Iowa judge to decide whether Abby Finkenauer can appear on Democratic primary ballot

cigaretteman

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An Iowa judge is weighing whether U.S. Senate candidate Abby Finkenauer can remain on the Democratic primary ballot after attorneys argued in court Wednesday about whether she submitted the proper papers to qualify.

Polk County District Judge Scott Beattie is expected to issue a written ruling in the next few days. But the loser is likely to appeal the decision to the Iowa Supreme Court — a fact not lost on Beattie.

"I understand that I am not the last word on this matter," he said in court Wednesday.

Finkenauer, a former U.S. representative, is running for the Democratic nomination to challenge U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley, a Republican. If she's thrown off the ballot, Democratic primary voters would be left to choose between retired Navy Admiral Mike Franken and Glenn Hurst, a physician and Minden city council member.


Finkenauer is perceived as the front-runner and has raised the most money on the Democratic side.

Republicans argued Finkenauer failed to properly qualify for the June 7 primary ballot because she did not submit enough valid signatures on her nominating petitions. A state panel found Finkenauer met the requirement.

In a statement Wednesday, Finkenauer called the challenge a "meritless attack."

"I am confident that our campaign has met every requirement to be on the ballot," she said.

 
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lucas80

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The GOP is just following Putin's example. This is a straight up authoritarian move to disqualify a candidate who might topple the 88 year old Chuck Grassley.
 

joelbc1

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you can’t always get what you want!
I understand the politics here being played by the Iowa GOP. However, I have damn little sympathy for Finkenauer or Iowa DemocrTs. This points out a basic failure of Iowa DemocrTs....How can you win state-wide elections when you cNt even organize getting signatures on a nomination form!
The Iowa Dems need to use this faux pas as a learning moment. It is embarrassing for me as a Democrat. (But not as embarrassing for me as an Iowan to have Grassley and Ernst as my US Senators....and Reynolds as my Governor!)
 

hawkbirch

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Yeah not sure how they eff that up.

But I think Franken actually has a better shot against Grassley. Not that it’s a great one.
I hope this is the silver lining to this situation. It's incredibly sloppy to even allow this to become a question, in my opinion. The devil is in the details indeed.
 

HawksR1

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Franken may be a better candidate based on looking at his resume. Would seem to have a little more gravitas than the Fink tho I have never seen him speak or debate. This may be a knockout blow to her political career. Very sloppy and reminiscent of her campaign against Hinson
 

Titanhawk2

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What does she do with her time that she can't make sure she gets on the ballot? We need more people like that in government?
 
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Hawki97

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Judge’s ruling knocks Abby Finkenauer off Senate primary ballot​

Order expected to be appealed to Iowa Supreme Court

CEDAR RAPIDS — A judge has ruled Cedar Rapids Democrat Abby Finkenauer cannot appear on the June 7 primary election ballot.

His decision late Sunday, which is likely to be appealed, would prevent the former congresswoman from appearing on the ballot to determine the Democratic nominee who likely will face Republican U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley in November, provided that Grassley wins a GOP primary against a state senator.

Finkenauer’s nomination petitions were challenged by Republican Kim Schmett, a former congressional candidate himself, and Leanne Pellett, co-chair of the Cass County Republicans, who argued Finkenauer did not qualify to be on the ballot because she failed to submit the required number of valid signatures.

Despite a decision by the State Objection Panel — comprised of the Iowa secretary of state, attorney general and state auditor — to accept her nominating petitions, Polk County District Court Judge Scott Beattie said the panel’s interpretation of the law was incorrect.

“The court takes no joy in this conclusion,” he wrote. “This court should not be in the position to make a difference in an election, and Ms. Finkenauer and her supporters should have a chance to advance her candidacy. However, this Court’s job is to sit as a referee and apply the law without passion or prejudice. It is required to rule without consideration of the politics of the day.”

As a candidate for U.S. Senate, Finkenauer was required by state law to acquire at least 3,500 signatures, including at least 100 signatures each in at least 19 counties. After the panel’s review, Finkenauer finished with exactly 19 qualifying counties, including one with exactly 100 signatures and two more with 101 each.

The panel members disagreed about whether some signatures that contained incorrect or illegible dates should be allowed. Miller and Sand argued the information on the forms was sufficient, while Pate argued the signatures were not completed to the letter of the law and should have been disqualified.

The Finkenauer campaign issued a statement Thursday suggesting Republicans are presenting the legal challenge to remove Finkenauer from the ballot because they fear she would defeat Grassley in the November election.

