On Tuesday Carmella Jacquinto was elected to the Court of Common Pleas along with six other Democrats.
Carmella Jacquinto, you may recall, was the prosecuting attorney in a trial where I was a juror. I wrote about it in my blog post, The Trial, plus a few followup posts. If you don’t recall it, just click on that link, and be sure to check the followup posts. I won’t spoil the surprise ending here.
But back to that first paragraph. Yes, seven Democrats were elected to the bench; no Republicans were on the ballot. In Philadelphia Democrats outnumber Republicans in voter registration by about seven to one.
That is not a good thing.
For one thing it leads to tons of corruption in city government as politicians realize they are not going to be seriously challenged. And the only meaningful local elections are the primaries, which are usually heavily controlled by the Democratic machine, although sometimes a good candidate can make it through, as seen by the victory the other year of Larry Krasner for District Attorney who was not supported by the local machine or endorsed by the local newspaper.
The City Charter tried to work around this lopsided problem by guaranteeing at least three City Council seats be set aside for minority parties, but this hasn’t worked out as intended because the three Republican council members have also tended to take their victories for granted and so remain fat, dumb, and happy.
At least this year one of the seats went to a member of the Working Families Party, so a tiny ray of movement there.
Meanwhile, the idiotic Republican candidate for mayor ran an unusually idiotic campaign. He was only able to raise about $12,000, and he ran on a platform of undoing what incumbent Jim Kenney has done. Since Kenney’s policies are, by and large, popular, though perhaps they could use some tweaking here and there, the Republican lost.
Disclaimer: I haven’t really kept up to date with Philadelphia politics in recent years, so I’m not an authority.
Addendum: I actually used to vote for the Republican candidates for Mayor and District Attorney sometimes, but until the party cleans up its act, I doubt that I will do so again.