Muslims For Nader/Camejo

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Friday, August 27, 2004

Independent Voters Sue Democrats

Independent voters sue Democrats, alleging conspiracy against Nader
Associated Press Writer - August 27, 2004

NEW YORK -- A group of independent voters sued John Kerry and the Democratic National Committee Friday, saying they were conspiring to stifle the presidential campaign of independent Ralph Nader and prevent creation of a third political party.

The lead plaintiff in the lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Manhattan was Lenora B. Fulani, New York Independent Party leader. Other plaintiffs were described as political independents and Nader supporters.

The lawsuit alleged that Republicans and Democrats have used their position of dominance in Congress and state governments to establish an election system that favors continued dominance by the two controlling parties.

The lawsuit charged that leading Democrats including Democratic National Committee Chairman Terry McAuliffe urged Nader not to run earlier this year and then "embarked on the conspiracy" when he failed to heed their advice.

A spokesman for the Democratic National Committee did not immediately return a telephone message.

According to the lawsuit, Kerry, McAuliffe and the DNC conspired to block Nader from the ballot in as many states as possible.

The defendants, it added, orchestrated propaganda campaigns, saying it was important to eliminate Nader as a factor in the race.

As a result, key challenges were made to stop Nader from getting on the ballot in Arizona, Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Michigan, Missouri, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, the lawsuit said.

In states such as Maryland, Massachusetts, South Carolina and Virginia, where there is no formal challenge procedure, the defendants tried to induce state officials to subject the Nader campaign to increased scrutiny, it said.

The effort, the lawsuit alleged, has caused Nader to be denied ballot access in Arizona, California, Illinois, Maryland, Missouri, Oregon, South Carolina and Texas.

And it has put ballot access at risk in Iowa, Massachusetts, New Mexico, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin and other states, the lawsuit said.

The lawsuit said the conspiracy forced the Nader campaign to spend money on the effort to get on the ballot rather than on publicizing the campaign's message.
Nader said he told Kerry during their meeting that he believed he would take more votes away from Bush than from Kerry.
The plaintiffs sought unspecified financial damages, and an order stopping the Democrats from continuing the alleged conspiracy.

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