Saturday, April 12, 2008

Successful Green Party Candidate Slating in Illinois May Have Catalyzed New Ballot Access Regulation

Illinois Greens have taken their candidate recruitment for this election very seriously. Their success in mounting state and federal level campaigns after the primary may have inspired a recently passed regulation by Congress which would greatly inhibit the ability for third parties to continue recruiting candidates after the primary. The suggested regulation still has to pass the Senate before becoming a new inhibitive ballot access law.

Since the primary, the Illinois Green Party has added 7 candidates for U.S. Congress and 1 candidate for U.S. Senate for a total of 15 federal legislative offices. Sixteen state legislative candidates were added for a total of 19. At the county level, the party recruited 10 new candidates, including 5 in Cook County, to bring the total to 26 county candidates across the state.

This success has drawn the ire of established Democrats and Republicans who lost their assured control over the welcomed parties on the ballot when Rich Whitney won nearly 11 per cent of the vote for governor in 2006 running as a Green. The state's Green Party has been on fire since that triumph, with Phil Huckleberry, and others driving their state to out-perform others, even California, in recruitment of candidates for partisan offices.

So, appalling as it might be, it should be no surprise that blocking tactics have already begun to sprout from a two-party legislature which might inhibit the development of third party candidates. Bare in mind that third parties generally have less money with which to campaign, as well as recruitment issues, which can make a post-primary entry more attractive and likely. offers a swift analysis along with some commentary follow-up. Richard Winger, its editor, suggests that even if it passes the Senate, the Green Party may have a good case in court. We will both be watching how this regulation hangs in the two-party Senate.

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