I won't bore you with all the legal gobbledygook, but after discussing this matter with Northampton County Bulldog Ron Angle, we formed an Unholy Alliance to stop government by mob rule.
Yesterday, shortly before the Elections Commission convened, we filed a suit challenging the validity of 23,391 unverified signatures filed by a group led by a fake preacher, who's probably cooking up a batch of Kool Aid for his group right now. I've attached the full Complaint below, but want to summarize the points made to the Elections Commission yesterday, which ultimately ruled against the Initiative, 3 to 2.
1) Ellen Weiss was a petition circulator, i.e a person who watches you sign the petition and later swears that she saw you sign it. She just happens to be the President of AFSCME. She's a VP of the LV Labor Council. Her husband is their Recording Secretary. She's one of the union cadets who used the Gracedale rally as an excuse to campaign for Charles Dertinger and John Callahan. She circulated 37 of the 507 petitions, getting 2,269 signatures. On Election Day alone, she obtained 1,229 signatures between 7 AM and 8 PM in at least 8 different municipalities, and in places as far apart as Hellertown and Pen Argyl. Assuming she spent just one hour driving to different polling places, eating and using the facilities, she would have to have obtained one signature every 35 seconds. That's a physical impossibility. We are asking the Court to strike all 2,269 signatures to preserve the integrity of the election process.
2) Dana Lorin Paisley is another petition circulator whose claims are simply unbelievable. He supposedly obtained 1,188 signatures, and 537 of them were on Election Day alone, from Walnutport to Wilson Borough. That's 41 per hour between 7 AM and 8 PM.
3) Mary Ann Schmoyer is a woman who disrupts nearly every meeting with catcalls ad curses at Angle. She even called him foul names in front of a group of around 40 boy scouts. Well, she was a petition circulator, too, collecting 47 of the 507 total, getting 1,439 signatures. At any given point in time, she had as many as 15 different petitions. She was obviously dropping them off at bars and clubs. Now she claims to have set up tables and laid 15 out at a time, but even then, she is not witnessing each signature.
4) Circulator Jack DAllesander, one of the blog trolls here who incessantly attacks Angle and anyone who supports Gracedale's sale, is physically disabled. He has breathing tubes coming out of his nose, ears and practically every orifice. He can't walk or speak without them, and has claimed that on this very blog. But there he is on Election Day, supposedly obtaining 301 signatures. He is saying his equally disabled wife helped him.
5) Circulator Clayton Creamer is a non-county resident who handed in two petitions, and one of them is all filled out with the same handwriting. That's 53 signatures.
6) Betty Fensetermaker obtained 99 signatures and is not herself a registered voter.
7) Wendy Haggerty obtained 583 signatures. Holly Guzaman got another 97. Their addresses do not match information at the elections office. (This is a curable defect).
8) Petitions were fraudulently circulated in Bethlehem Township and Easton. I have several witnesses, but Bethlehem Township Planning Chair Lee Snover saw it go on all day. Circulators were making the following false statements to voters: "Gracedale not only is closing; they are moving the patients two or three Counties away; their family is never going to see them again.” Approximately 700 signatures come from those 2 districts.
9) Jerry Green and Tim Rehrig are the President and Business Manager of the Steelworkers bargaining unit at Gracedale. They both make over $60,000 per year. Neither are residents of Northampton County, but they both circulated petitions in a matter in which they have a financial interest, getting 300 names.
10) Ladd Siftar notarized his own signature. That's 1.
11) In just half of the 507 petitions on file, there are 1,238 defective signatures (not registered, wrong County, etc.).
If you add it all up, that's 8,267 bad signatures. That means the 15,124 valid signatures are way below the 19,630 threshold need for ballot initiative. So if you forget the Home Rule Charter's express prohibition on initiatives or referenda that interfere with the budget or a capitol program, this effort still falls short.