this is the IPR site and not the big-time petitioner’s site, I will use LP petition drives as my standard.”
Even on LP petition drives, it is rare for any paid petitioners to donate anything, and like I said, the Libertarian Party is small potatoes in the world of ballot access.
“Andy, I am amazed at what a jerk you can be sometimes. Even when I complement you, you have to constantly pick a fight with me.”
I was not trying to pick a fight. I was just pointing out that it is rare for any paid petitioners anywhere to ever donate anything, or to do anything beyond gathering signatures, and that Libertarian Party petition drives are a very small slice of the pie in the overall world of petition drives.
September 28, 2015 at 8:22 pm
Seems like a real Hoss’s ass, but then most big firm lawyers are.”
The guy was a total jackass. He started screaming over the phone like a maniac. He claimed that we were “parasites” because we wanted to gather signatures at the State Fair, and that us gathering signatures there would be “stealing” from the State Fair. Note that the State Fairgrounds is owned by the government. The State Fair is a 501(c)(3), which means that it is exempt from paying taxes. Also note that I found out that the State Fair does receive some tax payer funding, and also note that in addition to having security guards at the State Fair, they also have uniformed police officers. When I brought up the fact that we are gathering signatures on a state mandated ballot access petition, and that we have a deadline that we have to meet, his response was that we don’t have to be on the ballot.
>Comparing an LP of NY petition drive to something like that is like comparing little kids playing baseball or football or basketball to big league professional athletes playing these sports.
Yes, but since this is the IPR site and not the big-time petitioner’s site, I will use LP petition drives as my standard.
Andy, I am amazed at what a jerk you can be sometimes. Even when I complement you, you have to constantly pick a fight with me.
Seems like a real Hoss’s ass, but then most big firm lawyers are.
That’s a big difference from what you would normally get at a college.
Yes, and petitioning for regress of grievances is its own separate right as well.
Mark Axinn said: “That’s common, especially among the more productive, professional petitioners.”
Actually, it is not common at all for paid petition circulators to ever turn in any volunteer signatures on anything. You have to keep in mind that your ballot drives for the LP in New York are very small potatoes in the overall world of petition drives. Turning in 30,000 signatures in New York is NOTHING compared to turning in 1 million plus signatures for a petition drive for a state wide ballot initiative in California or Florida. Comparing an LP of NY petition drive to something like that is like comparing little kids playing baseball or football or basketball to big league professional athletes playing these sports.
For the most part, by the people who vastly overapply it as a pejorative.
The words Trump and honest don’t even belong in the same sentence. He is playing to ignorance, stupidity and base prejudice, but not in any honest way… more like intentionally calculated. He is both an actor and a demagogue, a narcissist and sociopath of the first order.
The latest example of countless many:
Or take this (please):
So, anyway, honest? Not so much.
But speaking of The Donald, if you scroll up you’ll see an email from the state fair VP telling the LP Oklahoma Vice Chair that not only do they not allow petitioners to walk around and talk to people, but even if you buy a booth two years ahead of time for $8,000 you still can’t petition there.
When Andy talked to the state fair’s lawyer, Henry Hoss at McAfee and Taft, Hoss told him that it was “our problem” for not planning ahead and getting a booth two years ahead of time, despite the email above stating we still wouldn’t have been allowed to petition even then. He said it was our fault for planning poorly and not thinking ahead and that we really didn’t need to be on the ballot anyway. However, Donald Trump spoke and campaigned at the fair, and he did not have to know two years ago that he was going to run. I doubt they charged him anything either, but even if they did, he can afford it; what about those who can’t?
That’s Henry Hoss:
Henry D. Hoss
Two Leadership Square
211 N. Robinson
Oklahoma City, OK 73102-7103
(405) 552-2245 direct
(405) 235-0439 fax
Libertarian petition circulator Jake Witmer was given another phone number to call in his previous call to the Chicago Transit Authority, so here is a video that contains his follow up phone call.
Chicago Transit Authority vs. The Bill of Rights 002
Libertarian petition circulator Jake Witmer was hassled and threatened with arrest for gathering signatures on subway platforms, something that he had done in multiple petition drives prior to this, in 2014 during the Libertarian Party of Illinois ballot access petition drive.
Here is a recording of a phone call that he made to the CTA (Chicago Transit Authority – an independent government agency that receives tax payer funding) to try to remedy the situation.
Audio begins at 31 seconds.
Chicago Transit Authority vs. The Bill of Rights 001
They said 10 or 15 an hour on a Saturday but less than one an hour on a weekday. As you may imagine they did not come back the rest of the weekdays.
Washington is one of the best sates in this country (along with California and Massachusetts) for petition circulators being able to get access to locations that are open to the public, however, even in these states a petition circulator can still run into location hassles, and unfortunately, the police do not always follow the law. I have done lots of petitioning in Washington myself, having worked on petition drives there on 5 occasions, so I know what the law is there, and the cops in this video are clearly violating it.
Tacoma Police – What is option 3?
Here’s a video of some petition circulators in Lane County, Oregon being run out of a city bus stop:
Cops vs Petitioners (lane county)
>Oh, it should be mentioned that although Paul and I have mostly gathered signatures for the Libertarian Party on a paid basis, we have both also gathered a relatively large number of signatures for the Libertarian Party as volunteers as well, as in we have both done some UNPAID petition signatures and voter registrations for the LP.
That’s common, especially among the more productive, professional petitioners. You guys are to be commended for such generosity, and you are in good company with other professional petitioners. Both Darryl Bonner and Marc Romaine have contributed signatures as well.
Petitioning also entails the right of freedom of association, another right our police-state loves to destroy.
I just watched all the videos in this post. I don’t know what else people need to see to understand that government at all levels is waging a “war on free speech.”
Another plain example of this war is the “political correctness” movement. “Political correctness” is newspeak. It is a warping of the language to promote a statist agenda and prevent public discourse.
