Steve G.

Posts Tagged ‘West Virginia’

Barr loses West Virginia ballot access lawsuit

In Activism, Courts and Justice System, Law, Libertarian Party-US, Libertarian Politics, Libertarian Politics 2008, Politics, Presidential Candidates, Wayne Allen Root on September 6, 2008 at 2:22 pm

The Honorable John T. Copenhaver Jr., judge in the United States District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia (Charleston) has ruled against LP presidential nominee Bob Barr with regard to the ballot access lawsuit.  Barr needed to collect and submit 15,118 signatures by August 1, 2008, but only submitted 13,171 signatures by that date.  The signature requirement is based upon 2% of votes cast in the 2004 general election.

Barr’s claim is that the petition requirements are unduly burdensome, and thus violated the First and Fourteenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution.  The campaign submitted 1,097 signatures on July 24th, and 1,866 signatures on July 31st (72.09% validity).  The campaign additionally submitted 10,208 signatures on August 1st, and 10,652 signatures on August 20th; however, since it was clear that the campaign had not met the requirement by August 1st, the August signatures were not submitted to county clerks for validation.

In its decision, the court ruled that the signature and date requirements are not unduly burdensome upon candidates, as multiple candidates have met the requirements, including the LP.  In 2008, it has been met by one third party for its presidential candidate (Constitution Party), and one independent presidential candidate (Ralph Nader).  Further, the court ruled that it would be unduly burdensome upon the elections office to expand the date by which signatures must be permitted, due to restrictions upon their time in light of their other duties, including the requirement that absentee ballots be mailed not less than 42 days prior to the general election, or in this case, by September 23rd.  Once the signatures are submitted, they must be validated by county clerks by comparing signatures on the petitions to signatures in their voter database, which is in itself a time-consuming process.

In ruling against Barr the court noted that, had the campaign started collecting signatures only two to three weeks earlier, the criteria would have been met, and also noted that the LP could have started collecting signatures at any time, since there are no time restrictions for ballot access petitions in that state.  Bill Redpath (LNC Chair) testified that it was a strategic decision to put off collecting signatures in West Virginia.  The court however noted that the Libertarian Party was well aware of the requirements, since the date requirement has been in existence since 1986, and the signature requirement has been existence since 1999; and that the LP simply chose not to collect signatures during a time frame which would result in a successful ballot petition process.  The court also noted that the LP started collecting signatures in a nearby state (North Carolina) in 2004, but didn’t start collecting signatures in West Virginia until 17 to 19 days prior to the deadline for petition submission.

Redpath also testified that the rural nature of the state impedes petition efforts, but the court disagreed, noting that there is no reason why petitioners cannot simply gather signatures in the 11 most populous counties, each of which has a major city, and which together comprise 50% of the state’s total population of 1.8 million.

The Court additionally noted that the pool of potential petition signers is unlimited in West Virginia, as anyone registered to vote can sign a petition, petitions can be circulated at any time, voters can sign as many petitions as they wish, and voters are not bound to the candidate whose petition they have signed.  Also, the court noted that the petition process itself is not unduly complicated, in that petitioners need not be West Virginia residents, and there is no notarization requirement.  Multiple third-party and independent candidates have met the requirements in 2000, 2004, and 2008; and the LP met the requirement in the last general election in 2004.

The court ruled that the failure of Barr/Root to be placed on the ballot for November was caused by their own lack of reasonable diligence, and not by the West Virginia state petition requirements.

The LP paid nothing for WV ballot access, as the entire cost was borne by the Barr campaign according to the Court’s decision.  It is unknown whether the LP paid for the failed lawsuit.

The 34-page decision has been uploaded to LFV, and readers are encouraged to read the decision for themselves as it sets forth quite clearly what went wrong in West Virginia.  The decision, in PDF format, can be seen and downloaded here: decision-in-barr-v-ireland-wv-ballot-access

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Barr misses Maine deadline

In Libertarian, Libertarian Party-US, Libertarian Politics, Politics on August 12, 2008 at 11:17 am

Also posted at Independent Political Report

Hot on the heels of the failure in West Virginia (additional discussion at Ballot Access News and Last Free Voice), Ballot Access News reports:

On the deadline date of August 8, Bob Barr submitted a total of 3,200 signatures to various town and city clerks in Maine. State law requires 4,000 valid signatures to get on the ballot.

