FROM THE MASSGOP:
| MassDems fail in scheme to keep Republican Helen Brady off of election ballot
July 13, 2020
WOBURN — Republican Helen Brady has prevailed in her fight against a Massachusetts Democratic Party scheme to prevent a strong conservative female voice from challenging entrenched U.S. Rep. Bill Keating this fall.
“Here you had the vice chairman of the Massachusetts Democratic Party lodging a formal complaint during a health pandemic to try and keep a woman off of an election ballot,” Brady said, referencing Leon Brathwaite, who filed the original objection.
“The Democrats had a problem with a woman utilizing technology to collect electronic signatures, and most of all they had a problem with a woman daring to challenge a member of their old boy’s club and one of their Washington insiders.
Keating was first elected to the state Legislature in 1976, before being elected to Congress in 2010.
Massachusetts Republican Party Chairman Jim Lyons also called the state Supreme Judicial Court’s ruling striking down the state Ballot Law Commission’s decision knocking Brady off the general election ballot “a win for anyone who has ever challenged Massachusetts’ one-party political rule.”
“The SBLC’s commissioners, almost all of them activist Democrats masquerading as objective arbiters, have been exposed,” Lyons said. “At the very least, these commissioners should be middle-of-the-road.
“Helen Brady is a strong conservative woman who played by the rules to qualify for the general election ballot, so naturally the radical Democrats tried to pull off as many partisan schemes as possible to keep her from challenging the status quo. But they underestimated Helen’s determination.”
LIBERAL BOARD WITH HISTORY OF DONATIONS TO DEMOCRATS (AND ALL APPOINTED BY LIBERAL SO-CALLED REPUBLICAN MASS. GOV. CHARLIER BAKER)
A glance at the history of political donations made by the majority of current SBLC commissioners reveals an alarming pattern of bias. Within the last decade, state campaign finance records show Commissioner Sarah Herlihy has donated more than $2,000 exclusively to Democratic candidates.
Commissioner Peggy Ho has a similar record, having donated to the campaigns of Democrats including current Suffolk County District Attorney Rachael Rollins and Boston City Councilor Michelle Wu, not to mention $1,000 to U.S. Rep. Katherine Clark and more than $500 to Democrat Hillary Clinton’s failed presidential campaign.
Commissioner Jennifer Chunias donated $1,000 to Rollins in 2018 in addition to other Democrats.
Lyons also noted that Commissioner Brian Merrick, a retired Orleans District Court judge who now serves as the chairman of the SBLC, has published op-eds and written amicus briefs opposing the federal charges lodged against Newton District Court Judge Shelley Joseph for coaching an illegal immigrant facing drug charges on how to evade federal authorities assigned to detain him.
Additionally, the state in 2012 reprimanded Merrick “for repeatedly engaging in conduct while sitting in Orleans District Court that failed to follow well-established procedural requirements” related to adjudicating motor vehicle law infractions.
“There’s a one-party system dominating this state that is growing more rotten with each passing day,” Lyons said. “We need more strong Republican women like Helen who will stand up and say they’re not going to take it anymore.”
Said Brady: “This is not only a victory for my candidacy, but for every registered voter in Massachusetts who signed my nomination papers.
“The fact that the Massachusetts Democratic Party and Rep. Keating would stoop so low as to challenge my signatures is indicative of how threatened they feel of my candidacy. This was a blatantly partisan scheme that only further exposes the danger of having one-party rule.”
Link to press release
High Court Clears Congressional Candidate for Ballot
by Chris Lisinski
State House News Service
JULY 13, 2020…..Republican candidate Helen Brady will challenge Congressman Bill Keating this fall after all.
The state’s highest court ruled Monday that Brady is eligible for the ballot, overturning a decision from the State Ballot Law Commission that blocked her access based on how her campaign collected and submitted electronic nomination signatures.
Three days after hearing arguments in the case, the Supreme Judicial Court ordered Secretary of State William Galvin to print Brady’s name on the Sept. 1 Republican primary election ballot.
Last month, following a complaint by registered Ninth Congressional District voter Leon Arthur Brathwaite II, the SBLC deemed Brady ineligible to run because a third-party vendor her campaign used to collect electronic signatures stored them in a separate file and then imported them into the final nomination paper document.
The commission ruled that process violated a requirement in an SJC decision outlining e-signature use that campaigns had to submit “native” documents onto which voters directly affixed their signatures.
However, the SJC disagreed with that interpretation of its own ruling.
In a brief two-page order, the court said that the process Brady used “complied in substance with the material requirements” of the so-called Goldstein ruling. A lengthier opinion outlining justices’ reasoning for vacating the SBLC decision was not available Monday.
Brady could not be reached for immediate comment on the decision Monday afternoon. It’s the third straight election cycle that she’s running – former Rep. Cory Atkins of Concord defeated Brady in 2016 and in 2018 Brady lost her statewide race to Auditor Suzanne Bump.
Her attorney, Christopher Kenney, had argued that blocking her from the ballot on the technical point would have violated her equal protection constitutional rights, noting that 39 other candidates — including several who qualified for the ballot — used the same company to collect signatures but did not face any consequences because their eligibility was not challenged.
Kenney likened Brady being denied ballot access to a case in which police stop several drivers for speeding but “only issued a ticket to my client.”
The Massachusetts Democratic Party attempted to intervene in the case, with attorney Gerald McDonough representing both the party and Brathwaite. Using the same speeding metaphor as Kenney, McDonough argued that Brady was figuratively “the only person pulled over by the state police” rather than the only one punished amid others caught speeding.
The decision all but ensures that Keating, a five-term Democratic incumbent with no declared primary challenger, will face a major party opponent in his bid for re-election. Brady is the only Republican eligible to run in the district, so she has a clear path to the Nov. 3 general election.
In Brady’s initial appeal to the court, her attorney described her as a resident of Concord — a town in the Third Congressional District represented by Congresswoman Lori Trahan.
Opponents of a proposal to increase access to automobile telematic data filed a challenge with the SBLC last week, arguing that the campaign behind the question used the same signature-gathering vendor, VenueX, as Brady.
On Monday, hours after the SJC decided in Brady’s favor, the secretary of state announced that the challengers withdrew their objection and that the so-called right-to-repair question was certified to appear on the ballot.
In a separate ruling Monday, the SJC denied congressional hopeful Rayla Campbell’s request to gain ballot access after she did not meet the reduced signature threshold of 1,000.
Campbell, who intended to run as a Republican challenger to Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley, had argued that her signature-gathering effort was disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic because of the Seventh Congressional District’s demographics.
“Although the limited record presented in this case may be insufficient alone to permit the conclusion that the COVID-19 pandemic has had a greater adverse impact on communities of color, we do not doubt this to be true,” the justices wrote in their order. “Indeed, COVID-19 statistics released by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health demonstrate this to be true, not only in cities and towns in the Seventh Congressional District, but elsewhere in the Commonwealth.”
“The truth of that assertion, however, does not affect our conclusion that we should preserve the uniform signature threshold set in Goldstein, and not allow that threshold potentially to differ depending on the particular demographic, economic, political, or geographic circumstances in each district,” they continued.