Hearing held on Ohio Libertarian governor candidate’s ballot status

Charlie Earl 

Note: The article below places a great deal of emphasis on the alleged Democratic Party involvement with the Libertarian Party of Ohio’s petitioning process. 

Libertarian governor candidate challenged 

March 4, 2014

Herald Star Online

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Lawyers sparred Tuesday over whether a Libertarian gubernatorial candidate in Ohio is qualified for the May ballot, a dispute whose outcome could affect Republican Gov. John Kasich’s re-election bid.

Libertarian Charlie Earl has the potential to draw votes from Kasich as the governor faces a likely challenge from Democrat Ed FitzGerald this fall. Kasich has faced criticism from tea party activists and other conservatives within the GOP for some of his policy decisions, including backing Medicaid expansion and drilling tax increases.

Recent polls place Kasich ahead of FitzGerald, the Cuyahoga County executive in Cleveland, but the governor’s race in this closely-divided battleground state has a chance of being tight.

Read the rest of the article here.

A tweet from the LP Ohio:

Are you now, or have you ever been, a member of the Libertarian Party? GOP lawyer asks unaffiliated voter in Earl hearing.

28 thoughts on “Hearing held on Ohio Libertarian governor candidate’s ballot status

  1. Nicholas Sarwark

    The article says the challenge was brought on behalf of Tyler King, a Libertarian voter. I assume he is not an active member of the party, but someone the Republicans found to get standing?

    It also alleges that Knedler had breakfast with his counterpart in the Democratic Party. Breakfast with the enemy?!? For shame, Kevin, for shame. 😉

    Seriously though, click through to read the barrel-scraping tactics the Republicans will go to to stop Libertarians from stealing their precious votes.

  2. Kevin Knedler

    A great breakfast for me is an egg sandwich on wheat toast–heavy on the ketsup.
    Little dish of pineapple is fine.
    And a dash of “freedom” works well.

  3. Jill Pyeatt

    How scared of us are the Republicans? What a pathetic showing on their part.

  4. Kevin Knedler

    The question is if the Libertarian Party is ready to step into PrimeTime and fill the void being created by the two old and tire parties from the 19th century.

  5. Andy

    “Jill Pyeatt March 5, 2014 at 2:22 pm
    How scared of us are the Republicans? What a pathetic showing on their part.”

    Yes, it is rather pathetic, but we should expect this from Republicans. I think that it is rather lame that the Libertarian Party of Ohio had non-libertarian apolitical mercenary petitioners and Democrat petitioners out collecting signatures for them instead of having actual Libertarians doing the job.

    I called them to inquire about working there and I was told that they did not need any help. Paul also called them separately to inquire about working there, and he was told that they did not need any help either, and Paul talked to them again and was told that they hired a petitioner who is featured in one of the videos that can be found on the link which Steve Linnabarry posted. Paul asked if this person was a Libertarian, and he was told that he was. Well, if you watch the video testimony, you see that the individual in question admitted that they had never been a member of the Libertarian Party. I have never heard of this person prior to this, but I am not aware of this person having any record as even a small “l” libertarian activist, and judging from the testimony, they are just another apolitical mercenary petitioner off of the mercenary petitioning circuit.

    I’m not saying that this person is a bad guy or a bad petitioner, the individual may be a fine person and a fine petition circulator, I don’t know them so I can’t make any comment either way. I’m just pointing out that they have never been a member of the Libertarian Party and have no record as a libertarian activist.

    So here is what galls me, and that is that it sounds to me like they did not even try to find Libertarians to do this work, and that when two Libertarians, Paul and I, contacted them separately, we were told that they did not need any help, and Paul was specifically given false information in that this individual whom they hired who is featured in one of the videos is a Libertarian, when the video testimony says otherwise.

