曾于四个月前(2015年12月6日)来到西雅图筹款的宾州第七选区国会议员参选人、现年25岁的李林笛(Lindy Li)昨天通过Facebook宣布退选,原因是:“李林笛的民主党初选对手以候选人名列选票必需的联署请愿签名不符规定为由,将李林笛告上法庭,经过法院多日对比证实,李林笛的联署书确有多出疏漏,不合要求。根据宾州法律,国会参选人如果要名列初选选票,必需获得1000个选区内合格的选民的联署签名,李林笛团队提交了2470份,但是被认证的有效联署没有达到法定要求的1000份,从而失去了候选人的资格。”由于12月6日李林笛在西雅图的筹款活动募集了近6万美元的捐款,而她在全美国募集的款项超过60万美元。李林笛的退选,引起了华人、特别是美国各地为她捐款的华人的极大关注。


李林迪退选之后,社交网络上有各种负面传闻,有一些不一定完全符合事实,在此仅供参考。比如微信平台Civil Rights的文章说,李林笛筹得捐款50多万,其中十几万用来打了这场官司!这篇文章还指出:李林笛“一开始参选的是第7选区。当时有朋友在我们的小群中说,这压根看不到希望啊,而且怎么还到处跑,不赶紧在当地拉票?结果,我们谁也想不到的是,突然就换到了第6选区,当然,还是一如既往在选区之外到处跑拉华人的募捐。选举拼的是当地民众对候选人的支持,选区居然可以中途更换,实在是大出我们的意料。而把宝贵的时间花在选区之外的群体之中,也是令人不解的地方。更令人不解的是,无论是在哪一个选区,宣传中总是充满了希望。甚至在连1000有效签名都拿不到的情况下,还宣传在民调中领先竞争者!”

2470份签名,居然一千多份无效?这些无效的签名从哪里来的呢?根据美联社报道,“from unregistered voters, people in other districts and members of other parties”。亦即,从非注册选民中、从其它选区的选民中、从其它党派的成员中。非注册以及外地选民都可以签名为竞选联署,这是匪夷所思的。


目前部分西雅图的李林笛竞选国会议员的支持者希望李林笛及其团队能够依法处置竞选捐款的余款,避免打击华人支持同胞参政的热情。Catherine Duan说:“有志向从政,更要在筹款费用上一丝不苟,应该按法律办事,才能赢得公信力”。曾大力支持李林笛的诚信地产总裁李程天表示,美国有竞选财务法律,关于退款的事情,希望李林笛的竞选团队会依法办事,不可一错再错,把Lindy Li的诚信也断送。


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Friends and loved ones,

After three days and evenings fighting in Pennsylvania’s Commonwealth Court, I have withdrawn from the Congressional race in PA-6 for 2016. I’m truly sorry I couldn’t hold onto our dream. My heart is in pieces.

Through your efforts, we gathered around 2,500 signatures, well over the 1,000 signatures a Congressional candidate needs to appear on the ballot. Although some of our signatures were void due to errors that are common among candidate petitions, during the court proceedings, I learned of a much greater problem: one of our notaries failed to keep a notary log that is required by law. This oversight disqualified a significant portion of our signatures, placing us below the legal requirement. I take full responsibility for what happened.

We were ahead in the polls and had the support of Americans not only in PA-6 but also around Pennsylvania and America, raising over half a million dollars from citizens who scrimped and saved to realize our vision for our incredible country. I could never have imagined that our battle would be in a courtroom, rather than in the court of public opinion. I ask myself now: If I had known a year ago that this would happen, would I still have run? My answer is an unwavering “yes.” Victory is measured in the number of people that were touched and inspired — by that count, we have many more than 1,000.

This episode leaves me with no bitterness or resentment — only love. The judge presiding over the hearing said he had never before been so moved in an election case, as a parade of supporters bravely took the stand on our campaign’s behalf. When the court adjourned, I embraced with warmth those who sought to end our campaign. While disappointed, I wish my opponent the very best and will devote my time now to supporting other candidates and serving our community.

This campaign was a labor of love. I will run for public office again to serve our country and hope you will remain with me. Thank you so much for sharing this journey with me.