Donald Trump is the only major presidential candidate talking about this issue. Perhaps as a result, he is first place in the polls. Polls reveal that people are supporting Trump for his honesty and ability to speak his mind unfiltered.
For years I have said that free speech is a winning issue. The Libertarian Party and its candidates would do good to emphasize it.
Andy, Paulie — be careful out there . . .
Oh, it should be mentioned that although Paul and I have mostly gathered signatures for the Libertarian Party on a paid basis, we have both also gathered a relatively large number of signatures for the Libertarian Party as volunteers as well, as in we have both done some UNPAID petition signatures and voter registrations for the LP.
Paul said: “All that being said, Bill has told me his numbers on more normal occasions when he flies out to various states to help as a volunteer petitioner, and his numbers are somewhat better than mine under equal circumstances. Not orders of magnitude better, but he is at least somewhat more effective than I am on average on a per hour basis.”
This is not true. I have personally gathered petition signatures in the field with Bill Redpath and with Paul, and I’d say that Paul is clearly a better petition circulator than Bill is. I am not saying this to knock Bill in any way, as anyone who gathers signatures for the LP should be commended, particularly if they gather signatures as a volunteer, but if Bill and Paul were gathering signatures under equal conditions, I would bet that Paul would get more signatures, unless he was sick or something like that.
Paul said: ” and even in that county (if the petitions have to be sorted by county….can’t remember if NC does or not, it’s been 8 years”
Petition pages in North Carolina do have to be separated by county, and there are 100 counties in North Carolina, but if one is working a polling place on election day, all of the people one encounters should be from the same county, so flipping pages would not be an issue.
Petition pages in Maine have to be separated by city/town, and there are something like 400 cities/towns in Maine, so you are gathering signatures at a college or a fair or some other event which draws people from all over the state, you need a lot of petition pages there. Another nice thing about working a polling place in Maine was that all of the signers were from the same town, so paper shuffling was not a big issue.
Paul said: “If I was a volunteer in Oklahoma where would I go to collect signatures? This ain’t NYC.”
Oklahoma City is a big city, with over 610,000 people in the city, and over 1.2 million people in the metropolitan area, but I am astounded by the lack of sidewalks with steady foot traffic in the OKC metro area.
New York City is obviously a much larger city, and a much larger metropolitan area, and it also has a lot more sidewalks and other places in general with lots of foot traffic, even on a ration scale as compared to OKC metro.
When I petitioned in New York, I worked in the Buffalo area. Buffalo has a population of 258,959 in the city limits, and a population of 1,134,210 in the metropolitan area, so it is smaller than the OKC area, but even so, Buffalo has much busier sidewalks than OKC has. I found that if you hit the public sidewalks in Buffalo during the right times of day, you could get good numbers on a petition. I have found nothing like that in Oklahoma City.
I have not petitioned in Albany, but I did drive through Albany to turn in signatures when I petitioned in New York, and it appeared to me that Albany, a city of 100,104, with a metro area of 1,170,483, had busier public sidewalks than Oklahoma City.
There are lots of places in New York where a person would walk around on sidewalks and collect lots of petition signatures. I have not found anything like this in Oklahoma.
“Also, they have been off the ballot here for 15 years. Not exactly something that motivates volunteers to come forward.”
There is an easier process to get on the ballot in Oklahoma as an independent for offices other than President (which is hard to get on the ballot for as an independent in Oklahoma), so the Libertarian Party of Oklahoma has had candidates on the ballot as independent during the last 15 years, but the only problem is that most of the public does not know that any of these candidates were Libertarians, so as far as most of the public knows, there have not been any Libertarian Party candidates on the ballot in Oklahoma in the last 15 years. A party that does not have candidates on the ballot is a party that few people want to join, which is why the LP of OK is so small. I have run into lots of small “l” libertarians in Oklahoma (as in libertarian who are not LP members), so I think that if the LP of Oklahoma was able to regularly get candidates on the ballot with the Libertarian Party label next to their names, that the LP of Oklahoma could be a lot bigger than it is.
“That being said, they do have a few people who are getting out there and trying to petition as volunteers, they just haven’t had a whole huge amount of luck with finding good locations that won’t run them off any more than we have, plus unlike us they have paying jobs doing other things or other things eating up their schedule.”
I saw one of their volunteers out collecting signatures last week. They got permission to set up a table in the parking lot of a stand alone restaurant which was across the street from the State Fair. They tried waving down cars with signs and flags and banners, but they could not get that many people to stop. I think that they only managed to get 5 signatures in an hour.
Also it makes a big difference which polling place you go to, and if you are having to share it with other petitioners. Being the only official petitioner at a super-busy polling place at a college (on average students sign more easily than on average older people) on the first day of the petition drive during the busiest election in 4 years (or more) where 100% of the people you talk to are registered voters in that state (since they are there to vote) and even in that county (if the petitions have to be sorted by county….can’t remember if NC does or not, it’s been 8 years) are all unusually ideal circumstances.
All that being said, Bill has told me his numbers on more normal occasions when he flies out to various states to help as a volunteer petitioner, and his numbers are somewhat better than mine under equal circumstances. Not orders of magnitude better, but he is at least somewhat more effective than I am on average on a per hour basis.
I’m glad we all agree.
However, I am grateful for what work, paid or volunteer, everyone does for the LP at any and all levels. Wishing there was more of it doesn’t mean we should not appreciate what is being done already. I don’t think we appreciate that enough, or thank people. All too often we just castigate people for what they are doing wrong or not doing enough of, and rarely ever thank people for what they actually do, even if it’s not perfect. It doesn’t motivate people to volunteer, or volunteer more, or keep a job or work harder when all they get for the most part is accusations, blame for not doing more or for not getting everything right or not being perfect, and rarely if ever thanks or appreciation of any kind. It grinds people up and spits them out on a regular basis.
Yes, in NC on election day at a big college.
2%, and they have been barely making it ever since.
Chuck Moulton said: “So a few people asked Redpath what his record was… he said he had collected 1179 in 1 day. (EDIT: I thought I heard him say 1700, but Marc Montoni texted me back that it was 1179. My mistake.) He cautioned those were extraordinary circumstances.”
