Wednesday, April 23, 2014
Mark Fisher wins decisive ruling against Mass GOP - Court date set
In a stunning denial, the Mass GOP motion to dismiss the Mark Fisher case was not only denied but the judge ruled that all of Fisher's allegations had been proven true. The judge ruled that Mark Fisher had indeed received the 15% vote required to be put on the Republican primary ballot. He sited a litany of reasons that Mark Fisher met the 15% threshold - with the major thrust being that blank votes should NOT be counted Citing party rules, Roberts rules, Party & Rules officials own comments - From the courts ruling referenced below:
The Defendants (Mass GOP, Kirsten Hughes, Robert Cunningham) seek outright dismissal of this case without a trial or other proceedings. They bear a heavy burden at this stage, because all the unproven factual allegations of the plaintiff's (Mark Fisher) complaint are assumed to be true, including the following:
* Rule 6.1 entitles a candidate to run in the party's gubernatorial primary if he receives 15% of the convention vote.
*The plaintiff, Mark Fisher received 15% of the vote, excluding blanks.
*The rules incorporate Roberts Rules, which exclude blanks from the count of "votes".
*The defendant party officials and Party Rules Committee chair stated before and after the convention that blanks do not count as votes.
*The tally sheets used at the convention stated that blanks are for delegates who are not present and thus not entitled to cast a "vote" under the Rules.
*Fisher received 15% of the convention vote, even counting the 10 blanks that were announced at the convention as a whole. The results announced to the delegates gave Fisher 15.15% of the vote.
*Fisher received 15% of the convention vote, if one only counts blanks that were legitimately cast as such under the Rules.
*Fisher's opponents claimed to discover 52 new blanks in the tally room after announcements of the orally tallied vote to the full convention.
*After all tally sheets were handed in, the defendant officials reversed their previous position that blanks do not count. Combined with the 52 new blanks, that switch was enough to defeat Fishers right to appear as a candidate on the Republican Primary ballot
*Before the convention adjourned, Fishers representatives did not know the facts concerning those new blanks and were informed of party officials' contention that Fisher had failed to obtain 15% of the vote
* Fisher's campaign did not have an opportunity to avail itself of intra-party remedies until after the convention closed, making those remedies unavailable.
Thus the courts ruling today was the Plaintiffs (Fisher) charges against the Mass GOP were proven true and motion to move to trial granted. This is a stunning pre-trial defeat for the Mass GOP and sets the stage for a September Primary. Discovery motions will commence on May 2nd and related depositions will follow later in May. The court date is scheduled on June 18th.
A prudent outcome here based on the scathing court decision against the Mass GOP would be for Kirsten Hughes and the State party to settle and certify Mark Fisher for the September primary he rightfully is entitled to.