Friday, March 28, 2014

Narcisse Appealing Matter to Iowa Supreme Court

District Court Denies Both Recent Practice & Precedent Set by Secretary of State, Attorney General, Auditor and Petitioners' Affidavits as Evidence

DES MOINES | March 28, 2014 – Yesterday, in the Iowa District Court for Polk County, the ruling on Narcisse v Iowa Secretary of State was filed at the Clerk of the District Court at 1:31 p.m. Case number CVCV 47388, titled Ruling on Petition for Judicial Review.  Click here to download.

Narcisse was forced to mount this challenge when the Secretary of State denied his petition nomination paperwork on technical errors, last week. Similar technical errors were accepted in 2012 when state senator Joe Seng petitioned to run for the US House.  Click here to download.

The decision by the Election Division of the Secretary of State's office to accept Seng's petitions, despite the fact they violated Iowa code was made because the technical error was not considered substantive enough to disenfranchise both the candidate and the voters since every other requirement to qualify for the ballot had been met by the Seng campaign.

The decision by Matt Schultz's office was challenged. A Panel hearing of Secretary of State Matt Schultz, Attorney General Tom Miller and Chief Deputy Warren G. Jenkins, all determined a conclusion of law that as long as reasonable objectives of the election statutes are assured, Seng's technical omissions “should be liberally construed to the benefit of the electors in order to provide every lawful opportunity for the electors to express their preference at the ballot box.” 

However, in this election cycle a review of similar technical omissions, the Polk County District Court would not allow any of the exhibits Narcisse's counsel Alfredo Parrish submitted as evidence – including the 2012 Seng Conclusions of Law.

Below is Jonathan Narcisse's statement on Thursday's District Court filing:

"Yesterday's ruling was disappointing but not surprising. Polk County politics from the bench to the ballot have often been biased and motivated by factors other than justice.

From the very beginning a separate set of rules have applied to my pursuit of ballot access, including a Des Moines School Board seat and an independent run for governor. Yesterday's ruling is evidence that when Secretary Schultz and Attorney General Miller choose so, the double standard becomes the standard.

Miller's motives are apparent with his endorsement of the only other nominee for Democratic Governor, Senator Jack Hatch. Senator Hatch in the Iowa Poll, after spending half a year and close to a quarter of a million dollars, some of it his own money, could not out poll Bob Krause even in the Iowa Poll. Hatch's weakness as a candidate makes him vulnerable to any candidate and that weakness has been protected by a political machine that is fixing the game.

Schultz's motives are less apparent but point to why a Narcisse candidacy is to be avoided at all costs. 

My ability to bring independents and republicans to the Democratic primary is a capability that anyone running in a six man race for Iowa's Third Congressional District in the Republican primary would fear. And, Schultz is not willing to risk any defectors who do prefer a Branstad alternative to get in his way to the U.S. House nomination.

The law the Secretary of State's office invoked to disqualify me has a history of being ignored as a technical glitch by the Election Division in preference of creating ballot access when substantial compliance has otherwise been met. 

The 2012 case of Sen. Joe Seng is proof of the inconsistency in both the Secretary of State's ruling and rhetoric. Following ballot certification of Joe Seng a challenge was made to his certification. Secretary of State Matt Schultz and Attorney General Tom Miller personally set aside the letter of the law and voted unanimously for voter franchisement. Miller especially bragged about Iowa's long standing tradition of voter franchisment.

In my case, however, both of these politicians have now developed selective amnesia. Not only did the Secretary of State's office apply a different standard in determining my ballot access at the time of certification but the Attorney General's office and the Secretary of State's office joined forces in opposing my ballot access despite their documented rhetoric and positions on the importance of fairness and franchisement of the voters.

The Attorney General's Office acknowledged there was no fraud. Yet a technical error on petitions in two counties - one in Audubon County where the other petitions listed the office and Taylor County where the office was listed except on one petition - was ignored.

Because of the omission of the title governor on two petition pages, ballot access has been denied. 

This is not justice. This is not "equal protection under the law" as guaranteed by our U.S. Constitution.

We will appeal this decision to the Iowa Supreme Court with the hope that a less politically vested, and more reasonable judgement will prevail.

If ballot access is denied, however, we will mount an aggressive write-in campaign and seriously consider ballot options beyond the primary. 

Voters deserve an alternative to a career statehouse politician who entered the Capitol hand-in-hand with Governor Branstad in the early 80s and represents no substantive difference from our current Governor, only stylistic differences.”

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Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Narcisse for Governor Ballot Access Determination Slated for Today

Press Advisory March 26, 2014 

DES MOINES, IOWA - Today at 2:00 p.m. a hearing will be held in the Polk County District Court to determine if Jonathan Narcisse will have access to the June 3rd Democratic primary ballot in the race for Iowa's next governor. Des Moines attorney Alfredo Parrish will argue the case for Narcisse.
Narcisse received enough signatures from more than ten counties and enough signatures in total to qualify for the ballot. Narcisse had signatures from eight counties that were not disputed by the Secretary of State Matt Schultz's office. The title of the office sought was not completed on petition forms in at least two additional counties. 

