In my July 14 TAC article about Chuck Baldwin’s Constitution Party presidential candidacy, I noted, “In California, the outgoing chairman of the American Independent Party has been trying to list [Alan] Keyes as the nominee rather than Baldwin.” That move appears to have succeeded: The California secretary of state’s office has recognized Ed Noonan and the pro-war, pro-Keyes faction of the party as the legitimate AIP. That means that the state recognizes the pro-Keyes convention that disaffiliated from the Constitution Party to join Keyes’s nascent America’s Independent Party. More importantly, it means that Keyes will be on the ballot in California other than Baldwin.

The pro-Baldwin faction is expected to sue and the secretary of state made no serious attempt to determine which group’s claims were valid. The pro-Baldwin faction held a larger convention with more members of the state central committee present after giving the required legal notice. But the secretary of state appears to have relied on papers filed with their office showing Noonan as the chairman. No matter how it is resolved, the costly showdown will be a setback for Baldwin, who beat Keyes for the national Constitution Party’s nomination.