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Fighting over ballot, literally, in PA Senate race

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LynneSin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 08:58 AM
Original message
Fighting over ballot, literally, in PA Senate race
http://www.philly.com/mld/inquirer/news/local/15310013....

Fighting over ballot, literally, in Senate raceBy Carrie Budoff
Inquirer Staff Writer
It might be the hardest-fought voter signature of the U.S. Senate campaign.

A scuffle broke out yesterday in Harrisburg as Democratic and Green Party representatives reviewed petitions to determine whether Carl Romanelli, the Green's Senate candidate, has enough valid signatures to qualify for the November ballot.

It was the fifth straight day that the campaign rivals were essentially locked in a room at the Department of State, scrutinizing tens of thousands of signatures to settle a ballot challenge by the Democrats.

Tempers erupted and fists flew.

A disagreement between the volunteers over the validity of a signature set off an altercation between a Green Party worker and a court officer, according to witnesses

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TechBear_Seattle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 09:02 AM
Response to Original message
1. Why do the major parties hate democracy so much?
I've never understood stringent restrictions on who may and may not appear on the ballot. The only possible explanation is that the Two Party wants to maintain a deathgrip (choice of words deliberate) on public options.
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LynneSin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 09:05 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. Look it's more than just "Why do we hate 3rd parties"
It has nothing to do with that. This was the republicans clearly manipulating the Green Party as a tool to help re-elect Rick Santorum. If Rick really cared about democracy like he claims, he would have also provided the same help to candidates for the Libertarian and Constitution parties. But since those parties might syphon votes from him - they were left in the dust.

Democrats have every right to challenge the signatures especially since the GOP used a Florida firm that has had a record of turning in false signatures to meet qualifications
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TechBear_Seattle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 09:15 AM
Response to Reply #2
4. If the requirements for ballot access weren't so ridiculously strict...
There would have been no need for the GOP to have gotten involved. This has EVERYTHING to do with the Republicans and Democrats being terrified of any competition whatsoever.
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The Magistrate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 09:18 AM
Response to Reply #4
6. The Regulations Are Not Rediculously Strict, Sir
Meeting them is well within the reach of any competent organization that actually has an appreciable degree of popular footing among the voting public.
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TechBear_Seattle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 09:44 AM
Response to Reply #6
11. Pennsylvania has extremely strict access laws
In order to run as an independent or third party candidate, one must collect a number of valid signatures. That number is calculated by looking at all of the most recent state-wide elections, finding the one with the largest turn-out, and taking 2% of that number of votes. This year, that places the signature count at 67,000. By contrast, Democrats and Republicans need only to collect 2,000 signatures to appear on the primary ballot.

I understand the need to pre-screen candidates, but Pennsylvania's requirements are deliberately rigged to eliminate all third party and independent opposition. Rather than promoting democracy, the effect is to stifle it and promote instead the kind of ballot fixing and fraud we see in that state right now. Instead of being watchdogs on the excesses of the major parties, minor parties become pawns and independant voices are disenfranchised completely. The country needs more voices and options at the ballot box, not less.

If the Democrats -- or the Republicans, for that matter -- are secure that their message and platform is what the people really want, they should have nothing to fear by there being choice at the ballot. This kind of insecurity and outright fear of choice only confirms the suspicions of a large part of the potential electorate.
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The Magistrate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 09:50 AM
Response to Reply #11
12. That Seems A Quite Reasonable Regulation To Me, Sir
A fiftieth part of the highest vote would seem in reach of any organization with real popular footing, as opposed to pipe-dreams and delusions of grandeur among its hand-ful of promoters.
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TechBear_Seattle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 09:54 AM
Response to Reply #12
13. So Washington State's requirement is unreasonable?
Minor party and independent candidates for state-wide office need only collect 1,000 signatures to make it to the ballot. Candidates for less than state-wide office (such as State House or Senate) need only 100 signatures.

For the time being, at least, Washingtonians aren't terrified of ballot choices.
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The Magistrate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 09:58 AM
Response to Reply #13
14. It Seems Rather Lax To My Eye, Sir
My preference would be for requirement of a greater showing of serious capability. But the different states are entitled under our system to their own regulations of such matters, and my agreement is not required.
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TechBear_Seattle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 10:04 AM
Response to Reply #14
18. And I think PA is absurdly, undemocratically strict
As long as we can agree to disagree on the matter. :hi:
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The Magistrate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 10:23 AM
Response to Reply #18
24. Clearly We Do, Sir
And at the risk of quoting Mr. Smalley: "And that's ... okay...."

Be well, Sir!
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LincolnMcGrath Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 09:59 AM
Response to Reply #11
15. It is easier to blame the Green Devil than address problems within.

:shrug:
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The Magistrate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 10:02 AM
Response to Reply #15
16. We Have Had This Conversation Before, Mr. McGrath
It continues to puzzle me how someone so vociferous on the subject of Party loyalty lately takes every occassion to leap to defense of a third party organization largely funded by the Republicans....
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 10:09 AM
Response to Reply #16
19. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
TechBear_Seattle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 10:11 AM
Response to Reply #19
21. And any questioning of those in control...
... is, by definition, treason. Just ask Ann Coulter, Bill O`Reilley and Rush Limbaugh.
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TechBear_Seattle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 10:10 AM
Response to Reply #16
20. Apples and pork chops
The extremely difficult hurdles for ballot access in Pennsylvania have nothing to do with party loyalty, unless you wish to discuss the GOP members who betrayed their party to work for the Greens.

