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Obama and McCain both missed filing deadline for Texas

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Both Obama and McCain prove above the law in Texas

By Tim Mantegna
Contributing Writer

Bob Barr, the Libertarian candidate for President, was the only political party candidate to make the deadline to be on the ballot in Texas. Let me say that again: Both Obama and McCain missed the deadline to be on the ballot. Adding insult to injury, a write-in candidate in Texas must be registered by the same date (which kind of defeats the purpose of the write-in). Thus, the big underground media story for a few days was that Barr wins Texas by default.

But alas, the two big parties have managed to effortlessly weasel their way around the laws they so adamantly hold the third parties to. After confirming that neither party made the deadline, the Texas Secretary of State retracted that statement and issued one saying that, in fact, they had magically 'found' the registration forms for both. Funny that both had just made the deadline, considering neither party had even nominated anyone yet, as both conventions took place after the deadline. Texas law, of course, makes no exceptions for late entries or substitutions after the deadline.

It seems that the Democrats and Republicans had been conspiring against themselves, as both continually push for more meaningless hurdles to prevent third party candidates from entering the race. In 2005, the Republican government of Texas changed the deadline from 60 days before the general election, to 70. That, coupled with the two latest political conventions in the parties respective histories, means that not only had neither officially nominated their candidate, but McCain had not even announced his running-mate.

The Barr campaign has requested the registration forms for both parties under the Freedom of Information Act. So far, this request has not been met.

The Secretary of State has said that the registration papers were not complete, going as far as McCain to be listed with a running-mate, and expect the nominees' paperwork to be substituted at a later date. However, as stated before, under Texas law, substitutions are not allowed after the deadline

I feel I must continue to stress that these are not the types of laws that are usually glanced over and no one really pays attention to, like the McCain-Feingold Campaign Finance Act. Ballot access laws have long been strictly enforced against third party and independent candidates, in an effort by the big two to keep them out of the way. In fact, the McCain campaign and the Pennsylvania Republican Party are currently in the middle of a baseless lawsuit in an effort to get Bob Barr off the ballot in that state.

In the interest of full disclosure, I am very biased on this issue. I have made a bet that neither Obama, or McCain will be on the ballot on November 4. Personally, I am pulling for a Libertarian lawsuit to come through and knock both off the ballot. Call me naive, but I made this bet before before both parties circumvented the law and magically wound up on the ballot, thinking that law applied to everyone. I was wrong, but still hold out hope that justice will prevail. If you think my bias may have influenced my writing in any way, I urge you to research it yourself.

Was missing the deadline just an extreme oversight? It doesn't seem likely, considering Texas has the second most electoral votes (34) and is almost guaranteed to McCain.

Or did the Republicans and Democrats blatantly ignore the law, knowing that they would not be held to it?

The only thing that is absolutely certain is that if the Barr Campaign is going to bring legal action against the big two, it has to act fast. The last time both parties missed the deadline (Fulani v Hogsett in 1988) the court said that Fulani, nominee of the New Alliance Party, had waited too long to file the suit.




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