Bailey to Run for AG as Indy, Not Dem

Don Bailey, 1984. From the archives of the Patriot-News.

Don Bailey, who served as a Congressman and Pa. Auditor General, will not seek the Democratic nomination for Attorney General. After his nominating petitions were challenged by allies of Patrick Murphy, he withdrew and said he’ll run as an independent.

Laura Olson of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette broke the news Friday.

The announcement turned the AG primary back into a two-person race between Kathleen Kane, a former prosecutor from Lackawanna County, and Patrick Murphy, a former Congressman from Bucks County.

The Republican candidate is Cumberland County District Attorney Dave Freed.

Bailey’s campaign was under the radar until late February when he submitted his nominating petitions and competed for the Democratic Committee endorsement in his home county of Westmoreland.

However, his nominating petitions were challenged by Sean Miller, Monica Kline and Dennis Balbac. He withdrew rather than contest the challenge in court on March 21.

It appears to be the work of Murphy allies. Kline is a Democratic state committeewoman (and daughter for former Pa. Lt. Gov. Ernie Kline) who seconded Murphy’s nomination for the party endorsement during January’s meeting. Balbac is a business partner with Kline at her alpaca farm. Miller contributed $500 to Murphy’s campaigns for Congress.

The thinking was likely that the presence on the ballot of Bailey, another man with an Irish name, would take votes from Murphy and thus boost Kane.

Pennsylvania has a high hurdle for independent and third party candidates to gain ballot access in statewide campaigns. Hopefuls must gather petition signatures numbering 2 percent of the highest vote-getter in the previous statewide election.

In 2011, that was David Wecht for Pa. Superior Court. He won 1,030,004 votes, meaning Bailey will need 20,601 petition signatures to make the ballot by the August 1 deadline.

Bailey, 66, has had a long career in Pennsylvania politics. A decorated Vietnam combat veteran, he was elected to Congress in 1978. He served two terms before losing a redistricting-forced primary to Rep. John Murtha in 1982. He was elected Pa. Auditor General in 1984, and lost the Democratic primary for U.S. Senate in 1986. He lost his re-election bid for Auditor to Barbara Hafer in 1988, lost the Democratic primary for Auditor in 1992, and lost the Democratic gubernatorial primary to Ivan Itkin in 1998.

However, Bailey’s competitiveness is up for debate. He last won an election in 1984, and in recent years has come under scrutiny. Legal proceedings to revoke license to practice law are ongoing. In response, Bailey has alleged a sweeping conspiracy – a, “far-reaching, decades-spanning cabal.”

On Friday he was awarded the “Benchslap of the Day” by national legal blog Above the Law:

In a ruling from earlier this week, Magistrate Judge Martin C. Carlson of the United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania doesn’t waste time tearing the plaintiff apart (citations omitted):

This case, which comes before us for consideration of Plaintiffs’ motion that this Court recuse itself in this case, inspires “a profound sense a tragedy”, compels us, once again, to consider the unfortunate professional trajectory of plaintiffs’ counsel, and requires us to reflect upon the recurring, and wholly regrettable, themes that now mark his practice in this and other litigation before this Court.

At the outset, this motion reveals the apparent inability of counsel to take to heart the Court’s prior admonition to consider, “the wisdom of Albert Einstein, who once stated that doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results is the highest form of folly.” Here, counsel pursues Einstein’s folly by filing a motion which is essentially identical to several pleadings that were previously considered-and rejected-by this Court in this, and other cases. Indeed, in this motion counsel repeats an argument which counsel himself conceded one year ago had no basis in fact.

11 Responses

  1. @ walking tall, That case was a unique high profile case that made national attention. I followed the case closely and yes i agree Don did stand alone, however he presented a good argument that was a sure win and the district attorney ,judge and psp didnt have a leg to stand on. The other council involved should be ashamed of themselves on how they did not represent other than to feed them to the wolves.In my opinion we have to many ‘ monopoly type attorney’s ” that simply ” talk the talk”, but epic failure at “walking the walk” .Our legal system overall is corrupt and it will take people like Don to make a change . I think a good change would be to eliminate the large sum of upfront retainer fees, then these attorneys will know they have to work for their client or they wont get “paid” for services rendered. Tommy boy Corbett made this a law the other year for business’s and attorneys are no different.

