Ohio Republicans Attempt to Eliminate Minor Parties; Libertarians and Greens Push Back


Credit: Nestle, CC BY NC ND

A bill in Ohio that effectively derails any ongoing minor party campaigns and may have long-term repercussions for such parties was approved by the state senate last week. Libertarians and Greens in the state, who called the Republican-backed bill "The John Kasich Protection Act," believe it is unconstitutional and are fighting to stop it.

State Sen. Bill Seitz, who presented Senate Bill 193 as an emergency measure in September, argued that the current state of affairs is like "the wild, wild West" (despite the fact that all minor party votes in the 2012 presidential election added up to 1.6 percent of the total count). He said:

Obviously, if you are in one of those minor parties, you probably would like that current, lawless state of affairs to continue because you get to stay on the ballot without demonstrating any modicum of support.

The Associated Press explained that S.B. 193, which heads to the Ohio House of Representatives this week, would require minor parties acquire "more than 56,000 signatures using last year's election numbers. To remain a qualified political party, groups must get 3 percent of the total votes cast in the following gubernatorial or presidential election."

Dr. Bob Fitrakis, a political science professor and former Green Party candidate, believes that the bill is unconstitutional and has already testified at several hearings about it. He said his party will sue the state if necessary. "They're punishing us for not meeting a nonexistent standard in 2012. … They're throwing everyone off the ballot who didn't meet this standard that wasn't in existence. It's a clear violation of due process." He added, "They'll be throwing two elected [Green Party] officials off their ballots based off their party designation."

"[The Republicans] are clearly going after the Libertarians… who have some tea party support," Fitrakis said. "We're collateral damage." All but one Republican voted for S.B. 193, while no Democrat did. 

Libertarian Party of Ohio Spokesman Aaron Keith Harris also believes the legislation is unconstitutional. He pointed to LPO v. Blackwell, which in 2006 struck down a similar ballot access law. He contended that it is unreasonable to hold a state party accountable for the votes earned by a national party candidate. Harris confirmed that the Libertarian Party is attending hearings to contest the legislation.

"I raise my eyebrow about why they're doing this now," said Harris. He debunked Seitz's "wild West" claim, stating that minor parties have been operating without problem for years. He also noted that the bill was introduced the same day Libertarian gubernatorial candidate Charles Earl announced his candidacy.

Earl, who was previously a member of the Ohio House of Representatives, stated that the law will disenfranchise the "roughly 50 percent of voters in Ohio who are unaffiliated" with either major party. Kasich's "conservative and tea party base are fleeing" because of the governor's track record of expanding the scope of government in Ohio.

A Gallup poll published Friday suggests that many Americans want more options beside the two major parties. Sixty percent of respondents believe Republicans and Democrats "do such a poor job that a third party is needed."  

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  1. That’s fucking hilarious.

    I’ve been hearing about the Ohio tea party and their relationship with the Republican party. This seems to confirm what I have heard.

    If things have gotten so bad that they resort to pathetically hamfisted things like this, the Ohio establishmentarians are going to get fucked no matter what.

    1. The PA GOP has been doing pretty much the same thing to the PA Libertarian Party for more than a decade now, and it’s had no appreciable affect on the PA GOP’s support.

      1. Isn’t PA normally democrat?

        Besides, ‘doing it for a decade’ is not the same thing as doing it right now because your base is imploding.

        My point is if they are doing this right now because the tea party plans to vote against Kasich and his pals, banning libertarians to try to block the door when the tp’ers have already decided to abandon him is futile.

        Not the act of keeping libertarians off the ballot will hurt their support. Just that it won’t help any either.

        1. The Republicans currently control the PA governorship, both houses of the state legislature, the state’s congressional delegation and one of the senate seats.

          It’s really only in Presidential campaigns that Democrats do well.

          1. Pay no attention to the Ed Rendell and Kathleen Kane behind the curtain.

            The PA GOP had a big year in 2010, as in the rest of the country. But Corbett’s going down in 2014 if he doesn’t step aside and let someone else run.

  2. because you get to stay on the ballot without demonstrating any modicum of support

    If they lack support, their presence on the ballot won’t be a problem, will it?

