Thursday, March 25, 2010

Who stabbed Pia Varma in the back?

Pia Varma, a Republican challenger to Democratic U.S. Rep. Bob Brady, a career politician who has held Pennsylvania's First Congressional District seat since 1998, has been knocked off the ballot.

The candidate blames fellow Republicans for challenging the signatures on her nominating petition but GOP officials blame Brady.

Either way, it shows you that politics is a contact sport. If you're going to take on a political giant like Brady in a one-party town like Philadelphia, be prepared for anything.

From a story by reporter Miriam Hill in The Philadelphia Inquirer:
Pia Varma, the Republican challenger to U.S. Rep. Bob Brady who dubbed herself the "Liberty Belle," has been temporarily silenced, and she's blaming her fellow party members.

Yesterday, Commonwealth Court Judge Johnny J. Butler ordered Varma removed as a candidate from the May primary ballot in the First Congressional District because she failed to submit at least 1,000 valid signatures of registered voters on nominating petitions for her campaign.

Varma, 27, pointed the finger at Republican City Committee Chairman Vito Canuso and General Counsel Michael Meehan for the problem. She said she relied on them to gather legitimate signatures.

"The Republican Party in the city of Philadelphia is either incompetent, or they're corrupt," she said.

She said she believed city Republicans had a deal with Brady to keep her off the ballot.

Canuso denied that.

"It's a shame what happened, but I think she is misinformed," Canuso said. "She should call me and talk to me about rather than make comments, but she's allowed."

Meehan could not be reached for comment.

Brady said Varma and the party "should do their job like we have to do our job in the Democratic Party." He said he played no role in the effort to remove Varma from the ballot.

"It's a shame for this lady. She put her trust in someone. They didn't do the job," Brady said.
Read the full story at the newspaper's Web site.

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