Monday, December 20, 2004

Badnarik Feels the Libertarian Squeeze

No one is safe.

The decision by 2004 Libertarian presidential candidate Michael Badnarik to play a leading role in the Ohio presidential recount is causing a bubbling controversy within the Libertarian Party itself as many members ask why Badnarik embarked on a venture that will cost taxpayers money without changing the outcome of the election.

Once again, the bogus "tax payer cost" line. Let's see, we're giving up millions to private companies, loyal to the Bush administration(who have been fined for VOTING SECURITY), to count our votes. Who cares who wins, who cares who votes, why even vote? We can just let the machines do it for us! Cuckooo-Cuckoo

Both supporters and opponents of the suit agree that Libertarians have good reason to be suspicious of Ohio election officials. In November 2003, Republican Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell used a technicality to throw out more than 60,000 ballot access petition signatures collected by the Ohio LP, a ruling that left Libertarians stunned and angry.

Specifically, Blackwell said the petition forms were illegal because a space had been added for signers to put their last names, and because a sentence about the legal penalty for falsification was slightly different from the state's mandatory language.

Ohio Libertarians point out that Republican Party officials have made a concerted effort to keep Libertarians off the ballot to protect GOP candidates, and note that Blackwell also chaired the Bush-Cheney campaign in Ohio. The state LP had spent two years and about $50,000 collecting the signatures, which would have let all candidates appear on the ballot with a partisan label, including Badnarik. As a result, Badnarik had to appear on the Ohio ballot as an "other party" candidate.

At the time, Ballot Access News publisher Richard Winger said the decision proves that Ohio officials are "hostile" to third parties.

"Ohio's action in disqualifying a petition with over 60,000 names, just because the format and wording are slightly different from the approved form is unheard of in other states," he said.

Barbara Goushaw-Collins, co-director of the Badnarik campaign, says the track record of Ohio elections officials, combined with the voting irregularities reported after the election, is sufficient to justify a recount.

"The major complaint is that we're doing this because we don't like Republicans -- which is flat-out silly," she said. "Our job as Libertarians is to challenge government power. This is a state where they arbitrarily pitched tens of thousands of our petitions, and we're the only ones trying to keep the system honest.

"This recount action is perfectly consistent with who we are and what we do. If not us, who? If not now, when?"


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