    Hell, I don t’ care if the American Nazi Party can get on the ballot; let ’em lose.

    1. But somebody might vote for them out of spite — or worse, by *accident*!

      1. Eh, its Ohio not Florida.

        1. For lulz, then.

        2. “Eh, its Ohio not Florida.”

          Stop. right .there…

          1. Anyone here from Florida or an expert in Fla law? I thought Florida third parties had a right to equal ballot access vis-a-vis the major parties.

            1. I believe Rich and Agammamon were both referring to the 2000 presidential election mess in Florida. The accusation back then was that large numbers had voted for Buchanan accidentally, when they meant to vote for Gore.

            2. I’m no expert in Florida law, but.. any given election, the ballots I’ve seen always have people and parties I’ve never heard of. Closed primary system, as well.

              1. Thats what I thought. I read they have access for any party which does what the donks and elephants do, no matter how many votes they get.

                But the donks blamed ballot access for a poor ballot design in one county – and the designer was a dem, of course.

        3. Please, stop holding all of Florida responsible for Palm Beach.

    2. Or, to turn that around,if the GOP and Democrats have so much support, they should have no trouble collecting 56,000 signatures every year just like the third parties have to.

  3. Illegal? Unconstitutional? Since when did that apply to government?

    1. Since the day before they told King George to go fuck himself..

  4. State Sen. Bill Seitz, who presented Senate Bill 193 as an emergency measure in September, argued that the current state of affairs is like “the wild, wild West”


  5. State Sen. Bill Seitz, who presented Senate Bill 193 as an emergency measure in September, argued that the current state of affairs is like “the wild, wild West”


  6. [The Republicans] are clearly going after the Libertarians

    Another ringing endorsement of why libertarians should vote TEAM RED!

    1. These people are not your friends. And Ohio is probably one of the worst states for that, where the Republicans are very. . .soft and statist.

      Going with the Serious Man’s theme above, how about the Khan Party?

      1. You are welcome to join. But I caution you: such parties dare take what they want.

        1. Full electoral power, damn you!

      2. Sorry, I’m already on TEAM KIRK. Which makes you and Serious, being on TEAM KHAN, my bitter enemies.

        ProL…ProL, you’ve got Ohio, but you don’t have me. You were going to beat me, ProL. You’re going to have to come down here. You’re going to have to come down here!

        1. I’ve done far worse than remove you from the ballot, Episiarch. I’ve hurt you. And I wish to go on hurting you. I shall leave you as you left me, as you left her; marooned for all eternity in the center of a dead state. . .buried alive! Buried alive!

          Well, that’s how I felt when I lived in Columbus (aka Ceti Alpha Five), anyway.


            1. Next, you and Spock trick me into committing voter fraud after the election with that weeks to days business.

              1. There she is, ah there she is! Not so far behind in the polls as we were lead to believe. So much the better.

                1. We tried it once your way, Serious, are you game for a rematch? Serious, I’m laughing at the “superior coalition.”

                  1. But of course! We are all one big happy party. Epi, my old friend , do you know the Klingon proverb that tell us ‘Revenge is a dish best served cold’?

                    It is very cold on Election Day.

                    1. His pattern indicates two-dimensional campaigning.

                    2. You are an excellent debater, Episiarch. You let your second-in-command attack while you sit and watch for weakness.

                    3. Crap, second-in-command was supposed to be moderator. Danged iPad.

                    4. You Republican bastard, you gerrymandered my son!

      3. Governor Myron Herrick wasn’t bad. The prohibitionist movement ended his career, though.

  7. Isn’t there something called “equal protection of the law”? Time to send in federal troops to ensure fair elections in Ohio?

    1. Just kidding about the federal troops. The standing army should be abolished when the 2-year funding runs out.

      1. No, no, I think Ohio would be easy to beat.

  8. State Sen. Bill Seitz, who presented Senate Bill 193 as an emergency measure in September, argued that the current state of affairs is like “the wild, wild West”

    “I’m the Law in these parts!”