    Now some may accuse me of having a case of sour grapes, as in that I’m just mad that I did not get hired for this job. Not true, I had just come off of two jobs, and I only had a few days off between finishing one and starting the last one, and the last one happened to be in Florida, and after the job in Florida ended, I basically vacationed in Florida for several weeks, which meant that while most of the rest of the country was experiencing bad weather, I was in nice weather in Florida.

    I would have been willing to leave Florida to go work on the LP project in Ohio, if I had gotten the go ahead. I’ve spent plenty of time in all kinds of weather, so I can handle the cold. I worked outside gathering petition signatures for the LP in North Dakota in the winter in 2012. There was one day when I went outside in Grand Forks and gathered signatures when it was -10 (as in 10 below zero) and there was freezing rain, as in tiny ice crystals were falling from the sky, which meant that the ground became slick with ice. I’ve also worked in extreme summer heat in places like Arizona and Alabama, so I can take extremes in weather.

    I would not be galled if the work had been done by other actual Libertarians besides myself and/or Paul. No Libertarian that has any actual petitioning experience that I’m aware of was even offered the work.

    So the attitude that I’m getting here is, “The heck with all of you Libertarians out there, we’d rather pay money to apolitical mercenaries and Democrats. We’d rather send apolitical mercenaries and Democrats out to talk to the public about our petitions than have actual Libertarians out there engaging with the public, so all of you Libertarians with petitioning experience out there who may be interested in the work, you all can go pound salt. Who cares if you are out of work, we’ll just put more money in the pockets of apolitical mercenaries and Democrats.”

    Now somebody might say, “Well you probably asked for too much money, and they could not afford to hire you, and the people that they hired were willing to work cheaper.” This is false, because neither Paul or I ever got far enough into any discussions in the separate calls that we made to discuss pay rates or anything like that. I don’t know how much they ended up paying out either. So money was not an issue.

    I do know that the last time they paid people to do this petitioning in Ohio that a crew of apolitical mercenaries came in and got $2 per signature, plus I believe that there was some type of override being paid out to the mercenary leader, and there may have been some expenses paid out as well. This was a few years ago. I was working on an LP project in New Mexico at the time, but given that this particular Ohio job was a short term one, and given that we had plenty of time left to finish the New Mexico job, if somebody had bothered to tell me about the Ohio job I would have gladly gone to it and would have just gone back and finished New Mexico after that.

    Somebody may say, “Well you don’t have a good work record, or, “You are not a good petitioner.” Somebody could say this, but it would be a lie. I have one of the best track records around, and more than one person has referred to me as the best Libertarian petitioner in the country. I have also petitioned for the Libertarian Party of Ohio before. I was there in 2007 and I received rave revues for my work. I also have a reputation as one of the top petitioners in the country in general, Libertarian or not. I was recently contacted to work on initiatives in a couple of states, but I turned both jobs down for various reasons, although I’m going to keep an eye on them as I may change my mind later as situations change.

    This is NOT just about me, I would not have been galled if they had any actual Libertarians there doing the work, and considering that this was a small job (each candidate needed like 500 valid signatures) and Ohio is a high population state with one of the larger state LP’s, plus there were several Libertarians with pro petitioning experience whom they could have called in and who were in the eastern US, some even in neighboring states, there is no reason that 100% of the job could not have been done by actual Libertarians. It is my finding out after the fact that the work was done by apolitical mercenaries and Democrats that ticks me off, especially considering that Paul was told that the individual that they hired who is in the videos was a Libertarian, when the video testimony says that this person has never been a member of the Libertarian Party.

    Why have Libertarians doing this type of work? Why not just have it all done by apolitical mercenaries, or Democrats or Republicans or whoever?

    Here are the reasons why:

    1) Libertarians tend to do a better job. History has proven that Libertarians get higher validity rates on average on Libertarian petitions than non-libertarians do.

