(Chuck Muth) – The appeal to the Supreme Court to remove Scott Ashjian, the “Tea Party Poser,” from the ballot as a U.S. Senate candidate for filing a false statement of candidacy has been filed.
Ashjian, as you’ll recall, filed as a Tea Party candidate before switching his voter registration from the Republican Party to the Tea Party. As the attorney on the case notes, that’s like getting married in the morning to your second wife before getting divorced in the afternoon from your first wife. It’s called bigamy and, yep, there are laws against it.
No date for the hearing has been set yet.
In the meantime, there’s a second effort underway to also disqualify the Tea Party of Nevada itself from the ballot.
As you may recall, former Nevada GOP executive director Dan Burdish discovered in the Nevada Revised Statutes (NRS) a requirement that not only did Ashjian have to gather 250 signatures to qualify for ballot status as a candidate, but TPN was required to gather some 9,000 signatures to qualify for ballot status as a third party.
The deadline to qualify as a party with ballot status was in June. TPN did not submit the required signatures by the deadline.
So Burdish filed a complaint urging Nevada Secretary of State Ross Miller to strike TPN from the ballot for failing to comply with the NRS requirements. But Miller – who surely has future political ambitions and who even more assuredly fears the Wrath of Reid (Harry, not Rory) – ruled TPN didn’t have to follow the rules.
According to Miller, as long as Ashjian collected the necessary signatures to file as a candidate, that was good enough to qualify TPN, too.
No, it’s not.
If Ashjian collects 250 signatures, he qualifies to run as an INDEPENDENT candidate, not under the name of a third-party that hasn’t also qualified to appear on the ballot – just like the Libertarian Party and the Green Party and the Independent American Party have had to do.
So Ashjian can run (maybe), but his name can’t appear on the ballot as a “Tea Party” candidate because no such party has qualified. Otherwise, anyone could gather 250 signatures to be a candidate under any name they wanted – The Allah Party, The Legal Citizen Party, The I Hate Taxes Party, The NoBama Party, etc.
As such, Burdish has been in touch with a local attorney and a national election law attorney and is mulling a second lawsuit to overturn Miller’s ruling. Potential and appropriate plaintiffs with “standing” are being contacted this weekend. A decision is expected to be made later this week.
The bottom line is this: Scott Ashjian is a sleazeball – and I mean that in a good Christian way.
But even sleazeballs have the right to run for public office in our constitutional republic. However, sleazeballs also should be required to follow the same rules as everyone else. That’s the linchpin of our form of government: Equal justice under law. And it’s not equal if the rules apply to good citizens but not to sleazeballs.
Let’s hope our courts agree.