Thursday, October 14, 2004
Mickey Mouse signed the petition to have Ralph Nader on the ballot in Pennsylvania. So did Fred Flintstone, someone who scribbled "John Kerry" and scores of more legitimately named people, many approached by homeless people hired by a campaign contractor.
Nader needed 25,697 signatures from registered voters to secure a spot on the ballot. He submitted 51,273.
Now he's off the state's ballot.
Eleven Commonwealth Court judges spent 2 1/2 weeks reviewing those signatures, an effort Colins called "exhaustive and exhausting," and threw out 32,454 signatures.
President Judge James Gardner Colins, in a harshly worded ruling, said two-thirds of the signatures on Nader's nominating petitions were bogus or flawed.
"I am compelled to emphasize that this signature-gathering process was the most deceitful and fraudulent exercise ever perpetrated on this court," wrote Colins, adding that the case cost the state almost $250,000.
"He's a forgery. He's a fraud," Nader spokesman Kevin Zeese responded, taking a shot at the judge's traditional black robe. "He's been in that dress too long."
This is the second time Nader has been booted off the Pennsylvania ballot.
posted by Ellen Dunkel at 12:15 PM
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