By Judith Ayers, Contributing Writer
Both the Pennsylvania Green and Libertarian Party representatives slammed the GOP’s choice for Superior Court judge, Vic Stabile, citing his efforts as a Republican party official to knock third party candidates off of ballots in PA.
The Pennsylvania Libertarian Party chair Lou Jasikoff called it “shameful.”
“Mr. Stabile led the charge to get Libertarians knocked off the ballot in 2008 and was recently quoted as being pleased by efforts to keep the Green and Libertarian Parties from appearing on the statewide 2010 ballot.”
Stabile is currently running for Superior Court Judge in Pennsylvania, he has held the office of Middlesex Township Supervisor in Cumberland County since 2000. He has had more than twenty years of trial and appellate litigation experience in both state and federal courts and is a member of the American Bar Association as well as the Pennsylvania Bar Association and the Dauphin County Bar Association.
The PA Republican state committee endorsed Stabile for the open seat on PA’s Superior Court, and on primary day he defeated Philadelphia Judge Paula Patrick for the nomination. Stabile will take on Democrat David Wecht, an Allegheny County judge who was unopposed Tuesday, in the November general election.
Candidates from several third parties expressed their displeasure at Stabile. Carl Romanelli, the US Senate candidate in 2006 for the Pennsylvania Green Party, has long contended that his own removal from the ballot could not have been accomplished without the aid of partisan judges.
“The last defense of democracy and the Constitution is the judiciary. When it is corrupted or co-opted, it represents the most significant threat to the principles that once made America the grand protector of liberty,” said Romanelli. “The lack of meaningful review reflects as poorly on justice in Pennsylvania as does Stabile’s blatant obstruction of our rights. It is sad to think that the cradle of democracy, Pennsylvania, has now become its graveyard.”
Wayne Allyn Root, the 2008 Vice-Presidential candidate on the Libertarian ticket, stated that Mr. Stabile’s actions not to be tolerated. He called them “Unamerican”
“To purposely disregard laws on the books that allow for candidate substitution, or applaud efforts that totally ignore voter intent is unconscionable. Mr. Stabile is the face of everything wrong with Pennsylvania’s ballot access laws and his flawed and biased judgment should not find its way on Pennsylvania’s Superior Court.”
Update: Stabile defended his record of involvement in ballot challenges in an interview with PoliticsPA.
Regarding his efforts in the 2008 election, Stabile said that the Libertarian party was guilty of bait-and-switch; that petitions were circulated for a candidate that had absolutely no intention of running, but was merely collecting signatures as a place holder in time for an eventual substitution. Pennsylvania courts had not ruled on objections like this before. The courts ultimately found for the Libertarian party.
Regarding his involvement in the 2010 challengers, Stabile said he was vindicated by the voluntary dismissal of candidate petition signatures based upon thousands of objections that the opposing parties agreed were valid.
“With all do respect I believe these critics have grossly understated the nature of the improprieties here,” he said. “What we went to court for was to have the court address and to bring to light what was blatant voter fraud…whole petitions signed by the same hand, signatures of people who didn’t exist, signatures of people who never even signed petitions, and these weren’t minor technicalities, these numbered in the thousands.”
“You cannot disenfranchise somebody who doesn’t exist and you can’t disenfranchise someone who is a fraudulent voter,” he continued. “On the other hand, you can disenfranchise a legitimate voter who has legitimately signed a petition only to have that diluted by fictitious signatures. I would not have made any objection to a candidate’s petitions that were not laced with that type of voter fraud to attempt to disenfranchise them from the ballot. It was that voter fraud that we were objecting to and it is that fraud that does violence to our Constitution and our laws.”
And he emphasized that if he were elected to the bench, he would apply the laws fairly, regardless of party.