Tuesday, December 30, 2003
Yaffe Slates Jan. 8 Hearing on Dueling Challenges to Ballot Designations of Campbell, Escobedo
By a MetNews Staff Writer
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge David Yaffe has scheduled hearings on two challenges to judicial candidates’ ballot designations, an attorney for one of the candidates told the MetNews yesterday.
Bradley Hertz, who represents Deputy District Attorney Patrick David Campbell, said the judge Friday slated Jan. 8 as the date for hearings on two writ petitions brought by candidates in the March 2 primary for the seat being vacated by Judge Marcus Tucker.
Campbell is challenging Superior Court Referee Mildred Escobedo’s right to run as “Temporary Judge,” the designation accepted by the registrar of voters after her original choice, “Judicial Officer,” was rejected.
After Campbell filed his petition, Escobedo—represented by Whittier attorney Moises Vazquez—challenged Campbell’s designation of “Criminal Prosecutor/Professor.” Escobedo claims that Campbell’s part-time position at an unaccredited law school in Anaheim does not qualify him to use an academic title as part of his designation.
Escobedo is also seeking restoration of her original requested ballot designation of “Judicial Officer.”
Hertz said he would oppose any attempt by the referee to use “judge” or “judicial” as part of her designation, based on Luke v. Superior Court (1988) 199 Cal.App.3d 1360. The court held there that it would be misleading to list a court commissioner as “Judge, Los Angeles County (Acting).”
The other candidates for Tucker’s seat are Deputy District Attorney Daniel Feldstern, who earlier complained administratively about Campbell’s ballot designation, and Los Angeles Deputy City Attorney Miguel A. Dager.
In other election news, a spokeswoman for the registrar’s office said that Deputy District Attorney Hilary Anne Rhonan and Encino attorney Eugene M. Salute did not submit prepayment for their candidate statements, so the statements will not appear in the sample ballot pamphlet.
Rhonan and Salute, both of whom are challenging Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Dan Thomas Oki, were among three candidates who claimed indigence under a statute allowing indigent candidates to submit their statements without prepayment. All other candidates must advance the estimated cost of printing and distribution, which the registrar has fixed at $65,000—$130,000 if the statement is to be printed in both English and Spanish.
All three candidates who claimed indigence—Rhonan, Salute, and Los Angeles Police Dept. Sgt. Kevin Burke, running against Los Angeles Superior Court Judge David Wesley—had their claims rejected after review by the county treasurer-tax collector.
Burke paid the fee last week, the registrar’s office reported, and will be one of six candidates with a statement in the ballot pamphlet. The others are Feldstern, Wesley, Deputy District Attorney Judith L. Meyer, Superior Court Referee Daniel Zeke Zeidler, and attorney Michael Shook.
Meyer is running for the seat being vacated by Judge James Wright, while Shook and Zeidler hope to succeed Judge Rosemary Shumsky.
Copyright 2003, Metropolitan News Company