Let’s now turn to the issue of independents and third parties. We’ve all heard of the disproportionate signatures needed for independent and third party candidates to obtain ballot access as compared to Republicans and Democrats. We’ve all heard of the insane petitions challenges and reasons to keep independents off the ballot. It’s nothing less than economic intimidation, as I have dubbed it, to be compelled to pay to defend against challenges to ballot inclusion. I can assure you the horror stories are true, but all that would not matter if only our elected officials took their oaths seriously. Might I refer back to Article 1, Section 5: Elections shall be free and equal. What is it about that statement that a two-year-old can understand but our entrenched politicians cannot?
Category Archives: Initiatives
Recently, the non-profit organization “Reporters’ Without Borders” released their annual “Press Freedom” index, ranking the United States 46th in overall press freedom. So, it may come as no surprise that today’s media has abdicated their responsibility to keep government honest. We are all aware of the First Amendment protecting the press freedom, and that’s because the press should be, in essence, the fourth branch, holding government (including local) both accountable and transparent. Clearly, the press has failed in this regard. We aim to forgo “political access” and bias in favor of reporting the truth and exposing corruption at all levels of government.
Here at the Independent Gazette, we’ve always sought to bring you the news that other outlets won’t, whether it be coverage of free and equal elections or the breaking “Custody4Cash” scandal. We are the newspaper that whistleblowers turn to when there is no one else to trust, and when other papers are too afraid of angering large corporations or government bigshots to print a citizen’s ordeal with such powers. Our goal has always been to report the truth as we find it, and to be a voice for the voiceless.
The Independent Gazette is continuing to keep tabs on the status of SB 195, the Voters’ Choice Act. Below is an email we’ve been sending to Pennsylvania Senators’ staffs.
Win Cash in the Cause for Liberty! Announcing the first annual high school Liberty Essay Contest, sponsored by Luzerne County Campaign for Liberty in conjunction with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Independent Gazette.
The Independent Gazette, along with Sanity Check radio, now plans to take our NEPA initiative concerning the Voters’ Choice Act (VCA), statewide. Your responses will be printed in our Scranton, Wilkes-Barre, and Pocono editions. Our radio show airs in northeastern Pennsylvania Saturday morning, and in the Philadelphia market Saturday evening and the VCA will be discussed extensively on those programs also.
So what is jury nullification? The first question that must be determined is, What is the role of the juror? Is that role to judge the facts of the case and render a decision on the law as given by the sitting judge, or is it to determine that justice ultimately be served? Do we find at the federal level the Department of Laws or the Department of Justice?
One of the WBIG‘s April initiatives was to determine how our local representatives would vote on the Voters’ Choice Act, a bill introduced in the Pennsylvania Senate by Senator Mike Folmer and co-sponsored by local legislator Senator Lisa Baker. The legislation, known as SB 195, would essentially even the playing field for third parties who wish to be included on the November General Election ballot, and adhere to our state constitution’s mandate of “free and equal” elections.
The Independent Gazette recently inquired of Luzerne County District Attorney Stefanie Salavantis and Luzerne County Judges Thomas Burke, Jennifer Rogers, Michael Vough, William Amesbury, Tina Polachek Gartley, David Lupas, Fred Pierantoni, Lesa Gelb, Joseph Sklarosky, Jr., and Richard Hughes what their thoughts were on jury nullification—what rights, if any, jurors possess, and what would happen in their own courtroom should a defense attorney instruct the jury of its rights.
The Independent Gazette visited the Luzerne County Courthouse Thursday, April 11th, and personally delivered the following letter to the county judges to whom it’s addressed. We will be following up on responses throughout the next couple of weeks.