Friday, November 30, 2007

Bopp Seeks Supreme Court's Intervention In Terre Haute Mayoral Recount

The attorney for Mayor-elect Duke Bennett (R), Jim Bopp, is asking the Indiana Supreme Court to overturn a ruling by a Vigo County Superior Court judge ordering a recount in the Terre Haute mayoral race. Bopp is arguing a very technical point in this case, but he claims it is based on rulings handed down by judges in other recount cases based upon the plain language of the recount statute. The AP reports:

Bennett's attorney, James Bopp Jr., this week asked Vigo Superior Court Judge David Bolk to throw out the recount request and the election challenge on a technicality.

Bopp argued that the paperwork did not include Bennett's full name, including his middle initial, as it appeared on the ballot as required by law. But Bolk denied his motions, and Thursday Bopp asked the state Supreme Court to intervene.

"It's fatal to the case because it's jurisdictional," Bopp said. "The court does not have jurisdiction over this matter unless it's properly done."

Burke's attorney, Ed DeLaney, is none too pleased with Bopp's maneuver. The story reports, "Attorney Ed DeLaney, who represents Burke, said that Bennett's side doesn't want a recount or challenge, "and they want to stop Judge Bolk from doing that over the letter 'A'." DeLaney deflected attention away from his technical error in filing Burke's recount to his belated attempt to disqualify Bennett from serving as mayor under the Hatch Act. "They do not want to ever explain how Mr. Bennett complied with the Hatch Act," DeLaney said. "There is no circumstance under which they are willing to answer that question." Of course, DeLaney fails to mention that the same circumstances existed with Bennett's employment when he ran for mayor against Burke four years ago as they did this year. Burke never raised the issue until after he lost the election. Burke did, however, level a Hatch Act challenge at his Democratic primary opponent this year, who was a law enforcement officer.

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