Orie questions opponents’ PAC funds

    Pennsylvania State Supreme Court candidate Joan Orie Melvin is accusing her Democratic opponent of engaging in “pay to play” with a trial lawyer’s organization.

    Pennsylvania State Supreme Court candidate Joan Orie Melvin is accusing her Democratic opponent of engaging in “pay to play” with a trial lawyer’s organization.
    Caption: Democratic candidate for Pennsylvania State Supreme Court Jack Panella.

    Listen:
    [audio: 091026sdpayplay.mp3]

    Orie Melvin, the Republican candidate for Supreme Court, is taking issue with campaign contributions Democrat Jack Panella has received from Committee to a Better Tomorrow, the Philadelphia Trial Lawyers Association’s political action committee.

    Melvin: When you can go into a courtroom and walk in and one side has an advantage, and you’ve received a million dollars plus from that group on those issues, because you’ve always been there for their issues. To me, it’s the public perception, and I find it to be “pay to play.”

    The group has given $500,000 dollars to Panella’s campaign, but also contributed $100,000 dollars to Orie Melvin.

    A spokesman for the Panella campaign calls the accusation “an odd charge,” noting Orie Melvin has accepted contributions from several political action committees, including one operated by Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi.

    Orie Melvin says candidates should be forced to recuse themselves from cases involving major campaign contributors, though she declined to assign a specific dollar amount to that suggestion.

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