Portland-Green Party Senate Candidate Asher Platts is calling legal shenanigans over the fact that Democratic Party Staffers are trying to block his run for Portland State Senate District 27. On Monday, Platts, who also happens to be the Chair of the Maine Green Independent Party, received notice from the Secretary of State’s office that Democratic Legislative Aide, and Democratic Party Coordinated Campaign Staffer Anya Trundy, represented by the law firm of Bernstein Shurr, had challenged primary nomination signatures that Platts turned in to qualify as a Green candidate for the June primary ballot in that district.
“I once worked in the Democratic Party, for candidates like Dennis Kucinich. I left the Democratic Party because I saw disgusting skullduggery like this all the time. They’re so afraid they’ll lose if voters hear from young working class candidates with real world experience and proven, real-world policy solutions, that they are willing to use their lawyers to deny voter choice by keeping folks like me off the ballot”, said Platts. “I was attracted to the Green Party because they have long advocated for more democracy, more citizen participation, and more choices at the ballot box– not limiting choice for voters, like I have seen the Democratic Party do using legal maneuvering, over and over.”
As a first time candidate in 2012, Platts garnered nearly 30% of the vote against Justin Alfond, the incumbent President of the Senate. Green’s have been improving their numbers with each successive run for the Senate District 27 seat. Platts’s impressive 2012 electoral showing was 5% more than that of the previous Green candidate Bill Linnell.
“This is a sure sign of fear by the establishment”, said John Eder, Platts’s Campaign Coordinator. “They see us making steady electoral gains in the district of the type that lead up to my victory in 2002”, said Eder who represented Portland’s West End in the Maine Legislature as the nations highest elected Green. “I feel for the guy, I’ve been in Asher’s position before”, Eder continued, “they’re using dirty legal tricks against Asher like they used the redistricting process to try to get rid of me. That backfired on them then and this will backfire on them now. Voters don’t appreciate this type of thing, it just looks real ugly.”
Platts, known to fans of his podcast as the Punk Patriot, is working on finding a lawyer to represent him pro bono at the Challenge Hearing in Augusta to be held Monday. Mach 21st . “They’re trying to throw road blocks in my path by disrupting my work week, disrupting my collection of Clean Elections Fund donations, and forcing a low income person like me to retain a lawyer on short notice”, said Platts. “I’m not daunted. Since becoming an activist outside the two party system, I’ve always had to work 10 times harder to challenge the entrenched power structures, and I’m not backing down now.”