Monday, August 16, 2010

Ds and Rs make Mountains out of Mole Hills

Our crew of volunteers with the Libertarian Party of PA begins work in Harrisburg today on the review of the signatures challenged by the GOP to keep our statewide candidates on the ballot. We need to defend against not only the disenfranchisement of the citizens who signed our nomination papers in a show of support, but against the erosion of the electoral process in Pennsylvania.

We know that many of the issues raised in the challenge are not substantial. Disqualifying people from signing the nomination papers because they used a short version of their name, like Joe instead of Joseph, or because their signature is not exactly the same as when they signed the voter registration card forty years ago, or because the database has not been updated with their new address, or because they could not fit some specific piece of information in the block on the form, is not what the challenge process was put in the election code to do.
It is not too late to support our efforts!

We must be prepared to carry out our defense until this abuse of the system is stopped. This effort is not without cost, and you can help by making your contribution today. Please mail your offer of financial support to:

LPPA Treasurer Kat Valleley
22 Farber Dr.
Chalfont, PA 18914

or you may donate using PayPal on our website here:
Your support is needed now more than ever, and is always appreciated.

Thank you,
Michael J. "Mik" Robertson, Chair, Libertarian Party of Pennsylvania


Two Pa. third-party candidates pull out
By Peter Jackson

Associated Press

HARRISBURG - Two third-party candidates for statewide office said Monday they were withdrawing in the face of all-but-certain rejection of their nomination papers in state Commonwealth Court.
John Krupa, whose claim to be the tea-party candidate for governor was questioned by other leaders of the movement, filed papers withdrawing from the race midway through a review of his petition signatures.

"He didn't have the requisite number," Krupa's lawyer, David Montgomery of Pittsburgh, acknowledged Monday after lawyers for the Lock Haven tavern owner and his challengers spent the weekend sifting through his petitions.

Mel Packer, the Green Party nominee for the Senate, said he decided to withdraw because he lacked enough surplus signatures to defend his petitions against a concerted challenge by Democratic nominee Joe Sestak, a member of the House who beat incumbent Arlen Specter in the May primary. Packer said he did not have a lawyer or the money or time to represent himself.

"I can't afford that," Packer, a physician's assistant in the emergency room of a Pittsburgh hospital, said in a telephone interview. "I'm 65 years old. I'm still working. I've got kids in college."

Pennsylvania law requires third-party and independent candidates for governor and Senate to collect 19,082 voter signatures to qualify for the November ballot. Major party candidates need only 2,000 signatures, but they must win often-contested statewide primaries to be nominated for the general election.

The major-party candidates for governor are Republican Tom Corbett, the state attorney general, and Democrat Dan Onorato, the elected Allegheny County executive.

Sestak faces Republican Pat Toomey, a former member of the House from the Allentown area, in the Senate race.

Meanwhile on Monday, representatives of the Libertarian Party candidates for governor and Senate - York lawyer Marakay Rogers and engineer Douglas Jamison - and their challengers began reviewing their petitions in a process that was expected to take days.

The challenges to the Libertarian candidates, who also include the party's candidates for lieutenant governor, Bucks County homemaker Kat Valleley, were all filed by three Republican voters with help from the state GOP.

Rogers, who monitored the review Monday, is a perennial candidate whose most recent efforts included unsuccessful bids as a Libertarian candidate for state Superior Court in 2009 and for attorney general in 2008.

She complained that political outsiders' signatures get a more rigorous review than those of major-party candidates and that many voters' signatures are rejected for technicalities, such as addresses that do not match their voter registration.

"That knocks a lot of legitimate voters out of the process," she said.

Krupa, 59, a former Republican, was nominated for governor by the Constitution Party in March, but he said that party joined forces with a tea-party group, so he used its label.

The tea-party movement is a collection of conservative grass-roots groups, but Pennsylvania does not recognize any of them as a political party.

Among the people who challenged Krupa's candidacy was Diane Reimer, the state coordinator of the Tea Party Patriots, who said she did not know him and called him an impostor.

Several Republicans also joined the Krupa challenge, and GOP officials complained that Onorato's campaign helped Krupa gather signatures, an allegation the Onorato campaign did not deny.

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