Ohio Libertarian Party Ballot Access Lawsuit Gets Closer to a Decision in U.S. District Court

Ballot Access News

From Ballot Access News, by Richard Winger-February 6th, 2016:

On February 5, the U.S. District Court that is handling Libertarian Party of Ohio v Husted, s.d., 2:13cv-953, got closer to a final decision on the last issue to be decided. That last issue is whether Ohio applied a campaign finance law in a discriminatory manner in 2014, when for the first time it kept a candidate off the ballot because the circulators didn’t fill out a blank form on the petition, telling who their employer was. The law had never before kept anything off the ballot, whether a ballot measure or a candidate. But in 2014, it was used to keep the only Libertarian running for Governor off the Libertarian primary ballot. That kept the party from having any gubernatorial nominee in 2014, and that insured it went off the ballot, because the only way it could stay on was by polling 2% for Governor.

The February 5 activity in the case was an order denying sanctions against attorneys representing the side of the case in opposition to the Libertarian Party. The Libertarian Party had requested sanctions, because some of those attorneys and witnesses had made it so difficult for the truth to be revealed about who was paying legal bills to keep the party’s candidate off the ballot. Although the Court did not impose sanctions, it said, “The overall conduct of discovery in this case, especially on the part of Mr. Felsoci’s and Mr. Casey’s counsel, demonstrates a pattern of technical and begrudging responses and objections to discovery requests, which pattern was clearly designed to delay or obstruct the Plaintiffs’ ability to learn that the Ohio Republican Party was involved in the effort to keep Libertarian Party candidates off the ballot…should these particular attorneys or parties come before the Court in future cases, the history of their conduct here will strongly influence the Court’s approach to discovery, including sanctions.”

About Richard Winger, from Wikipedia:

Richard Lee Winger (born August 27, 1943) is an American political activist and analyst. He is the publisher and editor of Ballot Access News. He sits on the editorial board of the Election Law Journal. Winger publishes analysis, statistics and legal information and supports more equitable laws allowing access to the ballot for minor parties.[1][2][3][4][5]

Winger is widely regarded as an expert on ballot access and election law.[6][7][8][9] Though not a lawyer, he testifies in court cases and legislative hearings and is a source for media and political organizers.[10][11][12][13] He has been published in The Wall Street Journal, Journal of Election Law, the Fordham Urban Law Review, American Review of Politics, California Journal and other publications.[14] He has appeared as a commentator on ballot access on NBC, ABC, CNN, and NPR.[14] Since 1985 Winger has publishedBallot Access News,[15] [16] a monthly newsletter covering developments in ballot access law and among the minor parties generally.[2][17]

Background[edit]

A lifelong Californian, Richard Winger graduated from the University of California, Berkeley as a Political Science major in 1966,[10] and attended Graduate School in Political Science at UCLA.

Coalition on Free and Open Elections[edit]

In 1985 Winger helped found, along with several minor party representatives, the Coalition on Free and Open Elections (COFOE).[3] The group attempts to co-ordinate action and provide mutual support among the various minor parties for efforts to liberalize and reform ballot access laws.

Politics[edit]

Winger has been a member of the Libertarian Party for several years.[18]

Winger has made one run for public office, a 1986 campaign for Secretary of State of California on the Libertarian ballot line. As he was running for the office charged with the administration of elections, the campaign was styled as being nonpartisan, intended to represent the interests of all minor parties. Winger finished fourth among five candidates with 1.5% of the vote.[19]

About Ballot Access News:

Ballot Access News is a United States-based monthly online and print newsletter edited and published by Richard Winger of California, an expert on ballot access law in the United States.[1] Published since 1985,[1] the newsletter advocates “fair and equitable ballot access laws.”

Ballot Access News reports on state and federal court decisions,[1] compares American ballot access laws to those of other democratic nations,[2] and documents the number of votes independent and minor party candidates receive.[3][4] The newsletter also records the activities of the Coalition for Free and Open Elections, an interest group of minor party members and others working together on ballot access law reform issues.[5] Further, the newsletter occasionally notes developments on the usage of instant-runoff voting in the United States.

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