Timmy, Why Don't You Hear Us?

    Anyone who is said to be a good dad, husband, friend and boss and gives up a relaxing Christmas in his own home to help prepare and host a free Christmas dinner for
    people downtown Uniontown should be commended. We take none of that away from State Rep Tim Mahoney, 51st District. Repeat, none.

    But, otherwise, we're more than just a bit disappointed in him for a few reasons.

    "Timmy, Can You Hear Us?" was this column's direct plea to Mahoney to address blogger Delinda Young's contention about a $5,000 campaign expense, answer, and,
    well, put the controversy to rest. Delinda Young raised a strong opinion-driven conclusion when she said of Mahoney a few months ago, on 17Apr12:

    "In our view, the payment was for the legal work performed in the Amend/Murray challenge to the Gearing and Cavanagh nominating petitions, the bulk of which work
    was performed on February 22, 2012.  In short, in our view, the Friends of Tim Mahoney, a campaign committee controlled by state Rep. Tim Mahoney, paid the legal
    fees for the Amend /Murray challenge of the Gearing and Cavanagh nominating petitions," Delinda Young wrote in "The Rest Of The Story, Part IV: The Payment."

    While this column commended Delinda Young for caring enough to root through campaign expense reports to find the $5,000 February campaign committee expense, this
    column did not jump enthusiastically on her bandwagon. Delinda Young had no copy in hand of a receipt for $5,000 of legal work to prepare private citizens' petitions to
    try to remove Mahoney's two Republican opponents from the primary election ballot to prove her point.

    Nor did she have a statement from the private citizens who petitioned to remove the Republicans that they themselves did not pay for the legal fees. Two months ago,
    when she wrote the above exert, Delinda Young had and still has no absolute proof, just a strong gut feeling that could end up being right. Or wrong.

    More recently, Delinda Young blogged that she sent a formal request to obtain that copy of the much discussed $5,000 receipt. We're unsure when exactly her written
    request was sent. We first assumed that she requested that information in April when she first wrote about the $5,000 expense, but now we assume that the request was
    submitted more recently, possibly just in the last week.

    Which would mean that Mahoney's campaign committee has just a few weeks left to fulfill Delinda Young's request to receive a copy of the campaign's $5,000 expense
    receipt from last February to Mahoney's lawyer.

    While we're glad that Delinda Young formally asked for the receipt, this column does not believe that she will receive the $5,000 proof she seeks that the campaign paid for
    the private citizen challenge of the Republicans petitions. We're not into gambling, per se, but in this instance would bet the farm that Delinda Young will receive a receipt
    for a $5,000 retainer -- as Mahoney said on the radio that his committee paid before he put the subject to rest and moved on in conversation to something else.

    When Mahoney returned to AM talk radio a few weeks ago, he also said that candidate nominating petitions can be given free of charge to attorneys through the House
    Democratic Caucus, without signing formal requests to the state to receive and pay for copies of the document pages. That statement translated into the "Oh, that!"
    moment that "Timmy Can You Hear Us?" mentioned would happen.

    The "Oh, thaaaaaaaat!" The House Democratic Caucus gave thaaaaaaaat to the lawyer... I did not!" moment had come to pass.

    So far, only Mahoney seems to have the inside scoop on that free source for lawyers to fulfill unwritten requests and receive copies of candidate campaign nominating
    petitions. Delinda Young said that nobody on a state level she contacted knows of any free source or any alternative other than formally requesting to the state to receive
    and pay for copies of all nominating petitions. Likewise, nobody that anyone here contacted could say anything different, either.

    Then there's a larger circle asking. Not just asking questions to the state, per se, but to contacts who, they as lawyers, know on a personal and professional basis
    throughout the state house. The office of Democratic Leader, State Rep Frank Dermody, 33rd District, and, of course, Mahoney, have been the only ones not getting back
    in touch to comment as of this afternoon.

    The closest anyone on our end came to hearing about a free source for copies was a comment from one lawyer, who said that once he requested and signed for two
    different candidate nominating petitions, but was billed only for one of those two received. He considered that to be an isolated incident of a billing error and has never
    received any free copy since.

    "They were probably so busy that they forgot to bill it," he concluded.

    One other, for all of a few minutes, thought that we might have been put on the right trail of Mahoney's free nominating petition source, but that ended up not being the
    case after the next call that he made. Another dead end.

    This column thanks the pals who helped make the calls, and also for some unexpected, very much appreciated input from legislators and former legislators -- all who said
    that they heard of the mysterious free source for petition copies for the very first time through these recent inquiries to confirm or disprove Mahoney's claim. We note, too,
    that we spoke with no rookie legislators or support staff, but to those who have served for years in public service. A total of 17 people in all.

    A few were so perplexed about this inquiry that they kept their word and called back, saying that they asked around some more in their circles and still have not located
    any free source of obtaining candidate nominating petitions without submitting a written request to the state and paying for the costs of the documents' copies and delivery.

    All that said, we're eager to see what Mahoney's political campaign turns over to Delinda Young, as far as the $5,000 receipt is concerned.

    And -- truth be told -- we're even more eagerly awaiting Mahoney's answer and explanation of how his free source for lawyers to obtain copies of nominating petitions
    without signing for them works.

    The blogs seem no longer to be the only ones wanting to know about Mahoney's free source to obtain copies of candidate nominating petitions without formal written
    requests to the state being made. The line is forming.

    5 Jun 12
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