Pennsylvania Press Covers Romanelli Decision

Here is an article in The Citizens Voice, daily newspaper of Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, about the November 20 decision of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court over costs for candidates whose petitions are challenged.

Back on January 24, 2007, Commonwealth Court Judge James R. Kelley had ruled that Carl Romanelli, Green Party candidate for U.S. Senate, must pay $25,481 in wages to the Democratic Party’s petition reviewers, $1,500 for handwriting expert witnesses (even though those witnesses were never used), $48,285 in attorneys’ fees, $3,726 to stenographers, and $1,415 for copying costs. For each category of costs, Judge Kelley explained his rationale. His chief rationale was that the Green Party had failed to have 9 petition reviewers, every day from 8:30 am to 5 pm, during September 2006. Kelly’s order is 24 pages long.

Now the Pennsylvania Supreme Court wants Judge Kelly to further explain his order. It will be interesting to see how long that takes. In the meantime, the various minor parties of Pennsylvania will have time to file a federal challenge to the constitutionality of the Pennsylvania petition-checking system, based on U.S. Supreme Court precedents that poor candidates cannot be charged mandatory fees for running for office. Romanelli owns no real estate, no automobile, has scant savings, and cannot possibly pay $80,408 plus interest.

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