Thursday, June 21, 2012

Mitt Romney: if Gary Johnson might get your vote, I'll sue to keep him off the ballot

Which is exactly what the Romney campaign is doing in Michigan:

The Romney effort to keep Libertarian Gary Johnson, a former New Mexico governor, off the ballot is more complicated. Johnson began the year running for the Republican presidential nomination and appeared on the Michigan GOP primary ballot. He later dropped out of that race and won the Libertarian Party nod at its national convention in Las Vegas. Michigan Secretary of State Ruth Johnson, a Republican, says state law puts a time limit on when candidates can switch parties and then run for office. The Johnson campaign was informed of the decision in a letter written by state Attorney General William Schuette, Romney’s state campaign chair. The secretary of state also said candidate Johnson’s ballot application arrived in her office three minutes past the deadline.
However, in 1980 when Republican presidential candidate John Anderson ran in the general election as an independent using a newly created Michigan party—the Anderson Coalition Party—as a vehicle, that state’s officials did not interfere with his ballot listing. In addition, it is uncertain whether states can impose additional qualifications on candidates for the presidency that do not appear in the U.S. Constitution.
Elections deputy Scott Gillis in the Nevada secretary of state’s office said the Libertarian Party already has ballot status in the state and all it has to do to list Gary Johnson as its presidential nominee is file the paperwork.
Nevada Secretary of State Ross Miller is a Democrat. He does not have a position, honorary or otherwise, with the Obama campaign. He said he would decline such an invitation: “I am very cautious about political activity because I count the votes.”
He’s speaking figuratively—county officials do the actual counting—but he writes the election rules the counties must follow.
Damn that pesky Constitution.

Note what I have said previously:  in the face of adverse judges (all appointed by Democrats and Republicans), hostile public "servants" (all appointed by Democrats and Republicans), and ridiculous ballot access rules (all written by, you guessed it), we will be as imaginative as we have to be.

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