Richard Winger: South Dakota Initiative For Non-Partisan Elections for All Office Except President

SDakotaMap2From Ballot Access News:

A South Dakota state constitutional amendment is being circulated to make all offices in South Dakota non-partisan, except for President. All candidates would run in June, and then the top two vote-getters would run in November. No party labels would be on the ballot, except for President. Here is the text of the amendment.

The wording seems to mandate write-in space on all South Dakota ballots. South Dakota is one of four states that has never permitted write-in votes (the others are Oklahoma, Hawaii, and Nevada). The initiative, which would be in the State Constitution if it passed, says, “Each qualified voter is guaranteed the unrestricted right to vote for the qualified candidate of the voter’s choice in all elections.” Presumably “qualified” means a candidate who meets the constitutional qualifications to hold the office. In November 2014, South Dakota voters were not permitted to vote for Curtis Strong, the Constitution Party candidate for Governor, because he wasn’t on the ballot. But under the terms of the initiative, it would seem South Dakota could not prevent anyone from voting for Strong at either the primary or the general, and therefore would be required to provide write-in space.

The initiative says the two candidates who get the most votes appear on the November ballot, but it does not say what happens if only one person is on the primary ballot. Presumably that one candidate would again run in November.

Current law defines qualified party to be one that submits a petition, or which polled 2.5% of the vote for Governor in the last election. If this initiative passed, the Democratic and Republican Parties would no longer be ballot-qualified. Presumably if the initiative passed, the legislature would amend the definition of “party” to be based on the group’s vote for President at the last election. Alternatively, the definition of “party” might be based on the number of registered voters in a party. But then the state would be forced to let voters register into parties that had never before been qualified, and the state would need to tally these registrations. South Dakota does tally the number of voters in parties that are not now qualified by which were ballot-qualified in the preceding few years.

South Dakota parties now elect precinct party officials at the primary, but this initiative would eliminate such public elections. For that reason alone, it seems likely the two major parties will campaign against this initiative if it gets on the ballot. Thanks to Andy Jacobs for the link.

This entry was posted in Third parties, general and tagged , , on by .

About Caryn Ann Harlos

Caryn Ann Harlos is a paralegal residing in Castle Rock, Colorado and presently serving as the Region 1 Representative on the Libertarian National Committee and is a candidate for LNC Secretary at the 2018 Libertarian Party Convention. Articles posted should NOT be considered the opinions of the LNC nor always those of Caryn Ann Harlos personally. Caryn Ann's goal is to provide information on items of interest and (sometimes) controversy about the Libertarian Party and minor parties in general not to necessarily endorse the contents.

60 thoughts on “Richard Winger: South Dakota Initiative For Non-Partisan Elections for All Office Except President

  1. Dave Terry

    At the risk of producing an electoral system that is controlled by big media and lobbyists, it
    would virtually destroy the two party duopoly; not a bad trade-off, IMO!

  2. Caryn Ann Harlos Post author

    Paulie had a bit of a different perspective that I think he will weigh in on.

  3. jim

    Dave Terry: Exactly the opposite of reality! The “runoff in November that only two candidates run in” will PRESERVE the two-party duopoly! Washington and (I believe) California already have done this mistake. It will virtually guarantee that no third-party candidates will ever get into the runoff election. Think about it.

  4. Richard Winger

    I believe in the usefulness of political parties. I think political parties are essential, because otherwise special interests have an advantage. So I would vote “no” on this initiative. Nevertheless, it is worth pointing out that Libertarians and Greens have won hundreds, even thousands, of non-partisan elections that lack party labels on the ballot. Minor party members do much better in elections without party labels on the ballot, at least for county and city and town office. Maybe that generalization doesn’t hold for state legislative elections, though. Nebraska has non-partisan elections for state legislature and no minor parties even bother to run for those seats. It is too bad the South Dakota initiative proponents didn’t think to abolish primary elections and just have general elections, as Louisiana has done. Or the South Dakota initiative proponents should have put instant runoff voting, or approval voting, into their scheme.

  5. Andy

    The Libertarian National Committee just knowingly started paying non-libertarian mercenary petition circulators who are currently gathering signatures for this “Non-Partisan” Top Two Primary petition in South Dakota to gather petition signatures for LP ballot access.

