Mar 4, 2011

The IAP speaks out against anti-Third Party legislation

Ross Miller, the current Secretary of State of Nevada, has recently proposed legislation that would increase filing fees for candidates wanting to run for office, which would give an advantage to the wealthy and financially well off. Mr. Miller also included additional proposals of legislation that would: 
  • Further bureaucratize the process of filing to run to office and report on campaign contributions, even on the municipal level. 
  • Increase the number of campaign finance reports.
  • Create stricter and more harsh penalties for those that fail to file campaign finance reports on time. 
However, one strong voice that spoke out against such potentially anti-democratic legislation was the Independent American Party, Nevada's largest and most organized third party in the state.
The Party's Executive Director and its most well-known citizen lobbyist, Janine Hansen, concluded on the the one particular legislative piece that would make the rules of reporting finances more stricter: 
"I would be a virtual felon." 
Janine had previously been hit with several fines for filing a campaign report improperly during a previous election when she ran as a candidate for the IAP, even though the Secretary of State's office failed to inform her that her report was flawed in the first place, and had slapped her with a 15,000 dollar fine without warning.
Janine further stated that both of these legislative bills championed by the Secretary of State himself, being Assembly Bill 81, and Assembly Bill 82, would: “secure the advantages for the rich, powerful incumbents and candidates anointed by the powers that be.”

The American Civil Liberties Union also spoke out in opposition against the bills, arguing that many parts of the Miller's proposed legislation would violate First Amendment rights as well.

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