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Government and Politics


Ohio Libertarians make their federal case over the May primary
The GOP chair denies he and his party had anything to do with keeping the Libertarians off the ballot
by WKSU's STATEHOUSE CORRESPONDENT JO INGLES


Reporter
Jo Ingles
 
Charlie Earl says the GOP had an interest and a hand in getting him off the ballot
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In The Region:

The chairman of Ohio’s Republican Party denies he or his party is behind the challenges to Libertarian Charlie Earl’s candidacy for governor. Ohio Public Radio’s Jo Ingles reports Libertarian candidates say those statements, which were made as part of a federal court hearing this morning could be important in the future.

LISTEN:Libertarians in court

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Ohio Republican Party Chairman Matt Borges was emphatic in denying he and his party had anything to do with the decision to disqualify Libertarian gubernatorial candidate Charlie Earl from the primary ballot last week.  The court proceedings were not allowed to be recorded for re-broadcast but Jeremy Pelzer, a reporter with the Northeast Ohio Media Group, was observing Borges as he made his statements.

“He denied all questions about involvement, about Ohio Republicans, in the challenges.  He denied that the party sought out any challengers to Earl’s petitions.  He denied any party money was paid to help the legal fees for the challengers.  He basically said anyone who is looking for the conspiracy behind this, it’s just not there.”

Borges also said he misspoke when he initially told reporters late last month that the Ohio GOP did have a role in the challenges. Charlie Earl says Borges didn’t say anything unexpected in this hearing.

“I have not seen that much excrement in one location for such a short time in a long time, since I left my dad’s farm.  And we knew he’d be evasive, and we knew he knows nothing. But we’ve got it on the record so that if something pops up that impeaches his testimony, we aren’t going after the party, we are going after him personally, too.”

The Libertarians’ case also argues Secretary of State Jon Husted’s ruling that Earl cannot be on the ballot violates the First Amendment rights of petition circulators. And they note there’s a conflicts with previous state rulings that allow petition collectors to submit signatures without identifying their employers.  The court is expected to rule on the matter later this week.

 

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