But before Nader, another third-party candidate

Yes, Ralph Nader's in town tonight, as Deirdre noted earlier.  But a couple hours earlier, at 5:15 pm (that's about 40 minutes from now), independent write-in US Senate candidate Herb Hoffman will be at the First Parish Church at 425 Congress Street with a presentation of his own.

Hoffman is trying to challenge Susan Collins and Tom Allen, but ran into trouble when the Maine Democratic Party successfully blocked him from the ballot, getting the Maine Supreme Court to rule that some of his nomination petitions were invalid on a technicality. (Specifically, he signed a statement at the bottom of each petition page saying he had been present when the signers signed on. For three people, he wasn't present, and the state's high court therefore threw out not only the three individual signatures, but all the signatures on those pages - which left too few signatures for him to be on the ballot.)

At this evening's event, Hoffman will claim that if that same standard were applied to Tom Allen's petition, Allen's name would not be allowed on the ballot either.

It's a clever argument - though its success would mean that Collins would be the only one whose name is on the ballot, an outcome Hoffman likely does not actually desire.

In other news, wanna-be Senate candidate Laurie Dobson will attempt to insert herself into tomorrow's Allen-Collins debate by protesting outside it. She didn't turn in enough signatures to get on the ballot, and has used that fact as part of her basis for claiming that the two-party system is biased against outsiders. (It may be, but I'm still not buying the idea that her failure to get signatures is proof.)


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