March 9, 2014
The Libertarian Party of Ohio filed a federal lawsuit on March 8, 2014 regarding the rejection of Charlie Earl as the Libertarian Party’s candidate for governor. It appears the Secretary of State Jon Husted searched and found yet another reason to keep Libertarians off the ballot by ruling that signed petitions were not valid because the petitioner neglected to fill in the name of his employer.
The action also rejected Steven Linnabury as the Libertarian Party’s candidate for Attorney General.
IPR covered this last week in this article .
Ben Swann had an opportunity to interview Mr. Earl.
Earl: “What we are asking for is the right to be able to use our first amendment rights to be able to select our own candidates”
Swann: “Are you asking for a ruling or an injunction?”
Earl: “A ruling. We already have an injunction in that legislation that you talked about. This would be a ruling tied into that injunction, ok. In other words he would rule that this is an extension of an attempt to keep us off the ballot.”
Swann: “So you’re compiling all of these things together and saying this is not an isolated incident, rather there is a pattern of behavior over the past few months to try to keep the Libertarian Party off the ballot?”
Earl: “Precisely. And as a former Republican and as a citizen of Ohio, I was born and raised here, it’s not that, its just limiting choice for the people of Ohio. Whether its Libertarian or Green or anybody else for that matter I think they should have the choice of choosing someone. Keep in mind, 50% of the voters in Ohio are unaffiliated. They don’t belong to a party because they are fed up with what these two old parties are doing to them and they would like to have an option and an opportunity to go another direction.”
So why is the Republican Party so desperate to stop Libertarians from being on the ballot? Governor Kasich has embraced a number of issues that have angered conservative and Tea Party voters across the state including a massive Medicaid expansion, lack of transparency in his public/private Jobs Ohio board and most recently, the Governor’s support of Common Core.
Meanwhile, the Libertarian Party is growing in Ohio. In the 2010 election when Kasich defeated then Governor Ted Strickland, Kasich only won by a 2% margin, 49% to 47%. At that time the Libertarians took about 2% of the vote. This time around, the Libertarian Party could take anywhere from 5% to 10% of the vote and could not only cause Kasich to lose his place in the Governor’s mansion but would harm any possible hopes for a future Presidential run.
According to Earl, “I served with John 30 years ago, he was a Senator and I was a House member. He’s a decent fellow but he’s just become a part of government. He’s embracing government, he’s having an affair with government. They are trying to protect him. They also see him as a possible Presidential contender.” says Earl. “They are hoping people will fall by the wayside and John can sneak in there but they can’t do that if he gets only 40% or 45% or 51%, they need an overwhelming victory.”
More history of the shenanigans by the state of Ohio toward third parties can be found
here and by putting “Ohio Libertarian” in the search box.