This week, the Democratic machine crushed the hopes of independent members of the LGBT community when they successfully blocked activist Richard Hernandez from appearing on the ballot for a seat on the Pima County Board of Supervisors. Pima County Superior Court Judge Jeffrey Bergin ruled that Hernandez was seven nominating signature short based on a technicality.
Hernandez needed 810 valid signatures. He gathered 1,056. The democrats, through Cathy Kennedy and their attorney, Vince Rabago, challenged 312. The Court determined that 274 were from invalid electors.
The Judge found that one ailing friend, Ms. Diana Araiza, had not signed the back of the petitions she had circulated. As a result 24 signatures were invalidated. The signatures were invalidated based on the fact that while she and Hernandez circulated the petitions at her birthday party, it was he and not her who signed the petitions.
According to Hernandez, Pima County gave him a map of the boundaries this year in which he could gather signatures. He proceeded to gather signatures based on that map. However in court a handful of signatures were invalidated because the boundaries had changed during redistricting. No explanation was provided has to why was given an out-of-date map.
Hernandez said he is contemplating an appeal, but he recognizes that the Pima powers-that-be will make any challenge to the status quo whether in court or on the campaign trail nearly impossible.
The requirements for getting on the ballot are designed to benefit the parties: democrats need 147 signatures, republicans need 108, libertarians need 69, and greens need 20. Independent candidates need 810.