I’ve heard that Redpath petitioning story. He was apparently at a busy polling place during a Presidential election. I am pretty sure that this was in North Carolina (North Carolina used to have a difficult vote test requirement to retain ballot status, which required 10% of the vote for President or Governor to retain ballot status, so given that it was virtually guaranteed that they’d lose ballot status, they’d start their petition drive to regain ballot access on the day of the general election in November. Years of lobbying and filing law suits got the vote test lowered to like 2 or 3 percent for Governor or President to retain ballot access, and the LP of NC has been able to hit this threshold in the Governor’s race, so the LP has not had to do a petition drive in NC since the 2008 election.). The polling place may have been at or near a big college. The petition was also fresh at this time, as in nobody had already signed it. I’ve heard that he had a good spot near the polling place, in that he was not so far away from the people to where it was difficult to communicate with them. He apparently worked the poling place the entire time it was open, and he may have had some assistance from other people throughout the day (I seem to recall hearing this in one of the accounts of the incident that I’ve heard from other people), but regardless of whether anyone assisted him or not, it was still a big accomplishment, even if it was under a very ideal set of circumstances.
The day that I got 600 unique signers in Maine in one day I was at a polling place on a general election day, but it was a midterm election, with the top office on the ballot being Governor. Voter turn out is higher in Presidential elections than for a Governor’s race. Also, the petitions I was working on had been out for several weeks prior to this, and lots of people had already signed. This was not for the LP, it was for Casino Gaming initiatives.
I’ve worked polling places on election days in other places, but I’ve only worked a poling place during one general Presidential election. This was in Nevada in 2004. I had a pretty good day, but I did not do anywhere near as well as the above example due to the petition having been out for at least a couple of months prior to this, with lots of petition circulators working on it, so lots of people had already signed the petition by the time that the opportunity to petition at the polling place on election day had occurred. This was for a marijuana legalization initiative.
I have heard similar stories of other people getting crazy high numbers (1,000 plus signatures, I recall one story where somebody supposedly got 2,000 signatures at a busy polling place during a general election) on petitions by working polling places on general election days in places where they could set up in a good location near the polls where they could actually talk to people, and they had a fresh or relatively fresh petition (as in a petition that nobody, or very few people, had already signed). I have not been fortunate enough to have a set of circumstances come together like this on a petition drive in which I was working.
Note that this is not even possible in some states, as some states have regulations that put petition circulators so far away from polling places that they cannot really talk to most of the people, or, in some cases, they can’t talk to anybody, as in the election workers will force petition circulators to stand 150 feet, or 200 feet, or 300 feet (depending on the state) from the polling place, and they will often define the polling place as the door, or the sidewalk in front of the polling place, even if it is inside a building where people have to walk down a long hallway or across a big courtyard to get to the actual polling place, so in a lot of these places, it actually makes the polling places unworkable for getting signatures on petitions. They by applying electioneering laws against petition circulators, but this is actually a misinterpretation of the law, because electioneering is attempting to influence the results of the election that is taking place, but if you are their gathering signatures to place an issue or a candidate or party for the ballot, you are NOT gathering signatures to for the election that is taking place that day, you are gathering signatures for a FUTURE election, therefore, the electioneering law should not apply to people who are gathering signatures on a ballot access petition for a future election. There ought to be law suits over this, as polling places can be great places to gather petition signatures.
I worked on a petition drive in Nebraska several years back where myself and the people I was working with put a lot of time into finding out where polling places were and which polling places were the busiest, as we wanted to gather signatures at the polling places during the midterm general election (the top office on the ballot was Governor). We headed to the polling places early in the morning on the day of the election, only to find out that they had some ridiculous regulation in Nebraska that required petition circulators to be like 300 feet from the entrance of a polling place, and this made every polling place that we looked at unworkable.
If I was a volunteer in Oklahoma where would I go to collect signatures? This ain’t NYC.
Also, they have been off the ballot here for 15 years. Not exactly something that motivates volunteers to come forward.
That being said, they do have a few people who are getting out there and trying to petition as volunteers, they just haven’t had a whole huge amount of luck with finding good locations that won’t run them off any more than we have, plus unlike us they have paying jobs doing other things or other things eating up their schedule.
Even to what extent they have time to volunteer, they may not feel comfortable asking strangers for signatures or knowing what to say. I did offer they can come out with us. But then suppose that those two aren’t factors – and they often are with volunteers – there’s still the question of where to go where there are enough people to ask where you are not wasting your time and where you are not being kicked off (legally or illegally). If those of us who have been doing this for a living for decades in dozens of states are having a problem with that, volunteers would have it all the more. Contrast this with NYC where there are hundreds and hundreds of places you can go any time you have time and willingness to approach strangers where there are plenty of people to ask and no authoritahs telling you to leave.
And a party that has had ballot access and many, many candidates and campaigns a whole bunch of times since Oklahoma did.
I’d say those are bigger issues than population size alone. Getting 40k people out of 4 million to sign isn’t nearly as hard as getting to those people so they even get to decide one way or the other whether to sign or not.
And to some extent it is a valid point. However, to some extent those other states have the issues that OK has – just not to the same extent.
I agree that there are too many people bashing national too much without realizing how much it helps, or how ballot access nationwide helps even the states that don’t need to get on the ballot over and over or can do it on their own because their requirements are easy or because they have more motivated donors and volunteers than other states.
He had college students helping him with a line of college students at a busy polling place where there was a long wait to get in to vote.
>Are there state LP affiliates that could be doing more? Sure, but the same is true for the LNC. The same is true for Libertarian Party candidates. The same is true for all Libertarians in general.
Absolutely true in all respects.
Mark Axinn said: “But with all the unwarranted LNC-bashing I see on this site and elsewhere, I wonder if the welfare-recipient mentality of some state affiliates might need amending.”
