Nice Try: Bob Barr Wants John McCain and Barack Obama Thrown Off the Texas Ballot

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Life’s tough for a third-party candidate. It’s even tougher when the big boys don’t play by the rules, which is what Libertarian presidential hopeful (doubtful?) Bob Barr is alleging.

Barr has threatened “serious legal consequences” should Barack Obama and John McCain be allowed on the Texas general election ballot come November. Neither the Democrat nor the Republican filed to be on the ballot before the deadline prescribed by Texas Election Code Section 192.031. The law sets that deadline at 70 days before the election – for this year, that’s August 26.

Obama and McCain clearly weren’t too worried – on Aug. 26, the Democratic National Convention was just getting started and Sarah Palin was probably still crab fishing or ice road trucking or whatever the hell it is people in Alaska do. Does that mean we’ll see some bizarre turn of events in which a Libertarian candidate actually wins a state? Highly unlikely, University of Houston political science professor Richard Murray says.

“Usually in Texas when it comes to getting on the ballot or throwing people off or not, the courts tend to be fairly lenient in leaving it up to the people with something as important as 34 electoral votes,” he tells Hair Balls.

It doesn’t help that getting both names off the ballot in a decidedly red state would cripple McCain.

“The Texas upper-level appellate judiciary is virtually all Republican. If their guy’s going to be thrown off the ticket, as well as Obama, one way or another they’ll find some sort of legal rationale to let the voters decided. It would be an interesting exercise, but the Texas Supreme Court would be incredibly loath to not have (Obama and McCain) on the ballot,” Murray says.

Looks like we’re stuck with another lousy Election Day where we’re able to vote for major candidates.

-- Blake Whitaker

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