It seems to have become a national pastime – rummaging through rules and regulation to lessen the visibility of political opponents. The latest regulation frenzy is underway in Washington, where the State’s Libertarian Party is trying to keep Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney off the ballot. According to Seattle’s alternatively weekly, The Stranger, the Washington State Republican Party’s failure to nominate a candidate for US Senate in 2010 appears to have cost them “major party” status under Washington law RCW29A.04.086, and that as a result Mitt Romney would need “to qualify” for Washington’s presidential ballot under rules and deadlines applied to “minor parties,” a deadline the Libertarians noted has come and gone. While the Secretary of State argued that another Washington law makes Romney eligible for the ballot, the Libertarians disagreed and filed a lawsuit to have Romney’s name removed.
Meanwhile, across the country in the small Connecticut town of Waterford, there is some more rigorous rule reading going on and Republican State Senate candidate Mike Doyle is “steaming,” according to an article in the Waterford Patch. The dust up occurred when Waterford’s “master moderator” removed Doyle’s political sign “as per town rules.” Doyle, however, claims the sign removal was “politically driven” since both the complainant and sign remover are Democrats. However, the master moderator for the primary, Cheryl Larder, says she took down the sign because it violated the town’s zoning regulations that say people can only put up political signs 60 days before the “respective matter is to be decided.” Doyle was the only candidate to have a sign up at Town Hall who was not on the primary ballot. So, the sign came down, but Doyle isn’t giving up and is appealing to higher powers.
All this to say, there are a lot of sticklers out there at this time of year and if you want to avoid obvious sticks in your campaign spokes, play it by the rules.