Friday, April 7, 2006
Los Angeles Superior Court Office No. 120
Dzintra Janavs has been a member of the Los Angeles Superior Court for two decades. It is beyond question that she is one of the most industrious and able members of that court.
Yet, Janavs is being challenged in the June 6 election.
While some attorneys find fault with Janavs’ temperament—she can become testy—that is not an issue raised by the challenger, Lynn Diane Olson. In fact, Olson raises no issues.
She isn’t campaigning. She isn’t talking to reporters.
The conclusion is inescapable that she is running against Janavs for one reason alone: an assumption that voters will avoid casting ballots for a candidate with an odd, foreign-sounding name.
Asked if this is the theory behind her challenge, Olson remained mum, impliedly confirming the suspicion.
What we perceive in Olson’s bid for election is a candidacy founded on nothing more than faith that bigotry will prevail.
The incumbent has high intellect, 20 years of experience on the bench, energy, and commitment. In light of these attributes, we would not need to look at the credentials of the challenger in order to choose up sides.
Yet, Olson’s credentials command attention. It is not that they are impressive; it’s that they are so puny as to render her candidacy audacious. Despite her ballot designation of “Attorney at Law,” that is not one of the “principal professions, vocations, or occupations of the candidate,” which is what the Election Code requires a designation to state. Olson does not practice law, at all. She runs a bakery/sandwich shop. She has been on active status with the State Bar for only 38 percent of the time since gaining her law license 16 years ago.
While Janavs, who sits in the Writs and Receivers Department, has been adjudicating matters of complexity and with broad societal consequences, Olson has been dealing with such issues as how long she should boil her bagels.
Replacing Janavs with Olson would be like trading a Rolls Royce that sometimes emits a grating sound for a bicycle.
We endorse Judge Dzintra Janavs for Los Angeles Superior Court Office No. 120.
Copyright 2006, Metropolitan News Company