Monday, October 7, 2013

Killian and Devoto to Address Access to Ballot on WNPR Today

Realistic Balance Party candidate for mayor, John Killian, and Democratic candidate for Planning and Zoning, Stephen Devoto, will be on The Colin McEnroe show today(WNPR, 90.5FM, 1PM live and 8PM rebroadcast and to discuss access to ballot.

Killian has filed a lawsuit against the city of Middletown for withdrawing the names of endorsed Realistic Balance Party candidates from the ballot because the candidates did not attach signatures to their request for placement on the ballot.  Devoto ran a primary against endorsed Democratic Town Committee candidates, and won, thereby achieving access to the ballot.

Friday, the City of Middletown began distributing absentee ballots without the Realistic Balance Party candidates.  Despite an order of the Stamford Court, in which Westport was "hereby ordered to place the names of [minor party candidates]" on the ballot, and despite endorsement by the Connecticut Secretary of State that the Westport decision was a victory for ballot access, Middletown has taken a wait and see attitude about reintroducing names to the ballot.

Links added:
  • The Secretary of the State's endorsement of the Westport order: "Secretary Merrill Praises Judge's Ruling
  • The Norwalk Superior Court ruling on Westport ("Order of this court"), in full:
    ORDERED that not withstanding Plaintiff's failure to comply with all the requirements of C.G.S. [illegible] pursuant to Conn. Gen. Stat. 9-328, Patricia Strauss, Town Clerk of the Town of Westport, is hereby ordered to place the names of David L.Lessing, Andra Vebell, and T. Alan Hodge on the November 5th 2013 municipal election ballot on the Save Westport Now party line, denoting them as Save Wesport Now candidates for the office of Westport Planning and Zoning Board Commission.


Anonymous said...

The Westport case was about Westport, not Middletown. Absent the Secretary of State issuing an edict to all cities and towns where 3rd party candidates were not placed on the ballot because of a rule violation, it would not be right for Middletown to put them on the ballot unilaterally. The Town Clerk has acted responsibly, especially since there is pending legal action.

Anonymous said...

The Realistic Balance Party has two valid candidates on the absentee ballot issued beginning 10/4; John Kilian for Mayor & Fred Carroll for Common Council. Please check your facts before publishing. Thank You.

Middletown Eye (Ed McKeon) said...

Anon 10:03:

The article, as written, is correct, but perhaps not clear. The facts are correct as stated: "Killian has filed a lawsuit against the city of Middletown for withdrawing the names of endorsed Realistic Balance Party candidates from the ballot because the candidates did not attach signatures..." Endorsed candidates were removed for lack of signature. But you are right, not all candidates from the party had their names removed, Killian and Carroll signed the request for endorsement letter.

Anonymous said...

The "clarification" begs an answer to the question "if a tree falls in the woods". Technically, if the candidates did not sign the endorsement, are they really endorsed?

Looks like a superior court judge in middletown will issue the official clarification.

Middletown Eye (Ed McKeon) said...

Anon: 4:59:

True dat. But all but one candidate accepted the endorsement at the party committee meeting. Since then, several have asked to have the endorsement dropped. And precedent continues to roll as another judge admits candidates to a town ballot without signatures. Here comes the judge.

Bob Dutcher said...

The same result as in the Westport case and, as of yesterday's stipulated agreement, as in the East Hampton case in Middlesex Superior Court, should apply to the Middletown case brought by The Realistic Balance Party. In all three cases, the respective town clerks accepted the nominating petitions, within the statutory time deadlines, without objecting to the technical deficiency of all the nominated candidates having signed the petition. Except for any candidates who now claim they do not accept the nomination, all the other candidates should be added to the November ballot by the Middletown Clerk. While there IS a good reason to require signatures, to make sure the nominated candidates accept the nominations and want to be on the ballot, none of these cases should put form over substance. A mutual mistake was made by the party and the town clerk, in all three cases and the doctrine of estoppel applies here: the town clerk should be estopped from claiming non-compliance with a rule with which she was not familiar. As a matter of full disclosure, the only Realistic Balance Party candidate I support in the election itself is Steven Devoto. There is no important reason why Middletown should not direct the town clerk to follow the practical and fair outcome of the Westport and East Hampton cases. Whether I pronounce Ed McKeon's name as "McHewn," "MaKeeun," MacHeean," or, as he prefers it, "Mick-Hune," he's still a good bloke, laddy, or homie, as far as I'm concerned!

Anonymous said...

I have a simple question.

Does each Dem and Rep candidate on the ballott have to sign paperwork to show they support the request for placment on the ballot?

I wonder if this is an added obstacle for third parties or if it is something required of all polical party candidats?

Does anyone know?

Middletown Eye (Ed McKeon) said...

In national and state elections all candidates are required to provide a signature.

In municipal elections it's only "minor party" candidates who must do so.