Wednesday, September 29, 2004


Nader takes another body blow. Criminal investigation and Court appeal next?

Wow, when you hear the findings its clear that the petition situation for Nader was so bad that Ken Blackwell didn't have any choice but to rule Nader off the ballot!

Kudos to SOS hearing office Gretchen Quinn for not flinching from the obvious when she wrote her report. The Dispatch covers the story in a complete but pedestrian style that some of the staff writers are known for.

The most important development of the Nader situation, however, is that Quinn recommended that Blackwell conduct “further investigations” into the conduct of the petition circulators in question and refer the findings to the appropriate law enforcement agencies regarding “apparent violations” of Ohio election laws. So Blackwell is in a fix. Now, who is going to hold his feet to the fire.

Also, this kind of investigation is not that hard. Once again, the question has got to be asked: "Who hired JSM, Inc and the five other petition circulation companies?"

Oddly, Julie Carr Smyth and T.C. Brown of the Plain Dealer, who normally try to run investigative circles around the Dispatch, make no mention of the appearance of criminal acts and Quinn's call for further investigation. Since the criminal aspect was the big, new development (the bogus signatures, collectors, etc. was already documented) one has to wonder if they doing their own investigation. Let's hope so.

But before everyone gets excited, it appears that the SOS decision is going to be appealed to the Ohio Supreme Court. Now, I gotta think that the OSC isn't just going to toss this appeal out. Given the partisan composition and actions of the court, I think it's still too soon to count Nader out.


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