FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 1, 2014
For more information, please contact:
Ken Krawchuk at [email protected] or 224-Krawchuk (224-572-9248)
LIBERTARIAN GUBERNATORIAL PETITION DRIVE FALLS SHORT OF GOAL
Ken Krawchuk, the Libertarian Party candidate for Pennsylvania Governor, announced today that the petition drive to collect sufficient signatures to qualify the party’s statewide ticket for the November ballot has fallen short of the statutory goal. Pennsylvania law requires independent and third party candidates to submit 16,639 signatures by August 1 to qualify; fewer than 10,000 were collected by the Libertarians.
"This is a sad day for Pennsylvania taxpayers," Krawchuk said in an interview today with the Associated Press. "And the nemesis here is the horrendous ballot access law which forces us challenger candidates to collect over eight times as many signatures as candidates from the two old parties. Why should I be required to collect over 16,000 signatures when Mr. Corbett and Mr. Wolf only need 2,000? It’s institutionalized discrimination that flies in the face of the constitutional mandate that ‘All elections shall be free and equal.’ Apparently certain citizens are more equal than others."
Despite the setback, Krawchuk was quick to assert that the campaign was far from over. "Just because the Libertarian ticket has been unjustly barred from the ballot does not mean the game is over for 2014. We’re going into extra innings as a write-in campaign. I do want to thank all our spirited volunteers for the immense effort they’ve already put out, but now is not the time to stop. We need to keep up the pressure on a system that continues to increase the cost of government at more than three times the rate of inflation, a system that fails to educate far too many of our children, a system that releases murderers and rapists from our overcrowded prisons to make room for pot-smoking Grateful Dead fans. Obviously it’s long past time for a change, and we Libertarians represent that change. It’s our duty to the citizens of the Commonwealth to continue our campaign, and you can bet we will."
Krawchuk had considered challenging the illegal, unequal signature requirement in court, but recent precedent has sanctioned the levying of immense fines against third party candidates whose lose ballot access court challenges. In the worst examples over the last decade, two candidates were fined over $80,000 each after losing their court challenges. "The impetus is great for us to stand our ground and put up a fight," Krawchuk said, "but the dangers are simply too great to warrant the risk. I could end up losing my home for the "crime" of trying to give Pennsylvanians a choice at the ballot box. There’s definitely something wrong with the law when it forces you into such a situation."
To remedy that situation, the Libertarian Party and other challenger parties have been lobbying for passage of the Voters’ Choice Act, SB 195, which would level the playing field for ballot access, but the bill remains bottled up in committee. "I guess the two old parties just don’t want the competition," Krawchuk mused. "And the real losers here are the people of Pennsylvania."
Founded in 1971, the Libertarian Party is the third largest political party in the state and the nation, with over 150 elected and appointed officials currently serving in office nationwide, and 40 in Pennsylvania. Like the Founding Fathers, Libertarians believe that you have the inalienable right to conduct your life as you see fit, without interference, so long as you respect the rights and property of others. As a result, Libertarians favor a small, responsible government.
For more information about the Libertarian Party, the public is invited to contact the Libertarian Party of Pennsylvania at www.LpPa.org or (800) R-RIGHTS, or the National Libertarian Party at Lp.org or (202) 333-0008.
For more information about the Krawchuk campaign, please visit the campaign website at www.KenK.org. The campaign can be contacted at [email protected], or 224-Krawchuk (224-572-9248).
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