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LPO gov candidate Charlie Earl calls anticipated court ballot ruling 50-50 shot

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"But whatever the outcome, we'll live with it. I'll take responsibility for it, well move forward," Charlie Earl, candidate for governor of Ohio for the Libertarian Party of Ohio [LPO], said Saturday in Columbus. "Liberty will survive, with or without Charlie Earl. It's the message not the messenger."

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The long-shot candidate accepted responsibility for not shifting his priority to the petition process, a failure to focus that has landed him and his young party in a precarious position on whether he remains on the May primary ballot or not.

Ohio voters and election watchers won't know whether the LPO convention in Columbus Saturday was a celebration of its resurrection to the gubernatorial ballot again, or the final hurrah to a funeral if a federal judge doesn't reverse a decision made by Ohio election officials Friday to scrub Earl from the primary ballot.

About 80 hearty souls who attended the convention held this weekend in central Ohio heard an impassioned, sometimes sentimental, soliloquy from Earl, a former Member of the Ohio House, who had planned to carry the LP0 banner for governor this year.

But Earl and his running mate Cheryl Clark may have experienced sudden death with a ruling Friday by Ohio's chief elections office that the LPO ticket has no longer qualified for the primary ballot. The buzz surrounding Earl's candidacy was that, while it truly would be an Ohio miracle for him to be elected governor, a mountain Earl and the LPO do not have the tools or the money to summit, the miracle he could work for Democrats, and their gubernatorial candidate Ed FitzGerald, would be to siphon off a half-dozen percentage points in voter turnout from the incumbent, first-term governor, John R. Kasich, a Republican.

A half-dozen points might even be a low number, given the results of unpublished internal data from Rasmussen Polling that suggest Charlie Earl could hit 8.3 percent, significantly higher than the six percent Public Policy Polling found when it included Earl in two polls its performed on the major party race between the GOP's John Kasich and Ed FitzGerald, a Democrat.

Tom Zawistowksi, head of the Portage County Tea Party, who lost election to chairman of the Ohio Republican Party, was outspoken on the way Earl's fortunes are playing out.

Watch him explain it in detail on 60 Seconds Ohio, news and newsmakers in about a minute.

Charlie Earl was the luncheon speaker at the Double Tree Hilton in suburban Columbus. As conference attendees munched on beef, chicken and vegetarian, including salad and tranche of chocolate cake, Earl waxed sentimental as he spoke about his life and the future of his grandson, a future he's not auspicious about, which turned into the driving force behind his run to run for governor.

It's the message not the messenger

Lots of eyes will be focused on the fate of the LPO candidate this year, especially from the Kasich campaign, which will cheer the decision to keep a competitor off the ballot, and the FitzGerald campaign, which want Earl in the race so he can damage the Kasich campaign enough to leave him the winner this fall.

Interviewed at the convention, Earl said that whether he's on the ballot or not, the message of liberty and rights is what's important.

Watch Charlie Earl say it on 60 Seconds Ohio.

Interviewed by CGE, Earl explained the difficulty of being a one-man-band, saying, "As a candidate, I should have been more diligent in the oversight, my theory was I'm doing my own speech writing, I'm doing my own research, all my own driving, and all that kind of stuff ... I figured, leave the mechanical aspects to people ho can handle that; I don't want them speaking for me, I don't want them drawing policy for me; that's the difficulty with being a small, embryonic party, because you just don't have the resources to do everything and get it right. I will take responsibility for it because my priorities should have shifted. My feeling was, what's the point of getting on the ballot if I don't have any thing to say?"

The homespun Earl thinks he's got a 50-50 shot of winning the decision. The good decision would be based on an understanding that Republicans have tried before to "beat these people off the ballot for a long time," for which he said there is precedent. "Follow your precedent, follow your practices, what has been practiced, not what the original law says."

The bad decision thinking goes like this, "On [Senate Bill] 193 they tried to compress everything on you and that was patently unfair, but the law is the law, you should have followed it."

If Earl and the LPO are not winners, that's it for Earl this election season. "That's it for me, I couldn't run as a sore loser under any other banner, but that's OK, I'll live with that," he said, adding, "We should have followed the law, not the practice, bottom line."

"I take the hit, I deserve a kick, and that's what happens," Earl said.

A professional collector failed to list LPO as an employer on the back of a petition when it was turned in, Earl said. That didn't materially affect the people who wanted to sign the petition because he didn't fill that data out until after the petition was completed. "That was failed, we didn't get it done," he said. "In essence we're in violation, however, there is a history in Ohio where that has been ignored or overlooked," he said. The Supreme Court of Ohio has ruled on at least one occasions, Earl said, that it was an "immaterial oversight" and should be ignored.

The news article LPO gov candidate Charlie Earl calls anticipated court ballot ruling 50-50 shot appeared first on Columbus Government Examiner.

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