Saturday, March 31, 2007

Independents mobilize against Nodler bill

Independents are mobilizing against SB 409, Gary Nodler's attempt to punish independent candidates for inconveniencing him during the 2006 election, and its House counterpart HB 894:

In a news release issued today, independents, including Nodler's opponent, Kim Wright, Joplin, and Mike Holzknecht, who opposed Sen. Delbert Scott (who is co-sponsoring Nodler's bill and quickly shepherded it through his own committee) said:

Independents are speaking out against bills before the Missouri legislature designed to deter independent candidates from running for public office. HB894 and SB409 would move the deadline for independent candidates to file a declaration of candidacy up from June to March. The House bill goes one step further, requiring that independents also file their nominating petitions at the same time. The effect of the bill will be to stop independents from challenging major party candidates.

"As a former independent candidate, I have strong concerns about this legislation," said Kim Wright, who received 36.4 percent of the vote against Senator Gary Nodler the originator of the Senate bill. "It seems that it is being proposed in response to personal experience and not in response to voter concerns. This alone seems self serving rather than for the greater good."

Wright and group of independent activists are mobilizing a campaign to defeat the bill.

"The bill is being pushed under the guise of imposing the same deadline for independents, Democrats and Republicans," said Mike Holzknecht who ran against Delbert Scott—the chair of the Senate Elections Committee—and received 43 percent of the vote. "The deadline is already the same—15 weeks before their respective elections. Major party candidates who are running in early August primaries file in late March, and independent candidates who are running in the November election file in late July. A March deadline for independents will essentially guarantee no competition."

A bill introducing a similar deadline for independents was struck down in 1974 in McCarthy v Kirkpatrick (420F.SUPP.366) by the US District Court which invalidated Missouri's April 27th petition deadline for independent candidates as being too early.

The media needs to pay more attention to this bill. There is no crying need for it, and as the independents say, it is clearly being used as part of the personal agenda of Nodler and Scott, who had to spend a little money to hold on to their Senate seats and were clearly irritated at being inconvenienced.


Anonymous said...

Let's see now. How would RT write a response to this.

"In a case of spiteful sour grapes, two losers in Missouri senate races are defending themselves by attacking their former opponents for defending themselves.

"In a somewhat shady story that says 'Independents are mobilizing....' there's only evidence of two independents the interest of fairness and giving credit to others involved in this piece of hatefulness, the public needs to know what other independents are part of this witch hunt."

How did I do, Randy? Am I catching onto the Randy School of Journalism?

Anonymous said...

I guess it all comes down to the attitude displayed by Nodler and Scott in this action. You can almost hear them saying "How dare they". That's not the type of thing you want to hear from someone who claims to be "representing" you. It displays arrogance; a very ugly personality trait.

Anonymous said...

Hey Anon 8:57: There are plenty of the independents that are working towards this. No one is being hateful, just trying to ensure democracy in this part of our world. Since your blog was so inappropriate, I don't think you have caught on to anything, let alone the "Randy School of Jounalism" which typically depicts right over wrong. Nodler and Scott are the petty ones here. Not wanting to go up against another independent, they attacked....

Anonymous said...

One thing that these independents keep saying is just wrong. Independents and party candidates both file for an office to be elected in November. The process for gaining ballot space is different, one must win a primary the other must submit enough signitures on a petition. The time of the primary is about the same as the deadline for the petitions. The idea that party candidates are running in an election decided in August is just plain wrong. The election day to fill the office is in November for party candidates and independent candidates and the filing date should be the same for both.

Anonymous said...

These Sour-Grapes independents prove the need for the bill. It is obvious that for them the goal is to get a place on the ballot, not win the election. They want to effect the vote of others and not win themselves. That is proven by the asertion that party candidates are filing to have their names placed on the August primary ballot. In fact party candidates are filing for an office decided in the November election and they only file once. They do not re-file after the August primarry the filing in March was for the November election. They must win the August primary to make it onto the November ballot, but they do not file a second time, the March filing was for the November electuion. I can't for the life of me understand why they think they should have special treatment. Anyone that wants to run in a November election should file at the same time. Party candidates have to win a primary, independents submit a petition. I do think the Nodler bill is better, the House bill would be unfair to independents by requiring them to submit petions at the time of filing while the parties have until August to decide. The Nodler bill seems right on target.

