Pennsylvanians Need to Instruct Their State Lawmakers To Permit Democracy in Pennslyvania!.
Robert Patrick "Bob" Casey, Jr. was born April 13, 1960. Right now, he serves as the senior U.S. Senator from Pennsylvania. He was elected in 2007 as a Democrat, having solidly defeated Rick Santorum in the General Election. But some very dark shadows loom over his legitimacy. The Press in Pennsylvania is so kind to the Democratic Senator, however, that many people may not even know Casey has some dark shadows. Casey is a local hero.
In mid May 2011, for example, Students for Life and the Cardinal Newman Society sent a letter to the president of Villanova University, Father Peter Donohue. Casey was scheduled to receive honors at Villanova's Commencement. The letter urged the Catholic university to rethink honoring Casey due to the his pro-choice voting record. Casey insists that he is pro-life but his record indicates that is a lie.
In fact, there are a number of shadows about Senator Casey that are not very well known. Many Pennsylvanians for example, are unaware that besides Rick Santorum, Mr. Casey had another challenger in 2006. A Wilkes-Barre native from the Green Party named Carl Romanelli decided to run in the 2006 general election.
The story of Casey’s poor treatment of Romanelli is available below and in many other areas of the Internet. I did not have to do any investigative reporting to find the facts but I became interested when I heard Carl Romanelli talking about the effects on this life one day on a local talk radio show. And, I thought this was America. The facts are readily available to all, and they show Casey used the Democratic machine to squash the WIlkes-Barre native like a bug not deserving a moment to live.
Casey’s scurrilous treatment of Romanelli is cause for any freedom loving Pennsylvanian to throw Senator Robert P. Casey Jr. out of office at first opportunity. In fact, the right thing to have done would have been to have Casey impeached for what he did to a citizen attempting to run for office. It does make me wonder what my Senate campaign is going to bump into when a clean-looking dirty player like Robert P. Casey Jr. is permitted to compete.
Because this goes to the heart of the Senator’s mindset, let us first recall the scenario in 2006 when Carl Romanelli took on both parties and ran as a Green Candidate in the Fall 2006 elections. Even before Senator Robert P. Casey Jr. got in the act, something was pretty fishy about the 1930’s based election law in Pennsylvania. It was built so that only Republicans and Democrats could run for office. Independents basically had no chance. Write your PA lawmaker after you read this and make sure they vote to bring in Senate Bill 21, which changes this for the good of the people. Please do it post haste. PA law on this matter is the worst in the nation and thus, it smells worse than the fish fry remains three weeks after the fish was fried.
Pennsylvania State election law says that independent candidates for statewide office must submit nominating petitions with a total number of signatures from registered voters equal to 2 percent of the votes cast for the top vote-getter in the most recent statewide election. On its own that sounds pretty innocuous. The rules are different for Democrats and Republicans. Rick Santorum needed to get 2000 signatures to get on the ballot. Bob Casey needed to get 2000 Signatures. For the 2012 primary, I need to get 2000 signatures as a Democrat running in the primary. My number would be different if I challenged as an independent in the general election.
Consider Wilkes-Barre PA native Carl Romanelli, a Green party candidate (non-Republican and non-Democrat). The Green Party did not qualify to have a primary in Pennsylvania and so, Romanelli, by law was relegated to Independent status, though there are lots of Greens registered in PA. But, not quite enough! To make up for not being able to compete in a primary election, State law said he needed 67,000 signatures to get on the ballot. So, to begin with he needed 65,000 more signatures than Casey. Now, Bob Casey had nothing to do with that but when ROmanelli brought in over 90,000 signatures, it was time for Casey to stand down. But, the former State Treasurer could not stand the thought of losing any votes to ROmanelli and he decided to eliminate him as a threat by challenging the 95,000 or signatures on his nomination petitions.
Ladies and Gentlemen, that is ridiculous. It is anti-American, and worse than that it is anti-Pennsylvanian. Pennsylvania does not treat independents very well as the two big machines control everything and they are not about to let a third machine have any say. Moreover, anybody not aligned with the Democratic or Republican party simply need not apply in Pennsylvania. That may be good for D or R leaders in PA but it sure is not good for Pennsylvanians looking for honest government.
In my congressional run against incumbent Paul Kanjorski in 2010, I needed 1000 signatures. That is actually a ton of signatures and the high number is to keep regular Joe’s from entering the fray. My team of helpers got me 1500+ signatures. That meant that I had the luxury of having 500 bad ones and I could still be on the ballot. 50% more than needed is a good rule of thumb. Believe me, from my experience I know that getting nominating signatures is a difficult task going door to door. One person can get between 6 and 20 signatures per hour. Think about the work in getting 67,000 signatures. How about 95,000?
