Wednesday, March 20, 2013

This is Disappointing

I am not a fan of Shawn Flaherty trying to run for County Council after supporting Raja in 2011, but I also don't like the campaign tactic of trying to subvert the Democratic process.

From the Tribune-Review:

Challenge filed to Shawn Flaherty county council petition signatures

Four Allegheny County residents filed an objection Tuesday to the nominating petition of a Democratic candidate for county council.

Read more:


Anonymous said...

If a candidate cannot gather the right number of Democratic signatures, then they shouldn't be on the ballot. It's really not that hard. Why should Republicans have a say in who runs in the Democratic primary?

Anonymous said...

Let's get this straight -- you think that the Republicans, the people not-registred to vote anywhere and the people registered to vote outside of this county council district, who signed Flaherty's nomination petitions should get to decide who runs in the Democratic primary in County Council District 3. There is someone who is trying to subvert the Democratic process and it isn't the Democratic Chairs and Committee members who filed the challenge to Flaherty's nomination petitions.

NorthPGH Progressive said...

The devil is in the details. If there are 200 signatures that are not registered or are Republicans than I agree with the challenge. However, I think that is bold to think that 62% of Mr. Flaherty’s petitions are just unregistered or non-Democrats that signed his petition.

They even mention in the article that they are going after people that switched the signed name and printed name part of the petition.

I think it is unfair that people can go after technicalities like someone putting their mailing address instead of their municipality, someone signing their name where they were supposed to print, someone printing their name where they were supposed to sign, put their zip code instead of the date, getting married and not changing their name on their voter registration, etc.

I think it is an insult to the people that sign a petition to try and force them to show up in a court room and explain why they wrote Chis Smith instead of W. Christopher Smith where they were supposed to print their name on the petition.

Anonymous said...

Did you review the objections? Or the nominating petitions?

Anonymous said...

The author of blog and some of commenters on this blog do not seem to have a good understanding of the Nomination Petition Challenge process.

The court will NOT invalidate a signature for frivolous reason. E.g. if someone puts a mailing address as opposed to their actual municipality, the court will not invalidate a signature for that reason.

The burden of proof is on the Plaintiffs who are challenging the petition.

The court does not require that the signatories to the petition actually appear in court to defend their signatures.

I think that it is an insult to Democrats and to residents of the County Council District to have Republicans and people who don't live in the District along with people who aren't even registered to vote decide who will run to represent Democrats in the primary.

The burden on the candidate to obtain a minimal number of signatures of registered voters of his same party, who live in his district isn't that great.

All candidates know that a certain percentage of the signatures on their petitions will not be valid signatures. The rule of thumb among candidates is to obtain 2-3 times the legally required number of signatures. In this case, Flaherty was required to obtain a minimum of 250 VALID signatures. He only obtained 322 signatures total. He should have obtained 500-750 signatures in order to reach the target of 250 LEGALLY VALID signatures. Mr. Flaherty is not a political novice. He is well-aware of this.

I believe that he claims to have obtained the signatures himself. Thus, he would have seen at the time of the signing where the signatories lived. I don’t believe that he is so ignorant of the geography of Allegheny County that he could not have easily gleaned that many of the signatures were clearly not from people within his county council district.

Mr. Flaherty did not due his due diligence as a candidate.

If the prospective candidate is incapable of getting past this minuscule hurdle than that is not a harbinger of good things to come.

If we are going to allow Republicans to sign Democratic petitions and if we are going to allow folks who are not registered to vote and folks who don't live in the district to sign then the nomination petition process has become completely meaningless and should be abolished.

NorthPGH Progressive said...

I was way off on this assessment if Mr. Flaherty decided to just back out of the race.

My point that seemed to be lost in some of my readers, because I didn't explain myself all that well, is that fighting over signature technicalities forces campaigns to spend money and time on the petition challenge instead of voter contact. Why I think it is important to follow the rules, most of the time these challenges are part of the game and not about the rules.