Tuesday, March 23, 2021

Judge Dally to Rule on Objections to Nomination Petitions

Judge Craig Dally (out of uniform)
Northampton County Judge Craig Dally spent the entire day in court on Monday, listening to six of the objections filed against nomination petitions filed by eight candidates.  One of the candidates (Ilda Perna for Magisterial District Judge in South Bethlehem) withdrew, making a hearing unnecessary. The objections filed by Patti Bruno against fellow NorCo Council candidate Emmanuel Jah-El will be heard today. I sat in on two of the hearings; Andrew Tupone's objection to Magisterial District Judge Pat Broscius; and the objection to Tanya Keller for Easton Area School Board. 

Judge Dally handled the objections to nomination petitions four years ago. He was well-armed with the latest case law, to which he referred from time to time. 

Tupone's Objection to Magisterial District Judge Pat Broscius. - Andrew Tupone ran for this office six years ago, and lost. He objected to Broscius' nomination papers because of facial defects that she cured. One example of this was her failure to list the date of the primary. In her Statement of Financial Interests, she stated she had no sources of income although it's quite obvious she does because, as she originally noted on the form, she is employed as a Magisterial District Judge.

Tupone tried to argue these facial defects were fatal, but Judge Dally schooled him. He said that mistakes like the one on Broscius' petition appear to be "harmless error", and referred to a Supreme Court decision involving a State Representative who made the same mistake Broscius did. The state's highest court ruled in favor of the State Rep. "I have the case right here, wanna' see it?" Dally asked Tupone. 

Instead of actually looking at the law, Tupone went on to claim he's doubtful of Broscius' claim to have received no loans or gifts. "How do we know that?" he asked.

"That's what the candidate said," answered Judge Dally. "You can't just say bad faith, you have to prove it." 

Judge Dally asked Tupone if he had any evidence to back up his quasi-assertion of bad faith. "Not at the moment," answered Tupone, stating he might produce it in his closing argument. 

He never did. 

Judge Broscius was represented by Attorney Brian Monahan, who demonstrated she corrected the facial defects on her nomination petition. He also filed an answer to Tupone's objections, and Tupone then started pecking away at two typos in Monahan's response.  

Tupone argued he felt obligated to raise these issues. Judge Dally agreed he had the right. Having the right to do something, however, does not mean you should. 

I have no idea how Judge Dally will rule, but from my box in the peanut gallery, the only person displaying bad faith was Tupone. His objections were frivolous. 

Objection to Tanya Keller in Easton School Board Race. - I felt bad for her. She'd certainly be a better school director than Susan "Karen" Hartranft-Bittinger, the school director who filed objections. She objected to everything. She was antagonistic to Voter Registrar Amy Cozze for daring to accept Keller's Statement of Financial Interests. Like Tupone before her, she questioned its accuracy. But this school board Karen was right about one thing - Keller failed to file her Statement of Financial Interests with the school district.  This is mandatory by statute.  There are no excuses. Keller, to her credit, honestly admitted her error. 

My guess is that she will be removed. 

When Judge Dally's decisions are announced regarding the other objections, I will let you know. 

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Wonder how successful Bruno will be in trying to toss Manny?

Anonymous said...

Andrew Tampoon - unfit for office

Bernie O'Hare said...

"Wonder how successful Bruno will be in trying to toss Manny?"

I consider her petition poorly drafted, but she has attached a spreadsheet laying out her challenges a bit more specifically.

"Andrew Tampoon - unfit for office"

The Beth Tp GOP Committee appears to have blocked me, but was backing him. I also notice that Tupone, on his Facebook page, "likes" Sen. Doug Mastriano and LC GOP Comm'r candidate Marjulee Colon. Tupone complains about facial defects in Broscius' petition, but he himself is engaging in partisan political activity in violation of ethical mandates for judicial candidates. He's a phony who has been a problem nearly everywhere he has been in the county.

Anonymous said...

Doesn't Andrew Tampoon work for the County in some capacity? Isn't there a rule requiring that he resign from his employment in order to run?

Anonymous said...

Thanks for informing us. The Elections Office official that gave me my paperwork was extremely careful in going over the requirements, including filing the Financial Interests statement with the municipality. The fool that challenged Broscius seems like he had nothing better to do than argue with a judge.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"Doesn't Andrew Tampoon work for the County in some capacity? Isn't there a rule requiring that he resign from his employment in order to run?"

Tupone has worked in various offices and is currently an assessor. There is no prohibition against him running for office.

Anonymous said...

Bernie, aren't incumbent MDJs exempt from the petition signing process? Didn't some new law pass? If they are, and an incumbent is merely trying to show their presence during a challenger's petition drive, maybe he/she should refrain from submitting any petitions at all and avoid what MDJ Broscius had to endure.