I am not sure what “unwarranted LNC bashing” it is to which you are referring, as I have seen lots of warranted and much needed criticism of the LNC here.
I also disagree with you comment about “welfare,” as the LNC is SUPPOSED to be a fund raising mechanism that is SUPPOSED to support the state affiliates. When most people encounter the Libertarian Party, they encounter something which asks them to donate to the LNC, and it never even occurs to most people (unless they become really active in the party, or follow the party very closely), that they should send a donation to their state party in addition to sending a donation to the LNC.
Some states have more difficult ballot access laws than other states. New York is one of the easier states for ballot access. 15,000 valid signatures in a state with over 19 million people, and which is a geographically small state, which means that it is densely populated, is not that hard as compared to the ballot access requirements in some other states.
The LNC has a full time office staff, and a fundraising list for the entire party, which includes lapsed members. Most state LP affiliates do not have an office staff, and none of the state affiliates have a fundraising list for the entire Libertarian Party (as in a national fundraising list). It is much easier to raise money if you have a national fundraising list and a full time office staff.
The state LP affiliates would have more money if the Unified Membership Plan (UMP) had not been eliminated years ago. The UMP kicked back a portion of the donations that came in to the LNC back to the state affiliate from which it came. The elimination of the UMP meant that states affiliates had less money, which put them in more of a position to have to “beg” to the LNC, but of course it is not really “begging” so much as it is asking the LNC to do its job.
I know a former LP State Chair who has suggested to the LNC multiple times over the last few years that they should include a pop up donation link on the LP.org website that asks people to send a donation to their state LP affiliate when they click the link to donate to the LNC, and this person has researched the law and they said that this does not violate any campaign finance laws, yet LNC has not implemented this.
Heck, I’ve been making suggestions for years about ways to improve ballot access (which would provide greater assurance that the party actually has candidates on the ballot), and to greatly increase Libertarian Party field activism, yet I have been ignored, even AFTER all of my warnings about the LP ballot drive fiascos in Oklahoma in 2012 (a failed petition drive) and Pennsylvania in 2012 (an almost failed petition drive for the statewide slate, and a failed drive from the stand point that more district office candidates in PA could have made the ballot if 100% of the paid petitioners on that drive had not worked Philadelphia exclusively, since to qualify district office candidates in PA, the signatures have to come from the district where they are running). I still have time stamped emails that warned about this stuff.
Are there state LP affiliates that could be doing more? Sure, but the same is true for the LNC. The same is true for Libertarian Party candidates. The same is true for all Libertarians in general.
>I have petitioned in New York, and I have petitioned in Oklahoma, and I would say that New York is definitely an easier state for ballot access petitioning than Oklahoma is.
Andy–Of course. I knew that when I asked the question. The point is that like far too many states (huge exceptions are Arkansas, Virginia and New York), the OK LP is allowing National to foot the bill by sending and paying for hard-working guys like Paulie and you without having sufficient skin in the game itself. That’s part of the problem (separate and distinct from the police-state thugs who are actively preventing you from doing your job). Whether New York is easy or hard in which to petition does not detract from the fact that we had well over 100 volunteers (and over 15 paid petitioners) collecting signatures last year.
You properly note that OK has a smaller population, less big cities with density of population, small percentage of registered voters and the work is more difficult. Fine, knock my 100-plus volunteers down by 75%. Are there 25 volunteers collecting sigs. in OK? Why not? (BTW, that’s not your fault; it’s entirely the obligation of the state party which may not have much internal resources to draw upon.)
In fact, my picking on OK is not fair as it has a fairly small LP affiliate and a long history of very restrictive ballot-access laws. So generalize my point as it is equally valid with respect to many other states as well.
I ran three petition drives in five years, averaging 30,000 sigs each time. Each time, my state affiliate raised money for and obtained more than half of the required total beyond any assistance from National. Other states should do the same.
This does not mean that the current effort in OK should not be made. It should and I contributed (in very small part, esp. compared to Richard Winger) towards the cost thereof.
But with all the unwarranted LNC-bashing I see on this site and elsewhere, I wonder if the welfare-recipient mentality of some state affiliates might need amending.
Joseph Buchman wrote:
I attended the LPVA’s SCC meeting yesterday. We talked a bit about petitioning there. Will Hammer said he got 250 signatures in 1 day for his campaign. So a few people asked Redpath what his record was… he said he had collected 1179 in 1 day. (EDIT: I thought I heard him say 1700, but Marc Montoni texted me back that it was 1179. My mistake.) He cautioned those were extraordinary circumstances.
“or by city/town (like in Maine, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island),”
I forgot to mention Vermont as another state where the petition pages have to be separated by city/town.
New Hampshire petitions have only one signature per page, which is how petitions are in Florida, however, like the rest of the New England states, the petitions have to be turned in to each city/town, and then delivered to the Secretary of State’s office after the city/town clerks check them. The petitions in Florida get turned in to the county election offices, and then go to the Secretary of State (except for maybe if it is a city petition, as I am not sure if city petitions in Florida go to the city, or if they still get turned into the county election office wherever the city is).
Mark Axinn said: “How much are the volunteers doing in OK? We had approx. 10,000 volunteer sigs in New York in six weeks last summer.”
It is really not fair at all to compare New York to Oklahoma for the following reasons:
1) Oklahoma requires more signatures than New York, even though Oklahoma only has a population of around 3.8 million, while New York has a population of over 19 million.
2) Given Oklahoma’s more difficult petition signature requirement, the Libertarian Party of Oklahoma has not been able to get as many candidates on the ballot as the Libertarian Party of New York has. The Libertarian Party has not even had any candidates at all on the ballot in Oklahoma with the Libertarian Party label next to their names in 15 years. Oklahoma actually has an easier process to get on the ballot as an independent, as in with no party label next to the candidate’s name, for all offices other than President (the petition signature requirement for independent candidates for President is also very difficult in Oklahoma), so the Libertarian Party has had some candidates on the ballot over the last 15 years as independents, but these candidates having been on the ballot without the Libertarian Party label next to their name has done little to promote the brand. So given the difficulty of getting Libertarian Party candidates on the ballot in Oklahoma as compared to New York, the Libertarian Party of Oklahoma is smaller than the Libertarian Party of New York, even on a ratio scale taking population into consideration.
