Following Tuesday’s news that the political party, the No Labels Party (NLP), qualified for Arizona’s 2024 ballot, the party confirmed to The Arizona Sun Times that it would only be using its presence on the ballot for a potential presidential candidate.
“Right now, we do not have any plans to use the ballot lines for races other than the presidency,” said a spokesperson for the NLP.
The spokesperson also confirmed that the party has no specific policy agenda for Arizona, but it will release a “national party agenda later this year.”
Arizona is the second state to recognize the NLP, following Colorado in January.
No Labels’ Plans
Moreover, the party released a statement Thursday adding more clarification to its ballot plans. Notably, the NLP said its goal is to introduce a presidential candidate as “an insurance policy” if both major parties nominate a presidential candidate “that the vast majority of Americans don’t want.” However, even in that situation, the NLP itself would not run its own candidate but would use its ballot line as a “launching pad” to offer a third-party candidate an avenue to appear in front of voters.
Furthermore, while the NLP shared its firm belief that an independent nominee has a strong chance of winning a 2024 presidency, it acknowledged that politics change fast. If, in the future, it appears evident to the party that an independent candidate has no chance of winning or no third party has “broad appeal,” it will not offer its ballot line to anyone.
“No one at No Labels has any interest in fueling a spoiler effort,” the party stated.
An important update from No Labels. https://t.co/gJ5F11gR4W pic.twitter.com/jaBZlsXv43
— No Labels (@NoLabelsOrg) March 9, 2023
While there is speculation that Arizona’s Independent Senator, Kyrsten Sinema, could use the NLP’s ballot lines when running for reelection in 2024, it appears the congressional race is not currently on the party’s radar. Neither party has made statements regarding the possibility.
Who is the No Labels Party
According to the NLP website, the group exists to call on American leaders and citizens to move away from the “anger and divisiveness” of modern politics. The NLP was founded in 2010 by Nancy Jacobson, who previously served in several Democrat positions. She served as the finance director for Bill Clinton’s first presidential run, the financial chair for the Democratic National Committee during the 90s, and senior advisor for the Democratic Leadership Council during the 2000s.
In a commentary piece written for RealClear Politics, Jacobson noted that the tipping point for her was seeing the Tea Party win big in the 2010 midterms. She wrote that partisan purists on both sides of the aisle, who she claimed are more concerned with furthering political goals than doing what is best for all people in the country, are responsible for the political gridlock in Washington.
One of the significant accomplishments of the NLP was contributing to the creation of the bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus in 2017. Additionally, the party lists three co-chairs from Arizona, including Gail Wachtel, Sentari Minor, and Adam Trenk.
What does the Money Look Like?
As for how the group spends money, Open Secrets shared that the NLP made over $2 million in contributions in 2022. The top recipient was Carolyn Bourdeaux, a Democrat congress candidate for Georgia who ultimately lost in the 2022 primary. However, the NLP mainly gave to Republicans, with $1.2 million of its funds going to red candidates. The three biggest Republican recipients were Fred Upton for Michigan, Donald Bacon for Nebraska, and Andrew Garbarino for New York.
According to a 2018 investigation by The Daily Beast, while the NLP does not publicly disclose its funders, some backers were identified through internal documents. These include Republican megadonor Nelson Pletz, billionaire private equity investor Marc Rowan, and Berkshire Partners LLC co-founder Carl Ferenbach, to name a few. The party also allegedly contacted George Soros for funding but he did not appear as a backer.
The NPL reportedly has a goal of $70 million to fund its attempt to get on the ballot in all 50 states and has so far raised $46 million.
To become a political party in Arizona, an aspiring group must submit at least 34,127 verified signatures. Arizona Secretary of State Adrian Fontes has so far verified over 56,000 signatures from the NLP.
The NLP joins the three currently recognized parties in Arizona, those being Republican, Democrat, and Libertarian. A fourth group of voters exists, known as “others,” who are not affiliated with an existing party. The other category makes up Arizona’s second-largest voting group, only having roughly 20,000 voters behind the Republican party.
As reported by The Sun Times, the announcement of the NLP’s inclusion on the ballot immediately got a sour reaction from liberal think-tank Third-Way. The organization claimed that the group would pull Democrat voters away from the left’s presidential nominee, which could lead to a Republican victory in Arizona.
However, some Republicans, like Arizona Tea Party President Dan Farley, were not pleased with the development either.
“I do not see this as a positive development. Dems historically stick together & Republicans are more independent thinking & tend not to stick together as well. I see this as an extremely concerning development in our Presidential battleground state,” Farley tweeted.
I do not see this as a positive development. Dems historically stick together & Republicans are more independent thinking & tend not to stick together as well. I see this as an extremely concerning development in our Presidential battleground state. pic.twitter.com/yGTzFkE6Ce
— Dan Farley 🇺🇸 (@realDanFarley) March 8, 2023
Nevertheless, the Arizona Libertarian Party (ALP) celebrated the NLP’s recognition, stating it is a sign of a healthy society.
“The Arizona Libertarian Party maintains its stance that the political and economic stagnation plaguing American politics is a direct function of the two party duopoly,” ALP Chairman Michael McFarland said in a statement emailed to The Sun Times. “As such, that the No Labels Party was successful in obtaining the signatures necessary to qualify for races in 2024, only reinforces our position that the Republican and Democratic parties have represented themselves for their own selfish purposes and NOT Arizona voters. This accomplishment by the No Labels Party serves as another reminder that the old parties consistently fail to represent all Arizonans. Competition and choice are a sign of a healthy society, and we are happy to see another choice on the ballot for Arizona voters.”
The Sun Times reached out to the Arizona Republican Party, Turning Point USA, and other political experts for additional comments but did not hear back before publishing time.
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Neil Jones is a reporter for The Arizona Sun Times and The Star News Network. Follow Neil on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected].
Photo “Voting” by Edmond Dantès.
They are NOT a party in any meaningful sense of the word. They are more of a protest group, that isn’t even clear what they are protesting. By there own statement, they can’t articulate what they are for OR against.
Need NLP nationwide
Under Arizona state election rules, candidates can file as write-ins for a new party’s primary. The write-in candidate with the most votes in the primary for a particular office gets on the general election ballot with the new party’s label. For an uncontested nomination, only one new party primary write in vote is needed to qualify for the general election ballot.
The operatives behind the No Labels dark money scam may have no intention of creating a real political party, but by qualifying as a recognized party in Arizona, they open the floodgates for anyone to get on the state ballot with the No Labels label.