We are all tired of the campaigns; I was a year ago and tomorrow is just the primary. I truly believe most of us who vote, have made up our minds for whom or what we will cast our sacred votes long ago. The editorial board asked me to write sumthin’ about the elections. But I just really could not fire myself up about it…anymore. Politicians have their world, and I have mine. I have not been excitedly for or against someone or something for quite some time (not counting the prayers and candles I lit between 2000 and 2008 to make the Cheney administration go away). I believe Tom Hayden was the last politician I really cared about…and he turned out to be a disappointment as well.
The election of a judge has always been an interesting subject to me. I found over the years, most judges have been appointed to the bench based upon a quid pro quo with the current governor, or as a result of quasi-nobility ascendency (I believe the public might gasp at the number of sitting judges whose fathers and grandfathers were sitting judges…notice I did not say mothers and grandmothers).
So when an attorney runs for a judgeship, that means he or she is pretty much going it alone. No backing from the governor or local nepotism. The translation to me is beholdin’ to no one and independent. Some of best judges on the bench right now were elected. Judges Fred Link, “Downtown” Frank Brown, and Charles Ervin are examples of exceptionally competent and objective judges who have been elected by the…well, the electorate.
In this election, for office 25 of the Superior Court, you have the choice of three candidates. I cannot speak to Mr. Schafer’s or Mr. Miller’s qualification, but I can speak to Robert O. Amador. Because I know him professionally, quasi-professionally and socially.
I first met Bob about ten years ago. My son was playing baseball at Tecolote Pony League. After a series of in-fights and deeds of a few miscreant parents, Bob was asked to come back and help pull the league together. This was well after his sons had grown and no longer played ball in the league. I was drawn to working with him nearly immediately. Objective, polite and cool-headed were some of the traits I recall as he worked more than a disproportionate share of “helicopter” parents (actually some of them were more like gun-ships).
Not everything was business and we shared a couple of pops over time, swapping war stories and getting to know each other. In time I met his wife and was welcomed into their home on several occasions. By the way, I was a criminal defense attorney and he, a deputy district attorney. Typically our ilk do not blend well, but our relationship was more like the sheep dog and coyote in the old Loonie Tunes cartoons; the one in which they punch a clock in the morning, “Hi George…Hi Ralph,” tangle all day and then punch the clock in the evening, “Bye George…Bye Ralph.”
We faced off in court on a couple of occasions, and while he was reasonable, he never did anything which could compromise his integrity as a prosecutor. Nor did I ask.
I remember one case in particular in which my client facing a long stretch on a possession for sale case wanted to turn “rat.” Bob was the supervising DDA with the narcotics boys. After debriefing my client and finding nothing they could use, Bob, candidly, told me there was nothing he could do. No hard feelings, he did what he could and what he was supposed to do. Four hours later were watching my son pitch and talking about…baseball.
I am not easily swayed and perpetually jaded, so if I endorse someone, it is because I believe him or her. In this case, without reservation, I endorse Robert O. Amador for Judge of the Superior Court. I hope you who read this will consider casting your vote, as sacred as it is, for him as well.
In Peace, Jack