Scott A. Caulfield, Esquire Pennsylvania I.D. No.

94784 1523D High Pointe Drive Harrisburg, PA 17110 ph: (717) 512-8928 fax: (717) 828-1177 scott@capitalprinciples.com IN THE COMMONWEALTH COURT OF PENNSYLVANIA

IN RE: NOMINATION PETITION OF JASON ALTMIRE AS A CANDIDATE FOR THE DEMOCRATIC NOMINATION FOR REPRESENTATIVE IN THE UNITED STATES CONGRESS FOR THE TWELFTH CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT OF PENNSYLVANIA

IN THE COMMONWEALTH COURT OF PENNSYLVANIA No. C.D. 2012

Objection of Richard D. Akers, Jim Beckwith, Debra K. DeBiase, and Carol A. Crookston, Petitioner-Objectors

PETITION TO SET ASIDE NOMINATION PETITION OF JASON ALTMIRE TO: THE HONORABLE JUDGES OF THE COMMONWEALTH COURT OF PENNSYLVANIA

Petitioner-Objectors, by and through their undersigned counsel, file this Petition to Set Aside the Nomination Petition of Jason Altmire for the Democratic nomination for Representative in the United States Congress for the Twelfth Congressional District of Pennsylvania, and further request this Honorable Court direct appropriate officers of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and its political subdivisions, to omit the name of Jason Altmire from the Democratic ballot for Representative in the United States Congress for the Twelfth Congressional District of Pennsylvania in the primary election occurring April 24, 2012. In support thereof, Petitioner-Objectors respectfully represent as follows:

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Parties and Standing of Petitioner-Objectors 1. Petitioner-Objector Richard D. Akers, 442 Bob Street, Johnstown, Pennsylvania

15904, in the Township of Richland, County of Cambria, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania (hereafter, “Akers”) is a registered and enrolled member of the Democratic Party in the Twelfth Congressional District of Pennsylvania. As such, Petitioner-Objector Akers has a direct and substantial interest in the conduct of, and compliance with the election laws concerning, the April 24, 2012 primary election for the Democratic nomination for Representative in the United States Congress for the Twelfth Congressional District of Pennsylvania. Therefore, PetitionerObjector Akers has a direct and substantial interest in the success of this Petition. See generally, In Re: Barlip, 428 A.2d 1058, 1060 (Pa. Cmnwlth.1981). 2. Petitioner-Objector Jim Beckwith, 153 Rolling Hills Road, Johnstown,

Pennsylvania, 15905, in the Township of Upper Yoder, County of Cambria, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania (hereafter, “Beckwith”) is a registered and enrolled member of the Democratic Party in the Twelfth Congressional District of Pennsylvania. As such, Petitioner-Objector Beckwith has a direct and substantial interest in the conduct of, and compliance with the election laws concerning, the April 24, 2012 primary election for the Democratic nomination for Representative in the United States Congress for the Twelfth Congressional District of Pennsylvania. Therefore, Petitioner-Objector Beckwith has a direct and substantial interest in the success of this Petition. Id. 3. Petitioner-Objector Debra K. DeBiase, 1716 Fern Avenue, Windber,

Pennsylvania 15963, in the Township of Paint, County of Somerset, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania (hereafter, “DeBiase”) is a registered and enrolled member of the Democratic Party in the Twelfth Congressional District of Pennsylvania. As such, Petitioner-Objector DeBiase has a direct and substantial interest in the conduct of, and compliance with the election laws concerning, the April 24, 2012 primary election for the Democratic nomination for Representative in the United States Congress for the Twelfth Congressional District of Pennsylvania. Therefore, Petitioner-Objector DeBiase has a direct and substantial interest in the success of this Petition. Id. 4. Petitioner-Objector Carol A. Crookston, 110 Alberta Avenue, Johnstown,

Pennsylvania 15905, in the Township of Upper Yoder, County of Cambria, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania (hereafter, “Crookston”) is a registered and enrolled member of the Democratic 2

Party in the Twelfth Congressional District of Pennsylvania. As such, Petitioner-Objector Crookston has a direct and substantial interest in the conduct of, and compliance with the election laws concerning, the April 24, 2012 primary election for the Democratic nomination for Representative in the United States Congress for the Twelfth Congressional District of Pennsylvania. Therefore, Petitioner-Objector Crookston has a direct and substantial interest in the success of this Petition. Id. Jurisdiction 5. The Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania has original jurisdiction over this

election matter pursuant to 42 Pa.C.S. § 764 and 25 P.S. § 2937. 6. The act of June 3, 1937 (P.L. 1333, No. 320), as amended, known as the

