Green Party Candidate in Washington Wins Campaign Speech Case

On August 27, a Washington State Court overturned a fine that had been levied against a Green Party nominee for the state legislature in 2002. Marilou Rickert had been fined $1,000 for saying in her campaign literature that her only opponent, the Democratic incumbent, had voted to close the Mission Creek Youth Camp. Actually her opponent, State Senator Tim Sheldon, had voted not to close the Camp. Washington state law criminalizes “political advertising that contains a false statement of fact about a candidate for public office” if the false statement was made maliciously. The State Court of Appeals held the law to violate the First Amendment. Rickert v State, 32274-9.

New York Victory

On September 7, the New York Supreme Court, Appellate Division, ruled 5-0 that the U.S. Constitution protects the right of non-residents of a city, to circulate an initiative petition for that city. Bray v Marsolino.

A similar hearing in Ohio State Court of Appeals is being held on September 8, on whether out-of-state residents may circulate an initiative petition in Ohio.

Montana Democrat Empties Out Rick Jore's Bank Account

On September 6, former Constitution Party state legislator Rick Jore of Montana received a letter from his bank, notifying him that his Democratic opponent in last year’s election had successfully emptied out his bank account, in accordance with a court order. That court order requires Jore to pay $15,664 in legal fees to his opponent’s attorney. Jore had not sued anyone last year. Instead, his Democratic opponent had sued him to obtain a recount. The original tally had resulted in Jore’s being seated in the legislature. The Montana Supreme Court had reversed the original tally and ruled that his Democratic opponent had been elected instead. Under strange Montana rules, when a candidate loses a lawsuit involving recounts, a court has the discretion to order the losing candidate to pay attorney’s fees for the winner.

Montana Democrat Empties Out Rick Jore’s Bank Account

On September 6, former Constitution Party state legislator Rick Jore of Montana received a letter from his bank, notifying him that his Democratic opponent in last year’s election had successfully emptied out his bank account, in accordance with a court order. That court order requires Jore to pay $15,664 in legal fees to his opponent’s attorney. Jore had not sued anyone last year. Instead, his Democratic opponent had sued him to obtain a recount. The original tally had resulted in Jore’s being seated in the legislature. The Montana Supreme Court had reversed the original tally and ruled that his Democratic opponent had been elected instead. Under strange Montana rules, when a candidate loses a lawsuit involving recounts, a court has the discretion to order the losing candidate to pay attorney’s fees for the winner.