Over the weekend, petitioners obtained another 2,000 signatures, which they had hoped to turn in to the clerks on Monday. The signatures are not due at the Secretary of State’s office until Aug. 15. If the local clerks choose to take the late signatures, Barr could still qualify, since the additional signatures would potentially give him 5,200 total.

If the officials fail to accept and certify the late signatures, LP officials plan to go to court.

Maine joins Oklahoma, Massachusetts and West Virginia among states which the Barr campaign is suing to be on the ballot. The Barr campaign also raced to the deadline in Connecticut, as well as in New Hampshire, where the LP failed to qualify in 2004 and 2006 and where George Phillies will be on the ballot either alongside or instead of Bob Barr as a Libertarian Presidential candidate. The results of the last-minute pushes in Connecticut and New Hampshire are forthcoming.

Another possible concern for the campaign is the District of Columbia, which pre-nomination LP ballot access plans had written off (along with West Virginia and Oklahoma). According to the chart at Ballot Access News, with a week left to go, DC reports only 300 signatures gathered for Barr. Although the District requires only 3,883 valid signatures, petitioning in the district is made more difficult than in other places because non-DC residents make up a substantial portion of the DC workforce and nightlife, and because of the high prevalence of tourists, people who are disqualified (or believe they are disqualified) from voting by reason of a criminal record, and those who are not (or believe they are not) allowed to sign petitions because of their government job.

The LP has been on the ballot in 48 states or more plus DC in every election since 1992.

Barr disqualified for West Virginia ballot

In Courts and Justice System, Law, Libertarian, Libertarian Party-US, Libertarian Politics, People in the news, Politics, Presidential Candidates on August 9, 2008 at 2:15 pm

From the Charleston Gazette:

Libertarian Party nominee Bob Barr, a former Georgia congressman, failed to submit enough signatures to be considered for a ballot spot, said Sarah Bailey, spokeswoman for Secretary of State Betty Ireland.

Under West Virginia law, third-party candidates for president must submit by Aug. 1 the valid signatures of 15,118 registered state voters who have signed a petition requesting the candidate be placed on the ballot. Barr’s campaign submitted only 13,036 signatures, Bailey said.

“I understand they are still collecting signatures,” Bailey said.

Barr’s campaign is continuing, said Mike Ferguson, a campaign coordinator. He hopes to have more than the 15,118 by next week.

“We’re continuing to collect signatures and next week we’re going to be filing [in court] for an injunction,” Ferguson said.

The party objects to the “arbitrary date” established by state law for having petition drives completed, he said. He said Republicans don’t have to officially file until their convention ends in September, “so there’s no compelling reason” to have independents submit signatures sooner.

Ferguson said he will meet with a lawyer Monday and expects to file a legal suit challenging state law shortly thereafter.

Read the entire article by clicking here.

West Virginia Libertarian petition reportedly fails

In Green Party, Libertarian, Libertarian Party-US, Libertarian Politics, Politics on August 1, 2008 at 2:28 am

According to a field report by one of the Libertarian petitioners on the ground in West Virginia, as of tonight’s final turn-in of signatures by petitioners to the campaign, the LP gathered only around 12,000 raw signatures, falling short of the 15,118 required by state law. While additional signatures would be required to survive a challenge, the bare minimum required by law would have been enough if there was no challenge.

Richard Winger reports in Ballot Access News, “No other state is like Illinois, where even a petition with a number of signatures below the legal minimum is sufficient if no one challenges”.

If this field report is accurate, it would mean that Bob Barr can be on the ballot in at most 48 states, unless he wins his lawsuit in Oklahoma.

The Nader and Constitution Party petitions appear to have enough signatures, and the Green Party is on the ballot through its affiliate, the Mountain Party.