Moreover, the rules are picky. As an example, in Wilkes-barre, everybody in knows people use W-B as a city designator, even on official US mail, and the mail still gets delivered. FOr some reason, state regulations for the nomination petitions are stricter. If a signatory of the nomination petition uses W-B for city, for example, it would be invalidated in the nomination petition process. If the date is only partially legible, yet completely discernable, it is still invalidated.
I beleive this is intentional as our clever politicians make it very difficult for anybody other than a politician to run for office in Pennsylvania. We must stop this in the PA legislature so that John Q. Public is no longer inhibited from running for public office. Please do your part so that the Carl Romanelli saga can never occur in PA again. It is a Pennsylvania disgrace what Casey was permitted to do to Romanelli.
By the way, Robert P. Casey Jr. is a politician and has had few ventures in life other than politics. He may have had a lemonade stand as a kid but it surely was not as successful as Suzie's lemonade that we see advertised on TV. Whether Bob had monkey bars or a trampolene at home is for the speculators to figure out, but he sure learned how to bulldoze a fellow Pennsykvanian into oblivion, thanks to his machine politics bakground.
Is this politician the man we really want representing us. Was Casey personally involved in the Romanelli debacle? Was Obama involved in Obamacare? After all, because of the debacle, he won the PA Lotto of a different sort. He got to be Senator from PA. Speculators suggested Rick Santorum would have been reelected if Romanelli, the Green Party candidate from Wilkes-Barre were permitted to compete. Before you vote again for Mr. Casey, make sure you know the answer to that question.
Carl Romanelli, from my perspective is a brave Pennsylvanian and like all Pennsylvanians, he deserved to be treated better by the State Government. Romanelli reminds me in many ways of Stanley Lobitz, a great man and a great Hazleton caterer in years back. Stanley and I and our wives found ourselves traveling together back in the 1970’s. We went to the German Oktoberfest for a brief vacation. It was great!
Lobitz told me a story while on our trip that I will never forget. It was about a long passenger train that was coming into Wilkes-Barre Station. The Train would have thousands of passengers who needed to be fed during the brief stop. The organizers went to all of the major caterers in Wilkes-Barre and none would take the job of feeding these masses. The major W-B caterers said it simply could not be done.
Lobitz loved talking about being Polish and since my wife is half Polish and half Irish, he figured, I would be a good listener. He used his ethnic persuasion to make a joke for me. He said, “Hey, Kelly, I’m Polish, I did not know that it could not be done so I went ahead and did it.“ Stanley Lobitz fed them all with time to spare. The Lobitz family is still feeding the masses in their popular venue in Hazleton PA. http://lobitzcatering.com/
Carl Romanelli, in Stanely Lobitz fashion, did not know that getting 67,000 signatures was an impossible task so the Romanelli team secured just less than 95,000. He gained almost 50% more than he needed, which is a pretty good ratio. I can imagine all the work involved. Bob Casey did not see Romanelli's hard work as a yeoman feat that should be honored. Instead, he saw it as a threat to his candidacy, and right or wrong, the Casey team were commissioned to stop it. And they did! They got their weapons out and they came blazing with six guns firing. As far as running for the Senate in 2006, Romanelli was mortally wounded by the Casey onslaught, just as sure as Jim Bowie died in the Alamo.
Ralph Nader, the infamous consumer advocate and author of “Unsafe at Any Speed,” was also a victim of this corrupt electioneering by Democrats in Pennsylvania with the tacit support of Republicans. Nader’s fate was sealed by the secret hand of the Kerry campaign. It is hard to believe that after Mr. Romanelli submitted nearly 95,000 petition signatures (more than any candidate in the state's history), lawyers acting on behalf of Robert P. Casey and the Democratic Party undertook a line-by-line challenge of the petitions.
Carl Romanelli did not lay down and die, but he was dead politically because the political deck was stacked hard against him in all branches of government. Despite his efforts, (with the help of many interested volunteers) to defend the signatures collected for his nomination petition, the court sided with the Democratic Party lawyers. The “dirty rotten scoundrels” invalidated enough of Mr. Romanelli's signatures to have his name completely removed from the ballot for the general election. That's why none of us saw his name on the ballot. I am a Democrat, and even though a Democrat won from this travesty, it was not democracy.
Spokesmen for the Green Party who were watching the corrupt proceedings noted the following: "The judge never looked at our signatures. They just took the word of Democratic Party lawyers. When we were able to show the validity of a large portion of the signatures the Democratic lawyers claimed were invalid, we were not allowed to enter the evidence in court."
