Yesterday’s (May 1) Pennsylvania Supreme Court decision throwing retiree Bob Guzzardi off the GOP gubernatorial primary ballot was 5-2 with Max Baer and Debra McCloskey Todd dissenting.
The ruling overturned an April 15 decision by Commonwealth Court Judge Mary Hannah Leavitt,
The Supreme Court’s rationale was that Guzzardi did not timely file a Statement of Financial Interests with the State Ethics Commission.
It was the type of petty reasoning that ended for most of us with grade-school playground games, and indicated that Guzzardi’s no-money campaign — he was purposely refusing all donations — actually might have beat the incumbent Tom Corbett.
Guzzardi had initially filed the statement with the Department of State.
Judge Leavitt had noted that the procedure changed this year; the directions for submission were confusing; and Guzzardi’s campaign was given incorrect information by “a Department of State employee with apparent authority” that he only needed to file with that department rather than submit a separate filing to the Ethics Commission.
She noted the Department of State issued a receipt to Guzzardi that it shouldn’t have as he was filing with them the original rather than the required copy.
She noted that Guzzardi promptly corrected the omission upon learning of the problem.
The Supreme Court, solidly in the pocket of the state’s power brokers, found none of these things mattered. It was better that thousands of Pennsylvanians be disenfranchised over a laughable technicality than the status quo of the money flow be threatened.
The Philadelphia Inquirer, a house organ of the establishment, reported Guzzardi as raising less than $5,000. Great journalism. The phrasing should be that he spent less than $5,000. The campaign was entirely self-funded. As noted, he was not raising money. He was refusing donations.
Corbett’s faction spent close to six figures in their fight to keep Guzzardi off the ballot.
The two weeks the Court took in making the decision forced many counties to issue absentee ballots including Guzzardi’s name. Votes cast for Guzzardi on those ballots will be counted as write-in votes for him.
For those wishing to write in Bob’s name use Robert Guzzardi.
You know a lot of Republicans are going to pointedly not hit Corbett’s button at the polls and Pennsylvanians are sure learning how to use that write-in option. It would be cosmic humor of the highest magnitude if Guzzardi ends up beating him.