Warning: Constant ABSPATH already defined in /home/public/wp-config.php on line 27
The Local Election — Why Now?
On-line Opinion Magazine…OK, it's a blog
Random header image... Refresh for more!

The Local Election

Since people have given up trying to run for any office if they don’t belong to the Republican Party, the primary election on the 14th will be the actual election for local offices. The election law was changed several years ago so that when the primary is effectively the election, everyone gets to vote in the primary.

The strangest race, for me, is the one for Public Defender. I just have a hard time dealing with the concept of an elected Public Defender. Given the people who vote in my county, what kind of ‘promises’ do you make to appeal to the whacko voters? Do you tell them that you can guarantee that no guilty person will get off if they elect you as Public Defender? If you are running for re-election, do you tell people that you haven’t won a single trial in 4 years?

I got a mailer from the incumbent and it is a piece of work. He is a proven ‘conservative’ because he cut the budget – well, except that the budget is established by the state legislature, they cut it.

He reduced personnel costs. If people in your organization are suspended while under investigation, I’m not sure you can take credit for not having to pay them.

I’m not really clear on the process for collecting money from people represented by the Public Defender, so I can’t comment on that claim.

Then he uses the back of the mailer to attack his opponent.

The opponent ‘worked for & supported liberal Democratic Senator James Abourezk’. Actually, his opponent was an intern for Mr. Abourezk while still in law school in 1993. Mr. Abourezk served one term in the Senate, from 1973 to 1979. A lot of people who have attended the law school at the University of South Dakota have interned for him.

Mr. Abourezk was the first Arab-American to serve in the Senate. His parents were Lebanese Christians who emigrated to the US early in the twentieth century, before he was born in 1931 in Wood, South Dakota. He served one term in the House followed immediately by one term in the Senate, and then returned to his private law practice. Not much of a politician.

As for not voting in 2008, you would have to check the supervisors of elections in four counties to find out if that was true.

The problem is all of the missteps the incumbent has made in the last four years, not who the challenger worked for in college, or whether he voted locally.

This is really pathetic.


1 Steve Bates { 08.02.12 at 10:52 pm }

Take heart, Bryan. You could live in Texas, where the governor is “elected” for life, and the district boundaries sometimes track highways a hundred or more miles from one city to another…

I’ve never gotten used to electing judges in Texas… on a partisan basis. The first year the Republican candidates for judge ran ads en masse as Republicans (“vote for these judicial candidates; they’re Republicans”), possibly 20 or 25 years ago, I just about soiled my pants. Now it seems a commonplace, but I still haven’t gotten used to a one-party judiciary. Some are good; some are evil. But no Democrat, good or evil, is ever elected as a state or county judge.

2 paintedjaguar { 08.03.12 at 3:42 pm }

“the process for collecting money from people represented by the Public Defender”


This is happening?

I’m often naive, but I was under the impression that the whole point of having a Public Defender was to provide representation for any0ne not wealthy enough to pay lawyer fees. You know, “If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be provided for you.”

I’m aware that we’ve been doing things like charging prisoners for their room and board (often in private, for-profit jails) for a while now, as well as renting prison labor to corporations, but this seems like a whole new low in jurisprudence. What the hell happened to the America they all told me about growing up?

3 Bryan { 08.03.12 at 4:45 pm }

Technically, the office of judge and public defender are non-partisan, as are a number of other county offices, but that isn’t the way it works in real life. I certainly don’t like elected members of the judiciary, and I’m not thrilled by electing the public defender.

PJ, I can’t figure out what money he could be getting from defendants. A judge rules that you qualify for a public defender, so I don’t understand how you can charge them money. If it turns out they lied to get a public defender, that would be a charge in separate trial, and handled by the state’s attorney. The incumbent who brought this up is a flake, so I don’t know that I believe anything he says.