  2. Bailey has ” BALLS”, something most of you other nutless monoply attorney’s dont have…talk about taking money..really??? you fn serious?? what about the a few local defense attorneys taking thousands up front and not doing a fucken thing??? got your heads up the district attorneys ass talking people into plea bargains without a fight period…..does this one ring a bell???? that called fucken stealing collecting money passing go…. ohh hey dont forget mr Bailey who was the only one who stood alone with his client and ” fought bogus destructive charges”…. he fought and he ” won ” imagine that huhh, while you other panzyass’s tucked your sacks back….mmmm…whats that called???? ” NO BALLS……answer this to a few of you who wouldnt answer calls from your clients??? why would you take thousands of dollars and ” do nothing” not even to express an opinion ??? ohh here take the guilty plea thats easier and lead them down the cattle shoot….NO balls to stand up to the judge… hey but at least you nutless terds were dressed nice, think twice before casting stones against Bailey, now you glasshouse cowboys. can send the retainers fees you took in advance and return them to the clients…you didnt do ” shit “…guess thats why someone isnt returning calls….you know who to send the checks to !!

  3. “Bailey is Joke” – My friend, you have got Bailey down to a “T”. Again,Bailey is so law abiding, who allows his currently suspended from practicing law ex partner, Andy Ostrowski due to professional misconduct, stealing client’s money, whose an admitted drug abuser, etc. (See Opinion Supreme Ct. Disciplinary Bd website) but yet Bailey supports him & let’s him work on cases for him and provide him legal assistance?! And his wife’s “petition fiasco” & then all of sudden, Bailey drops out as a Democrat; appears to be an admittance of guilt to me; bail out b/4 more “skeletons” hidden in the closet come out, right; you had better believe it! Bailey definitely has a “cult” following that is for sure; and it is the cult of the hopelessly gullible & ignorant! And now Bailey is threatening everyone “out to get him” if he should get into office & warns them they should get out of PA; I mean who with any sanity publicly threatens individuals while running for public office!? Yeah Bailey is “feared” that’s hilarious; he’s nothing more than a paranoid schizophrenic, suffering from delusions of grandeur; yeah, Bailey’s definitely going down in history but not as the “savior” he’s making himself out to be for the “little people”; but as the biggest hypocrite and joke ever! Oh, and by the way, there’s “Amicus Curiae” again w/ “His” justification to the means, very comical. PLEASE FOR THE LOVE OF GOD DO NOT VOTE FOR BAILEY, that is unless you want another “Hitler” in office!

  4. No, Mr. McNally. The staff lawyer for the elections bureau and others have confirmed that this does not apply when there is a withdrawal, as Mr. Bailey did. Vote Don Bailey in the Fall.

  5. It appears that Bailey is ineligible to run as an independent. Section 976(e) of the Election Code, 25 P.S. § 2936, prohibits the filing of nomination papers if the candidate has filed a nomination petition for any public office for the ensuing primary or has been nominated for such office by nomination papers previously filed.

  6. Needing 20,461 good signatures with roughly 150 days means that you’d have to get 137 per day and almost twice that (35,000-40-000) to actually get on the ballot to survive another likely Murphy challenge.

    However, all registered voters can sign, i suspect interested volunteers would pop up, but this is a tough hurdle for anyone.

  7. The idiot would have been Murphy if he would have allowed GI don to stay on the ballot. This is a primary worth winning because deems have a good chance this year.

  8. As for the first commenter, either you are a blatant idiot or you are a part of the problem who is trying desparately to cover it up by way of slander. Either way. the MAJORITY of Pa is well aware of the corruption problem including my own personal encounter going back 15 years, meaning you are in trouble!!!

  9. Please see moore on the background to the disciplinary proceedings, and specificallly to the involvement of Marty Carlson in the politics of personal destruction to stop Bailey from pursuing civil rights cases that expose public corruption at high levels.

  10. This shows that Patrick Murphy must have felt uncomfortable with someone talking about championing civil rights and exposing political corruption.

    Indeed, Murphy must have felt very uncomfortable with Mr. Bailey on the ballot because he is part of the problem and not part of the solution.

  11. Bailey is nothing more than a circus sideshow. He has amassed a cult following comprised of society’s most gullible. They believe he is fighting for the little guy, but really he’s just taking their money and filing lawsuits that have zero factual or legal support (some would call that stealing). Of course, when he loses his license to practice, he will blame that on the ever-growing conspiracy against him.

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