"Those who cast the votes decide nothing. Those who count the votes decide everything." Communist Tyrant Josef Stalin

CLEAN Wins A Round in Court

 March 23, 2000 NA (Network America) e-wire


CLEAN Wins A Round in Court

On Friday March 17, 2000 the dynamic CLEAN group in Washington State got word that they had won a round in their courtroom battle to hold the election officials in Pierce County accountable for their outrageous violations of citizens' rights who were trying to view a public ballot count.

Network America e-wire is carrying the developments in this case as it develops because: a) it is the only such litigation going about which we are receiving the details; b) the CLEAN group is so obviously right; c) the Pierce County officials are so obviously wrong in preventing citizens from watching a count of absentee ballots; d) the case has national implications; e) the case brings out emphatically why absentee ballots must be outlawed, although I have no reason to believe CLEAN is pursuing that angle; f) we are curious to see if this Judge caves in like almost all others --- or if she rules correctly at this level, if an appeals court comes along to overturn her decision. Here is the story posted at www.lewisnews.com - which is the excellent internet newspaper:

Auditor going to trial -- election law violations

Legal labyrinth finally caught up with Pierce County Auditor Cathy Pearsall-Stipek when Thurston County Superior Court Judge Christine Pomeroy ruled in CLEAN's favor, ordering a separate trial must be held on the election law violations of 96 Attorney Shawn Newman did what no other attorney could do since this whole nightmare began three years and four months ago. He convinced a judge to hold the auditor accountable. The crescendo effect began with a favorable ruling a year ago moving this lawsuit out of Pierce County and into Thurston County. The luck of the Irish was with Newman when he received his mail on Friday March 17. The one page decision reads:

Dear Counsel:

The court finds C.L.E.A.N. is not in privity with Defendant's Bockwinkel and Coffey and therefore collateral estoppel does not apply. The Court further finds that there is a material question of fact as to which "visitors rules" were in effect on October 31, 1996. Resolution of this question of fact by the court will determine whether there was a violation of the election laws, a question of law. The Court will deny Summary Judgment on the election law violations and will bifurcate those claims which will be tried separately.

The Court will hear oral argument on the Plaintiff's Motion for Reconsideration on April 7, 2000 at 9 a.m.

I will sign an Order consistent with this decision upon presentation.

Sincerely, Christine A. Pomeroy Superior Court Judge

All that legal jargon means that CLEAN prevailed big time in the election law violation claims. CLEAN produced enough evidence to convince the judge to allow this to go forward, next is convincing a jury.

The April 7 court argument is in regards to an earlier decision by Judge Pomeroy granting defendants claim of malicious prosecution by Pierce County. The county is asking the judge to reconsider that decision. That decision granted Coffey, Richeson and Bockwinkel's motion that the county was attacking private citizens because of the federal lawsuit they prevailed in by appealing to the 9th Circuit. Attorney Hugh McGavick won that decision once already and will most likely prevail this next time.

The most ironic part of this whole legal mess is that the evidence of two sets of rules would never have been discovered had the county not come after the private citizens and CLEAN.

Luck of the Irish, I'd say so.

(End of story) Editor's Note added by Mr. Schantz of lewisnews.com: "The Tacoma News Tribune reporter Lisa Kremer contacted Newman about the ruling but told him that it wasn't really newsworthy and the TNT would not be covering the story until the trial. On the other hand, the weekly Tacoma Reporter plans a story in their next edition due out on Thursday."

***** Citizens for Leaders with Ethics and Accountability Now! Inc. (CLEAN) is a non-profit 501(c)(3) tax exempt organization located in Tacoma, Washington. Contributions are tax-deductible and support research, publishing and office expenses. ***** CLEAN Shawn Newman, Attorney, President Diane Rhoades, CPA, Treasurer Sherry Bockwinkel, Executive Director 1524 Tacoma Avenue South Tacoma, Washington 98402-1806 Email sherry@clean.org Toll free 800 219 7332 On your dime 253 572 1212 Fax 253 272 6797 CLEAN Home Page: http://www.clean.org Educate, agitate, litigate.

(End of article and posting about CLEAN)

The Network America e-wire will continue to follow the CLEAN story as it develops. Another subject tomorrow.


Jim Condit Jr.
Director, Citizens for a Fair Vote Count

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