Man Without Qualities

Wednesday, October 02, 2002

Saints Preserve Us!

Saints preserve us and our sacred two party system!

Elizabeth Macron, a member of a scary political party from which the saints who occupy the New Jersey Supreme Court say the two party system must be "preserved," sent this copy of her comments to that court to John Cole (I copy it out in full because the deep link doesn't seem to work).

Ms. Macron probably didn't spook the New Jersey Supreme Court with the notes below. My guess is that what really frightened them is that she had the temerity to actually run for the office. OOOOOO. And she sounds so reasonable. That's probably just to sucker us in. Thank God the New Jersey Supreme Court knows better. Knows what a terrible, terrible person Ms. Macron really is, and what terrible, terrible things her party - any third party - wants to do! Not like that sainted Independent Senator Jim Jeffords - he doesn't "belong" to any party. No. No. He's different. The two party system doesn't need to be preserved from him. It's all very different, and the New Jersey Supreme Court knows just how different it all is.

Can somebody tell me?

Anyway, here's her statement:

Good Afternoon. My name is Elizabeth Macron. I am the Libertarian Party candidate for United States Senate.

The Democratic Party cites Kilmurray v. Gilfert, 10 N.J. 435 as dispositive of the issue. In Kilmurray, this Court noted the relationship between N.J.S.A. 19:13-19 (nominations by petition) and N.J.S.A. 19:13-20 (nomination by primary). In that particular case, this Court found that while the vacancy was not filled by the 37-day deadline of N.J.S.A. 19:13-20, the more lenient deadline required by N.J.S.A. 19:13-19 had been met. A candidate had been selected within the 34-day deadline that would apply to candidates nominated by petition. The Kilmurray decision treated the earlier deadline liberally while upholding the law equally for all candidates on the ballot. In this case before this Court, today, plaintiff has missed both deadlines and they have yet to present a nomination for the vacancy.

The Democratic Party says it acted in good faith. They have to show their own clean hands before they can ask the Court to bend the law on principles of equity. They say that the fifty-one day statutory requirement is a mere technicality. They call it a non-material requirement and argue that no harm is done if new Ballots can be printed and distributed in time. The harm they ignore is the harm that results from allowing a party machine to circumvent the law for political reasons. The plaintiffs have, thus far, been permitted to completely flaunt the law. They have filed procedurally deficient papers, without consequence. They have skirted the notice requirements of the court rules in bringing this matter before the court. They have obtained Injunctive Relief against parties not properly notified. They have filed a Verified Complaint that is not properly verified, thus calling into question the jurisdiction of the court. (Rule 1:4-7 and State v. One Datsun, 189 N.J. Super. 209 (App. Div. 1983)
What sort of precedent is set by permitting party machines to add and subtract candidates at will--without regard to the Rules of court, the Election Law or any of the ballot access rules and procedures? The plaintiffs seem to think that the "very purpose" of the election law is to insure the dominance of the two existing major parties. Why should that be so? The purpose of the election laws is to permit the citizens to vote for whomever they choose. Not whomever the party machine chooses.

Voter choice will not be impaired in the slightest by denial of plaintiff's application. Mr. Genova says on page 12 of his brief that voter choice is compromised when ballot access is denied to any candidate and "in particular candidates of the major parties". He cites page 441 of the Kilmurray decision as authority for this claim. Kilmurray says no such thing. The decision says: “It is in the public interest and the general intent of the election laws to preserve the two-party system and to submit to the electorate a ballot bearing the names of candidates of both major political parties as well as of all other qualifying parties and groups."
It does not say that the public interest is particularly served or better served by the presence of the two major party candidates. It is my position that the public interest is best served by fair ballots containing the names of all qualified candidates. The qualification process includes meeting the deadlines imposed by the statute.

The statutory deadlines do more than just facilitate the work of the County Clerks in preparing ballots. The reason we have laws--process, deadlines and fixed rules is to protect the citizens against the abuse of power. That is what the rule of law is about. The two major parties are diligent about making sure that third party candidates dot all the I's and cross the T's. We believe they should be held to strict compliance as well. If this is a nation of laws, and not men, then the laws should be applied and enforced as written.

Consider the power politics underlying all of this. Mr. Toricelli himself told us that he discussed his decision with President Clinton, Governor McGreavey and Senator Corzine. Mr. Toricelli's decision was a political one. He admitted as much. He said he did not want his party to lose control of the Senate. This "vacancy" did not come about as a surprise to the Democratic party. It did not arise through circumstances beyond their control, such as the death or incapacity of a candidate. Rather, it arose because of their control. This vacancy was created because of power politics.
I object to the procedure by which this matter is being brought to the Court. My objection is based on Lack of Reasonable Notice and Lack of Proper Service. R.4:52-1(b) requires the Order to Show Cause with Temporary Restraints and supporting affidavits to be served at least ten (10) days before the return date. Although the rule does authorize the Court to fix a “shorter or longer time” it defies reason and is and was totally unfair to require, in the best of circumstance, a response time of just a few hours. It certainly is not my fault that Mr. Torricelli waited until the eleventh hour before withdrawing from the Senate Race.

The plaintiffs suggest that it is in the best interests of the voters of this state for their application to be granted. I submit that it is not in the best interest of any voter for the plaintiff’s application to be considered and granted in such a rushed manner with little or no opportunity for the other candidates or political parties to respond.

Not having complied with the election law’s time deadlines, the Democratic party should not be permitted to avoid the law. Their argument that strict application of the law prevents a real choice for the voters is flawed. The New Jersey Democratic State Committee may, if they choose, endorse as their candidate, one of the other candidates on the ballot for United States Senate.

Or they may pursue election as a write-in candidate, an option that was mentioned in the Hand v. Larrison decision. 163 N.J. Super. 78-79. There the court noted that the statutory conditions being challenged did not preclude the candidate from " holding himself out as a candidate and promoting a write-in campaign.” Such a procedure would avoid the alleged irreparable harm, while not violating the applicable statute.

The fact that the Democratic Party is willing to bear the costs of reprinting ballots should raise suspicion and supports my position that this is all about power. These costs and this confusion only exist because of the political maneuvers of the Democratic Party. No cost or confusion will result if the law is simply upheld.

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