Wednesday, August 23, 2006

As Predicted, Greens Win Ballot Access Case

As we predicted from the day the suit was filed, the Green Party of Arkansas has won its ballot access case against the State of Arkansas.

The question at issue was the Constitutionality of forcing people who want statewide ballot access for a new party to obtain a much higher number of voter petition signatures than statewide ballot access for someone running as an independent.

Judge Howard, as he had more than once since 1996, ruled that this was a violation of the first and 14th amendment rights of the plantiffs, and ordered the state to pay all court costs. We will have to wait for the exact wording of the judge's ruling, but my guess is he will not have kind words for state leaders who have been dragging their heels on complying with prior federal court rulings for over a decade.

With the exception of Senator Jim Holt, who saw this coming and tried to pass a bill that would have equalized ballot access as the federal judge is now ordering us to do, our legislators have done us a disservice. Apparently, our legislators think that when a state court tells them they have to raise our taxes and throw a lot more money at the schools (in some cases to shut them down!) then they have "no choice" but to comply with the courts. Yet somehow when a Federal Court tells them they have to give new political parties equal access to the ballot, they find a way to get stubborn and resist for a decade. The one thing they are willing to defy the courts about is keeping competition for their jobs off the ballot!

The ball is now in the court of the losers in this case, Secretary of State Charlie Daniels and Attorney General Mike Beebe. Beebe especially wants to keep the Green candidate for Governor, former state Rep. Jim Lendall, off the ballot. The SOS's attorney, Brian Brooks, told the judge they were likely to appeal if he ruled against them. He also said that if the ballot was not finalized in 25 days then it would be too late for overseas military personnel to get their ballots processed.

An appeal would likely mean the disenfranchisment of Arkansan's who are serving overseas in the military. We must raise every kind of protest we can to prevent the state from appealing that decision. The votes of our overseas military members must not be held hostage to the political needs of Mike Beebe and Charlie Daniels. Jim LaGrone, this is why you got in the Secretary of State's race- let's hear from you.

3 Comments:

Blogger Mark Moore (Moderator) said...

Did I mention this was good news for Asa Hutchinson? Forget the Oakleaf-Fox 16 poll, it is garbage. The race is razor close and now Lendall has a court victory, ballot access, and momentum. He is a credible candidate TO THE FAR LEFT.

No only will he get some voters who otherwise would have held their nose and voted for Beebe, but more importantly he will keep Beebe from misrepresenting himself as a conseravtive. Every time he tries it, Lendall will blast him for it- and get votes over it. But if Beebe fails to pretend to move right, Hutchinson will skewer him among rural conservative swing voters. Beebe is hemmed in.

Karnak is close to making another prediction, a prediction that Asa Hutchinson is going to be your next Governor.

11:36 AM, August 23, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is a step in the right direction toward restoring equal ballot access, but we've still got a long way to go...

12:58 PM, August 23, 2006  
Anonymous 1moore thing said...

Judge Howard only did one thing wrong- he sent the bill to the state when he should have sent it to the folks that Daniels and Beebe were really working for- the Democratic Party of Arkansas, the Republican Party of Arkansas, The Beebe campaign, and the Daniels campaign.

6:27 PM, August 23, 2006  

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