Philadelphia comeback dead: Josephs bumped from ballot

    Former State Rep. Babette Josephs won’t be running for her old Center City Philadelphia legislative seat this year after all.

    Commonwealth Court Judge Anne Covey has knocked Josephs off the ballot for the May 20 primary after taking a close look at her nominating petitions.

    There’s a old expression in Philadelphia politics — a “kitchen table job” is what you get when somebody gathering nominating signatures for a candidate sits down at home with a voter list and forges names on his petitions.

    Veteran election attorney Adam Bonin represented voters who challenged Josephs’ petitions and he says says that’s what happened on several of Babette Josephs’ nominating petitions.

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    “The fraud on those first five pages was as bad as I’ve seen in any race,” Bonin said. “Quite frankly I was flabbergasted that someone as experienced as Mrs. Josephs submitted them.”

    Well-known blogger Duncan Black found his name on one of those pages, signed in handwriting that looked strikingly like other voters’ purported signatures.

    “It was pretty obvious that they were forged because they were all written in the same hand,” Black said.

    It took less than an hour for Judge Covey to hear arguments and remove Josephs from the ballot, so Josephs won’t get a rematch with fellow Democrat Brian Sims, who beat her in a close election two years ago.

    Josephs says she’s not sure how the faulty petitions were gathered, but doesn’t concede they were fraudulent,  just “not in accordance with the law.”

    The 73-year old added, “don’t stick a fork in me. I’m not done.”

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