I may have said I was no longer involved in electoral politics. I changed my mind last week after talking to Richard Winger over at Ballot Access News out of San Francisco. https://ballot-access.org/ The battle over ballot access for “3rd Parties” is not over yet, and the filing deadline was Monday, March 13. Nobody else seemed to be interested, so what else could I do? I really do want to see this battle to final resolution, win, lose or draw.
I filed online, paid my $15 fee with a credit card, with the Montana Secretary of State to be a Green Party candidate in State House District 61 in Bozeman, my home district. It was a last-minute decision with purpose relating to an ongoing lawsuit against the Montana SOS challenging the signature requirement for acquiring ‘new party’ status in the 2016 election. I’ve written about it before. https://www.counterpunch.org/2020/04/08/montana-ballot-access-decision-suppresses-green-party-voters/ …and here: https://pieceofmindful.com/2021/11/10/green-party-prevails-at-9th-circuit-court/
What’s the point of all this, you might ask? There are a few outstanding issues which must be settled, if possible. Our lawyers have been negotiating with the SOS and Attorney General and have submitted what’s called a consent judgement to the original federal district court judge, Judge Morris, for his signature. Judge Morris was reversed by the 9th Circuit on November 8, 2021. If, and when he signs, the issues we raised in MGP, et al. v. Jacobsen, Montana SOS, will be finally resolved.
The consent judgment is what Plaintiff’s attorneys negotiated with the AG’s office and a special AAG, although neither were involved in the case in either the District Court or on appeal in the 9th Circuit. The joint motion and consent judgment was filed Tuesday, March 1, 2022, settling all remaining issues in the case. Apparently, the SOS and AG have agreed to recognize the MGP this year. Hopefully he will sign the consent judgment soon.
In the meantime, I am listed as “pending” on the SOS candidate listings posted online for the 2022 Primary Election to be held in June. If the Sec. of State rejects my filing, it will be the second time the Montana Green Party has been unceremoniously jerked from the ballot after filing for ballot access in Montana. The ball is in the State’s court, and on the judge’s desk. I’ve done what I can and can only wait to see what happens next.