In Luzerne County, if there is one thing we know, judges and their minions have engaged in corrupt practices for stakes that were a lot less than a US Senate seat. Because of the Robert P. Casey “Romanelli Elimination Team,” Pennsylvania was made to look like the laughing stock of the Nation. But, it doesn’t end there. The Casey players wanted vengeance after their Senate victory against Romanelli. How dare a regular citizen challenge the son of a former governor? Romanelli had created enough distractions to upset a number of important people. The poor man had to pay for challenging the mighty Casey at the bat. They felt he had ruined their victory party.
The Casey team asked the courts that Mr. Romanelli be fined for trying to pull a fast one on Pennsylvania. Since when might trying to make it on the ballot in PA with 67,000 signatures be taken as pulling a fast one? Talking about the pot getting the opportunity to speak about the kettle in court! But as black as the kettle appeared, the pot did not get to present its case.
The complicit Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court, theoretically aligned and bisased with the Casey camp, as most expected, honored the request from Democratic lawyers who supported Robert P. Casey Jr. They imposed punitive expenses on Carl Romanelli because of the disqualified signatures. The court unabashedly ordered Mr. Romanelli to pay more than $80,000 in “expenses. Ralph Nader got whacked also, In Nader's case, the fine was nearly $89,000. This is not a proud moment in Pennsylvania History,
Romanelli is no dummy. He saw it for what it was. "The fees imposed were an attempt to bankrupt me personally. The court also ordered my lawyer to pay expenses for the disqualified signatures, which is like sentencing a defendant's lawyer to prison along with the convicted defendant -- and which intimidates lawyers from representing third party candidates in future disputes." This is our state Pennsylvania, where politics apparently come before the people. What a shame.
It is still not over. In fact, lawsuits continue in the Romanelli case almost five years after the election.
The actions in Pennsylvania were not only corrupt but they were doubly corrupt. What if I told you that the people who did the work for the Casey campaign were government employees? Remember this is Pennsylvania where anything political goes and despite arrests and careers being ruined, the politicos are as bold as ever. Yes, it is now well known that in order to remove Romanelli from the 2006 ballot, the lawyers for Bob Casey brought their challenge to the Green Party signatures using an illegal, taxpayer-funded process of indentured government servants on government time.
You and I paid for the government, taxpayer-paid Caseyites to remove Romanelli from the ballot. And, Robert P. Casey Jr. not only still serves in the Senate representing PA, but he plans to run for what would be his second term. As an aside, this sweet little scandal has been dubbed Bonusgate. Romanelli in frustration asked the # 1 Democrat, Obama, for a beer summit to forgive his fees. Fat chance!
“One would think that the commission of crimes against a working class candidate would be enough to get the attention of the Courts, but such is not the case in Pennsylvania…“The entire judicial system is corrupted here in Pennsylvania, and I should know because I come from Luzerne County where the disgraced, ‘kids for cash’ judges come from,” he added. “So, since the judges are too crooked for a citizen to use the legal system, we need another way to resolve this shameful persecution and I thought Beer Summit II would be a novel approach. Perhaps then we can bring this nightmare to an end. This would be a big deal for me considering I don’t even drink beer,” said Romanelli.
According to John Murphy who represents the independent candidacy of Nader/Camejo to the Pennsylvania Ballot Access Coalition (PBAC), “there are two ways to destroy democracy. One is by preventing people from voting, the other is by preventing worthy candidates from ever appearing on the ballot. In 2006 the Democratic Party with Robert P. Casey, Jr. as its candidate, chose the latter method.”
While Casey’s henchmen were putting Romanelli into almost certain personal bankruptcy, Ralph Nader, who was similarly maligned and had more money was cooperating in PA with Attorney General Tom Corbett, now Governor, to assure the two major parties did not get away with this unconstitutional farce against Pennsylvania citizens. In a letter to Corbett at the time of his fining in 2008, Nader praised the work of the Attorney General’s Public Corruption Unit while urging state investigators to clarify the roles of Pennsylvania House Majority Leader Bill DeWeese, Senator Bob Casey and two unnamed law firms referenced in a Grand Jury Presentment released in July, which Nader identified as Reed Smith, LLP and Thorp, Reed & Armstrong, LLP, both based in Pittsburgh.