The real question is: Why are the PA Democrats fighting so hard to keep the Greens off the ballot? It very strongly gives the impression that the Democrats have no confidence in either their candidate or their message. I mean, if consumer choice and free enterprise are so valuable in the commercial market place, certainly voter choice and open competition is just as valuable in the political market place. Right?
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LynneSin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 10:22 AM
Response to Reply #20
23. "GOP members who betrayed their party to work for the Greens"
:rofl: :rofl: :rofl:

You're kidding me with that statement right? "GOP members who betrayed their party to work for the Greens"

:rofl: :rofl: :rofl:

Hate to disappoint you but they were PAID FOR by the GOP to go out and support the Green Party. You don't think those GOPers just accidently showed up for the rights of democracy do you?

If GOP didn't intervene, the party wouldn't be on the ticket
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TechBear_Seattle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 10:42 AM
Response to Reply #23
26. "If GOP didn't intervene, the party wouldn't be on the ticket"
Would you mind explaining to me how silencing the Greens, or any minor party or independent candidate, serves democracy? How it serves anything other than maintaining a false dichotomy of political "choices"?
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LynneSin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 11:01 AM
Response to Reply #26
27. Who is silencing the Green
and what about the other 3rd Parties like the Libertarian and Constitution Parties? No one gave them $100k to buy a candidate.

Seriously, stick with Washington Politics please. If Pennsylvania wanted a Green Party candidate on the ticket they would have gotten to volunteers and funds needed to get the petition turned in.

Stop apologizing for a party that clearly is in bed with the republicans. I mean, we've said here enough times and seen examples like when a Green ran in the 2002 Minnesota Senate Race (what wasn't progressive enough about Paul Wellstone). Now that we have the solid proof of the connection, your excuses are nothing more than lame attempts to try and distances yourself from Rick Santorum.

In my book - you vote Green you support the GOP. Is that the 'alternative voices' you want in DC?
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TechBear_Seattle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 10:03 AM
Response to Reply #15
17. My point exactly
It is much easier to eliminate opposition than it is to promote policies that the people want but which are immicible with the aims of the corporate sponsors. That is not democracy; that is tyranny.
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 10:12 AM
Response to Reply #17
22. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
LynneSin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 10:24 AM
Response to Reply #22
25. EXACTLY!!!!
Personally, I think that PA should lax the laws to allow all THREE parties to have candiates on the ticket. But you know the republicans would fight anything that could take votes away from them and thus no Constitution or Libertarians on the ticket.

When you're bought and paid for by the GOP it makes you a tool of the GOP even if the label you slap on it is Green
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The Magistrate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 09:15 AM
Response to Reply #1
3. That Objection, Mr. Bear, Makes No Sense To Me
Why should a candidate or party not have to make some showing of actual popularity before being recognized on the ballot? There is nothing to be gained by turning the ballot into a sort of public listing of lunatics, running to a couple of dozen pages. The collection of signatures is a reasonable enough means of demonstrating some public desire for a candidate or party. A serious organization should have no trouble in learning and abiding by the laws regulating how petions are to be circulated and signed, or in gaining legitimate signatures.
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TechBear_Seattle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 09:17 AM
Response to Reply #3
5. Why must that requirement be so high that only major parties can make it?
The whole point of these restrictions is to prevent alternative voices from being heard.
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Vickers Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 09:21 AM
Response to Reply #5
7. To weed out the bullshit.
Also, from the article:

"challenging some of the 90,000 signatures collected by his paid workers and volunteers, including at least six Santorum campaign aides. Two Santorum volunteers also assisted the Green Party at yesterday's review."

Garsh, it all seems so INNOCENT, ya know? :eyes:

What does Green Underground have to say about it?
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LynneSin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 09:32 AM
Response to Reply #7
10. "What does Green Underground have to say about it?"
Edited on Mon Aug-21-06 09:34 AM by LynneSin
:spray:

But that's what it is. I have to sit here and be yelled at by the Green supporters because my party is corrupt (which it has) and accepts corporate contributions (which I know) and their party is somehow above all this deception of the voters.

But when it suddenly shows up in fricking BLACK AND WHITE that the Green is willing to accept corruption and trickery to get on the ballot then it's "OH BUT IT'S SO TOUGH AND WE NEED ALTERNATIVE VOICES blah blah blah"

If Pennsylvanians really wanted a green party candidate on the tickets, the Green party would have been able to field enough volunteers and complete the task without accepting support from Rick Santorum. Hell they could have petitioned those people who supported democrats other than Bob Casey in the primaries to help them get their candidate on the ticket. But instead they took republican support and therefore they are TOOLS of the republican party to help get a republican elected not some fricking "ALTERNATIVE VOICE FOR THE VOTERS". Take damn blinders off and see what your precious Green Party has become. At least I'm willing to accept the flaws in my party and try to fight within my party to get better candidates and clear out the corruption.

ANd btw, if Rick Santorum wanted to support alternative candidates rights to be on the ballot he would have funded the other two major 3rd parties - Constitution and Libertarian. But he didn't because god forbid there was an alternative voice on the conservative side
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OzarkDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 11:32 AM
Response to Reply #7
28. These are GOP volunteers
posing as Greens.

Any Green who defends this behavior and questions legal protections against fraud on nominating petitions should go join the GOP today.
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The Magistrate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 09:23 AM
Response to Reply #5
8. What Is 'Rediculously High', Sir
About two percent of the vote cast for the leading candidate for the office in the prior election?

That seems to me a rather low thresh-hold for demonstrating popular support.
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zbdent Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 09:26 AM
Response to Original message
9. They should start arguing about whether or not the paper weight
was correct ... worked well for Blackwell in Ohio ...
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