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Nazareth, Pa., United States

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Did Jay Leeson Buy His Judicial Nomination?

In a recent letter to the editor, Northampton County's former Fiscal Director Charles L "Pete" Houck asks readers to check the "money trail" in Attorney Jay Leeson's contributions to Senator Bob Casey. His point apparently is that Leeson has bought his nomination to the federal bench. He adds that Leeson is unqualified because he's never been a judge.

I checked.

Between 2006 and the present, Leeson has made a grand total of 12 donations to Senator Casey, totaling $12,000. That's $1,500 a year. No U.S. Senator is going to sell a judicial nomination for that paltry sum. Even a lowly member of the House of Representatives must raise $2 million every election cycle.

NIZ twins Joe Topper and JB Reilly gave a combined $50,000 to NorCo Executive John Brown's race, where far less money is needed. That's how you buy someone.

Houck's other point is sheer nonsense. Federal judges are selected from both the bench and bar. Wearing a black robe is no prerequisite.


Anonymous said...

They all buy their promotions. Based on his not-even-lukewarm endorsement by the bar, he's an extreme example of the unqualified doing this. Nothing to see. He's not the first and won't be the last.

Anonymous said...

Almost all these Judges have political connections. The Leeson family goes back to their father being friends with Bob Casey Senior. They don't have to buy a judgeship and Jay Leeson is respected by his peers.
How about all these other political whores who weren't Qualified for a judgeship but got one anyway because of their political affiliation and money donated to a party or a candidate.
Do away with lifetime appointments. These so called judges that are nothing more than political hacks serve their parties not the people. They even cast their ballots along political lines (I.E, The Supreme Court). They don't serve our Constitution. They owe their asses to the Political party that got them appointed. They are no different than most of our congressmen.

Anonymous said...

On quite a few occasions, at his home, Leeson had $500 and $1,000 per person fund raisers for Casey. They were all well attended including Bob Casey himself.

Bernie since you weren't invited and didn't attend these you wouldn't know.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Glad I wasn't invited. I can't afford it.

Anonymous said...

The bar's rating indicates he's a lousy choice, regardless of whom was paid.

Anonymous said...

Funny, you seem to imply lots of quid pro quo in the past going on for far less. I suppose it's not convenient in this circumstance. Consistency, dude, you lack it.

Bernie O'Hare said...

1) I have always looked at contributions compared to the total spent in a race. In a county race, a $12,500 contribution is very significant. In a U.S. Senate race, $1,500 per year is almost unnoticeable.

2) It appears that Casey and Leeson have a relationship going back a long way. They are both fairly conservative Dems. My guess is this similarity has more to do with Casey's nomination than the money spent.

3) I don't understand the bar endorsement. I really don't. Leeson is an excellent attorney. He comes from the same cadre of lawyers that include Morganelli, Panella and Phil Hof. He has distinguished himself in the law and his temperament is better than most jurists. I question whether there is a bias against people who aren't judges or Philly lawyers.

4. This letter by Pete Houck is troubling, not because of what it says, but because he wrote it. He has no knowledge of lawyers and hasn't been associated with NC for decades.

Anonymous said...

Houck has always been a hot head. he decided s he hates someone and goes bizzerk. he was like that his years at the county and still is that way. he is good with numbers but not with people.

Anonymous said...

Well done. You have preserved the bogus accusation for all time for anyone doing a google search.