EXCLUSIVE: Federal Lawsuit Filed After Ohio Kicks Libertarian Candidate For Governor Off Primary Ballot

By: Ben Swann

A federal lawsuit has just been filed by the Libertarian Party of Ohio, challenging a new effort to deny Libertarians a vote for Governor.  This latest attempt, comes from Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted on Friday as he decided to kick Libertarian Party candidate for Governor Charlie Earl off the primary ballot.  Attorney General candidate, Steven Linnabary, also a Libertarian was kicked off the ballot as well.

In an exclusive interview with Libertarian Candidate for Governor, Charlie Earl, Ben Swann asked about this latest stumbling block put up by the GOP leadership.

“They see us as a threat and a challenge [to Governor John Kasich], we are coming from a Constitutional perspective.  We are on his right” says Earl, who served for a number of years as a Republican State Rep in Ohio.

If you haven’t heard about the efforts by Ohio Republicans to stop at all costs the Libertarian party from having a candidate on the November 2014 ballot, then you have missed one of the most dramatic political stories of this year.

Already twice in the past few months the Ohio State Legislature, which is overwhelmingly controlled by Republicans has created two bills that would strip the Libertarian Party of the ballot access.  Both of those bills were signed into law by Governor John Kasich, both of those bills halted by a federal judge.

In this latest case, Secretary of State Husted, a Republican, said he had adopted a hearing officer’s recommendations in disqualifying Charlie Earl.  The decision came after two protests were made against the process by which Earl gained enough voter signatures to be on the primary ballot.

The Libertarian Party needed 500 registered voters to sign a petition in order to gain primary ballot access.  The party hired a professional firm to gather those signatures.  In all, just under 1,500 signatures were gathered, turned in and verified by various county clerks across the state as well as by the Secretary of State’s office.  Then came two challenges to those signatures.  The first claim alleged that the people who were hired to collect signatures on nominating petitions from registered voters did not disclose who had employed them, as required by law.  The second claim alleged that the firm collecting signatures were not Libertarians or independents, as required by Ohio law.  That second claim was disproven in a hearing.

On the first claim however,  one independent contractor who collected signatures did not disclose the name of the enitiy that hired him.  That contractor testified in Friday’s hearing that he has collected signatures for ballot initiatives in Ohio for 12 years and during that time has never once disclosed his employer and yet this is the first time any petition has ever been rejected.  The contractor went on to say that he does not disclose his employer because he is an independent contractor.

Saturday night a federal lawsuit was filed by the LP’s attorney Mark Brown. Brown is looking for a judge to rule on this issue and recognize the pattern of behavior by the Ohio Republican Party to stop any challenge that might harm Gov. John Kasich’s re-election chances.

Earl:  “What we are asking for is the right to be able to use our first amendment rights to be able to select our own candidates”

Swann:  “Are you asking for a ruling or an injunction?”

Earl: “A ruling.  We already have an injunction in that legislation that you talked about. This would be a ruling tied into that injunction, ok.  In other words he would rule that this is an extension of an attempt to keep us off the ballot.”

Swann:  “So you’re compiling all of these things together and saying this is not an isolated incident, rather there is a pattern of behavior over the past few months to try to keep the Libertarian Party off the ballot?”

Earl:  “Precisely.  And as a former Republican and as a citizen of Ohio, I was born and raised here, it’s not that, its just limiting choice for the people of Ohio. Whether its Libertarian or Green or anybody else for that matter I think they should have the choice of choosing someone.  Keep in mind, 50% of the voters in Ohio are unaffiliated.  They don’t belong to a party because they are fed up with what these two old parties are doing to them and they would like to have an option and an opportunity to go another direction.”

So why is the Republican Party so desperate to stop Libertarians from being on the ballot?  Governor Kasich has embraced a number of issues that have angered conservative and Tea Party voters across the state including a massive Medicaid expansion, lack of transparency in his public/private Jobs Ohio board and most recently, the Governor’s support of Common Core.

Meanwhile, the Libertarian Party is growing in Ohio.  In the 2010 election when Kasich defeated then Governor Ted Strickland, Kasich only won by a 2% margin, 49% to 47%.  At that time the Libertarians took about 2% of the vote.  This time around, the Libertarian Party could take anywhere from 5% to 10% of the vote and could not only cause Kasich to lose his place in the Governor’s mansion but would harm any possible hopes for a future Presidential run.