Pennsylvania Election Code (25 P.S. § 2600 et seq.) (hereafter, the “Election Code”), and case law decided pursuant thereto, govern disposition of matters addressed by this Petition. Process of Qualifying for Primary Election Ballot 7. The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania will conduct a primary election on April 24,

2012 (hereafter, the “Primary Election”). 8. Pursuant to the Election Code, a person seeking to have his or her name listed on

the Primary Election ballot as a candidate for a political party’s nomination for Representative in the United States Congress must submit a nomination petition containing the valid signatures of at least 1,000 registered and enrolled members of the applicable political party in the congressional district sought. See 25 P.S. § 2872.1(12). 9. Circulation of a nomination petition was limited to a period commencing on

January 24, 2012 and ending on February 14, 2012. See 25 P.S. § 2868. 10. Such nomination petitions were required to be filed with the Secretary of the

Commonwealth of Pennsylvania by no later than February 14, 2012. See 25 P.S. § 2873. 11. Each individual and numbered page of a nomination petition (hereafter,

“Signature Page”) is comprised of two sides containing fifty (50) designated lines requiring: valid signatures to include a signature of the elector; printed name of the elector;, place of residence of the elector (i.e., house number, street or road, city, borough or township), and date of signing by the elector. See 25 P.S. § 2868. 3

12.

Each Signature Page requires information identifying: the year of primary

election concerned; the office sought by the candidate; the name, occupation and residence of the candidate; the county of the signers; and the political party of the signers. 13. Each Signature Page also includes an affidavit supporting the aforementioned

signatures and information provided by electors (hereafter, “Circulator’s Affidavit”). The Circulator’s Affidavit must identify the county of petition signers’ residence, as well as the signature, printed name, and residence (i.e., house number, street or road, city, borough or township) of the circulator. The Circulator’s Affidavit also must be notarized. See 25 P.S. § 2869. Challenges to Candidate’s Nomination Petition 14. The Election Code specifies the requirements for the circulation and signing of

the nomination petition for a candidate of a political party in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. See 25 P.S. §§ 2868, 2869. 15. In accordance with the requirements set forth in the Election Code, unless the

nomination petition contains at least 1,000 valid signatures of registered and enrolled members of the Democratic Party in the Twelfth Congressional District of Pennsylvania, the candidate may not appear on the Primary Election ballot. 16. On or about February 13, 2012 Jason Altmire (hereafter, the “Candidate”) filed a

nomination petition with the Secretary of the Commonwealth (hereafter, the “Nomination Petition”) seeking to have his name listed on the Primary Election ballot (hereafter, the “Ballot”) as a candidate for the Democratic nomination for the office of Representative in the United States Congress for the Twelfth Congressional District of Pennsylvania. Candidate filed supplements to the Nomination Petition on or about February 14, 2012. Copies of Candidate’s Nomination Petition are attached hereto, and incorporated as if set forth fully herein, as Exhibit A, Candidate Altmire’s Candidate Affidavit and Nomination Petition Signature Pages (hereafter, “Exhibit A”). 17. The Nomination Petition includes 98 Signature Pages, numbered 1-98,

accompanied by an affidavit of the Candidate (hereafter, the “Candidate’s Affidavit”). See Exhibit A.

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18.

As set forth below, the Nomination Petition purports to contain the signatures,

addresses, and date of signature of 1,651 registered and enrolled members of the Democratic Party in the Twelfth Congressional District of Pennsylvania (hereafter, the “Signers”). See Exhibit A. 19. Original versions of the Nomination Petition and Candidate’s Affidavit were filed

with, and remain in the custody of, the Pennsylvania Secretary of the Commonwealth and are incorporated herein by reference. 20. As set forth below and in Exhibit B, attached hereto and incorporated by reference

as if fully set forth herein, Candidate’s Nomination Petition includes numerous defective signatures, illegible signatures, signatures of unregistered or ineligible voters, signatures of fictitious individuals, defective Signature Pages, and defective Circulator’s Affidavits. See Exhibit B, Individual Signature Line Challenges to Candidate Altmire’s Signature Pages (hereafter, “Exhibit B”). 21. As a result of these defects, irregularities, and unmistakable pattern of impropriety

in obtaining the affixed signatures, addresses, and dates, as well as the signatures and statements of the Circulators, Candidate’s Nomination Petition contains an insufficient number of valid signatures to qualify Candidate for inclusion on the Primary Election ballot as a Democratic candidate for the office of Representative in the United States Congress for the Twelfth Congressional District of Pennsylvania. See Exhibit B. 22. The Election Code also sets forth the procedure by which the nomination petition

may be challenged and set aside. See 25 P.S. § 2937. 23. Petitioner-Objectors and their representatives have reviewed the Nomination

