RA’AM-TA’AL

September 26, 2012

© 2012 jbjd

Whether supporting Israel means, endorsing its people as individuals or, its government; one cannot support Israel without supporting Muslims.

They are in the Knesset, the Israeli counterpart to our Congress.

From the Jewish Virtual Library:

Here are the names and bios of current members of Ra-am-Ta’al, from the official web site of the Knesset: Talab El-Sana, Masud Ganaim, Ibrahim Sarsur, and Ahmad Tibi.  And, as you can see, all are native Israelis. (That is, they list Israel as their place of birth.)

Know what this means? That charging the subway posters championed by Pamela Geller, which do not mention Muslims, are nonetheless anti-Muslim because she is a Zionist, that is, she is zealously pro-Israel; makes absolutely no sense.

Nu?


DEATH in LIBYA

September 12, 2012

©2012 jbjd

It is noon here on the east coast; the news is flooding in on events in Libya and already, the propaganda is saturating the airwaves along predictable partisan lines. And, as usual, unless you take in divergent viewpoints, you will get the story all wrong.

First, especially for those of you who have only gotten your news from blogs; please, listen to Secretary Clinton’s live briefing from the U.S. State Department.

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Secretary Clinton’s remarks can help to place in their proper perspective those reports and images found on the likes of  Drudge on the one end or The Boston Globe on the other; I was particularly struck by the clarity offered by just a few lines, not necessarily spoken in this order.

When the attack came yesterday, Libyans stood and fought to defend our post, some were wounded. Libyans carried Chris’ body to the hospital and they helped rescue and lead others to safety.

(Just because you see an image of a man being carried by crowds does not mean, they are doing him harm.)

…we must be clear-eyed in our grief. This was an attack by a small and savage group, not the people or the government of Libya.

(According to the CIA, Libya is 97% Muslim, Thus, it is safe to say, most of the embassy attackers and murderers were Muslim. If you agree that in using the word “savage” to describe those Muslim Libyans who attacked and murdered embassy staffers, Ms. Clinton referred only to the conduct of the brutes and not to either their nationality or religion then, please, leave Pamela Geller alone.)


THE 2012 TEXAS BALLOT CHALLENGE

July 16, 2012

© 2012 jbjd and kjcanon

Given current election laws; the only way to keep an ineligible candidate out of the White House is to keep the candidate’s name off the ballot, in a state that only allows to be printed on the ballot the names of candidates federally qualified for the job. But what happens when election officials in a ballot eligibility state – like Texas – are determined to ignore those laws? Then, the only way preserve the integrity of the ballot; is to take those officials to court.

View this document on Scribd

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Please, contribute to THE 2012 TEXAS BALLOT CHALLENGE challenge.


INELIGIBLE to MERIT your SUPPORT

July 5, 2012

© 2012 jbjd

ART2SUPERPAC ran a full-page ad on February 10, 2012, soliciting funds to file the next best ballot challenge to keep the name Barack Obama off the ballot in Florida. Predicting that, this ballot eligibility suit had “an excellent opportunity to succeed”; ART2 proudly proclaimed, “The Obama Defense Team has Finally Met Its Match.” And, according to them; they had cause to be confident after a perfect record of defeat. Because as they explained, this time, “we are putting together an unbeatable legal team.” So, who were these stellar legal minds contributing to the ’cause’? Well, they invoked the “expertise” of crowd favorites Donofrio, Apuzzo, and Taitz. Heading up this legal ‘dream team,’ “We have a time-sensitive opportunity to hire a top-flight, nationally known, dream attorney, Larry Klayman.” The ad touted Mr. Klayman was the founder of both Judicial Watch and Freedom Watch. He writes for WND. And, in case we still failed to grasp the profound possibilities triggered by his participation, there was this: “He has very high visibility, key contacts, presence, visibility, reputation, experience, track record. He is a “heavy hitter.””(Yes; apparently he possesses both “high visibility” and ordinary “visibility.”)

But they needed $25,000, which “must be raised in the next 96 hours,” to pull this off.

Please, read the ad, pictured below. (Note: Several other sites, including ObamaBallotChallenge and ConstitutionActionFund also solicited funds ostensibly for this same purpose, incorporating much of the same language that appears in ART2’s ad.)

http://www.art2superpac.com/floridaballot.html

I read this ad on February 15 and immediately caution people not to waste your money or your time.

jbjd | February 15, 2012 at 7:07 pm|

GORDO and coldwarvet, although I have been very busy lately and cannot check in as often as before; I want to thank you for mentioning those radio interviews on Revolution Radio. People have told me, they were able to learn more about ‘how things work’ by hearing me, than by reading me. And they have assured me, the 1 1/2 hours fly by. (At first, I was concerned that I would be unable to fill the whole time myself but, as I discovered, there was never enough time to discuss everything, anyway!)