“The misconduct alleged in the Presentment is a crime against the voters and taxpayers of Pennsylvania,” Nader said, “but interference with federal elections is also a federal crime that strikes at the heart of our democracy, and federal authorities must investigate, even as Attorney General Corbett’s team pushes ahead to identify and charge any and all culpable parties, whether in the public or private sector.” Now that former Atty General Corbett is the State's Governor, I hope he works with all Pennsylvanians to erase the possibility of such stigmas for Pennsylvania in the future. Ben Franklin, one of Pennsylvania's finest, surely would not have approved.
The letter continues:
“The Grand Jury investigation into the Bonusgate scandal has exposed fraudulent and deceitful schemes perpetrated upon the voters and taxpayers of Pennsylvania,” Nader said, “but we don’t have the full story yet, either in Pennsylvania, or in any of the other 17 states where Democrats tried to deny voters their free choice of candidates in the 2004 presidential election.”
“The Grand Jury found that between 2004 and 2006 alone [Casey v Romanelli], Pennsylvania House Democratic Caucus employees were secretly paid $1,641,550 in taxpayer money as compensation for working to elect Democratic candidates.”
The Green party is rightfully indignant that Pennsylvania government employees were not doing their jobs in 2004 and 2006, when Bob Casey Jr. had control of the Pennsylvania Treasury. Was Mr. Casey doing his job? Pennsylvanians should also be rightfully indignant as the Senator, who would benefit the most from state employees working to rid the likes of Romanelli from the opportunity to challenge Casey were paid bonuses by the State Treasurer (Bob Casey at the time) for undisclosed activities. Yes, that's right, the State treasurer just happened to be Robert P. Casey Jr. How does that all smell? Does it really pass the honesty sniff test?
In Luzerne County, where I hail, we learned that if it smells like it, looks like it, and God forbid, if it tastes like it, it is probably it. So, we are accustomed to big deals (big shots) getting taken under for mismanaging the public trust. If his friend BOH promised to keep the FBI off his back for any of this, though I would not respect him for it, I can understand why quote "pro-lifer" Bobby Casey Jr. became Robert P. Casey, US Senator. Pro-life was no longer as important an issue to the now Senator from Pennsylvania, maybe because the deal he struck kept him out of jail. Maybe? Living a life free of the big house may very well have been the bog motivator. Who really knows?
In January 2010, as those sniffing issues are finding a scent leading to the US Senate, Steve Baker, a Green Party spokesman at a Green party Press Conference intended to discuss the PA election corruption matter talked about the chilling effect this still has had on PA candidates and noted that the Green party is calling on Bob Casey [that’s our boy from Scranton] to have the Democrats cancel their claims against Romanelli.
[So, it would appear if Casey can stop the retribution, perhaps he is in charge of the Romanelly retribution / retaliation?] Potts briefly mentioned the costs to Pennsylvania taxpayers being not just the bonus money [authorized by PA Treasurer Casey] but also what PA spent on the signature reviews, and how these events will tend to mean fewer choices in the voting booth for PA voters. It may be hard to handle but the person investigating this for PA was a fellow by the name of Chris Casey. Surely an honest broker in the search for the truth, this Casey, Chris has some relationships that others might thing might impede an unbiased result.
Can you imagine that this young man in hcarge of determining if Senator Casey is culpable is Senator Casey’s brother? I am sure action will be coming quickly to prove there was no corruption involved at all. Why were we ever concerned?
As tough as it is to believe, in mid 2011, Pennsylvania law still does not include the rights to ballot access for minor political parties and independents. However, Now, that a major wave of corruption has been removed from the PA Senate, with the retirement of some long-time incumbents who were against free ballot access, perhaps with pressure from the constituents in PA, the PA Senate will be embarrassed enough to pass a bill that makes Pennsylvania a real democracy when this bill becomes law.
I hope that the PA State legislature does not ask Robert P. Casey Jr. the US Senator from Scranton PA, who was the last Senator to benefit from the corrupt practices of PA election law, what he thinks of the act before it passes. Surely a politician with his history would fight to have it never see the light of day.
The good news for citizens of Pennsylvania began on January 24, 2011 when the Pennsylvania Ballot Access Coalition (PBAC) reported that their Voters' Choice Act had been introduced in the PA Senate as Senate Bill 21. Unfortunately, the act has been referred to the State Government Committee where it may very well sit and die. So, let’s tell our new Senators in PA to act on it and get it passed into law before Senator Robert P. Casey Jr. has an opportunity for another illegitimate term in office.
