Northeast Times

Constitution Party candidates off Pa. ballot

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Pennsylvania voters dis­sat­is­fied with Pres­id­ent Obama and Re­pub­lic­an chal­lenger Mitt Rom­ney will have one few­er op­tion on the Nov. 6 bal­lot.

Vir­gil Goode, the Con­sti­tu­tion Party nom­in­ee for pres­id­ent, with­drew from the Pennsylvania bal­lot be­cause of in­suf­fi­cient nom­in­at­ing pe­ti­tions. Also fall­ing by the way­side were Alan Goodrich and Donna Fike, the Con­sti­tu­tion Party can­did­ates for aud­it­or gen­er­al and state treas­urer, re­spect­ively.

Demo­crats and Re­pub­lic­ans needed to col­lect just 2,000 sig­na­tures to get Obama and Rom­ney on the primary bal­lot. Minor parties needed to sub­mit 20,601 sig­na­tures by an Aug. 1 dead­line.

That fig­ure rep­res­ents 2 per­cent of the votes cast for the highest vote get­ter in the 2011 statewide elec­tions. Demo­crat Dav­id Wecht re­ceived 1,030,004 votes last Novem­ber in win­ning a seat on Su­per­i­or Court.

The state GOP wanted the Con­sti­tu­tion Party off the bal­lot, fig­ur­ing that its con­ser­vat­ive can­did­ates would take votes away from Re­pub­lic­ans. Goode, of Vir­gin­ia, is a former con­gress­man who was elec­ted as a Demo­crat be­fore switch­ing to be­come an in­de­pend­ent and later a Re­pub­lic­an.

The Con­sti­tu­tion Party prob­ably would not have had enough val­id sig­na­tures to stay on the bal­lot after a com­plete re­view. The pe­ti­tions in­cluded du­plic­ate sig­na­tures and sig­na­tures of un­re­gistered voters. The party last week agreed to with­draw rather than be­ing ordered by the courts to pay the leg­al bills of Re­pub­lic­an law­yers.

The fail­ure to gain a spot on the Pennsylvania bal­lot is par­tic­u­larly em­bar­rass­ing to the Con­sti­tu­tion Party, since its vice pres­id­en­tial nom­in­ee is Jim Cly­mer, a Lan­caster at­tor­ney.

The state GOP is also seek­ing to knock off Liber­tari­an can­did­ates. The Liber­tari­an can­did­ate for pres­id­ent is Gary John­son, former gov­ernor of New Mex­ico. He sought the Re­pub­lic­an pres­id­en­tial nom­in­a­tion, but dropped out when his cam­paign failed to at­tract much sup­port.

The Liber­tari­ans must sur­vive a court chal­lenge to re­main on the bal­lot.

In the past, the state Demo­crat­ic Party has muscled the Green Party off the bal­lot. This year, Demo­crats did not chal­lenge the Green Party pe­ti­tions. Thus, Jill Stein will ap­pear on the state bal­lot for pres­id­ent. Her run­ning mate is Cheri Honkala, a long­time Phil­adelphia act­iv­ist for af­ford­able hous­ing.

In re­lated news, city Re­pub­lic­ans let the Aug. 23 dead­line pass to re­place can­did­ate George Weiss in the 170th Le­gis­lat­ive Dis­trict. Weiss dropped out in the spring, say­ing that a cam­paign would have taken too much time away from his fam­ily and real es­tate busi­ness. The GOP’s fail­ure to re­cruit a re­place­ment means Demo­crat­ic Rep. Brendan Boyle will be un­op­posed

••

Demo­crat Wil­li­am Dun­bar con­tin­ues his act­ive cam­paign to un­seat state Rep. John Taylor (R-177th dist.).

Dun­bar re­cently com­pleted a goal of knock­ing on doors in all 66 di­vi­sions of the dis­trict. The chal­lenger plans to vis­it each home twice more be­fore the elec­tion.

“You can win a loc­al race by simply meet­ing the voters again and again. That is my plan,” he said.

Mean­while, the Dun­bar cam­paign on Sat­urday handed out school sup­plies and wa­ter ice to people at Samuel Re­cre­ation Cen­ter in Port Rich­mond.

••

Sev­er­al GOP can­did­ates gathered last week at Con­greg­a­tions of Shaare Shamay­im for a 58th Ward Re­pub­lic­an Com­mit­tee meet­ing.

The crowd in­cluded hope­fuls Joe Rooney (13th Con­gres­sion­al Dis­trict), Mike Tom­lin­son (5th Sen­at­ori­al Dis­trict) and Dave Kralle (169th Le­gis­lat­ive Dis­trict), along with Joe Mc­Gar­rity, a rep­res­ent­at­ive of Dav­id Freed, who is run­ning for state at­tor­ney gen­er­al.

Rooney, a Delta Air Lines pi­lot and re­tired Mar­ine, faul­ted Demo­crat­ic Rep. Allyson Schwartz for what he be­lieves is a low pro­file in the com­munity.

The two can­did­ates dis­agree sharply on abor­tion. Rooney is pro-life, while Schwartz is pro-choice. Rooney hopes to cap­it­al­ize on the is­sue.

“I need every Cath­ol­ic vote in North­east Phil­adelphia,” he said.

Tom­lin­son de­scribed him­self as a “pro-uni­on Re­pub­lic­an.” He’s chal­len­ging Demo­crat­ic Sen. Mike Stack. He’s knock­ing on doors every day and told the crowd he is get­ting a good re­cep­tion. He is erect­ing lawn signs that once be­longed to Sen. Tommy Tom­lin­son, of Bucks County. The name “Mike” is taped over “Tommy” on the signs.

Kralle lost a spe­cial elec­tion to Demo­crat Ed Neilson in April by 524 votes. He said polls showed him with a slight lead un­til neg­at­ive mail­ings late in the cam­paign. The two will have a re­match in Novem­ber.

“I’m not go­ing neg­at­ive,” Kralle said.

Kralle pre­dicted that the Pennsylvania Su­preme Court will re­ject the re­dis­trict­ing maps passed by the Le­gis­lat­ive Re­ap­por­tion­ment Com­mis­sion. That plan will move the 169th dis­trict to York County, be­gin­ning in 2014. Kralle said he will try to keep the dis­trict in Phil­adelphia.

Kralle cri­ti­cized May­or Mi­chael Nut­ter’s sup­port of the Ac­tu­al Value Ini­ti­at­ive, which crit­ics con­tend will lead to high­er real es­tate taxes.

“He’s try­ing to fleece us on prop­erty taxes,” the can­did­ate said.

Oth­ers in at­tend­ance in­cluded city elec­tions com­mis­sion­er Al Schmidt, Phil­adelphia Fed­er­a­tion of Young Re­pub­lic­ans chair­man Steve Boc and Joe De­Fe­lice and Bri­an Mc­Cann, who are work­ing for the state Re­pub­lic­an Party on be­half of Mitt Rom­ney and oth­er GOP can­did­ates.

De­Fe­lice ex­plained that the GOP has re­cruited hun­dreds of minor­ity-party in­spect­ors in North and West Phil­adelphia, where Re­pub­lic­ans are few and far between. The goal, he said, is to en­sure a fair elec­tion. He poin­ted to a well-pub­li­cized in­cid­ent on Elec­tion Day in 2008, when sev­er­al mem­bers of the New Black Pan­ther Party were ac­cused of in­tim­id­at­ing voters at a polling place at 1221 Fair­mount Ave. One of the men car­ried a night­stick.

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You can reach at twaring@bsmphilly.com.

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