    2) Libertarians do a better job of disseminating a Libertarian message to the public. Non-libertarians do as little as possible to do the job, which means they will seldom disseminate any kind of libertarian message, if ever, or do anything at all to build the party beyond doing the bare minimum to get paid for whatever it is they are doing, and in some cases, non-libertarians will actually flat out misrepresent what the petition is for and what the party is about if they think that it will help them get more signatures (Non-libertarians have been caught in the field pitching Libertarian Party ballot access petitions as, “Sign the petition to Increase the Minimum Wage!” or “Sign the petition to Keep Jobs in America!” as well as other lines of BS, and most of the time they do not get caught, and even when they do get caught nobody in the LP usually does anything about it), and in some cases, non-libertarians will even go so far as to pad their numbers by purposefully collecting invalid signatures (as in they will just have anyone sign the petition and not screen out people’s name who will not count, as in not screening out people who are not old enough to vote or not American citizens or not from the state where they are petitioning or who just say they are not registered to vote) with the hope that nobody will catch them and they will get paid more money, and much of the time, they have been right, in that they have not gotten caught, or they got caught and nobody did anything about it, and they got away with more money.

    3) Reward Libertarians for being Libertarian activist. The current set of incentives in the LP actually rewards non-libertarian mercenaries and screws over Libertarians. How? Non-libertarian mercenaries have no qualms about working on anything that will put money in their pockets. Joe Arpaio is hiring blockers in Arizona to interfere with people signing the petition to recall him from office. They’ll go work as blockers for Joe Arpaio. Top Two Primary hiring petitioners in Arizona or some other state, which if it passes will basically remove Libertarians from the general election ballots. They’ll go work on it. A new Gun Control Law initiative petition is hiring in Washington. They’ll go work on it. There’s a petition in Washington – one of the few states that does not have a state income tax – to start a State Income Tax. They’ll go work on it. Think of the dirtiest, most anti-libertarian campaign you can dream up, and most of these non-libertarian mercenaries will have no qualms about working on it. Some of the sleaziest among them will even brag about lying to get people to sign petitions, and about how much money they made because of it, I’m not saying that they all do this, just the scummiest ones. Libertarians want to work on Libertarian or small “l” libertarian projects, or at the very least, libertarian leaning projects, or things where they are at least neutral. Libertarians do not want to work on the crappy anti-libertarian stuff. Leave the crappy anti-libertarian stuff to the apolitical mercenaries and the Democrats and the Republicans, and leave the Libertarian stuff for the Libertarians. Why reward people for being non-libertarian mercenaries? Why not reward the actual Libertarian activists out there, at least whenever possible?

  6. Steven R Linnabary

    Andy-

    I had volunteers around the state getting signatures, as all five candidates did. In mid-September I had nearly 500 signatures and I wanted another 500 to have a cushion. At that time, out-of-state petitioners were illegal (that law was over turned in Nov), so I sought someone from Ohio and Oscar came through @ $1/ signature. Later I found volunteers had excessively over estimated the signatures they had on hand so the LPO hired Oscar to get another 200 for me (at $2/ sig). It was important to me that I file BEFORE SB193 took effect so that the LPO would have standing to continue our Federal case. Oscar was used to get Charlie and the rest on the ballot.
    The LPO also sought help from our friends at Freedom to Marry since we had been helping then the past 2 years with their petitioning. They spent $12k and got 6 petitioners and got a total of 12 signatures! One of the paid petitioners from SS turned in ONE signature. We did find out one of those petitioners considers himself libertarian and will be at this weekends LPO convention!
    I am satisfied with the work Oscar did for us and will recommend him to others even if he is only a mercenary.
    Another thing to remember is that Oscar was available to be subpoena’d. This would have happened regardless of who petitioned for us, republicans are out for blood!

    PEACE

  7. Kevin Knedler

    Bingo Stevo ! The GOP would have protested us no MATTER what we did. Gerrymandering, ballot access laws that restrict freedom, protesting candidates. That is their M.O. And we had a very limited budget after fighting the GOP over the past few years. Relentless, passionate persistence is the only reason we are still standing.
    It could be coming to a neighborhood near YOU soon. Can you imagine a retailer doing this in business?

