The Libertarian Party of Texas (LPTexas) is the third largest political party in the state of Texas, and the only party that is consistently committed to a platform of peace, prosperity and freedom for all Americans. The Libertarian Party is sometimes described as the party of both fiscal responsibility and social tolerance, the best of both worlds approach to political policy that doesn't accept or require the false choice between liberal and conservative. LPTexas represents liberty, justice, equality, privacy, independence, non-aggression, and the rule of law - the founding principles of our great nation - and is committed to a mission of political action to restore these core principles to our government and chart a future course based on voluntary cooperation, mutual respect, free markets, and the realization of human potential.
CALL TO ACTION - Kill House Bill 464
Hopefully you saw my note last week concerning Texas House Bill 464 (HB464) which would change the rules for minor party and Independent candidates to require filing fees of hundreds or thousands of dollars per candidate.
This is a new and unconstitutional TAX on the political process itself, and it must be stopped.
I can't say this strongly enough. If this bill becomes law it will shut down the Libertarian Party and all other 3rd parties in our state - and that's exactly what the bill is designed to do.
This bill is continuing to move toward a vote on the House floor and it could be scheduled any time, even within the week. The bill is currently with the calendars committee for scheduling so we need to immediately call those members and let them know that this bill is a bad deal for voters, for democracy, and for Texas.
In the name of liberty and fair elections, I need you to take immediate action TODAY.
IF YOU LIVE IN THE AUSTIN AREA OR CAN GET THERE:
Immediately contact LPTexas Legislative Coordinator Mark Miller at (512) 279-7860 or firstname.lastname@example.org and schedule a time with him to go lobbying at the capitol. We are scheduling lobbying in shifts.
IF YOU KNOW LIBERTY ACTIVISTS IN THE AUSTIN AREA:
Tell them to immediately contact LPTexas Legislative Coordinator Mark Miller at (512) 279-7860 or email@example.com and schedule a time with him to go lobbying at the capitol. We are scheduling lobbying in shifts.
IF YOU ARE NOT IN THE AREA OR CANNOT TRAVEL:
Call your State Reps, call members of the House Calendars Committee, and encourage others in your network to do the same. See the phone call script below to help you get started.
Go to action.lptexas.org and use our tool to sign our petition and also send a respectful message to your representative expressing your opposition to this bill. This only takes a few minutes but it really works and it's important.
BASIC PHONE CALL SCRIPT:
1. Get the number of your Texas State Representative from: http://www.fyi.legis.state.tx.us.
2. Call the number.
3. When the staffer answers, say "Hi, I'm a constituent (or concerned citizen), and I want to urge Representative [name] to vote against House Bill 464."
4. The staffer might ask for a little more info, or the staffer may just say "Thank you, I'll pass that along." And you're done.
HB 464 TALKING POINTS:
HB 464 imposes a filing fee for convention-selected political candidates to appear on the general election ballot. Though touted as being fair (since primary-selected candidates pay the same fee to appear on the primary election ballot), HB 464 is far from fair.
Unlike primary-selection political parties, convention-selection parties use NO taxpayer money for their candidate-selection process. The general election filing fee for convention-selected candidates thus imposes an unfair burden on such candidates. Our opposition to HB 464 is based on the following.
* There are already significant requirements in the Texas election code for convention-selection parties to appear on the general election ballot. HB 464 would unfairly impose additional requirements not imposed on primary-selection political parties.
* The effect of HB 464 will undoubtedly be to limit voter choice and increase voter apathy and cynicism. Voter participation rates in Texas are already abysmal and this law would make the problem even worse.
* HB 464 likely violates both the equal protection clause of the US Constitution (see for example Bullock v. Carter, 1972 US Supreme Court ruling) as well as various laws and court rulings against taxes used to manage the election process. Given that the proposed fees would be paid to the Secretary of State and not the Party, and that there is no obvious use for these funds in the absence of a primary, this fee looks very much like a tax on candidacy.
Though HB 464's intent is to level the playing field among political candidates, its effect is precisely the opposite. The Texas Legislature should make sure that our political processes continue to be fairly applied to all who seek office in the State.
Thank you for your past and continued support of liberty and of the Libertarian Party of Texas. Click here so we can keep you up to date on this bill's progress and others that may threaten our electoral system or prevent freedom and choice in politics. I am counting on you, Liberty is counting on you, and the future of elections in Texas is counting on you.
Libertarian Party of Texas
111 Congress Ave. Suite 400
Austin, Texas 78701