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Nevin Mindlin for Mayor files appeal

In a show of strength and commitment, Nevin Mindlin filed an appeal today, challenging last week’s politicized court holding that threw him off the ballot.
If there’s one thing Harrisburg needs now, it’s a strong leader like Mindlin.

Press Release from candidate Mindlin

Harrisburg Mayor Candidate Nevin Mindlin Disappointed but not Daunted
”I will not go away,” he says.
HARRISBURG: Despite a ruling by Dauphin County Common Pleas Court Judge Bernard Coates that strikes Harrisburg Mayor independent candidate Nevin Mindlin’s name from the general election ballot, the candidate vows to stay in the fight to secure a positive future for Harrisburg.
“My supporters and I are disappointed that the court found in favor of a challenge to the validity of my nominating petitions,” he says, “but our energy and enthusiasm have not waned.”
“The resurrection of the old Harrisburg political regime that took our campaign into court does not intimidate us,” he says. Mindlin avers that his main opponent, after winning the Democratic primary in April, is trying to coast to victory. “Instead of campaigning on the issues, behind-the-scenes operations came into play,” which, says Mindlin, “is an effort to divert attention from the need to debate critical issues facing the city, such as crime, blight, high taxes, jobs and education.”
“I have hundreds of supporters who believe I speak for them and who have confidence that I will provide strong, honest and accountable leadership for the City of Harrisburg,” he continues. “They want me to succeed and I want them to be assured that I will stay involved.
In an effort to open the electoral process and to assure voting rights for every citizen, Mindlin is considering an appeal to Judge Coates’ decision. In addition, he will confer with his advisors concerning how to position himself in the upcoming November election. No matter the final outcome, he will continue to demand transparency and meaningful discussion about Harrisburg’s future, going forward.
Nevin Mindlin has a thirty-five year track record of managing large organizations with complex budgets. Active in a number of civic and religious organizations, including Rotary, and Rabbi David L. Silver Yeshiva Academy, he is also a founding member of Debt Watch Harrisburg. Mindlin is an honorably discharged veteran of the U. S. Navy and holds a Master of Arts degree in government with a concentration in urban studies and public policy analysis.

When minutes count, justice is only days away

Harrisburg City candidate for mayor, Nevin Mindlin, has waited since yesterday morning for a judicial holding. He’s waiting to find out if the integrity of Pennsylvania’s electoral law is best represented by redundant, arcane, unnecessary, petty requirements, or if those artificial things matter more than letting otherwise qualified candidates run for office.

Every hour that Mindlin waits, his campaign weakens a little. Every hour he waits is filled with doubt, supporters increasingly worn down by anxiety. It’s all a calculated wait, if you ask me. Sadly, Dauphin County is occasionally home to a highly politicized judiciary.

Sitting in the court room yesterday, I heard nothing to convince me that our citizens are served by a slavish adherence to confusing election laws. Over the past several years other judges around Pennsylvania have struck down or bypassed certain election law requirements, like petition circulators living in the same political district as the candidate. Their holdings excoriate the law, questioning how and why these requirements were invented.

Hopefully, Judge Bernie Coates is above the political fray. Hopefully, he looks to other judges who have recently held that representative democracy is best served by transparency and simple processes. Hopefully, the judge recognizes that Mindlin acted in good faith, in keeping with advice from county election staff, and reasonably. And hopefully the judge will himself act reasonably, and toss out this silly waste of time, and let Mindlin run for office.

My Day in Court…is Your Day in Court

This morning I joined mayoral candidate Nevin Mindlin and a contingent of other supporters and watchers in Dauphin County court. Judge Bernie Coates presided.

At issue was the contention that Mindlin had failed to name a three-person committee to replace him, in case he dies or is incapacitated before the election, and thus is now disqualified from running for office in the first place. Attorney Ron Katzman presented the charge on behalf of a nameless voter who must be very proud indeed to serve as a political stooge seeking to disenfranchise tens of thousands of voters.

Katzman made the argument that all rules that possibly could be followed must be followed, even if they are counter-intuitive and determined to not apply by the official elections staff. It sounded to me like Katzman was arguing that potential candidates for office really need to pay an attorney to carefully scrutinize the rules, so the already-onerous requirements are met. Mindlin said as much from the witness stand.

Attorney Herschel Lock represented Mindlin and made the argument that the law is vague, Mindlin followed all the clear requirements, he followed the advice of election officials, the rules and past legal holdings allow for his candidate papers to be amended, if needed, and Lock concluded by asking what sort of a voting system do Americans want: One that needs lawyers, or one that simply needs a few papers filled out?