I have been posting here since 2008. That some of you would still question my motives, which are to empower citizens to control our government; speaks ill of you, and not me.

As for funding anyone mounting a ballot challenge in a state whose citizens have not yet enacted a law requiring candidate eligibility for office to be on the ballot; well, that’s just throwing good money after bad. Whoever you are.

cw suggests, maybe my analysis is wrong.

citizenwells | February 15, 2012 at 7:18 pm|

jbjd,
Are you referring to challenges in the state of FL?

102.168 Contest of election.–

(1) Except as provided in s. 102.171, the certification of election or nomination of any person to office, or of the result on any question submitted by referendum, may be contested in the circuit court by any unsuccessful candidate for such office or nomination thereto or by any elector qualified to vote in the election related to such candidacy, or by any taxpayer, respectively.

(2) Such contestant shall file a complaint, together with the fees prescribed in chapter 28, with the clerk of the circuit court within 10 days after midnight of the date the last board responsible for certifying the results officially certifies the results of the election being contested.

(3) The complaint shall set forth the grounds on which the contestant intends to establish his or her right to such office or set aside the result of the election on a submitted referendum. The grounds for contesting an election under this section are:

(a) Misconduct, fraud, or corruption on the part of any election official or any member of the canvassing board sufficient to change or place in doubt the result of the election.

(b) Ineligibility of the successful candidate for the nomination or office in dispute.

(c) Receipt of a number of illegal votes or rejection of a number of legal votes sufficient to change or place in doubt the result of the election.

(4) The county canvassing board is an indispensable and proper party defendant in county and local elections; the Elections Canvassing Commission is an indispensable and proper party defendant in federal, state, and multicounty races; and the successful candidate is an indispensable party to any action brought to contest the election or nomination of a candidate.

(5) A statement of the grounds of contest may not be rejected, nor the proceedings dismissed, by the court for any want of form if the grounds of contest provided in the statement are sufficient to clearly inform the defendant of the particular proceeding or cause for which the nomination or election is contested.

(6) A copy of the complaint shall be served upon the defendant and any other person named therein in the same manner as in other civil cases under the laws of this state. Within 10 days after the complaint has been served, the defendant must file an answer admitting or denying the allegations on which the contestant relies or stating that the defendant has no knowledge or information concerning the allegations, which shall be deemed a denial of the allegations, and must state any other defenses, in law or fact, on which the defendant relies. If an answer is not filed within the time prescribed, the defendant may not be granted a hearing in court to assert any claim or objection that is required by this subsection to be stated in an answer.

(7) Any candidate, qualified elector, or taxpayer presenting such a contest to a circuit judge is entitled to an immediate hearing. However, the court in its discretion may limit the time to be consumed in taking testimony, with a view therein to the circumstances of the matter and to the proximity of any succeeding election

http://www.leg.state.fl.us/Statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&Search_String=&URL=0100-0199/0102/Sections/0102.168.html

Bill G seems to agree, I must be wrong.

Bill G | February 15, 2012 at 7:20 pm|

http://www.scribd.com/doc/81593614/Voeltz-Contest-of-Election-pleading-21

Florida filing delivered. Well done. Supported by arguments we have seen from many others including Leo and Mario. On the merits this looks very strong. How FL will weasel out of it will be interesting to see.

But, I am right. (I have bolded the first paragraph.)

jbjd | February 15, 2012 at 7:45 pm|

CW, any challenge the basis of which is this law involves only the candidate chosen by primary based on the certification of the votes. The Presidential candidate is not chosen by primary but by nominating convention.

If these people are basing their challenge on this law then, they have no idea what they are doing.

I couldn’t say which is worse; basing a challenge on the wrong law or the wrong facts. I suppose, if the challenge is brought by an attorney, I would have to say, it is worse to launch a baseless challenge using the wrong law.

On June 29, 2012, the court issued its decision on the FL Ballot Challenge filed by “dream” “heavy hitter” Attorney Klayman. (I have bolded a couple of lines.)

Because I find that the plaintiff has not and cannot state a cause of action for the relief requested under Section 102.168, Florida Statutes, I grant the motions to dismiss with prejudice.There are several deficiencies in the complaint, but the biggest problem, and one which cannot be overcome by amending the complaint, is that Section 102.168, Florida Statutes, is not applicable to the nomination of a candidate for Office of President of the United States.

http://www.scribd.com/doc/98883537/Voeltz-v-Obama-Dismissal

That’s right. Just as I warned back in February; Klayman et. al were using the wrong law.

By the way, know what the words “with prejudice” mean?

