Coverage for 9/17/08
Sorry for being absent the past few days. My birthday was Monday and I spent the last two days in D.C. watching my beloved Mets fall from first place. Here is a picture of my wife and me right before the start of the 9th inning on Tuesday night. The Mets were trailing the Nationals 1-0 , but New York had the meat of the order coming up. We look so hopeful don’t we? Oh well.
The funny thing is that my wife and I went to see the Mets and Nats at RFK last year around the same time. New York was up 7 games at that time last year. They lost that game and then went on to one of the biggest collapses in baseball history. This time there lead was not nearly as big, and it is now gone. I am starting to wonder if I am a curse.
Anyway.. on to the business at hand. There is quite a bit happening today that we are keeping an eye on.
Michelle Obama in Richmond- The Democratic nominee’s wife, makes her second trip to the Commonwealth and first to Richmond. She is holding a roundtable discussion on Women and the Economy. My colleague Rob Richardson is at the event and will have more tonight during our early evening newscasts. She will head to Charlottesville this afternoon.
Voter Registration- Today during the Call 12 segment of our newscast we will have volunteers from the State Board of Elections taking calls from our viewers about the upcoming election. Their goal is to help people register to vote. There is a concern that an overwhelming response to the election on November 4th could cause problems. (Chesterfield County already experienced some issues during the Primary) The State BOE wants to make sure that every voter understands what they need to have in place in order to be eligible to vote and that they know where to go and how the process works. We normally don’t begin our Call 12 segments until the 5pm hour, but we are expecting a big response, so your opportunity to call will begin during First at Four.
US Senate Debate- We are heading up to Fairfax tomorrow to cover the US Senate Debate between Jim Gilmore and Mark Warner. I also plan to liveblog the event. The two have recently gone on the attack, with Gilmore using a TV ad accusing Warner of being a liar and Warner then putting up a TV ad defending himself. The Fairfax Chamber of Commerce, who is sponsoring the debate, has opened up the media pool to allow for more coverage, considering that this may be the last time the two square off face to face.
I admittedly was out of the loop on this one, The Warner and Gilmore camps have agreed to a debate on October 7th in Roanoke. The location has not been determined, but it will be produced by our affiliate in Roanoke, WSLS. Television stations across the state have been invited to broadcast this debate.
Bob Barr Making Noise- We told you last week about Libertarian Candidate Bob Barr’s role in the race for President, which up until now has been limited at best. Today he announced that he has filed a lawsuit to keep John McCain and Barack Obama off the ballot for President in Texas. If he were successful, it would be a much bigger blow to the Republicans than Democrats. Texas is reliably red and John McCain’s chances of winning the election without Texas’ 34 electoral votes, would be slim to none. See what Barr is up to after the jump.
Bob Barr Files Suit in Texas to Remove McCain, Obama from Ballot
Suit alleges that McCain, Obama knowingly missed filing deadlines
Atlanta, GA – Bob Barr, the Libertarian Party’s nominee for president, has filed a lawsuit in Texas demanding Senators John McCain and Barack Obama be removed from the ballot after they missed the official filing deadline.
“The seriousness of this issue is self-evident,” the lawsuit states. “The hubris of the major parties has risen to such a level that they do not believe that the election laws of the State of Texas apply to them.”
Texas election code §192.031 requires that the “written certification” of the “party’s nominees” be delivered “before 5 p.m. of the 70th day before election day.” Because neither candidate had been nominated by the official filing deadline, the Barr campaign argues it was impossible for the candidates to file under state law.
“Supreme Court justices should recognize that their responsibility is to apply the law as passed by the Legislature, and the law is clear that the candidates cannot be certified on the ballot if their filings are late,” says Drew Shirley, a local attorney for the Barr campaign, who is also a Libertarian candidate for the Texas Supreme Court.
A 2006 Texas Supreme Court decision ruled that state laws “does not allow political parties or candidates to ignore statutory deadlines.”
Orrin Grover, attorney for Bob Barr and Wayne Root, said that he believes that the Texas Secretary of State is bound by Texas law to remove the Republican and Democratic nominees from the November ballot. “Either we have rules and deadlines, or we do not,” Grover said.
The Chairman of the Texas Libertarian Party, Pat Dixon stated, “Libertarian principles require personal responsibility for your acts and failures. Obama and McCain failed to meet the deadlines. They must follow the law like everyone else.”
The petition also alleges that the Democratic Party’s late presidential filing falsely claimed under oath that Senator Obama had been nominated hours before the nomination actually occurred.
“The facts of the case are not in dispute,” says Russell Verney, manager of the Barr campaign. “Republicans and Democrats missed the deadline, but were still allowed on the ballot. Third parties are not allowed on the ballot for missing deadlines, as was the case for our campaign in West Virginia, yet the Texas secretary of state’s office believes Republicans and Democrats to be above the law.”
Barr will be holding a press conference this Thursday at the Texas Supreme Court at 11:00 a.m.
Libertarian Party presidential candidate Bob Barr represented the 7th District of Georgia in the U. S. House of Representatives from 1995 to 2003.