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who is running in 2006 and is anybody checking all nominating petitions for irregularities no matter if a challenger or an incumbent?  doesn't look like it according to a Pocono Record article

once a candidate drops out of the race, what happens is all challenges to the nominating petitions are well, dropped and voided since there is no hearing... so basically, irregularities are not likely to be proven fraud.

how many dead people's names remain on local voter registration lists?

too late to challenge at the state level, but

Curtin petition forgery alleged

Woman says she didn't support candidacy of accused sex offender running for GOP office

Andrew Scott
Pocono Record Writer

Your signature might be forged as a supporter on a political candidate's petition, and you likely would have no way of knowing.

Such petitions usually aren't publicized, and the Monroe County Voter Registration Office says it's too time-consuming to verify the legitimacy of each and every signature unless someone challenges a particular John Hancock.

The Monroe County District Attorney's Office is looking into an allegation by Penn State student Sarah Trentacoste of Pocono Summit, who says she discovered her forged signature Tuesday on Republican state committeeman John R. Curtin's petition. Curtin, who is seeking re-election, submitted his 242-signature petition March 7 to the Voter Registration Office...
If someone is prosecuted and convicted of forging petition signatures, the maximum penalty is a $500 fine and/or a year in county jail, according to the state Elections Code...


Update Cavanagh withdrew from the race.

Drops candidacy Thursday, March 23, 2006

A local legislative candidate whose nominating petition was being challenged in Commonwealth Court has withdrawn from the primary.

Michael J. Cavanagh, of Uniontown, Fayette County, dropped his candidacy before Wednesday's deadline, according to the Pennsylvania Department of State.

A hearing on Cavanagh's candidacy for the 51st District was scheduled for next week.


Three candidates drop out of race

By By Chris Foreman TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Thursday, March 23, 2006

Three of four local legislative candidates whose nominating petitions were being challenged in Commonwealth Court have withdrawn from the 2006 primary.

William H. Ehman, of Derry, Brian Blasko, of North Huntingdon Township, and Michael J. Cavanagh, of Uniontown, Fayette County, dropped their candidacies before Wednesday's deadline, according to the Pennsylvania Department of State.


A local Uniontown-area man seeking public office for the 51st legistlative district seat of retiring state Representative Larry Roberts is the subject of an article Michael J. Cavanagh's candidacy challenged 03/15/2006 By Jennifer Harr, Herald-Standard 
The story of Cavanagh's attempt to seek the Democrat nomination for the vacated 51st legislative District seat of Rep. Roberts is one which should be watched closely, particularly in view of the specific contention (according to the article) by the challenger to Cavanagh's candidacy that it was "clear from the nomination petitions that all signatures and other required information on the nomination petitions were signed and completed by the same person and not by the alleged 300 persons named as qualified electors."

Wednesday, March 29, 2006  By James O'Toole, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

In the face of a challenge to his nominating petitions, state Rep. Michael Diven, R-Brookline, yesterday officially withdrew from the Republican ballot in the May 16 primary...

Storm of challenges precedes May primary election

Thursday, March 16, 2006 By Tracie Mauriello, Post-Gazette Harrisburg BureauHARRISBURG -- The race to get on the May primary ballot is turning into a roller derby with candidates maneuvering in court to throw competitors off the ballot.

One House candidate, Michael Cavanagh of Uniontown, sees the court challenges as cowardly attempts to gain political advantage and take choices away from voters. Mr. Cavanagh is one of 12 candidates from southwestern Pennsylvania whose candidacy has been challenged.

Mr. Cavanagh's candidacy is under attack because he was convicted of insurance fraud in 2004. The state constitution prohibits people from holding office if they've been convicted of "embezzling public money, bribery, perjury or other infamous crimes."

Mr. Cavanagh, whose case is on appeal, said he is innocent and that, in any case, insurance fraud isn't "infamous."

Most of the other filings challenge signatures, residency and paperwork. Candidates must collect 300 signatures from party members in their district and must live in the district for one year before the election.

Rep. Michael Diven, R-Brookline, is being challenged because six of the 614 signatures on his petition allegedly belong to dead people. Campaign worker Debora Romaniello collected the six signatures and three Pittsburghers who filed the court challenge say all 183 signatures she gathered should be disqualified.

Mr. Diven said someone signed the deceased people's names without Ms. Romaniello's knowledge.

Actually, a similar incident to dead people's names being used occured in Jim Condit candidacy a few years back...
By Judy Kroeger
Wednesday, March 8, 2006


Cavanagh petitions challenged in court

By Chris Foreman
Wednesday, March 15, 2006
The nominating petitions of Michael Cavanagh were challenged in Commonwealth Court on Tuesday as a Fayette County voter who contended Cavanagh's criminal conviction for auto insurance fraud disqualifies him from running for the 51st Legislative District.

The filing by Philip J. Michael, of South Union Township, is the second legal challenge to a Cavanagh campaign in the past two years by a supporter of former county jury commissioner Tim Mahoney.

Both the Commonwealth and state Supreme courts upheld the last objection, ruling in 2004 that Cavanagh's conviction three years earlier prevented him from running as an independent in the general election. Cavanagh, 33, a Democrat from Uniontown, continues to appeal the conviction and believes the courts misinterpreted the state constitution.

Michael's attorney, Kenneth B. Burkley, also represented the last registered voter who disputed Cavanagh's nominating papers, Robert Bowers, of Hopwood, South Union. ...

Burkley, of Greensburg, said the filing also questions the legitimacy of more than 100 signatures on Cavanagh's nominating petitions.

"Unlike most people, he's already been determined ineligible to hold this exact office," Burkley said. ...


Posted by: genuinejake on Tuesday, February 28, 2006 - 10:45 PM |


Pennsylvania's requirement that buyers provide a Social Security number to purchase a gun or obtain a concealed-weapons permit was struck down yesterday by a federal judge.

The state law violated the federal Privacy Act, U.S. District Judge Juan R. Sanchez ruled.

"This issue has been largely overlooked in Pennsylvania and other states for a long time," said lawyer J. Dwight Yoder, who brought the case on behalf of a retired U.S. Army officer from Lancaster. "This ruling is about privacy, not guns. We weren't looking to circumvent gun laws."

Lawyers for the Pennsylvania State Police are reviewing the decision and considering an appeal, spokesman Jack Lewis said. By requiring applicants to provide Social Security numbers, Lewis said, his agency "simply has followed the requirements of the state's Uniform Firearms Act."

The wider impact of yesterday's ruling - whether, for example, other Pennsylvania Social Security requirements would be deemed invalid - was uncertain...


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