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By Jack Minor
Even as Democrats across the nation unleash their sarcasm against anyone who challenges Barack Obama’s eligibility to be in the 2012 presidential race, they themselves are asserting another candidate should be disqualified.
Although it’s been ignored by mainstream media, a precedent-setting case has been developing in Georgia where state residents under an election law have raised challenges to Obama’s name on the 2012 ballot. Just last week, Obama and his lawyer wrote to Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp that they would refuse to show up at a hearing on the controversy even though Obama had been subpoenaed.
Now comes a letter from Patrick Gaspard, executive director for the Democratic National Committee, writing a letter to television stations that another candidate for president, Randall Terry, “should not be accorded the benefits of someone conducting a legitimate campaign for public office.”
Terry is a longtime pro-life activist whose resume includes authorship of a long list of books, appearances on TV programs such as “Oprah,” “Nightline,” “60 Minutes,” “Hannity and Colmes,” “Larry King Live,” lectures at the Vatican and 25 countries and the recording of two CDs in Nashville.
He has met the legal requirements to be a write-in candidate for Democratic primaries in states such as New Hampshire, Missouri, Oklahoma and Illinois.
The Democrats are upset that since federal law requires television and radio stations to run ads by a legally qualified candidate for public office within 45 days of a primary or election, Terry has been given an open door.
His plan is to use the regulation to run graphic ads in local markets during the Super Bowl describing the horrors of abortion. The campaign currently has ads scheduled to run in 13 cities in six different states. The ads have already run in eight states: Iowa, New Hampshire, Nebraska, Minnesota, Illinois, Missouri, Massachusetts and Maine.
Just days ago, Gaspard wrote to media outlets apparently advising them to violate federal law and refuse to run Terry’s ads.
The letter states, “Mr. Terry is not a bona fide Democratic candidate or representative of the Democratic National Committee.”
Despite meeting the legal requirements in the states where he is on the ballot, the DNC says Terry is still not qualified to be a Democratic candidate and should not be entitled to the legal right to run his campaign ads.
“The Delegate Selections Rules for the 2012 Democratic National Conventions require an individual to ‘have demonstrated a commitment to the goals and objectives of the Democratic Party’ in order to be a qualified candidate for the nomination of the Democratic Party for president,” Gaspard said. “Mr. Terry’s claims to be a Democratic candidate for president are false. Accordingly, he should not be accorded the benefits of someone conducting a legitimate campaign for public office.”
NBC’s Chicago affiliate, WMAQ, will not run Terry’s ad, saying, “We have concluded that Randall Terry is not a legally qualified candidate for federal office within the meaning of the FCC’s rules … as a candidate who is not on the ballot, he has not made a ‘substantial showing of a bona fide candidacy’ under the FCC’s regulations.”
Terry disputed WMAQ’s contention, citing FCC Release-Number: FCC78-523, which says, “In one case, the commission decided that a write-in candidate had made a substantial showing by making campaign speeches, distributing campaign literature, issuing press releases and maintaining a campaign committee.”
Terry said he has campaigned on five separate trips, distributed literature, issued multiple press releases, made speeches and maintained a campaign committee in the state. He said these actions more that meet the FCC requirements as a “bona fide” candidate.
Jason Craddock, Terry’s attorney with the Thomas More Society, said it is amazing that a major political party would encourage local television stations to treat a candidate in such a manner.
“The DNC’s action is sheer deceptive thuggery. They imagine themselves above the law and in their letter (which thinly veils their intent) they direct the media to break the law as well, all for the sake of hiding the gruesome, bloody reality of the president’s policies and promotion of abortion without limits.”
Taking a swipe at Obama’s own eligibility issues, Terry said, “I – unlike the president – can prove that I am a legally qualified candidate for president; that I am legally on the ballot in the states in question; that I have met every legal standard imposed on me by the FEC and the FCC.”
While the DNC is challenging Terry’s legitimacy as a Democratic candidate, Obama is facing his own ballot eligibility issues in his adopted home state of Illinois.
Stephen F. Boulton of McCarthy Duffy LLP and Gary Kreep of the United States Justice Foundation, representing Sharon Meroni, have filed a complaint asking for a change in state election law that would allow for vetting of candidates similar to what is allowed in Georgia.
Last week in a Georgia court, evidence was entered into an official court record for the first time that showed Obama does not meet the constitutional qualifications for office.
After Obama’s lawyers said they were simply not going to show up, Judge Michael Malihi considered entering a default judgment against the president.
The default could have included a recommendation by Malihi that Obama’s name be stricken from the ballot as ineligible. He later allowed attorneys representing Georgia citizens to enter evidence as to Obama’s ineligibility.
Ballot challenges against the president are currently pending in other states, including Arizona, New Hampshire, Alabama and Tennessee. There is also a movement in Colorado petitioning Secretary of State Scott Gessler to remove Obama’s name from the ballot in November.