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LB Ballot Battle Escalates: O'Neill Sues To Get Her Name On Ballot

We post her cross-complaint and response to Ryan's action

(April 24, 2002) -- Term-limited LB Mayor Beverly O'Neill is suing the City of LB and in an attempt to have her name printed on the June 4, 2002 ballot.

As previously reported by, LB City Attorney Robert Shannon has opined that LB's term limits law -- enacted by voters -- prevents O'Neill (who finished first in an April 9 election as a write-in candidate) from having her name printed on the June runoff ballot. City Attorney Shannon also opined that Norm Ryan wasn't entitled to have his name printed on the June runoff ballot because he finished third to O'Neill and Vice Mayor Dan Baker.

Last week, attorneys for Mayoral candidate Norm Ryan sued to get his name on the June, 2002 Mayoral ballot as one of the top two non-term limited finishers.

On Monday April 22, O'Neill filed a cross-complaint under the umbrella of Ryan's action. O'Neill's cross-complaint, filed by attorney Frederic Woocher, names the City of LB and City Clerk Shelba Powell as defendants. It seeks to enjoin the defendants from printing any ballot, sample ballot or voter information pamphlet "unless the names of Beverly O'Neill and Dan Baker appear as the only two candidates on the ballot."

It adds, "By putting only the second-place finisher [Baker] on the ballot, Defendants would short-circuit the entire concept of a run-off [emphasis in original] election and instead convert the general election into a coronation."

It alleges that "[i]f the City of Long Beach does not place Mayor O'Neill on the general election ballot for Mayor, her constitutional right to free and fair elections will be infringed and Cross-Complainant's [O'Neill's] right to vote will be diminished and her vote diluted." posts the pertinent part of O'Neill's cross-complaint and response to Ryan's action in pdf form on below.

O'Neill's action is scheduled to be heard at the same time as Ryan's action. A showdown hearing is scheduled tomorrow.

We have posted salient parts of Mayor O'Neill's cross-complaint in pdf form on the following link: O'Neill cross-complaint (6 pages, approx 491 kB).

We have also posted salient parts of her attorney's legal arguments in response to Ryan's action (caveat, 16 pages, 2.3 MB, lengthy download) posted at: O'Neill response to Ryan's action.

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