Right now, I'd like to discuss a VERY IMPORTANT race on our local ballots in Orange County:
Next Tuesday, we in Orange County will be choosing who will be our next Superior Court judge. Since no one received 50% in the June election, we must now face a runoff between Deputy District Attorney Sheila Hanson and court commissioner Lyle Robertson. Now Hanson did come awfully close to winning ouright in June; in fact, she recieved 49.4%. Also, Hanson has received the endorsement of over FIFTY regional judges, and she is very highly regarded in the legal community. Robertson, in comparison, seems to be a legal "lightweight".
So why isn't this a cakewalk for Sheila Hanson?
Oh yeah, she's a ... (Drum roll, please.)
Here's an excerpt from today's OC Register:
To many attorneys and law-enforcement officials, Sheila Hanson is more qualified than Lyle Robertson in Tuesday's election for Orange County Superior Court judge.
Hanson, a senior deputy district attorney, has spent 17 years prosecuting sex offenders and other high-profile suspects. She has participated in 80 jury trials and has never had a case overturned on appeal. She is endorsed by more than 50 area judges and has received the highest possible rating from the Orange County Bar Association.
Robertson, on the other hand, has spent 15 years as a court commissioner, a position similar to a judge but without as much authority. He has overseen drunken-driving charges, small claims and personal-injury cases. He declined a review by the bar association and is endorsed by about 25 judges.
Unfortunately, most of the OC GOP party machine is lining up behind Robertson, simply because he's a Republican and Hanson's a Democrat. Yeah, let's forget about who has more legal experience. Let's forget which one received THE HIGHEST POSSIBLE RATING from the Bar Association. Let's forget about who's more fit to uphold the law...
Yeah, we've got more important things to consider, LIKE WHO'S BEEN A MORE LOYAL REPUBLICAN... More from the Register:
"If you've got a choice between a registered Democrat and a registered Republican," said Assemblyman Chuck DeVore, R-Irvine, who endorsed Robertson, "that's a bit of a sign for a partisan such as myself."
While I wouldn't expect otherwise from wingnut Chuck DeVore, I hope that more thoughtful Republicans remember this:
Hanson has prosecuted some of Orange County's biggest cases: Ronald Kline, the judge accused of child molestation; the Rev. Gerardo Tanilong, the Catholic priest convicted of fondling a 15-year girl; Trenton Veches, the former supervisor of a youth program who liked to suck little boys' toes.
The county bar association rated her "highly qualified" for the job.
And what has Robertson done for the last fifteen years? Oh, that's right...
He oversaw drunk-driving, personal injury, and small claims cases.
So, there you have it! We, the Orange County voters, can either elect an effective prosecutor and sharp legal expert for judge...
Or we can choose a partisan Republican.
If you care about having effective local judges, please join me in voting for Sheila Hanson for Superior Court Judge!