I am writing this regarding some very misleading information I recently received from the campaign of Steve Castle, a retired Lower Southampton police officer running against incumbent Judge Daniel Baranoski for District Judge in the Magisterial District 07-1-07, the judicial district that serves Hulmeville, Langhorne, Langhorne Manor, Penndel, Lower Southampton and parts of Middletown Township.
It seems that the literature being sent out mentions that Judge Baranoski has retired on a disability income claim, then was elected to the court while being on disability. That sounds like a terrible thing at first — makes Judge Baranoski look like he is getting away with something nefarious, just not right. Wait a moment, maybe it is just not so! Maybe this information was included to confuse the voters and mislead them.
For the record, I have been a licensed insurance agent in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York for over 35 years. During this time, I was a disability income specialist with the largest professional disability income carrier in North America. We were endorsed by many professional organizations as the best disability provider in the U.S. and Canada. I have been personally endorsed by local bar associations as the go-to local agency for this complicated type of insurance planning.
Most professional disability income policies have a "Your Occ," occupation definition of total disability. This allows a claimant to collect, according to the terms of his policy, the coverage amount if they cannot perform all the important duties of their regular occupation. Even if they are working in another occupation, nothing fishy here.
Now, I have no way of knowing the terms of Judge Baranoski's policy, but knowing how insurance companies operate, if there was anything not exactly right, the insurance company would not be paying him.
Do you think that might confuse the average voter?
It seems to me that this campaign literature was indeed designed as a hit piece to throw some doubt as to the integrity of Judge Baranoski, a dedicated judge with a 12-year record of fair and impartial judgement. A pretty low-life trick, actually.
Do the voters in Langhorne, Hulmeville, Penndel and Middletown really need the Lower Southampton-brand of truth and justice here?
Don Bader is a resident of Middletown Township.