According to Earl, “I served with John 30 years ago, he was a Senator and I was a House member. He’s a decent fellow but he’s just become a part of government. He’s embracing government, he’s having an affair with government.  They are trying to protect him. They also see him as a possible Presidential contender.” says Earl.  “They are hoping people will fall by the wayside and John can sneak in there but they can’t do that if he gets only 40% or 45% or 51%, they need an overwhelming victory.”


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  • Hope101

    An excellent article about our right to have ballot choices. I don’t imagine many people know how ballot access is controlled by the two parties in power and how difficult it is to provide any other choice to the voters.

    • LibertarianBob

      Very well said, Hope101.

  • [email protected]

    Remember the treatment of Ron Paul at the last convention? Add the Ohio GOP attempting legislation to stop another party, and add the GOP in Alabama giving us a model for socialized medicine under guise of medicaid reform, and creating a functional merger between DHS and state law enforcement. With this level of betrayal, what on earth could happen at a Convention of States?

  • Allen Piercy

    But yet they want Independent and Libertarian support. Nothing has changed.

  • ghendric

    I’ve been around Kasich. He gave me bad vibes. I could smell psycho on the s.o.b. He didn’t seem right.. like he was kind of nuts.

    • Gamebob904

      I ran into yer’ grandma and felt the same way………ARE U A PSYCHIC???? Or is there any particular reason for yer heebee-jeebees/bad vibes or are we talkin’ total spidey sense here? I was also completely oblivious to the fact that mental illness exudes any sort of odor. Thanx for the enlightenment!!! Stir in the dismissal/call him crazy thing and add a dash of name calling and VIOLA!!!! Troll Souffle!!! Mmmmmmmm…….Tasty!!!!!

      • LibertyLover419

        You don’t have to be a Physic to have discernment in fact the bible even discusses the issue and says it is a fruit of the spirit. I think your more than likely the troll if not Kasich volunteer posting like you’ve never mistrusted a politician.

        • Gamebob904

          I mistrust politicians all day, every day. But that would never absolve me of my idiocy. You give testimony to those who call people nuts and fail to even attempt an explanation as to who, what, when, where, & why. He only divulges to all that he can smell craziness.

          I too read scripture. With regards to your “discernment” calling me a Kasich volunteer only tells me we all need to read more scripture. Simply put you are a false witness in this matter.

          I cannot change the fact that a troll is a troll no matter how well our intentions may be. Intentions lead to dark places on many occasions.

      • ghendric

        I’m a pretty good judge of character and I call them how I see them. I can tell you’re nuts just by your comment…

        • Gamebob904

          Dismiss me by calling me nuts. Did ya’ smell it on me son? How original. All you do is run around and call people crazy without anything to add and try to justify it by compounding it with some more generic drivel. In this case “calling them how I see them”. Dherrrrhrhrhrh!!! You need to call yer’ mama.

          Judge of character??? Naw son more like judge Judy. Same as the original post where you could smell crazy. It’s more bullshit. No discussion. Just trolly comments, bullshitting, and name calling. That is all you brought to the table so far.

          BTW everybody thinks they are a good judge of character. You must be special!

          • ghendric

            Seems to me you started the name calling by calling me a troll. What’s the matter? Did I hit a nerve? I’ve been around a long time and I’ve learned about a lot of people’s character just by watching their body language and I’ve been pretty accurate about it too. Just by your comments you sound like a troll yourself. You seem to be a person that has a lot to say about nothing that would leave a person wondering what in the hell you were talking about.

          • Gamebob904

            Like you “I call them how I see them”. The difference is I don’t stoop to your level. The difference is that I will point out where you are f@#$ing up for the sake of furthering discourse. You on the other hand just call people f@#$ ups and talk shit without offering any explanation other than your keen sense of “insight” then assume everything is good.

            You may not be trolling by intention but your OP is a text book example of a troll post. Ultimately it’s not what you believe and feel that defines who or what you are in a public domain, it is how you present yourself. All I am saying is you need to step up your communication skills or be perceived as some sort of mental midget or a common troll.

            Your dismissive disposition gives me a glimpse into your degree of insight. Or rather lack thereof. Stay in school son.

