State Showed No Record Of HDCC's Request For Republican Candidate
As per Ethan Smith, executive director of the PA House Democratic Campaign Committee, his
group obtains copies of all nominating petitions for all challengers of all incumbent Democrats in
Smith, as some familiar with his name may know, was the former campaign manager for Allegheny
County Chief Executive Rich Fitzgerald.
"We, typically, do this without coordinating with the incumbent," Smith said by phone, after being
asked by Tim Mahoney to speak with us, to explain how Mahoney's lawyer did not have to pay for or
sign for copies of candidate nominating petitions for Republicans Gary Gearing and Michael
"We prepared the ballot challenges here," Smith told this column's editor yesterday, referring to
the ballot challenges for Mahoney's two original Republican opponents filed four months ago.
Smith said that the HDCC started requesting and obtaining all campaign nominating petitions of all
opponents of all Democratic House incumbents and preparing all ballot challenges only recently, in
the past year, or what he referred to as the "last cycle." The HDCC's goal is to keep incumbent
Democrats in office state wide.
The HDCC, he said, requests and pays for copies of the candidate nominating petitions from the PA
Department of State the very same way that the rest of us do.
However, Smith was unable to explain why the state's official records showed nobody other than
Mahoney signed for and requested copies of Gearing's nominating petitions. Smith could not
explain why the state did not mail out or include the HDCC's request form for those two
candidate nominating petitions to anyone who requested to know who obtained copies of candidate
"I know that we (HDCC) requested those," Smith said and added that the copies were billed to
the HDCC. It's financial records, he said, could prove this request was made from his office.
When asked if the HDCC kept copies of their completed request forms that he could email or fax,
he explained that no such copies were made for his files prior to sending them to the state to
obtain the candidate nominating petition copies. Someone later at the Dept. of State confirmed
Smith's statement that all the state's records of persons signing to obtain candidate nominating
petitions for past elections have been destroyed.
Smith was unaware that Delinda Young's blog posted copies of processed request forms from the
state for this primary election in question and that other blogs downloaded the copies she posted.
These showed that Mahoney signed for copies of both Republican challengers' nominating petitions,
that Michael Cavanagh signed for a copy of Gary Gearing's candidate nominating petition and that
Josiah Frederick signed for a copy of Michael Cavanagh's petition.
While Smith stated that the HDCC paid a total of $500 to the state to obtain copies of all
candidate nominating petitions for anyone wanting to run against an incumbent, we were unable to
locate an online source to confirm this information that really might be out there and we're just
not finding it.
The HDCC director agreed yesterday to contact the state himself to find out why the state did
not include the HDCC's completed request forms for those 2 Republican candidates' nominating
petitions to anyone requesting those records as late as the very same day that Gearing was
already served his notification packet that his petition was being challenged.
In other words, we assured Smith that there was no chance that Delinda Young requested this
information before the HDCC's request was sent to the state for the nominating petitions and
filed. Smith did not say on which date that the HDCC completed a request form for this
Smith did not call us back yesterday or today, as he said he would with more information. We will
contact him next week to clarify exactly how we can obtain copies of proof of the HDCC's payment
for the copies of the two Republican challengers' nominating petitions.
8 Jun 12
Editor's Note: Ethan Smith sent an email this morning saying that he would be back in touch later
today, but did not do so. (12 Jun 12)
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