Personal account of ballot access petitioning and harassment in public places in Maryland

For background see earlier article posted by Gregg Jocoy and My article at IPR.

I arrived in Maryland on November 22. Andy Jacobs was there one day before me and Darryl Bonner was already there earlier working on the Green Party petition (and the Libertarian petition when it became available – the Greens started earlier). Several other people came and went for parts of the drive, but the three of us gathered the bulk of the Libertarian petitions. Darryl gathered a good chunk of the Green Party petitions and Andy and I gathered somewhat small numbers of signatures for the Green Party as well.

Although it was the same time of year, the weather was about 20 degrees colder than it was four years ago in Maryland, and we had several snow storms. Temperatures were frequently in the 20s and 30s, sometimes with strong winds. Since the vast majority of places we work are outdoors, it made it more difficult to stop people.

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4th Circuit Court of Appeals affirms ruling against Eugene Platt unanimously

In a 14 page opinion, available here, all three members of the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals has affirmed a lower court ruling that kept Eugene Platt off the ballot in 2008. Platt will be on the ballot this November as the nominee of the Green Party, and if his ballot access petition is found to be adequate, as a petition candidate as well.

A full evaluation of the decision is available at Ballot Access News.


ACLU issues press release in Platt case

January 6th saw the ACLU arguing for Eugene Platt before the South Carolina Supreme Court. Platt had been denied a spot on the ballot in 2008 even though he had been properly nominated by the South Carolina Green Party. After Platt won the Green Party nomination he lost the Democratic primary.

The ACLU press release points out that South Carolina’s loyalty pledge law violates the South Carolina Green Party’s free association rights, as guaranteed by the First Amendment to the US Constitution. The full release is available at the ACLU website or below the fold. A personal reflection on the court hearing is in progress and will hopefully be here later tonight. Continue Reading


Eugene Platt ballot access case gets coverage. State Supreme Court to hear case Jan. 6th

The Charleston Post and Courier is carrying story about Eugene Platt and his appeal to the South Carolina Supreme Court to protect his free speech rights, and the same rights for the South Carolina Green Party.

Platt had sought the Green Party and Working Families Party nomination in spring of 2008. He was nominated by both parties, and Platt’s nomination by the Democratic Party in a primary would seem to make his election all the more likely. South Carolina is one of the states which permit fusion voting.

However, when the Democratic Party primary was held, Continue Reading


Charleston Democrats fail to keep Platt off Nov ballot

According to an interested observer, the Charleston SC Democratic Party’s attempt to keep Eugene Platt off the November ballot in SC House District 115 as the SC Green Party’s nominee has failed today in state court. The Democratic Party did apparently secure an injunction, but the injunction prevents Platt from campaigning for write-in votes and from gathering signatures to appear on the ballot as a petition nominee. Since Platt is not seeking write-in votes nor ballot access signatures to run as a petition candidate, the court has apparently enjoined Platt from doing things he has not done and has no plans to do.

What at least one observer suggested that a ruling that the statute was un-Constitutional might have been a more complete victory, this ruling apparently does not include an enforcement provision.

Tomorrow Platt and the South Carolina Green Party go to Federal Court for what is hoped to be a final ballot access hearing. Both Platt and the state party are represented by attorneys working for the ACLU Voting Rights Project.


Quick note, press round-up

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Now, on to the news!

Steve Larrick, Green Party candidate for US Senate from Nebraska, got some coverage for his visit to the Nebraska State Fair. While there he debated the Democratic and Republican nominee , and was interrupted by a marching band. And you thought ballot access was our only hurdle!

The full story is available at the Daily Nebraskan and Larrick maintains a blog over here.

You can also listen to the debate via netMebraska and do further reading at The Grand Island Independent.

MLive.com covered Cynthia McKinney’s planned visit to Detroit over the Labor Day weekend.

Whitewater Community TV will broadcast portions of the Democratic, Republican and Green Party national conventions. The Indiana based broadcaster will reportedly broadcast McKinney’s acceptance speech and press conference.

Bunches of media outlets have gotten it wrong. They posted articles explaining that Ralph Nader had submitted signatures to place his name on the ballot as the Green Party nominee. An example of this screw-up is here. One can only hope that tomorrow’s news will tell the truth, that Cynthia McKinney is the Green Party nominee.

The Babylon Beacon of Long Island announced a Green Party gathering on September 3rd.

The Jackson Sun reports on Cynthia McKinney’s visit to Jackson TN, as well as other stops in Western TN. McKinney said

“We are kick-starting a movement so that our values can be reflected in public policy.”

Former Green Party vice-presidential nominee Pat LaMarche has resigned her position as spokesperson for a casino proposed in Maine. A FOX News affiliate in that state posted a brief video in which the reporter explains the reasons LaMarche resigned her post.

According to the Santa Fe New Mexican, some Democrats in that state have started a political action committee to bring the Green nominee for Public Relations Committee some cash, and at least a little bit of news coverage. Apparently some Democrats believe that Rick Lass would be a better public servant than the Democratic nominee.

Lass will get $64,000 in public financing for the campaign, but some Democrats feel so strongly about Lass that they have already held meetings to turn out support for him in November.

Finally, Eugene Platt Green Party nominee for the 115th House District in the South Carolina State Legislature, got some coverage in that city’s free weekly. Platt found out today that the South Carolina Democratic Party has filed to intervene in his federal ballot access case. Represented by the ACLU, Platt and supporters in Charleston held the first of what will be many re-organizing meetings in the South Carolina Lowcountry this past Saturday.


Eugene Platt goes to court

In a 15 page brief, the South Carolina Green Party has filed suit, with the American Civil Liberties Union providing legal representation, to secure their rights to nominate candidates of their choice.

The candidate in question, Eugene Platt was denied his place on the November ballot in his race for State House District 115 because he lost the Democratic Primary after winning the Green Party nomination at the state convention, which the Greens held more than a month before the Democratic Primary. Platt’s place on the Green Party ballot line was not contingent on his winning the Democratic Primary. The state Election Commission staff ruled that Platt could not appear on the November ballot. That decision was not overturned by the Election Commission.

The ACLU press release can be found at their website. Links to the PDF copies of the various legal papers are at the ACLU website here.

Platt will face the Republican incumbent, to whom Platt lost by only a few dozen votes two years ago, and a democratic challenger. Platt, who has served on a local elected public service board on James Island near Charleston for many years, has joined the Green Party and thrown himself into his new role as not only our candidate, but our Lowcountry coordinator as well.