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Nazareth, Pa., United States

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

State House: Beyer Nomination Petition Challenged

Michael Beyer, son of former State representative Karen Betyer, is running for the seat his mother lost when she was challenged by fellow Republican Justin Simmons in the 131st legislative district. Knowing he would lose in a Republican primary, Michael became a Democrat earlier this month. But whether he gets his party's nomination is in doubt. His nomination petition has been challenged in Commonwealth Court by David and Linda Eisenhauer, two Democrats who live in the District. Representing the Eisenhauers is Attorney Matt Crosslis, who until recently was Lehigh County Executive.

According to the challenge, which you can read for yourself here, Beyer claims he's a lawyer, and he did recently graduate from law school. But he apparently flunked the bar, so he can't hold himself out as a lawyer. The Eisenhauers claim this makes Beyer's nomination petition "materially defective" and "intentionally false."

In addition, Beyer's residency is challenged. Instead of continuously residing in the district or a year, Beyer lived in Pittsburgh, where he went to college and law school. A landlord-tenant complaint was filed against him there. After graduation, he moved to Florida to care for his ailing grandmother. He never established residency in the 131st until March 4, the date he registered in Northampton County.

According to the Eisenhauers, Beyer does not list the persons who actually circulated his petition. Kevin Deely, Gloria McVeigh, Tara Anthony and others claimed to have circulated petitions on his behalf, but none of them signed circulator affidavits.

Democratic activist Bar Johnston, who lives in Simmons' district and is mentioned in the challenged, called the challenge "baseless and total crap. This is just Simmons being Simmons." She added that several years ago, when former state representative Karen Beyer challenged the Michael Horton candidacy on the basis of residency and lost, Simmons turned that into a campaign issue. She claimed his actions now are "hypocritical."

The Commonwealth Court has scheduled a hearing on March 26, 2014, at 9:30 a.m., in Courtroom Number 5001, Fifth
Floor, Pennsylvania Judicial Center, 601 Commonwealth Avenue, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

Updated 12:20 PM, after getting comment from Johnston and reviewing docket.

49 comments:

Anonymous said...

He is toast. All is bad but the residency is just not there. Too bad Karen, revenge is a dish best served cold but in your case you will have to wait two more years.

Anonymous said...

I can't go on living like this. You thought I was joking on several occasions, Bernie. The last time you made fun of me. You won't be laughing now. I can't handle this anymore. I tried to befriend you, but you laughed at me. Now I don't have any reasons to keep going on like this. So kiss my ass, I tried, but you all made fun of me and laughed. You will be sorry. You thought I was joking but I tried to reach out. Only to get made sport of. Too late now. This all on your head!

Anonymous said...

um, that sounds a little unhinged. dial it back a bit, 513.

Anonymous said...

Bernie, you might want to consider a restraining order against the entire Beyer family. That 5:13 anon seems psycho... It has to be Karen...

Anonymous said...

Deception is never a good first move when running for office. REJECTED.

Anonymous said...

5:13.....is Dennis Rodman in town ??

Anonymous said...

Sounds like an easy and successful challenge

Anonymous said...

At least this stupid wannabe had his chair pulled out underneath of him before he (or mommy) could cause any harm.

Anonymous said...

You're kidding, right? A lawyer doesn't need to pass the bar. A student can claim his permanent residence at his parents home.

Anonymous said...

Anyone with a law degree is a lawyer.

Anonymous said...

Not according to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, if you are not barred and claim to be a lawyer that is a misdemeanor. Ouch

Greggy's Cellmate via Keistered Samsung Galaxy said...

Unity PAC supports Matt Croslis.

Anonymous said...

who notarized those petitions? Were they all notarized by the same notary? Apparently the notary did not check the signatures/ID of the circulaters to see if they matched up with who was asking for the petitions to be notarized.

Bill Coker said...

Don't all the anonymous trolls claim you are not a lawyer, Bernie, because of your past problems? Now they claim Beyer is because he graduated from law school? Guess when they took your license, they took your diploma, too.

Bernie O'Hare said...

The fact that he or I have law degrees does not mean we can publicly hold ourselves out as lawyers. I believe it is a mistake for him to hold himself out as a lawyer, but don't consider it an intentional misrepresentation or material defect. I am a little more concerned about where he has lived for the past year and just who circulated his petitions.