In Iowa's recent past, this omission has proven to be insufficient to warrant disqualification from the ballot. Two years ago State Senator Joe Seng received unanimous support from Secretary of State Matt Schultz, Attorney General Tom Miller and Deputy State Auditor Warren Jenkins, when a number of his petition forms submitted to gain access to the ballot for a statewide race were void the title of the office sought.
Secretary Schultz and Attorney General Miller, in their official capacities, are on the record as supporting voter franchisement and ballot access, when substantial compliance has been met, with a technical exception. The Seng precedent was presented to the Narcisse campaign by the Secretary of State’s legal counsel Charles Smithson with the caveat that this evidence should be beneficial in Narcisse's efforts to gain ballot access. 

Smithson, however, will not be arguing the case, the Attorney General’s office will be. And, Attorney General Miller has endorsed Narcisse's primary opponent, Sen. Jack Hatch. 
“It is our hope that the Attorney General's office, despite Miller's endorsement of Hatch, will simply acknowledge both Schultz’s and Miller’s precedent setting official positions on this technicality, and not contest our ballot access,” said Narcisse. 

“Since the Secretary of State’s legal counsel started the meeting last week with our counsel Parrish, by making him aware of the Seng precedent, we are hopeful today's proceedings will result in the spirit of fair play.” 

To contest ballot access for Narcisse would be an outrageous introduction of politics in a matter of fairness that was resolved by these two state office holders personally in their official capacity in the Seng case. 

Media inquiries can be directed to Alfredo Parrish at 515-284-5737

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Narcisse For Governor Campaign 2014 Will Dispute Elections Director Petition Rejections

Narcisse For Governor Campaign 2014 Will Dispute Elections Director Petition Rejections DES MOINES, IOWA | MARCH 15, 2014 - At 12:31 p.m. today Sarah G. Reisetter, Director of Elections for the Iowa Secretary of State sent an email stating her office was rejecting enough submitted petitions to disqualify Jonathan Ray Narcisse's nomination for the June 3rd Democratic primary race for Iowa Governor. On Friday Narcisse submitted more than 4,500 signatures from more than 50 counties. The submissions exceeded the minimum 4,113 aggregate signatures and at least 1% of the 2012 voting body in at least ten counties, required by state election code. Based on the signatures requirements Narcisse readily qualified for the ballot. However, based on a purported technicality, Reisetter tossed out entire counties. For example students on the Ames campus secured Narcisse 386 Story County signatures on Story County nomination petition sheets. Reisetter only counted 79 of those signatures disenfranchising the 307 Story County residents who did sign the petitions. "Over the years I have gotten used to political tactics to undermine our civic activisim. In 2005 when I made it clear I was going to run for school board polling sites were reduced from 107 precincts to 23 pods. In 2010 after securing signatures to get on the ballot the rules were changed and we had just days to start over and secure the signature required. But we did it," stated Narcisse. Iowans from at least ten counties in sufficient numbers and well over the 4,113 Iowans required, want Narcisse on the ballot. "Regardless of the motivation, this attempt to invoke a technicality to keep me off the ballot is a gross act of political disenfranchisement and we plan to fight it at every turn. We will fight this on behalf of those Iowans who clearly expressed they want a choice for Democratic governor on the ballot June 3rd."

Friday, March 14, 2014

Narcisse Files for Gubernatorial Democratic Primary

Des Moines, Iowa | March 14, 2014 - Jonanthan Narcisse filed petitions from fifty counties in Iowa, with over 4,500 signatures, with the Secretary of State today. Narcisse needed 4,113 petition signatures to be included on the June 3rd primary ballot for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Narcisse Campaign Update Feb 9-16

Jonathan Narcisse
Gubernatorial candidate Jonathan Narcisse is pictured at right at the Grundy County Democratic Party's Soup Supper/Auction Fundraiser at the Reinbeck Memorial Building in Reinbeck on Sunday, Feb. 9th. 

Narcisse stated at the event that this race is about more than defeating Gov. Branstad. "It is a fight for the soul of the Democratic Party."

In addition to the Grundy County event Narcisse met with neighborhood activists Monday in Cedar Rapids, will meet today with media and community leaders throughout eastern Iowa including the Gazette in Cedar Rapids;  Davenport and finish the evening in Dubuque. 

He will then be on the Iowa City campus on Wednesday and the Ames Campus as the guest of the ISU Democrat Chapter Wednesday evening. Narcisse will spend Thursday and Friday in Central Iowa meeting with area media, supporters and fundraising. He will then conclude the week at I'll Make Me A World and the Scott County Democratic Party's Annual Red, White and Blue Banquet.