Let me give you some background information. Northampton County's Home Rule Charter, in an effort to bring government closer to the people, establishes a procedure for initiative and referendum. It's no easy task. Ten per cent of the County's registered voters must ask for an exercise in direct democracy, and they only have 90 days to do it.
For those who want to keep the County shackled to Gracedale, the magic number is 19,630. And the clock is ticking. They only have until January 17, 2011.
At the last election, volunteers hit the polls, seeking and getting signatures.
According to what Easton resident and tea party member Ronnie DelBacco told Northampton County Council last week, there was some improper conduct, at least at his poll. She was inside the polling center, not staying ten feet away from the door. She misrepresented the petition as an effort to "save Gracedale." He indicated it was almost impossible to get past her without signing the petition. In fairness, I visited about twelve different polling locations on election day. I saw Gracedale volunteers at seven of them, but witnessed no improper behavior.
Improper or not, a lot of signatures were gathered on election day, and my own review of the signatures reveals that's when most were obtained.
Soon after election day, the phony preacher - he claims Buddy Christ is on his side - marched into the Voter Registration with 10,774 signatures, according to my count. Based on my own cursory review, I'd say that ten per cent will be rejected for some blatant errors. In one case, the circulator did not sign. Many are notarized by the fake Rev's wife, Kathy Martinez, who obviously is no impartial witness.
Since that time, no additional petition have been filed. Nada. Zippo. And as the weather gets colder and the nights grow longer, it appears increasingly unlikely that the fake Rev will meet his goal.
This might explain why he keeps clamoring for Council to put the issue on the ballot themselves.
Not gonna' happen.