Sunday, October 19, 2008

I am an uninformed California voter - or, why I won't be voting for Chuck Baldwin next month

I have written about Chuck Baldwin several times over the last several months. For example, I wrote this on August 22:

[A previous] post resulted in several comments, one of which urged me to look at Chuck Baldwin (arguing that Barr was close in philosophy to Ron Paul). Between this comment and another one focusing on Bob Barr, I got URLs to three websites.

Since then, I have engaged in various comparisons of Chuck Baldwin and Bob Barr, as part of my emphasis that McCain and Obama are not my only choices in this election.

In fact, a few days ago I wrote the following:

[I]f you take a look at your ballot, you may find that you have other choices in this election.

Now, in my case, I cannot see myself voting for Obama next month. I can't think of any Democrat, other than perhaps Feinstein, for whom I've ever voted. However, I'm not necessarily sold on McCain either, and if Palin were the presidential candidate - well, forget it, because people like Palin and Gerald Ford only become presidential candidates in extraordinary circumstances.

And perhaps it wouldn't be a surprise for you to find out that I'm not planning on voting for Nader or McKinney either.

Which, in my case, pretty much leads me to look at Baldwin, Barr, and McCain as possible presidential choices.

Well, I just got my California ballot pamphlet in the mail - and discovered that Chuck Baldwin isn't on my ballot.

Now I knew that the Constitution Party wouldn't be on my ballot, but that wouldn't matter, because the American Independent Party is on the California ballot, and they always endorse the Constitution Party candidate.

Or so I thought.

This year, they apparently endorsed Alan Keyes. And I missed the whole story:

Citing irreconcilable differences, the competing Constitution Party presidential gentlemen callers Charles Obadiah "Chuck" Baldwin and Alan Keyes have separated. No final word on the outcome of the ballot custody disputes as they continue to vie for their progenies' affection. Chuck Baldwin is on the ballot this year in 37 states with 318 electoral votes while American Independent Party/America's Independent Party candidate Alan Keyes is on the ballot in 3 states with 91 electoral votes. According to The Green Papers, Baldwin is on the ballot in various states under the Alaskan Independence, Constitution, Reform, U.S. Taxpayers, Nebraska, Independent American and Independent Greens party tickets. In one of history's great ironies, Alan Keyes is the standard bearer of George Wallace's upstart party in the same year Barack Obama is the Democratic presidential nominee.

So how did Alan Keyes win California ballot access? Well, first he had to lose at the Constitution Party level:

Alan Keyes was soon crushed in his bid for the CP nomination by Chuck Baldwin, a Florida minister and the party’s 2004 vice presidential nominee, who won by a final vote total of 383.8-125.7. (We don’t know which delegates counted as eight-tenths of a man for Baldwin, nor seven-tenths for Keyes, but the CP is composed of Originalists….) He graciously refused to endorse Baldwin....

One of the delegations Keyes’ carried in the CP convention was its California state affiliate, the American Independent Party. The AIP announced late last month it switched its “affiliation nationally with the newly-formed America’s Independent Party of Fenton, MI.”

So who controls the American Independent Party? Front Page Magazine argues that Keyes hijacked the local group:

According to [the Constitution Party], the party has been hijacked by its former chair, Ed Noonan. They say they deposed Noonan in late June and nominated Chuck Baldwin. Reports state Noonan and a handful of others met online and nominated Keyes. There are also irregularities with the official party website. The URL is However, that site currently redirects all viewers to, a website run by Ed Noonan. The Jim King-wing of the party opened atemporary website on blogspot.

But Noonan's presence was good enough for the California Secretary of State (who is responsible for elections in California):

On July 21, the California Secretary of State recognized the American Independent Party state convention that was held in Sacramento, instead of the one that had been held a week earlier in Los Angeles. The Secretary of State’s Chief Counsel, Pam Giarrizzo, said that the Secretary of State made the decision based on the fact that Ed Noonan is listed in the records as the state chair. She said the office has no knowledge of who was at either convention, and of which convention had the larger attendance of state central committee members.

But independent of all of that, I cannot support Alan Keyes for President, for the same reason that I cannot support any talk show host for President, be it John Kobylt, Bill Handel (whom I actually respect), Rush Limbaugh, Randi Rhodes, Howard Stern, or whoever.

One can argue ad infinitum about whether a Governor or a Senator is more qualified to be President of the United States. But at least Governors and Senators are forced to be responsible in how they govern. Talk show hosts are only responsible for ratings, and can do anything that they want to in order to get those ratings - well, within some limits.

And when even Mancow calls you crazy, then you must be crazy indeed.

For the record, the official Presidential candidates in California are:

  • John McCain, Republican

  • Cynthia McKinney, Green

  • Alan Keyes, American Independent

  • Ralph Nader, Peace and Freedom

  • Barack Obama, Democratic

  • Bob Barr, Libertarian
And since I won't vote for McKinney, Keyes, Nader, or Obama, that leaves me with two choices. Unless I write in my own name...

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