Sunday, May 2, 2010

Lawyers vs. Underdogs in PA Republican Primary

I just realized that for PA state Republican primaries, the conflict involves those with law degrees who are prematurely endorsed or monetarily advanced vs. those who have no law degrees.

Pat Toomey, Tom Corbett, and Jim Cawley have all been endorsed by the PA GOP state committee before the primary over non-lawyers Peg Luksik, Sam Rohrer, and Russ Diamond.

Also, PA 10th congressional district candidate Tom Marino, a former attorney for casino mogul Louis DeNaples, reported in April $110,000 in campaign funds, dwarfing the funds raised by his non-lawyer Republican competitors Malcolm Derk and David Madeira, who raised $18,216 and $17,681 respectively.

Some believe having only lawyers run for office is bad thing: an example of over representation of an occupation if there ever was one. Many suggest this as the reason why current US legal systems seem to be designed to extract as much money from clients as possible. Others posit this as the reason why tort reform was not seriously addressed during House and Senate healthcare debates.

Others would be quick to remind one that lawyers work very hard in law school. They may even go as far as to sate that lawyers have earned the right to a near political monopoly. More broadly, they would suggest that lawyers understand the law best, so they are best suited to be in legislative office.

But, history has shown that lawyers, unless they study economics independently, often have little to no understanding of it, but a great understanding of how to manipulate people and the law. This ignorance and cunning is not a good combination. Furthermore, their profession makes them susceptible to forming many suspect associations. Plus, those willing enough to engage in frivolous lawsuits (John Edwards) and to defend murderers and rapists cannot be said to be the most principled among us.

However, not all those having an Esq. after their names are bad. Many are good people. But the issue of lawyer over-representation in government should be publicized.

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