    So it is like, “Sign one petition to place Libertarian Party candidates on the ballot, and sign another petition to take Libertarian Party candidates off the ballot.”

  6. Paulie

    I think this may actually be worse than CA/WA style partisan top two. At least under that system, voters will see the Libertarian ballot label – other than for president – in a small handful of general election contests, even though they will be lopsided races that few people care about and the media will hardly ever mention.

    Under this “nonpartisan” system the power of incumbency, media gatekeepers and major “one hand washes the other” money is even greater, as a party label can offset those somewhat. Well organized interests such as megachurches, unions (especially government unions), and large corporate interests will be able to promote their candidates. The LP and other such groups, not having the advertising budget or army of campaign helpers that the larger interests have, is much more reliant on the ballot label to communicate to voters who our candidates are and what they stand for.

    This system would be bad for the LP as well as bad for the public as a whole.

  7. Dave Terry

    jim; September 10, 2015 at 12:34 pm
    Dave Terry: Exactly the opposite of reality! The “runoff in November that only two candidates run in” will PRESERVE the two-party duopoly!

    I believe this is a false presumption. Whereas, most people except “party hacks” actually know which candidate represents which party and if the ballot doesn’t make it easy for them to pick a candidate, they will be forced to actually read or watch what those candidates stand for, OR
    use the an ouija board or flip a coin.

    Ergo, a better informed voter is NOT conducive to a PARTY dominated electoral system.

    In partisan/top two elections it is, the “partisan” part that create the problem, NOT the “top two” aspect.

  8. Dave Terry

    I intended to write; Whereas, most people except “party hacks” DO NOT know which candidates represent which party…….
    Sorry for the typo!

  9. ATBAFT

    I’ve seen many a biography/experience/skill set write up for candidates in the League of Women Voters guide, for instance, that should – without the partisan party label – lead to the second or third place finisher (including the LP candidate) being the winner if voters could only get by the Team label. A strong case can be made that the Libertarian label is still a detriment and that libertarian ideas, presented without the label, would be more attractive to voters.

  10. paulie

    If everyone read the voter pamphlet and if there were no campaign ads, maybe. As it stands, while our ballot label may be detriment to some it’s a plus with others, and there is no chance we can replicate the campaign spending to replicate it any time soon. Even if we could, the candidates would not be helping build a label to help other candidates in the future.

  11. Andy

    There are plenty of races where Libertarians have run for office without a party label and still lost.

  12. Dave Terry

    Andy; September 11, 2015 “There are plenty of races where Libertarians have run for office without a party label and still lost.”

    No Duh! The POINT is that they didn’t lose BECA– USE of their “party label”.

    according to; https;//www.lp.org/candidates/elected-officials
    “Nationwide, there are 152 Libertarians holding elected offices: 52 partisan offices , and 100 nonpartisan offices” This list is NOT complete.

  13. Steve M

    Dave Terry,

    So what is your ideal election method? don’t feel limited by my list.

    Some sort of instant run off?
    Party primaries followed by gnereral where only the top two get to be on the ballot?
    Highest vote total with smaller parties having reasonable partcipation?
    Highest vote total with smaller parties having challenging partcipation?
    only libertarians?

    some other? please explain.

  14. jim

    Steve M: I will answer your question to Dave Terry:
    Ideal election method: Give each candidate a fractional vote in Congress proportional to the amount of votes he got in his election. Let’s say the two major-party candidates got 45% and 50%, respectively, and the libertarian got 5%. In Congress, each of those candidates ‘won’ the proportional representation of that size.

  15. Dave Terry

    Jim: Unfortunately, proportional representation only works on ‘COLLECTIVE campaigns’ (i.e. Party ‘slate’ A vs. Party ‘slate’ B vs. Party ‘slate’ C, etc.) Even HERE, the decision on WHO actually gets to ‘place’ the vote becomes the decision of the “Party Leadership” (a system which accentuates the WORST of what we have already.
    Just WHAT do you MEAN by “proportional representation of that size” ???? The example you give is clearly a ‘can of worms’. HOW is it to be determined HOW these three people divide up their share of 1 vote? This is clearly, the antithesis of “representative” government!

