Skip to comments.Dems Sue to Keep Nader Off Ballot
Posted on 09/06/2004 4:19:40 AM PDT by jseth
The Florida Democratic Party and an independent group of voters separately sued the state Tuesday, trying to keep Ralph Nader off the November ballot and accusing the Reform Party's nomination process of being a sham.
Both lawsuits say that the Reform Party is not a viable political party and that Nader wasn't legitimately nominated at a convention, which they said is required by state law to get on the ballot. Story Continues Below
The Nader campaign says the party did have a convention, where Nader's nomination was formally decided. Nader spokesman Kevin Zeese called the Democratic Party's effort a "Hail Mary pass lawsuit and a desperate attempt to prevent voters from having a real choice."
Most Democrats and many Republicans agree that Nader's presence on the 2000 ballot may have cost Al Gore the presidency. President Bush won Florida by 537 votes after five weeks of recounts. Nader received 97,421 votes. Officials from both parties say most of those votes otherwise likely would have gone to Gore.
One day before the deadline, the Reform Party submitted an application to the state's Division of Elections in Tallahassee earlier this week to place Nader and running mate Peter Camejo on the ballot.
The Reform Party nominated Nader during a two-day conference call earlier this summer. Zeese said the party had three rounds of voting during the call before Nader won. He said the party then had an in-person convention this past weekend in Texas to formalize the nomination.
The Florida Democrats' lawsuit names Nader as a defendant along with Secretary of State Glenda Hood and Gov. Jeb Bush, who must certify the ballot. Joining Democratic Party Chairman Scott Maddox in filing the suit are two Reform Party of Florida members, Candice Wilson of Pinellas County and Alan Herman of Broward County.
A spokeswoman for Hood didn't immediately return a call seeking comment after hours Thursday.
The other suit was filed by four voters: Harriet Black, a Pinellas County Republican; Bob Rackleff a Democrat and a Leon County commissioner; William Chapman, a Reform Party voter from Ocala and independent voter Terry Anderson of Miami. It named Hood and the Reform Party as defendants and is seeking an injunction, blocking Nader from appearing on the ballot.
Both suits were filed in Circuit Court in Tallahassee.
Maddox said the Reform Party held the convention because they realized the phone call wouldn't satisfy Florida law. Maddox said that the convention was a sham and that Nader was never actually nominated.
He also said the Reform Party is just a loosely organized group of people.
"It would be the same if a bunch of my buddies that I watch football with got together and said we are going to nominate you for president," he said.
The Reform Party is in a bit of disarray.
The party's treasurer, William D. Chapman, recently sent a letter to federal election officials saying that the party has $18.18 in the bank and should be terminated. Reform Party National Chairman Shawn O'Hara accused Chapman of leading a "minor coup," and he was suspended as treasurer.
Some Democrats have also accused Republicans of secretly backing the Nader effort in an effort to take away votes from Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry.
Florida GOP spokesman Joseph Agostini said that wasn't true, but he criticized Democrats for trying to block Nader's access to the ballot.
"We're going to win with or without Ralph Nader on the ballot," Agostini said. "We welcome Ralph Nader, but our strategy doesn't include (him).
"The tactics that the Democrats are using are getting more and more desperate," Agostini said.
"In Florida, the Republicans are great at removing voters from the voter rolls while the Democrats try to remove candidates from the ballot," Zeese said. "It's a shame the Democrats don't have more confidence in their candidate and more confidence in the voters."
Maybe they should create a message and concentrate on that instead.
DemonRats tried to keep Florida's military men and women from voting, this doesn't surprise me at all.
Are they feeling crowded or is this a dictatorship led by these liberal communists. Why don't we just stop President Bush from running too so we can become a dicatorship. NO not while I can still vote! President Bush is leading us and Hanoi john would be run by the leaders of France and Germany.
Illegal, deceased and double regististered, in New York and Florida, voters. Not a thing wrong with that.
"Dems Sue to Keep Nader Off Ballot"
Pretty "American" of them Dems these days ain't it!
Go, Ralph, go!
In state after state, the Dems are trying to keep Nader off the ballot. I have seen sporadic reports from Florida, Michigan, Maryland and Virginia. I am sure there are more states where this is happening. The MSM has pretty much ignored it. Can you imagine the coverage if in 1992, the Republicans tried to sue to keep Perot out?
Looks like the Dems are already starting the lawsuits in Florida. Typical.
For those who want to vote for Nader, this doesn't seem much like free and fair elections that the dems in florida keep driveling about.
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