Petition. Based upon such review, Petitioner-Objectors believe, and therefore aver, that the Nomination Petition is defective, inadequate, and does not contain at least 1,000 valid signatures of registered and enrolled members of the Democratic Party in the Twelfth Congressional District of Pennsylvania at the time of signing. See Exhibit B. 24. Therefore, Candidate’s Nomination Petition fails to comply with the Election

Code and should be set aside by this Honorable Court.

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Global Challenges to Candidate’s Nomination Petition 25. The Election Code requires that the Circulator affirming a nomination petition

page must be aware of five criteria about each individual signer: (1) the signer had full knowledge of contents of the petition; (2) the signer’s address is correct; (3) the signer resides in the county in the affidavit; (4) the signer signed the petition on the date set forth; and (5) to the best of the Circulator’s knowledge and belief, the signer was a qualified elector and a member of the party claimed on the petition. See 25 P.S. § 2869. 26. The Circulator affirming each Signature Page must be present when each elector

signs his or her name and provides the necessary supplementary information. See In Re: Nomination of Flaherty, 770 A.2d 327 (Pa. 2001). 27. Petitioner-Objectors and/or their representatives have examined the signatures,

Signer information, and sworn affidavit of each Circulator to determine whether each Signature Page of the Nomination Petition conforms to legal requirements. See Exhibit B. 28. Upon information and belief, Circulators utilized by Candidate ignored the

requirements imposed by the Election Code, submitted numerous false signatures and Signer information, and/or falsely attested to many of the Circulator Affidavits within the Nomination Petition. See Exhibit B. 29. As demonstrated below and in the Nomination Petition, many Signature Pages of

the Nomination Petition should be stricken in their entirety due to an extensive list and pattern of material defects. See Exhibit B. Circulator’s Affidavits and Other Defects on Candidate’s Nomination Petition 30. An individual identified as Edward Gerstenaber circulated Signature Page 30,

containing 6 signatures. The Circulator’s Affidavit on such Signature Page does not include a county of petition signers’ residence. See Exhibit B, Signature Page 30. Petitioner-Objectors believe and therefore aver that all of the signatures on Signature Page 30 should be stricken because the Circulator’s Affidavit on such Signature Page is defective. 31. An individual identified as Fred Kissell circulated Signature Page 47, containing

22 signatures. The Circulator’s Affidavit on such Signature Page is not properly notarized, as it lacks a sufficient stamp or seal from the Notary Public. See Exhibit B, Signature Page 47.

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Petitioner-Objectors believe and therefore aver that all of the signatures on Signature Page 47 should be stricken because the Circulator’s Affidavit on such Signature Page is defective. 32. An individual identified as Jarret A. Gibbons circulated Signature Page 12,

containing 4 signatures. The Circulator’s Affidavit on such Signature Page is not properly notarized because the notary public did not list the county. See Exhibit B, Signature Page 12. Petitioner-Objectors believe and therefore aver that all of the signatures on Signature Page 12 should be stricken because the Circulator’s Affidavit on such Signature Page is defective. 33. An individual identified as JJ Costa circulated Signature Page 89, containing 9

signatures. The Circulator’s Affidavit on such Signature Page includes a signed and printed nickname and/or initials rather than a proper name. See Exhibit B, Signature Page 89. Petitioner-Objectors believe and therefore aver that all of the signatures on Signature Page 89 should be stricken because the Circulator’s Affidavit on such Signature Page is defective. 34. An individual identified as Eric Cesaratto circulated Signature Page 90, 91, 92,

and 98, containing a total of 35 signatures. The Circulator’s Affidavit on such Signature Pages identify the Circulator’s city, borough, or township as “North Washington Township.” Upon information and belief, Circulator’s township is “Washington Township” and his mailing address is “Apollo.” See Exhibit B, Signature Pages 90, 91, 92, and 98. Petitioner-Objectors believe and therefore aver that all of the signatures on Signature Pages 90, 91, 92, and 98 should be stricken because the Circulator’s Affidavits on such Signature Pages are defective. 35. An individual identified as Raymond Presutti circulated Signature Pages 14, 35,

