Home General Oklahoma Attorney General Ruled on August 17 that Americans Elect May Not Place a Presidential Candidate on the Ballot, but Kept the Opinion a Secret, and Tricked Libertarians Into Postponing the Ballot Access Lawsuit
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Oklahoma Attorney General Ruled on August 17 that Americans Elect May Not Place a Presidential Candidate on the Ballot, but Kept the Opinion a Secret, and Tricked Libertarians Into Postponing the Ballot Access Lawsuit

Published on August 29, 2012, by in General.

Oklahoma state officials have acted to keep Gary Johnson off the Oklahoma ballot. On August 17, the Attorney General issued a 20-page opinion saying the State Board of Elections should disregard the action of the state officers of Americans Elect, who had nominated Gary Johnson for President on July 21. But, he kept this opinion a secret from the Americans Elect Party state officers. UPDATE: here is an Oklahoma news story.

He also kept it a secret from Jim Linger, attorney for the Libertarian Party ballot access lawsuit. But he told Linger on the phone that the Attorney General’s office, and himself, did not lend any credence to the claim of national leaders of Americans Elect that the party should be removed from the ballot. Therefore, Linger, feeling optimistic about Gary Johnson being on the ballot as the Americans Elect presidential nominee, voluntarily agreed on August 20 to postpone further legal action in the Libertarian Party’s ballot access lawsuit (which had been filed on January 31, 2012) until next year. The lawsuit had been stalled for two months because the state’s expert witness, Professor Clifford Jones, was out of the United States.

The Attorney General’s opinion, which was only made known to the public on August 29, says that because the national leaders filed the notice of intent to qualify a political party last year, the wishes of the national leaders of Americans Elect (who don’t want any Americans Elect candidates on the ballot for any office in 2012), should be respected, and the state officers of Americans Elect should not be respected. The Attorney General Opinion refers to the state officers as “the local group”. The Attorney General’s Opinion mentions that the national leaders of Americans Elect have a trademark on the name “Americans Elect”, but the Opinion does not mention any case law to support the idea that trademark controls this case. On January 19, 2012, the 9th circuit ruled that trademark law has no relevance to political party names. That decision is Washington State Republican Party v Washington State Grange, 676 F.3d 784. Nor does the Attorney General Opinion acknowledge that there are Americans Elect Party nominees in Arizona this year for Congress and county office.

It is likely that the state officers of Americans Elect will sue the State Board of Elections to safeguard their ability to place a presidential nominee on the ballot. The state chair of Americans Elect, Rex Lawhorn, was an original supporter of Americans Elect, from the very beginning of the creation of Americans Elect. He worked hard to set up facebook pages and physical meetings of his fellow Americans Elect members and enthusiasts.

27 Responses

  1. Brad M

    Well it just goes to show that Oklahoma state officials are the leading a**holes in the state. Modified quote courtesy of Blazing Saddles.

  2. DSZ

    Since this decision appears so blatantly devious and partisan, does it appear likely the courts will be sympathetic to a lawsuit (whether from the LP or AE)?

  3. Kyle Kneale

    What a bunch of f*ing douchebags.

  4. :-)

    What the??… this is insanity. Well, let’s hope the AE/LP folks can rectify this situation…

  5. natural born citizen party

    With regards to the OK office of the state attorney general — see a new political action project based in NYS but soon to be national called the “felony disbarment project” — for permanent disbarment in appropriate circumstances of offending public agency attorneys — including state / federal prosecutors and judges who also may be required to be attorneys.

    – The more outrageous the conduct the better

  6. jonathan

    Makes me so angry

  7. Oklahoma officials have always been duplicitous and anti-democratic when it comes to ballot-access issues.

  8. Brad Cox

    I understand how the GOP or Dems would want people off the ballot that might hurt them. That doesn’t mean I agree with it but at least I understand it. But this is Oklahoma for craps sake. Romney is up by nearly 30% in the polls. Why would they open this can of worms and create lawsuits and pointless battles over something like this? Just let him stay on and that’s it. Jeesh.

  9. Bill Wood

    This sounds like something that would cause the Attorney General to be “kicked” out of office.

  10. bruuno

    Considering how overwhelmingly Republican the state is it seems like this is accomplishing little for the local GOP except creating bitter feelings and the AG coming across as a sleaze.

  11. Tom Yager

    #8 It’s about suppressing the total vote for the Libertarians, not just in swing states. The more votes Gary Johnson earns, the more credible the Libertarians become. After the 2000 election, some of the most virulent Nader-haters like Eric Alterman and Todd Gitlin hypocritically attacked him for campaigning in swing states when they urged his supporters to vote for Gore even in safe states.

