Libertarians Defeat Republican Attempt to Restrict Voter Choice
Presidential Candidate Governor Gary Johnson Remains on the PA Ballot
Commonwealth Court Senior Judge James G. Colins ruled late today that the Libertarian Party of Pennsylvania has filed nominating petitions containing more than the required 20,601 valid signatures and that the entire slate of statewide Libertarian candidates will remain on the November 6 general election ballot. The ruling was a stinging defeat for Republicans who waged a grueling and expensive 9-week battle to force their Libertarian Party competition off the November ballot and deprive voters of meaningful choices.
Libertarian Party presidential candidate and former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson said, "It is a travesty of the democratic process that Libertarians were required to endure such a drawn-out, expensive and unnecessary attack on their right to be on the ballot. Voters in every state deserve real choices in this election, and it is clear that the Republican Party, not only in Pennsylvania, but in key states across the country, will go to any lengths to keep liberty, nonintervention and smaller government off the ballot."
LPPA Chair Dr. Tom Stevens commented, "The rotten Republicans in their 800-dollar suits used every trick in their playbook to try to short-circuit the democratic process and defeat us. In the end, we beat them outright without even needing to wait for a favorable Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruling on two outstanding legal issues. With little money and an army of dedicated volunteers, we stood up to the superior resources of the Republican Party, never once considering capitulation, even though we faced the possibility of a significant assessment of costs, sanctions and attorneys fees if we lost. Now, the voters of Pennsylvania have a real choice and can vote for candidates who support the United States Constitution, the Bill of Rights, Civil Liberties and respect every individual's right to life, liberty and property -- without exception."
The following Libertarian candidates will remain ON the November 6 ballot:
* President - Governor Gary Johnson
* Vice President - Judge James Gray
* U.S. Senate - Rayburn Douglas Smith
* PA Attorney General - Marakay J. Rogers
* PA Auditor General - Betsy Summers
* PA Treasurer - Patricia M. Fryman
Statewide Libertarian candidates were required to file nominating petitions containing at least 20,601 signatures, far more than most states require and many times the number that old party candidates must file. In past years, the requirement has been as high as 60,000. On August 1, Libertarians filed petitions containing over 49,000 signatures, more than twice the number needed. A week later, Republicans challenged about 40,000 of these.
Libertarians were required to field teams of at least 20 people each day for two weeks in Philadelphia. Each was paired with a Republican and a computer operator in order to tediously review challenged signatures. A similar operation was conducted in Harrisburg the following week. After this effort, approximately 14,000 signatures remained contested. For the next four weeks, four teams of lawyers and volunteers meticulously re-reviewed the contested signatures under court supervision.
The herculean effort to defend against the challenge was supported by more than 85 very dedicated volunteers hailing from seven states. Some traveled great distances, paid to stay in motels, sacrificed vacation days and/or lost pay. Roy Minet, who coordinated the massive, marathon volunteer effort, stated, "Our volunteers are truly noble. We appreciate that we even had a few Green Party volunteers." Surprisingly, the Greens were not challenged this time around. "Some Republicans, who said they couldn't 'stomach' what their party was trying to do, helped us as well," Minet added.
The Libertarian Party is the party of principle. That principle is simply, "Live and let live." With over a quarter million Americans registered Libertarian, it is the largest and best alternative for those who want smaller government and more freedom. Visit www.LP.org and www.LPPA.org for more information.
Its wishful thinking to think the LP has any chance Nov. 6.
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