August 22, 2008 - The Marion County Circuit Court, Judge Paul Lipscomb, today ruled against the Independent Party of Oregon (IPO) in the lawsuit described below in this post. The court denied the preliminary injunction sought by the IPO and others. This does not end the case, but the denial of the preliminary injunction means that all candidates who have accepted nominations both from the IPO (or any minor party) and by a major party (Democratic or Republican) will be identified on the November 2008 ballot solely as the candidate of the major party.
"We believe that the Oregon statute allows each candidate to have up to two party labels on the ballot," said IPO state chair (and attorney in the case) Linda Williams. "We are disappointed that the information conveyed to voters on the November ballot will be restricted to only one party per candidate."
August 12, 2008 - The Independent Party of Oregon, the state's 3rd largest political party, has today filed a lawsuit in Marion County court against the Oregon Secretary of State for refusing to include the party's name on the ballot line for candidates who are cross-nominated by the party.
The Independent Party is joined in the suit by Joel Haugen, a Republican running for Congress in District One of Oregon; Peter Buckley, a leader in the Democratic Caucus in the Oregon House of Representatives; and the Working Families Party of Oregon.
"We had hoped that the Secretary of State would recognize the mistake and allow us to move on," said Party Secretary, Sal Peralta. "The opinion of our legal advisors is that the state's actions are inconsistent with Oregon law, and we need the court to make a determination."
“The Independent Party makes a strong argument that the statutory changes in 1995 require that party nominations accepted by a candidate should appear on that candidate’s ballot line,” said Senator Ben Westlund, who was recently cross-nominated by the Independent Party in his bid to become State Treasurer. “The statute seems to indicate that both nominations should be printed in this case.”
Westlund joins fellow Democrat, Jeff Merkley, and Republican, Joel Haugen as the candidates who have been cross-nominated by the Independent Party.
The case is set out in the attached Complaint and Motion for Preliminary Injunctive Relief. The Marion County Circuit Court has scheduled a hearing for August 21.
The Independent Party of Oregon is the state's third largest political party, registering more than 24,000 members since its inception in January 2007. The party has nominated candidates for county commission and state representative and has cross-nominated candidates for US Congress and US Senate. Contact Sal Peralta (email@example.com) for a list of the candidates nominated by the Independent Party.