In civil procedure, when a court dismisses a case “with prejudice,” it means that the court intends for that dismissal to be final in all courts, and that res judicata should bar that claim from being reasserted in another court. A dismissal “without prejudice” means the plaintiff is free to refile the claim in a different court.    http://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/prejudice

In other words; he cannot file this case, in this court or any other court, again. But, not surprisingly, he is not going to let this fact stop him. ObamaBallotChallenge posted his reaction to the adverse ruling.

Larry Klayman’s initial comments:

“The decision issued today by Judge Terry Lewis was poorly reasoned and written. It goes against prior Florida Supreme Court precedent in particular, thus making our chances on appeal great. The judge also equated being a citizen with a natural born citizen and cited no authority to conclude the two terms are the same. In any event, Plaintiff Michael Voeltz filed a new complaint today for declaratory relief which will, in addition to his appeal, now proceed forward. In short, we remain confident that if the Florida courts ultimately decide to obey their own election law, we will prevail in the end.”

Hopefully; at this point, you recognize that, the promises made here cannot be fulfilled.

I began advising people on August 2, 2008, weeks before the Presidential nominating conventions, when I knew far less about our elections process than I do now; if you think a candidate is ineligible for office then, the only way to keep him out of office is to keep his name off the general election ballot. CHALLENGING BO’S ELIGIBILITY TO GET ONTO THE GENERAL ELECTION BALLOT AS THE DEMOCRATIC CANDIDATE FOR POTUS  “In fact, throughout the entire election process, only one opportunity is prescribed in writing to confirm the candidate’s eligibility: when the state in which the candidate seeks to get onto the general election ballot has enacted both a law that says any candidate seeking to get onto the ballot in that state has to satisfy the requirements of the office sought; AND a law that provides for challenging the candidate’s eligibility under state law.” FIND OUT WHETHER BARACK OBAMA IS A NATURAL BORN CITIZEN AS REQUIRED UNDER ARTICLE II OF THE U.S. CONSTITUTION AND STOP THE ELECTORAL COLLEGE FROM VOTING FOR HIM, IF HE IS NOT!

A few years and countless hundreds of thousands of dollars wasted on dozens of frivolous court and administrative law cases later, the better marketed birther attorneys – Donofrio, Apuzzo, Taitz, and now, Klayman – finally focused their crusade against Barack Obama, on ballot challenges. Only, they don’t know what they are doing. As I just proved. (Either that or, they keep messing up because there is money in doing it wrong.)

For years, I have been advising that Texas has the best laws for carrying out a viable ballot challenge. But, as I have done in every state with applicable ballot eligibility laws; I required the citizens of Texas to spearhead the ballot challenge in their state. (And in states without such laws, it’s up to those citizens to enact them.) I have done so primarily on the basis, I actually believe in state sovereignty. (And, I am no one’s savior. It’s your ballot; you fix it. I can show you how.) Finally, in January 2012, Texas citizen/activist Kelly Canon contacted me. Kelly had read my work beginning 4 years ago, even before I began this blog. But as I was the only birther lawyer advocating ballot challenges; she (like so many others) shifted her focus to the gambits of those other attorneys, getting lost in the quagmire that is the minutia of eligibility. She had even begun dissecting the amicus tome Leo submitted to the Administrative Law Judge in GA, engaged in the futile exercise of trying to fix on a definition of NBC! (It isn’t over until the federal appellate court justices sing!) She also read my prediction that GA’s ballot challenge would fail, and my detailed explanation as to why. That’s when, as she describes it, something ‘clicked.’ And she ‘knew’ in order to make sure the Texas ballot only contained the names of federally qualified candidates; she needed my help. And, she convinced me, she was ready to commit her time and energies to seeing this through.

For the next several months, we worked to assemble the record required to launch a viable ballot challenge. And we exposed that both the Republicans and Democrats have failed to federally qualify to appear on the general election ballot. Our efforts are loosely chronicled in TEXAS BALLOT CHALLENGE CHALLENGE (You can also listen to our last show on LoneStarRadio, On the Radio 06.30.12.) And we pulled all this off, on our ‘dime.’ Because we had to. Until we could no longer afford to.

Having accurately and with specificity predicted in February the court’s rejection of the FL ballot challenge; when the decision issued at the end of June, I was so frustrated, I felt like screaming, ‘I told you so!’ But, I never (ever) say, ‘I told you so.’ On the other hand; Kelly, having dedicated her life to our work for the past 6 months; on seeing the resources that, for the past 4 years have been squandered on “charlatans”; insists, it needs to be said.

So, in honor of her Herculean efforts to assemble the Texas Ballot Challenge case we now have no money to present, anyway; and, on her instructions; let me say this one time: I TOLD YOU SO!

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Please, contribute to the TEXAS BALLOT CHALLENGE CHALLENGE.


TEXAS BALLOT CHALLENGE CHALLENGE

July 3, 2012

© 2012 jbjd

(The following narrative explaining the Texas Ballot Challenge is incorporated into a slide show presented by Texas citizen/activist Kelly Canon of Arlington, to civic groups throughout the state.)