3) Given that New York has a much higher population than Oklahoma, and given that New York is also smaller than Oklahoma geographically, New York has a lot more places where the population is dense as compared to Oklahoma. This means more places for petition circulators to go in New York to collect signatures as compared to Oklahoma.
4) The petition forms are easier to work with in New York than in Oklahoma, as in New York, the petition pages do not have to be separated by county or by city/town (like in Maine, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island), while in Oklahoma, the party and candidate petitions have to be separated by county, and there are 77 counties in Oklahoma (note that for some bizarre reason, Oklahoma does not require that signatures be separated by county on initiative and referendum petitions, although the initiative and referendum process in Oklahoma is still one of the most difficult in the nation for the states that have a statewide initiative and referendum process). I’ve also found out that there are several cities in Oklahoma that are in more than one county, and that some people who live close to the borders of these counties in these cities are not sure in which county it is that they live.
I have petitioned in New York, and I have petitioned in Oklahoma, and I would say that New York is definitely an easier state for ballot access petitioning than Oklahoma is (and this still holds true in spite of my really good day in Oklahoma yesterday).
Paul said: ” It took the cops about 6 or 7 hours just to get there to take their useless report allegedly because they are super busy. Yet later that same day they were Johnny on the spot to harass me and ask me where I stayed,”
The police have also been Johnny-on-the-spot when it comes to harassing petition circulators and illegally running them out of locations where they are gathering signatures.
The police did not even stick around the motel long enough to review the video surveillance footage from when Paul’s computer was stolen, and a week or two later the front desk guy claimed that the video surveillance footage had been erased. So whatever was on the video surveillance footage was never seen by the police, and the police did nothing about the front desk guy suppressing the evidence (whether it was intentional or not).
This is yet another example of the police not being concerned about legitimate crimes (as in where there are actual victims who suffered actual damages), but being overzealous when it comes to going after people for victimless “crimes,” or just harassing people for no real reason in general.
You’re right. I was a little kid in Siberia in the 1970s, granted it was nothing like the Stalin era but it was still the USSR.. I know where this leads and it’s why I do what I do for a living as well as my hobbies … that and all my friends that died as a result of the drug war when I was growing up, or ended up doing decades in prison and/or on the streets crazy and homeless, as a result of the drug war. Also the horrors of war I saw in Central America around that same time, in the 1980s.
Yep. It’s just like when I had my laptop stolen here about a month ago. I decided to file a police report, not because I expect them to be at all useful in recovering the stolen property but because I wanted a paper trail that I had reported it stolen just in case the thieves or someone who buys it from them or from the pawn shop does something really bad with it. It took the cops about 6 or 7 hours just to get there to take their useless report allegedly because they are super busy. Yet later that same day they were Johnny on the spot to harass me and ask me where I stayed, where I worked, what I was doing, etc, etc, just because I was sitting in the passenger seat of Andy’s car in the parking lot at my own motel while Andy ran upstairs to grab some papers from the room. It must have been within two minutes of sitting in the car. Priorities are important!
The only quote I have seen is what Andy posted above, 400 for the equipment plus 26 a month for each of us.
Sure, if that can be set up that would be great.
We could also have anyone from anywhere in the country calling stores and gas stations for us, although the yes answer rate is better if you ask in person… but obviously not everyone can be in Oklahoma for that.
I had plenty of 300 plus days all over the country but unlike Andy I have not bothered to memorize where all they were. I actually had a few petition drives where I averaged at or close to that for the whole petition drive, such as DC medical marijuana in 2002… I was in better shape and could stay on my feet all day back then and worked a lot longer hours than I can force myself to work now. On a lot of the LP ballot drives in big cities like Chicago or DC in 2000 I would hit the morning commuters at the train stations and already have about 150 before 9 AM (the best hours being about 6 am to 9 am, which is personally my favorite time of day to work… unfortunately I rarely do that anymore). Likewise on that day when I had 400, I had 150 of it by 9 am, and the rest of the day got slower and slower. That was at a gun show somewhere in downstate Illinois. By the afternoon I was sitting there bored without anyone to even ask most of the time; I finally walked over to the post office, which was within sight, and was busy with people dropping off taxes for April 15 to pump myself up to 400 in the last few minutes, but I should have made the switch hours earlier.
Personally my all time best was 400 in one day on a petition where I had to make sure everyone was a registered voter from that state. I got at least 420 (maybe went a little over, like 430 or 440 because I miscounted) on the MPP contact list, which I was circulating like a petition at a Phish concert parking lot. All they needed was a legible printed name, zip code and legible US email address that did not bounce.
I don’t think the volunteers have done very much yet. I’ll be impressed if it’s even in the hundreds of signatures at this point.
I’m getting paid, but I’ve spent more money than I have made the vast majority of days that I have been here, have gone thousands of dollars in the hole and missed out on better paying work in other states because I am trying to do everything I can to get Oklahoma to succeed. It’s a personal burr in my side that they have kept us and all alt parties, plus all independents and write-ins in the presidential race, completely off the ballot ever since 2000. The difficulty of petitioning here in 2000 was what led me to become a life member of the national LP and it has gotten a lot more difficult to get good locations since – though as you see when you do get one it can be very good.
Honestly, I’ve not been a very effective petitioner here personally this time, unlike in 2000, but I’m trying to help with ideas, publicity and so forth as well.
>Did you mean Arkansas?
Whatever. You got my point.
How much are the volunteers doing in OK? We had approx. 10,000 volunteer sigs in New York in six weeks last summer.
“Joseph Buchman Post author
September 26, 2015 at 11:44 pm
Andy is, IMO, a hero.”
Thanks for the recognition.
September 27, 2015 at 12:16 am
Much as I may disagree with Andy J. on some things, I admire the fuck out of him for his petitioning work and passion.”