  9. I went back to Ohio,
    But my party was gone.

  10. This just might put me over the edge. I’ve been waiting (out of convenience) to officially leave the stupid party for the Libertarian party and this should do it.

    Obviously it doesn’t really mean much but internally it is nice to make a statement to myself that this will not go unnoticed.

    1. http://www.ohiosenate.gov/seitz/contact

      I just sent this prick an email

      Good evening Mr. Seitz,

      I wanted to directly inform you of my dismay with SB 193 and your opinion that this is important legislation. Using government force to disenfranchise and lock out voters who see beyond the flawed 2-party system will do nothing but further destroy the notion that republicans have any interest in extending freedom or widening electoral discourse.

      I have been a registered republican since 2004 and have, in the past few years, become more and more disillusioned with republicans, who, like you, would rather keep a stranglehold on American elections in conjunction with democrats rather than allow good-faith policies to be championed which would further Ohio’s economic and social liberties.

      This has given me the last impetus that I need to change parties at the next eligible juncture and leave this sorry republican party until the established members of the party cease their statist policies. Care to guess whom I will be joining?

      This bill is a statist policy and a great indicator that you yourself are likely a statist. The fact that you are quoted saying we are in the “wild wild west” with non-republicans / non-democrats accounting for fewer than 2-percent of year 2012 votes shows you are nothing but a mendacious politician more concerned with extending your corrupting power than serving the taxpayers that fund your salary…

      1. Sir, I hope you lose in a primary in your next electoral opportunity. I plan on sending campaign contributions to a challenger you will face.

        Keith ******* *****

        1. Nicely done!

          1. Agreed.

            “Anyone but you, cocksucker.”

      2. Dear Mr. KB:

        I don’t give a shit. If only three people vote and I get two of them, I’m still elected. Stay home for the good of the State. It hurts me not a bit.

        Yours in FYTW,

  11. Senate Bill 193 as an emergency measure in September, argued that the current state of affairs is like “the wild, wild West”

    Style guide: When any politician is claim something is like the “Wild West”, that’s a sign things are usually working well.

  12. latest American jurisdiction to legalize marijuana.


  13. Libertarians opposing a GOP attempt to push them off the ballot?

    Only one Republican Senator joining all the Democrat Senators in opposing the bill?

    The Ohio LP joining with the Greens and the ACLU to fight the proposed law?

    What a bunch of ‘Blue Tulpas’ in Ohio!

    1. Exactly what I’d expect Blue Tulpa to say.


      1. Everyone has his or her counterpart. Mine is a totalitarian, humorless, pro-abortion, gun-grabbing big government apologist…. Oh no, it’s Dianne Feinstein!

      2. Speaking of Tulpa, where is real Tulpa to defend this policy?

        1. It ma be “the grass is always greener” syndrome but I’d happily swap Tulpa for the return of MNG. Anyone disagree? ;p

        2. By “real Tulpa” you mean the Tulpa in your head, I assume. I sure as hell don’t support this policy.

          1. I’m just fucking with you Tulpa.

            1. You may think you’re being funny, but you’re aligning yourself with the narrative of the glibsters. As you see, one of my, er, critics took your statement literally.

              1. Oh no, Tulpa thinks I’m being glib!

                I think SIV just took that as a chance to take a shot at you regardless of whether you actually support such a policy. It’s not like he isn’t known for randomly criticizing writers or commenters he disapproves of. You didn’t seem to have a problem with Irish calling Bo “Blue Tulpa”

      3. Wow Irish. You were being reasonable the other day, and now you’re back to jeering with the babboons.

        Sometimes I wonder if you and I have a future together after all.

        1. I take back the last line of my 12:14 comment. Didn’t see this one when I posted it

  14. Dear Republican Party;

    If you take away my ability to vote for a third party candidate, that will not make me vote for you. All it will do is force me to be creative and think of the funniest possible name for a write-in candidate.

    Go fuck yourself,



  15. Also, the quote you used from Seitz isn’t nearly the douchiest one from him. That award goes to this gem:

    “Ohio voters deserve a fair and balanced election process to select the men and women to represent them in government,” said Seitz. “Voting is one of our most sacred duties and enviable rights as Americans and this bill protects and enhances that right.”