          • ghendric

            I’m too old for school and I’m not your son Bob…I made a comment from my own observation and you call me a troll. What makes you an expert on what people should say? What do you call what you’re doing here Bob? Are you the communications police or are you Kasich trolling articles about yourself as somebody named Gamebob because you are a narcissistic buffoon? I think maybe you’re a nobody Bob that thinks they know what the h*ll is going on…

          • Gamebob904


  • Fascist Slayer

    Look Ukraine, Look. Look at the freedom that awaits for you.

  • Shin Chan

    The establishment’s criminal war on freedom continues…

  • wri7913

    Why I have not been a Republican for 11 years now.

    You simply can’t trust Republicans anymore than the Democrats these days.

    Gone are the days when Republicans actually had convictions and a plan of action (Contract with America).

  • Brian Shank

    If the overall voters prefer the Republican to win the governorship, but the Democrat wins because a Libertarian was also in the race, the voters are going to be ticked off at the Libertarian. Libertarians will lose support in later years, and choices for voters will be reduced. This is not good.

    I don’t entirely blame the major parties for trying to prevent spoiled elections, but I do blame them for using ballot access limitations as the means to prevent a “wrong winner.”

    The lawsuit battles described in this article and general efforts to limit the choices for voters are caused mostly by the voting rule that forces voters to pick only one candidate when more than two are on a ballot. Approval voting or score voting solve the vote-splitting and spoiler problems, and changing to these much more expressive voting methods improve elections hugely! Changing to approval voting is straightforward; voting machines and ballots are essentially identical, yet the benefit to everyone is tremendous!

    • Ted Swedalla

      Why does everyone think that the Libertarians only draw from the Republicans?

      • DarthTrader

        I’m a former Democrat turned Independent turned Libertarian/Republican. Hated George W Bush as much as I do Barack H Obama as both men have held full scale assaults on my liberties! I support the Libertarian takeover of the Republican Party

        • Giovanni Campanella

          Me too! Except Republican in name only, I’m philosophically libertarian.

      • Brian Shank

        @ Swedalia: I was not assuming that anyone draws from anyone, but that it could be perceived that way by voters, which gives them the incentive NOT to support third party candidates in future elections. I am aware that exit polling data in Virginia’s last gubernatorial election suggested the Libertarian Sarvis received more support from those who typically vote for Democrats than from typical Republican voters.

    • rookierick

      If the [majority of] voters prefer the Republican to win the governorship, the Republican will win the governorship. Simple as that. It matters not if there are 2, 3, or 10 candidates in the race.

      • Brian Shank

        Obviously, there may be a majority winner even when many candidates are on the same ballot seeking the same seat, but that isn’t always the case. The R could get 46%, the D 48% and the L 6%. In this type of scenario, many voters are likely to get angry at the L candidate regardless of which major party candidate is elected. Anger and blame toward third party candidates and independents is likely in any election in which the third party candidate gets more votes than the margin between R and D. The more informed voters will realize that it is the plurality voting rule that should be blamed, not the third party supporters or the third party candidates.

  • LibertarianBob

    I am an Ohio Libertarian and know Charlie Earl very well. We were at our state convention over the weekend when we found out., late Friday, that the decision was made to oust him from the ballot. The Ohio GOP has, for about 6 years now, relentlessly tried to block challenger party ballot access. This is voter suppression in its purest form. This is not an attack on us, it is an attack on you, the voters, by taking away your choice as to whom you may vote for. Just this past year the Republican led general assembly passed SB 193, which would have knocked all challenger parties off of the ballot. We, once again, sued them and, on constitutional grounds, won a stay for at least this year.

  • Jesse Farmer

    Where do all of these Libertarians get this vast wealth to pay for these constant lawsuits?

    • DarthTrader

      What vast wealth?
      Why should there need to be constant lawsuits? Unethical power brokers are trying to continue their oppressive ways. Thankfully there is still enough freedom left to fight back legally.

  • Robert Kalani Foxworthy

    there is no such thing as a “wrong winner”. if libertarians want to really shake it up they need to run on both parties primaries.

    • Brian Shank

      @ Robert,
      There can indeed be a “wrong winner” if a candidate preferred more by the voters loses due to vote-splitting. An election result like this fails the independence of irrelevant alternatives criteria. It’s the main reason run-off elections are needed. Consider how elections would work if there were no nominating primaries or conventions and no runoff elections either. The rule that forces each voter to pick only one candidate makes runoffs and primaries necessary to avoid the vote-splitting dilemma.