“Joseph Buchman Post author
September 27, 2015 at 12:40 am
Anyone know what it would cost to outfit Andy, Paulie and others with bodycams? Anyone have a source/suggested ideal model?”
I saw one online for $400 and something, plus there was a $26 per month cloud storage fee.
I don’t know if we could get body cameras that automatically upload footage to the cloud cheaper than that, but even if it is necessary to spend this much, I think that it could be worth it for three reasons:
1) It could aide us in getting some really good evidence for law suits.
2) We could use the footage to embarrass the people who try to prevent us from gathering signatures.
3) If we could use them to get the thugs to back down, it could break open access to a lot of locations where we are currently being prevented from gathering signatures, and this would be of great benefit to the ballot access process, and to free speech in general as well.
Here’s a video of some petition circulator in Oregon who was working on a marijuana legalization initiative getting harassed and assaulted by a security guard at a farmers market. This is something to which anyone who has done a lot of petition signature gathering can relate.
Petitioner physically assaulted and cursed by Security (contains profanity)
“Joseph Buchman Post author
September 26, 2015 at 11:56 pm
paulie @ September 26, 2015 at 11:51 pm wrote:
‘He also got over 500 signatures today,’
What’s the record for one day?”
My best day in terms of number of unique signers was when I got 600 people to sign in one day in Maine. I actually worked two petitions that day. I got 600 signatures on one of them, and 500 signatures on the other (the reason for the discrepancy was that one of the petitions had been out longer and more people had already signed it). I could have actually done a little better that day if I had been feeling better.
My third best day for unique signers in one day was 450 in North Dakota (I could have done more that day, but it was raining when I woke up in the morning, and I made the mistake of sitting in the motel room until it stopped raining. I should have gone to where I was intending to get signatures and sat in the car until it stopped raining, and then popped out of the car immediately after the rain stopped started getting signatures then. If I would have done that, I could have easily gotten another 50-100 plus that day.).
My fourth best day in terms of number of unique signers was 400 in Pennsylvania. The cool thing about this one is that I only worked for 4 hours that day. I hit two events for two hours each and did 100 signatures per hour for 4 hours.
I had a couple of days in Ohio that were monster days, but could have been record setting super-monster days if I had not screwed up and had gotten to an event earlier each day. There was a three day festival in Ohio, which started on a Friday. I missed the first day of the festival due to waiting for ATM card to arrive in the mail, and then taking a longer to pack than I had intended (I was not in Ohio yet), which led to me not making it all the way to Ohio on Friday, so I missed the first day of the festival. I arrived in Ohio the next day, but by the time I picked up the petitions, and drove to where the festival was, and then found a place to park, I missed half of the festival. Even so, I still had a really good day, as I got something like 355-365 signatures, in maybe 5 hours. I unfortunately staid up later than I should have that night, part of which was due to getting into long conversation with somebody, which led to me over-sleeping the next day, although, I still arrived a the festival earlier than I had on Saturday, so I thought that I’d get to work more than 5 hours, that is until I found out that the festival shut down earlier on Sunday than it had on Friday and Saturday. So I only got to work for maybe 5 hours again, but I still ended up with another 355-365 signatures that day. If I had gotten to that event when it opened in the morning on Saturday and Sunday, and worked it the entire day until it ended, I think that I’d have gotten a lot more than what I had, and that these would have been my record setting super-monster days. I was also kicking myself for not having been there on Friday.
I have had several other days where I have gotten between 300-375 signatures. I consider any day where you get 300 or more unique signers to be a monster day, in terms of unique number of signers. I have had 300 plus signature days in the following states (some once, some a few times): Washington, New Mexico, Colorado, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Illinois, Ohio, Kentucky, South Carolina, North Carolina, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Maine.
I almost had a 300 plus signature day in Virginia, but I quit working a half an hour or an hour before I could have, and I drove back to the motel I was at without having counted my signatures until I got back to the motel. When I realized that I had 273 signatures, I was kicking myself for not working a little bit longer, because I could have easily pumped that up to 300 or more signatures.
The number of unique signers per day that I am citing above are NOT the norm, as in NOBODY does numbers like that on a regular basis. Petition circulators who claim that they do numbers like this on a regular basis are lying. I’ve encountered a lot of petition circulators over the years who like to bullshit about their numbers. Also, some of the ones who do big numbers do them by lying to get people to sign, or by “working petitions like plebiscites,” which means they’ll just having anyone sign, without screening to see if they are legally qualified to sign (most petitions to put candidates or issues on the ballot require the signers to be registered to vote wherever it is the petition is being done), or they will have other people with whom they are working, and they will claim signatures gathered by other people as their own.
I don’t care for bullshitters, and the petition business, and politics in general, is full of them.
Another thing that some petitioners will do is that they will act like the same people signing multiple petitions are unique signers, as in say that they are working on 3 petitions at the same time. They will say that they are getting 300 signatures per day, and they will act like 300 people are signing for them per day, when in reality, they are getting 100 people to sign 3 petitions in one day, so they are actually only getting 100 unique signers per day.
Sometimes getting a smaller numbers of signatures than mentioned above on a more difficult petition, and/or under more difficult working conditions, can be just as impressive as getting really big numbers.
I am glad that I stood my ground at that festival, because I ended up having a monster petitioning day. I ended up with 520 signatures, which was my 2nd best petitioning day ever in terms of number of unique signers.
Even though this was a really good day, it really does not make up for all of the crappy days and mediocre days I’ve had in Oklahoma (minus a few good or decent days.
Anyone know what it would cost to outfit Andy, Paulie and others with bodycams? Anyone have a source/suggested ideal model?
Also what about getting Oklahoma TV coverage of the videos/interviews with Andy. Seems the media love “cops acting badly” stories (at least in other states) — or maybe in adjacent states that might like to make Oklahoma look bad.
I’ll reach out to everyone I know in OK to ask if they can help find places to petition. Suggest all IPR readers do the same.