Randy said...

I would counter that any independent candidate has two strikes against him or her already with the way our system is set up. There was no crying need for this legislation. I can't recall hearing anyone saying this is something important that must be dealt with during this legislative session. The only thing that has been crystal clear about SB 409 is that it was filed by Gary Nodler, who was inconvenienced (and obviously angered) by having to hold off the challenge of an independent candidate, co-sponsored by Delbert Scott, who also faced an independent challenge, and put into Sen. Scott's committee. Neither Nodler nor Scott was doing any talking about this bill until the Joplin Globe(after too long of a wait) finally wrote about it (and then dropped its interest it immediately thereafter, as usual). The plan all along was to quietly push this bill through before anyone noticed.

Anonymous said...

Let's see...back to the Randy School of Journalism:

"In an effort to have the election umpires change the rules and remove the first two errant swings of their election bats, two independent candidates have cried foul, claiming the other side is throwing the ball too hard for their corked bats to hit.

"As the country approaches the opening of baseball season, the minor league players want the rules bent to shorten the fences for them and give them a running start to first base. And, of course, they aren't admiting that their efforts are crystal clear, but want the political baseball writers to point out how crystal clear the other side's actions are. And, by golly, those writers better do it right away and keep it in the front page headlines until the independents win the game anyway they can.

"And, of course, right now there's a crying need for this legislation even though the current rules have been in place for some time...but this group of minor leaguers are special cases and deserve special advantages in the game."

Gosh Randy, this is such fun. I should have been studying at the Randy School of Journalism long's much more fun than real journalism!

Anonymous said...

Randy, you say Nodler was "obviously angered", but you don't provide any evidence to support this. Of course if you impute motives to the legislation based on your suspicions then you can just declare that Nodler was angered. There has never been any indication from Nodler about anger in fact his limited campaign effort is a clear indication that he wasn’t bothered at all. You seem to have this weird fixation on Nodler. You are constantly attacking him based on motives that you project onto him with no evidence to support your assertions. It doesn't matter what he does, you attack. Have you ever considered the Ozark Center or some other mental health service to deal with these delusions and fixation you have about Gary Nodler?

Randy said...

I write about quite a number of items on this blog. You, on the other hand, appear to have quite the fixation on Nodler since all of your writing is dedicated to him.
This blog is devoted to news and commentary. Common sense will tell you that Nodler and Scott never had the vaguest notion of filing legislation about independent candidates until they were inconvenienced by them. And a check of campaign finance documents, which have been written about on this blog, show that Nodler did spend a considerable amount of money late in his campaign against Ms. Wright, including television commercials and advertisements in every one of the papers in his district. Please do not tell me about his limited effort. It probably was not as much as it would have been if there had been a Democratic candidate, but it was more than he would have spent had there been no opposition.

Anonymous said...

From the Randy School - Journalism 101

"Claiming accusations are based on common sense, we who are trained in the RT School of Journalism can vouch without documentation that Senator Nodler and Senator Scott never thought about filing a bill in the Missouri Senate until those sniffling sorehead losers started crying. Now, thanks to the partisanship of a has been newspaper reporter with his own blog, the sour grape juice is flowing.

"Even though it is traditional to spend a large chunk of campagin money at the end of a campaign even when there's no opponent, that had nothing to do with Senator Nodler' spending this time around. We think it's crystal clear that he spent this money to keep his opponent from winning...what an unpolitical and unpatriotic thing that was! He should be ashasmed of himself for trying to win."

What's my grade this time, I making progress...maybe if I become partisan and bitter enough I can have my own blog.

Randy said...

In the first place, most candidates will not spend as much as Nodler did on television ads during the last couple of weeks of the campaign when there is no opposition. Secondly, where is this tradition? According to Missouri Ethics Commission documents, Nodler spent $72.67 for advertising for the general election in 2002 when he had no opposition.
In 2006, in contrast, the Nodler campaign spent $28,016.85 for television, newspaper, and radio advertising.
No wonder Nodler was ticked off about having independent opposition. When you have opposition, the price increases from $72 to $28,016.85.

Anonymous said...

Very good Randy. You ran that Nodler lover right off with the truth. You know everyone, that is all that is being asked. To be able to obtain the truth and to have the truth spoken. How many lies do we have to have listened to by Nodler? Apparently, many more.