Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Carl Romanelli R.I.P?

For all of you who sit up at nights worrying about whether Carl Romanelli will remain on the November ballot as the Green Party candidate for U.S. Senate, I bring you an update.
The Romanelli case is running on two tracks in the judiciary.
One. He is seeking a hearing before the state Supreme Court on his petition to change the method by which the state determines how many voter signatures are needed for an independent candidate (read: Carl Romanelli) to get on the ballot.
The law states that such candidates must get a total equal to 2% of the votes cast for the candidate who got the highest number of votes in the most recent statewide election. The state Election Bureau hath interpreted that as 2% of the vote total Bob Casey Jr. got in the 2004 election for state Treasurer: 2% = 67,000 signatures.
Romanelli's forces have argued that the requirement should be based on the Supreme Court retention vote in 2005. That, they have said, is the the most recent statewide election. The top vote getter was Justice Sandra Newman, who got a total of about 1.4 million votes (yes & no). That would greatly reduce the number of signatures required: 2% = 29,000 signatures.
On Monday, the Supreme agreed to hold a hearing to consider Romanelli's suit on the signature threshold.
So, score one for the Green candidate (and his Republican backers. Santorum forces want Romanelli on the ballot to siphon votes from Bob Casey.)

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, Romanelli is fighting a Democratic attempt to get him off the ballot on the basis of having invalid signatures. This one is in Commonwealth Court. The jist of it is: even though Romanelli's forces collected 94,000 signatures -- far more than the 67,000 required -- the Dems say they have found 29,000 invalid ones -- wrong address, signatures from non-voters, etc. This would bring his total of valid signatures to about 65,000 and result in Romanelli being tossed off the ballot.
The Dems presented their case last week. Romanelli will get a chance to rebut next week (Sept. 25th).
Then the judge will rule.
Any bets on the fate of Carl Romanelli?


Anonymous phillydem said...

In the signature review case, the Judge had Otter and the Dems both co-sign a statement saying they BOTH
AGREED the 29,000 signatures were invalid. Now Otter is going to argue some of them ARE valid. If Otter and the GP thought the signatures were really valid, even though they agreed in the 2-person review teams that they weren't, then Otter should not have signed the statement. Of course I'm sure that's why the Judge had them both parties sign off on the statement.

I can't see the State Supremes overturning years of a DoS admin rule. The fact is judicial retention is no different than a referendum except it's on a person rather than an issue. You don't get to vote for anyone which is why hardly anyone bothers to vote in them.

7:04 PM  
Anonymous phillydem said...

FTR, those 29k invalid signatures were the result of reviewing only 43k total signatures, less than half of what was collected on Romanelli's behalf. That's a 62% rejection rate. Do the math on the whole universe and that leaves only 38-40k valid signatures.

3:54 PM  

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