In a bold and reckless attempt to coerce Don Bailey to give up his bid for attorney general, Patrick Murphy threatened to go after Bailey’s family for some sort of bogus allegations of fraud in the circulation of Bailey’s nominating petitions. The allegations were nothing but bald-faced threats, and were completely baseless, and have not been followed through upon. In pulling such a dirty political trick, Patrick Murphy has conclusively shown that he lacks the discretion and judgment to be Pennsylvania’s next attorney general.
While this site has endorsed the candidacy of Don Bailey, this article cannot be mistaken as a mere opportunist counter-attack. It just so happens that the core of everything that this site and the record of Mr. Bailey stand for are summarized as opposition to the abuse of power for political purposes. Nothing can more offend that principle than a threat by an aspirant for the position of highest law enforcement office of this Commonwealth to engineer a political result by suggestions that family members of candidates will be gone after. This is extortionist conduct. The declaration Bailey filed with the election commission follows:
Perhaps reeling from his last-place finish in the Westmoreland County endorsement contest, and his concern that he had no more corner on the veteran vote, with a real war hero, and decorated veteran in the race, to counter his service which, while honorable, was served in the JAG corps as a lawyer, not out in the bush leading troops, fighting for his country, and saving lives, Murphy turned to an act of desperation in attacking the family of, of all people, Don Bailey. There was no debate, there were no exchanges of views, there was nothing more than meeting in Greensburg, and coming in last that prompted Murphy’s attack. Why? Who did Murphy take his leads from?
Murphy’s campaign website boasts that he has “dedicated his life to protecting Pennsylvania families, ” yet he is going right after the family of one of his opponents, not caring if it was a wife or a daughter, and then not explaining himself when respectfully asked to – allowing the threat and concern to linger over Bailey’s family. At the very least, and this is being favorable, Murphy’s shenanigan demonstrates a serious lack of discretion and judgment – the fact alone that a candidate for attorney general can contemplate engaging in such conduct is a categorical disqualifier, in the view of this site. Mr. Murphy is called upon to quit the race.
Why is Patrick Murphy, a 38 year-old lawyer who doesn’t try cases in Pennsylvania courts, and was admitted on another state’s bar exam, running for attorney general? What experience does he bring that qualifies him to stand for any of the issues that face Pennsylvanians legal rights? This action by Murphy suggests that he is running on raw ambition alone, with reports having it that he wants to be the next Democratic Governor, with the endorsement of Ed Rendell himself behind him, and has even higher ambitions along the lines of another famous Irish Catholic politician.
The Office of Attorney General, particularly in these times, is not something that should be viewed as a mere stepping stone on the path of a brighter political career. Pennsylvanians have been stepped on by their politicians long enough, and they need an attorney general with his finger on the pulse of the problems that are affecting our daily lives, and not his eye on the next political prize. Patrick Murphy decidedly does not have the qualifications to be Pennsylvania’s next attorney general.
We have learned that Murphy has filed a separate challenge to Bailey’s petitions. Absent from the challenge is any mention of the threats against Bailey’s family, the only proper place any such issues should be raised. We understand that Murphy hired a firm to undertake some kind of separate review of the election petitions, and are raising some technical challenges to the petitions, which is no surprise. We understand that the challenge documents by Murphy’s supporters that have been filed, on their face contain demonstrably false information. We expect this matter will proceed into the courts, but clearly view anything coming out of the campaign of Patrick Murphy with suspicion, as should the courts.