Draft"Procedure for recommendation of names to California Secretary of State for inclusion on GPCA presidential primary election ballot
SPONSOR: GPUS Delegation
PRESENTER/CONTACT: to be determined
SUBJECT: Proposal to establish an ongoing procedure for the recommendation of names to the California Secretary of State for inclusion on the GPCA presidential primary election ballot
BACKGROUND & PURPOSE: The next California presidential primary election is currently scheduled for Tuesday, February 7, 2012.
The procedure under which the GPCA has been unofficially operating to recommend whose names are placed on the Green presidential primary ballot is similar to that contained in California Elections Code of the Peace & Freedom Party (see Attachment #1 below), where the GPCA makes a recommendation to the Secretary of State (SoS) and the SoS places them on the ballot.
The SoS announces those names on E-120 (120 days before the primary election), which in 2011 will be October 10th. This means the GPCA must communicate with the SoS before then and preferably not at the last minute. According to the P&F election code, the SoS’s office will send a letter to the GPCA E-150 giving more specifics on this timing. For this reason, from 2000 onward, the GPCA has scheduled a General Assembly in August or September in the year preceding the presidential primary election, in order to meet in time to make this recommendation.
However there is no written, ongoing procedure for the GPCA to make that recommendation, (see Attachment #2 for past practices). This proposal seeks to establish one.
Although the GPCA approved draft Elections Code sections in June 2006, those provisions are not yet enacted by the California Legislature. Separately, the GPCA Bylaws do not have procedures for recommending names for inclusion on the GPCA presidential primary election ballot. Specifically this proposal would establish a section in the GPCA Rules & Procedures to govern the Presidential Primary Election Ballot.
(Note: The GPCA has long contemplated separating its Bylaws into a separate set of Bylaws (amended at a higher percentage) and of Rules and Procedures (approved at lower percentage, giving more flexibility to adapt the procedure over time). As there may be need to adapt this process over time, it makes sense to gain flexibility by placing it in the Rules & Procedures.)
The primary political goals of this proposal are to ensure that names placed on the primary election ballot represent individuals who clearly intend to seek the GPUS Presidential Nomination; who are in line with the GPCA and GPUS platforms; and who intend to run and are capable of running credible, organized campaigns. Procedurally, this proposal administratively involves the GPCA Liaison to the Secretary of State earlier in the process, by making that position the point of contact for submission of requests from candidates and the certification of their compliance. It also involves the GPUS Delegation and the CCWG in making recommendations from among applicant candidates.
The process recommended also recognizes that if the California presidential primary election remains in February and is not changed by the California State Legislature (as has been proposed in AB80), the date by which names are to be communicated to the Secretary of State (E-120) is extremely early for most Green candidates, and that having strict performance standards at such an early date could have multiple negative consequences for California Green voters and the Green Party nationally.
For example, if unnecessarily restrictive criteria are applied by the GPCA, California Greens voters might not get to choose from among some nationally recognized candidates seeking the GPUS presidential nomination; or such restrictive criteria could disincentivize otherwise credible, viable candidates from even entering the race after the California deadline has passed, given the number of votes at the GPUS convention the California delegation will have s; or if candidates are not on the California ballot but are otherwise present in the rest of the states, this could decide the entire convention in a closely contested race.
PROPOSAL: The following text would be added to the GPCA Rules & Procedures:
I. Presidential Primary Election Ballot
The authority to recommend names to the California Secretary of State for inclusion on the GPCA presidential primary election ballot shall rest with:
1-1.1 The General Assembly, if it meets and decides between E-125 and E-170 preceding the Primary Election, or
1-1.2 The GPCA Coordinating Committee (GPCA-CC) by E-125 if no General Assembly as per 1-1.1 occurs in that period, or
1-1.3 The GPCA Liaison to the Secretary of State by E-125 if neither a General Assembly occurs as per 1-1.1 nor the CC takes action as per 1-1.2
To be considered eligible for recommendation under 1-1, an interested candidate must
1-2.1 Not be a registrant of any state or national level political party in the individual's primary state of residence except for a state party which has affiliated with GPUS, or a party forming for the intent of GPUS affiliation in a state where there is no GPUS affiliated state party
1-2.2 Make a request in writing to the GPCA as per 1-3
1-3 Written Requests
Written requests requesting placement upon the GPCA presidential primary ballot must:
1-3.1 Be submitted to the GPCA Liaison to the Secretary of State, with copies to the co-coordinators of the GPUS Delegation and the Campaigns and Candidates Working Group. Such requests can be initially made by email if the email contains an electronic copy of the candidate's signature that is personally confirmed by the candidate as his/her actual signature within ten days of transmittal of that email.
