JUSTICE BUILDING BLOG
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. POST YOUR COMMENTS, OR SEND RUMPOLE A PRIVATE EMAIL AT HOWARDROARK21@GMAIL.COM. Winner of the prestigious Cushing Left Anterior Descending Artery Award.
Friday, August 21, 2020
POST ELECTION ANALYSIS ........ COVID STYLE
THE CAPTAIN REPORTS:
SOME POST ELECTION ANALYSIS .......
The Blog has rarely received as much negative commentary about one criminal court judge. Peter Adrien comes to mind, but that was for a totally different kind of criticism. No doubt Judge Tunis was not a favorite of many of our readers.
First, Tunis got caught with her pants down. She sat on the County and Circuit Court bench for 20 years and she never once had opposition in an election. She expected the same in 2020. Her opponent, Ms. Aponte, it could also be said, never drew so much commentary compared to any other challenger to an incumbent. That commentary from our readers was certainly ignited by the explosive writings of our Blog's Author, Horace Rumpole.
Aponte filed against Judge Gordon Murray in Group 38 of County Court in September of 2019 and she Qualified for that race. She was in that race through Thursday of Qualifying Week. It was one day before the end of Qualifying when she pulled the switcheroo and jumped into the Circuit Court race against Tunis.
Tunis threw down $150,000 of her own money into her campaign war chest figuring that would scare off any opponents. In fact she did virtually zero campaigning through March of 2020. She had only raised $8,575 when Aponte jumped into the race. Contrary to some comments from yesterday, Tunis did go on to raise a total of $128,000 from 326 contributors for the overall campaign.
Aponte, as I reported earlier, had the least amount of contributors for a winning contested election in the history of Miami-Dade County, ten people gave a total of $6,300 (and two of them were Joe Klock ($750) and his Law Firm Rasco Klock ($500).
Anyone who actually thinks that the 209,895 citizens who cast their vote for Aponte had a clue as to the negative commentary about Tunis - well, you all have been smoking your client’s hydroponic weed.
Aponte lost in 2016 to Oscar "Rodriguez-Fonts"; (Carol Breece was also in that race; Aponte came in third). Aponte lost in 2018 to Kristy "Nunez".
Another incumbent who drew a last minute challenger. Ms. Martinez-Scanziani also filed on the Thursday of Qualifying Week, one day before the deadline. But, Rebull was prepared for a challenge. He raised more money than we have seen in a contested raise in probably the past two decades. Rebull raised a total of $408,400 and spent over $387,000 as of last week.
Ms. Martinez-Scanziani raised only $55,000 and spent it all. She also was a previous two-time loser having lost to Judge Bernie Shapiro in 2008 and then again in 2016 in a four way race against eventual winner Mark Blumstein, and Luis Perez-Medina, and Renee Gordon; (Martinez came in last).
For those of you who think that the 192,744 voters for Martinez-Scanziani knew anything about the "transcript" or about Rebull and his courtroom demeanor - well you all have been smoking the same weed.
Joe clearly was not prepared for a campaign. Not sure why as he was an appointed judge facing the voters for the first time. He raised $17,800 while his opponent Miguel Mirabal raised over $68,000. (Does Mirabal’s campaign photo remind you of a 1970's porn star?). (Go here for a look).
A wise commenter pointed out that Anglos have beaten Hispanics in recent judicial contests. But, what they didn’t factor in was the very different kind of campaign we had in 2020. Pre-Covid was the time when every candidate attended a live breakfast in Homestead or Perrine, a lunch in Little Havana or Hialeah and a dinner in Aventura or Miami Gardens, every single day from April until August. Thousands upon thousands of voters had the opportunity to see and hear and speak with the actual candidates. They were much better able to separate the wheat from the chaff. Not so with this election - and that my friends made all the difference in the world. Heck, Rosy Aponte, not only didn’t have to attend those breakfasts, lunches, and dinners, she didn’t even attend the Zoom forums following her "colored people" comment to the Black Lawyers (Wilkie D. Ferguson Jr. Bar Association) forum.
NORTH OF THE BORDER
A complete shocker in Browierd as heavily favored candidate Sarahnell Murphy, a 24 year veteran of Mike Satz’ office and the candidate Satz endorsed lost in an eight way battle to a black attorney named Harold Fernandez Pryor. Pryor has been an attorney for all of seven years; (he served as an ASA for three of them). In fact Murphy could do no better than third behind Pryor and Joe Kimok (who lost to Pryor by a mere 2,600 votes out of the 206,200 cast).
Expect to see a major shake-up of the policies and procedures in the Broward State Attorney’s Office and they are both welcomed and way overdo.
No surprise in Broward’s newly elected PD Gordon Weekes, who was Howard Finklestein’s number two for the past decade. What was a shocker is what Finkelstein did the day after the election.
He fired Weekes opponent, Ruby Green. Weekes faced retired judge Tom Lynch and Green; (Ruby came in a respectable second place). Green is 33 years old and had spent her entire eight year career working for Finkelstein and under Weekes. Weekes was the anointed successor to Finkelstein but Tom Lynch, and Green, decided to take their best shots.
Green is the current President of BACDL and she told the Sun Sentinel that she had no doubt she would be terminated after the election. From the Sun Sentinel:
"I was told not to run, I was told I couldn’t do it and I was told I was going to get fired," she wrote. "Nevertheless, I persisted because I know I am the change we seek. I know that there are so many things that happen in this office that are just down right WRONG, and I refused to sit back and let it happen ... This is not going to stop me."
Green received the following email from Finkelstein, on Wednesday at 8:34 AM:
"Thank you for your service. Your services are no longer required. Your termination is immediate."
T-74 days until the real Super Tuesday, November 3, 2020
CAPTAIN OUT .......