More letters supporting ballot status for the SEP in Wisconsin

23 August 2012

Readers of the World Socialist Web Site and supporters of the democratic rights of the Socialist Equality Party continue to write to the Government Accountability Board, the Wisconsin state government agency that will decide whether to place the SEP candidates on the ballot for the November 6 presidential election.

The GAB legal staff initially recommended that the SEP and the Green Party not be placed on the 2012 ballot, because of a technical flaw in their petitions due to changes made by the state government in drawing congressional district lines. The staff has now reversed its recommendation in the light of a 2004 court precedent that placed independent candidate Ralph Nader on the ballot despite a similar technicality.

The SEP has submitted the signatures of more than 3,200 state residents, well above the requirement of 2,000. The GAB meets August 28 to make a final decision on ballot status for parties in the November 6 election. The SEP continues to appeal for letters of support and financial contributions to cover legal expenses.

To donate to the SEP election campaign, click here.

Send all e-mails to:

Government Accountability Board: gab@wi.gov
David Buerger: david.buerger@wi.gov

Letters can be mailed to:

Wisconsin Government Accountability Board P.O. Box 7984 Madison, Wisconsin 53707-7984

Dear GAB,

I was quite relieved to hear that your staff has adopted the voice of reason and has recommended that the GAB reverse the attempt by Mr. Buerger to ban the SEP from the ballot on August 28. By following through with this recommendation, which is based on historical precedent and is in line with our most fundamental democratic rights, the GAB will have averted a catastrophic blow to its image and credibility in the eyes of the public.

It goes without saying that the GAB cannot hope to maintain political objectivity if it does not stand for the right of the SEP to present to the public alternative solutions to those of the two big business parties. Discriminatory and disenfranchising actions like these are filling feasts for growing discontent. A cursory look at the consequences of such actions in the world historical record should provide the GAB with enough perspective to make the right choice.

All the best,

Adam H
English as a Second Language Instructor
Baltimore, Maryland

***

To Whom It May Concern:

Hello, I am writing in full support of reinstating the Socialist Equality Party, as well as the Green Party, on the ballot for this November in the Presidential elections. It is in my mind that if the GAB fully ensures that elections this November will be “fair and impartial” then allowing both parties a fair spot on the ticket is what is necessary. I agree with the GAB message “that the vote of each individual counts”. It is such an important right of people to express their views through a simple vote on their preferred candidate. This is why I believe that it is in good intentions to allow both the SEP and the Green Party a chance on the ballot.

For example, when the SEP gave in more than 3,200 signatures, it represented how citizens in Wisconsin felt the will of supporting the Socialist Equality Party. In the interest of fairness, those citizens must get their wish fulfilled as a result. The staff of the GAB supports now that the candidates should be placed upon the ballot. I strongly believe in the SEP’s message and that message should be allowed to be heard through our democratic system. Therefore, I believe the staff’s recommendation should be carried out by the GAB. As Jerry White stated to the World Socialist Web Site on the emails sent to the GAB, “It was only possible because of the determination of workers and young people.” It is through that determination that makes the vote of each individual count so much in our society.

Respectfully Submitted,

Brandon J
New York, NY

***

Dear Mr. Buerger and members of Government Accountability Board,

The working people are starved for political expression, given the blatant actions by the two big business parties enacting and enforcing policies to mobilize wealth from the bottom 90 percent of the population to the topmost wealthiest of American society.

A circumstance that has in a few short years eroded the standards of living for millions of citizens here and worldwide. With the American state in a vise of the financial aristocrats, all social wealth for education, health, environmental protections, jobs, housing, and retirement is being stripped out and handed to the monied instruments, the largest of the US banks, of the wealthiest minority.

It is in this ill social and political setting that the GAB has exhibited its “accountability” to these monied elites, in an alliance against the working citizenry of Wisconsin by denying ballot access to the Socialist Equality Party candidates for president and vice-president of the United States, Jerry White and Phyllis Scherrer.

Citizens from the midwest gathered over 3,200 signatures from Wisconsin’s eligible voters in just over a week to place SEP candidates on the ballot. Only to have the GAB, in a very public manner, seize upon the redrawing of voting districts by the big business parties to deny voters access to any other candidates, the Green Party included.

I urge the GAB to place the SEP candidates for president and vice president of the United States, Jerry White and Phyllis Scherrer, on the ballot this fall.

GJ
Wisconsin

***

Dear Sir or Madam,

Socialist Equality Party candidates Jerry White and Phyllis Scherrer should be put on the ballot in Wisconsin. The initial recommendation that White and Scherrer be disqualified was a politically motivated, anti-democratic act. Although it would not be the first time in Wisconsin history that a decision had been made to exclude a third-party candidate based on a frivolously concocted excuse, it is worth considering that these decisions are not without their consequences for the political life of the state as a whole. By violating the democratic principles enshrined in the US and Wisconsin constitutions, they tend to de-legitimize the authority of the institutions of government. This is at a time when public trust for the institutions of government is already at a low point. If you know anything about the politics of the Socialist Equality Party (SEP), then you should know that the SEP appeals to that lack of trust. In particular, it is the position of the SEP that a government that supports capitalism cannot consistently follow democratic principles. Thus a decision of the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board excluding the SEP from the ballot would actually tend to confirm the correctness of the SEP’s position.

As you make your decision as to whether to allow White and Scherrer onto the ballot, you might consider President Lincoln’s adage that “you can’t fool all of the people all of the time.”

Sincerely,

David R.

***

To the members of the Government Accountability Board:

I was born and raised in Wisconsin, and have numerous friends and relatives that live there. While I do not currently reside in that state, I still take great interest in the events there. It is therefore that I am greatly disturbed by the effort to keep the Socialist Equality Party’s candidates for President and Vice-President (Jerry White and Phyllis Scherrer), as well as the candidates of the Green Party, off of the ballot for the presidential election this November. The decision, based on the fact that two of the ten presidential electors were listed in the wrong congressional district because of last-minute changes made to district boundaries, is insulting to anyone who cares about democratic principles. Such a decision could always be expected in Chicago, which is run by a corrupt political machine. If the SEP candidates (and the Green Party candidates) are not placed on the ballot, you are proving that Wisconsin is no different than your neighbor to the south.

Sincerely,

Andrew H
Houston, Texas

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Wisconsin Government Accountability Board and David Buerger:

I am gratified that the Wisconsin GAB legal staff has reversed a clearly erroneous recommendation that would have urged denial of the Socialist Equality Party candidates for president and vice president in the November election from the Wisconsin ballot.

I expect that the GAB itself will now discharge its responsibility in enabling that critical element of any democracy: ballot access.

The SEP has met the Wisconsin requirements in every significant way. The manufactured controversy over two electors now occupying an incorrect district (with the district borders unclear and themselves still the subject of confusion), does nothing to diminish the clearly-earned slot that these two candidates should have on the ballot.

Don B
Ithaca, New York