1-3.2 Be submitted at least seven days before the GA (or meeting of the GPCA-CC), but preferably earlier, with the knowledge of the dates when the GPUS Delegation and/or the CCWG will meet to make recommendations under 1-4.1. The dates of those meetings shall be made available to the co-chairs GPUS Presidential Campaign Support Committee for distribution to those who have contacted the GPUS to seek its presidential nomination.
1-3.3 Include a statement that the candidate
1-3.3(a) is seeking the GPUS Presidential Nomination,
1-3.3(b) requests to be placed on the GPCA Presidential Primary Election Ballot, and
1-3.3(c) is familiar with the platforms of the GPCA and GPUS and states where and why the candidates substantially disagrees with the GPCA or GPUS platform, if at all, and
1-3.3(d) if he/she receives the nomination at the GPUS Presidential Nominating Convention, that he/she would accept it and would appear on the GPCA general election ballot
1-3.4 Include the candidate’s
1-3.4(b) response to the GPUS presidential questionnaire(s)
1-3.4(c) Federal Elections Committee (FEC) committee name and number and a report of funds received and spent. If no FEC committee has been established, then the name of campaign treasurer and financial institution where a campaign account has been established, and a statement of funds received and spent
1-4.1 It shall be the responsibility of the Liaison to the Secretary of State, in consultation with the co-coordinators of the GPUS Delegation and the CCWG, to certify compliance with 1-3 and to report the results to the Coordinating Committee, the GPUS Delegation and the CCWG, of those who did and did not comply and in the case of those who did not, why they did not.
1-4.2 The Liaison to the Secretary of State shall inform the candidate of these results and in the case of those that did not comply, inform them of why. Where a candidate has time to revise and resubmit their request, they may do so.
1-4.3 The decision of the Liaison to the Secretary of State under 1-4.1 may be appealed by the GA and overturned by a 2/3 vote. The process for such an appeal to be heard shall be that after the names of those recommended under 1-4.1 are presented to the GA, the facilitator shall ask if there are delegates who wish to appeal any decision of the Liaison to the Secretary of State. If at least one third of the number of delegates present co-sponsors a proposal to appeal, the body shall decide upon that proposal.
1-5.1 All candidates from among those eligible under 1-2 that are recommended by either the GPUS Delegation or the CCWG shall automatically be placed before the GA (or the GPCA-CC) for consideration. Recommendations by either committee must be made at least ten days prior to the meeting of General Assembly (or the GPCA-CC), although where possible, at least three weeks so that information may be circulated to county Green organizations as early as possible.
1-5.2 The GA may by a majority vote (or the GPCA-CC by a 2/3 vote) add additional names of candidates for consideration who meet the criteria under 1-3, but who were not recommended by the GPUS Delegation or the CCWG. The process for such a proposal to be heard by the GA (or GPCA-CC) shall be that after the names of those recommended under 1-4.1 are presented, the facilitator shall call for any other recommendations from the floor. If at least one third of the number of delegates present co-sponsors a proposal to recommend someone eligible under 1-3, the body shall decide upon that proposal.
1-5.3 Once the list of recommended candidates is finalized, the GA (or GPCA-CC) shall conduct its regular decision-making process, including hearing clarifying questions, concerns and affirmations. Then each candidate shall be voted upon separately. Any candidate receiving at least a 2/3 vote of the General Assembly (or GPCA-CC) shall be reported to the California Secretary of State by the GPCA Liaison to the Secretary of State as being recommended by the GPCA. A copy of this recommendation shall be forwarded to the co-chairs of the GPUS Delegation, the CCWG and GPUS Presidential Campaign Support Committee.
TIME LINE: The proposal would become effective upon adoption.
RESOURCES: Work by the Liaison to the SoS, the GPUS Delegation, the CCWG and the CC.
ELECTIONS CODE SECTION 6720-6726
6720. The Secretary of State shall place the name of a candidate upon the Peace and Freedom Party presidential preference ballot when the Secretary of State has determined that the candidate is generally advocated for or recognized throughout the United States or California as actively seeking the presidential nomination of the Peace and Freedom Party or the national party with which the Peace and Freedom Party is affiliated.