My takeaway from the two-hour proceeding is that Pennsylvania’s election rules and forms are ridiculously onerous, and that the majority of these rules and forms serve no purpose other than to make it easier to disqualify someone for not dotting an i or crossing a t. As though dotting an i or crossing a t is what running for office is about…

Is it in the public’s interests to make it difficult to run for office? My answer, and I suspect yours, is that No, it should not be difficult to run for office. If you are crazy enough to put your name out in the public domain, and to subject yourself, your family, and your business to that kind of destructive scrutiny, then it should be easy. After all, finding candidates for office is at the core of our representative democracy. Procedurally, it should be easy to run, not hard.

Mindlin had his day in court, and I hope that he prevails, because his day is my day and it is your day, too. Freedom for Mindlin means freedom for all citizens.

It makes sense that he will win. But who ever said that politics makes sense? After all, Mindlin’s candidacy is being challenged on the flimsiest of grounds because his opponent, Eric Papenfuse, cannot stand up to him on substantive issues of ideas, trust, and job qualifications. Because of the apparent RICO violations involved with all of the Harrisburg City bond shenanigans, a strong mayor like Mindlin is a potential threat to the bipartisan parasite that feasted away on the taxpayers here. If Mindlin becomes mayor, people might actually go to jail. And because people might go to jail, and thereby expose even more alleged law breakers, who knows what kind of backroom political pressures are being exerted at the judicial level.

It is my hope that Judge Coates does what a good judge is supposed to do and what other Pennsylvania judges have been doing in recent years: Let the man run for office.

Obama’s liberty-crushing snooping created Edward Snowden

Had Barack Hussein Obama stuck to his campaign promises, and maintained a transparent government dedicated to liberty, Edward Snowden would still be an unknown bureaucrat processing satellite intercepts of terrorists talking to each other.

So egregious, so outrageous, so destructive of personal liberty is Obama’s government, that Snowden could not stay silent. He resisted totalitarianism, and had to run to one of America’s enemies for safety. Obama owns this debacle.

And no, please don’t tell me that “Bush made him do it,” as it’s a dodge. It’s dishonest. It’s untrue. Obama and his supporters must be held accountable for the tremendous damage done to American interests. Not only is Obama’s domestic spying treasonous, his overt efforts to quash domestic political resistance by using the IRS as an enforcer is treasonous. Obama’s loss of Snowden and all the data he carried is treasonous.

It’s my hope and prayer that either Obama is impeached, or court martialed after his experiment in destroying America is finished.

Division this close means widening social fractures

By Josh First

Legislating from the bench, a liberal majority on the US Supreme Court once again discards jurisprudence and picks up the hammer and saw of simple policy making.

Beginning their opinion with a personal attack on religious Americans and other traditionalists who thought that thousands of years of human history didn’t need to be tossed out a window, at least not by five people wearing ominous black robes, the Court said nothing about law or the basis of law in America. In fact, the majority opinion refers almost not at all to the Defense of Marriage Act which it overturned.

These are the same four or five Americans who do not believe that the Second Amendment to the Constitution means what it plainly says and always meant in practice among citizens since the nation’s founding. They are wildly out of touch with the law they are supposed to be upholding and protecting.

America is badly served by this sort of law-making. Why have a US Congress and an Executive branch if five unelected people can make something up themselves? And a lot of Americans aren’t impressed enough to start following this sort of top-down, Smarties-Know-Better-Than-You governance. Courts are supposed to be reluctant to toss out entire laws, because it demonstrates that the people, the citizenry, were just plain wrong. But in a Republic like America, government, and justices, operate only at the will of the governed.

That government that governs the least maintains the most credibility and fealty. Sweeping government decisions like today’s judicial legislation deeply alienate citizens from the government they believe is supposed to represent them. Remanding DOMA back to the states would have made the most sense, because marriage is a state issue.

But then again, Americans are locked in what is becoming a quiet civil war about what America is and how it is supposed to be, and the Court is becoming a friction point. These views are incompatible. One side wants adherence to the Constitution and founding principles easily obtained from the founding documents, while the other wants power through massive, intrusive, spying, monitoring, crushing, incarcerating, penalizing government. Apparently, some modern ideas are so good that they must be made mandatory…in other words, resistance to them is punishable, despite real, legitimate disagreement.

The biggest concern I have is how the First Amendment’s protection of religious liberty is going to square up with this radical holding. Religious liberty is the hallmark of American freedoms. But can a Mormon minister be breaking some law if he declines to marry a same-sex couple? If it’s yes, and he is punished, will some states fight back by jailing the same-sex couples who wed out-of-state, but who then become incarcerated in states that criminalize same-sex marriage?

All it takes is for one governor to state that he will disregard this holding for the whole thing to boomerang back on the Court. American democracy requires little screwdrivers, but the alleged Great Brains on the Court have just used a sledgehammer. The shockwaves have only begun.