Democrats in Pennsylvania are getting desperate. In fact, this is happening in spots all across the nation. A far left-wing group is trying to get Republican state Senator Doug Mastriano from the state governor’s race, alleging that he took part in the insurrection on January 6th. Let me point out that there was no insurrection because no one tried to overthrow the government. And protests are a form of free speech, protected by the Constitution.
Mastriano is the leading candidate to get the Republican nomination for governor and he would be running against the ethical challenged Democrat, Attorney General Josh Shapiro. Mastriano could very easily win depending on how many votes the Democrats import from New York. Therefore the Democrats want to take no chances.
This alleged insurrection supposedly culminated in the security breach on Jan. 6, 2021, at the U.S. Capitol complex. Supporters of President Trump delayed the certification of the election results but took no action to stop it other than to urge those connected with the certification to withhold certification. Again, that is not insurrection, that is exercising their right to free speech. Some did commit crimes, but not insurrection.
They are now trying to get Mastriano kicked off the ballot saying that his actions triggered the rarely invoked Disqualification Clause in Section 3 of the 14th Amendment. That amendment was put in place to prevent legislators who seceded from the Union from ever holding public office again. This was hardly the same thing.
The provision states in the relevant part: “No person shall hold any office under any state, who, having previously taken an oath or as a member of any state legislature any state, to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof.”
A nonprofit called Free Speech For People is urging Acting Secretary of the Commonwealth Leigh Chapman, a Democrat, to bar Mastriano “from appearing on the ballot for election to any state office in Pennsylvania,” according to a letter (pdf) the group recently sent to Chapman.
“You have the authority and responsibility to determine, as part of the state ballot qualification process, that because Mr. Mastriano engaged in the January 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, Mr. Mastriano is ineligible to appear on the gubernatorial ballot or on any other ballot for office in the state of Pennsylvania,” the letter states.