Endorsed Judicial Candidates Sweep to Democratic Victories

The three endorsed Democrats for the PA Supreme Court swept yesterday’s primary election.  David Wecht, Christine Donohue and Kevin Dougherty will attempt to fill three seats on that court in November.  I really like the first two candidates but supported Anne Lazarus for the third slot.  Chief Justice Ron Castille reached the mandatory retirement age, Seamus (Shame US) McCaffery resigned in disgrace after getting caught spreading hundreds of pornographic emails and Joan Orie Melvin was convicted of corruption.

As such integrity and trust are major factors in these races.  Kevin Dougherty, whose brother is infamous union boss John “Johnny Doc” Dougherty of Philadelphia’s IBEW local, has the potential to continue the shameful record of political Justices who get caught doing nefarious deeds.  I won’t vote for him in November.  Instead I’ll write in the name of Superior Court Judge Jack Panella.

Alice Dubow won the race for Superior Court over Robert Colville.  Both are well qualified.  Commonwealth Court will have Michael Wojchik as the Democratic nominee.

The three GOP candidates for Supreme Court are Judith Olson, Michael George and Anne Covey.   Covey ran such a shameful campaign last time she was sanctioned for her smears of her opponent, a civil rights lawyer.  It’ll be interesting to watch how the Democrats use that against her this fall.  After all, this election is about integrity.

It’s unusual for endorsed Democratic candidates to win elections.  The Pennsylvania Democratic Party has a bad record of actually electing its preferred candidates.

News & Notes October 25, 2011

Judge David Wecht has a new ad up for Superior Court.  He is the only candidate with a “highly recommended” certification from the PA Bar Association:

Speaker Sam Smith is slated to testify today in the ComputerGate trial.  The Republican State House used $10 million in tax payer funds to buy software used for data mining for political purposes.  John Perzel testified that Smith signed the contracts and checks to pay for the software.  The main question here is why isn’t Smith under indictment?

Three computer hard drives were also seized by prosecutors in the Jane Orie trial from the Capitol.  They are alleged to have been used to tamper with evidence presented in her corruption trial earlier this year.

The Bangor Area School District attempted to change the name of its Gay Straight Alliance to something weird called Safe School Club.  Equality Pennsylvania intervened under Board President Adrian Shanker and the original name will be kept.

Congress is considering legislation which would make illegal any internet content with copyrighted material.  In other words if you posted a video of you singing a song that website would be prosecuted because you didn’t own the rights tot he song.  If I taped a presidential or campaign event with music in the background (I actually had some YouTube content contested on these grounds) both me and You Tube could be prosecuted.  As strong as I support copyright protections this is going way too far.  If a candidate has permission to use music and I’m recording the event and capture that in the background I’m not going to be liable.

The National Organization for Marriage (NOM) lost a court case where they sought to keep the names of their contributors secret.  Those who financially supported the Prop 8 campaign complained about getting harassed for their bigotry.  I’m shedding crocodile tears for them.

You’ve got to love Bill Maher:

All those budget cuts are coming home to roost.  Counties are cutting social services which will affect millions of Pennsylvanians.  The alternative is increasing local property taxes to fund these critically important functions.  This is mostly federal money which is channeled through state governments and to individual counties.  This is how it’s affecting Allegheny County:

The reduction in spending in the department’s Office of Children, Youth and Families totals $19 million. The CYF office contracts with about 100 agencies and organizations to provide its programs. Mr. Cherna estimated that as many as 10,000 families would lose access to some services if all the cuts, which he described as “draconian,” are carried out.

CYF-backed programs include about 30 family-support centers around the county. They provide parent counseling and health screenings for children, among other services, in an effort to keep families together.

Constantly cutting payroll taxes to stimulate the economy is short sighted.  These are the funds for our Social Security and Medicare and will only weaken those useful programs.  All we really need to do is scrap the cap, meaning everyone pays FICA on ALL their earned income.  The way it is now rich people pay a lower rate.  If Social Security gets scrapped make room for your folks:

Democratic State Committee General Meeting

Chairman Jim Burn just opened the general meeting of the Pennsylvania Democratic Party.  The huge room here at Seven Springs is about half full, there is a quorum however.  I’ve seen very few Labor people attending this weekend.  I’m not sure what that portends for Democrats…  AFL-CIO leadership are NOT here this weekend.

The State Office has really provided good facilities for us media people this weekend.  I’m perched on a platform in the rear of the room and there’s actually wireless access here.  This is revolutionary.

Rules Committee is presenting two resolutions, one regarding Marcellus shale.  Lehigh County is proposing resolution in support of workers.  That’s a revolutionary position in an atmosphere where Republicans across the country are attacking worker’s rights.

Kathy Bookvar is introduced and she says 60 counties have now been recounted in the race for Commonwealth Court.  That leaves only seven to go so she is the presumptive Democratic nominee for Commonwealth Court.

I was in the sparsely attended Philadelphia Caucus, this is a long drive from Philly though from what I saw at the Turnpike rest areas it didn’t keep Phillies fans away (Pittsburgh must be drowning in a sea of red), and they were clamoring for a State Committee meeting there.  This is the second one in the Pittsburgh vicinity  in two years so they have a valid argument.  The fall meeting will be in Gettysburg where the usual Democratic civil war will probably occur.

Dan Onorato is here campaigning for Auditor General and Eugene DePasquale hosted a reception last night for his AG effort.  Patrick Murphy is also here gathering support for his Attorney General campaign.  He has already raised $500,000.  The conference center here is sprawling with many steps and some of the older and disabled members have had some difficulties getting around.  

The Marcellus shale resolution is being discussed and there is some objection based on the fact the good jobs being brought here are actually filled by people from Texas and Oklahoma.  One delegate is objecting about a moratorium calling it “extreme.”