Friday, May 15, 2009

Practicing What You Preach

Apparently Luzerne County judicial candidate Mike Blazick's anti lawyer contribution crusade never stopped him from taking a job with a law firm that gave $1500 to the Committee to Retain Judge Michael T. Conahan. Pennsylvania Department of State records show that the Perry Law Firm gave a $1500 contribution on October 28, 2003. Blazick joined the Perry Law firm in 2006.

In addition to his former law firm's contribution to Conahan, there's an interesting parallel between Blazick and Conahan. In 1993, Michael T. Conahan, a magistrate from Hazleton came up with a novel idea in his judicial campaign. He refused to take contributions from lawyers and law firms. In 2009, Blazick revisited that political ploy with a vengeance.

Blazick has made lawyer contributions the cornerstone of his campaign, and we believe it is all just a political ploy. The fact that he never personally gave money to a judicial campaign can be explained by a number of reasons, and none of them add up to a belief by Blazick that such contributions corrupt the system. We do not believe for a minute that Blazick had the foresight to not give campaign contributions to Conahan or Ciavarella because he knew they were corrupt.

It is our belief that Blazick just doesn't give campaign contributions to any candidates. In fact, the only state campaign contribution we could find was a $60.00 contribution to the Harleysville Insurance PAC in 2008. It is our conclusion that Blazick doesn't give money to judges because of some high moral principle. We believe he doesn't give money to judicial candidates because he's cheap.

We are also offended by Blazick's latest radio advertisement. In particular, Blazick plays a sound bite from former United States Supreme Court Justice Sandra O'Connor. O'Connor basically states that if there is one thing she can change in the legal system it is large contributions to judicial campaigns by "litigants." Mike, "litigants" are not "lawyers." Your ad is misleading at the very least.

First of all, the Pennsylvania Code of Judicial Conduct prohibits judges or candidates for judge "publicly endors(ing) a candidate for political office." The O'Connor quote may not be a direct endorsement of Blazick, but it sure sounds like she's endorsing his platform.

We looked up the word litigant in Webster's Dictionary. A litigant is "one engaged in a lawsuit." We also checked for synonyms. We found plaintiff, complainant, group, participant, party, competitor, opponent, accused, and defendant. WE DID NOT FIND LAWYER. A litigant is not a lawyer.

So is Blazick trying to mislead the people into thinking litigant and lawyer are synonymous or doesn't he know the difference himself. If he's trying to deceive the people into thinking that lawyer and litigant are synonyms, then he should not be judge. If he doesn't know the difference, then he should not be judge.


Dave from Dallas said...

Hey Steve,
Great coverage of the Blazik issue, glad you are on top of this stuff. Thanks for the information and the help.

Anonymous said...


Nice work on this Blazik thing. BTW, who the hell is "Steve."

Anonymous said...

Blazick has no control over whether any members of a law firm in which he was associated contribute to a judicial campaign just like any other employee in a corporation has no control over their employer's political activity. It is unlikely that he even knew that the firm made a contribution to the campaign several years before he joined.

If you were aware of Justice O'Connor's opinions and lectures, you would realize that she has serious problems with attorneys contributing to judicial campaigns where the attorneys will be arguing cases in front of the judges. Do you think it is healthy to have a system where attorneys can contribute substantial sums of money to judicial campaigns and then appear in their courtroom?

It is unbelievable that anyone would draw a parallel between Blazick and the two former judges.

Anonymous said...

Blazick has no record to run on, so he stole a page out of the Conahan playbook - no lawyer contributions. He's pandering for votes, just like Conahan did in 1993.

Anonymous said...

so is he supposed to check the contributions of a law firm he is gonna join? sounds like a stretch .. but i am voting for the smoldering hot chick behind the librarian glasses, and the silky voiced hot bod other chick