I got pulled over in Yosemite National Park by a park police officer for having a tail light out last week. Brake light and turn signal were working just fine, but the tiny bulb that is suppose to light up with the headlights on the passenger rear side did not light up. Got asked for ID, insurance, registration (three government documents) plus Cindy and I were asked if we had any weapons in our RV (do box cutters, kitchen knives, single edge razor blades, wasp spray, hammers, or other tools etc count? I wonder — all banned by TSA as weapons. — and why would the cop expect anyone with a weapon to be honest about it. We were pulled over, I suspect, for looking like folks returning from Burning Man — bikes on the back, residual playa dust, and then given extra scrutiny for having burning man vehicle passes on the windshield . . .). So they can enforce a law regarding having one out of 9 lights on the back of the RV not working and use that as just cause for all sorts of delay and review of our papers; but on the other hand they WON’T EVEN READ THE LAW regarding petitioning, much less follow it?
Yes, it’s that bad in America, and I no longer have to wonder about how to answer that question from my 7th grade history teacher about how the German people could ever let the pre-WWII Nazi Party happen. It is, I think, exactly THAT serious.
Thanks again Paulie and Andy and others for being on the front lines of this battle.
Much as I may disagree with Andy J. on some things, I admire the fuck out of him for his petitioning work and passion.
That right there is better than my personal all time record.
Need ppl to help us get permission at stores. Possibly legal fund? Bodycams?
paulie @ September 26, 2015 at 11:51 pm wrote:
“He also got over 500 signatures today,”
What’s the record for one day? I still remember watching you ROCK here in SLC, and learning that it is easier when gathering for more than one party at a time (potential signers realize they are not joining one party or another, but standing for having more voices, etc).
THANKS for all you do/are/give,
Andy at September 26, 2015 at 4:08 am wrote:
“Joe, you might as well add my name to the article,”
THANKS to you and Paulie and others for your putting your body right on the front line of standing on justice and liberty.
Please let me (and all of us) know what/how/when we can help.
He also got over 500 signatures today, just as an example of what can be done when the police don’t illegally remove us from public streets and festivals.
Andy is, IMO, a hero. One who has been willing to pay a price for his principles. (On my bucket list is being arrested and going to jail to defend a right over the illegal actions of thugs like these. — Steve Kubby and Warren Redlich share in that distinction of being arrested and/or jailed for principle).
See for example:
Did you mean Arkansas?
Anyway, the problem with that approach is that a lot of places there is not anything good that we know of that we can just switch over to, we have to do a lot of driving and look at different things which may or may not pan out. If they had ended up booting us out of here I did have some backups but nothing close or nearly as good, and who’s to say they would not have booted us from those places too?
Be careful. Andy lost a lot of time fighting with cops in Georgia.
Result: He made less money and wasted a lot of time off the streets when he could have been working.
I remember years ago I was petitioning in front of the Kings County (Brooklyn) courthouse. Cops told us to leave. Of course they were wrong, but it was a lot easier to go around the corner and just get sigs. in front of a different govt. building for a while.
We hit a street festival today…. they messed with Andy a bunch of times but he refused to leave and this time the cops did not get involved. No one said anything to me.
Wahey, a Yakov Smirnoff joke! And it works!
In Soviet Oklahoma, the state fucks you.
Donald Trump spoke at the Oklahoma State fair, and anti-Trump protesters were on the grass area adjoining the fair gates on the same side of the street (possibly part of state fair property – not sure). On the other hand,
Showing copies of the law to cops, security guards, etc.., rarely accomplishes anything. They usually will not even look at it.
You have to go over their heads in the chain of command, and that does not always work either.
Some of my petitioners have carried laminated signs with them containing the text of the following federal laws. Personally I have not had to rely on this as NYC is very petitioner-freindly:
WARNING! You Are Hereby Advised of the Following Federal Criminal Law:
UNITED STATES CODE, TlTLE 18. CRIMES AND CRIMINAL PROCEDURE
Chapter 29——Elections and Political Activities
Section 595. Whoever, being a person employed in any administrative position of the United States, or by any department or agency thereof, or by the District of Columbia, or any agency or instrumentality thereof, or by any State, Territory, or Possession of the United States, or any political subdivision, municipality, or agency thereof, or agency of such political subdivision or municipality (including any corporation owned or controlled by any State, Territory, or Possession of the United States or by any such political subdivision, municipality, or agency), in connection with any activity which is financed in whole or in part by loans or grants made by the United States, or any department or agency thereof, uses his official authority for the purpose of interfering with, or affecting, the nomination or election of any candidate for the office of President, Vice President, Presidential elector, Member of the Senate, member of the House of Representatives, Delegate from the District of Columbia, or Resident Commissioner, shall be fined not more than $1,000 or imprisoned not more than one year, or both.
Section 241. If two or more persons conspire to injure, oppress, threaten, or intimidate any citizen in the free exercise or enjoyment of any right or privilege secured to him by the Constitution or the laws of the United States, or because of his having so exercised the same; or
If two or more persons go in disguise on the highway, or on the premises of another, with the intent to prevent or hinder his free exercise or enjoyment of any right or privilege so secured ——
They shall be fined not more than $10,000 or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both; and if death results, they shall be subject to imprisonment for any term of years or for life.
§ 245. Federally protected activities
(b) Whoever, whether or not acting under color of law, by force
or threat of force willfully injures, intimidates or interferes with, or
attempts to injure, intimidate or interfere with– (1) …
(A) voting or qualifying to vote, qualifying or campaigning as a candidate for elective office, or qualifying or acting as a poll watcher, or any legally authorized election official, in any primary, special, or general election;
And Civil Laws: 42 U.S.C. Section 1983. Civil action for deprivation of rights
Every person who, under color of any statute, ordinance, regulation, custom, or usage, of any State or Territory or the District of Columbia, subjects, or causes to be subjected, any citizen of the United States or other person within the jurisdiction thereof to the deprivation of any rights, privileges, or immunities secured by the Constitution and laws, shall be liable to the party injured in an action at law, suit in equity, or other proper proceeding for redress, ….
