On 6/6/06: Election Primaries – Candidates speak up!

An argument could be made that there are many, many, many wasted votes especially when it comes to local elections. And by wasted, I mean a vote that is made with almost no thought, or with the same logic that would encourage SAT test takers to choose C if you don’t have a better guess. And by all this, I’m talking about ballots for Judges, School Superintendants, County Assessors, and other elected positions that always miss the muck fests that accompany most election cycles.

Especially with the advent of blogs, those running for positions in local government are missing out by not taking advantage of sites such as Metroblogging LA and LA Voice to to get an edge on their opponents. When it comes to positions the public has little awareness of, could any promotion hurt?

I’m encouraging anyone who supports a candidate vying for a Los Angeles County vote, or the candidates themselves, to speak up in the comments, or provide your pitch in the “suggest a story” link at right.

Of all the names listed on the primary ballot for Judge of the Superior Court (let alone School Superintendant or County Assessor) I don’t recognize a single name, and neither do most voters. I’ve also never known of anyone who’s actually researched the people who run for this position. If you’re like me, this leaves your vote to a number of superficial factors based entirely on what is written on the ballot itself – who’s got the sexier name? Who current position qualifies them for my vote? Which hole looks most fun to punch (or ink-a-dot)?

In short, if only one of these candidates would take the time to explain why they deserve consideration, it would give me signifigant reason to choose them over the other strangers I know nothing about.

7 Replies to “On 6/6/06: Election Primaries – Candidates speak up!”

  1. I’m still trying to discover information on the candidates for governor, but I am a BIG FAN of PROP 81 which will build more libraries throughout the state. Yay Libraries!

  2. I think part of the problem is that it’s an incredibly dry subject. It’s almost impossible to make reporting LAUSD and County Assessor elections exciting. Considering that most people get their information from passive sources, rather than from actively seeking information, American Idol is more likely to get their attention than the latest statistics on County housing prices.

    Now the mayoral election was pretty exciting, for lack of a better work, but less for the election and plausible candidates and more for the crackpots. I’m not a big fan of Walter Moore, for example, but he got a lot of press and a lot of people looking at the election. God knows I paid him too much attention.

    Now if the County Assessor or Superior Court Judge positions could be decided by cage match, I think we might be onto something.

  3. It is dry, but its still on our ballots so its left up to decide.

    Maybe if these positions are pretty much a lottery position, based on what I previously said, these would be better left to being appointed positions…

    Until then, I just know I’d likely choose any of these candidates who took steps to earn my vote.

    Thats said, I’d much prefer the cage match system.

  4. Hello,

    My name is John C. Gutierrez, candidate for Los Angeles Superior Court, office #18.

    I’ve served as a Deputy District Attorney, private attorney, special counsel and I am currently a State Administrative Law Judge. With more than 23 years of legal experience, including more than 12 years on the bench, I have handled thousands of cases.

    I have been endorsed by many prominent organizations and individuals such as Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca, the Los Angeles County Democratic Party and Teamsters Joint Council 42.

    Outside of the courtroom, I help “Women Advancing the Valley through Education, Economics and Empowerment,” an organization that works to reduce domestic violence and protect victims, arranges events. I am also passionately involved with an early intervention program organized by “Communities in Schools of the San Fernando Valley.” I participate in activities that provide guidance and encouragement to teens aimed at preventing at-risk youths from taking part in gang activities.

    To learn more about me or to see all of the people/organizations that have endorsed me, visit my Web page at http://www.smartvoter.org/2006/06/06/ca/la/vote/gutierrez_j. You can also e-mail me at [email protected]

  5. My name is David W. Stuart and I am running for Superior Court Judge, Office #144 in the June 6 primary.

    I have been a criminal prosecutor with the Los Angeles County District Attorney since 1995. Appearing in court nearly every day, I have tried more than 75 felony and misdemeanor jury trials and have prosecuted literally thousands of other cases.

    My mission as a prosecutor has always been to see that justice is done in every case. Protecting the rights of crime victims has been my highest priority.

    Moreover, I believe that I have earned a reputation for honesty and fairness that I will carry with me to the bench as a judge. I will do everything that I can to help promote public confidence in the integrity of our courts.

    I am proud to be endorsed by the following organizations, elected officials and newspapers:

    The Los Angeles Times
    Metropolitan News-Enterprise
    District Attorney Steve Cooley
    Crime Victims United of California
    California Organization of Police and Sheriffs
    Los Angeles Police Chiefs’ Association
    Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO

    For a complete list of my endorsements and more information on my candidacy, please visit my website at http://www.stuartforjudge.com.

    Thank you for your support. Remember to vote on June 6, 2006.

  6. Most people are disinterested in judicial campaigns simply because they do not have the requisite information to make informed decisions. The lack of information is usually attributed to the fact that campaigns for judgeships have to be waged countywide, and it is cost prohibitive for a candidate to meaningfully communicate with an electorate of over 10 million people without significant press coverage.

    Trial court judges handle, among other things, criminal, civil, juvenile, and domestic cases. They therefore are responsible for making decisions about sentencing (i.e., determining who needs to be imprisoned); interpreting statutes written by the Legislature, etc.

    My opponent is this race, Robert Davenport, has never practiced law in California courts (except for representing himself), has been declared a vexatious litigant (somebody who has brought multiple frivilous lawsuits), was discharged from the military for multiple allegations of lying, has been declared “not qualified” for a judgehsip by the panel of lawyers which evaluates candidates, has no known endorsements, and asks for votes on his League of Women Voters website because he deems it important to increase the percentage of Protestants and Catholics on the bench.

    I don’t think ethnicity, sexual orientation or religion are relevant whatsoever.

    I graduated from Cornell Law School in 1993, and have worked as both a criminal prosecutor and an employment litigator. I am a liberal Democrat, but have been endorsed by over 100 diverse elected officials–from progressives such as Antonio Villaraigosa to conservatives such as Mike Antonovich.

    Sincerely,

    Daniel J. Lowenthal
    http://www.lowenthalforjudge.com

  7. To LA County Voters

    Los Angeles County, CA June 6, 2006 Election

    My name is Douglas W. Weitzman

    Candidate for
    Judge-Superior Court; County of Los Angeles; Office 28

    I wanted to post a little about myself regarding my experience and education.

    Occupation: Corporate Attorney/Professor
    BS – UC BERKELEY
    JD – SOUTHWESTERN UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF LAW
    MBT – UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA
    DEAN’S LIST, EVERY QUARTER OR SEMESTER, UC BERKELEY AND USC
    TOP 15% – SOUTHWESTERN UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF LAW
    ONE OF THE TOP JUDGE PRO TEM VOLUNTEERS FOR 14 YEARS

    Top Priorities if Elected

    To be fair, and have the highest integrity
    To listen to all sides and fairly interpret the law
    To further society’s interest and knowledge of the law

    Position Papers

    FAIRNESS IN THE LEGAL SYSTEM

    Campaign Contact Information

    E-mail: [email protected]
    Phone: 310-474-0774
    Fax: 310 474-0742
    Address:
    Douglas Weitzman, Esq.
    1722 S Westwood Bl 204
    Los Angeles, CA 90024

    Please visit the website, http://www.smartvoter.org/vote and you will find out all about me.

    I look forward to your vote on June 6, 2006. Please call me at 310 474-0774 with any suggestions or if you would like to contribute to my campaign. Thank you.

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