Rick Perry Goes Full-On Nucular, and I Like It; Updated

December 27, 2011

Local Politics, State Politics

A Prayer for Relief….not just his.

JPhillip/ Associated Press

Nothing to lose…but maybe a little late for a win

In the words of another Texas Gov’nuh, Rick Perry has gone full-on nucular on the Virginia State Board of Elections and the RPV, filing suit to get on the VA primary ballot. And, even though I think objections to “onerous” ballot requirements should have been made PRIOR to sending people out to get signatures (this is kind of like objecting to the rules of a football game AFTER you suit up players, plan strategy, and then lose) — well, I admit it. I like that he is trying. Those Texas boots might yet kick some Virginia butt.

This is how a real man reacts, as opposed to throwing a “three day temper tantrum”, which  is how Norm Leahy described Gingrich’s response to not making the primary ballot.

Perry is asking for declaratory judgments, and injunctions and all kinds of legal stuff under the first and fourteenth amendments, claiming that his freedoms of speech and association have been violated!


Virginia Code 24.2-545 B’s requirement for petition circulators to be either eligible or qualified voters in the state violates freedoms of speech and association protected by the First and Fourteenth Amendments to the US Constitution.

This is what I don’t get. Did Perry’s campaign chair not know ANYBODY in the state? Like, friends of friends, or friends of friends of friends? Because I just don’t think that this is going to fly:

20.   Virginia’s requirement for petition circulators to be either eligible or registered qualified voters in the state imposes a severe burden on Plaintiff’s freedom of speech and association because it substantially limits the number of eligible petition circulators.

Does this mean Perry only trusted Texans to get the job done?   Not sure if Virginians will appreciate the snub.

The only way I can see this is a severe hardship is if Perry already was maxed out on the payroll to out of staters, and couldn’t afford Virginians to help gather signatures. Not having money left to hire out some locals…well, as they say in Texas. That oversight is a darn shame.  Bob “for Jobs!” McDonnell should have had something to say about that!

Now, to show what I know about election law, which is sorely and abundantly clear =  nothing, there is actually a legal precedent for Perry’s claims:

Bottom line, is that Rick Perry appears to want to actually have a chance to win, or at least give the appearance of wanting to have a chance to win.  So much so, that he (through his attorney Hugh Fain) is asking for “preliminary and permanent and mandatory injunctions compelling Defendants” (the SBOE and Pat Mullins) to certify him as a candidate for the presidential primary ballot.

Gotta admit.  This is totally not boring.



Allahpundit says the cited Colorado legal case is a wee bit different:

The question for the Court in that case was ever so slightly different: Colorado law allowed only currently registered voters to be petition circulators, not people who were eligible but who hadn’t registered yet. It was slightly more restrictive than Virginia’s system, in other words — and the Court found that it did in fact violate the First Amendment…


In other words, the Supremes specifically refused to say how demanding the state could be in setting qualifications for petition circulators. The only rule they laid down was that you can’t limit the group to registered voters; at the very least, both registered voters and people eligible to register must be permitted, which is what Virginia does.


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17 Comments on “Rick Perry Goes Full-On Nucular, and I Like It; Updated”

  1. Ben Hoffman Says:

    Yep, crazy people can be interesting. But do you really want one in the White House?



  2. Steve Says:

    Didn’t all the campaigns have since August to collect signatures! The Santorum campaign didn’t start collecting signatures until 12 days out and collected over 8,000 but didn’t turn them in because they didn’t have enough and you don’t hear them whining. Maybe the Perry campaign should cut their losses and realize to take it like a man and fess up and be accountable for not getting the job done. That’s the way to raise young men and just possibly, Presidential candidates.



    • Sara for America Says:

      On one hand you have those who think the bar should be lowered (put the AG in that camp). I’m not in that camp; I consider this a rules clarification. Was the Perry camp not ‘clear’ on the residency requirements for petition gatherers – did they think they had met the existing bar when they turned in nearly 12K sigs, only to find out that VA has more stringent requirements?

      If that is what happened – although I find it unimpressive, as I’ve previously stated – I don’t think it unwise or unmanly to seek out a ruling.



  3. Tercel Says:

    With only Romney and Paul on the Virginia ballot makes VA look bad. Either unfair or rigged. If all the “not-Romney” people vote for Paul in protest, then Paul has that many more delegates. Say we get to a brokered convention…what kind of havoc will VA have wrought.



    • Steve Says:

      The candidates knew this ahead of time or it is negligence on their part to not know the rules of each state. If they can’t manage this how do they expect to defeat democrats in a general. Come on! If Ron Paul made the ballot it shows if they had a game in VA they should have as well.



      • Sara for America Says:

        Ron Paul’s camp is highly organized, no doubt. He’s tried a few times already. :)

        I’m not defending Rick Perry’s negligence. I’m just glad to see that he is pursuing all remedies available. If he hadn’t, I would have been inclined to think that he was never in the race seriously in the first place, and if so, he shouldn’t have raised money here.



      • Steve Says:

        Jerry Kilgore was/is the campaign chairman for the Perry camp. You mean to tell me a presidential campaign chaired by a former nominee for GOVERNOR, former Attorney General of VA didn’t know the rules!!!



  4. Jonathan Scott Says:

    Ron Paul belongs on the short list for Sec of Treasury–its not his domestic agenda that worries people at all, in fact most I have spoken with embarce it. Especially, trade and the Fed policy BUT he scares the sh**(sorry Sara) out of folks every time he talks about foriegn policy. Of course the younger folks embarce his non-interventionalist/isolationist policies becaus the last thing they want is to ship off to fight some war some where. I get it. At nineteen I was a Marine, but then my formulative years of 1980-1988 Ronald Reagan was President and it was a different time. Nowadays our younger folks would rather sip on Starbucks, work on their IPads and interact on Facebook than have to worry about foriegn affairs let alone foriegn wars:)



    • Sara for America Says:

      I’m very intrigued by what is going on here in Virginia.

      People who formerly have not had much good to say about Paul’s foreign policy, in fact, have admitted they are terrified of it, think it buffoonery, are now jumping on his bandwagon. I’m of the mind that this is a protest of the way the Bolling camp/the Romney camp/aka GOP Establishment is handling the primary.

      If so – their strategy, using Paul against the establishment is definitely going to send a message, but it will be interesting to see how much they can end up controlling it.



  5. John Boddie Says:

    Did anyone think of asking why the State of Virginia is asked to bear some of the cost of staging a primary election for a political party? Is there some reason why the primaries can’t be completely underwritten by the parties themselves?



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