Another Ohio Libertarian Knocked Off the Ballot

courtesy of Steve Linnabarycourtesy of Steve LinnabaryThe Supreme Court of Ohio yesterday upheld a ruling to keep the state's Libertarian Party (LPO) candidate for attorney general off the ballot.

Secretary of State Jon Husted, a Republican, shot down Libertarian Steve Linnabary's bid last month on a technicality. He determined that because the LPO's hired signature-gatherer did not list the party as his employer, the petition to get on the ballot was invalid.

Linnabary went to court. The Columbus Dispatch reports on the unanimous decision against him:

The justices ruled that Husted's interpretation of state law was "reasonable" in rejecting Linnabary's argument that one of his circulators was an independent contractor, rather than an employee, and not required to list an employer.

The court also found no substance to other issues raised by Linnabary, a Columbus resident, including claims that the First Amendment free-speech and due-process rights were violated.

"We are disappointed. This is the first time that qualified candidates were cut off at the threshold because their circulators did not disclose their employment. This deprives Ohio voters of choice, and this is neither right nor fair," said Mark G. Kafantaris, a Columbus lawyer representing Linnabary.

The disqualified candidate indicated that he may take his case to a federal appeals court.

This isn't the first case of its kind. Last month, Libertarians accused the GOP of some shady business to get the LPO's gubernatorial candidate booted from the ballot. Although a district court upheld the decision by Husted to ban the Libertarian, the court did acknowledge that the Republicans deliberately targeted the third-party opponent.

The LPO is small, but the party can still have real repercussions on Ohio elections. Current Attorney General Mike DeWine, a Republican, is running for reelection. The GOP likely doesn't want any extra competition in November, since DeWine eked out a win for the the position in 2010 with only 47.5 percent of the vote. His Democratic competitor fell 1.5 percent behind. The Libertarian candidate captured 2.8 percent of the vote.

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  • AlmightyJB||

    Mike DeWine is the worst kind of statist asshole. I can't stand him.

  • Paul.||

    This is why we need publicly financed elections. Then the government would choose the valid candidates, like they do in Iran.

  • Adam330||

    Tony actually suggested yesterday that public financing would help third party candidates.

  • prolefeed||

    Of course it would. Incumbent R and D legislators stealing money from citizens via taxation and writing laws to dole it out to preferred candidates such as themselves who can jump through the barriers they chose to install would obviously help third party candidates.

  • PD Scott||

    I don't understand why it matters who is collecting the signatures. Oh, I understand it's to keep the hoi polloi from interfering in the political process, I just don't understand what the cover story for the law is supposed to be.

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

  • sarcasmic||

    My wife loves the Venetian Snares.

  • Brett L||

    Really, we just need to have that Smut Peddlers clip in the H&R wiki. Or maybe just a command in reasonable that adds it to every thread about the government fucking people over.

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    I mean, NSFW.

  • sarcasmic||

    And a good thing too! Those pesky Libertarians steal votes from Republicans! Republicans own those votes! They are theirs! They belong to Republicans! Thieves! Libertarianses! We hates them forever!

    /Ann Coulter

  • Curtisls87||

    Her voice does sort of remind me of Gollum!

  • sarcasmic||

    She sounds like a yodeler with an ear infection.

  • Anomalous||

    Put her voice through Autotune.

  • Ted S.||

    Is John still butthurt in the belief that Sarvis took votes away from Cucinelli?

  • flye||

    Breyer has already told us that political speech is not really an individual right, but only exists to further good government.

    So it's not a stretch to say that all of these "fringe" candidates are just clogging up the otherwise smooth functioning of our political system, and should be banned to prevent confusion and ensure that the two (and only two) sides are expressed and debated.

  • Paul.||

    NPR does keep running human interest stories about how too much choice hobbles us!

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    Has it occurred to the Repugnicans that there's a reason these ballot-access fights tend to focus on Libertarians? Because other third-parties have less aggressive ballot-access efforts. If the Reps weren't the stupid party, they'd loosen ballot-access rules and then finance some Green and Socialist Party candidates to "steal" votes from Dems, balancing out the LP "stealing" the Rep votes.

    But they can't see what's not in front of their nose.

  • Adam330||

    Looks they're doing just fine with the current strategy of banning the LP from the ballot through sneaky technicalities.

  • creech||

    One wonders if the major party nominating petitions could withstand the same level of scrutiny? A precedent has apparently been set with this decision so Libertarians should use it to confound their enemies.

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    They tried that in Texas when one of the major parties (I forget which) missed a filing deadline. The state Supreme Court ruled for the major party without explanation.

  • croaker||

    And that should have told everyone just how "fair" the election process is.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    If Steve Linnabary were a "serious" candidate with "serious" ideas about "serious" issues, he would have run as a member of a TEAM.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    The Democratic Will of the People is too important to be put to the test by allowing third party candidates on the ballot. It's a cheap trick, designed to belittle the legitimate candidates and confuse the voters.

  • ||

    DeWine eked out a win for the the position in 2010 with only 47.5 percent of the vote. His Democratic competitor fell 1.5 percent behind. The Libertarian candidate captured 2.8 percent of the vote.

    Gee i wonder who that 2.8% is not going to vote for in 2014.

  • Dave Krueger||

    This is hysterical. We're constantly hearing about how there's a libertarian streak running through the republican party and Fox News has repeatedly tried to entice libertarians into the republican fold by providing them a voice in the form of shows like Freedom Watch, Stossel, and The Independents. But, when push comes to shove, they think nothing of using their corrupt control over the election process to crush any real libertarian competition.

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