1. A new lawsuit filed in federal court challenges restrictive ballot access laws for independent candidates in New Mexico.
The lawsuit, filed by a member of the Public Education Committee, says the significantly higher bar in signatures required for independent candidates to appear on the ballot places an unfair burden on independents. Tyson Parker, the committee member, filed the lawsuit after he failed to get the 2,196 signatures needed to gain ballot access.
"For independents running for the commission, petition signatures must be equal to at least 3 percent of the total number of votes cast for governor in the district in the last general election. Minor party candidates only need 1 percent of that vote. Democrats and Republicans need signatures equal to 3 percent of the votes in the district for their party's primary election gubernatorial candidates. However, far fewer voters typically cast ballots in a primary election than a general election."
2. The first independent congressional candidate to appear on the Alabama ballot since 2006 is running against U.S. Representative Mo Brooks.
Alabama Secretary of State James R. Bennett signed off on independent Mark Bray's petition to be on the general election ballot in the state's 5th Congressional District. Bray is challenging incumbent Brooks, who does not have a Democratic opponent in November.
"Like Congressman Brooks, Bray calls himself a social conservative with plenty of common ground with the Tea Party, but disagrees with Brooks on the national deficit and debt. Bray said it is time to concentrate on the reasons for weakness in the economy, like over-regulation and the Federal Reserve's easy money policies."
3. In Maine, 4 supporters of independent gubernatorial candidate Eliot Cutler are challenging a law that places a heavier restriction on individual donations to independent candidates than is placed on major party candidates.
The lawsuit was filed against Maine Secretary of State Mathew Dunlap on Monday,
"Currently, independents can only raise $1,500 per donor, while Democratic and Republican candidates can raise twice as much because they can accept funds for the primary and general elections."
4. The Washington Post runs a story claiming that 2014 could very well be the year for independent candidates.
"Without an established party structure and all of the associated financial and organizational advantages, independent candidates have a much tougher road to victory. Even if they are self-financed or have significant campaign resources, independent candidates can often have trouble convincing the media and voters that they could actually win. But in a year when the public is so fed up with both parties, it is possible some independents could ride to victory the wave of anger and desire for change."
5 Despite the popular belief that young voters will continue to be liberal, there is a chance that the next generation of young voters could be more conservative than the previous generation.
Will the Obama administration have a lasting impression on the next generation of voters? It is possible that just as Millennials were influenced by national politics when they were growing up, the youngest generation to participate in the 2016 presidential election may be influenced by the change in national politics since then.
"To Americans in their 20s and early 30s — the so-called Millennials — many of these problems have their roots in George W. Bush’s presidency. But think about people who were born in 1998, the youngest eligible voters in the next presidential election. They are too young to remember much about the Bush years or the excitement surrounding the first Obama presidential campaign. They instead are coming of age with a Democratic president who often seems unable to fix the world’s problems."