Using surrogates, Doug Reichley wanted Stevenson off that ballot. This conservative independent might siphon votes that would otherwise go Doug's way, giving Democratic challenger Patrick Slattery an upset victory.
Stevenson had more than enough signatures. But the person who did most of the circulating, Jake Towne, lives outside the state house district. Now, according to our state election laws, that's a no no. But former Northampton County jurist Franklin Van Antwerpen, who now sits on the Third Circuit Court of Appeals, ruled in 2002 that this requirement unduly infringes on free speech and free association rights. Petition circulation is "core political speech" because it involved "interactive communication concerning political change." In fact, he pointed to a Supreme Court decision ruling that circulators need not even be registered voters.
What's even more amazing is that the state elections bureau told other independents, like Manchurian Candidate Jake Towne, that they could use circulators from outside their district. Stevenson supplied me copies of the emails, but get this. He asked me not to use them becaue he has no desire to embarrass state officials who were only trying to help.
I told him they should be mentioned on every page of his brief.
Jake Towne relied on this advice, too. This means that many of his signatures are arguably invalid. But LV Congressman Charlie Dent, who takes no one lightly, filed no challenge. He's willing to let voters make the call. Doug Reichley should have followed Dent's lead, but instead used baseball metaphors, complaining about three teams.
Last time I checked, there's more than two teams in MLB.
It looks like this one's going into extra innings. The ACLU just notified Stevenson they'll appeal on his behalf.