Archive for Tuesday, July 9, 1996

BALLOT REMOVAL CALLED MISTAKE

July 9, 1996

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A Lawrence Libertarian candidate for the U.S. Senate has been put back on the Nov. 5 ballot.

Secretary of State Ron Thornburgh admitted Monday that he erred in removing Libertarian Steve Rosile's name from the fall ballot for U.S. Senate -- and that "there was no conspiracy" involved.

"An honest mistake was made and we're moving forward and correcting it," Thornburgh said.

Thornburgh had announced Friday that Rosile was among seven candidates from the Libertarian and Reform parties who were disqualified because of flawed nominations.

The reason given last week for Rosile's disqualification was that he didn't specify which of the two U.S. Senate seats he was seeking. Those are the "regular" seat now held by U.S. Sen. Nancy Kassebaum, R-Kan., who is retiring, and the "unexpired" seat, which became open when Bob Dole resigned to spend more time on his presidential campaign.

Rosile, a 44-year-old Kansas University law student, had called the decision "ridiculous" and promised to challenge the decision in court, if necessary.

Rosile said he filed for office May 11 for the only seat open at the time, the seat Kassebaum now holds. Dole announced May 15 he would resign and formally resigned June 11.

Thornburgh said Monday that he reviewed the action taken Friday and discovered that Rosile's certificate of nomination by the Libertarian Party did occur before a second seat became open.

"Therefore we can tell from the face of the document what seat he was running for and we're going to put his name back on the ballot," Thornburgh said.

The other six Libertarian state candidates remain disqualified.

Thornburgh said Rosile was contacted by telephone that he was back on the ballot and would soon receive a letter telling him about the error.

Rosile said Monday afternoon that he wasn't satisfied with the explanation. Republicans have been trying to get the Libertarian candidates off the ballot for years, he said, because Libertarian philosophy of less government intrusion appeals to many Republicans.

"It was obvious they were using their office for partisan political gains," Rosile said. "Obviously, they're afraid of the Libertarian policies."

Rosile said if he had been removed from the ballot, the Libertarian Party would not have had a statewide candidate this year. That would make it harder for the party to receive at least 1 percent of the vote to maintain its ballot status.

Thornburgh said that was not the case because Libertarians would have had a presidential candidate on the ballot.

"There is absolutely no truth that there is some kind of conspiracy going on," Thornburgh said. "I have been working with the Libertarian Party for a decade."

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