In another post at BAN, Richard Winger writes:

West Virginia and North Carolina are tied for having the nation’s second-highest presidential petition requirements (each requires a petition of 2% of the last vote in a presidential election year). Only Oklahoma is worse, at 3% of the last presidential vote.

Both the Libertarian and Constitution Parties are making a massive effort to finish their West Virginia petitions, which are due August 1. This newspaper story about the Libertarian petition says 40 to 50 circulators are working in the state. The story doesn’t feature the Constitution Party, but it also has many circulators in the state this week.

West Virginia was one of 4 states in which Ron Paul didn’t get on the ballot in 1988, when he was the Libertarian nominee. The Constitution Party has never been on the West Virginia ballot for president, but the party has more organizational strength now than it has ever had. In 2000, its presidential nominee, Howard Phillips, was only credited with 23 write-ins in West Virginia, but its 2004 presidential candidate, Michael Peroutka, was credited with 82 write-ins in West Virginia.

Nader did his West Virginia 2008 petition earlier in the year, collecting 30,000 signatures, double the requirement. The Green Party’s affiliate in West Virginia, the Mountain Party, has been ballot-qualified starting in 2000.

Is the VA prescribing a fatal cocktail to returning soldiers?

In Children, Department of Veterans Affairs, Health, Iraq War, Media, Military, Obituaries, War on March 15, 2008 at 3:45 am

I found this very disturbing local story while looking for updates on the cop who hit and killed a pedestrian, dragged his body under the police cruiser for over half a mile, then claimed he didn’t know he had hit anyone.Soldiers dying in their sleepApparently a lot of young soldiers are making it through the war, and coming home only to die in their sleep unexpectedly. Even more strangely, this has happened three times within a three-week period, to three families in West Virginia who live within an hour of one another.

Is the Veterans Administration giving returning soldiers a fatal cocktail of medication for post-traumatic stress disorder? It certainly seems that way, since all three of these young men were taking the same drug cocktail. Healthy young men don’t just die in their sleep. Something stopped their respiration while they were sleeping, and I’d guess it was the drugs they were prescribed combined with their disturbed sleep patterns.

I haven’t heard anything about this in the national media. Is this a national epidemic? It’s possible that it is, and journalists just haven’t put the pieces together to realize that.

Clearly, anyone reading this who is taking that combination of drugs (or knows someone else who is taking it) needs to contact their doctor immediately.

“He would normally stay up watching TV at night because it was hard for him to sleep and I went ahead and went to bed. The next morning when I got up, I found him on the couch, he was in the same position he was in when he went to sleep and he was already gone,” Layne said.

A soldier from Kanawha City, Eric Layne left behind an 18-month old son and a baby girl on the way.

Meanwhile, Logan County resident Cheryl Endicott’s son Nicholas died January 29th while being treated at a military hospital in Bethesda.

He too reportedly went to bed and never woke up.

“They told me that at 10:55, they entered his room, he was non-responsive, had no pulse so they deceased him right then and there,” said Endicott.

Finally, on February 12th Stan and Shirley White lost their son Andrew, another Kanawha County service member who stopped breathing in his sleep. For the Whites, it was the second son they said goodbye too. Robert White died while serving in Afghanistan.

“You’re always expecting and fearing when your children are at war that they’re not going to make it back. They don’t come back and lie in their bed, go to sleep and die. That doesn’t happen. That’s not supposed to happen,” Stan White said.

Each family heard about the others’ tragedies and eventually compared stories.

All three men were in their 20s, served in Iraq and died in their sleep within a three-week period, but that’s only the beginning of the similarities.

Each military man was being treated for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and had started exhibiting the same strange behavior and symptoms.

“Excessive weight gain, anger management disturbed sleep patterns, tremors,” White said.

The young men were each taking a number of prescription drugs before they died, but the combination they all had in common includes Paxil, Klonopin and Seroquel.

You can read the rest of this extremely disturbing article here.

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Originally posted on Adventures In Frickintardistan