American Indepedent Party (AIP) Chairperson-Elect Markham Robinson filed suit against California's Secretary of State and the Republican National Committee on August 11. Robinson claims that since John McCain was actually born in the Commonwealth of Panama, he does not satisfy the "natural-born" citizen requirements of being or running for president.
How is this unfair competition, you ask? I'm glad you asked, because when I first took a look at this story I knew it was from California, and reviewed it mostly as a lark, pretty sure that it wouldn't contain unfair competition law (UCL), Business & Professions Code Section 17200 allegations.
Well, it turns out I was wrong - Because the Republican party nominated McCain, or at rate will likely nominate him, the California Secretary of State is required by law to place McCain on the ballot. The disconnect between McCain's allegedly ineligible ballot status and the requirement that he appear on the ballot creates "controversy [that] is ripe for review and will, until it is resolved, damage plaintiffs."
Robinson alleges that McCain's nomination, candidacy and campaign are "unfair competition" because they vioalte Article II of the U.S. Constitution. AIP, which nominated one-time Republican presidential candidate Alan Keyes as its candidate, and Robinson claim that McCain's illegal and illegitimate presence on the ballot would cause them irreparable harm.
One of my favorite lines from the complaint asks the court to use its equitable powers to enjoin listing McCain on the ballot, saying "the harm sustained by being forced to compete against - and potentially be defeated by - an illegal and illegitimate campaign cannot be monetarily remedied, nor can it be remedied after the November general election in any manner."
I'm not sure how the court will interepret this. If anyone wants to comment or contact me on how Robinson's claims fit might fulfill the "injury in fact" and "money lost" requirements of the UCL PRIOR to the election, I'd love to hear from you.