On July 12, Carl Romanelli, Green Party nominee for U.S. Senate in 2006, filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court against the state employees who worked on challenging his petition while they were supposed to be working on state business. The eleven-page complaint also points out that the challengers used state government computers and the legislature’s database of registered voters. The Complaint also sues the Pennsylvania Democratic Party.
In 2006, the statewide Green Party nominees needed 67,070 valid signatures to be on the ballot. The party’s statewide petition was submitted bearing 94,544 signatures, but the challenge found that there weren’t enough valid signatures. Pensylvania law says that all petitions are deemed valid, if they contain a number of signatures in excess of the required number, but a private individual is free to challenge any petition. However, the individual cannot commandeer government resources for the challenge. The evidence that government resources were used to prepare the challenge has already been established, because some of the challengers have been convicted of crimes based on that evidence.
Romanelli still faces a judgment that he must pay approximately $80,000 to the people who challenged his 2006 petition. Romanelli’s new federal lawsuist is in U.S. District Court in the middle district. His case was assigned to Judge A. Richard Caputo, a Clinton appointee.