  16. jim

    “Party” would have nothing to do with it. Re-read what I wrote above. All candidates who receive votes would be allocated voting power in Congress, based on the number of votes they received in the election. Simple. At least, it would be simple in 2015, with the Internet, computers, etc. Wasn’t easy in 1789.

  17. jim

    I don’t understand your objection. I described the system quite effectively. “I can explain it to you, but I can’t UNDERSTAND it for you!”
    Today, votes in Congress are one vote per Representative, or one vote per Senator. But I am advocating that EACH person who ran in the election for (say) Representative gets a fractional portion of one vote, based on how many votes he received in the general election.
    Example: Three people run for Representative. Al, Bob, and Charlie. There were 300,000 votes cast in the general election 150,000, 130,000 votes for Al, and 20,000 votes for Charlie. During the 2-year Congress, each can vote their fractional vote: Al gets `150.000/300,000, or half of a vote. Bob gets 130,000/300,000, or a bit less than one half of a vote. Charlie gets 20,000/300,000, or about 0.0666 of a vote. THERE IS NO _SINGLE_ REPRESENTATIVE. There are three CO-REPRESENTATIVE “Representatives”, whose power is divvied up based on the number of votes they received from the voters in the general election.
    Is THAT so difficult to understand?

  18. jim

    Dave Terry: I am reposting, because I made a typo above:
    I don’t understand your objection. I described the system quite effectively. “I can explain it to you, but I can’t UNDERSTAND it for you!”
    Today, votes in Congress are one vote per Representative, or one vote per Senator. But I am advocating that EACH person who ran in the election for (say) Representative gets a fractional portion of one vote, based on how many votes he received in the general election.
    Example: Three people run for Representative. Al, Bob, and Charlie. There were 300,000 votes cast in the general election 150,000 for Al, 130,000 votes for Bob, and 20,000 votes for Charlie. During the 2-year Congress, each can vote their fractional vote: Al gets `150.000/300,000, or half of a vote. Bob gets 130,000/300,000, or a bit less than one half of a vote. Charlie gets 20,000/300,000, or about 0.0666 of a vote. THERE IS NO _SINGLE_ REPRESENTATIVE. There are three CO-REPRESENTATIVE “Representatives”, whose power is divvied up based on the number of votes they received from the voters in the general election.
    Is THAT so difficult to understand?

  19. Robert Capozzi

    jim, mathematically possible, I guess.

    What constituency is there for such a drastic plan?

  20. Andy

    “Darryl W. Perry

    September 11, 2015 at 8:52 pm

    and there are races where LP members have run as Republicans or Democrats and lost, and others where they’ve won.”

    We have lost far more often than we’ve won in these races, and even the few times that we have won, they have been low level offices that most of the public does not care about.

  21. Andy

    The unicameral legislature in Nebraska is officially non-partisan. How many Libertarians or other minor party or (true) independents are in the Nebraska legislature? ZERO.

    The Libertarian Party has never elected anyone to a seat in the “non-partisan” Nebraska legislature.

    Due to a lack of ballot access for the Libertarian Party in Tennessee and Oklahoma, Libertarians have run for office in those states without the Libertarian Party label next to their names, and they have not had much success (if any), and the state LP affiliates are weak in those states.

  22. Andy

    “Dave Terry

    September 11, 2015 at 9:49 pm

    Andy; September 11, 2015 ‘There are plenty of races where Libertarians have run for office without a party label and still lost.’

    No Duh! The POINT is that they didn’t lose BECA– USE of their “party label”.

    according to; https;//www.lp.org/candidates/elected-officials
    ‘Nationwide, there are 152 Libertarians holding elected offices: 52 partisan offices , and 100 nonpartisan offices’ This list is NOT complete.”

    These are all low level offices that most of the public does not care about, and which a lot of the public does not even know exist.

    Also, the Libertarian Party had a lot more people elected to low level offices like this back in the early 2000’s. I remember back when there were around 600-650 Libertarian Party members elected to low level offices around the country. So the party has gone downhill since then.

    A lot of the public has no idea who these people are that are elected to these low level offices, and they don’t know that they are Libertarians, so it does little to promote the brand. These office holders aren’t able to effect much in terms of policy because they are generally outvoted on their local government boards by Democrats or Republicans, and given that these are low level offices, they don’t have much power anyway.