  8. Mark Axinn

    Steve–

    Volunteers always grossly overestimate.

    I hope to address that and other petition-management issues at the LSLA Conference on the Thursday before LP Convention in Ohio. I think Kevin and you know where it will be held.

    I too am restricted to using petitioners registered to vote in my state, but that has never been a problem for me. There are 19,000,000 New Yorkers.

    Just make sure you ask many people as often as possible and line everything up so you can start on Day 1 (not Day 100 like Pennsylvania 2012).

  9. paulie

    This would have happened regardless of who petitioned for us, republicans are out for blood!

    I was familiar with the “employer” thing since I petitioned in Ohio before.

  10. paulie

    The GOP would have protested us no MATTER what we did. Gerrymandering, ballot access laws that restrict freedom, protesting candidates. That is their M.O. And we had a very limited budget after fighting the GOP over the past few years.

    All true. But I do believe I would have beat them.

  11. paulie

    As for budget, I don’t think we really ever negotiated, but 100% is wasted if you end up being kicked off.

    Good luck with the appeal though, and I say that sincerely.

  12. Andy

    “Steven R Linnabary March 5, 2014 at 5:25 pm
    Andy-

    I had volunteers around the state getting signatures, as all five candidates did. In mid-September I had nearly 500 signatures and I wanted another 500 to have a cushion. At that time, out-of-state petitioners were illegal (that law was over turned in Nov),”

    The petition deadline was not until sometime in February, and I made the call inquiring about work in January. I know that Paul had called before then, and he also had called again after I called.

    “so I sought someone from Ohio and Oscar came through @ $1/ signature. Later I found volunteers had excessively over estimated the signatures they had on hand so the LPO hired Oscar to get another 200 for me (at $2/ sig).”

    Volunteers typically do this, which is one reason why it is unwise to rely on volunteers.

    “It was important to me that I file BEFORE SB193 took effect so that the LPO would have standing to continue our Federal case. Oscar was used to get Charlie and the rest on the ballot.
    The LPO also sought help from our friends at Freedom to Marry since we had been helping then the past 2 years with their petitioning. They spent $12k and got 6 petitioners and got a total of 12 signatures! One of the paid petitioners from SS turned in ONE signature. We did find out one of those petitioners considers himself libertarian and will be at this weekends LPO convention!”

    So are you saying that this Freedom to Marry group spent $12,000 and had 6 petition circulators, but only gathered 12 signatures? I really hope that that $12,000 was not Libertarian Party donor money.

    Regardless, this is yet another example of why Libertarians should not rely on non-Libertarians for ballot access.

    I’m glad to read that one of the people from the Freedom to Marry group considers themselves to be a libertarian, and plans to attend the LP of Ohio convention, but this is not the person whom Paul inquired about when he asked if the paid petitioner in question was a Libertarian. The paid petitioner in question was specifically mentioned as the same one who is in the video for which you posted the link, as in Paul asked if he was a Libertarian, and Paul was told that he was, and this has obviously turned out to not be the truth.

    “I am satisfied with the work Oscar did for us and will recommend him to others even if he is only a mercenary.”

    I’m not saying that he did a bad job, and I’m not saying that he’s not a good petition circulator. I don’t know the guy. He may be a fine fellow, and he may have done a fine job, I hope that he is and I hope that he did.

    My point was not so much about the merits or demerits of this individual, but rather to point out yet another example of Libertarians hiring non-Libertarians to do work (which in this case involves communicating in person with the public), even when there were Libertarians available to do the job, and also to point out that Paul was given blatantly false information when he inquired as to if the individual in question was a Libertarian.

    “Another thing to remember is that Oscar was available to be subpoena’d. This would have happened regardless of who petitioned for us, republicans are out for blood!”