Comments: (319) 398-8375; james.lynch@thegazette.com

 
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doughuddl2

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I haven’t read the court filings, I’m guessing there’s some arcane rules violation involved.
Yeah name, date and last four of your ss# is a tough assignment for her voter base. Even tougher is finding someone to check the signers info was completed correctly.
 

MitchLL

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Dec 26, 2018
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AF wasn't going to win against Chuckie, but it is really embarrassing to have this happen. It's not like this was her first campaign.

Iowa Dems really have incompetent leadership at so many levels. Hell, even Miller acts like a surrogate for Reynolds now as the AG.
 
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sober_teacher

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AF wasn't going to win against Chuckie, but it is really embarrassing to have this happen. It's not like this was her first campaign.

Iowa Dems really have incompetent leadership at so many levels. Hell, even Miller acts like a surrogate for Reynolds now as the AG.
I guess I’d love to know what precisely was wrong with these 3 entries, how many signatures these republicans had to comb thru to find, and how often you would find issues if you did this for every candidate.

of course, this is also why you should go above and beyond and not leave yourself with no room for error if stuff like this happens. Tho I again would like to know how common that actually is for others.

am guessing she’ll appeal to the IA SC and we’ll see what happens.
 

Chishawk1425

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I guess I’d love to know what precisely was wrong with these 3 entries, how many signatures these republicans had to comb thru to find, and how often you would find issues if you did this for every candidate.

of course, this is also why you should go above and beyond and not leave yourself with no room for error if stuff like this happens. Tho I again would like to know how common that actually is for others.

am guessing she’ll appeal to the IA SC and we’ll see what happens.
Yes it is on the way to Iowa Supreme court
 

EagleHawk

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Jan 16, 2002
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I guess I’d love to know what precisely was wrong with these 3 entries, how many signatures these republicans had to comb thru to find, and how often you would find issues if you did this for every candidate.

of course, this is also why you should go above and beyond and not leave yourself with no room for error if stuff like this happens. Tho I again would like to know how common that actually is for others.

am guessing she’ll appeal to the IA SC and we’ll see what happens.
The panel members disagreed about whether some signatures that contained incorrect or illegible dates should be allowed.

Maybe if you need 100 signatures, you should make sure to get 110, not 100. Not do the bare minimum and hope it works out ok. If you can't get 110, you are probably wasting the time of the other 100 people who signed.
 
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How many signatures are required? Is this particularly onerous in Iowa?

Don't these campaigns usually collect enough extra signatures to ensure this can't happen?

What went wrong?

Personally, I think we should just start with every eligible person on the ballot, and vote on line through a couple of rounds to winnow out the chaff.

If you are doing the first rounds on line, this shouldn't be a problem or much expense.

Let's see who the people really want - not the party big shots and Big Money.
 
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TJ8869

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At first I thought that was a typo, but then you repeated it.

What does "DemocrTs" signify?
Even though he did it twice, it’s probably just a typo. The “a” is next to the caps key. I accidentally hit it fairly often when I’m trying to type an “a”.
 

sober_teacher

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Maybe if you need 100 signatures, you should make sure to get 110, not 100. Not do the bare minimum and hope it works out ok. If you can't get 110, you are probably wasting the time of the other 100 people who signed.

One would think. I’m guessing she’s not the only one whose people stop as soon as they hit the magic number. Also guessing you could find a handful of issues for any candidates signature list.
Doesn't sound too hard.

If 1500 signatures are bogus, maybe you need better people getting signatures.

To be fair, I've never been in that racket, so I don't really know how hard it is.

My understanding is that the GOP people disputed 3 of these signatures, not 1500.
 

Crafty Beaver

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I guess I’d love to know what precisely was wrong with these 3 entries, how many signatures these republicans had to comb thru to find, and how often you would find issues if you did this for every candidate.

of course, this is also why you should go above and beyond and not leave yourself with no room for error if stuff like this happens. Tho I again would like to know how common that actually is for others.

am guessing she’ll appeal to the IA SC and we’ll see what happens.
Instead of posting several times about it, why don't you read the damn article.
 

MitchLL

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Yes it is on the way to Iowa Supreme court
With judges appointed by Branstad sand Reynolds.

It's just a bad look for Dems to have even have gotten to this point.

But it does pose the question..."What are these few Republicans that dug into this worried about"?
 
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Crafty Beaver

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With judges appointed by Branstad sand Reynolds.

It's just a bad look for Dems to have even have gotten to this point.

But it does pose the question..."What are these few Republicans that dug into this worried about"?
LOL.
 

Chishawk1425

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With judges appointed by Branstad sand Reynolds.

It's just a bad look for Dems to have even have gotten to this point.

But it does pose the question..."What are these few Republicans that dug into this worried about"?
Agree completely