Texas, We Have a Problem

We here in Texas have a problem with our 2012 general election ballot; and I’m going to tell you how we can fix it.

Generally, people will only cast their votes for a President they know is Constitutionally eligible for the job. And, thanks to candidate ballot eligibility laws passed here in Texas; voters should be able to trust that the candidates whose names appear on our general election ballot have been federally qualified. But, at least in 2012; they have not. Because as you will see; these election laws are being ignored by the responsible state governmental entities. And their conduct virtually guarantees that the November 2012 ballot will contain the name of at least 1 candidate who has not been federally qualified for the job.

That is; unless concerned citizens like us intervene.

Before I go any further, I need to emphasize that the problem here is ballot eligibility, not whether a specific candidate is eligible for office. Because under the Constitution; political parties have the right to run any candidates they want.  No doubt about it. But under Texas election laws, those party candidates are not entitled to be placed on the general election ballot unless they are federally qualified for the job.

I also want to remind everyone that I have been collaborating on this Texas ballot challenge with noted blogger “jbjd,” who for the past 4 years has been advising frustrated voters throughout the country: if you think a candidate is ineligible for office then, the way to keep him out of the White House is to keep him off the ballot. But this only works in a state with ballot eligibility laws. She has focused on the ballot here in Texas because, in her words, we already have some of the best laws. They just have to be enforced.

So, how do candidates for President and Vice President get their names on our general election ballot, anyway? Well, it all depends on whether they are Independent or Write-in, that is, Unaffiliated; or representing either the Republican or Democratic Party.

Unaffiliated candidates submit their applications for the general election ballot directly to the Secretary. On the other hand; the names of the Presidential and Vice-Presidential nominees from the national Republican and Democratic Parties are submitted to the Secretary via the Chairs of their state parties: the Republican Party of Texas (“RPT”) and the Texas Democratic Party (“TDP”).

But keep in mind; whether the candidate is Unaffiliated; or representing the Republican or Democratic party; only the names of federally qualified candidates are entitled to appear on the Texas general election ballot.

Let me read the ballot entitlement law that applies to the parties, which is section 192.031 of Texas statutes, “PARTY CANDIDATE’S ENTITLEMENT TO PLACE ON BALLOT”: “A political party is entitled to have the names of its nominees for president and vice-president of the United States placed on the ballot in a presidential general election if the nominees possess the qualifications for those offices prescribed by federal law.”

And, if the party nominees possess the qualifications for offices prescribed by federal law then, under section 192.033; …“­­­the Secretary shall certify the names of the candidates for president and vice-president who are entitled to have their names placed on the ballot.”

Taken together; these 2 laws – 192.031 and 192.033 – plainly say that party candidates are entitled to appear on the general election ballot only when they are federally qualified for the job; in which case, the Secretary has no choice but to certify their names to the ballot. Conversely; if candidates have not established their federal qualifications then, they have no right to appear on the ballot; and the Secretary shouldn’t put them there.

So, who determines whether, consistent with the statute, a candidate for President or Vice President can be said to be federally qualified? Well, the Secretary, that is, the Executive branch, promulgates the rules and regulations to carry out the statutory intention of the Legislative branch.

And the Secretary has determined that federal qualification can be met simply by filling out a ballot application which asks the candidate to answer the following questions: are you 35? Have you lived in the U.S. for 14 years? Are you a NBC? And to swear the answers given are true. How do we know this ballot application process satisfies the Secretary’s standard for federal qualification? Well, as I pointed out; Unaffiliated candidates for President and Vice President get on the general election ballot by applying directly to the Secretary. And they do so using application forms which she designed, and which are submitted directly to her. Those ballot applications contain these provisions related to federal qualification. For both the Presidential and Vice-Presidential Unaffiliated candidates.

But as we have said; the Republican and Democratic parties don’t fill out applications to get the names of their Presidential and Vice-Presidential nominees on the general election ballot. No; the state party chair merely passes on to the Secretary the names of the nominees elected at the national party’s Presidential nominating convention. Then, how does the Secretary ascertain whether those national nominees are federally qualified, that is, entitled to appear on the ballot? Well, as those of you who contacted the Secretary with respect to the 2008 general election already know; when it comes to determining candidate entitlement to appear on the ballot; she told us ascertaining federal qualifications was the responsibility of the parties! In fact; having ceded control over ascertaining the federal qualifications of party candidates, to the political parties; she certified to the 2008 general election ballot the names of those national nominees just by assuming their federal qualification.

First, we got mad. Then, at the direction of the Secretary; to find out how the national parties had federally qualified their candidates; we asked them.

In fact, beginning in 2008; citizens from several other states, with and without ballot eligibility laws, did the same thing.

