Thursday, October 29, 2009

Orie Melvin, Panella Campaigns Swap Charges

The race for Pennsylvania’s Supreme Court has turned nasty in the week before Election Day. One analyst says that's part of a larger trend. Pennsylvania’s Republican Party is saying Democrat Jack Panella ignored evidence two Luzerne County judges were sending children to juvenile detention centers in exchange for financial kickbacks when he sat on the state’s Judicial Conduct Board.
Meantime, Democrats have argued Orie Melvin’s judicial philosophy presents a threat to women.
Muhlenberg College political scientist Christopher Borick says more and more judicial races have take on the nasty tone of legislative campaigns in recent years.

"For most Pennsylvanians this race, like a lot of judicial races, is fairly invisible. People aren’t thinking about it. They’re not looking at it like they might be a governor’s race, a senate race, or obviously a presidential race. And therefore, if you can spark some attention it might be the type of thing that can propel your campaign to victory."

But Borick adds due to the nature of the job they’re running for, judicial candidates need to walk a tighter line than other political nominees.
He says a candidate runs the risk of appearing too caustic, and unfit to sit on the bench, if he or she gets too negative.

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