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Caring about Election Day

November 1, 2007

Tuesday is Election Day; it just doesn’t seem like it.  While the Philadelphia mayoral race generated significant headlines in the primary season, there has been a recent and notable distinct lack of media coverage about the race.  In fact, it seems that most of the recent election-related headlines in town have involved the 2008 Presidential primaries and general election. 

Maybe it’s because the perception is that the result of the mayoral race is a foregone conclusion.  Maybe it’s because the two major party candidates have behaved with such an unprecedented level of civility, agreed on many issues and avoided almost all negative campaigning, that the media doesn’t have many juicy campaign stories to report.  Factoring in the considerable challenges, such as reducing violent crime and lowering taxes, that the next mayor faces, it just seems that the media should be giving it much more attention, even if the stories seem boring compared to past elections. 

But there’s actually quite a bit at stake, beyond the mayoral race.  City Council seats are in play.  Judges are up for retention, and there’s been a group that is seeking to oust judges simply for accepting the 2005 pay raise. 

So the point is that young lawyers should care about this upcoming election.  Some of my non-lawyer friends wonder if we lawyers talk only about politics, government and legal cases in our spare time.  Obviously, we don’t.  But this upcoming election is something that we should be very aware of (if not necessarily discussing during lunchtime), and we should do our best to get out there and vote on Tuesday

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