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Local hodgepodge of election fraud charges back and forth between Democrat candidates for state representative 51st District, Fayette County, Pennsylvania.
state Rep. Larry Roberts (51st, D-South Union)
will be a guest call-in on WMBS 590 Program "Let's Talk, with host Bob Foltz Wednesday, April 7 beginning about 2 p.m.
Interesting, challenges across the state of PA.
Some state races face legal challenges
By Brad Bumsted
Friday, February 27, 2004
Ernest Simon, an Edgeworth Democrat, who is running against state Sen. John Pippy, R-Moon, in the 37th Senate District. The hearing is set for March 16.
Lawrence D. Brestensky, a Freeport Democrat, who filed as a candidate in the 41st Senate District against state Sen. Don White, R-Indiana County. Brestensky, a steel worker, said he has decided to withdraw from the race.
Democrat Tim Mahoney, of South Union Township in the 51st House District. The challenge comes directly from incumbent state Rep. Larry Roberts, D-Uniontown. A hearing will be held March 11.

Separately, Mahoney has called on Roberts to resign after having produced statements that petitions for a third Democratic candidate were notarized in Roberts' Fayette County office and that the signatures allegedly were forged. As of Thursday, there was no formal complaint in Commonwealth Court against Roberts.

...A common thread in the complaints against Democratic Senate candidates Simon and Brestensky, filed by the same Harrisburg law firm, alleges that, in some cases, petition circulators weren't present when the documents were notarized. A notary listed in documents in both cases was Janet L. Snyder, of Dauphin County, an executive secretary in Harrisburg to Sen. James Ferlo, D-Highland Park.

Snyder said the allegations are false.


Pippy challenger to stay on ballot

Democrat continues in state Senate race

Friday, April 09, 2004

By Ed Blazina, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Ernest Simon, whose petitions to run for state Senate in the 37th District were challenged, will be allowed to run for the Democratic nomination.


Baathism in Pennsylvania

Sunday, March 28, 2004

By Dennis Roddy



In a strategy as cynical as it was open, the Democratic House orchestrated a series of challenges to Republican incumbents. On Wednesday three of them, state Reps. William Gabig, R-Cumberland, Chris Ross, R-Chester, and Kerry Benninghoff, R-Centre, were tossed off the ballot because they overlooked line 10 of the state's financial disclosure form. While listing their occupations as state representative, they didn't think to write down "Commonwealth of Pennsylvania" as a source of income. Possibly they believed people would already know that a state legislator's salary is paid by the state.

Ten incumbent Democrats committed the same oversight, but they were never challenged.

A fourth Republican incumbent, Robert Bastian, R-Somerset, decided not to fight a ballot challenge because legal fees would have depleted his campaign treasury. He's running a write-in campaign for the Republican nomination.

"This was a selected, coordinated tactic targeting Republicans," said Lawrence Tabas, lawyer for the four Republican lawmakers. "Elections are more and more being fought on two stages: in the courts and at the polls."

Indeed it was. Mike Manzo, chief of staff to DeWeese, said staff from both parties pore over nominating petitions in search of fatal flaws. House Democrats found the disclosure errors and, in the case of Democrats, called them in to correct their forms and, in the case of the four Republicans, began putting together a legal case.

"Our political arm reached out to the counties to see if there were any Republicans disenchanted with the Republican candidate and in every case there was," Manzo said.

The tactic is not exclusive to the Democrats. One Republican lawmaker, who faced his own ballot challenge a year ago, learned the lesson and used it this year.

In 31 legislative districts, a series of challenges has prematurely ended the candidacies of 21 hopefuls. In eight of those cases the results left the Republican incumbent likely to go unchallenged in the autumn.

In the 37th Senate District, which includes portions of Allegheny and Washington counties, incumbent Republican John Pippy came close to knocking his Democratic challenger off the ballot. To do so, his campaign appears to have lined up three Democratic voters in Washington County. They asserted that Democrat Ernest Simon's nominating petitions were fatally flawed.





Absolutely, all should be held accountable for any and all infringements of personal rights.  No equivocation.
By Paul Sunyak Herald-Standard
Former legislative candidate asks PennDOT who accessed his driver's license information

Tuesday, April 6, 2004 
David Hunt Daily Courier

Puzzling - candidate who has run for office before, and been elected, seeks a state office - wherein similar financial statement forms must be accurately completed - doesn't fill everything in correctly.    You would think candidates would attend any and all past informational meetings held by the election bureau wherein the main topic of discussion was filling out financial forms properly.
Wednesday, February 19, 2003
Election bureau gives tips for seeking public office
UNIONTOWN - What to run for public office? There's more to it that just putting your name on the ballot.

Fayette County residents thinking about seeking office in the upcoming primary election were given some well-needed tips Tuesday night.

The Fayette County Election Bureau held an instructional seminar for those interested or curious about running for public office.

Main topic of discussion which concerned possible candidates was how to correctly file a statement of financial interests. 

The statement of financial interests is mandated by the State Ethic Commission. According to election bureau representatives, the form has changed several times over the past several years.

The financial statement needs to be completed and filed by March 11 for the upcoming primary. If a candidate does not file a statement, a fine of no more than $1,000 can be given or the potential candidate could serve up to a year in prison.

If the statement is not correctly filed, a candidate is kicked off of the ballot.


Election Bureau Solicitor Sheryl Heid said if the statements or petitions are not done correctly, an individual doesn't get to run.


Judge's ruling knocks Mahoney off ballot By Paul Sunyak Herald-Standard 03/16/2004]
Judge reflects on case against Mahoney By: Rick Martinez Herald-Standard 03/12/2004
UnsettledRoberts' reputation remains on the line 03/17/2004

Tribune Review
Mahoney is tossed from 51st District race
Tuesday, March 16, 2004
By Joe Napsha
State judge hears arguments over nominating petitions
Friday, March 12, 2004
By Paul Peirce