In case you were in a cave this week, Rick Santorum, Jon Huntsman and Michele Bachmann failed to turn in any signatures to get on Virginia’s March 6 Presidential primary ballot, while Rick Perry and Newt Gingrich had enough of their under-12,000 signatures (11,911 and 11,050 respectively) signatures invalidated by the Republican Party of Virginia that they too missed the 10,000 (with at least 400 from each of the 11 Congressional districts).
That reminds me of Rep. John Nygren’s (R-Marinette) epic failure to get onto the recall ballot for the right to face Sen. Dave Hansen (D-Green Bay). He turned in over 440 signatures, saw that number reduced to 424 on the Government Accountability Board’s initial review, and saw the GAB, at the urging of the Democrat Party of Wisconsin, strike another 26 to leave him 2 short.
For those of you wondering whether the 10,000 threshhold is so strenuous, nobody but the best-funded candidates can make the grade, do note tha the candidates could start collecting signatures back on July 1, and thus had over 5 1/2 months to get to 10,000. Further, there were 6 candidates on the 2008 Republican and 6 candidates on the 2008 Democrat Virginia primary ballots, including Dennis Kucinich on the Democrat side.
The kicker is there is no such thing as a write-in candidate in a Virginia primary, which makes the Gingrich campaign’s call for a write-in campaign moot. That is different than Wisconsin, where a write-in candidate can get a spot on the general ballot in a recognized party’s spot (Republican, Democrat and Constituion Parties) if he or she gets 5% of the number that voted in the most-recent gubernatorial election and almost immediately after the primary complies with registration requirements.
The next bits of actual news (barring somebody shoving his or her foot in the mouth, or a successful court challenge from the Perry or Gingrich campaigns) in the Presidential campaign will be on January 3, and there is a Wisconsin component. Not only is that the day of the Iowa caucus, but it is the day the Wisconsin Presidential Preference Selection Committee meets. This group, consisting of the Republican and Democrat party chairs, a national committeeman and national committeewoman from the two parties, the Assembly speaker and minority leader, the Senate president and minority leader, and a chair selected by the 10 aforementioned, will choose who they believe should be on Wisconsin’s primary ballot on April 1.
There is a way for those not chosen by the party bosses to get on the ballot – collect 1,000 nomination signatures from each of the 8 Congressional districts between 1/3 and 1/31.