  23. Andy Craig

    Even though Jim explains it with a typical lack of finesse, what he’s proposing isn’t a new idea. That’s basically how the Congress of the “North American Confederacy” worked in L. Neil Smith’s The Probability Broach. Each Representative casts as many votes as people whom they individually represent, including people showing up to vote for just themselves if they want. Constituencies would then be fluid and self-defined, not based on geographical districts, and nobody would be represented by a legislator they didn’t individually approve of.

    He also had it so people can switch their Representative at any time- so there wouldn’t ever be a single traditional election per se, just a series of individual agreements between the Representative and the represented. Quorum was defined as X% of the total population represented.

    It’s a clever idea, and I think something like it could actually work as a real-world legislature with a few minor tweaks. But paulie is also right, the chances of it ever being adopted via const. amendment are nil, so it’s pretty much relegated to the realm of science fiction for all practical purposes.

    @Andy J. “The unicameral legislature in Nebraska is officially non-partisan. How many Libertarians or other minor party or (true) independents are in the Nebraska legislature? ZERO.”

    Good point.

  24. jim

    Andy Craig: I vaguely recall the title “The probability broach”, although I’ve never read it. But I disagree that it would be necessary to ratify a constitutional amendment to implement this change. The US Constitution is a rather sparse document, and it doesn’t really explain how government (especially Congress) implements things. It merely says that both houses, House and Senate, are in charge of defining the rules under which these houses operates.
    We are, of course, familiar with the way things have been done for decades, even centuries. But that doesn’t mean the Constitution defined that. But if a state’s representatives were to show up, and say “Our state’s vote will be divided between the following 4 Representatives, in proportion to the following formula”, I believe that Congress couldn’t cite a specific law or portion of the Constitution that this violates. It would require, at most, a rule-change to accomodate that.
    As for Robert Capozzi’s question, “What constituency is there for such a drastic plan?”, I would answer: Any political minority. Today, we are used to the fact that if the Democrat wins 51% of the vote, and the Republican wins 49%, the Democrats ends up winning ALL of the political influence from a given state or district, in Congress. Averaged over all districts and states, I would guesstimate that 45% of the population is effectively not represented, as a consequence.
    A special benefit would accrue to 3rd party candidates, such as Libertarians. Currently, one accusation that can be made is “you’re throwing your vote away!”. But the system I propose gives everyone representation in Congress, in proportion to his vote.
    And no, I don’t agree that this is “such a drastic plan”? How can giving people actual representation in Congress be considered “drastic”?

  25. Andy Craig

    Maybe it could be done on a state basis, if the rules were changed to allow for it. You could try to divide up votes fractionally, I think the simpler and more obvious route would be to treat the total number of votes like stocks, e.g. Rep. A casts X votes on behalf of X voters. More narrowly, state-by-state proportional representation could indeed be mandated by Congress, in the same way current law requires single-member districts and forbids multi-member or all-at-large allocation of a state’s Reps. Congress could also increase the number of Representatives in the House, something that’s been overdue for a long time since it was frozen at 435.

    But the whole number of Representatives would still have to be apportioned and divided up among the states. That part is constitutionally mandated, and couldn’t be changed without an amendment. So you could not have a single Representative representing a constituency in multiple states, which would largely defeat the purpose of allowing people to freely form their own constituencies.

    And even if it weren’t per se strictly required, such a radical overhaul of the lowercase-c constitutional structure is still best done by amendment. That is my one concern about the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact. Even though it’s perfectly constitutional legal, it could suffer from a lack of popular constitutional legitimacy. Abolishing single-member geographical districts is an even bigger change than de facto abolishing the Electoral College.

    Which is why it makes for fun speculation, but the chances of anything like it implemented anytime soon are essentially bupkis. Even much more modest electoral reforms are pushing the envelope, this complicated business of freely-floating self-forming constituencies is a lot more radical than that. Its all purely hypothetical political theory.

  26. Robert Capozzi

    Jim: “What constituency is there for such a drastic plan?”, I would answer: Any political minority.

    me: Why do you think political minorities have the juice to enact a constitutional amendment?

  27. Andy

    We probably do not have the “juice” necessary to get it passed, but it is still a good thing to make a point and to get publicity.

  28. Robert Capozzi

    a, maybe Probability Broach representation makes a point, but there are many such issues. Is this one especially rich and ripe in your view vs., say, AndyLand, Nonarchy Pods, the gold standard, or a host of obscure positions?

