Monday, February 25, 2008

PA Governor Filing Deadline Extension Politically Motivated?

Jonathatn Alter recommends "Hillary Should Get Out Now," in Newsweek's March 3, 2008 edition. Alter notes in the piece:

Alter: In Pennsylvania, which votes on April 22, the Clinton campaign did not even file full delegate slates. That's how sure they were of putting Obama away on Super Tuesday.

Posted on Tue, Feb. 19, 2008
John Baer: How Pa. extension benefited Clinton
Philadelphia Daily News

HERE'S A LITTLE political banana peel.
Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign failed to file a full slate of convention delegate candidates for Pennsylvania's April 22 primary.

This despite the possibility the primary proves critical and despite Clinton owning the full-throated support of Gov. Rendell, state Democratic Party leadership, Mayor Nutter and, presumably, the organizational skill all that entails.

And despite a Rendell-ordered extension of the filing deadline that could be viewed as more than just coincidental.

"There are a number of Clinton delegates that did not file for reasons of illness or other issues," Democratic state chairman T.J. Rooney conceded yesterday after being questioned by the Daily News...

...Elsewhere, say Rooney and other Clinton supporters, one candidate's mother died suddenly, another candidate was ill and another had to deal with a property foreclosure.

The shortfall was brought to my attention by western Pennsylvania attorney Jack Hanna, a Democratic state party regional caucus chairman and Obama supporter.

Hanna says before the deadline extension Clinton could have been 21 delegate candidates short. One late filing was by former Mayor John Street.

Others have elaborated on Rendell's order being politically motivated to benefit Hillary Clinton.

Rendell is a known supporter of Clinton's and announced his endorsement of her a while back.

Jonathan Alter's Newsweek piece and Baer's piece How Pa. extension benefited Clinton may give thrust to contentions Gov. Rendell's order was politically motivated.

On February 12, 2008, the deadline for candidates for office to file nomination petitions passed, at 5 PM.

But through an executive order, Governor Ed Rendell extended the filing date by two days, reportedly, due to the weather.



Candidates get extra shot
Deadline to file was extended. Races are in store for Congressional and statehouse seats. By TOM JOYCE Daily Record/Sunday News
Article Last Updated: 02/13/2008 05:46:32 AM EST

Gov. Ed Rendell, however, signed an executive order Tuesday evening that extends the deadline until noon Thursday. The extension applies to handing over petitions to the Department of State in Harrisburg. Rendell spokeswoman Leslie Amoros said that action has been taken at least once before, in 2000.

Rendell's executive order was likely released after 5 PM, Tuesday, Feb. 12, which we'll discuss herein may have caused an unintended consequence.

According to the news reports, Rendell's justification for granting an extension by executive order to candidates "filing" nomination petitions was that day's weather.

A Feb. 12th article Candidates file for April 22 primary; Rendell extends deadline
2/12/2008, 9:33 p.m. EST By PETER JACKSON The Associated Press
Rendell extended the filing deadline, which applies to candidates for Congress and the state Legislature as well as party offices, from 5 p.m. Tuesday until noon Thursday, citing traffic problems caused by snow and ice across the state. Rendell's executive order did not extend the deadline for candidates to collect petition signatures but did give them extra time to deliver them to Harrisburg.

Not only has that "snowstorm-constitutes-emergency" reasoning been disputed, a poster on Black Box Voting forum, points out the executive order itself is "illegal." (PA) Governor Illegally Extends Nomination Petition Deadline

Posted on Wednesday, February 13, 2008 - 6:41 am:

Yesterday, Governor Edward G. Rendell illegally extended the nomination petition deadline for the April 22 primary from Tuesday, February 12 at 5PM EST to Thursday, February 14 at 12 Noon EST.

The Governor completely lacks any authority to extend this deadline. Current speculation is that several Hillary Clinton delegate candidates failed to get their papers filed on time...

The poster, noted on the site as V. Kurt Bellman, Reading, PA presents additional comments in a message Feb. 15th:

It is my fervent belief that Governor Rendell's recent decision to extend the nomination petition deadline may be both illegal and politically motivated...

The BBV Forum poster continues

(PA) Governor Illegally Extends Nomination Petition Deadline

Feb. 14, 2008
Attached here is the Commonwealth Court case that is being cited as a precedent justifying the extension of the deadline this year.

There is no similarity. This year's snow was not significant at all. You can see that the 2000 storm was QUITE significant.

If a Governor can at a whim extend a deadline based on a couple of inches of snow, what's next, a traffic jam on the turnpike? This is ridiculous!

pdf file of In Re: Nomination Petition of Farrow 54md00.pdf (23.5 k)

(Net the Truth Online)

BETWEEN THE LINESJonathan Alter Hillary Should Get Out Now
Clinton has only one shot—for Obama to trip up so badly that he disqualifies himself.

Mar 3, 2008 Issue

If Hillary Clinton wanted a graceful exit, she'd drop out now—before the March 4 Texas and Ohio primaries—and endorse Barack Obama. This would be terrible for people like me who have been dreaming of a brokered convention for decades. For selfish reasons, I want the story to stay compelling for as long as possible, which means I'm hoping for a battle into June for every last delegate and a bloody floor fight in late August in Denver. But to withdraw this week would be the best thing imaginable for Hillary's political career. She won't, of course, and for reasons that help explain why she's in so much trouble in the first place.

Withdrawing would be stupid if Hillary had a reasonable chance to win the nomination, but she doesn't. To win, she would have to do more than reverse the tide in Texas and Ohio, where polls show Obama already even or closing fast. She would have to hold off his surge, then establish her own powerful momentum within three or four days. Without a victory of 20 points or more in both states, the delegate math is forbidding. In Pennsylvania, which votes on April 22, the Clinton campaign did not even file full delegate slates. That's how sure they were of putting Obama away on Super Tuesday.

The much-ballyhooed race for superdelegates is now nearly irrelevant. Some will be needed in Denver to put Obama over the top, just as Walter Mondale had to round up a couple dozen in 1984. But these party leaders won't determine the result. At the Austin, Texas, debate last week, Hillary agreed that the process would "sort itself out" so that the will of the people would not be reversed by superdelegates. Obama has a commanding 159 lead in pledged delegates and a lead of 925,000 in the popular vote (excluding Michigan and Florida, where neither campaigned). Closing that gap would require Hillary to win all the remaining contests by crushing margins. Any takers on her chances of doing so in, say, Mississippi and North Carolina, where African-Americans play a big role?

The pundit class hasn't been quicker to point all this out because of what happened in New Hampshire. A lot of us looked foolish by all but writing Hillary off when she lost the Iowa caucuses. As we should have known, stuff happens in politics. But that was early. The stuff that would have to happen now would be on a different order of magnitude. It's time to stop overlearning the lesson of New Hampshire.

Hillary has only one shot—for Obama to trip up so badly that he disqualifies himself. Nothing in the last 14 months suggests he will.


Whither Weather February 19 2008 Filed under Governor, Politics - 08 by AlexC

Smartest woman in the world neglects to file full slate of Pennsylvania delegatesposted at 1:50 pm on February 19, 2008 by Allahpundit

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