Election Law Blog reports:
MACHIAS, ME – Maine Superior Court Justice Kevin M. Cuddy ruled on September 20, 2012 that a lawsuit filed by consumer advocate and 2004 independent presidential candidate Ralph Nader and his Maine electors Christopher Droznick, Nancy Oden and Rosemary Whittaker against the Democratic Party and several of its allies must proceed to trial.
Originally filed in 2009, the lawsuit alleges tort claims under Maine law for civil conspiracy, abuse of process and malicious prosecution. The plaintiffs allege that Democrats orchestrated a concerted, nationwide effort to interfere with the campaign of Nader and his running mate, the late Peter Miguel Camejo, by filing 29 complaints in 19 states, including Maine, and that many of the complaints included groundless and demonstrably false allegations of fraud.
According to defendant Toby Moffett, a Washington, D.C.-based lobbyist who helped recruit an estimated 95 lawyers from 53 law firms to join the effort, the purpose of the Democrats’ complaints was to “drain,” “distract” and “neutralize” the Nader-Camejo campaign, by “forcing [them] to spend money and resources defending these things.”
In addition to Moffett, the lawsuit names as defendants the Maine Democratic Party, its former Chair Dorothy Melanson, the Democratic National Committee, its former Chair Terry McAuliffe, the Kerry-Edwards 2004 campaign and a Section 527 political organization Moffett headed called The Ballot Project.
“Former Governor Gary Johnson of the Libertarian Party and former Congressman Virgil Goode of the Constitution Party are now facing what the Nader-Camejo campaign confronted in 2004,” Nader added. “Both the Democratic and the Republican parties treat the electoral process and the voters as if they own them, and they will continue to do so until Americans of all political persuasions put a stop to it by demanding a broader choice of candidates on the ballot in each election cycle.”