For example, according to the rules for the Democratic National Committee (Services Corporation), their Presidential and Vice Presidential nominees must be Constitutionally eligible for the job. So, voters asked the DNC to disclose the documentary basis for ascertaining that Presidential Nominee Barack Obama, was Constitutionally eligible. And here’s what happened. Honorable Nancy Pelosi, Chair of the party’s Presidential Nominating Convention, ignored them. Alice Germond, DNC Corp. Secretary, referred all such questions to DNC Corp. General Counsel Joseph Sandler. He sent back this reply: ‘We are not a public agency and so, we don’t have to tell you. Go ask your Secretary of State.’

Of course, Secretary Andrade had sent Texas voters to them!

Well, it’s true that the national Republican and Democratic parties cannot be compelled to disclose the basis for their candidates’ federal qualification inasmuch as they are not public agencies. But unless we could discover what was the documentary basis for their federal qualification; we could not conclude that by assuming entitlement; the Secretary had abused her discretion. Fortunately for us voters in Texas; there’s another way to find out whether Presidential and Vice Presidential nominees have been scrutinized for federal qualification.

See, under Texas election law; in order to get the names of their Presidential nominee wannabes printed on the Presidential preference primary ballot, the chairs of the Texas state parties – the RPT and the TDP – must submit those names to the Secretary. This means that party candidates who want to appear on the primary ballot must apply directly to the party. And, under Texas law; candidate applications to appear on the ballot become public records upon filing. This makes those applications submitted to the RPT and TDP subject to the Texas Public Information Act (“PIA”).

So, to sum up so far; in Texas, the Secretary has determined that only the political parties are responsible for determining federal qualification, meaning, the only way to find out what documents were the basis for their candidates’ qualification, is to ask them; the national parties are not legally required to disclose such documentation and have refused to voluntarily provide such documentation; but in Texas, state parties are required under the PIA to produce the requested documentation. So, in 2012, using the PIA, I asked both the RPT and the TDP to produce federal qualification documentation. [1]

Turns out, just like the Secretary’s applications for Unaffiliated candidates to the general election ballot; the RPT applications for the primary ballot asks candidates the same eligibility questions,  and contains the same oath that the answers given are true . (Only, this application is designed by the party, and filed with them.) In other words; the RPT candidates in the primary election have satisfied the  standard established by the Secretary for federal qualification to be entitled to appear on the general election ballot.

The TDP requires their candidates to submit a primary ballot application, too. However, unlike the applications used by the RPT for the primary ballot; and the general election ballot for Unaffiliated candidates used by the Secretary; the forms designed and used by the TDP contain neither any language of federal eligibility nor an oath or affirmation. Yet, these applications are the only documents used by the TDP to determine which of their candidates to submit to the Secretary to certify to the primary ballot. How do I know? Because they told me so. In other words, their candidates have not satisfied the Secretary’s standard for federal qualification.[2]

And here is a critical point: ordinarily, the Secretary does not see the applications the candidates submit to the parties to get on the primary ballot.  Rather, having ceded the responsibility for federal qualification, to the parties; the Secretary only asks the parties to electronically transmit to her office the names of those candidates they, that is, the parties, want to appear. That’s it. And she puts those names on the ballot.

Remember, we are talking about 2 separate ballot eligibility laws here, one which entitles the federally qualified candidate to appear on the general election ballot; and the other which requires the Secretary to certify to the general election ballot the name of the entitled candidate. And as I just pointed out, none of the candidates whose names the TDP submitted to the Secretary for the primary ballot in 2012, had been federally qualified by the party. Yes, the Secretary certified their names to appear on the primary ballot, anyway.  And, of course, that was fine. Because, again, the ballot entitlement statute only kicks in, on the general election ballot. But since the nominees for President and Vice President are chosen by the DNC and RNC; even though their names are routed through the TDP and RPT to the Secretary to put on the general election ballot; at that point the state parties have no authority to determine the nominees’ federal qualifications. This means that, those candidate applications submitted to the state party chairs for the primary ballot currently provide the only legal mechanism to determine the nominees’ federal qualifications. Thus, the only Presidential or Vice Presidential nominees entitled to appear on the Texas general election ballot in 2012; are those nominee wannabes who submitted applications to the RPT for the 2012 primary ballot.

But does the fact, the names of candidates who have not been federally qualified are not entitled to appear on the general election ballot mean, the Secretary cannot put them there, anyway? Hardly. As we have said; she can put them there by exercising her discretion. She did that in 2008.

And this is exactly what she intends to do in 2012. How do I know? Because in May, I met with Attorney Keith Ingram, Elections Director; and explained that the primary candidates submitted to the Secretary by the TDP had undergone no federal qualification, meaning they were not entitled to appear on the general election ballot. I even offered to show him the actual candidate applications I have received from both state parties. But, he wasn’t interested. On the contrary; he dismissed me with a wave of the hand (literally), proposing if I had a problem with the ballot configuration, I should ‘go tell it to the legislature.’

