WELCOME TO THE OFFICIAL RICHARD E GERSTEIN JUSTICE BUILDING BLOG. THIS BLOG IS DEDICATED TO JUSTICE BUILDING RUMOR, HUMOR, AND A DISCUSSION ABOUT AND BETWEEN THE JUDGES, LAWYERS AND THE DEDICATED SUPPORT STAFF, CLERKS, COURT REPORTERS, AND CORRECTIONAL OFFICERS WHO LABOR IN THE WORLD OF MIAMI'S CRIMINAL JUSTICE. THIS BLOG HAS BEEN CALLED "THE DEFINITIVE BLOG ON MIAMI CRIMINAL LAW" BY THE NY TIMES, THE WASHINGTON POST, THE POPE, AND DONALD TRUMP WHO ALSO ONCE SAID IT WAS "REALLY GREAT". POST YOUR COMMENTS, OR SEND RUMPOLE A PRIVATE EMAIL AT HOWARDROARK21@GMAIL.COM
Monday, August 04, 2014
ELECTION CENTRAL 2014
THE CAPTAIN REPORTS:
WELCOME TO THE MONTH OF AUGUST: IF THE CALENDAR READS AUGUST, THEN IT'S TIME TO KICK-OFF FOOTBALL SEASON, IT'S ALSO THE PEAK OF HURRICANE SEASON, & MOST IMPORTANT OF ALL, IT'S TIME FOR ELECTION CENTRAL .....
On August 26th, 2014, voters go to the polls to decide on eight contested judicial elections. But, early voting begins next Monday, August 11th and continues through Sunday August 24th.
This past week, the Dade County Bar Association (DCBA) released the results of it's Judicial Poll. The numbers below indicate: (Exceptionally Qualified/Qualified/Unqualified).
In the past week, the Miami Herald has also printed their recommendations. Give the Herald credit for going the extra mile. They begin with an extensive questionnaire and end with in depth interviews of all candidates before their Editorial Board. The candidates face off in these interviews side by side.
Also, the State of Florida, Division of Elections, lists the campaign account information for all of the candidates.
GROUP 16 (Leon Firtel retiring)
Thomas Cobitz v. Stephen Millan
Fundraising: He has raised $21,790 from 103 contributors. He has also dug deep into his own pocket and borrowed a whopping $500,000 to win the seat. Tom, seriously, a half a million dollars?!
Fundraising: He has raised $34,080 from 117 contributors. He has also added $50,000 of his own money.
Mr. Millan received the HERALD endorsement.
Judge Rodney Smith v. Christian Carrazana
Fundraising: He has raised $133,409 from 529 contributors. He has added a measly $100 of his own money, (to open the campaign account).
Fundraising: He has raised $19,450 from 35 contributors. He has kicked in $7,000 of his own money to the campaign.
Judge Smith received the HERALD endorsement.
GROUP 27 (Ron Dresnick retiring)
Mary Gomez v. Alberto Milian V. Joseph Perkins
Fundraising: She has raised $17,551 from 76 contributors. She has not added any of her own money to the campaign.
Fundraising: He has raised $160,789 from 186 contributors. He has contributed another $100,000 out of his own pocket.
Candidate Joseph Perkins has dropped out of the race. He cited "health issues in my family" in a letter to the DBR.
Ms. Gomez received the HERALD endorsement.
GROUP 58 (Marc Schumacher retiring)
Oscar Rodriguez-Fonts v. Martin Zilber
Fundraising: He has raised $76,463 from 277 contributors. He did not loan himself any money.
Fundraising: He has raised $156,123 from 462 contributors. He has kicked in $100,000 of his own money.
Mr. Zilber received the HERALD endorsement.
Judge Fleur Lobree v. Mavel Ruiz
Fundraising: She has raised $55,585 from 246 contributors. She has added $100,000 of her own money to the campaign.
Fundraising: She has raised $28,026 from 127 contributors. She added no money of her own.
Judge Lobree received the HERALD endorsement.
GROUP 70 (Sandy Karlan retiring)
Veronica Diaz v. Renier Diaz de la Portilla
Fundraising: She has raised $64,697 from 202 contributors. She has added $40,000 of her own money to the campaign account.
Diaz DLP 8%/29%/62%
Fundraising: He has raised $70,200 from 126 contributors. He has added only a $200 contribution of his own money, (to open the campaign account).
Mr. Diaz de la Portilla received the HERALD endorsement.
Judge Jacqueline Schwartz v. Rachel Dooley v. Frank Bocanegra
Fundraising: She has raised $67,786 from 301 contributors. She has added a huge contribution of $200,000 of her own money to the campaign account.
Fundraising: She has raised $36,233 from 151 contributors. She has added only $1,600 of her own money.
Fundraising: He has raised $24,962 from 112 contributors. He has contributed $10,000 into the campaign account from his own pocket.
Judge Schwartz received the HERALD endorsement.
Judge Nuria Saenz v. Victoria Ferrer
Fundraising: She has raised $87,674 from 260 contributors. She has added no money of her own to the campaign.
Fundraising: She has raised $84,749 from 183 contributors. She has added only $2,500 from her wallet to the campaign.
Judge Saenz received the HERALD endorsement.
THE DCBA POLL .....
A word about the poll. To give any real weight to this poll would be a disservice to the voters of our community. There were a total of 15,061 attorneys eligible to vote in the poll. A grand total of 1,211 voters returned their ballots; a figure of just over 8%. But, in reality, the figures are even more dismal.
You see, not all 1,211 voters voted for every judge/candidate listed on the poll. Citing three examples, only 220 attorneys voted on candidate Carrazana; only 185 on candidate Bocanegra; and only a ridiculously low 173 voted on candidate Mary Gomez. These numbers are typical throughout the poll when looking at those that are not on the bench.
Even the judges currently on the bench had low numbers of attorneys weighing in on their qualifications. Three more examples: Judge Marcia Caballero garnered votes from only 385 attorneys; Judge Cristina Miranda 373; and Judge Maria Sampedro Iglesias had only 326 attorneys who apparently knew who she was.
So, sadly, the DCBA poll, may be, in a word, worthless. That is not the fault of the DCBA. That is clearly the fault of attorneys. We seem to be so opinionated on these legal blogs. But when it comes time to weigh in on those that get to wear the black robes, and sit for six years in the judgment of others, we have little to contribute to the poll takers. In a word, sad.
Therefore, this BLOG post's author will not comment on the results of the DCBA poll; if you really want to read the results, go to the DCBA home page at www.dadecountybar.org and read them yourselves.
CAPTAIN OUT ..........