53, and 65, containing a total of 124 signatures. The Circulator’s Affidavits on Signature Pages 14, 35, 53, and 65 contain signatures which are materially and significantly different from each other. Upon further information and belief, Circulator failed to witness each elector sign his or her name on such Signature Pages. See Exhibit B, Signature Pages 14¸35, 53, and 65. Petitioner-Objectors believe and therefore aver that all of the signatures on Signature Pages 14, 35, 53, and 65 should be stricken because the Circulator’s Affidavits on such Signature Pages are defective. 36. An individual identified as Abigail Silverman circulated Signature Pages 2, 4, 13,

19, 20, 36, 39, 40, 41, 44, 45, 46, 68, 72, 75, 76, 77, 78, 79, 81, 85, 86, 87, 94, 96, and 97 containing a total of 395 signatures. Upon information and belief, Circulator does not reside at the address set forth in the Circulator’s Affidavits or the address was not properly completed by 7

the Circulator. Upon further information and belief, Circulator failed to witness each elector sign his or her name on the Signature Pages. See Exhibit B, Signature Pages 2, 4, 13, 19, 20, 36, 39, 40, 41, 44, 45, 46, 68, 72, 75, 76, 77, 78, 79, 81, 85, 86, 87, 94, 96, and 97. Petitioner-Objectors believe and therefore aver that all of the signatures on Signature Pages 2, 4, 13, 19, 20, 36, 39, 40, 41, 44, 45, 46, 68, 72, 75, 76, 77, 78, 79, 81, 86, 87, 94, 96, and 97, and the 393 signatures therein, should be stricken because the Circulator’s Affidavits on such Signature Pages are defective. 37. The individual identified as Abigail Silverman circulated Signature Pages 2, 4, 19,

and 20 containing a total of 41 signatures. The Circulator’s Affidavits on Signature Pages 2, 4, 19, and 20 include the incorrectly identifies county of electors signing such Signature Pages. See Exhibit B, Signature Pages 2, 4, 19, and 20. Petitioner-Objectors believe and therefore aver that all of the signatures on Signature Pages 2, 4, 19, and 20 should be stricken because the Circulator’s Affidavits on such Signature Pages are defective. 38. An individual identified as Andrew K. Bailey circulated Signature Page 26,

containing 15 signatures. Circulator’s Affidavit on Signature Page 26 fails to identify the county of electors signing such Signature Page. See Exhibit B, Signature Page 26. Petitioner-Objectors believe and therefore aver that all of the signatures on Signature Page 26 should be stricken because it is defective in failing to include the county of signers. 39. As specifically set forth above, Petitioner-Objectors’ Global Challenges include

reasons for striking the entirety of 39 Signature Pages containing a total of 610 signatures. See Exhibit B. The Global Challenges include objections to invalid Circulator’s Affidavits, information provided for the benefit of Signers, and the lines set forth therein do not constitute valid signatures. Individual Signature Line Challenges to Candidate’s Nomination Petition 40. Petitioner-Objectors’ challenges as to each individual signature line of the

Nomination Petition, as well as the signatures objected to pursuant to the Global Challenges, are contained in the Individual Signature Line Challenges, attached hereto as Exhibit B and incorporated by reference as if fully set forth herein.

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41.

Petitioner-Objectors and/or their representatives carefully examined every

individual signature line included in the Nomination Petition, and file the Individual Signature Line Challenges included in Exhibit B, according to the criteria set forth below:

