Federal Court Refuses to Review 2005 Attack On Independent Candidates – Oregon

organized malcontents like Al Mobely, termed-out stars like Tom McColl, and, national crusaders like Ralph Nader occasionally threaten to crash the party.

The 2005 Oregon Legislature – composed almost entirely of party stalwarts – took away the 100-plus-year-old right to both vote in a party primary and sign an independent candidate’s nominating petition.

Upset that the party-dominated legislature, for such self-serving reasons, robbed me of this political flexibility, I filed Wasson v. Bradbury, a federal suit alleging violation of my federal constitutional rights.

But, even before considering my arguments, the federal district Court declared that, because I wasn’t a candidate, and, didn’t identify any particular candidate I wished to support, I lacked a personal stake in the matter.

According to the district court, only candidates, or, those championing their cause, have the right to complain about rules governing the elections process.

The individual voter, concerned about his or her political liberty, has to wait for one of the “real” players in the political process to raise the concern.

This just seems wrong.

Besides, what if I’m right?

What if the 9th Circuit follows its recent decisions and agrees that the 2005 Oregon Legislature gave me standing when it passed the party protection law, and, the Secretary of State promised enforcement?

What if the 1st Amendment really does protect Oregonians’ right to help choose the state and local councils that run their lives, and, then, participate, directly, in the nomination of Ben Westlund for Governor, John Frohnmayer for U.S. Senate, or, Mike Bloomberg for U.S. President?

The district court probably ensured that success – if, and when, it comes – will require more than one appeal. It’s almost a given that, even if I’m right, Oregonians will have to endure this party overreaching for at least one, if not two, more election cycles.


2 thoughts on “Federal Court Refuses to Review 2005 Attack On Independent Candidates – Oregon”

  1. 2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars
    Essential to Understanding “Independents”, October 27, 2007
    Aufklarung (New York) –

    This review is from: The Myth of the Independent Voter (Paperback)
    Excellent. Essential reading if you want to understand the “independent voter” phenomenon — what it is and what it isn’t, and who these voters really are. Carefully researched, serious scholarship.


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  2. 6 of 23 people found the following review helpful
    1.0 out of 5 stars
    Boy, were these guys off kilter or what?, June 1, 2005
    Jason D. Olson (San Francisco, CA) –

    This review is from: The Myth of the Independent Voter (Paperback)
    This book, published in June 1992 (five months before Ross Perot would rock the established political world by performing extremely well in the presidential debates and ultimately getting 20 million votes as an independent) could not have been more off if it tried.

    If ever there was a case to be made that you cannot predict the future by simply looking at past trends, this is it. Looking back, it seems that perhaps the authors were simply caught in a moment of hisotry where anything could (and did) happen – the fall of the Soviet Union, the end of the Cold War, and the beginning of the independent political movement sprouting from the seeds sown in the 70s and 80s.

    As the independent political movement grew into “third parties” in the 90s – particularly with the election of Jesse Ventura, the growth of the Reform Party, and ending with Ralph Nader’s 2000 Green Party Presidential Candidacy (during which independent voters were decisive in the outcome) – this book became more and more a testimony to the disconnection of the political elites (in particular those who wrote it) than any true compass on the impact of the independent voter on the American political scene.

    Since 2000, the independent movement has morphed again, moving from third party and independent candidate based efforts (often called “fringe”) to a movement much more focused on organizing and empowering the independent voter (particularly the unaffiliated independent voter) – now the fastest growing political force in America. The “big” names of yesteryear – Ross Perot, Jesse Ventura, and Ralph Nader have given way to the grassroots organizers who continue to build the independent movement – the Jaqueline Salit’s (editor of the Neo-Independent Magazine), Lenora Fulani’s (leader of the very influential and often attacked Independence Party of New York), and Matt Gonzalez’s (Independent and sometimes Green Party President of the Board of Supervisors in San Francisco).


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