Health - August 24, 2012


Election News

Last week, Rep. Joseph Brennan announced that he will not seek re-election in November and will retire at the end of this term.  He missed the August 13 deadline to remove his name from the ballot and initially election officials said his name would remain on the ballot.  On Thursday of this week, Commonwealth Court ruled that Rep. Brennan’s name could be removed from the ballot and that Democrats would be allowed to name a replacement.  The Democratic State Committee will meet with party leaders from Northampton and Lehigh counties to discuss possible candidates.  The state party’s executive board will have to make a final decision and approval of the candidate.  As many as four possible candidates have been named for the spot.  Democrats have until 4 PM next Wednesday to name their candidate.

This week, a county judge denied former Rep. Bill DeWeese's request for a new trial.  With that ruling, Rep. DeWeese's attorneys can appeal his conviction to the State Supreme Court.  Up until last week, DeWeese was still on the ballot for the November election.  Then a judge ruled that his conviction makes him an ineligible candidate.  Lawyers had also filed a motion to modify DeWeese's prison sentence and that was also denied.

Senator-elect Randy Vulakovich will be sworn into office on August 29 after winning the August 7 special election to fill former state Senator Jane Orie’s seat.  Senator-elect Vulakovich previously served three terms in the state House and also served 27 years as sergeant with the Shaler Township Police Department.

Voter ID Update

The increasingly controversial Voter ID law will head to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court after a judge refused to rule against the law.  Judge Robert Simpson did not rule on whether the law violates the state constitution but said that the plaintiffs did not “prove that voter disenfranchisement would be immediate or inevitable."  He also stated that he did not believe that the plaintiffs would not be able to obtain an ID in time for the election due to the state’s recently announced plan to issue special IDs for such voters.