Lawyers ask federal judge to approve Nader lawsuit against former DNC chairman

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) – Lawyers for Ralph Nader asked a federal judge Friday to let a lawsuit proceed against former Democratic National Committee Chairman Terry McAuliffe, arguing that McAuliffe oversaw an unprecedented conspiracy to keep Nader off the ballot in the 2004 presidential election.

Nader, who is making his third presidential bid this year, filed suit in October against McAuliffe and Washington lawyer Steven Raikin. Nader claims that his constitutional right to run for office was damaged by two dozen groundless lawsuits in 18 states challenging his right to be on the ballot. The lawsuits were coordinated by top Democratic Party officials, Nader said, with the dual purpose of keeping him off the ballot and bankrupting his campaign with hefty legal fees.

“This is not how democratic elections is a free country are supposed to run,” said Oliver Hall, a lawyer for Nader, during a pretrial hearing Friday in U.S. District Court.

Dozens of lawyers were enlisted to wage what Hall called an unprecedented effort “to prevent a candidate from exercising his First Amendment rights to run for office.”

Lawyers for McAuliffe, who now is chairman of Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton’s presidential campaign, and Raikin asked U.S. District Judge James Cacheris to dismiss the case. While denying any wrongdoing, they said the issue is a moot point since the two-year statute of limitations on such cases has come and gone.

“It’s too late, and too little,” said McAuliffe’s lawyer, John H. Young.

Nader’s lawyer said the statute of limitations should not apply because the defendants conspired beyond the 2004 election to conceal their role in keeping Nader off the ballot. It was not until after the elections, Hall said, that Nader learned about the loose relationship between the Democratic Party and lawyers working with the Ballot Project Inc., an organization directed by Raikin that was formed to keep Nader off state ballots in 2004.

Emphasis added by me.

Change the name of your party, DNC. It has nothing to do with democracy.



Vote Nader 2008 website

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