Anonymous said...

" I am a little more concerned about where he has lived for the past year"

This is a valid concern, although the law is that he had to be a resident of the district for a year prior to the election. So, Beyer merely needed to begin inhabiting the district at some point prior to November 4th, 2013.

Nothing presented in the petition challenge proves that this wasn't the case.

Anonymous said...

I find it comical to say the least the you, BOH, Simmons, and the best, Croslis, would entertain such ridiculousness. How about you call these so called 'circulators' out and see if they actually did this such action. I smell a lot of bullshit in this article and challenge. Can't wait to sit in the courtroom and see this go down in flames.

Anonymous said...

Is Karen Beyer still married?

Anonymous said...

The problem with the challenge is that while it offers a lot of conjecture, it offers no proof of anything regarding the circulators.

The only evidence submitted are Facebook posts from Bar Johnston thanking certain people for helping out and from Joyce Moore saying that she was circulating petitions for Beyer.

In Bar's case, she doesn't state that the people she thanked actually circulated petitions, only that they "helped."

In Joyce's case, she may very well have circulated petitions, but was not able to submit them on time. The challenge offers no evidence either way.

Do I think Michael Beyer collected 300+ signatures by himself in less than a week's time? No, but there's no evidence that's been presented to the contrary.

Do I think that Beyer and Johnston gathered the vast majority of signatures as indicated by their circulator affidavits? No, but there's no evidence that's been presented to the contrary.

A valid challenge could have been made here, but Croslis hasn't made it. Maybe he should have spent less time putzing around on Facebook and digging up the obituary of Beyer's deceased grandfather, and instead found a real live voter or three who signed petitions that were circulated by someone other than the claimed circulators.

Bernie O'Hare said...

What I am doing here is reporting what the Eisenhaurs claim in their challenge, along with a denial by one of Beyers' supporters. The facts will be determined in a courtroom. But residency is no ridiculous matter. Nor is a false affidavit that claims to have circulated petitions if they were actually circulated by others.

Bernie O'Hare said...

11:21, this will probably be answered by bringing in some of the people who signed and asking them if Beyer was the circulator.

Alan Earnshaw said...

"Residency" can be a bit fuzzy. If a child goes to college but maintains his parents' home as his official address, he is considered a resident, even though he does not "live" there. My daughter goes to college out of state. She works, so she had to file state income tax returns in both states, as a non-resident in the other state and as a resident here. She paid PA income taxes and the local EIT. She will have to pay our borough's per capita taxes. She votes by absentee ballot. She fits the definition of resident in every aspect except where she sleeps. Could she run for office as soon as she graduates from college? I don't know.

That seems to be the residency question here. If Mr. Beyer maintained his parents' address as his permanent address, paid taxes here, had his voter registration here, listed that address on his driver's license, etc., then he is probably a resident. If any of those things are not true, one could make a strong argument that he changed his residency.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Alan, somewhere along the way, Beyer switched his registration to Pittsburgh. In 2012, he voted in Pittsburgh. Last year, he didn't vote at all. I believe residency is in play. I agree it is tough to prove.

Anonymous said...

Beyer tried to make Simmons living at him parents house at age 23 an issue. Lil' Mikie is almost 30 and "lives with his parents" but that is just fine it must just be Beyer being Beyer. Also Miss Johnston, you better hope that his accusations are total crap, because if they aren't you and Lil' Mikie are screwed.

Matt M. said...

Have there been other challenges announced?

Bernie O'Hare said...

I don't see other local challenges. A complete list of the challenges is at the DOS website.

http://www.dos.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt/community/department_of_state/12405

Anonymous said...

What is the penalty for falsely circulating a petition, or for falsely claiming to have circulated them?

Who enforces it?

Bernie O'Hare said...

This can be enforced by the DA or AG. There is concurrent jurisdiction. But prosecutions are rare bc there rarely is criminal intent and prosecutors avoid elections cases.

Anonymous said...

So there's no real penalty for trying to cheat the people out of a fair election? It's no wonder that this sort of thing happens.

Maybe we need prosecutors who think the right to a fair election is something worth fighting for.

Right now, it looks like the political class is just protecting itself.

Anonymous said...

Test all of Deely's petitions for drug residue. You'll likely scratch up a doob's worth in the folds - like old double albums, maaaaan.

Chris Casey said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bernie O'Hare said...

