I've been remiss in keeping you all updated on various third-party doings. Last weekend, the faction of California's American Independent Party led by Ed Noonan held their convention. They nominated Alan Keyes for president and Wiley Drake for vice president. This faction is aligned with America's Independent Party, which exists to promote Keyes's 2008 presidential campaign. Their rivals within the party already held a convention in Los Angeles at the end of June, nominating Chuck Baldwin for president and Darrell Castle for vice president. They are aligned with the Constitution Party nationally, as the American Independents have been since at least 1992.
At issue is whether Keyes or Baldwin will receive the party's ballot line in the presidential election. Which faction is recognized as legitimate will also determine which political party has the third-largest number of registered voters. The American Independent Party gives the Constitution Party that honor currently. If the Noonanites prevail, that distinction will go to the nascent America's Independent Party.Of course, a very high number of American Independents likely believe they are registering as independents -- the official designation in California is "decline to state" -- making a good bit of this fairly meaningless.
According to Ballot Access News and other sources, fewer than 20 people attended the pro-Keyes convention, including two who disputed the legitimacy of the proceedings. About 35 central commitee members attended the pro-Baldwin convention, with total attendance around 55. The Baldwin faction also gave the legally required notice of their convention and retained an outside parliamentarian. It does not appear that either of those things were true of the American Independents led by Noonan.
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