The Honorable Paul J. Lipscomb, Presiding Judge of Marion County,
today ordered the Secretary of State to "forthwith certify the Nader
nomination as an independent candidate" for the November election.
"The Secretary of State said his review of the verified signatures
from the counties would take a day," said Mark McDougal, spokesman for
the Nader Campaign. "In fact, he took eight days, and all of his
decisions were made behind closed doors, meeting with his lawyers.
The obvious purpose was to find a way to keep Nader off the ballot.
This is in keeping with the actions of the Democratic party, which
sabotaged Nader's convention in June, tied up the Campaign phone
lines, and intimidated signature gatherers with threatening letters
and menacing visits to the homes of petitioners. Nationwide, we have
seen similar campaigns of sabotage, harassment and dirty tricks.
The Court found that the Secretary of State made up "novel" rules for
the purpose of applying them to the Nader Campaign. These "unwritten
rules" which were "inconsistent" with the law and "not supported by
the written administrative rules," and that such rules were "not
applied either uniformly or consistently." The Courts specifically
noted that the practice of directing the counties to withdraw
signature sheets from consideration based on new criteria was
unlawful, as was the Secretary's review of signatures which had
already been verified as valid by the counties.
"What the Court is telling us is that the Secretary of State created
rules out of thin air, and that these rules were then used to
disqualify valid signatures, solely for the purpose of keeping Nader
off the ballot," said Greg Kafoury, of the Nader Campaign.
"If one needed a closer link between the Bradbury decisions and the
Democratic Party, only needed to be in Court yesterday when the
Democratic Party's attorney spent considerable time in the middle of
open court whispering into the ear of the lawyer for the Secretary of
State," said McDougal. "The odd thing is that I felt some surprise,
when, of course, I should not have. It was just so brazen."
"The Secretary chose to personally announce to the press his decision
to keep Nader off the ballot. We were not told of the news
conference, and when our representative showed up, he was told he was
not welcome," said McDougal. "He now needs to explain to the press
and public the extent of his involvement in these unauthorized and
unlawful practices which the Court has so powerfully denounced.