    The bill restricting third parties from the ballot protects and enhances the right to vote.

    War is peace.
    Freedom is slavery.
    Ignorance is strength.

  16. Tell them if the LP can’t run as Libertarians then they will run a dozen “Starchild-like” candidates in the GOP primaries. That should tweak the GOP brand a little bit.

  17. To remain a qualified political party

    That’s under the FYTW clause of the Constitution, isn’t it. Hell, maybe only Party members in good standing should be allowed to vote, huh Commissar?

  18. Will one of our Hitundrepublicans tell me again why I’m supposed to love TEAM STUPIDER? I know, they only hit us because they love us so.

    1. It’s not about love, it’s about hating less.

  19. It’s amazing that these clowns can get away with calling anything that allows freedom “the Wild West.”

    IL politicians were worried CCW would make them become “the Wild West” despite concealed carry being legal in many highly domesticated eastern states, none of which enjoy Chicago’s murder rate.

    Ditto for Citizens United.

    1. Speaking of CCW. I got a call friday saying that my CCW permit was ready for pick up, and that I could pick it up anytime Monday thru Friday.

      I go to pick it up today only to find nobody working at a desk in the sheriff’s office, and being told by a very rude woman over the intercom that I would have to come back tomorrow to pick it up.

      The sheriff’s office is an hour away.

      1. Yeah, I know what that’s like – oh wait, no I don’t, AZ doesn’t require a permit to carry concealed anymore.

        1. Must be nice. In Ohio we still have to pay a fee, and apply to the local sheriff’s office just to exercise a constitutionally protected right.

          And even when you do everything you’re supposed to do the fucking sheriff’s office can’t even do it’s job right. I mean how the fuck do you leave someone a message telling them they can pick up their CCW anytime before 7, and then tell them you can’t do it today after you have them drive a fucking hour to get there?

          If any private company operated that way they would be out of business.

          1. Holy crap. My previous county of residence would just mail the license to you. My current county prints it while you wait, or at least until the last year. I haven’t renewed since the gun grabbers went apeshit and everyone and their mother starting applying for licenses.

            1. That’s concealed carry license. No licenses to own a firearm here. Yet.

        2. That’s going a bit too far for my taste. I’m all for expanding CCW but people should demonstrate they can be trusted to do it safely and competently first. I really don’t like the idea of sharing the sidewalk, or hell, sharing the same square mile, with a little old 90 pound lady toting a 44 Mag revolver she’s never shot before.

          1. Here we go. Standard Tulpa asshatery.

            1. So asshatterish that you can’t even form an argument against it, it would seem.

          2. “people should demonstrate they can be trusted to do it safely and competently first.”

            Bugger you, pal. I (nor anyone else) has to demonstrate jack squat to your taste to exercise a fundamental right.

            1. Oh look, here comes the dogma.

              Out in the world of reality, someone who doesn’t know how to safely “exercise their fundamental right” is likely to (unintentionally) violate an innocent person’s right to life and bodily integrity when the time comes for them to exercise it. A reasonable training requirement is not going to prevent anyone from carrying if they want to. NRA classes are what, $30 and 3 hours?

  20. I wonder if former President William Howard Taft and his son Robert Taft might be spinning in their graves if they learned that?

    1. WH Taft? Eed feel the arthquake tremors in hawaii.

  21. Okay you are accurate, really Personal home page is a open source and its help we can obtain free from any discussion board or site as it takes place at this place at this website.


  22. This is politically very stupid. At a time when there is a Libertarian surge in the Republican party the Ohio GOP basically decides to target them by name.

    On the bright side maybe this will force the Libertarian party to primary the various GOP candidates in this state, and push the GOP in a more libertarian direction. Which in the long run is the only way you’re going to be able to move the country more towards libertarianism.

    1. Actually, I’m thinkin that if this becomes law, I will register R, support every effort to primary sitting r’s, then vote D in the general.

      1. What if your primary choice wins and is more libertarian leaning?

  23. The government is trying to push out minarchists? Surprise, surprise. That doesn’t make their system any better.

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