You may think that this Tuesday’s election is unimportant. There is one contested countywide race on our ballot (Faith Zembower for Register / Recorder) and the remainder of the voting is for judges that few of us know. However, did you know that the PA Supreme Court determines who controls the redistricting of boundaries for the PA Legislative districts? In 2010 Republicans controlled the PA Supreme Court, and they helped to create a Redistricting Commission that put West St. Clair Township in a district represented by Carl Metzger of Somerset County. They also gerrymandered the rest of the legislative boundaries so that Republicans control
- 121 of 203 PA House seats
- 34 of 50 PA Senate seats
even though there are 800,000 more Democrats registered to vote in PA than Republicans.
You can help ensure that this does not happen again by voting for Judge Dwayne Woodruff, a Democrat, for Supreme Court Justice on Tuesday, November 7. This is the same Dwayne Woodruff who went to law school at night while playing 12 seasons as cornerback for the Pittsburgh Steelers. He earned his law degree in 1988, and finished his last three seasons as captain of the Steelers team and a practicing lawyer in a law firm. Since then Judge Woodruff has had a distinguished career as a lawyer and judge. You can learn more about him at our website https://bedfordcountydems.org/.
Pennsylvania will elect four Superior Court Justices on Tuesday, and Democrats have strong field of candidates Geoff Moulton, Debbie Kunselman, Carolyn Nichols, and Maria McLaughlin. All in this group are recommended by the PA Bar and have also been vetted by the PA Democratic Party. These four have all made the trip to speak to our voters in Bedford County.
We will be electing two Commonwealth Court Judges. The PA bar recommended one of our candidates, Ellen Ceisler, but not Irene Clark. Irene was rated as too inexperienced for the position
Voter turnout is important. We have been getting a bad deal from the Republican controlled legislature since 2010, and this is mainly due to the fact that 48% of Democrats voted that year while 57.1% of the Republicans voted. Here is what we are getting from Republican controlled government.
At the federal level, Republicans:
- changed the law to allow your Internet provider to sell your browser history for profit
- failed to fix the problems in the health care law
- made it easier for people who are profiting from financial advice they give you to hide that fact
- made it easier to pollute streams
- made it harder for consumers to join class action suits when injured by companies
At the state level Republicans:
- failed to do their job to pass and fund an on-time budget. We pay extra because school districts and county governments have to borrow money to operate.
- had a budget fight with their own governor, Tom Corbett, over their inability to deal with rising pension costs.
- passed a voter identification law that made it harder for people who don’t have driver’s licenses to vote. The courts later ruled the law unconstitutional.
- redrew congressional boundaries so they now control 13 of 18 congressional seats when Democrats have an 800,000 voter registration advantage.
The courts are our protection from extremist laws and predatory practices, and I will be more confident in the protections provided by judges with Democratic sensibilities. If Democrats turn out to vote next Tuesday, we can start to reverse the losing trend we have seen in the legislature since 2010.
Dave Popp, State Committee Person, Bedford County Democrats