B.A.N.: COFOE Hopes to Help Vermont Independent Candidate Lawsuit, but Needs Funds

Reposted from Ballot Access News

The Coalition for Free & Open Elections is attempting to raise funds so that the Vermont ballot access appeal Trudell v Markowitz can go forward. The case challenges the Vermont independent candidate petition deadline. In 2009 the legislature moved it from September to June, a drastic de-liberalization. An independent candidate, Jerry Trudell, who had been on the ballot for U.S. House in 2008 and had polled 10,818 votes, was unable to get on the ballot in 2010 for another attempt because of the new early deadline.

His lawsuit in lower state court lost earlier this year, and he wants to appeal to the Vermont Supreme Court. However, even though his attorney is pro bono, there are costs of approximately $2,500 to pay for the trial transcript. COFOE does not have that much money, but if COFOE receives pledges of as much as $2,000, it can meet this expense. If you are willing to make a conditional pledge for this cause, please e-mail richardwinger@yahoo.com and indicate the amount of your pledge.

The lower court ruling in the Trudell case was flawed. It did not mention any of the six precedents from other states that June petition deadlines are unconstitutionally early. It did not mention the holding in Anderson v Celebrezze, the 1983 U.S. Supreme Court decision that said early petition deadlines for independent presidential candidates are unconstitutional. Instead, it quoted dicta from Storer v Brown that candidates do not have a constitutional right to enter a race late. The Vermont lower state court said Storer v Brown was decided in 1987, when actually it was decided in 1974, before Anderson v Celebrezze was decided.

COFOE greatly appreciates the generous support it has already received over the years, particularly from one individual who recently donated $200, and another individual who donated $100. But, more is needed. If you wish to contribute to COFOE now, without waiting for the results of the drive for pledges, write a check to COFOE and send it to PO Box 470296, San Francisco Ca 94147.

Note: As of this posting there have been pledges totaling $640..