So, I did. That is, as the Texas legislature does not formally reconvene until January 2013; I met with members of the legislature’s interim election committee. They agreed; the Secretary is not carrying out the intention of their ballot eligibility legislation. The committee was tentatively scheduled to hold hearings this summer. Yet, too few members were sufficiently interested in remedying the ballot eligibility problem, to reach a quorum. As a result; the hearings have been postponed until after the parties’ Presidential nominating conventions, too late for committee members to help us fix the problem in time for the printing of the general election ballot.

In sum; under TX law, only the names of federally qualified candidates are entitled to appear on the general election ballot but as of now, the Executive branch intends to exercise its discretion to put candidates on the ballot who have not been federally qualified, anyway; and the Legislative branch won’t stop them.

Now, it is up to the Judicial branch to ensure that our ballot complies with state law.

This is where we come in. We, the citizens of TX, must ask the Judicial branch to order Secretary Andrade to refrain from exercising her discretion to place on the general election ballot the names of any Democrat or Republican candidates for President or Vice President who have failed to establish for the primary ballot, they were federally qualified for the job.

How do we do this? We file an injunction. Not to keep off the general election ballot both the Democrat and Republican parties; but only to keep off the ballot the names of those Presidential and Vice Presidential nominees from the parties who have not been federally qualified for the job. (Keep in mind; we don’t elect the President and Vice President in the general election, anyway, but only the Electors for the political parties.)

This means coming up with the money to draft the legal documents, and pay the filing and notice fees. In addition, because the Respondent is a state agency; the Motion must be filed in Austin, which means covering the cost of local accommodations during the court proceedings.

(I had considered that Steve Munisteri, Chair of the RPT, would be well situated to bring this case, because he not only has access to both the financial and legal resources required, but also the added advantage of being located in Austin. But that was before I realized; many of the Vice Presidential nominees currently being considered for the Republican Party were also not federally qualified to appear on the TX general election ballot, inasmuch as they hadn’t applied to the state chair for a place on the primary ballot. And even I am not brazen enough to ask Chairman Munisteri to file an injunction keeping off our general election ballot the name of the Republican Vice Presidential nominee!)

But regardless of who files this injunction; clearly, it needs to be filed, in order to protect the integrity of the ballot so that at least we voters here in TX know which candidates have (or have not) been federally qualified for the job. And we need to do this ASAP, before the Presidential nominating conventions. Because when they end; the national parties, through the state party chairs, will submit the names of the party nominees to the Secretary, who will certify the names of those candidates, even the ones who have not been federally qualified, to the ballot.

I am uniquely situated to file this injunction. For starters; I am the onIy person who can provide first-hand authentication of the evidence required to ‘make the case’: I have met with the Secretary and the Legislature; and, more importantly, obtained those critical candidate ballot applications directly from the parties. But I also have a good grasp of the issues involved and the confidence to present the Motion. (Hat tip to “jbjd” who, having conceived and assembled this case, is now preparing to draft the legal documents.)

But we need help. Lots of it.  And not just financial. We need a core group of Texans – jbjd operates from the east coast – who can carry out a myriad of ‘clerical’ tasks, including but not limited to copying; faxing; and filing.  If you want to sponsor this TX Ballot Challenge; please, see me after this meeting.

Any questions?


[1] The first request I sent to the TDP went unanswered. But jbjd advised me to send another request listing the applicable TX statutes. (She explained; they are more apt to pay attention if they know you know the law.) This time; they responded immediately.

[2] In fact; the TDP had not produced the documents I requested evidencing their candidates were federally qualified. (jbjd joked, it’s like asking the Secretary to produce a list of registered voters and she sends the budget, instead.) So, as provided for under the PIA, I filed a complaint of non-compliance with the Attorney General. Incredibly, AAG June Harden issued an opinion letter saying, the state political parties are not covered by the PIA, in the Texas statutes under Government Code, inasmuch as  they are not listed in the “Definitions” section, as a “government entity.” However, she failed to notice that 1) the section of the PIA immediately preceding the definitions section, clearly indicates records which are “public” are covered by the Act; and 2) ballot applications are explicitly defined as “public records” under another title of the Texas statutes: Election Code.

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Please, contribute to the TEXAS BALLOT CHALLENGE CHALLENGE.


On the Radio 06.30.12

June 29, 2012

UPDATE 06.30.12:  AT END

Join us on Saturday when TX citizen/activist Kelly Canon and I discuss alternative ways to keep off the 2012 general election ballot the name of the Presidential candidate who documentary evidence exposes was never federally qualified for the job.  Call in number is 714.242.5220. (If you cannot tune in tomorrow; you can listen to the archived show, by visiting the same link.)