      • dozr

        if the election/voting laws are so screwed up that your scenario happens then its the election/voting laws that need to change. i always thought that “no show/no votes” should be counted as a no for all candidates and not just ignored.

  • r3VOLution IS NOT republican

    Great reporting! It’s refreshing to read the word “Libertarian” ACTUALLY APPLIED to the Libertarian Party… instead of being CONSTANTLY POACHED, by the LEFTIST republican party.

  • http://www.markgwoodworth.com/ Mark Woodworth, Ph.D.

    Efforts by either party to keep a legitimate third party off the ballot for the reason of simple political power should be subject to the death penalty. A seat in government belongs to the People, not a party or to a person.

  • ImajWalker

    The ‘elite’ already know who they will SELECT in the next big election. After watching what happened to Ron Paul, there is no question that freedoms have been ‘given’ to the dictators of the U.S. If more people would search for the truth and know that there is no difference between Democrats and Republicans, they would ‘maybe’ stop voting for either. POLL = means exactly what it is… they take a poll to see which puppet the people will listen to … they PUT them in power and follow the same agenda. Obama has lied from the day a microphone has been placed in his hand and still continues today.

    The PEOPLE have lost their power and their Constitution. The Sovereignty of the USA and Canada were ‘given’ to the United Nations = One World Order, without your votes. While we all still ‘believe’ that WE run things, this small fiasco in Ohio should tell you, YOU the PEOPLE have no power anymore. Also, you’ve chosen not to ‘fight’ for it.

    This video reminds me of what UNITY is all about.


    Ron Paul would have won and the United States wouldn’t be invading countries anymore. The truth about Ukraine is sickening and once again, the people of the USA and Ukraine have been LIED to.


    Listen to how this government, and others have once again ‘brainwashed’ the people to ‘believe’ their games.

    It’s both sickening and sad to know how many still let them do what they want. Humanity is in trouble along with the futures of our children.

  • Ed Wapole

    The fundamental root of all political corruption is voting to re-elect.

  • LibertyChick

    I live in an area with gang wars and crime. The city and concerned citizens want to create solutions. But at no time do they discuss getting together with the people they are trying to help to find out why they want to be part of gangs/violence. Personally, I believe many of the disenfranchised people turning to violence really feel screwed. But they think its from another local group, race, etc. I think they really are disemplowered by the political system that is screwing all of us and just misplacing blame. I think these are the people we need to reach, educate about the way the current system exists and is rigged against them/us, and get them over to the cause of Liberty. As many of them are black, if significant numbers of black people come over to the cause of Liberty, so will the extreme leftists who in their mind sign on to these left candidates thinking they are helping the black population. To not follow the direction of the black people will be hypocritical to them. Just seems a strategy worth exploring….

    • Al Saulinsky

      Actually most of this nonsense is bred into them from an early age. It is to the benefit of any government to have people believe they are victims of some nefarious group.

  • Rex

    “The Libertarian Party needed 500 registered voters to sign a petition in order to gain primary ballot access.”

    Yea, but I’ll bet neither Democrats or Republicans do. Seems there could be a case made based on that.

    • Al Saulinsky

      It’s because they have more than enough registered voters to qualify. The problem is, the law is set up to discourage independent parties. Remove or change the law.

  • Anon

    Good. Those who stand against democratic limits on government power should lose.

  • Thomas

    Constitutional perspective?, which Constitution?, the 1851 under the Dillon Rule? the United States Constitution? or the 1803 Constitution which has established Borders and ratified Title 2, Volume 1 United States Code which is the Organic Laws which is the foundation.

  • Thomas

    As a free inhabitant pursuant to Article IV , Title 2 , Volume 1 United States Code which includes Titles 1-4 along with Title 5 at title 2 I have all the privileges and immunities of state citizens without being one, while the so called State of OHIO is acting under the 14 th amendment of the United States Constitution which is limited to the District of Columbia and acting as if it is in the United States when in fact it is not, I understand the POLITICAL entity is under the 1851 OHIO Constitution within the Dillon rule, but you are within the 1803 Ohio bordered Constitution as established and outside the United States Constitution which is the District of Columbia not the bordered 1803 Ohio Constitution. You are all acting under color of law.