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You may have seen Republican Supreme Court nominee - Kevin Brobson's - TV ad in the last week criticizing his Democratic opponent, Maria Mclaughlin for choosing “to void the guilty plea of a drunk driver who admitted to killing a pregnant woman and her unborn child.” The viewer is left with the impression that the defendant walked away from Judge McLaughlin’s court scot-free.

What the ad omits is that Mclaughlin and another judge found that the defendant had improper representation in his original trial. According to an email exchange that I had with Judge McLaughlin, the defendant never left prison. At his second trial, he pled guilty again.

The ad also implied links to John Dougherty, who is currently on trial on Federal bribery charges, and whose electrical union’s PAC had contributed $50,000 to McLaughlin’s campaign. But that donation is a fraction of the $900,000 that labor has donated to McLaughlin’s campaign. Brobson, on the other hand, has received most of his funding from groups like the Commonwealth Leaders Fund, a PAC funded by conservative billionaire Jeffrey Yass, that has strong ties to the charter school industry. The PAC has contributed $1.7 billion to Brobson’s campaign.

The misleading nature of this ad was so severe that the PA Bar Association sent a letter to Brobson’s campaign requesting it to either “immediately withdraw” the ad, or to issue a news release clarifying “those portions of the advertisement that the [Bar’s Judicial Campaign Advertising Committee (JCAC)] has found to be in violation of its Guidelines.”

But for the millions of Pennsylvanians who have already seen this ad, there is only one antidote: For us to join the Get Out To Vote efforts during these last days of the campaign – not only for Judge Mclaughlin, but for all the judicial, township offices, and school board positions that are on the ballot on November 2. Here’s what you can do:

Wednesday, October 27 – Northampton Township, Bucks County: George Stern is leading a group to canvass in Northampton, Bucks County, on Wednesday (10/27). The group will leave from the High Point Café on Allen Lane at 3 PM, and canvass for about two hours for town supervisors, school board, Tax Collector, and Auditor. This area is in PA HD 178, Wendi Thomas’s district. If we can elect more Dems to local offices up there, we increase our chances of changing this flippable Republican district blue. If you are interested, contact George at

Tuesday through Thursday, October 26 – October 28 – Campaign for your favorite candidates in Montgomery Township, Montgomery County: This area lies within Todd Stephens’s district (PA HD 151). The campaign needs English and Spanish speaking canvassers to knock on doors. Please contact me at for walking details and hand-outs.

Voter Education and Registration in the Philadelphia School District Update

Our emails have shown some results. On Thursday, November 4, at 4 PM, at 440 N. Broad Street in Philadelphia, the Board of Education’s Policy Committee will consider a voter education and registration policy for the School District of Philadelphia. This is only the first step in a policy being adopted. It needs to clear the Policy Committee before being presented to the entire Board. But it is a step that would have been impossible without the support of the larger community. Thank you.


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