  29. jim

    I am saying it DOESN’T require a constitutional amendment to change to my system. The US Constitution does not require things to be done the way they are currently doing it. If a state were to announce that it would be sending multiple representatives to Congress, each of which has a certain fractional vote, it is unclear that the national Congress would be entitled to refuse that.

  30. Robert Capozzi

    Jim, perhaps I read A1, S2 and S4 differently than you do. But maybe you can persuade one state to adopt the Probability Broach method to test what “apportioned” means and what “Congress may at any time by Law make or alter such Regulations” means.

    You might even have a very novel reading of A1, S3’s “two Senators from each State” means. (If it said “the equivalent of two” or some such, maybe I could see PB as viable and plausible.)

    So, you want others to put energy into getting one state to decide that it wants its political minorities to be represented; to send many, many more people to Congress (and Senate?) to share an office in a House (and Senate) office building; to share the salary assigned to them; to probably not be eligible for any leadership roles in their parties or chairmanships…all as a test of the words and longstanding precedent as to the meaning of Article 1.

    I dunno. This PB approach seems even more unlikely to succeed than GJ being elected our next president.

    But, I’m with Keith Richard when he wrote the lyric, “Lose your dreams and you will lose your mind,” so I do wish you the best of luck in this fantastic venture. If by some miracle PB was even partially instituted, it would be interesting to see how it would change the dynamic in Washington, if at all.

  31. paulie

    I think Capozzi is correct, this sounds very dubious as something that could actually be realistically implemented. Good luck though.

  32. Andy

    Earlier today, I received 100% confirmation that the non-libertarian mercenary petition circulators in South Dakota who were recently hired by the Libertarian National Committe are gathering signatures Libertarian Party ballot access, WHILE AT THE SAME TIME, they are gathering signatures to place this Top Two Primary initiative on the ballot.

    So they are quite literally getting South Dakota registered voters to sign one petition to place Libertarian Party candidates on the ballot, and signing another petition to take Libertarian Party candidates off of the general election ballot.

    Every Libertarian Party member reading this needs to keep in mind that this is being done WITH THE FULL KNOWLEDGE OF THE ENTIRE LNC. I warned them that this was going to happen in South Dakota, and they went through with it anyway.

    So the LNC is right now paying people in South Dakota who are gleefully working to destroy the Libertarian Party.

    Just when I thought that things could not possibly get any worse for the Libertarian Party than they have been (with the recent developments in the Oregon controversy, etc…), the LNC has taken things to a new low.

  33. jim

    “Earlier today, I received 100% confirmation that the non-libertarian mercenary petition circulators in South Dakota who were recently hired by the Libertarian National Committe are gathering signatures Libertarian Party ballot access, WHILE AT THE SAME TIME, they are gathering signatures to place this Top Two Primary initiative on the ballot.”

    The LNC’s actions sound very distressing, and borderline insane.

  34. paulie

    As far as I have been able to determine, the LNC/HQ made a deal with a petition contractor from ND before learning that he and people he hires are also working on top two only and other anti-liberty petitions. They were led to believe that he was offering a better deal than others would have, without realizing that there were other petitions in SD, that the rate we are getting in OK is also not any higher than what they are paying in SD (although both are in fact lower than what most LP petitions have been paying recently), etc.

    The LP state chairs in ND and SD, one of whom is also an LNC member, also wanted to work with this contractor, Charles “Chaz” Tuttle, and they are also both (reportedly – I have only seen the comments of the ND chair) supporting top two only as well.

  35. Andy

    ” paulie September 14, 2015 at 9:56 pm

    As far as I have been able to determine, the LNC/HQ made a deal with a petition contractor from ND before learning that he and people he hires are also working on top two only and other anti-liberty petitions. They were led to believe that he was offering a better deal than others would have, without realizing that there were other petitions in SD, that the rate we are getting in OK is also not any higher than what they are paying in SD (although both are in fact lower than what most LP petitions have been paying recently), etc. ”

    The LNC is not absolved of any guilt here for the following reasons:

    1) I WARNED them about this right before the drive started, yet they went through with it anyway.

    2) This is yet another example of the LP hiring non-libertarian mercenaries, and handing out “sweetheart” deals to people who do not deserve it, which is something that I’ve been blowing the whistle on for the last few years.

