Original jurisdiction in case of In Re: General Election Expenses of Milton J. Shapp in the General Election of November 5, 1974.
Perrin C. Hamilton, with him Christopher F. Stouffer, and Hamilton, Darmopray & Malloy, for petitioners.
Israel Packel, with him Fox, Rothschild, O'Brien & Frankel, for respondents.
Frederick L. Voigt, with him David E. Prewitt, for amicus curiae, Committee of Seventy.
President Judge Bowman and Judges Crumlish, Jr., Wilkinson, Jr., Mencer, Rogers and Blatt. Judge Kramer did not participate. Opinion by Judge Blatt.
[ 28 Pa. Commw. Page 164]
This is an action within our original jurisdiction*fn1
[ 28 Pa. Commw. Page 165]
brought by five electors of this state (petitioners) to compel the filing of a supplemental expense account by the respondents, who are various individual citizens*fn2 and a committee of citizens known as Pennsylvanians for Shapp-Kline. The petitioners also seek an audit of an expense account filed by the committee with the Bureau of Elections (Bureau) on December 5, 1974. We are concerned here with the preliminary objections filed by the respondents to the petition.
Pennsylvanians for Shapp-Kline was a political committee organized to further the candidacies of Milton J. Shapp and Ernest P. Kline for Governor and Lieutenant Governor, respectively, in the general election of 1974. It received and disbursed monies to cover the election expenses of these candidates and Mrs. Mawby was the committee treasurer. Pursuant to Section 1607(a) of the Pennsylvania Election Code*fn3 (Election Code), 25 P.S. § 3227(a), the committee filed an expense account with the Bureau on December 5, 1974, which listed all disbursements made, contributions received, and liabilities of the committee as of November 4, 1974, the day before the general election.
On May 21, 1976, some eighteen months after the filing of the report, an article appeared in The Evening Bulletin, a Philadelphia newspaper, which quoted Mrs. Mawby, in replying to questions about the report, as saying that additional monies had been contributed to the committee after the election which had not been reported to the Bureau. The article also suggested that some contributions which had been made to the committee before November 4, 1974 had not been reported in the expense account filed on December
[ 28 Pa. Commw. Page 1665]
, 1974. The petitioners filed their petition in this Court on June 18, 1976, seeking an order compelling the committee to file a supplemental expense account detailing the contributions made on election day and afterwards, and also asking an audit of the expense account filed by the committee on December 5, 1974. The respondents have filed preliminary objections in the nature of a demurrer arguing that: (1) the supplemental account ...