Now a thoughtful man like Terrence Miller obviously has no place in government. So Easton's entrenched power base did its level best yesterday to have Miller's Easton City Council nomination petition stricken during a hearing before Judge Craig Dally. I believe the effort failed, but you never know. Judge Dally will make that call by Tuesday.
Miller's nomination petition was challenged by Richard Bader, acting as a stooge for incumbent Jim Edinger. He used Bethlehem barrister Vic Scomillio, too Maybe Vic was running a special.
According to the challenge (you can read it in all its glory here), Miller may have obtained 134 signatures, but less than 100 were valid signatures from registered Democrats living in his district. If that is so, Miller's campaign is toast.
Scomillio called Voter Registrar Dee Rumsey, and she testified to her own examination of the nomination petition. Miller's petition did include 27 signatures from people who were of a different party or who lived outside the district or who were actually unregistered. But his complaints about others were petty. The included complaints that someone named Miguel signed only using "M," that someone named Ronald signed as"Ron,"that various married women sign using their married names instead of what appears on their voter registration card, or that a street number lists "1051" instead of "1057." If someone with a Spanish surname only uses one of them when the registration shows there are two, his signature will be honored. If someone makes a spelling error or uses a mailing address instead of the actual address, that is insufficient to set aside a nomination petition.
There is a presumption that the signatures on a petition nominating a candidate for a primary election are valid. If there is some question about a challenged signature, it is to be resolved in favor of the candidate's right to run for office and the voters' right to choose their own representatives.
Politicos advise that anyone running for office should try to get twice as many signatures as are need. So Terry should have obtained 200 signatures. This was his mistake, but I believe he has enough padding to squeak by on this challenge.
Miller, at the beginning of the hearing, asked Richard Bader whether anyone calls him Rich. The answer was yes. then asked Bader if anyone calls him Dick. The answer was yes. At the end of the hearing, he told Judge Dally that many people will sign one way when their name might appear another way on the registration records. "We have to be careful that we don't exclude a voter's expression on the basis of a technicality," he warned the court. "Let the voters decide. That's what this is all about."
A ruling in this matter is expected by Tuesday.