    3) It illustrates that the people who are supposed to be “in charge” of the party were either “asleep at the wheel,” in that they were not paying attention and had no idea what was going on in South Dakota (note that I found out by looking at the South Dakota Secretary of State’s website, and following it up with a Google search, all of which took less than 5 minutes), or, they knew what was going on beforehand and allowed it to happen anyway, and like I said in point one above, I warned the entire LNC and some of the LP national office staff about this shortly after the LNC allocated the money for South Dakota, and they went through with the plan anyway.

    4) They did not even bother to consult with any other petition circulators, even though there are several actual Libertarians who would have been interested in going to work on the LP petition drive in South Dakota, and who would not have worked the Top Two Primary petition. This was an insider, behind closed doors deal made wtih people who are NOT even libertarians, and who have little track record of doing anything with the Libertarian Party.

    “The LP state chairs in ND and SD, one of whom is also an LNC member,”

    I have not heard of any comments about this from the LP Chair in South Dakota.

    Speaking for myself as a 19 year LP member, and a 15 year LP ballot access petitioner, I find this situation to be DISGUSTING.

  36. paulie

    I have not heard of any comments about this from the LP Chair in South Dakota.

    I’ve been told he is for it. I thought you were my source on that but it may have been someone else.

  37. Andy

    ” paulie September 14, 2015 at 11:15 pm

    ‘ I have not heard of any comments about this from the LP Chair in South Dakota.’

    I’ve been told he is for it. I thought you were my source on that but it may have been someone else.”

    It turned out that the person who said this mistakenly thought that the North Dakota LP Chair was the South Dakota LP Chair. I have not heard anything for the Chair of the LP of South Dakota about this.

  38. Andy

    The bottom line here is that if this initiative passes in South Dakota, it will mean less Libertarian Party candidates on the general election ballot in that state. I would not be surprised if the only Libertarian Partry candidate to make the general election ballot in South Dakota if this thing passes will be the LP candidate for President, and that will only because candidates for President are exemtped from this initiative.

  39. Nicholas Sarwark

    Mr. Tuttle is not circulating any petitions other than ours and Marsy’s Law. This is from Mr. Tuttle directly, not third hand accounts that someone has heard and presents as 100% confirmation.

    Mr. Tuttle has agreed to a contract that nets 7,000 valid signatures at a cost of $15K. This is significantly lower cost than any drives I am aware of in recent LP history.

  40. Andy

    Top Two Primary is currently paying for signatures in Florida, and I heard that there is a very good chance that Top Two Primary will pay for signatures in Arizona in the not too distant future. Top Two Primary made the ballot via petition in Arizona in 2010, but fortunately the voters in Arizona shot it down, but I heard today that Top Two Primary may be back in Arizona for 2016.

    It appears to me that the establishment is going on an all out assault on having dissident voices on the ballot, and that Top Two Primary is a part of their plan.

  41. Andy

    ” Nicholas Sarwark September 14, 2015 at 11:30 pm

    Mr. Tuttle is not circulating any petitions other than ours and Marsy’s Law. This is from Mr. Tuttle directly, not third hand accounts that someone has heard and presents as 100% confirmation.”

    I just spoke to somebody who knows him today, and they told me that he is working on Top Two, and that he has in fact given the petition to other petition circulators who are working on Top Two.

    My source told me this in a phone conversation just a little while ago, and this is a source that I know to be reliable.

  42. Andy

    Also, this would not even be an issue right now if I had not brought attention to it.

    I am trying to STOP Top Two, and do not think that the LP should be part of a package with Top Two, or that those working Top Two should be rewarded with any LP donor money.

  43. Caryn Ann Harlos Post author

    Andy, IF that is the case (I don’t know, I am just reading about it here), that would seriously bother me…. as a monthly donor (small, but it is significant to me)

  44. paulie

    Mr. Tuttle is not circulating any petitions other than ours and Marsy’s Law. This is from Mr. Tuttle directly, not third hand accounts that someone has heard and presents as 100% confirmation.

    He is misinforming you. He has admitted to other petitioners we know that he is working what he calls the “open primary” petition. Even if he wasn’t working it himself, he’d still be giving it to all the other petitioners who are and making a bonus (“override” or percentage commission) off of them.

