“Upon information and belief, the Storobin Petition is fraudulent, insufficient, ineffective, false, and invalid and null and void,” an order to show cause, prepared by the campaign of Democratic State Senate candidate Simcha Felder, argued to the State Supreme Court yesterday.
Mr. Felder’s legal position is that the signatures gathered by incumbent State Senator David Storobin to get on the ballot for reelection are so rife with fraud that they should be tossed out altogether.
This is hardly the first time Mr. Storobin, whose team will need to present their counter-argument at the Kings County Courthouse next Monday morning, has battled a fraud lawsuit in recent weeks. Months after voters headed to the polls, he famously won a special election for his current seat – by a mere 13 votes — due to an unsuccessful fraud lawsuit against his absentee ballot operation and faced many of the same arguments Mr. Felder is now presenting.
For what it’s worth, Jacob Kornbluh, a Brooklyn Republican politico who headed Mr. Storobin’s signature efforts this time around, told The Politicker all of their gatherers were trained and, “There is no way that these signatures were collected under any circumstances of criminal act or unknown to rule of law.”
Here’s a sampling of Mr. Felder’s claims, which were numerated alphabetically and ran out of letters:
Upon information and belief, the Storobin Petition is invalid by reason of the following:
(a) the Storobin Petition does not contain the minimum number of required valid signatures;
(b) many of the signatures were not personally signed by the persons whose names appear upon the Storobin Petition, but their names were signed by others;
(c) many of the signers were not registered or enrolled from the addresses given in the Storobin petition
(d) many of the signers did not sign their names to the Storobin Petition in the presence of the subsccribing witness on the dates indicated in the Storobin Petition
(e) the signatures, including signatures obtained by the responded Storobin, were obtaind by fraud;
(f) signers were paid to sign the Storobin Petition;
(g) signatures have been altered;
(h) witness statements have been altered;
(i) dates have been altered;
(j) signatures, including signatures obtained and witnessed by respondent Storobin have been forged;
(k) subscribing witnesses’ initials have been forged;
(l) dates and/or addresses have been omitted or are incomplete;
(m) signatures and/or dates and/or addresses are illegible;
(n) signers are not enrolled as Republicans;
(o) subscribing witnesses are not registered at the address indicated or do not actually reside at said address;
(p) subscribing witnesses are not enrolled as Republicans;
(q) subscribing witnesses were paid to collect signatures on a per signature basis;
(r) signers do not live in the political unit;
(s) witness statements have been signed before completed;
(t) notaries public or commissioners of deeds failed to properly administer oaths when taking signatures;
(u) the Storobin Petition is paginated improperly;
(v) the number of signatures omitted or wrong;
(w) signatures were obtained prior to first day for circulation of designating petitions
(x) signers previously signed another candidate’s designating petition for the same office;
(y) the Storobin Petition is permeated with fraud;
(z) the respondent Storobin committed fraud in witnessing signatures;
(aa) the Storobin Petition is invalid for other grounds which will be established at the hearing of this proceeding.
This is a fairly standard list, Mr. Felder will likely narrow down his arguments to specific points when he submits a bill of particulars.
Whether or not there will be enough to invalidate a significant majority of Mr. Storobin’s signatures, such as to reduce him to less than 1,000 valid Republican signatures needed to remove him from his main party line, remains to be seen. Otherwise, Mr. Felder’s team will need to have very solid evidence of fraud.
View the full order to show cause below: