Libertarian Party May Budget $20K to Regain SD Party Status; Planning to Sue over SB 69?

The Libertarian National Committee met in Phoenix this weekend to discuss their plans for 2016. LNC at-large representative Bill Redpath urged the committee to budget $20,000 to support re-establishing the South Dakota Libertarian Party’s official status.

Mr. Redpath also reported to the LNC (starting at about 30:20 in this video) on Senate Bill 69, the “bad ballot access law,” as Redpath characterizes it. Redpath reported Kurt Evans’s suggestion that the LNC may want to consider piggybacking their party petition effort with the referendum effort, since SB 69 makes life harder for Libertarians as well as Independents and all voters seeking more choice on their November ballots.

Interestingly, a committee member (who appears to be LNC chairman Nicholas Sarwark*) mentioned that “Emmett should be contacting Mr. Pevar to get the ball rolling on the other avenue of attack in South Dakota.” Stephen Pevar is an ACLU attorney with some South Dakota experience. You see, back in 1984, Pevar represented the South Dakota Libertarian Party in its lawsuit against then Secretary of State Alice Kundert over South Dakota’s effort to set the deadline for forming a new political party in early February. Pevar cited case law that said March 20 was unconstitutionally early. SB 69 sets that deadline earlier than that, at the first Tuesday of March. The state settled Libs v. Kundert before a ruling, because they could see the writing on the wall. Apparently our legislators and Governor think that writing has washed off. The National Libertarian Party and Mr. Pevar may be about to remind them that no, it hasn’t.

*Updated 21:07 CDT to reflect likely identity of committee speaker.