Voter ID Takes Over Corbett Romney Presser

Gov. Tom Corbett

Harrisburg — The topic of discussion quickly turned to voter ID during a press conference with Tom Corbett. The Governor answered questions about Tuesday’s court ruling blocking part of the law for 2012 after initially discussing Mitt Romney’s energy policies.

Corbett said he counted the ruling as a win for the law in the long term.

Pa. Commonwealth Court Judge Robert Simpson, “rejected attempts by the challengers to declare the law unconstitutional,” Corbett said. “After hearing additional evidence, the Commonwealth Court has concluded that new procedures currently being implemented by the Commonwealth will satisfy the the ‘liberal access’ requirement announced by the Supreme Court.”

Simpson ruled Tuesday that the requirement for voters to show photo ID will not be in place for the 2012 election. It’s unlikely that the ruling will be overturned between today and November.

“They’ll be required to, as of right now, unless something else happens,” to present ID to vote in the May primary, Corbett said.

He offered unspecific answers to questions about how the state will proceed, specifically whether they will appeal the ruling and how the public education would incorporate the news.

Corbett said the law’s challengers are likely to appeal and said that the state likely would not try to do so before November.

“There’s no appeal for us,” he said, later clarifying that the decision isn’t final. He added that the state would defend the essential constitutionality of the requirement.

“We haven’t sat down and gone through that,” he said when asked about whether the state would change its television ads to reflect the fact that ID is no longer required in November. “Logic would dictate that,” he said.

In his initial ruling in August, Simpson upheld the law on the grounds that there was no definitive evidence that disenfranchisement would occur. However, on appeal, the Pa. Supreme Court kicked the ruling back down to Commonwealth Court with the instruction to look specifically at whether legitimate voters could be turned away.

It’s unclear whether the Pa. Supreme Court would hear an appeal before the election. In any case, the 3-3 split between the Court’s Democrats and Republicans means that this injunction is likely to stand through November 6. A tie decision on the high Court, by default, results in a ruling being upheld.

Romney and energy

The presser was initially held by the Romney campaign and Corbett, along with David Taylor, the Executive Director Pennsylvania Manufacturers Association and Mark Lauriello, the President of RETTEW, a firm that facilitates natural gas drilling.

All three accused the Obama administration – particularly the Environmental Protection Agency – of hampering domestic energy production and hurting job growth.

“Governor Romney will grant permission for new assessments to determine the true extent of our resource base. He will pursue measured reforms on environmental laws and regulations to strengthen environmental protections without destroying jobs or paralyzing industry,” Corbett said.

Editor’s note: PoliticsPA tweeted during the press conference: “Corbett at presser says #VoterID ruling a win for the admin because the court ultimately OK’ed the requirement post-2012”

To clarify, Corbett said that he anticipated the law ultimately would be found constitutional based on the Pa. Supreme Court’s earlier ruling.

Update: here’s a response from the Obama campaign’s Senior Advisor for Communications Desiree Peterkin-Bell:

“Governor Corbett’s accusations that the President is hindering domestic energy independence simply do not square with the facts. Under President Obama, U.S. oil production has surged to the highest level since January 1997 and domestic natural gas production is at an all-time high .  Corbett’s attacks fly in the face of the President’s all-of-the-above approach to developing our abundant domestic energy resources, including efforts to expand domestic oil production by offering millions of acres of land for development.  Either the Governor is grossly misinformed or he’s desperate to distract from the details of Mitt Romney’s energy plan that slashes investments in alternative energy and protects $4 billion a year in wasteful subsidies for oil companies making near-record profits.”

4 Responses

  1. The Governor could be right. If he appealed the decision to the PA Supreme Court, there’s a good chance the decision would result in a 3-3 tie, leaving Judge Simpson’s ruling intact.

    However, Max Baer is up for retention in 2013 and might vote with the Republicans–knowing full well that polls indicate anywhere from 65-75% of Pennsylvanians support the voter ID law.

    Shouldn’t the Governor, at the very least, get the Supreme Court on record?

    And, then, there’s the principle of the matter.

  2. Corbett continues to remind us of the mistake made by voters in not electing Sam Rohrer and Daryl Metcalfe. He also serves as a reminder: “If the PA Republican Party endorses them we don’t vote for them.”

Comments are closed.

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