Thursday, July 30, 2015

Supreme Court race breaks fundraising record

The ballots haven't even been tallied and the state Supreme Court race has broken the campaign fundraising record for judicial races.

Supreme Court race breaks fundraising record


The ballots haven't even been tallied and the state Supreme Court race has broken the campaign fundraising record for judicial races.

Democrat Jack Panella has raised more than $2.35 million, breaking the record set by Supreme Court Justice Seamus McCaffery in 2007, according to the group Pennsylvanians for Modern Courts.

The group - which advocates judicial appointment rather than election -  tallied campaign contributions reported to the Department of State as of the end of the most recent reporting cycle on Oct. 19.

In a press release the group said that "the results are of concern to court watchers, especially in light of public opinion polls that show the public is concerned that justice is for sale to the biggest campaign contributor."

By contrast, Republican Jane Orie Melvin has raised just $733,948.

McCaffrey set the previous record by raising $2.34 million (including $25,000 leftover from a 2005 campaign) in a four way race for two seats on the Supreme Court, Pennsylvanians for Modern Courts said.

The group said it expect final fundraising numbers to rise significantly when the campaigns' final reports will be due February 1, 2010.

Executive director Lynn Marks said the amount of campaign contributions is "troubling" because it comes from law firms, unions and businesses which frequently litigate in state courts.

 "These are not the types of records Pennsylvania should be proud of," Marks said. "But when you elect judges in partisan contests, the elections become more expensive, not less so."



Click here for's politics page.

We encourage respectful comments but reserve the right to delete anything that doesn't contribute to an engaging dialogue.
Help us moderate this thread by flagging comments that violate our guidelines.

Comment policy: comments are intended to be civil, friendly conversations. Please treat other participants with respect and in a way that you would want to be treated. You are responsible for what you say. And please, stay on topic. If you see an objectionable post, please report it to us using the "Report Abuse" option.

Please note that comments are monitored by staff. We reserve the right at all times to remove any information or materials that are unlawful, threatening, abusive, libelous, defamatory, obscene, vulgar, pornographic, profane, indecent or otherwise objectionable. Personal attacks, especially on other participants, are not permitted. We reserve the right to permanently block any user who violates these terms and conditions.

Additionally comments that are long, have multiple paragraph breaks, include code, or include hyperlinks may not be posted.

Read 0 comments
comments powered by Disqus
About this blog

Commonwealth Confidential gives you regularly updated coverage of the state legislature, the governor and the workings of the state bureaucracy. It is written by Angela Couloumbis in the Inquirer's Harrisburg bureau, based in the statehouse, and by the newspaper's far-flung campaign reporters.

Commonwealth Confidential
Also on
letter icon Newsletter