On February 14, United States Senator Russell Feingold of Wisconsin and 17 U.S. Representatives including Dennis Kucinich of Ohio joined U.S. Representative John Conyers in filing an amicus curiae brief opposing sanctions against the public interest attorneys. Cliff ARnebeck, Susan Truitt, Bob Fitrakis and Pete Peckarsky were primarily responsible for uncovering massive election irregularities in their challenge of the 2004 Ohio election. Ohio Attorney General James Petro asked the Ohio Supreme Court to sanction the election protection attorneys claiming the election challenge was “meritless” and “frivolous.” In Conyers memorandum to the court, he stated, “For over 200 years, one of the strengths of our democracy has been that citizens may question the results of an election. …under Ohio law, sanctions should be awarded against Ohio election contesters only in extreme circumstances, if ever, and are plainly inappropriate in this case.” Conyers asserts that contesters “protect the broader public interest.”

The amicus brief points out that 24 members of Congress “the massive and unprecendented extent of irregularities in Ohio.” Attached to the filing was the 102-page Status Report of the House Judiciary Committee Democratic Staff entitled “Preserving Democracy: What Went Wrong in Ohio.” The report’s executive summary states: “Cumulatively, these irregularities, which affected hundreds of thousands of votes and voters in Ohio, raise grave doubts regarding whether it can be said the Ohio electors selected on December 13, 2004 were chosen in a manner that conforms to Ohio law, let alone federal requirements and constitutional standards.”

The irony remains that Ohio’s chief law enforcement officer, Petro, goes after the attorneys who uncovered the irregularities and criminal activites on election day, but has yet refused to investigate any of the thousands of sworn civil rights violations that took place on November 2.

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