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Arizona Republicans lose court challenge to keep Libertarian off ballot

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Yesterday, June 19, 2014, Arizona Republican Kevin McNeill lost his court case against Libertarian Party Gubernatorial candidate Barry Hess to keep Hess off the November, 2014 ballot. Hess said yesterday of the lawsuit, ""it's just another Republican attempt to try to win by exclusion."

The Republicans currently have six candidates for governor in the Republican Party primary, the winner of which will face Hess in the November general election. Current Arizona Governor Jan Brewer announced earlier this year that she will not be running again, which leaves the seat more accessible without an incumbent in the race.

The lawsuit centered around McNeill's allegation that Hess did not have enough valid petitions signatures to qualify him to be on the ballot. Yesterday, the court dismissed McNeill's case because it found the signatures in dispute were valid. Had McNeill been victorious in his anti-free market of ideas effort, Hess would have been short by five signatures to qualify for the ballot.

This is not the first attempt by Republicans to show their true anti-free market colors. Last year, the Republican-led Arizona legislature passed HB 2305 which would have made it a near impossibility for the Libertarian Party candidate to get on the state's ballot. In September of last year, Hess led the largest and most diverse coalition in Arizona history to send HB2305 to the ballot, instead–by Citizen’s Referendum. It was the first successful such effort in almost 30 years, with almost as many attempts.
Republicans were set back on their heels and scrambled to repeal their own legislation in an effort to hide the issue from the Voters in November.

Hess made these following additional comments concerning the Republican effort to eliminate him from the ballot, "“We were never concerned about the numbers not being there, but now we’re concerned about the obvious frivolousness of the challenge, and the potential of fraud on the Court having been committed by only identifying the ‘throw away’ member of their club who agreed to be the Plaintiff; and not the real party behind the scheme. It seems the goal is to shield GOP candidates from having to actually address the issues, and defend their positions on the campaign trail. Maybe the problem is my polling ahead of most of their candidates; whatever the case they must have wanted me off the ballot pretty badly to put up big money for a frivolous suit. What surprises me the most is that Snell & Wilmer would lend their credibility to these grade-school attempts to avoid having to compete for elected office"

As Republicans do regularly, they file lawsuits to eliminate their competition in the political realm to assure themselves a victory, while denying voters more choice. Earlier this year, Ohio Republicans were successful in removing a Libertarian Party challenger to Republican incumbent Governor John Kasich (see below in 'Suggested by the author').

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