Can someone explain this to me? Maybe start with general principles of fairness in election law, and then work your way up — or down — to this?
Colorado Republican gubernatorial nominee Dan Maes’ disaster of a 2010 campaign could turn into a four-year embarrassment for state Republicans. It’s been one blunder after another for Maes since he barely won the August 10 primary over former Rep. Scott McInnis, whose campaign was done in by a plagiarism scandal. But if Maes fails to get 10 percent of the vote on election day, his legacy won’t be the U.N. bike plot warning or the tall tale of working undercover as a cop in Kansas. It will be leaving Republicans with minor party status in Colorado until 2014.
After weeks of declines in the polls, the TPM Poll Average now shows Maes coming in at 9.3%.
As The Denver Post reported back in September, minor party status means that Republicans wouldn’t appear at the top of the ballot with the Democrats in 2012 and 2014. Instead, they’ll be listed down with the Libertarian, Green Party and other third-party candidates…
In addition to the effects of ballot position, minor party status might hurt the finances of Republicans running at the state level. According to the Associated Press, a “minor party cannot raise money for both primary and general elections unless it has more than one candidate in any primary race,” whereas a major party must hold a primary, even if a candidate is unopposed.
A primary is a nifty way of raising money, especially when some candidates can’t have one. Unfair? Arguably. But then there’s this, which I’m so sure makes up for it:
Still, state GOP Chairman Dick Wadhams told the AP that things would be fine. “[H]e believes the state Legislature will change the law to avoid the embarrassment of treating Democrats differently than Republicans, especially with a presidential election.”
See? Everything’s right again with the universe. (And no, it won’t be the first time states have bent the rules for the major parties.)
Anyone who wonders where the two-party system comes from is either ignorant or just being disingenuous. It comes from election law, which is applied strictly to minor parties, and leniently to major ones. And even when it’s applied straight up, the clear intent is to entrench the two-party system forever and ever.