Why Have Primary Elections if the Party Endorses?
Tuesday, May 16th is Primary Election Day in PA, but why even have it? The Republican Party obviously does not trust the voters, so they feel “obligated” to put their “stamp of approval” upon certain candidates. It is also obvious that the state GOP is NOT looking at experience when it comes to their endorsements. That’s the only explanation as we look at the state GOP endorsements for PA Supreme Court and PA Commonwealth Court. Let’s take a close look at those two endorsements:
There are two GOP candidates running for PA Supreme Court – Commonwealth Court Judge Patricia McCullough and Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas Judge Carolyn Carluccio. Just looking at their level of judicial experience should cause a voter to question the reasoning behind the GOP’s endorsement of Carluccio. To move her up to PA Supreme Court — ignoring the intermediate steps of Superior Court and/or Commonwealth Court — would be one GIANT step her experience strongly indicates she is not ready for. We do not have time for on-the-job training on the PA Supreme Court! Carluccio refused to answer the judicial voter questionnaire for the AFA of PA and iVoter Guide. iVoter Guide scored her as “Activist – Conditional”, while scoring McCullough as a “Proven Originalist”. Check it out here
But the PA GOP is ignoring experience — 12 years of appellate experience for McCullough on the Commonwealth Court compared to Carluccio’s 14 years on the lower Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas sitting on the Criminal, Family and Civil Court Benches and as an alternate Judge to Juvenile Court. You decide who has the most experience for the PA Supreme Court.
Also, apparently the State GOP is perpetuating false information about what will happen if Judge McCullough wins the Supreme Court race and her Commonwealth Court seat is left open. Yes, the Governor can appoint someone to replace her. This action would require Senate confirmation. The Governor would appoint someone within the same party as the judge who is being replaced. Judge McCullough is a Republican and Democrat Josh Shapiro is not going to nominate a Republican to replace her. He will do as Democrat Governor Tom Wolf did when former Commonwealth Court Judge Kevin Brobson, a Republican, was elected to the PA Supreme Court; he will wait until the next election. This year’s Commonwealth Court race is to do just that – replace Judge Kevin Brobson.
Now, let’s take a quick look at the Commonwealth Court race.
There are also two GOP candidates running, both are attorneys – Josh Prince and Megan Martin. Martin refused to answer the judicial voter questionnaire for iVoter Guide. iVoter Guide rates Prince as a “Conservative” while rating Martin as a “Conservative-Conditional”.
Josh Prince has a proven record of defending Pennsylvanians through the lockdowns put in place by Governor Tom Wolf, successfully defending businesses deemed “non-essential” by Governor Wolf and contesting student mask mandates. He is a staunch defender of the Second Amendment and parental rights.
In the most recent past, Megan Martin was the State Senate Secretary – Parliamentarian, leaving that position in 2022. She has also been an attorney for the US Navy. During her time working in the State Senate she served as the Senate Right-to-Know Law Appeal Officer. One must ask whether Martin has litigated a single case in the trial or appellate courts in Pennsylvania. Yet the GOP has endorsed her!
Additionally, why is the GOP so adamant that unendorsed candidates not speak at GOP events such as Lincoln Day Dinners? Is it because they are afraid the voters will hear from more qualified candidates? Is it because they are afraid the voters will become educated and see the fallacy of the GOP endorsing lesser qualified candidates?
It is also apparent that the leadership in the State GOP does not even trust their own committee people on all levels. Threats have been issued by state, county and local GOP leaders to members who “dare” speak out against the party’s dictatorial actions! Currently GOP hierarchy in Allegheny, Clearfield, Jefferson, Lebanon, Lehigh, Mercer, Montgomery and Philadelphia Counties have issued threats against their own committee members. Additionally, why should Judge McCullough have to get an attorney to issue a Cease and Desist Letter to the Republican State Leadership Committee and her opponent “regarding the false, malicious and scurrilous attack ads airing against Judge McCullough”? The letter goes on to say, “These defamatory attack ads are yet another underhanded attempt by the party establishment elitists to falsely portray Judge McCullough because she does not compromise to their party politics.” These are major problems within the system.
Again, the question: Why even have a Primary Election when the party endorses. It is clear they don’t trust the voters or they would allow the voters to have access to all the candidates, learn of their experience and their judicial philosophy. It is apparent that the State GOP does not want an informed electorate to go to the polls on May 16th.