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Republicans rip Dem senator over family’s tie to attorney involved in Pa. election law change

Democratic Sen. Bob Casey’s household hyperlink to an attorney involved in key Pennsylvania election law adjustments is drawing scrutiny from Republican marketing campaign operatives wanting to knock off the incumbent in the essential swing state.

An attorney on the identical Harrisburg agency as Casey’s brother-in-law Patrick Brier labored as chief counsel to Pennsylvania’s Department of State in 2020 — and was tapped to draft election procedures in red-leaning Luzerne County for 2024.

Myers, Brier and Kelly counsel Timothy Gates was tasked with hashing out election procedures after a number of Luzerne voting areas ran out of paper in the course of the 2022 midterms.

Sen. Bob Casey Jr., D-Pa., arrives at the Senate Subway on Capitol Hill Wednesday, March 20, 2024, in Washington.
Sen. Bob Casey’s household hyperlink to an attorney involved in Pennsylvania election law choices is drawing scrutiny from Republican marketing campaign operatives, because the Democrat at present holds a slight lead in his re-election race in opposition to GOP candidate Dave McCormick. AP

The fiasco saved polls open two hours previous the common closing time, prevented some would-be voters from casting ballots and led to a bipartisan investigation by a US House committee final 12 months, in accordance to the Pennsylvania Capital-Star.

Gates informed The Post that Myers, Brier and Kelly doesn’t focus on the authorized providers it offers to shoppers and that Brier, whose apply areas embody health care, energy and voting rights, was not involved in representing Luzerne County.

Former President Donald Trump received Luzerne County in 2016 and 2020 by double-digit margins.

Chester County, Pa., election workers process mail-in and absentee ballots at West Chester University in West Chester, Pa., Nov. 4, 2020.
An attorney who serves on the identical agency as Casey’s brother-in-law, Patrick Brier, labored as chief counsel to Pennsylvania’s Department of State amid controversial 2020 election adjustments. AP

Ahead of the 2020 election, Pennsylvania Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar unilaterally made adjustments to election law in response to the COVID-19 pandemic — and was later hit with lawsuits by Trump’s marketing campaign and others.

Those adjustments included accepting ballots with out verifying voter signatures and pushing the deadline for mail-in ballots with out postmarks to three days after Election Day.

Pennsylvania’s Supreme Court and the US Supreme Court upheld the state’s election law adjustments on the time, although some have since been overturned on enchantment.

This May 26, 2020 file photo shows an Official Democratic General Primary mail-in ballot and secrecy envelope, for the Pennsylvania primary in Pittsburgh.
Pennsylvania’s Supreme Court and the US Supreme Court upheld the state’s election law adjustments on the time, although some have since been overturned on enchantment. AP

“Bob Casey’s close personal relationship with the law firm that has been instrumental in rewriting the rules of Pennsylvania’s elections raises serious questions,” National Republican Senatorial Committee spokesman Philip Letsou informed The Post.

“To ensure Pennsylvanians can remain confident in the integrity of their elections, Casey must call for any of his family members involved in litigation related to the 2024 elections to immediately recuse themselves,” he added.

A spokeswoman for Casey’s marketing campaign declined to remark.

Casey is at present main Republican Dave McCormick in the RealClearPolitics polling average by 4.8 share factors, with the newest survey from the New York Times exhibiting him with only a 2-point cushion.

Votes are counted at the Pennsylvania Convention Center on Election Day in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, November 3, 2020.
“Bob Casey’s close personal relationship with the law firm that has been instrumental in rewriting the rules of Pennsylvania’s elections raises serious questions,” National Republican Senatorial Committee spokesman Philip Letsou informed The Post. REUTERS

On Wednesday, Casey made a rare public appearance beside President Biden forward of a marketing campaign occasion in Philadelphia.

Trump is forward of Biden in the Keystone State by 2.3 share factors in the RCP average.

Brier’s authorized work has intersected with Casey’s public service earlier than.

The senator visited his hometown of Scranton final 12 months to tout $200,000 in grant funding for the nonprofit Maternal Family Health Services, for which Brier started lobbying on the state-level in December 2021, the Philadelphia-based nonprofit outlet Broad and Liberty reported.

Chester County, Pa. election workers process mail-in and absentee ballots for the 2020 general election in the United States at West Chester University, Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2020, in West Chester, Pa.
Brier’s work in the Keystone State has intersected at different occasions with Casey’s public service. AP

In 2022, Brier additionally lobbied on the state-level for a Medicaid-managed well being care firm months earlier than the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) was going to launch a scathing report on the group’s efforts to increase income by denying therapy and advantages, according to the same outlet.

Casey had pushed for the audit in a 2019 letter to HHS’ inspector basic following investigative studies on the scandal by the Dallas Morning News.

More than 20 years in the past, Brier helped Luzerne County settle a case involving “$2.03 million in Medicare overcharges to the federal government and unspecified Medicaid undercharges to the state government” at Valley Crest nursing house, the Wilkes Barre Times-Leader reported.

A county official in 2002 remarked to the outlet that Brier shouldn’t have gotten involved “because he’s too connected” — and instructed the hiring of his agency shielded the county’s Democratic commissioners from state scrutiny.

At the time, Casey was making an unsuccessful bid for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination and boasted in the course of the major marketing campaign of getting “uncovered a crisis in our state’s nursing homes” throughout his stint because the state’s auditor basic starting in 1997.

But regardless of probing not less than 25 nursing houses, Casey uncovered no billing points in Luzerne County’s Valley Crest, which had been included in his statewide audit.

Casey informed the Wilkes Barre Times-Leader that he disclosed Brier’s authorized work as an “affiliation [that] could reasonably be perceived to constitute a conflict of interest” on his state “code of conduct” statements between 1996 and 2000.

He additionally stated that he and his brother-in-law had not talked “about Valley Crest or about state work.”

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