Code NR

Title Not Registered

NRA

Not Registered at Address

NRDS

Not Registered at Date Signed

OC ILL

Out of County Illegible

LIO DUP

Line Information Omitted Duplicate Signature

IHA

Line Information in the Hand of Another Nickname or Initial

N/I

PRI DCA

Printed Signature Defective Circulator’s Affidavit

SAC

Signed After

Description of Challenge No registration record can be located in the official records for a registered voter of this name on the petition. No registration record can be located in the official records for a registered voter of this name at this address provided by the individual signing the petition. No registration record can be located in the official records for a registered voter of this name, at this address, at the date provided by the person signing the petition. Registered voter of this name and at this address is located out of the county listed on this petition page. The purported signature and printed name of elector appearing on this line cannot be deciphered or associated with the name of any registered elector at the address written on the line and/or the other information on the line is not legible (e.g., address of signer, date of signature). This line omits material information required to be included, or ditto marks were used. The signature on this line is the signature of the same elector who signed this nomination petition on another page and/or line, or another nomination petition for the same elective office. The signature or other information appearing on this line was written by a person other than the registered elector. The signature or printed name on this line includes a nickname or initial of an elector rather than his or her proper name in the registration records. The signature on this line is the printed name of an elector rather than his or her signature. The signature is on a petition page where the entire petition page is being challenged due to impropriety of the petition circulator and/or a defective Circulator’s Affidavit. The signature and information on this line were 9

NR12

Circulator’s Affidavit Dated Not Registered in 12th Congressional District of Pennsylvania

provided after the Circulator’s Affidavit was dated. No registration record can be located in the official records for a registered voter of this name, at this address, in the 12th Congressional District of Pennsylvania, or the address provided on this line is located outside of the 12th Congressional District of Pennsylvania. Elector has omitted information from the space on this line for municipality, or the information differs from the municipality included on the elector’s registration record. The date provided on this line is: not within the time period permitted for signing the nomination petition; after the date provided by one or more later signers; before the date provided by one or more earlier signers; or otherwise incomplete. The signer is a registered elector, but is not enrolled as a member of the Democratic Party. This line was struck before the nomination petition was filed¸ and therefore cannot be included as a valid signature. This line was struck by the Pennsylvania Department of the Commonwealth upon filing. This line is challenged based on grounds for objection not set forth above.

MUN

Omitted or Incorrect Municipality

ID

Invalid Date

NRD SBF

Not Registered in the Democratic Party Struck Before Filing

SPA

Other

Struck by Pennsylvania Department of the Commonwealth Other Grounds for Challenge 42.

As specifically set forth in Exhibit B, Petitioner-Objectors challenge a total of 332

unique Individual Signature Lines in addition to the 610 signatures included in the Global Challenges to the Signature Pages. Each of the challenged lines is invalid and/or defective and cannot be counted as a valid signature. 43. The Petitioner-Objectors’ Global Challenges and Individual Signature Line

Challenges combine to render 942 signatures invalid under the Election Code. 44. Pursuant to the Global Challenges and the Individual Signature Line Challenges

set forth and incorporated by reference herein, Candidate’s Nomination Petition does not contain the minimum of 1,000 valid signatures required to place the name of Jason Altmire on the ballot as a candidate for the Democratic nomination for Representative in the United States Congress for the Twelfth Congressional District of Pennsylvania, as required by the Election Code. 45. Therefore, the Nomination Petition should be set aside. See 25 P.S. § 2937. 10

WHEREFORE, Petitioner-Objectors pray that this Honorable Court enter an Order providing relief as follows: 1. 2. Sustaining Petitioner-Objectors’ objections to the Nomination Petition Setting aside the Nomination Petition of Jason Altmire for the Democratic

nomination for Representative in the United States Congress for the Twelfth Congressional District of Pennsylvania; 3. Declaring Jason Altmire did not submit, and does not have, at least the

minimum number of valid signatures required by the Election Code to have his name placed on the ballot for the April 24, 2012 Primary Election as a candidate for the Democratic nomination for Representative in the United States Congress for the Twelfth Congressional District of Pennsylvania; 4. Directing the appropriate officers of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania,

and its political subdivisions, not to place the name of Jason Altmire on the ballot for the April 24, 2012 Primary Election as a candidate for the Democratic nomination for Representative in the United States Congress for the Twelfth Congressional District of Pennsylvania; 5. Ordering Jason Altmire and/or his official campaign or campaign

committee to remit payment for the costs of these proceedings, including but not limited to the fees of witnesses, experts, attorneys, and other reasonable costs incurred by Petitioner-Objectors in bringing this Petition before the Court. See 25 P.S. § 2937; and 6. Granting further or other relief as this Honorable Court deems necessary

and just in the disposition of this matter. Respectfully submitted,

By: Scott A. Caulfield, Esquire Pennsylvania I.D. No. 94784 1523D High Pointe Drive Harrisburg, PA 17110 scott@capitalprinciples.com ph: (717) 512-8928 fax: (717) 828-1177 Attorney for Petitioner-Objectors 11

Date: February 21, 2012

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