Although Allentown Ethics Board member and Gross McGinley lawyer J. Jackson Eaton III was in attendance today too, and JJ's pretty brave, Pat Reilly (standing in for Mal Gross who we presume overslept after reading LVS all night) was by far the bravest Gross McGinley lawyer in Gross McGinley co-founder/Judge Carol McGinley's courtroom this morning.
Why? Here's why ... as Pat's client DA Jim Martin overcompensated for his mortified embarrassment at having to be in court today as a defendant by talking continuously and animatedly w/ Pat, obnoxiously yukking it up w/ Pat, and whispering incessantly to Pat in total disrespect of Judge Gross McGinley's court, so he could hear Jim, Pat compliantly kept his nose about 2 inches from DA Jim Martin's constantly whispering mouth-- the morning after Saint (hiccup) Patrick's Day! Wow. Now that's brave lawyering. When I congratulated Pat on his "victory" (wink wink) after the petition challenge was quashed as expected, I mentioned Jim's boozy breath to Pat (and his "bravery") and we both enjoyed a hearty laugh of faux good cheer in the hallway as DA Jim Martin staggered back to his office. BTW, DA Jim Martin had an open/oozing boil on his neck and he was also sporting a large, puppy paw-size bandage over his left eye that made it look like possibly something like this had happened. Just sayin'. As DA Martin wobbled past me and out of court (he first tried to use an alternate exit door to avoid me, but sadly, it was locked), I discreetly whispered to DA Jim, "What happened to your head?" But Jim didn't answer me. Maybe his hearing's shot too? FYI, Pat Reilly works out at LA Fitness (as do I) and Pat's there for like, seemingly, 5-6 hours every day, along with a gang of other Gross McGinley staffers who also hang there all day/every day with Allentown City Clerk Mike Hanlon ($74K a year), I'll tell ya, it's like a Gross McGinley satellite spa over there @ LA Fitness but I digress.
Before the court proceedings commenced, I graciously wished my workout pal Pat Reilly "good luck" but I also gently ribbed him (and DA Jimbo who was standing next to him) to not ever forget that, "I won the big one that got away from youse guys."
Editor's Note: DA Jim Martin brays to The Morning Call "newspaper" that the petition challenge was "frivolous." Really? Then why didn't Lehigh County's "top" (District) Attorney defend himself? Why did DA Martin need to hire Lehigh County's most crony-connected and expensive law firm, Gross McGinley (co-founded by today's Judge Carol McGinley) to defend him? And will Lehigh County taxpayers be paying Gross McGinley's (and/or Judge Carol McGinley's) invoice? Stay tuned to LVS.
* 69 News
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From: Attorney Robert L. Sharpe, Jr.
LV Blogosphere exclusive to LV Somebody
I respect today's ruling by Judge McGinley, who was bound by a 1996 Pennsylvania Supreme Court decision that a candidate's nomination petition may only be challenged by a registered voter of the same party.
However, I believe that Supreme Court ruling is inconsistent with the state's Election Code, which does not contain any such requirement.
Pennsylvania courts for 30 years have pointed out to the State Legislature the absence of any such requirement in the Election Code, yet lawmakers have chosen not to change the law.
I am considering appealing today's ruling based upon my belief that the 1996 Supreme Court decision has spawned a "straw party" movement in which a single voter of a political party is recruited by opponents of that party to challenge a candidate's petitions.
In fact, in the 1996 case on which today's ruling was based, the court acknowledged that the objector was a straw party whose lawyer was hired by the candidate's opposing party. Such an implicit tolerance of political mischief makes a mockery of the requirement that only members of the same political party may challenge a primary candidate's petitions.
Hopefully, today's ruling, which was not based on the merits of my petition, will not stop my legitimate concerns from being aired. Aside from whether Mr. Martin's employee could legally notarize his nomination affidavits, the county taxpayers will not learn the extent to which Mr. Martin may have used county workers and taxpayer resources to achieve political results. These are legitimate questions concerning Mr. Martin's judgment and re-election campaign practices.