Below is a media release from the Peace and Freedom Party (PFP) State Central Committee about the unilateral and illegal omission of two PFP candidates for president, out of four contenders, from the state’s primary ballot. One of the two is Freedom Socialist Party (FSP) candidate Stephen Durham, an FSP local organizer first in Los Angeles and currently in New York City.
“In the absence of an explanation from Secretary of State Debra Bowen, FSP believes this undemocratic exclusion is an act of blatant political discrimination,” said Doug Barnes, Campaign Manager.
FSP asks supporters of ballot access and open elections to call the state elections division at 916-657-2166 and demand that the two omitted PFP candidates be added to the state’s published list of PFP candidates. In addition, please sign this online petition started by United Left!, a group in New York which has endorsed the FSP campaign.
For more information about Stephen Durham and the FSP’s 2012 campaign for president and vice president, visit www.socialism.com or call campaign manager Doug Barnes at 206-985-4621.
Peace and Freedom Party California State Central Committee
Secretary of State list of presidential candidates called “unlawful”
California Secretary of State Debra Bowen has given no explanation to the party’s state chair for omitting two of the four presidential candidates in the Peace and Freedom Party from the primary ballot. Peace and Freedom Party State Chair C.T. Weber of Sacramento calls the omission “unlawful,” and the omitted candidates are protesting the decision.
In a statement issued today, party chair Weber cites Elections Code sections that specify how presidential primary candidates are supposed to be selected by the Secretary of State, and suggests that code sections covering other parties may have improperly been applied to the Peace and Freedom Party candidates. He also cites a failure by the Secretary of State to consult party county chairs, as specifically required in the Elections Code, and accuses Bowen of failing to consider as required by law the letter submitted to her by C.T. Weber on behalf of the Peace and Freedom Party State Executive Committee that listed all four candidates for inclusion. “No Secretary of State has ever overruled our party’s report listing our primary candidates,” says Weber, “until this mistaken decision by Secretary Bowen.”
In the list announced Monday night, Bowen included Stewart Alexander and Rocky Anderson on the ballot, but omitted Peta Lindsay and Stephen Durham. Weber was unable to get an explanation when he went to the Secretary of State’s Sacramento office the next morning, and reports that officials in the office refused to divulge what criteria Bowen used to make her choices, who was present at the meeting where the criteria were developed, and whether Bowen herself was present at the meeting.
Richard Becker of San Francisco, a spokesman for the Peta Lindsay campaign, calls the omission of her name “absolutely unjustifiable under the law.” Candidate Stephen Durham of New York City says “I strongly object to the attempt by the California Secretary of State to steal away the rights of those who want to vote for a bona fide socialist feminist candidate for president.”
The Secretary of State may add to her list after its announcement, and Weber urges her to do so. “Our voters are seriously considering four candidates, and they deserve to have the Secretary of State follow the law and list all four on the primary ballot,” he says.
For further information: C.T. Weber (916) 320-9186 (cell); (916) 422-5395 (home)
Freedom Socialist Party California Campaign Coordinators
Mary Ann Curtis