Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Sam Sloan Loses LP Gubernatorial Nomination Challenges On Procedural Grounds

On Tuesday, August 17, 2010, the Supreme Court of the State of New York, Appellate Division (First Department) rejected two appeals taken with respect to Orders issued by Supreme Court Justice Edmead on cases brought by Sam Sloan claiming the nomination and election process of the New York State Libertarian Party was rigged in favor of Warren Redlich, the eventual nominee. Justice Edmead dismissed Sam Sloan's two gubernatorial nomination challenges on procedural and technical grounds and the Appellate Division's upholding of Justice Edmead's Orders means that the substantive issues raised in Sam Sloan's lawsuits will never be litigated.

Sloan's first lawsuit sought the opportunity to communicate with the 400-500 members of the New York State Libertarian Party so he could send them campaign literature and encourage them to attend the New York State Libertarian Party Convention, which was held in Albany, New York on April 24, 2010. Both Sam Sloan and Kristin Davis, who is now running for governor as the candidate of the Anti-Prohibition Party, were denied the right to campaign and lobby the eligible voting delegates and, as a result, Warren Redlich was handed the nomination with only 27 delegates voting for him. Justice Edmead ruled that since the margin of victory for Redlich over Sloan at the State Convention was more than just a few votes, that the issue was moot. Sloan felt Justice Edmead made an error in law when she ruled in this manner because he argued that if he had the opportunity to lobby all eligible delegates that many more would have attended the convention.

Sloan's second lawsuit sought to set aside the actual vote at the State Convention that handed the nomination to Warren Redlich on the grounds that fraud actually took place during that nomination process. Ignoring the fact that the State Party did not seem to have a complete list of voting delegates, the actual voting process was conducted on the "honor system" with individuals, regardless of whether they had a wristband entitling them to vote, being permitted to submit votes on scraps of paper into a passing hat. Sloan had at least two witnesses who saw people vote more than once, who saw ineligible individuals vote and, who, in one case, saw someone collect another person's ballot and pocket it instead of placing it into the passing hat. Justice Edmead dismissed this lawsuit on the grounds that the New York State Election Law states that challenges to actions that take place at the convention of a party committee must be commenced within ten (10) days of the convention being held. Sloan felt Justice Edmead made an error in law because the New York State Libertarian Party is not a major or minor party in New York State and is, therefore, not subject to New York State Election Law when it comes to issues of internal party structure and rules.

The dismissal of Sam Sloan's appeals means that the substantive issues of whether candidates seeking the nomination of the New York State Libertarian Party have a legal right to communicate with voting delegates to lobby them in advance of the State Convention and whether a nomination process conducted on the "honor system" can be upheld when there is evidence of actual fraud and ballot-stuffing, will never be addressed.

Sam Sloan has said he is in the process of preparing a Motion for Leave to Appeal both cases to the Court of Appeals, New York State's highest Court and that he intends to file that Motion in Albany on August 19, 2010.

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