Thursday, October 17, 2019
By a MetNews Staff Writer
A group of judges of the Los Angeles Superior Court gave notice yesterday that they have banded together, thrown money in a pot, and are ready to defend any colleagues who are challenged at the polls on March 3.
The Los Angeles Judges Election Protection Committee (“LAJ-PAC”) announced that more than 250 of the county’s judges have joined the PAC and that it has already accumulated more than $100,000.
Los Angeles Superior Court Presiding Judge Kevin C Brazile—a founder of LAJ-PAC and chair—said:
“This PAC promotes public confidence in the integrity of judicial decisions and the independence of the judiciary by eliminating or reducing the need for incumbent LASC judges to engage in electoral campaign fund-raising.”
The presiding judge expressed a desire to “see candidates for judicial office only focus upon open seats, and not run against incumbent judges.”
“Separate from its financial support of incumbent judges, PAC members will offer to speak at community and civic forums focused on the role and value of independent judicial officers.”
LAJ-PAC also announced the launching of “Friends of the PAC” that is open to persons who are not judges and want to make financial contributions.
The announcement said:
“LAJ-PAC is a voluntary, nonprofit, entity sponsored by participating judges of the Los Angeles County Superior Court. LAJ-PAC is not affiliated with any political party. LAJ-PAC is a political organization under applicable state and federal law. Los Angeles County Judges may assist in the administration of LAJ-PAC and in the solicitation of personal voluntary contributions; No part of any other funds are co-mingled with those of LAJ-PAC. It actively solicits and receives personal voluntary contributions from active or retired Los Angeles Superior Court (LASC) judges. The organization is also committed to enhance public understanding of the critical role an independent and impartial judiciary plays in maintaining the rule of law.”
So far, 27 incumbents have signaled that they will be running to succeed themselves, having taken out “signature in lieu” petitions, by which signatures of supporters may be submitted in place of all or part of the filing fee.
Lawyers who this month formed campaign committees for Los Angeles Superior Court races are Beverly Hills attorney Troy Slaten of Floyd Skeren & Kelly LLP, Supervising Deputy Attorney General Linda Sun, and Deputy District Attorney Scott Yang.
Candidates whose campaign efforts began earlier are Deputy Los Angeles County District Attorneys Emily Cole, Shannon Cooley, and Stephen T. Morgan; Century City private practitioner/actor Thomas Parsekian; and University of South Dakota School of Law Associate Professor Myanna Dellinger.
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