MISSOULA — In a lawsuit by the Democrat Party seeking to remove all Green Party candidates from Montana ballots, Judge James Reynolds of Helena issued an order excluding a Green Party candidate from participating in the lawsuit.
Gary Marbut, Green Party candidate for Montana Senate District 47, moved to intervene in the lawsuit to defend his candidacy and that of all Green Party candidates.
Democrats opposed Marbut’s intervention, claiming that Marbut had no legitimate interest in being involved in the lawsuit.
In reply to that claim, Marbut accused Democrats of intending political murder and “politicide,” stating that if Democrats were successful then his candidacy will die. Further, Marbut asserted that he has a right to seek public office and that voters in SD 47 have a right to vote for him and should be allowed that choice.
Marbut asserts that these rights must be balanced against the mere administrative claim by Democrats of possible misreporting of finances in the signature gathering that qualified the Green Party for the Montana ballot.
Judge Reynolds agreed with Democrats and, as a part of a general order on various motions, denied Marbut’s motion to intervene in the lawsuit. Because of that denial, the Democrat lawsuit to remove all Green Party candidates from the November ballot will be decided without any participation by Green Party candidates.
Marbut commented: “Democrats claim that I have no legal interest in this lawsuit seeking the death of my candidacy. This is typical of their elitist, exclusionary, and hypocritical conduct. On one hand they claim to be inclusive and in favor of choice. But, as soon as it suits them they claim the ballot is their exclusive playground and do their best to run anyone else they can off the playground, especially the little kids. They are nothing but playground bullies desperately seeking exclusive power. People should know Democrats for what they are.”
Marbut has extensive “green” credentials and believes his candidacy will appeal to voters interested in energy conservation, reduction in fossil fuel use, alternate energy, small agriculture, alternate transportation, and related topics. Marbut was very nearly elected to the Legislature in this area four years ago, running against an incumbent as an Independent.
Judge Reynolds is expected to provide a final ruling soon on the Democrat’s demand that all Green Party candidates be removed from the ballot. It is expected that any ruling by Reynolds on the merits of the lawsuit will be appealed to the Montana Supreme Court. The Secretary of State must notify counties what to print on ballots no later than August 20th, which puts time pressure on Judge Reynolds and leaves little time for further legal actions.