Don Bailey (Pennsylvania)

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Don Bailey
Don Bailey.jpg
Candidate for
Attorney General of Pennsylvania
Prior offices
U.S. House of Representatives, 21st District
High schoolGreensburg Salem High School (1963)
Bachelor'sUniversity of Michigan (1967)
J.D.Duquesne University Law School (1967)
Military service
Service/branchU.S. Army First Lieutenant
Years of service1967-1970
Date of birthJuly 21, 1945
Place of birthPittsburgh, PA
ProfessionCivil Rights Attorney
Personal website
Campaign website
Donald Allen Bailey (b. July 21, 1945) is a former Democratic member of the United States House of Representatives, representing Pennsylvania's 21st District, and former state's Auditor General. He ran as an Independent in the 2012 election for Attorney General of Pennsylvania.[1] Bailey is a practicing civil rights attorney in Harrisburg.[1]


Bailey was the youngest of eight children born to parents Glenn and Anna Bailey. Originally from Pittsburgh, the family relocated to Greensburg when Bailey was a teenager. He excelled as a student and athlete at Greensburg Salem High School, and was awarded a scholarship to the University of Michigan, where he received his B.A. in political science. Having worked a variety of blue collar jobs throughout his early years, Bailey decided while pursuing his undergraduate degree to become a member of the United Steelworkers of America.[2]

After graduating from college in 1967, Bailey joined the U.S. Army. He volunteered for service in Vietnam as a member of the 101st Airborne Division in Northern I Corp. His subsequent combat experience and achievements as a platoon leader earned him multiple accolades, including three medals, a Silver Star, and three Bronze Stars.[2]

His military service complete, Bailey returned to higher education -and his hometown- for law school at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh. He graduated in 1967 with intent to enter politics.

Although he describes himself as an "equal-opportunity suer"[3], Bailey frequently represents whistle-blowers, and his conduct handling these cases has earned him a reputation for filing first and asking questions later. His reputation as a rabble rouser peaked in 2011 when he accused seven federal judges of conspiring against him in a lawsuit. The incident reaffirmed his stance that Pennsylvania's justice system had been corrupted (the reason he gives for running for attorney general.) It also almost caused him to be disbarred.[3]


  • Greensburg Salem High School (1963)
  • B.A. in Political Science, University of Michigan (1967)
  • J.D., Duquesne University Law School (1976)

Political Career

U.S. House of Representatives (1978-1982)

Bailey is a former Democratic member of the United States House of Representatives. He represented Pennsylvania's 21st District. His Congressional record reflected a "moderate-to-conservative" sensibility. He served on the Education & Labor, Armed Services, and Ways and Means Committees. After he was re-elected to a second term, Bailey's seat was eliminated as a result of redistricting. The 21st District merged with the 12th District, which was represented by John Murtha. Like Bailey, Murtha was a Democrat and a Vietnam veteran, and with the advantage of having retained most of his district, he defeated Bailey in the 1982 primary election.[2]

Auditor (1984-1988)

Bailey was elected to the office of Auditor General of Pennsylvania in 1984, but lost his bid for re-election to Barbara Hafer in 1988. He made a final attempt to reclaim the seat in the 1992, but was again unsuccessful. Despite serving only one term, Bailey established a strong legacy during his tenure, founding Pennsylvania government's first work-site child daycare facility, setting minimum education standards for state auditors, and bringing the office's auditing procedures up to modern standards.[2]



See also: Pennsylvania attorney general election, 2012

Murphy was an Independent candidate for Attorney General of Pennsylvania in the 2012 election.

Bailey was a surprise late addition to the primary ballot. He filed on time but was rejected by the secretary of state for signature irregularities on his petition. Two weeks beyond the deadline, the Commonwealth Court decided to uphold Bailey's filings.[3] Bailey later withdrew from the Democratic primary race in after then-opponent Patrick Murphy mounted a suit to contest his petitions. Rather than go to court to defend against the challenge, Bailey decided to remove his name from the Democratic primary ballot and run as an Independent.


Bailey outlined his priorities for the attorney general's office on his official campaign website. Key issues of his campaign included judicial reform and the environment vis a vis Marcellus Shale fracturing.

  • Judicial Reform

Excerpt: "We are badly in need of judicial reform... We cannot trust our courts in many cases to be honest, to be open, and to be fair. One of the first things that can be done to reform the judicial system in Pennsylvania is to separate the license of the Attorney General, as a political and Constitutional issue, from control by the Pennsylvania State Supreme Court. First of all, it's a fundamental violation of the separation of powers. Secondly, it is an inherent and prima facie violation of the due process rights of American citizens and of Pennsylvania citizens and it needs to be changed."[4]

  • Marcellus Shale

"The next Attorney General will be called upon to get to the source of, and hold people accountable for, the potential catastrophic damage to our environment as a result of the "fracking" issues that have surfaced in connection with the recent effort to exploit the "Marcellus Shale" natural gas resource that is abundant in Pennsylvania."[4]

  • Photo ID Bill

New legislation devised to deter voter-fraud will require Pennsylvanians to present photo ID in order for their votes to be counted in future elections. Bailey spoke out after the bill passed in the Senate on March 9, 2012, calling the compulsory presentation "unlawful, and in violation of the Constitution of the United States." [5] Democratic candidates Murphy and Kane agreed with him to support others' efforts to challenge the bill in courts on behalf of those who they contend the bill will most overly marginalize: poor, elderly and minority voters who are least likely to possess proper photo-identification. In dissent from his Democratic contemporaries, Bailey said that as AG he would not be comfortable enforcing it on the basis of its unconstitutionality. The photo-ID law already exists in various forms in fifteen states.[6]

Endorsements, 2012 Attorney General campaign

  • Pennsylvania Civil Rights Network



Office Contact: Don Bailey
4311 North 6th St. Harrisburg, PA 17110

Office Phone: (717) 221-9500

See also

External links

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