“Things gained through unjust fraud are never secure.”
UPDATED 9:20 PM: The appeal has failed. Polk county district judge Arthur Gamble ruled to allow Johnson on the ballot.
An appeal has been filed by the Romney supporters who attempted to remove Gary Johnson from the Iowa ballot. According to KCRG, Joan Scotter of Marion, who is a member of the Iowa Real Estate Appraiser Examining Board, filed documents on Thursday to intervene on the side of the challengers.
Michael Morley, a Washington attorney, is representing the challengers. He claims that the state panel erroneously interpreted state law, and that their decision is unsupported by evidence and unreasonable. Morley has asked that the court review the decision.
Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey Thompson, representing the panel of state officials, said Morley and the group of challengers are asking the court to accept their interpretation of what a caucus or convention means. He believes that the Legislature should be the one to make that decision.
The matter comes before a district court judge today. I will try to keep you updated with any information as it comes my way.
Here is the original story:
Last week, Iowa voters Gloria Mazza of Clive and Dean Montgomery of Urbandale challenged Johnson’s right to be on the Iowa ballot. They, along with witness Jay Kramer, claimed that the Libertarian Party of Iowa held a fake convention and that they did not have delegates.
Kramer, who is the Election Day operations manager for the Mitt Romney campaign in Iowa, claimed that he only saw one person walking around in a Gary Johnson t-shirt at the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines, where the Libertarian convention was held. He says that the Libertarians had people walking around and asking people to sign up as delegates, rather than holding a convention.
Many Ron Paul supporters in Iowa have considered the Libertarian ticket, and that has the Romney campaign very nervous. After the treatment they received at the hands of the Republican National Committee, many are not sure who to vote for in November. In order to block a possible upset, the Romney people tried to remove Johnson completely.
It is believed that Johnson, who is a former Republican, would take votes away from Mitt Romney. Third party candidates are sometimes viewed as “spoilers” in swing states, and could allow Obama to carry Iowa, rather than the Republican candidate.
“This was clearly a setup,” said Alicia Dearn, attorney for the Johnson campaign. ““The Libertarian Party had 2,000 petition signatures and should have been on the ballot without challenge, as they have always done in the past,” said Dearn. “But Republican Iowa Secretary of State Schultz — in violation of longstanding Iowa law — rejected the petition and required the Johnson campaign to caucus at the state fair. There, the Romney campaign watched the Johnson campaign’s activities for the sole purpose of bringing this eleventh-hour challenge.”
The challenge claimed that the signatures should be thrown out, because the signers weren’t registered Libertarians. Iowa has a pristine record for allowing third-party candidates on the ballot.
The Romney campaign hired a Des Moines-based law firm to argue the challenge before the panel, confirming the suspicion that the campaign was behind the attempt at ousting Johnson.
Iowa Republican Secretary of State Matt Schultz, Democratic Attorney General Tom Miller, and Warren Jenkins, the chief deputy for Republican Auditor David Vaudt, met on Wednesday and voted unanimously to allow Johnson to be on Iowa’s ballot.
Miller and Jenkins were at first reluctant, but the three men agreed that Iowa’s law on holding conventions to get on the ballot is very vague. Therefore, they chose to err on the side of open ballot access.
“We try to give the benefit of the doubt to those people being challenged,” said Schultz.
After the decision, Dearn commended Schultz for putting his duty to the voters in Iowa above partisan politics.
“The people of the United States and democracy are best served when we have as much open choice as possible,” said Dearn. “That’s what a free election is about.”
Mitt Romney lost to Rick Santorum at the Iowa caucuses in January, and only narrowly beat out Congressman Ron Paul of Texas. Iowa’s Republican delegates gave Paul 23 of 28 votes at the Republican National Convention.
Will Iowa swing for Romney? Or will his actions in the election cycle, including fraud and delegate stealing, put voters on the path to a third-party? Or, will Iowa be the state that sends a message to the GOP with Ron Paul as a write-in vote?
“It is the nature of ambition to make men liars and cheats, to hide the truth in their breasts, and show, like jugglers, another thing in their mouths.”
Source: Associated Press