42 U.S.C. Section 1985. Conspiracy to interfere with civil rights
(3) Depriving persons of rights or privileges
If two or more persons in any State or Territory conspire or go in disguise on the highway or on the premises of another, for the purpose of depriving, either directly or indirectly, any person or class of persons of the equal protection of the laws, or of equal privileges and immunities under the laws; or for the purpose of preventing or hindering the constituted authorities of any State or Territory from giving or securing to all persons within such State or Territory the equal protection of the laws; or if two or more persons conspire to prevent by force, intimidation, or threat, any citizen who is lawfully entitled to vote, from giving his support or advocacy in a legal manner, toward or in favor of the election of any lawfully qualified person as an elector for President or Vice President, or as a Member of Congress of the United States; or to injure any citizen in person or property on account of such support or advocacy; in any case of conspiracy set forth in this section, if one or more persons engaged therein do, or cause to be done, any act in furtherance of the object of such conspiracy, whereby another is injured in his person or property, or deprived of having and exercising any right or privilege of a citizen of the United States, the party so injured or deprived may have an action for the recovery of damages occasioned by such injury or deprivation, against any one or more of the conspirators.
42 U.S.C. Section 1988
(b) Attorney’s fees In any action or proceeding to enforce a provision of sections … 1983, 1985… of this title…the court, in its discretion, may allow the prevailing party, other than the United States, a reasonable attorney’s fee as part of the costs,…
42 U.S.C. Section 2000b-2. Personal suits for relief against discrimination in public facilities Nothing in this subchapter shall affect adversely the right of any person to sue for or obtain relief in any court against discrimination in any facility covered by this subchapter.
Andy wrote (in small part):
>we have also been denied access to the State Fair.
The New York State and various county fairs are some of the best places to petition and campaign for LPNY and other party candidates. Clearly, Democrats approve as Hillary Clinton and Andrew Cuomo are regulars each year at the NYS Fair. Our candidate who had the best showing for Governor before Warren Redlich (way back in 1992) did most of his campaigning in county fairs every weekend that summer.
Makes me feel like I have more freedom here in the Evil Empire State than people do in Minnesota or Oklahoma.
Here is footage of petition circulators being harassed and prevented from gathering signatures in Oregon and Washington, set to the tune of Buffalo Springfield’s “For What It’s Worth”:
Making It Clear – USA is a “no speech” zone.
Here is footage of some petition circulator in Oregon (I believe it is in Oregon, but it could be Washington), getting hassled and prevented from gathering petition signatures at a public park:
Cops vs First Amendment Initiative Rights
September 26, 2015 at 8:59 am
This is outrageous. Oklahoma’s signature drive was already going to be difficult, now government thugs thwart democracy. Sue the pants off em!”
I want to sue, and I think that we have more than enough evidence to win, but actually going through with a law suit is easier said than done, which is why thugs like this get away with this kind of stuff most of the time.
September 26, 2015 at 8:59 am
This is outrageous. Oklahoma’s signature drive was already going to be difficult, now government thugs thwart democracy. Sue the pants off em!”
People who work on petition and/or voter registration drives routinely get harassed and run out of locations all over the country, but Oklahoma appears to be even worse than average in this regard.
California, Washington, and Massachusetts are the states with the best access to locations where the public has access for people who work on petition or voter registration drives (known as “open access,” as in people who gather signatures on petitions or assist people in registering to vote are supposed to be able to do this anywhere that is open to the public, including at storefronts), as it is more clarified in these states that the law is SUPPOSED to back up the rights of individuals to go to places that are open to the public for the purpose of asking people to sign petitions or register to vote, but even in these states the police do not always follow the law. Colorado is SUPPOSED to have “open access” to locations for petition and/or voter registration drives as well, but these rights have been under attack in recent years in Colorado, and as a result, I’ve heard that while Colorado still has better access than most states, that the “open access” is currently not being followed in some parts of that state (as in some places in Colorado, the police are currently ignoring the law).
Most of the stores in Oklahoma run petition circulators off, but to make matters even worse, a lot of the state and local government venues in Oklahoma run petition circulators off as well (which is blatantly illegal, but these people do not care).
Oklahoma also just generally does not have that many state or local government operated venues that are busy. We have not even been able to find any public sidewalks that have enough regular foot traffic to make them viable locations for petition signature gathering, and this is surprising, because Oklahoma City has a pretty big population, with over 610,000 people in the city limits, and another 600,000 and something people in the suburbs. I have seen places with a lower population that have city sidewalks that have more regular foot traffic than does Oklahoma City.
Petition circulators in Oklahoma have also recently been run out of public libraries and a state university, and we have also been denied access to the State Fair.
This petition drive could easily have more than double the number of signatures that have been collected so far if not for being prevented from gathering petition signatures at the locations mentioned above.
Oh, another thing that makes Oklahoma difficult is that only 52% of Oklahomans are registered to vote (which is not the lowest in the country, but it is at the low end of voter registration statistics), and we have been told that we cannot register people to vote and have them sign the petition the same day (we have handed out some voter registration forms with the hope that people will fill them out and mail them in, and that a petition circulator will run into these people in the future and that they will be able to sign later, assuming that they fill out the form properly and mail it).
We’re trying to get the lawyers to work on it.
I’m also looking for commission telemarketers or business to business people on commission (part of my signature pay) to line us up permission at grocery stores and gas stations.
This is outrageous. Oklahoma’s signature drive was already going to be difficult, now government thugs thwart democracy. Sue the pants off em!
And of course I am the Paul referred to in Andy’s email in the article. I made non-substantive changes (align text and photos, add independent to categories since they have ballot access problems in OK also), but will leave any substantive changes such as adding our names to the article or not up to Joe since he posted it.
Thanks for the article BTW!
Joe, you might as well add my name to the article, since I was the petition circulator who was talking and recording the video in the above videos from Oklahoma.
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