Texas, We Have a Solution (Maybe)!

UPDATE 06.30.12:  We just finished the show and, having listened to the entire playback, I must say; it is absolutely fabulous. It offers a comprehensive synthesis of our work on ballot eligibility issues, from who determines whether a candidate is “federally qualified” to appear on the ballot; to how the executive branch carries out the express intention of the legislative branch for ballot entitlement; to how joining the National Popular Vote Initiative can subvert the strongest ballot eligibility laws.

(Or, as Kelly would say, we covered everything ‘from soup to nuts.’)


AG ABBOTT OPINES, TX PUBLIC RECORDS LAWS not WORTH the PAPER on which THEY’RE WRITTEN

June 25, 2012

UPDATED 06.26.12: See update at bottom of article.

© 2012 jbjd

Disagreeing with me on a point of legal interpretation doesn’t per se mean you don’t know what you are talking about. But when Assistant AG June Harden rejected Kelly Canon’s complaint that the Texas Democratic Party (“TDP”) had violated the Public Information Act (“PIA” or “the Act”) by refusing to produce certain election-related documents; explaining to Ms. Canon that, political parties are not covered by the Act, well, Ms. Harden had no idea what she was talking about.

For the past 12 years, Harden has been the Senior Managing Attorney for Public Outreach in the Open Records Division of the Office of the Attorney General of the State of Texas. Before joining the OAG, she served as Special Counsel to Senator Gregory Luna of Bexar County.  Id. Ms. Harden received her undergraduate degree from Texas A&M University and her J.D. from Texas Tech University School of Law. Id. She has been working at the AG since December 1995; her current annual salary is $80,000. http://www.texastribune.org/library/data/government-employee-salaries/state-of-texas/june-b-harden/1114680/

Judging by her bona fides; by now, she should know her job in and out. But she doesn’t. And I can prove it. First, some background information, which has been covered in previous articles.

The legal standard for getting the name of the Presidential candidate from the major political party on the general election ballot in Texas is spelled out in §192.031 PARTY CANDIDATE’S ENTITLEMENT TO PLACE ON BALLOT.  The first of four prongs to entitlement is, the person must be “federally qualified” for the job. Id. But no law specifically designates whose responsibility it is to determine either in the first instance, whether the candidate is federally qualified; or, at some point after the political party has electronically submitted the name of the candidate to the Secretary of State (“SoS”) and before she certifies the name to the ballot, whether anyone has previously determined s/he is federally qualified for the job. However, we know that the Secretary does not verify Constitutional eligibility; and so, Ms. Canon determined to find out on what documentary basis both the RPT (Republican Party of TX) and TDP had determined their 2012 Presidential candidates’ federal qualifications. The RPT returned their candidate applications which, like those applications designed by the Secretary for Independent and Write-in candidates, contained the Constitutionally qualified self-affirmation. The TDP returned the candidates’ unauthenticated applications. (See BALLOT ENTITLEMENT LAWS should DISQUALIFY PRESIDENT OBAMA in TEXAS.)

But that’s not what Canon asked for; so she filed a complaint with the AG charging the TDP had violated the PIA. Pending receipt of the actual opinion letter; Ms. Harden telephoned her response.

According to Harden, the TDP is not covered by the PIA. Why? Because, as she told Ms. Canon; under Title 5 of 552.003, Definitions, political parties are not identified as government entities. And, technically she’s right. That is, the TDP is not a government entity. But this fact alone does not end the analysis as to whether the documents requested are covered under the Act. For example, had she read section 552.002; she would have seen this.

Sec. 552.002.  DEFINITION OF PUBLIC INFORMATION; MEDIA CONTAINING PUBLIC INFORMATION.  (a)  In this chapter, “public information” means information that is collected, assembled, or maintained under a law or ordinance or in connection with the transaction of official business:

(1)  by a governmental body;  or

(2)  for a governmental body and the governmental body owns the information or has a right of access to it.

This means, even granting that sec. 552.003 of the TX Statutes, Government Code, Title 5, Open Government; Ethics, does not explicitly define the TDP as a government entity; one cannot rightly infer that the documents held by the TDP which were the subject of Ms. Canon’s request and subsequent complaint to the AG for non-compliance; are not public documents under other provisions of the Act. Or that, under another legal scheme, either the party or the documents are not covered by the Act. And they are. For example, look at the Elections Code.

Sec. 191.003: NOTICE OF CANDIDATES TO SECRETARY OF STATE. The state chair of each political party holding a presidential primary election shall certify the name of each presidential candidate who qualifies for a place on the presidential primary election ballot and deliver the certification to the secretary of state not later than the 57th day before presidential primary election day.