    Mr. Tuttle has agreed to a contract that nets 7,000 valid signatures at a cost of $15K. This is significantly lower cost than any drives I am aware of in recent LP history.

    Andy, myself and several others we brought in to help completed a 7,000 valid signature petition for less than that in North Dakota in 2011-12, in the winter. Chaz had a chance to work on that and just wasted our time, getting zero signatures. He did get part of the contract in North Dakota in 2013 (for 2014), but then he just subcontracted it out – I don’t think he worked himself at all.

  45. Andy

    If this guy has already handed the petition out to other petition circulators, then he can’t control what they do once they get it, so he’d have no way of stopping them from working Top Two even if he wanted to do so, and like I said above, my source told me that he is in fact working Top Two, and that he did in fact already hand the petition out to other people who are working Top Two.

    Even if he has personally been shamed into no longer working Top Two due to my whistle blowing, if he has already handed the petition out to other petitioners, he can’t stop them from working on it, and my source for this (which I know to be reliable), said that he already has done this.

    I am trying to save our state LP affiliate in South Dakota from being subjected to Top Two Tyranny. This thing is BAD NEWS, not just for the LP, but for the entire election process.

  46. paulie

    It turned out that the person who said this mistakenly thought that the North Dakota LP Chair was the South Dakota LP Chair. I have not heard anything for the Chair of the LP of South Dakota about this.

    Ah, OK. It’s just Roland Riemers of ND then.

  47. paulie

    Even if he has personally been shamed into no longer working Top Two due to my whistle blowing,

    Highly unlikely. He just won’t admit it to LP people now, other than maybe Roland, since Roland is for it.

    I’m sure he has Constitution Party petitions also, since that is also paying in SD. I wonder if they know he and the petitioners he hires are also pushing Top Two Only?

  48. Andy

    Nicholas Sarwark said: “Mr. Tuttle has agreed to a contract that nets 7,000 valid signatures at a cost of $15K. This is significantly lower cost than any drives I am aware of in recent LP history.”

    Nobody else was even consulted about this. I found out that there are 4 state wide ballot initiatives paying in South Dakota. I found out that the Constitution Party is also paying for signatures. Some of the initiatives that are paying are also offering expense money for petition circulators. This guy is just piggybacking off of the initiatives and the Constitution Party.

    The Top Two Primary petition and the Pay Day Loan petitions are not libertarian issues. The redistricting petition is probably an OK issue. I have not read all of the crime victims or “Marcy’s Law” petition, but from what I read of it, it sounds like it may not be anything too bad.

    Actual Libertarians could have gone to South Dakota to work the Redistricting petition, the Crime Victims petition, and the Constitution Party petition (I don’t put gathering signatures for another minor party or independent to be as bad, or to create as bad of an image, as gathering signatures for an anti-liberty ballot initiative).

    So I don’t think that it would have cost any more money to have people working there that were committed to not working Top Two, but even if it did, there’s an old expression that goes, “You get what you pay for.”

  49. Andy

    Paul said: ” I don’t think he worked himself at all.”

    If he did, he did not collect very many signatures.

  50. paulie

    The Jefferson County, Alabama LP petition in 2013 (for 2014) was about 6,500 valid signatures and cost a total of $10,000.

    The same petition in 2015 (for 2016) has had $6,500 in combined state and national funding so far. We’ll see what happens with that one.

    Note too that county signatures are harder to get than statewide signatures, since you’ll run into more people that aren’t eligible due to being from neighboring counties.

  51. paulie

    The SD deal (7k valid for $15k) is a lot more lucrative when you consider that it is being piggybacked off a bunch of other petitions. Also, the assumption builds in 1,000 volunteer signatures, the higher than average validity rate in SD, the fact that you can have people register and sign at the same time, and that their signatures count if they moved within the county, and are all on one page.

    The Jeffco County Alabama petitions did not get piggybacked off any other petitions either time. The North Dakota 2011-12 drive did get piggybacked off CP and AE, though.

    Even if Oklahoma is a slightly higher per signature rate, we are dealing with a state that has much lower percentage of registered voters, serious location problems (even in public places), different counties on different pages, no having people register to vote and sign at the same time, no other petitions to piggyback off of…

Leave a Reply

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