HB 464 would impose a filing fee on for the general election for state and county officers. If passed, this bill, sponsored by Rep. Drew Springer (R-HD-68), would seriously curtail the ability of the Libertarian Party of Texas and all other convention parties to field candidates for state and county offices.
Currently, while the two major parties have their primary elections funded largely at tax payer expense (see pages 3 and 4 of the state budget report), the Libertarian Party pays for all the expenses for our convention system though private funding.
Additionally, this type of law has been struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court on at least two occasions.
This law would essentially be a new TAX on political participation. Convention parties that have already legitimately met the legal standard for ballot access would no longer be able to freely nominate candidates per their own rules and process as is currently the case. The candidates would be forced to pay these additional fees – up to $5000 just for the right to appear on the general election ballot – AFTER having already been lawfully nominated.
The money would be collected by the Secretary of State and used for no clear purpose related to the nomination or elections process. This is truly a “pay to play” legislation designed to protect incumbants from 3rd party challengers – especially in districts where they might otherwise have no challenger at all. In many cases the filing fees in the proposed fee schedule are equal to or even in excess of the entire campaign budget for 3rd party candidates.
It’s clear that this law has one intention – effectively shut down all third parties in Texas.
Who is Paul Darr?
Paul Darr has lived in California, Oregon, Colorado, and currently lives in San Antonio, Texas. Paul is also an Army Veteran, who has deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan. On the political spectrum Paul is a Libertarian that advocates fiscal responsibility and social tolerance. Paul is currently employed as a Systems Administrator and is a father of a handsome boy and beautiful daughter. In his free time Paul enjoys reading, using and modifying open source software, gaming, and several other geeky pursuits.