“RepubliGreens” File Federal Lawsuit for 197th
Lawyers for the the Green Party and Republican Party filed suit seeking to void the results of the recent special election in the 197th state legislative district.
The plaintiffs are Cheri Honkala, Lucinda Little, the Green Party of Pennsylvania, the Republican City Committee of Philadelphia and the Republican State Party. The defendants are Emilio Vazquez, Philadelphia City Democratic Committee, The three City Commissioners; Lisa Deeley, Anthony Clark and Al Schmidt, The Secretary of the Commonwealth Pedro Cortes, The Department of State, and the Bureau of Commissions, Elections and Legislation.
Got all that?
The unlikely alliance between Greens and Republicans — they’ve come to call themselves “RepubliGreens” — are seeking a new election within 90 days, Vazquez not being seated (he already was on Wednesday, however) and unspecified damages.
The legal points here are the First and Fourteenth Amendments. We all know the 1st Amendment (freedom of religion, speech, press, assembly, and petition), but many may not remember what the 14th is all about. Quick recap: In addition to making sure the Confederate leaders couldn’t get elected to Congress after the Civil War (that would’ve been awkward) the 14th Amendment also provides for “due process”, which deals with the administration of justice.
(Side note, the 14th Amendment will celebrate its 150th anniversary next year so get ready for a parade.)
So what happens next? Some judge down at 6th and Market will give this thing a looksee and determine whether there’ll be a case. Our cynical side says they’ll find a reason to pass this over, but this election has been full of surprises. The Philly GOP lawyer, Linda Kerns, proved to be an all-star during the residency hearing for the first Democrat in the election, Fred Ramirez. She continued her performance in keeping Vazquez off the ballot having to hang in there all the way to the PA Supreme Court.
This time her and her new allies will need more than low water bills and missed deadlines though. They’ll need to demonstrate a ton of voter fraud. Their list of illegal activity is several pages long. If they can prove just half of it the election would be overturned easily.
Many of the items listed in the suit were observed and documented by Spirit News Staff.
- Election Board officials were telling people how to vote, specifically to vote for Vazquez.
- The Election Board workers encouraged Democratic workers and Vazquez supporters to enter the voting booth with voters.
- Voters were told they could only vote for Vazquez
- Voters were threatened if the Election Board thought the voter was voting for someone else
- Election officials did not follow the proper chain of custody for voting cartridges and election materials
- Election materials were at Vazquez’s headquarters after the election.
- The City and State organizations failed to properly supervise the election
- Violated 1st and 14th amendments
The RepubliGreens also say they have evidence including:
- Video of money exchanging hands between a ward leader and his son in a polling place
- Video of an elderly woman being intimidated and told to vote for Vazquez
- Doctored pink ballot sheets indicating that officials supported a write-in vote.
- Write-in mechanism failed in many machines and proper ballot procedures not followed
- Voter assistance rules were violated and as many as four people were in booths.
- False literature indicating Honkala was a Republican was handed out.
Other issues and evidence are photos, videos, or eyewitness accounts of: Vazquez’s stamps being handed out in the polling places instead of outside ten feet from the door, misleading sign-in tables at B & Wyoming, ward leader Carlos Matos handling a voting machine, and a voter’s Honkala stamp being taken away by a Democratic worker in front of police officers.
The list goes on long enough to make a third-world dictator jealous. Even crazier, after the announcement of the suit filing the Green and Republican candidates and their teams went out and had dinner and drinks together.
Spirit News is the source to follow all the way up to the season finale of As The 197th Turns.