Chris, then come out and say it. It is impossible to defend against an unstated accusation.

Anonymous said...

Chris. I am so sorry that you are filled with such hate towards someone you don't even know. I think it is funny that Justin has been living rent free in your little brain since 2010 and he hasn't even thought about you for a second since the last election when you made the same crazy statements. Don't know what happens to people that live with such hate. If you look at most of the major religions, I would say you are screwed. Doing a little research I submitted your life to a Hindi scholar. After some contemplation and reflection his best estimation was you would be reincarnated as: a piece of mouse shit. Guess that won't be a big change.

Anonymous said...

simmons is a secret gay. that is the truth. ask him about his private blowjob he received a few years ago. hmm. bet that wont ever come out. yet everyone is so quick to judge all these others ilfestyles. lets not throw stones while living in glass houses.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Are you the person who gave that secret blow job? And so the fuck what?

Anonymous said...

I am a Democrat and proud member of the LGBT Community. I am disheartened by Mr. Casey's accusations. He makes me feel that all the work we have done over the years to be able to live as equals in society has been for nothing. He uses sexuality as a weapon, as if it is something to be ashamed of. I have spoken to and met with Representative Simmons regarding legislative concerns I have had in the past. He has always been repectful and polite. My partner is an attorney. I think the issue here is not about Representative Simmons but about someone presenting himself as a lawyer when he is not. My understanding is that it is against the law. I don't think sexuality is. My partner and I disguessed this issue at length. I am also concerned about the residency issue with regard to Mr. Beyer. I think if Mr. Geeting would address the issues that caused this case to be filed in the first place, he would have a lot more credibility. I am saddened that he thinks he is fighting for some moral cause that he is the god of. He is a hypocrite in every sense of the word.

Bernie O'Hare said...

I appreciate and respect your comment. Many Democrats oppose Simmons bc of his conservative views. I get that. To me, transparency is more important than idelogy. On those occasions where I asked Simmons for his views, he answered me, even when other state reps from both parties were heading for the hills. He is the guy who was willing to stand up to his own party and say the NIZ needed changes, and he was proved right.

I'm pretty sure he's straight, but who cares? I don't give a shit.

Anonymous said...

I meant Mr. Casey not Mr. Geeting for my comment, although I guess they are easy to mix up. Both have a reputation for being nasty people.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Chris is a puppy dog. Even puts up with me. I'm the bastard. But I wish he hadn't posted that remark. It did not make Simmons look bad. It made Chris look bad

Anonymous said...

Bernie, in all of your infinite wisdom, have apparently decided that Mr. Beyer "flunked" the bar exam? Isn't it more likely that he just hasn't taken the exam yet? You should have proof before you continue to make defamatory statements. Of all people, you should not be questioning the character of anyone.

Bernie O'Hare said...

The petition suggest Beyer failed or did not take the exam. I believe it's highly likely he failed it. You don't graduate from law school in the Spring and then wait a year. Also, the contention that Beyer failed the Beyer, even if proved false, is not defamatory. That is not intended to demean him in any way, and I know numerous people who failed the bar, some three times. But whether he failed the bar or just didn't take the exam, it's not a good idea for him to hold himself out as a lawyer.

Chris Casey said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Chris Casey said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Chris Casey said...

Bernie Politely asked me to remove my comments. I have acquiesced to that request. After having some cheetos, I will schedule my colonoscopy because my Dr requested me to get one. Had my yearly prostate check yesterday. All is good. For real!

Bernie O'Hare said...

Thanks, Chris. Good luck.

Anonymous said...

Hahaha! Maybe this will finally shut Gloria McNut up. She better not lie under oath.....

Anonymous said...

Always surprised by how many dumb asses are on this blog. A lawyer is someone who is trained in the law. An attorney is someone who has passed the bar and can represent a client. So Mr. Beyer is within his right to call himself a lawyer because he is a graduate of a law school. So put that in your pipe and smoke it Bernie.

Bernie O'Hare said...

He is within his rights to call himself a lawyer. I certainly call myself one. He is not within his rights to hold himself out to the public as a lawyer. That's what he did. Because I consider this an innocent mistake that caused no real harm, I do not consider this a material defect and have said so. The other two questions will be decided by the facts developed in court. If circulators signed while others did the work, that's election fraud. We'll see how the facts play out.

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