Nader: Heavy cost of running a third party candidate in Pennsylvania

[So, there is a group of us on-line who really care about third party and ballot access issues. So, this post is via Independent Political Report, who got it via Ballot Access News. And, now, it’s here…]

(excerpt from) Philadelphia Inquirer
Heavy costs of a run by a third party in Pennsylvania.
But 2 challenges are part of the Bonusgate probe.

Posted on Wed, Jan. 28, 2009

Commentary by Ralph Nader, independent candidate for president in 2008:

If you want to run for public office in Pennsylvania, and you’re neither a Republican nor a Democrat, you’d better be prepared to bet the farm. Carl Romanelli learned that lesson the hard way after campaigning for U.S. Senate on the Green Party ticket in 2006.

After a successful challenge to his nomination petitions by Democrats, represented by Thorp, Reed & Armstrong, the Commonwealth Court in Harrisburg charged Romanelli with more than $80,000 in litigation costs. Romanelli, a retired family court officer, says that would “destroy” him financially.

Romanelli’s is only the second candidacy in U.S. history to be hit with such costs. My 2004 presidential candidacy was the first. Represented by Reed Smith, Democrats successfully challenged my nomination petitions, and the Commonwealth Court ordered us to pick up the legal bill – once again, more than $80,000.

Both petition challenges are now under investigation by state Attorney General Tom Corbett, who is looking into the alleged misuse of taxpayer funds and resources for this kind of political work. The scandal is known as “Bonusgate” because state employees allegedly received taxpayer-funded bonuses for preparing the challenges. Corbett has already filed charges against 10 employees and two members of the Pennsylvania House Democratic Caucus, and more arrests are expected.

But while Corbett’s criminal prosecution takes a big step toward cleaning up corruption in Harrisburg, it won’t restore even a semblance of competitive democracy to Pennsylvania. Fortunately, State Sen. Mike Folmer (R., Lebanon) is expected to introduce a bill, known as the Voter Choice Act, that would provide the needed reforms…

Video of Carl Romanelli and Ralph Nader discussing ballot access problems in Pennsylvania. Carl Romanelli comes in at 9 minutes and 44 seconds. At 11:05, Carl Romanelli discusses the possibility of losing his home, which may now happen in the next 10 days.

[googlevideo=http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=7111136193260763099]

One Response

  1. Based on my experience with Corbett, he tends to favor big institutions over individuals. I wish Carl Romanelli luck.

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