Thus, in TX, the Presidential candidates representing the major political parties do not apply directly to the Secretary of State (“SoS”) to get their names on the ballot. Instead, they must submit their ballot applications to the chair of the party; and s/he must submit the names of these candidates to the SoS. In other words, under Sec. 552.002, the information “collected, assembled, or maintained” with respect to these applications which are made pursuant to Sec. 191.003, requiring the delivery of the certification of qualified candidates to the SoS; is public information.

But just in case the logic of coverage under the PIA is still unclear; there’s this.

Sec. 141.035.  APPLICATION AS PUBLIC INFORMATION.  An application for a place on the ballot, including an accompanying petition, is public information immediately on its filing.

Indeed; like they had done to several requestors in 2010; the TDP ignored Canon’s first request for documents in 2012, in which she had failed to specify the applicable public records laws.

View this document on Scribd

No; she only received a response after she revised her letter and filed a second request for documents in which she specifically asserted the laws supporting the request.

And she knew if the TDP had any such documents related to the 2012 ballot; these documents would still be held by the TDP.

Sec. 141.036.  PRESERVATION OF APPLICATION.  The authority with whom an application for a place on the ballot is required to be filed shall preserve each application filed with the authority for two years after the date of the election for which the application is made.

However, the party failed to produce the specific documents she requested related to how it had ascertained the candidates’ federal qualification, which refusal had prompted her present complaint to the AG.

Presumably, before Ms. Harden issued her opinion; she researched past opinions issuing on this subject from the office of the AG. We looked; there are none. This means, this was a case of first impression. But this also means that, subsequent complaints as to the refusal of the parties to produce specific election-related information; will be rejected on the grounds of her opinion.

It would appear that AAG Harden repeated the mistakes others have made when interpreting the coverage of the PIA. That is, she was too narrowly focused on the definitions which ruled out political party chairs as ‘public officials,’ ignoring the fact  the section of the law immediately preceding those definitions makes unambiguously clear that documents held by these party officers may still be classified as public records.  Or the fact that other laws may define records as public, making them also subject to the PIA; and spell out that when party officers carry out traditional state functions associated with elections, covered by another section of the law; then, just like other public officials, they can still be ordered to hand over these public records, under an action in Mandamus initiated either by the aggrieved citizen or by the AG.

To say nothing of the fact that the opening provision of the PIA urges its provisions not to be narrowly construed so as to limit public access to records but, on the contrary; to be “liberally construed in favor of granting a request for information.” http://www.statutes.legis.state.tx.us/Docs/GV/htm/GV.552.htm

But as of now; the erroneous opinion stands.  This means the TDP has the legal obligation to submit the name of a Presidential candidate to the ballot, which name the SoS, who presumes the candidates named by the parties are federally qualified for the job and thus entitled to appear on the ballot; must certify these names to the ballot.  Sec. 192.033. But neither the SoS nor a private citizen has the right of access to the party documents which were the basis for the TDP’s eligibility determination. And the TDP knows this, having been copied on both the complaint and the opinion letter.

Recall that, in the past, the TDP refused to produce documentary evidence of its candidate applications until the requester cited applicable public records and election laws. Until we can reverse Ms. Harden’s patently erroneous legal interpretation of the scope of PIA jurisdiction; how likely do you suppose will be the TDP to voluntarily disclose such eligibility documentation?

And why would the citizens of TX allow to remain intact, a system of elections that presently permits a political party to maintain access to the ballot notwithstanding it cannot produce any documentary evidence to the public or the Secretary, that its candidates satisfy the threshold to entitlement, of being “federally qualified” for the job?

UPDATE 06.26.12: Well, well, well. AAG Harden’s written response arrived; and it’s even ‘better’ in black and white.

View this document on Scribd

See, in addition to memorializing her illogical opinion that, the TDP is not covered under the PIA inasmuch as they are not identified as a “government entity” in the Definitions section of that law; she now preserves for the record her mistaken assertion that the only records covered are those held by entities explicitly defined as ‘government.’ This, of course, leaves out all of those “records” defined in the law as “collected, assembled, or maintained under a law or ordinance or in connection with the transaction of official business … for a governmental body and the governmental body owns the information or has a right of access to it.” Id.

But there’s more. Ms. Canon pointed out to Ms. Harden over the phone; she had filed a PIA request with the SoS seeking all documents the TDP had submitted to that office with respect to the federal qualification of the Presidential candidates whose names they provided to appear on the ballot. The SoS complied with this request. That is, they returned a printout of the electronic spreadsheet that had been submitted by the party, containing the candidates’ names. Because that’s all they had gotten from the party.  But apparently, Harden somehow got the idea that, Canon was perhaps complaining, the SoS had received from the party, documents of federal qualification; but had refused to forward to her that documentation! Now, writing the obvious, Harden advised that the SoS is a government entity under the PIA, and suggested Canon could file a PIA complaint against them!

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