    There are Libertarians who easily could have been available if subpoena’d. I would have been available, as if I had done the job in Ohio I likely would have gone to Pennsylvania when it was over. I could have easily come back to Ohio from Pennsylvania.

    Also, I happen to know that there are experienced Libertarian petitioners in at least two other states that border Ohio that could have easily come back to Ohio if subpoena’d.

  13. Steven R Linnabary

    So are you saying that this Freedom to Marry group spent $12,000 and had 6 petition circulators, but only gathered 12 signatures? I really hope that that $12,000 was not Libertarian Party donor money.

    No, that money came from a $800k grant from the democrat party for Freedom to Marry petitioning & campaigning.

    But it also gave republicans a soundbite that Libertarians are funded through the democrat party.

    PEACE

  14. Andy

    “I too am restricted to using petitioners registered to vote in my state, but that has never been a problem for me. There are 19,000,000 New Yorkers.”

    I know for a fact that out-of-staters come in and work on EVERY petition drive that happens in New York. Sometimes they register to vote at somebody’s house who lives there, other times they have somebody else sign off their declarations, but let’s not delude ourselves and everyone else by having them think that all New York petitions are really 100% circulated by people who really reside in New York all year. This is bunk.

  15. Andy

    “paulie March 8, 2014 at 11:00 am
    Shhhhhhh 🙂 ”

    Putting out the false notion that every petition in New York is really 100% circulated by people who really live in New York plays into the entire idiotic and unconstitutional out-of-state petitioner bans. I KNOW damn well that pretty much every time there is a petition drive in New York that there are out-of-state petition circulators there, and I’m talking for all of the parties and independents. Petition circulators either register to vote at somebody’s house who lives in New York, or they get other people to sign off on the declarations.

    For that matter, I’ve never heard of a state that has an out-of-state petitioner ban where it is really followed. It is an extreme rarity to have any petition drive any where in the country qualify for the ballot without the use of out-of-state or out-of-town/county/district (if you are doing a local petition) petition circulators.

    I can’t think of one petition drive that I’ve worked on any where in the country that did not use out-of-state petition circulators, and I’ve worked in 32 states plus DC.

  16. Andy

    “Steven R Linnabary March 8, 2014 at 10:55 am
    ‘So are you saying that this Freedom to Marry group spent $12,000 and had 6 petition circulators, but only gathered 12 signatures? I really hope that that $12,000 was not Libertarian Party donor money.’

    No, that money came from a $800k grant from the democrat party for Freedom to Marry petitioning & campaigning. ”

    Are you saying that $12,000 from the Freedom to Marry campaign was spent on paying petitioners who were working on that campaign to gather petition signatures for the Libertarian Party? If so, how is it that they only gathered 12 signatures?

    “But it also gave republicans a soundbite that Libertarians are funded through the democrat party.”

    This is yet another reason why the Libertarian Party should handle its own ballot access. If you need to hire petitioners, then hire from within the Libertarian Party and movement. Supplement this with Libertarians collecting volunteer signatures. Only hire out to mercenaries if you have tried hire Libertarians, and could not find any, or could not find enough to get the job done on time. Never relying on Democrats or Republicans to get on the ballot.

  17. paulie

    Are you saying that $12,000 from the Freedom to Marry campaign was spent on paying petitioners who were working on that campaign to gather petition signatures for the Libertarian Party? If so, how is it that they only gathered 12 signatures?

    Sounds crazy.

  18. Andy

    “paulie March 9, 2014 at 8:39 am

    ‘Are you saying that $12,000 from the Freedom to Marry campaign was spent on paying petitioners who were working on that campaign to gather petition signatures for the Libertarian Party? If so, how is it that they only gathered 12 signatures?’

    Sounds crazy.”

    This comes out to a rate of $1,000 per petition signature. Where can I get a petitioning gig like that?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *