‘Occupy’ Candidate Nathan Kleinman Withdraws from Ballot

Nathan Kleinman, a member of Occupy Philly and congressional candidate for Pennsylvania’s 13th District, faced perhaps the largest hurdle in his run against Congresswoman Allyson Schwartz this morning. Schwartz recently challenged Kleinman’s 1,500+ signatures to get on the ballot and a hearing was held today to hear Kleinman’s motion to dismiss the challenge.

Representing himself, Kleinman argued in Commonwealth Court that he was not properly served legal papers by Schwartz’s people. That motion was denied.

He now says instead of going through with months of court proceedings, he will withdraw from the ballot and run as a write-in candidate.

“I withdrew my application when it became apparent that the court was not going to accept my motion to dismiss the case,” Kleinman tells PW, adding that if the people of the 13th District want him in office, “Democrats will write my name in, and I’m confident I can win this race as a write-in candidate.”

He says his campaign cannot handle the legal fees or the time constraint being in court would have presented.

“It’s more worth my time to focus on actually helping people and listening to voters’ problems, going to community meetings, feeding the homeless and doing all the things that I do on a daily basis, rather than go to court,” Kleinman says.

In addition to his work with Occupy, Kleinman is a human rights activist and recently worked on the campaign of former Congressman Joe Sestak and as a legal assistant to Pennsylvania State Rep. Josh Shapiro.

He told reporters this morning that the write-in campaign is more “the Occupy way to go, anyway.”

Today’s hearing is not the end of the ordeal, though. Kleinman claims the Schwartz campaign is now making motions against him. “They’re trying to get me to pay their legal fees,” he says. Kleinman adds that’s “the most shocking part of the whole affair.” He notes it’s ironic the Schwartz campaign wants him to pay their legal fees when they have more than $2 million in their campaign bank account. Kleinman made a point when he began running that he would not accept any corporate donations.

Schwartz’ office confirmed as much. “It’s a legal option for the campaign to request that Nate Kleinman pay legal fees,” says Rachel Magnuson, Rep. Allyson Schwartz’s Chief of Staff. “Judge Friedman [the judge who heard the case this morning] agreed to consider that. We have not made a decision of whether we will pursue that option or not, but it is an option that the judge is willing to consider.”

4 Responses to “ ‘Occupy’ Candidate Nathan Kleinman Withdraws from Ballot ”

  1. Joe says:

    Pennsylvania Democrats do this all the time. Just another reason why PA is one of the most a fucked up states around, and why the Democrats are shitty spineless shits.

    From the PW in December of 2010:

    “Pennsylvania is one of four states in the U.S. with ballot restrictions that many would call harsh: Third-party candidates are required to have 19,082 signatures, which are often challenged by a major- party candidate. And when the major-party candidate has the money for expensive attorneys and the third-party candidate does not, the independent is often forced off the ballot, as was the case in Pennsylvania during the last three election cycles. Most recently, Green Party Senate candidate Mel Packer got booted off with a handwriting-expert challenge by Joe Sestak’s campaign.

    In 2006, a team of lawyers retained by the Democratic Party helped get Green Party candidate Carl Romanelli erased from ballots, at which time Sen. Bob Casey’s Communications Director Larry Smar told the press: “It’s 14:59 and Romanelli’s 15 minutes of fame are up.” Romanelli was ordered to pay more than the reported $89,000 in court costs plus the Democratic Party’s legal bills in the challenge. But he’s yet to hand over a cent of it. “I did nothing wrong,” he writes in an email to PW. “Crimes were committed against my right to speak and run for office, so I refuse to pay the attorney and co-conspirators for the pleasure of being a victim of state-funded crime.”

    http://www.philadelphiaweekly.com/news-and-opinion/Its-Easy-Being-Green-With-Help-of-Labor-Unions.html

    Is this a real fucking democracy?

  2. [...] Candidate Kleinman Strategy: Withdraw from PA-13 BallotPoliticsPAPW-Philadelphia Weekly (blog) -Politico (blog)all 7 news [...]

  3. [...] Candidate Kleinman Strategy: Withdraw from PA-13 BallotPoliticsPAPW-Philadelphia Weekly (blog) -Politico (blog)all 8 news [...]

  4. jody says:

    wow, so disturbing. Allyson, I hope you are some day forced to come to terms with what a cowardly sell-out you’ve become. Enjoy keeping your job at all costs.

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