Dear Ms. Bysiewicz,
I am writing in my capacity as Political Director of the Committee for a Unified Independent Party, Inc. We are a national organization which advocates for and represents the interests of independent voters, including many in Connecticut who are concerned about the independent candidate status your office is about to confer on Senator Joseph Lieberman.
I want to bring to your immediate attention a significant omission in the submission of Senator Joseph Lieberman to legally qualify himself for the ballot as the U.S. Senate candidate of the Connecticut for Lieberman Party. I believe this constitutes a fatal flaw in Mr. Lieberman’s petition and necessitates the removal of his name from the November, 2006 ballot.
The failure occurred in his submission of the “Application for Nominating Petition” filed by the Connecticut for Lieberman Party with your office on July 10, 2006. Specifically, no identity was provided of the Applicant as required; i.e. the space where the name and address of the Applicant should appear was left vacant. Consequently, Mr. Lieberman’s disembodied submission does not meet the requirements of Sec. 9-453b of Connecticut Election Law which specifies that “the person requesting” nominating petition forms must supply a range of information. As the “Application for Nominating Petition” form makes plain, disclosure of the identity of the applicant is required information. Mr. Lieberman’s submission failed to provide it.
Given the amount of media and political controversy that surrounded Mr. Lieberman’s decision to continue his candidacy in the event of losing the Democratic primary, it is plausible that the applicant preferred that his or her identity not be revealed at the time of the submission. However, it is ultimately the responsibility of the Secretary of the State to ensure compliance with the law, even if the candidate is a United States Senator who is embattled in his own party’s primary.
It has come to my attention that the Secretary of the State did apply a strict standard on this very issue of the identity of the “Applicant” in the submission of another “Application for Nominating Petition.” In that instance, the Independent Party sought your office’s approval for a party name and the issuance of petitions to field a statewide slate. Mr. Michael Telesca, on behalf of the Independent Party, was given specific instructions by your office about the need to identify an appropriate “Applicant.”
While the Secretary of the State has demonstrated in its dealings with the Independent Party that it attaches great importance to the identity of the “Applicant,” in the case of Mr. Lieberman’s submission, the same standard was not applied.
There is mounting concern among independent voters in Connecticut that Mr. Lieberman’s so-called “independent candidacy” is a fraud on the voting public. He is not an independent, but is rather a Democrat who availed himself of an escape hatch in state Election Law allowing him to reinvent himself as an “independent-in-name-only” candidate after he lost his own party’s primary.
In light of the political sensitivities surrounding this situation, I believe the Secretary of the State has a heightened obligation to apply the strictures of Election Law consistently for all applicants.
I understand that your office will receive a final submission from “Connecticut for Lieberman” on September 13th. I strongly recommend that you withhold certification of Mr. Lieberman’s candidacy in light of the failure in his submission
Just a technicality. But possibly an interesting one.