October 19, 2009


From blogger Gort42, on the Pennsylvania State Supreme Court race:

The Democratic nominee for the one open seat is Jack Panella from Northampton County who presently serves on the Superior Court and was on the Court of Judicial Discipline that dropped the ball over the allegations about Luzerne County criminals Conahan and Ciavarella . They were busy with the Lokuta witchhunt orchestrated by Conahan.

(One of Gort's commenters notes: Actually, Gort, the Pa. Court of Judicial Discipline referred allegations to the US Att'y for the Middle District of Pa. Had they opened an investigation, they would be impeding his criminal matter, which should take priority. The US Att'y has publicly stated the Pa Court of Judicial Discipline did the right thing. The only person who has been trying to suggest anything different is Joan Orie Melvin.)

His opponent is Joan Orie Melvin from Pittsburgh who also serves on the Superior Court. Her website tells us that she has been a lifelong Republican. Her faith is the cornerstone of her life. She comes from a family of nine children raised with the principles of God and Country. Her sister is State Senator Jane Orie who helped her get the endorsement of the Pennsylvania Teamsters that didn't turn out so well. The Pennsylvania Progressive has the details.


Melvin was in town last month and said of the Juvie Brothers scandal "This is surreal. It is right out of a Charles Dickens novel."


In her previous visit to Wilkes-Barre in May she gave a long rambling speech to the local GOP faithful. In that speech she listed as one of her selling points was the upcoming redistricting after the 2010 Census telling the partisan crowd that they needed a Republican on the court to rule in favor of Republicans in any challenges to whatever plan emerges.

So much for Judges being above politics.

Since she essentially offered to fix a case in exchange for her election, this is a clear violation of the PA Code of Judicial Conduct - yes, even for Pennsylvania, hardly a hotbed of judicial honor. Guess I'll be making a phone call today to file a complaint!

Now Capitol Ideas points out that the state GOP is running a banner ad on GrassrootsPA on her behalf.

"Tired of Barack Obama, Ed Rendell, Arlen Specter and big government Democrats ruining our nation?" the advertisement asks in yellow block capitals set against a bright-red background. And in case the message wasn't subtle enough, there's a Soviet-era hammer-and-sickle inside the "O" in Obama's last name. That oughta rally the base, eh?

My friend Danny gave me the heads up and says

She's using a hammer and sickle for the "O" in Obama in her new web ad. Disgusting. And the best part is that it's paid for by the PA GOP.

Comparisons to Communists or Nazis used to be out of bounds in American politics but the Tea Bagger crowd does it all the time and now it is somehow Okay. It's one thing for a bunch of people who are ignorant of history and political philosophy to engage in this kind of nonsense but a State Supreme Court candidate should know better.

The thing that we want in our Judges is to be impartial and not take political sides no matter what party they belong to. She flunks that test.

If you'd like to let the PA Republican Party know what you think of this ad, you can contact them here. I strongly suggest you do so!

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