Libertarians Urge Philadelphia DA To Investigate Republican “Watergate-Style” Dirty Tricks

From Pennsylvania LP Chair Dr. Tom Stevens:

More than a half dozen contractors paid by Libertarians to gather nominating petition signatures have independently reported that a private investigator hired by Republicans offered them substantial sums of money to testify in court that they had obtained signatures fraudulently. This appears to have been part of the attempt by Republicans to disqualify thousands of signatures in a Philadelphia court hearing, thus forcing Governor Gary Johnson, Libertarian candidate for President, and the other statewide Libertarian candidates off the November ballot. However, following an entire day of testimony, the judge disqualified very few petitions on various technicalities, but ruled that signatures had not been obtained fraudulently and that the vast majority could be counted.

Today, Libertarian Party of Pennsylvania Chair, Dr. Tom Stevens, joined the Gary Johnson campaign in urging the Philadelphia District Attorney to conduct a thorough investigation. “This reeks of Watergate-style illegal tricks,” said Stevens. “The allegations tend to gain credibility when so many non-Libertarian Party circulators come forward, reluctantly, with substantially the same accusation. There is a whole lot of smoke here, and we suspect there may also be a fire,” he continued.

Statewide Libertarian candidates were required to file nominating petitions containing at least 20,601 signatures, far more than most states require and many times the number the old parties must file. In past years, the requirement has been as high as 60,000. On August 1, Libertarians filed petitions containing over 49,000 signatures, more than twice the number needed. A week later, Republicans challenged about 40,000 of these.

The challenge has required Libertarians to defend their petition signatures in a 9-week battle against everything the Republicans and their high-priced gang of lawyers could throw at them. Yesterday, Libertarian attorney Paul A. Rossi announced that, as of the end of business Saturday, more than the required number of signatures had been verified as valid. Barring anything unexpected, the entire Libertarian slate of candidates should remain on the ballot. Additional valid signatures should be verified as the process continues through Tuesday. A final ruling from Commonwealth Court Senior Judge James G. Colins is expected then.

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