Monday, March 2, 2020
By a MetNews Staff Writer
The following summarizes our previous endorsements.
Office No. 42
Linda L. Sun is a supervising deputy attorney general. While her opponent, Deputy District Attorney Robert “Bob” Villa, has strong credentials for a judgeship, we believe that Sun, by virtue of her legal skills, demeanor, industriousness, and ability to create harmony, is particularly well suited for service on the trial bench, and quite possibly beyond that level.
Office No. 72
Steve Morgan is a straight-forward deputy district attorney who has a background both as a prosecutor and defense lawyer and possesses know-how and ideal judicial temperament. Law Professor Myanna Dellinger is also a worthy candidate in light of her broad and varied experiences (though not typical of judicial candidates) as a ghost writer for judges, educator, researcher, scholar, and author of law review articles. Robert F. Jacobs is the third candidate in the race.
Office No. 76
Emily Cole is a bright and affable prosecutor for the District Attorney’s Office. Her opponent is a sly trickster. He’s a retired lawyer and guitar-strumming country singer who once served on the Stanislaus Superior Court—resigning in 2006 because he didn’t like the job—and who changed his first name to “Judge” in 2017 to enhance his chances as a candidate. He ran unsuccessfully in 2018 for district attorney of San Luis Obispo County, where he resided and continues to reside. “Judge Mike Cummins” is, in our view, unworthy of public trust.
Office No. 80
David Berger, a deputy district attorney, has maturity, sound judgment, and exceptional communication skills. Deputy District Attorney Nick C. Rini has favorable attributes but he’s simply not on the same level as Berger. Administrative Law Judge Klint James McKay is minimally qualified for the post he seeks.
Office No. 97
Sherry L. Powell is one of two superb candidates seeking the same seat. Attorney Timothy D. Reuben is a seasoned lawyer who would no doubt serve with distinction on the Superior Court, but in a careful weighing of considerations, we favor Powell, a deputy district attorney. We anticipate that she would be objective and would render reasoned decisions.
Office No. 129
Kenneth M. Fuller is the obvious choice in this race. He has demonstrated proficiency as a deputy district attorney. He has additional and meaningful experience in the JAG Corps. Bruce A. Moss is a lawyer who practices out of his house and whose service as a volunteer pro tem handling minor matters, though commendable, does not put him on a par with Fuller. Attorney Mark MacCarley (who has been an unsuccesful candidate in the past for other offices)—in a desperate move to obtain a ballot designation to which he was plainly not legally entitled—put down out-and-out lies on a paper he submitted to the Office of Registrar-Recorder, betraying a lack of integrity.
Office No. 145
Adan Montalban, a deputy district attorney, is not an ideal candidate. He pulled some shenanigans in a case—involving alteration of a transcript—that cast doubt on his fitness for a judgeship, especially in light of his refusal to acknowledge that he did anything wrong. The question is: which candidate is more unfit. We believe that attorney Troy Slaten takes that distinction. His false portrayal of his credentials through the years (as a former prosecutor) establish him as a “fabulist,” a serial liar. Slaten, who has done commentary for cable news channels, and who can express himself coherently and succinctly, would be dangerous in any position of power; he is uncommitted to the truth and is untrustworthy. Montelban, who is, by contrast, inarticulate, could function as a judge, though surely he would not excel as such; he would probably be dutiful.
Office No. 150
Manuel Alejandro Almada has what it takes to be an effective judge. This deputy district attorney expresses himself with clarity and offers sensible thoughts. He has a sense of humor and a light touch; on the bench, he would not be overbearing. Attorney Tom Parsekian would be, as others observe, better suited for partisan political office than for the bench. He has indeed been highly partisan in conducting his campaign for a judgeship, a nonpartisan office, as a Democrat—drawing unfavorable mention of his approach by the Los Angeles Times, despite its own Democratic Party leanings. Parsekian does not give straight answers; he does, like skilled politicos, start to address himself to a question, then treat the query as if it were an invitation to embark on a discourse of his choosing, and go off on a tangent. Sherri Onica Cole has strong talents, but her dismissal from the Office of Los Angeles City Attorney based on perceived dishonesty on her part, the combativeness she demonstrated while in that office, and her deceptiveness in two past campaigns for judicial office, remove her from serious consideration.
Office No. 162
Scott Andrew Yang would no doubt be better qualified for a judgeship than he is now with a few more years of seasoning in his present role, as a deputy district attorney, or in some other capacity as a lawyer. However, among the contenders in this race, he is, unmistakably, the best. Signficantly, he would, by his nature, be respectful to those in his courtroom. Caree Annette Harper, a charasmatic civil rights attorney who is effective as an advocate, is the least suited for judicial service among the three contestants for this office. Her emotional stability and objectivity are in doubt. Criminal defense lawyer David D. Diamond, a candidate whose unsuccessful bid for a judicial seat two years ago we disfavored, is trying to improve himself—he’s an adjunct professor now at a minor college—but his propensity for levelling campaign accusations he cannot back up lead us to continue to question his ability to be fair and responsible.
Those we have not endorsed, in light of our view that their opponents have even more to offer than they, but who we believe do merit judgeships, are Villa, Dellinger, and Reuben.
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