How do I run for US House in New York State as a TPC?
March 6, 2010 6:22 AM   Subscribe

How do I run for U.S. House of Representatives in New York State as a Third Party Candidate? Also, is too late to run in 2010? I was planning on running in 2012, but there's a bit of an opening in 2010 so if I could still do that, I would like to. Also, I want to know how to run for the U.S. House of Representatives, I could care less about actually getting elected for the job. What paperwork do I fill out, how do I get my name on a Diebold machine, etc..? Oh, and money really isn't a concern, so forget about the fund raising portion.
posted by Bathtub Bobsled to Law & Government (11 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: Oh, and if someone gets a moment, can you tell me how to do an AskMeFi correctly? Granted, I've done it several times before, but, apparently, I need a refresher on that too.

Damn it.
posted by Bathtub Bobsled at 6:25 AM on March 6, 2010

This may be one of the questions that is best answered by "If you have to ask, it's not for you", but -

If there is a third party whose tenets match your own, get in touch. Attend meetings, participate in its activities. If they are going to run a candidate, make your interest known. Many such parties are looking for someone to be this year's sacrificial lamb.
posted by yclipse at 6:35 AM on March 6, 2010 [1 favorite]

A google search for "how to run for congress new york" revealed this.
posted by proj at 6:47 AM on March 6, 2010

Though I doubt any party is going to endorse you as their candidate if you don't care about winning or fund raising. You're essentially using their party resources for your vanity. The other option would be to start your own party.
posted by proj at 6:49 AM on March 6, 2010 [2 favorites]

Best answer: The NYS board of elections has all the information here

You'll be running as an independent and will need (at least, I didn't read through the whole thing) to file an "Independent Nominating Petition" with a sufficient number of signatures. Somewhere on the forms you can give a name to your independent third party.

According to the satutes (section 6-142), you'll at least 3500 hundred signatures from district voters to qualify (if your district has a small number of people in it, you would need 5% of the total number of voters in the last governor's election, so that number could be lower). From what I understand, if you appear to pose any sort of threat to any financed candidate, prepare to get your signatures challenged. You'll probably need way more than that to be safe.

You'll need to be extremely careful about who can legitimately sign your petitions, the exact format of your paper work, and careful adherence to the deadlines. Get reading. The link above appears to have similar information to the official new york state link, but I suggest carefully reading the statutes directly.
posted by NormieP at 6:54 AM on March 6, 2010

"Oh, and money really isn't a concern, so forget about the fund raising portion."

If money's not an issue (meaning you've got lots of it yourself), you should search out campaign consultants who can handle this stuff for you. Perhaps you can get a referral from the staff of the Elections and Campaign Management program at Fordham.
posted by Jahaza at 8:17 AM on March 6, 2010

Google the Board of Elections for the county you live in. Your profile says you live in upstate New York. If I were to assume you live in Buffalo, then here is the Board of Elections for Erie County.

Contact your board of elections and ask them this question.
posted by dfriedman at 8:17 AM on March 6, 2010

Response by poster: You're essentially using their party resources for your vanity.

Not vanity, nor would I need their resources.

I have plenty of my own money. I want to run for candidacy to take votes away from another candidate.
posted by Bathtub Bobsled at 8:39 AM on March 6, 2010

How do you plan on that working? Presumably you support another candidate, so your own campaign would be specifically campaigning against what you believe in. How do you plan on doing that effectively? How would you get anyone to vote for you doing that? (Especially since there's now a record of you planning it!) Wouldn't it be wiser to spend your vast fortunes supporting someone rather than creating this theoretical spoiler campaign?

Is this even legal?
posted by modernserf at 8:53 AM on March 6, 2010

Of course it's legal - you can run for election on any platform you choose, including opposition to another candidate.

If you are trying to act as a spoiler, it's likely you'll arouse the ire of another candidate, and if you are not scrupulous about following the campaign expenditure laws you will open yourself up to both court challenge and legal jeopardy. I'd carefully review the election laws of the state of New York, and in particular Article 14. The 2008 version is on the web here; I don't know if there's a more recent one available. I have no special knowledge of New York elections, but I have heard of cases where suits were brought about finance laws over driving volunteers to locations (gasoline as an unreported expense) and the like.
posted by Chanther at 9:13 AM on March 6, 2010

I think most people consider intentionally playing spoiler as rather dirty. If there are any strong opposition candidates, then you'll come out ahead starting and financing PACs for them using more accepted and reliable dirty tricks.

If you see no strong opposition, then look around for a legitimate spoiler candidate like a libertarian or a green, but make sure they cannot give their votes to the candidate you oppose. If you must play spoiler yourself, you'll definitely want the framework of an established respected third party.

For example, if you're opposing a Republican, then absolutely seek the nomination of both the Libertarian party and the Tea party. In fact, if your any sort of honest fiscal conservative, then you're long term interests will be served by helping Tea partiers see how the Libertarian party has always championed their goals. A stronger libertarian party get more democrats elected, but republicans usually spend just as much as democrats, so you win by forcing them to take fiscal conservatism slightly more seriously.
posted by jeffburdges at 10:31 AM on March 6, 2010

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