This act is nicely done as it would provide greater freedom of choice to Pennsylvania voters simply by taking away the penalties for running for office in the State. This would have the effect of making it much less difficult for independent and third party candidates to get their names on the November ballot. As we have already discussed in this article, Democratic and Republican candidates are required to collect between 1,000 and 2,000 signatures to get their names on the statewide ballot, but all others must collect as many as 67,000 signatures. Candidates for Congress require 1000 signatures and those running for the Senate require 2000 signatures. Others require 67,000 or more. How is that fair? Despite his attempts to change it to something else, even Barack Hussein Obama has not been able to change our name from the United States of America.
Under SB 21, the Voters' Choice Act, independents and candidates of political bodies would need to collect the same number of signatures as the candidates of the two old parties. Additionally it makes it easier to create a bona fide political party that can place candidates on the primary ballot. Once a third party reaches 0.05% of the electorate registered as members of that party (approximately 4,200 voters), their party’s candidates may be nominated according to the party's rules, and at the party's expense, without having to collect signatures. This is what Democracy is all about. Please press your PA legislators to get this bill passed quickly. But, please do not tell Senator Robert P. Casey Jr. that this is a possibility because he may run again next year and may be annoyed that politics has been removed from the system.
This act was originally authored by the PBAC in 2005 and has not made it through the Senate. Yet, state Senator Mike Folmer (R-48) of Lebanon had the tenacity again to introduce it to the PA Senate. Thank the Lord for servants of the people who do the people’s work when elected to office. According to Folmer, "Both the federal and state Constitutions begin with the same three words: 'We The People.' In order to give the people a stronger voice in their State Government, we need to eliminate barriers for candidates seeking office. No state makes it more difficult for third party and independent candidates to run for office than Pennsylvania. My 'Voters' Choice Act' significantly eases these restrictions."
Pennsylvanians from all minor parties other than Republican and Democrat are praising Folmer’s efforts for Pennsylvanians. Ken Krawchuk, a Libertarian member of the PBAC, for example, who has tried twice to become Pennsylvania’s governor, applauded the initiative. "Why should any challenger be forced to collect thirty-three times as many signatures as Tom Corbett?" Krawchuk asked. "The only thing the existing law does is stifle competition at the ballot box and prevent new ideas from being introduced into the political debate. In a land that's known for freedom, how can such a thing be fair?"
As one would expect, Carl Romanelli from Wilkes-Barre, who was cheated by the Robert P. Casey Jr. team in 2006 has a positive comment on this legislative attempt: "Passage of the VCA will demonstrate that legislators are serious about reform and leveling the playing field. It is heartening to see support for this legislation among Greens, Libertarians, Constitutionalists, Reformers and independents. We are respectfully requesting all PA Senators of goodwill to lead this effort for Pennsylvania."
When you have the opportunity, write, phone, or email your State Senators to ask them to do what Senator Robert P. Casey Jr. would be dead set against. Make it fair for candidates in Pennsylvania to run for office without needing to be part of either political machine. When enough cards and letters come in, the PA Senators will do the people’s will.
Let me end this expose of sort with my wonderment that in all of this activity, one man emerged clean, Senator Robert P. Casey Jr. Amazing. This is just one of many reasons why I have chosen to run against him. When you find out that I was born in Kenya, and I am not elegible to run for the US Senate or the Presidency, you can thank Senator Robert P. Casey for the fine detective work. And, he did it without Donald Trump's help.
I found a piece in the Times Tribune that surely their liberal editors will insist that I take off this site for fair use reasons. But, the people need to know how people in the know really feel about Bob Casey, the impresario of the Romanelli affair, How is Casey still squeaky clean while Carl Romanelli, the victim, still worries about losing his home. I will take the following information down from this site when the liberals at the Times in Scranton tell me it is time:
“I guess the gov't officials don't like having their civil liberties taken away from them! Maybe they should of thought of that before they used taxpayer money to strip away the civil right to run for office by derailing the campaigns of Carl Romanelli and Ralph Nader of the Green Party. Your next Venon, too bad Bob Casey won't be joining them in prison since he signed the checks used to fund bonusgate.And guess when this was? When Carl Romanelli was trying to run as his(Casey's) opponent for Senator. It's people like Bob Casey who keep us always choosing from the lesser of two evils in the two-party system by using their power to their benefit. Maybe he's been reading too much Niccolo Machiavelli. Next time senatorial elections role around let's get Casey out of the Senate so he can't disgrace the city of Scranton and violate the rights of the people to choose a better candidate. "WITHOUT DEVIATION FROM THE NORM, PROGRESS IS NOT POSSIBLE"!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!-“ Frank Zappa
Frank Zappa sent the above note to the Times Tribune in Scranton. Bravo Frank Zappa!
Thanks Frank, it is nice to have some objectivity inserted into the argument.