  12. rbh5081

    Well looks like there plan to have people be forced to vote for romney is back firering for this voter my plan B is voting for the douche bag already elected. You have my vote obama

  13. MarkBrown

    Not an uncommon tactic for state AGs. I have had a state AG ask me for a delayed briefing schedule, swear that the delay would not be used to prejudice my client, and then argue that it was too late to change the ballot first thing in court. Thankfully, most state AGs are reputable and will not engage in tactics of this nature.

  14. Rob Work

    Sickening for sure… Oklahoma has one of the most corrupt crony governments in the states. I voted for that piece of crap last cycle and I did call his office but after speaking with his receptionist I got voicemail. This sounds to me like someone with strings… perhaps with the republicans, I know from experience here they can play real dirty, has made a phone call. As it was explained to me by the Election Board they decided to seek legal counsel about the 3rd party and the AG office told them to take him off. This stinks of crony politics and I will be voting with my feet very soon.

  15. citizen1

    Using the AG’s logic Gary Johnson should be on the ballot as the Libertarian candidate because it is the wish of the national party that he be on the ballot. The same with Goode and Stein with the Constitution and Green Parties

  16. Jim Riley

    The fundamental problem is the petition model of party qualification. Because of our federal system of elections, political parties must be organized and recognized at the State level, and then if they so choose, to affiliate with other State parties through a national party.

    But Oklahoma permitted a group of non-Oklahomans to form a political party which was recognized by signatures of endorsement, and now there is no way for Oklahomans to assume control.

    The clearly superior system is the affiliation model where registered voters form the political party, and choose the officers who act on behalf of the party within the State. You complained about the Florida rules, but they had the clear objective of making sure that State parties had State leaders who were acting on behalf of the members of the party.

  17. [...] Ballot access: “OK state officials have acted to keep Gary Johnson off the ballot. On August 17, the Attorney General issued a 20-page opinion saying the State Board of Elections [...]

  18. Jonathan

    So Richard , is this the final answer. is Oklahoma off the table ?

  19. Paulie

    From the article

    “It is likely that the state officers of Americans Elect will sue the State Board of Elections to safeguard their ability to place a presidential nominee on the ballot. The state chair of Americans Elect, Rex Lawhorn, was an original supporter of Americans Elect, from the very beginning of the creation of Americans Elect. He worked hard to set up facebook pages and physical meetings of his fellow Americans Elect members and enthusiasts.”

    That means AE of Oklahoma will now sue the state.

    That is the only possible remaining way to get on the ballot there since the LP has been tricked into postponing its separate lawsuit past the point of being able to seek injunctive relief, is my understanding.

  20. Land of the Free…uh…Land of the FASCIST !!!

    Place road signs of your third party candidates in your local areas. It’s the cheapest way to get name ID !

    Fight the BEAST….

    The “Lesser” of Two Crooked Politicians Is Still A Crooked Politician- https://plus.google.com/u/0/102638191745753164056/posts/B665TqmhSqc#102638191745753164056/posts/B665TqmhSqc

    New Obama slogan has long ties to Marxism, socialism- http://www.washingtontimes.com/blog/inside-politics/2012/apr/30/new-obama-slogan-has-long-ties-marxism-socialism/

    Global Dominance Group: http://thedailybell.com/3232/Mickey-Huff-on-Project-Censored-the-Reality-of-World-Government-and-the-Masquerade-of-a-Free-Press

    Freedom International Newsfeed: – http://www.mediafreedominternational.org/

  21. Jim Riley

    #20 Maybe AE Oklahoma can sue AE USA?

  22. [...] They can send their Washington, DC, lawyers to Iowa and file challenges in Pennsylvania and Oklahoma to try to keep Gov. Johnson off the November ballot. But they CANNOT silence the Liberty message [...]

  23. [...] Winger wrote, “there are Americans Elect Party nominees in Arizona this year for Congress and county [...]

  24. [...] Winger wrote, “there are Americans Elect Party nominees in Arizona this year for Congress and county [...]

  25. [...] They can send their Washington, DC, lawyers to Iowa and file challenges in Pennsylvania and Oklahoma to try to keep Gov. Johnson off the November ballot. But they CANNOT silence the Liberty message [...]

  26. [...] In Oklahoma, the Republican Attorney General is attempting to remove Gary Johnson, Libertarian Party candidate for President from the ballot tying him to Americans Elect. [...]

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