Despite last week’s pledge that he wouldn’t sue states for making their own decisions, Perry is suing Virginia for violating his constitutional rights. Perry doesn’t see anything ironic (or hypocritical) in suing Virginia for violating his federal rights.
Candidates have to meet a state’s and party’s requirements (which are subject to federal election law) in order to get on their primary ballot. In Virginia, that means 10,000 signatures collected by Virginians (signatures of registered Republicans).
According to Perry, requiring Virginians to collect those signatures cost him him the ballot. So what does a conservative keep-the-feds-out-of-state-business Republican do? He sues the state for violating federal law.
“We believe that the Virginia provisions unconstitutionally restrict the rights of candidates and voters by severely restricting access to the ballot …” said Perry communications director Ray Sullivan…
The Commonwealth of Virginia insists Virginians collect the signatures.
“… those who circulate petitions to get a candidate on the ballot must be eligible, or registered, to vote in the state. Perry claims that requirement violates his freedom of speech and association.
It’s a lot easier to get on the ballot for the Republican primary in Texas. Drop 5K or get 4500 signatures. Unfortunately for Perry, Virginia doesn’t have a buy-in.
WHEREAS, Rule Number 38, Section 2(a) of the Republican Party of Texas (RPT) General Rules for all Conventions and Meetings sets the filing fee for office of the President of the United States at $5,000 or 300 signatures of registered voters from each of a minimum of 15 congressional districts” [From Republican Party of Texas, Emphasis mine]
Perry’s campaign notes that other states’ laws similar to Virginia’s ban on out-of-state petition circulators have been struck down by federal courts.
Perry’s lawsuit, coming days after promising not to sue states, is not only a flip-flop, it’s a back flip.