Like many of you, my concern about our representatives in government grows daily. As you know, my son, Joshua, has announced his interest in running for the vacancy in the Commonwealth Court. The weeks since that decision have raised my concern even more.
While we all may show up to vote for primaries and general elections, few of us are cognizant of how candidates are chosen and proceed to have their names placed on a ballot. Most of us realize that there is some form of soliciting signatures, the number and diversity of which depends on the particular office being sought. Beyond that I have been astonished to learn the expense associated with any realistic attempt to gain office. For example, it is estimated that Joshua would have to raise $400,000.00 to finance a viable bid for a seat on the Court. Many of those signatures and much of that money is supplied by the party of your choice, provided that party selects you as their endorsed candidate for the position.
There’s the “rub.” Endorsement by the party. During the weeks before a primary each party conducts straw polls to decide which candidate to endorse if more than one expresses a desire to run. Ultimately, the candidate with the most votes usually earns the support of the party. What I have learned is that those votes are not based on competency or qualifications. Instead, they are the foundation of what has recently been called “the swamp.” It comes down to “who you knows and how you knows ‘em.” If you’ve been a dedicated Democrat or Republican and built up a book of friends over the course of time, you’ll receive your party’s endorsement regardless of qualifications or electability.
Most of you know Joshua and his accomplishments. If not, a simple google search will be enlightening. He stands for the Constitution and individual rights. He stands for honesty and integrity. Perform the same search on his opponent, Megan Martin. There is no question regarding her service to the Commonwealth serving as Secretary and Parliamentarian to the PA Senate. She’s been a great Republican and would be an excellent candidate for the Senate or Congress. However, she has never tried a case or even set foot in a courtroom. Your family doctor may be the best in the Commonwealth, but wouldn’t be your choice to perform surgery. Unlike the Superior Court, the Commonwealth Court is the Court of original jurisdiction where it must hear evidence and weigh credibility for many actions against the Commonwealth. That experience and expertise is not gained by serving as Parliamentarian or Secretary of the Senate.
If the competency of the Judges sitting on the Bench or the integrity to decide cases on the merits and the Constitutions instead of political positions or obligations, please consider making a donation to Joshua’s candidacy at https://princeforjustice.com and help us take a step out of the swamp.