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5 political candidates file lawsuit

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Three judicial candidates in Marion County and two candidates for the Indiana House are suing the county Board of Voter Registration and Election Board, alleging they were denied access to public information.

The lawsuit filed Thursday in Marion Circuit Court claims that the Marion County Board of Voter Registration illegally denied the candidates access to public information in its voter registration base. The plaintiffs also allege that the Election Board violated the public record laws by not adopting a policy that would allow them access to the information.

The plaintiffs are Greg Bowes, the former Marion County assessor who is a Democratic candidate for Superior Court judge; Marion Superior judge candidates Mark King, a Democrat, and Paul Ogden, a Republican; and Zach Mulholland and Brian Cooper, both Democrats running for the Indiana House.

Bowes’ campaign issued a press release Thursday morning announcing the lawsuit. He, along with King and Ogden, are running against the slated candidates in Marion County – the candidates endorsed by the local Democratic and Republican parties.

According to the release, the plaintiffs believe the two county boards are “doing the bidding of the party county chairmen in violation of the law. The board members are paid with tax dollars, but serve at the pleasure of the county chairmen.”

In January, Ogden sent a letter to the Indiana Judicial Qualifications Commission arguing that the Marion County judicial candidate fees are required “slating fees” that the commission prohibited in a 1992 advisory opinion. Both political parties ask for thousands of dollars from their judicial candidates – anywhere from $12,000 to $13,500 –but party chairman contend that the fees aren’t mandatory and are strictly designed to help cover costs.

In Marion County, Republican and Democratic candidates get the same number of judicial candidate ballot spots. Parties hold slating conventions where they endorse who will appear on the ballot and each party collects money from those candidates to pay for the election costs. If someone isn’t slated and decides not to run against the slated candidates, that person receives an 80 percent refund.

 

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  1. Linda, I sure hope you are not seeking a law license, for such eighteenth century sentiments could result in your denial in some jurisdictions minting attorneys for our tolerant and inclusive profession.

  2. Mazel Tov to the newlyweds. And to those bakers, photographers, printers, clerks, judges and others who will lose careers and social standing for not saluting the New World (Dis)Order, we can all direct our Two Minutes of Hate as Big Brother asks of us. Progress! Onward!

  3. My daughter was taken from my home at the end of June/2014. I said I would sign the safety plan but my husband would not. My husband said he would leave the house so my daughter could stay with me but the case worker said no her mind is made up she is taking my daughter. My daughter went to a friends and then the friend filed a restraining order which she was told by dcs if she did not then they would take my daughter away from her. The restraining order was not in effect until we were to go to court. Eventually it was dropped but for 2 months DCS refused to allow me to have any contact and was using the restraining order as the reason but it was not in effect. This was Dcs violating my rights. Please help me I don't have the money for an attorney. Can anyone take this case Pro Bono?

  4. If justice is not found in a court room, it's time to clean house!!! Even judges are accountable to a higher Judge!!!

  5. The small claims system, based on my recent and current usage of it, is not exactly a shining example of justice prevailing. The system appears slow and clunky and people involved seem uninterested in actually serving justice within a reasonable time frame. Any improvement in accountability and performance would gain a vote from me. Speaking of voting, what do the people know about judges and justice from the bench perspective. I think they have a tendency to "vote" for judges based on party affiliation or name coolness factor (like Stoner, for example!). I don't know what to do in my current situation other than grin and bear it, but my case is an example of things working neither smoothly, effectively nor expeditiously. After this experience I'd pay more to have the higher courts hear the case -- if I had the money. Oh the conundrum.

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