Bloomberg's Perot Connection, and a Texas Strategy

While in Austin, Texas today, Michael Bloomberg met with Clay Mulford, the guy who helped get independent presidential candidate Ross Perot on the ballot, the AP reports. (Mulford also happens to be Perot’s son-in-law.)

While the AP story notes Bloomberg “would need to collect about 74,100 signatures by May 12, and could only begin petitioning there on March 5,” ballot-access expert Richard Winger notes that there’s a way around that.

“It’s substantially easier to get an entire new party on the ballot in Texas than it is to get a single presidential candidate,” Winger told me just now.

“For a party, you only need 43,991 signatures. Not only is it 40 percent fewer signatures, they have longer to finish their petitions. It’s absolutely idiotic.

“The party petitions aren’t due until late May, where the individual petitions are due May 12,” he continued. But, he said, only parties that have signaled by January 2nd their intent to file petitions are eligible to do so.

According to Winger, three of the five non-major parties that have done so — the Texas Independence Party, the Reform Party, and the New American Independent Party — could come into play here. “They would all like to nominate Bloomberg,” he said.

Bloomberg's Perot Connection, and a Texas Strategy