December 22 – Closed door meetings in Harrisburg yesterday tried to hammer out what to do with the Pennsylvania House of Representatives.
The main purpose was to talk about the special elections for the seats still open in the House.
There are three seats in Allegheny County that have not been decided. Two of the representatives have moved on to different positions – one in the PA governor’s office and one in the US House of Representatives. The third seat was held by a man who passed away October 9 and was still voted in.
Representative Rob Kauffman said, “There were oral arguments in commonwealth court yesterday regarding who has the authority to call a special election? The speaker or the presiding officer has the authority to call a special election, but of course we know the Democrat leader declared herself the presiding officer in the midst of having 99 members to our 101 members.”
Republicans took it to court to contest it.
Kauffman said, “We deemed she did not have that authority. The Department of State, which accepts what they call writs of election run by the Democrats, they accepted the writ of election, so we had to take them to court to say this is not a valid writ of election or determination of when an election will be.”
It sounded like Judge Renée Cohn Jubelirer wanted the parties to continue to talk and mediate and negotiate.
Kauffman said, “Not to be disrespectful to her, maybe 15 years ago, 20 years ago when she was elected to the bench, that would have worked, but the Democrats see power in their eyes and they are just, they’re going for it and they will supersede the law if they have to and I know she does not want to have to make the decision, but she’s going to have to put her big person britches on and make the decision and determine the legality of their writ of election or not.”