Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Newsflash: Political Competition in Ohio Not Completely Dead...Yet

Lost in all the hoopla of the publicly-financed proceedings to decide which candidates will represent Socialist Parties "A" and "B" in November, comes this bit of news from Monday:

From Ballot Access News :

Libertarians, Greens, Turn in Ohio Signatures
May 1st, 2006

On May 1, the Ohio deadline this year for the independent candidate procedure, the Libertarian and Green Party candidates for Governor each submitted more than twice the required 5,000 signatures. Libertarian Bill Peirce turned in 13,400, and Green Bob Fitrakis turned in 10,900. The Green running for Secretary of State turned in 9,000. Under Ohio election laws, neither is permitted to have his party label on the ballot. Instead, Ohio will only print “other-party nominee” on the November ballot. The Libertarian lawsuit against Ohio’s procedures for new parties, argued in the 6th circuit in early September 2005, is still awaiting a decision.

Another independent candidate for Ohio Governor, Jim Lundeen, did not succeed in collecting the required 5,000 signatures.

As much as the Democrats and Republicans would love to make it illegal for you to vote for anyone but one of them, it is a testament to the determination of supporters of fair and open elections to not be stiffled by the massive hurdles erected to keep out competition in the political marketplace. There will be four options for governor in November.

(Oh, and by the way... Libertarians feel that matters that are internal to the political parties should be financed by the parties themselves...and not foisted upon unsuspecting taxpayers who may not care one way or the other who wins the primaries. That's why the LP settles their politics at Conventions.)

Oh...and here is a thought to all Conservative supporters of Ken Blackwell to consider. We sent our troops over to Iraq in order to get rid of a tyrant, and establish democracy...yet, Blackwell, in his capacity as Secretary of State, actively worked to suppress and restrict Democracy here in Ohio when he rejected a petition signed by 57,000 Ohioans who asked that the Libertarian Party be given equal access to the ballot. Will your continued support of Blackwell be just another demonstration of typical Conservative hypocrisy?

4 Comments:

Blogger doinkicarus said...

I dig the new layout.

9:29 AM  
Anonymous Libertarian Jason said...

Thanks, Doink.... It was time for a change.

9:39 AM  
Blogger BizzyBlog said...

More detail on the Libertarian rejection would be welcome.

Also, someone needs to challenge the May 1 (day before primary) independent candidacy deadline (I don't think anyone ever has). It's specifically designed to prevent credible Dem-GOP primary losers from mounting an Indie run if they do well and think they can get crossover in the general. Despite the legislature writing an hysterical justification into the law itself, I think it would not survive a court test. I think August or September 1 is more appropriate.

10:05 AM  
Anonymous Libertarian Jason said...

Bizzy -

The details of the rejection were on 2 basic points...

1) The LP added a column to the form where a signer could print their last name. If you've ever seen a petition, a person is required to _sign_ their name in the manner that it appears on their voter registration. The problem is...not everyone's signature is legible. So, the LPO modified the form to include an entra column so that the people checking the petition could have an addition source to validate the signature. Because of that, the SOS ruled that teh LPO did not use a form "prescribed" by their office. (In hindisght, it was a stupid move by the LPO...but who would have thought it really would have mattered? It was a totally non-substantive alteration.)

2) And the bigger point, in the middle of the petition drive, the SOS changed the form that they were using for petitions. The actual change was a minor text change in the "signers statement" at the bottom of the form...where it used to say something like, "whosoever falsifies this is going to go to jail for a long time"...it now read "whosoever falsifies this is guilty of a 3rd degree felony"...or soemthing like that. Either way, minor change, and it still was clear that falsifying the petition lead to bad stuff for the offender.

So, when the LPO went to submit their petitions, they were told it was on the wrong form and therefore, no good. This is more insidious, as it would suggest that the State of Ohio could effectively squash every and all citizen initiatives, simply by changing the forms the SOS office prescribes on a weekly basis. In that case, the form people use to collect the thousands of sigs needed to bring any ballot initiative or party to be on the ballot would always be out of date.

Now, I THINK that this second point was over-ruled by the court. I think that the court said, that the SOS would still have to honor outdated forms, as long as they were actually prescribed by the SOS.

But either way, Ken Blackwell, as SOS was responsible for telling 57000 Ohioans..."you want another choice? screw you!"

There is a more detailed analysis over at Ballot Access News. Check it out.

-LJ

12:36 PM  

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