Voter Registration Commission/DA Owe Fayette Countians a Status Update on Fairgate Referral

Posted: Thursday, October 11, 2018 by Pezzonovante in Labels:

Yesterday, October 10, 2018, marked the one-month anniversary of the Fayette County Voter Registration Commission referral to the district attorney of the allegations of violations of the Voter Registration Act made in the election complaint filed by state Republican Committee Chairman Val DiGiorgio -- better known locally as Fairgate.

The Republican complaint alleged violations of the Voter Registration Act under 25 C.S.A. § 1711(a)(3).

25 C.S.A. § 1711(a)(3)
(a) Prohibition.--No person may do any of the following:
(3) Intentionally give or promise or offer to give money or goods to an individual as an inducement for the individual to enroll in a particular party or for a registrant to change political enrollment.

The Republican complaint contained an exhibit with photographic evidence that the Democrat booth at the Fayette County Fair had a sign offering inducements to registrants to either register Democrat or to change party affiliation.  At the top, the inducement sign reads, "REGISTER HERE TO VOTE AND WIN!"  At the bottom, the inducement sign reads, "must register democrat or change your party to democrat."

In the aftermath of the filing of the Republican complaint, other photographs surfaced.  Among those pictured with the inducement signs at the Democrat fair booth are Fayette County Commissioner Vincent Vicites, write-in Democrat Nominee for the 32nd Senatorial District Pamela Gerard, Democrat Nominee for the 52nd Legislative District Ethan Keedy, and Democrat Nominee for the 51st Legislative District Timothy S. Mahoney.

Readers will recall that subpoenas were issued for materials from the Fayette County Democrat Committee.

Readers will also recall that a news report and a local blog post indicated Fayette County District Attorney Richard E. Bower would recuse himself from the matter and forward it on to the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General.

So, now, one month later, what is the status of the Fairgate referral?  Were the subpoenas honored by the Fayette County Democrat Party?  Were all the materials sought by the subpoenas submitted, or not?  What materials were submitted, and which were not, if any were not?  Has the district attorney recused himself, or not?  If not, why not?

At least one of DA Bower's signs hung at the Democrat fair booth where the inducement signs also hung.  He was a listed sponsor of the radio program hosted by Fayette County Democrat Party Chairman George Rattay, who is one of the central figures in the Fairgate incident, who testified at the September 10 hearing of the Fayette County Voter Registration Commission, and who took the Fifth numerous times in answer to questions at the hearing.  

In 2016, DA Bower made a campaign contribution (see top of Page 4 at the link) to the Friends of Tim Mahoney after failing to investigate ex-State Rep. and current 51st Legislative District Democrat Nominee Timothy S. Mahoney on allegations of election fraud and perjury presented to him in June 2016.  Mahoney became another central figure in the Fairgate issue when he testified before the VRC on September 10 and attested that he owned the condominium that pertained to the condo stay on offer on the inducement signs.  

It's high time for the VRC and for the DA to provide the public with a status update on the September 10 referral, especially as it pertains to subpoena compliance and recusal. 

Fayette Countians are owed more accountability -- and less foot-dragging -- from these elected officials.