Plunderbund was the only media sanctioned to be in courtroom 23B of the 10th District Court of Appeals in downtown Columbus Thursday, to hear and record presentations in the case of Earl v OEC.
Despite being unsuccessful so far, starting at the Ohio Elections Commission, it makes a compelling argument that Gov. John Kasich’s reelection campaign, the state Republican Party and other political operatives, especially Terry Casey, a long-time political friend and ally of the governor, coordinated political activity for the purpose of eliminating The Libertarian Party of Ohio’s 2014 candidate for governor from the ballot through activities centered on alleged illegal in-kind contributions that violated Ohio’s campaign finance laws.
The case was heard by appellate court Judges Tyack, Klatt and Sadler, who are expected to rule on the case in the coming months following today’s approximately half-hour hearing.
The case argued by Capital Law School attorney Mark Brown was first heard and dismissed by the Ohio Elections Commission in a 5-2 vote in May of 2014. The case was then appealed to Franklin County Common Pleas Court Administrative Judge Patrick Sheeran, who in late February, before he retired, also dismissed the case. Earl v OEC then went to District Court Judge Watson, who ruled against it, leaving Brown and co-counsel Mark Kafantaris to take it to the appellate court. If the case doesn’t succeed here, the final avenue is to the Ohio Supreme Court, but the court has discretion to accept it or not.
Following today’s hearing, attorney Brown said the court’s questions were good, as it showed it was aware of the most important issue in the case, which is why the OEC dismissed. “Our argument is, there are other reasons that would justify the dismissal beyond lack of jurisdiction, lack of probably cause or on the merits.
Asked to comment on today’s proceeding, attorney John Zeiger, who represents the Columbus Dispatch and whose law firm of Zeiger, Tigges & Little LLP represents the Ohio Department of Education in its battle with ECOT, twice declined to comment.
Video of appellant and appellee presentations:
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