Many thanks to Mike Sylvester for the opportunity to fill in while he's gone fishin', in Canada and the Adirondacks. I'm jealous!
Mike Kole and his Rough Riders in the Adirondacks: From left, Steve Wainstead, MK, Ame Langmack, and Greg McNair
As he mentioned, I am a Libertarian candidate for Secretary of State. Here's the primer on that:
Running for Secretary of State is a two-headed proposition. At once I am running for SoS, but I am also running for the Libertarian Party of Indiana's ballot status.
For reasons untold, the Republicans and Democrats set the rules of the game in such a way that ballot status for all Indiana political parties is tied to each candidate's outcome in this race. There are statewide and countywide implications in these outcomes.
A candidate for SoS must receive a minimum of 2% in order for his party to gain automatic ballot access for the next four years. The Republicans, Democrats, and Libertarians each achieved this. If the candidate receives at least 10% of the vote, his party is declared a Major Party in Indiana. The Libertarians did not achieve this status in 2002. It is my secondary objective, next to winning, for 2006 that I earn Major Party status for the Libertarians.
Ever wonder why Libertarians aren't in the primaries? Only parties with Major Party status are required (yes, required) to participate. We're happy not to participate in taxpayer-funded primaries. We prefer to self-fund our private business. Of course, if I get that 10%, the Libertarian Party will be compelled to participate in the primaries. I have a feeling that if we get it, the Ds & Rs will want to quickly re-write the rules. The people who take partisan 'D' or 'R' ballots are a good source of volunteers and financial supporters for the parties, and they probably won't want to share this exclusive tool with the Libertarians.
Ever wonder why in Allen County the Republican candidates are listed first on your general election ballots, followed by the Democrats, then the Libertarians? It is because that is how the 2002 SoS race completed. Top placement is one of the spoils of winning a county. So, in Lake County, where the Democrat finished first in the SoS race, despite not winning the election, earned top placement in that County's ballots. In fact, a candidate can conceivably get around 8% overall, yet finish first in a given county. In such a case, that candidate's party would be listed first on the ballots there. But there's more!
Where there are boards or commissions with appointed partisan members throughout the county, the SoS race determines who gets the majority of appointments in any given county, along with who gets the minority appointments. It will be an interesting scenario to witness when I win first or second in some counties. Should this happen, the Libertarian Party would share appointments with either the Democrats or Republicans. The other party would be relegated to the sidelines.
Think the Ds & Rs might want to change the rules?
Strategically, I'm very interested to see if a party that has a large majority in a county- such as the Dems in Lake, or the GOP in Hamilton- might be interested in quietly sending some support my way, just to see their traditional foe cast out of the game in some way. Why not? While Republicans and Democrats seem eager to prove that they are polar opposites rhetorically, Libertarians don't mind letting you know that we have common ground with both parties. The local majority party might enjoy working with a #2 party that shares common ground.
And, we haven't even begun to talk about Secretary of State issues, or even Libertarian Party issues. Well, we didn't write the rules. We were given them by the other parties and told to follow them. So, we run campaigns for Secretary of State accordingly.
Look for future posts on Secretary of State issues, Libertarian issues, and things I find of interest in Fort Wayne over the next few days until Mike S. returns.
For more of my stuff, please visit my blog, Kole Hard Facts, and my campaign website http://mikekole.com.