What's the Big Secret About Your Choices in 2022?
Updated: Dec 22, 2021
Why the heck would the chief election officer of the State of Texas – the Secretary of State who the Governor appoints -- make anyone file an open records request for clearly public records? We refer to the application for nomination forms by Libertarians and Greens, and declarations of intent to run by independents (candidates not aligned with any party).
The answer is simple. The Secretary of State is doing what the two parties set into motion beginning in 1967 – shoring up a two-party duopoly on the Texas ballot.
How the two-party duopoly came about is laid out in the complaint filed in federal court by the Center for Competitive Democracy in 2019 – Miller v. Doe. Thankfully the suit has finally begun to move through the federal courts, stalled by COVID.
Only five statewide independent candidates have achieved ballot access in Texas since 1968: Eugene McCarthy for President (1972, by court order), Ross Perot for President (1992 and 1996), Pat Buchanan for President (2000) and Carole Strayhorn and Kinky Friedman for Governor (2006). (Ralph Nader failed a valiant attempt and Ron Paul and Lenora Fulani ran on minor party tickets.)
The Legislature has historically used minor parties – the Libertarian and Green Parties – to improve their electoral chances against the other major party, caring not at all for true electoral competition.
Again, read the complaint. It's complicated and, like all duopolies, downright sinister.
The good news about the lawsuit is this. It enjoys the pro-bono participation of a prestigious international law firm, Shearman & Sterling, and backed by none other than one of our most famous independents – Mark Cuban. Clearly, Cuban could afford the $1+ million price tag for statewide independent ballot access. We think it’s way cool that he cares about the rest of us regular independent folks.
LIV's name contains the word "independent" because we hope to earn your trust to be the voice for Texas independent voters – who are a wild bunch not to be branded or controlled. That said, the day has come for us to deliberate amongst ourselves to determine what we think being an independent Texan means.
LIV will not be endorsing candidates in this election.
BUT, we ask for your support to help LIV engage the candidates in this election. We care not about their label (conservative, progressive, etc.) or their party. We care greatly about the following:
Who is funding their campaign?
Are they running a clean campaign or simply engaging in casting aspersions about their opponents?
Are they addressing bread and butter issues relevant to their district?
Are they using "red-meat" (the issues that most divide us like guns, abortion, and the border) to distract us, revving up their party core while leaving most voters wondering about their affordability, energy, and water?
Are they backed by the incumbents. If so, are you happy with your incumbents? You can expect the same from the ones they endorsed.
If anything, folks, we're going to have some fun for once in this election. That's because it is time, long overdue, for the voters to have the last laugh at all the games played by politicians of all stripes.
Do you agree?
We invite you to join LIV before our next First Monday Forum, January 3, 7 pm.
Go to the menu item above "Join LIV" and if you have questions, call us at 512.213.4511. Thank you!
We will be seeking input on our independent agenda. The forum will be for members only.
Remember, peace begins at home.
Have a safe and happy holiday season, y'all!