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Free Citizen

This writer espouses individual liberty, free markets, and limited government.

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Location: Jackson, Mississippi, United States

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Alaskan Independence Party

The ultimate goal of the Alaskan Independence Party is an election in which the voters would choose among four alternatives for Alaska's status. In 1990, the party elected a governor, Walter Hickel, who was a former Republican governor and interior secretary in the Nixon administration. Three candidates sought the AIP nomination for governor in 2006.

Gov. Sarah Palin, who has been mentioned as a possible 2008 Republican vice-presidential candidate, addressed the AIP's last state convention. The AIP's candidate for president this year is Chuck Baldwin, the nominee of the Constitution Party.

The AIP lists all of its candidates on the same primary ballot with the Democrats and another minor party. That primary is open to any voter, and each voter may thus cross party lines from office to office.

As Ballot Access News notes, the AIP in 2006 filed a federal lawsuit, seeking to compel the state to recognize a party rule giving the state committee the right to decide whether a candidate may run under the AIP label in either the primary or the general election. Thus, the party would even be able to reject a candidate who had won the AIP primary.

This is a notable case, given that the federal courts have been moving toward greater autonomy for political parties since the 1970s. As BAN says, "Federal and state courts in Alabama, Georgia, and Hawaii have upheld the right of parties to exclude candidates from their primaries on the basis of the clash between the party’s platform and the candidate’s principles. The U.S. Supreme Court has issued decisions which imply that parties do have a right to exclude candidates from their own primaries, but has never squarely decided the issue."

Alaska-- unlike Alabama, Georgia, and Hawaii-- registers voters by party. To me, it would seem strange for a party to prevent one of its registered members from seeking the party's nomination. And the voters would not take kindly to a party rejecting and/or replacing a candidate who had won that party's primary.

Additionally, the AIP voluntarily participates in the blanket primary with the two other parties. This makes it possible for non-members to out-vote AIP members in choosing an AIP nominee. Since the party doesn't seem to care about that possibility, it's odd that it nonetheless wants to be able to say who can run under the AIP's banner in both primaries and general elections.

It sounds like the suit is aimed almost totally at Daniel DeNardo, who has sued the AIP for $10,000,000. Last year the U. S. district court ruled against the party, and the AIP has appealed to the 9th U. S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which is expected to hear the case in August 2008.

2 Comments:

Anonymous Ted said...

Mac Pick Palin Veep BEFORE Hil Campaigns w/Obama!

In addition to her overwhelming attraction on the oil/energy issue and the female/disaffected Hillary voters, her human interest story will generate millions and millions of dollars worth of publicity and media coverage — essentially free to the McCain campaign — more than offsetting Obama’s reported money advantage.

Sat Jun 21, 06:28:00 AM CDT  
Blogger Steve Rankin said...

McCain should, in my view, wait until the Republican convention to announce his running mate, when he will have the advantage of knowing who Obamanation has picked. To announce his choice before then would be a sign of weakness on McCain's part.

I think it would be a mistake for McCain to make his VP choice primarily to appeal to Hillary's backers. Besides, the big majority of Hillary's voters are pro-abortion, whereas Gov. Palin is staunchly pro-life. She even let her Down syndrome child live, when 80%-plus of such children are killed before they are born.

I was somewhat disturbed today to learn that Gov. Palin has apparently bought into the "global warming"/"climate change" hoax.

Sat Jun 21, 01:13:00 PM CDT  

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