The FAA continues to crackdown on commercial drones

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) continues to crackdown on commercial usage of unmanned aerial vehicles, commonly called drones. In March, it was reported that the FAA had issued a cease-and-desist order to the Washington Nationals baseball team because the team was using a quad-copter to take publicity photos at the team’s spring training facility. This drone, flying within the confines of the baseball stadium was, according to FAA, somehow going to interfere with aircraft that were flying at heights upward of 30,000 feet. Pointing out the hilarity of the situation, a team official told the Associated Press “No, we didn’t get it cleared, but we don’t get our pop flies cleared either and those go higher than this thing did.” Continue reading

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New York Governor Plans to Create the “Women’s Equality Party” and Place it on the Ballot

By Richard Winger Allies of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo plan to petition to get the “Women’s Equality Party” on the November ballot. The party would nominate Cuomo, so he would then be on the ballot with four lines: Democratic, Working Families, Independence, and Women’s Equality. See this story.

Source: http://www.ballot-access.org/2014/07/new-york-governor-plans-to-create-the-womens-equality-party-and-place-it-on-the-ballot/

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Jacobin Analysis of New York Gubernatorial Election Campaign and the Left

By Richard Winger Jacobin has this interesting analysis of the New York gubernatorial race, and the relationship between the left, the Howie Hawkins (Green Party nominee), Governor Andrew Cuomo, and the Working Families Party. Thanks to Thomas MacMillan for the link.

Source: http://www.ballot-access.org/2014/07/jacobin-analysis-of-new-york-gubernatorial-election-campaign-and-the-left/

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Are Iran Sanctions Costing You a Job?

Let’s make a deal

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On The Lam (Part 45)

When Duke returned from the airport with my friends he had put on a happy generous face and treated everyone to a night of partying but I could tell that it was only on the surface and that I would still have to deal with his wrath. I felt confident he would not do it in front of my friends as he was also very concerned about what people thought of him so he would not play the asshole in front of anyone else. The next day Duke said he was returning to Amsterdam to take care of the business but would be back in a week with the other partner Eric. This was great news as Coach, Ricky and I took the place over and had a non-stop party for the whole week. Lena tried to act like she was in charge but we would just laugh at her when she would bark orders about what to do. She was a frustrated, uptight wreck and I loved every minute of it. Although I knew it would probably come back to haunt me once Duke returned. I would worry about that when the time came but for now I was having a blast and felt like a king. Katja’s friend from Madrid had put us in touch with a weed grower who lived out in the countryside and would deliver weed to the villa. I had an initial troubling thought about it but Duke re-assured me that it was only until we got our grow system up and running. We stocked up with about a pound of various different strains and they were all very good. The price and quality were better than most coffee-shops in Amsterdam and I had control of it all. Before we had left Amsterdam, Duke and I had made an agreement about what my compensation would be for the job. We agreed that I would get 500 euros and 100 grams of weed a month for managing the place, growing the weed then selling it to the guests and generally making sure they have a good time. I wasn’t blown away by the amount of pay I would get but since it was a new start-up I didn’t try to negotiate more and decided it was fair. Lena was in charge of the website and getting the guests to the place and after 2 weeks we had not had even one reservation, only a few inquiries and a bunch of comments about what a great idea it was. Part of the problem was her inability to market the place properly but I had a growing suspicion that the financial crisis that was all over the news was going to be a big problem for our new venture. Continue reading

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Libertarian Party sues NH Secretary of State over ballot access law

Courthouse StepsThe NHCLU filed suit today against Secretary of State Bill Gardner over a ballot access law that makes it more difficult for parties other than the protected two to get on the ballot.

A press release written by Gilles Bissonnette, Staff Attorney for the New Hampshire Civil Liberties Union reads, in part:

[T]he NHCLU filed a lawsuit on behalf of the Libertarian Party challenging HB1542. HB1542 is a new state law passed this year that imposes onerous restrictions on the ability of third parties to gain access to the ballot in future elections. This law limits voter choice and stacks the deck against candidates who—like roughly 40% of Granite Staters—don’t belong to a major party. HB1542 is wrong and unconstitutional. Continue reading

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Curtis Gans Says 2014 Likely to Have Lowest Midterm Primary Turnout in History

By Richard Winger Curtis Gans, an expert on the statistics of voter turnout, says in this article that 2014 seems likely to have the lowest primary voter turnout for any midterm year in U.S. history. Thanks to Thomas Jones for the link.

Source: http://www.ballot-access.org/2014/07/curtis-gans-says-2014-likely-to-have-lowest-midterm-primary-turnout-in-history/

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Political Scientists Ray LaRaja and Brian Scaffner Say Laws that Weaken Political Parties Help Cause Polarization

By Richard Winger Ray LaRaja and Brian Scaffner, political science professors at the University of Massachusetts, here argue that strong political parties reduce polarization. They also conclude that federal campaign finance laws, especially the McCain-Feingold law which still hobbles political parties, are partly to blame for weakening parties, and therefore increasing polarization. Thanks to several people for the(More)…

Source: http://www.ballot-access.org/2014/07/political-scientists-ray-laraja-and-brian-scaffner-say-laws-that-weaken-political-parties-help-cause-polarization/

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Florida State Court Says Legislative Candidates Need Not Live in District on Date They File

By Richard Winger On July 18, a Florida state court ruled that legislative candidates cannot be required to live in any particular district. This is because the State Constitution sets the qualifications for state legislature. Like the U.S. Constitution, the Florida Constitution’s residency requirement only applies to a candidate’s residence on election day. Therefore, because the filing date(More)…

Source: http://www.ballot-access.org/2014/07/florida-state-court-says-legislative-candidates-need-not-live-in-district-on-date-they-file/

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Georgia Election Officials Say Bill Bozarth, Independent Candidate for Legislature, Has Enough Valid Signatures

By Richard Winger Bill Bozarth, an independent candidate for Georgia House of Representatives, has enough valid signatures to be on the November 2014 ballot. See this story. So far he is the only petitioning candidate to have succeeded in getting on the ballot for any federal or state office in Georgia this year. The Libertarian Party has a(More)…

Source: http://www.ballot-access.org/2014/07/georgia-election-officials-say-bill-bozarth-independent-candidate-for-legislature-has-enough-valid-signatures/

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Sixth Circuit Sets Oral Argument in Tennessee Ballot Access Case

By Richard Winger The Sixth Circuit will hear Green Party of Tennessee v Hargett, 13-5975, on August 7, at 9 a.m in Cincinnati. This is the case in which the Green Party and the Constitution Party challenged the 2.5% petition for a group to become a qualified party. The U.S. District Court had struck down that petition requirement(More)…

Source: http://www.ballot-access.org/2014/07/sixth-circuit-sets-oral-argument-in-tennessee-ballot-access-case/

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The Feds vs Your Religious Freedom


Another reason to end the Surveillance State

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Four Parties Will Have Statewide Nominees on Rhode Island 2014 Ballot

By Richard Winger The November 2014 election in Rhode Island will include statewide nominees from four political parties. The Moderate Party will have James B. Spooner for Governor, and William Gilbert for Lieutenant Governor. The Libertarian Party will have Tony Jones on the ballot for Lieutenant Governor. Rhode Island voters elect Lieutenant Governor separately from Governor. The Moderate(More)…

Source: http://www.ballot-access.org/2014/07/four-parties-will-have-statewide-nominees-on-rhode-island-2014-ballot/

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