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Ohio Libertarians have become ODP pawns

Members of the Libertarian Party are often quick to deride both Democrats and Republicans and blame them for the country’s woes. They fiercely set themselves aside as being completely different from either party. I can agree with many of the Libertarian Party’s principles of liberty.

However, in recent years we’ve seen a troubling trend of Libertarian candidates being used as pawns for the Democrats. This year’s gubernatorial race is no different.

There is mounting evidence that the Libertarian Party of Ohio and the Charlie Earl campaign lacked the support and motivated volunteers to gather a measly 500 signatures to place Earl on the ballot. So they turned to the Democrats, who gleefully lent a hand, believing that it would improve their chances of electing Ed Fitzgerald as governor.

Tom Jackson from the Sandusky Register reports:

” … the Democratic law firm of choice, McTigue & McGinnis, LLC, and the Democratic go-to consulting firm, Strategy Network, propped up the otherwise failing efforts of the Libertarian candidates to obtain the 500 valid signatures needed to get them on the ballot. Four separate employees of Strategy Network – Eileen Vorhees, Samuel Runta, Emily Baker, and Andrew Goldsmith – collected and submitted more than fifty of the part-petition signatures on behalf of the Libertarian candidates. But Mr. Runta, for example, has interned with the Ohio Democratic Party and has also worked for Ohio Democratic and Minority Leader of the Ohio House of Representatives Armand Budish. And the Form 14s reflect that the efforts of these four solicitors (and perhaps others that are undisclosed) were supervised, managed or otherwise organized by James Winnett, the LGBT Outreach Director of the Ohio Democratic Party, and Ian James, a long-time and well-respected leader of the Democratic Party in Ohio.

“Moreover, the Form 14s publicly filed with your office reflect that the entity paying for the efforts of Strategy Network and McTigue & McGinnis to supervise, manage or otherwise organize the collection of signatures on behalf of the Libertarian candidates is an entity titled
Ohioans for Liberty.
Earlier filings with your office reflect that the Ohio Democratic Party has funded Ohioans for Liberty in an amount of $828,000 or more.”

It also became known yesterday that Ohio Libertarian Chairman Kevin Knedler met personally with ODP Chairman Chris Redfern as Earl’s signature gathering efforts were stumbling and they were just days from the filing deadline.

So, we have this party in Ohio that has so little support, that it can’t manage to collect 500 signatures.

Instead of working to build their organization for future races, they go running to the Democrats and become their pawns.

Charlie Earl has every right to be on the ballot if he was put their solely by efforts of Libertarian volunteers. However, it’s now obvious that this is not the case, and that were it not for the Ohio Democratic Party, Charlie Earl would not have qualified for the ballot. The purpose of having to collect a minumum amount of signatures is to prove that there is a minimum level of support from your party’s voters. Charlie Earl knew he was going to fail that test.

Instead of being a candidate of principle, he is now nothing more than a pawn in the ODP’s political game.

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Third Base Politics is an Ohio-centric conservative blog that has been featured at Hot Air, National Review, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, and others.

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