6721. On or before the 150th day preceding a presidential primary election, the Secretary of State shall send a letter by first-class mail to the Chairpersons of record of the Peace and Freedom Party State and County Central Committees, informing them that, while a response is not required, any information they wish to submit will be considered by the Secretary of State in the determination of candidates to be placed on the Peace and Freedom Party presidential preference primary ballot pursuant to Section 6720.
6722. On or before the 120th day preceding a presidential primary election, the Secretary of State shall publicly announce and distribute to the news media for publication a list of the candidates she or he intends to place on the ballot at the following presidential primary election. Following this announcement, the Secretary of State may add to her or his selection, but she or he may not delete any candidate whose name appears on the announced list. The Secretary of State shall mail a copy of the list and any subsequent additions thereto to the Chairpersons of the Peace and Freedom Party State and County Central Committees.
6723. When the Secretary of State decides to place the name of a candidate on the ballot pursuant to Sections 6720 and 6722, the Secretary of State shall notify the candidate that her or his name will appear on the Peace and Freedom Party presidential preference primary ballot of this state, but that a committee must be formed, delegates certified, and a petition filed pursuant to this chapter in order to have her or his name appear on the delegate selection portion of the presidential primary ballot. The Secretary of State shall also notify the candidate that she or he may withdraw her or his name from the ballot by filing with the Secretary of State an affidavit pursuant to Section 6724, no later than the 68th day before that election.
6724. If a selected candidate or an unselected candidate files with the Secretary of State, no later than the 68th day before the presidential primary, an affidavit stating without qualification that she or he is not a candidate for the office of President of the United States at the forthcoming presidential primary election, the name of that candidate shall be omitted from the list of names certified by the Secretary of State to the elections official for the ballot and the name of that candidate shall not appear on the presidential preference portion of the primary ballot.
6725. Any unselected candidate desiring to have her or his name placed on the presidential preference primary ballot without filing a group of candidates for delegates, shall have nomination papers circulated on her or his behalf. In order to qualify the name of that candidate for placement on the presidential preference primary ballot, the nomination papers of the candidate shall be signed by voters registered as affiliated with the Peace and Freedom Party equal in number to not less than 1 percent of the number of persons registered as members of the Peace and Freedom Party as reflected in the report of registration issued by the Secretary of State on the 135th day preceding the presidential primary election.
6726. Whenever a group of candidates for delegates pledged to a particular presidential candidate qualifies by petition for the national convention delegate selection portion of the presidential primary ballot, the name of the presidential candidate to whom the group is pledged shall automatically be placed on the presidential preference portion of the ballot, without the filing of a separate petition for the presidential preference portion of the ballot.
In September 1995, the General Assembly authorized the Coordinating Committee to recommend someone if they were a substantial national progressive figure and they indicated their interest to the GPCA. Ralph Nader came forward and on November 19th, 1995, the Coordinating Committee met and agreed to recommend his name to the California Secretary of State the next day.
In August 1999, the General Assembly itself voted 45-6-3 to place Nader’s name on the ballot (http://www.cagreens.org/plenary/archives/minutes/_9908Min_SB.pdf) and by consensus with stand asides, agreed to a time line for consideration of other potential candidates, which led to Joel Kovel’s name being added (http://www.sos.ca.gov/elections/sov/2000_primary/president_ssov_by_congressional_dist.pdf).
In 2003, the General Assembly voted on four candidates and agreed to place them all upon the ballot (http://www.cagreens.org/plenary/archives/minutes/0309Min_SD.pdf) by the following votes (candidate yes votes no abstain) David Cobb 70-0-0, Kent Mesplay 67-0-0; Ralph Nader 60-5-3 and Lorna Salzman 52-13-5. Later Camejo’s name was placed on the ballot in lieu of Nader’s (http://www.sos.ca.gov/elections/sov/2004_primary/sov_summary_pres.pdf).
In 2007, the General Assembly decided by a single vote (http://www.cagreens.org/plenary/archives/votes/0709Votes.html) for the entire slate of Jared Ball, Elaine Brown, Jesse Johnson Cynthia McKinney, Ralph Nader, and Kat Swift (http://www.sos.ca.gov/elections/sov/2008_primary/presidential.pdf).