Kelley Shannon's June 22 Associated Press story on the Texas governor's race ("Friedman, Strayhorn get on Texas ballot", http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060623/ap_on_el_gu/texas_governor_2 ) called James Werner, who she said is a libertarian, a "lightly regarded" candidate. That sounds like a brush-off by the writer, something that belongs on the op-ed page, not in an AP story.
Shannon identifies the other candidates in the race -- two independents, a Democrat and a Republican -- by party, while saying nothing about their ideology. Did she *mean* to say Werner is a Libertarian, i.e. is running on the Libertarian Party ticket, and the small "l" was just a typo? Or was she singling Werner out to be the only candidate identified by ideology rather than by party?
The AP reporter considers it news that two independent candidates made it on the ballot, and quotes. Yet a libertarian candidate apparently already on the ballot -- at least she doesn't say he's not, just that he "also is running" -- is "lightly regarded?" If he is on the ballot, someone must have enough regard for him to have helped him get on, unless he spent his own money to get on.
If he is not on the ballot and not expected to get on, that is also telling. It's telling me that in Texas, candidates being prevented from being listed on the ballot is a routine occurrence, while candidates making it onto the ballot is newsworthy. No wonder, as Kinky Friedman says, "Not one but two viable independent candidates have made the ballot for the first time in nearly 150 years."
In other words, the two-party cartel is so strong that voters get a real choice with more than two Tweededum/Tweedledee candidates less than once a century. Because it sure as hell can't be true that for the past 150 years, everybody who would have made a good governor and was neither a Democrat nor a Republican simply had no interest in running because they thought all the Demopublican cartel officials in Austin were doing such a great job.
I wish I could say things are much better here in California, but they're not. The situation in Texas is part of a nationwide pattern of electoral abuse by the political cartel that is undermining the status of the United States as a free country.
Shouldn't *that* be banner headline news?
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Outreach Director, Libertarian Party of San Francisco