Hughes: The GOP Must Seat Williams

In November, Republicans around the country ran campaigns based on fear mongering and hate – led by their chief fearmonger, President Donald Trump. But the American people rejected that fear, choosing candidates with plans for working people and messages of hope for our future. The Democrats picked up seats, took the House of Representatives, and made gains in statehouses and governors mansions across the nation.

In the six weeks since the elections, Republicans have colluded and conspired against voters and democracy to keep their power.

In Wisconsin, the Republican legislature passed bills limiting the power of the governor, right before a Democratic governor takes office. The same thing is happening in North Carolina.

Unfortunately, a very similar manipulation of democracy happening in Pennsylvania as well.

Senator-Elect Lindsey Williams (D-Allegheny) won a seat in our State Senate by nearly 1,000 votes – but the Republican majority in the Senate is threatening to ignore the will of her electorate.

They claim that Senator-elect Williams has not lived in the state long enough to be eligible to be a Senator, even though she provided nearly 100 pages of documents and sworn affidavits proving she meets the 4-year requirement.  Williams was born in Pennsylvania and has lived here nearly all of her life.

Republicans are saying it’s “convenient” that Senator-elect Williams is able to provide this documentation now, when it’s really just the facts. She filed her petitions last spring, won the primary election and won the general election – fair and square. The constituents of the 38th district picked Williams.

What’s truly “convenient” is that Republicans didn’t make this challenge until she had won her seat in the Senate, just as it’s convenient that they are stealing power all over the country after having lost seats.

We can’t let Pennsylvania be part of this embarrassing national trend. The Pennsylvania Senate must seat Lindsey. She earned the right to do the job.

December 18th, 2018 | Posted in Front Page Stories, Guest Commentary, Top Stories | 11 Comments

11 thoughts on “Hughes: The GOP Must Seat Williams”

  1. StevenTodd says:

    I’m a Democrat, and I like Williams positions. But I can see her losing this one…maybe.

    If the law requires effort and/or intent to relocate, then she has it in a slam dunk. I’d bet most Republicans even agree with that. But if the law requires actual permanent residence established, I don’t see how she swings that. The cited 1956 state Supreme Court opinion seems to make a strong case for the former. But if it is the later, the speeding ticket in November that still showed her as a Maryland resident is incredibly strong evidence that she was not a resident in PA.

    We’ve all been in the middle of moves. I am currently doing the same thing Williams was at that time. But until I change my residence to my new place I “intend” to live, I still legally live, pay taxes and vote in my current legal residence. The date should be when I change over my drivers license. Until then, any speeding tickets I may get will certainly and rightfully charge me at my legal (current/former) address.

    1. Rick says:

      PennDot’s own website gives you 60 days after you move to change your license, so that is not really a legitimate gauge of residency. Residency can be proved by leases, electric bill etc. She does have affidavits stating she was living with friends, that’s residency.

      1. StevenTodd says:

        Hmmm…per Form MV-63 (7-17), “Pennsylvania requires you to report your new address to the Department of Transportation (PennDOT) within 15 days of moving.” Still, point taken.

        You can live somewhere with no lease, and pay no utilities. I agree that if you have those it would nail it down, and if these 100 pages include any, she should have it down pat.

        Affidavits are just testimony. Unless negated by some other affidavit or testimony, they should do it too.

  2. Millard Fillmore says:

    The problem is that King Scarnati has decided from day one to block good government initiatives like redistricting even though 4 states in the 2018 elections have passed them including deeply red state Utah–(1) Colorado which in “Amendment Y/Z” passed by 71% yes to 20% No–creating an independent commission for approving Congressional and State Legislative Districts. (2) Michigan–“Proposal 2”–creates an independent commission for approving Congressional and Legislative Districts. Passed 61% Yes and 39% No. (3) Missouri “Amendment 1”–Creates a non partisan demographer to draw redistricting plans for state commissions. Passed 62% Yes and 38% No. (4) Utah–“Proposition 4”–Creates an independent commission for approving Congressional and Legislative Districts. Passed 50.3% Yes and 49.7% No. Over and over King Scarnati and Republican leadership say how impossible it is to have redistricting. It just can’t be done. Yet, in the 2018 Election we have four states that all approved the exact redistricting initiatives Republicans in Pa say can’t be done. Now there is a duly elected official that Republicans won’t seat even they were elected by the people.

    1. Zakrey Bissell says:

      Millard, you blabber too much. But make sure you vote for me for the redistricting commissions

  3. Zakrey Bissell says:

    They shouldn’t seat her so I can run and wins for this seat.

  4. westerner says:

    FROM HUGHES’s COLUMN: What’s truly “convenient” is that Republicans didn’t make this challenge until she had won her seat in the Senate, just as it’s convenient that they are stealing power all over the country after having lost seats.

    Uh, not so, senator. The Republicans filed that challenge before the election. The court dismissed it on the technical grounds that a ballot-status challenge had to have been filed earlier. The court specifically noted that the senate had the power to remedy any deficiencies.

  5. KDav says:

    In WI, many of the GOP measures, especially on early voting, will be struck down.

  6. KDav says:

    Can you go the courts?

    1. Ishmael says:

      You can always “go to court.” The question is whether a PA court would hear the case. On the subject of the constitutional qualifications of an elected legislator, the caselaw strongly suggests no. Separation of powers: In this case, the Senate — and only the Senate — gets to decide the question of the qualifications of one elected to that body. But nothing is absolute until the highest court — in this case, the PA Supreme Court — decides the scope and extent of judicial power in a particular matter.

      1. BUCKS BARRISTER says:

        agree with Ishmael

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