Former Penn State assistant football coach Jay Paterno has recently come under fire in his campaign for Pennsylvania lieutenant governor. Brad Koplinski, who is also running for the Democratic nomination for the office, says 200 of the signatures on Paterno’s petition to officially run for office are in question. Koplinski is saying that Paterno’s petition contains signatures of people not registered to vote and registered Republicans.
There are many things we can say about all this, but until the matter is cleared in court, a lot of questions are left to be answered. The person who is saying the signatures aren’t all good is running against Paterno for the democratic nomination. But the facts are the facts — Paterno did receive 1,117 signatures.
Many candidates announce months in advance they are running, while Paterno only had less than a month since he announced his intention to run late. Paterno also only got a little more than 1,000 signatures. Some politicians get well into the five-digit range to be safe.
One could argue the Paterno name doesn’t have the prestige that it once did, seeing that he only got 1,117 signatures in support of him running. But that could have just come from a lack of time, and couldn’t be proven until an actual election.
What it does exemplify is a possible harbinger of Paterno in office — if he only spends two weeks getting just enough signatures to run, what would his tenure as lieutenant governor be like? Paterno did announce his campaign late, but “just getting enough” should not be the first thing he does on his way to public office. Paterno has much less political experience than many other candidates — he should be doing all he can to prove he is the best person for the job.
While we can’t say much about the validity of the signatures, we can say Paterno put himself in a bad position by beginning his campaign by doing just above the minimum. We should be seeing from him an attempt to go above and beyond all the time, even if it is just for lieutenant governor, and even if it is just for signatures.