Ed Noonan of the American Independent Party -- the vehicle that supported George Wallace's 1968 presidential campaign and now exists only in California -- has broken with the national Constitution Party and filed paperwork to reaffiliate with America's Independent Party, a vehicle for supporting Alan Keyes's 2008 presidential campaign. The California delegation was Keyes's biggest bloc of support at the Constitution Party's national convention in April, where he lost the presidential nomination to Chuck Baldwin. If Noonan's move stands, Keyes will get the American Independent Party's ballot line in California and the America's Independent Party will surpass the Constitution Party as the third largest political party in terms of voter registration (both parties' claims are inflated by Californians who believe they are registering as independents).
This being third-party politics, however, it is by no means clear that Noonan's action will stand. His critics argue that a majority of party activists reaffirmed Baldwin as the nominee at their state convention last weekend and support continued affiliation with the Constitution Party. Some of Noonan's critics dispute his standing as state party chair while Noonan disputes his critics' legal standing. This will turn into a legal standoff, just like the war between competing versions of the Reform Party and the Prohibition Party.
UPDATE: In case I didn't make it clear enough, I don't think the Noonan faction's claims are valid. It was made by about four people without the required notice. The state convention supported Baldwin and the Constitution Party.
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