Thursday, March 22, 2012
Election Law Expert Otter Goes to the Supremes ... Late
After all, he's an election law expert.
We passed on the Otter's kind offer. We're not experts. In fact, as people like to remind me every day, I'm a disbarred lawyer. But even I know that, under the Election Code, courts have no authority to award attorney fees. On top of that, there's this little thing called the First Amendment. That gives us a right to petition our government for the redress of grievances. Without that right, access to the courts could be limited to only those who can afford it, as it is in England.
The plain language of the law and the Constitution mean nothing to hungry otters, I've discovered. He's filed at least four separate motions for attorney fees. He's been bounced every time. He's even had to pull one of them himself. He's attempted to collect from Executive John Stoffa, too, even though he's not a party to our challenge.
Things got real ugly last Summer, when I learned that the Otter likes trying his cases in the press. Before I had even seen his latest motion, I was reading about it on WFMZ-TV69. The Otter was demanding a criminal investigation, and was comparing us to Bonusgate, a connection that nobody but the Otter himself has ever understood.
In television land, he was claiming we could be going to jail.
People love to believe the worst about their fellow man, so I took quite a few hits here. At the courthouse, searchers spoke about me in hushed tones, as if I were already dead. I'm sure that these unfounded and completely baseless allegations were no help to Ron Angle in his bid for re-election.
The Otter's motions became increasingly nasty. He began accusing all of us of lying to the Court. I was accused of perjury even though he never specified exactly how anyone lied or committed perjury.
After what seemed like an eternity to me, Judge Baratta finally tossed Otter's claim, telling him he had utterly failed to connect the dots. Assuming that everything he said was true (and it's most definitely untrue), the Otter could never establish that Angle or I did a damn thing wrong. In fact, as Judge Baratta himself noted, we came damn close to winning.
"I'll be back, your Honor," said the Otter, although he sounded nothing like Arnold.
"I'm duly warned," replied a bemused judge.
Naturally, the Otter and Initiative Committee appealed Baratta's rejection to the Commonwealth Court. I filed a three sentence brief, and on March 8, President Judge Dan Pellegrini quashed Otter's appeal.
Right after that, the Gracedale crowd he represents began demanding Council and criminal investigations. Again.
And again, I learned from WFMZ-TV69 on Tuesday (3/20) that the Otter is now asking the State Supremes to give this matter a once over. Neither Angle nor I had even been served with this latest appeal, which is another one of the Otter tricks. Although I see no evidence of an appeal at the state website, the TV station knows all about it because the Otter made sure it knows all about it.
Of course, nobody from the TV station called either Angle or me for our side of the story, even though we've won at every level.
Yesterday, in an envelope postmarked 3/20, the same day that the Otter spoke to the press, I received Otter's petition for allowance of appeal with the Supreme Court. He includes a March 19 letter addressed to the Clerk for filing.
It appears that the Otter may have screwed up again. You see, appeals in election cases have to be filed within ten days. You'd think an election law expert would know that much.
Looks like he's at least a day late.